Tag Archive: Understanding our lives

Example, What is it?

trust vs worry

What does your life tell others? How do you deal with disappointment? Sorrow? Sickness? Family problems? Oh, there are so many things that can go wrong in our life, they seem almost endless. Do we put up with our problems? Simply tolerate them? Wait for better times? Do our problems cause us to take it out on others? These are a lot of questions waiting for us to answer. How we answer them, however, will tell us so much about our life, and what effect it has on others. For us to grow we must strive to not only understand their implications but what is necessary to overcome them, to utilize them.

There is a mouthful, right there. But, I assure you that that “mouthful” is necessary for us, as human beings, to squarely look at and resolve. We cannot prevent any of these from happening. Who stops death? Who successfully prevents all illnesses or family problems? No one on this earth can do that. So what do we do about them? Every problem that besets us, if not correctable or solvable will cause those helpless feelings to grow inside of us. And that is when we begin to take our problems out on those around us.

What did Christ say about these things? His friend Lazarus was ill and when told about it He simply said, “The sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God”. Even when Lazarus had died and was buried for three days, Jesus tells his followers that all of this was coming about for the glory of God. He went to the tomb and called for Lazarus to come out. The rest of the tale we know. Lazarus came out and Jesus told them to get him some food. This was the same with His death. He would ask for food, after His own Resurrection.

What is He telling us? Is it not that everything that we call evil, or problematic, or causing sorrow is a way to glorify our God? If we let these evils conquer us, if we let them weaken our resolve then we have already lost to them. No one seeks out these problems. No one wants them in their life. But they do happen. They do occur. How we deal with them will be reflected by our demeanor, our attitude, our own sense of purpose.

Jesus is telling us that evil in this world will not destroy us, if we believe in His words, if we follow His example. These disappointments and sorrow and sickness and family problems are actually our fire that tries our steel. Yes, we can let these problems overwhelm us. And, in so doing, we live our lives with attitudes of “poor me” or “why me”. All of us will have these things occur. No one can expect to be excused, or overlooked. When they come about, how we address them will really be what proves us. “The sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God”. Our problems will be our proving ground. Our belief in God, our belief in the words of Jesus will be the strength that we will draw on. In coping with these, in addressing these we will see our attitude change. We will not only tolerate others, but amidst our own suffering we will truly see the sufferings of others and seek to help them.

Isn’t this really, what the world needs right now? It doesn’t need individuals only seeking their own goals, their own needs, or their own comforts. The world is full of these people, already. Sorely lacking however, are people believing in a God, trusting in a God, recognizing that this God loves them with an infinite capacity. This God is asking us to recognize that He loves us, and protects us always. Things that we call problems, difficulties, sorrows and sickness, He calls differently. This God, this infinite God, loves us so tremendously that what we see as being a negative is really His opportunity for us to grow in our trust, our belief and our love of Him. Without that trust, belief and love of Him our problems will continue to invade us. But with them, we will embrace Him that much more and thank Him for this opportunity to give glory and honor to Him. And suddenly man looks to helping others rather than himself. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief.

The 5 Posts directly below, blend with this one. They continue the thought. Thanks for coming:

1) Belief in Jesus
2) Seeing, Believing, Doing
3) Truth. Where Is It
4) What is the Will of God?
5) What To Do About Complaining

Belief in Jesus

palm sunday

We are now in the holiest week of the year. It began with yesterday’s Mass of Palm Sunday. During it, we remembered the celebrations of the people strewing palm before the Christ. He was their hero, their savior. Truly He would lead them out from under the oppressive heel of the Roman Empire. As the events unfold throughout this week we, like the people 2000 years ago, gradually come to the realization that this is not what He came for. He is not a military leader, nor a would-be emperor. The land flowing with milk and honey is not of this earth, nor should we expect it to be.

As this week wears on, we, like the Jewish people of old, see a mild man, a gentle man, allowing Himself to be led to His death. Is this why He came? What was all that business of curing people, encouraging people, promising a better life? Just to be led to the slaughter like a lamb? Surely there must be more to His life, then this! At least, we have the advantage of knowing what is to come. The people putting Him to death had no idea what would happen in a few short days. And so, they crucify Him.

Which is a better position to be in? 2000 years ago, the people did not have a clue as to: Who or What Jesus is. Their mindset was only of this world. They saw only their needs, their desires for a better life, and so they placed their hopes in this man to lead them. And when they realized that He would meekly submit to the horrors and tortures of the crucifixion, their confidence in Him was shaken. And so, they abandoned Him.

But we, you and I, we have the benefit of 2000 years of history, 2000 years of reflective thinking by men much wiser and greater than ourselves. Our understanding of Who and What Jesus is, is tempered and molded into a belief structure that is strong and …. Wait a minute!! Did I just say, “Our belief structure”??? What do we really believe? You and I? Who is this Jesus? Is He really God? Did He come to show us how to live? How to treat others? How to live our lives? How are we doing with regard to living our lives? What we believe dictates to us, how we live. So how are we living? What is our mindset today? Do we see only our needs, our desires for a better life? This week, this holy week, is a time for us to assess just that.

Our belief… What is our belief? What do we really believe and think about Jesus? Who is He to us? Why did He really come into this world? Was there a purpose for Him to enter our world? Each of us has to answer these questions? We cannot live our lives and ignore the answers. We cannot turn our heads and view life without trying to understand the importance of these questions. For you see our beliefs will motivate and direct our lives. With no beliefs, we have nothing to guide us, nothing to point us in the right direction. We are then slaves to whatever pleases us, and makes us feel comfortable. We no longer are creatures with a mind and soul, but rather, we are robots being directed by our feelings, our desires, our wants, and our needs.

To say, “Jesus is God” and then go about the day with no further thought of Him, or its implications, is like saying, “I will buy that apple.” We don’t even know when we will bite it, or if it will go bad before we bite it. We just appropriated it, and nothing more. Belief isn’t a coat that you can put on or take off. A belief goes right to our core. It shapes us. It modifies us. It directs us. Jesus’ words to Thomas seem very appropriate right now, “Blessed are they that have not seen and have believed.” –John 20:29

Why do we call it a “Belief Structure”? A structure is usually something that stands because it is built with, and dependent on, a strong framework. We have all heard the saying, “Show me your friends, and I will tell you what you are.” Similarly, I think we can say, “Tell me what you truly believe in, and I will tell you how you act.” Belief is the ‘be all and end all’ of our Christian way of life. It is from our belief in Jesus, that He is the Christ, the Savior of the World, from that belief, our actions are guided. A good prayer to pray is, “I believe in you, Lord. Help my unbelief.” What do you believe? What do I believe? Does our belief shape and guide our actions?

Here are some other Posts that have a similar theme. Click on any one of them:

1) Head or Gut,-Brain or Heart
2) Help my Unbelief
3) What Does Unconditional Love Mean to Me

group pic

Allow me to back track a little. I was able to attend Mass yesterday morning. Before Mass began, I was absentmindedly looking around at the people present. Sitting toward the back of the chapel, I was able to see almost all present. In the congregation were all ages, different walks of life, some with noticeable ailments, and yet though diverse, all were willingly here, not being urged by Canon Law. They were just here to pray to their God, partake of the Last Supper, and take Jesus home with them in their hearts. All seemed reverent and glad to be here. However, looking at the backs of their heads, (and not seeing their faces), no judgments could be made by me. Not getting lost in reading their faces, they were just … people… like myself. And the thought struck me, then and there, why can’t I see all people, the ones I will meet today, tomorrow, and throughout my life, why can’t I see them without judgments? Why can’t I see them without preconceived feelings or thoughts? Whether in church or outside, they (we) are all sons and daughters of God, deserving to be loved and cared for. Hold that thought for a while.

When I returned home, I had a few moments so I opened my email. A very good friend, I will call her Eileen, sent an email to me earlier. Returning from Mass, I began to read my back emails. To Eileen, I can only say, “Thank you. Thank you for thinking enough of me, that you would send me that link.” I never knew of, nor even heard of “MARYTV. I dutifully clicked on the line that said, “www.marytv.tv” and waited to see what would appear on my computer screen. What a joy!

This website is devoted to events that occurred and continue to occur in Medjugorje, a small mountain town in Bosnia Herzegovina. This town is where, on June 24th, 1981, Mary appeared to six Croatian children. I say, “…continue to occur”, because three of the children continue to see and experience Mary’s presence. Pilgrimages have been, and continue to be made to this special site, thirty two years after the first apparition. Many devout persons feel that this is the follow up to the Fatima apparitions. Mary’s appeal to us is stronger than ever, “Pray the Rosary”. Read about it. Understand its significance. Understand Mary’s role in salvation history. We cannot pass these off anymore as, “Oh, yes, I know about those things.”…and then go on with our lives without connecting to “those things”.

Look at what is going on in this world. Civilization is distancing itself from its Creator. Do you really think it is just a coincidence that people don’t want to pray? Don’t see the need to pray? Our belief structure keeps taking hits, is almost non-existent! Pleasure is sought after, more than our God? We really believe that having cars and TVs, and stocks and bonds are more important than owning and using Rosary beads? “Trust in God??? Nahhh, I just trust my instincts.” Do you think it is a coincidence that God is being removed from our walls, and our words? Our society values life only when it is talking about itself, the ME generation. If you still believe in a God, a spiritual entity, then why can you not recognize that a spiritual entity of EVIL also exists? Like the civilizations of old, our society is worshipping its idols of wealth, pleasure, possessions, and power. Obtaining these idols becomes of paramount importance to us. And so, we must remove anything that gets in the way of possessing them. Remove God. Remove love. Remove charity. Distort the meaning of love. Take from others. Hey, you can even keep what they have.

We will go mad, if we only focus on the problems that beset us, that ravage thisworld. Mary, the Mediatrix of ALL graces, our heavenly mother wants (no, desires and craves) for us to come to Jesus through her. To this end I would like to list some avenues that you might wish to use. In the future, I hope to discuss each of these on the Stepping Stones.

Site: Apparitions Links:
Medjugorje============ http://www.marytv.tv
Fatima =============== http://www.wafusa.org

Site: Devotional Reading Links:
Devotion and Consecration to
Mary================ http://www.myconsecration.org
The Flame of Love (Diary of:
Elizabeth Kindlemann)====http://www.theflameoflove.org

Devotional Reading
True Devotion to Mary ==============St. Louis DeMontfort
Total Consecration to Jesus through Mary==St. Louis DeMontfort
33 Days to Morning Glory ============Rev. Michael Gaitley
The Flame of Love =================Elizabeth Kindlemann

At the beginning, I asked you to hold the thought that all sons and daughters of God, deserve to be loved and cared for, by us. But why does this seem so impossible? Are we too busy loving ourselves, gratifying our own needs, and wants? Who has time to look out for someone else, we have our own needs to address? Is that it? Well, you are right!! (Did that surprise you?) We must look out for ourselves, but not in the way you are thinking, I am afraid. Go look at, and read some of the information, mentioned above. Maybe…just maybe, our interests, our goals, and our needs are all looking in the wrong direction. Instead of ourselves, we should be identifying what others need, feel, and want. In so doing, we just might understand their hurts, their pains, their feelings. We, just might, find out that they are exactly like us. They are suffering just as our Savior suffered, just as we are suffering. All of us, sitting in the pew, riding the train, pushing the shopping cart, walking our dog, pushing the stroller, each of us MUST get closer to the Christ. We must talk to Him, and listen to Him. Who better to teach us how to love Jesus, how to talk with Him, than Mary? The rosary that keeps coming up in this conversation, let it come up out of our pockets and pocketbooks, and be used. “Pray the Rosary”. Isn’t that what Mary has said both in Fatima and Medjugorje? Like a child, we must hold the hands of both Jesus and Mary throughout our life. Who knows maybe we can even skip a little, as we smile at our new found friends walking down the street.