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Archive for the ‘reflections’ Category


I just updated our Catholic page at Facebook when I came home from the 6:30 am mass in our Parish. I was thrilled to see these readings right on Nissa’s birthday come September 28. First reading is Ecclesiastes 3: 1-11.

1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:2a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;3a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;5a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;6a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;7a time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.9What gain has the worker from his toil?10I have seen the business that God has given to the sons of men to be busy with.11He has made everything beautiful in its time; also he has put eternity into man’s mind, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

I always love the Ecclesiastes readings. It tells us about how life is, how we go on with it and how we should face all those adversities and challenges that go our way. Life is not perfect, we all know that but there is always time for everything. There is always time to enjoy life, time to laugh and time to cry.

Last night, I finished the last page of the book Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise  Gornall, a first-timer on my list of books.

One thing that first attracted me to it is not the summary but the photo cover. I haven’t read a YA book for so many months now, then came this. I love it.

Can you imagine yourself being afraid of public places and so particular about cleanliness and hygiene that your life is not  normal?

The book focuses on anxiety disorder, OCD and agoraphobia. They are mental health issues that none of us know about. Self inflicted wounds find its place in a teenager’s life. How could one empathize with a sickness that  you can’t see?

This is the first time I’ve read about agoraphobia.  I remember  a daughter of our neighbor who is bipolar. She has been in and out of the hospital some years ago. There were times when we just hear loud shouts from her. When she is in a good mood, you can talk to her about anything under the sun.

This book is not for everyone . I was curious what goes in someone’s mind if he or she has anxiety disorder. How does the family cope  with it? How do you deal with someone with OCD?

 

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No moment in our lives could pass

without affecting us in one way or another

somehow, there is always

a special place remembered

a smile

a hand clasp

a simple meeting of the eyes

all stored in the treasure chest of our memories.

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The last week since Palm Sunday, I’ve blogged about our Lenten journey. I enjoyed  watching  the Lenten programs on TV and attending mass at the nearby churches.

Today is the culmination of it all, it’s the day of Jesus’ Resurrection.   Jesus paid  a ransom to save us.  He redeemed us from our own worthlessness.  I think of life and the pains it makes us endure. We are resilient amidst  problems, we are strong amidst failures. No one is worthless in His eyes.

The past years were full of seemingly insurmountable happenings  but the belief and faith that all will be well in the end  are at the forefront of my prayers.  Prayers bring me joy when I feel so down. Prayers bring me hope when I feel hopeless. Prayer is a silent conversation with God.  There are times when I can’t sleep at night  and I pray the rosary. It is a shield from those negative thoughts that arise once in a while.  It calms me  and I get sleepy clutching the rosary beads in my hands.

Since I was given a second chance at life, I’ve become more grateful  with even the smallest blessing.  Even a smile from strangers is a blessing too.  I always love that part of the mass when we greet each other with  the words “Peace be with you.”  I remember one time I was besides this girl in one of the masses I attended. She shyly smiled at me when she said “Peace be with you.”  She might not know the significance of the greeting but it was a touching gesture from a child.

Do you believe in chance encounters?  Many, many years ago, a nun friend suggested this book to me called Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield. It was one of those books that I bought with closed eyes because it was very expensive.  There  were quotes there that I wrote  in my small notebook.

“It says that whenever people cross our paths, there is always a message for us. Chance encounters do not exist. But how we respond to these encounters determines whether we’re able to receive the message. If we have a conversation with someone who crosses our path and we do not see a message pertaining to our current questions, it does not mean there was no message. It only means we missed it for some reason.” 

So even that smile and the simple meeting of the eyes have meanings.  Life in all its broken dreams is still beautiful.

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February is the most romantic month of the year, setting aside of course the month of June where so many take the plunge and get married.  What do you think, is it just because we celebrate Valentine’s day in the middle of February?  Or is it because, every one of us hasn’t lost that streak of romance and still feel so much “kilig” when we see people making a big deal of celebrating Valentine’s day?  Here in our country, there’s that palpable feeling of joy when February comes. Malls get into the bandwagon by offering and luring people to buy expensive items to give their loved ones, restaurants and eateries do their thing as well with well-thought of package of a meal that would make you swoon to high heavens.  Not enough, what about those florist shops that make a killing over some craftily arranged bouquet of flowers, roses particularly, whose price jack up at least three or four times because they sure know that there are lots of customers around this time of the year? Hotels  won’t be  left behind either, they have special packages for couple complete with  long-stemmed roses, breakfast in bed and what-have-you.  All these are mere manifestations of love, romantic love that is!

Love is a universal thing.  We cannot exist without love, we need it to nurture every aspect of our lives.  Have you ever seen a mother gazing at her new-born child with awe and wonder?  That’s love! Have you ever experienced that  sense of belonging in a place that you have just visited or seen and you have that silly grin on your face because you were just happy? That’s God whispering to your ears to listen to the sound of the  sea gently lapping at the rocks on the shore. That’s God whispering to your ears to feel the soft touch of the wind on your face.  That’s God whispering to your ears to simply be quiet and let the music of a singing bird penetrate deep inside your heart.  That’s God whispering to your ears to simply look around you and see those beautiful  blooms on the wayside.  God is always behind every breath we take. God’s love is immeasurable, it’s just that sometimes, we are blinded by worldly things and  forget to appreciate God’s whispers.

Every time I read this quote from  Henry Van Dyke, I am  always reminded of how beautiful love is.

Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice,
but for those who love,
time is eternity….

And Victor Hugo affirms it further by saying,

The greatest happiness of life is the conviction
that we are loved – loved for ourselves, or rather,
loved in spite of ourselves.

We are never alone when we trust in God, let go and let Him take charge of our life. God has poured out His love into our hearts. (Romans 5:5)

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That’s actually a title of a song from way, way back. We used to sing it at church.

We always say, time is gold, time is precious. time is a gift.

How do you spend your time? Sometimes, we believe there is enough time for everything and we ignore, we procrastinate, we waste it.

When I got sick almost nine years ago, I thought so much of how I will spend my time productively after my treatments.  I used to think that time is really too short for me to do the things I  want to do. It was a bit stressful  just thinking about it.  At the lowest point in my life, I asked myself if I will be able to see my kids have their own  families.  Now we are blessed with Nate.  God is good.

There are moments when time makes slaves of us. Time  spent in the office is longer than the time we spend  at home. My former boss at the bank  used to say that when she leaves the house, she would remind her ailing mother to eat breakfast  and when she goes home she just asks  if her mom has eaten dinner. That  was her routine for so many years and when her mother died, she realized the importance of time with her family. She realized that nothing can compare to the presence of someone important in one’s life.

As we grow older, we relish the days, the free time that we have. I am happy just reading now (after the daily chores of course), I am happy puttering  in the garden, uprooting weeds and trimming the grass.  I  am  happy feeling the  morning sun on my face, playing with our cats and dog and catching up on the daily news on radio or watching some nice programs on television.

We all make time for what is important in our lives.

“How did it get so late so soon?”  – Dr. Seuss

 

 

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“When the winds of change blow, you sense the outcome ahead of others, having seen so much before. Surprises come in smaller forms to you, as in the unexpected experiences of the senses, deepening your appreciation of the physical. You want life to last so you can explore your mature understanding of existence. You have become patient with the younger souls, understanding their paths and of the challenges they face. You forgive much, often acting as mentor without pushing your beliefs upon others. You give without great expectations of receiving. Love has become the most valued concept in your universe – this life may be your quest to perfect your ability to express and receive perfect love. Thoughts of dying do not fill you with dread, as you understand death is a part of life, and life is a process of becoming… so death is a graduation, not an end. At rest, you feel at one with the universe and are grateful for your current home, Earth. You have a heartfelt affinity for history – the connections to various periods throughout time are undeniable. Very old souls are adept at recognizing other old souls… mutual respect forms naturally between them”.

I wonder how true is this. In some instances I do agree. 

Took this quiz at FB, some days back. It was saved on my notes. I love history and I love to read historical books.  I sometimes dream of  places in my childhood . Soulmates ?  Yes, I  think  so too. Who knows, our  family members and close friends might have been close to us in earlier life.  And death certainly is, and should not be something to be afraid of.

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