Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Defying Death

IMAGINE BEING TOLD this by Christ:"You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God..."  More reason for us begin studying our Bible more.  An good example for us is Father Zakaria Botros, World Magazine's 2008 "Daniel of the Year."  Father Zakaria, famous for challenging Islam on his television program "Truth Talk," has caused quite a stir in the Muslim world.  

Father Zakaria's arsenal is his knowledge in not only Christian Scripture, but also the works of Islam.  By knowing this, he is able to point out the inconsistencies in the religion and question many of their commonly held beliefs.

Father Zakaria's story can be found in his biography Defying Death: Zakaria Botross: Apostle to Islam.  Although I am yet to read this book (I just found out about it before writing this), I am sure it will be a great read and his story an example to all of us.  Let us not worry whether we will be asked if we know the Scriptures, but rather be like Father Zakaria and know not only our own Scripture but the opposing viewpoint.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Do I Want to be Made Well?

IN THE MIDST of Great Lent, we must remember to be walking always in the way of Christ.  Today's reading from the Coptic Lectionary is the story of Jesus healing the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda. This is my favorite story in the Gospels for the reading is very profound and also very relevant to the life of a Christian.

What strikes me most about this passage is when Christ asks the man: “Do you want to be made well?” I imagine in this instance, a doctor looking at a patient while holding the potential cure for the patient and then asking “Do you want to be made well?” I can't imagine being in his position and not looking at Him and saying sarcastically, "well what do you think?!"  I mean, it is a really ridiculous question.  I can't help but ask myself, why did Christ ask such an obvious question when, being God, already knew the answer?  The truth is, this is really a question of our faith and our willingness to accept the process involved in actually being made better.  Christ knew this man was willing to believe and therefore asked him so that we may have an example.

In our daily lives, we should be asking ourselves, do we want to be made well?  Not well in the sense of being healed from an infirmity, but rather healing of our souls.  Anyone in their right mind would answer yes, but do our actions reflect this?  What if being made well required us to stop our destructive habits?  Or be up early for liturgy, or up late for midnight praises?  Or read the Bible and pray many times daily?  We should then be asking ourselves if we are really want to be made well.  I am all too guilty of this myself, but remembering my salvation and the words of our Lord Jesus Christ to the paralytic man really pushes me when I am tempted to be lazy.

When we are struck with an illness or deficiency of any sort, we tend to feel as if it is of the utmost importance and we would be willing to do anything to let it pass.  This man was living homeless and paralyzed for 38 years.  Now, before the advent of modern medicine, God provided humanity with certain technologies such as an angel coming down and stirring a body of water giving it the power to heal the first to reach it.  Well, this man sat by this pool and watched as other beat him to the pool, because he had no one to push him in.  He had also endured people passing him by and spitting at him, because at that time people believed that deformities were caused by sin.  It made sense to them, for how else could a random person be struck with such an awful deformity?  This person had to be the cause of sin and the appropriate action was to disgrace him as people passed.  Thankfully, Christ came and corrected us.

After healing this mystery paralytic man, Christ instructed him to "Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you."  There is an important message in this.  Christ reminded us that there is something more important than our worldly well-being, and that is our spiritual well-being.  This man was paralyzed, homeless, and disgraced for many years, yet he was told that there was something worse, and that "something" is eternal damnation.  We should remember this after our repentance, for there is no reason to repent if you are just going back to committing the same sin repeatedly.  "Sin no more" Christ says, and that is what He asks of us to receive salvation.  So this is essentially the cliff notes of the passage; if you really do wish to be made well, do something about it, because something worse than you could possibly imagine is the consequence.  

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fairness is Fair

WHAT IS FAIR? From where did this preposterous notion come from? Since when do people think they are deserving of anything? It comes as no surprise to me that the world is filled with greed and sorrow. These people are ungrateful and searching for happiness in a sense of false justice. These people searching for fairness in the world will be coming up very short. I am not a cynic, nor am I what people refer to as a "realist" (which, in my opinion, is simply a boastful claim that everyone else is wrong and that the "realist" is the only one with a perception of "reality"). I am simply a Christian. I believe in a Higher Law, and a divine justice that will punish the proud yet reward the meek.

Life is not fair; nor is it arbitrary. God's plan is for us to withstand trial so that we may prove ourselves worthy unto Him. Unfortunately, people have decided that life should be a simple walk in the park and have accused the Lord God of being too cruel and, shockingly, unfair. In essence, these people are claiming to be able to do God's job better than Him. This is why I enjoyed the movie Bruce Almighty. The premise of the movie (for those who wisely stay away from television) is of a person being given God's power and responsibility, failing miserably, and then finally realizing God's plan is perfect. Life is better than fair, it is how God Himself intended it. Our free will allows us to live freely and our circumstance is dictated by God. To conclude, it is written that:
I returned and saw under the sun that—

The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Destructive Words

MY FRIENDS AND I like to poke fun at one another. It has come to be a force of habit at this point, and it is quite a destructive habit. Sometimes, a joke can be misconstrued and really get under a person's skin. Here is a great post regarding this topic: Click me!

Monday, March 23, 2009

King Hezekiah

IN MY LAST post, I wrote briefly about King Hezekiah being healed by the Lord. I left out a good portion of the story, the juicy part if you will, and I would be doing a disservice to not continue the story. The Lord had spoken to King Hezekiah saying:
Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: 'I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you, and on the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.'

King Hezekiah then asked Isaiah what the sign would be that God would do what He said. Isaiah replied that either the "shadow of the sundial will move forward ten degrees, or should it go backward ten degrees?" Hezekiah asked that the sundial be moved back ten degrees so Isaiah cried out, and it was done as the Lord said.

Last year I heard an excellent sermon on this story in which I will reference. In this story, King Hezekiah represents humanity; he was near death, scared and suffering, and pleading to God for deliverance. Hezekiah had fallen to pride and was stricken with an infirmity to which he was pleading with the Lord only after he realized his days were numbered. God was merciful to Hezekiah, even though mercy was probably undeserved. This represents Christ's coming to Earth and dying for our sins. God then turned back the sun ten degrees. Why ten? The ten degrees represents the ten commandments humanity failed to uphold. Thus, Christ's atonement of our sins is our second chance to make it right.

Hezekiah's story is overflowing with symbolism, prophecy, and examples of God's might and power. Think about it, God moved the entire universe backwards, just to prove that He was good for His word. But as a Christian, this doesn't impress me. I already know this is within God's power; the impressive part is God's mercy and patience. Hezekiah was disobedient and forgot about the Lord, and then remembered Him only in his last days. This is sufficient for God, but he wants so much more from us. This story should be an example for us. Yeah, God wants us to keep His commandments, but He is also abundant in mercy and will do so much to have us back. Even after He has done more than we are deserving of, He will give us signs to show us His glory. May we set the bar high though and not resort to falling into King Hezekiah's position by withholding God's commandments.

Raised Bill 1098 Tabled

EVEN AFTER THE bill was tabled for the time being, a rally of protesters congregated before the State Capitol to be heard regarding Connecticut's Raised Bill 1098 which I had written about earlier. Details on the rally can be seen here: Click me!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Tears of Hope

JEREMIAH CRIED OUT: " I am the man that sees poverty, through the rod of His wrath upon me." Affliction is tough to bear, especially when you look around and feel the world is unjust and simply too difficult to endure. I believe this is something many people struggle with, for how can a just God show favor to some and forsake others? It is easy in times of distress to look upon others and feel that you are worse off, but a discerning man understands God's mercies are perfect for us.

Jeremiah lamented, but never lost focus on his hope in the Lord's mercies. This is the difference between a complaint and Jeremiah's lamenting, and that difference is the presence of hope. Knowing the Lord has His plan and that He will never place us in a situation we are not equipped to handle is what helps us triumph above our tribulation.

This reminds me of the story of King Hezekiah. King Hezekiah was sick and near death, and pleaded saying: "O Lord, remember how I walked before You in truth, and with a full heart, and did what was good in Your eyes." Hezekiah then "wept with a great wailing." The Lord then appeared to Isaiah instructing him to pass on the following message to Hezekiah:
Thus says the Lord, the God of David your father: 'I have heard your prayer, I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you, and on the third day you shall go up to the house of the Lord. And I will add to your days fifteen years. I will deliver you and this city from the hand of the king of Assyria. I will defend this city for My own sake, and for the sake of My servant David.'

The Lord heard Hezekiah's cries and because he did not lose faith, the Lord answered his prayers. This is where we fall short, when we ask God for comfort, are we asking with a genuinely caring and hopeful heart?

There must also be a willingness to accept God's will. St. Paul suffered some sort of infirmity (obviously the specifics are not important whether it was a physical ailment or a spiritual weakness), and pleaded repeatedly with God for mercy. The Lord simply affirmed: "My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." God may not fulfill your request, that does mean He is not listening or is dissatisfied with the request. The Lord knows what is best for us, and we must be willing to surrender to His will.

Therefore we must be hopeful in the Lord and learn to submit to His wisdom. Even when it seems the world is unjust, we must hope in the Lord that He will deliver us. Do not be boastful in tears during prayer either, pray with a humble heart. Simply pray with thanksgiving and know that He has a plan and His mercies are infinite. Also, don't be duped with false promises of hope, for the only true hope is in the Lord.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Feast of the Cross

TODAY THE CHURCH celebrates the feast of the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. A great analysis of this celebration written by His Holiness Pope Shenouda III can be found here. The cross is such a simple shape, yet symbolizes so much for us as Christians. St. Paul stated: "For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God."

To me, the cross is the intersection of Christianity's stark contrasts. It extends up from the Earth to the heavens, and then stretches throughout the land. It is where humans are saved through God's suffering. It is how we find peace in hardships. It is how we wash away sins with blood. It is how grace and love overcame justice and reciprocity. The cross is where God died so that we might live

The cross is the key that opened heaven for us. Through bearing our cross, we will be saved. Life is difficult, "be we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope." Therefore, the cross symbolizes hope. Hope in the Lord and the power of the cross, and "and all these things shall be added unto you."

Thursday, March 19, 2009


WE HAVE ALL heard the old adage "love the sinner, hate the sin." This is something most of us take for granted, but because of this, a Christian is allowed to love all men regardless of their actions. As I was slowly dissecting Chesterton's Orthodoxy, I came across this great summary of Christian charity:

[Christianity] came in startling with a sword, and clove one thing from another. It divided the crime from the criminal. The criminal we must forgive unto seventy times seven. The crime we must not forgive at all. It was not enough that slaves who stole wine inspired partly anger and partly kindness. We must be much more angry with theft than before, and yet much kinder to thieves than before. There was room for wrath and love to run wild.

This is bold and unique unto Christianity. Separate a person's actions from the person and you will be hard-pressed to hold a grudge. You will also find yourself a better person for having learned to hate an action to the point that you avoid it yourself. The devil is in the details, and that is what makes a person great. A great person who will go the extra mile. This is what Christianity is about.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Beautiful Day

THE WEATHER WAS absolutely beautiful today. The sunshine simply beckoned for outdoor activity. It reminded me that there once existed a time that the beauty and goodness of nature was simply enough for people to believe in our Creator. Everything on the Earth that God created is good. How do we know this? It is written plain as day: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse."

What then is the reason for the evils in the world? Simple, it is man's creation. Sure, some people would argue that the world is awful and it should be scorned, but how can God's creation be so bad? And how do we know it is bad? "A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line" This is to say that, unless we have another world we have experienced to compare this one to, we cannot pass any judgments upon it. But what we do know is that this world was created by God and is inhabited by human beings created in His image and likeness. Maybe it is time to stop and enjoy the scenery with good company. God is glorified with something as simple as a beautiful day. So don't let it get away.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick's Day

I would like to forward you to a great blog entry from my good friend Nader Alfie regarding the link between St. Patrick and the Coptic Orthodox Church. Click here

Monday, March 16, 2009

My Abigail

I HAVE A great sister. She is strong-willed like her father, yet selfless and loving like her mother. I always likened her to Abigail, the wife of King David. If you are yet to read the story of Abigail, you are missing out on one of the greatest gems of the Old Testament. Abigail "was a woman of good understanding and beautiful appearance" just like my sister. What makes Abigail so special was that in her humility, she bowed down before David to avoid him from acting on his anger and killing Nabal. I like to think that Abigail is the strong and emotional woman that appeals to a man's rough and painfully logical mind. By nature, men are more logically oriented and women are more emotionally driven. Men can be harsh, and only a woman's gentle nature can keep him grounded. It is a perfect balance. My sister is no different. She is always there to remind me when I am being cold-hearted and unloving. She steps in before I do something horrible and sinful. and then offers what she has in a most humble way. It is a Blessing to have a Christian influence like her at home. Most people would prefer a family member who is more of a yes-man, "but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” And that is done by having an Abigail at home.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Easy Livin'

IT IS BEAUTIFUL to be reminded of God when you least expect it. It is a weakness of human beings to dwell on the bad and struggle to focus on the good. Because of this, people tend to be down and feel the world is on their shoulders. Job, the classic example, was tested (far worse than any of us might I add) and prevailed. I especially like when he said: “Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” I was reminded of this when a person of whom I had just met said something along the lines of this verse. Let's not forget our Lord's abundant mercies in times of good fortune. For me, times have been well, but have I been keeping up with my Christian duties? Glorify God when times are well, and seek God when you are in a funk. It is inevitable, it happens, but God's infinite mercies will get us through.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Emptiness

TODAY I VISITED the National Archives and Records Administration with a few friends which houses the Declaration of Independence as well as other important documents instrumental in the development of the United States. Let me go into a little history; Thomas Jefferson who penned the Declaration of Independence included, what he called, the inalienable rights of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is a phrase borrowed from John Locke, but Jefferson of course substituted "property" for "pursuit of happiness" because not everyone was able to own property in America at that time.

Now, every so often you hear something that is so blatantly offensive that you simply do not know what to do. I recently heard a comment that was offensive in this way and it certainly provoked a sense of curiosity within me. Now, I will admit that I have not completely thought this one through, so I assume a follow-up will be in order when I am more familiar with the topic. The comment made was this; religious happiness is one that is "empty" and, to use the person's own wording, "not real."

Firstly, God did not make us to be happy. This is something that angers many non-Christians. I mean, is not happiness an inalienable right? "You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand." God made us to glorify Him, and when you know and love Him, the result is joy. I use the word joy for a reason, for joy and happiness are not one in the same. Happiness is something temporary, joy is everlasting. Joy can only be had with God, for everything else is temporary.

St. Paul sums it up perfectly: "I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Martyrdom vs. Suicide

THERE EXISTS NOTHING that is more opposed to martyrdom than suicide. It is difficult to imagine this because both involve someone willingly laying down their own life, but Chesterton highlights the stark differences between the two. Here he explains the contrast:

Not only is suicide a sin, it is the sin. It is the ultimate and absolute evil, the refusal to take an interest in existence; the refusal to take the oath of loyalty to life. The man who kills a man, kills a man. The man who kills himself, kills all men; as far he is concerned he wipes out the world. His act is worse (symbolically considered) than any rape or dynamite outrage. For it destroys all buildings; it insults all women. The thief is satisfied with diamonds; but the suicide is not; that is his crime. He cannot be bribed, even by the blazing stones of the Celestial City. The thief compliments the things he steals, if not the owner of them. But the suicide insults everything on earth by not stealing it... A martyr is a man who cares so much for something outside him, that he forgets his own personal life. A suicide is a man who cares so little for anything, outside him, that he wants to see the last of everything. One wants something to begin: the other wants everything to end.*

This post is about more than just death, it is about life and how we live it. The mentality of a martyr is one of a person who knows that there is more to life than living, and that is God. We are all called to the life of a martyr which means to be willing to end your life so that something else may begin. It is a renewal, Christ died so that we could have life. If we are ever called, we must be willing to die, so that our soul may live.


Orthodoxy, G.K. Chesterton; pg. 64

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Say (Only) What You Need to Say

"TIS BETTER TO remain silent and be thought of as a fool than to speak up and remove all doubt." It seems like in today's world, everyone wants to be noticed. Whether it be via beauty or possessions, people strive for attention. I feel this may be because of life's distractions and chaos, but nevertheless, this directly opposes the Christian ideal of humility. Idle talk has its repercussions, and regarding silence I found these pertinent passages.

"The heart of the wise will discern the things which proceed from his own mouth, and on his lips he will wear knowledge." A wise person knows not only when to speak, but what to say. Godly wisdom reveals the correct words that reflect His will.

"'He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth.' When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." Even Christ, when being led to the slaughter, said nothing to those who ridiculed Him. This really requires no other explanation.

This is really a short post that I felt we have all heard before but needed reiterating. Words are like bullets, they can damage and cannot be taken back once the damage is done. It is important to regularly meditate on the idea of silence while in silence. Clear your mind "And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."

Feel free to add your own thoughts.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

So be Good for Goodness' Sake!

A SERIES OF ads sponsored by The American Humanist Association ran on buses in Washington D.C. stating: "“Why believe in a god? Just be good for goodness’ sake." I was reminded of this recently when overhearing a discussion about a new book which argues that the world would be a better place without religion. The premise of this book is simple, people have innately kind hearts and religion only gives people a new difference to fight over. Unfortunately, this is an oversimplification of the facts and has one major flaw; being good is not good enough.

I am utterly intrigued that people believe random acts of kindness is sufficient. This is not to say that kindness is bad, it is simply insufficient. I see no honor or nobility in being nice to someone who has already won your approval. This is instinctive and quite easy to do. Or more eloquently our Lord asks "if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you?" Christ came and broke the mold and said, that's great, but it's not enough. You must "Love your enemies, do good to those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you." If you are a Christian, you have heard this more than you wish to remember, but have you ever stopped to think about how novel this concept is? Here you have Christ, a guy from a religion which preaches atonement and reciprocity, saying forgive your debtors and love your enemies. It's craziness!

Now, we know what it means to be better than good, but why should we? Jesus said, "If you love Me, keep My commandments." Okay, that's fine and dandy, but logic deduces the question: why do we love Him? The first epistle of John states "We love Him because He first loved us." What comes to mind now is, what incentive do we have to follow Christ? I mean, His requests are pretty tough! Well He said "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." Good enough for me, sign me up!

That sure does sound like good insurance, to be self-less and love our enemies for God's sake and reward. Being good for goodness' sake, what does that even mean? Who cares about goodness' sake? Why should people even bother? The truth is, they shouldn't; and they probably don't. Maybe that explains the current state of the world.

So to recap, Christ loved us, we love Him, He asked us to keep His commandments, and therefore He has a reward waiting for us. Want to be perfect? Christ, the Good Shepherd who "gives His life for the sheep" has given us an example and we are to follow it. Why you ask? For His sake.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Spiritual Bailout

THE SINGLE LARGEST crime on humanity in the world is poverty. It is the result of greed and directly opposes the teachings of Christ, "for God loves a cheerful giver." The current economic crisis is no secret and many people are feeling its wrath. Everyone has heard the facts, so I won't belabor that point. I'd rather discuss a different perspective inspired while reading through a friend's blog.

Many people have been placed in difficult situations that require them to start asking others for handouts. There is no reason to be bashful with God either, for He instructed that "to him who knocks it will be opened." God is always willing to give, we simply have to be willing to take.

Unfortunately, this doesn't always appease us. We must remember that He said to the apostle Paul “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” As Christians, we must remember to bear our cross with delight. He said. "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Let us remember to be grateful for God's abundant mercies. Even if we fall victim to the current economic crisis, take solace in remembering God is waiting for us at the door.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Connecticut Moves to Kill First Amendment

THE DOCTRINE CONCERNING the separation of church and state is often misunderstood. I'll reserve my beliefs concerning that for another time but, I must say, the Connecticut legislature missed it by a long-shot. This is what Jack Fowler from the National Review had to say about the new Raised Bill 1098 (click this to view the actual bill):

The Democrat-controlled Judiciary Committee has introduced Raised Bill 1098, a bill aimed specifically at the Catholic Church, which would remove the authority of the bishop and pastor over individual parishes and put a board of laymen in their place. Yes, we’re asking the same questions you are (Where does the legislature have the authority to do this? Isn’t this a blatant violation of the First Amendment?), but we assure you that this is not a hoax.

I assume the Catholics of Connecticut are up in arms (hopefully only figuratively) over this new legislation and are taking action. The Catholic Church has already answered this with a petition of sort. I am also curious to see where this will go, I will keep an eye on it and see if this (appropriately) gets overturn.

Sunday, March 8, 2009


"ONE MEASURE OF a classic is the multiplicity of persuasive readings we can legitimately make of it."* This was said about one of my favorite books, Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America. The genius of this work is marveled at even to this day. I especially enjoy his thoughts on patriotism. Tocqueville explains that there exists three types of patriotism. One he explains is an "instinctive, disinterested, and undefinable feeling which connects the affections of man with his birthplace... it does not reason, but it acts from the impulse of faith and sentiment."* The second is a people's pride in living under a powerful ruler. The third type of patriotism is one that reasons, which he continues to say

...is more fruitful and more lasting: it springs from knowledge; it is nurtured by the laws, it grows by the exercise of civil rights; and, in the end, it is confounded with the personal interests of the citizen. A man comprehends the influence which the well-being of his country has upon his own; he is aware that the laws permit him to contribute to that prosperity, and he labors to promote it, first because it benefits him, and secondly because it is in part his own work.*

Unfortunately, the first type of patriotism describes all too many Christians. A sense of comfort surrounds a church-goer and they feel no need to educate themselves on their own source of salvation. This is quite a problem, and to quote St. Jerome: "Ignorance of Scripture is ignorance of Christ."* Some religions have followers that are similar to the second type of patriotism Tocqueville describes, such religions have strict laws and do not allow the common people to question doctrines and are even told what to believe. The third type of patriotism is what we should be striving for as Christians. This type of patriotism is willing to sacrifice for the common good. While there is so much to be analyzed in that quote, it is Tocqueville's attention to knowledge that strikes me. A love that springs from knowledge, which is no different when applied to Christianity, is one which "is more fruitful and more lasting."

Those who attack Christianity are well versed in the Bible and are able to make quite convincing arguments against what we believe, although their logic is usually faulty. Many Christian's aren't versed well enough to counter these arguments. Sure, as a Christian, I exercise discretion and pick my battles, but there will come a time in a Christian's life where you cannot avoid a question. Therefore, it is best to be well prepared.

I would like to note before I finish that there is still no replacement for leading by example. It was how the Triune God taught us how to live our lives, by sending His Only Begotten Son to walk the Earth with us. I leave you with a quote from Ben Sweetland that really wraps things up nicely, "we cannot hold a torch to light another's path without brightening our own."

(1) Tocqueville and Republican Religion: Revisiting the Visitor, Cushing Strout; pg. 9
(2) Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville; pg. 235
(3) Democracy in America, Alexis de Tocqueville; pg. 235
(4) Jerome's Commentary on Isaiah (Nn. 1.2 CCL 73, 1-3), St. Jerome

Saturday, March 7, 2009

De imitatione Christi

"ALL PARENTS DAMAGE their children. It cannot be helped. Youth, like pristine glass absorbs the prints of its handlers."* This is inevitable, for children know not how to act or what to believe; so it is instinctive to imitate someone who does. It is quite a responsibility that intimidates me when I pay it any mind. This is not to say though, that we are left without instruction. We are told to "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." Surely this can be considered an instruction manual for parenting, but it is far more difficult than most are willing to do.

Affection is something that has piqued my curiosity in the past weeks. Often frowned upon in society, I have recently been compelled to embrace it. Beyond the silly pun lies a truth that cannot be hidden behind words. Anyone can utter the words I love you, but not anyone can communicate it without words. Christ was often found associating with those considered unclean or looked upon as sinners. The Son of God was willing to be touched by those needing healing, so it important that we learn from this and extend our healing powers to our loved ones. Before our youth become tainted with prints of neglect and hate, why not shower them with prints of love? Our Heavenly Father being our perfect example, loved us perfectly. It is only natural that we imitate Him.


* The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Mitch Albom; pg. 104