Thursday, May 24, 2012

I depended on you o God

I depended on you O God. My thoughts this morning are all shattered. I am thinking one thousand thoughts a minute and going in too many different directions. I kneel before you to pray reluctantly, since I am in a hurry to get along with my day and accomplish all my silly tasks. I am afraid that prayer is going to slow me down and take away from the little time that I have. My thoughts try to persuade me that this is your will, that I am suppose to take matters into my own hands. I make a decision, that today, I will only pray a short prayer to you. When I kneel down to pray and talk to you, I cannot focus on you because I have so much on my mind. I am anxious about too many things, and wanting too many things. I am afraid to lose what I have if I don't act quickly. I am afraid of not being able to control the actions of all those around me. I am convinced, in my arrogance, that I know best what actions should be taken by everyone, and am in a hurry to manipulate things so that it will all fit according to my will.

But being your child, I have uttered these words to you since my childhood, without even contemplating on their meaning. Perhaps I got these words from my parents, perhaps from my Lebanese culture, perhaps directly from you. The words are: "I depended on you O God." And I repeat them over and over, until the sea inside of me is calm. I then ponder about my foolishness and my fears. About how I am in a hurry to pursue all what I must do in foolishness. I feel shame in front of you, then I breathe . . . and say to you again that I depend on you. After a few minutes of meditation I realize that I must let go and trust you completely. I realize that you alone are the answer to all what I am looking for. I realize that you are sovereign over everything and nothing happens without your consent.  I turn to you my God and I thank you for who you are. I turn to you and I make an act of choice to choose you and let everything else come after. Then you speak to me and this is what you say:

"I tell you, do not worry about your life and what you will eat, or about your body and what you will wear. For life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Notice the ravens: they do not sow or reap; they have neither storehouse nor barn, yet God feeds them. How much more important are you than birds! Can any of you by worrying add a moment to your life-span? Notice how the flowers grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass in the field that grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? As for you, do not seek what you are to eat and what you are to drink, and do not worry anymore. All the nations of the world seek for these things, and your Father knows that you need them. Instead, seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides. Do not be afraid any longer, little flock, for your Father is pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your belongings and give alms. Provide money bags for yourselves that do not wear out, an inexhaustible treasure in heaven that no thief can reach nor moth destroy. For where your treasure is, there also will your heart be." [Luke 12: 22-34] 

Then I reply: Strengthen my faith O God so that I can always depend on you and sing your Psalm: 
"Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life." [Based on Psalm 23]

Friday, April 06, 2012

Faith in God

Have you ever spent a significant portion of time without drinking any water? How long could you have lasted? How much longer can your body be sustained without any water? My brother and sister, unless you understand what water is to the body you cannot understand what God is to your being. If you are living your life without God, you are truly dying. Your human nature is designed to be in a loving relation with God. Just like your body needs water so does your being need God.

How do you start living your life with God? First ask God to strengthen your faith in him and welcome him into your heart. He always makes the first moves and the fact that you are reading these words are one of his first moves toward you. Once you receive the grace of faith and you open your heart to receive him, he will start making you known to yourself and making himself known to you. The more you know yourself, the more humble you become, and the more you know him, the more you love him. Once you are humble and you start loving him you would remain in him and he will remain in you like a branch who lives attached to the vine. (John 15:4)

When you live with God and he dwells in you, you no longer see yourself, others or the world in the same way. You will gradually learn to trust that everything has a meaning and a purpose and that every moment in life is a prayer that gives glory to God. (1 Corintthinans 10:31)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don't lie to yourself

God is good. God is always good. God is present. God is always present. God is forgiving. God is always forgiving. God is caring. God is always caring. God is loving. God is always loving. God is merciful. God is always merciful. God is beautiful. God is always beautiful. God is almighty. God is always almighty. God is. God always is.

My sister, my brother, don't lie to yourself. God has asked you to love Him with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. God has asked you to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Are you doing what God had asked you to do? Don't lie to yourself. If you are not, start right now. 

Start with the first. Tell God to give you the grace to love him. Tell him to give you the grace to thirst for him. Tell God to enlighten your heart and mind so that you can understand your limitations and become humble. Without humility you can do nothing. Tell God to speak secretly to your soul in a love language that you do not need to understand. Tell God to give you the grace to know his will and the strength to do his will. Tell God to give you the grace to love him with your whole heart, mind, soul, and strength. 

My sister, my brother, love your neighbor as you love yourself. God showed you in His Gospel who your neighbor is. Think of the person that is giving you the hardest time. Think of the last person you would ever want to see. That is your neighbor. Love him and you will be able to love all your other neighbors. You can do nothing without God. He himself said so. So tell God you need the grace to love. Remember that you are not better than anyone and that you are in need of God's love and forgiveness. Humility is the key to love and love is the key to everything of value. 

You love your neighbor in wanting them to have peace and joy and in wanting God to dwell in their hearts. You love your neighbor when you see him as God's child loved by God more than a mother loves her infant. You love by giving of yourself and God alone is the judge of how great or not so great is what you give.

My sister, my brother, don't lie to yourself. If you are not doing God's will in loving him and loving your neighbor as yourself, you are living in darkness and there is no life in you.   Every act you do, every thought you think, and every state of being you find yourself in must be engulfed with God's grace. 

My sister, my brother, with God everything is possible. Christ is God's ultimate gift of Himself. With Christ in us, we live as God intended us to live: good, present, forgiving, caring, loving, merciful, beautiful, strong, and real. 

"Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love." [1 John 4:7-8]