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People are struggling for survival in different circumstances of life. The survival to keep the family in the midst of poverty. The survival to operate business in slow market. The survival from the onslaught of serious illness. To survive from pressure and stress at work. To keep marriage and family in severed spousal relationship. The survival to keep one’s faith in God amidst strong temptations.  When everything around seems shattered, there’s the survival of the fittest. 

Consider this story shared by a friend. There was a man who owned a bakery. He survived the concentration camps and always said, “ You know why is it that I’m alive today? ” I was a kid, just a teenager at the time. We were on a train taken to Auschwitz. Night came and it was deathly cold in that boxcar. The soldiers would leave the cars on the side tracts overnight, sometimes for days without food and blankets to keep us warm. Sitting next to me was an elderly man from my hometown. He was shivering from head to toe, and looked I wrapped my arms around him to warm him up. I rubbed his arms legs, face and neck. I begged him to hang on. All night long I kept him warm this way. I was tired and freezing cold myself. My fingers were numb, but I could not stop rubbing heat to that old man’s body. Hours and hours went by until finally, morning came and the sun began to shine. To my horror, all I could see were frozen bodies. All I could hear was deathly silence. Nobody else in that cabin made it through the night. They died from the cold. Only two people survived: the old man and me. The old man survived because somebody kept him warm…and I survived because I was warming someone else. Can I tell you the secret to survival in this world? When you warm other people’s hearts, you remain warm yourself. When you seek to support, encourage and inspire others, then you discover support, encouragement and inspiration in your own life as well.

On the flip side, someone said that one of the best things in life is seeing a smile on a person’s face and knowing that you put it there. The only things you can take with you when you leave this world are the things you’ve packed inside your heart. Surround yourself with those who challenge you, push you and motivate you. There’s nothing more powerful than showing forgiveness and grace to someone who does not deserve it. Notice the people who take an effort to stay in your life. Never let a bad situation bring out the worst in you. Be strong and choose to be positive. When you can’t find the sunshine, be the sunshine. Help people even when you know they can’t help you back. Those who died yesterday had plans for this morning, and those who died this morning had plans for tonight. Don’t take life for granted. In the blink of an eye, everything can change. So, forgive often and love with a full heart. You never know when you may not have chance again.   

St. Faustina wrote Jesus’ words to her; “ The inner peace that you have is a grace.” ( Diary 674). Pray the Divine Mercy every 3 p.m. Daily pray the Chaplet of Mercy and the Holy Rosary for peace in our families in the world.

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