The Daily Maronite: Renewing vows on the feast of St. Antonius

June 5, 2008

Renewing vows on the feast of St. Antonius

 

It was on January 17, the feast of St. Anthony of the Desert, when we (the members of my Maronite Order) renewed our vows.
Ohh. I am a big sinner. I think this ceremony should be cancelled. Who can be faithful? Only God is. We are all a bunch of sinners. Though we are loved by God.
I am in the back holding a sheet of paper. after prayer, we had a really good lunch. Mmmmm.

 

 

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The Daily Maronite: We have found the Messiah (John 1:35-42)

June 4, 2008

We have found the Messiah (John 1:35-42)

 


Despite the noise of politics, the financial preoccupation, the anxiety over the future, the fear of terrorism, let us retire today to meet the Lord Jesus in this passage of the Gospel of John. We may find here a light of hope in the midst of darkness:

1- Jesus walks by:
Jesus passes by our lives. He sees the things that are going on in our lives, nation, world. But this time, he walks by knocking at each one’s door, holding with him a promise: A promise of Peace, Glory, the Holy Spirit. If you hear his voice do not harden your hearts.

2- “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”:
This is the voice of a Christian who discovered the Mystery of Jesus Christ. Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: The weapons of our battle

June 3, 2008

The weapons of our battle

 

Saint Paul said in his letter to the Corinthians that the weapons of our battle are not of flesh but of spirit. We do not force people to believe in Christ. We do not blow up ourselves in order to expand our religion. We do not fight evil with bombs and explosions. I do not force my parishioners to welcome Christ in their hearts. The weapons of our battle are spiritual. These weapons are enormously powerful, capable of 4 things:

1- destroying fortresses (strongholds);
2- destroying erroneous thoughts (arguments);
3- destroying every pretension raising itself against the knowledge of God (proud);
4- taking every thought captive in obedience to Christ.
That was the mission of John the Baptist: calling everyone to repentance so that everyone might understand the message of Christ. Without repentance we can never understand the will of God in our lives. John the Baptist was preparing the way for Christ in destroying fortresses, erroneous thoughts, Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: White Christmas in Lebanon

June 2, 2008

White Christmas in Lebanon

 


We had white Christmas in Lebanon. That’s where I live. It snowed on December 24 but it didn’t stick. The snow in the picture is just 20 minutes away from where I live.
We had 6 Masses in the parish. We heard hundreds of confessions. The bells ring everywhere. There were even some non-Christians attending Mass. One of them asked me to bless him with the chalice (with the Blessed Sacrament).
Even though Christians have fears & they are anxious because of security issues (since the terror regime of Syria is still trying to undermine security in Lebanon in order to regain control and enslave this last free place in the Middle East) the Lebanese people try to keep hope stronger than despair, life stronger than death.

 


The Daily Maronite: The Birth of the Savior & the Birth of our Independence

June 1, 2008

The Birth of the Savior & the Birth of our Independence

 

Christ has been born in the world. The Light has come. The Truth has been revealed. Life came to us. The Word became flesh. Salvation has been born. Freedom has begun.

Christ the Savior was born in the world and no power has been able to stop God’s plan of Salvation. No one has been able to stop the encounter Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: The Miracle of the WORD

May 31, 2008

The Miracle of the WORD

 

2000 years ago, God has said His WORD. He said everything He wanted to say in Jesus Christ. He sent His only Son to the world, to save the world. He showed us the power of the Word, the need for the Word (for salvation), and the way everything can be fulfilled through the Word to overcome evil. Do I believe in the power of my word? Do I know how much my word is needed in my community? Where can my word be fulfilled overcoming evil?

The power of the word:
The word has the power to destroy or to build: The word “I hate you” is totally different from the word “I love you”. Each word has a different effect on the person who hears it.
The word has the power to create a certain atmosphere: Swearing at home can create a very tense atmosphere in the family. Speaking calmly can create a peaceful atmosphere at home.

The word has the power to transform those who receive it: Your word can transform despair into hope, desolation into consolation, slavery into freedom, darkness into light, sickness into healing. The centurion asked Jesus to “only say the word and he shall be healed.”

The word has the power to destroy evil: Pope John Paul II has never used weapons to overcome the evil of communism. Rather, he used his word. With his word, he liberated Poland and the Soviet Union collapsed.
The Maronite Patriarch has never used weapons to overcome the evil of the Syrian regime. Rather, he used his word. With his word, he liberated Read the rest of this entry »


The Daily Maronite: REVELATION TO JOSEPH

May 30, 2008

REVELATION TO JOSEPH

 

This Sunday is the Revelation to Joseph Sunday. The truth is revealed to Joseph after doubts concerning his beloved Mary. Joseph was in front of a great Mystery (the Virgin is with child) and a great vocation (to become a father of the Son of the Father in Heaven).

We learn 7 things from Joseph:

1- The Righteous man: Joseph was a righteous man, committed to God’s commandments. He had no fear or shame of his commitment. Joseph is an example to every man: Do not be afraid to be a man of prayer, in union with God, surrendered completely to God’s Will, avoiding evil and doing good.

2- The pure love: Joseph had a pure & honest love towards Mary. His love was not controlling. He respected her. A controlling love leads to despair, illusion, envy, and in some cases to crime. There are many people in this world who are stuck on the road because of their controlling love. They love the other for selfish reasons.

3- No exposure to the public: Joseph did not want to expose Mary to public disgrace. It was very easy to Joseph to bring his fiance to the priests where she would be condemned to death. When our partner, our wife, our husband, our girlfriend, our boyfriend, our neighbor, our brother, etc… relapses or fails, sometimes we are too quick to judge. We emphasize his/her sin and we make his/her story the discussion of the day. The Church teaches that talebearing destroys our neighbor’s honor. It is a sin against justice & charity.

4- He planned to dismiss her quietly: Joseph did not surrender to the feeling of being betrayed or to the love of vengeance.

5- The openness & listening to God’s revelation: Joseph was opened to God’s explanation of what was going on. He listened to what the Angel told him in the dream. With his openness, Joseph understood the Mystery of the Virgin and his Vocation.

6- No suspicions: When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him. Love believes everything.

7- Welcoming Mary & Jesus: The Angel said to Joseph, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to your house.” Joseph welcomed Mary & Jesus in his house. That’s what we can learn from Joseph, to take Mary & Jesus to our hearts, family, life.

A reading from St. Ephrem the Syrian:
Joseph had loved the Son as a child and he served him as a god. He rejoiced in him as he rejoices in the Good One and he feared him as a righteous. How amazing?

Joseph says, “Who gives me this grace that the Son of the almighty be my son. I suspected your mother and planned to dismiss her. I did not know that in her womb was hidden a great treasure that enriched my poverty.

David the King was from my kin and he wore the crown. But I , myself, had been humiliated becoming a carpenter instead of a king. But the crown had been given back to me for I hold the Lord of Lords in my hands.