Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Do we trust God beyond what we know?

    “For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.” – [1 Corinthians 1:25]  God knows all things, after all He created everything.  He holds everything and everyone in existence.  So, we cannot be wiser or more knowledgeable than God.
    Then, why do we not trust God?  We seem to tell ourselves, and God, that God would understand.  Would He?  Someone cuts me off in traffic and I get mad and begin to hate that person.  We think, if you only knew this person like I do.  God says, if you knew this person like I do, you would love them as I love them and you as well.
    To trust God is much more logical than to trust ourselves.  Sure, we know what we know and it is comfortable to us, but God knows all.  The major difference is that we rely on someone else, which takes us out of our comfort zone.  He knows all, so He knows best.  Our comfort zone merely becomes an obstacle to that which is best for us.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Why did God become one of His created?

    To non-Christians, the idea of God becoming man is incomprehensible.  Truly, for some of us Christians, it is hard to fathom.  God the Almighty, existence Itself, humbled Himself to become one of those that He created.
    First, we must wonder, could God become man?  God is not limited by anything other than Himself.  For example, “God is love” [1 John 4:8], so God cannot hate.  So, by becoming man, is God limiting Himself?  If, as we as Christians believe, that Jesus is and was fully God and fully man, then being man must not have limited Him from being God.  You cannot prevent gold from being gold, no matter what you put it in.
    Second, why would God want to become man?  God is an infinite being with infinite power and wisdom.  The only explanation possible is that “God so loved the world” – [John 3:16].  God loves us.  He created us in His image and likeness.  In a sense, He set us apart from all of creation.
    Still, why would God do such a thing?  God does not have an ego problem.  He is God.  He knows that He is and appearances mean nothing to Him.  Truly, God would only become man if His love for us outweighed all else.  We know this has to be true, because not only did He humble Himself to become human, but He also died a terrible death on a cross with common criminals.  But it does not end there, God can now take us to Heaven with the Resurrection.  A Resurrection that only comes about because of His death.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Is God an all-loving father or just an all-powerful lord and master?

    God created all things in such an ordered way that we can use science to determine cause and effect.  He also gave us a superiority over all of creation by granting us many abilities that only human beings have.  He gave us free-will, not so that we could do wrong and get punished accordingly, but so that we could freely choose Him.
    God has done so many wonderful things for us that we take for granted.  Sounds like most parents with their children.  God indeed shows His fatherly love for us in so many different ways.  Sometimes, in the smallest of ways and other times, in grand ways.
    So, why ask if God is an all-loving father or just an all-powerful lord and master?  Sad to say, but it shows a difference between Christianity and Islam.  In the end, we try to imitate that which we hold most sacred.  So, while there are no doubt many, many good Muslims out there, having faith in a God that is an all-powerful master lends one to try to do the same to others.
    I know that there are plenty of Christians that may act this way, too.  But I would maintain that most of them do not hold God to be the most sacred thing in their life.  It could be money, power, or any number of things other than God.  When God is an all-loving father, the closer that we get to Him, the more we reflect His love to others.

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” – [Mark 12:30-31]

Thursday, September 18, 2014

How personal is God to us?

    God is always waiting for us.  He may seem distant, but this commonly due to us distancing ourselves from God.  He has never moved, we simply have distanced ourselves.  Other times, we may be close to God but not even realize it.  He could be right behind us or possibly holding us so close that we are unable to really see Him.
    So, how personal God is to us depends upon us more than God.  God is constant and unchanging.  We, on the other hand, are constantly changing.  So, with our changes, are we getting closer to God or farther away?  It is terribly hard to have a personal relationship with someone we have pushed far away.
    The most personal relationship that we can have with God is receiving Jesus in the Eucharist.  Jesus is God and the Eucharist is the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus.  By receiving the Eucharist, we are becoming united to God physically, but this surely transcends to the spiritual reality as well.  This is an awesome mystery that has been revealed to us.
    Surely God can be personal to us in prayer, especially deep prayer, but being united both physically and spiritually to God is truly an awesome wonder.  Nothing is more personal than uniting with another both physically and spiritually.  And in this uniting, remember that Jesus is giving you Himself completely.  Body, blood, soul, and divinity.  Let us give ourselves completely to Him as well.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Where does our human dignity come from?

     As humans, we are different from other living things.  We have self-knowledge.  We seek for a meaning in life unlike an animal, which merely lives its life.  We can identify beautiful art and music.  All of this and more show us that we are different.  This difference comes from our creation.  “Then God said: Let us make human beings in our image, after our likeness.” – [Genesis 1:26]
     We, as human beings, are made in the image and likeness of God.  This is truly amazing.  We are not just another creature that God made.  No, we are His crowning achievement in the order of creation.  We are made in the Almighty’s image and likeness.  How do we live our this awesome gift?  How do we recognize this gift in others?
     This awesome gift should keep us rooted in knowing that we are made for more than this Earth.  God is eternal, and so then we, being created in His image and likeness, must have an eternal quality.  In our case, we have an eternal soul.  And being body/soul composites, what we do with our body affects our soul and vice versa.
     Others have the dignity that comes with this gift as well.  We call it human dignity, but it is really a divine dignity that is bestowed upon humans.  After all, this dignity comes from humans being made in the image and likeness of God.  But calling it human dignity is fitting, since this great gift is only given to the human race.  So, we need to see that any offense against the human dignity of any human being is an offense against God, since this dignity comes with His image and likeness that we possess.
     So, let us never reduce ourselves to mere animals.  Also, let us see God in everyone, since they possess God’s image and likeness.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Today is the 13th Anniversary of 9/11

     Almost 3,000 people died on that day.  A day that will never be forgotten.  So many innocent lives were lost.  Our entire nation was affected.  The terrorists wanted to bring fear and trembling to our nation, but we turned our fear into a resolve to never let this happen again.
     Some ask why God would allow such a tragedy to happen.  The answer is that He loves us.  He gave us free-will, so that we could choose to love Him.  Along with free-will, comes the consequences for our action or inaction.  Our actions affect others, so it may not be our free-will that leads to such a tragedy, but it could be someone else’s.  What good is free-will if there are no consequences?
     9/11 is tragic because of the loss of so many lives, both the innocent and those who rejected salvation through Jesus.  It makes me wonder about the number of abortions in a day.  More lives are lost each day (yes, each day) on average in abortion than were lost with the 9/11 attacks.  Somewhere between 3,300 and 3,700 abortions happen every day on average.  And that is just the US!  Worldwide, the number is over 100,000.  These are innocent lives without a voice of their own.  Let us be a voice for the voiceless.

Friday, September 5, 2014

What is the difference between knowledge and wisdom?

    Often times, we think of these as the same, but they are not.  As Fr. Simon on Relevant Radio says, “Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit.  Wisdom is knowing not to put it in the fruit salad.”  In short, knowledge is knowing the facts and wisdom is knowing how to put the facts into use.
    So, we know that Jesus is God, came down to be one of us, suffered and died for us, and rose from the dead, but what do we do with this knowledge?  This is at the heart of the Christian life.  It must affect us every day, every hour, and every moment.  God loved us so much to do all these things, so what are we going to do?
    If we are unsure about what we should do with this knowledge, we need to only pray.  It works amazingly.  Right now, take a moment to ask God what He wants you to do today  …  Now, do it!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

No matter what you do or where you go, life always continues…

    People often try to avoid their situation in life by going someplace else or by doing something to distract them from it, while doing nothing about it.  Of course, doing so may have a time and a place like if someone was so focused on their situation in life that it paralyzed them from living it.  Sometimes we need to clear our heads, but it does not pause or alter our situation.
    Life does not wait for us either.  It continues anyways.  Sometimes, this can be therapeutic to get us moving out of dwelling on our situation.  In a way, we are forced back into living our lives.  We may be forced to make a change, but do we take the ownership that we can in our life?
    Of course, we can only take a smidgen of ownership in our life.  God, after all, keeps everything in being.  So then, we are left with the reality that God can control it all.  However, we also are left with the reality that God knows it all and we do not.  He knows best, but we should still ask for His help.
    At the end of it all, we are left with a dependence on God who keeps our very being in existence.  With this, we turn to Him in prayer, so that we may ask for the help that we need.  The help to live a good and holy life, to accept what we do not like, and to know God’s will in our life.