Maintain Balance #7
Our economy is doing very well nowadays. We read and see the developments going on, and the signs are good. There are investors coming in, though not yet that much. All indicators augur well for our country, however; our people still have to feel the bounties of development. Poverty is still widespread; unemployment is still a problem. Investments must be such that jobs are created to spread the wealth and opportunities. There are also other disruptions that are derailing these developments. Allegations of graft and corruption continue to hog the headlines. These are bad examples for our young people, who are themselves grappling with identity and insecurity issues. Come to think about it, we can clearly see that the root of all these is man’s desire to have more than what he needs.
Why is that so? Greed. Simply greed.
Greed is an inordinate desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs. The degree of greed is related to the inability to control the reformulation of “wants” once the desired “needs” are eliminated. Erich Fromm described greed as “a bottomless pit, which exhausts the person in an endless effort to satisfy the need without ever reaching satisfaction.”
Unfortunately, this characterizes a lot of our political leaders today. They are so engrossed with enriching themselves at the expense of their constituents. We are thirsty for genuine leaders that care for people.
Greed, while typically used to criticize those who seek excessive material wealth, may also apply to the need to feel more excessively moral, social, or otherwise better than someone else. Thus, when one feels the need to be better than others, one is also guilty of greed in another form. St. Thomas Aquinas wrote “Greed is a sin against God, just as all mortal sins, in as much as man condemns things eternal for the sake of temporal things“.
Man’s greed leads him to a low level of trust for God’s goodness and generosity. Man thinks that he must take matters into his own hands instead of trusting for abundance to result out of his own seeds of goodness. He doesn’t want to wait, he wants to do it on his own. His faith is doubting, not genuine. He chooses to forget God’s goodness.
Yet, the Psalms tells us,
“The earth is full of the goodness of the Lord” (Ps. 33).
The fact is, there are some blessings that can’t be received unless we have the patience to wait for them. True, these times of waiting are very uncomfortable. At times, these could be painful. However, if we intervene, if we become greedy, we will miss God’s gifts to us.
When we finally are showered with blessings and gifts from God, we should wholeheartedly be grateful and thankful. We then have to share these with the people we love and with others. Graces aren’t meant to be kept, but rather to be shared. This requires us to open our hearts when we give, for unless we do it with love, it is empty and doesn’t mean anything. Also, material gifts are a poor substitute for love. People don’t need more possessions, they actually need more love and understanding. As St. Paul says, “If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Cor. 13:3).
It is therefore our challenge to share and care. There’s a lot of lonely and desperate people out there, waiting for our attention and love. Start with your own family and friends. For it is only in sharing ourselves with others that we have truly lived.
Champions package generosity in big boxes and small sachets. Caring opportunities come without load limits, no schedules.
Have you been hit with a deluge of challenging situations all at the same time? Learn discipline with intellectual honesty- focus on what needs to be prioritized. Set timelines and learn to obey them. The joy of inner peace is the fruit of steady, disciplined action, balanced with inner convictions that propel such motive.
Fr. Armand was awesome. He has very refreshing and inspirational topics. I took a lot that I wanna keep reflecting on so I can live by the code. These new thoughts will help our minds and spirits grow.
Manager from Stellar BPO
Fr. Armand flew to San Carlos, Negros Occidental to give the Code of Champions to San Carlos Bioenergy Inc. (SCBI) key personnel. SCBI was the first in the Philippines and the Southeast Asia to manufacture Bioethanol. For them to deepen their culture they thought they should start with the basic principles and Code of Champions was their medium.
This week, Fr. Armand shared about the Gospel of St. Luke’s account of how the Scribes and the Pharisees showed their hypocrisy in the way they acted. Jesus was invited by a Pharisee to dine at his home, and then was criticized for not following the Jewish cleansing customs. Jesus told the Pharisee, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and the dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil. You fools!” (Lk. 11: 39) They were rule-oriented and without going into the essence and meaning behind the law.
In our spiritual life, this can happen when we are so ticked with rules and yet do not understand the reason behind it. Jesus preached the Gospel of Love, which was mostly misunderstood by the Jews. I often feel how sad it is that they’re missing the point, and missing the Messiah passing by! There’s more to the rules than just what the Jews follow. If we are to be Christ’s disciples, there’s the need for us to be compassionate, to be more loving. It’s easier said than done, right?
Believing in Jesus wasn’t and isn’t always easy to do. Yes it’s easy to believe, to love, but following Him is an entirely different story. What does it take then to be a faithful follower of Christ?
It’ll take commitment. History tells us a lot of stories about people who were advised to quit just short of a great accomplishment. Abraham Lincoln failed a lot of times before succeeding. He ran for state legislature and lost. He entered business and failed, spending 17 years paying off his debts. He ran for Congress and was defeated. He ran for the United States Senate and was defeated. He finally became president of the United States. He didn’t give up! He was committed!
Benjamin Franklin was told it was foolish experimenting with lightning. Luckily, he didn’t give up. He was committed! Thomas Edison performed nearly a thousand experiments before discovering the proper material for the filament in the light bulb. Edison wouldn’t quit. He was committed!
The key that unlocks our faith in the Lord is our commitment.
Commitment is the motivator that keeps us moving towards our mission. It propels us, it drives us, it energizes. Commitment lets other people know where we stand and lets our hearts feel the thrill of pursuing our mission. Commitment keeps us going while others quit.
“Go on your way; behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.” (Lk. 10: 3)
Generally, most of us try to achieve what we have aimed for. Still there are others who prioritize what brought the passion in their life no matter what social pressure or situation they encounter. They remain focused and never lose their way. They are great people who draws us out of our meekness and inspire us to be engaged. It could be demanding but then it has ignited the spark within you.
There must be some wickedness in restraining yourself from saying beautiful words of appreciation. Be generous, say what you need to say without hesitation if it will give the recipient a brief moment of self worth. Inspire others to be generous with compliments. Sending across a good word is a simple act of generosity. Make it a habit.