Category Archives: Life

In Manus Tuas

I sometimes wonder why I am doing certain things. I take decisions that I regret, and I face decisions where I know I’ll regret, no matter what I choose. How come? I guess I lack trust. And prayer.

The Lord, who keeps my face inscribed in the palm of His hand, is like the sign in the woods, hidden behind trees and bushes. All it takes is a little effort of mine to discover the sign and see where it points me. It would solve a lot of problems and give me the certainty that I won’t make the wrong choice.

So whenever I face a crossroad, I know the sign is somewhere. Sometimes it is clear to see, sometimes it is hidden behind bushes, but I know it is there. That’s faith.

Why then, do I not take the time to search for the sign before I take either way?

Lord, please give me the patience to pray and discern. Let me be guided by You who points me in the right direction at every moment of my life.

Hoffnung means hope…

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Deus Caritas Est

Deus Caritas Est

Many of my fellow Catholics have read Benedict’s first Encyclica the minute it came out and the days and weeks after. It was much talked about, discussed, praised, welcomed. However, when browsing the internet, I sometimes get the impression like some of its content went unnoticed. Let’s take a look:

The Church’s deepest nature is expressed in her three-fold responsibility: of proclaiming the word of God (kerygma-martyria), celebrating the sacraments (leitourgia), and exercising the ministry of charity (diakonia). These duties presuppose each other and are inseparable. For the Church, charity is not a kind of welfare activity which could equally well be left to others, but is a part of her nature, an indispensable expression of her very being. (Benedict XVI, Deus Caritas Est, 25a)

What Benedict states here is by no means new. The entire encyclica is not a work with originality claim. On the contrary, it deals with the oldest identity questions of the Catholic Church. Charity is a part of Christian identity, not by choice but by definition. As the bride of Christ, the Church is called to love and to help. In fact, that very part of the Church’s identity stems directly from Jesus’ final commandment (Jn 15:12).

Keeping the state of our planet in mind, it seems obvious and self-explanatory where the focus of Christian efforts should lie these days.

The Pope obviously stated the other two fundamental tasks of the Church’s identity, the kerygma and the leitourgia. While those two are undoubtedly extremely important as well, they seem to have a huge edge over the third one in terms of what is being dealt with on Catholic blogs these days – especially the latter.

This is by no means to say that spreading the word of God and discussing the liturgical challenges the Church faces in an age of post-counciliar confusion is a bad thing. On the contrary, it is much needed and appreciated.

But, in all honesty, sometimes I wish that when browsing the Catholic blogosphere, I would find a tad bit more (positive) articles about the work of Caritas International and the Order of Malta in Myanmar than (negative and mocking articles) about the latest potato-head puppet liturgy by Call to Action. Those that frequently browse through the blogosphere themselves will easily understand what I am talking about.

Hoffnung means hope…

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生日快乐

Today’s not like any other day. Shengri kuaile, hermelin!

Hoffnung means hope…

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Childlike abandonment

Today’s Gospel Reading from Mt 6;24-34 is probably one of the most known:

“Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they? Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span?”

It is a short part full of incredible advice. Why worry? Too many times we get frustrated in our lives, thinking that all depends on us and that we’re jsut not up to it. And honestly, it’s all just a waste of time.

>>Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of our heavenly Father who takes care of his children’s smallest needs: “Therefore do not be anxious, saying ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’. …Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well.”<< (Catechism § 305)

Hoffnung means hope…

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The King of Kings, the Lord of Lords

In the spirit of Corpus Christi, which, sadly enough, is not a public holiday in the Netherlands, I’d like to share with you one of the greatest videos about the celebration of our faith that I have seen in the last few years: Grassroot’s “God in the streets of New York”. Lets not be afraid to take our faith to the streets.

“They stopped, and they looked for one second, and they met Jesus by the eye – and their lives could have been changed forever”

Hoffmung means hope…

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Perdoa-me, Senhor

Perdoa-me Senhor
Às vezes esqueço que dai olhas por nós
E não me lembro de parar e ouvir-te a voz
Ando num mundo em que não sinto
Em que me escondo e em que minto
Fico menor

Ajuda-me senhor
A ver a esperança quando á volta tudo é dor
A ganhar força e a voltar a acreditar
Eu já perdi a confiança
Já não sou mais uma criança
Não sei sonhar

Perdoa-me senhor
Por fechar a minha mão sem a estender
Por não lembrar que devo dar sem receber
E em vez de sim Te digo não
Por isso peço o teu perdão
Senhor

I paid the local youth ministry a visit and was overwhelmed by the warmth and friendlyness with which I was immediately included into their community… an open protest against the anonimity that the world has become. The song above, sung in community with the students at CREU, is not only overwhelmingly beautiful but also incredibly powerful. Let it sink in and reflect upon the absurdity of your daily habits. Forgive me, Lord.

Hoffnung means hope…

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Mt 11.28

Turn me down in my request
for pleasure, born in selfishness
Set me straight and give me strength
to battle unease and distress

Time passes slowly when you miss your girl. Take your worries to someone bigger than you. He will help you out. 

Hoffnung means hope…

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