Posted in Church Events, Holy Week, Inspiration, Love, Religion, Spirituality

The Nails that were Used, weren’t Enough, it was His wondrous Love

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Love held Him to the tree

 

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

Posted in Church Events, Holy Week, Religion, Spirituality

I am At Fault

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T’was Friday and was Good

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

Posted in Church Events, Inspiration, Religion, Spirituality

Fear vs Love

Holy Thursday

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

Posted in Church Events, Inspiration, Religion, Spirituality

Heeding the Call

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Children of Mary visits leper patients at Yangco Ward

HOLY MONDAY 

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

Posted in Church Events, Inspiration, Religion, Spirituality

Sun Day

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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 

Posted in Inspiration, Spirituality

Losing Is Gain

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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:

  1. From being self-righteous to putting myself in other’s shoes
  2. From being self- made person to “pretend” not to know much in order to build relationship or sees it as opportune time to bond
  3. 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 

Posted in Inspiration, Religion, Spirituality

Life’s Like That!

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!”

©cbcpnews.net

Posted in Inspiration, Religion, Spirituality

First Step to Lent

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To keep the law is a great oblation,
and he who observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
In works of charity one offers fine flour,
and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise.
To refrain from evil pleases the LORD,
and to avoid injustice is an atonement.
Appear not before the LORD empty-handed,
for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts.
The just one’s offering enriches the altar
and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High.
The just one’s sacrifice is most pleasing,
nor will it ever be forgotten.
In a generous spirit pay homage to the LORD,
be not sparing of freewill gifts.
With each contribution show a cheerful countenance,
and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
generously, according to your means.

For the LORD is one who always repays,
and he will give back to you sevenfold.
But offer no bribes, these he does not accept!
Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion.
For he is a God of justice,
who knows no favorites. (Sirach 35:1-12)

As we enter the season of Lent, may we be reminded that during this 40 days beginning tomorrow are moments for us to REconsider, REevaluate and Revisit our altar and find on it unholy acts fit for offering to the Holy One

A Holy Season of Lent to all!

Enjoy your Lent as I will with mine.

Posted in Spirituality

A Different View

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In Timor-Leste,I saw the building of a school dormitory with flooring and walls almost done but the posts still missing.  Fr. Raniel Nachima, SVD said that herre, without typhoons, floods and earthquake, building a house is easier, cheaper,and without worries about its foundation and security.

Our gospel today tells us that entering God’s eternal dwelling (built on love, justice, mercy, peace) isn’t at all easy, cheap and reassuring.  “For the gate is naroow and the road is hard that leads to life and there are few who find it.” (Mt. 7:14) It sets a condition which can make exclusion inevitable. “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you’ve faith but don’t have works? Can faith save you? (James 2:14).  Indeed, saying “Lord, lord” is not enough. Professing our faith, teaching and preaching the word of God are empty without the outward manifestations of doing the Father’s will.  Jesus tells his disciples that the Father’s will is abou taking care of the little ones- chidlren, the lost, outcasts, the sick, naked, hungry, thirsty, prisoners, strangers (Mt.18:25:35ff); about changing one’s mind, beliecing and working in the vienyard

St. Paul urges us to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share (1Tim 6:18) Just “saying ” is nt enough; it is too hypocritical. Just “doing” is neither enough; it is too secular.  saying and doing, listening and acting, praying ans performing, faith and good works must always go together.  As we begin this new liturgical season, let’s build our lvies and homes on the spirit of Christ’s Adventus.  Amidst life’s storms, we will never be ruined if our foundation and security are solidly built on the Eternal Rock, Jesus Christ.

Reflection by: Fr. Jay Baliao, SVD | TImor Leste Region

©2015 Society of Divine Word, Published by Logos Publication, Inc.

M Y  S A Y:

Our preparation for this advent of Christ, will always be meaningful if we “build” our celebration of Christmas in the Person of Jesus and not on our commercialize idea of Christmas as Happy Holiday, or of Santa Claus and reindeer, or parties here and there . Or the many “creative” ideas suggested to us by the market, which for one, IS not bad, but we fail to SEE the real meaning of the celebration.  That is why, at the end of the season, we find ourselves, empty-handed. And the we look forward to the next year’s christmas again.

But, really, let us practice, or atleast try to have a Christmas Season Examen. It will surely, make this year a lot different.

 

 

 

 

Posted in LIVES OF THE SAINTS, Spirituality

The Point of Bleeding

O God, source and origin of all fatherhood, who kept the martyrs St. Andrew Dung-luc and his companions faithful to the Cross of your Son, even to the shedding of their blood, grant, through their intercession, that, spreading your love among our brothers and sisters, we may be your children both in name and in truth.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Collect of Nov. 24 Mass

Nov. 24 – Memorial of Sts. Andrew Dung-lac, Priest and companions, Martyr

 

st-andrew-dung-luc

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Lifestyle, Religion, Spirituality

Dishonest Steward Praised!

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Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.”  Luke 16:1-8.

 

REFLECTION:

All of us are entrusted – as parent, as children to our parents and sibling, as teachers, as caregivers, as street sweeper, as street-pick up garbage taker, as vendor – no matter how little or great is the task, it is a responsibility given to us.  It is entrusted to us.

The challenge is how well have we been in our tasks. How honest are we in our task. As parents, do we give the spiritual needs of our children not only the corporal needs? As street sweeper, do we clean it out of duty or out of social concern? As vendors, are we honest in our food preparations (if its food)?

Most of the time, We (I am included) we allude mission to great and big things ( you can name as many as you can) but most often, we forget that it is really, REALLY the small, unnoticed acts. Unnoticed act such as the refugee (i forgot the name, she participated in the Rio Olympic as swimmer, Yusra Mardini, i remembered!) who courageously volunteered to alight the boat, swam  for 3 hours in sea pushing the sinking boat carrying 20 persons to reach the safe place.

Or, those simple people who continues to care for the lepers in Yangco, Culion Palawan.

There are so many!

Can we not include the sacrifices we make each day?

We have been dishonest, we have failed the master, but we never really miss out the chance to start again, we just have to be prudent in out choices and decisions.

Posted in Church Events, Religion, Spirituality

Jubilee for Catechists

jubilee for catechists

Vacariate of Taytay, La Inmaculada Concepcion Parish, Culion, Palawan, Philippines

On September 25, 2016, Pope Francis will celebrate with catechists around the world the Jubilee for Catechists, an event held by the Pontifical Council for the promotion of the New Evangelization.

3 – DAY   CELEBRATION FOR THE JUBILEE FOR CATECHISTS

 Friday, September 23, 2016

  7:30 am                    –                    Opening Liturgy

Introduction to the Jubilee

8:30 – 11:30              –                       Jubilee for Catechists: Announcing the Mercy of God

1:30 – 5:00 pm         –                       Faith Development of Children and Youth

5:15                             –                       Celebration of the Holy Mass

6:30                            –                       Taizĕ

Saturday, September 24, 2016

7:30 am                    –                       Celebration of the Holy Mass

8:30 – 9:30               –                       Eucharistic Adoration

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

10:00 – 12:00           –                       Spiritual Pilgrimage through the Holy Door

Corporal Works of Mercy

2:00 – 5:00 pm        –                       The possibility to follow “In the footsteps of the                                                                                   Saints and Blessed of Catechesis”.

5:30                            –                       Rosary with the Sick (Yangco)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

7:30 am                     –                       Celebration of the Holy Mass

Liturgy of Recommitment and Blessing of the Catechists

Testimonials

Acknowledgement

***Month-long praying after post-communion: Prayer for Catechists

 

 

 

 

lifted from CCCB Jubilee for Catechists Resources; Concan Inc., 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

August 22

 

The Queenship of Mary is celebrated because of her divine maternity.  She had found favor with God and has received in her womb the Son of the most high.  what makes Mary’s queenship different from other queens is her great “yes” to the message of the angel Gabriel which had made the salvific mission of Christ possible.

She is queen because, after she is assumed into heaven, she shares the kingship of Jesus.  But even if she has been assumed into heaven-body and soul- she still looks down upon humanity.  She continues to be the intercessor of those who still journey in the valley of tears.

Luke 1:26-38coronation.jpg

©K+WORD (Bible Diary for the Youth)

Posted in Politics / Commentary, Spirituality

Ordinary Lovers

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There have been many interpretations on the scriptural reading from Mt.22:34-40 . Scholars defined, more or less the how and what of the passage.  However, there is always a fresh view everytime the Word of God is proclaimed.  There is always something to munch.  And as always? Full. Lacking in nothing.

Love of God.

Mt. 22:37, tells us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, will and strength.  Easier said, often forgotten.  Oh no! Not that we forget God.  It’s not about loving or not loving God. It’s more of the in-between.  We so love God, that we really don’t mind at all.  We always fall into the trap of “I love God.” and we continue to exist in the greater scheme of things. Basking in our own world of loving God.

How do we really know we love God?

I came across a picture from one of Google’s web search images, it says “My ♥ belongs to Jesus.” I downloaded it.  Over the days past, thoughts on the passage would once in a while rushed through me.  Immediately, the idea that one’s heart belongs to Jesus is analogous to religious men and women.  Everytime this thought knocks my door, I just picked up from where I left.

Last friday my view changed.  It came like a sharp edged sword, penetrating the whole of my being.  “My ♥ belongs to Jesus” as i once thought of is not analogous to religious men and women. While I was still integrating what the experience means to me, a simple thought stand out.  Whether one is a priest,  nun,  married person, single, widow, complicated in status our heart belongs to Jesus. There is a kind of deep felt understand of knowing that one’s heart belongs to Jesus. It can be likened to the universal call to holiness, so hearing these words, i began to wonder how there might be a still more perfect way to love God in ordinary way.

There are more other ways of interpreting the passage, mine is as simple as this. What’s yours?  We need to remember that the call to love God is as old as creation.  Our ordinary experiences of God’s presence in our life have their own value whether we appreciate or recognize it or not.  Yet, it belongs to you.

You don’t have to be someone you are not just to be able to say “My ♥ belongs to Jesus.” St. Augustine puts it rightly, “my heart is restless until it rests in you.” Only then can we truly love.  It is only when our heart has found its true home can we welcome strangers and selflessly serve them, seeing in them the face of Christ.

” My ♥ belongs to Jesus” is the basic tenet of our life.

 

image: google image search

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Unidos En Cristo

 

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Wednesday, Second Week of Easter

Holy Mass Collect

As we recall year by year the mysteries by which, through the restoration of its original dignity, human nature has received the hope of rising again, we earnestly beseech your mercy, Lord, that what we celebrate in faith we may possess in unending love.  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

I have always been enthused in celebrating Easter.  This year, the enthusiasm seems to have lost its place in my anticipating attitude of celebration.  The problem lies with me, it has been so yearly, so common, so ordinary that I lost the taste of Easter.  The Glorious Morning in our Easter serenade becomes so distant and unappealing.

The Resurrection of Jesus tells us about INTIMACY.   The Resurrection narratives show us how many of his disciples recognized Him because of heir personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.  It is this INTIMACY with the Lord Jesus that (they) St. John the beloved was able to say “It is the Lord,” which led Mary of Magdalen say “Rabbouni” or the Two disciples on the road to Emmaus confirmed each other’s feelings “Were not our hearts burning when He spoke to us ”  Jesus, too, knew that his intimacy with the Father enabled him to recognize the Will of the Father, gave him the grace to become aware that “the Father has put everything into his hand” thus, was able to surrender and submit to the folly of man.

It is only when we are intimate in our relationship with Jesus that we can fully be One with Him.  Our intimacy with Him will leads us to familiarity with His ways, thoughts and actions, thus, enabling us to recognize the Lord Jesus in our life – His APPEARANCES to each one of us.

We can only celebrate Easter with joy and enthusiasm if we are ONE with Him.  The Resurrection event becomes not just the event of the past but a Memorial of the Person of Jesus.

 

(image- google images – crossexamined.org)

 

Posted in Lifestyle, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Vocation

Are You Poor?

MAGNIFICAT

(PV 2011 / inspired from Luke 1:46-55)            Music by: Sr. Teresita Estrellita Orlino, SPC

  1. I will sing with all my heart and praise the Lord. My soul delights and magnifies my Savior, for He is pure and unbounded in His    I am blessed for God has done great things for me
  2. In His greatness He has shown His mighty arm, He has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts and has cast down the powerful from their thrones but with me has found favor to raise the poor.
  3. All good things He has given to the hungry He sent away the rich-poor, humbled, empty. But has confirmed His meek servant Israel and the favor I found made love manifest
  4. Glory be to the Father and to the Son. Glory be to the Spirit, the Paraclete.  May my heart’s magnificat forever sing, to thy praise I live the Gospel and proclaim

 

CHORUS

I am your handmaid, Lord.  Let it be done to me according to your word.  Who am i? What have I to merit my God’s love?

 

As we commemorate the feast of Annunciation, may i share with you our song during our Perpetual Vows in 2011 inspired from the gospel of St. Luke “The Magnificat”

The gift of vocation to the religious life or priesthood is God’s gift.  It is a sheer gift, a grace.  But, this gift  entails responsibility and mission. It is never for oneself but for others, it is service rather than self-preservation.

Religious Life is not a life apart from the wider Catholic community but a participation in its common life.  Yet, they belong to the Lord to whom they have voluntarily consecrated themselves in love and freedom.

The experience of God’s love is the ultimate norm and basis of Religious Life.  It is He who loved first.

May you find in Mary, the Mother of God the perfect example of poverty of spirit.

A Blessed Feast of the Annunciation

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

UNPOPULAR EASTER

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What is Easter?

It is when…

 a hurting  person forgives,                                                                                                                      a betrayed friend gives a second chance to the betrayer,                                                                    a spouse remains faithful and trusts his/her erring partner,                                                            a parent gets up for work even if he/she is not feeling well,                                                              a student saves his/her allowance to secretly help his/her parents                                                a person stands fro what is right amidst criticisms,                                                                            a person makes unpopular decisions despite opposition,                                                                  a person remains honest, fair and just even if others are not,                                                          a priest loves everybody even if others are not true and trustworthy,                                            a person remains hopeful even if the present is too dark and uncertain.

for me, this is what I call EASTER!

It is when a person sees beauty in any “ugly” circumstance.  It is when a person feels what is not articulated.  It is when a person loves the unlovable.  It is when a person prays even if GOD is seemingly absent

This is Easter!

by: Fr. Jack Tangan, OCD

(image: googleimages – theconfessingbaptist.com)

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

HOLY THURSDAY: FULLY AWARE

TOPSHOTS This handout picture released b

HOLY THURSDAY, CHRISM, LAST SUPPER

 

“….Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father.  He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. .. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power…”

 

It is said that, “blind obedience” is far better than “informed obedience.”  Blind obedience takes on the leap of faith as there are no ways by which one can determine the possibilities of what lies ahead.  However, informed obedience lead one to walk in faith as the possibilities of the future are laid in front of the person.

Jesus, fully aware that his hour is coming, embraced with willingness and love the Father’s will and its consequences.  He love the Father dearly and He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.

As we follow Christ in his last twenty-six hours, may we spend time with him, accompanying him in his moments of distress, grief, sorrow, struggle, surrender and death.

Listen as Jesus confides to you “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

Can you spend an hour with him?

agony

 

 

 

 

(image-google search- pope francis ; agony in the garden by grace carol bomer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Wednesday Flexes

wedsn

 

Wednesday of the Holy Week

Ant. 2 of Evening Prayer (Vespers)

“He took all our sins upon himself and asked forgiveness for our offenses”

 

Ephesians 4:32-5:2

Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.  Try, then, to imitate God, as children of his that he loves, and follow Christ by loving as he loved you, giving himself up in our place as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God.

 

Oh Lord our God, grant us the grace to open our hearts to the mystery of your sacred passion, death and resurrection as we enter into the heart of the Easter Triduum.  Change our stony hearts into a heart of flesh. Transform us into the very person of Christ your Son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

On Holy Tuesday

tuesda

Prayer

Father, may we receive your forgiveness and mercy as we celebrate the passion and death of the Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Photo Musing

holy week

Browsing my social network  newsfeed, a sister of mine in the congregation posted this photo in her account.  I got so struck! Wow, three days from now, we will enter into the threshold of the mystery of our Catholic Faith! Time flies so fast.

I have so much in my mind with this photo but, unable to write! Nevertheless, let me share a thought that prods as I mused on this photo:

  • Can we individually reclaim the true essence of Holy Week in a self-serving and preserving world? Can we? Can you? Can I?

You might have something in your mind, after all readers are great sources of reflections and insights.

A blessed Holy Week ahead!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Spirituality

Moses In Our Midst

Holding-Hands

The LORD said to Moses,
“I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses IMPLORED the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say,
‘With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth’?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’”

So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

(Exodus 32:7-14)

The first reading today got a better hold of me.  It did not only make me realize how powerful intercessions are but how weak God is when a sincere and humble man prays on behalf of his brethren.

Today’s reading is all about INTERCEDING FOR OTHERS.  We are called to live as one community.  The illness of one is an ache to all, the pain of another person in my community is my pain as well.  The hopes and aspirations of my neighbor is my hopes and aspirations for him/her as well.  My dreams are the dreams of my community for me too.

We all are one.  We are all bonded by one  prayer.  The intercessory prayers make us aware of the neighbor within us and around us.  The neighbor becomes not only the person we know (in the circles of our family, friends, workplace, etc) but those specially we haven’t met and known like  the continuing war in Arab countries – our neighbors are the victims of war and violence, and even the perpetrators- those who are sick, depressed, lonely, lost and the needy and many more ( you can add your lists!) Basically, it’s all about IMPLORING (interceding) for others for their benefits.

Which brings me to my own personal experience of a dear Ading (friend) who never fails to keep me always in prayers, always interceding. The Moses in my midst. We have such a beautiful relationship. Each interceding for one another not only in moments of joy but moreso during pains, confusions and even “sacred spaces”- the kind when you don’t want to share and just keep quite ’til hurt can’t hurt you anymore.

Can you name the Moses(es) in your midst?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Spirituality

BATHING BENEFITS AT LENT

running water

BATHING BENEFITS AT LENT

 “… in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me.” Ps. 51

As I read the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday (March 5) I was struck by this passage.  Immediately the image of running water flashed into my mind.  I was transported to a state where I was bathing. I could feel the warmth of the water rushing all over me, leaving me refreshed and cleansed. I am new again.

Looking back on my Lenten journey as I prepare myself for the celebration of the Paschal Mystery which will commence two weeks from now, I appreciate how this holy season of Lent brings us new life in Christ. Outwardly, Lent has been compared to a journey in the deserts, whose aridity is seen as a time for repentance and an opportunity for purification and conversion.  Looking deeper, we will discover that this holy season carries a well that never runs dry, an oasis of water to cleanse us and make us new person in and for Christ.

Running water such a beautiful image of God washing me as I continue my forty days sojourn in the desert of Lent.  My struggle to be faithful to observe my Lenten practices and sacrifices (which includes my constant failure), allows me to enter the process of cleansing.  It is not our faithfulness in fulfilling our Lenten practices and sacrifices that cleanse us but what happens inside us that makes us clean.  This process which is primarily a tug-of-war inside us a return to rejection with indifference or kindness, to serve or just to stay in my comfort zone, to keep loving instead or becoming bitter, to choose joy instead of hate, is the running water that wipes out our offenses, that thoroughly washes us from guilt and cleanses us from our sins.  God sees the heart, the deeper longing of the human heart.  God delights in the small steps that we take.

As we immerse ourselves deeply in the heart of this holy season, we cannot but thank God for His generous mercy pouring forth into us particularly during this Lent, which coincide with the celebration of the Year of Mercy.

Lent is the running water that cleanses each one of us from the layers of guilt and sin we all have and mercy is God’s blanket that wraps us, wiping, and removing every guilt and sins we have.  This season is holy indeed!

Enjoy the rest of the weeks in our Lenten bath before Easter!

 

 

(image- googleimages search)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Is There More To Life Than This?

lent
Copyright (C) Darrell Young

In life, we all go through experiences that marked deeply in our hearts as if it was just a day or a week ago. There are events, too, that we deemed it didn’t happen to us or that we hope to erase it as soon as it comes to the fore.  In all these, we have to accept that it is either a consequence of an action done by us or apparently inflicted by others.   In each of these episodes, we underwent into a process of “passage.” This passage is the bridge that opens in us grace and revelation.  A passage that brought the peace we longed for or a discovery that leads to healing.  It may also be a passage of conversion, of forgiveness or acceptance of the painful realities that have happened in life’s past triggered by a present situation which needs sincere openness and humility.  Or a passage that simply invites us to let go.

The passage that Jesus will have to go through is similar to what we experienced in life, though, not parallel in gravity and willingness.  No one in the world lived life unmoved, untouched by life’s complexities.  Even Jesus has to enter into the complexities of human nature, the irreconcilable fickleness of the human heart yet grounds himself in the heart of his mission – “to do the Father’s Will”  and his identity – “the Beloved Son of the Father.”  Jesus’ passage as spoken to him by Elijah and Moses will be an occasion of grace and revelation. It is in this “passage” of which was spoken that salvation and forgiveness of sins will be brought forth.  This is the passage that bridges man back to God, the passage that made love tangible and visible; a passage which makes God-with-us to God-within-us.  The process will be tough and rough; it may demand too much from him but in the end, it’s a freedom he would do it over and over again because he knew it will be GRACE and he will never be broken in the process.

Easier said than done, though. But it is in this light that the gospel speaks to us.  Every passage that we go through is always GRACE.  And always, never failing, a REVELATION we have not known, or have feared to enter into.  It is only by submitting ourselves to the painful yet liberating process of life’s passages that we can deepen our faith and trust in God.  It is only in the reality of who we are- perfectly imperfect – that God can come and overshadow us with his GRACE and reveal to us WHO HE IS-  a father who delights in his beloved children.

Our life is filled with challenges. Some of these are tough and they break us.  Yet, there are those that bring bliss and have become sources of strength and inspiration to move on.   Our daily ordinary life’s experiences are not separate entities that have happened to us; rather these are pieces from God’s beautiful design for each one of us.  Embracing each moment of our life is living according to God’s will.  Our passage experiences become meaningful when we put them in the hands of God and allow them to be transfigured by his grace.  Jesus’ transfiguration is an affirmation to us that God is always with us if only we have the eyes to see His presence in our life.  He journeyed with us and walks ahead of us.   Thus, let us be keen to recognize God’ comings, or the passages that we are in, for these are just disguises of grace- God’s indwelling presence.

 

 

 

Second Sunday of Lent Reflection (Luke 9:28-36)

 

 

 

 

Posted in Spirituality

JESUS, SATAN & ME

Little boy choosing between a cupcake and apple
A little boy choosing between a cupcake and apple…looks like the cupcake is the winner.

(First Sunday Reflection: Lk. 4:1-13; Cycle C, Year 2)

 In one of my Ignatian retreats, the facilitator handed me a guide on which the theme was devoted solely on to The Two Banners: The Banner of Christ and the Banner of Satan.  This exercise led me into self-introspection as I go through the process of recollecting the year that had passed.  What were my choices, my decisions was I standing under the banner of Christ or of the other.

Today’s gospel reading brings us back to the reality of the presence of Satan, in our world, in our life and even in the life of Jesus Christ.  The modern man seems to be skeptic on the reality of evil in our life; it seems though, that Satan has become an icon, you can see all over from    t-shirts to caps, tattoos to signboards, images to arts, word-expressions to music, and one can name more.  The loathing of merely his “icons” becomes fondness, the young perceives it as cool or groovy, and thus its harmful presence turns out to be harmless.  The gospel may give the impression as well, because Satan was even offering Jesus, the goods that our human nature would eagerly say “Yes!” at any cost. Hunger must be addressed with abundance. Vulnerability can be turned into power and doubt which is just a couple away from discovery.

In any case, still, the devil ¹“is prowling like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour” and it causes not only harm to our self but damage to our true identity as a child of God and in our relationship with God, and it is for this reason that we must ¹“resist him, solid in your faith.”  Ultimately, our concern is not how to defeat Satan and all his enticements rather the aim is to make choices and decisions which affirm our truest identity and where it leads us to God.

Our temptations and sins are basically pointers to us, it tells us who are we and what we are not.  It is in these occasions where our fundamental option in life is challenged, strengthened and deepened as it matures with the choices and decisions we make in life.

There is only one option – God, but there are two banners erected.

What banner in life do you stand by?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 – 1 Peter 5:8 – New American Bible

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Yes is Also No: The Power of Choice-Tamara McCleary – google images)

 

 

 

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Day to day Guide: 8-days Ignatian Retreat

 

Day 8    Resurrecting with and Placing our Hopes in the Resurrected Christ

DAY82

Theme: The Resurrection

Grace:My Lord Jesus, I beg for the grace of overwhelming joy and rejoicing, knowing well that through your resurrection you have conquered sin, evil and death itself and that in God’s own time—all shall be well.

Scriptural Readings:

  • Salubong
  • Jn 20: 1-10/ Jn 20: 11-18 (Mary Magdalene)
  • Lk 24: 13-35 (Emmaus Story)
  • Jn 21:1-19 (“Do you love me more than these?”)
  • 1 Peter: 3-9 (Hope in the Resurrected Christ)
  • Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis on Consecrated Life

Points for Prayer and Reflection:

  • Do a contemplation on the Easter story on Mary Magdalene (Imagine the tomb area and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place, Mary Magdalene, the angels, Jesus there)
  • What do you see, hear, touch, feel, taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of this part of our Lord’s resurrection and slowly, in the end, focus on him and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • Do a contemplation on the Easter Story taking the Emmaus story. (Imagine Emmaus and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place and the disciples there with Jesus.)
  • What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of this part of our Lord’s resurrection and slowly, in the end, focus on him and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • Right now, in what areas in your life do you find yourself continually complaining and despairing?
  • Why these areas in particular?
  • What do you think you need to do to shift, from doubt to faith, discouragement to hope, desolation to consolation?
  • Do a contemplation/meditation on the appearance of the Resurrected Christ at the Sea of Tiberias. Enter the Gospel scene prayerfully.
  • What do you see, hear, touch, feel, taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of this part of our Lord’s resurrection and slowly, in the end, focus on him and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • “Love ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than in words.” ((St. Ignatius)
  • “Do you love me?” was the question of Jesus to Peter.
  • How have you manifested lately your love for God in terms of concrete deeds?
  • Meditate on “Hope in the Resurrected Christ” (1 Peter: 3-9)
  • Right now, is there anything you feel worth celebrating in your life?
  • Name and clarify them.
  • When ready, take time to just celebrate these and rejoice with the risen Lord.
  • Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis on Consecrated Life
  • 1. “Where there are religious, there is joy”. We are called to know and show that God is able to fill our hearts to the brim with happiness; that we need not seek our happiness elsewhere; that the authentic fraternity found in our communities increases our joy; and that our total self-giving in service to the Church, to families and young people, to the elderly and the poor, brings us life-long personal fulfilment.
  • Are we joyful, content, fulfilled?
  • “None of us should be dour, discontented and dissatisfied, for “a gloomy disciple is a disciple of gloom.”
  • 2. “I am counting on you “to wake up the world”, since the distinctive sign of consecrated life is prophecy”…
  • “This is the priority that is needed right now: “to be prophets who witness to how Jesus lived on this earth… a religious must never abandon prophecy.”
  • “Prophets know God and they know the men and women who are their brothers and sisters. They are able to discern and denounce the evil of sin and injustice. Because they are free, they are beholden to no one but God, and they have no interest other than God. Prophets tend to be on the side of the poor and the powerless, for they know that God himself is on their side.”
  • Am I a prophet in this present world?

 

  • 3. Men and women religious, like all other consecrated persons, have been called, as I mentioned, “experts in communion”.
  • “to make the Church the home and the school of communion.”
  • Communion is lived first and foremost within the respective communities of each Institute. To this end, I would ask you to think about my frequent comments about criticism, gossip, envy, jealousy, hostility as ways of acting which have no place in our houses.
  • How is my community?
  • 4. “I also expect from you what I have asked all the members of the Church: to come out of yourselves and go forth to the existential peripheries. “Go into all the world”; these were the last words which Jesus spoke to his followers and which he continues to address to us”.
  • 5. I expect that each form of consecrated life will question what it is that God and people today are asking of them.
  • Dialogue with the Lord on all these points above.
  • Thank Him for sharing his gifts of presence to you and to the world, as seen in and through the Easter Story.
  • Thank Him for choosing to trust you, despite you many doubts and failures.
  • Thank Him for bestowing to you his Most Holy Spirit—the spirit of truth and life.
  • Thank Him for you to the religious life, for taking a risk in you.

 

 

(with Fr. florge, sj –facilitator)

image: pastormattblog.com—googleimages)

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Day to day Guide:8-days Ignatian Retreat

Day 7 SUFFERING AND DYING WITH CHRIST

day 72

THEME: Person of Christ, Loving and Obedient unto Death

Grace:My Lord Jesus, I beg for the grace of intense sorrow, with you in sorrow, anguish, with you in anguish, and even tears and deep grief, knowing well the deep affliction you endure for me.

Scriptural readings:

  1. Mt 26: 36-56 (Agony in the Garden)
  2. Lk 22: 39-62 (Agony in the Garden)
  3. Lk 22: 63- 71; Lk 23: 1-25 (Before the Sanhedrin and Pilate)
  4. Mt 26: 57-75; Mt 27: 1-31 (Before the Sanhedrin and Pilate)
  5. Way of the Cross
  6. Jn 19: 17-37 (Crucifixion and Death)
  7. Lk 23:44-56 (Death and Burial)

Points for Prayer and Reflection:

  • Do a contemplation on the Lord’s Agony in the Garden (Imagine the Garden and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene beholding the place and the people there.) What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of the Lord’s Agony in the garden and slowly, in the end, focus on the Lord and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • Enter the heart of our Lord and allow this intense sorrow and distress invade and dominate your heart.
  • The main prayer of the Lord in the garden: “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from me; yet not my will but your will be done.”
  • Do a contemplation on the Lord’s Trial. (Imagine the Sanhedrin, and Pilate’s praetorium and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place and the people there.)
  • What do you see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Touch?
  • Spend time going into the details of our Lord’s trial and slowly, in the end focus on him and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • Do a station on the cross. Meditate and reflect on all the stations. Try to enter into the mood and feelings of our Lord as he goes through all those stations. What do you see, hear, feel, touch, taste, smell?
  • Which station of the cross speaks a lot to your heart?
  • Do a contemplation on our Lord’s Crucifixion, Death, and Burial. (Imagine, Golgotha or Calvary and the burial place and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place and the people there.
  • What do you see? Hear? Smell? Touch? Taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of our Lord’s crucifixion, death, and burial and slowly, in the end, focus on him and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • The Gospel of John tells us that “near the cross of Jesus there stood his mother (Mary)”
  • Enter the immaculate heart of Mary and just feel much her deep sorrow of pain and agony.
  • Take time to comfort her and even weep with her.
  • As Christians we believe that there can be no Easter Sunday without Good Friday.
  • What have been your own “Good Fridays”?
  • Examine yourself right now, what needs to “die” in you so that Christ and his love may all the more come alive in you?
  • Dialogue with the Lord on all these points above.
  • Thank him for his willingness to empty himself and die on the cross for your sake and for the sake of the world.

 

INSIGHT:

GOD ENTERS OUR CHAOS BECAUSE OF LOVE

 

(with Fr. florge, sj–facilitator)

(suffering with Christ–evangelicaloutpost.com — googleimage)

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Day to day Guide:8-days Ignatian Retreat

Day 6 JOURNEYING WITH CHRIST

DAY62

THEME: Person of Christ: God’s Love and Suffering

Grace: My Lord Jesus, I beg for a deep, interior knowledge of your person, your Gospel values and especially your way of loving, so that I can all the more fall in love with you, follow you and learn to love as you love.

Scriptural readings:

  1. Mt 21: 1-17; Lk 19: 28-48; Mk 11:1-9 (Entry into Jerusalem) — the only and true way to save us
  2. Mt 26: 27-30 ( Passover preparation; Institution of the Eucharist) — the saving grace of Peter was his great love for Christ
  3. Lk 22: 7-20 (Passover preparation; Institution of the Eucharist) — at Christmas Jesus becomes – GOD-WITH-US; at Last Supper Jesus becomes -GOD IN US
  4. Jn 13: 1-31 (Washing of the feet)

 

Points for Prayer and Reflection:

  • Do a contemplation on the entry of our Lord in Jerusalem. (Imagine the holy city, and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place and the people there) What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
  • What qualities and values of our Lord touch you, as you behold him entering the city of Jerusalem?
  • After clarifying these qualities and values of our Lord (meek spirited? Detached? Focused? Strong-willed?) Take time to beg for these very same Christic qualities and values.
  • Do a contemplation on the Lord’s Last Supper. (Imagine the Cenacle and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene beholding the place and the disciples there.) ) What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
  • Spend sometime going into the details of the Lord’s Last Supper and slowly in the end focus on him and gaze slowly and lovingly at his face.
  • Enter into the sacred heart of our Lord!
  • Do a contemplation on the Washing of the Feet. (Imagine the cenacle and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene beholding the place and the people there) What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
  • At this time, Jesus keeps talking about love…enter into the heart of Jesus…
  • Then enter into your heart…what is your deepest desire?
  • Let your heart dialogue with the Sacred Heart of Jesus on all these points above.
  • Thank him for his love.

 

 

(with Fr.Florge, sj)

 

(www.thewalkwithchrist.org –googleimages)

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Day to day Guide:8-days Ignatian Retreat

Day 5 Contemplating Christ looking at us

Luis_de_Morales_-_Pietà2

Theme: Person of Christ: Ministry of Healing and Reconciling

Grace:

My Lord Jesus, I beg for a deep, interior knowledge of your person, your Gospel values and especially your way of loving, so that I can all the more fall in love with you, follow you and learn to love as you love.

Scriptural readings:

Mk 10: 46-52 (Bartimaeus) – the virtue of perseverance

Jn 4: 4-42 (Samaritan Woman) – God meets us where we are and uses our situation into grace

Jn 8: 1-11 (Adulterous Woman) – the mercy of God

Mt 8: 5-13 (Centurion) – the faith of the centurion which brings life our sense of nothingness

Lk 19- 1-10 (Zacchaeus) – the true wealth

Mt 26:14-25 (Betrayal of Judas)

 

Points for Prayer and Reflection:

  • Do a contemplation on our Lord’s ministry of healing and reconciling.
  • Imagine Galilee ( or Jericho, or Samaria, or Capernaum, depending on the Gospel passage taken) and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place, the disciples and the person(s) being healed.
  • What do you see? Hear? Smell? Touch? Taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of the healing and reconciling story, and slowly, in the end, focus on the Lord and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • What qualities and values of our Lord touch you, as you behold him healing and reconciling people?
  • After clarifying these qualities and values of our Lord (gentleness, compassionate heart, kind-heartedness, non-judgmental attitude) take time to beg for these very same Christic qualities and values.
  • God is God, healer-reconciler!
  • When were those times in your life when you felt God played the role of “Healer-Reconciler”? What did he heal/reconcile in you?
  • Examine yourself.
  • Right now, what aspects of your life need to be healed and/or reconciled?
  • When ready, come before the Lord and present these aspects for healing and reconciliation. Take time to just feel his healing and reconciling grace.
  • Dialogue with the Lord on all the points above.
  • Thank him for all his work of healing and reconciling in this broken world of ours and in your life.

 

insight from the listener:

  • God never left us; he stands by our side

 

(with fr.florge, sj)

 

(image from luis de morales – google images)

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Day to Day Guide: 8-days Ignatian Retreat

DAY FOUR   Call and Discipleship

sinner yet called

THEME: My Call, Sinner yet Called

GRACE: Lord Jesus I beg for the grace of steadfastness and devotion to my God knowing well that in my life, in the end, what He truly desires are not my achievements, not my successes but my fidelity

 

  • It is in our weaknesses and limitations, when we cannot do anything anymore where we can truly live out our call to fidelity.
  • One can either curse that Lord in a situation where one is into or an opportunity of grace- where one can be faithful and truly be dedicated to Him who has called and loved him/her.
  • Be faithful to the state of life where you are in.

 

SACRED SCRIPTURE:

  1. Isaiah 49:1-6 (The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name) – God knows you. God has a plan for you, from birth He named you
  2. Matthew 16:13-19 (“Who do you say that I am?” – Peter was a prayerful person so much so that he is able to listen to the Father as he revealed to him the true identity of Jesus. The deeper question now lies to each one of us “WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?” To know God’s will we have to pray
  3. Jonah 1-4 (Jonah’s self-righteousness vs God’s compassion)

 

POINTS FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION:

  1. Go back to your life-story?
  2. How did you end up responding to the call of God?
  3. What were the key events that led you to respond to your call?
  4. Who were the significant persons instrumental in fostering and clarifying your call?

 

 

Insight from the listener:

  • Whatever situation you are in, know that God chose you and loved you with an everlasting love. He seeks and desires you, even in you darkness.

 

 

 

(fr. Florge, sj facilitator)

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

6 Ways to Celebrate Lent

6 ways to celebrate Lent

blog lent 2

Days from now we shall enter into the threshold of a great mystery in the Catholic faith.  The season of lent will invite us once again to make an offering of ourselves in many ways.  All these sacrifices and offerings that we make year after year are done out of love for God. However, if it had been done so routinely it becomes so boring and outdated. If you want to experience different this year, try considering the following:

  1. Negative criticism and talks.

It is seldom we do not hear persons who never say negative criticisms or comments on another person.  Each one of us has a fair share of guilt.  However, during this season of lent, we do not give up such habit so engrained in us rather we use our weakness as strength.  Therefore, criticize but “say only words that men need to hear, words that will really help them”

  1. Gadgets and Surfing.

We all have this level of attachments to our gadgets and surfing the net.  We spend almost always our time catching up with the upbeat around us. We keep on checking our phones for messages and or the net.  Here’s my piece of advice: NO GADGETS/INTERNET-WEB BROWSING SACRIFICE.   You read it right! Take this time to use these things wisely.  Instead of a non-stop selfie and groupie with friends, why not upload something that is relevant to the season? Or maybe, reflections, insights that you have that may inspire others- who knows? Use your Iphones, Ipad, cellphones etc. as a means to evangelize your contact lists. Be an online evangelizer.

  1. Travel and Tour.

The greatest mistake that one can ever do is to give up traveling and touring during lent.  Why? Should we be forlorn during these days of lent? Take those bags and comfy walking shoes and be up for a pilgrimage. Visits the site where the Holy Father has declared as holy door and or visit any holy places within your local vicinities or abroad.  Pilgrimage is far more delightful and high-spirited than the usual travel because it’s a journey inward than outward.

  1. Stay in the streets.

Lent is no homebuddy thing. Go out into the streets and don’t be afraid to make a mess.  Party in the streets- feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty.  Give clothes to the naked, shelter the homeless ( be a generous host and adopt during this season not only during Christmas) or visit the imprisoned and be their companion or be a source of strength as you visit the sick and help ease the burden of others as you stand by them as they bury their dead.

  1. Eat.

Christ Jesus himself partied because He knew well that it is in mealtime that He is able to reach out to people, he is able to listen and see their needs. EAT. Eat with people you hate and you will discover their own beauties; eat with those whom you dislike you might be surprised they too, have a share of distasteful experiences.  Eat with those whom you erred they long to reach out to you. EAT and BE RECONCILED.

  1. Be loud.

When was the last time you were loud?  This season, be bold and be courageous, be loud-to speak and share your God and your faith experiences not only to those whom you knew but above all to those whom you consider the least among your circles. But as Jesus rightly puts it “no prophet is honored in his native place.” Be Missionaries. Be one of the appointed seventy-two!

 

 

(image from bustedhalo.com-googleimages)

Posted in Spirituality

Day to day Guide: 8-days Ignatian Retreat

 

DAY THREE    REALITY OF SIN

reality of sin2

THEME:  My Favorite Sin

GRACE: Lord Jesus I beg for the grace to understand truly the nature of sin, its woeful effects on me and on others around me, to abhor it and to seriously amend my life.

SACRED SCRIPTURE:

  1. Romans 7:14-25 (I don’t do what I want to do but I hate) – We can’t change ourselves alone, we need the grace of God and its god alone who can change us
  2. Luke 18:9-16 (Parable of the Pharisee and the Publican) – Beware of yourself righteousness. Be humble
  3. Luke 15:11-32 (Sin of Self-entitlement and Self-righteousness)
  4. James 3:1-12 (With our tongue we praise God and curse others)
  5. Luke 17:11-19 (Sin of Ingratitude)

 

POINTS FOR PRAYER AND REFELCTION

  1. What are your favorite sins? What are your favorite sinful patterns?
  2. How do these favorite sins and sinful pattern reflect the gravity of your fundamental option on life (your basic option and direction whether your entire life really is for God and for others or merely just for yourself)
  3. How do you hurt others and yourself?
  4. What are the root of your favorite sin and sinful patterns?
  5. What are your attachments? Do they serve you?
  6. What sinful structures in particular do you see in your community/society/family/workplace/friends?
  7. Are you part of theses sinful structures contributing directly or indirectly to its evil and corrupt ways? If yes, take time to name and define them.
  8. End by being truly contrite and beg for God’s healing mercy and trust in God’s healing and mercy.

 

 

 

Insight from the listener:

 

Wash me from my guilt and cleanse from my sins. Lord, I am worthy to receive you, but by your words I shall be healed.

 

 

  • Florge, SJ (Facilitator)
Posted in Spirituality

Retreat Disposition

DAY ZERO – RETREAT ORIENTATION / DISPOSING ONESELF

day zero

RETREAT:
– we need retreat in our life especially when we talk about fidelity
– it’s a time and opportunity APPOINTED by GOD

BASIC DISPOSITIONS:
– gratitude and sense of awe
– transparency before God and oneself
– be a beggar and be humble before God
– be FAITHFUL in your DESIGNATED PRAYER TIME
– WE BECOME WHOM WE CONTEMPLATE

REFLECTION QUESTIONS / DISPOSING ONESELF:
1. what would you like to pray for?
2. before God, what would you like to tell Him or ask from Him?
3. listen to the longing in your heart and tell the Lord all about them.

Insight from the listener:

As we enter into the holy of holies, to the “…place which is holy ground” (Genesis 3:5) let us be aware of the many things we have to “remove” and bring it to the Lord. Listen! He speaks.

Posted in Spirituality

Day to Day Guide: 8-days Ignatian Retreat

Day Two  (My Sense of Uniqueness and Giftedness)

YOu are Precious

THEME: Praying Over My Personal Identity

GRACE: Lord Jesus, I beg for the grace to know, love and accept myself as i truly am, realizing that my own uniqueness and giftedness are an excellent reflection of God’s personal infinite love for me.

  • We look at our uniqueness and giftedness in our present contex

SACRED SCRIPTURES:

  1. Psalm 139 (God, you know me more than i know myself) – God knows your idiosyncrasies, hurts, mediocrity, pains, joy.  He knows everything about you.  Even when you sin He is still there. He never leaves us, no condition at all.
  2. Isaiah 50:4-7 (The Lord God is my help, therefore I am not disgraced) – In whatever situations you are in, go through with it, you will not be crushed God is with you
  3. Isaiah 49:13-16 ( I will never forget you) – It is the song of God.  It is his words not our.  It is God who never forgets; it’s us who forgets most of the time. You are in the Palm of His hand- permanent just like, the thumb mark which is uniquely yours and permanent.
  4. 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 (Different gifts from the same Spirit) – Each one is gifted, thus, bring it and share it to others.

POINTS FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION:

  1. Examine your life.  What do you consider your greatest gifts from God? Why these gifts in particular?
  2. What do you consider as your greatest assets and strengths as a person? Why these in particular? (The things we consider great, in the eyes of God is the weakest)
  3. What do you consider as your greatest liabilities and weakness as a person? Why these in particular? (The things we consider weak, in the eyes of God is the greatest)
  4. Do you consider yourself gifted? unique?
  5. Is there anything in particular in your life now that you find difficult to accept and embrace fully? Name and clarify them.
  6. When ready, beg the Lord to grant you the grace of healing. (God makes crooked ways straight – this means that God allows crooked realities and situations to happen only to use them to humble and purify us and realize His will in our lives and eventually draws us closer to Him.
  7. Examine yourself.  What crooked ways/lines in your life that God made it straight?

 

 

-Fr. Florge, SJ (facilitator)

Posted in Spirituality

Day to day guide: 8-days Ignatian Retreat

 

DAY ONE – FACING MY GOD AND MYSELF (Christ in Us, is our Hope of Glory)

God_Adam- day 1 edit

THEME: Stop, Look and Listen to the Lord
GRACE: I beg the Lord for the grace of inner silence and stillness so that I can stop, look back prayerfully at my recent (remote) significant experiences and listen intently to what my God has been telling me.

– look at your relationship with God this past year (what are the high points or the low points?)
-try to seek Him (be aware of God’s presence; are you aware that you are nun? lay (consecrated to God by virtue of our baptism?)
– allow Him to seek you (are you really open to Him? what are the barriers? do you allow God to seek you?)
-look at your relationship with others
– look at your relationship with yourself (if you don’t know yourself, you can’t have a deeper relationship with others, moreso, with God)

SACRED SCRIPTURE:
1. Psalm 84 (How lovely is your dwelling place, O Lord of host!)
– Not all good things last, but we have a foretaste of goodness, of joy. Only in heaven do good things last.
2. Jeremiah 18:1-6 (Potter and clay)
– God pushes you to the limit because He knows what kind you are made of. As you go through difficulties, welcome them. You are in the Potter’s hand, that’s an assurance
3. 1 Samuel 3:1-10 (Speak Lord, for your servant is listening)
– Many times, we really don’t listen to the voice of the Lord. The Lord speaks to us thru: events, people, things around us. GOD’S VOICE IS NOT THE VOICE WE HEAR OF
4. Mark 11:1-10 (Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!)
– the sincerity and humility of the one who praises

POINTS FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION:
– what have been your most recent (remote) significant experience?
– how exactly have they been affecting you? why do you consider these experiences to be “significant” in the first place?
– what feelings have been dominant in you? Go back and relish these in prayer and share with God.
– what do you hear God saying to you?
– where do you feel God is leading / inviting you
– end with thanksgiving.

insight from the listener:
GO SLOW; GO DEEP

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