Moments

Moving on

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Someone once defined the stages and transformations in life thus: 0-5 years old, learning skills.  6-16 years old, undergoing many drills; 17-25 years old, experiencing thrills; 26-40 years old, paying bills; 41-60 years old, suffering ills; 61-75 years old, taking pills; 76 years old and beyond, preparing our wills.

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In today’s gospel (Lk. 9, 28b-36), the disciples Peter, John, and James witnessed Jesus transfigured before their very eyes. His face changed in appearance and His clothes became dazzling white. So amazed were they that Peter exclaimed: “Master, it is good that we are here; let us make three tents, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” As we all know, the transfiguration story did not end with three tents being built there, but with Jesus telling the disciples to go down from the mountaintop, and to move on.

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Just when we thought that summer is here, lo and behold, came a generous downpour of rain these past two days to make the grass green again. Life is about changes and surprises. We must not get stuck with life’s problems, nor must we ever stop believing that something good is coming just around the bend. May we be open to life’s possibilities and not be disheartened by our difficult realities. Aside from spiritual transfiguration, let us be open to a transfiguration of our mindsets, attitudes, values, and new ways of looking at things and circumstances.

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Problems can petrify us or transform us. Problems can imprison us or help us grow and move on. Below is my suggestion on how to deal, and how to grow, with problems.

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P-ray. When we have problems, let us strive to solve them, but let us also pray and call on God to help us. The act of praying itself calms and assures us, not to mention the reality that God does answer prayers in concrete ways, according to His will and wisdom, and in His own time. Pray. It works!

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R-each out. Instead of holing up, holy up and reach out to God. Reach out also to other people. You will realize that you are not the only one with problems. There are people who have bigger problems than you. There is God who will not forsake you. Look around you. There are people who need you.

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O-bey. Problems happen because someone fouled up or disobeyed. Instead of blaming others, the best thing to do is to go back to the basics, and personally decide to obey. Obedience leads to true freedom, and peace.

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B-elieve. Whatever the problem, we must continue believing that there is a reason, there is a mission, and there is a plan. Furthermore, we must believe that there is a solution. Problems should strengthen our belief in God, belief in other people, and belief in our own selves.

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L-ove. Problems should help us love more, and love true. Instead of loving less, double the dosage, and experience a new way of loving and a new way of living. Love helps solve a lot of our problems!

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E-volve. Problems can help us rediscover our inner strengths and reserves. Problems help us accept our weaknesses and fears, and consequently, help us discover that we have what it takes to survive, to exist, and to truly live.

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M-ove on. Instead of wallowing in our problems, let us rise above them and not be burdened by them. Some problems can be solved, and some problems will always be problems. Instead of magnifying our problems, and instead of broadcasting our problems, let us learn how to deal with those that can be dealt with, throw away those that are trash, and learn not to be enslaved by them.

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S-acrifice. The solution of any problem will involve sacrifice. As they say, no pain, no gain. Any act of suffering or sacrifice can help us see more clearly, act more bravely, and hope more deeply. Remember, whatever we sacrifice in this life has its own reward.

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Here is a beautiful prayer to inspire us: “May I come to understand that blessings are everywhere, that my attitude will affect outcomes, that challenges are often gifts in disguise. May I come to trust that most things can get better, with time, that my instincts and gut feelings have value, that a positive attitude makes things go smoother. May I come to see that I have many skills and talents I can use, that I am a positive influence on many people, that there are those around me who wish me well. May I come to value that today is a blessing to be enjoyed, that each person is unique and important, that each moment of my life has meaning.”

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One way of moving on is to apply a text message which I received recently, advising us to read 1Cor. 13, 4, replacing the word “Love” with your own name:

“LOVE is patient; LOVE is kind; LOVE is not jealous; LOVE is not pompous; LOVE is not inflated; LOVE is not rude; LOVE does not seek her own interests; LOVE is not quick-tempered; LOVE does not brood over injury; LOVE does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth; LOVE bears all things; LOVE believes all things; LOVE hopes all things, and LOVE endures all things.”

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A moment with the Lord:

Change my heart, oh God, and help me to move on. Amen.

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