Thank you Lord
for these silent moments.
I am grateful
for the times I felt so down
and You made me feel Your
Posted in Closer to God, Faith, inspirational, prayers, silence speaks, tagged Closer to God, Faith, life, postaday2011, prayers, reflections, silence speaks, silent moments on March 22, 2015 | 18 Comments »
Thank you Lord
for these silent moments.
I am grateful
for the times I felt so down
and You made me feel Your
The Catholic church celebrates Ash Wednesday today, 18 February and it is the official start of Lent, the beginning of our Lenten journey. I attended the 6am mass at St. Jude Parish, a beautiful celebration of reminding us what the season of Lent means, what the ashes symbolize.We are encouraged to attend mass in order to begin the Lenten season with proper reflection, conversion and repentance. It is a day of fasting and abstinence. Fasting means restricting the food we eat and the number of meals and the size of it while Abstinence is abstaining from eating What To Give Up.imposition of ashes is a reminder of our sinfulness and unworthiness, it is a renewal of our commitment to follow Jesus and acknowledging the sacrifice He had made for our salvation. I think next to the Christmas blogs that I write every year, my Lent posts come close. I would like to share a post that I wrote four years ago because I think the message is never too old to appreciate and remember. I particularly like the beautiful Lenten reflection I found on EWTN entitled
Give up complaining – focus on gratitude
Give up pessimism – become an optimist
Give up harsh judgments – think kindly thoughts
Give up worry – trust Divine Providence
Give up discouragement – be full of hope
Give up bitterness – turn to forgiveness
Give up hatred – return good for evil
Give up negativism – be positive
Give up anger – be more patient
Give up pettiness – become mature
Give up jealousy – pray for trust
Give up gossiping – control your tongue
Give up sin – turn to virtue
Give up giving up – hang in there.
Beautiful, isn’t it? And you might say, it is easier said than done, after all we are just human, capable of making repetitious mistakes, capable of abandoning good deeds and choosing the easy way out, more focused on material things that make life easier, or so we think. But everyday of our lives we are given the chance to do something good for others if not for our selves. I remember the time when I was in the hospital almost six years ago, it was my first time to undergo chemotherapy. I was expecting that just like the rest of the patients at the Ambulatory Care Unit at the hospital, I would lose my hair but the chemotherapy nurse assured me that I won’t . I was apprehensive at first, who wouldn’t be, but I gave up the thought of going bald and I was elated and grateful that chemo drugs for colon cancer treatments do not result to that grim scenario. That’s a small miracle for me. God must be thinking , I don’t trust Him enough.
We are sometimes too quick to judge other people. The thing is, we must look at our own inadequacies first. Unless we know what makes them the way they are, we are not in any position to pass harsh judgment. Think kindly thoughts and think positively. Trust in Divine Providence, give up worry. How often do we feel anxious about everything in our lives? We are endlessly worrying because we want everything to be perfect but this is not a perfect world. If it is, we won’t need friends or our neighbors or our families even, to make us smile. Benjamin Franklin said, “Do not anticipate trouble or worry about what may never happen. keep in the sunlight.”
Give up discouragement, be full of hope. I’d like to think that’s something I got lots of. Giving up hope is like giving up life. When you are confronted by a life changing situation, hope is a precious commodity that you cling to. No matter how painful your situation might be, you can and you will survive it as long as you don’t lose that thin thread of hope. Sometimes, trials are really just blessings in disguise. They are God’s way of telling us to trust Him, always.
It is not easy to forgive when you are full of hatred and bitterness. Let us not plant hatred in our hearts because in the first place, we are the ones greatly affected. Mahatma Gandhi wrote, “The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”
What better life this would be if only we can follow these simple steps. Happiness is the simple thought of trying not to give up, just hang in there.
You wonder why
the shadows are longer
in the early morning sun.
Then it gets shorter as the day moves on.
Have you also wondered
why life knocks you down?
Then you get that burst of inspiration
That makes you believe, dream
and lifts you up.
There are moments when you don’t need
to seek all the answers.
There are moments when you just have to trust
There are moments when all you have to do
is to let go and move on.
One day you’ll find
That the long shadow is gone.
And you’ll see the sun shining through
in your life again.
Posted in Faith, journeys, life, Pope Francis, reflections, silence speaks, tagged Faith, journeys, life, Mark Gerard Miles, Pope Francis, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts, thoughts and ramblings on January 24, 2015 | 10 Comments »
“When the heart is able to ask itself and weep, then we can understand something. Dear young boys and girls, today’s world doesn’t know how to cry. The emarginated people, those left to one side, are crying. Those who are discarded are crying. But we don’t understand much about these people in need. Certain realities of life we only see through eyes cleansed by our tears. I invite each one here to ask yourself: have I learned how to weep? Have I learned how to weep for the emarginated or for a street child who has a drug problem or for an abused child?
If you don’t learn how to cry, you cannot be a good Christian. This is a challenge. When they posed this question to us, why children suffer, why this or that tragedy occurs in life – our response must be either silence or a word that is born of our tears. Be courageous, don’t be afraid to cry.”
Through the entire week that I was indisposed nursing a cold and occasional cough before we said goodbye to Pope Francis, I read all his speeches from the time he visited Malacanang up to his interviews with the Papal delegation (mostly accredited media people) on his way back to the Vatican. Although I saw him deliver his speeches in English, in his native language which is Spanish and some in Latin and clearly translated by his official translator, Msgr. Mark Gerard Miles, I can’t help but go back and reread them again. There is something so heartwarming listening to him. His speech during the Encounter with the Youth at the University of Santo Tomas opened my eyes to a lot of things.
Sometimes what you can’t say in words is more understood through tears. Crying is not a show of weakness, it is rather more on how we are attuned with our feelings and our emotions. Crying sometimes gives us that perspective we don’t open see when our hearts are hardened by circumstances and events that we’d rather not face. Pope Francis was right in saying that “certain realities of life we only see through eyes cleansed by our tears.” When you are touched by these simple words, crying becomes a necessity and a natural outcome, it becomes your catharsis. You cry when you’re happy, you cry when you’re sad. I haven’t cried as much as when I saw Pope Francis on one of the windows of the Sri Lanka plane and the following days watching him touch the poor, kiss the little children, sway with the youth while they were singing the 1995 theme song during the World Youth day, wave to thousands of people lining up the streets, and smile at the millions of pilgrims who were in Luneta during his last mass.
Just to let you know, I am quite teary-eyed while writing this post because I remember those times that I cried buckets. I remember those times I felt so alone. I remember the times that I can’t seem to understand everything that was happening in my life. Sometimes, the cross is so hard to bear but you have to carry it with grace and a strong hope and faith that you can. One thing I am proud though, I never gave up.
Yes, it’s okay to cry!
Posted in Closer to God, Faith, Happiness, journeys, reflections, year-end blog, tagged Closer to God, journeys, life, reflections, silence speaks, thoughts, Welcome 2015 on December 30, 2014 | 10 Comments »
I know some of you would now be counting not days but a few more hours until the last leaf of the calendar changes to another year. We greet each other happy new year. We find ways to celebrate and welcome a new chapter in our lives. We are grateful for the year that is about to become history and welcome with open arms what 2015 will bring.
For those of you who regularly read my posts here, you may remember that I always greet and welcome another year in my life during my birthday and that is self-explanatory I guess. We count the years, comparing notes on what event touched us the most or what experience taught us the greatest lesson. We remember them sometimes with a pasted smile on our faces. Would that be what life is all about?
Being optimistic might mean a different thing from being happy. The journeys we take are sometimes so rocky that we think they are just long roads without end. Strength comes in the face of adversity. We will never know how strong we are until we face something life-changing, something we never thought would happen, something that would change our attitude towards life.
I am grateful for everything happening in my life. No matter how mundane and boring it may seem to some people and trite as it may sound, life is what you make it. Happiness does not come in pretty ribbons and gaily colored and wrapped packages. Happiness comes in simple things – love of family, friends, health, faith and a strong belief that there is Someone up there who will always guide and love you despite your inadequacies and frailty.
I am grateful for the things that happened in the past that hurt me so much but taught me how to cope and how to dream and believe. Sometimes, I am reduced to tears just knowing that I could be strong too and could survive all the upheavals thrown my way. It is the joy in knowing that the days ahead could be better than yesterday.
I look forward to 2015 with anticipation and look back with fondness to the days that I laughed and I cried and been blessed with so much happiness.
A BLESSED AND HAPPY 2015 TO ALL.
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” — Eleanor Roosevelt
Mornings are definitely getting colder. Officially, we’re now at the start of the Amihan season, dominated by trade winds which means cooler temperature. Hopefully, gone are the days of flash flood, thunderstorms and endless rain showers. On second thoughts, it is during the months of November and December that the Philippines experiences stronger typhoons when the southwest monsoon meets the northeast winds. I like this lovely season best of all, a clear sign that Christmas is near. Oh, I am not counting, I’m just excited about it all :)
Imagine yourself going to bed at an ungodly hour of 7pm and waking up at an even crazier time of 3am. I like it though, when you feel the palpable quiet all around, no motorcycles and motor cars to disturb the peace, just those silent moments of introspection and soul-searching. It’s an additional bonus to write a blog with an uninterrupted and faster internet connection.
Gosh, I’ll be turning 58 in ten days, a certified and indulgent “lola”. Life is good and I am grateful. When I think of the times I went through in the past I could not help but wonder how I was able to stay standing still. Those are my favorite words nowadays, standing still. Standing still amidst the vicissitudes of life, standing still amidst the trying times that you have no control of, standing still despite and in spite of every bend on the road that you encounter. I am grateful though for the endless blessings that God bestows on me and my family. Believe me, the trying times make one stronger and braver because they make you realize that you possess that inner strength and courage to face it all. I remember what Nissa told me yesterday about what Nate recently learned. I smile at the thought that my almost two-year old grandson is learning positive attitude at such a tender age. When you say “God is good“, he would answer in a clear voice with two hands raised, “all the time”.
A friend once told me that as you get older, you tend to reminisce about the good old days and the times that made you really, really smile. Isn’t that what life is all about? The past carries with it lessons that would help us in our present journey. I do remember. We ought to be growing wiser with age and welcoming getting older with grace.
Joy is shaped by simple pleasures.