Why Tears Flowed as 20yro Josh Daniel Sang For his True Friend

6 05 2019

josh daniel

As fire consumes a forest, as flames set a mountain ablaze, so does yearning devour a heart for a friend, a true friend. Judges and audience shed rivers of tears as 20 yr old Josh Daniel sang for his best friend who died at 18 at the 2015 X Factor audition.

The song was Labrinth’s “Jealous” and when Simon Crowell, one of the judges, asked him why he picked the song, he said that it meant a lot to him for a different reason and a shadows fleeted briefly across his handsome face as he paused to recollect himself before saying, “I lost my best friend a couple of years ago, and I interpret the lyrics in a completely different way. The lyrics say that I am jealous that you are happy without me, and I kind of see it in the sense that I am jealous that he moved on to a better place (Heaven) without me.”

As Josh began singing, the air trembled with emotions and his pain, like an arrow, pieced hearts, and tears ran like river down the faces of all as though they felt the searing wound in his heart, wounds that the past years hadn’t heal. His death shattered his heart but this song put it together again, he died, yet lives in his heart, and alone on that stage, he was with him as he sang for him.

judge

When he finished the hall erupted, a standing prolonged ovation. As silence returned, a speechless female judge who wasn’t ugly at all tried to say something but faltered and with tears streaking down her face said, “Wow! That was the most captivated I have been in the whole audition, and I believed every word you said and …I kind of want to hug you.”

Josh readily accepted and she gave him a bear hug before a cheering audience. The video has been seen by more than 200million people and it is still breaking hearts.

No one will choose to live if he has no friends says Aristotle.

True friendship is something probably unknown to many people. Who wouldn’t want to have such a friend?  We all crave it, we all desire it, yet the harsh truth is that it isn’t easy to get.

Finding a true friend is harder than finding blue diamond in the dump heap of today’s ephemeral social-media friends. A true friend loves another, not because of what he can provide, but because of who he is. He helps the other to develop, to go further, to become good.

A true friend differs from a pleasure friend as silver differs from tin foil.  Pleasure friendship ends when pleasure ends, but true friends are forever.  Pleasure is perhaps the weakest of all glues that hold people together, and if that is all there is, it prevents true friendship. Little wonder sex friendships don’t last, they often crash on the jagged rock of selfishness, shattering in a million pieces leaving nothing but bitter memories.  Josh and his friend shared a clean fulfilled-love that transcended death. Sex had nothing to do with it; it would have brought misery.

They might have fought, or driven each other crazy at times, yet their love was true and unbreakable. They might have faced and conquered dragons, or gambled and lost their last buck, yet all they had they shared.

We can all have true friends but only a few since it takes time and a lot of work to build such friendships. Is a great Cathedral built in a day? Is a great song written in one sitting? Yet with constant work, day by day, the Cathedral will stand, and the song will delight million in generations to come.

Chinwuba Iyizoba

 

 





“Dump him” list for girls

20 03 2019

Here is a list for girls of sixteen behaviors enough to end a relationship- or, at the very least, place serious doubt in your heart about continuing the relationship.

School boy and girl
  1. You’ve had to tell him more than once to stop.
  2. You feel the need to “fix” him.
  3. He looks at pornography.
  4. He hits you, pushes you, or does anything to frighten you.
  5. He has a drinking or drug problem.
  6. He doesn’t care if you lie to your family.
  7. He leads you away from God.
  8. He puts you down- even if he then says he’s “just kidding.”
  9. He cheats on you.
  10. He lies to you.
  11. He flirts with other girls.
  12. He uses guilt to get you to do what he wants.
  13. He resents time you spend with your friends and family.
  14. He behaves badly and then blames it on other people or on things that happen to him.
  15. He can’t stand on his own two feet without you; he emotionally unable to function by himself.
  16. You can’t stay with him and remain pure.”

From Jason & Crystalina Evert and Brian Butler, Theology of the Body for Teens: Student Workbook, p. 170. 2006, Ascension Press.**





Changing Society’s View on “Hooking Up”

27 02 2019

Since the 1960s, we have witnessed an incredible liberalization of sexual mores. The ubiquitous use of sex in advertising, movies, television, and fashion—sex as entertainment, sex as economic incentive, sex as substitute for thought, for communication, for edification—has given a green light and public blessing to the unashamed use of sex as a crass commodity of self-gratification. Sexual gratification is often valued more than physical and emotional well-being, and the pursuit of the former has generally led to the neglect of the latter. Glamorized by the media and by celebrities, premarital and extra-marital affairs, together with the emergence of the “hookup culture,” no longer carry the stigma of social or moral opprobrium. Such practices tend to insinuate themselves into our public consciousness with little or no effective opposition.

During this time, we in America have seen myriad examples of plays, films, and TV shows evincing (overtly or covertly) envy and admiration for men and women engaging in adultery or promiscuity. Bernard Slade’s famous play (later adapted into a movie), Same Time Next Year, a story about extra-marital love, ran for years on Broadway. The award-winning movie The Bridges of Madison County (1995), a story about the happiness a lonely farmer’s housewife enjoys with a photographer, won the ASCAP Award for the “Top Box-Office Film” of 1996. The ever-rerunning TV serial (adapted from Candace Bushnell’s novel), Sex and the City, spotlights four professional women in their thirties and their big city sexual escapades as they search for the “perfect orgasm” and “Mr. Right”—in that order.

What lessons are learned from such shows? What do they teach us about self-respect, honoring commitments, and personal boundaries? The four sirens of Sex and the City may be sympathetic and amusing, but their affairs—however kooky or disillusioning—are romanticized and prized. Sex is portrayed as a desirable but short-lived commodity typically spoiled by attempts to transform it into a meaningful relationship. It seems that sex uncoupled from relationships has become the norm for many, and several studies bear this out.

Of course, it is true that many plays, movies, and TV shows often express a nostalgic regret for lost innocence and tarnished integrity. Nevertheless, the focus on casual sex in the entertainment industry and in society in general (also sometimes referred to as “hooking up,” “non-relationship sex,” “recreational sex,” “friends with benefits,” “no-strings-attached relationships,” “one-night stands,” and “sex without dating”) has become obsessive. The existence of this phenomenon alone is likely sufficient to promote the acceptance of adultery and sexual promiscuity—not because it is right, but because it is viewed as “natural,” “normal,” and something everybody does.

But what is the effect of this culture? As hookups increase, traditional dates decrease; “post-hookup, a follow-up date is rarely expected.” And as dating has waned, so too has marriage. Many young adults do not seem to have developed the ability to psychologically and socially settle down. Although young adults are becoming sexually mature at earlier ages, people are marrying later. In many cases, they do not marry at all. Family compositions have changed, and children are frequently born to parents at older ages than in previous generations. Divorce rates have skyrocketed, particularly for those who engage in premarital sex. Studies show “the odds of divorce are lowest with zero or one premarital partner” and “marriages preceded by non-marital fertility have disproportionately high divorce rates.”

These facts provide evidence that the well-known sexual prohibitions of the Bible are not as irrelevant as many seem to think. In fact, a growing number of young people—led by thoughtful college professors and mentors—have come to see the value of both sexual abstention prior to marriage and sexual fidelity during marriage.

Changing the Dating Definition

Boston College professor Dr. Kerry Cronin has helped bring about this reawakening. About twelve years ago, in an effort to counter the common practice of “hooking up,” Professor Cronin created an unconventional assignment in her classroom: she required her students to go on a first date and write a report about the experience.

This assignment was intended to counteract the hookup culture in which the connection of the parties involved is “intended to be purely physical in nature” and where the two individuals shut down “any communication or attachment that might lead to emotional attachment.”

Cronin found that many of her students were clueless about the actual process of dating. Because the hookup culture had become so dominant, “going on a date became a weirdly countercultural thing to do.” Professor Cronin thus concluded that “the social script of dating was really long gone.” So, she created a series of guidelines to teach the students how to ask someone out on a date and what to do during that date. These include asking for a date in person (“texting is the devil. Stop it.”), avoiding physical contact (except possibly an A-frame hug at the date’s conclusion), and forbidding the use of alcohol or drugs on the date. According to Cronin’s rules, the person who asked the other out must pay for the date, and the asker should have a plan for the date rather than asking the other person what to do. The first date should be relatively short and inexpensive. The key assignment was to establish real communication between the two individuals and allow them time to get to know each other.

Her program became so noteworthy that this past April a documentary film featuring Professor Cronin, The Dating Project, was released. The ninety-minute film follows five single people, ages eighteen to forty, as they attempt to navigate their way through the “dating deficit” that has been created by hanging out, hooking up, texting, and using social media. The film presents a sobering picture of what the culture of sexual liberation and free love has done to today’s youth. The film’s message is that hookups objectify the participants and leave both parties empty and unfulfilled. Today’s hookup culture makes it much more difficult to build lasting, emotionally connected relationships. True relationships take time and work, but they can be incredibly fulfilling. They enable us to grow our humanity in genuine self-giving love.

The film’s writer and producer, Megan Harrington, observed that “people are so connected and not connected at the same time. So many young adults are lonely. We all want relationships, but the superficial masks we wear on our social media platforms do not present our true selves.”

Even though Dr. Cronin is a practicing Catholic, her college course and the subsequent movie on dating have resonated with secularists who have come to realize that the “sexual liberation” they bought into has created confusion about stable intimate relationships. This intimacy crisis has effectively disconnected intimate sexual behavior from emotional connection.

Is Sex Spiritual?

Although social trends may change, values—such as disciplining and channeling sexual impulses—are timeless and universal. Today’s social practices do not reinforce the development of these unchanging values. To encourage healthy, committed relationships, we must strive to create social conditions designed to strengthen and encourage robust families. This is an essential and basic principle of the Seven Laws of Noah, a common worldview underlying Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Through her assignments, Professor Cronin is encouraging her students to follow the standards of sexual morality that form the basis of these three Abrahamic faiths.

As John Paul II put it, “Self-control is not needed because the body is evil—the truth is just the opposite. The body should be controlled with honor because it is worthy of honor.” Because our bodies are sacred property created by G-d within which resides His Holy Spirit, we effectively defile the Divine within us when we participate in the hookup culture (or in other sexual proclivities such as pornography or prostitution). A person’s body and soul are not possessions to either abuse, harm, or destroy. Lev. 19:1 commands us to “be holy,” a directive that carries strong ethical and moral implications for humanity as we strive to imitate Him.

Unmoored from a committed and loving marital relationship, the unchecked sex drive harms both the individual and the society in which he or she lives. The Noahide Code teaches us that both our bodies and our souls are entrusted to us by G-d and are Divine property. This perspective reinforces the Biblical concept that we are made in the “image of G-d,” thereby giving moral context to the psychological matrix of the human personality that involves a complex interrelationship of body, mind, and soul.

ARTHUR GOLDBERG

Arthur Goldberg is Co-Director of the American based Jewish Institute for Global Awareness (JIFGA), former Co-Director of JONAH, Inc. JIFGA sponsors http://www.fundingmorality.com, a crowd-funding site for those committed to Biblical values. He has authored Light in the Closet: Tora… READ MORE





Billion Dollar Couple Divorce: What about the Children?

16 01 2019

The 55yrs old billionaire and owner of Amazon, Jeff Bezos, is divorcing his wife of 25yrs and mother of his 3 sons and an adopted daughter from China.

He is now in a relationship with a twice divorced woman and mother of 3, 49yrs old Lauren Sanchez, whom he met through her husband. Sanchez herself is ditching her husband of many years for Jeff and his billions.

Social media is abuzz and experts are speculating breathlessly about how the billions will be split (137billion), and who gets what. Tabloids are spewing steamy headlines to make the most from the sordid affair. Yet, they skip the hard questions: what about the children?

Studies show that children are significantly affected by the parents’ divorce. The upheaval in their lives a serious and demands they be protected by the state.

Adult children of divorce are more likely than children raised in intact families to be fearful of intimacy, according to Judith Wallerstein. They are especially fearful of commitment, often remaining on the brink of marriage in cohabitation arrangements. Their thinking: “I don’t want to happen to me what happened to my parents.” If they do marry, they tend to fear and avoid having children. Their thinking: “I wouldn’t want to inflict on my kids what my parents inflicted on me.”

Most of them never saw their parents’ divorce coming. They remember that, as children, when they were enjoying themselves, their parents one day called them together and said, “We have something to tell you…” Now, as adults, when they are supposed to be enjoying themselves, they are waiting anxiously for the other shoe to drop.

By every measure of flourishing known to social science, children of divorce do noticeably poorer than children raised in intact families: higher incidence of school drop-out, drug use, sexual acting out and teen pregnancy, need for the mental health profession and for anti-depressants.

In a better world, the outcry and condemnation of this brazen disregard for the children’s welfare would have carried across the globe. As always the Catholic Church remains the sole voice of sanity in a deranged world, proclaiming boldly that divorce is immoral…because it introduces disorder into the family and into society. This disorder brings grave harm to the deserted spouse, to children traumatized by the separation of their parents and often torn between them, and because of its contagious effect which makes it truly a plague on society (CCC 2385).

One you-tuber commented, “Marriage is for suckers cucks and simps” and another wrote, “I’m not getting married until this freakshow stops!” While many scoff at women, calling them names like, witch, suckers and the likes. It is clear confirmation of the damage divorce does to the fabric of society and the psych of the youths.

In a world gone insane walking the cliff edge, marital vows are not worth the paper they are written on; promises are no longer meant to be kept; dishonor is honorable; serial polygamy is fashion. Truly, the words from W.B Yeats’ poem, the ‘Second Coming’ are prophetic for our world today, ‘Things fall apart, the centre cannot hold’. A sad prophesy of the future of our world, cut adrift from sense and reason, drifting aimlessly in uncharted waters of moral and marital relativism. Yet many call it progress.

But as St Josemaria, the founder of Opus Dei said, “I want you to think about how evil has prospered. All over this field of God, which is the world – Christ’s inheritance – there are weeds. Not just a few weeds: vast quantities of them! I want you to be aware of this, so that you may never be deceived by the myth of constant, irreversible progress. Understand what I mean: progress, when it is properly directed, is good, and God wants it. However, there is a kind of progress that blinds all sorts of people, who fail to see that in some areas mankind sometimes goes backwards and loses ground previously gained

Chinwuba Iyizoba





The Unhappy Millionaire

10 01 2019
Richard Mason the unhappy millionaire

Those who don’t believe that money doesn’t make you happy often hiss, “Let me have it and find out for myself,” when told about it. Perhaps this story of a man who had millions but lost health and family will convince the most virulent skeptic that there are things much more important than money. According to the dailymail.co.uk, Richard Mason, a multimillionaire and the founder of money market, a multi-million dollar company went for a medical check to discover the cause of his recurring ill health. He didn’t bargain for what he got. The doctor told him he had cystic fibrosis, a disease inherited from birth, and incurable. But worse, he told him that people who suffer from this ailment do not have children.

The millionaire shot back: ‘You must have got the diagnosis wrong because I’ve got three sons.’

The doctor looked at the nurse, as if to say, “How do we deal with this?” and turning to him said, “In this hospital, we manage 2000 men with your condition and none has children -well except for one who later discovered that his wife cheated on him.”

The doctors then advised Richard to speak with his wife.

Anxious and heart thumping, Richard texted Kate, his ex-wife and mother of his 3 sons, aged 23, 19 and 18. They had divorced 10 yrs earlier and though he had remarried, at 54, he hadn’t bothered to have any more children.

“Hi Kate, I have just  been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, and can you believe, the doctor says that I am infertile from birth, please put me out of my misery and tell me they are wrong and our boys are my children.”

The reply wasn’t long in coming

“Hi Richard, I’m deeply sorry to hear about your diagnosis, but no matter what they say, the boys are your children.”

Still, suspicious Richard confided in his first son who called his Mom and she confessed to having affairs throughout her marriage, in hotels whenever she was on overnight business trips for the bank where she worked. She however flat out refused to name the father of the child.

Kate, Richard’s ex-wife admitted to adulterous affairs thought out her marriage to Richard but refuses to name the man

Left with a tons of money in his bank, bereft of everything worthwhile in life, family, his children and worst, the knowledge of having lived 21 yrs in a marriage that was a fraud. Richard recently admitted he had frequent thoughts of suicide. Life had lost all meaning.

The adulterous wife must have been desperate for children and sensing her husband’s shortcomings decided to try elsewhere. Richard may have been a negligent husband, hard as flint, an old miser who loves money above all. Furthermore, Richard divorced his adulterous wife even before he knew her to be one, love for his children notwithstanding.

Whatever be the case, we may be sure that in all the articles written about this disappointing union, no one talked about the couple’s relationship with God. I strongly suspect that, like in most western marriages, God didn’t play a very big role in this family. And I believe that vertical relationships helps horizontal relationship as many spiritual writers often contend. Vertical relationship with God helps our horizontal relationship with one another. And without the fear of God, man becomes squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old savage, secret and self contained, incapable of giving himself to another in sacrificial love. Hence the appalling divorce statics of western marriages, (about 50% percent of married couples in the United States divorce. The divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher, Luxembourg: 87%, Spain: 65%). I think this due to their hurling God out of their marriages, feet first.

The story is long, complicated, and heart breaking and gets quite out of breath by the time it gets to the murky fights over alimony and Richard’s desperate efforts to discover the identity of the man who slept with his wife for in this unfortunate marriage betrayal runs deep ( you can read the full article here). I will cut all that and by a short route bring us to my take: common necessaries and common comforts of life satisfied, money does not necessarily make us happier.

Chinwuba Iyizoba





Jesus and Mary share an organ?

7 12 2018

I was recently caught by an article on aletia.org titled, “Do you know that Mary and Jesus shared an organ? “

Intrigued, I began reading.

Yes, Mary and Jesus literally share an organ! The PLACENTA!

Have you ever thought about the placenta — what it meant to Jesus and Mary, and what it means to us? asks Anna O’Neil, the author.

Quick refresher, if you’re foggy on what a placenta is and does: It’s the organ that connects an unborn baby with his mother. The baby’s umbilical cord attaches to the placenta, and the mother’s body sends oxygen and nutrients through it to the baby. It also filters waste out of the baby’s blood, regulates the temperature of his environment, and produces the hormones that make the pregnancy possible.

Here’s the best part, though the placenta is an organ that the mother and baby build together. We can’t say the mother’s placenta belongs to her in the same way that her womb is hers; the placenta belongs to mother and child both. Part of it is built by her body, and part by the baby’s body, but it’s one single organ — with both of their DNA.

So Mary didn’t only carry Jesus in her womb during those months leading up to Christmas day. She and he were actually attached — by a human organ that belonged to them both.

Later, when Jesus was preaching, somebody calls out to him, “Blessed is the womb that bore you and the breasts at which you nursed!” Luke tells us that Jesus answered: “On the contrary, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it.”

Here is a God who wants to be so close to us that he became man — not just showing up out of the blue as an adult, but growing inside of his mother’s womb, sharing an organ with her, letting their two bodies be so intimately united — and now he says to us that those who hear the word of God and observe it can be united with him like his own, immaculate mother was.

We’re not immaculate, but that’s not the point. Jesus wants to share his life with us. We talk like he just wants proximity. He wants more. We talk about bringing Jesus into our life, making room for him in the inn, remembering him through the season, and all of that is good. But Jesus wants to be closer.

Jesus started his human life as every life starts, burrowed into the lining of his mother’s uterus. As he grew, their bodies worked together, God’s body and her immaculate one, building the placenta that attached them until he was ready to be born.

Some of us are mothers, and we remember sharing our body with our children. But all of us have mothers, and even though we don’t remember it, we began our lives connected to them in the most intimate way imaginable. If you’ve ever doubted that Jesus truly wants to be with you, remember that the unity in which your own life began is only a shadow of the unity that Jesus is hoping to have with you.

Worth keeping in mind this Christmas





Unplanned lives of Young people

7 10 2018

 

 

 

The movie of Abby Johnson’s book, Unplanned, will soon be out. In anticipation, I just finished reading the book a second time. Its a truly great read and I must confess, her recklessness youth is a reflection of the lives of many young people today.
From a good Christian family, yet she did all the wrong things. She dated and married a lowlife against her parents warnings, got pregnant, had an abortion, and flunked her grades at school.

Worse, in the middle of a divorce, she was hoodwinked into signing up as a volunteer for Planned Parenthood, that abortion giant that has wrecked so many lives. She began working there as an intern and went on to become the director of the clinic. She had a second abortion at this clinic, again, without telling her parents.

While working at the clinic, she drifted further away from God, slowly deadening her conscience. Soon her heart craved only money, sex, and power. She took as her role model, those classy female executives of Planned Parenthood, admiring their high heels and glossy looks.

Abby worked for six years at Planned Parenthood, a facilitated abortions for plenty of women, though she herself was not directly involved in the procedure.

Crashing down

Funny, but it was at the very height of her achievements that everything came crashing down.
One day, when a nurse assistant failed to turn up for work, Abby was asked to assist in an ultrasound guided abortion. She was to hold the probe so the abortionist could see and better position his instrument.
As she held the probe to the belly of a woman lying on a couch, her eyes fell on the image on the screen and she was transfixed.

She saw, as it were, for the first time, the humanity of the infant she was about to help exterminate. The perfectly formed baby was sleeping peacefully in its mothers womb, until the abortionist’s probe pierced the amniotic sack surrounding it, and the baby began fleeing for life.

Beam me up Scottie, the abortionist doctor chuckled, lightheartedly. He was calling for the suction pump to be turned on, and within seconds, the baby was torn to shreds and vanished from the screen.

Abby was stunned! She felt the ground pulled from under her feet. Her world was turned inside out.

But touchdown to real world was just beginning. In 2008, PlantParanthood was pushing for increase in their revenue to avert the impeding financial crises. Her boss ordered her to increase the number of abortions in her clinic. And if that wasn’t enough, rumors was making the rounds that Planned Parenthood was going full time into partial birth abortions, a red line Abby had sworn never to cross.

Abby tried to resist, and her relationship with her bosses deteriorated. Her life became miserable as the classy women she had so admired were now turning against her.

In what I call, the moment of truth, she looked out the window at the Coalition for life, a pro-life advocacy group that had been organizing prayer at the clinic’s fence every day since the clinic opened, trying to discourage women going in to get abortions.
Those people have been right all along, she realized. It was like a splash of cold water. She was on the wrong side of the fence.
She had set out wanting to help women, but look at where she had ended up.

These were the people truly helping women save their own lives and save the lives of their unborn babies.

Abby literally ran to the other side of the fence, into the welcoming arms of members of the Coalition for Life, who had been praying for her for many years.

Later on Abby would reflect on how much influence her previous abortions must have contributed to her blindness to the evil of abortion.

From that moment, she knew what she lives for: to save lives, and to expose the abortion giant, Planned Parenthood, for what it really is, and more important, to be the beacon of hope for the millions of young women who have had the tragedy abortion; having gone down that road, she knew best how to guide them towards forgiveness and reconciliation with God.
This was when authentic happiness begins for her at last.

But one might ask, how was it possible that with such a great Christian upbringing, Abbey went so dangerously wrong?

Well, as Bishop Barron says, “The greatest enemy of young people in the world is spiritual slot. ”

Many young people would spend countless hours researching the specs of the best smartphone to buy, making sure they get it right, but when it comes to their spiritual life, “What-everrr”, they say.
It seems the most important questions about life is less important than smartphones.

Yet, sooner or later, many young people face this same question like Abby Johnson, “What is my mission in this life?”
In the coming days in Rome, the Synod of Bishops are reflecting on Youth, faith and vocational discernment.

Besides asking the Holy Spirit to enlighten the Synod Fathers, every young man or woman should use this opportunity to meditate about their own path, because we all have a divine vocation, a reason why God brought us into this world, and it is in finding that mission, that purpose that we discover the meaning of our life, just like Abby Johnson did.

Faith is a powerful light, able to shed light on ones own future and to inspire desires of fulfillment. At that time in our lives, when maybe the certainties of childhood falter and also the light of faith may grow weak, just like it did for Abby Johnson, because of her mistaken choices, we are to remember the deepest truth about ourselves: that we are children of God, created out of love. He makes the most radical call: he calls each and every one of us to be fully happy at his side.

Again, what truly matters is that Abby Johnson finally discovered her true vocation in life this thanks God’s mercy

Abby’s story is a living proof that The Creator does not throw us into existence and then forgets about us: He who creates also loves and calls. Therefore, the discernment of ones own path must be enlightened by that faith in Gods love for us, for each one.

Just as Jesus spoke to Abby Do not be afraid to listen to the Spirit who suggests bold options of leaving Planned Parenthood, Jesus speaks to all young people, do not be afraid. Seek the good, follow the teachings of the Church, and live by faith.

The Pope wrote in his letter to the youth announcing this synod. Our personal search can give rise to a certain anxiety, because we feel the dizziness of freedom. Will I be happy? Will I have the strength? Will it be worthwhile committing oneself to it?
All these questions tormented Abby as she wrestled with her conscience, knowing what she must do.
Not even then does God leave her alone. He inspired her. He will inspire us if, we too know how to listen to Him. That is what we ask of Him every time we pray the most beautiful prayer: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven: Thy will be done in me, in you, in each one of us.
As we think of so many young people who wish to second Gods plans, let us ask that they receive not only light to see their way, but also strength to want to follow the divine Will like Abby Johnson did.

It will be helpful if we realize that when He asks for something, He is actually offering a gift. We are not doing him a favor: it is God who enlightens our life, filling it with meaning.

After leaving Planned Parenthood, Abby found her true self, the cloud of sadness which surrounded her life suddenly lifted and she truly came alive. Many of her friends noticed it and told her, Abby, you look so happy, you are glowing.

What’s more, she is now more effective than ever, helping millions of people men and women. Her book is selling millions of copies and will soon be turned into a movie.

I hope, that reading this book, and perhaps later, watching this movie when it comes out, many young people and adults alike, understand that loving God, and wanting his will in our lives is not an obstacle to our own dreams, but their crowning. All desires, all projects, all loves can be part of Gods plans. As St. Josemaría, the founder of Opus Dei would say, “Well-lived charity is already holiness.”
And Dolores Hart, a former movie star who became a nun said, “We are meant to serve God with the gifts He has given us. Sin is not so much doing something wrong; sin is not being true to who we are.”

Prior to bolting away from Planned Parenthood, Abby couldn’t pray, the emptiness in her soul was like a chasm, but as soon as she made that decision and left, her relationship with God grew in leaps and bounds. She began to see Jesus as a real person, who had given His life for her, and for whom she, must give her life, thus confirming what many Christian authors say, that the Christian life does not lead us to identify ourselves with an idea, but with a person: with Jesus Christ.

For young people as well as for everyone, an important way of growing in friendship with Christ is to ask this simple question often: Who is Jesus Christ for me? Is he my friend? Is our friendship deep and strong or is it broken?

Thus, they will discover the gifts the Lord has given them, gifts that are directly related to their true mission. They will know how to put themselves at the service of all persons without being deceived by lies like Abby Johnson was for a long stretch of her life, and will see more clearly the place God has entrusted them with in this world.

In a society that often thinks too much about comfort, faith helps us to look up and discover the true dimension of our own existence. If we are bearers of the Gospel, our passage through this world will be fruitful. I will finish with this quotation for John Paul II, Homily on Boston:
“Dear young people: do not be afraid of honest effort and honest work; do not be afraid of the truth. With Christ’s help, and through prayer, you can answer his call, resisting temptations and fads, and every form of mass manipulation. Open your hearts to the Christ of the Gospels — to his love and his truth and his joy. Do not go away sad!…
“Follow Christ! You who are married: share your love and your burdens with each other; respect the human dignity of your spouses; accept joyfully the life that God gives through you; make your marriage stable and secure for your children’s sake.
“Follow Christ! You who are single or who are preparing for marriage. Follow Christ! You who are young or old. Follow Christ! You who are sick or ageing; who are suffering or in pain. You who feel the need for healing, the need for love, the need for a friend — follow Christ!
“To all of you I extend — in the name of Christ — the call, the invitation, the plea: ‘Come and follow Me. ”








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