C. S. Lewis once provided a powerful image of the difference between heaven and hell. He described hungry people sitting at a huge banquet loaded with delicious food. Every person had a meter long fork and knife attached to their hands (that’s about three feet long).
The scene in hell was one of anger, frustration, and fighting as people scrambled to feed themselves. They could reach the food with the long knives and forks, but they were too long to feed themselves. The conflict, screaming, and unfulfilled hunger continued for eternity that is hell.READ MORE
“Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.” Mark 9:41
We are made in God’s image and likeness. We tend to forget this. When you look at other, do you see the face of Jesus in them? When other look at you, do they see the face of Jesus in you? When we realize that all lives matter to God, then gratitude and generously become easier. Why? Because that’s way we are made! We are one Body of Christ; when one of us is hurting, all of us feel the pain.
What are the little ones? They are the poor, the marginalized, the women and men at the well, the Zacchaeus’ looking for Jesus from a tree, those mired in sin, the blind who want to see, and the lame who want to walk. They are the lepers and the different ones who have been told that they are unclean, and the ones who suffer from abuse and grave injustices and oppression. They are children who want nothing more than to be loved and enjoy celebrating their innocence. These are all the little ones and they are all vulnerable. Life already brings them burdens, we don’t need to add to them.READ MORE
In football they have a "huddle."
The goal of the huddle is to give you thirty seconds to call the play, that is why they give you a huddle.
At a professional football game there may be sixty thousand people watching you huddle, they don’t mind you taking thirty seconds to call the play.READ MORE
There is something about being first. Whether it be first in line, first to be picked for the team, or the first one to finish their work, great satisfaction is achieved. Our egos love being first. It somehow sets us apart from everyone else, gives us a sense of pride and positions us to feel better than others. When we are first, we can glory in our efforts, skills, and achievements. Isn’t that what really matters? After all, we are taught from a very young age to be proficient, stay on top, be the best at what we do, and win the praise and esteem of others. This is the stuff that makes us successful and provides us with a comfortable, satisfying life.READ MORE
“If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35
Jesus teaches us that we are called love one another. Love involves sacrifice. Sacrifice is a word that many of us don’t like to hear. We think it means that we must give up something that we want. However, the literal meaning of sacrifice is “to make holy’” from the words “sacer”= sacred and “facere”= to make. In other words, we make our lives holy by sharing our gifts in the service of God.
"Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me" Mark 8:34
Living a stewardship lifestyle means not only being responsible for my own life, but for the lives of others as well. We realize that our gifts are not intended for ourselves, rather they are meant to be shared with others. "Taking up my cross" means doing things when someone else needs me or not when its convenient for me.
A man named Peter inherited a huge land grant, but the will provided that he could choose land in either Chile or Brazil. He chose Brazil. Unhappily, if he had chosen Chile, he would have received his inheritance in land on which they had recently discovered uranium, gold and silver. But he chose Brazil.
When he arrived in Brazil he had to choose between receiving his inheritance in a coffee plantation or land with Brazil nut trees. He chose the nut trees, and immediately the bottom fell out of the nut market, but coffee futures went up two dollars a pound. The government took control of the nut farm for back taxes, and Peter was left destitute.READ MORE
"Did not God choose those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom that he promised to those who love him?." James 2:5
What is more important— being rich in faith or rich in possession? Society tells us that possessions are more important. God teaches a different lesson. When we are rich in faith, we keep God first and experience true joy and peace. When we put possessions first, we soon realize we can never have enough and happiness is fleeting. When we put faith over possessions we truly realize it is better to give than receive.
Francois Fenelon, a seventeenth century Roman Catholic writer said this about prayer:
Tell God all that is on your heart, as one unloads one's heart, its pleasures and its pains, to a dear friend. Tell Him your troubles, that He may comfort you; tell Him your joys, that He may sober them; tell Him your longings, that He may purify them; tell Him your dislikes, that He may help you conquer them; talk to Him of your temptations, that He may shield you from them; show Him the wounds of your heart, that He may heal them; lay bare your indifference to good, your depraved tastes for evil, your instability.READ MORE
The story of Monica's life is more relevant today than ever, because it is close to the problems we face in our own time.
Using extensive excerpts from the writings of St. Augustine, notable for his Confessions, Giovanni Falbo sheds new light on St. Monica's patience, sweetness, and unwavering determination. This mother never yielded in her efforts to see her beloved son find comfort and peace in God, and she endured countless sacrifices and health risks in her quest to help Augustine embrace the faith. Monica's quiet wisdom and courage, coupled with her earnest tears and prayers to God, bore fruit she could only have dreamed of.READ MORE