The real celebration of life is to glorify God. If the heart has no inclination for this, then this is the epitome of ungratefulness.
There are those with few possessions who find reason to glorify God. They do so with great joy.
There are those who have everything provided in abundance yet the sense of sufficiency always escapes them.
All that we have is on loan to us by God. If we share what is already His, our reward in Heaven will be great.
A life centred on God finds true purpose. A self-centred life surrenders itself to failure and defeat. Self-centredness and hard heartedness makes us strangers of Christ, robbing us of the victory won for us on the Holy and Precious Life giving Cross.
It is good to keep a clean and tidy house, a clean and tidy office and a beautiful garden. It is good to strive for excellence in all these things. But every person’s first endeavour must be to keep a clean and tidy mind filled with good thoughts, a clean and tidy body fit as the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, and a clean and tidy heart, one that is worthy of communion with God.
Excellence cannot be achieved without striving. Excellence cannot be realised if we do not learn to serve others. And all this is in vain if we do not have the love of Christ in us.
For Christ said “Whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.” (Mark 10:43) This means that we must place ourselves last and consider ourselves the least – to become the servant of all. For Christ said “Whoever of you desires to be first shall be the slave of all.” (Mark 10:44)
There are those who believe that excellence can be achieved by concentrating on material refinement, the acquisition of wealth, the attainment of knowledge, the application of their intellect for some improvement in their field of endeavour. It is impossible to achieve lasting excellence in anything if it we do not learn to love and serve God and to love and serve His people.
The mind and the heart of a person should continually be in communion with each other. For this we need to speak sparingly so that we are able to reflect on and consider our life and existence. If a person speaks incessantly the mind can race away from the heart. It is better for a person to speak sparingly and to pray unceasingly.
We should always seek to learn what is good. Not all knowledge is good; and not all knowledge has useful application. Wisdom is the knowledge of God Who alone is good. You will do well to learn the ways of the Lord, the beginning of which is wisdom. “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.” (James 1:5)
As “You are the light of the world” (Mathew 5:14) because you believe and belong to Christ, you must take care not to cast shadows of dissension and uncertainty on others. It is our lack of faith that obstructs the clarity of our thoughts, the purpose of our actions and the direction of our lives.
For faith is “the evidence of those things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) Faith is certainty. Without faith it is impossible to please God. (Hebrews 11:6) Through faith we place our trust in God who guides and protects us in all things.
Many things have become sterile because people have lost all knowledge of God and the cords leading to their inner person - their soul. Lifeless speeches, lifeless reports, lifeless plans, lifeless services, superficial relationships; a plastic and robotic existence of repetition. Lacking in all knowledge of God.
“But the souls of the righteous are in the hand of God, and no torment will ever touch them ...For though in the sight of men they were punished, their hope is full of immortality.” (Wisdom 3:1,4)
“But the ungodly will be punished as their reasoning deserves, who disregarded the righteous man and rebelled against the Lord; for whoever despises wisdom and instruction is miserable. Their hope is vain, their labours are unprofitable, and their works useless.” (Wisdom 3:10,11)
Fr Emmanuel Stamatiou