Three hundred and sixty-five days ago I started blogging my daily meditations. My intention for doing so was to remain faithful to a very good discipline I acquired during seminary training and in religious life. From the very beginning, this was always my intention and it continues to be so even today. I believe I missed only one meditation in this past year, and I missed it due to illness. Many times I was tempted with sloth to not do it, but my conscience kept me from doing so, and I am glad it did. Just when I thought that I had nothing to write about, the Holy Spirit took over and inspired me to write, and write I did. And then, through an e-mail or a phone call, I received an encouraging confirmation that it was truly the Holy Spirit at work.
The Lord truly blessed me by placing this desire in my heart, and it has been a pleasure for me to do this. This particular blogging program allows me to take a look at some daily, weekly, monthly and overall statistics. On a daily basis, there are close to 400 pageviews; on a monthly basis, it is close to 12,000. In total, over 120,000 pageviews have occurred with people from all over the United States, South Korea, Russia, Australia, India, Germany, Mexico, Philippines, United Kingdom and Canada viewing this blog. I am not sure if they read it, but they at least opened it.
The Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, invited priests and religious to use the Internet in order to spread God’s word among the faithful and non-believers. It is a most efficacious tool. With the click of a button, it can do what it took thousands of missionaries many years to do. Obviously, It will never replace a missionary’s real and human presence. But, it is a non-invasive means to bring the Good News to people who are looking for God’s love, guidance and inspiration, and in the convenience and comfort of their own time and place. The Lord provides. This is true and the instruments he uses are humbling.
From today’s readings, the Lord is encouraging us to do something so that He may be glorified through you. He tells Abram, “Fear not! I am your shield; I will make your reward very great.” A good tree bears good fruit. Abraham belongs to the Lord. He was sent by the Lord, brought by the Lord and bought by the Lord. Now, he must work for the Lord.
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. God does not punish! I know that is hard to believe, but it is true. God does not punish anyone: people punish themselves. Those who refuse to give or forgive - who refuse to love - will sooner or later be victims of their own lack of love. (Fr. Jacques Philippe) They will slowly starve to death. Their fruit will wither and rot. Not by God’s doing, but by their own omissions.
Our biggest obstacle to branching out is our fears, our insecurities. I think to myself, “What if I am rejected? What if I am hated? The fear of rejection and confrontation is strong. But the Lord is stronger. For this very reason he tells us, “Remain in me, as I remain in you. Whoever remains in me will bear much fruit.”
We can do it, if we remain rooted in the Lord. St John of the Cross wrote, “Where there is no love, put love, and you will harvest love.” A tree is a plant that came from a seed. We are called to be that seed.