Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rest In Peace Precious Felix !!!

Yesterday was a day that goes down in history for us as we lost our precious Felix !!! He was with us for almost 18 years and even though every one says that he lived a long and happy life, it is still very painful to accept the fact that he no longer is !!! I have never ever come across a cat with such a developed personality and charisma !!!

Felix was a present I got for my sister when she was 7 years old as a First Holy Communion gift. We need to keep in mind that today, this young girl has grown into a woman and is today 24 years old. She has not lived a moment without Felix beside her, at least she is not aware of the years she lived when she didn't have the cat. I have never ever come across someone who is obsessed with her pet. Pictures of Felix everywhere, and when I say everywhere I literally mean everywhere !!! No wonder she calls him 'brother'. Bless, she doesn't know what life is without him, but unfortunately she has to learn now. The same goes to my parents. It's like the death of one of their children because Felix was always there: waiting, hoping to be fed the moment he makes the slightest sound and all the rest of it. Such a nice cat !!! And today it was really weird going over to my parents' house and not seeing him there on his armchair ........ the house was weirdly silent and empty. A cat and yet he gave so much life to the house because the silence today hit me and made me realise that animals are beings with souls, characters and personalities. Why do we think that we are anything better? Where does this arrogance come from?

Why do we assume that animals are less than us? Why do we insist that they do not possess any soul? And if they don't possess any soul, then where does their unique character come from? If they don't possess a soul, what makes us think that we do? The hatred that we have for one another which is not to be found in animals? Is this the confirmation that we have a soul within our being?

Honestly, losing Felix is like losing a brother and of course, any death makes us reflect on our own. It is a depressing topic and I am quite depressed today, however, death is ultimately the one reality that we cannot ever ever doubt. It goes hand in hand with what Descartes says on doubt: doubt everything because the one thing that cannot be doubted is doubt itself !!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Open Your Eyes Not Your Mind !!!!

"Open your eyes, not your mind!!!" - this is the fantastic sentence Jesus tells Judas and of course, us as well. I don't know how many times I've watched this beautiful film, however, this time this sentence really stood out and touched a chord deep deep down inside me. This fantastic montage was put together by a very precious and dear friend of mine Fr Pierre OFM and he gave me the permission to upload it here if i wanted to. Of course, here it is ............. as some of you might remember, some months ago I was going through a 'feeling sorry for Judas' phase and uploaded a comment about it. This is where Pierre suggested that I could use his clip if I wanted to.

How many times I am ever so arrogant with God and His Son Jesus? How many times I refuse to believe something just because my mind tells me that it is neither logical nor rational? Why is it that I put so much trust in what my mind can apprehend rather than what my eyes can perceive? Who told me that reason is so much superior to sensory perception? Where did this myth come from? Who started it? What made me believe and accept it?

On the other hand, why is it that I don't see all the signs around me when I perceive them with my senses? How can it be the case that reason is superior to that which my senses are perceiving every single second of the day? Of course, reason is important but it is not the one thing needed for confirmation. We are surrounded by God's infinite beauty and yet we fail to appreciate and read the messages because our feeble, limited and human mind cannot understand God and God's supernatural nature !! And Jesus here is telling me: Open your eyes not your mind !!!

I do still feel sorry for Judas because he was chosen for this specific role, but someone once had told me that just because Judas was chosen does not necessarily mean that God wanted Judas to do what he actually did, but rather that God, in His infinite wisdom, could foresee what Judas would be able to do due to his character and its weakness. Let me explain myself better. Both Judas and Peter betrayed Jesus in their own way. Judas sold Jesus, whereas Peter denied that he even knew Jesus three times !!! I have no doubt that both actions hurt Jesus deeply as we need to remember that these were two of his closest friends. How would we have felt if this had happened to us? Would we not have felt destroyed? Why should Jesus 'the Man' feel any different? However, the conclusion is not exactly the same, is it?

While we know what happened to Peter because he realised what he had done, repented and cried his heart out, Judas despaired and hanged himself. This is where the tragedy lies. Peter did not give up on God's mercy, kindness and forgiveness but Judas did. And it is this fact, which I believe, lead him to despair and suicide. He just could not believe and accept it in his heart that God's love and mercy are infinitely bigger than his 'crime'. And he despaired, and he gave up ........ and he killed himself and that is wrong !!!

Again, this fact makes me feel even sorrier for Judas because he just could not cope with what he had done to his friend. And these are the questions I would like to ask myself today: do I really feel this bad about myself when I go out of line and do things I should not really do? Does it fill me with such guilt? I don't think so !!! I don't think that my soul is half as sensitive as Judas'. I might not have physically killed anyone however, that does not mean that I have not killed .................. I killed people emotionally, and yet I am aware of it and still living!! Why should I feel hatred towards a soul that despaired because it realised and understood the gravity of the action it had committed? Of course, I'm not proclaiming suicide (don't get me wrong) but all I'm saying is that: we are in no position to judge because we are no better.

If Judas was predestined to betray Jesus, then I simply can't see him being burnt in hell: it would surely not be just and God is justice itself. To be morally responsible for any action, the action has to be freely chosen by the agent and not coerced into it. So there, Judas' integrity is questionable. On the other hand, if Judas freely chose to betray his friend and Master, then at least through that deed, the gates of Heaven were open wide in order to accept both you and me inside. We had no chance before that event took place !!! Should Judas pay for this price by being eternally hated, misunderstood and condemned !!!! I don't think so !!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's Almost Here Again !!!

Ah how fast time flies !!! This time two years ago, we were in Dresden enjoying the company of two of our sweetest and kindest friends Kate and Ulf. It was an amazing experience, because it snowed and the famous Dresden Christmas Markets had just opened and the atmosphere was almost unreal, especially to me who is not such a big Christmas fan. I remember the freezing cold evenings at the market drinking mulled wine ......... what an experience that was !!! It helped me change my view on Christmas.

Christmas has always been a time of stress for me. What with the parties and the gifts and all that ... and I used to say to myself: but is this what Christmas is all about? Is this what Christmas should be all about? I mean, the King of Heaven was born in utter poverty ... and now it seems that one cannot celebrate a proper Christmas unless one is wealthy? Something must have seriously gone wrong !!!

As my bestest of friends says: Christmas is a time of being with the family and enjoying each other's company and not the mad rushing in and out of shops buying gifts and worrying that you will not have enough money left to see you through the end of the month. I cannot see any reason to rejoice in that predicament, can you? But yeah, my friend's view starting to sink in and I also started to realise that Christmas is not really about materialism but it's a profound, deep and spiritual experience. The problem was that I was allowing Christmas to become a materialistic experience forgetting the real event altogether.

They say that the best things in life are free: and I'm sure that you agree with me here when I say that LOVE is one of the best things in life. It cannot be bought but it can only be freely given. That is what Christmas is all about !!! LOVE !!! God's love to humankind !!! God's initiative to once again work at redeeming us from our sinful nature !!! This event does not need parties, alcohol, drugs, unnecessary deaths, unnecessary debt, unnecessary stress but just INNER GRATITUDE !!! Nothing else I guess !!!

As I have already said, I've never been big into Christmas, but my friend's advice together with the experience in Dresden has changed my mind completely ......... I'm actually looking forward to Christmas !!!!

This picture was taken on our first night in Dresden. I cannot quite remember the place but the Christmas tree impressed me greatly and so did the atmosphere there !!! There is nothing better than a great night out with great friends and soul mates !!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bongu Mulej !!! Bongu Malta !!!

How many times we must have slept and woken up since the day we were born? How many times we must have taken it for granted that we are in fact going to make it in the morning and wake up, as usual, and life continues as usual as well. But have we ever stopped and wondered: we are so lucky to wake up once again. Only God knows how many people slept with our same hope and yet did not manage to materialise those dreams and ambitions because they died in their sleep.

We take everything for granted and it is a shame because it robs our life of its sparkle. Every morning is a new day ... a new beginning ... a chance to start anew and not continue from yesterday. We forget that our machine, which is our body, is so fragile and delicate, that it can collapse before our very eyes and crumble to the ground.

We need to open our eyes and hearts a little bit more !!! We need to appreciate what surrounds us because I find that as time progresses so is humanity regressing. We are becoming like machines and what makes us distinctively human, which acccording to Aristotle, is our faculty to reason and achieve eudaimonia, has been on hold for such a long time now. And then we complain that life is boring and that life has no meaning. Of course, it doesn't !!! Life needs the meaning you give it in order to have one. We are no longer babies ........ we can do things on our own and we should not be needing anyone to transform this boring life into an exciting one. We have all the tools necessary to bring this change about. But no !! We choose to sit down and veg in front our TV expecting to be happy and totally at peace with self, others and the world !!! What a disillusion !!!

Once I read that happiness is an inside job !!! At the time I didn't quite grasp the concept but now that I'm older but not necessarily wiser, I think I have an inkling !!! If you want to be happy, just be happy. I think it's a decision after all and it should not depend on external factors. How can something so magical and awesome like happiness depend on trivial external factors ??? If that was the case, then we can hardly ever be happy !!!

This picture which I took a couple of days ago, stirred all these emotions in me. I suddenly realised that happiness is a state and it can be achieved if the will is so determined. I suddenly realised that I have been taking life for granted and that one day all this before me and around me is going to end. But then I said to myself: why should I live my life as if it has already ended? Isn't that insane ?