New

A new journey began. It will be a different world. More challenging but rewarding. As I look into the new horizon, hope breams eternal.

I know this is Your will Lord, not mine. But, I surrender to Your Holy plan.

New

“The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want…” – Ps 23

In one of the Jesuit’s reflection that inspires me, they shared that discerning God’s will for me does not depend on the skills I have learnt, much less on the level of my knowledge, but above all on the quality of my heart’s listening.

A listening heart knows how to be sensitive to God’s presence. It is built on a basic trust in God’s faithfulness and to his willingness to communicate himself: it is indeed possible to seek and find what is God’s project for me.

As I listen to God, I discover that I need to listen more to myself, even though I might have started with the idea that I need to listen less to myself. It is God who created me and sowed the seeds of desire in my heart, so I do have to learn how to listen to and understand my deepest desires, my dreams, my strong points, as well as my mistakes and disappointments.

Just as I cannot love others unless I love myself, so also I cannot really trust God without trusting myself and what God is doing in me: God’s will is myself!

I do this not in narcissistic self-admiration, where everything is centred on my needs, but in a spirit of deep freedom, the freedom to serve and to love others even when it means carrying the cross and turning the other cheek.

Like all successful communication, this requires time and patient effort, perhaps with the guidance of someone more experienced with whom I share my quest. This can only happen in the context of a stable prayer life, that includes the daily examen of conscience.

As life becomes more complex, and as we become more allergic to rules, discernment will assume a much bigger role in our lives and in that of our communities, including that of the big community, the Church. We are blessed that many who preceded us, including Ignatius of Loyola, have left us many helpful indications on how to discern our decisions.

As I continue my journey, I will continuously yield to His plans for me.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” – Mt 7: 7-12

Work

A dear fellow servant and an educator reminded me today to offer our work as our worship to God.

It was raining cats and dogs when the classes were suspended today in upland Cavite. My new textmate was NDRRMC.

With the gloomy bed weather, this thought came to mind: our work is a way to worship God. It has intrinsic value and can demonstrate God’s character when we do good work. Faith and work are to be seamless. Work is an expression of our life in Christ. Separating the two is like separating “being” from “doing.” How do you know who you are being without considering what you are doing?”

Work

Worship and work should never become two different things. We worship when we work and we work when we worship, especially when our work is derived from God.

Moreover, this very insightful sharing from Work Life online inspiration prodded me to ponder deeper.

In his book Holy Sweat 2, Tim Hansel tells the story of some body builders on a television talk show. They were showing off their muscles when the host asked, “What do you use these muscles for?” One man answered by flexing his muscles in one of those body-building poses.

“No, you don’t understand me,” said the host. “What do you use these muscles for?”

The body builder answered, “I’ll show you,” and flexed again, posing another way.

“No, no, you still don’t understand what I’m asking. What do you use them for?” and the guy posed again.

Many of us are like that. We attend church, go to seminars, conferences and Bible studies and keep building our spiritual muscles, but we do not use them for the reason for which they were created. We end up like the body builders, with well-defined muscles for show, just to look good, but they are good for nothing.

Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:32). When we participate and experience this truth, we make it our life story.

As Hansel puts it, “Your theology should become your biography.”

We learn to mesh our beliefs into everyday reality. Although it sounds simple, it actually is one of life’s greatest challenges.

We seldom understand that God is not just asking us to be spiritually committed to him. He wants our total commitment; every fiber of our being.

We use every dimension of our being when we work, so we worship him as we work.

As Christians we find our basic identity in Christ but seldom consider what this means.

We are more inclined to dwell on what we do and who we are – the urgent and the superficial.

Our identity in Christ is once and for all established when we put our faith in him, yet many of us don’t consciously dwell on this profound reality.

We simply go about living our lives, rather than thinking about our significance in Christ, thus blinding us from knowing who we truly are.

We develop this sense of identity and security in Christ as we spend time with him in prayer, offer our conscious praise to him and give him credit for all we are and have.

The more of his Word, the Bible, we put into our lives, the more aware we become that he is our prime motivator.

When we simply take God at his word, we find he is utterly trustworthy and creates opportunities for his Spirit to be manifested in our lives and work.