Like the ten commandments of Christian/Judaic faith, there are a things you always have to keep in mind while leading a life of faith. These new “commandments” we too need to remember when we consider evangelising. Continue reading “10 Things to Keep in Mind.”
Have you ever been to a funeral? Continue reading “From the Ashes.”
There are days when attendance in church is easy. Prayers flow freely. Relationships are not strained. Days in office tick without effort. Things seem great. You say to yourself I’m good. My faith is good. My life is good.
And then there are days where you fall short. Continue reading “A Double Life.”
A Time for Everything
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: Continue reading “Only Time will Tell.”
My name is Lazarus and I’m a believer of Christ. Continue reading “Life after Life Afterlife.”
Swords are generally associated with warriors who go into battle, not with writers who spend their lives in front of blank pages. Yet, we are familiar with the idiom, “The pen is mightier than the sword.”, and we have a saint who proved just that. Continue reading “A Zealous Patron.”
“It is better to be the child of God than king of the whole world!”
-St. Aloysius Gonzaga
My name is Jonah. You probably know me as the guy who got stuck in the belly of the fish for three days. Continue reading “You Can Run, But You Cannot Hide.”
The most majestic feature of a bird is its ability to fly. The way they challenge the clouds and soar, it is simply astounding. With each flap of the wing they are able to steer their way through the sky. You can say their bodies were built for it. That that is the purpose of their existence. Agreed not all birds can fly but that inability also makes them unique (like penguins and kiwis). Yet each bird is wonderfully created and delicately designed. Continue reading “Soar.”
I’m fond of tea. I believe it is my daily elixir. Like most addicts, I drink tea for every possible reason- when I’m happy or when I’m sad, when I’m tired or just to pass time. It’s hard to explain why I enjoy drinking tea so much because non tea drinkers would not get it. The taste for tea is acquired and over time, refined. Initially it was difficult. It was difficult to drink tea without milk or sugar, but the real taste of its flavors only comes when there are just two elements involved- hot water and the tea bag.
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We understand that it is not always easy to follow your faith, that is why we, at Faith. Hope. Love., want to help. Our posts are inspired by day-to-day activities that make faith and its practice easy and relate-able. Our daily reminders will help you to gently recall and remember the love with which you were first drawn to Jesus.
So we have reached that time of the year where we have already got the reminders to pay up bills and renew that gym subscription and that newspaper subscription if you wish to continue to the next year, cause it’s easier and definitely cheaper to subscribe for a year than decide each day which paper to read and then go hunt for that in the shop.
And here is where you think and re think what to renew and what not to. Here are a few ideas to renew and unsubscribe for the coming year.
A habit takes fourteen days to form and “new year resolutions” never seem to last so let’s try subscribing to these habits in the new year and unsubscribe those “I have always been meaning to not to do this” category of things.
And not just every year but every month, week, day , hour and minute that is yet to come is a new opportunity to be the change and make the change that you always wanted to.
“Blessed are they that mourn,” and “woe unto them that laugh” said Christ. How does St. Paul then say, “Rejoice in the Lord always”? The laughter of this world is what Christ talks about when he says “Woe unto them that laugh”. He also blessed those that mourn, not simply for worldly reasons but those who are pricked at heart, who mourn their own faults, and take count of their own sins. For he who grieves for his own faults, and confesses to, rejoices. Because you lead a life of suffering for Christ , rejoice. Or when your communion with God is not hindered, rejoice..
Rejoice in the Lord is a command that we are bound to adhere to. It is not an option. The source of our rejoicing is the salvation. The faith of the church is based on the belief in the Holy Trinity. The love of God the Father, the grace of his only begotten Son and fellowship of the Holy Spirit is more than enough reason to rejoice. How can the trinity be a source of rejoicing for me? I thought it was just another theological teaching .
The love of god the father is accepting human beings as his own children. Imagine that tomorrow a rich millionaire decides to adopt me with no conditions attached. Wouldn’t I be deliriously joyful to inherit all that belongs of the millionaire though I have no reason to deserve any of his wealth? How much more happier should we be that we have been called the children of God. We have seen husbands and wives divorce. But nobody divorces their child no matter how bad he or she is. That is why baptism is a sacrament that is not repeated. Even if I may sin or mess up my life I don’t have to be baptized again to be called His son. To God I am a son just like Jesus is his son. He looks at me and sees Jesus in me. Isn’t the love of God the Father worth rejoicing?
The word grace means to receive a gift that one does not deserve. Similar to the grace time of 10 minutes while writing an exam, grace when a loan doesn’t have to be repaid. What if I am a sinner and I don’t deserve grace? Nobody deserves grace, that’s why its called grace. Sometimes, like the prodigal son we lose everything god has given us. Our purity, talents, our sanity. But His outstretched arms welcomes us back always, each and every time because our sins have been paid for by His blood. When we come here to receive holy communion there are no pay back conditions and list of punishments to be followed to be able to receive his body and blood. If anyone comes to me I will by no means cast him out. Unconditional grace of the son. Isn’t that reason enough to rejoice ?
Because I am a son and I am in the image of lord Jesus forgiven by his grace, I am given something that even prophets in the Old Testament would die to have a little bit of which is the gift of Holy Spirit living in me, guiding me, blessing me, making me in the image of Christ, uniting me with Christ, giving me love joy peace and all the fruits of the spirit. It gives me everything that nothing in the world can give me.
Fellowship of the spirit is sealed in to us in Baptism and confirmed again during our Confirmation. However far can I go from his presence this seal cannot be broken..? Isn’t this fellowship reason enough to rejoice?
Why is it then that we don’t feel joyful? Because we allow our emotions to rule us and not our faith. I am so used to paying for my faults that I can’t comprehend free grace. I cant discern that my sins have been paid for. So I go back to paying heed to my feelings that eventually take me away from God.
Mother Mary’s response to that news of the angel Gabriel is beyond our understanding. Despite the fear and godly wonder and a whole gamut of emotions that must have run through her teenage mind , she allowed her faith to take over and not her emotions. Which is why she said “my spirit rejoices in god”
The lives and examples of all the other saints including St.Paul who went through a lot of torment and yet uttered this verse, is enough reason for us to follow this commandment.
May the love of the Father, the grace of the only begotten Son and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit keep us rejoicing in Him always.
The Parable of the Great Banquet
15 When one of those at the table with him heard this, he said to Jesus, “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.”
16 Jesus replied: “A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. 17 At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, ‘Come, for everything is now ready.’
18 “But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, ‘I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.’
19 “Another said, ‘I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.’
20 “Still another said, ‘I just got married, so I can’t come.’
21 “The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, ‘Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.’
22 “‘Sir,’ the servant said, ‘what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.’
23 “Then the master told his servant, ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full. 24 I tell you, not one of those who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.’”
This passage may stir some confusion in us. Why would the man invite ordinary people to the banquet? In Letter to the Colossians 3:5-14, St. Paul talks about our old, immoral practices lacking of the Creator’s wisdom. We are called to be the imitators of Christ, “Christians”. He calls us now to be renewed in compassion, kindness and patience and to forgive as we have been forgiven by God.
God has invited us all to the vast banquet that is his kingdom. How we respond to this invitation is important to our moral well-being. If we do not attend it despite being invited and choose to use the invitation at our own will, we would be like those who born into the Church in someway and then took it for granted. On the other hand, if we consider this invitation with a lot of importance, we would enthusiastically attend his banquet every single time. These are like the Gentiles, who were converted and redeemed by the grace of God. Because we know that like them, the cause of our redemption too was this banquet from the Kingdom of Heaven, and so we can not do without it.
We are honoured to be invited to such a banquet, but we have to fulfil certain duties as a Christian individual in order to continue receiving gifts from the kingdom of God. Analogously, although we receive a lot of grace during Mass, that doesn’t imply that we can enter the Kingdom of God. We have to be Christ like, as St. Paul says, change our old ways, rid our youthful follies, and clothe ourselves with ‘’compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience’’. And we must do this not out of a sense of effort, but by emptying ourselves so that we can be filled by the Holy Spirit. So, during this season of Advent, let us make an attempt to clothe ourselves with gifts of the Holy Spirit, everyday.
Collaborated by Arun Soni and Joel Vasanth.
Veeta was on her second interview for the day when I met her. She happened to be sitting next to me on the bus and for a minute I thought I was on the wrong bus and she reassured me I was on the right one and we started talking for the next half an hour or so until my stop arrived. That was an interview I was going to where I came across this person.
Mr Khanna was an 85 year old retired auditor who happened to sit next to me during one of my long waits at an airport. What started out as a conversation to hand the newspaper over took multiple turns into the past and I could see his eyes shine as he was telling me stories of the days in which he could jump and run.
These are two of the people who have crossed paths with me in two of my journeys that I was reminded of today.
I did not know why certain things happened, why I went for that interview if God knew this job wasn’t fit for me. Why did I go till the last round of the interview if I’m not going to get that job. Why this? Why that? Basically a lot of whys!!
That’s when I got a tiny answer today, a mom with two kids was traveling in the bus i took today and I helped the mom, maybe that was why I had to be on the bus today. I randomly smiled at a lady (who definitely thought it was creepy) and perhaps that’s why God wanted me to go that way today.
A lot of things that seemed like coincidences are actually God working behind the scenes for the good of all who love Him and who he cares for.
So it’s okay to not be called back after every interview. It’s okay if we had to go the hospital multiple times for a lot of tests. It’s okay to get low marks.
God is in control. He knows what is best for us.
My Sunday school kids and I decided to make small boats of hope and write “Smile, Jesus loves you :)” on each of them so that we could give it to a person who is not smiling or someone close to us.
Once I told them what to write, this seven year old wrote “Smile, Jesus loves me” so I asked him why did he write like that cause my whole idea or lesson for the day was around giving this boat to person who is not smiling.
This young boy’s answer took me by surprise. He told me “My mother is smiling, my father is smiling but I’m not smiling so I
His honest and innocent answer got me thinking.
How many of us are so innocently honest like this seven year old?
My surprise didn’t end there.
I had the “boat of hope” that I call, which I made so I asked the rest of the class if we could give it to this boy who felt he needed it the most and to my surprise they wanted him to have it.
Do we do this growing up?
Are we sensitive of our feelings as well as the feelings of those around us?
Has growing up changed the way we feel, think and react?
Would you make yourself a boat of hope today?
Why I called it the boat of hope?
Well Noah was one of the only Godly men during the difficult and tough times. God told Noah to build the ark and he didn’t question God or ask for an action report as to why he should build the ark nor did he know why. He just built the ark and slowly he saw the big picture and the why’s and the when’s.
So when you build a boat of hope for yourself it’s a symbol of hope that God is there with you and you are not alone.
So build yourself an ark of hope.