The Roman Catholic Church in The Bahamas is part of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church, under the spiritual leadership of the Pope. The diocese was elevated to a full diocese, as the diocese of Nassau in June 1960. On June 22nd, 1999, the diocese was again elevated as the new Archdiocese of Nassau.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

The inner peace to set you free.

What are some of the genre movie types that you watch? I am a scifi guy who also enjoy action, thrillers and animated movies as well. Yes, there's a big kid in me as well, but have you ever seen any of the animated movies that they're making today? Today was one of those days I decided to watch an animated movie that came out over a year that I had never seen. Some of these movies even have a positive message behind them as did this movie, Kung Fu Panda 2.

The hero in the movie is a warrior Panda bear who was advised my his Kung Fu master that he needed to find inner peace before his final training session. Of course it just so happened that he got distracted with the duties of fighting crime that he decided he'll have to get to it later. To find this inner peace he needed to sit still, listening and understand. That was not going to be easy for this anxious, jovial Panda bear.

Ask yourself when was the last time you sat for a moment in peace and quiet, just to meditate on personal matters that may be affecting you. Even Mr. Po (the Panda bear) could not focus properly because of all of the racing thoughts in his mind. If he had only taken the time to sit for a short period so that he can gather his train of thoughts it would have allowed him to put things into perspective.

Within our Catholic Church, we are given the beautiful gift of Eucharistic Adoration at various times throughout our Parishes, where you can sit quietly with Jesus in the Eucharist and just listen. We believe we have all of the answers, but sometimes our emotions are what may be driving us to conclude such a belief. The world is full of distractions, between the duties and responsibilities at work, housework and chores, children screaming, spousal attention, that we negate to take the necessary time to hear the voice that is trying to speak with us and to guide us.

I'll be the first to admit, but it's only when the going gets tough that we remember the need to seek the one who can help us with the answers that we need. At times too, we are encouraged to seek help and wisdom from a pastor and priest who has probably heard just about every problem that faces us as members of the church, as single persons, as couples and as families.

Many of the struggles we deal with is even more grander than the simple issue that played on Po's mind as he struggled to remember his parents and the desire to find out what happened to them. While he was distracted with these thoughts he put his life and the life of those with him at risk because he did not face his thoughts head on before going into battle. One distracted thought could cause you lots of pain both physically and mentally if not nipped in the bud.

Have you ever heard the expression, 'your face tells a thousand stories.' Who better to explain its meaning than myself? My family always tell me that they can tell when something is on my mind; it's written all over my face. Am I upset, check my face. Am I happy, check my face. Am I frightened, check my face. It is very difficult for me to tell a bold face lie because it will be recognized right away as an untruth. Through Po's distracted thoughts he allowed the enemy to escape when they had him in the palm of their hands. It was necessary at that point that the other warrior request that he stepped aside until his thoughts were put into perspective. Knowing that something was bothering him, they probe him until he spoke the truth.

There are many who struggle with issues that begin to affect what was once normal to them everyday yet they bottle it up with the hope that one day, hopefully one day it would clear itself up. No matter how wrong someone may have treated you or how hurt you may feel from a situation that happened, you can not find true inner peace until you forgive the person and circumstance. Recently a former police officer was sent to jail for 10 years for the murder of a gentleman who died while in his custody. The victim left behind 6 children, and numerous grieving relatives, including his mother and grandmother. During the interview with reporters it was difficult to tell whether they forgave the man.

To fully heal we must let go of the past and concentrate now and the future. Holding grudges and animosity will only eat away at your inner peace and make you less desirable in the sight of others, while at the same time we are turning our backs on God. Jesus taught us how to pray, and in the Our Father's Prayer we ask God to forgive us our debts as we forgive those who trespass against us. It is important to note that Jesus reemphasis the need to forgive so that Our Heavenly Father will forgive us. Mt 6:14. This was not something up for negotiation, this is a commandment. When we forgive we 'leave behind,' we let go of the hurt and pain that was caused on us.

When Po defeated his enemy, the enemy was astonished at how peaceful Po was. He ask him how did you do it? Po being the clown that he was thought he was speaking about his fighting skills and began to explain his moves. No, no said the enemy, how were you able to find the peace when I've wronged you, by killing your entire family? Po's response was, because I let go of the past. This is what we are all called to do. You can be hurt by family, friends even your Church, but you can only find inner peace by leaving the past in the past and forgiving within your heart. Of course it's no easy task, and this is why Jesus made it a point to express this command. God wants to keep that channel of communication open, so forgive so that you can speak to Him and allow yourself to hear His response. As the song so beautifully is sung: Make me a channel of your peace!

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