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Archive for the ‘reflections’ Category


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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I remember an old friend who used to say, “The journey to life is an endless struggle on  perilous paths of treacherous stones and storms”. For one so young she surely looked at the world with open eyes and between the two of us, I was more of the dreamer than she was.  I had this penchant for collecting quotes from almost every book that comes into my hands,  filling up three full notebook of quotations my entire college life. She was really a big influence to me –  appreciating  good poetry, good books and  yes, quotes that somehow played a big chunk of what I called my “sentimental” moments. She was a friend, the big sister I never had.

“Live the dream”, she would  say. I do. I did. And I like to think that somehow, in between wakefulness and dreamland, life is  real. Why am I remembering?  Why the sudden recall?  Or is this one of those moments that makes  one wander far beyond, going far off to a place of childhood dreams?  I really don’t know. We used to walk and talk, and dream about big things that only the young would think of  and I suddenly pictured her smiling face, creating a sense of sudden longing. Memories sometimes have that power to make one lonely and alone.

I would have liked to share that I’ve through a phase in my life full of so much pain. But I can hear her voice saying,  “Life is never perfect”. And she would understand.  And I would tell her that I am brave enough to face it all.

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This is one of the best quotes I really like. I don’t know why I have this sudden desire to blog about mirrors and reflections.  What we are and what we  want to be are sometimes reflected in the way we see other people. There are times when we feel so attuned with people  we just met because we are entirely in sync with them. Our thoughts are on the same wavelength, so to speak.  Sometimes, that’s where friendship begins.

There are moments though that all we see of ourselves are what we believe we are but they are just reflections we borrow from other people. We tend to gravitate towards those who have the same interests and aspirations like we do. I don’t actually believe in the adage that opposites attract. It’s  rather, you see something in the person that you admire so it is easier to befriend him or her.  Deep within, you have something in common and the mere fact that you are also different in some ways makes  the encounter a little something to look forward to, it makes the encounter a little more interesting.

So what do you think is the best mirror where you can see yourself as you truly are? I think close friends fill that role in your life. They are our daily mirrors where the truth is reflected, the truth that we normally don’t recognize ourselves. Sometimes, we see a little crack at the edge but that’s part of the journey, it’s kind of dull when everything is smooth, we need to be reminded that life is a challenge that we need to face.

And let me end this blog with a lovely quote from Edith Wharton, “There are two ways to spread happiness; either be the light who shines or be the mirror who reflects it.”

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Who are you?

are you like the moon that

shines brightly now

then hides itself behind the clouds?

Or

Are you like the sea,

Violent sometimes

Yet, a haven to everyone?

What are you?

I could never understand

I dare not try to

I only know –

You are my shining star!

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Some people say they read because of its entertainment value. Some follow authors they found to their liking. Some read because they just love reading, traveling to unknown territories, going to new places, just discovering how life is on the other side.

Lately I encountered two books that make me think about life itself.  The first one is all about soul mates and life of second chances, the other one is a struggle of a teenager with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).  There was only one time I read about soul mates and reincarnation when I read a book by Jaime Licauco, a Filipino parapsychologist. ESP, creative thinking, clairvoyance, the whole lot of it. It was just a small book but a very fascinating  one. Do you believe in soul mates? I really don’t but sometimes things happen in our lives that we could not clearly explain. How come sometimes, we become close to a person we just met? How come no matter what we do, we could not get along well  with someone who is just there to be a friend? Soulmates they say are not only your life partners, they might have been your brothers or sisters in previous life or your parents.

I digress. Going back to the two books I’ve read, the second book is also  a fiction story about a Japanese teen with ALS. ALS is a progressive disease of the nervous system. It might be inherited or developed at a late stage in life.  A long time ago, I read about the disease when Mitch Albom published his book Tuesdays With Morrie, one of my favorite books of all time. It’s an inspirational true story about Morrie, Mitch’ professor for twenty years.

When we are faced with life’s  ugly realities, we tend to ignore them at times but they are those same challenges that make us strong. Experience teaches us to deal with them the best way we can. It is not really a question whether we are brave or not to face them, it is more of believing that we could face the battles. Faith is such a beautiful thing. We believe, we dream, we live.

 

 

 

 

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Alleluia, the Lord is risen.

Today is Easter Sunday.  We say in  Tagalog, “Maligayang Pasko ng Pagkabuhay”. It is not even about Easter eggs and bunnies ( the celebration has been too commercialized because of those).  It is about our Lord Jesus Christ rising from the dead. He paid for our sins by dying on the cross.   It only goes to show that the resurrection is a triumph,  life is more powerful than death.  Here’s to new life, new hope and new beginning for all of us.

We attended Easter Sunday mass early today. The church was full, we sat on plastic stools. Today is also the renewal of our baptismal promises. Whereas before   our godparents  uttered those words for us, today, we said the same words. We reject Satan and the lure of evil in  our lives. We believe in God, the father Almighty, we believe in  the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church. We believe in the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.

Easter Sunday is celebrated solemnly in every Catholic  Church. The Paschal candle is blessed and lit  throughout the Paschal season  and that is during Easter and on special occasions like baptisms.

Whereas before we abstained from eating meat every Friday during the Lenten season,  one could start again if one wants too.

Happy and blessed Easter to all. Have a nice week ahead.

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We are still observing Easter Triduum which began last evening and will end on the evening of Easter  Sunday. It is the summit of the Liturgical Year. Yesterday, Mom  and I attended the  Last Supper mass  at 5pm. Josef had work so he was not able to attend it with us. this morning though  we were early at the church for the fourteen stations of the cross, prayed the rosary afterwards then took a look at the Lenten procession going on.  The procession is a yearly ritual of our town every good Friday. It depicts the 15 mysteries of the  Holy Rosary.  Looking forward to Easter Sunday which we locally call Pasko ng Pagkabuhay. This afternoon, there will be reflections on the Seven Last  Words on local television. I always watch it which starts at exactly 1pm until 3pm. That’s the only regular program we get to watch during Good Friday. Most programs on this day are a repeat of previous ones. Even shopping malls are closed and some open at 12pm  on Black Saturday. It is really a quiet celebration of the Holy Week.

I get updated again with my reading some inspirational books. Those books that I get to read during Lent particularly during Holy Week.  It’s comforting to learn more about Jesus’ sufferings to redeem us from our sins. We are blessed that we have this yearly Lenten celebration to deepen our faith and say thanks for all the blessings we had throughout the year. Those times that we erred and sinned in the process, those times that we let injustices done to our friends and neighbors, those times that we just didn’t care at all – those are the times that we get to remember today and we repent. Our Lord has taken all the beatings  until he died on Good Friday to resurrect on the third day which we look forward to on Easter Sunday.

Have a blessed Paschal Triduum.

 

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I was a student librarian for almost three years when I was in college. I guess those were the best student days of my life.  My colleagues and I had the perfect opportunity to befriend everyone, mostly fellow students, some from my high days and college professors as well.  I was initially assigned at the Humanities Section of the Main Library in our university so you can guess that we had those Philosophy, Psychology,  Ethics, Literature and Fiction books.  It was there that I really learned to read a lot. It was followed up by a brief assignment at the Asian Section  where I learned to appreciate Asian history, literature, paintings from Asian countries and such. It was there I met Kahlil Gibran thru his books and until now I am still a fan. One of my favorite books of all time is The Prophet. Gibran is a Lebanese-American  artist and philosopher. The Prophet I think is his masterpiece and is a most loved book of all time. I digress, when I was at the Asian Section, I got so engrossed about the history of World War II, how Japan was bombed by the US which ended the war. It was a lovely place to be.

Why I love the quiet?

I was trained early in life to appreciate silence. Back in the library,we talk when students find books or they borrow one. We didn’t talk much with other students. They knew that they were there to appreciate the silence too and to study. Even now, I get to be alone a lot, time to reflect and to read, or time to assess what is happening around. I am not much into watching television except during news and hearings at the Senate floor.  I love what the silence and the quiet bring. I love to be alone most of the time. I love that I can program my household activities to the max.

What about you, do you love the quiet too?

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