my vision of the world.

friendship

Pope to Young Couples: “By burning certain stages, you risk burning love”

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Making a difference (friendship)

I know it’s been a long time since my last post… I need to be friends with the time… Once again a post without preparation or thinking ahead (If I do that I wont write).

Well what is this post about? I thought about making a difference in peoples lives. These couple weeks I’ve been deepening my friendships, opening my heart and trying to make a difference in the lives of people around me, and you know what? It’s working 🙂

Sometime ago on my birthday one of my friends spoke that one of  my gifts to the circle of friends was that I make the difference into peoples lives, that it’s difficult for me to pass unnoticed. Well since then I was thinking and praying and a couple birthdays ago I’ve finally realized why was that. I let people make the difference in my life.

Actually I do that by putting myself in other peoples shoes, I put myself on that person’s place and I think:  If it was me on that situation what would I do?  Or: How would I like to be treated? What can I do to make sure he/she  is feeling comfortable around me?

I’ve seen that some people don’t want you to solve their problems they just want you to listen to them. I’ve experienced true friendship, with girls. Yes it is possible for a man to have real friends of the opposite sex (I don’t like the definition but I’ll go with that). It’s true people talk, we were joking about bets of how long it was going to take or which one I was dating, I had to answer clearly to one of my friends (a man BTW) that I wasn’t dating one of them.

Denise and Juliana in Fortaleza and another Juliana in Vienna, they have been examples of good, healthy and godly friendships the Lord gave me to live. I am thankful for them in my life. When we’re together we just openheartedly share our experiences of prayer, of offerings, of humiliations for the Kingdom of God, of God’s love in our hearts this way just looking at each other we can know what we mean and we support each other in His ways…

Thanks for reading, the goal of this post was only to make you a little more open to listen to people, let them into your life, the make a difference in putting yourself in their places, letting them change the way you see them. You are going to change peoples lives in letting them change yours. Big challenge. God asks us big things through His love. I’ll be happy in making people happy. Believe me that’s the way I do.
shalom!
God Bless you!


Feeling bad for not having a boy/girlfriend?

Today we celebrate St Anthony’s, in north america we pray for him in order to find stuff we’ve lost but here in Brazil we pray to “find” a husband/wife. That’s why the day we celebrate those who are in love is on the 12th of June and not on the day before St. Valentine.

So, these last couple weeks people were talking about their boyfriends and girlfriends, about what they were going to give as a present, but I’ve seen some people feeling bad because they didn’t have a boyfriend (sorry girls but it was mostly a girl thing). I’ve found a phrase, which I published on my Facebook wall that says something like this (it was in Portuguese): “I’m not spending that day with a girlfriend, I never look for an Indian on Indian’s day or for a tree on tree’s day” That may sound like I’m trying to find some consolation around, which wasn’t the point. After that remembered, through a post of a friend, of a saying I’ve found a long time ago on  Jacilyn Rae’s blog that says “A woman’s heart should be so lost in God, that a man must seek Him to find her.” I’ve found it so true that I started praying right away, when I say praying I don’t mean making an elaborate prayer with a lot of words, I mean just the quiet feeling of God’s presence and peace.

That’s what I’m looking for in a woman. Maybe this is my dream of a “Princess charming” and I must accept a not-so-close-to-God king of girl and walk with her towards Him. But it gave me a lot of consolation remembering of the passage where Jesus says: “seek his kingdom, and these other things will be given you besides”(Lc 12, 31). That’s why I don’t bother at all not having a girlfriend on this day, because I Know the one I want is very close to God’s heart and He’ll show me when its the good moment.

Talking with two of my girl friends, we came to the point of differences between sexes and I have to admit beauty attracts men but that’s not the only thing that attracts us. They were saying that sometimes(it happened more than once) when getting into a party they drew attention and men came to ask them if they were “believers” (!), as they answered yes, those same guys told them to go away cause they deserved better than what they were going to find there. That was of course an opportunity to evangelize but it shows that even those guys that were only looking for a girl to spend the night with, value women with content specially Christian ones. (Of course I’m talking about Brazilians, we still are a very Christian Country)

I can say the same for me; if I find a “princess” and I see she’s not even looking for God, if she’s not interested in prayer she’ll push me away without noticing. For that very reason I’ll not look for the “woman of my dreams” in a pub or a club. So as I know there are a lot of Catholic women looking for their “prince charming” here’s my advice for you: While caring for your beauty care for your spiritual life. Go out and have fun, but engage yourselves in the church and you’ll find the guy you’re looking for… but please leave the seminarians alone! Last but not least ask yourselves about celibacy for the Kingdom of God, even if that’s not your vocation that will make you pray and that will bring the right guy.

Shalom!


Are You ‘You’ Online?

This is a revised version of “Who are you?”, this version will be on the catholic exchange on 12th of May I just added here the same ending as I wrote in the first post.

No one is as funny in real life as on Twitter, or as good looking as on Facebook and so on and so forth… The 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 easy to block somebody on MSN or “unfriend” on Facebook, but real life is not as easy as the internet.

In life people have their weaknesses, and it is part of life to deal with them, especially if they hurt us. Forgiving is one of the most important thing Jesus taught us. Being forgiven is also a great lesson for us. In our final judgment it will be all about accepting God’s forgiveness.

On the net we want to look better than we are because we don’t accept that we are lovable with our weaknesses. We have learned to compete, to try to overcome every obstacle. It’s as if our value as a person is based 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? Especially when we see they’re aware of our “dark side.” The internet has taken from us the right to feel sad, the right to not be 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 often 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. These last months she has shared some difficult things about her life. That is a friend’s trust. That is 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 truly connect with people. I’m not saying to open your life to everybody, but to let people into your real life. We know it’s impossible to have a million friends in real life, but we can 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.


Who are you?

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.


When to start a new relationship?

After writing about the time to break up, I thought it was fair to write about the time to start a new relationship.

I have to start by saying I don’t have a closed answer on this matter either…

When speaking about ending a relationship I talked a lot about prayer, and it’s not going to be different now. First of all I believe in friendship before an actual date. I believe the most important thing even before thinking about dating is to cultivate friendship; to know the person, know his/her values. For me it’s just fundamental the sharing of Christian values.

Having feelings for the person.
Then what do we do? we find someone fine, Christian, with which we get along and then we decide to give a step forward? Not yet… Because these things as I was saying on the other post has to be moved by a decision from the heart but also from a feeling. I don’t chose a parter for my life because he/she fits perfectly in my list of requirements for a good companion. I almost fell for that once, it was my mother who woke me up asking: ok she’s a good girl but how much do you love her? Wow… that hit me like a baseball bat… in fact I was just calculating the possibilities…

Being reasonable.

It was also mom who “saved” me from another crazy move that was to start something with someone just because I like her… Of course being in love is amazing, and nothing feels just like it, but we can’t not listen to our reason. I can’t tell the reasons why it wasn’t possible cause it’s exposing too much both of us. But the point is we have to use also our heads before giving a step forward in a relationship. So before you ask someone out, or start to let him/her know the way you feel about him/her take some time to think about it before the Lord, this is also prayer,  I suggest before the Blessed sacrament if possible.

Ok that’s it! I like one of my friends, I think about it then I ask her out? No so fast man!
Give her time to know you, spend some time talking, deepening the friendship… at one point you both will know that a line was crossed without the need of words or becoming “official”, you’ll see that you’re more than friends. Then is the time to speak, to share the feeling and time to pray together.

An external eye might help
I just told you about how my mother was a great help out of trouble. In my post about Listening to God I talked about obedience, now I think it’s a good time to remember that most of the times people outside can have a better look in our lives than ourselves. So asking for help is never a bad idea. Ask your parish pastor or your spiritual director for orientation he/she will be glad to help. Just ask if you’re blinded for example. Is this guy/girl taking me out of God or helping me to be closer to Him? (This is the kind of question we ask ourselves in prayer too)

Prayer…
In my Community we think it’s necessary a time of silence and prayer before starting a new relationship, during this time we present our feelings to the Lord and – without the “stress” caused by publicity of the relationship – talk and pray with that person about something we are about to start. Sometimes this is difficult to happen because the other person don’t belong to the community, sometimes because the other person don’t want to wait, and for each case we have to deal with God’s wisdom not to get people hurt. But time has shown us this is a very healing way of starting (or not) a relationship.
We can see when two friends start to be very close there is a “pressure” around them that sometimes forces them to do what they weren’t thinking, this time of silence suggested by Shalom comes very handy to help the parts involved to decide in no hurry or obligation, and if it doesn’t work out fine, for both to be at ease cause they never “officially” stated anything.

You may say this is in a perfect world. Yes sort of. But we can do our part if we understand the importance of these steps, which aren’t carved in the stone, we can adapt to our reality. I think there are some important things to do before the decision.

1- Be friends (to really know the person)
2- Have feelings for the person
3- Think if this can work out
4- Talking to someone else we can trust
5- Pray (alone an with “the one”)

These are simple steps I think very useful if you want to start a relationship under God’s blessing.

God bless our relationships.


Disconnect to connect

This video made me think a lot, so I came to my blog and then I realized that I was doing exactly the contrary of what I thought was the best to do…

I’ll write about it latter.

What are you still doing in front of this screen?

See you around!