Sunday, December 4, 2016

Guest Article from The Handmaid

*I am publishing an article today from The Handmaid, a brand new blog whose young writer contacted me recently.  She has this message: "I am a Catholic teen who finds it hard to live in a godless society that distorts truth. I am writing about culture, the art of femininity, and anything that is missing or lacking in the society today especially for teenagers. I promote godliness in elegance, traditions, faith, and all the treasures of culture that are nearly lost today. I hope you enjoy the blog and find encouragement to stay in the fight to restore the treasures of a time nearly lost that contain the grace and favor of God."
Doesn't that sound great?  Go on over and take a look at this encouraging new site!*

(Republished with permission from The Handmaid Blog.)
Today, society focuses mainly on personal desires and dreams and, although this is good, it is not of excellence. Excellence requires perfection and ultimately, God, since He is perfection. Society says “Follow your dreams” and “Be who you want” and so on and so forth. This is a good thing to do; to find ourselves and our place in this world. However, without God, we cannot fulfill our ultimate purpose. God is saying “I want more from you. You can do so much more! You have the power to do great things.”
When we comply with God’s Will, the whole of humanity will shine and prosper. As St. Catherine of Sienna says “Be who you were meant to be and you will set the world on fire.” How do we know God’s Will? This is a very difficult thing to do when our modern society pushes the agenda that only you matter. That thought must be dismissed right now. We all matter and most importantly, God matters. You cannot say that God does not matter when He is existence itself. That is to say that you yourself do not matter either then.
So, how do we know what God’s Will is for us? Well, He tells us! Sometimes, He gives us talents and passions that direct us towards different things. We will always be attracted to our vocation when we comply with grace. He gives us our talents and when we use it to the best of our ability, we honor Him because we show how good He is. However, sometimes it is not the easier road. Consider an orchestra. Some players play strings, some play brass, and some play others. All contain many varieties of instruments. Some more difficult, some louder, some softer. What a beautiful inequality it is! No song would be a masterpiece without such a variety of instruments. What would the Hallelujah Chorus be without its depth in components? God gave each person the talent and the passion for that instrument and when they all play to their utmost capacity, they attain perfection and the beauty resonates. The same goes with God’s plan for the earth, as all different roles that when played together, resonate and echo through the very essence of creation.
 Another way God tells us what He wants of us is through prayer. So many times we think we have everything in control ourselves and we forget to listen to God. It is like when you are listening to a song you really like and you begin to shout it out at the top of your lungs (ok, we’ve all done it!). You end up singing over the song and cannot hear it anymore. Sometimes, you start to even sing it your own way and even though you may sing very well, the song has been changed. The masterpiece of the song is the original and although copies may be good, they will never be the way they artist wrote it. The original is perfect because how he wrote it is exactly how he wanted it to be. Well, it is the same with God. He wrote creation and we sing with Him. When we begin to sing loud enough, we do not hear Him anymore and we do our own thing. Even if what we do is good, we are not becoming with the masterpiece that each of us is supposed to be. When we learn to be silent, we will hear God, and we will learn the song the way He wrote it, and it will be clear that that is the perfect way. We will listen and realize the beauty and brilliance of our part in the ensemble of the world.
We are made to shine and lead others to Christ through love. We are weak ourselves but we have a strong Father who will always help us when we believe in Him. When we love God above everything, then our dream is to honor and please Him in what we do. We cannot do this however when we only focus on ourselves and what we want because then we become self-centered and have no room for God.
So, let us pray, and most importantly, listen, so that God can work in each of us and teach us to be the best version of ourselves and find the fire in each of us. Fire is made to shine bright and light everything in its path. We, too, are made for the same reason. When we find our fire, God will be the wind that blows and spreads our fire until the whole world shines even brighter than the sun. This is our calling. To be the light of the world. God is waiting patiently for you, and loving you. So don’t wait till tomorrow! Start following your spiritual dream!

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