Sunday, November 28, 2010

Spiritual Preparedness




I just received a warm email regarding this very subject (Thanks Charlie) and I thought it would be an interesting topic to cover, specially since its Sunday and right after thanksgiving, when time was spent with our family, friends and loved ones.
In my case I’m Catholic, I believe in and accepted Jesus Christ and follow the traditions of the Catholic Church. I don’t go to church every Sunday, as a matter of fact its been months since I last went to mass but in spite of this I know my faith is strong and that’s what really matter in the end. There’s enough self glorified, bible thumpers that have dry and brittle souls in spite of their words. Do they even believe what they read in the Bible? Do they put any of that into practice? You don’t TALK about being charitable, you ARE charitable with others. You don’t TALK about loving thy neighbor, you DO that through actions. The spiritual relation each of us has with God shouldn’t be published in a billboard. Its the silent prayers that maters the most.

During these years things have been tough for people in this country. Resignation has often been the coping mechanism for the majority of the population. It is an extremely effective preservation instinct, but in my opinion it may save the body but it also kills the soul. I’m of the opinion that you should never give up, never surrender, specially not when it comes to spiritual terms. Maybe there very little you can do about it, but oh my is there a difference between a little and nothing. Can you stop your country from falling all around you? Economically, morally, in cultural terms? I don’t know, but I know you can do your part by not going down along with it, by keeping yourself, your family and loved ones in the right track. That’s the little grain of sand so often mentioned.
During times like these its understandable that people just give up. They give up their expectations, their standards, their ideas of what’s acceptable or not. For some people its become acceptable that you may go out to the grocery store and get shot in your way back home, just as its become acceptable that you are powerless to change what your children will become, if they’ll chose to fall into drugs, promiscuity and the moral blur we see in today’s society.

By now you may be asking yourself what’s all this got to do with survival and preparedness. Its got everything to do with it! These are the challenges you will be facing as the global situation evolves. The core of society, the family, will be facing challenges from all fronts. Not only will you have to protect yourself and your loved ones, you’ll have to keep them safe from crime and provide for them in an ever challenging economy, you’ll have to make sure your children (and yourself) have the spiritual power to face all this.
I see it here in Argentina all the time. People that are beaten, they are defeated, they have just left themselves go. Their bodies sometimes are reflection of what they’ve become: Poorly groomed, dirty, poor physical condition and no manners. The daughter had its first kid before the age fourteen, probably doesn’t even know who the father is. The son doesn’t even know who he is and just replicates what he sees on TV or on the streets, trying to be part of some urban tribe, compensating for a lack of true identity.

This is important because to deal with all these challenges you’ll need to be strong. Your soul, your backbone must be pure forged steel. The determination you’ll have to keep yourself (and maybe your family as well ) afloat will determine if you fail or succeed.
A family with poor spiritual preparation will not do well in times like these.
As the situation gets worse on all fronts your core and the core of your family will be put to test. There’s going to be times of doubt, there’s going to be arguments with your spouse, your children will come up with problems and decisions will have to be made. Are you too old fashion? Is this the way it is now with kids, so then its ok? Am I being to strict?
 Iron resolution, strictness along with loving parenting will give the roots your kids will need as they become adults in a tougher world. Talking and being understandable about you wife’s or husband’s needs will help the couple grow strong. There will be challenges, they will exploit every little crack there is but talking and being patient, and most of all being selfless and sometimes putting the needs and desires of others before yours will be a key factor of your spiritual preparedness. Be patient, be firm but kind, learn to listen and be adamant when it comes to defending the positions you believe to be important.
We life in a selfish society, where even parents put themselves before their own kids. “I don’t want to stay home taking care of the brats, its your turn today. I’ll go drink a few beers with the guys. Don’t stay up waiting for me”.  Despise that sort of behavior.
Altruism even in the little things in life will slowly make it become a habit for you, polishing your personality.

For those of us that believe in Jesus Christ, the New Testament is basic reference material. Dig into it when in doubt. God will speak to you through it.
Personally I really enjoy reading “The Way”, by St. Josémaría Escrivá de Balaguer. Although I was never a member, I did assist to many of Opus Dai lectures and found their perspective of how to apply Christianity to work, family and daily life refreshing. The book “The Way” has some of the best aphorisms I’ve ever read and I highly recommend it to any Christian that is looking for good reading material. Read it even if you dont believe in God, its a guide to a good solid personality.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend guys,
Take care and God bless you all,

FerFAL

18 comments:

tv said...

This is one of your best posts, IMO.

This is one of your most important posts, IMO.

You address the mind and spirit. All preparedness and stamina begins here. These areas are SOOOOOOO overlooked its ridiculous - yet these areas are foundational like bedrock

I hope you continue to write on this topic permanently as you feel inspired

Thank you

Marc said...

Thanks Ferfal. I think this is one of your most important posts. God bless you and your family.

Anonymous said...

There is a difference between surviving and living. Remaining faithful is definitely part of LIVING and not merely surviving.
Faithful to your God faithful to your family faithful to your friends.

DaShui said...

The splendid Christian culture of the Middle Ages came about because the Roman empire was failing. Also in China the dominant philosophy and codes of Taoism,and Confucianism came after the similar collapse of the Zhou dynasty. Its times like these that people look for something within to help them deal with living as a human in a time of troubles.

Kentucky Packrat said...

I worry about most of my "frozen chosen", postmillenialist Christian friends. They think that the US is God's country, and that our wealth is God-given and permanent. (Joel Olsteen, Creflo Dollar, etc. take this the furthest.) Pointing out that we have gotten this far only through debt and cheap Chinese goods isn't what they want to hear.

We've talked with the kids a lot about how God doesn't promise ease and comfort; in fact, Jesus promises that (in human terms) Christians will have unease and discomfort. He promises to feed and clothe us to our needs; not to maintain a feast a day, a 3000 square foot house and 2 cars.

I fear that many of our Christian brothers and sisters here in America will not know how to transition from plenty to "near lack" that I suspect is coming.

chinasyndrome said...

Right on Ferfal! God will help you survive when it doesn't seem possible!

China
III

Anonymous said...

Has there been an increase in religion in Argentina since the crisis? Do more people attend church? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I am Christian and my faith in Almighty God grows everyday by reading his Word the Holy Bible and kneeling everyday to our Creator in prayer. I usually begin with the Lord's Prayer as I was taught this prayer in Spanish as a child. I do attend church two to three times a month and I need to attend twice a week.

As I have grown spiritually, I discovered that God wants me to be obedient to his Word an important theme in the Bible. Jesus demonstrated this to his disciples as Jesus was always in obedience to the Father. Adam and Eve disobeyed God. All other sins spring from the one sin of disobedience.This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome. (1 John 5:3)

Baja Publishing said...

Ferfal: I believe that Escriva's "The Way" is one of the best books ever written on what it means to be a Christian. Escriva's comments on "lukewarmness" in particular are moving. It applies to faith. It also applies to prepping. God Bless, Ferfal.

JAF said...

For the most part, the videos on this site provide a good overview of what the bible is about.

http://www.godsplanforsavingman.com/

Anonymous said...

thank you for sharing, Ferfal.

your words might help motivate some who have not yet decided to delve a little deeper into why they are here.

it is important to not only "talk the talk" but to be able to "walk the walk". this means incorporating the Master's Teachings, and not just to proclaim, "I'm saved! I'm saved!" as it doesn't exactly work that way.

one must then put into practice what one proclaims to believe, as Jesus showed us by example how to act, how to live, how to treat others.

i meet many Christians who tell me that "God will provide and protect me in any crisis", and while i agree wholeheartedly that God does do this - He also provides us with many opportunities and He gave us a brain and expects us to use common sense.

this means, if common sense tells us that it would be a wise thing to be prepared in case of an emergency or in "hard times ahead" then common sense would also tell us that it would be practical to prepare ahead of time with those things that we might need to have available, if there was such a need, or a crisis or an emergency situation should one arise.

my experience with God is a personal one, and it holds true (for me) that God helps those who (are willing) to help themselves, and this includes hard work if necessary and sacrifice.

God did not promise us an easy life, just that He would be with us and that He would guide and help us if we would attune our lives with Him through prayer and meditation and live according to His spiritual laws.

it may not be easy, but He will always be there to help us.

God bless us all.

thank you Ferfal, and Merry Christmas to you and yours.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
"Has there been an increase in religion in Argentina since the crisis? Do more people attend church? Thanks."

This surely can't be a difficult question to answer!?

DA LUCCHE said...

I take exception to the notion that someone with poor spiritual preparedness will not fair well in times like these.

As a non believer (not a preacher though. I have friends of all religions) who has just dealt with the passing of my dad and uncle within a one month time-span, I have been by my family's side and been there for all of them like one who should be no matter if you believe in God or not. That is the human condition speaking for itself and I do not need a believe in something higher than me to have moral understandings.

I don't do drugs because I know what the consequences would be. I don't sleep around because I need a connection with my partner that a one night stand doesn't produce. I visit my mother almost everyday after work because the bond and love we all have for our parents. I am a very caring and sensitive individual who goes out of his way to help people, whether it is money or advice or a hug or just listen and because of my giving nature, I have been backstabbed too many times I cannot remember and, ironically, most of the stabbing has been done by certain individuals who prayed to God and were very spiritual.

I have gotten through the pain of my father's death by being realistic...not by being spiritual...by understanding there is a process that a human goes through in moments of despair to get them through it...first comes shock, then comes denial, then comes anger, then understanding and then acceptance. I did not get that from being spiritual. Every human has that in them regardless of spirituality involved.

Personally, it insults me to hear people say you cannot get through life's pitfalls with being spiritual. Like I am less of a human being for not calling on God to help me out of my problems? I call bullshit because it is bullshit.

I haven't called on God to help me out through anything I have been through and guess what? I am surviving just fine! And I am still the same strong, loving, caring and nurturing man and I will always be regardless.

DA LUCCHE said...

I take exception to the notion that someone with poor spiritual preparedness will not fair well in times like these.

As a non believer (not a preacher though. I have friends of all religions) who has just dealt with the passing of my dad and uncle within a one month time-span, I have been by my family's side and been there for all of them like one who should be no matter if you believe in God or not. That is the human condition speaking for itself and I do not need a believe in something higher than me to have moral understandings.

I don't do drugs because I know what the consequences would be. I don't sleep around because I need a connection with my partner that a one night stand doesn't produce. I visit my mother almost everyday after work because the bond and love we all have for our parents. I am a very caring and sensitive individual who goes out of his way to help people, whether it is money or advice or a hug or just listen and because of my giving nature, I have been backstabbed too many times I cannot remember and, ironically, most of the stabbing has been done by certain individuals who prayed to God and were very spiritual.

I have gotten through the pain of my father's death by being realistic...not by being spiritual...by understanding there is a process that a human goes through in moments of despair to get them through it...first comes shock, then comes denial, then comes anger, then understanding and then acceptance. I did not get that from being spiritual. Every human has that in them regardless of spirituality involved.

Personally, it insults me to hear people say you cannot get through life's pitfalls with being ready spiritually. Like I am less of a human being for not calling on God to help me out of my problems? I call bullshit because it is bullshit.

I haven't called on God to help me out through anything I have been through and guess what? I am surviving just fine! And I am still the same strong, loving, caring and nurturing man and I will always be regardless.

DA LUCCHE said...

I apologize if I sent a double post, FerFal. And I apologize for the emotion that is evident in the post.

I just take it personal when someone says that a person not being spiritual or being religious means that you have no understanding of morals and cannot get through life's "valleys".

Anyways, hope you do not take offense. Love your site. Read it daily. Bought and read your book. I give you all the credit for making me aware of being prepared.

FerFAL said...

Hi DA LUCCHE, dont take offense. I never meant to offend those that don't believe in God. If you dont think you have a soul, then call it essence, personality, or whatever it is you prefer. You are more than just the parts that compose your being and that’s clear enough no matter if you believe in God or not. I’m saying that most people will crack under pressure and some will withstand it. Yes, at least in my observations having a real, solid spiritual foundation helps a lot, but I’m not saying it’s a rule. You do need though a specially strong personality. Your comments themselves, they are full of emotional content, therefore its clear that being an atheist or not makes little difference in terms of being in control of your emotions or not. Emotions are still there, its human nature. You’re just as likely to feel happy, sad, stressed, angry or depressed, even depressed enough to jump under a train like so many people do here. Again, call it whatever you want, but you need to be strong mentally speaking and have hope even in hopeless situations. Maybe there’s the reason why spiritual beliefs sometimes play such a big role. Faith is asking to believe in spite of logical explanation, and that’s similar to having hope when logic tells you there’s little or none.
I’d still recommend “The Way” as a book for non believers, its an outstanding manual for building character and a strong personality.
Take care DA LUCCHE, again, the post wasn’t meant to hurt anyone’s feelings, just point out something that really is important during tough times.

FerFAL

cryingfreeman said...

I'm a Christian, by which I mean I live by the Word of God: "For there is one God and one mediator between God and men: the man Christ Jesus" - 1 Tim 2:5. Without my faith I'd be nothing so to say it plays a role in my preparedness would be seriously understating things!

Anonymous said...

Ferfal,

Has church-going in Argentina increased since the onset of the economic problems?