Friday, August 19, 2011

It's All or Nothing

All of us are looking for some kind of fulfillment to bring us peace. We need it to justify our existence. And we invest ourselves in to whatever we believe that would fulfill us.

What really fulfills us is God.

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” – St Augustine.

Jesus is our fulfillment. It is either you accept that or reject it. But the fact will not change. You need Him!

Only Jesus can satisfy our hunger for fulfillment, meaning and purpose. To reject Him will not take away that hunger, that longing. It will only be directed to something else.

The Catechism teaches us that we are religious beings by nature. It means that we will seek fulfillment, meaning and purpose religiously. We are all fanatics, only the object of our fanaticism changes. We have seen how people have religiously sought money, power, fame and sex. They have devoted all their waking hours pursuing it. They have offered their life to them. They are their gods.

We will always be fans of something or someone. So are you a Jesus fan or your own?

Choosing our god will direct our way of life. And it a direction towards Heaven or Hell.

All that God has created is good and is good for us. But once this “good” becomes god, it will now be the instrument of our destruction. Evil is always a distortion of good, evil cannot create. Satan can only distort what God has created.

Sex is good, but being a rapist isn’t. Money is good, but being a thief isn’t. Power is good, but being a tyrant isn’t.

Without God, all these goods become gods and get distorted in the process. For only God can tell us how these goods are to be used.

Fulfillment is one of our basic needs in life and for sanity. And you cannot escape that need.

To have everything and have not Jesus is to have nothing. For in the end all will be lost.

To have nothing and have Jesus is to have everything. He is God and everything is contained in Him.

By Daxx Bondoc

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Wanna be Free, I Wanna be Me

There are a lot of people who have the “I-wanna-be-free-I-wanna-be-me” mentality. Their ultimate goal in life is “to be themselves”, whatever that means.

This is can be very problematic in our “fallen” world.

There are two big problems in this mentality. First is the word “free”. What most of us consider freedom is actually abuse of freedom. Modern man’s idea of freedom is doing anything you want. That is not freedom that is license. Freedom has boundaries. You are not free to murder or steal.

Many people like to use the word “freedom” so they can be free to be selfish. They like to do whatever fancies them, at all cost. Like a father or a mother who wants to be “free” from his/her family. So they leave their families to pursue their personal happiness. That is not freedom that is abandonment.

Another problematic part of that mentality is the “me”. Modern man in general has no clue who he is. He is fashioned by his environment, especially by the media. It is the same media who educates the masses that being a fallen human being is normal. And to strive to be the human God created us to be is psychologically problematic.

Our idea of “me” will be probably egoistic. Our “me-attitude” can be sum up to “It is all about me and to hell with the rest.”

Our idea of our humanity is very selfish. It is all about getting what we want.

But that is not who we are.

We were created to love. To forget ourselves in love. God created us to have a “We” attitude and not a “Me” attitude. Selfishness is the total opposite of our humanity.

It is same with freedom. God gave us freedom not to be selfish, but to love. Only free people can love. A selfish person is not free to love because he cannot love anyone else but himself. It takes great freedom to love, for most of us are slaves of our fears and selfishness.

“Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” -Pope John Paul II

Jesus was the freest man who ever lived, for He was God. But Jesus spent His life doing the Father’s will and not His own.

“Yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

If we want to be really “free” and to be really “me”, we must start defining freedom and ourselves by God’s standards and not of the world’s.

So how do we do it?

We must love God with all our being, and love our neighbor as ourselves.

The ultimate act of freedom is to love.

The fulfillment of our humanity is love as well.

So be free to give your “me” to love.

By Daxx Bondoc

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Is Holiness the Enemy of Happiness?

The word “holiness” these days is often imagined as something rigid, cold and joyless. They think holy people are “killjoys”. Or so they think.

People who have these concepts of holiness don’t really understand what holiness really is. They imagine a holy person as a rigid, ascetic lifeless monk, like a zombie. But they cannot be further from the truth. Holy people are not just happy, they are joyful. And joy is much deeper than happiness.

A sick person is not a happy, he is miserable. A healthy person is a happy fellow. We sinners are sick with sin. Being holy only means living a healthy spiritual life. If both are body and soul is healthy, then we are happy. It is really that simple…

But hard to live.

Spiritual health, like physical health demands effort, especially if we have lived very unhealthy or sinful lives for years. The start of a workout program is always dragging. There is always a lot of resistance on our part. But once we get into the flow, it becomes easier. The more we become healthy the more we become strong and free (sick people are always confined in their beds).

It is the same in the program of holiness. It really takes a lot of effort in the beginning. We have been attached to our sins for so long that it has become a part of us, like fats. But the more we strive to be holy, the easier it gets. And one day it will be second nature to us (which is actually our first nature, God created us totally holy before “the fall).

Being holy means to be who God created us to be. Our natural state is of pure holiness. But sin has stained that.

To be holy is to be fully alive. To be holy is to animate all our God given gifts and potentials. To be holy is to be totally human again. The saints are our example. The saints are the greatest accomplishers in history. They were also people of joy. There are no unhappy saints.

When Jesus said “Be holy as your Heavenly Father is holy”, He was not just commanding us, but also reminding us who we really are. We were made for holiness and there lies our happiness.

The great thing about pursuing holiness is that we are not alone in our efforts. God’s grace is sufficient and abundant in helping us be fully human once again. God wants us to be holy more than we want to. God wants us to be happy more than we want to.

"My grace is sufficient for you…" (2 Corinthians 12:9) “and running over, will be poured into your lap.” (Luke 6:38)

So how does holiness look like?

Look at Jesus. Jesus is our guide to holiness. He is also the program. To be holy is to live like Jesus and live in Him.

So be holy.

Be happy.

By Daxx Bondoc

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why Live Simply?

Do you have more stuff than you need?

It is funny how one generation to the next, the standards of living are getting higher and higher. What our grandparents would consider luxury, we consider as a basic need. I believe that is why we have so much ungratefulness going around. Everybody feels deprived!

Most of what we consider needs are actually are just wants.

Living simply helps us to be sober. We need learn to control our desires and live only what we actually need. In doing so, we are able to enjoy life more. The less time we spend pursuing stuffs, the more time we have to slow down and experience life.

Living simply, simply means getting our priorities right. We give priority to what is really important, like friends, family and God and not stuffs. Stuffs are just means for us to love better and not as an ultimate goal itself.

To be caught up in this materialistic culture is to be caught up in a life of shallowness and emptiness. You can never fill your heart with stuffs, only love can fill it.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

We also want to live simply so others may live. Living simply gives us an opportunity to give more to those who are in need. Our lives become bigger than we are.

We are stewards of what we have and not owners. God created it and He owns it. We have an obligation to share to others what we have after our needs are met.

Why live simply?

Because you really want to live.

By Daxx Bondoc