Thursday, July 24, 2014

Self Improvement

Do you know yourself? How much have you changed in the past year? What areas have you improved on in the past year? What areas have you digressed on in the past year?

In my struggles to improve myself, I take assessments of myself periodically. Usually this is prompted by prayer. I realize I will never be satisfied with the current version of myself until after my time in Purgatory is done. I always ask God to help me make a better Paul. He does not do this without my consent.

Lately some of my old bad habits have crept back into my life (some old versions of Paul). When this happens the Holy Spirit helps me feel disgusted with myself. I have been going through a major reassessment and cleaning of childhood wounds because of my mother’s death, one year ago. Needless to say God has been lecturing me a lot.

All throughout my sales career I have relied on goal setting and visualization. These two tools give the subconscious an obsession and programming correction. Applying these tools in order to obtain a better version of myself, I have come up with the following things to meditate on. I hope that you will have to for your own life. I share this because I love you even though I have never met and do not know you.

Reading the next paragraphs, change them to apply to your life, then meditate on them every day.

Life is work. Working on life is freedom. Freedom is real fun. The Catholic Church is the body of Christ. Christ is life.

I have freedom from: money, food, fat, using other people, clouded judgment, sin, death, and self.

I am/do: Catholic, athletic, healthy, wealthy, giving, responsible, reliable, humble, a roof estimator, a resource, a counselor, a healer, God’s will, thin, and clean. I am not alone.

I/we (the Holy Spirit and I): pray, work out, eat healthy foods, love, respond, own up to my mistakes, work my job, help people, listen and advise, massage and empathize, obey God, eat right, clean everything, trust God and accept and love people for who they are. I allow myself to feel others love for me.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

"Mary Rich"

I think sometimes God postpones this blog when he is teaching me something. With the passing of my mother and the recent closing of all estate matters, I have had to let go of a lot of my past. I have also had to get used to a different financial situation. Both of these positive changes have shaken me emotionally.

Over the last two weeks I have been very busy with moving and fixing up my new house. I have also noticed and thought about some self destructive behaviors. I have been praying about why I feel the need to sabotage myself. Keep in mind that none of this has affected me in a diverse enough way as to cause big trouble. It is more noticing some tendencies and recalling some of my own self healing methods that have brought me this far out of dysfunctionality.

On one side, I have seen how some wealthy people live. They have lavish houses, fancy cars, jewelry, and seem very happy. To be debt free and rich would be wonderful. In my childhood I would often think of these people as selfish because they did not give their riches to the poor. That is why I used to sabotage my careers in the past. The reason I have not sabotage might current career is because I never approached the level of being debt-free, so the fear of becoming one of these people never occurred to me. I have never liked praise, accolades and the admiration of others.

On the other side, I hate being poor. I hate struggling to survive. Playing in all of this is my childhood dream of philanthropy.

I am about to be debt free, with a wonderful career, three to four groups of friends that care about me, a wonderful job, a nice house, and still feeling the Holy Spirit within me. All is good and I can start building wealth for my dream of philanthropy. I am about to become someone I’ve never been.

I have never been truly happy. I have had, and I’m still dealing with, feelings that I don’t deserve this. I also don’t want to become one of those wealthy people that I have known in the past. I have always been willing to accept God’s will if it is negative about me, I am now having to accept His will when it is positive about me. I can see the day when I give a lot of money to different charities.

To resolve this conflict, I have had to realize who I am by the grace of God. God has changed my health habits, my sinful habits (at least the big ones), and the way I treat people. This morning it all came to a realization in prayer. I can never be one of those wealthy people that I associated with in my past. I (we, Oasis- God and I as one unit) simply don’t have those bad traits.

It comes down to me giving myself permission to be happy and wealthy without being selfish. I am letting go of my childhood impressions of whole groups of people. When pondering this, it occurred to me that I have never given myself permission to have a good golf game. I have had great scores when I play alone, but my fear of being in the spotlight has prevented me from playing a good game with others. I have to give myself permission to do well at everything I do and to realize that it is the God within me that is actually getting the praise.

Even deeper is the fact that it is hard for me to accept the love of other people. To love and be loved; isn’t that what we were made for? For me to be loved means becoming one of those self absorbed people that I despise so much. Again, I have to let go of my past impressions and embrace the impressions that I have about all the good people that are loved. I know a lot of people that are loved because of their unselfishness. This will change the way I deal with almost every person.

I don’t like the phrase “filthy rich”. I have a new phrase “Mary rich”. I will be wealthy and give like Mary would give (with her direction I pray). I will also be Mary rich by bringing Christ to others.

This transition is tough for me, and I never thought the depth of my love for God would ever reach this level. I can fulfill my dreams of giving and giving and giving. Your comments are welcome.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Be The Resource

It is a holiday weekend in the USA and I have a lot of personal matters to attend to as well. Here is something I found that has inspired me to make sure the people around me feel comfortable asking me questions about the faith.

The late Archbishop Fulton Sheen used to say that there are not more than 200 people in the whole nation who really hate the Catholic Church, but there are millions who hate what they think the Catholic Church teaches.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Journey to full Potential

I have often prayed that God help me become more than I am. In other words, I am never satisfied with the current version of Paul. By giving my will to God and by asking His help in my participation with His will, I am asking him to make a better Paul. I do this because I am not satisfied with my efforts to love God and others to my full potential at every single moment. I understand this is impossible however I must try anyway. I have often said to God, “make a better Paul and we can do great things.”

You have seen by reading this blog how God has answered my prayer. He has changed almost everything in my life, especially the way I think and feel. “Oasis” is a prime example of this. I still have a long way to go.

In my last post I talked about the devil’s efforts to prohibit the full potential of love in each of us, companies and governments. So how do we combat that? Providence is God’s will. Completely surrendering our will to His will is living in Providence. Doing this involves listening, testing, analyzing ourselves, take full advantage of all that the church offers and not making fast decisions.

When we embark on the journey to divinely improving ourselves we make the devil mad. He will go after every weakness we have, that means every dysfunction, vice, misperception and potential bad habit that has made us what we are today. He will also use pride. At one point in my journey I thought that I was so special that I could hear God’s voice. I made some fast decisions about what to say and who to say it to because I thought I was directed by God to do it. This had the effect of pushing people away from God, confusing me and slowing my progression towards God. That is why even to this day I test everything that I feel that I am directed to do within Providence. I pray about every potential action that I will make, especially if it involves another person. If it is a significant action, I will wait 3 days. In those 3 days I will ask God for clarification, visualize all the consequences of that action, and beg the Holy Spirit for a feeling of fulfillment or pain if I do the action in question. The devil can and will try to make you think that you are so special that God talks to you. The devil will use your pride against you.

It would be so easy to not go after Providence. But it would also be very hard because I would have to deny my very self. In each of us there is that core, that thing that makes us tick. That is the Holy Spirit and therefore the love of God and others. If you are not at peace right now, you are fighting against that very core. This life has pain no matter what you do. I would rather suffer in the efforts of helping others, improving myself and doing God’s will then suffer in trying to fulfill my own selfishness.

Giving in to God and therefore embracing Providence fulfills me to the greatest extent. Nothing else comes close. I have a long way to go.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Temptation and Potential

Why does the devil tempt us? We can see the result of temptation, sin. We can see the crime reports, the victims of the crimes, and the criminals in jail. In our own lives, we feel guilty, go to confession, do our penance, make any reparation that is necessary, (such as telling your friend you’re sorry) and try to avoid in your near occasion of sin. Why are we tempted?

If we recall our basic Catholic teaching, the devil thinks he is equal to God and therefore wants to hurt the people that believe in God, thereby hurting God. There is an untold story. It is about the effects, the long-term and big picture effects, of sin, generational sin, and worldwide acceptance and sinful behavior.

Let’s take an extreme example. If the generational dysfunctionality that is continually fostered by the lack of Christ in a family had not existed, the criminal in jail right now would not be there. You would have no victims. He would probably give to charity and all the other good things that people do when they love God and others.

On a little bit bigger scale, if everyone in a given company did not waste any time or money, the company would grow, better products would be produced, employees would make more money and all of society would benefit.

If the United States government did not waste any money, time, and did not do a lot of services that the people can do themselves, it would have more money to spend on humanitarian aid, myself and other citizens would have more money to spend on charity and the planet as a whole would benefit.

When Jesus walked the earth He cared about two things, the will of the Father and all of us. Those of us that love Jesus, try to be like Him. We love God’s will, other people and ourselves, in that order. In order to love effectively and fully, we have to go all out against the damaging effects of sin. Sin pushes us away from God and therefore Life.

I am talking about potential. Jesus when He walked on the earth, the Holy Spirit every day in our life, in the form of the Catholic Church, and all that it offers, is here for the sole purpose of unlocking all of our potential to love in the fullest possible way. If we love in the fullest possible way, we are stating with our actions and our lives that Jesus is sovereign Lord and God. There is no other. There is no wonder equal.

The Devil’s whole contention is that he is equal to God. Prohibiting or stopping any person’s, any company’, any government’s, stops the full potential of that entity to love to their full potential, just like Jesus did.

Abortion takes away all the potential of one life to love and hurts the potential of others. Drugs and alcohol and any other bad habit you can think of, takes away from the fullness of the God’s love pouring out of us. The fullness of God’s love is the statement of Him being the sovereign king and creator and therefore having no equal.

The full potential of governments, businesses and individuals to love is not realized because we give in to temptation. We think of ourselves first.