Tag Archives: failure

Spiritual blindness: Part 2

Saul’s conversion is another biblical incident where physical blindness is attributed to spiritual blindness: As Saul was coming near the city of Damascus, suddenly a light from the sky flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”

“Who are you, Lord?” He asked.

“I am Jesus, whom you persecute,” the voice said. “But get up and go into the city, where you will be told what you must do.”

The men who were travelling with Saul had stopped, not saying a word; they heard the voice but couldn’t see anyone. Saul got up from the ground and opened his eyes, but could not see a thing. So they took him by the hand and led him into Damascus. For three days he was not able to see, and during that time he could not eat or drink anything.

There was a Christian in Damascus called Ananias. He had a vision, in which the Lord said to him to go place his hands on Saul so that he might see again. So Ananias went, entered the house where Saul was and placed his hands on him. “Brother Saul,” he said. The Lord has sent me-Jesus himself who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here. He sent me so that you might see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”

At once something like fish scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he was able to see again. He stood up and was baptized; and after he had eaten his strength came back. After his conversion he went on to spread the word of God. In the company of Barnabas, he went to the island of Cyprus, having been sent by the Holy Spirit.

They went all the way across the island to Paphos, where they met a certain magician named Ber-Jesus, a Jew who claimed to be a prophet. He was a friend of the governor of the island, Sergius Paulus, who was an intelligent man. The governor called Barnabas and Saul before him because he wanted to hear the word of God. But they were opposed by the magician Elymas (that is his name in Greek), who tried to turn the governor away from the faith.

Then Saul-also known as Paul-was filled with the Holy Spirit; he looked straight at the magician and said, “You son of the devil! You are the enemy of everything that is good. You are full of all kinds of tricks, and you always keep trying to turn the Lord’s truths into lies! The Lord’s hand will come down on you and you will be blind and you will not see the light of day for a time.

At once Elymas felt a dark mist cover his eyes, and he walked around trying to find someone to lead him by the hand. When the governor saw what had happened, he believed; for he was greatly amazed at the teaching about the Lord. (Acts 13: 4-12).

In both incidences, Saul and Elymas lost their physical sight because they were spiritually blind. In the bible we are told of people who lost their sight because they did not believe in God so the only cure was to believe in Him; like Saul did. In life however, blindness is a condition attributed to other causes and not necessarily sin.

It is so with us. We may be able to see with our eyes, but when it comes to matters faith we fail to see what God intends for us to see. Only He can restore our spiritual sight. That, we can achieve by seeking His help and trying to do what He expects of us, and by learning to see Him in every little incident; in the things that bring us joy, even sadness. To believe that everything that happens to us happens because He allows it, for a greater purpose; a reason our finite minds may not be able to comprehend.

spiritual blindness

In everything we do we should involve God in our plans. That means we shouldn’t cling on to our plans; we should leave room for Him to surprise us, because sometimes the plans we make are different from what He has in store for us. By entrusting our lives to Him, we do away with things that lead us into darkness, e.g. anxiety and disappointment which comes from failure to achieve set goals.

Seek the Lord

Thirteenth station: Jesus is taken down from the cross

Thirteenth station-Jesus is taken down from the cross

Reflections

My Jesus, it was with deep grief that Mary finally took You into her arms and saw all the wounds sin had inflicted upon You. Mary Magdalene looked upon Your dead body with horror. Nicodemus, the man so full of human respect, who came to You by night, suddenly received the courage to help Joseph take you down from the Cross.

You are once more surrounded by only a few followers. When loneliness and failure cross my path, let me think of this lonely moment and this total failure; failure in the eyes of men. How wrong they were, how mistaken their concept of success!

The greatest act of love was given in desolation and the most successful mission accomplished and finished when all seemed lost. Is this not true in my life, dear Jesus? I judge my failures harshly. I demand perfection instead of holiness. My idea of success is for all to end well-according to my liking.

Prayer

Give to all men the grace to see that doing Your Will is more important than success. If failure is permitted for my greater good then teach me how to use it to my advantage. Let me say as You once said, that to do the Will of the Father is my food.

Let not the standards of this world take possession of me or destroy the good You have set for me-to be Holy and to accomplish the Father’s Will with great love. Let me accept praise or blame, success or failure with equal serenity.

Amen.

Seventh station: Jesus falls a second time

Seventh station-Jesus falls a second time

Reflection

My Jesus, one of the beautiful qualities people admired in You was Your strength in time of ridicule; Your ability to rise above the occasion. But now, You fall a second time; apparently conquered by the pain of the Cross. People who judged Your appearance made a terrible mistake.

What looked like weakness was unparalleled strength!

I often judge by appearances and how wrong I am most of the time. The world judges entirely by this fraudulent method of discerning. It looks down upon those who apparently have given their best and are now in need. It judges the poor as failures, the sick as useless, and the aged as a burden.

How wrong that kind of judgement is, in the light of Your second fall! Your greatest moment was Your weakest one. Your greatest triumph was in failure. Your greatest act of love was in desolation. Your greatest show of power was in that utter lack of strength that threw You to the ground.

Prayer

Weak and powerful Jesus, give me the grace to see beyond what is visible and be more aware of Your wisdom in the midst of weakness. Give the aged, sick, handicapped, retarded, deaf and blind the fruit of joy so they may ever be aware of the Father’s gift and the vast difference between what the world sees and what The Father sees that they may glory in their weakness, so the power of God may be manifest.

Amen.

Happiness: Taming Expectations

Happiness

Happiness is relative; that’s what a friend commented on one of my posts. I agree with him, happiness is indeed relative. I usually find myself sulking because I didn’t accomplish something. Now thing is, expectations change constantly; people evolve, their thinking evolves, goals change…that’s life. Sometimes we have to rely on others to achieve some things, and speaking from experience, it could be devastating when the person(s) you’re relying on bails.

I have learned that to be truly happy, I need to tame my expectations; not to rely too much on others. If I expect less, I’ll only have slim chances of getting disappointed.

Then there’s the other issue of feeling constantly disappointed because things are not just going the way I expect them to. Most people have all their goals set right from the start. When I was in high school for instance, I had envisioned what my life would be like…but has it turned out exactly as I’d expected (so far)? Not quite.

Normally this would be a good excuse for me to get disappointed, but slowly I’m realizing one thing; if I wait to achieve all my goals so I can be happy, I could end up miserable and chronically depressed. When I was young and seemingly naïve, I thought success was the key to happiness; but now I know it’s the other way round. Happiness is the key to success; because personally, I realized I’m much more productive when I’m happy.

If you ask me, happiness is a state of mind; for one to be truly happy, they just need to will it. They just need to want to be happy even when they feel there’s so much they need to accomplish. I have met some really optimistic people; those who seem happy from Sunday to Sunday. Normally when I get less marks than I had anticipated in an exam, I feel like someone zapped the joy out of me, so that all my thoughts revolve around my temporary failure and I get all stressed up…but then, maybe that has something to do with my high proneness to depression.

When I’m feeling a little bit under the weather, I’ll be all blue, feeling like the sun refused to come out from behind the ‘dark clouds’…then I have this friend who will be all happy even when I feel like whatever she’s going through would be enough to sink a ship. It all comes down to one thing, how much one craves happiness; it is elusive, but if one takes things as they are; trying to see past their sorrows, taking one day at a time, they’ll be less anxious and ultimately happy.

Sometimes when I’m down I’ll be like, “Today I’ll be happy no matter what.” It doesn’t always work, but it strengthens my will to be happy when things aren’t working out fine.