Saturday, January 3, 2015

Pope Francis' suggested New Year's resolutions

Pope Francis’ suggested New Year’s resolutions

(CNS/Paul Haring)
(CNS/Paul Haring)
VATICAN CITY — When Pope Francis met before Christmas with Vatican employees, mostly lay people with families, he asked them to do 10 things. The list sounded remarkably like suggestions for New Year’s resolutions:
– “Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.”
– “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most of all your time, attention and love.”
– “Take care of your relationships with others, transforming your faith into life and your words into good works, especially on behalf of the needy.”
– “Be careful how you speak, purify your tongue of offensive words, vulgarity and worldly decadence.”
– “Heal wounds of the heart with the oil of forgiveness, forgiving those who have hurt us and medicating the wounds we have caused others.”
– “Look after your work, doing it with enthusiasm, humility, competence, passion and with a spirit that knows how to thank the Lord.”
– “Be careful of envy, lust, hatred and negative feelings that devour our interior peace and transform us into destroyed and destructive people.”
– “Watch out for anger that can lead to vengeance; for laziness that leads to existential euthanasia; for pointing the finger at others, which leads to pride; and for complaining continually, which leads to desperation.”
– “Take care of brothers and sisters who are weaker … the elderly, the sick, the hungry, the homeless and strangers, because we will be judged on this.”

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

How Much Are You Worth?

How much are you worth?  Well maybe that would depend on the amount of wealth you've accumulated in your lifetime.  Or maybe it's your earning potential?  Or maybe it's your intrinsic worth?  Just how do we define what a person is worth anyway?

The entire healthcare industry, which is dedicated to healing the body and the mind, places a very high value on human worth when you account for the billions worth of infrastructure (hospitals and clinics etc.) and equipment (beds, monitoring devices, diagnostic imaging devices etc.) dedicated to healthcare, and the high qualifications of the people who work in healthcare (surgeons, doctors, nurses, technicians, administrators, etc.).

Religious and charitable organizations, who are dedicated to healing the soul and providing for the poor and needy, place a very high value on human worth when you account for the billions worth of infrastructure (churches, buildings, etc.), the legions of paid and unpaid volunteers, and the direct assistance given to those in need.

Law enforcement and public safety organizations (police, firefighters, rescue etc.) place a very high value on human worth when you account for the billions worth of infrastructure (police stations, fire stations etc.), equipment (police cars, fire engines, ambulances, helicopters, etc.), salaries, and the sacrifices made to keep our society safe.

These are just some obvious examples of the value our society places on human worth.  Unfortunately many people don't see or appreciate their own human worth. They could be unemployed, down and out, poor, homeless, very old, sick, or a war veteran.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that after cancer and heart disease, suicide accounts for more years of life lost than any other cause of death in America.

From God's point of view, each and every one of us is priceless!  And there's nothing we can do (good or bad) which would lessen our value to God.  In fact, God loved us so much that he sacrificed his own Son to redeem us (John 3:16).

You cannot earn your human worth by what you do.  It's a false sense of self-worth when you base your human worth on accomplishments.  Achievements can bring you satisfaction but not happiness or increased human worth.

Further, you cannot base your human worth on your physical attractiveness, talent, fame, or fortune.  There are plenty of famous suicide victims who can attest to this grim truth.  Fame and fortune are just bubbles that eventually burst.

Moreover, you cannot base your inherent human worth on love, friendship, or the approval of others.  Only your own sense of self-worth determines how you feel about yourself.

So what do you have to do to have human worth or improve your self-esteem?  Why absolutely nothing!  You don't have to do anything worthwhile to deserve human worth or have high self-esteem.  You're already priceless in God's eyes.  All you have to do is just believe it!

During my research for this article, I ran across a couple of interesting web sites that I though you'd get a chuckle out of: 1) How much are you worth alive? and 2) How much are you worth dead?

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