The phrase “poor in spirit” can be confusing. Think of it in this sense—poor in spirit means depending on God’s providence and not depending on our own self-reliance. Being detached from earthly things (power, money, and comfort) and being attached to heavenly things (charity, sacrifice and mercy). Denying ourselves from satisfying our desires and helping others their basic needs.
Just as Jesus called the first apostles, He calls each of us to follow Him, too. Not everyone is called to leave their business or family behind, but we are excepted to put God first in everything. In gratitude to God, we should give our first and best of everything to Him: our time in daily prayer, our talent in participating in one of our parish ministries and our treasure
God have given each of us different gifts. In order for God’s plan to work, you have to do what God is calling you to do and I have to do what God is calling me to do. And guess what? God has given each of us a different plan! So, stop comparing yourself to others. Don’t let envy and jealousy enter your life. Be thankful for the gifts God has given you and become the saint that God is calling you to be.”
God made us to be in relationship with Him. He loves each of us individually. Through sin, our relationship with God was broken. He gave us Jesus to restore our relationship. Being a disciple of Jesus we are given the model to obtain eternal life in Heaven. Christmas isn’t about the material gifts we receive, it’s about the love that God, Our Father, gave us by giving us His Son, Jesus - the best gift we could ever receive.
Patience is another one of those things many of us struggle with. We want things to go according to our plan and our schedule; we like things to be convenient. Any change brings anxiety and fear. Through daily prayer God reveals to us what He wants us to do with the gifts He has given us. We are able to better align ourselves with God’s will and His plan, which is far better than anything we can come up with on our own.
People who have had health issues or near-death experiences generally have a greater appreciation for each day being a gift from God. The rest of us usually take for granted that we will be around tomorrow. But when you start to look at each day as a gift, you realize all the little miracles that happen daily and you begin to see God’s active presence in your life. You grow in gratitude, each day, for all that we have been given.
God wants us to be happy! Instead of looking at the Ten Commandments as being restrictive and telling us what we can’t do, look at them as guides for living a joy-filled and peaceful life. Most of our problems arise when we put our own needs first or we spend most of our time trying to acquire more stuff. Instead, try putting God first in all things. We were made for God. Open your heart and let Him in!
Most people who live a grateful and generous lifestyle don’t go around bragging about it. But through their words and actions, others do take notice. They notice because of the joy and peace that results and others desire this in their own life. Know that the way you live your life may be the only interaction others may have with our Catholic faith.
“May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who has loved us and given us everlasting encouragement and good hope through his grace, encourage your hearts and strengthen them in every good deed and word.” 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
There are two important lessons here. First, we are called to be generous with our encouragement and hope with others. As God shows us mercy, we must be merciful to others. Second, joy is contagious! The joy we receive from doing good works not only strengthens us, it encourages others as well. Share the joy of living your faith whenever you can.