WAKE UP FROM YOUR SLUMBER

Kierkegaard, the Danish Philosopher, argues that Christianity as we know it today barely relates itself to the message that Jesus preached in the New Testament. Christians are not striving to come closer to the Christianity of the New Testament, he further maintains. I am no Christian apologetic, but I find it necessary to analyze the veracity of Kierkegaard’s claim.

imagesHe maintains that Luther had written 95 theses to show Christianity’s wretchedness, but today only one is necessary— honestly. When we juxtapose the way we are living the Christian life with the one preached in the New Testament, they almost have nothing in common. Official Christianity does not even dare to make clear the requirement of Jesus’ teachings in the new testament because that would bring to light how far removed the two are. We, Christians, live and love in the ordinary human way and so fail to live the extraordinary life that Christianity requires of us. Diognetus had written a letter to Christian in the third century. in it, he remarked that although are similar to other men by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, they are distinct by the way they lived. This is no longer true unfortunately. and the consequent is dire.

To illustrate his point, he gives an example. A Christian teacher is paid several thousand dollars as his wages. If we suppress the Christian criterion and assume the ordinary ‘human criterion’, which encourages that a person should have his wages for his work in order to live a respectable life with his family and maintain a perfect life’s standard, then that’s great. However, as soon as the idea of Christian poverty is asserted, several thousand is too high a salary. Christianity requires that when our most basic needs are met, the rest be given to the poor. One can live best the Christian requirement only in poverty (of spirit). It is dishonesty to call ourselves Christian when we so miserably fail to live the Christian requirement. We are dishonest about doing what Jesus requires. We give them our own interpretation according to our own expediency; nevertheless, the way we live is so far removed from the Sermon on the Mount’s requirements. “I will not participate… in what is called Christianity”, Kierkegaard says. even Pope Francis shockingly said that, “God would not be Christian if he comes back today”— loosely interpreted, christianity has become too pharisaical. We need to go back to the the beginning seriously. iStock_000031437424_Double

Now how right is Kierkegaard? I believe that the Christian life cannot be reduced to a few critiques. They are people who genuinely try to abide by the teaching of Jesus. Christianity However, it would make Christianity and Christians much more respectable in the world if we actually take very seriously Kierkegaard’s critic. Have you seen how lovable and respectable those who take the Christian faith very seriously are? Not only people respect their sacrifice, they are also attracted to their joy and peace. Religious freedom is being challenged everywhere in the world; perhaps if we take Christianity as Kierkegaard advocated it, no one would dare challenge it since our service would be in so much demands. I must admit as a group, we don’t stand out. We are just like everyone else. There is no way to differentiate Christians and the crowd. We go to their theaters, we watch whatever they want us to watch, we learn what they teach us, and we follow their rules even if they violate our conscience. How do you think the early Christians were able to conquer the world and spread the Word so quickly? It was because they accepted to set a standard tailored after the heart of Jesus— a standard that the ordinary world despised. Of course, that caused them to be imprisoned, mistreated, guillotined and killed, but it also put the world on the path to salvation. Due to our radical examples, the world fell to its knees and asked us for help. Our standards gave meaning to life, put life in right order, and helped put life in perspective.

early-massToday, that standard is lost because we’ve gotten too comfortable over the years. the world has re-conquered the low standard in which it was living before Christianity blossomed. They are winning big time and the powerful force that is Christianity is sleeping. Until we wake up, Kierkegaard’s voice will keep on echoing on our cathedrals, churches, chapels, seminaries, schools, and workplaces. Until then, his voice will continue to resound in our deepest conscience that this Christianity is too far removed from the one preached in the Bible.

Concrete Love!

We are not allowed to fail in loving. We are made to love. Every learning, experience, study should deepen our knowledge and will to love. We will be judged on love. So, as the church is looking for new ways to spiritually re-awaken the faithful who are drunk with the wine of secularism and indifference, it is only if we teach them how to love concretely that they will be sobered up. Who but St. Therese is better fitted for that task since it was she who brought to light the idea of doing small things with incredible amount of love. Therese of Lisieux is the saint of love. Although all the saints became saints as a result of love, it is Therese who emphasized for us how to practice love. What is her understanding of charity?

She believed Jesus’ command at the Last Supper — love one another as I have loved you— constitutes the Magna Carta of our faith. How we live this reveals our identity.[1] She noticed that Jesus did not love his disciples for their natural qualities; they were poor uneducated fishermen while he was eternal wisdom. He loved them because he wanted them to enjoy the kingdom. We too must become students in the school of love and master every aspect of it in our striving to become true disciples. Thus, she discovered a new insight about charity. “True charity consists in bearing with the defects of others, in not being surprised at their weakness, but edified at their smallest virtues. Above all I know that charity must not remain shut up in the heart, for “No one lights a candle, and puts it in a hidden place”.”[2] That means we must be charitable not only to those who are dear to us, but also to all without distinction. Unlike the old law which commands us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves, the new commandment given by Jesus urges us to love them as Jesus himself loves them i.e. more than ourselves.[3]img_0252

Marred by weaknesses and imperfections, unless Jesus loves in us, we cannot love others as Jesus loves us.[4] Thus grace becomes the epicenter of this commandment; grace empowers us to do what we would not otherwise be able to do on our own. So, frequent participation in the sacraments becomes crucial because they are the source of grace. As Aquinas shows, “the Sacraments are necessary for our salvation since it’s the only healing remedy against the disease of sin”.[5] Since we are living in the age of the new evangelization, if it is to be successful, practical love as developed by St. Therese and the celebration of the sacraments will have to go hand in hand.

Charity is concretized in how we approach every act. As she puts it, “it is not enough [to say we] love; we must prove it”.[6] That proof will happen under trials sometimes. The more united we are to Jesus the deeper we can love. So when we see defects in others, if we look at them with the eyes of love, we automatically see their virtues and good intentions.[7] She called that “small victories in the battlefield”. For example, in the convent where she lived, there was a sister who had the gift of displeasing Therese in her ways, words, and character. She could not stand her. She decides to practice charity toward her because “charity does not consist in feelings, but in works”;[8] she decided to do for that sister what she would do for the person she loved the most”.[9] So every time she meets her, she prays for her. When sister says something that was hurtful, instead of responding, Therese would smile most charmingly, or if she could, she’d change the conversation for as she sees it, “arguments don’t change hearts”.[10] If she could not resist the sister in her hurtful manner, she would run away like a coward to avoid sinning. She became victorious over that temptation through prayer, kindness, and virtuous cowardice. By preferring to see the sister as Jesus sees her, Therese knew she was pleasing Jesus for “just like an artist is pleased to receive praise for his work, the divine artist is pleased when we don’t stop at the exterior, but penetrate the inner sanctuary of his work where he dwells”.[11] Therese practiced that love so well, one day that sister asks Therese, “what attracts you so much toward me? Every time you look at me, you smile”. Success!

st-thereseCharity penetrates even the most hardened hearts; it heals even the most wounded; it soothes and frees the soul to focus on its natural inclination. Therese overcomes her temptations by mean of love. Charity changes mind and heart. It opens doors. She focused in growing in personal love, then that affects those around her drastically; love is irresistible; confronting the sister would create more friction and pain. Fraternal correction would only hurt her pride. How many today are wounded, broken, bruised, abused, and used because they don’t know how to love? Instead of detesting that sister, who gave her at first every chance to do so, she prefers to see Jesus hidden n the depths of her soul.[12] Would you like to change a bad coworker, neighbor, friend, unleash the power of love within you and participate in the sacraments very frequently, then wait to see marvel. How many people going to church regularly don’t know how best to live the truth? To be a Christian is the result of an encounter with the person of Jesus; that encounter should give a radical direction to our lives.

What am I talking about? Are there examples out there of that concrete love I am talking about? Maximilian Kolbe manifested that love at Auschwitz when he replaced father of three who was chosen to die. It is alive in St. Gianna Mollo’s daughter for whom she gave up her life. it is alive in those who strive to love the poor. we can touch in parents who sacrifice everything out of love for their family.

Lastly, charity is an interior disposition manifested externally. Performing many actions for others without interiorly disposed is not charity; in her words, “when charity has buried its roots deeply in the soul, it shows itself externally”.[13] So there can be charity in refusing to do for someone what cannot be done. It all depends of the disposition of the soul. Reform your soul. Convert.

This may sound obvious to many; that’s consoling; however there are many who don’t understand this fundamental calling of the Christian life, or how to live out their calling. A simple conversation with them reveals all this. That’s difficult to preach effectively morality, the cross, fasting, almsgivings, praying for one’s enemies, forgiveness etc. to people when they don’t get the basics. Unless they understand love is the basis of all these, unless they become love themselves, these will be a burden on them, and homilies will sound like blah blah blah.

The little way next be patient please

[1] Story of a soul, 219

[2] Story of a soul, 220

[3] Story of a soul, 220

[4] Story of a soul, 221

[5] ST III, 61, 1

[6] 225

[7] story of a soul, 221

[8] Story of a soul, 222

[9] ibid

[10] Story of a soul, 223

[11] Story of a soul, 222

[12] Story of a soul, 223

[13] story of a soul, 228

Behold Joseph the Man!

famThe Mother of God is elevated to the highest pedestal attainable by a human being. She deserves this because her life on earth matches the blueprint in God’s mind; she is, and deservedly so, the highest honor of our race and the mother of our salvation. This honor is due to her fiat and her intrinsic connection to the divine Son of God. She is Theotokos— God’s bearer—and the mother of all mankind. However, something would be amiss if the Son of God was deprived of a father. Thus Joseph occupied a pivotal place in the economy of salvation. He is the second greatest saint in the eyes of the church. He was handpicked to fulfill a primordial role.

 

His role was indispensable in helping Jesus develop into mature manhood. He taught him what it means to be man; as any father should, he must have taught him to pray the psalms, the Jewish’s devotional prayers, how to behave in synagogue, and in temple; he must have taught him how to sit at table, comport himself in public, how to deal with his peers etc. many of Jesus’ mannerisms must have been Joseph’s; it is difficult for a young boy not to imitate his father. Any father trying to figure out how best to father, look to Joseph. He had to learn to fall in love with his vocation and assignment. He learned to love the holy family as God loves them without counting the cost. Through this new finding, Joseph was able to discover and appreciate the great gift he has been given to care for the greatest thing that has happened to the human race.

jjjHowever, this role was not a walk in the park. Like Mary, he was not given a special grace from birth to be the father of God. He was a sinner striving to be virtuous. So it was not easy for him to deal with mystery, so he must have struggled to accept the angel’s annunciation to him. Someone being pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit is mind blowing and unprecedented. Although a man of faith, he could not have swimmingly accepted this occurrence. To make things worse, out of all the possible mediums, God chose a dream to announce the greatest of news. Sheer madness, however that’s God’s madness. Madness that comes from God is much more beautiful than wisdom of human origin.  Despite all the researches done on dream, we still don’t know how best to take dreams. So human that he was, he struggled to decipher what was being asked of him. When things come to light however, he cooperates wholeheartedly. That’s a lesson for all of us. It is reasonable to struggle to figure out God’s plan for our lives, but once evident, leave no room for doubt. Commit as if there had never been any doubt.

Although scripture presents him as a just, pure, gentle man, he was real. When he learned that his fiancée was carrying a child, he sought to end the relationship, silently. It’s worth pondering how he chose to do that. Knowing that she would be stoned to death, he wanted to leave without scandalizing her. That’s love. That’s a great example for all men trying to find a good person to marry. It may happen that things don’t work out; no matter how it ends, that does not call for humiliation, insults and the likes. Remember that person was going to be the love of your life. So end it while keeping her dignity intact. The same is true for women. It may hurt I know, but your reaction shows your true identity and character. Let Joseph be your model.

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He is the perfect model for all young man aspiring to be a biological or a spiritual father. Every man should have a devotion to him because he is the man that every woman is looking for and the one they espouse in ideal when marrying a man. He does not speak; he is a man of action. He is the man that every man wants to become when he seriously scrutinizes himself. He is the desire that all gentlemen want to cultivate in secret. He is the model that all men want to imitate due to his commitment and to his vocation. He is the man that all women wish their husband were. Every young woman being courted is looking for an exemplary love that exceeds any sort of egotism. Joseph’s life incarnates this kind of love. Those who put themselves at his school will discover how best to espouse this ideal love in their love life.

He is the ideal for priest and spiritual leaders as well. He serves Jesus and Mary with great diligence although she was his wife only in ideal and his son by adoption. When the Lord asks him to flee to Egypt, he does so readily, promptly, and obediently. He left in the middle of the night and went through dangerous impasse to reach Egypt. Out of concern for his family and as a matter of prudence, at his return from Egypt, he stationed in Nazareth instead of Bethlehem. He cooperates with this mysterious role knowing God is at work in him. Doesn’t a priest do the same? He is the father of the community he serves only in ideal, yet he would lay down his life for them if necessary; he is readily available for them as a husband to his wife in labor.

ppMoreover, Joseph teaches the priest how to deal with mysterious phenomena. Joseph was human dealing with God’s mystery (Jesus) and the greatest human (God’s spouse). The priest is a human being dealing with God (the Eucharist) and fragile souls that he must save. As eli the prophet once remarked when his sons were mishandling the sacrifice of the temple: “If a man sins against another man, God can mediate for the guilty party. But if he sins against the LORD, who can intercede?” (1 sam. 2:25).

If you have not yet had a devotion to St. Joseph, begin one. That’s the best spiritual gift you can give to yourself. He silently teaches us how to serve our family, church, and country. You can never go wrong following in the footsteps of Joseph. He always leads to his Son.

Devotion to St. Joseph starts this year on January 28. It’s a simple devotional prayer that is prayed every Sunday for seven weeks that ends on March 19, which is the Feast Day of St. Joseph. Then find a good prayer to St. Joseph to pray daily.

Here is the one I pray daily:

Remember, O most illustrious Patriarch St. Joseph, on the testimony of Saint Teresa, thy devoted servant, that never has it been heard that anyone who invoked thy protection or sought thy assistance has not obtained relief. In this confidence I come to thee, my loving protector, chaste spouse of Mary, foster father of the Savior of men and dispenser of the treasures of His Most Sacred Heart. Despise not my prayer, but graciously hear and answer my petition.

 

The Friendship That Lasts

There’s nothing more beautiful in this life than a beautiful friendship. For Ben Sirach the sage, “a true friend is a sturdy shelter; he who has found one finds a treasure”. A true friend is beyond price; no amount can balance his worth. A loyal friend is like a medicine that keeps you in good health. Only those who fear the Lord can find such a friend (Sir. 6:114-7). Thomas Aquinas agrees. He says “There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship” (Summa Theologica, Supplement Question 73, Article 1). Aristotle noted in the Nicomachean Ethics book VIII that a friendship based on virtue is the most glorious thing we can achieve on earth. Some go through life without ever finding one; these are grumpy and frustrated. Others do find one, but fail to recognize his value; these have experienced some good days. Still others find one, but only recognize his value after he loses that friendship. These kinds are in search of that true friendship. And the luckiest of them all do find a true friend and ipso facto recognize that gift and cherish it like the greatest pearl. That one is blessed indeed.

friendWho is a true friend? It is someone who is there, physically or in spirit, in moments of anguish, trials, adversity, joy and festive. It is someone who is not afraid to challenge you to become the most virtuous, disciplined, and the best you can be in life. A true friend is always honest and trustworthy. A true friend knows his friends. A true friend lets himself be known.If you want a true friend, become one yourself.

So it is really difficult to find a true friend, and it takes time to come to maturity. According to Cicero, “nothing in the world is harder to find than an excellent friend” (on friendship #21). Only the test of time allows us to know whether or not we have found one. Plutarch, the first century Roman philosopher, argues that a true friend stays true to the truth; a true friend is not a yes-man; he approves only what is good in his friend, and would even go so far as to hurt him for the good. Plutarch suggests that we test friendship by pretending to change back and forth to see whether he will follow indiscriminately. Not a bad idea!

For Cicero, goodness is what makes friendship work. Friendship can only exist between good people. By good, he means those whose actions and lives are unquestionable; those who are free from greed, lust, and violence; those who have the courage of their convictions (Essay on friendship #5). In this view, friendship is defined as a complete accord on all subjects human and divine, joined with mutual goodwill and affection. The latter is crucial for friendship. Without it, there may be a relationship, but not friendship. The former is what binds the friendship together. They help each other discover what is most important in life and they encourage each other to live it out. Aristotle views friendship as a necessity, but something rare to find. That view finds echo in Aristotle’s Nicomacheans ethics, he asserts that a friendship grounded on goodness has a lasting quality to it.

fraThe saints are the best of friends. Whereas you and I can be unbearable at times, the saints are always pleasant company. They don’t show off; they don’t blame; they show no petty humor; they don’t lecture us even when they should. They challenge, inspire, and encourage us by simply living their own lives to the fullest. By the examples of their lives, we are inspired to live the ordinary circumstances of our daily lives extraordinarily. Think of Pier Giorgio Frassati. He bore witness to his faith among his friends in the most exemplary ways. He did not force them into his way, but his beautiful life inspires them to adopt his way. His dedication to the poor made him outstanding among us all. How many of his friends did he influence to live a more humble, joyful, helpful, and meaningful life by his dedication? Goodness is contagious. Even a blind man knows when he is in the presence of a bright light.

Virtue precedes friendship. It is the standard by which we measure friendship. How can life be worth living without friends? There is nothing more delightful than to have a trusted friend to whom you can say everything with the same absolute confidence as to yourself. Without a friend to share one’s joy, prosperity is devalued by half. Misfortunes would be unbearable without a friend to feel them on one’s side (on friendship #6). The attitude of job’s three friends corroborates this view. When they heard of his troubles, they went and empathize with him and comfort him. They could hardly recognize him; they weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. They sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights without saying a word (Job 2:11-13). Friends such as these, everyone needs one. So true friendship enhances even the most unbearable misfortunes of life.job

Cicero, the greatest of the Roman orators, asserts that friendship embraces innumerable advantages. It is more expedient and universal than wealth, power, office, and honor. Where true friendship exists, it enhances prosperity, and relieves adversity of its burden by half (on friendship #6). A true friend is the image of a second self. Where one’s friend is one is; if his friend is rich, he is not poor; though he is weak, his friend’s strength is his; and in his friend’s life he enjoys a second life even after his own is finished. The Romans went so far as to say that whatever in nature and the universe was unchangeable was so in virtue of the binding force of friendship (friendship #7). There’s a lot to chew on here.

Choose your friends wisely. As the proverb goes, “you end up resembling whoever you spend most of your time with”. If you had a choice between St. Clare, St Joseph, and St. Francis and Jay-Z, Taylor Swift, and Bruno Mars, who would you choose? Is it not better to spend time with dead people who bring us to life and with live people who bring us to death? If you could choose between virtues and vices, spiritual growth and material growth, what would you choose? You have that choice. Choose wisely.

Befriend the saints and you will be the best of friend to your friends. Nothing is more precious than a spiritual friend because it does not seek its own advantage but the well-being of the other. That’s the selfless and unconditional love that’s born out of true friendship.

Did You Smile Today?

A smile is worth a million dollars. Laughter is worth 10 millions. A genuine smile can make someone’s day; it opens up new world, new windows of opportunity, and as Victor Hugo said: “Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face”. A smile is something powerful even when it is not seen. You have seen children laughing, before such a wonder, who can remain unmoved? Mark Twain was right when he said that nothing can stand against the assault of laughter.boy child

Dale Carnegie reports that companies in the sixties prefer to hire a smiley secretary with less competence than a skillful one who rarely smiles. True smile is captivating; it makes you stop for a moment to think what life is all about. We can be so busy moving from one thing to another, we never take a moment to smile. So as you go about your business today, stop in front of the mirror and smile. You look so much better when you smile. Before you start the meeting today, ask the employees or you boss to smile for 10 seconds. They might think that you just being bizarre at first, but it will completely change the atmosphere in the room. Smile as you are answering your phone today, smile with the clerk at the store today, smile; it will change how you communicate. Try it and let me know. It works.

You have every reason to laugh, but you prefer to focus on the wrong end of the spectrum. If people who are caught up in the war going on right can smile, if those people exposed to that disease can smile, if that little girl who never have a chance to walk can smile, so can you. It is not bad; you may not want to smile, you may feel that you have no reason to smile or laugh, you may think the joke is not really funny, but why should you not smile, just smile. Force yourself to smile. Act as if you were already happy, and you will slowly become happier. Action seems to follow feeling. Smile changes your thinking. Burst out laughing when you find the time. Create the occasion. Start humming a song out loud in the car, at lunch, while walking, while taking a tower. If you sound awesome, laugh at yourself. It will completely change you. That will change the way you react to people and things. Do you want to look like a terrible grouch, grumpy old person who never sees a good day, or do you want to be a happy, rich, friendly guy who is happy and make others happy? Your choice! You want to be happy, who doesn’t? Know that it does not depend on outward conditions; it depends on your inner disposition.

Closeup portrait of a group of business people laughingDo you wonder why you don’t too many friends? Well, how often do you smile when you’re greeting people? Laughter is the shortest distance between two people. Have you ever traveled abroad? Everyone laughs the same way; without seeing someone’s face, you cannot differ between an Asian, an American, an African, a European, or a Latino. They all sound the same. Smile makes us one; it connect us; a mile allows people to see themselves in you. Don’t be afraid to smile. You can be greeting people with a curled lip. Smile. Have an easy smile. Start smiling very often and people around you will catch up; it is very contagious. Be generous with yourself. Smile. Laugh. It is rest to the weary, daylight to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, and nature’s best antidote for trouble.

NB: don’t go around laughing at people’s misery, or unfortunate occurrences. They will kill you. Give them a helping hand instead. All the examples given here are created by you; they come from within. Plato, Aristotle, the Bible are very critical of laughter directed at putting someone down. We all hate being humiliated. However, they urged a laughter that rejoices in the good that comes to other people. So it is the philosophy behind laughter they hated, not laughter itself. “When the Lord delivers Zion from bondage… our mouth was filled with laughter, and on our lips there were songs…. The Lord has done great things for them’(Psalm 126:1-2).

YOU ARE IMPORTANT!!!!!!

The truth about the human person is that he wants to feel appreciated. Though we don’t want to admit it, though we want to remain humble, we secretly like when people speak well about us. That’s why we feel bad when they speak ill, and try with every fiber of our being to be the best version of ourselves in order to be on people ‘s good side, most of time. Aristotle even went so far as to say, “no one does the wrong willingly and knowingly”. It’s human nature to want to make a difference. Well, I’ve recently learned we can kill two birds in one shot: we can simultaneously be liked and make a difference.

First, start with a smile. A smile says I like you, you make me happy, and and I am glad to see you. So, as you’re passing by someone today, don’t just simply greet him/her. Do it with a smile. I am not talking about an insincere grin, or a show of your beautiful well-arranged teeth, I mean a heartwarming smile that comes from within, the kind that will make a good price in the marketplace. As you wake up today, greet your husband or wife with a ‘good morning my dear ’ and smile as you say it, and you tell me the difference it makes. As you’re meeting your co-worker, pastor, friends, strangers in the next few days, do it with a nice smile that tell them what you’re about, and you’ll see how much people start to change their attitude toward you. They will want to know about that medication you’re taking, so to speak. Only one requirement, be sincere!

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Secondly, be interested in people. “Don’t be selfish. Don’t think everything has to be about you”, says Dale Carnegie. Let others speak. Don’t cut them off. Actively participate in the conversation. Look the person in the eyes. Make him/her feel that he/she is the most important thing in your life at this specific moment. We all like that. Take time to listen to people and listen interestedly. Ask questions. A study by the FBI found that people act on emotion rather than reason and that leads to violence and bad decision making. I think one of the ways to remedy that malady is to give people a chance to speak. The more you let a person speak, especially if there is anger, the quicker the emotion will subside and the mind will calm and there is a greater chance for a happy ending. So kindness, understanding, and good attention in conversation lead to more enjoyable and fruitful outcomes. Everyone wins.

Finally, make people feel important. You and I have a tendency to think that we are the most important person in the whole world, however that does not work. We are most important when we make people feel they are the most important. That’s a universal truth. Philology, all the philosophies, and religious systems—be it Plato, Aristotle, Buddha, Confucianism, Taoism, Jesus— have taught it in one form or another: ”do unto others as you would have others do unto you”. So next time, you see someone down, try to compliment him/her. That will raise up her/his spirit, and you never know, that might start a conversation that saves the day. We all have something worth being praised for. I know what you’re thinking: “what if I don’t find anything worthy of praise?” well, a nice office, a nice smile, a courageous act, an act of kindness, success, a good home or car, how one overcame a struggle etc. etc. are all worth a praise. Do you want people at your office to be more productive? Start praising them on what they are doing well. Tell them how important they are to the place. And you’ll see the difference. For a reason that I ignore, we all like being praised. We like knowing that WE ARE IMPORTANT. It brightens our day; it gives us confidence to go forward. It incentivizes us when we know someone had paid attention. That’s human nature. Again, one requirement, be genuine. No one wants to listen to cheap, insincere praise, or flattery. 

Dear Woman

I want to remind you that we are living in a time of crisis. I want to you to look at the family and see how broken it is. Each one of you knows a broken family due to divorce, infidelity, immaturity, lack of faith, and failure to dream.
Dear woman, you are my mother, sister, niece, god daughter, god mother, cousin, and friend. I love you and need you. When I am around you, you brighten my smile. You inspire me to dream big. I become a man because of you. You make me live my manhood more completely. You have educated me, raised me, carried me, inspired me, and wiped my tears. Thank you. The moon, the sun, and all the stars in all their surpassing beauty do not come close to your beauty. You are the most beautiful phenomena that God has ever created. You know how to console better than any other creature. You know what soothes and satiates my deepest anger and hunger. Of your own, you are a wonder. I want you to know how important you are in my life. In my sorrows, the kindness and sweetness of your voice change my sadness into joy. To you I turn for love, friendship, companionship, motivation, faith, and wisdom. I hope this gives you a glimpse into what you mean to me.
Dear woman, the world needs you right now. Just as God turned to a woman after the Fall to bring about redemption, the world needs you to put its train back on the right track. I must admit that due to a lack of focus on your value, you have taken your eyes off the right path. The world needs you right now. The world needs you to show its daughters how to grow to become women respected by all. The world needs you to educate its boys how to treat and look at women. The world needs your deep motherly love for family and desire to build a world founded on love, truth, peace, and justice to fix our broken society. The world needs your concern for values to teach its young women what it means to be mother. The world needs you to tell its young men how to be a man. The world needs your genius. Please come back; we are perishing in this valley of tears. If we ever did something that hurt you, we want to pay four times more. All we want is you. We will do whatever it takes to have you back. We cannot afford continuing on this path without you.
Dear woman, you are the only who has the power to rebuild my broken life. Even if a man has everything he needs, without you he is like broken Frigidaire. These and many other concerns tell me that you have the solution to my problem.
Dear woman, do I have to make an argument to convince you? If arguments ever mean, yes I will make one. When humanity was standing at the threshold of life and death, when humankind was galloping toward its bitter destiny, when the world was facing the greatest crisis it had ever known, it was to you that God turned to save us and you have not failed us. Though Pilate, Annas and Caiaphas found no reason to condemn Jesus, they did not have the courage to go against the current. However, veronica did not fear the soldiers to wipe the face of the world’s savior. Pilate’s wife did not fear the fury of court officials to tell her husband that the man is innocent, so have nothing to do with his death. Was it not to a woman the greatest news in history has been announced? We need your genius because we have failed. You have the secret of this dark hour. So to you, we want to entrust it. We, man, have been governing the world, but it keeps on collapsing. Our strongest qualities are evaporating. Reason is gradually being abdicated. As philosophy no longer seeks truth, as psychology is concerned more and more with cavernous instincts of the subterranean libido, as right and wrong are decided by pool numbers, as democracy is no more about arithmocracy, we need your genius to stop this train wreck.
Dear woman, do you see how much I need you? Thank you for listening.