The Holy Bible,  Revised Standard Edition, Catholic Edition, of the Old and New Testaments, translated from the original tongues with a forward by His Eminence Richard Cardinal Cushing and published by Ignatius Press. There is of course no book as important in world history, and the Bible should take a prominent place in every Christian home! click here 



Do you build walls, or bridges?

In our lives it is frequently one or the other.

It's our choice. We form walls -- barriers -- or we erect what mystic Maria Esperanza, who died ten years ago this summer, called the "bridge to Heaven."

Let's first look at walls.

What does a wall do? It protects, yes. There are times we need a wall -- especially a spiritual one. There are times when we need a divide, our "space." No question.

But too often we build "walls" around ourselves through fear, lack of forgiveness, or defensiveness. Those kinds of walls -- and they are the most common type -- isolate us.

At the end of life, the taller the wall the longer it will take to climb over.

A wall can be made from dirt: We build it with the dirt we look for in others. It can be built with cement: We can pour forth cement from our hearts. It can be built with bricks: the "bricks" in our eyes -- or with the "timber" that also blocks our vision.

A wall is created through pretension. It's created through hubris. It's created through the facade of intellectualism. It's created through the arrogance of wealth. It's created through a lack of charity. It's created through false piety -- living by the letter but not the Spirit of Catholicism.

Real piety, said Pope Francis recently, is recognizing "our belonging to God, our deep bond with Him, a relationship that gives meaning to our whole lives and keeps us resolute, in communion with Him, even in the most difficult and troubled moments" of life.

Indeed! It takes muscle to build a bridge and muscle is formed through resistance.

When a person lifts weights, it's the resistance of the weights that causes arms to harden with strength.

So it is with trials and adversities.

Life is a series of tests; when we realize that we transcend them.

We build walls when we don't see that, when we're discouraged, when we get mad, when we become pessimistic. We build walls when we use anger as an approach to discussion, when we're impatient, when we are too in a hurry.

We build bridges with faith -- faith and humility and the tempered steel of love. We build bridges with wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, trust, and respect for the Lord. We build bridges when we first look for the goodness of others.

Nothing builds a bridge quicker than forgiveness.

No divide is greater than that in the heart.

Do you embrace others or judge them, cast them off? Do you seek to help others or condemn them? Do you look at a person as a brother or just an "other"?

Yes, sin blocks. Yes, atheism blocks. Yes, criticality blocks. Yes, fear does also.

A wall separates. A bridge connects. We are all connected. To break that connection is to disrupt the Plan of God.

-- Michael H. Brown

[resources: A Life of Blessings]

[Note also: Michael Brown retreats, generational healing, prophecy, spiritual warfare, the afterlife: Philadelphia-New Jersey and Connecticut!]

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