A 1960s CHILD WATCHTOWER (PLEASE WRITE TO: A60sCHILDMAILBOX@aol.com)

" The More We Learn, The More We Realize Just How Little We Know, And How Much There Is Still To Be Learned " I come from the dramatic, revolutionary, albeit violent, yet 'magical' 60s. Opinionated and challenging, I write about current events, geopolitics, globalization, history, music, mainly classic rock, philosophy, pop culture, politics, religion, sociology, and anything else that defines the person which I am. 60s Child

Name:
Location: Miami, Florida, United States

I belong to a special generation, the 'Baby Boomer Generation', all 70 million of us. Mine is the countercultural, culture-changing, music-influenced, society-altering, rebellious, and revolutionary generation which grew up during the dramatic and violent, while in many ways exciting and 'magical' 1960s. After all these years, I still feel totally identified with the 60s, as that decade defines me. Although I was both a participating and observing member of the 'flower generation', I am a conservative in my political and sociological principles. As much as I appreciated the freedom and radical liberalism of the 60s, I nevertheless did not support the anti-war movement. I am also Roman Catholic, and teach catechism. AS I CONSIDER THE MUSIC OF THE 60s AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE CULTURE, AND CONSIDERING THAT EVEN AFTER 40 YEARS IT RETAINS ITS POWERFUL ALLURE, I WISH TO SHARE SOME OF MY 60s FAVORITE GROUPS: ANIMALS, B.BOYS, BEATLES, B.GEES, B.S.&T, CHICAGO, CREAM, C.C.R., C.S.N.&Y, E.L.O., E.L.P., 4 SEASONS, G.F.R., J.HENDRIX, KINKS, LED ZEP, MAMAS & PAPAS, M.BLUES, R.STONES, R.ORBISON, S.& G., WHO, YARDBIRDS EMAIL: A60sCHILDMAILBOX@aol.com

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

GOD HAS PROVIDED US WITH THE TOOLS FOR US TO HELP OURSELVES AND OTHERS


GOD HAS PROVIDED US WITH THE TOOLS
FOR US TO HELP OURSELVES AND OTHERS

As I watched on TV the devastation that Hurricanes Katrina and Rita caused all over the gulf coast, particularly in New Orleans, where there were people standing on the roofs of buildings waiting for someone to rescue them, I could not help but remember an old story that many priests use now and then during their homilies. I will adapt it to the present situation in New Orleans:

A New Orleans family climbed on top of the roof of their home as the hurricane storm surge kept rising, to the point where the waters covered their home and unfortunately washed them away. As they arrived in Heaven, they asked The Lord, "My Lord, didn't you hear our prayers pleading for you to save us from the raging waters"? The Lord replied, "Of course I did hear you, and I did try to save you." "But you did not take us to safe ground or make the waters recede so that we didn't have to drown,' 'so what did you do to help us, as you say you did, Lord?" So The Lord replied: "Didn't the Head of Emergency Management warn you on TV and radio that those that did not evacuate the city would likely drown during the storm?' ' Didn't the Mayor of New Orleans also plead with all citizens to abandon everything and drive away to safer grounds'? 'Didn't Louisiana's governor also sternly tell you to flee as fast as you could?' 'And didn't you hear the police scream through loudspeakers imploring for everyone to leave the city?' 'Didn't the National Guard also drive through your neighborhood picking up those citizens that were still astray, in order to take them to a safe shelter?' 'So what else did you expect me to do in order to save you from this terrible storm?' 'How many more warnings did you need before you heeded their advice?' I tried to help you, but you just would not listen.

Moral of the story: God will hear your cry, and God will help you, though not necessarily in the fashion you expect him to do so. God will not send angelic lifeguards down from Heaven to save those in peril of drowning. He will not send angels with wings to pick you off from the roof of a burning building. However, God helps those that help themselves. God will not give us necessarily what we want or expect from Him. He will grant us just what we need. Moreover, there is a great difference here, which we as Christians must realize. God is not an ATM machine from which by choice we can extract whatever we need, or a Coke machine, which will give us a choice of refreshments by just depositing .75 cents.

God has given us humans the use of reason. We are the chosen ones among His creations. As beautiful as nature is, as splendid as rivers and mountains look, as exotic and magnificent as beasts are, we humans are still His best creation, because we were made in His image. And not just that, he also gave us a large enough brain which enables us to reason, enables us to think things over, enables us to tell right from wrong. Moreover, He has done so with a purpose, with the purpose that we have the choice of accepting Him as our Father, and His son Jesus Christ as our savior, or the choice of rejecting Him altogether.

He has provided us with the necessary tools, talents and ability to process information in order to make choices; not His choices, but our choices. And depending on the choices we make, we will either gain entrance into eternal bliss in Heaven, or we will be cast into eternal pain and oblivion in the depths of Hell.

Yes, God does have a plan for each of us. But that is where the mystery lies and where faith takes hold. We cannot just stand still and let God tell us what to do. We cannot just sit in the middle of a road and assume that we will not be struck by a passing vehicle just because we feel that God intends for us to live longer. That is where the tools He has given us come into play. That is where the use of reason, the use of our brain comes into play. As much as God has a plan for all of us, within that plan He has allowed for us to have the ability to make choices, and how we use that ability throughout our lives will depend how we are judged once we complete our so-short journey on this earth.

I mentioned "mystery," because as much as God has given us, He has not given us the knowledge, or ability to comprehend everything that God is all about. Those answers await us only in the end of days.

We know that there is God, the Father, creator of Heaven, the universe, and earth. He rules over everything and there is no power mightier than His. He is our Lord and Master, the "Great Spirit in the sky," as the 60s song goes.

We know that there is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who God sent down to live among us, feel like us, suffer like us, and sacrifice himself for us. For Jesus' mission on earth was two-fold.

Jesus had to first fulfill the ancient scriptures, as the true Messiah, or "Redeemer." He was born of the Virgin Mary, became man, was tortured, crucified, and therefore died for us, for the redemption of the original sin, and to thus enable the faithful to enter into His kingdom in Heaven. He would not have it any other way, for that's as it was written, so He had to follow through, just as we had been told through many generations before him.

But Jesus also had the mission of establishing His ministry on earth and therefore had to set the example for us humans that He, the very son of God, the manifestation of God in a human body, was willing to die for His faith, thus setting the guidelines for our church and his disciples to build upon through His teachings and His sacrifice.

In addition, He proved to us that He was both the Son of God, and the founder of our church by rising from the dead and making believers of everyone that saw him.

And then we know about the Holy Spirit, the greatest mystery of all. I cannot explain it, for I am not supposed to be able to. If St. Augustine could not come up with an answer, how could I? However, however, that's where faith comes in, and through our faith in God the Father, and in Jesus Christ, His son, we also come to believe in the Holy Spirit. The closest I can come to a description is that the Holy Spirit is the fire within our souls, within our heart that burns nonstop while keeping the flame of our Christian faith alive.

As saints which they were, and as much as they suffered themselves in martyrdom, Jesus' disciples had it pretty easy. They did not have to rely on faith alone as we do, for they witnessed the ministry, the death, and the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Much more, they received at Pentecost the Holy Spirit and experienced its flaming tongues as they pierced their hearts with the brand that finally sealed their faith forever.

So I mentioned mystery, followed by faith. We will learn the mystery of the Holy Trinity upon our admission into Heaven. In the meantime, if we do want to be among those that do gain admission into Heaven, we must have faith, must feel faith, and must practice faith.

We cannot just sit still and say that we "have faith in God," and have nothing to show for it. That is not enough and is disingenuous even to us mere mortals, so you can figure that God can 'see right through you' and be able to measure your true faith.

The faithful are active ministers of the church. As I said, God has given each of us special tools, which we can, and must use to glorify Him. No two humans are made alike, so therefore no two humans possess the same God-given tools, which He has given us to not just pay homage to Him, but to spread His Word as well.

Not all of us are meant to be Popes, or Bishops, or priests, or monks, or nuns, or even deacons of the church.

However, as it says in the first document of 16 which emerged from the Second Vatican Council of the Catholic Church, "Dogmatic Constitution On The Church", ("Lumen Gentium."): "The Holy Spirit guides the church in the way of all truth and, uniting it in fellowship and ministry, bestows upon it different hierarchic and charismatic gifts, and in this way directs it and adorns it with his fruits'………'Hence the universal church is seem to be a people made one by the unity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.'"

That one paragraph says it all. We are all, from the poorest single lay person that cleans the Sacristy, all the way up to the Pope, one and the same, as one cannot exist without the other, and together we all form the one body which is our church.

We are stewards of gifts given to us by God. Those gifts are our talents, and we must use them as ministers of our church, lest our lives be endured in total vain, which is nothing else but a sin.

We can be ushers during weekly masses; we can be Eucharistic ministers, lectors, members of the choir, altar persons, all noble ministries attached to the celebration of the Eucharist. We can also exercise our ministry as active members of the Cursillo movement, the Emmaus movement, Knights of Columbus, Fishers of Men, (Pescadores de Hombres), the Legion of Mary, as teachers of Catechism to children unable to attend parochial schools, youth ministries, members of the Society of St. Vincent De Paul, or a myriad of other groups and ways through which we can utilize the tools which God has bestowed upon us. The 'proverbial' sky is the limit as to how many and how many different ways we can help the church and our fellow brothers and sisters.

All ministries are good. No one ministry is better than another, as there is no such thing as a hierarchy in lay ministries. As written in the parable of the old and very poor woman: To God, one person's last penny given as charity is just as valuable as a rich person's thousands of dollars.

We must participate, just be active, just give of ourselves and of our God-given talents. We must be 'heralds of the Good News', while being examples to others, which may follow our lead.

We cannot wait for God to come to our rescue whenever we find ourselves in trouble. He has given us the means and the tools to help ourselves, and help others already. All we have to do is pick up those tools and get to work.

60s Child

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home