The Salt of the Earth; The Light of the World

Today’s gospel message from Our Lord tells us that our responsibility in the world is to be the salt of the earth, the light of the world.  Because salt adds flavor to food and preserves its freshness, it is very important in our daily lives.  To be the salt of the earth to me means to be a good person with virtuous character.  We have to become God conscious.  If we turn our will and our life over to God and stay conscious of His guidance, it won’t be hard to be a good example.  We don’t need to be conscious of ourselves.  We must forget ourselves!  We need to be conscious of others.  If we forget about our needs, our wants, our desires, we can better focus on others.  After a while, it will be easy.  If we pray to do God’s will, we will naturally forget our will.  The end result is that people will notice your kindness, your concern for your fellow man, and your happiness with the simple things in life.  

Many people live in darkness today.  They may have a great job, much money, many toys; but their world can still be shaded in lonliness, anger, addictions, etc.   To be the light of the world would mean (to me) being a ray of sunshine in a dull day’s sky.  In order to get to the light, I guess you have to get out of the darknesses you call your life and try something different.  Change in attitude and behavior is paramount to heading toward the light.  If we aim for the light we will become a light and not even know it.

The materialism and the hedonism flowing in our society scares me.  The beautitudes are the opposite of success in this world.  The news, even the weather, is manufactured to makes us bite our nails and/or not  talk to our neighbors.  Jesus said to love our neighbors as ourselves, but heck, we don’t even converse with them.  The shows on television put down men, women and children.  If television portrayed the only view of life, I wouldn’t go outside.  The headlines are reserved for the next psychotic to perform a horrendous act. 

Well, I’m rambling.  Just wanted to comment on being the salt of the earth and the light of the world.  We don’t have to be anything out of the ordinary to be thus.  We just have to continue trying to be the best person we can be.  And, we don’t have to be bored doing it.  We will be busy until we lay down and die because the battle with self is just as bazaare as the crazy world we live in.

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THE WEALTH OF GRATITUDE

Another step in my conversion story – After my visit to the local Catholic Shop in Norristown, I started to secretly say the rosary, praying to Our Lady of Guadalupe to help America after 9/11.  I bought books about her and began to feel something stirring inside me.  Just before the attack on America, I was telling a person (who was Buddhist) about my lack of consistency in faith and he suggested I develop a “practice.”  This rosary was part of my new way of life.  Another thought came to me.  Perhaps I should go to confession.  It had been quite a while. 

For some reason, I wanted to go confession.  I wanted to go to Mass.  What was happening to me?  It wasn’t like I felt the need to go (even though it was great) it was as though I just really wanted to.

I went to confession.  For some reason I mentioned an abortion I had in early 1973.  It was my fourth time confessing it.  The priest told me that God has forgiven me, but it seems I couldn’t forgive myself.  He suggested I go to a place called Rachel’s Vineyard .  With the same inward desire, I did some research and found a weekend retreat.  Again, what was happening to me?  Although I didn’t understand this new perception of my life, I felt a deep gratitude. 

St. Bernard said, “Ingratitude is the enemy of the soul, the destroyer of merit and virtue, causing the loss of favors.  It is a burning wind that dries up the fountain of piety, the dew of mercy, the torrents of grace.”  I had lived a life of ingratitude.  Only now, I was beginning to be grateful and recognize I was receiving graces.  May I continue to glorify God with what remains of my life.

This Thanksgiving, I wish you the wealth of gratitude.