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The spiritual journey is the christian journey

There are different stages in the development of faith. To be in the church for years, without achieving a more enlightened faith and a richer experience, is to grow old and to become incapable of progress. If one does not decide for the road leading to Christ, one loses one’s life.

How do Christians grow spiritually? They grow spiritually by: (1) reading their Bible purposefully everyday, (2) regularly studying their Bible, (3) attending church faithfully, (4) seeking Godly friends and accountability, and (5) talking to God in prayer daily.

Jesus is in our midst, but to be aware of his presence requires faith.

“If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all wickedness.” (John 1:9) Little by little faith opens for us a global vision of human reality.

Those who follow their evil desires are people of darkness, hiding to do evil. Our soul expresses itself in different ways, for example in dreams. Only when we see God shall we truly know what and who we are.

The principal duty of the church is to know God.

“Be for God an active and proved minister, a blameless worker correctly handling the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

The spirit helps the believers and inspires their prayer so that it may be heard. The spirit enables us to understand and interpret Jesus’ words throughout all time.

Throughout the gospels Jesus gives us guidance. He says: (1) “Fortunate are you who are poor, the kingdom of God is yours,” (2) “Fortunate are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled,” (3) “Fortunate are you who weep now, for you will laugh,” (4) “Fortunate are you when people hate you, when they reject you and insult you and number you among criminals, because of the Son of Man,” and (5) “Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for a great reward is kept for you in heaven.”

His words sound great but doing them is not easy. (1) “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,” (2) “Bless those who curse you and pray for those who treat you badly,” (3) “Do to others as you would have others do to you,” (4) “But love your enemies and do good to them,” (5) “Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful,” (6) “Don’t be a judge of others and you will not be judged, do not condemn and you will not be condemned; forgive and you will be forgiven,” (7) “Give and it will be given to you, and you will receive in your sack good measure, pressed down, full and running over. For the measure you give will be the measure you receive back,” (8) “First remove the log from your own eye and then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your neighbor’s eye,” (9) “The good person draws good things from the good stored in the heart, and an evil person draws evil things from the evil stored in the heart.”

To dwell in richness brings death. Many problems can remain unsolved and even mission itself be blocked because of influential groups and persons who want for nothing and know how to obtain official benedictions. The root of evil is within people. It is obvious that evil structures prevent people from living and growing. It is equally obvious that not a single revolution, however many benefits it may bring, can establish a less oppressive society, as long as people themselves are not transformed according to the gospel. Jesus teaches us the way towards growth and freedom. We must purify our mind and our spirit to become the tree that produces good fruits.

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Jesus is our Almighty healer, let us use him
sky-476817_1280 purple skyNo one can be the best all of the time.

Jesus said, “Healthy people do not need a doctor, but sick people do, ” and, “I did not come to call the righteous but sinners.”

When we establish relations of mercy and trust, and accept fraternal correction humbly, when there is mutual forgiveness between spouses, Christ is the one who forgives and pardons, and what is forgiven among us on earth, is forgiven in heaven. The gifts of healing are not limited to healing bodily ills and the devil is  responsible for more than individual maladies. Constant work and the unity of all people of goodwill are sufficient to remedy some of our misfortunes, but the only way to eradicate evil at its roots is to restore human persons to their dignity as children of God.

Dear heavenly Father, with a humble heart and gratitude I come before you. Please heal all my infirmities and calm my mind in its chaos and uneasiness. Forgive me of all my sins and make me new.

The beatitudes Jesus gave are know as our guidelines. (1) “Fortunate are those who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (2) “Fortunate are those who mourn, they shall we comforted.” (3) “Fortunate are the gentle, they shall possess the land.” (4) “Fortunate are those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they shall be satisfied.” (5) “Fortunate are those with a pure heart, for they shall see God.” (6) “Fortunate are those who work for peace, they shall be called children of God.” (7) “Fortunate are those who are persecuted for the cause of justice, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (8) “Fortunate are you, when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of evil against you because you are my followers. Be glad and joyful, for a great reward is kept for you in God.”

These instructions we should follow to walk the path of God, the path of holiness. Jesus continues to tell us, to motivate and empower us. He says to us, “you are the salt of the earth, ” and ” you are the light of the world.”

He continues to warn us, “Do not take oaths. Do not swear by the heavens, for they are God’s throne. Nor by the earth, because it is his footstool, nor by Jerusalem because it is the city of the great King.” (2) “Do not even swear by your head, because you cannot make a single hair white or black.” We must, “say yes when you mean yes and no when you mean no. Anything else you say comes from the devil.” (3) “Do no oppose evil with evil. Give when asked and do not turn your back on anyone who wants to borrow from you.” Some of his instructions may be hard, but the ultimate reward make it worth while. Like when he tells us to, “Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be children of your Father in heaven.” Our goal, our duty is to follow him and follow his guidance. “For your part,” he says, “you shall be righteous and perfect in the way your heavenly Father is righteous and perfect.”

O God, help me to have the courage to live out beatitudes. Send your spirit to help me salt and light amongst my brothers and sisters. Help me to turn away from lustful desires and to be firm in my decisions. Let me say no when I mean no and yes when I mean yes. Let me not entertain evil desires but instead express love to my neighbors. O God, help me, I pray, to follow your path of righteousness.

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Make the most out of your spiritual training by serving others
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Believing in God, will lead you to do good as you follow his plan your life. You can start by reading the scriptures which is a guidebook. There you will learn what to believe, how to act, and how to speak with love. Soon you’ll be ready to put into action all you’ve learned.

Those of us who are women, we know a lot about serving: we serve on many fronts and sometimes wonder why this is our lot. God tells us he freed us from sin, not to do what we like, but so we can share his love. If we’re tempted to fulfill our own sinful desires, let’s remind ourselves why we are here-we obey Jesus by doing good for others. If that’s not our goal, we need redirection from him.

If you feel incomplete or inadequate, unable to carry out the tasks God has given you, you aren’t, you know, if you tap into his spirit. God equips you to do all things in him. If you feel overwhelmed, make sure you haven’t taken on tasks rightfully belonging to someone else. God does not overload your life with busyness. He has a purpose for all you do. So be certain you’re serving in the right place, doing the work he planned for you.

Knowing that the world will not last forever, we have to be careful how we act. We have no devil-may-care option, in which we act as if eternity does not matter, because God calls us to live wholly for him. The world’s destruction should not make us careless but vigilant to make the most of our time. In the end, all we do here will not be lost but will pass on into eternity.

We are gifted persons. God gives each of us his children spiritual gifts designed to help themselves and others-wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, to name just a few. As we grow spiritually, we begin to unwrap those presents from God. Over time, we may be surprised and blessed at how many he has provided for us. When we feel unimportant, we must remind ourselves that we are gifted by God.

We don’t usually think of grace as a spiritual gift. But consider: it’s the basis for all the gifts God gives us. Without his gracious forgiveness, we’d have nothing spiritually. Our sins so separate us that only his forgiveness allows us to approach him. Whether we receive a large measure of grace or a smaller one, it is the perfect gift, given by Jesus, just for us. Let’s appreciate what it cost him and walk in him today.

Your spiritual gifts are tailored especially for you. God has a purpose for your life. To help you accomplish it, he has given just the gifts you need-nothing more, nothing less. Knowing that God has gifted you in just the right way make you feel special. Thank him for those gifts today, and use them for the glory of his kingdom and to help others.

Paul’s words to the Corinthians speak to us. We should build up the church, not ourselves, through our spiritual gifts. When God gave you a special combination of spiritual abilities, it wasn’t to make you feel important. He designed them to help you reach out to those who need to accept him as savior and to support other believers who share your mission to reach the world. This is how we should be using our gifts today.

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Spirituality helps the journey on the brick road
February 28, 2018
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God’s work that saves persons, can never be separated from educating people: it demands the repression of the oppressors and ruling in the fear of the Lord. Jesus’ message includes a preferential love of God for the poor and for those who share with them in their poverty. Death and resurrection are at work among us and all over the world. Only God is good; and good is the authority of Christ. Miracles are another way in which Jesus teaches. The word apostle means sent and Christ is the one who chooses his apostles and sends them in his name. One begins to be an apostle or at least to cooperate with Christ. When one looks for something more than performing good works for the benefit of the people, when one feels responsible for people: fisher of people. Leprosy was seen as God’s punishment and healing meant that God had forgiven the sinner who was to express his gratitude with a sacrifice. Jesus did not withdraw only to be still, but because on each occasion prayer was necessity for him.

Jesus comes to reveal the mystery of God, the mystery of the love of God-Father, Son and Spirit. God does not expect works on the path of human beings but calls them to faith. Be rid of all that hampers you, of all that prevents you from seeing and believe. Believe that it is he, and he alone who is able to save you. Physical possession is not the usual way of the devil’s activity in humans. That is why the devil operates in the moral life of people. Not that the devil is the cause of every sin and evil that people do. There is also the selfishness of our flesh and the lure of the false promise of the world but the devil, as enemy of God’s Kingdom, is never at rest. The devil continues to notice those of us who are capable of weakening or destroying his empire. But Jesus shows us how to deflect and deter the devil by showing us how to care for each other. The care and love of our Christian brothers and sisters attracts God’s favors upon us. That is why the good news of the Gospels is not meant to be still but it effects a change.

Once corruption has taken over and the vision of God’s alliance has faded away, those who recognize their part in the evil affecting the whole of society must make positive gestures regarding money and the enjoyment of it, which will be for all a sign and a call to conversion. This is the time to be reconciled with family members and neighbors, to let go of resentments. Since we are sinners, our salvation is worked out through suffering and through the cross. Our desires and our prayers are powerful because we have come to the center from which God directs the forces saving humankind: because we work for eternity; our names are already written in heaven. To evangelize does not mean to try to sell the gospel but rather to prove its power to heal people from their demons. We must stop being envious of famous people, kings and prophets of the past. We must pray instead. To pray is to take the time to listen, to meditate in silence on the work of God, it is to slow our desires, so as to pay attention only to God, secretly present and slip into his will. The Spirit is available to help us believe and inspire our prayers so that it may be heard.

The Spirit enables us to understand and interpret Jesus’ words throughout all time. Moreover, we need to receive from the source of all love the ability to love selflessly. As believers we are destined to be hated by the world. When our hope does not come from God trials discourage us; but when our hope is rooted in God, we are strengthened and remain steadfast. God’s plan will not fail and the universe reveals the glory and the beauty of God. Little by little faith opens for us a global vision of human reality.

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Don’t be a judge we are told over and over
February 28, 2018
The Shepherd by Frederick Forsyth

Yahweh is a jealous God, different from the gods of other people who allow rival divinities to set up shops side by side with them and answer petitions which they themselves cannot oblige. The Bible teaches that the earth belongs to God and whoever occupies it is only its administrator. It is not for the church to resolve the complex problems of our times, but it can establish general principles of life that conforms to the will of God and adapt it to the present society. There is no authentic love without faith and hope and love reaches its perfection when we are in God.

We experience temptations and struggle, our decisions both small and great lead us in one of two directions, either the old self hopelessly ruined and a slave of selfishness, or a person transfigured by love. God created man in his image, but the one who is truly this image is the risen Christ, conqueror of sin and of death. The white garment that adults put on at Baptism denotes the change of life that they are beginning.

Our prayers will not be heard if love for the world takes the place of God in our hearts. God asks us to love all the things he created, viewing them as means of reaching him, and to reject what does not serve this purpose. Loving the world is wishing for and clinging to things, without working beyond them for God himself and the brothers and sisters that he gave us. We cannot divide our love between God and the world; neither can we ask God to help us satisfy egotistical ambitions. Criticizing others is the same as despising the law of love.

We must see, and at times say, what is wrong in an action, but we must not judge the responsibility of others, nor their intentions, which God alone knows. God is the only judge. We all make many plans: to earn more, to buy things, to have a good time. We may die without having done what mattered most.

Let our experience be that of the poor and the humble. God is near to those who have no other support but him. When there will be no assurance, God will be obliged to take charge of those whom he owes fidelity. May God grant us that we resist the seduction of the world around us but that also we listen to those who correct us.

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To everything there is a season
February 26, 2018

God made people to be free, holy, strong and in the image of Christ. Sacred history begins with Abraham and his faith and the promise God made to him. God created the world orderly, organizing it and giving meaning to all in existence. The creation of humanity completes God creation. By creating us in his image, God created us to respond to him.

Love has first place in God’s plan and the long evolution of sexuality has been its preparation. God is not subject to time. He lives in a permanent fullness which is known as eternity. This consist of no before or after, no duration and no fatigue nor boredom.

The covenant of God with humankind and with everything that came from the ark, means that God is interested in everything that people create, their culture, inventions, as well as their legitimate ambitions. God is not only the God of believers, he is the God of everyone. God does not want merely to save souls: through human creativity God enables people to grow in awareness and responsibility and he prepares them for divine union through the Holy Spirit.

God made himself known to human groups as he has done for Israel and later for Christians. The rainbow is a sign of reconciliation between him and us. Later came Jesus to reveal the mystery of God, the mystery of the love of God-Father, Son and Spirit.

God does not expect works on the part of human beings but calls them to faith. Be rid of all that hampers you, of all that prevents you from seeing and believe. Believe that it is he, and he alone who is able to save you. The devil does not usually operate in human lives through physical possession but more so in their moral lives.

Not that the devil is the cause of every sin and evil that people do. There is also the selfishness of our flesh and the lure of the false promises of the world but the devil, as enemy of God’s Kingdom, is never at rest. The devil notices at once those who are capable of weakening or destroying his empire.

But do not worry, Jesus has showed us how to resist the devil by his example in the wilderness and his ministry to the sick while he was alive.

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When we wait in joyful hope
February 26, 2018

Always, there are signs that the Lord is coming, but we see the signs so often and interpret them so differently that we miss them. God is always making moves to bring us closer to him. He does not just sit and wait for us to make a move. He is always making moves, hoping that we will grab on to one and come back to him. He offers us his gift of grace which enables us to respond to his offers and be overshadowed by his grace.

In the story of the centurion, we see an example of faith working in cooperation with God. God, through his son Jesus, offered the centurion the gift of faith and the centurion responded by getting himself out of the way so that God and his healing and miracles could move, direct and heal. If a pagan Roman centurion could do it, why not us?

God is the one who shows us compassion when we get hurt. He is the one who loves us when we think that we are unlovable. Throughout the gospel we see and read Jesus doing the unthinkable and reprehensible by touching lepers and healing the ill. We can imitate Jesus by finding and assisting an organization that shelters the homeless and finds work for the jobless, educates the uneducated, and counsels the depressed. By doing this we are demonstrating the gift of compassion. The solidity of love enables us to reach outward to the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned. Let us then ask Jesus to enable us to hear his word of love and act on it throughout our lives.

We are compelled to tell of the healing, prodding, tugging that God works within us. Once we become aware of God’s work in us, the desire to share our good news overwhelms us, and we tell all. God continues to speak in our history our time, today. The word of God is heard through the voice of a person who calls us to compassion. When we show care and concern for relatives when someone has died, we have heard the word of God. A fresh idea that seems to come from nowhere can be the voice of God that has been heard. Reading the Bible and listening for a message of application to our lives is another way that God speaks today. Those who have taken care of the needy-the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, and the imprisoned-have, without even realizing it, cared for Jesus.

When we practice Jesus’ humility, we know that we are last, like a child, refraining from thinking that something is owed us. Jesus in the Hebrew scriptures, came to help and saves us.  We follow in Jesus’ footsteps when we offer a helping hand to an elderly neighbor, saving a child from hunger, or tutoring the illiterate. Doing these things and more, bestow upon us the name Jesus and represent God’s ongoing activity in time.

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Health and healing are greatly improved when we set our sights on God
February 21, 2018

The word of God is our medicine, and this medicine is to be taken daily. All that is in creation is our antidote, our antibiotics. We cannot see God, yet as we look at the mountains, oceans, stars, and flowers, as well as many other things God made, his strength, power, majesty, and beauty are seen in them. God made us, humans, in his image and he formed us so that he can dwell in us and share his glory through us.

Sickness entered the world because the first humans, as stated in the creation story, failed to obey the rules God had given them about their body, the wonderful machine he gave to them. Up until then there was no disease present in world. Whenever we invite sin, sickness surely comes along.

God never changes and never will change. He is the only one who can heal every disease. We should never hesitate to come to him no matter if we are feeling unworthy. He is always teaching us a lesson, and sometimes for us to understand what he is teaching, he has to bring us down very low. It is in this lowliness that he will then heal us.

Faith is faith, whether in children or adults, and faith is the victory that overcomes. Whether we get healed or not depends entirely on where we look. God does not force us to accept his medicine, just as he does not force us to accept his salvation. He offers us all the necessary tools and avenues for our happiness and it is up to us whether to accept them. It is our duty to be happy. There is great power in happiness and that great power is God. God is good and he is great.

When we believe that God is the ultimate healer, we rejoice, but when we doubt, we despair and become weak and ready to fall as victims to the slavery of sickness. Rest assured there is no sickness in heaven. We can begin our way to healing by forgiving. Forgiveness frees us from bondage and opens us to restoration and reconciliation. When we atone for our sins we begin the process of healing. Remember forgiveness and healing always go together.

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God is evident in our everyday lives
February 21, 2018

Faith is a way of seeing things. When we choose faith, to believe, we are also choosing to denounce evil and sinful ways. To have faith and embrace faith, we have to believe in love and also to practice love, for love is the binding of our faith. To make a permanent commitment in love, in particular, is to grow up in a very important way. When we are grounded in faith, we are strong and have inner peace. When we do not reach inner stillness we are forever restless.

Living a life a faith means living a life of blessing. Being faithful means giving and receiving blessings. “To be blessed is to be oneself a blessing,” says Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Being faithful and living in faith also means to be joyful. If not, when joy breaks down, eventually everything breaks down. When we bless someone we speak well of him or of her. If we are unblessed we suffer very deeply. Blessings deconstricts the heart and blessing begets blessing.

To live a life without faith is to live in loneliness. We may have human contact but our inner selves and beings still yearns for more. There are five basic kinds of human loneliness. They are alienation, restlessness, rootlessness, psychological depression and moral loneliness. Our deepest aloness is moral. When we listen to our own loneliness we connect with ourselves. Our hearts, minds, and bodies are restless until they rest in God. It is important that we surround ourselves with people who will not drain our inner spirits. We should not travel with people who expects us to be exciting all the time.

Living in faith helps us to identify situations which can affect and break our lives. One popular aspect of our lives that needs to be policed is our sexual life. Sex if not done under the right circumstances does more harm than good to our lives. There are three kinds of sex, each with three effects. Abusive sex destroys our soul. Casual sex trivializes our soul, and sacramental sex, the one we should participate in, builds up the soul.

Nothing that is truly great is achieved easily, and that goes for faith as well. To have great faith take dedication and perseverance, and so does love. Great love, like great art, takes great effort, sustained commitment, and lots of time.

“Our doing brings success, but our being bears fruit,” says the great Henri Nouwen.

Life is nature and nature is life. They are there to inspire us for us to use our imagination. A healthy imagination is the opposite of resignation, abdication, naive optimism, or despair.

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Walking by faith: Celebrating our Jewish roots
February 20, 2018

We believe that Jesus was the Messiah that God promised to the people of Israel. Coming to us in the flesh, Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s promises. Jesus and Christians alike observe the commandments in a covenant with God that is based on love. The word of God in the Old Testament forms part of public worship for both Jews and Christians.

The story of creation in Genesis, the first book of the Old Testament, tells us that the Spirit of God passed over the waters, and they stirred with life. In Exodus, the second book, God passed over the houses of a group of slaves and spared them from the angel of death. Then God led these people, the Israelites, out of Egypt, and they passed over into freedom. To mark the event of their passing over, God commanded the Israelite community to celebrate a sacred meal. The Jews are the descendants of the Israelites, whom God led out of Egypt. The story of the Exodus recalls what God did and continues to do for the Jewish people and all who believe, then and now. With the Jews we turn to the one and only God, who was first revealed to them. With them we love the Lord our God with all our heart, with all our soul, and with all our strength.

Throughout our lives the Church encourages us to prepare for the time of our death, when we will be led to new life in the Kingdom of God. The last rites are part of our preparation as we draw near to death and are about to make the final journey home to God. The Scripture readings during the Liturgy of the Word focus on God’s constant mercy and forgiveness. In the final farewell before the body is buried, the Church commends, or gives, the person who has died to God.

We are all beginners when it comes to working for the Kingdom of God now and waiting for its final coming in glory. Grace pulls us towards God’s reign, or Kingdom.

God sent a series of visions to a man named John. One was a vision of the new creation, God’s reign fulfilled. The Lord God Almighty and Jesus, the Lamb of God, had become the perfect temple. The entire city was lit by the brightness of God’s glory. Peoples from every nation would pass through the gates, bringing gifts and treasures to place before the throne of God.

What we do for the least of God’s people is important now in this life.

Our invitation to feast in God’s Kingdom began with the signs and wonders of creation. Out of love God created man and woman and gave them a garden filled with every kind of tree delightful to look at and good for food. But the first humans turned away from God, and sin and evil entered the world. God did not turn away from us, however God kept sending us signs of hope and promise, especially through the people of Israel. If they remained faithful, God promised, they would enter a land flowing with milk and honey.

We celebrate the sacraments as constant reminders that God’s reign is among us. Our hop is in God’s promise of salvation and the life of the world to come. In this world right now, while we wait, we must serve God by loving one another.

Through signs God gives us grace, shows us love, and tells us about wonders we cannot see. At the Easter vigil we give thanks and praise to God for Christ’s victory over death in the resurrection. In Christ’s dying and rising, we experience God’s love. In the Kingdom of God, present and to come, we will live in God’s love forever.

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