No one is as funny in real life as on twitter, or as good looking as on Facebook and so on and so forth… Internet has given us means to connect with people, but how do we connect with these people? Do we really let ourselves be known? It is too easy to block somebody on the MSN or “unfriend” on Facebook but real life is not as easy as internet. I feel like a lot of people is changing the “second life” by the real one. In life people have their weaknesses, and it is part of life to deal with them, specially if they hurt us. Forgiving is one of the most important thing Jesus taught us. Being forgiven is also a great lesson for us to let God change our hearts. In our final judgment it will be all about accepting God’s forgiveness, or you really thing you’ll deserve to go to heaven? On the net we want to look better than we are because we didn’t accept that we are lovable with our weaknesses. We have learned to compete, to overcome every obstacle. It’s like our value as a person in out on our achievements or victories or in what we do. I have discovered someone that loves me not beyond my flaws but with them. I’ve felt His love and I’ve learned to let Him forgive me and love me. We can make a big effort to love someone but how hard is it to let the others love us?Specially when we see they’re aware of our “dark side”… Internet has taken from us the right of feeling sad, the right of not being perfect. Even when we’re not feeling alright we “have” to put it in a funny way… I have known people from all over the planet, personally and through the net, but I always feel like I don’t know them very well. There are of course exceptions. I think of a friend who lives in Vienna, we talked face to face, more than ten years ago but the net has kept us close and these last months she have shared some difficult thing about her life. That’s friends trust, that’s using internet as a means not as an end. I’d like to invite you to be yourself on the net, to use the net as a means to connect with people. I’m not saying: open your life to everybody, but let people in your real life. We know it’s impossible to have in real life a million friends but we choose some to be the closest ones Even Jesus had James, John and Peter as His best friends. I open the invitation to choose someone from a different culture to be your friend you’ll see how enriching this can be. Thanks for reading it to the end, I just let my heart speak, I didn’t organized my thoughts. That’s what friends do right? If you liked this post please share it with your friends. Thanks.
Jesus said to him in reply, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man replied to him, “Master, I want to see.”
I see! What my eyes open! I need a deeper look and more time looking at what’s inside. I want my vision beyond the walls and do not stop at appearances. I want more than one sense, do not want to see without seeing. I need a closer look, a different way of seeing, a magnifying lens and an expanded horizon. I want to see the hidden and finding what is lost. I look at the sale without fear. I look through the heart. Want to learn to contemplate. I see hope, memories and aim to review the present. I see beyond me. I look over the other, at length, discovering who he is. I want the vision of complicity, the look of respect and love the glasses. I look concentrated, with the fixed point on the essentials. Do not want to do only with your eyes, I see by faith. I see with new eyes. I see what God wants.
Last week I was talking with a good friend of mine about vocation and state of life, and a subject came up. Some people believe that God has created two people to each other in other words they were meant to be together. We both agreed that we don’t agree with that. I believe that when God created myself He gave me my masculinity as part of who I am, He gave me also my vocation to Shalom Community also as part of who I am but also as my way to walk through this life towards holiness and eternal life, and finally He called me to a specific state of life as the way I’m going to serve him better in this life once in the next we’re all going to be celibates. (Just a good thing to remember: He’s called me before life events could hurt me so I can’t pass trough a discernment seeing only the wounds life gave me… but this is a theme for another post).
People who believe God created two people to each other may say: If God thought about that many details why wouldn’t He think about one person for me to be happy with in marriage (if marriage is my state of life of course)? Because in order to be fully happy we’d have to be entirely in God’s plans and it depends on my listening to Him and corresponding with His will. So if I don’t say yes to my personal vocation I won’t be as happy as I could because it will be lacking something of His plans for me. (It doesn’t mean that I won’t be happy outside of His will, I just won’t be as happy as I’d be inside of it). Therefore, if that person God chose for me says no to His plans I won’t be as whole as I could be because of someone else’s fault. I don’t believe God thinks this way.
That would imply fate or destiny. I’ve talked about this in other posts, I believe God knows the way things will happen because He can foresee all of the consequences of each and every decision of ours at every split of second. But the decisions are still ours. So I believe that people may cross our lives with God’s knowledge and permission and they might be “the one” for us but not because He imposes us this one but because He knows this one is a good “half” for us. Still this isn’t our only choice.
I’ve been praying with this passage for a long time and I wanted to share with you some of the fruits the meditation of it has given me but I didn’t know how because it is so deep. Then My father gave me the idea of sharing some of his texts with you and here it goes.
For those who do not know my Father writes for Shalom Maná, a monthly magazine of the Shalom Community. Every month he gives some guidelines to help us in our Divine Reading, I hope it may help you.
Lectio Divina / Divine Reading
Translated from: Jose Ricardo F. Bezerra. (My Father BTW)
As we always do before start reading, let us ask the Holy Spirit’s help. Let us pray: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit, and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. Let us pray. O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.”
You who are a reader of the Shalom Manna Magazine know the purpose of this section is to get you to read, meditate and pray with the Word of God through the ancient and proven method of the Lectio Divina which consists of four steps: reading, meditation, prayer and contemplation.
Take today’s passage of the Letter of Paul to the Romans, chapter 5, verses 1 to 11 (Rom 5:1-11) and let us do our lectio this day. Read slowly, the middle voice, the verses indicated.
As you could have seen this passage is of great beauty and depth. But our goal here is not to know or study the theological ramifications that it offers. We want to, through this reading and meditation, pray and allow the Lord to enlighten us.
The Apostle explains the relations between faith, hope and love in the midst of tribulations we pass in life and after a chain of words he concludes by saying that “hope does not disappoint …” (v.5). How many times we have suffered disappointments, isn’t it? These unpleasing surprises are part of our day-to-day. We create expectations about things and people and when they do not happen, there comes disappointment. But God’s Word comes today to show us something that does not disappoint: Hope! You believe that? And there’s a reason why it, hope, does not disappoint. It is because, the passage continues, “God’s love has been poured into our hearts by the Holy Spirit given to us.” God’s love is the guarantee. God is faithful and when we put our hope in Him we can be sure that He will always give us the best. Have you ever felt that love in your heart? It Maybe pass through your head this thinking: “But I do not deserve …” Nobody deserves it! God’s love is free love, we haven’t done anything to deserve it. And it is the Holy Spirit received in our baptism who pours this love. And mind it, it is poured, giving the idea of abundance that is particular to God himself. Take a moment and think. Are you disappointed? Disappointed with something? Put your hope in the Lord, for He does not disappoint.
St. Paul goes on showing another truth. “Hardly anyone gives life to the just … But God demonstrates His own love toward us in that Christ died for us while we were yet sinners.” In the dialogue with Nicodemus, Jesus had already revealed that this is one of the greatest truths of the Bible: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” (Jn 3:16). What an incomparable grace, isn’t it? The Father, moved by love, sent us Jesus who died to give us salvation, eternal life. Blessed love that gives us so undeserved gift! Meditate and pray about it.
Read the passage again. See other points. St. Paul says that faith gives us peace in God (cf. v. 1). How different is the lives of those who have faith … You notice the value he attaches to the trials. They generate perseverance. So do not be slaughtered when you go through great difficulties. Know that they will produce perseverance. And this will lead you to having a proven virtue. Well, the virtue will lead us to hope that will lead us to God. God is Love! God is our hope that does not disappoint! God is faithful!
How many things the Lord has inspired us to pray with this lectio, isn’t it? Resume your prayer by praising Him and thanking Him for this wonderful love of a Father. Keep thanking Him for the love of Jesus who gave His life on the cross for us. Praise the Holy Spirit, Who is the love of the Father and of the Son Who pours Himself into our hearts … Thank also for the trials and difficulties, however painful they are, because they can become powerful ways to draw us closer to God. Continue your prayer in the way that the Spirit leads you… Contemplate at last, the glory of heaven that God has prepared for those who love him …
At the end of the Lectio, remember to take your notebook and write down the prayer of thanks that the Lord made you experience. If you can write to us giving your witnessing . It is a joy to have you as a reader. (See the addresses on the back cover of this magazine or my email firstname.lastname@example.org.) (Or comment this post)
O God, Who has sent into this world your only Son to free mankind of old slavery, grant those who hope in your mercy to achieve true freedom. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son in the unity of the Holy Spirit.
O Mary, Queen of Sinners and Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us!
See you next month!
For those who want to learn more about lectio divina this post may help.
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