Food for the Soul
LIFE'S ESSENCE - Katherine R. Oyson (The Freeman) - February 12, 2020 - 12:00am

I had the chance to visit the museum in Copenhagen, Denmark last month, together with my son  Saldy and daughter-in-law Ragna Lauridsen Oyson. As I was looking at the head statue of the Danish king and queen in the 4th century with their skulls beside it, I could not help but ponder that no matter how wealthy the person is, all these corporeal wealth just comes to pass. Hence,  my nephew Fr. Simon Boiser, SVD who is assigned in Hamburg, Germany always has a skull in his room to remind him that from dust we came and to dust we shall return.

Let me share with you the following insights which are food for the soul gained by Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD while undergoing an illness.  Just early last year he was declared cancer-free by his oncologist. I hope these insights will enlighten you more as they do for me:

• In sickness I learned to be even more prayerful.

• Being sick teaches you patience, that’s why you’re called patient.

• I’ve been purified not only of my physical sickness, but so much more, I have no more agenda, ambition, expectations. Nothing.

• At the doorstep of death, one realizes that nothing matters anymore – not money, not  power, not looks.

• What a blessing it is to be alive. I had cancer. I  had surgery of the lungs and had cycles of chemo, yet God has been good. It was food for my soul to know that there is still a reason  and a mission for me to go on living.

• We all must live grateful lives. Gratitude is the best attitude.

• Like our bodies, our souls need food too. Some people are consumed by anger. Others are full of regrets. But all of these are counterproductive.

• One must have fasting from things that make us unhappy and miserable.

• A selfish person must abstain from selfishness  because it causes misery.

• Eat the right kind of food for the soul to gain the fruits of the spirit such as joy, peace, generosity, and understanding.

• Know that there is a God and you’re not Him. So, stop playing God. You’re not the only person in the world and the world doesn’t revolve around you.

• Our final destination is heaven. We are not immortal (here). Let us live each moment.

• We are not in control. Stop controlling people.Stop controlling things. Let go and let God.

• Observe the 3 Ls: Live well, Love much, Laugh often.

• Take care of your three Fs: faith, family and friends. You  don’t need fans or followers. What you need are a few good friends.

• Don’t be absorbed by the opinions of the world and of what people think or say. Be mindful of what God thinks and what God says.

• When you say your prayer before meals, don’t just thank the Lord for the food but also for your appetite. Some may have food but no appetite, while many may have the appetite but no food.

• No one will leave this earth alive, so don’t worry about dying, just until you die. Inspire before you expire. 

• Learn to slow down.

• When stuck with a problem, deflate your pride.

• On Holy Thursday, have a candlelit dinner with the Lord. Go back to that night. It  was the last meal of a man who was about to die.

• Savor the Lord’s injunction: “Love one another as I have loved you.”

• Good Friday is the way of the cross. Life is not at all about comfort, though the Lord doesn’t want us to be burdened either. We all have our own cross to carry, let us carry our cross gladly.

• Easter Sunday is an occasion for both celebration and renewal. The direction should be, as we grew older, the Lord must become stronger in our life. Less of me, more of God. Less of me, more of others.

• This Easter, choose light over darkness, joy rather than sadness, humility over pride, generosity rather than selfishness. Let us choose Christ and move on.

• Reconcile with the Lord, with others and with yourself. Then be at peace.

• Remember, you’re not that good, but you’re not that bad either.

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