The way to overcome Sadness is One Word!

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“The wise man said: “Cast sadness far from thee,  because it has killed many, and is good for nothing.” There is hardly anything as apt to bring our hearts to a state of irksome disgust as sadness. Those who have made a psychological study of sadness tell us that one of its principal effects is to disturb our judgements, making us take a darker view of life than the facts justify. Thus, sadness leads to pessimism and the reverse effect is also true — all pessimists are necessarily sad: disaster, for them, is just around the corner.

A second effect of sadness is to make us rude to others and severe towards them, suspicious and ready to put the worst interpretation on the actions of everyone around us. There are different ways of trying to overcome the sense of sadness. Some people take recourse to alcohol to make them forget. Others fling themselves into carnal pleasures hoping that the intensity of a momentary thrill will compensate them for want of a goal and a purpose in life. But all sad people are alike in this: at some time they say — perhaps scarcely conscious that they are saying it — “I do not love myself.” This is not an “inferiority complex”. It is rather the higher part of the self looking down on the lower part and reprimanding it for its pitiable condition.

Animals cannot reflect on themselves as human beings do; hence they cannot feel the same kind of disgust. There is a remedy for sadness — the one suggested by the Scriptures. To some minds it may seem far-fetched, when it says: “If you are suffering, pray!” (Jm 5:13). Actually, these words touch on a profound psychological truth, for they imply that we must be reconciled to ourselves in order to be happy. So long as we are merely the battleground of a war between the lower self and the higher self within us, there can be no relaxation and no joy. But to resolve the conflict, to bring the battle to an end, we must see ourselves as we really are.

It does no good to blame the golf club if our game is at fault, or the pitcher because we spill the milk, the fault must be seen as our own in little mishaps of this kind, and for our states of mind as well. The discovery that we are to blame for being the way we are is greater than the discovery made by any explorer — such a discovery of our own fault is impossible unless there be a higher standard outside ourselves, from whose love we know that we have fallen.

This Excerpt is taken from the book ‘Way to Inner Peace’ by Fulton J. Sheen. For more information on the book: Click Me!

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What is Baptism in the Holy Spirit ?

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Baptism in the Holy Spirit Baptism in the Holy Spirit? What is it? Even though I was an active Catholic, I had never heard the term. Heck, in seventh grade I won the local catechism bee but never had that question. I asked one of the other Netters who appeared to be pretty normal but also seemed to know what was going with the whole baptism in the Holy Spirit thing. She said that it was really just being “filled with the Holy Spirit.”

She told me that I could read more about in the scriptures. That, to me, sounded like a pretty good place to start. I began reading the scriptures and found that being baptized in the Holy Spirit (or words similar) is mentioned in each of the 4 gospels as well as the Acts of the Apostles. (See Mt 3:11; Mk 1:8; Lk 3:16; Jn 1:33; Acts 1:5.) John the Baptist made it clear that he baptized in water but that Jesus would baptize ill the Holy Spirit. It became apparent to me that what I experienced as a baby might be different than baptism in the Holy Spirit.

In his gospel, Luke said that we would be baptized in the Holy Spirit and in fire. Again in the Acts of the Apostles, Luke has Jesus instructing the apostles to go back to Jerusalem and wait for the “promise of the Father” and the “baptism of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1:5), When I read the various accounts of the baptism in the Holy Spirit I didn’t necessarily have a better understanding of exactly what baptism in the Holy Spirit was, but I was able to see that it was important. It seemed to be something that Jesus intended for us, and it changed people. Scripture states clearly that Jesus came to baptize us in the Holy Spirit. It seemed to me that if this is one of the reasons Christ came, then perhaps I was missing something.

As I made my way through scripture, I was also able to see the effects of the baptism with the Holy Spirit. From my reading the Acts of the Apostles it appeared to me that the disciples experienced the baptism in the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It became clear that the baptism of the Holy Spirit enabled the apostles to do something that they were unable to do before. Before Pentecost they were locked in a room paralyzed by fear and after experiencing the Holy Spirit they boldly proclaimed Jesus. Something changed in them. Slowly, I was beginning to see more clearly what  the baptism in the Holy Spirit might be about.

It seemed to be about power. The disciples’ experience of the Holy Spirit gave them the power to escape the confines of a locked room where they were bound by fear. It gave them the power to witness to Jesus’ resurrection and the ability to faithfully live the christian life.

This Excerpt is take from the book ‘Breath of God‘ by Dave Pivonka, T.O.R

Give Priority to Love

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Studies have shown that those who lead happy and purposeful lives give priority to love.’ Jesus, too, stressed the importance of love: “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:35). When we speak of love we have to make a distinction between the emotion of love and the choice of love. To lead a happy and meaningful life, we have to give priority to love as a choice. It is true that I have no power over whether others love me or not. But I have total control over whether I become a loving person. This comes out very clearly in the life story of Elsa who was born and brought up in Germany in the midst of World War II. Her father was an officer in the German army. He loved Elsa very much. Yet, when the war was over, he deserted the family by choosing not to return home.

Elsa’s mother was very angry and took her anger out on Elsa. Elsa had a difficult time as a child and as an adolescent because she felt that her mother did not love her, though she did not know why. But there was a moment when she came to an important realization. “At some point, I can’t say exactly when, I realized that if I could not get love I had to become love.’ It is hard to explain, but what I realized was that while I had very little control over whether others loved me, I realized that I had complete control over whether I became a loving person. Somehow I knew that if I became a loving person, people could not help but love me. Also, I realized that God loved me and that just by being a human being I was already completely worthy, and this was something no one could take away from me. Although I cannot fully explain it, there was a transformation when I decided to become love rather than seek love”

We give priority to love in three ways. First we choose to love our own selves. Then we choose to act with love to those who are very close to us – family and friends. And finally we choose to become love in all our interactions with people. First we choose to love our own selves. If we do not love ourselves we cannot love others. The love of self is fundamental to our emotional and spiritual health and well-being. That is why we are asked to love our neighbour as ourselves (See Lev 19:18). For some of us it is quite easy to love ourselves because we have been brought up in such a way that we have developed a deep sense of self-worth. For others love of self is quite difficult because of their past experience.

This Excerpt is taken from the book ‘Give More Than You Take: Reflections on the daily living of the Faith’ by Kurien Kunnumpuram, SJ. For more information on the book: Click Me!