It’s All About Love – pt 1

The First Act of God’s Love

SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – PSALTER, WEEK III

May 13, 2018

1 “First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see.” – The Message Bible (MSG)

God in the absolute is a creator God. He alone knows all the secrets of what He has made. In that, each singular creation reflects an individualized miracle from the creation of the universe with its many miracles we have yet to discover and all the things which are now in our knowing.  In all these miraculous things within the universe, God saw fit to spread life throughout. Therefore, He gave life to each sun, planet, moon, within each galaxy right down to every solar system. When we look up into the night sky we are really looking at a detailed oriented creator who is all about life in all it’s it many forms. Yet God held in the highest esteem an idea of a creation that would represent him in the flesh, made in His own image. Acting upon His idea God created man from the dust of the Earth and women from the rib bone of man which we traditionally call Genesis. Life is God’s gift, His divine love, and His hope manifest and expressed in an infinite number of ways too numerous to count.  So I testify today my brothers and sisters that God created all that we see and all that we do not see out of love.

LET US NOW TALK ABOUT LIFE!

Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. – Genesis 2:7 New International Version (NIV)

What is life? What parameters equal life? Well from the scientific definition of the word we find that life is, ‘the condition that distinguishes animals and plants from inorganic matter, including the capacity for growth, reproduction, functional activity, and continual change preceding death.’ – Dictionary.com

This explanation of life is a good description of what living things do but fails to express the source of life. What gives organic matter life? For this, there is an element most people in the scientific community is not ready to admit but is necessary to explore in order to get the full picture. With that said, life originates from God. Nothing lives without the blessing of God over it first. That being the case then nothing dies without the blessing of God over it as well. This makes God the absolute source of both life and death. The bible teaches us that God formed Adam, molding him from the dust of the Earth but Adam though created was not yet alive. It wasn’t until God breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. In this act, God gave Adam a soul or spirit which is in its most basic expression a piece of God, which resided within Adam that which gave him life. We are no different from Adam in that we are formed and given a spirit or in other words, a tiny piece of God Himself which resides within us. This is why Jesus answered the Pharisees as he did, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.” – Luke 17: 20-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

This is our eternal link to God the absolute creator. In everything so far discovered life abounds and is a reflection of God. Life then is also much more than the actions of a living being, rather life is the very embodiment of the living God which dwells within each one of us. Life is precious because it is both a miracle and a blessing from God again in every form that it takes. Life is sacred because it is the very expression of God’s love. Therefore, God could not forsake us when we fell into sin. Think of it this way, God being a detail-oriented creator is also a detailed oriented savior. Where he gave life there can be found His love, mercy, and grace. Thus, life is as much about forgiveness as it is about living justly and morally. For the Kingdom of God is also in each one of us and in God’s eyes that makes us scared.

IT’S ALL ABOUT LOVE!

16 We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us. God is love, and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. – 1 John 4:16 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Insite – When I was about five years old I remember the Baptist Preacher bigger than life preaching away about sin and moral consequences and everything was a sin which as he put it, ‘Will take you straight to hell! No passing go, no collecting $100, and no hope for redemption!’  It was this kind of language and fire and brimstone tone that truly scared me because I did many of the things he was talked about! Yes… I cussed twice, I disrespected others a couple of times, I got angry and threw a fit, I lied more than I could count on my fingers and toes, and worst of all I was a sinner for life headed straight to hell… at five!  On the other hand unnoticed to me at the time was this pastor never talking about God’s love, which is a shame because as I grew older I had to learn about this awesome concept through other means known as life experience and studying about the subject.

Moreover, the older I grew the more I would hear many people around me blame God for the bad things which happened to them while never seeing the moral life lesson God was teaching them. The problem of course with this is that God was not the culprit because God had enough foresight to have given all mankind something called ‘Free Will’, which happens to be the most sacred and greatest gifts which God has never interfered with. Thus, if said person does something that causes negative repercussions that comes back to haunt them then said person who decided to perpetuate whatever it was in the first place cannot by default blame God! Why? Because everyone is held responsible for every action, decision, and words spoken be them good or bad! But yet somehow many people still want to blame God for things they themselves have done. People are willing to do ungodly things but yet cling to the concept that they are saved because Jesus saved them on the cross. Sorry, but it doesn’t work that way! Rest assured my brother’s and sister’s God loves you and He knows how you are feeling every minute of every day. Likewise, He knows every lie you have ever told, every ill thing you have done to someone else, and He is aware of every consequence to those actions which were perpetrated through individual human free will! Here is the kicker I inherently already knew all this at the ripe old age of 5 yet it takes many people an entire lifetime to figure that one out. Go figure!

Yes… God is willing to forgive us for our transgressions but we must humbly come to Him first. Wait! Free will again? You got it! God didn’t force us to ask for forgiveness or to humble ourselves… that happens through our own free will… or perhaps guilt hopefully played its part. But when the guilty truly come to God looking for forgiveness it is a decision made by that person alone and as for God… He has a strick none interference policy much like the Federation in Star Trek!  This being true what more could anyone ask for from a God of Love? Oh… wait! A savior? A savior willing to sacrifice himself for you? From Jesus’s perspective and His mothers perspective, His death was cruel, but God allowed it, and Jesus complied with God’s wishes. Jesus is the very definition of love just as God is love. Without the passion, there would be no salvation! There would be no hope, no peace, no grace, and no life in God. But yet it is through love we find God, we have hope, He gives us eternal grace and is responsible for the miracle of life within Him. That is love expressed to it’s fullest extent. God gave us life, a spirit, and a path back to Him and His kingdom and on top of it free will all out of love. For truly I say to you my brothers and sisters only a God of Love, a God of creation, a God of detail would dare to give so much to beings that did not deserve not one ounce of any of it. But we have only scratched the surface… [To Be Continued]

Guiding Question: “How can God not be about love after doing all this for us?”

LET US PRAY

Lord, open my lips.

– And my mouth will proclaim your praise.

Glory to the Father, and Son, and to the Holy Spirit:

as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen. Alleluia.

PSALMODY: Easter 7th Sunday: The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

PSALM 93

SPLENDOR OF GOD THE CREATOR

The Lord our mighty God now reigns supreme; let us rejoice and be glad and give him praise (Revelation 19:6-7) 

The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed; the Lord has robed himself with might, he has girded himself with power.

– The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

The world you made firm, not to be moved; your throne has stood firm from of old. From all eternity, O Lord, you are. 

– The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

The waters have lifted up, O Lord, the waters have lifted up their voice, the waters have lifted up their thunder.

– The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

Greater than the roar of mighty waters, more glorious than the surgings of the sea, the Lord is glorious on high.

– The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

5 Truly your decrees are to be trusted. Holiness is fitting to your house, O Lord, until the end of time. 

– The Lord is King, robed in splendor, alleluia.

(To Pray the Liturgy of the Hours as in the COMMON OF APOSTLES  click here

PRAYER

Father, help us keep in mind that Christ our Savior lives with you in glory and promised to remain with us until the end of time. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever.

Amen.

Happy Mothers Day 2018, I wish my mother all the best and hope all is well on this special day.

 

NEED HELP OR ENCOURAGEMENT?

If you would like to receive ongoing encouragement, to help you stay focused, and/or need some guidance in where to look for motivational scriptures in the bible then feel free to email me at listeningfaithfullyblog@gmail.com with your request. Remember your never alone.

Amen, Alleluia!

May the Lord bless you, protect you from all evil and bring you to everlasting life.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Joseph, Pray for us.Sancte Ioseph – ‘ora pro nobis,’

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The All-Consuming Passions of Mankind pt.1

The Differences between Love and Hate

In this first installment we will explore man’s definition of love, and in that the two all-consuming passions that utterly take us over and blind our reason forcing us to do both heroic and barbaric things to others depending on whether we feel love or hate for them.  In reality there is a very fine line between love and hate and in our brain there is virtually no difference between them.  That I know is a shocking statement in and of itself, but never the less this strange and scary construct has been scientifically proven to be true.  But before we go there let’s begin with scripture and then apply man’s definitions we have created for these two all-consuming emotions.  Let’s examine them biblically first then move into science.

1 peter

8 “Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; 9 not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing.” ~ 1 Peter 3:8-9

The Perfect Example of Love

The simple message carried throughout the Middle East and into Europe in the decades after the death of Christ by His disciples was a very basic one, “Love one another.” The absolute “Love” of God or “Agape Love” was the example and is today the hardest to achieve. I have to think that God would not have shown us such a perfect love if we as mortals could not attain it and in that we look to Jesus who throughout all the hateful things others did to him and others he loved never once acted out with anything in his heart other than this agape love of Gods.  So with that said we can extrapolate this purest of all love is attainable and should be our starting point in our search for the true definition of what Jesus really meant by;

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34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” ~ John 13:34

Love Defined

It has been long debated what love is, how we should love, what love looks like, how to handle heartbreak, and the strong emotion love overwhelms us with. We have undoubtedly struggled with this concept we call love and in our rational mind love makes us do things which makes no sense to our personal well-being but rather fulfills a basic need all people are born with from the start.  This struggle all people contend with in both their personal and professional lives is further complicated with our struggle to understand an equally overwhelming emotion known as hate.  Hate presents the same questions as does love and it appears as strongly in our hearts as does love. One could even argue that hate is loves evil twin who twists loves goodness into a pool of unrecognizable film of darkness.  Therefore, love is an emotion which is equal to hate, and the line which divides them is much thinner than we could have ever imagined.  It boggles the mind how love could be at the root of a hateful act, and vice-versa, how hate could ever be linked to love.  In an attempt to explore this paradox we must first start with the modern definition of love;

Love is defined as –

  1. A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
  2. A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.
  3. Sexual passion or desire.
  4. A person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.
  5. (Used in direct address as a term of endearment, affection, or the like): Would you like to see a movie, love?
  6. love affair; an intensely amorous incident; amour.
  7. Sexual intercourse; copulation.  ~ Found online at http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/love

First Form of Love

Each of the seven definitions covers a huge realm of emotions, feelings, and actions that are linked to other emotions that help to build this intense feeling of love.  An example of this is found in the first definition: a profoundly “tender”(the word “tender” is different than the word love and is uniquely described as being: weak, immature, easily moved, soft, young, delicate, not strong or hardy, and or gentle. ~ http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/tender ).  This word “tender” must then be viewed as nothing more than a supporting feeling of love linked in our actions for or against others while always playing a minor role in the background.

Example: I can argue in a “tender” way and thus be perceived as not being strong or weak on the argument. I can console another person “tenderly”, and thus be perceived as being soft and delicate. I can have a crush on another person and thus be perceived as being young or immature in my actions towards them, even biased when compared to others. None of which equals the emotion of love, but are qualities found in love. I could easily argue with my girlfriend or wife in a tender way so as not to hurt their feelings, I could console them softly, and act childish in my actions in private and when defending them become very bias because of my love for her. This extends to our children and other family members. We say this is love but in reality it is the expression of love in its weakest or mildest form.

Love Me Tender

So being “tender” is the first act of showing a growing emotion for another person and consequently the step to becoming vulnerable and complete exposed. It is proceeded by the second definition of love: a feeling of warm personal attachment – (here again we now are part of something bigger than ourselves and this most basic of emotions fulfills a primal need programmed into every person on earth by our creator – the need to belong. ~  http://listeningfaithfullyblog.com/2009/04/18/reflections-1-a-real-relationship-with-god-relationships-series/ )

In this first ever blog posting of Listening Faithfully I try to point out how we are hot-wired from the start by God in order that these emotions should guide us to serve our Lord emphatically.  However, the love that manipulates our choices and decisions are profoundly linked to first becoming willingly subdued to the strong over powering emotion of love. Therefore, the first sign of this would be to do something for someone else that in reality you would not have otherwise done and in this your actions are “tender”, others may perceive you as being silly or weak and even soft.  This perception can be both good and bad and carry with it a diverse volume of consequences, both unintended and intended.

Example: The irrational act of giving flowers or presents to a person you’re infatuated with without knowing their true feelings for you first – spending money you probably should have kept – defending a person even if it puts you in a weaker position with others – and my personal favorite, the games we play with ourselves when trying to justify these actions either to ourselves or others who have called us out on it.  However intense the act of being “tender” is in our own mind we are in reality sending signals out to the world like a probe in search of love – to test if this new connection will fulfill our most basic needs of belonging.

The Evolution of Love

Again, in all of this love is becoming stronger, our actions more manipulated, our ability to reason is more compromised, and this wonderful all-consuming emotion drives further into our heart and mind as it progresses into the next more powerful definition of love – that being: sexual passion or desire.  In this stage of love we as human-beings are able to express the deepest of emotions – the power to share without fear of being compromised – the need of confession is realized as is the bond between two people is thus born into it’s infancy not unlike an impenetrable bridge made of iron and concrete.  Sadly many people confuse the pleasures of this stage of love with the act of having sex which is a primal effort to pass ones genes on so as to insure the survival of one’s own lineage. In this confusion of feelings love becomes the act of having sex rather than the tenderness of giving flowers, or the soft manner we hold each other’s hand, or even the ability to argue softly with love in our voices. These pleasures are then lost as our bodies begin to crave carnal pleasure and our mind and emotions become detached from the true purposes of love. Therefore, what some would call love is in reality a sin and an abomination in the eyes of God. For no other reason is there so many divorces and children born out of wedlock.  For no other reason is there the crimes of passion we see played out nightly in the news, and the broken hearts of children who are left wondering why their parents are absent in their lives. ~ For a deeper explanation Click Here

FAMILY

On the other hand when these emotions are handled in a mature responsible way with dignity and respect do we see the miracle of God in the faces of our children, is there the foundations drilled deep that support a whole productive and balanced family unit, and in this do we see couples love and honor each other until death do they part.  But even this outcome is dependent fully on the trick of our minds and emotions that love weaves that allows us to do things we would not otherwise do with not clear benefits to ourselves but yet greatly benefits others around us. In this more complete definition offered by the bible do we find the root of love and also it evil twin – that of hate.

With that firmly rooted in your mind, I am always called back to the biblical definition of love – a definition where love is defined in a broader and more diverse way; one that goes far beyond the online dictionaries we have at our fingertips today and which I have quoted from in this posting.

1Corinthians_spread1.0

“4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; 5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; 6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.” ~ 1 Corinthians 13:4-8

With this universal standard we can begin to understand what love really is and how powerful it can be.  We begin to fully view the greatest gift of all and how it manipulates our thinking, alters our actions, and provokes both heroic and barbaric deeds. We literally scratch the surface of this gift given to us by God and yet just start to uncover the deepest consequences it holds for all man-kind.

Amen

If you liked this Reflection – The All-Consuming Passions of Mankind pt.1… then please leave a comment.  Also please “LIKE” and “SHARE” this post with others.

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SPECIAL NOTE:

Dr. Kallay was my boss and God Mother at Ascension Catholic School and she has recently retired due to health issues.  I am sharing the video I made on behalf of the Ascension Community to Honor her 11 years of service. CLICK HERE