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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Always Remember Who You Are...

“You formed my inmost being;
you knit me in my mother's womb.
I praise you, so wonderfully you made me;
wonderful are your works!
My very self you knew;
my bones were not hidden from you,
When I was being made in secret,
fashioned as in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes foresaw my actions;
in your book all are written down;
my days were shaped,
before one came to be.”
(Psalm 139:13-16, NAB)

Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular WorldOver the last couple of days, I was simply reflecting on a little book by a Dutch-born Catholic priest, Henri Jozef Machiel extremely very gifted writer – “Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World.”

This is just a simple sharing of my quiet reflection...

Amidst all the rushing, working and doing, we tend to not have much time for our dear selves.  Just remember who you are...a very special person...deeply loved by God and all the people who are here on this journey with you...and the ones you meet along the way.

Not to be able to feel loved by those who gave us life will result in us dwelling in low self esteem that can easily lead to anger, impatience, hopelessness, depression and despair.

When the journey is rough and life is burdensome, always remember that you are loved with an everlasting love.  We belong to a loving God who will never leave us alone...but will remind us constantly that we are guided by His loving hands on every step of our journey through life.

At times when we are thrown about, up and down by the tiny waves on the surface of our existence, we become easy victims of our manipulative and seductive world.  For those who are trapped in the values and priorities of the world, we hear so much blaming and complaining in a spirit of passive resignation...feeling like victims of the world we cannot inner restlessness that continually stirs up feelings and emotions of us being not-good-enough, evil, bad, worthless, rotten, doomed to illness and death, useless...the list goes on and on.

These negative voices are sometimes so loud and persistent that it is often easy to believe them...naturally, beneath all our human arrogance and ego!

St Augustine reminds us in our journey that, “my soul is restless until it rests in you, O God.”  When God no longer have (or never had) any influence over us and our lives...on our journey...on the waves of our lives...then all our vitality will eventually evaporate...we will become listless, frustrated, dull and bored even when we are busy with all our “doings”.

Our own human arrogance and ego often destroys us.  It prevents us from seeing, hearing, feeling and sensing...becoming “conscious” of how blessed we actually are.  Amidst all the “noise”, compulsiveness and “busi-ness” (read ‘busy’), we cannot hear the whisper...that soft gentle inner Voice that blesses our lives so that we can journey through life with a stable sense of well-being and true belonging.

This Voice comes to us in countless of ways...the very voice that is sounded by your parents, friends, colleagues, teachers, students, priest, spouse, children, blogs, books and the many strangers who cross your path...including the Sacred Scriptures...the Word of God.

This Voice can simply be heard in the the ear of faith...the ear of the inner inner active attentiveness and consciousness of the Beloved God...the Spirit within us.

The world has changed, many people say...but the problem of modern living in this day and age is that we are simply too busy...perhaps looking for affirmation of “who we are” in the wrong places?

There is simply so much that still has to be done, so many tasks to finish, assignments to complete, deadlines to meet and jobs to work on that being simply present and quiet seem (or is perceived to be) useless and even a total waste of our time.

How then can be hear and listen to God if we do not “waste our time”?

First and foremost, we ourselves must acknowledge that we are indeed children of God...we are God’s chosen ones...we are loved and belong exclusively to God...we existed in God’s loving heart long before we were conceived and came to birth...long before our parents held us...our friends know us...we have been individually chosen from the very beginning of time! Each and every one of us have been chosen by God.

“...a great spiritual mystery: To be chosen does not mean that others are rejected. It is very hard to conceive of this in a competitive world such as ours.” – Henri J M Nouwen

In knowing that we are indeed chosen and loved by God, Henri Nouwen further enlightens us that, “what seemed intolerable becomes a challenge. What seemed a reason for depression becomes a source of purification. What seemed punishment becomes a gentle pruning. What seemed rejection becomes a way to a deeper communion” which each of us yearns so much, deep within our being.

By the grace of God, only with this gift of awareness and consciousness...we stop clinging to life for our own selfish reasons and desires...we stop reacting aimlessly to the world around us.

We become attentive to the loving God who has chosen us and “planted” us on this make this world a little better.  Throughout this short journey back home, every time we reach out...every time we respond to the Voice...we know that our every little action of love and peace will ripple out into wider circles – just like a tiny pebble thrown into a calm still pond.

Only then, will our brief and simple journey through this world touch the lives of others with love...give life to people...our “death” will then have given others hope and new life...our “death” will ultimately set us free to arrive home to meet God.

“...O LORD, you have probed me,
you know me: you know when I sit and stand;
you understand my thoughts from afar.
My travels and my rest you mark;
with all my ways you are familiar.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
Lord, you know it all.
Behind and before you encircle me
and rest your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is beyond me,
far too lofty for me to reach.
Where can I hide from your spirit?
From your presence, where can I flee?”
(Psalm 139:1-7, NAB)

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