Let your light shine
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works
and give glory to your Father who is in Heaven” (Mt 5:16)
Our Christian goal is to bring light where there is darkness, hope where there is despair, comfort where there is sorrow, healing where there is pain, fellowship where there is isolation, and peace where there is chaos, but above all, we must enkindle the fire of God’s love in the hearts of all mankind, bringing love, joy and peace. This is what it means to be the “light” and the “salt” of the earth.
Vessels of Grace
God is served, only when He is served as He wishes to be served. We must not live in sin and think that we serve God well in our works, and that this is enough for Him. Our prayers and good works have greater efficiency if they are achieved whilst in a state of grace. We are vessels of God’s grace; we receive, freely from Him, the waters of grace and distribute them to those around us through our prayers and acts of charity. However, our vessels must be clean if others are to drink from them. If our lives are pure, then others will see and taste clearly the beautiful grace of God whilst in our presence. If, on the other hand, we are living in a state of serious or habitual sin, how does this reflect upon those around us who come to us to taste of the glorious dew of Heaven?
We are the face of God upon the earth, therefore, let there be no blemish within us, that will hide from others the radiant smile of the Father.
Though He Be But Little
“Though he be but little, he is feared” (William Shakespeare)
We may be very little indeed, but we can still put fear into the Evil One. In fact, the smaller we are the more we shall strike fear into our enemy, because Jesus tells us “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor 12:9) St Paul tells us that the “weaker” parts of the Mystical Body are “indispensable,” and that the “inferior parts” are given “greater honour” so that there be “no discord in the body.” (1 Cor 12: 22-26) Finally, St Paul tells us that “God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong, God chose what is low an despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.” (1 Cor 1:26-31)
You see the smaller we are the better, because in our littleness we give glory to God alone and not to ourselves. Also, with our littleness will come humility, and the soul who is humble before God will attract God’s grace more surely than one who is proud. “Though he be but little, he is feared.”
Lord, may Your power be made perfect in our weakness that others may see always Your grace at work within us. Amen.
The Gift Of The Present Moment
The Christian life is one that should be lived in the present moment; we must not hold any unhealthy attachments to our past, nor allow the past to dictate our actions in the future – unless it be for the good. Past sins must not be dwelt upon after they have been forgiven – except that we might remember them for the sake of acquiring greater humility. Past hurts must not be dwelt upon as the Christian soul should forgive and try, though not always possible, to forget. As for the future, this belongs to God alone! We are pilgrims on this earth and we can only travel the road of life one day at a time. We should try to make the most of each day as it comes, keeping in our hearts that the present moment is a gift by the grace of God and treasure it as though it were our last. If we live our lives in this manner then we shall glorify God by always making the best possible use of the gift which He has given to us – the gift of the present moment.
Love is more than an emotion
God is love – and love is God! God wills to share with us His divine nature, to impart to us the fullness of His love. God does not place any limits upon the gift of His love, but we can only receive Him to the measure we are willing to open our hearts and allow Him to enter in. The love we receive from God then, is totally dependant upon us, upon how well disposed we are to receiving it. God’s love then takes action within the soul of a person to enlighten, transform and inspire it to do good works. “Human love” then, is more than an emotion, it is the essence of God within the soul, promoting action towards the good.
The definition of Christian love according to St Thomas Aquinas (a Doctor of the Church) is: “To will the good of another.” So human love is not just an emotion, it is an act of the will, inspired by God – who is love, which engages our heart to such an extent, that it creates within us an emotion which we commonly call ‘love’.
If we loved God
If we truly loved God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, as we should, (MK 13:29-32) then no darkness would ever diminish God’s light within us, no sorrow would ever overwhelm us, no pain would ever cause us to grieve beyond its season. No loss would ever leave an irreparable void within our hearts, no sin would ever have such as allure as to attract us, no enemy would ever overcome us, no fear would ever cause us to lose our inner most peace, no hardship would be too harsh, no trial too great, no humiliation too embarrassing. And finally, no suffering would ever be borne without it having an immense value for our soul and that of others – if we could only love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength, as we should.