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Lawrence AndrewThe Path to Conversion
Posted by Lawrence Andrew Fernandez on 3/26/2012 10:53:09 PM


During the Leaders` Assembly of CFC-Singles for Christ last March 17 at the AFP Theater, Fr. Joel Jason emphasized that we have to go through the Lenten Season in order to cherish victory which is Easter. If that`s the case, the MMLA can be compared to Easter for it was victorious in planting a positive mindset about Lent.

Around 1,000 leaders and members of CFC-SFC Metro Manila got this message loud and clear during the assembly that started with the Holy Mass celebrated by Rev. Fr. Arnold Magana. Nino Tuyay, SFC full-time pastoral worker, led the praise and worship. Then, the stage was turned over to Fr. Jason who delivered a talk entitled "Journey Towards Easter: The Path to Conversion."

Fr. Jason started by pointing out that people do not want to go through the Lenten Season due to the suffering and sacrifice that it entails. However, he stressed that this season is vital to conversion. Fr. Jason`s talk was divided into two main parts: the Lenten meaning of ashes and the principles of conversion.

Jason mentioned that the ashes which are placed in our foreheads during Ash Wednesday is a symbol of man`s transience. This means that nothing lasts forever on earth, even human life. Since people are always reminded of their morality, they delay aging by prolonging youthfulness. However, it would be better to treasure every moment and make them fruitful in this life and in the next.

Man`s transience is also evident in the fleeting character of worldly possessions and the three attitudes that people have towards the riches of the Earth. The first attitude is a stoic one wherein people are suspicious of earthly goods. The second attitude is that of an addict wherein man craves in excess of what he needs.

The third attitude towards earth`s possessions, and the most ideal, is that of a mystic wherein he understands that the goods of this world are just a glimpse of the riches that are waiting in heaven. With that in mind, Jason invited the attendees to have the mindset of a mystic that can delay immediate gratification for the greater reward.

Transience also implies the common origin of men as manifested in the same quality of ash that is used in all churches during Ash Wednesday. Therefore, the Lenten Season calls for everyone to view others as an equal being regardless of titles and life status.

The third meaning of the Lenten ash focuses on its penitential character. When ash is placed in a person`s forehead, God invites him to revoke his wrongdoing through confession and conduct penance through prayer, fasting and alms giving. The penitence that the ash brings also calls us to reconcile with ourselves, with God and with our neighbors.

Lastly, the ashes during Lent signify purity because it underwent heating before being used. Thus, the ashes remind man of his true beauty and to refrain from denying who he truly is because of sin. In relation to this, God`s intentions are pure when he calls his disciples. Instead of breaking them, He will recreate those who have been anointed.

With the nature of the Lenten ashes clarified, Fr. Jason revealed the five key principles of conversion. The first principle states that God is not mad at His children but rather mad about them. This means that God is willing to do anything for His children and even His anger is a manifestation of his love. True conversion can only happen if people would realize that God is a God of love.

The second principle states that the past does not define the future of a person. Therefore, the soiled memories of the past can be buried in order for conversion to begin. The third principle clarifies that conversion is a process and that the focus must not only be towards the vision. This also certifies that God is a God of process and He has a concrete plan for his children.

Principle number four points out that conversion is going beyond limitations. Man creates limitations that stop him from gaining success. However, everyone is called to be a child of God no matter what the circumstances are. Finally, conversion will only happen if man changes from a self-seeking to a self-giving state. Catholics are called to undergo the Paschal death which only happens when a person is willing to purify his desires for God`s cause.

The Leader`s Assembly ended with a praisefest led by Rob Escano, SFC Metro Manila Head, and the announcement of Lucena, Quezon as the venue of the upcoming CFC-SFC Metro Manila Conference.

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Wonderful Article Lance! Praise the Lord for His greatness in the last MMLa
Posted 3/27/2012 1:40:25 AM

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