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Wish you feel the joy, He has come! To all my online friends at  WordPress, MERRY  CHRISTMAS.

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That moment you wake up, open a window and faintly you hear Pinoy Christmas songs playing in some neighbor’s house….priceless. You get a little nostalgic thinking of Christmas past when celebrations were more focused on attending Simbang Gabi, nine days of novena masses until Christmas eve. Yes,today is the beginning of our traditional Simbang Gabi.  It started last night in our village chapel but it was raining hard because of the typhoon so I was not able to attend.  I have clogged nose the past days and it is hard to breathe especially at night.

It pains me to see those places affected by the typhoon, people who lost their homes, damaged roads, uprooted trees and it has not left the country yet. Our weather bureau says that there is another one coming.  Typhoons that visit us late in the year are usually strong and destructive.  I hope next week would not be a rainy one for us.

My PC is weird. Is that even the right term for it? Yesterday, I woke up earlier than 3am, a perfect opportunity to check my blogs and update our daily Gospel readings at our Catholic page on Facebook. You see, for the last five years I help manage a page with a priest friend and another friend who is a lay minister in their parish.  I was able to post Gospel readings until the end of the year then my PC practically crashed on me.  Gosh, perfect timing but you can’t quarrel with an almost ten-year old PC nor get mad at it. You just shake your head in frustration while taking another sip of a tepid cup of coffee by your side.  Like right now it is running well and I am listening to Christmas carols while I blog (keeping my fingers crossed).

I found a wonderful book on Padre Pio but I don’t want to read it in just one go, a chapter or two every day until I finish it. I also bought a copy of the Daily Gospel 2016, a collection of all the readings for the coming year, a helpful guide for my online apostolate. Speaking of books, a friend who is coming home for a short break bought me two lovely volumes of Richard Paul Evans books, one was just published last month while the other one is the 5th  and final installment of The Walk series.  Wonderful gifts from a wonderful friend.

Did I say it’s nine days to go before Christmas?  This might appear on my wall dated December 15 but it is December 16 now  and it’s 5 am. The cold winds bite but the rain has stopped. May I share another inspiring Christmas quote?

It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you… yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand. – Mother Teresa

 

 

 

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♫♪And the thing that will make them ring is the carol that you sing
Right within your heart♪♪♫

Yes, my favorite time of the year is almost here.  Next Sunday is the start of the Advent season, the beginning of another liturgical calendar, a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the Nativity of Jesus.  I love the ritual of praying and watching the lighting of the first Advent candle, it signals the official start of the most joyous season of the year.

I am glad there is always YouTube to provide the music, I won’t have to take out all the Christmas CDs  which are usually mixed with other DVDs the kids have accumulated through the years. Listening to Christmas carols all day long, singing  along and belting out those familiar tunes and inspiring words. Truly, it warms the heart. I love the Christmas album of the Günter Kallman Choir, the cool voice of Johnny Mathis, the romantic way our very own  Jose Marie Chan sings his Christmas compositions, Jason Mraz’ version of Winter Wonderland and the Pilipino Christmas songs from way back which speak of how we Filipinos celebrate Christmas. The latter would make you dance, stomp your feet and sing the familiar Tagalog lyrics.  Talk of tinolang manok, lechon, salabat, bibingka, puto bungbong, hot tsokolate and such recipes and delicacies that you can only find here. The joys of meeting friends and relatives, the fun of watching little kids singing their versions of Christmas carols and shouts of “namamasko po” and your shouts of “patawad” because there are no more loose coins in your pocket.

Gifts are wrapped finally but I think I would have to make another trip to the mall for those I haven’t marked on my list yet. We have put up some Christmas decorations but don’t have the lights yet anywhere outside the house. And it is this time of year that I am sure Nate would love to celebrate with us. He is three years old now and can appreciate even small gifts that he receives. I love how his eyes light up and his whole face transforms into a smile while uttering a single word “wow”.

Hmmm….now I’m counting! Did I say there are twenty-nine days to go before Christmas?

 

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Just a quick post before I say “hello” properly. It’s been a long week and I miss you all. Enjoy the sunrise or the sunset wherever you may be.  May this inspire you though. Think of a peaceful and lovely Wednesday morning. Think of the beauty of nature. Think of all the possibilities ahead of you.

 

...cause I miss this place.

…cause I miss this place.

 

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Roxas Blvd.

This is Roxas Blvd. after the rain this morning. A moment caught on cam. And you’ll wonder what was that lone runner thinking while traversing the long highway? Where are those ships going to?

Silence is the language of the morning. And that beautiful drawing  up in the sky, it’s nature at its best.

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Sometimes a picture needs no words. It speaks for itself.

Sometimes a picture needs no words. It speaks for itself.

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I have followed Pope Francis’ trip to the United States via  Vatican Radio and CNA (Catholic News Agency). I am grateful for his inspiring words. Yes, I am grateful too for the many blessings. Here’s a partial text  of Pope Francis’s address during Vespers at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City, a beautiful message that truly inspires and touches the heart:

Joy springs from a grateful heart. Truly, we have received much, so many graces, so many blessings, and we rejoice in this. It will do us good to think back on our lives with the grace of remembrance.

Remembrance of when we were first called, remembrance of the road travelled, remembrance of graces received… and, above all, remembrance of our encounter with Jesus Christ so often along the way.

Remembrance of the amazement which our encounter with Jesus Christ awakens in our hearts. To seek the grace of remembrance so as to grow in the spirit of gratitude. Perhaps we need to ask ourselves: are we good at counting our blessings?

 

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