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Seeing with the heart | Inquirer Opinion

The story is told about a little girl who was holding two apples in both hands. Her mom sweetly asked her if she can have one. The girl looked at her mom for a few seconds, then suddenly took a bite from one apple and another bite from the other one. Her mom could not hide her disappointment whereupon the little girl, with a smile, handed her one of the apples and said: “Take this, Mom. It is the sweeter one!”

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In today’s gospel (Luke 6:39-45), our Lord teaches us the importance of seeing rightly, not judgmentally. All too often, we see what is wrong with others, and forget that we, too, have our faults. May we be cleansed of our blind spots, and shortsightedness.

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“From the fullness of the heart, the mouth speaks.” How often do we fall into idle talk, useless chatter, and negative conversations? Papa and Mama always told us that if we have nothing good to say about others, better to say nothing at all.

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It is such a noisy world, and a talkative world. Everybody wants to say something about everything and everyone. Perhaps, we should listen more. Wanted: more listeners, less talkers. Actually, it is more fun to listen. Try it! We learn more when we really listen with the heart. Talk less. Listen more. If you listen to a person just for a few minutes, you would soon know who and what he/she is. What you say says a lot about you.

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This coming Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the start of the Lenten season. It is a time for prayer, fasting, and good works. Perhaps, we all could begin our Lenten discipline with fasting from talking, and doing more praying and good works.

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Pope Francis asks us all to fast and pray this Ash Wednesday for peace in Ukraine. No more wars please! We are just coming out from the COVID war, and now this again. This is all because of greed, arrogance, and selfishness.

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“O praise the Lord, all you nations, acclaim him you peoples! Strong is his love for us, for He is faithful forever” (Psalm 117). This is the shortest psalm. This is the most basic formula for world peace! If all nations would listen to God and make Him Lord, then, we can all live in peace as brothers and sisters with God as our loving Father.

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Here are some meaningful practices to make our Lenten season truly meaningful: 1) Give up sin; 2) Fasting; 3) Prayer; 4) Do good works; 5) Almsgiving; 6) Abstinence; 7) Meditation; 8) Control of desire for possessions; 9) Control of desire for entertainment; 10) Carry out duties in life. (From the Archdiocese of Toronto). May I humbly add—do all these with a humble, joyful, and loving heart!

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Our Lady, our Mother Mary, Queen of Peace, pray for us! Just when we are recovering from the cruel COVID war, comes now the Russian-Ukraine war. Here at home, another war is brewing in the political front. Our constant prayer is for peace, and for goodness to triumph in the end.

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With all the turmoil happening around and inside us, may we find peace in our hearts. How? By putting on the mindset of the Holy Spirit. We can choose to react to people, things, and situations with peace, humility, patience, joy, generosity, hope, and forgiveness. “Come, Holy Spirit!”

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I heard about a store in Denmark which has a door that was programmed to open only if you smile. Interesting! Yes, a simple smile is the key to open other people’s hearts, including your own heart. Smile!

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A moment with the Lord:Lord, help us to see rightly, with our hearts. Amen.

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