Keeping Faith Alive (19)


Be in your prayer space, follow the usual steps and settle into silence.

Sit still…..Relax…….Do not rush………

Take a couple of gentle, slow and deep breaths…becoming aware of your breath going in and out… stay focused on this breath of life……

Now from the depth of your heart begin to wish your mind well……….

Take a moment. Bless your day. Let your day Bless you……Take another moment. Bless your world. Let your world bless you……

Every day that we wake up is a good day. Every breath that we take is filled with hope for a better day. Every word that we speak is a chance to change what is bad into something good…….Now from the depth of heart, wish your mind well……

Now I invite you to consecrate this day and all that come with this day….in your own way, in humble, simple, may be even inadequate words………..

I pray for you and I invite you to pray for each other and for all, who, at this moment, are receiving the gift of this new day!

We continue our meditation on keeping our faith alive. Our last meditation was on being
attentive to moments of grace that God puts in front of us as essential to keeping our faith alive. We must learn to notice the “moments of grace” in our life. These moments are not just something that happen to us…those are the moments in our life worth paying attention to…they are moments of Grace and now is the moment of grace.

We need a positive and optimistic attitude about life and the world and nurture a spirit of hope as we strive to keep our faith alive. Hope and positive and optimistic attitudes are signs of a dynamic faith. Only men and women of hope will keep going in the face of the many hurdles, trials, failures, tragedies and such slings and arrows that life brings. Hope is an inherent quality of faith. Positive and optimistic attitudes emerge from the virtue of hope and the virtue of hope is faith alive in the future.

Hope … means … a continual looking forward to the eternal…. It does not mean that we are to leave the present world as it is. If you read history you will find that the Christians who did most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next…. It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the eternal that they have become so ineffective in the present. Aim at Heaven and you will get earth ‘thrown in’.

Our Sacred Scriptures carry many stories of Hope and of positive and optimistic attitudes. Our History of salvation tells us the story of many men and women, who made great sacrifices because they were men and women of Hope. Our history is a history of hope and this hope was the sure sign of a dynamic faith that kept men and women alive and moving!

We often burden ourselves with thoughts of past failures and mistakes or fears about the future and future problems. We must remember that we are Christians, people of hope because we are grounded in a faith that carries us, especially during difficult moments. .

Hope is our power in our powerlessness. Being men and women of hope makes us optimistic! Optimism is a spiritual posture, a way of being present in the world, a dynamic force that moves us and gives us the power to overcome barriers, hardships and limits in our lives.

Optimism is a force that challenges us and empowers us to take responsibility for our life, our thoughts, feelings, choices, commitments and actions. It is a force that enables us to strive to do our best and be faithful. It’s the force that makes us determined, resolute, steady on the road and steadfast on our journey!

Be optimistic and positive about yourself! Let that be the sure sign of your faith! Refuse to listen to negative conversations! Do not burden yourself with pessimistic attitudes! Be men and women of Hope. Let your Hope carry you through difficult moments and trying times.

Rejoice in small victories and concentrate on the good already being done rather than lament the absences. This disposition leads us to hope and enables us to strive for excellence in all we do and striving for excellence is an integral part of living a faith-filled life.

The optimist is alert, awake and sensitive enough to see the many ways that God shows up in unexpected places in unpredictable ways. God does appear to be popping up all over the place, uninvited and without a lot of fanfare – to let people know that he loves them. It takes a dynamic faith to recognize the presence of God as he reveals himself.

I have known many who say, “Life isn’t fair.” “I don’t deserve this.” “Why me?” “What great sin have I committed to deserve this?” And so on. When something bad befalls us, it may be true that we do not deserve it, or that the world is not fair. My neighbor has a saying, “I am blessed. If I am happier, I will be twins”. He is not in the best of health and he is not the richest person in the world. But he sees life as blessed. He doesn’t complain and whine about life’s unfairness. He has an optimistic disposition. He keeps his faith alive!

Optimists display a deep and pervasive and creative openness to possibilities. Their confidence in their ability to achieve their goals cannot easily be shaken. They invest themselves into achieving their goals. They stay with it, hang in there…they are faithful and they keep their faith alive!

An optimist will not persistently attempt the truly impossible. However, he/she believes in the possibility of accomplishing even the impossible under changed circumstances and with lots of faith in the Grace of God and the support of caring people. Many limits are limits only within a specific context or because of lack of support or because of the absence of faith. We may be able to change the context and new possibilities will open up. The optimist knows that when one door closes another opens. This is a sure sign of a faith that is alive!

Be optimistic! Light your candle. All the darkness of the world cannot put out the light of one small candle. Keep your faith alive!

Refuse to listen to negative conversations! Do not burden yourself with pessimistic attitudes! Trust in the Lord! Keep your faith alive!

When things don’t turn around the way you planned, as sometimes they do, be optimistic and stay with it and plan the way to turn things around! Be positive! Stand your ground! Be faithful and keep your faith alive!

Let us begin to nurture optimism, a positive attitude, a spiritual posture of being confident and open to new possibilities. Let us pray for each other that we may be men and women of hope; that we may be optimistic about life and the world around us; that we may live and move faithfully in the face of the difficulties and tragedies which life brings; that being optimistic becomes our attitude, our inner disposition, an essential quality of our being and a sure way of keeping our faith alive!.

I pray that you continue to be optimistic and positive and keep your faith alive…..

  • when you are afraid and lose confidence in you, in others and in God…….
  • when the busyness and schedules of your day press upon you and you become tense and nervous and doubtful…..
  • when you doubt yourself in difficult moments in your life…..
  • when you lose sight of God’s grace and blessings in your life…..
  • when emptiness, loneliness and other such slings and arrows come your way….
  • when you struggle to be good and share your goodness with others….

Be optimistic! Be positive! Think positive! Be resolute! Be a remarkable sign of hope for the world! Keep your faith alive!

Let us strive to be true to ourselves, to be authentic in all we say and do, to be steadfast in living our faith and keep our faith alive. May the “Year of Faith” be God’s wonderful gift to you and I pray that you will make it a gracious and joyful gift to others.

Keep your faith alive and your faith will keep you alive!

Fr. Gus Tharappel, msfs

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