I’m not gay. But I’m pro-Pride. More importantly, I am pro-person.
The five love languages of Dr. Gary Chapman may not all be prominent in any one person, but they're all worth knowing and living out. They can be translated into five concrete ways to show your love to others.
Happy New Year! Our hopes for 2016 are that our community can really grow and be like a virus - infecting each other and others with goodness and the desire to live a truly purposeful life.
Love is the basis and the key to living a truly good life. It is the lifeblood of awareness, the driving force of service, and the guide and shape of purpose. Without love, purpose rooted in awareness and service is useless and absurd. It's all about true love, and a balanced love at that.
Mercy is the very essence of love. Though we as human beings have the power to harm others, we also have the power and the choice to be compassionate towards them - simply by not ignoring them and hearing them out. That is mercy, and by opening yourself up truly, you love.
Fr. James J. Martin, S.J.'s book, The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, is a great read for anyone across all walks of life - not just Roman Catholics or Christians - wishing to explore spirituality more deeply. The truths taught by the Jesuit founder, St. Ignatius of Loyola, are universal, timeless, practical, and flexible: a recipe for reaching out to the entire world.
Individuality isn't confined just to how responsibility should start on the personal level. Growing or developing others is also on an individual basis - precisely because we are individuals. Social change should take this very seriously, as not doing so would cause more harm than good.
Responsibility and service are both deeply and ultimately rooted in love, and love requires a certain system or order governed by peace and relationships, not selfishness or conflict. This system, which is this week's Word, is "harmony".
Living a conscious life of purpose involves high principles or standards, and adhering to them. However, we run the risk of alienating others - and even ourselves! - by too strict an adherence or enforcement of said standards. We have to remember to be kind and understanding in accommodating others - and even towards ourselves!
It's always important to keep ourselves in check in whatever we do, vis-à-vis our purposes, and the check of checks comes in a grand package including a vibrant relationship with your God. This week's Word is "spirituality".
What is the use of arguing over something like sola fides when so many people out there need the help of humble and loving Christians who have the capabilities to grant said help whichever way they can? None. There is no point in debating about the letter of the law when the spirit of the law is clearly being taken for granted.
How Do I Love Thee?: A Sonnet.
Sadly taken for granted today, it is always helpful to be reminded to practice this starting with yourself. We advocate this for the world, but we should begin living it out ourselves. This week's Word is "peace".
What is the Gospel According to You? Only you can say, for it is YOUR story of love and peace shaped uniquely through YOUR lens. You are you, and there never was, is, and will be anyone like you.
The Secret is actually very Christian - and the author and her collaborators even say so themselves. Positive thinking and the attitude of gratitude are actually traits we are called to embody as true Christians, through living a life of love and service to God and to others as our way of expressing thanks for all God has done for us. We indeed have the freedom to think our ideal lives into existence - but also the duty to keep it rooted in God and His purposes.
"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." -James 1:27, NRSV-CE
"Blessed is he who considers the poor! The LORD delivers him in the day of trouble; the LORD protects him and keeps him alive; he is called blessed in the land; you do not give him up to the will of his enemies. The LORD sustains him on his sickbed; in his illness you heal all his infirmities." (Ps. 41:1-3, RSV-2CE)
The Purpose Driven Life is a master in showing us the eternal truths God has laid out for us. Through a 40-day spiritual journey, it teaches us five Purposes that we are to always keep in mind while holding on to our God-given individuality. I invite you to embark on the same journey!
"Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get." (Mt. 7:1-2, NRSV)
This week, we cover a word whose true meaning, for me, has been flattened out to mean just one aspect of what it truly means. As we discover ourselves and the world around us, I invite you to return to the true meaning of this word, and to live it out. This week's Word is "philanthropy".
Christ gave us new life in rising from the dead, triumphing over sin so that we can hope in eternal life. It is our duty and calling, therefore, to make the most of this opportunity for His greater glory.
Today, as we remember the ultimate sacrifice Jesus made for us, we are reminded to mimic His example of loving - the greatest love of laying down one's life for his friends.
This Maundy Thursday, we remember how Christ, the King of Kings, humbled Himself to wash His apostles' feet. This is the true meaning of leadership - a servant first and foremost, and a leader next.
Today is Holy or Spy Wednesday, commemorating Judas Iscariot's betrayal of Jesus but, more importantly, the actions of the woman with the expensive perfume. She knew her priorities and acted on them; I invite you to do the same.