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, 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.

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?

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.

Inspiration, Lifestyle, Religion, Social Concerns / Commentary, Vocation

Leaf Is Green

MY

Duterte rejects same-sex marriage for PH

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. President Rodrigo Duterte says that under the Civil Code of the Philippines, marriage is only for man and woman. File photo from Shutterstock

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 SAY:

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!

©Rappler.com

Social Concerns / Commentary

MANNY vs LGBT: On Why We Should Think

j writes

Lately, the newspapers had been plagued by commentaries from students to showbiz personalities and even political aspirants about the statement uttered by boxing icon and political candidate Manny Pacquiao on homosexuals as worse than animals. His courageous statement drew ire from the LGBT community.  The Ladlad partylist aired their sentiments by calling the public to withdraw their support for him.

I noticed that people were reacting differently, from name calling to despisement to judgment. We love to judge.  It is our second nature. But the problem is not that we judge out rightly, rather we judge vaguely.

The story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8 comes to my mind.  In this compelling gospel story, the Pharisees full of self-righteousness brought the woman caught in adultery into the public square of the temple where Jesus was teaching and was made to stand in full view of everybody (I could just imagine how she was dragged and pulled in shame.)She was accused of being caught in adultery! She is to be stoned to death as the law of Moses prescribed. Jesus, unfussed, bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger.  The Pharisees kept on prodding Jesus.  So Jesus replied “if there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one the Pharisees left.

The heart of the story was at the end when Jesus said “woman, has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you, go, and don’t sin any more.” If we look intently into our heart, we will see ourselves fitting in the shoes of the Pharisees.  The irony is that we also see all those fingers pointing at us, ready to stone us to death.  In other words, as many as we see fingers pointing at us, as many times we point to others as well, ready to stone them to death.  We all have sinned.  We accused others.  We have been accused. We have been wronged.  We have wronged others.  And the vicious cycle goes on and on.  It creates nothing but only wounded persons. But, if we humbly surrender our heart to the Lord we would hear Jesus telling us “has no one condemned you? Neither will I condemn you, go  and don’t sin any more.”

Proving who is right and who is not, who is sinful and righteous, does nothing to help the person to walk in the light of Christ.  We have to understand that there is no line that separates the righteous from the wicked.  Each one of us is equally sinful and equally good for we all are made according to the image and likeness of God.  The sun shines on both the good and the wicked. Our struggle to respond to the call to holiness and wholeness is a communal effort.  Our collective effort to uproot a secularized mentality must stem from within. Our battle is not amongst us but the evil that prowls around.

Instead of subjecting one another to a demeaning behavior, let us rise above these arguments and address our supplications to God who sees, hears and knows the misery of his children.   The presence of evil cannot be fought by human effort alone, it must be accompanied by authentic prayer, fasting and penance.   This is what the season of lent is teaching us to look within ourselves: to repent and be converted; to die from the old self and put on the new self with Christ; to leave the darkness of our sins and walk in the light of Christ; to be freed from the slavery of the flesh to be a free child of God.  May we come to realize that we are the body of Christ.  We are many and different yet each one belongs to the body of Christ, we are as St Paul says “a single unit.” If one part of the body is erring, the whole body is affected. If a part of the body is in pain, all parts are hurt with it.

 

 

 

Image: captain’s blog –  ww.chadestes.com — googleimages)