FEAST OF ST. JOHN OF CAPISTRANO Job, Chapter 21, Verse 28 And to mortals he said: See: the fear of the Lord is wisdom; and avo...
Friday, April 26, 2019
Saturday, April 27, 2019
1 Samuel, Chapter 18, Verse 15
Seeing how he prospered, Saul feared David.
Insecure people spend a lot of time in job justification. Think about it how much time do you or people you know spend in justifying rather than striving to break free of fears and be all God has envisioned them to be? Often insecure people are trapped in a cycle of fear that retards their ability to give power and grace to others.
The law of Empowerment
Saul was insecure. The Law of Empowerment says that only secure leaders give power to others. But what does it mean to be secure? Using the analogy of personal finance, let’s look at what’s missing from the lives of insecure leaders. This will help us better understand where security comes from and why it matters.
· Paupers, debtors, and hoarders lack the real or perceived financial security necessary to give generously to others. Paupers have no source of income aside from the financial assistance they receive from someone else. Penniless and dependent, they’re clearly unable to help others financially. Leaders without purpose are like paupers. They have no passion, low energy, and little drive to grow in influence. Usually, their only source of power is the position they have been given by somebody else. In terms of personal authority, they’re impoverished.
· Debtors may have nice salaries, but their expenses exceed their income. They’ve maxed out credit cards and taken out hefty loans. Consequently, they’re stuck paying exorbitant interest rates on the amounts they have borrowed. In an upside-down financial situation, they’re in no position to give generously to others. Leaders without authenticity are like debtors. Someone deeply in debt may appear wealthy, even though they’re secretly on the verge of bankruptcy. The closer you inspect their life, the more signs of dysfunction you see. Similarly, inauthentic leaders may seem to have all the tools to lead with excellence. However, they are missing the crucial component of moral authority. They do not practice the values they preach, and they prefer to keep others at arm’s length to hide their shortcomings.
· Hoarders are sitting on a pile of wealth, but they think only of protecting it rather than of sharing it with others. They have the plentiful resources but are unwilling to part with them. Leaders without humility resemble hoarders. Having put their talents to work, they enjoy a significant amount of power. However, they’re worried about others taking it from them or gaining more of it than they have. So, instead of using their influence to empower others, they keep it for their own benefit.
As leaders, we can only lift others up when we’re standing on a firm foundation. Purpose, authenticity, and humility give us a secure, stable base from which to lead.
Purpose is the answer to the question: why do you want to lead? The best leaders have a purpose that is greater than they are. Their “why” involves more than accumulating money or seeking self-actualization. They see leadership as a calling rather than a career, relishing the opportunity to use their unique talents to accomplish something significant that will outlive them.
Authenticity means being comfortable in your own skin. Authentic leaders have self-awareness, self-respect, self-confidence, and emotional maturity. They prize integrity above image, and they seek to build trust with others on the basis of their personal character.
Humility is often wrongly associated depreciating and downgrading ourselves. However, true humility flows out of gratitude and comes when we credit God for our blessings and others for our successes. As Rick Warren teaches, a humble leader doesn’t deny his strengths; he’s simply honest about his limitations. Humble leaders feel no need to trumpet their status, are unthreatened by criticism, and revel in the accomplishments of others. They put their pride aside so that others have room to shine.
Modern man at times out of an inability to cope with the stress of everyday life seeks relief via the vices of sex, drugs and rock and roll. I wonder what would happen to our world if instead of dealing with stress with the distractions of pleasure and entertainment; we acknowledged our dependence on the grace of God; found our purpose and had true gratitude for our blessings.
John McCain in his book Character is Destiny examined the character traits exemplified by Roméo Dallaire who in 1993, was appointed Force Commander for the United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR), where he witnessed the country descend into chaos and genocide, leading to the deaths of more than 800,000 Rwandans. When the rest of the world looked away, he stayed behind in a manmade evil for the sake of duty and justice. Dallaire was in charge of a small overwhelmed African peacekeeping force, he could have left but he refused and witnessed the genocide. He is ashamed he could have not done more and the reaction of the world that stood by for 100 days doing nothing allowing the devil to reap carnage, terror and hopelessness. Dallaire was the one candle in a darkened room of despair created by the collective failure of mankind’s conscience along with the apathy and deceitfulness of world governments toward Rowanda’s plight. McCain writes of Dallaire’s dilemma:
The U.S. government, our allies, and the United Nations went to extraordinary and ridiculous lengths to avoid using the term, “genocide”, aware that once genocide was acknowledged, they would have to act. Day after day, long night after long night, for over three months, more men, women, and children were added to the rolls of the victims by their hate-crazed persecutors. Romeo Dallaire soldiered on, saving those he could and agonizing over those he couldn’t, all the while begging the UN, and the world, to send more troops, to do something, anything, to help. In his telling, his mission was to keep peace; peace was destroyed by unimaginable violence, and many thousands died. He failed. He tried to convince his superiors to send him more men. He failed. He tried to get the United States and other powerful countries to listen to their consciences and help. He failed. He tried to persuade the world to stop genocide. He failed. And while many, many people who had a responsibility to stop the killings looked the other way and never had a moment of doubt or a night of troubled sleep, Romeo Dallaire took his failures very, very seriously.
A righteous person, no matter how blameless, will always take humanity’s failures personally.
Rwanda Lessons Learned
· The first and enduring lesson of the Rwandan genocide – not unlike the Holocaust – is that they occurred not only because of the machinery of death, but because of state-sanctioned incitement to hate and genocide. It is this teaching of contempt, this demonizing of the other – this is where it all begins. Indeed, as the jurisprudence of the Rwandan tribunals has demonstrated, these acts of genocide were preceded by – and anchored in – the state-orchestrated demonization and dehumanization of the minority Tutsi population – using cruel, biological ascriptions of Tutsis as “inyenzi” (cockroaches) – prologue and justification for their mass murder.
· The second lesson is the danger of indifference and the consequences of inaction. The genocide of Rwandan Tutsis occurred not only because of the machinery of death and a state-sanctioned culture of hate, but also because of crimes of indifference and conspiracies of silence. What makes the Rwandan genocide so unspeakable is not only the horror of the genocide, but that this genocide was preventable. Simply put, while the UN Security Council and the international community dithered and delayed, Rwandans were dying.
· The third lesson is the danger of a culture of impunity. If the last century was the age of atrocity, it was also the age of impunity. Few of the perpetrators were brought to justice. Just as there cannot be a sanctuary for hate or a refuge for bigotry, neither can there be a haven for the perpetrators of the worst crimes against humanity.
· The fourth lesson is the danger of the vulnerability of the powerless and the powerlessness of the vulnerable – the brutalized children, women victimized by massive sexual violence, the slaughter of the innocents – all the first targets of mass atrocity. It is our responsibility to empower the powerless while giving voice to the voiceless, wherever they may be.
· The fifth lesson is the cruelty of genocide denial — an assault on memory and truth – a criminal conspiracy to whitewash the Rwandan genocide. In the most obscene form of genocide denial – as in the case also of Holocaust denial – it actually accuses the victims of falsifying this “hoax.” Remembrance of the Rwandan genocide is itself a repudiation of such denial – which tragically becomes more prevalent with the passage of time.
· The sixth lesson is the importance of remembering the heroic rescuers, those who remind us of the range of human possibility; those who stood up to confront evil, prevailed, and transformed history.
Finally, and most important, we must remember and pay tribute to the survivors who endured the worst of inhumanity – of crimes against humanity – and somehow found in the resources of their own humanity the will to go on, to contribute and to make our society a better and more compassionate community. And so, this anniversary must be an occasion not only to remember but to learn the lessons of the crime whose name we should even shudder to mention – namely genocide – and most important: to act on these lessons.
Divine Mercy Novena
Ninth Day - Today Bring Me The Souls Who Have Become Lukewarm.
Most Compassionate Jesus, You are Compassion Itself. I bring lukewarm souls into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart. In this fire of Your pure love let these tepid souls, who, like corpses, filled You with such deep loathing, be once again set aflame. O Most Compassionate Jesus, exercise the omnipotence of Your mercy and draw them into the very ardor of Your love; and bestow upon them the gift of holy love, for nothing is beyond Your power.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon lukewarm souls who are nonetheless enfolded in the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. Father of Mercy, I beg You by the bitter Passion of Your Son and by His three-hour agony on the Cross: let them, too, glorify the abyss of Your mercy. Amen
· Manhood of Christ Day 4, Eighth Week.
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