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Posts Tagged ‘Closer to God’


It’s a wet and cold morning and it’s been raining on and off since the start of the weekend.  Hanging habagat  (southwest monsoon) is definitely here. It was a busy weekend though. It’s a good thing we were able to finish some gardening chores early.

When you are forced to stay at home because of the weather, you either keep busy or you relax to your heart’s content.  I did both…haha! Aside from gardening, I was able to find time to read two books over the weekend and to watch two movies on YouTube.  Yes, you heard it right.  For the first time in so many years, I caught myself finding some inspirational movies that would lift the soul and strengthen faith. The Song of Bernadette did just that. I could not remember the last time I watched this movie. I found a version in Blu-Ray. The Song of Bernadette is a 1943 drama film that tells the story of Bernadette Soubirous, a young visionary of Lourdes  who later became a saint. From February to July 1858 in Lourdes, France, she  reported eighteen visions of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This  film is based on the true story of Bernadette Soubirous, and adapted from the book written by  Franz Werfel.  What a lovely, lovely way to spend two hours straight infront of my computer and see this film.

Lately, I was lucky enough to find more books on faith and redemption and how beautiful life could be  despite the treacherous journey  and the unfaithfulness of mankind.  Alicia Ruggieri  is new on my list  of authors  and I like her writing style. She writes grace-filled and Christ-centered fiction. If you have time, try to read her A Time of Grace trilogy. The first book made me really cry and think of life, it’s beauty and its angst. The Fragrance  of Geraniums is such a beautiful book.  I am in the middle of reading the second one entitled All Our Empty Places  which picks up the story where it left off in the first one. I wonder if I’ll be able to find the third and the concluding book in the trilogy. I am not really into trilogies but this one is worth it. There are those stories that make you feel they’re real and you get into them like you would a story of a friend or yours, you feel the sadness, the triumphs and the pain. You feel that hope is not a dead thing but a journey that makes you look forward to another day.

A friend  suggested another writer and poet. The blog is truly inspiring. I searched the link. You may visit it here.

It’s raining still  and I am caught with these words, we are all special in God’s eyes.  God’s grace overflows.

 

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WOW!

If there is a rating more than five stars, I’ll give this book a six. It’s one of the best books I’ve read to date, my 70th out of the 100 books I challenged myself to finish for  Goodread’s 2016 Reading Challenge. I am afraid my review would not be enough to describe the beauty of this book, how well-written it is so I won’t even attempt to write one. Suffice to say, this book is beautiful, inspiring, awesome…..beautiful, inspiring, awesome. Truly a masterpiece. Lisa Wingate is a gifted writer.

prayerbox-standingcover I didn’t know I was on the last page when I read these lines.

“None can contain the magnificence of a wave kissing sand or the perfect spiral of a shell drying translucent in the sun or the fire of morning over endless water.

Or the beauty of a hummingbird as it hovers just an arm’s length away, mysteriously out of season on the day before Thanksgiving, it’s wings stroking air,rapid, invisible, powerful. Frozen in time for only an instant.

And then it flies away, growing smaller and smaller against the blue of an endless sky. Until finally it disappears into heaven.”

There are so many lovely quotes that I found in this book that  I copied  to my journal.  The prayer box reminds me of another blog post I wrote exactly a year ago. My  thought box is a discarded chocolate tin which contains  square  scratch papers of different size and color (filled with words, quotes, single lines, messages and reminders) which I have to sort out again  whereas the prayer box is a treasure trove of  inspiring words and letters religiously documented over the years.

When a book touches  you where it matters the most, it is certainly a winner.

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canvas

I’ve always been in awe of candle light photography. I remember those photos I took of lighted candles at the St. Padre Pio Chapel near our place.

Watching the flickering flames somehow brings that inner peace in one’s soul, the quiet of the moment, fervent prayers uttered, the beauty of the Now.

A niece who is vacationing in France sent me some photos of the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Paris and these is one of them. She knows that I love subjects like this and she told me, “I took those photos for you auntie”.  She hasn’t shared it on other social media sites, she said I could use them any way I want, be it on my blog or as personal collection.  Thank you Annabelle.

I am imagining myself right there at this moment, reflecting about life, its beauty and its angst while watching the flames sway and dance.

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Thank you!

The day would have been incomplete without this.

Today, I am celebrating my 7th year in remission. THANK YOU LORD for the gift of life. Thank you for all the blessings.Thank you for the gifts of family and friends who were with me throughout this journey.

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It’s one of those Sundays that we spent just hearing mass,  having a simple meal afterwards  and a bit of shopping on the side and going home tired  but happy. I seldom go out but Josef agreed to accompany me to travel to Quezon City to get my “pasalubong”  which Lovell left at Sto. Domingo Convent a few days ago. A perfect time to visit the Shrine of the Most Holy Rosary of La Naval. The last time I was here was during  Lovell’s ordination as a priest back in 2012.  Time flies, it’s been a while.

Precious gifts from the Holy Land

Since I collect key rings, these two from the Holy Land are certainly lovely additions to my collection.  This is the second rosary that Lovell gave me, the first one was from the Vatican.

How was your Sunday? I hope it was a blessed and a happy one too!

 

 

 

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Left the house very early this morning  for the Via Crucis at our local church.  Josef has work (the American  company does not observe Holy Week but here in our country, it’s a long four-day weekend) so it was just a two-hour visit, a yearly devotion of prayers and reflections  on the Way of the Cross. There was a time when we used to visit several churches every Holy Thursday going as far  as the surrounding towns in Laguna and the eastern loop of Rizal towns followed by the Last Supper mass.  Just finished watching Siete Palabras (Seven Last Words) at Santo Domingo Church where my co-admin, Fr. Louie was one of the preachers. Our Catholic page, Apostles Filipino Catholic Community is on its 6th year this coming April. Sometimes I can’t believe that I have lasted this long at the site to help with our online apostolate. It’s a promise to myself that as long as I can, I would help.

Yesterday, I had a long chat with my priest son, Fr. Lovell. He had fever for four days and ended up being admitted at the hospital.  What a way to celebrate Holy Week.  I prayed hard that he will get well soon.  There are times when he would preside on masses in pilgrimage churches and he would always text me and ask  about my prayer petitions. The answer  is always the same, “good health for the family”.

I always believe in the power of prayers.  I always believe that God answers  prayers in His time.  I am lost without prayers, my intimate and personal conversations with God.  Back when I was undergoing chemotherapy, I always prayed that if I get well, He would bring me back to my normal health so I could take care of my family longer. Answered prayers are special gifts that gladden the heart and uplift the soul.

A close friend had this link posted on her wall, Pins of Light by Fr. J. I made my online retreat there two days ago. It was a beautiful and lovely journey. Every year, they post  something you can reflect on, you can visit it regularly though  because there are several blog posts worth-reading.

May your celebration of Good Friday be as solemn and meaningful as the rest of the week. I am looking forward to Easter Sunday.

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Holy Thursday 2016

If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  – Matthew 16:24

Paschal Triduum, or The Three Days – the final three days of  Lent and Holy Week.  It begins with the liturgy on the evening of Maundy Thursday, the vigil of Good Friday and ends with  the evening prayer on Easter Sunday.

A blessed Holy Thursday to all.

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