Was There a Better Way?
Whenever, we have a task or project to carry out don't we always look for the most capable person to lead us? And if the task were supposed to follow a set pattern, don't we like to stick to time-tested methods that worked all the time?
But sometimes events happen so quickly that it takes our breath away. When things do not go as we planned, tempers flare up, moods become dampened, and we so quickly become irritated - especially if it was caused by last minute permission changes, which could so easily be overruled if only the person in authority would take a softer stand.
Yes, it happened to me recently.
My fellow facilitators and I had been conducting a 32-week "Becoming Disciples through Bible Study" program for the past year and now we had organized a year-end retreat as a climax of the study for the participants. It was so very important that we do it right. The retreat schedule was very carefully planned.
The culmination of the retreat will end with a mass, where the priest will give his blessing for those who wanted to become facilitators for the next year and so send forth to do the work.
However, this time, it was different from the previous years. In our first year, we had the retreat at Stella Maris, an old 3-storey building where tables, chairs, sound system, and many other essential items for holding the retreat were not in place. I could remember how the older participants would have to struggle up the staircase while the facilitators had to carry tables and chairs up and down the stairs. Setting up the sound system and OHP was also a struggle for the facilitators.
In the subsequent years, we had it in one of the beach hotels. It was excellent for the first time, but the cost went up the following year and it was not so affordable for many of the participants. However, everything went according to plan and the hotel staffs were able to accommodate any urgent requests that cropped up.
But the other hotel patrons and the general public were doing their own thing, organizing their own functions and making noises in and around the hotel area!
This year, somebody suggested to use a new building that was build on one of the church ground. This church is very well-known, large and grand. The church ground is spacious, contains lush greenery, hill slopes, and is so beautiful. For many of us, it was an ideal place for retreats. And it was relatively cheap.
All the facilities for the retreat were there - single-storey comfortable rooms, spacious function room, sound systems, short distances from our homes, plenty of open spaces for reflection and Taize, and low cost - it seem a perfect place.
But we found out that there were some difficulties too. Some of the older participants wanted to attend mass during the retreat. This would never have happen if the retreat were held away from church grounds. Anyway, this was not a big problem.
Our greatest blow came when we were told by the parish priest that we could not have a separate mass at the end of the retreat and that mass must be held together with the parish congregation. The reason - the chapel that we had intended to hold the mass was not blessed yet.
Immediately, there was uproar from amongst our facilitators, knowing that masses had been conducted before at homes of people that has not been blessed. Most of us could not see the validity of the reason given.
What did we do?
There were grumblings from the people, especially the older generation. They became agitated, lost their mood, and became discouraged. However, some of our more sober members came back to their senses and very quickly came out with an alternate plan.
The program for the retreat was very specific. The mass was the time for the disciples to be sent forth, to make disciples of all nations. It was planned to be the last event. We were now required to attend the mass before we could finish the other parts of the retreat. Obviously, this would upset the whole plan.
All the facilitators voiced out their concerns during our meeting that dragged on until the wee hours of the morning. Finally we came out with an idea for a community meal where we can still be sent forth by the attending priest. Some parts of the program were rescheduled.
The mass started at 8:00 a.m. All the participants for the retreat occupied the North wing of the church.
What happened during the mass made me completely speechless!
All the hymns and their messages, from the beginning to the end of the mass, were totally in line with what we had wanted the participants to experience.
The 1st reading was Is 49:3, 5-6. It talks about being Light to the Nations and being appointed to be a servant to bring back His people. "Because of you, people will praise me."
The psalms, Ps 40:2, 4, 7-10, talks about He making me secure when I trust in the Lord, and willingness to do God's will; "Here I am, and how I love to do Your will" and not keeping the news of Salvation to myself but sharing with others.
The 2nd reading, Cor 1:1-3, talks about being called to be God's holy people.
And finally, the Gospel was Jn 1:29-34, that talks about the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.
In the homily, the priest stated very clearly that the readings were about discipleship. He explained that St. John the Baptist, being such a well-known person would humble himself and was able to accept being placed in a lower position when Jesus Christ came.
What an announcement! Here we were trying so hard to bring the message to the participants and now the whole church was reinforcing the message we wanted to proclaim. All the songs were sung to reinforce the message and it was sung by the whole church congregation, and choir complete with music, visuals and all!
Each time the priest mentioned about discipleship, we sitting at the pews would nod our heads and smile to each other. Tears came upon some of us, realizing how God's ways are so different from our ways, and that He will provide more and accomplish more than what we can do by our own efforts.
On reflecting on the whole sequence of events that took place, it dawn upon me that one of the things mentioned in the priest's homily was obedience - it was one of the marks of discipleship. Was he trying to test our spirit? If he did, I think we had passed the test by submitting to his authority and not opposing him.
When the mass was over, we came out of it in awe. God has provided more than what we had hoped for.
The book of Proverbs from the Bible provides wisdom on right living. Our compilation of "50 Secrets of Truth and Life" might help bring people to study scripture. Done in pictorial form it is a lighthearted way of looking at Bible Proverbs. Perhaps that might just open up people's hearts...
Many years of working experience in Marine, Facilities, Construction has given the author material for writing e-books and articles related to engineering, and management. Subscribe to facworld ezine. More information at Marine Engineer and M & E Engineer
Advertising by textad.biz
Go Ahead, click an ad, you know you want to.
Christian Forums: The Heroic Battle Between the Forces of Good and the Demon of Anti-Access
Saturday I was hangin' ten on my Dell when I ran across a Christian Forum. Not just any Christian forum, THE Christian Forum.
Protective Symbols, Charms, and Totems
There is power in meanings of the old images and symbols. Below is a compendium of common symbols, charms and totems from antiquity that are thought to be useful against psychic aggression:Abracabadra: One of the oldest protective amulets, this is the word Abracabadra written in a triangular form like as below for Protection:A AB ABR ABRA ABRAC ABRACA ABRACAD ABRACADA ABRACADAB ABRACADABR ABRACADABRAOr written as follows with an enemy's name on the reverse in order to diminish their power.
Youve Got a Curse!
It is tough being here on this plane. You have your life to handle, your family to deal with, and you can't help but feel responsible for them.
Honoring the Sacred in Everyday Life
How many of us rush blindly through our days, fall into bed exhausted, and wake up the next morning to do it all over again? For many of us, our lives are composed of millions of meaningless moments, all strung together -- perhaps with a sprinkling of sacred moments mixed in. I'm sure you can think of a few sacred moments in your own life.
Belief, Designed For Life!
Liam says to Joe; "where is your God now, when life can be made in a laboratory"?Joe says to Liam; "it couldn't have happened, but for the presence of God".It was a short debate involving two non-scientific people, but wasn't it interesting?While Liam set out to demolish Joe's faith, he was left with a simple retort that quietened him.
Wisdom Quotes Point - Arguments Just Explain
"What does it profit a man to have gained the whole world, and to have lost his soul?" - Jesus ChristYou don't need to be Christian to see wisdom in the words of Jesus. Simple quotes from men and women around the world, from present day or milleniums past, inspire and instruct us, regardless of the religious or spiritual tradition they come from.
Petitioning for Your Needs
Human beings are blessed with a unique gift: the gift of prayer or petition to the Infinite for our needs. A religious person would call it prayer; others may call it petition or meditation.
Choose Life or Death
No one, not even God can make us choose the right things. He gave us the freedom of choice where our own lives are concerned.
An Illuminatus Speaks
An Illuminatus Speaks:You will have to decide if this Illuminatus speaks with forked tongue or not. There is no black and white to the matter as I see it.
Life as a Human/Medium/Psychic Being
We often forget that we are human beings first, and that there is nothing wrong about our making mistakes or having troubles in life - it is all a part of our growth. We have to allow ourselves to be in situations that can bring us in different direction in our lives.
Is it really possible that Don Juan could command the movement of Carlos' attention point or time reference point to another dimension that he calls the Nagual and the sorcerer's perspective? Can the adeptness of one person rise to know you better than you know yourself even at the level of the body conscious focus on the material world? Is INFINITY like the multi-dimensional soul which at some point is harmonized in ethics so much that it laughs at the stupidity of the soulful entities exploring the naive denial and rationalizing games our personalities playas we avoid the purpose of our soul? Could Don Juan shape-shift his alter egos and other dimension energy to become the reflection or mirror of the inner character of the student seeking to label something he knows so little about, in an "elaborate" construct that would be akin to a crook yet academically sound? Did he command this laughter response in another that easily?Have you ever looked into yourself so deeply that you "didn't care to apologize" and "found the thought inadmissible"? What a life and so little holes in your soul you would have if only you were so wise and yet, what a curse and quite unlike 'any blessing it would be. Your knowledge of others and their intentions would make you feel so alone and so devastatingly unable to convey to others what games the ego does play.
Our Virtual Reality Reality
In earlier articles entitled "We Are Not Our Personalities", "Eliminating the Past" and "Fallacies About the Inner Child" I discuss how, employing a powerful new healing modality called the Mind Resonance Process(TM) (MRP), what we call memories, child ego states (i.e.
You Must Feel to Heal!
In my work with clients who have physical illnesses there is one consistent observation that I keep running up against. That is the inability to feel one's emotions.
The Centre of Our Existence!
Most of us have heard talk or have read something about the seven centers of energies that we refer to as Chakras. I do believe these are very important centers of our being in terms of our energy field, our aura, and most of all our own balance that can manifest into our physical body.
How to be Led by the Spirit of God
The Bible tells us that we need to be led by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:12-14, Galatians 5:16-25). Therefore, it is necessary for us to discern the prompting and guidance of the Holy Spirit if we are to live successful lives.
Motivated By All The Wrong Reasons
Sometimes trying to be spiritual holds us back from actually living the spiritual life we want. In our quest to live such spiritual and good lives, we often avoid the stuff that makes us seem unspiritual, even if that very stuff can move us toward our own spiritual growth.
Moksha - Salvation Hinduism... Highlights Concept and the Path
Is it not true that only after gaining Enlightenment (Self-Realization) that one can reach the stage of Moksha (Salvation).Moksha is that ephemeral truth of life without which human beings cannot sustain themselves.
About Divine Communication - A Special Q & A
1. How can anyone receive direct communication from Divine Source, God, All That Is?Each spiritual/human being IS a physical manifestation of Divine Source.
Creating With Words
"In the sixth century of the sixth millennium, the gates of supernal [heavenly] wisdom will be opened, as will the wellsprings of earthly wisdom, preparing the world to be elevated in the seventh millennium." The Zohar (a source text of Kabbalah)TRY SAYING THESE WORDS TO YOURSELF:Depressed, sad, afraid, guilty, alone, weak, fragmented, disconnected, weary, helpless, victimized, threatened, tired, drained, resentful, unappreciated, misunderstood, burdened, angry, hate, hard, not good enough, dreary, stupid, ugly, lonely, impossible, overwhelmed, isolated, too much for me, failure, I can't, danger, panic, it's too hard?How do you feel? And, what happens to your goals when you feel this way? To your energy? To your willingness to take risks? To your belief in yourself and your dreams?It's not such a pretty picture.
The Storms of Life
Life is full of ups and downs, trials, and tribulations. They are called the storms of life.
|home | site map|