Choices, Gratitude, Inspiration, Life, Pain, Reflection/Introspection, Uncategorized

I’m Online

1

I’m back.

It’s good to be away for awhile from what I have loved to do-writing my thoughts. Having “left” the social networking world has given me a chance to really focus on something that I lack most-CONNECTION and PRESSENCE

Yes!

Well,  I’m no excuse.

Most of the time, because my world has been so fast and vast, i lost contact with persons dear to me. I neglect them in many varied ways, justifying, they’re always there anyway! Or that “they know, I love them much I’m not just that person who always communicates.” And, at time, I’m really busy.

HOwever, the turn of events in my family recently taught me to value something that I lack at this present time of faceless and borderless communication.  Two weeks ago, my uncle and his son had a car collission leaving both in critical condition up to now.  We’re preparing for worst.  I am preparing the worst. Death.

Regret now creeps.  Regret fills all of me. I dont have to give the detail, it tires me to pour. Death is imminent.

Despite this sadness overwhelming me, it taught me a lesson, I swore will never fail me again.

Find time.

Spend time.

Treature time.

 

 

 

 

Advertisement
Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Introspection, Life

I Came Through All Those Perils Unscathed

Filter your self as much as possible from all harm. There are many forms and faces of harm, numerous. I must say, the work of these sorts are subtly creative yet vilely.

St. Ignatius, who champion the Art of Discernment has warned us to be mindful of the inner stirrings within us in our dealings and solicitude of the world. This inner stirring signals you of something that go against your very person. If left off-guard you will find yourself scarred, unknowingly.

I almost got a share of it, thanks to the mitigating circumstances that surrounded me, one of which is the grace effected in us every time we receive the Holy Communion at Mass. I was able to distance my self and filtered the negative effects of an unconfirmed news which could have been a source of anger and outright judgement. Struggling though, I have to shed light by reminding them to (1) confirm these things, and (2) human person is by nature good.

I know sometimes our emotions gets in, and it is easier said than done, when confronted with situations. Giving benefit of the doubt is a skill while being at peace is a gift that comes from filtering oneself from all the harms that could affect us psychologically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.

anticipating Christmas …. hehehe
Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Friendship, Gospel Reflection, Gratitude, Inspiration, Introspection, Joy, Life, Lifestyle, Love, Prayer, Reflection/Introspection, Spirituality

Exactly, You Are The One!

“because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”Luke 11:8

In one of my meditation moments the other day, I got struck with this phrase in the Gospel of St. Luke on Jesus’ Teaching on Prayer. Immediately after He taught the Our Father, He gave an imagery of two friends. It seems this week, I am confronted with friendships. This reminds me to lovingly and patiently communicate and reach out to them especially in this time of pandemic. There is an imperative call to be “my brother’s keeper” so as to cut down the increasing rate of mental, emotional, psychological and physical issues and fatigue having been disrupted by this untoward global phenomena.

image from google

For all those who are reading this, please dial the number, or, send a text message via whatsapp, viber, messenger or any other means of communication, and just drop the words, “How are you? I hope you are well. Will wait for your response.” It won’t cost you much money, just your time and a finger to tap those keyboard.

Going back to my reflection, while going over on it, I imagine myself being in the shoes of the man’s friend. It says, and I quote, “suppose one of you has a friend, and goes to him at midnight and says to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine has come to me from a journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; and from inside he answers and says, ‘Do not bother me; the door has already been shut and my children and I are in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.’ “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs. (Lk. 11:4-8) My attention drew to the attitude of the man’s friend. Something in his response has opened a door of wisdom for me, and might as well for you.

Let me lead you to the scene itself (Imagine. This is just my own version of contemplation). He hears a soft knock at the door. Thinking, “who might be in this late hour of the night?” Indifferent, he turn to the right (or left, maybe) side of his bed and faces the window (if there is). A more persistent knock sounded louder. This time, this man’s friend, may not be angry, but disconcerted, confused and thought to himself, “Does it have to be me? Go away, go to another friend of ours, my lights are off” Although, these words cloud his thoughts, his heart pounds differently, intensely urging him to rise and heed his friend’s need. And, as the passage rightly ends, “because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs.

picture (c) blog.adw.org

Administering a school is never an easy task. I have my Sisters with me who manages their own areas as well, one as the school principal and the other sister manages the finance. I manage the christian formation and student services. Being under the financial support of the government educational fund (PEAC), there is a regular 3-year performance evaluation required of us. This evaluation assesses the quality performance and a determinant for an increase of students’ slot for scholarship funds. Aiming high for excellent evaluation this year, we are working hard to prepare all the evidences and supports that the PEAC team will be looking for.

In the course of our preparation, I was asked to do something that calls beyond my area of competence and expertise (I guess!). This is where the phrase of the story in the Gospel echoes deep in my heart, which made me feel “at the shoes of the man’s friend.” This would be my version “do not bother me; I have done my work, and spent sleepless night; my “door” has already been shut and I want to be on my bed; I cannot get up and give you anything.

Thoughts may run wild now in your mind. It’s alright. But, wait!

Have you been in a position where you really do not know what to do with the task entrusted to you? Have you experienced feeling at a lost (well, maybe, mentally blank. I usually have these experiences. And, it is beautifully, Ok! It brings awesome output because you are open and humble enough to learn new things which is the key to an excellent performance outcomes) Now, the task entrusted to me, as I said, is beyond my expertise and experience. So, the typically me, resisted inside, just like the man’s friend, “I cannot give you anything,” as was his words.

“Because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he need.” Unlike the persistent “knocking” of this man. My Sister-friend only “knocks” once. She wasn’t persistent, though, but, she TRUSTED and BELIEVES in my gifts and capacity to go beyond what is expected of me, (I did accomplish wonderful output, of course with the grace of God.)

image from google images

Her trust and belief was the motivating factors that urges me to get up and give her as much as she needs. Her persistence is not something that we usually have in mind. Her’s was her trust and belief to the person, confidence and assurance that she has a friend that won’t let her down. Of which, it made me realized one important facet in relationship, don’t ever put others down, It might be,or, in any case, YOU ARE THE ONLY PERSON she/ he can run into. So, if you can lend a hand, lift a burden, or share responsibility generously get up and give him/her as much as she/he needs.

Retracing our reflection on the two wonderful friends who have each others back. I believe, that his persistence was coming from the same confidence and assurance that my sister-friend has. He deeply knows from the core of his being that this friend of his, will never put him down.

Don’t we, based in our experiences, call out our friends whom we know will stay with us and won’t let us down?

Friends are great and wonderful gifts from God. You don’t search for them. God sends them, and the greatest of this friend, is His Son, Jesus. Let us start building relationship with this Man Jesus, He will never put us down nor leave us alone.

And for some other, I know you have a deep relationship with this Man, why don’t you start sharing Him and your experiences with others.

picture from google images

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Friendship, Gospel Reflection, Gratitude, Inspiration, Introspection, Joy, Life, Lifestyle, Love, Reflection/Introspection

Making Friends Feel Important

Have you ever wondered what Jesus meant when He said to Martha, “Mary has chosen the better part,” while she, has been told, “you are anxious of many things, Martha?”

(c) economictime.com

While reading this Gospel story of two beautiful sisters, I was in deep thoughts as to what those words mean? I kept on pondering during my prayer moments, there were reflections coming in, but none of it, seems to touch the core of my being.

This is not the core point of my reflection, but, allow me to share one routine spiritual exercise that our school here in St. Paul practice, its the Examen of the great St. Ignatius. I am sure you are well aware of it, and, might be a practicing whiz of this art, however, for those who are reading now and are speculating, what sort she is talking about. Although, this is not my point for writing, let me just give a quick 3 points, which are so practical and effective in me. But, please you can do more readings on this, there are voluminous works on the topic of Examen.

3 Points, 3 Steps.

(c) The Daily Examen – IgnatianSpirituality.com

Wherever you are is the perfect place you can have your Examen. Yes, you read it right. Examen, does not require you to go for a place of sanctuary or a quiet place like a chapel or church. Examen enable you to gather yourself in while you are perfectly in the world of where you are at the present. Pause for a moment. I usually do a 15-min round of Examen everyday, for starter, 5 mins would do and you can increase it to 15 mins should you see the need for more intimate reflection. I usually begin with a grace to ask, “My Lord Jesus, I beg for the grace to see myself, know myself, understand myself, as your Spirit sees me, knows me and understands me.” It helps.

First Point. What are you most grateful for. Recall your first half of the day. For some, they consider waking up until before lunch as their first half, which I believe would generally be true to all. But, there are some people who does the recalling of their first half from the moment they sleep at night until midmorning, and this too, is great. Anyhow, it all depends on where you want to start, as long as you are able to recall those actions and events that led you closer to God. Or, what we often say, the moments where you encounter Jesus. After recalling, spend some time, thanking Him.

My gratitude would outline like this,

  • gift of life
  • gift of my family, friends and those whom I have encountered (I patiently recall their faces, too)
  • and a particular action/s or event/s that is outstanding of which that led me to think about Him. (there are times, I have difficulty in identifying, and that’s Ok. Pat yourself, and be patient! Even the great Saints have troubles in recognizing the Presence of God, take Mother Theresa, only after her diaries were published that we learnt, how she struggles on the presence yet absence of God in her life.)

Second Point. What are you sorry for? We have often failed in charity in thoughts, words, and actions. Or that, we have failed to do good to others because of our selfishness. This is the moment where, I ask pardon for my failings and weaknesses, selfishness and pride. Usually, what comes to my recollection of the day, would, as simple as, not being able to let go of my ideas over an idea of my boss or collegues, thinking that I am better than they. Or, that, my selfishness would comes in and I willing ly give in to it take for example, I commence by telling myself, “it’s their area of work, they should finish it up. Or, I deserve my break, you have to work fast and hard, too. Or, for being indifferent and aloof, just like the levite and priest in the story of the GOod Samaritan.

It is alright. You are doing the Examen not to burden yourself with all the negatives and your failings. Rather, this Art, helps us to remind ourselves that we are GOOD PERSONS stained my conscupiscence, but, the goodnews! We are given the grace and opportunity to RISE AGAIN.

Third Point. What are the graces you need for? After all the realizations and discovery, beg for the grace that you think you need most to face the challenges of the second half of the day. I frequently beg for patience and the eyes of faith to see Him in all events that comes in my way. In this way, I feel, I am fully geared up to face the rest of the day. It is sort of, having trained, I am ready to do battles again. And i end up my 15-min Examen

Now, going back to my reflection questions. It was during my noon examen that wisdom came to me. And, this hit my core being and I call it my “Aha! Moment”

Have you experienced meeting up a friend whom you loved so dearly, and while spending time with her/him and enjoying his/her company you suddenly find yourself anxious over some thoughts on your mind? That, sometimes you got lost in the conversation because of other concerns, just suddenly dawns on you? You can’t fully give in your attention, because you secretly peep into your watch or, you seem to be attentive yet, at the back of your mind you have some chores or work to beat up?

Well, this has happened to me.

Reflecting on this experience and the Gospel story of Mary and Martha, made me realized that Jesus could have been telling Martha, about just being with Him at the present. Imagine, if my friends whom I casually meet up when they’re here in the city (we are separated by seas) would know my “anxiousness due to other concerns”. I bet they would excuse me and let me do my work/chores. But, how will they feel?

(c) stockys united

That’s exactly, how Jesus must have felt at the moment. Martha was more concern of kitchen stuff over than sitting, listening and “wasting time” with Jesus – the travels, the experiences and the perks of the missionary life with His disciples- I really do not know the mind of Jesus, but putting on this human scenario. I guess, this is what it means. I am a guest. I am here visiting you. Come, sit with me and let us chat. Food and kitchen stuffs can wait, (well, maybe, Jesus is not yet hungry.)

Just imagine, how Jesus must have been so excited to share. This lead us to Mary, the one to whom Jesus had praised by saying, she has chosen the better part. As I look deeply and reflected on it, the better part could have been the experience of Mary being with Jesus listening to all the stories Jesus was sharing with.

Exactly! The better part is that Mary wasted time with Jesus– laughing, questioning, patiently listening. It’s not that Jesus meets and visits them regularly. The next visit would be the death of their brother, Lazarus.

Whenever I meet these friend of mine from over the seas, we literally, don’t eat (immediately) but we do all the chitchatting, sharing both our stories- the joyful, challengings, problems and issues unsolved, the victories and the hopes and dreams we long to have.

Having had the chance for Mary to sit at the foot of Jesus, is the one thing necessary, and it will not be taken away from her. How can it be taken away from her when she has treasured it all in her heart? An experience will never be forgotten. An experience shapes our memories with our loved ones and etched deeply, in the core of our being.

The world wide pandemic has disrupted our social, emotional and mental well being. It has caused visitations suspended, catching up and bondings halted, yet, with all these happenings globally, one thing necessary and will not be taken away are the memories we created and stored in our hearts.

at SM Megamall, a small treat for batchmate

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Church Events, Inspiration, Introspection, Joy, Life, Lifestyle, LIVES OF THE SAINTS, Love, Mary, Prayer, Reflection/Introspection, Religion, Spirituality

Jeans,a pair of Nikes, Sweater, a Gamer and Computer Programming, pretty holy huh?

The body of soon-to-be beatified Italian teenager Carlo Acutis was put on display at the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Assisi, Italy for public veneration. Photo from Diocese of Assisi-Nocera Umbra-Gualdo Tadino

When we think of Saints, we often associate it with person in Cassock and Religious Habit, or those who have shed their lives, and or those which comes to our minds that can be seen in the church retablos, with figures in their beatific postures in prayer and halos.

For which the past centuries have been. But in this 21st century, the Church has shown us that the image of saints have shifted, and the Venerable Carlo Acutis is one best example for us to realize that holiness is just within our reach. Gifted with a skill on computer world and a social media savvy, he have used his skills to influence and bring others closer to the Person he loved most, the Lord Jesus in the Eucharist.

Carlo Acutis was born in 3rd of May, 1991. He died of leukemia in 2006, 12th of October at the age of 15. The Italian teenager was known for his computer skills and his love of the Virgin Mary and the Eucharist which he described as his “highway to heaven.” He was best known for documenting the Eucharistic miracles around the World for which he catalogued all the miracles onto a website that he himself created in the months before his death.

Everyone is called to a life of holiness. Everyone is endowed with the grace to respond to it. And Carlo have chosen the path he intends to live, “to always close to Jesus, tha’t my life plan.” As one who was diagnosed with leukemia. He consciously and devotely offered his sufferings for Pope Benedict XVI and for the Church, saying “I offer all the suffering I will have to suffer for the Lord, for the Pope, and the Church.”

image from Shalom World

What does it has to do with me and you? What’s so special about Carlo?

His life is a living reminder, a testament to the truth that everyone can attain union with God and holiness of life amidst the swirl of advancement of technology which so often has led us away or have clouded our minds and heart with what is infinite. In his own words, Carlo reminds us that “Our Compass, has to be the Word of God, which we have to keep constantly before us. Our Goal must be the infinite, not the finite. The Infinite is our homeland. We have always been expected in Heaven.” 

At a very young age, he has been conscious of the presence of Jesus in his life. He spent time with the Lord Jesus, a time which all of us have. This time were occasions for him to be close to Jesus. God is a generous God. He grants the deepest desires of our heart, Carlo must have so desired to be holy and to be His saint that, at a very young mind, wisdom has been granted to him, quoting his words on the Eucharist, he says “If we get in front of the sun, we get sun tans…but when we get in front of Jesus in the Eucharist, we become saints.”

For someone so young, Acutis used his knowledge of the world in which he lived in to promote the Faith using social media and navigating the world of technology to bring about the goodnews of the Truth of the Eucharist, to influence others, to set good example within one’s reach, and to be the person who God intends him to be. Pope Francis hailed him for using technology to spread the gospel, and communicate values and beauty.

As we look forward on the day of his beatification in October 10, 2020, let us emulate his good examples. In a time of technological advancement, we have Carlo, our young brother, who emerges holy in the sight of men and God.

Carlo Acutis, pray for us.

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Inspiration, Introspection, Life, Love, Pain, Prayer, Reflection/Introspection, Spirituality

When Dryness Comes

When tiredness,

Routinary works knocks at the door,

And, pressures , demands, enters in,

Know, that you are not alone.

When motivations runs dry,

And you find yourself, staring blank at window panes,

Lost. Blind by the nature’s beauty secrets,

Know, that you are listened too.

When sacred spaces becomes work place,

And service becomes meaningless work,

And encounter becomes commuter’s train, devoid of dialogue and interaction’s deep and long,

Know, that He is just waiting for you.

To speak.

To shout.

To cry.

And, sobs in silence.

You are not alone.

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Church Events, Gratitude, Inspiration, Introspection, Joy, Life, Love, Mary, Pain, Prayer, Reflection/Introspection, Religion, Spirituality

Intimately United

Our Lady of Sorrows, from Google images

It’s not the pain, but the intimacy it brings.

The redemptive act I can share with.

Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows

Whisper a prayer.

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Church Events, Gratitude, Introspection, Life, Love, Pain, Prayer, Reflection/Introspection, Religion, Spirituality

Short Prayers

Crucifix in the Chapel of the Bishop’s House at Cabanatuan City, Philippines

We don’t glorify the cross, rather, the Man on the cross

Take, a long, loving gaze.

Whisper a prayer.

Today is the feast of the Triumph of the Cross

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Church Events, Education, Gratitude, Inspiration, Introspection, Joy, Life, LIVES OF THE SAINTS, Love, Mary, Prayer, Reflection/Introspection, Religion, Spirituality

Blessed Because of Her

 

Every year, we celebrate our birthday or a family member’s birthday, friends, collegues or our close neigbhor.  The most common among the celebration is the preparation we make and, of course, sharing it with the people close to our heart.

For some people, they celebrate it in an orphanages, or home for the aged; others shares with and for in a soup kitchen, and many more ways to keep the festivities.

smart
My mother, a sweet pose after a refreshing dip in a resort

I bet all will agree that the best celebrations is an occasion dedicated to our parents. We would take time to prepare, do the details from simple to elaborate things we could imagine just to make it great, special and memorable.

Why is that so?

Of course, love is best manifested and demonstrated through actions. In all times, places, and cultures celebration are moments of immense joy and love.

Today, and every year on September 8th, the Church celebrates with great joy the birthday of the Mother of Jesus, the Son of God, our brother and savior.  It is also called as Nativity of Mary of the Mother of God and many other names that show our devotion and affection for her.

sept 8

 

Therefore, just as we would express our love and devotion to our biological mother, why should we miss this wonderful moment of the birthday of our spiritual mother.

There are many ways you and I can celebrate this joyous day.

So, today I am thinking of how best we can honor her on her most wonderful and joyous birth!

  1. Make a Simple Liturgy

75552961_10219040501510714_9169366151707230208_o
St. Paul School Gen. Natividad celebration of the Birth of Mary 

You can create your own simple liturgy.  Or, if you like you can use the prepared liturgies of the Church or from the school’s campus ministry which you can download in the web.

Suggested Materials:

  • create a sacred space
  • white cloth
  • candle
  • flower
  • icon of Mary

Simple Liturgy Sample

Opening Prayer

Impart to your servants, we pray, O Lord, the gift of heavenly grace, that the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin may bring deeper peace to those for whom the birth of her Son was the dawning of salvation.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Opening Song: (Any appropriate song)

Scripture Reading:  Luke 1:38 | Luke 1:26-38

Moments of Silence

Shared Faith Experiences or Reflection (it would be good to inform the person ahead of the time, or the group about this part)

Prayer Intentions

Our Father

Singing of Magnificat

Closing Song: (any appropriate song)

Closing Prayer (it would be good if an elder can pray on behalf of the group)

 

2. Praying of the Holy Rosary

smart

 

There are many ways by which one can pray the Holy Rosary.

What I love most is the Stations of the Holy Rosary.

It is like the 14 Stations of the Cross, except that the stations are the 5 mysteries.

Suggested Materials:

  • prepare 5 tables with candles, table cloth, flowers
  • icon of the different decade or mysteries of the rosary, if there is none, you can also use the icon of  Mary

I usually invite children to join me, they love bringing the flowers and candles, and, the boys would love to carry the Statue of Mary. Oh! How they would excitedly anticipate their part.

 

3. Spend Time for Webinars

This pandemic has been a “cause of disruptions” in our daily life.  Yet, let us take this disruption an opportunity to deepen our relationship with God.  Spend quality time for self-reflection, and the moment to appreciate the little things we have, and we can see that these little things are way great!

reco 2 2020
St Paul School Gen. Natividad’s faculty recollection online

There has been a move from face to face seminars to  online/ virtual webinars.  You can search from either  the Marian or Catholic groups in your area who are conducting such webinars.  Usually, it does not take much of your time an hour or two would be enough to quench your soul.

For the Philippines, these would be some of the links you can visit (and Oh! it’s all free)

  • CBCP Commission on Youth
  • Pathways of Hope
  • TV Maria
  • Archdiocese of Manila- Commission on Evangelization
  • Religious of the Cenacle Sisters offers much of this

 

4. Read Some Good Books on Our Lady

marian book
picture from google images

 

There are many spiritual masterpieces written on Our Lady who St. Louis de Montfort calls it “God’s masterpiece of creation.”

Reading nourishes our soul, and it keeps aflame the desire to follow Jesus in the footsteps of Mary, in this troubled world.

You dont have to finish in one sitting.  What is most important is that you have started the journey of nourishing your soul and deeper knowledge about the truth of Mary’s role in God’s plan and in our spiritual journey to the Kingdom of God.

 

Over and above these, is your personal relationship with our spiritual Mother. What matter most at this moment in our life is the quality time we spend with her.

 

These are just suggestion but if you have something you can add here, I would glad include it.

 

Enjoy your Mama’s birthday celebration.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Education, Inspiration, Introspection, Life, Social Concerns / Commentary

At The Frontline

students
UNICEF support for education as covid-19 forces schools worlwide to close (c) picture from google images unicef

The current situation in my country, and of the whole world has shaken not only the socio-economic, geo-political map of our country, and the world, but, above all, the domains of education, putting us all, especially for us teachers, at the frontline of educational disruption. Yet, despite of the situation we are in, education must continue. Education must not be hampered. Thus, Paulinian Schools, my school in particular- St. Paul School Gen. Natividad, Nueva Ecija, Philippines- continues to navigate the new normal education platforms and modalities to be able to guarantee the progress and development of the learning of the learners in a new learning environment. Much as teachers and parents guarantee the quality of education of their learners, so are the professinal needs of the teachers.

covid phil
Covid- 19 Updates- CHED (c) picture from google images

With the fast-paced teachnological advancement, teachers must re-learn, integrate and utilized the optimum capacity of technology and science at this pandemic time, so that learners will not be left behind and can, still be, at par with others, nationally and globally. As we teach them how to manipulate these new technologies we also teach them how to use these ethically and morally.

4ir
Education adn the Fourth Industrial Revolution | by Graham Brown-Martin |regenerative.global |Medium (c) picture from google images

There is no doubt that, the, “what was conceived in the creative mind of an artist in the movies – like artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles and the internet of things”, are now merging with human’s physical lives (E. Schulze, 2019) , and is continually evolving, and we wake up that it is part of us, in us.
Education has always been training and shaping people based on the needs of the society and there is no difference for today’s transition period as well. Yet, in times of pandemic, when educators were caught off guard, the challenge is great, and the demands is great. Educators are left to be adoptive, innovative and creative in its approach to keep its curriculum relevant at this situation of pandemic, yet, it is also the best thing we, teachers can do.

Thus, there is certainty that the future of society, as well as the world of education will focus, as it is already starting, on skills and talents, therefore, teachers must cope up and try to incorporate in their curriculum, even, during this time of pandemic, the learning environment of each learners and its characteristics, optimizing its usage in the adavancement of the learners.

education korea
(c) picture from google images

Hence, educators must not be afraid to venture new challenges- the different modalities and platforms this pandemic has brought us- as a way to learn, unlearn and re-learn for the illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn adn relearn (A. Toffler)

web 1
(c) picture from google images

We must bear in mind, that, professional development is not a way to go up or to simply put it, to reach the high position/rank but a must for self-growth and advancement in knowledge. And as an educators, with full knowledge and updated Professional growth I can stay on top on these inevitable changes.

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Church Events, Gratitude, Inspiration, Introspection, Life, Lifestyle, Love, Pain, Prayer, Reflection/Introspection, Religion, Seven Last Words, Social Concerns / Commentary, Spirituality, Vocation

I Beg Your Time

COVID-19 A PRAYER OF SOLIDARITY

For all who have contracted coronavirus, we pray for care and healing.

For those who are particularly vulnerable, we pray for safety and protection.

For all who experience fear or anxiety, we pray for peace of mind and spirit.

For affected families who are facing difficult decisions between food on table or public safety, we pray for policies that recognize their plight.

For those who do not have adequate health insurance, we pray that no family will face financial burdens alone.

For those who are afraid to access care due to immigration status, we pray for recognition of the God~given dignity of all.

For our brothers and sisters around the world, we pray for shared solidarity.

For public officials and decision ~ makers, we pray for wisdom and guidance.

Father, during this time, may your Church be a sign of hope, comfort and love to all. Grant peace. Grant comfort. Grant heali3. Be with us, Lord. Amen

Copyright ©2020, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. All rights reserved. This text may be reproduced in whole or in part without alterations for nonprofit educational use, provided such reprints are not sold and include this notice.

Attitude and Dispositions, Beauty and Brain, Choices, Gratitude, Inspiration, Introspection, Joy, Life, Lifestyle, Love, Pain, Reflection/Introspection

Longing

There are memories worth keeping;

But, there are memories you have to let go in order for you to love and live.

There are memories worth lingering with;

But, there are memories you have to let it pass by in order for you to breathe anew.

There are memories worth recapturing;

But, there are memories you have to accept it is past in order for you to see the present.

There are memories worth sharing;

But, there are memories the only worth by now, is lesson.

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Church Events, Gratitude, Holy Week, Inspiration, Introspection, Joy, Life, Love, Pain, Reflection/Introspection, Religion, Spirituality

Did You Rise?

The Resurrection: New Life for Christ, New Life for All

The Resurrection is, first of all, an event that concerns Jesus Christ. It is his personal triumph over death, and the vindication of the truth of his teaching. He had spoken about it before it happened. The fulfi3of the prophecy underscores the power of Christ and the truthfulness of his message. He experienced his physical resurrection in all its transforming vitality, just as he had experienced the destructive power of sin in his agony and death. This is what the Pascal Mystery is all about. The resurrection reveals this with a glorious clarity perceived through the eyes of faith.

But whatever happened to Christ has also a cosmic resonance. It influences and affects positively the whole universe, but especially mankind. At the Incarnation, the Son of God united himself in a permanent way to every human being with a solidarity that makes him share in all the miseries if every individual, (including the deadly consequences of sin), and makes every human being a sharer in Christ’s dignity, holiness and glory.

This is why Jesus’ coming out of the tomb alive, transformed, immortal, concerns us, too. It concerns all human beings. His resurrection is also mankind’s resurrection because it marks mankind’s liberation from the oppression of sin.

Christ’s shattering the shackles of death (manifested through the breaking of the seals of his grave) is like the cracking of the shell of a seed which allows the sprout to burst forth with all the freshneof the new life it carries. That sprout is Christ, but is also all mankind. It is also each one of us. On Easter morning a new world dawned, a new humanity rose from the slavery of sin and death, in Jesus, through him and with him. (Col. 2:12~13)

No human expression can exhaust the transforming greatness of this mystery. The Church has been proclaiming it during her 20 centuries of existence through her liturgy, her creeds, and her life. She will continue to do so u til the liberating power of the Resurrection will have reached its full manifestation in the Kingdom of heaven.

There are a billion and one reasons for celebrating, then, as we commemorate, re~love and rejoice in the Resurrection of Jesus. It is our resurrection, too. But we are challenged to prove it by living a new life. We have to get rid the “old yeast” of corruption and wickedness, and live a life characterized by sincerity and truth. (1Cor 5:7~8) we have to set our hearts “on what pertains to higher realms” (Col. 3:1) Then will our actions ring the jouous notes of the Easter alleluia, and we shall become a living “proof” of Christ’s Resurrection.

©EUCHALETTE (Liturgical Leaflet for an Active Participation in the Celebration of the Eucharist)

Easter Sunday, 12 April 2020

Word and Life Publications

Website: http://www.wordandlife.org

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Church Events, Gratitude, Holy Week, Inspiration, Introspection, Joy, Life, Lifestyle, Love, Pain, Reflection/Introspection, Religion, Social Concerns / Commentary, Spirituality

Covid’s Clutches

Last Sunday, I wrote about how the ECQ enhanced our identity during this season of Holy Week as we celebrate the Palm Sunday and the (remaining days of) Enhanced Community Quarantine and how the hymn of festivity and excitement envelop from town to city. I believe the lifting of the ECQ signals victory over this pandemic issue.

But,

The streaks of April 14, was covered by the gloom of night as the ECQ extended to the 30th of this month.

Suddenly, mixed emotions rushed forth. I couldn’t believe. Although, I have been reading news of the possibility of extension because of the increase of numbers of contamination, still, I’m shocked, though, I am deeply grateful, too. Such an irony of two opposing emotions.

The extension of the ECQ only means that the battle is still way ahead. And staying at home means exhausting all possible means to be healthy so as not to compromise our health and the safety of our frontliners– not only the medical staff but the staff in the grocery mall, market, transportation, etc – because for some of us, we need to go out to buy some basic needs here and there. And for some reasons, there are just areas where the 1 meter distancing rule is so difficult to remember, I wonder why.

It may appear that Hope becomes bleak as it unveils the depth of covid’s clutches to my country, to your country, and to the whole world.

But,

Today, Holy Wednesday, I would like to share with you the reflection of Pope Francis from Lumen Fidei which says, “Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything; rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of goodness which touches every story of suffering and opens up a ray of light. ”

I have had experiences of pain, of suffering and everytime I am in this moment, I would always ask the Lord,” why, O LORD? ” and I hear no replies. Surely, you, too, have great stories to tell about your journey of pains, trials, struggles, sufferings. Yet, you and I knew that neither you nor me receives the reply. However, we, too, can testify that He never, not once, left us alone in the journey. His accompanying presence was there, which enables us to profess our Faith in Him, that He was there all along.

I hope, I share the same Hope with you. Let us not be afraid nor be worried of what is going on around us, remember, God sends the traveling Ishmaelites to save Joseph from the clutches of anger and envy of his brothers, though, was sold, but he end up the great Governor of Egypt and eventually, saved his Father and Brothers from famine and death.

The Lord is at work in this covid times. In due time, his accompanying presence will be revealed. And all shall be well.

Let us continue to HOPE. Let us be hope to the people near and even far from us.

Tomorrow, we shall begin the Easter Triduum, where we make present the event 2000 years ago by our unique celebration of the Last Supper of Jesus on Holy Thursday, the Passion and Death of Jesus on Good Friday, the Mourning and the Death He must undergo on Holy Saturday and the HOPE of the Resurrection of Jesus on Sunday Morning all in our homes and before a TV or Laptop screen.

My dear friends, even Jesus has to undergo all these, even He shouted ” Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani? “ so must we. Let us enter into the excruciating pain of a loss of a loved one because of covid, the fear that this pandemic virus it brings, the anxiety of when will this end, yet let us not be defeated, for in the end, Someone conquered sin and death for us.

WILL HE NOT DO SAME THIS TIME FOR US?

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe everyone.

You are all in my prayers.

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Church Events, Gratitude, Holy Week, Inspiration, Introspection, Joy, Life, Lifestyle, Love, Pain, Reflection/Introspection, Religion, Social Concerns / Commentary, Spirituality

Covid’s Clutches

Last Sunday, I wrote about how the ECQ enhanced our identity during this season of Holy Week as we celebrate the Palm Sunday and the (remaining days of) Enhanced Community Quarantine and how the hymn of festivity and excitement envelop from town to city. I believe the lifting of the ECQ signals victory over this pandemic issue.

But,

The streaks of April 14, was covered by the gloom of night as the ECQ extended to the 30th of this month.

Suddenly, mixed emotions rushed forth. I couldn’t believe. Although, I have been reading news of the possibility of extension because of the increase of numbers of contamination, still, I’m shocked, though, I am deeply grateful, too. Such an irony of two opposing emotions.

The extension of the ECQ only means that the battle is still way ahead. And staying at home means exhausting all possible means to be healthy so as not to compromise our health and the safety of our frontliners– not only the medical staff but the staff in the grocery mall, market, transportation, etc – because for some of us, we need to go out to buy some basic needs here and there. And for some reasons, there are just areas where the 1 meter distancing rule is so difficult to remember, I wonder why.

It may appear that Hope becomes bleak as it unveils the depth of covid’s clutches to my country, to your country, and to the whole world.

But,

Today, Holy Wednesday, I would like to share with you the reflection of Pope Francis from Lumen Fidei which says, “Faith is not a light which scatters all our darkness, but a lamp which guides our steps in the night and suffices for the journey. To those who suffer, God does not provide arguments which explain everything; rather, his response is that of an accompanying presence, a history of goodness which touches every story of suffering and opens up a ray of light. ”

I have had experiences of pain, of suffering and everytime I am in this moment, I would always ask the Lord,” why, O LORD? ” and I hear no replies. Surely, you, too, have great stories to tell about your journey of pains, trials, struggles, sufferings. Yet, you and I knew that neither you nor me receives the reply. However, we, too, can testify that He never, not once, left us alone in the journey. His accompanying presence was there, which enables us to profess our Faith in Him, that He was there all along.

I hope, I share the same Hope with you. Let us not be afraid nor be worried of what is going on around us, remember, God sends the traveling Ishmaelites to save Joseph from the clutches of anger and envy of his brothers, though, was sold, but he end up the great Governor of Egypt and eventually, saved his Father and Brothers from famine and death.

The Lord is at work in this covid times. In due time, his accompanying presence will be revealed. And all shall be well.

Let us continue to HOPE. Let us be hope to the people near and even far from us.

Tomorrow, we shall begin the Easter Triduum, where we make present the event 2000 years ago by our unique celebration of the Last Supper of Jesus on Holy Thursday, the Passion and Death of Jesus on Good Friday, the Mourning and the Death He must undergo on Holy Saturday and the HOPE of the Resurrection of Jesus on Sunday Morning all in our homes and before a TV or Laptop screen.

My dear friends, even Jesus has to undergo all these, even He shouted ” Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani? “ so must we. Let us enter into the excruciating pain of a loss of a loved one because of covid, the fear that this pandemic virus it brings, the anxiety of when will this end, yet let us not be defeated, for in the end, Someone conquered sin and death for us.

WILL HE NOT DO SAME THIS TIME FOR US?

Thanks for reading.

Stay safe everyone.

You are all in my prayers.

Uncategorized

Repost: The Cross

The Sign of the Cross is a simple gesture yet a profound expression of faith for both Catholic and Orthodox Christians. As Catholics, it’s something we do when we enter a church, after we receive Communion, before meals, and every time we pray. But what exactly are we doing when we make the Sign of the Cross? Here are 21 things:

1. Pray

We begin and end our prayers with the Sign of the Cross, perhaps not realizing that the sign is itself a prayer. If prayer, at its core, is “an uprising of the mind to God,” as St. John Damascene put it, then the Sign of the Cross assuredly qualifies. “No empty gesture, the sign of the cross is a potent prayer that engages the Holy Spirit as the divine advocate and agent of our successful Christian living,” writes Bert Ghezzi.

2. Open ourselves to grace

As a sacramental, the Sign of the Cross prepares us for receiving God’s blessing and disposes us to cooperate with His grace, according to Ghezzi.

3. Sanctify the day

As an act repeated throughout the key moments of each day, the Sign of the Cross sanctifies our day. “At every forward step and movement, at every going in and out, when we put on our clothes and shoes, when we bathe, when we sit at table, when we light the lamps, on couch, on seat, in all the ordinary actions of daily life, we trace upon the forehead the sign,” wrote Tertullian.

4. Commit the whole self to Christ

In moving our hands from our foreheads to our hearts and then both shoulders, we are asking God’s blessing for our mind, our passions and desires, our very bodies. In other words, the Sign of the Cross commits us, body and soul, mind and heart, to Christ. (I’m paraphrasing this Russian Orthodox writer.) “Let it take in your whole being—body, soul, mind, will, thoughts, feelings, your doing and not-doing—and by signing it with the cross strengthen and consecrate the whole in the strength of Christ, in the name of the triune God,” said twentieth century theologian Romano Guardini.

5. Recall the Incarnation

Our movement is downward, from our foreheads to our chest “because Christ descended from the heavens to the earth,” Pope Innocent III wrote in his instructions on making the Sign of the Cross. Holding two fingers together—either the thumb with the ring finger or with index finger—also represents the two natures of Christ.

ALSE SEE: [TRENDING VIDEO] How Long the Souls Remain in Purgatory?

6. Remember the Passion of Our Lord

Fundamentally, in tracing out the outlines of a cross on ourselves, we are remembering Christ’s crucifixion. This remembrance is deepened if we keep our right hand open, using all five fingers to make the sign—corresponding to the Five Wounds of Christ.

7. Affirm the Trinity

In invoking the name of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, we are affirming our belief in a triune God. This is also reinforced by using three fingers to make the sign, according to Pope Innocent III.

8. Focus our prayer on God

One of the temptations in prayer is to address it to God as we conceive of Him—the man upstairs, our buddy, a sort of cosmic genie, etc. When this happens, our prayer becomes more about us than an encounter with the living God. The Sign of the Cross immediately focuses us on the true God, according to Ghezzi: “When we invoke the Trinity, we fix our attention on the God who made us, not on the God we have made. We fling our images aside and address our prayers to God as he has revealed himself to be: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.”

9. Affirm the procession of Son and Spirit

In first lifting our hand to our forehead we recall that the Father is the first person the Trinity. In lowering our hand we “express that the Son proceeds from the Father.” And, in ending with the Holy Spirit, we signify that the Spirit proceeds from both the Father and the Son, according to Francis de Sales.

10. Confess our faith

In affirming our belief in the Incarnation, the crucifixion, and the Trinity, we are making a sort of mini-confession of faith in words and gestures, proclaiming the core truths of the creed.

11. Invoke the power of God’s name

In Scripture, God’s name carries power. In Philippians 2:10, St. Paul tells us that “at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” And, in John 14:13-14, Jesus Himself said, “And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it.”

12. Crucify ourselves with Christ

Whoever wishes to follow Christ “must deny himself” and “take up his cross” as Jesus told the disciples in Matthew 16:24. “I have been crucified with Christ,” St. Paul writes in Galatians 2:19. “Proclaiming the sign of the cross proclaims our yes to this condition of discipleship,” Ghezzi writes.

ALSE SEE: Caring for an elderly parent? See 16 ways to make them happy

13. Ask for support in our suffering

In crossing our shoulders we ask God “to support us—to shoulder us—in our suffering,” Ghezzi writes.

14. Reaffirm our baptism

In using the same words with which we were baptized, the Sign of the Cross is a “summing up and re-acceptance of our baptism,” according to then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

15. Reverse the curse

The Sign of the Cross recalls the forgiveness of sins and the reversal of the Fall by passing “from the left side of the curse to the right of blessing,” according to de Sales. The movement from left to right also signifies our future passage from present misery to future glory just as Christ “crossed over from death to life and from Hades to Paradise,” Pope Innocent II wrote.

16. Remake ourselves in Christ’s image

In Colossians 3, St. Paul uses the image of clothing to describe how our sinful natures are transformed in Christ. We are to take off the old self and put on the self “which is being renewed … in the image of its creator,” Paul tells us. The Church Fathers saw a connection between this verse and the stripping of Christ on the cross, “teaching that stripping off our old nature in baptism and putting on a new one was a participation in Christ’s stripping at his crucifixion,” Ghezzi writes. He concludes that we can view the Sign of the Cross as “our way of participating in Christ’s stripping at the Crucifixion and his being clothed in glory at his resurrection.” Thus, in making the Sign of the Cross, we are radically identifying ourselves with the entirety of the crucifixion event—not just those parts of it we can accept or that are palatable to our sensibilities.

17. Mark ourselves for Christ

In ancient Greek, the word for sign was sphragis, which was also a mark of ownership, according to Ghezzi. “For example, a shepherd marked his sheep as his property with a brand that he called a sphragis,” Ghezzi writes. In making the Sign of the Cross, we mark ourselves as belong to Christ, our true shepherd.

18. Soldier on for Christ

The sphragis was also the term for a general’s name that would be tattooed on his soldiers, according to Ghezzi. This too is an apt metaphor for the Christian life: while we can be compared to sheep in the sense of following Christ as our shepherd we are not called to be sheepish. We instead are called to be soldiers of Christ. As St. Paul wrote in Ephesians 6, “Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil. … take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”

ALSE SEE: Eucharist by Mouth: Matter of Conscience?

19. Ward off the devil

The Sign of the Cross is one of the very weapons we use in that battle with the devil. As one medieval preacher named Aelfric declared, “A man may wave about wonderfully with his hands without creating any blessing unless he make the sign of the cross. But, if he do, the fiend will soon be frightened on account of the victorious token.” In another statement, attributed to St. John Chrysostom, demons are said to “fly away” at the Sign of the Cross “dreading it as a staff that they are beaten with.” (Source: Catholic Encyclopedia.)

20. Seal ourselves in the Spirit

In the New Testament, the word sphragis, mentioned above, is also sometimes translated as seal, as in 2 Corinthians 1:22, where St. Paul writes that, “the one who gives us security with you in Christ and who anointed us is God; he has also put his seal upon us and given the Spirit in our hearts as a first installment.” In making the Sign of the Cross, we are once again sealing ourselves in the Spirit, invoking His powerful intervention in our lives.

21. Witness to others

As a gesture often made in public, the Sign of the Cross is a simple way to witness our faith to others. “Let us not then be ashamed to confess the Crucified. Be the Cross our seal made with boldness by our fingers on our brow, and on everything; over the bread we eat, and the cups we drink; in our comings in, and goings out; before our sleep, when we lie down and when we rise up; when we are in the way, and when we are still,” wrote St. Cyril of Jerusalem.

Source: epicpew.com

My sincerest apology for not being able to get the original name of the writer and sources

Attitude and Dispositions, Beauty and Brain, Choices, Church Events, Gratitude, Holy Week, Inspiration, Introspection, Life, Lifestyle, Love, Reflection/Introspection, Religion, Social Concerns / Commentary, Spirituality

PALM Sunday Meets Covid~19

What is the good thing about Palm Sunday and Enhanced Community Quarantine?

This is the 3rd week of the 4 weeks home quarantine, and I bet, everyone looks forward on the last dayyy! I maybe wrong but I am confidently sure that 90 percent would agree with me!

There is a thought that made me wonder if, they [the everyone] too, shares this “idea” that after the enhanced community quarantine on April 14, all shall be wellll! It seems to me that there is a “sense of festivity and excitement.” It’s as if, there’s a hymn of victory traveling across town from town, city from city, unsung hymn yet loud enough to be heard.

Of course, I am deeply praying that we will win this covid battle. And as my country would say it” We Heal As One. We Rise As One. ” This alone would tell you how positive we are over this pandemic virus that has cost lives and disrupted our life. Has caused fear, anxiety, insecurity and death. Yet, despite these realities and eventualities, we do not lose hope. We continue to believe and to trust. We storm heaven as One.

Today, marks the beginning of a week~long celebration of the Passion, Death, Resurrection and Ascension of Jesus.

The Church is making a history (I have not heard nor read from history, I stand corrected, if there is) of celebrating the Holy Week is silence and empty churches. Yet, it is in this silence and empty churches that brings her back to the First Community of Christians.

How do the early believers of Christ celebrate the Memorial of His Words and Actions?

They gather, as a small unit of community. Breaking bread and listening to the Words of the Lord being retold.

Nay! Are we not on the “same” feel?

We gather, as family. We pray, we listen to the Word of God and we participate in the celebration of the Mass, virtually, yet, personally, there was never a slight feel that it was way different from the masses I have participated on. Why? Because it’s the heart that really matters and nothing more. I may not receive the Consecrated Host but, there is an increase of intimate desire to receive the Lord Jesus on His appointed time, Kairos!

To the one who believe and have the faith, there’s no explanation needed. However to those who “wonders how” I wish I could share my faith.

As we continue to count the quarantine days left and begin to retell the great love of Jesus for us and the Father, let’s us look how quarantine has enhanced our identity and dignity as a person and as a child of God.

Palm Sunday: Reclaimed Identity

As Jesus entered Jerusalem, He knew what would happen to Him. He knew that this will be the beginning of the end of His mission yet, the fulfillment of the purpose of which He came.Despite this knowledge, He face his mission. He did not turn his back knowing what lies ahead. He continued on.

With fear and anxiety, Jesus entered Jerusalem where His cross awaits Him. Yet, this very entrance was a hymn of praise, affirming His true identity, ” in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God”

Look back, over these days of quarantine, how did you experience your true identity?

Over news and social network feeds, I have been reading and watching different kind of stories of how people came out of themselves and helped. Like for example the doctors and nurses, despite the truth and the possibility of transmission and risking their lives, they still serve. They stay and fulfill their mission. They knew that their identity is to protect life, to care for life.

Or, the story of an unnamed man who goes to his elderly neighbors and offered his services to them by making errands for them like buying their medicines so they won’t go out anymore. He, too, knew the danger. But, for him, this is what it means to be a Neighbor.

And many more stories you can add up to our list.

All these, made me ask myself, what can I do? Lord, how can I help?

Linkages. Connections. So I began the challenge of helping through connecting people who need assistance (especially in the hospital) with those I knew who might be able to help and link with others as well.

Just the other day, a prominent company(Goldilock) message me, asking if we are distributing food for Frontliners as they are willing to give food donations. Thanks to social media, I was able to link them to one of our schools who attends to the need of the nearby frontliners and 3 poor communities who have been greatly affected by the quarantine (they have to earn a meager amount to eat, with the quarantine no one is allowed to go out, where will they get food? Of course our government provides meagerly as well)

One more to note, a hospital whom I knew expressed their need for assistance for cash and medical supplies as the influx of patients continues. As to this day, the hospital administrator and a CEO/Founder I knew are now in dialogue on how to address the hospital needs.

Make the most out of this quarantine days, bring out the best in you~ your truest identity.

Stay safe everyone.

You are all in my prayers.

… I can’t load the pictures attached to this article, I have poor signal….

Thanks for reading and for your patience

Via Huawei

Inspiration, Introspection, Life, Pain, Reflection/Introspection, Social Concerns / Commentary, Spirituality

Locked Down

Locked Down

Empty heart, troubled mind

Restless spirit, anxious soul

Distance has become my warmth

Doubt has become my gaze.

Commotion. Shouting. Wailing.

Covid! Covid! Here alas!

In fear, I hid.

Terror! Terror! I see terror around.

OH! Death tolls solemnly

A music that is not a melody

Silence. Peace. Bright.

Do I still breathe or shall I die?

Choices, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Reflection/Introspection

Patience Under Pressure

I’m on my way back to our mother house at Antipolo City, Philippines. I’m looking forward for a inspiring and bonding filled national assembly for Vocations Promotion 2019. This is a nation-wide gathering of all St Paul Sisters who are assigned for the promotion of Religious Life in the Church.

Traveling is always fun. And I believe everyone loves traveling whether locally or internationally. However, the greatest challenge of traveling lies in our attitude to face the inevitable discomforts that comes, always, in a surprise.

Well, in the Philippines, especially during weekdays, traffic is as ordinary as the air we breathe.

So, I’m writing while onboard in a public bus hoping that we will reach our destination patiently. Yes! Patiently and not safely.

Most of the road problems, I think are not cause by machine errors but human errors. Some of us, when we face discomforts and travel delays we usually react negatively. How many of us just let it slide and positively reacts?

Hailee steinfeld, a FIL-am singer actress just recently commented, “traffic in the Phil, it gets better”. For those who knows, this is such a positive comment and yet a reality that, only persons who have positive dispositions can make such comment knowing that it’s really terrible.

So, when you are stuck in a discomforting situation, relax and for 1 min just do self awareness (inhale and exhale) and tell yourself “relax, and be at peace”

In the end, 90% we are responsible for all our reactions and only 10% comes from the events around. So, don’t be controlled by the events or people around you.

Gratitude, Inspiration, Joy, Life, Lifestyle, Spirituality, Vocation

Many Gifts but One Source

Blessed.

Last week, I was invited to give a 3-day Spirituality of Arts class with our 5 Ladies aspiring to join the community of Sisters if St. Paul of Chartres, Philippine Province.

I have been teaching this module class for 3 years. And I have seen, the different gifts and talents God has bestowed on each one of my mentees (call it students, since I’m teaching them 😊🤙) Some, He gives abundantly, as what the Gospel of Matthew would say in the Parable of Talents, 5. For some, 3 and for some others 1. Yet, in all these, one thing is common – You are Accountable for what little or abundant you have.

(left to right: Nadine , Mary Joy, Mia, Eloisa Marie, Vanessa)

I always remind my students, that my class is not an art class or humanities or art appreciation neither fine arts course. Ours, is a Spirituality of Arts class. Everything is an Art. And every art is spiritual.

For what is art? Art comes from Inspiration. And this, Inspiration comes from the Heart. This heart has been moved, been touched through an encounter that inspires one to express in a very creative way his/her thoughts in colors, pens, paints and brushes.

For who has been touching us? Who has been inspiring people to create and be creative, to discover and develop except the One who created us all.

Needless to say, all works points us to Him, the Source of all creation.

As St. John the Baptist would say during the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan in the Gospel of St. John, “He must increase, I must decrease”

The aim of the module is to claim once more our identity as Artist. In each one us lies hidden the creator in us waiting to be recognized, waiting yet to be reclaimed. We are all gifted. All we have to do is to look within us and believe that, what you discovered has been there for a long time, yet, unknown because we have been to preoccupied of looking outside.

The journey to be inside out.

There are so much in store for you my dear soon to be Consecrated Ladies to Christ. Be patient. Endure every trials for endurance matures faith. Be joyful always and be grateful at all times. Look within you, and you will discover, that the plan of the Lord as the book of Jeremiah reminds us, “he has a plan for you for good and not for woe”

Metamorphosis: The Art of Moving Forward

Choices, Gratitude, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Reflection/Introspection, Spirituality

Reblogged: ForGiveNess

Forgiveness

Forgiveness

I was lost.

A rebel,
without
a clue
or a cause.

I was a square peg
in a round hole,
trying to be whole.

I lost myself
trying
to impress
others by fitting in.

Insecurity is a prison,
that hands out life
sentences, as if its
life depended on it.

The fear of rejection
and being alone,
had a much deeper
undertone.

I soon would
come to know,
the small,
still voice of
my Saviour.

Jesus Christ
is my
reason
for being.

Imperfect and flawed,
I stand.
I found grace
and mercy at His Hand.

His forgiveness.

-A.Brown

Copyright © 2019 A. Brown. All rights reserved.

Attitude and Dispositions, Choices, Life

Stop Right there!

cp

I’m currently in Makati City, one hour and five minutes away from my mission area Culion, Palawan via air trip, but, if I take the boat trip that would be twelve hours.

Mission life is great but I needed a break. Yes! Routine works (sometimes) need redefining and reevaluation. Missionaries need air!

I hoped and prayed to have fresh air away from my mission-based work. I had in mind maybe an updating seminar, summer activities or better studies. And, God must be crazy to grant it. I’m sent for studies on Catechetical Formation in Institute for Catechetical Ministry, San Carlos Seminary.

Life would be great, it’s a two-month get-away from stresses and demands.

Breaking-free didn’t come easily, as i was filled with all assignments and requirements. My “get-away” didn’t go well with my plan.

I slept late in the evening to keep up with all those papers.

Despite those wee hours work, what struck me was this colleague , who when asked how was his papers doing, responded, “I’m not sure if I successfully sent the email to our Professor as I was just using my cellphone.” Shock, I said “You mean, you been up all this time, doing your paperworks in your cellphone?”

I had it wrong. I was ashamed.

Though, it’s a tug-of-war between beating up the deadline and enjoying my “time”, I’m deeply grateful, without which, I won’t be able to develop friendships and discover new things, and life-long learnings: (1) Not all hooked up with cellphones are doing social network thing, texting, etc. others are really working their patience to beat their concerns (2) stop the habit of quick judgment.

Church Events, Gratitude, Inspiration, Life, Lifestyle, Reflection/Introspection, Religion, Spirituality

PCNE Hindsight (THE WALK)

The day 1 of PCNE (Philippine Conference for New Evangelization) has just concluded. And, joy-filled, I’m posting this blog. These are my SPC (Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres) companions. You might be wondering, there’s a blue among the gray! She’s our adopted sister from Vietnam who stays in the Philippines for her Master’s Degree.

I’m on the road now boarding with my Sisters. I’m pretty sure they’re tired as well, yet, filled with joy and affirmed of their dignity as Filipino Youth!

The conference began with a powerful question of Archbishop Chito Cardinal Tagle, “How do Jesus walk?” He explained quoting some of the Gospel Stories where Jesus was “walking with”. One of the beautiful, striking yet, not new, and remained unnoticed, is how Jesus takes time to Eat. Yes! You read it right. Jesus eats. We have read several accounts where Jesus eats not only with tax collectors but even officials of the temple. As Tagle would say, this eating is Jesus way of “walking with” them. This would mean, meeting them where they are at. Seeing them for who they are and for what they are.

Tagle continued to stir the crowd of clergy and religious with a thought provoking presentation on the different walks of the Filipino Youth, he named one in particular, that the Youth of today, he said, are holding their cellphones connected and communicating simultaneously anywhere and everywhere all at the same time.

He end up by asking us participants, “how do you” walk” with the Youth?”

True enough, it made me assess and evaluate my ways of” walking with the youth I am handling and working them. There were various thoughts arose such as youth discipline, awareness, limitations mine’s and their. I felt ashamed because I know for certain that I have failed in some ways (justifying myself as well, too proud to admit my limitations ).

Humbled, I know I needed my Jesus to help me in the ministry He has entrusted to me. Accompanying the Youth is never easy yet at the same time fulfilling knowing that I have helped a young man or woman find its ways either back to God, see his/her direction in life, follow her/his dream, or being able to be present with and an ear to listen to, is just enough to keep me going in my ministry.

I will end this “raw” post. Yes, it is definitely raw as I haven’t proofread or reviewed what I have written. I just grabbed my cp from my bag and scribbled my letters and my happy thoughts unto my notepad, and posted this.

OK, I will end tonight blog with this question that you and I could ponder together before we sleep and even upon rising tomorrow and the day after.

How are you contributing in the formation of the Youth [in your country] ?

Good night everyone. And a holy rest to all.

By the way, in the Philippines we are celebrating our 500 years of Christianity, in 2021. As form of celebration the Church here had a 9-yr plan, each year with different themes, for 2019 it is Year of the Youth, so all activities are geared towards this theme.

Uncategorized

ARE WE THIS HUMBLE?

Great grace
Great reflection
Good read

The Godly Chic Diaries

Our Savior was crushed and spit upon….

The king of kings was born to a lowly girl (Luke 1:4) The creator of the universe was swaddled and laid in a feeding trough (Luke 2:7) The first to hear of the birth of the Messiah and come to worship him were mere shepherds (Luke 2: 8-17) Jesus was born to a family too poor to offer the sacrifice of a lamb — so they gave two turtledoves instead. (Luke 2: 22-24) Leveticus 12:6-8)

Are we this lowly. Are we this humble? Or do we believe that we are always entitled to something bigger, better or more than we already have. Are you too prideful to do the unnoticed and embarrassing tasks — like washing the dirty feet of others, hoping they will reciprocate or express their deep gratitude…

Don’t ever become so high that you believe, think or feel, that you…

View original post 182 more words

Inspiration, Joy, Life

Kill Them With Kindness — Cristian Mihai

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” — Martin Luther King Jr. Being mean to someone else, particularly when dealing with situations in which the other person is displaying incompetence, is effortless and often efficient. The result is that you’ve probably ruined their […]

via Kill Them With Kindness — Cristian Mihai

Choices, Gratitude, Inspiration, Joy, Life, Lifestyle, Reflection/Introspection, Vocation

Past is never Past

shadows-photography-1-1

I am deeply grateful to my congregation for all the helps and assistance accorded to me in my early formation which opened me to a new understanding and acceptance of the beautiful and worse self – the brokenness of my past and the on-the-process healed present self.

I entered Religious Life when I was nineteen in 2001, had my first profession in 2004 and in 2011 received my perpetual vows. I have been assigned in our education ministry for the past seven years of which I gave my heart for the work which I loved so dearly.  After which, I was assigned to our Home for the Elderly Nuns to help in the finance department and for retreat ministry, after two years I was transferred to a seemingly minority group in our congregation the Pastoral ministry, since 2016 up to now I am the Catechetical Coordinator of the Parish in Culion, Palawan.

I finished Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at St. Paul University Surigao.  I never dreamt of becoming who I am now.  The turn of events came when I was in third year college.  It was quick.  I went out of my English class and made “tambay” in the corridor, gazing at the ground from the third floor, these thoughts came to me, “Ano ang gagawin ko sa buhay ko? Hindi naman pwede habang buhay barkada lang, or party or gala ng gala ako at friends ko. Darating ang araw magkakaroon kami ng kanyang-kanyang buhay.  Ano ang maging akin?” Those thoughts made an impact on me.  This became my compass, which eventually defined what I would decide on.

However, that same year, there was a “Vocation Awareness” in our school I did not join but my friend Jay handed me a brochure with a statement, “If a business walks for a mile to earn a centavo, how much more if you walk for a mile to save one soul.” I was so struck with these words but didn’t understand what it meant.  Later that year, what keeps ringing on me was the feeling on “I want something that lasts, something that does not end nor are not measured by salary or work time.”

That same year, too, my teammate Michelle in Volleyball was already attending a search-in with the Mensa Domini Sisters.  Unknown to her my “inner search” she invited me to join her, and that was the start of being in touch with what I didn’t know then, the “inner search for meaning in life.” 

I broke the news to my parents that I want to enter the convent on the eve of my nineteenth birthday in 2001.  My parents scolded me and were disappointed, but there was a sort of “certainty” of feeling that “Someone called me for this.”

Everyone was NO to the idea.

Instead of a regular four year course, I finished my bachelor’s degree in three years and one summer I was nineteen years of age.  Being a summerian graduate, my father requested if I could take a one semester break before enrolling at San Sebastian.  That means, I had four months (June-Sept) rest prior to my Law proper.  With those free months I applied in my Alma Mater.  I was assigned in the Finance department as voucher clerk and as a part-time substitute teacher.  I find this event of my Father’s request to postpone my enrolment as a salient event in my life, had it not been for the postponement of my enrolment I would not become an SPC.

When I was working, my former school paper editor-in-chief Alfredo Dimaano upon learning that I have been attending search-in in other congregation requested the SPC Sisters to have me join in their second Sunday search-in.  The accompaniment session of the St. Paul sisters with me began.

I was accepted in both congregations.  The Mensa Domini sisters’ entrance was May and for the St. Paul’s August.  I wanted to join the Mensa Domini but since the entrance was through, I was requested to wait for another year.  And that left me only with St. Paul’s entrance on August.  I was proud and self-sufficient then, disobeying my parents, I entered St. Paul in 2001.

Looking back with these events in my life, I can say that I am grateful to all the turnabouts in my life.  Those events helped me in my capacity to discern and see God’s hand at work in my life. I can see God is “paki-alamero” in my plans in life only for my good benefits.  One example that I can identify is that, I am able to become more surrendering to the Lord especially in my ministry and obedience.  There are times when it is difficult for me to accept and understand, yet, whenever I am confronted with my stubbornness, I am always led to realize what God has done before and “look, how great it was!”  Another thing that I am grateful is that no what how the turn of events in my life would be – whether the pains that I experience in the community and with superiors, or in my ministry, I know that God has great plans for me.

On August 2018, I will be celebrating my eighteen years in the convent, and eight years as perpetually professed SPC sister.  Life is not easy.  Life is not fair.  There is politics in the convent.  Life in the convent is never a bed of roses nor an ideal state, yet, I am certain this is where I want to be.  I want to spend my life serving the Lord, loving Him despite my unfaithful heart and stubborn will.  When I was a Postulant in 2002, I was asked to make a symbol.  I made a cut out two hands holding each other (One bigger than the other).  When I was asked to explain, I simply said: “I am telling the Lord to hold my hands tight, as you can see, I have the tendency to let go of this hand.  But, if He does, surely I will stay an SPC until my last breath.”

And, I believed, I had my moment already.  In 2009, I let go of this hand.  I did not apply for my perpetual vows, but He held my hands so tight I can’t let go.  And, up to now, He is holding my hands still tight not giving me any chance to let go.

I still have tons of loads of issues I need to face.  And every day, I beg the Lord to heal me, to make me whole and make me a better person and more accepting and understanding of all my issues whenever  it comes again in another form.

 

 

 

image by Jaime Gonzales

Beauty and Brain, Choices, Gratitude, Inspiration, Joy, Life, Lifestyle, Love, Reflection/Introspection, Spirituality, Vocation

FULL PACKAGE

Ms Universe 2017 South Africa, deserves the crown not because she wowed the judges and drop-jaw the audience but because SHE is more than what our eyes can see.

She is not just an ordinary woman, who posesses the beauties of the universe, she  is a woman for, with and in God.

Choices, Inspiration, Joy, Life, Lifestyle, LIVES OF THE SAINTS, Reflection/Introspection, Spirituality

November 1st

Are you not envious of Saints?

I do. Because they remind me of my capacity to be with them.

Saints, except martyrs, were just ordinary people like you and me. They did not Excel in extraordinary work, profession, etcera. Only, that, they are faithful to their ordinary life putting love, ahay! Great love, I mean to say. They have put a great deal of love over what they have and do thus making it extraordinary.

They work in silence. Not seeking to be praised or recognized. But their goodness did not escape in the eyes of God.

And, 

They have become where they are now.
Happy All Saints’ Day

Beauty and Brain, Choices, Life, Lifestyle, Reflection/Introspection, Social Concerns / Commentary, Spirituality

Social Media

Sometimes, I am dumbfounded by the grace effected by Social Media. Where people abused and misused it, others are carefully using it to bring message of hope, inspiration and even religious experience or transformation, I dare say.

May each one of us effect others with our responsible use of social media.

Choices, Life, Pain, Reflection/Introspection

Choosing Today

When disagreement takes away the warmth of communication. I wish to take back the words I said.

When disagreement takes away the laughter’s shared in a moment’s glance. I wished I’d known it.

When disagreement takes away the company of civility, I wish to be more understanding and not rude

When disagreement supplies falls happiness of “I’m ok”, I wish I had the courage to choose to transcend and reached out. I wish I have been more self-forgetful to be other-centered.

When disagreement takes away my hope for a new tomorrow, I dare to bring it in and start anew.

I have today.

I have tommorow’s today. 

It is always today, so I start to begin anew, making all things new today

Joy, Lifestyle, Pain

War (Paste all)

Reblog.

Think again.

Respond to this post by replying above this line

New post on Cristian Mihai

War

by Cristian Mihai

 

“The one perfectly divine thing, the one glimpse of God’s paradise given on earth, is to fight a losing battle – and not lose it.”

Life is a war.

You have to fight to get what you want, you have to fight to become the person you want to be. You have to fight to put food on the table, to be fit, to accomplish goals, to take care of your body.

The hustle, as they say, never ends.

Of course, you might be inclined to use one of lfie’s many crutches: to have someone else take care of your needs, to dream of retirement, to dream of winning the lottery or reaching Heaven.

Those are lazy ways of thinking and going about life.

Here and now. That’s life. It’s not about tomorrow, for it has yet to come.

Life is what happens right here, right now. And life is a war, a constant battle for what you want.

Make no mistake, each time you think otherwise, life will punish you.

It’s just how it is.

Plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead.

Until then… hustle and struggle and fight for your dreams and ideas and goals.

“Do not believe that others will die, not you…. I have wrestled with Thanatos knee to knee and I know how death is vanquished. Man’s immortality is not to live forever; for that wish is born of fear. Each moment free from fear makes a man immortal.” – Mary Renault

 

Cristian Mihai | October 2, 2017 at 5:34 pm | Tags: ArtBlogcultureinspirationlifelovemotivationquotesthoughtswriting | Categories: Blog | URL: http://wp.me/s283PT-war

Comment    See all comments    Like

Unsubscribe to no longer receive posts from Cristian Mihai.
Change your email settings at Manage Subscriptions.

Trouble clicking? Copy and paste this URL into your browser: 
http://cristianmihai.net/2017/10/02/war/

Church Events, Inspiration, Reflection/Introspection, Religion, Spirituality

No Wings

Most of us outgrew the love for angels. We would always associate it with children. Nevertheless, I would like to challenge your thoughts about angels.

Have you ever had an experience where you met or seen a beggar maybe in the street or somewhere that struck you and you felt the urge to help or give something to alleviate her/his present needs?

Have you been in a situation, where you felt helpless and so moved by the sight of a dying man or woman or a scene you see in a car accident or a victim of violence and you end up paying for them?

Have you been in a situation where you partied and thought of the many victims of flooding and natural calamaties that you wanted to do something like donating or volunteering time talent and treasure of your own?

Have you been in a dilemma of something that a tap, smile or an encouraging hug brings warmth and lightness of feeling?

Have you been in a situation where you patiently availed yourself in listening or accompanying someone who is alone, lonely or in a down mode problem? And they all said, “Hey! Thanks, it was something.”

There are so many countless occasions and situations I could enumerate in this blog, but my page would not be enough.

All I want to share, is that we have angels by our side of some of them with wings-ministering spirits whose main function is to be God’s messenger and to lead us away from sin and the snatch of the evil one.

Some of them, too, don’t have wings. You just have to look and find them. And, maybe, you are One of the No Wings.
Happy Feast of Holy Guardian Angels

Gratitude, Inspiration, Reflection/Introspection, Spirituality

Why it’s difficult to listen during homilies (take it from me)

I can’t help but write notes for this particular priest, Fr. Weyms, SJ, who did his homework of doing his homily well.

He begun by tickling the conscience of the faithful if they did listen to the lectors and ask this question, “who wrote the second reading for today?

God?!, With a good laugh.

No. Its St. Paul. And he continued on his reflection on Phil. 2:1-11. It’s was a thought-provoking homily. A very inspiring homily on humility and self-abnegation.

But what really struck me most was this, he said, “we are only 3rd.” He continues, “God first, and others, 2nd.” 

Why was so striking?

The verse goes like this, ” let each of you gently consider the others, as more important than yourselves. Do not seek your interest, but, rather, that of others.”

Just what I needed to hear to reawaken my self-righteousness. I often complain to the Lord, “why are they blessed, I am not.” ” Why I don’t have this, others have.” And so on and on. Sometimes, I’m tired asking the Lord all these questions and I get no answers.

So, how did God breaking the ice of #complaint and unending #questioning? 

Well, it’s not God who is the problem (yes, I can hear you comment on that) the problem is that I tend to be self-righteous.  I’m good s/he is not, so I deserve the blessing. I’m charitable and s/he is greedy, so I merit the good tidings. I’m a good church person, s/he is no show in the church, hmm..thus I have a place in heaven. Yes, you definitely got it right. The standard is the source and summit of the issue here. I have my own standard. And have not patterned it according to how it should be.

Your attitude should be the same as Jesus Christ.

It is a big challenge for me, to be conscious of this attitude, knowing that there are times when events and people surrounds me with affirmation that, “hey! I’m great!” Or that “I’m better than her/him.”

I wish to be reminded of this all the time, so that I may not boast of the things I’ve done but only what I unworthily received due to the graciousness of this God who never ceases to be kind, patient and understanding to me.

I live because of his kindness, should I  not be grateful and take every opportunity to return the favor?

Thanks to this priest who did his homework well!

Happy Week Ahead!

Happy feast of St. Therese of Lisiuex

Inspiration, Love, Spirituality

Picture Musing

I am thankful because I don’t understand

I am thankful because most of the time I really don’t deserve any favors

I am thankful because it was just a sheer gift – gratuitous, if I may use it.

I am thankful because there’s so much to be grateful for

I am thankful even when I am always in pain, always in darkness, always in a tunnel- waiting.

I am grateful because He never gives up on me

I am grateful because I want to be

Inspiration, Reflection/Introspection

Say It Loud

Enough.

Yes, you read it right. Enough.

There are times when, within us voices out what it feels and thinks. 

When there is so much to keep, it bursts. Joy spreads. It lifts you high and spirited. If love it colours everything around you, and yes! Even what you see. There’s so much Good vibes. So much of kindness rippling. 

Gratitude spoils everything, as in everything. Yes! It’s so contagious, other can’t help but notice it. 

Fears too, bursts. Depression clouds. Grudges pulls. Revenge poisons. Anger decomposes life. Pain tiresome. 

Enough. 

Sometimes, what and where and why we are in is just a matter of saying enough. And things will fall in it’s proper places as it should be.

“Loud enough to hear you out”