Friday, 10 January 2014

And the greatest of these is...

I was going over the Theological Virtues with Aileen today as part of her preparation for the sacrament of Confirmation and it struck me that Caritas can not accurately be translated into the English language!

I found it interesting that the most important of all the Virtues has no direct translation in the operating language of Western Society. People will either translate it as "love" which unfortunately has been over used to the point where "loving" can be used to refer to anything from watching garbage T.V shows to the emotion a mother feels towards a hew newborn infant.

At the other end of the spectrum it is limply translated into charity which for many has come to signify giving emotionless hand outs of unwanted things while turning a blind eye towards the real issues at hand. (How many of you "donated" that can of lentils at the back of your parents cupboard to the local food bank during the school food drive?)

 In reality, outside of the truth of the Gospel, what passes for charity these days is in reality simply activism. What is REALLY sad is that there are legions of "Catholics" who have jumped onto the social justice bandwagon without a single CLUE about the social justice teaching of the Church, most recently clarified in Caritas in Veritate.

I guess what bugs me most is that NO ONE seems to be talking about this obvious and deliberate attack from the Enemy to obscure and  distort the most important of all the virtues...without which ANY act of kindness, generosity, or Faith even, is effectively reduced to the level of fingernails screeching across chalkboard.

A person could tithe millions of dollars in their lifetime, but without Caritas, they are no better than the wealthy who were putting their spare change into the treasury. For those of you unfamiliar with tithing, tithing is the practice of giving 10% of the first fruits of your labor, usually that means money, to God and God's work, specifically by giving it to the church. By the way, you can't "tithe" to your local hospital or animal shelter...even though they are both honorable causes.

I know that someone out there in cyberville is going to come across this post and mildly, or not so mildly remark that some of my comments on this have perhaps not reflected Caritas, however, watching the growing number of professionals (ie teachers, chaplains and the like) promoting activism disguised as charity is like watching those who tried out for American Idol that could have used a singing lesson or two before being ridiculed on national television.

What the world really needs now is Caritas, sweet Caritas.

Tipsi Dad

Monday, 16 December 2013

Bed for Roses

So before I start this entry, I want to get something straight right off the bat.

I am NOT complaining.

In fact not a day goes by that I don't feel grateful about the many blessings that God has provided in my life. However, because I make a deliberate and conscious effort to focus on the positive things, some people may have gotten the impression that life is always rosy in the Tipsi D household.

Well I can assure you that is not the case. There are many occasions, every hour of the day, that life does not flow with the harmony of a ballet, or the synchronicity of a fine tuned machine. Like the way Nathan decided that he would like to try toasting his bread three times this morning. Which turned the bread into lump of charcoal...and for about five minutes, I seriously considered giving it to him in his Christmas stocking.

The thing is, I could write pages and pages of the different things that make life a little uncomfortable right now, like having an irregular income, and regular bills. I have learned that there are things about running a business that you can only learn by running a business. Like from time to time, you WILL run out of money. But for all its insecurities, Being entrepreneurs has been a major blessing for us. We have grown personally in ways that we could never have predicted.

For instance, I have a completely different understanding of being fully reliant on God for provision. When I was employed, it was more a matter of being a good steward of the income that was coming in regularly. As a start up entrepreneur there are many times when you have to make the choice between paying the Electric bill or the Gas bill, or a little of both. But the minute you let that mess up your head, you are in trouble.

YOU are the master of your thoughts. Control your thoughts, you can control your destiny.

If you want a rose garden, you have to plant it in fertilizer...and we all know what fertilizer is made from.

At the end of the day remember this:

  • An arrow has to be pulled back before it is shot forward. 
  • No matter what you are going through in your life right now, somewhere in the world someone would trade everything they have to have your problems.    
  • Choose the lens through which you will see the world. Negative people often disguise themselves as "realists" (Its funny, I have NEVER met a realist who has ever had anything positive to say.)

Express gratitude. Lots of it. We all have things to be thankful for. The moment we stop being thankful for any of our blessings is the moment we start taking it for granted.

Don't take things for granted. Be thankful.

Tipsi Dad

Monday, 9 December 2013

Just Wait a Minute!

Advent is the season of waiting. As I write this on the solemnity of the Immaculate Conception it is useful to remember that there is no better model of Holy Patience than the Blessed Virgin Mary.

In a world where busy is the new normal, the virtue of patience seems like the stuff of fairy tales of old. But never before has the virtue of patience been more important and necessary.
It is the virtue of Patience that allows us to speak the voice of reason instead of reaction. It is Patience that gives us the ability to work with diligence and steadfastness. It is Patience that softens the chastising words, which then become words of healing instead of wounding. It is Patience that gives us the ability to wait for Gods will and to truly pray “ Thy will be done” echoed in the words of the Blessed Mother, “Let it be done to me according to Thy word”

It was holy Patience that sustained the Holy couple while they searched for the adolescent Jesus for three days finally finding Him in the house of His Father.

And it was holy Patience that sustained the Blessed Mother during the three days Jesus lay in the tomb, conquering hell, and releasing the souls of the Just who eagerly waited for the coming of the Saviour.

Isn’t it interesting that the very season where we are called to practice patience is the very season where it is the most difficult. Perhaps it should not be a surprise at all, as it is very often a trick of the enemy to get us to stare in the opposite direction of where we should be looking in the first place.
Advent, from the latin roughly means, the coming. In the crazy busy time before Christmas, with all the hustle and bustle let us remember to practice Holy Patience, and to focus on the one who is to come.

Deus Gratias