Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Lent Season In Simple Words

Humanity's "Fall" away from God and into sin began with eating.  God had proclaimed a fast from the fruit of only one tree, the tree of knowledge of good and evil (Gen. 2:17), and Adam and Eve broke it.  Fasting is here connected with the very mystery of life and death, of salvation and damnation.

The tragedy is not so much that Adam ate food, but that he ate the food for its own sake, "apart" from God and to be independent of Him.  Believing that food had life in itself and thus he could be "like God."  And he put his faith in food.  This kind of existence seems to be built on the principle that man does indeed live "by bread alone."

When He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights, He became hungry."  Hunger is that state in which we realize our dependence on something else—when we face the ultimate question: "on what does my life depend?"  Satan tempted both Adam and Christ, saying: Eat, for your hunger is proof that you depend entirely on food, that your life is in food.   Adam believed and ate.  Christ said, "Man does NOT live by bread alone." (Mt. 4:4; Lk. 4:4)  This liberates us from total dependence on food, on matter, on the world.  Thus, for the Christian, fasting is the only means by which man recovers his true spiritual nature.In order for fasting to be effective, then, the spirit must be a part of it.  Christian fasting is not concerned with losing weight.  It is a matter of prayer and the spirit.   And because of that, because it is truly a place of the Spirit, true fasting may well lead to temptation, and weakness and doubt and irritation.In other words, it will be a real fight between good and evil, and very likely we shall fail many times in these battles.  But the very discovery of the Christian life as "fight" and "effort" is an essential aspect of fasting.
Christian tradition can name at least seven reasons for fasting:
  1. From the beginning, God commanded some fasting, and sin entered into the world because Adam and Eve broke the fast.
  2. For the Christian, fasting is ultimately about fasting from sin.
  3. Fasting reveals our dependence on God and not the resources of this world.
  4. Fasting is an ancient way of preparing for the Eucharist—the truest of foods.
  5. Fasting is preparation for baptism (and all the sacraments)—for the reception of grace.
  6. Fasting is a means of saving resources to give to the poor.
  7. Fasting is a means of self-discipline, chastity, and the restraining of the appetites.
Hope this short articles that I copied from a reliable source can enlight us on the purpose of Lent. Lets make full use of this season to grow in faith, and be a better person, especially in God's eyes. Amen.

Monday, February 11, 2013

He's There For Us, He Really Is...

I am facing some crises lately, like what I wrote in the past 2 posts. Although at times I did feel almost defeated, I never stopped putting hope for a better tomorrow. I just believed that part of it could be God's wonderful plans to give me some adventures and experiences in life, while the rest could come from my own weaknesses. 

I did have to go through some tough days, swallowed my pride and just relied on the strength that He provided me, have a little patient and perseverance, and the next thing I know, He presented me with happy news. He always does this, people. :)) 

I want to thank God that despite all my troubles and challenges, my loved ones are always around. It's not fair that I keep talking about obstacles, making people think that my heart is empty of love. That's not the case. The love in my heart is whole, and thanks to God again for making it sufficient. I can't help be feel blessed.

Guys, never give up. Rewards are on their way. He's smiling at you and have some shame when you start to have silly thoughts in your head. He loves us that much, please don't forget :))

1 John 4

19 We love because he first loved us.

The Journey Of Faith Continues...

I always have questions about religions, especially about mine; Catholic. I'm always surrounded by people from different beliefs, and different groups of Christian, but after all the time accepting the differences, never before that  I was called to start finding out what caused the differences. Now that the person who is the closest to me is also a protestant, he helped to raise up some points where I start to find myself even more curious than ever. It's not because I simply DOUBT, it's because I DON'T KNOW ENOUGH. I think there's a reason why God provides all the knowledge in the world, even making it easier for us to access information more than ever, I feel the need to start using all this to know more about God. 

To be honest, I don't like to be accused to have blind faith. But sometimes I wonder if I've been doing that my whole life. I felt quite sinful when I attended masses and instead of participating, I became an observer. I started to wonder the reasons why the mass is conducted in such a way, with all the rituals and procedures that I don't know why they do it. Even the robes that the priests are wearing, and with all the other things I saw at the altar, I wonder how necessary are they and why they need to be there. Sometimes everything looks so luxurious that I got distracted by the decorations and shining equipments and clothes. I understand that they perform the important event of The Last Supper every mass, that's why they call it Eucharistic celebration. It's about The Bread. Jesus passed the bread to His disciples during the last hour before His crucifixion. I got even distracted that the priests are reading straight from the big Bible near him as they conduct the blessing of the bread. I thought that it would be more heartfelt if they can just speak the words without reading. I thought that they should be able to memorise the words after countless of times handling masses. Yeah, I have all these things in my head. I feel guilty too but if I don't sort them out, I could not just fake my devotion. I don't think that I don't have the right to know and to understand. Like I have written before, No religions are perfect. I don't expect mine to be. But it's good to know and to understand more, so that it won't get in the way between you and your ways of reaching to God. 

I even started wondering about why Mother Mary has her rank in the Catholic Church, while others think that she doesn't even deserve it. It hurts me to see how others speak of my religion as if it was a joke. I've always believe that The Rosary prayer is one very powerful prayer. So I don't think it's fair that others think less of her. There must be concrete reasons why she's put in her position in the Church. That's why, I did some serious readings for the past few days. I'm glad that I could google for some reliable sources - and I even read some random ones written by laymen like me - which I think do help me in understanding what the fuss is all about. 

The result is...I do find some answers to my questions. I wonder what did I do all this time that I didn't look for them earlier. I could be knowing more by now if I did. So again, the reading continues. I do ask for His guidance so I can be guided to come to the articles that really reflect the truth. I convey to Him that I want to know The Truth about Him and  I believe, only by that I can build the kind of faith that we need. So I hope I have great stuff to write and share with all of you.

Note: 13th February is Ash Wednesday :) I will use this season of Lent to learn about that season itself, and to understand the 40 days that Jesus went through. Something that I failed to do before. :))

James 1:5-6

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.


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