|THE WORD AND THE SPIRIT||
Life is good. Life is beautiful. Life is too short. These are some of the most common figures of speech we hear every day. But what does life means to us? The meaning of life touches on so many interrelated issues from cultural, religious and spiritual influences. But in one word, what can we say that life is? I could say, life is a purpose, or maybe life is existence, or better yet, life is God.
Look left and right and I can guarantee that you will find someone that has been broken by the world that we live in. That broken person may even be you. You may not have skin that stretches over your bones from starvation, or have been a victim of a tragedy, but you have been broken because life decided that it wanted to become a bully and kick you down. Sometimes, it’s so easy to just get back up. But other times, it feels like you are being abused and pushed down further and further, if that was even possible. Getting back up is like dirt being kicked in your face because finding your way back onto the path you were once on is so much more difficult than trying to stay on it ever was. It feels like the more you struggle, the more you lose. I suppose that’s why people lose hope.
“I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is 49:6b)
Have you ever given any thought to how things happen in your lifetime? How have these things brought you to where you are today? I know that God has a plan for each of us; but when He takes me down paths I do not understand, I think, “You must be kidding me, Lord!”
Countless times, I have said “Lord, thy will be done,” but I felt I was saying it without really meaning it. This perspective changed when our family was invited to be the youth family prayer leader. I was so touched by the gospel reading: “Come, follow me” (Mt 19:21).
The Blessed Virgin Mary was greeted by St. Gabriel the Archangel with the words, “Hail Mary full of Grace.” What is grace? For the Blessed Virgin Mary, it was her innate holiness and God’s indwelling and love. It is slightly different for us because of the sin of Adam and Eve. Grace is the indwelling and love of God bestowed on us through the merits of Jesus Christ. It is the love of God given to us who are undeserving.
“So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold,
new things have come.” (2 Cor 5:17)
We live in a world in which we are surrounded by rebellious, disinterested people who are bent on living their lives regardless what anyone else says, God included. In surroundings like these, the peace of God is like a compass for our souls, leading us in the direction that the Holy Spirit intends for our lives. God grants us this internal compass, so that we might not lose our way as He works at transforming us.
“When you did not hesitate to get up and leave your dinner in order to go and bury the dead, I was sent to put you to the test. At the same time, however, God commissioned me to heal you....” (Tb 12:13-14)
God’s Word in the Book of Tobit truly strikes me with so much awe. It opens my eyes to perceive, recognize and accept the meaning of everything occurring in life.
But she said to me, “It was given to me as a bonus over and above my wages.” Yet I would not believe her and told her to give it back to its owners. I flushed with anger at her over this. So she retorted: “Where are your charitable deeds now? Where are your righteous acts? Your true character is finally showing itself!” (Tb 2:14)
Two feasts that should converge and complement one another are the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Feast of the Divine Mercy. Both are moveable feasts. The feast of the Divine Mercy is actually the Sunday after Easter, the octave day of Easter. The feast of the Sacred Heart is always on the Friday following the Feast Of Corpus Christi (this year June 12).
A youth prepares for college and is given the opportunity to speak about herself, reflect upon her life, and to share her thoughts and her faith...
I walk into my small and modest bedroom, and each day during the fall, I either shudder due to its accumulated coldness or sigh in relief towards the rush of warmth that hits my body. The room's climate always surprises me because I rarely spend my wakeful hours within it. There are no luxuries of a stereo system, television, or telephone, which would tempt me to stay inside my room, and although I have occasionally pointed this out to my parents in complaint, now, I believe that its barrenness is beneficial. As a result, the contents of my room signify the deeper side of me. Located towards the front of the house, my one wall consists almost entirely of tow windows, giving light to read my Bible and check my calendar. A window, a Bible, and a calendar are three objects, which symbolize the characteristics I possess.
To nurture and promote the love of the Gospel of Christ.