Fides, non sola fides.

keep calm

I recently subscribed to a blog called “A Renewed Life.”
It is run by one of my fellow bloggers from Blogging Your Passion University.
Tawnya from “A Renewed Life” has been writing about memorising Scripture, and here is the passage I’ve been learning.

Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in our hope of sharing the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

I recently bought an Ignatius New Testament Study Bible, and despite my youngest’s best attempts to scribble on, smear or otherwise deface it, the book is still legible on every page. Here’s what one of the editors, the famous Scott Hahn, had to say about Romans 5.

fides, spes, caritas

fides, spes, caritas

The justified are endowed with theological virtues.
By faith they live in peace with God and have access to his grace;
in hope, they long for the glory of God that awaits them;
and through love, they show that the charity of the Spirit dwells in their hearts.
Equipped in this way, believers can become more like Christ through endurance and suffering.

Hold Fast What is Good

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There are many people grieving around the world, this Advent.

The headlines give us news that makes us drop our own cares for a moment and, in spirit, we rush to the sides of lamenting mothers to offer our support.

Wars in far-off places are so common that we hardly notice their reports, but we are nevertheless aware of the never-ending suffering of the peoples caught in the war-zones.

Many families around us are caught in emotional storms, especially at this wonderful, but stressful, time of year.

How can we weather the storms?

St. Paul tells us to “Hold fast what is good.”

Find your source of comfort and beauty and cling to it.

He also says, “…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the Will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

Paul challenges us to accept the will of God.

This frees us to become peaceful, as we stop the search for reasons ‘why’ and focus instead on gratitude for what we still have, and for what we may one day have restored.

Beautiful home accessories – forgiveness

Forgiveness is a funny thing, isn’t it? We all know that we must forgive, so you would think that we would be rushing to forgive our persecutors as we are forgiven. But, for some reason, it is so easy for us to hold on to anger and resentment, as we count up to our magical exemption code: 77 x 7. That’s really a symbol for what we believe to be our threshold of forgiveness, when we allow ourselves to say ‘enough is enough. A saint could do more, but not I. I’m too hurt/damaged/vulnerable to forgive any more.’

A state of unforgiveness shows up in our homes. The children are stressed and so are the parents. The atmosphere is not peaceful and the home is not beautiful any more.

An ill-kept home may indicate a state of resentment among its inhabitants. There may be a subtle message of ingratitude, lack of appreciation or even willful neglect. Perhaps it says: ‘you have upset me so much that I will not clean up for you anymore.’ What would happen if there was a little more forgiveness in that home? Would it become a little more tidy, maybe a LOT cleaner?

What about an overclean home? It’s not really beautiful, is it? I find it sterile and unreal. Does it indicate a state of unforgiveness,as the housekeeper attempts to compensate for her negative feelings by presenting skills that are above reproach? Maybe it says: ‘I haven’t done anything wrong – see how clean my house is!’

A similar comparison could be made with home-education. A lax approach may show signs that the teacher is too pre-occupied with her own problems to bother about the schoolwork. A too-rigorous approach could indicate that the teacher wants everyone to suffer as much as she is suffering. Forgiveness could help in both of these situations.

It is said that a gentle answer turns away wrath, and while this is often the case, we have all experienced times when the anger shows no signs of abating. But, just think about how much more beautiful a home can be with only one angry person, instead of two. And the children will still have someone to go to for their little worries and bumps and cuddles.

So what is a home without forgiveness? It’s just a feature-wall, a throw-rug and a couple of lamps, and a lot of unhappy people.