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Posts Tagged ‘Purpose’

“The temptation of weariness”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/05/15 at 12:00 AM
I want to warn you against a difficulty that may arise: it is the temptation of weariness and discouragement. Isn’t it still fresh in your memory what life — your old life — used to be like, with no aim to it, no purpose, no sparkle, and then, with God’s light and your own dedication, a new direction was given to it and you were filled with joy? Don’t be so silly as to exchange your new life for that other one. (The Forge, 286)

If you feel for whatever reason that you cannot manage to go on, abandon yourself in God, telling him: Lord, I trust in you, I abandon myself in you, but do help me in my weakness! And filled with confidence, repeat: See Jesus what a filthy rag I am. My life seems to me so miserable. I am not worthy to be a son of yours. Tell him all this ‑‑ and tell him so over and over again. It will not be long before you hear him say, Ne timeas! ‑‑do not be afraid; and also: Surge et ambula! ‑‑ rise up and walk! (The Forge, 287)

You were still rather hesitant when you were telling me: “I am deeply aware of the occasions when the Lord is asking more of me.” All I could think of was to remind you how you used to assure me that the only thing you wanted was to identify yourself with him. What’s keeping you back? (The Forge, 288)

If only you could manage to fulfill that resolution you made: “to die a little to myself each day.” (The Forge, 289

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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.

“What should a Christian hope for?”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2012/01/06 at 9:11 AM

Faced by all those men without faith, without hope; by minds desperately near the borders of anguish, seeking for a meaning in their life, you found your purpose: Him! This discovery will permanently inject a new happiness into your existence, it will transform you, and present you with an immense daily hoard of beautiful things of which you were unaware, and which show you the joyful expanse of that broad path that leads you to God. (Furrow, 83)

Perhaps some of you are wondering, ‘What should a Christian hope for?’ After all, the world has many good things to offer that attract our hearts, which crave happiness and anxiously run in search of love. Besides we want to sow peace and joy at every turn. We are not content to achieve prosperity just for ourselves. We want to make everyone around us happy as well.

Some people, alas, whose aims are worthy but limited and their ideals only perishable and fleeting, forget that Christians have to aspire to the highest peaks of all, to the infinite. Our aim is the very Love of God, to enjoy that Love fully, with a joy that never ends. We have seen in so many ways that things here below have to come to an end for all of us, when this world ends; and even sooner, for each individual, when he dies, for we cannot take wealth and prestige with us to the grave. That is why, buoyed up by hope, we raise our hearts to God himself and have learned to pray, , I have placed my hope in you, O Lord: may your hand guide me now and at every moment, for ever and ever. [1](Friends of God, 209)

[1] Ps 30:2

Real Hope

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/11/04 at 1:11 AM
 Excerpt from ‘The Forty Days’ Teaching by Cardinal John Henry Newman in PRAYERS, VERSES AND DEVOTIONS. Ignatius Press.

God has determined, unless I interfere with His plan, that I should reach that which will be my greatest happiness.  He looks upon me individually, He calls me by my name, He knows what I can do, what I can do best, be what is my greatest happiness, and He means to give it to me.

God knows what is my greatest happiness, but I do not . . . God leads us by strange ways; we know He wills our happiness. . . . We are blind; left to ourselves we should take the wrong way; we must leave it to Him.

I am created to do something or to be something for which no one else is created.

God has created me to do Him some definite service; He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. . . . I am necessary for His purpose. . . . I am a link in a chain . . . of connections between persons.

I will trust Him. Whatever, whenever I am, I can never be thrown away. . . . He knows what He is about.

How constant is He in His affection! “I will never leave thee or forsake thee.”  He did not forsake me in my sin. . . . He found me and regained me. . . . He resolved to restore me, in spite of myself. . . . What does He ask of me, but that, as He has loved me with an everlasting love, so I should love Him in such poor measures as I can show.


Ilia Delio Introduces Bonaventure’s Thought

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/07/10 at 6:47 AM

 

150_simply-bonaventure1

 

 

Ilia Delio, O.S.F., writes about St. Bonaventure in the Introduction to her book: SIMPLY BONAVENTURE:

Bonaventure’s theological system is a profound and unique synthesis…He is concerned with three questions: Where have we come from? What are we doing here? Where are we going?

Bonaventure began with the conviction of faith in God who has revealed himself to us in Jesus Christ.  Always searching for the ultimate ground of truth, he came to perceive the fullness of truth in Jesus Christ.Bonaventure had a passionate love of God revealed in Christ crucified in whom he saw the mystery of God and creation united.

If we want to know the ground of our being, the purpose of our existence and the goal to which we are directed, we must come to know Christ who is the center of our lives and our universe. The pattern of Bonaventure’s though is “circular” -we come from God, we exist in relation to God and we are to return to God. The basis of this “circle’ is the Trinity….Everything flows from the Father and ultimately returns to the Father God is the dynamic fountain-fullness of self-communicative love….He is the source of our lives and the goal to which we are directed.

The Trinity provides a “blue-print” for creation  since the relationship between the Father and the Son/Word, united in the Spirit is the ground of all other relationships. The question of why we exist finds meaning on three different levels: in the mirror of creation, in the creation of the person as the image of God in the Incarnation. Humanity has not changed in the last 800 years since Bonaventure.  The essential questions he raised in the thirteenth century are still relevant.

In our age where meaning and purpose of human existence is becoming increasingly vague and the quest for human identity shows the marks of desperation, Bonaventure offers a profound system of thought….He redefines the boundaries of what it means to be human and Christian.  It is a search and a journey that begins with desire and prayer, and spiral through the complexities of our lives, as we seek to find God at the center of our existence….He lead us that to recognize God within us is to let go of what we cling to that is not God, and to embrace that which is God.

We cannot understand the mystery of God within us and in our world; we can only yield to this mystery in love…..for to yield in love is to return to the point from which we gan.  And in this return we discover the truth of who we are created to be and the truth of the world in all its beauty.

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.