All About This. When I hear the saying “grass is always greener on the other side of the fence,” I always respond, “then you have not really mowed and watered your lawn.”

This blog is all about that. In real life, temporal or spiritual, in order to grow, first of all, we have to look into ourselves and nourish the areas where we want to grow. Before we can actually and reasonably look into the life of others, before we can see others growing or not growing, we ourselves have to grow in whatever aspect we’re looking into, for only when we see something growing in us, can we appreciate others in their growth, for from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

God helps those who help themselves. Let these reflections then lead us to look into ourselves and assess our relationship with God and with others, so that our attention will always be directed to Him who cultivates our hearts and leads us to the truth that we should always strive to be faithful to His commands, rather than be content with what we have achieved.

“Grow where you are planted.”

God bless you all.

A Word. The Hope

Words, words, words. There are many of these in the world. A promise is a word. A testimony is a word. A pledge is a word. An angry warning is a word. Do they give hope? Do they give life? How many promises have we received that became sour words? How many testimonies in courts and assemblies have we heard that fell on deaf ears and simply became wordy expressions? How many pledges have we received that simply flew in the air and became empty words? How many angry words have we heard or uttered that turned the world upside down and ruined relationships? Is there hope in words?

In High School we were asked to memorize and recite the first 18 verses of the Gospel of St. John. One had to win for nice and powerful expression of words and statements. How much did we understand who was behind the words we were uttering? St. John talked of only one Word: He who was in the beginning, is now and will be forever. He is God’s Word and the light amidst the darkness of the world. He is the hope amidst the despair and listlessness of people. He is the life among the dead due to the absence of the Word and Hope of the world.

In the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians, he talks of a person who is full of words but without love as a clanging cymbal and a resounding gong. In other words, a person who talks all day but does not show them in actions is one without substance and do not really bring hope to others. He is a sore in the ears and a pain in the hearts of men. Let us not mistake a nice person with nice words for a truthful and a hopeful person. Only he who is rooted in the Word of God, Jesus, will bear fruits of hope and life for the life of the world.

Words are meant to bring hope, just as the Word of God is the hope of the world; and the Word of God is the second Person of the Blessed Trinity who Himself is Hope. So, even in the absence of words, a person himself has to become hope for others, for in creation he himself as man is an effect of the Word of God.

We state these words and statements so that we will always be aware that our life rests on our hope in the Word of God.

IEC procession

@roccopalmo, Twitter / Roy Lagarde, via cbcpnews.com

The Courage of Presence

Posted on September 5, 2011 by titoayo789

A lion roars at a prey; is that courage? A dog barks at a stranger; is it courage? A person shouts at someone in anger or does something unreflectively; is it courage? What is courage? Where is courage?

Courage is not a thing we can demand when we need it. It is a virtue that we can ask for when others need us. It is not a thing that we can boast about. It is a virtue that others can use through us when there is fear or weakness. Courage does not usually roar in pride or boastfulness, neither does it bark out its defensive stance when intimidated, but through the strength of God in our hearts we can do what we have to do, and move on with our life, and be a strength to others.

Courage is not equivalent to brutal frankness or quick action without thinking. Courage is the will to act despite a fearful situation for the good others and society. It is a decision to do something in trust that the God of power and might will do what mere human strength cannot act on. A writer said,

“Courage is fear that has said its prayers.”

Moses, despite his weakness, gained courage from God who promised to be with him wherever he went. When David was about to die, he told his  son, Solomon:

Take courage and be a man. Keep the mandate of the Lord, your God, following His ways and observing His statutes, commands, ordinances, and decrees, that you may succeed in whatever you do (1 Kings 2:2-3).

Martyrs had the courage to face their persecutors in the lively hope that their act would surely bring them to God and people would be strengthened in their faith. Married couples become courageous parents only because they trust in the love of each other. Men become priests not because they are capable or worthy, but because they are called and courageously answer the call, and trust in God who promises to be with them at all times. Christians are able to live courageously according to their calling because of the strength they receive from God for the responsibilities they have to carry. We have courage because of God’s patience and love; and there are seemingly impossible situations that are wrought by prayer and trust in God, as well as things that God can do when we are silent and in prayer, than our own actions can bring.

An old saying states that if the first thing that a person does in the morning is to eat a live frog, there’s nothing more difficult that he cannot do or face the rest of the day. To eat that frog is synonymous to doing the important thing that he has to do before doing anything else. The faithful in Jesus discipline themselves by starting on the most important thing: to be with Him in prayer, in word and in action. And they accomplish more and are much happier in their relationships. They take God first of all before any undertaking and gain the strength to face with courage any responsibility for the day or any difficulty that may come their way. Afraid that His disciples thought they had seen a ghost, Jesus said to them: “Have courage. It is I” (Mt 14:27).

Yes, have courage! Be present to one another, as Jesus is always present in His faithful, and the God of power and courage will always be with you.

Fr. Tito Ayo, SOLT
St. Joseph Church
Corpus Christi, TX

4 Responses to About

  1. Wow. This is really powerful “stuff.” Great thoughts. Thanks.

  2. Pingback: The Gift of God’s Presence | ONE WORD. ONLY HOPE.

  3. Pingback: Hope of the World | ONE WORD. ONLY HOPE.

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