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Friday, September 5, 2014

Knowing your Blessings: 3 ways

There is tendency in life to look back on what we've done in life. No matter how many great quotes we read to let our past be our past, there is always that habit of looking back. I always think of Rhafiki off of the Lion King when he says you can either run from it, or learn from it. At times I think I need a stick to the face to wake me up, and help me see what's ahead and those things that I have and others don't. Sometimes, it can be hard to look at life in a positive way when all we see is what we have done. Aside from that great movie, instead of recognizing our past that we so often do, we should recognize the things that we love so much. Recognize our blessings and the things that make us who we are today. Here are three ways I have come up with to help me see the good in my life and alter the bad.

The first is PRAYER.
Learning to build ourselves up in prayer is not an easy thing to do, I struggle with it and I'm sure many of us do. It's a process and takes habit. The joy is that by our prayers, not only are we conforming ourselves to the heart and will of God, but we are also building a foundation for a relationship with the divine; in mind, body and soul. By our prayer and communication to God, we are able to recognize our blessings in a more complete way. But it doesn't end there, we are also able to see those faults and weaknesses that hurt us, for example our sin, or our vices that were once virtues overpowered by pride. Prayer in essence is our communal relationship with God and it allows us to see what breaks us (sin) and what makes us (blessings). 

The second is the EUCHARIST. 
After our prayer we are in relationship to God, however, as long as we are on earth, that relationship will never be in a complete way. Once we recognize those blessings and weaknesses in our lives, we ought to thank God and give him praise because of them. But why would we thank God for our weakness? The fact is that they help us become better. Just by us recognizing that weakness is a sign and movement toward the good. The word Eucharist, comes from the Greek translation of "thanks-giving" and so if you think about it, in our partaking of the Eucharist, we are professing by word and action our thanks to God, Most High. The Eucharist, in its holiness, is a perfect and most sincere way for us to praise and thank God in all He has done. In our partaking we are made alive, and alert. We are awakened and ready to combat those evils that come for us, this comes from us seeing our weaknesses and what truly hurts us the most. 

The third is LOVE OF SELF
In our prayers and thanksgiving, our "true colors" and true vocation will be made known to us. We will see who we really are, and what we are called to be. Before we sign that divine contract as I like to call it, what should be practiced is a love of self, not so much a pride but who you are upon recognizing yourself. Loving yourself and who you are made to be. If we compare ourselves to other people constantly, then what Joy will that bring us. If we learn to love ourselves and the unique characteristics we each have, we can understand that somehow on a spiritual level, we too can be a blessing for another person. As a consequence of our prayer, we learn to accept who we are and see those things that prevent us from loving ourselves, therefore building our spirits up not down. 

In our prayers and relationship to God we are able to recognize our own strengths and weaknesses. God allows us to see those goods and bads. In our participation of the Mass and the Eucharist we are praising Him and giving Him thanks for all that is preparing us. Then, when we love God in our prayer and in the Eucharist we learn to love who we are and who we are called to be by altering those weaknesses for the good. 
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