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.
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.
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…
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“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 […]
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
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
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.
That nothing is small in the eyes of God.
Do all that you can with love
-st. Therese of the child Jesus-
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.
They have become where they are now.
Happy All Saints’ Day
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.
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
There is nothing to write,
There is nothing to pour,
Only, yet, a heart longing for love.
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
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
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
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.
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”
Sometimes the best way to accept is to let go.
Sometimes the best to say goodbye is to welcome
Sometimes the best way to forgive is to be hurt
Sometimes the best way to be free is to be exiled
Sometimes the best way to find yourself is to loose yourself in the crowd
Sometimes the best way to cope is to get wild
Sometimes it’s just good to be Me in most time
Joy is what we lack. Happiness is everywhere you can pick. Joy is a sheer grace felt deep within. It is something that deeply penetrates your whole being.
I am no pro in joy, BUT, truthfully, we don’t have to continue living a “my heart is restless” coz this we know, once we “rest in Thee” we shall have what we envy others.
repost from Celia Hales
Way of Mary: Relationship is Paramount
“The way of Mary is not a place or state of non-interaction however. This is not the state or place of the monks, nuns, or the contemplatives of old. It is not solitary nor isolated, nor confined to a specific community. It is a way of existence in which relationship is paramount. It is not listening to a calling to “do” but a calling to “become.”” (ACOL, D:Day19.9)
Here we have a further explanation of the “way” of Mary. As explained, this way focuses on relationships. It doesn’t focus so much on achieving out in the world. We might well understand how all of us will flow into the way of Mary when we have reached Christ-consciousness. Previously, much of our “doing” had been ego-based. And now, if we can believe Jesus (and we can), at this point in A Course of Love we have left behind the ego. What a relief this is! Something that never served us nor the world well at all.
Doing may still occupy some of us called to the way of Jesus. Some of us will be example lives, though of course not to the extent that he was. The way of Jesus needs Mary souls, though, to anchor in symbiosis. And it goes without saying that there should only be cooperation between the two ways. Our years of competition have ended with the end of the reign of the ego.
We are “becoming” when we adopt the way of Mary. We must, though, keep in mind that what we are talking about is a calling to a way of life, and so our free will should be bent to the guidance that we receive. God is actually choosing for us, in that His will and our real will are always the same. We function best when we live by our intuitive lights.
Becoming has its place in the evolving of Christ-consciousness. I think that this truth is another reason that many of us will be adherents to the way of Mary in future times.
I feel myself personally a blend of “doing” and “being,” but I can intuit that the doing that I enjoy will give way one day to less achievement in the world and more satisfaction with just my relationships. This change often occurs in growing older. I ask that You guide my progress in the ways of Jesus and Mary.
Thank You for my many blessings today. It is so human of me to take for granted all the good things in my life. But it is not very laudatory, and I would try to stay close to appreciation in reviewing my life.
Behold, a Virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and she shall name Him Emmanuel. -Is. 7:14
The virginity of Mary is not only corporal but also spiritual. It means a total dedication to God, a Consecration, a marriage with Him.
Love and veneration for her virginity are essentials virtues of the true devotion to Mary. Unless we follow Mary by a total dedication to God’s service, our lives will not be fruitful.
Mary, most pure Mother, obtain for the grace to dedicate my whole life, with all the strength of my body and siual, to serve God. Amen
Happy birthday Mother Mary
(C) Minute Meditation for Each Day
Where there are sisters, there is joy!
Vocation is a gift.
Priesthood and Consecrated Life is a gift. It is never merited. Never planned, nevertheless it is given.
All are called to belong to God. But there are those who choose to Consecrate themselves to dedicate and commit their whole being to the One who loves them first.
Our life is never easy. It is never perfect. However, He who called us is trustworthy of His promise that He will be with us in this journey. He who planted the seed of vocation has never failed to water the seed so as to grow.
It is never perfect for we live in an imperfect world. We, too are flawed humans like you. Yet, we transcend our weaknesses and forgive daily, moment to moment so in the other we see, a person struggling just like me and you. May these experiences bring out the person God wants us to be. Struggling to unite one’s mind and heart to Him who called us.
Grace is what sustains us. His love is our sure shield.
KULAY-DEISCOPE ART EXHIBIT
Before I sleep tonight, I would to share thoughts about Paying It Forward.
I’m sure, all of you my friends watched that movie. Inspiring! I have always wanted to make my own Pay It Forward, however, I feel I’m short of what to do (yes, the movie was so basic!) Nevertheless, I was able to incorporate this into my Religion Class and tried to inspire my students to somehow do the same. It was difficult to move the cheese!
Last month I received a phone call from one of my superiors, informing me if I could give an Art Class to our newly accepted Aspirants (new candidates for Nun) hesitant though I accepted. Little did I know that this God who is the Greatest Artist would give me a chance to have my Pay It Forward. God’s time is never late. It is never early. God’s time is Kairos. Perfect!
Today, my Art Session with our 5 Aspirants ended. But! Never without inspiring my new sisters to Pay It Forward once their time comes. With gratitude and joy, I shall close my eyes and sleep in the bosom of God knowing that He has given immeasurable chances to desire more as I Pay It Forward for all the good things shared with me and for bringing out the artist in me by my mentors in Art and from Him who gifted me with talents.
Mt. 5:38-42 Teaching about Vengeance
Vindictiveness and vengefulness these are the kind of feelings that contributes to the escalation of violence. This may look perfectly alright in a society that is fiercely jealous of its possession. When something is exacted, a corresponding value must be paid. It has no room for forgiveness. The peace that ensues from such rigid possession rest uneasy and insecure.
This may be the reason why Jesus proposes a new way of seeing and evaluating what justice means. He wants us to embrace the violence of others and transform it with our meekness and gentleness. Now this calls for a real strength of the spirit and extraordinary self-discipline. Violence coming from violent people if faced head on with violence will not solve the problem. It will only postpone it to erupt again at a later time. Whereas violence can be transformed if the violent heart finds understanding and the willingness to suffer for his or her transformation. And once they forsake violence, we multiply the presence of people with goodwill. Let this be our silent revolution to rid the world of violence. Let our strength lie not in force but in love.
I Say . . .
With the situation the Philippines and the other parts of the world face, where violence strikes hard, and war seems the means of communication. I can’t help but think of the many victims of hatred, of racism, of religious idealism which terrorizes the human heart. So many of us are victims of our own false understanding of peace, of power, of unity.
When will our effort of peace and unity be heard, be seen, be real in a world wounded by our own wounds. The cycle of violence will never stop. The cycle of evil will never cease to devour human hearts unless I (we) choose to stop the cycle from within. Unless I (we) choose to recognize that I am victim and I am perpetrator – the hurt I caused to others is the pain I feel within which I want to be healed but unable to find a better way to desire it.
Healing is a process which we have to go through inside out. Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth has been understood in a different light. I must believe that when God instructed this, wants Israel to understand the sacredness of life. That even the offense of a slightest degree must be rendered in full account, thus, making us steward of our own self and our neighbor- to protect.
Healing is a grace. A process only I (you) can enter in. Humility to accept our own woundedness is the beginning of wisdom.
All have been wounded. Let us not add up to the generations to come. Let’s end the war outside by taming inside
My sincerest apology to my friends for failing to keep my blogs, i really have a bad internet connections. thanks alot!
©Daily Gospel 2017, Claretian Communications Foundation, INC. (Claretian Publication, Quezon City Philippines)
If the words in the title are relatable to you, this post is for you. I have suffered from all of the above. There were points in my short life thus far that I would sit in my bed and wish I wouldn’t wake up the next day. There are days when I’ve felt lower than dirt and I couldn’t even bring myself to make eye contact with another human being.
I overthink everything. The simplest of tasks can be made into a mountain of responsibility by my mind. I have ruined so many potential relationships due to my mindset and my tendency to overthink. I always went searching for a solution. Unfortunately, I convinced myself that everyone else in the world had this elusive answer that I could never find myself.
I was in a relationship not too long ago and I would often find it amazing that it…
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Father, look with love upon your people,
the love which our Lord Jesus Christ showed us
when he delivered himself to evil men
and suffered the agony of the cross,
for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Liturgy of the Hours, Good Friday Concluding Prayer
For our sake our Redeemer suffered death and was buried, and rose again. With heartfelt love let us adore him and pray:
- Christ our teacher, for our sake you were obedient even to accepting death, teach us to obey the Father’s will in all things
- Christ our life, by your death on the cross you destroyed the power of evil and death, may we die with you, to rise with your in glory
- Christ our King, you became an outcast among us, a worm and no man, teach us the humility by which you saved the world
- Christ our salvation, you gave yourself up to death out of love for us, help us to show your love to one another
- Christ our Savior, on the cross you embraced all time with your outstretched arms, unite God’s scattered children in our kingdom of salvation
Liturgy of the Hours, Good Friday Intercessions, Christian Prayer
The beginning of the Paschal Triduum
Fear paralyzes us from time to time. But not all fears come from the same source. There are psychological fears, fear of offending the beloved. fear induced by external threats and violence, and there are fears that comes from finding out the truth and changing the way we live to adjust to such truth.
Peter may probably fall in this last category. He will not allow Jesus to wash his feet. It is not solely because he has high respect for the Lord and is therefore jealous of the Lord’s dignity. It is because he realized what power and authority will look like in the new dispensation that Jesus will bring.
It is service and not perks and privileges. And so there is a war going
Change is painful. Whether you decide to change, or life simply demands change, it is a painful process. Harmful habits die hard, because we sometimes are so in love with our pain.
We like to have an excuse. Someone or something to put the blame on.
But the truth is that there’s no force on earth stronger than a human being who wants to achieve something. Who truly wants something. Who fights, who struggles, who cries in pain but doesn’t surrender.
Man achieves the impossible by sheer power of will, and that makes him magic.
But we must ask ourselves if what we want is truly important, because most times we want what we want because we hope it would make us happy.
But that is just a way of fooling ourselves.
Nothing outside ourselves can ever make us happy.
Change makes us happy. Progress makes us happy. Overcoming obstacles makes us happy.
Happiness is not a destination, but the road we travel to reach that destination.
And all that we need to go down that road is within ourselves.
Right now, right here.
$120 left to raise for my next appointment.
If you’d like to help me out, you can donate any amount you see fit via PayPal here.
Any help matters. Any help brings me closer to having a normal life and enjoying once again those simple pleasures of life.
via — Cristian Mihai
John 12: 1-11 Anointing At Bethany
There are two major differences between the anointing in the Synoptic gospels and that in John: (1) in Mark 14:3-9 and Matthew 26:6-13, the anointing is on the head; in John, on the feet; (2) in Mark and Matthew, the anointing takes place after Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, just two days before the passion (Mark 14:1); in John, it precedes the entry and takes place six days before the passion (12:1)
In the Old Testament, the king is anointed on the head (cf 1Samuel 10:1); anointing on the feet is for the dead. In Mark and Matthew, Jesus is anointed as the Messiah; but in John it is for Jesus’ burial (v. 7). John (12:12-19) will relate Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem, symbolic of his resurrection. although he is anointed to his death, he will rise from the dead. The raising of Lazarus from the dead prefigures Jesus’ resurrection.
As we start the Holy Week, let us imitate the humility, devotion and generosity of Mary to serve Jesus. Let us devote more time to prayer as well as to corporal works of mercy, especially to the poorest of the poor, with whom Jesus identifies (ccf Matthew 25:31-45).
Happy Holy Week! Enjoy your Week!
image: ©Pheng Rosello [ a group of graders visited the leper patients at Yangco Ward, Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital, Culion, Palawan, Philippines
reflection ©365 days with the Lord 2017 , St. Pauls publication
Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you sent your Son to be born of woman and to die on a cross, so that through the obedience of one man estrangement might be dissolved for all men.
Guide our minds by his truth and strengthen our lives by the example of his death, that we may live in union with you in the kingdom of your promise.
Grant this through Christ our Lord
evening prayer II Palm sunday
image © Jongnono Palm Sunday La Inmaculada Concepcion
You don’t have to win to be a winner
As a Religion teacher, I have always thought of explaining the Paschal Mystery of Christ in both Biblical and Theological manners. I have always tried not to fail in explaining to my students the relevance of the PDR (Passion, Death & Resurrection) in Salvation history and in our life as believers. Yet, I have to admit that though I have thoroughly exhausted my means of “downward mobility” in order for my students to understand each and every part of this Paschal thing, part of me feels half-filled. Unsaturated by the Truth that I am holding on.
Come Sunday, April 9, this will open us up to the threshold of the Holies of Holy weeks. And I am again in a sort of dilemma, as to how to make these seven days meaningful and holy! I am again anticipating the Paschal Triduum of which activities are lined up to make this event not just meaningful but to MAKE PRESENT the actual events of Christ’s life.
As we gaze on the cross of Christ we see His Paschal Mystery – a grandiose event! However, my humbled spirit has opened a door that leads me to grasp a wisdom so “ancient so new” that the Paschal Mystery as I always thought of vis a vis Christ’s experience is not a grandiose act or event, rather, a self mastery of the self- it is an act, an event that is made of AGERE CONTRA in order to gain not for my self but for others.
It is my daily, voluntary dying to myself. A personal choosing over something. Say, in a dinner talk on a topic I knew by heart, I’d prefer not to dispute only to make myself heard or clarified or that I may stand correct or has made a right decision or has known something (unless with grave reason, of course!) It is paschal in itself when I voluntarily give-up and die to myself and trust in the Lord that in due time-Kairos, it will be revealed as it is or the other will see the wisdom on it.
I have come to see that it is not something outside of me either imposed upon or I am left to embrace it due to given circumstances (well, can be for a time) and as a consequence I have to choose a disposition that is appropriate. Well, it can be! However, more than that, is the daily paschal experience- a personal experience of saying No to the self and Yes to something; for some reasons, it may even cause you to “sweat like blood” as Jesus was. AGERE CONTRA. I always coil in resistance.
I am considering these three things for my self, ah! easy said than done. But its a sure way to finish lent victorious and an Easter-felt celebration:
- From being self-righteous to putting myself in other’s shoes
- From being self- made person to “pretend” not to know much in order to build relationship or sees it as opportune time to bond
- From being quick to judge to becoming an understanding or discerning person
It is so relieving to know that daily I have a chance to share in Christ experience and redeemption not in exceptional moments but in ordinary events of my life.
I just have to be aware! And Choose!
Have a Holy Days of Week ahead!
image: google images
Gabrielle Bellot explores the original inspiration for Betty Boop — a black jazz singer named Baby Esther Jones.
Duterte rejects same-sex marriage for PH
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines cannot legalize same-sex marriage, unlike the United States and several European countries.
Duterte was speaking before the Filipino community in Myanmar, where he is on a two-day official visit.
“Wala nang gender, because you can be he or she… ‘yan ang kultura nila. Kayo lang. ‘Di ‘yan puwede sa amin, Katoliko kami. At there is the Civil Code, which is you can only marry a woman for me, and for woman to marry a man. ‘Yan ang batas natin,” the President said on Sunday, March 19.
(There’s no gender, because you can be or she… that’s their culture. That’s only for them. That can’t be applied to us, we’re Catholics. And there is the Civil Code, which is you can only marry a woman for me, and for woman to marry a man. That’s the law in the Philippines.)
“Dalawang brother-in-law ko gay. May mga pinsan ako na gay, wala akong ano, pero kung saan ka pinuwesto ng Diyos, diyan ka lang,” he added.
(I have two brothers-in-law who are gay. I have cousins who are gay, I have nothing against them, but you have to stick to where God placed you.)
This is in contrast to Duterte’s stance during the 2016 campaign period, when he expressed openness to possible legislation allowing same-sex marriage.
“Definitely, the gays were created by God… God made them so medyo nagkamali ‘yung bilangan diyan sa Bible (there is a slight error in the Bible). [It should be] Adam, Eve, and the gays,” he said during Rappler’s “The Leader I Want” forum in January 2016.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, one of Duterte’s staunchest allies, said last October that he would push for same-sex civil marriage in the Philippines.
But Alvarez also said it will not be fast-tracked because it is not among Duterte’s priority measures. (READ: Same-sex civil marriage bill may ‘divide’ House – minority lawmakers) – Rappler.com
I have a group of friends who are gay and lesbian, they are the great gays and lesbians I’ve every met. They are talented and wonderful persons. However, let us discern more. Listen more. I have nothing against them, nevertheless, it’s the act and not the person.
love you all my gay and lesbian friends–Keep itUP!
Joseph of Nazareth, you are the man
Last in the line that rose from David, King,
Down through the royal generations ran,
and ends with Jesus Christ.
Gabriel from heaven came to Mary’s side,
Came with joyful promise of a King
Came to you also, Joseph, to confide
that God conceived this child.
Guardian and foster father of the Christ,
Honor to you, so chosen by our God!
Husband of Virgin Mary,
You are first to show us Christian Love.
March 19 – Feast of St. Joseph, husband of Mary
The feast falls on a Sunday, in the Roman Catholic Liturgy, Sunday celebration supercedes any feast of the day. Happy Feast to all the Fathers in the world.
image: google search
©Joseph of Nazareth text Stephen Somerville, 1971
Do you read the Bible as often as you check your phone? Francis asks
Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Jan. 21, 2015. ROY LAGARDE
— On the first Sunday of Lent, Pope Francis said if we want to fight against the temptation of sin, we must be familiar with the Word of God – treating the Bible more like how we treat our cellphone.
“During the forty days of Lent, as Christians we are called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and address the spiritual battle against evil with the power of the Word of God,” he said March 5. “For this you have to become familiar with the Bible, read it often, meditate on it, assimilate it.”
“Someone said: what would happen if we treated the Bible like we treat our cell phone? If we always carried it with us; or at least the small pocket-sized Gospel, what would happen?”
Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims before leading the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, drawing a stark comparison between the attention we give our cellphones and the attention we give Scripture, for example, always taking it with us, and going back if we forget it at home.
“You forget you mobile phone – oh! I do not have it, I go back to look for it; if you read the messages of God contained in the Bible as we read the messages of the phone…” he said.
The Pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading from Matthew, which tells about the temptation of Jesus in the desert by Satan.
The episode comes at a specific point, he said, soon after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River but before his public prosecution.
“He has just received the solemn investiture: the Spirit of God descended upon Him, the Father from heaven declared him ‘my beloved Son’ (Matt. 3:17). Jesus is now ready to begin his mission,” he said.
But first he must go up against the Enemy, Satan, who presents him with three temptations. “By means of this triple temptation, Satan wants to divert Jesus from the path of obedience and humiliation – because he knows that in this way evil will be defeated,” the Pope said.
But the Word of God is like a shield against the poisonous arrows of the devil, Francis said. Jesus doesn’t use just any words – he uses the words of God, and in this way, the Son, full of the Holy Spirit, emerges victorious from the desert.”
This is what we must do against the temptations of the devil, the Pope said. The comparison between the Bible and our cellphones “is strange, but sobering.”
“In effect, if we had the Word of God always in our heart, no temptation could turn us away from God and no obstacle could deflect us from the path of goodness,” he stressed. We would know how “to win” against the daily temptations within and around us.
“We would be better able to live a resurrected life in the Spirit, accepting and loving our brothers, especially the most vulnerable and needy, and even our enemies.”
Let us ask the Virgin Mary, “the perfect icon of obedience to God and of unconditional trust to his will,” to help us during this Lent to listen to the Word of God in the Bible and “to make a real change of heart,” he concluded.
“And, please, do not forget – do not forget! – What would happen if we treated the Bible like we treat our cellphone. Think about this. The Bible always with us, close to us!”
A community of Benedictine sisters recording an album of sacred music. BENEDICTINES OF MARY, QUEEN OF APOSTLES
– Pope Francis said Saturday that while liturgical music has often struggled to live up to the quality and beauty the mystery of the Eucharist requires, we can promote its renewal by investing in a solid musical education for clergy and laity.
“Certainly the encounter with modernity and the introduction of the languages spoken in the Liturgy stirred up many problems, of languages, forms, and genres” he said March 4. “Sometimes a certain mediocrity, superficiality and banality prevailed, to the detriment of the beauty and intensity of the liturgical celebrations.”
“For this the various actors in this field, musicians and composers, conductors and singers of choirs, liturgical animators, can make a major contribution to the renewal, especially quality, of sacred music and liturgical chant.”
The Pope spoke to participants at the end of an international conference on Sacred Music held March 2-4, titled “Music and the Church: worship and culture 50 years after Musicam sacram.”
Organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Congregation for Catholic Education in collaboration with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music and the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm, it looked at sacred music 50 years after the Second Vatican Council.
“Half a century after the Instruction of Musicam sacrum, the conference wanted to elaborate, in an interdisciplinary and ecumenical perspective, the current relationship between sacred music and contemporary culture,” Francis noted.
“Of great importance, it was also a reflection on the aesthetic and musical education of both the clergy and religious and the laity engaged in the pastoral life, and more directly in the choirs.”
The Church has a great responsibility toward liturgical music, the Pope continued, because it deals with the sacred mystery of the Eucharist, and that sacred music, to that order, must balance the past and present in a way that invites full participation and lifts the congregation’s hearts to God.
The “dual mission” of the Church, Francis said, “is, on the one hand, to safeguard and promote the rich and varied heritage inherited from the past, using it with balance in mind and avoiding the risk of a nostalgic vision” that becomes a sort of “archaeology.”
On the other hand, we have to also ensure that sacred music and liturgical chant don’t ignore “the artistic and musical languages of modernity.”
All those responsible for liturgical music, on whatever level, “must know how,” he said, “to embody and translate the Word of God into songs, sounds, harmonies that make the hearts of our peers vibrate, creating even an appropriate emotional climate, that puts in order the faith and raises reception and full participation in the mystery that it celebrates.”
“Active and conscious participation” in the liturgy constitutes being able to “enter deeply” into the mystery of God made present in the Eucharist: “thanks in particular to the religious silence and ‘musicality of language with which the Lord speaks to us,’” he quoted his homily at Casa Santa Marta Dec. 12, 2013.
Quoting from the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Pope Francis said that “Liturgical action is given a more noble form when it is celebrated in song…and with the participation of the people.”
He highlighted the document’s emphasis on the importance of “active, conscious, full” participation by the entire faithful, quoting that the “true solemnity of liturgical action does not depend so much from a more ornate form of singing and a more magnificent ceremony than on its worthy and religious celebration.”
To promote this requires “a proper musical education…in dialogue with the musical trends of our time, with the demands of the different cultural areas,” he said.
Concluding, he thanked all of those who participated in the conference for their commitment to sacred music, and asked for the blessing of the Virgin Mary, “who in the Magnificat sang the merciful holiness of God.”
“I encourage you to not lose sight of this important goal: to help the liturgical assembly and the people of God to perceive and participate, with all the senses, physical and spiritual, in the mystery of God.”
Lord, your glory in Christ we have seen, full of goodness and full of grace: In Christ let us live anew. Fill us with his love, and all men shall see the fruits of your victory.
The Almighty has planted his seed in the earth: He tended well the grain and he waits for rebirth.
The Almighty has ground all the grain for the feast: He made it into flour, and he waits for the yeast.
The Almighty has given hi body for man: He broke for us the bread, and he waits like a lamb.
The Almighty was given a crown made of thorn: It pierced him till he bled, and he waits: do we morn?
The Almighty did suffer and evil destroy: He died to ease our pain, and he waits for our joy
©Christian Prayers: Lord, Your Glory in Christ We Have Seen