Jesus said to the crowds:
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up; then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.” (Mt 13:44-46)
Whenever I read this passage, I get strongly questioned. That Jesus is my pearl, I have no doubt. What wonder is if I’m ever selling my other goods to keep the One who’s good.
Yes, because it is past time that I had a sweet idea that you had to leave everything once for all. And at the beginning of the way, leave everything to God is so exciting! An almost certain consequence of an inflamed heart by the first love.
But when time passes and the Pearl begins to give us treasures and the challenges to stay on the path becomes very concrete and leaving all is no longer something that is only driven by emotion, reason gained more weight and the heart, that has been tested and proven by the fire of purification, seems a little more weak …
So I ask myself today: Would I sell it all again to be with Jesus and all that His holly Will chose for me? At this time, I remember what St. Teresa of Avila said, “If I had a thousand lives, Lord, you give a thousand lives.” But today, would I sell everything? would I leave everything? Would I resume the search for the Single Treasury?
Of course! No more through my strength, no longer driven by the lure of first love, no longer by persons or structures, no longer up for the benefits received by him on the way …But only for Him
Because until now, everything is gaining a price, a value, a weight. It seems that time has its ways of giving parameters and value to what we have. But today, the only priceless thing, countless and invaluable in my life is still God. The Pearl.
Today the decision costs more. It is less flowery. But it is more concrete. And even firmer. Even more impressive is that the crushed heart and reason without illusions seem to love God, more today than yesterday. Funny the way that God uses to enchant, to conquer … It is even true Perl, nothing to do lose their luster. Neither time nor pain.
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.
Some time ago I did one of those little quizzes from Facebook, asking: How Canadian are you, eh?” It asked me questions only Canadians would understand (I’m exaggerating but some answers are understandable only by those who spent some time on the great North).
Today I was asking myself, is it by knowledge we can consider ourselves Christians? Is it knowing about our faith and the dogma by heart that we can consider ourselves really Christians? What is “the example” of a Christian? asking myself this last question I realized the answer was simpler than I thought: Holiness.
Holiness as letting God be God in our lives. Holiness is not the contrary of a life of sin. We are sinners and we will always be, so as we’re not surprised to see an orange in an orange tree we’re not suppose to be impressed to see sins in a sinner. Let me explain myself, this is not a matter of letting go and let sin reign in our lives, it is a matter of fighting to live virtues. St Thomas Aquinas I don’t know where tells us exactly that , we should fight sin by virtue. Our battle is towards the good not against evil. One can put eyes on the goal or look at the stones on the way, but I can guarantee you the one who keeps looking to the goal will endure everything to get there, but he one who look only to the obstacles will loose courage one day or another.
So the thing is not to look at ourselves or to our sins or (what is worse) to our neighbors sins because we are going to fall into sin for the rest of our lives. Just know that those who look at Jesus and try to be as He is “gentle and humble in heart”(Mt11.29) “will sprout wings like eagles, though they run they will not grow weary, though they walk they will never tire” (Is 40.31).
Let us pray for each other.
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.
During this Holy Week I was working in the tech part of the retreat promoted by Shalom Community in Fortaleza. So we were broadcasting through livestream and twitcam the talks and prayer moments.
There is this moment during the prayer on the holy Saturday where I was praying as a good charismatic and I felt the inspiration to pray with the psalm 123 for it was pretty much what was said by the priest who was leading prayer at that moment, immediately I took my iphone and opened the bible app, searched the passage and prayed with it, but as I was side by side with the brother who was twitting I just passed him the passage for him to twit it. And so It happened my first twit inspired by the Holy Spirit during prayer.
After that I felt like sharing it with you so you can share with me and with others a moment where you felt really a part of our times and at the same time linked with the wonderful tradition of the Roman Catholic Church.
Yes I am Catholic, yes I’ve made promises to God in a Community of the Church, I use my Iphone to pray the liturgy of the hours and to follow the readings of the mass, I have a blog, I have a twitter account, I’m daily on Facebook and I use all this to witness my faith.
If you’re one of mine share this post or write your own, or twit something let us fill the net with witnessing so people can see how alive and filled with meaning is our Catholic faith.