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Going BACK TO BASICS is stressing simplicity and adherence to fundamental principles; and like in learning the foundational elements of language we too must relearn the ABCs of our Faith. Come to think of it, in our exposure to worldly pleasures, our lives have become so complex and cluttered, that we seem to have forgotten the essentials of our “faith experience” that seems to have been lost in despair and skepticism. So, in this our challenging times (e.g., continuing COVID-19 health crisis, inflation, rising oil prices, etc.) it would be a breath of fresh air to rediscover the richness of our faith at its basicness. So always remember …
ABC … Always Be Careful! Sin is always just around the corner, so always practice caution. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Galatians 5:19-21).
DEF … Don’t Ever Forget, that “for God so loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in Him shall not perish but shall have eternal life”. This well-known Gospel verse is significant because it tells us about the absolute love that God has for his creation, it teaches us about the sacrifice God made for us, and it helps us appreciate the unending insinuations of being a disciple of Jesus. This verse is a promise and upholds the hope we have as Christians that there is an everlasting life to come for those who believe in Jesus.
GHI … Go Home Immediately! The Home is the Domestic Church; your presence in it truly makes a difference. Holiness should emanate and begin from it. “Every home is called to become a ‘domestic church’ in which family life is completely centered on the lordship of Christ and the love of husband and wife mirrors the mystery of Christ’s love for the Church, his bride” (Pope Benedict XVI). Christ chose to be born and grow up in the bosom of the holy family of Joseph and Mary. The Church is nothing other than “the family of God.” From the beginning, the core of the Church was often constituted by those who had become believers together with their household.
JKLM … Just Keep Loving the Master (God)! If we love God then our lives must be a living embodiment of this love. The constancy of our love of God is the same constancy of our life of Holiness. “But take diligent heed to do the commandment and the law, which Moses the servant of the Lord charged you, to love the Lord your God, and to walk in all his ways, and to keep his commandments, and to cleave unto him, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Joshua 22:5).
NOP … No Outlandish Possession! God said, “I am the Lord your God. You shall have no other gods before me.” Remember: The thing, person or being that controls us the most is our personal God. Thus, if worldly possessions are what controls us, then these material possessions are our personal gods. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal” (Matthew 6:19-20).
QRST … Quit Resisting Saintly Truths! To live the lives of saints is to walk along the paths of Faith, Hope and Love. The saints inspire us to lead joyful lives; they serve as role models; they teach us that holiness means being who you are; and — as an added benefit — they pray for us from their posts in heaven. The saints are models of human excellence. They reveal by their lives how to really live and how to really die. They steadily point to the horizon of love which leads to the self-actualization of all human desire: eternal communion with the Triune God. Let’s avoid detours, ok?
UVW … Understand Very Well! FIDES et RATIO … Faith and Reason must always go hand-in-hand. “Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth — in a word, to know himself — so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves” (St. Pope John Paul II).