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Posts Tagged ‘Goals’

Is God God Or Are You God?

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2012/09/22 at 9:11 AM

One of the characteristics that distinguishes  humans from animals and all other creatures is that humans can and do wonder about things, about the purpose or the reason something is what it is or does what it does. Animals never wonder about the circumstances of their lives. They live by instinct which never changes; they would have no reason to wonder because they can’t change anything anyway.  Adam and Eve’s dog would be right at home with your dog, but they would be awestruck by human life today. That’s because we humans can ponder purpose and make changes if we so desire.

It is very important to know the purpose of whatever we are dealing with because, if we do not know the true purpose of something or someone, we may end up not using it, misusing it, damaging or even destroying the thing. Small children do this routinely. This also applies to people; think of the misuse and destruction of people by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot in the modern era alone. They saw other people only as means to an end.

Throughout life  we deal with many intermediate purposes and goals such as education, marriage, family career etc. These differ from person to person and culture to culture. Some are successful in reaching their goals while others, not understanding the nature of goals, flounder through life. Half the marriages in the U.S. fail because at least  one spouse does not understand the nature and purpose of marriage.  Schools today are failing in a tragic way because they changed their purpose from the acquisition of knowledge to politically correct socialization.

I don’t think many would dispute that the country has many seemingly insoluble problems; drugs, crime, abuse at all levels, illegal immigration etc. I suggest that the reason is that  in the U.S. (and most of the Western world)  the most important purpose of all has been forgotten or ignored, i.e. the purpose of man himself . The purpose of anything is usually determined by the maker. Man was made by God in the beginning, and it is  God who assigned man his purpose which will never change regardless of how man deals with it. God does not adjust Himself to contemporary cultural whims. Anyone who does not know or does not care that he or she is made in the image and likeness of God is doomed to the ultimate failure which is not to be a saint.

Man has a divine goal or purpose which is his final union with God for eternity. This is what God has set up, and He has also set up definite ways to reach that goal which are not subject to human interpretations. On the other hand, man can reject his purpose and set up his own idea of purpose, but if we set up any purpose that does not  conform to divine purpose,  he will live a substandard human life.

Many are going through life today with no ultimate goal in mind. They are like a person who drives without a destination. When the gas runs out, he is nowhere and there’s no gas. Going through life without an eye on eternity  may cause one to lose the very purpose of life itself. No matter  what circumstances we find ourselves in, for good or bad, we all will arrive  at that six-foot hole. That’s the end of striving. You made it or you didn’t.  Hell is realizing that you “blew it…. badly”.

The real purpose of human life is to know, love, and serve God while on earth and spend eternity in His presence. Anything less is risky. One of the great saints of the Church used to have as his norm, “Quid ad aeternitatem?”.. How does this affect eternity? We live in a world which, at least in practice, does not believe in eternity at all. How many people have you seen die on TV with no thought whatsoever of an afterlife? Death is the end. Be that as it may,  it does not affect God’s purpose for people. We will knock on the door of eternity someday. If you have pursued your God-given goal, the door will not be opened by  a fellow in a red suit carrying a pitchfork.

The most important question is: “Is God God or are you  God?” If you decide that YOU are God by your lifestyle, then you are a fool, as the Psalm says. And there are no fools in heaven.

“It is a time of hope, and I live off this treasure”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/06/27 at 9:11 AM
“It is a time of hope, and I live off this treasure. It is not just a phrase, Father,” you tell me, “it is reality.” Well then …, bring the whole world, all the human values which attract you so very strongly – friendship, the arts, science, philosophy, theology, sport, nature, culture, souls – bring all of this within that hope: the hope of Christ. (Furrow, 293)

Wherever we may be, Our Lord urges us to be vigilant. His plea should lead us to hope more strongly in our desires for holiness and to translate them into deeds. ‘Give me your heart, my son’ [1], he seems to whisper in our ear. Stop building castles in the air. Make up your mind to open your soul to God, for only in Our Lord will you find a real basis for your hope and for doing good to others. If we don’t fight against ourselves; if we don’t rebuff once and for all the enemies lodged within our interior fortress — pride, envy, the concupiscence of the flesh and of the eyes, self‑sufficiency, and the wild craving for licentiousness; if we abandon this inner struggle, our noblest ideals will wither ‘like the bloom on the grass; and when the scorching sun comes up the grass withers, and the bloom falls, and all its fair show dies away’. Then, all you need is a tiny crevice and discouragement and gloom will creep in, like encroaching poisonous weeds.

Jesus is not satisfied with a wavering assent. He expects, and has a right to expect, that we advance resolutely, unyielding in the face of difficulties. He demands that we take firm, specific steps; because, as a rule, general resolutions are just fallacious illusions, created to silence the divine call which sounds within our hearts. They produce a futile flame that neither burns nor gives warmth, but dies out as suddenly as it began.

You will convince me that you sincerely want to achieve your goals when I see you go forward unwaveringly. Do good and keep reviewing your basic attitudes to the jobs that occupy you each moment. Practice the virtue of justice, right where you are, in your normal surroundings, even though you may end up exhausted. Foster happiness among those around you by cheerfully serving the people you work with and by striving to carry out your job as perfectly as you can, showing understanding, smiling, having a Christian approach to life. And do everything for God, thinking of his glory, with your sights set high and longing for the definitive homeland, because there is no other goal worthwhile. (Friends of God, 211)

[1] Prov 23:26

How Do I Love You? Let Me Count the Ways

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2011/08/10 at 7:00 AM

The Beatitudes describe the most perfect fruits of the Holy Spirit in man.  They are the most divine-like human acts that men can perform, and Christ attached a reward to them both in this life and in the next.  The Beatitudes promise blessing and redemption to all those whose moral conduct meets the demands Christ sets.

The Beatitudes correspond to man’s natural desire for happiness: a desire of divine origin that God has placed into the heart of men to draw them to Himself, He who alone can fulfill that desire.

The Beatitudes are the gateway to the Sermon on the Mount.  This discourse contains various teachings that essentially deal with the attitudes and heart condition a person must have TO enter the Kingdom of Heaven: simply, how one relates to God as Father and the human beings as siblings.

The Beatitudes depict the countenance of Jesus Christ and portray his charity.  They are descriptions of His perfect humanity, for He  is the model for them.  And in them, He present the New Law: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Jesus Christ was the greatest revolutionary that walked the earth.  He made a complete change from the generally accepted human values to this new law.  The message was that only in serving God could man achieve the happiness he desired.  Thus,  Jesus Christ clarified the attitudes and moral behavior that his perfect nature required of all those who desire to follow Him.

The Beatitudes teach us that the real success of our lives is to love and fulfill God’s Will for us.  They are an invitation to an upright and worthy life.  Will you accept this Divine invitation?

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.  Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.  Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.  Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.  Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven. Matt. 5:12.

Journey to God

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/07/23 at 8:11 PM

SIMPLY BONAVENTURE: Journey to Go,  as distilled by Delio, Ilia O.S.F.

We come from God, we exist as the image of God, and we are returning to God.

Bonaventure uses the metaphor of journey to indicate that the human desire for God is dynamic… It is a desire which impels one to search for God, and this desire, planted as a seed of grace, is already in the human person.

The human person  is not simply content with the totality of that which exists; rather, there is a longing for more, for something deeper, for God. The human person has an attraction for God.

…one cannot begin the journey to God unless one recognizes one’s poverty or radical dependence on God. Poverty is…an awareness of one’s utter dependency on God, a realization that all good things flow out of the goodness of God.

…the journey is not an intellectual exercise; it is not a “head trip” but a matter of the heart. The goal of the journey is happiness…..one cannot be happy unless the heart is centered on God.

…one of the greatest obstacles….is that the human heart is hardened by sin. The “hardened” self-centered heart must become a natural, loving heart, centered in God. Transformation of the heart, however, can only come about through a relationship with God…..prayer is the mother and source of the journey to God – because prayer is an openness and deepening of one’s life in God’s life.

…one cannot enter into oneself unless Christ be the mediator….the path to true knowledge is that Christ is the way, the truth and the life. Devotion to Christ is pivotal in the journey to God; how one relates to Christ will influence how one completes the journey. Devotion to Christ means a total turning to God, not simply with one’s mind but with one’s heart and soul as well….accepting Christ as person and developing a personal relationship with Christ ultimately opens us up to the mystery of God. (John 1:18)

Christ is the source of grace by which the soul is purified, illumined and perfected. As one enters more deeply into relationship with Christ, the divine image is reformed and restored in its likeness to God.

….the more God-like the soul becomes by grace, the more clearly it sees the truth of things….one’s inner life becomes more orderly and peaceful….when our feelings, thought and emotions are rightly ordered to God, then we start to line in a new, virtuous way that follows the example of Christ….the soul’s journey to God is thoroughly Christocentric since Christ is the beginning, middle an end of the journey….it cannot be made apart from the imitation of Christ.

http://www.newcitypress.com/simply-bonaventure.html

Reconsider: Is God God or Are You God? by J. Reagan

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2011/06/19 at 7:00 AM

One of the characteristics that distinguishes  humans from animals and all other creatures is that humans can and do wonder about things, about the purpose or the reason something is what it is or does what it does. Animals never wonder about the circumstances of their lives. They live by instinct which never changes; they would have no reason to wonder because they can’t change anything anyway.  Adam and Eve’s dog would be right at home with your dog, but they would be awestruck by human life today. That’s because we humans can ponder purpose and make changes if we so desire.

It is very important to know the purpose of whatever we are dealing with because, if we do not know the true purpose of something or someone, we may end up not using it, misusing it, damaging or even destroying the thing. Small children do this routinely. This also applies to people; think of the misuse and destruction of people by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot in the modern era alone. They saw other people only as means to an end.

Throughout life  we deal with many intermediate purposes and goals such as education, marriage, family career etc. These differ from person to person and culture to culture. Some are successful in reaching their goals while others, not understanding the nature of goals, flounder through life. Half the marriages in the U.S. fail because at least  one spouse does not understand the nature and purpose of marriage.  Schools today are failing in a tragic way because they changed their purpose from the acquisition of knowledge to politically correct socialization.

I don’t think many would dispute that the country has many seemingly insoluble problems; drugs, crime, abuse at all levels, illegal immigration etc. I suggest that the reason is that  in the U.S. (and most of the Western world)  the most important purpose of all has been forgotten or ignored, i.e. the purpose of man himself . The purpose of anything is usually determined by the maker. Man was made by God in the beginning, and it is  God who assigned man his purpose which will never change regardless of how man deals with it. God does not adjust Himself to contemporary cultural whims. Anyone who does not know or does not care that he or she is made in the image and likeness of God is doomed to the ultimate failure which is not to be a saint.

Man has a divine goal or purpose which is his final union with God for eternity. This is what God has set up, and He has also set up definite ways to reach that goal which are not subject to human interpretations. On the other hand, man can reject his purpose and set up his own idea of purpose, but if we set up any purpose that does not  conform to divine purpose,  he will live a substandard human life.

Many are going through life today with no ultimate goal in mind. They are like a person who drives without a destination. When the gas runs out, he is nowhere and there’s no gas. Going through life without an eye on eternity  may cause one to lose the very purpose of life itself. No matter  what circumstances we find ourselves in, for good or bad, we all will arrive  at that six-foot hole. That’s the end of striving. You made it or you didn’t.  Hell is realizing that you “blew it…. badly”.

The real purpose of human life is to know, love, and serve God while on earth and spend eternity in His presence. Anything less is risky. One of the great saints of the Church used to have as his norm, “Quid ad aeternitatem?”.. How does this affect eternity? We live in a world which, at least in practice, does not believe in eternity at all. How many people have you seen die on TV with no thought whatsoever of an afterlife? Death is the end. Be that as it may,  it does not affect God’s purpose for people. We will knock on the door of eternity someday. If you have pursued your God-given goal, the door will not be opened by  a fellow in a red suit carrying a pitchfork.

The most important question is: “Is God God or are you  God?” If you decide that YOU are God by your lifestyle, then you are a fool, as the Psalm says. And there are no fools in heaven.

Is God God or Are You God?

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2011/04/05 at 3:17 PM

One of the characteristics that distinguishes  humans from animals and all other creatures is that humans can and do wonder about things, about the purpose or the reason something is what it is or does what it does. Animals never wonder about the circumstances of their lives. They live by instinct which never changes; they would have no reason to wonder because they can’t change anything anyway.  Adam and Eve’s dog would be right at home with your dog, but they would be awestruck by human life today. That’s because we humans can ponder purpose and make changes if we so desire.

It is very important to know the purpose of whatever we are dealing with because, if we do not know the true purpose of something or someone, we may end up not using it, misusing it, damaging or even destroying the thing. Small children do this routinely. This also applies to people; think of the misuse and destruction of people by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot in the modern era alone. They saw other people only as means to an end.

Throughout life  we deal with many intermediate purposes and goals such as education, marriage, family career etc. These differ from person to person and culture to culture. Some are successful in reaching their goals while others, not understanding the nature of goals, flounder through life. Half the marriages in the U.S. fail because at least  one spouse does not understand the nature and purpose of marriage.  Schools today are failing in a tragic way because they changed their purpose from the acquisition of knowledge to politically correct socialization.

I don’t think many would dispute that the country has many seemingly insoluble problems; drugs, crime, abuse at all levels, illegal immigration etc. I suggest that the reason is that  in the U.S. (and most of the Western world)  the most important purpose of all has been forgotten or ignored, i.e. the purpose of man himself . The purpose of anything is usually determined by the maker. Man was made by God in the beginning, and it is  God who assigned man his purpose which will never change regardless of how man deals with it. God does not adjust Himself to contemporary cultural whims. Anyone who does not know or does not care that he or she is made in the image and likeness of God is doomed to the ultimate failure which is not to be a saint.

Man has a divine goal or purpose which is his final union with God for eternity. This is what God has set up, and He has also set up definite ways to reach that goal which are not subject to human interpretations. On the other hand, man can reject his purpose and set up his own idea of purpose, but if we set up any purpose that does not  conform to divine purpose,  he will live a substandard human life.

Many are going through life today with no ultimate goal in mind. They are like a person who drives without a destination. When the gas runs out, he is nowhere and there’s no gas. Going through life without an eye on eternity  may cause one to lose the very purpose of life itself. No matter  what circumstances we find ourselves in, for good or bad, we all will arrive  at that six-foot hole. That’s the end of striving. You made it or you didn’t.  Hell is realizing that you “blew it…. badly”.

The real purpose of human life is to know, love, and serve God while on earth and spend eternity in His presence. Anything less is risky. One of the great saints of the Church used to have as his norm, “Quid ad aeternitatem?”.. How does this affect eternity? We live in a world which, at least in practice, does not believe in eternity at all. How many people have you seen die on TV with no thought whatsoever of an afterlife? Death is the end. Be that as it may,  it does not affect God’s purpose for people. We will knock on the door of eternity someday. If you have pursued your God-given goal, the door will not be opened by  a fellow in a red suit carrying a pitchfork.

The most important question is: “Is God God or are you  God?” If you decide that YOU are God by your lifestyle, then you are a fool, as the Psalm says. And there are no fools in heaven.