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Archive for the ‘Closer to God’ Category


I had another play with an app on Facebook.  Sometimes, they hit the nail on the head, sometimes it is just a play with words. Are they just looking in to a few shout outs I made there?

Here’s what it says:

Not everyone knows the fights you have had to fight in life. Not everyone sees your scars  and the things that you had to go through. What they see is a smile on your face  and assumes all’s well  but only you know how much you are hurting still.

It’s  partly true. One has to be strong to face all those early trials in one’s life. One has to have faith in what comes next. One has to believe.  Standing strong. Standing still.  These are words that  always stand out when I think of the past. These are words that make me hope  to be better, to dream more and just feel glad I am  alive.

The smile would always be there. I believe in greeting each morning with a big smile on my face. I believe  that everything would be okay the moment I wake up. I just believe. One could be sensitive and sentimental enough to reminisce a little of what has been, the good times would always be memories to cherish,   but sometimes one should be  bold enough to accept the truth that things happen (maybe for a reason), that they  are not  a part of one’s dream.  We should not be afraid to  see what is at the bend in  the road,  there is probably something more to discover  that  makes life more meaningful. When you have faced challenging circumstances in your life and you’re still standing, I call that courage. When you believe that eventually things fall into place, I call that faith.

I love this quote from Helen Keller: “Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into light.”  

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I have a little good news. I went back to SSS yesterday and what do you know, my  pension is ready for credit.  Alleluia!  But two months of processing is quite long enough.

Got to trim our carabao grass again, replant some flowering plants and uproot some dead ones.   I planted  two more pineapple crowns  behind the house. Those I planted earlier are growing nicely, let me see, I have seven in all now. I hope the first one would produce a  flower soon.

The life of a gardener – plenty of time to enjoy the morning sun and the afternoon breeze. Sometimes  it is quite a bonus to listen to the visiting sparrows. A hot cup of coffee is always welcome at the break of dawn, when the world is still asleep  and the quiet could be felt.

I stay here in this corner most mornings drinking a hot cup of coffee  and listening to the sparrows sing.

I stay here in this corner most mornings drinking a hot cup of coffee and listening to the sparrows sing.

Despite the busy days  at the garden, I was able to finish four books at the start of the challenge. I am in the middle of reading my 5th book now. Peter  Mayle’s two books, A Year In Provence and Tojours  in Provence (the  sequel)  were such a joy to read. I learned so much about what life was like in Provence.  Now I am beginning to enjoy Italy, it is such a lovely place too.

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Greetings of peace.

Finally completed the 9 novena masses for Simbang Gabi. What a joy! What a blessing!

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I would like to wish you all a blessed, happy and merry Christmas. It’s that time of year again when we share the joys that the season brings – time to be merry, time to make friends with those you have hurt and who have hurt you before, time to feel the joy of His coming.  He is the reason why we celebrate Christmas.

Here’s hoping for a bountiful 2017 to all of you. I am grateful for your presence and I am glad to meet those new followers to my blog. Let us make this community a truly happy one.

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Whatever else be lost among the years, let us keep Christmas still a shining thing; Whatever doubts assail us, or what fears, let us hold close one day, remembering It’s poignant meaning for the hearts of men. Let us get back our childlike faith again.-grace noll crowell

Remembering this lovely message about Christmas. It’s that time of year again when we get so busy with preparations. There is a much-awaited guest, a little child born in Bethlehem.

The celebration of  Christmas may not be that always  happy for everyone. There are people who spend their  Christmas on the street on a cold winter night. There are people who make use of  cardboard boxes  in some corner for their beds. There are people who never know the twinkle of the tinsel on the  Christmas tree or the bright lights that adorn it. Christmas is just another day  or night of begging on the streets. Not all of us are lucky to  open gifts, prepare a lot of food on the table, exchange warm hugs  or listen to Christmas carols.  The joy that Christmas brings is non-existent in their lives.

What is happiness? People say happiness depends on our outlook in life, the way we experience things and the way we react to them. It is not so much  of the material things in our life but more on peace of mind, contentment, purity of heart, a positive attitude towards life,  a sense of well-being,  or a roof over one’s head and food on the table.

Happiness could be found in the simplest of things in our lives. A smile makes us happy,  more so when it comes from  strangers we meet on the streets. A  simple hello would put a smile on one’s face and is usually answered with another hello.

No matter what the circumstances, remember always to be happy. Celebrating Christmas is one reason to put a smile on your face.

 

 

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Lately, I promised myself to write everyday just like when I participated in WordPress’  Post A Day writing challenge back in 2011 but always, always I get distracted by other things.  There is always something that is ought to be done, there is always something that prevents me from sitting long enough to write a blog post, there is always something better and more urgent to do than blogging.

Josef and I had our twice a month visit at the wet market early this morning.  We make it a point to go there early so we could catch fresher produce.  It is easier to navigate the place when there are  few early risers like us.  One thing that I love about my suki (favorite vendors)  is that they give you discounts especially when you buy by the kilo.  My son knows where we buy meat, poultry, fish and vegetables. It is always a thrill to discover new things at the  wet market. Compared to prices in supermarkets, items are a lot cheaper and fresher.  Come to think of it, they give Christmas gifts too. My fish suki gives me a bottle of fish sauce every year, my other suki gives t-shirt.  Some of them give coin purses that are so handy to use when marketing.  Josef laughs at me when I smile bringing home  these gifts. Simple though they may be, but we always say, it’s the thought that counts.

It’s the third night of Simbang Gabi. 

Behold, the virgin shall be with child and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel.

Emmanuel means God is with us. The gospel today talks about the presence of God in our lives.  It is the presence of God which will complete us, not power, not wealth, not possessions.  We seek God’s presence, we knock so we could be heard and we do this through prayers.  We see  Jesus though in the Holy Eucharist.

emmanuel-god-with-us

May you all be blessed.  Have a nice weekend.

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Just attended the first Simbang Gabi at our village chapel. What a beautiful celebration of the mass.  Simbang Gabi which means  “Night Mass”,  Misa de Gallo in Spanish or “Rooster’s Mass”, or Misa de Aguinaldo, “Gift Mass”  is a novena of dawn Masses from December 16-24  which is  Christmas Eve.  It’s a lovely and unique celebration of attending masses which is normally held at dawn  but the Church allows it to be celebrated a little earlier the night before like tonight.  We witnessed the lighting of the Christmas tree inside the chapel and the lighting of the  Christmas Belen  before the mass started.

Christmas celebration in our country is replete with these  age-old traditions which we inherited from our ancestors.  Dawn masses are usually held at 4am  and start on December 16.  We wait for the nine days till Christmas day.  You are blessed if you complete the nine novena masses because they say that you can ask and pray for certain favors  and they will be given to you.

It’s actually almost nine days to go before Christmas. what is more fitting in honoring the Christ Child by offering this novena. Sometimes in the frenzy of preparing for Christmas, we simply forget what it means, the birth of our Saviour.  We are more focused on the material side of  celebrating Christmas –  giving gifts, preparing for Noche Buena feast, parties here and there, office parties everywhere and  lots and lots of Christmas decor in our homes and on the streets.

But what is Christmas without all these? Here’s a beautiful meditation on Jesus’ nativity from Pope Benedict XVI.

“In the birth of Jesus,
God comes to us and
asks us to receive
Him, so that He can
be born in our lives
and transform them,
and our world, by the
power of his love.

The
Christmas liturgy also
invites us to
contemplate Christ’s
birth against the
backdrop of his
paschal mystery.
Christmas points
beyond itself, to the
redemption won for
us on the Cross and
the glory of the
Resurrection.”

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Sometimes, one needs to be alone with nature –

absorbing the silence

thinking about life

wondering, sometimes always wondering

what it is all about.

Sometimes, one needs to be connected with nature –

listening to the hush of the wind

thinking about  journeys

 and the unfamiliar pathways

the uneven steps one has to go through.

But always  –

nature heals

nature inspires

bringing that familiar smile.

(click photo to enlarge)

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