Old Wine Tastes Great


Whenever I come home for a short homevisit, my father gathers the family to pray the holy rosary at 9pm.

My parents are not that so-called very strict religious, my grandparents most probably do, but not them. They live out their faith simply but i believe profound and sincere.
We hear mass on Sundays as a family. We pray the rosary at past six in the evening. And begs, as we kneel before them ( parents and elderly at home), the night blessings as a custom in my paternal grandparents.
Growing up back in my early teens at ’90s,it did not dawn on me, how great this family tradition was. I was growing up and “doing” this kind of things except for the night’s blessing, was a bit tiring, at some other nights less fervent and sincere at prayer. But i have always appreciated the support and.encouragement my parents would give when i am being asked to join the church’s activities specially the “barangay” a Marian activity during the Month of May where the Blessed Virgin is being transferred from one house to another everynight. I love doing this!
Reflecting on my childhood years, I guess this is how my parents introduced me to love Mary. Not on a adult-imposing ways but child-like-ways: enjoy, learn, love.
My parents will not insist us to pray when “we dont want to.” They leave space for us children to be children once in a while. Prayer was not impose but gently taught.

As we prayed the rosary today, i got so struck. I felt so blessed. I felt awed when my 7 years old niece led the 5th mystery of the rosary and how she sincerely and seriously responded “Lord, have mercy and Pray for us” during the Litany of the Virgin Mary.

Filled with gratitude to God, that i could only gaze at my parents and offer them back to Him. It was this moment that i deeply appreciate my parents way of rearing us up in faith. SIMPLE. PROFOUND. ENJOY. LOVE.

well, I guess, im chronologically advancing in age as i can fully and.truly appreciate an old and well-known saying that expresses a general truth, “old wine tastes great.”



(image: googleimages)



Our life has been shaped by the hustles and busyness of our many concerns with our life, ministries/apostolate. Many at times, we have forgotten what really matters in life.  Most often, we drag ourselves to death to be able to accomplish or achieve a dream or ambition we so longed for, or a plan/project we hoped for but, in the end, only to realize in the greater scheme of our life it is useless, worthless, or to say the least, did not even help us to become a better person God has intended us to be.

This is one of the many reasons why at a certain crossings in our lives we feel empty.  After all the stupendous labours and works we end up experiencing that dead-end feelings. Life becomes “is this all that I can do or is this all that matters” We become lost in our own world.  It seems our life-compass has gone, I could imagine, from left to right swinging speedily. We begin to raise questions such as: where am I going? What choices should I take? Life from where I am now is meaningless, where is my joy? Where is my place on earth? etc..

It may take a while to have a felt-knowledge (with the grace of God) experience to be able to surrender to the great mystery of God’s love.  It takes a lot of humility and poverty to come before the Lord Jesus and just bask in His love for us- for you.  It demands nothing but our openness to accept the truth that the Lord Jesus came to be one with us, came for you and not for the things that you can do for him.

It is in this light that I would like to  share with you one of the notes I have in my retreat.  Whether you are a religious, a priest or married or single, the 10 Principles For Life Pattern outlined below will surely speak to you personally as it did to me.


( Adapted from W. Breuning and K. Hemmerle’s “Ten Principles for a Priest’s Life Pattern”)

  1. How I live as a religious, *(priest or married or single person) is more important than what I do as a religious, priest or married or single person
  2. What Christ does through me is more important than what I do by myself
  3. It is more important for me to live in union with my religious community *(family/workplace/parish works/company) than to be alone and absorbed in my work
  4. It is more important to work united with my fellow workers than to do the maximum number of jobs all by myself
  5. It is more important to concentrate on a few points and to influence others than to be hurried and incomplete in everything
  6. Joint action is more important than isolate action, no matter how perfect. Thus cooperation in work is more important than work, “communion” more important than action
  7. The cross is more important than efficiency; it is more fruitful
  8. The love I put into my work, however big or little, is more important than the quantity and result of my work.
  9. Openness to the whole (religious community, parish, diocese, universal Church, *workplace or ministry) is more important than a particular interest, no matter how important that may be.
  10. To be rooted in prayer and holiness is more important than to be successful and efficient in apostolic and ministerial life.


Principles for Life Pattern of a Religious – notes from Fr. Rod Salazar, SVD

     *not included in the original notes




The In-between of Life Matters

The Dash Poem

(by Linda Ellis)

I read of a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone

From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth

And spoke of the following date with tears,

But he said what mattered most of all

Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time

That she spent alive on earth

And now only those who loved her

Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,

The cars, the house, the cash,

What matters is how we live and love

And how we spend out dash.

So think about this long and hard;

Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough

To consider what’s  true and real

And always try to understand

The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger

And show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives

Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect

And more often wear a smile,

Remembering that this special dash

Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read

With your life’s actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how you spent your dash?


I dedicate this space for Fr. Rod Salazar, SVD who had been my spiritual guide during my 8 days retreat. And for bringing to front the ancient call to holiness. Thanks too, for this heart-warming poem.

Somewhere are places where we have really been: dear spaces of our deeds and faces- scenes we  remember as unchanging because there we changed. (W.H Auden, In Transit)

There is Only Time for Loving