Archives for June 2013

Be A Christian of Actions Not Words

“In the history of the Church there have been two classes of Christians: Christians of words – those ‘Lord, Lord, Lord’ – and Christians of action, in truth.”  These words are from Pope Francis’ homily yesterday in the chapel of his residence, the Domus Sanctae Marthae. I found his message to be very fitting. I try my best to be a Christian of actions not words.

The most most important attributes of a Christian are caring for the needy and living one’s Christian values every day, not eloquence or a good command of words. We may witness to others about our faith through our words, but how we are living our lives is the most powerful testimony of our belief and love for our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We should strive each day to understand the word of God, the teachings of Jesus Christ and the Holy church so that we will be able to live out our faith fully–not just speak about it or live it out half-heartedly. So try your best to be a Christian of actions not words today, and every day moving forward.

If you want to read more about the Pope’s June 27, 2013 message, you can do so here: “Pope: Be careful you are not ‘masquerading’ as a Christian.”

All Mothers Need Christ

This entry today is inspired by a line I got from a blog post titled, “Learning through Motherhood.” It says, “Motherhood is too demanding to attempt without a deep connection to Christ.”

It would be an understatement to say that being a mother is hard. Motherhood will challenge you in every possible way–physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. There are no days off in motherhood, there are no vacations, no breaks; and surely on our own, we will find ourselves feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. That is why we need Jesus more than ever in our lives. For it is only through his strength that we will be able to fulfill our duties as mothers and find lasting joy in motherhood. All mothers need Christ.

I understand that finding some alone time can be quite hard especially if your children are still young, but we really should devote some time to commune with the Lord–draw strength and inner peace from him. In Philippians 4:13 it says, “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”

Toddler Problems: Brushing Teeth

While some toddlers are easier to work with at tooth brushing time, most tots are likely to turn this simple task into a clenched-mouth battle of wills. This is a common toddler problem and we cannot just give up on brushing our kids teeth or they will suffer from the consequences of tooth decay. So what can we do to teach our kids good dental hygiene habits without the struggle? Let me offer some of the helpful tips I have learned from our family dentist and some families and friends:

1.Let your child watch you brush your teeth and show him how much fun it can be.

2. Get a toothbrush with your toddler’s favorite cartoon.

3. Use a tasty flavored toothpaste.

4. Let your child face a mirror so he could see himself while he brushes his teeth.

5. Don’t do it for too long.

If you want more fun tips on this and other toddler problems, here is a good resource: “The Terrible Trouble with Toothbrushing: A Toddler’s Perspective.”

We Are All Equal and Loved in the Eyes of God

The Pope sent a very wonderful message yesterday at his weekly general audience. Let me share with you a small part of his homily:

We are all needed in order to build this Temple. No one is secondary: ‘Ah, I am the most important one in the Church!’ No! We are all equal in the eyes of God. But, one of you might say, ‘Mr Pope, sir, you are not equal to us.’ But I am just like each of you. We are all equal. We are all brothers and sisters. No one is anonymous: all form and build the Church.

Isn’t it amazing to be told by the highest official of the Roman Catholic Church that we are no less important than him? Indeed, in God’s eyes we all stand as equals–equally loved, valued and in need of salvation. As the Apostle Paul said,  “You are, all of you, sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. All baptized in Christ, you have all clothed yourselves in Christ, and there are no more distinctions between Jew and Greek, slave and free, male and female, but all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Gal 3:26-28). Since we are all equal in God’s eyes and are all equally given a chance at salvation, then we all have the same duty to live our faith and represent Christ in our daily lives. We are all equal and loved in the eyes of God.

The Cardinal Foundations of Good Manners

I’d like to share with you this tip I got from a post I read this morning titled, “15 Lessons From a Father to a Son:”

Use Your Manners. You’ll be amazed at the power of a well-placed “please” or “thank you.” There are LOTS of other things to work on, but we’ll celebrate if you at least nail those two!

As parents, one of the most important jobs we have is to help our children develop good social skills–teach them how to interact with others in a polite manner with people, and teach them to treat others with respect. Just as the writer above says, the most basic things we ought to teach them is to say “please” and “thank you.” These things may not seem much, but they are the cardinal foundations of good manners.

Start teaching and showing your children good manners while they are young and it will become a habitual part of their lives into adolescence and beyond. Try to make the cardinal foundations of good manners a focal point in your family life.

When We Make a Parenting Mistake

Reading this blog entry: “The Lesson I Learned from My Massive Motherhood Fail” put a big smile on my face today. It reminded me of a lot of things about how I am as a mom–imperfect, struggling, melodramatic and unforgiving to my self. But it also reminded me of how children are towards their moms–appreciative, forgiving, loving and adoring.

A lot of times mothers beat themselves up over our short-comings to our children. We allow the things that we did and failed to do as parents haunt us day and night because we believe that they mattered a lot to our children. While some things do matter to our kids, most of the time it’s only the parent that is mulling over them. When we make a parenting mistake it usually isn’t as bad as we make it out to be.

Carrying all those regrets will not make us better parents. So the best things to do when we make a parenting mistake is to contemplate over them, learn from them, fix what we can, and then let the rest go. We should remember that no one parent is perfect, and all of us pretty much just learn as we go. So don’t be too hard on yourself. Just keep on doing the best that you can. Surely your kids see that.

Seeking God In The Morning

What is the first thing you do in the morning? For more than a year now, I have stuck to my resolution of spending the first 30 minutes of my morning seeking the Lord–in prayer, reading the Scriptures and writings of the Church and in meditation. I would say that this practice has greatly enriched my life. For the past year and a half, I have found it a lot easier to be cheerful and resilient to face the trials that come my way. Seeking God in the morning is now my thing.

For me, the early morning is the best time to seek God because it is quiet and still and I can easily direct my full attention towards the Lord. I believe the great King David thinks the same way too as he says in Psalms 5:3, “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.”

Find time for the Lord in the early part of the day and you will see how much life-changing this can be. Seeking God in the morning has become a beautiful and much anticipated part of my day.

Draw inspiration from one writer’s experience: “Mornings with God.”

You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have

Let me share a line I got by reading a post titled, “How To Lift Others Up Without Them Pulling You Down:” “Be careful not to fall into the trap of helping others without first looking in your own “spiritual mirror” because this may have eternal consequences.”

Helping others is a fundamental Christian duty. However, reading the line above reminds me that we cannot just offer our help to others. In order for us to be worthy of giving other people a hand at their spiritual journey, we must first take the time to evaluate the quality of our lives. As they say, “you can’t give what you don’t have.”

I’d like to think of it this way, when we offer to rescue someone from a sinking boat, it is only right that we make sure that our boat is not sinking too. How we live our lives does more witnessing and evangelizing than any of our words can. It really is true that you can’t give what you don’t have.

Guide Your Child, Don’t Control

I read a question this morning that made me do some thinking, and I want to share it with you so you could do some thinking too. The question is a title of a blog post and it read: “When Does Parenting Cross the Line From Encouraging to Controlling?

I believe that it is innate for every parent to want their children to achieve something. While our intentions are good, we often end up making our children do something that they really do not want to do. Having our children follow suit to our whims can be satisfying, but this does not have the same effect to our kids. Studies show that kids who feel they have no autonomy are also more likely to be depressed and anxious. It is my belief that you should guide your child, don’t control your child.

We may have more knowledge that our kids, but this does not mean that we need to make all the decisions for them. Our kids are better off if we do not coerce them to do as we please. Our kids need someone to guide to help them make positive life choices, not someone who will control them. So guide your child, don’t control.

Parents should spend time teaching our kids the right values in life and having faith in their capacity to make the right decisions.

Don’t Be Lukewarm, Reheat Your Faith

Archbishop Chaput’s message yesterday, “Catholics Should Live Their Faith ‘All In’” reminded me of this verse in the Bible, “I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” (Revelation 3:15-16) The message is don’t be lukewarm, reheat your faith.

A lot of people around the world call themselves Christians but do not really follow the footsteps and teachings of Christ. They adhere to Christ’s teachings and commissions only according to their preference–their convenience. This are what we call “lukewarm or halfhearted” Christians. When you look at the verse above, God despises these kinds of people. God wants us to be completely with and for him or not at all.

As he says in, Matthew 12:30, “Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.”

So are you fully committed to God or are you living your life comfortably as a lukewarm Christian? I strive for full commitment and you should too! Don’t be lukewarm, reheat your faith!