Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Addressing Life’s Daily Battles


 
When pre-dawn noise today nudged me from my sleep, I lent words to some stubborn thoughts.

 
Each day as one wakes up to face the world, one confronts situations requiring battle readiness. Whether face-to-face with life-changing options or simply having to make choices needed to get from one point to another. And like any battle worthy to be won, we are required to give our 110% efforts every time. And no less is expected unless one has ebbed to the point of accepting defeat or being tepid every time.

As a being molded from and by a Being so resplendent in perfection and purpose, we definitely cannot allow ourselves to be defeatist or tepid. We have to strive for what is humanly possible in our drive for our own perfection.

Under such strict dispensation we are required to muster and marshal our innermost strength, aided by God’s prodigious graces.

Ever alert to God’s gentle promise that He would not tempt us beyond our strengths. That whatever will be laid out before us regardless how overwhelming and formidable they may seem, one always has the powers to address and resolve. Which assurances ought to give us sufficient hope to weather through all the travails life may throw at us.

Life’s daily battles then become sterling opportunities to sharpen our virtues and wits, making us able to win through any and all obstacles.

Let us pray for the wisdom and resolve to get us by this day.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Caiphas and the Opposition to Trump



This being the Lenten Season, one is somehow automatically drawn to the unforgiving events of Christ’s Passion.  For me, especially as it relates to the reactions of US media on the mass shootings that happened a world away in New Zealand.  Unbelievable condemnation, but very expected in light of what is happening in the US.

BTW, within hours from the carnage, almost to the man or woman US media pundits had very self-assuredly unloaded direct blame at the feet of Donald Trump because of his “incendiary” rhetoric on topics having completely no bearing at all on the NZ carnage; he who lives and rules more than 7,000 miles away.  Unbelievable but still, expected.

But we can get our understanding and valuable lesson from reading scripture, especially the trial of Christ, prior to his gruesome Crucifixion.  I refer especially to the person of Caiphas, who had first dib at judging Jesus Christ.

We remember that Caiphas was not anymore in authority because he had finished his term as high priest.   Shades of US media, composed of people unelected and self-appointed.  In other words, Caiphas was in retirement and out of power, but he still wielded critical influence in the politics of that time.  Thus, the conspirators thought it best to bring Christ first to him for judgment.  Of course, he was also the same person who said that in the pesky and messy case of Christ and his ministry, the solution lies in that it is expedient that one man dies, as a form of catharsis.  Like the holocaust of a sacrificial lamb?  Scholars also say that Caiphas had so much temporal notions of religion and salvation, so this could also be the reason why those who wanted Jesus out of the way chose him as first judge.

So Caiphas stood for:  That it was expedient for one man to die for the cause!

This deterministic attitude reminds me so much of the current situation in US politics.  The opposition to Trump, which consists mainly of the entire mainstream media, the Democratic Party, and ensconced members of the Deep State in government, has been so determined and invested in the avowed goal to remove Trump from office that like Caiphas and the conspirators it would not stop at anything.  From lining up false witnesses, to weaving contradictory statements, to outright petty accusations, to whatever, like having a headless special counsel jerking every which way.  Everything took on the mantle of legitimacy and credibility because the goal was perceived as both moral and true.  The self-appointed moral betters had declared that Trump had “to be executed”.   And that was all that mattered.  Truth and rule of law be damned.

Thus the current Trump opposition has become the worst imitators of the biblical Caiphas.

And do you remember how Christ handled all this, including the final questions of Caiphas?  He answered them all with silence?  The mighty power of silence!

 

 

Sunday, March 10, 2019

The Eye of Intention


 


 
Christ speaks about the singularity of the eye of our intentions, in the things we do including those that we purportedly do for Him.

Thus to be acceptable to Him we must determine that what we do, we do only for Christ and not also for ourselves.

Most times we do things in the name of Christ but upon examination we and others find that we are doing it to benefit ourselves also.  Attribute that to the self-preserving nature of man.

Many times though we may be quite unaware or clueless about it, thus we court appearing as hypocritical before the eyes of men.

I surmise that what is being asked of each of us is to at least be honest with ourselves and with Him. Thus it is always advisable to test the eye of our intention to measure honesty and truthfulness.

To illustrate, going to Mass or church services appears as practice that could always be regarded as good.  But our differing reasons for attending Mass determine the goodness of that act.

Many people go to Mass because it is a religious obligation that carries the penalty of sin.  So we go because we fear sin and do not relish offending God. Others go, out of habit, curiosity, moral suasion maybe, or whatever.  But there are a few others who go to Mass with only one motive and desire, they bring themselves to God’s presence because they want to show their love of God who is truly deserving of love.  This is the highest level of worship when the eye of our intention is singular, and not colored with our self-serving interests.

This test holds true and is applicable to most things we do in life.  In fairness, keeping the eye of our intentions singular is no easy task.  Still we are enjoined to take the effort and to be forthright about it.

Test yourself!

 Premises:

We expectantly visit holy places because the act shows fealty and reverence and homage to God.

We give alms because we are taught to do charity work to the least of our brethren because it is work done to Him.

We fast to honor God’s command and to show love for Him.

Etc.

 Try to determine whether lurking behind most actions of ours are hidden desires to please or cater to ourselves as the strong driving motivation.