That nothing is small in the eyes of God.
Do all that you can with love
-st. Therese of the child Jesus-
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.
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
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
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:
Liturgy of the Hours, Good Friday Intercessions, Christian Prayer
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
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).
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
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:
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
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!”
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.
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.
Collect of Nov. 24 Mass
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.
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.
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
***Month-long praying after post-communion: Prayer for Catechists
lifted from CCCB Jubilee for Catechists Resources; Concan Inc., 2005
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.
©K+WORD (Bible Diary for the Youth)
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
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)
(PV 2011 / inspired from Luke 1:46-55) Music by: Sr. Teresita Estrellita Orlino, SPC
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
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)
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?
(image-google search- pope francis ; agony in the garden by grace carol bomer)
Wednesday of the Holy Week
Ant. 2 of Evening Prayer (Vespers)
“He took all our sins upon himself and asked forgiveness for our offenses”
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.
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.
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:
You might have something in your mind, after all readers are great sources of reflections and insights.
A blessed Holy Week ahead!
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.
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?
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)
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)
(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)
Day 8 Resurrecting with and Placing our Hopes in the Resurrected Christ
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.
Points for Prayer and Reflection:
(with Fr. florge, sj –facilitator)
Day 7 SUFFERING AND DYING WITH CHRIST
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.
Points for Prayer and Reflection:
GOD ENTERS OUR CHAOS BECAUSE OF LOVE
(with Fr. florge, sj–facilitator)
(suffering with Christ–evangelicaloutpost.com — googleimage)
Day 6 JOURNEYING WITH CHRIST
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.
Points for Prayer and Reflection:
(with Fr.Florge, sj)
Day 5 Contemplating Christ looking at us
Theme: Person of Christ: Ministry of Healing and Reconciling
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.
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:
insight from the listener:
(with fr.florge, sj)
(image from luis de morales – google images)
DAY FOUR Call and Discipleship
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
POINTS FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION:
Insight from the listener:
(fr. Florge, sj facilitator)
6 ways to celebrate Lent
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:
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”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
DAY THREE REALITY OF SIN
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.
POINTS FOR PRAYER AND REFELCTION
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.
DAY ZERO – RETREAT ORIENTATION / DISPOSING ONESELF
– we need retreat in our life especially when we talk about fidelity
– it’s a time and opportunity APPOINTED by GOD
– 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.
Day Two (My Sense of Uniqueness and Giftedness)
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.
POINTS FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION:
-Fr. Florge, SJ (facilitator)
DAY ONE – FACING MY GOD AND MYSELF (Christ in Us, is our Hope of Glory)
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)
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