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Aug 232017
 

SUBTLE ENEMY

The feeling of guilt consists in making us feel guilty when in reality we are not

I do not want to talk about guilt, but about feelings of guilt. If we have sin, we have to say, “I have sinned, I am a sinner.” Faults are realities that should not discourage us, but rather throw us even more into the hands of God, realities that must make us encounter the Savior Christ.

Photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com

We can not save ourselves alone.

The biggest problem these days is to sustain the idea that we do not need Christ as Savior because we can save ourselves. This is all theory or philosophy – you can call it whatever you want – from the New Age, which says that you no longer need the Savior: “The Savior is me, the Christ is me!” It does not refer naturally to the Christ, who dwells in us, the personal Christ. For them, Christ would be that force, that energy that is in us: “The more I discover it in myself, the more it comes out of me.Therefore, I become the God of myself, I become the Christ. “

As we can see, we have something that is truly distorting and destroying our whole spiritual life. For them, the spiritual life consists in making spiritual experiences, experiences made by themselves.

By staying an hour in front of a tree, for example, they receive energy from the tree. This is for them the spiritual experience. We are on totally different paths, so we can say that New Age spirituality is probably the most subtle and serious enemy of Christian spirituality today.

Psychological wound

In this way, I am not referring to guilt, but guilty feelings. The reality of guilt is what makes St. Paul speak: “There is in me a law that does not allow me to do the good that I want, but leads me to do evil.” Feeling guilty instead consists in making us feel guilty when in reality we are not guilty. But I say to myself, “God forgives my sin, but I still sin!” Here we have a great psychological wound.

We find many believers with this feeling of guilt, which can turn into scruples or perhaps into depression, obsession; Often on a fixed idea. We fix our attention on a point, which is practically unreal, because, if God forgives us, we are no longer guilty. The devil is certainly celebrating when he finds such a weakness in man. He tries and can, with some ease, convince us that God no longer loves us.

God loves us and forgives our sins.

“God loves me!” It all starts from here, the walk to healing begins here. It does not begin with the saying, “I am a sinner!”, But in speaking: “God loves me, He forgives my sin”.

Since God loves us, we try not to sin anymore, because love must be reciprocated with love. So the beginning of the journey is here: “God loves me!” Is not God love? This is how St. John defines it! When there is a feeling of guilt, it is very easy for the enemy to enter very subtly to get in the way and stop us from continuing our walk.

Frei Elias Vella, OFM Conv.

Portuguese version

Note: St. Alphonsus Liguori also told us to remember that since God forgives us, once we ask for forgiveness we can trust in His mercy. Then if we have feelings of guilt that is not from God, but from the enemy. —ed. 

 Posted by at 01:01
Aug 012017
 

Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com

Try to identify the source of your sufferings. See if it is possible to alleviate or escape from them, then pray

When you suffer, you must keep two things in mind: 1) God does not want suffering, because He is the God of life, love and happiness. 2) Suffering is part of the finite, transient and human situation of our being.

We know that all sorts of suffering entered the world through sin. It is necessary to know how to look at him not with despair, escape, revolt, but with tranquility and inner peace .

 

It is not possible to live without disease, without suffering and conflicts, because they are part of our human reality. We find them present in the lives of all: saints and sinners, even in the life of Jesus, Our Lady and all people loved by God.

We can not escape the “deterioration” of our body that grows old, falls ill and dies. Faced with this, it is necessary to change our focus and contemplate all these as paths that lead us to maturity, enrich us with experiences and prepare us for “new heavens and new lands”, where there will be no more pain or tears.

Today, we no longer know how to be joyful, because we reject the wounds and we despair to the point where, to escape pain, there are those who preach death, euthanasia and suicide as remedy. Of course, these means are contrary to the will of God and against our human nature, which is made to live.Whatever your suffering, you must know how to love and accept it, and undoubtedly seek all means to alleviate it.

It is not necessary to go to find suffering or to ask for suffering, it is only to accept those we meet on our way.

Read more:

The worst service we can render to Jesus is to present Him as the One who goes in search of death, pain and suffering. Through the Gospels, we can see Jesus before the pain of which He teaches us to flee. Remember?

When Jesus is sought to be thrown down from the hill, what does He do? He flees, When the guards seek Him to bind Him in the temple, what does the Lord do? He flees.  When are they trying to kill Him?Jesus runs away too. He always runs away! But when the cross, death, suffering become the only way of fidelity to the Father, to the plan of God in his life, He assumes them.

Here are some Bible passages about

“When they heard this, all who were in the synagogue were furious. They got up, dragged him out of the city and led him to the top of the hill where the city was built, to be rushed down. But passing through them, Jesus went away “(Lk 4: 28-30).

“When he had thus spoken, he departed and hid himself from them” (Jn 12,36).

“Therefore, Jesus no longer walked in public among the Jews. And he went away to the region nearest to the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there he lived with his disciples “(Jn 11:54).

“Again they sought to arrest him, but he withdrew from his hands” (Jn 10:39).

This should be our attitude. When suffering is the only way of fidelity to God and our brothers and sisters, we must accept it with love.

Identify the source of your suffering

Try to identify the source of your sufferings: physical, spiritual, and moral. See if you can alleviate them or escape from them, then pray, ask God for strength to be able to take the cross as a gift of the same love of God. After all, by faith we know that “we complete in our flesh what is lacking in the passion of Jesus Christ”. Listen to these words of Elizabeth of the Trinity:

“O my beloved Christ, crucified for love; I had wanted to be a wife for your Heart, I want to cover you with glory, to love you until I die of love! But I feel my impotence and I ask you to clothe me in yourselves, to identify my soul with all your movements, to submerge me, to invade me, to replace you with me, so that my life is a true irradiation Of yours “ (elevation to the Trinity).

And of John of the Cross:

“Crucified inwardly and outwardly with Christ, she will live in this life in abundance and satisfaction of her soul, possessing it in patience” (Sayings 85).

“Christ’s crucifixion is enough! To suffer and rest with Him; But to do this  all things interior and exterior must be must be annihilated” (Sayings 90).

Learn to resize things

Not all sufferings are the same, we must be able to distinguish them so as not to “make a storm in a glass of water”. Overreaching is never good for our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. It is necessary to always resize things. And, faced with the problems of life, know what we can change, because something depends on us; And what we can not change because it does not depend on us.

 

The Christian, however, will never assume a “stoic and deterministic” attitude. He knows that in order not to be attacked by suffering, it is necessary to accept it in the way of love. What can help us is to meditate on the Passion of the Lord Jesus: see chapters 26-27 of the Gospel according to Matthew;Chapters 14-15 of Mark; Chapters 18-19 of the Gospel of John and the beautiful way of Jesus presented by the apostle Paul:

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2: 6-11 NABRE).

My experience

In my life, as in everyone’s life, there has not been a lack of suffering or pain of all kinds, but with the grace of God and the help of the mystics of Carmel, I have come to understand that suffering is a “palace”, a “gift of God”. When I find myself in suffering, I take the crucifix in my hands and carefully, my eyes on Jesus crucified, and I receive all the courage and the strength to not be discouraged. And I see the truth of Jesus’ words:

“Verily I say unto you, Unless the grain of wheat fall into the earth, and die not, it shall be left alone; But if it dies, it will bear much fruit “ (Jn 12,24).

Friar Patrício Sciadini, ocd

Portuguese version

Jul 312017
 
Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com

Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com

It is important to understand what to do after a difficult day.

The Word of God teaches us:  In my spirit faints within me, my heart is consumed. Tell me the road that I must follow, for to you I lift my soul. Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your good spirit guide me on a flat road “(Psalm 143,4,8b.10).

 

He knows those days when we think in our hearts: My God! Why did I get out of bed today? I should have stayed home sleeping! Well, those complicated days indeed do exist and happen even if we do not want them. Days when everything seems to run against us, where we spend the hours crossing people who are more distracting helping, so that everything gets under our skin and anything, no matter how small, is cause for irritation and whining. Hence the question: what do I do on a day like this?

As we read Psalm 143, we realize that the psalmist also had his moment of wanting to “lie in bed” and forget that such a day had existed. But what did he do? Murmured? Did you become a victim? Put the blame on everyone? The answer is “no”. At the very moment when he could no longer bear it, when his heart was consumed and his spirit faint, he prayed to God and asked that the divine will be fulfilled in his life. Instead of blaming “government,” the people around him, and the “system,” he begged the Lord to show him the way to go. He asked the Lord to be his teacher and, like an applied student, wished to learn to fulfill the divine will.

At this difficult time the psalmist goes on, he does not complain, but wants to learn to extract the sovereign will of God from the troubled environment, like a gold digger who finds grams of gold in the midst of tons of earth.

However, discovering and fulfilling the divine will, just at that moment when our desire drives us to want to “squeeze” someone, is not as simple as it seems. But I believe that the Holy Spirit can and wants to do a new work in our heart. It is up to you and me to ask the Divine Spirit to educate us in the concrete situations of each day, whether it is difficult or not. Let us ask Him to lead us always to discern the will of God in every moment, person or situation with which we face. Believe: God will do His part. He always does it. Then we will reap beautiful fruits of conversion and holiness.

I repeat: it is not as simple as it seems, but it is, without a doubt, something wonderful. I shared with you, in this article, something that God taught me to read this psalm before the tabernacle. And why was I standing before the tabernacle reading Psalm 143? Because, just like you and the psalmist, I also have my difficult days.

Let’s pray?

“Reinflame our hearts, Lord Jesus! Give us a heart tender and attentive to Thy holy will. May we learn by listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, to find the peace that comes from the certainty of being in communion with God’s desire, even in the midst of the most complicated and distressing situations that we can face day by day. Teach me to complain less and to listen more to Your voice, to learn, more and more, to grow more and more and serve more and more for love. Amen.”

A hug and my prayers for you.

Alexandre Oliveira 
Missionary of the Canção Nova Community

Portuguese version

Jul 172017
 

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Pregnancy in youth, young and immature parents

Every day, we see more young people who are pregnant and very young parents. In my view, this negates the logic of ministerial campaigns for the prevention of pregnancy, which are often in favor of free sex. With this, we find that what is lacking is not information, as many argue, but psychological maturity of the young people who initiate their sexual life early, without realizing the consequences of their acts.

Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com

They have information, yes, but they do not know how to apply it to their lives, for with a self-centered vision of immediate pleasures they think nothing will happen to them: it is the magical vision of being immune to every negative consequence of their actions .

From children to parents

With an early pregnancy, the young people, abruptly, pass from children to father and mother. Often jumping the step of husband and wife. The adolescent world break down and in comes the adult obligation. These obligations, which, in my view, should not be transferred to the parents of these young people or assumed by them.

The teens often fall into the error of being pitied by their parents, because they have to assume a family early, because they feel guilty or because they have experienced the same situation; Then they end up overprotecting them once more, not allowing them to make that passage, even if abrupt and precocious. In this way, they condemn them to be forever inconsequential teenagers.

Training and preparation

I see that it would be appropriate to treat the matter in a preventive way in our families and in society, forming young people to live each stage of their development: the child plays and learns to be sociable. The adolescent is dedicated to the study and practice of social relations, preparing to assume life for two and the family; And the adult, yes, can fully live his sexuality responsibly.

When this does not happen and the sexual life begins irresponsibly in adolescence, the good thing would be that the unwanted pregnancy was reason to rethink the behavior of all involved, so that they came to the conclusion that this child is the most important thing at the moment, since he or she is a life that is coming, it is a blessing and it is welcome, because a child is always a blessing, it is a source of joy and pleasure, come when and how it comes.

Portuguese version

May 022017
 

Discover the will of God is a common desire among us all

Corresponding to the will of God is always a desire of the heart of those who, somehow, have experienced his love. That’s why you often hear someone say: “I would like to know what is God’s will for my life.”

These days, a young man opened his heart to me, talking about their dreams, fears, struggles and achievements. He seemed not to be satisfied, nor did he demonstrate enthusiasm on the latest achievements. There was a shadow of sadness and apprehension in his look, which led me to ask: “what are you missing right now?”. He promptly replied: “I want to distinguish God’s will from mine.” By Providence, I had just read some writings of Chiara Lubich talking about it, then I passed him some words of encouragement. Then, I kept thinking about it.

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Photo: Yamin/cancaonova.com

I know that young man is no exception. In fact, discovering the will of God is a common desire among us. Because we know that being in the will of God is the right path to happiness, and being happy is all that craves human being in this world.

Chiara Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement, claims that it is difficult to know what the will of God is and indicates the path:

“We need to hear well inside a delicate voice, which is often smothered, and that becomes almost imperceptible. But if we listen well, it is the voice of God. Chiara tells us that it’s time to study or help those in need, to work, win against temptation or fulfill a duty of a Christian citizen. She invites us to pay attention to someone who speaks in the name of God, or to face difficult situations with courage. We need to hear. Let’s not shut out his voice, it is the most precious treasure we have. Let’s follow it! “

After this discovery, we have a second stage, which is also very important: the courage to assume the will of God, making it our life project. The condition for this is to take the steps required at each moment. Sometimes simple things happen at first, and, along the walk, there are larger requirements, which are always possible. God never asks us anything we can’t accomplish with his grace.

According to Chiara, life offers us two directions: doing our will or doing the will of God. The first option will be disappointing, it’s like climbing the mountain of life with our limited ideas, with the few resources we have, with our poor dreams, counting only on our own strength. From there, sooner or later, we get into the routine experience of an existence full of boredom, of mediocrity, of pessimism and, sometimes, even despair. A monotonous life, in spite of our effort to make it interesting, we never get to meet our intimate deeper insides. The second possibility is when we repeat with Jesus: ‘ not my will, but yours “(Lk 22, 42).

To understand this better, we can compare God to a Sun. From the Sun come many rays that protrude on each of us. These rays represent the will of God. In life, we are called to walk toward this “Sun”, following the lightrays, that are different and distinct from all others. And we can accomplish the wonderful design that God has for each one of us: His will. If we do, we’re going to feel involved in a divine adventure, never before imagined.

We will be at the same time, actors and spectators in the great things that God will accomplish in us and through us in humanity. All that was  to happen, as the sufferings and the joys, thanks and misfortunes, important facts or insignificant ones, all will acquire a new meaning, because it is offered by the hand of God, who is love. All he wants or allows is for our good. If you believe that only with the faith we will see then, with the eyes of the soul, there is a golden thread calling events and things, to compose a magnificent embroidery: it is the project of God for each one of us.

It may be that, given this, you decide to give more meaning to your life. So, start now to do the will of God, because, if you think about it, the past is gone and we can’t have it. All we can do is put it in the mercy of God. The future has not yet arrived. We will live it and it becomes current. In our hands, all we have is the present moment. It is where we must choose to do the will of God. How? Listening to that soft voice that speaks to the heart, remembering that God didn’t ask us something unworkable. We will be together!

Dijanira Silva

Canção Nova Community missionary, since 1997, Djanira resides in São Paulo, where she works in the media. Daily,she  presents programs on radio America CN. On Tuesdays, she is ahead of the program “De mãos unidas”[Of United Hands], which runs at  9:30 pm (GMT-0400) on TV Canção nova. A columnist since 2000. Recently, she  released the book Por onde andam seus sonhos? Descubra e volte a sonhar”[Where Are Your Dreams Leading? Discover and Return to Dreaming] by Canção Nova.

Portuguese version

Feb 232017
 

Worrying signs that parents are not knowing raise children

In the process of educating the children, we cannot guarantee the effectiveness of models, after all, people are different. There are, however, trails to be traveled, which lead to the journey of educating children successfully most of the time.

We found that the parents of other generations also made mistakes, but firmly led their children. In General, there were many directions providing an authoritarian model, but with clear boundaries. In the current education, we observe a democratization of parental power, where children tell what they think, but they are weak in respect for the rights of others.

Sinais preocupantes que os pais não estão sabendo educar os filhosPhoto: Copyright: Juanmonino

Balance in education

In the previous generations’ models, there was the punishment, sometimes violent, but limited. There is a need of disciplining the child so that they understand that life is made with responsibilities and rewards; and when they break something, they will be held accountable for their actions. However, there will be positive acts which may bring compliments. The trick is to balance discipline with rewards, with emphasis on the second, to work the pulse of life that we all have inside of us.

To experience a democratic model, it is necessary to establish rules that often the children don’t like, because they aren’t mature enough to choose. The parents don’t ask if the children want to go to school, because if that happened, they, of course, would prefer to play. To care for and love the children, take them to school and explain, within the comprehension of each one, that in life there are moments for work and for leisure.

Attention to the limits

A caution is important: as the child matures, the limits are more “flexible” towards correct choices. On the other hand, there are parents who give in too much or they allow themselves to be manipulated by the ways of children.

It is important that parents have authority. The maintaining dominance over one’s emotions is a sign that the situation is under control. For example: If the parents yell a lot, they end up giving tips for children as these adults can’t handle pressure.

On Target in the education of children

A difficulty of current education is that parents want to be friends with the children, which is ok, as long as they are not afraid to be parents as is their duty. Or they become slaves, doing for their children and not allowing them to do tasks suitable to their age.

Want to know if you are on target? Listen to your children, talk about feelings and projects. They need to make sure they can count on you to help them, but also know that they will be held accountable if they do not respect the rights of others, fail to comply with their obligations or jeopardize their own happiness.

Ângela Abdo

Ângela Abdo is coordinator of the Group of mothers who pray for the children of St. Camillus of Léllis Parish Espiritu Santo and assists in the study of the National Guide to RCC. She acts as curator of the Foundation Nossa Senhora da Penha and leads workshops on strategic planning and people management to pastoral leadership.

Abdo is a graduate in Social work by UFES and postgraduate in human resources administration and business management. Has a master’s degree in accounting from Fucape. Acts as a consultant on small, medium and large private and public sector companies as quality and human resources Advisor and as a social worker of the CST (workers Solidarity Center). Is current President of ABRH (Brazilian Association of human resources) of the Espiritu Santo and Director, Manager and counselor of Vitória Apart Hospital.

Portuguese version

 Posted by at 01:01
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