Copyright © 2013 Easter Almuena
Monday, April 29, 2013
Words. Words. Words. They are beautiful. Yet, they can be ugly. This polarity is a reality to many of us, and, oftentimes, we take it with us wherever we go. If it is the "beautiful" one then it takes its beauty with it to far, far places and to many, many people. If it is the "ugly" one, it does the same thing, but this one causes pain and maybe even irreparable damage.
Today and for the rest of the week, as we are especially in the Easter season, we are called to be an Easter to whomever we meet along the journey. One aspect of being a reflection of Resurrection is living the Word of God that brings beauty, which brings life, and which leads to works of love, of charity, and inspiration that gets around in the best and worst of people and places. Such is what we are called to do, as we are admonished by the One who laid his life for all that we, too, may love one another as He, Christ, has loved us (John 13:34-35).
You and I watch our words this day and this week. Are my words "Words" that bring life? If not, then let's listen some more to what we say, and learn to use words that build up and empower to love in the way we are loved by God, and to live life that diffuses the breath of God's life.
Aloha nui to all!
Copyright © 2013 Easter Almuena
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
A joyful, joyful, joyful Easter to All!
Friends in Christ, Easter is not over. God wills that we be delighted in this most joyful season -- with his joy and peace. No reservations now of embracing this willful desire of a God whose utmost concern is to love us immensely and to bless you to the fullest! It just depends on us. It depends on how open we are to the best of what this God has to offer. It depends on how willing we are to trod the ways he points us to when all we have is a tiny flashlight. Perhaps, there even is no flashlight in our possession to help us see what is ahead. Perhaps, there is only but a dim of light way up ahead, and we are to seek it, follow it. Are we willing to walk to the destination with a small flashlight? Are we willing to be driven to move inch by inch, step by step, to the distant glimmer of light?
Friends in Christ, Easter is never over! For Christ has died and already has risen and is risen from the dead! Just as I have mentioned in my post about having a New Year's Resolution, about it being a way of life and not a promise to be fulfilled, Easter is a way of life as well. Easter is a joyful life movement of the mind, body, heart, and soul towards God. Easter is hope in action, a response to the living God who is glorified when we are active in the chosen vocation he brought us into -- be it marriage, singlehood, priesthood, or religious life. My favorite quote by St. Irenaeus "The glory of God is man fully alive" gives us the best clue of what living Easter joy is about.
My theology teacher will be disappointed if I didn't include a biblical verse here. What is it, Lord? What words do you have for us to glory in? Words to give us a brighter message of hope to live the gift of Easter joy we already possess within us? Philippians 4:4 speaks: "Rejoice in the Lord. Rejoice in the Lord always; I say, rejoice!" How exactly? Back to living Easter as a way of life, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 gives us more clue: "Give thanks to God in all circumstances; for it is God's will for you in Christ Jesus."
A great Easter way of Life to us all in Christ Jesus!
Copyright © 2013 Easter Almuena
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
A most joyful Easter from Easter this Easter!
God bless you -- all of us! -- this most joyful season. We embrace the immense blessings God willingly desires to bestow upon us -- without reservation! -- according to his grand designs.
Thursday, March 7, 2013
So much have happened in our Church these days. "Fear not." This message is told and retold in different ways. Has the Pope's resignation changed any thoughts or feelings you might have had for the Church? Has it brought fear to your heart, perhaps because you do not know where certain directions will lead you? The economy has become worse; you and I might be robbed even of our basic needs. "Save me, O Lord, in your kindness." "But my trust is in you, O LORD; I say, 'You are my God.'" Once again God reassures us in one of the readings of the day: "Fear not. I am with you always" (Isaiah 41:10). Praise God for his Word! What would you and I do without its comfort and peace, its assurance of God's promise of protection and kindness to his children? Let's you and I cling to our precious God at all times; his words are worth clinging to. God's Word renews us, it is every refreshing to the soul! And, it shall see its fulfillment!
The law of the LORD is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The decree of the LORD is trustworthy,
giving wisdom to the simple. (Psalm 19:7)
So shall my word be
that goes forth from my mouth;
It shall not return to me empty,
but shall do what pleases me,
achieving the end for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11)
Tuesday, February 19, 2013
How are you on your Lenten journey, dear friend? Have you met God more deeply, more personally in your Lenten readings, reflections, and ways of giving up things of this world?
I love how Ash Wednesday sets the tone of a Lenten journey that speaks of no nonsensical demeanor. God speaks loudly. We listen with much attention. We are called to enter a more disciplined way of approaching life, and of living life. Remembering the words from that day, words such as "Repent, and believe in the gospel!" connote not of distant nor soft messages for the heart. Messages such as "Do not be gloomy" require punctuality and a continued listening ear. Have you given the Master your utmost attention? Our sweet God means business. How can the Father not be more determined to speak more laudably than ever before when his one and only child, Jesus Christ, is the core of his messages? Repentance, for instance, is reflective of God's ever-encompassing compassion for all of us -- of the compassion of Christ borne out of his suffering. To “believe in the gospel” is a call to follow God in the humanness of Christ. The words “Do not be gloomy” is a call to be a mirror of the hope Christ reserves for us on account of his willingness to suffer and die for us.
What have you given up? What are some things you have set aside that will lead you to seek more that are of the heavens? To “give up things of this world” is to give in to the many riches God gives us. God’s riches are ineffable in the sense that besides their being impermissible to the eye, they are lasting and are full of his grace that fills the soul. Who would not want honey made of divine ingredients? How do we attain those riches, you might ask. Neither in far unknown places nor unrecognizable brothers and sisters! God is in the face of a parent or child at home, in the stranger with no food or shelter, in those who are cold and needing medicine, or one needing a shoulder to cry on. Our goal must be to find them, to recognize the face of Christ in them, and to move fast in responding to their needs!
May we be so predisposed to journeying with Christ with an "ungloomy" face, even if we are suffering just a little, on this 40 Days of Lent.
Copyright © 2013 Easter Almuena
For daily Scripture Reading, go to the USCCB site.
For books on reflections, you may order them at the Pauline bookstore on-line.
Wednesday, February 13, 2013
"Fall, fall in love with God, and let your soul and conscience grow big in him! Don't choose to do the bare minimum, for that cuts off the arms of holy desire. We don't have to be so small hearted in the face of such generosity." --St. Catherine of Siena
How are you in your spiritual journey? Our Church has entered into a beautiful time in our liturgy. Much is to be cherished. Much is to be taken in, yet much also should be tossed out. It is an exciting path to take that is marked by new discoveries amidst some rough edges and possibly some potholes. Look harder, there is a gem hidden on the way. If you hurry, you will miss it and the chance to see its worth.
So, let's you and I take the time to be with God as we walk his 40 days of fasting. When you think you have run out of gas, remember the Holy Spirit is the igniter of the journey. Some food for the journey? One thing about this course we are taking is that food is free, it brings life, and it never fails to sustain. That food is God himself there in our Church in the form of Bread. Some wine to go with it? It is there too, in fact, it is the perfect wine because it is the Precious Blood that has already been shed for us, giving us the freedom to love God as his own.
A blessed and joy-filled Lent!
Friday, February 8, 2013
I've been back to school, and I cherish -- do cherish! -- the time of learning, the knowledge, and the value of it. Sometimes, it is important to let go of sharing with others what one learns when time is scarce and proportioned only for the learning of one's mind and heart. I mean: There is time to learn; there is a time to share what one learns.
Growing in wisdom is important. How are you in your own space of learning? Have you read any interesting books lately? The cyberspace is a wonderful place to grow in knowledge, but do be careful with what it offers. Be choosy when in comes to what should become a part of your precious life. For instance, are you a visual person like most people? Then guard your eyes and select only sites where you can grow in wisdom of God. Read only those that the soul reads as pure, holy, and adding to the spiritual growth. Oh, one can never go wrong with reading the book of life -- the Bible! The bible is a wonderful companion to growing in wisdom, in all aspects of life actually, especially in loving!
Here's 1 Corinthians 13, one of the readings we had in church lately. About love, it brings one to meditate on love and takes it to the ordinary rituals of the day. Try replacing "I" with your name. See what you can come up with. Have a wonderful date with God through learning!