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Posts Tagged ‘Closer to God’


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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Josef and I had our Visita Iglesia early this morning at our parish, St. Francis of Assisi.  He left the house around 10 am because they have work today although the time was adjusted from 8am to 11am. Watched the Seven Last Words  (Siete Palabras) reflections held at Sto. Domingo Church with seven Dominican priests as speakers and sharers.

Listening to some Catholic songs of praise which we usually sing in Church.  Those touching verses from the Bible and inspirational lyrics always makes me think about life, my Catholic life. I am always in awe every time I hear and listen to these inspiring words. I copied one. from YouTube. (Thank you).

Mercy, peace and love to you all.

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Just finished watching the Chrism Mass held at the Manila Cathedral – Basilica of the Immaculate Conception officiated by Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, Archbishop of Manila. There are only two masses which are held today, the Chrism mass and the mass of the Lord’s Supper or Washing of the Feet. Chrism mass is always celebrated in the morning of Holy  Thursday where the priests renew their vows and  “the Mass takes its name from the blessing of the holy oils used in the sacraments throughout the year, which are then given to priests to take back to their parishes. The Rite of Reception of the Oils by representatives of the diocesan parishes is a sign of each parish’s unity with the Bishop and the diocesan Church.” 

The Last Supper mass is usually celebrated around four o’clock in the afternoon, the last mass until the Easter Vigil  celebration.

What a beautiful and inspiring homily. He touched on Evangelization, his many experiences with the laity as a Cardinal and fake news being proliferated by those  who do nothing but confuse the people and believe in their lies.  After the mass, they gave plaques of recognition to those priests of the Archdiocese who reached their 25th 50th and 60th  years in service of the Church and the Filipino people.

I found this lovely prayer for priests, a prayer by St. Therese of the Child Jesus.

O Jesus, I pray for your faithful and fervent priests;
for your unfaithful and tepid priests;
for your priests laboring at home or abroad in distant mission fields;
for your tempted priests;
for your lonely and desolate priests;
for your young priests;
for your dying priests;
for the souls of your priests in purgatory.

But above all, I recommend to you the priests dearest to me:
the priest who baptized me;
the priests who absolved me from my sins;
the priests at whose Masses I assisted and who gave me your Body and Blood in Holy Communion;
the priests who taught and instructed me;
all the priests to whom I am indebted in any other way (especially …).

O Jesus, keep them all close to your heart,
and bless them abundantly in time and in eternity.

Amen.

 

 

(photo from Google)

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We are in the middle of celebrating Holy Week. Holy Thursday and Good Friday are official holidays here in our country to give  way for our “kababayans” to celebrate the season.

I made this meme a couple of years ago but wasn’t able to post it here.  Remembering the sacrifices God me to redeem us.

That was one of the last Gardenia blooms I had in the garden.  Why is it that you truly and really miss something when it’s gone?

I did a bit of grocery very early this morning.  Most establishments are closed until Saturday.  Even  regular TV programs are not aired until  Sunday. This is also the perfect time to catch up on  watching religious films and programs aside of course from visiting the Church for the Lenten activities this Holy Week. Last night, I  watched Via Crucis  (the Way of the Cross). I loved the reflections, prayers and Gospel readings shared by several priests of the Society of St. Paul.

A blessed Holy Wednesday to all.

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I know some of you will say, “oops, it’s Monday again”.  Rise and shine people.

Been focused lately reading my TBR. Oh yes, so excited to tell you this. I found another wonderful author. You can find Charles Martin here. His genre is literature  and fiction.  He is a  Christian author by the way and he writes with deeply memorable and unforgettable characters in his books. I’ve read two so far and I want to read more. Hope I could find more of his books. Wrapped in Rain and  Long Way Gone are so very well-written. They’re the  kind of stories  that you won’t forget, you’ll laugh, cry and rejoice with his characters. I have another one entitled  Unwritten.   And he blogs too, wow! Just wow 🙂

Visit his site and you’ll be amazed how he respond to his readers even those who  are critical of his being a Christian writer.  I like that kind of writing though,  when you enjoy a story and  at the same time, you are reminded that you are a sinner and everyone has flaws. This is not a perfect life  but warts and all, you are still loved. And I’m inspired.

I jotted down some quotes as usual. I hope you like them.

“A song is a light we shine on others, not a light we shine on us.”

“Where does a man find healing amid so many broken places? How does he find love in the ruins and vine-wrapped shattered pieces of his own soul?”

“We’re all fallen people in a fallen world.

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

I like this one best;

“If your knuckles are bloodier than your knees,then you’re fighting the wrong battle.” 

It speaks about prayers. Praying on one’s knees, asking God for forgiveness, thanking Him for all the blessings.

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Palm  Sunday.

We just attended an anticipated mass for Palm  Sunday. We normally don’t hear mass on Saturday nights but Palm Sunday  has become  an exception. Churches are usually full during Palm  Sunday. Having a good seat  while listening and participating through a Sunday mass is always a must for me.

 

We bought two bundles of palm fronds for blessing. There was a short procession from the entrance of the church up to the altar while the priest blessed the palms.  Palm  Sunday  is the beginning of Holy  Week  where we celebrate Our Lord’s triumphant entrance into Jerusalem. It ends before Easter Sunday.

I miss Visita Iglesia. We usually visit at least seven churches for the fourteen Stations of the Cross but since Josef  started working at an American bank  where Holy Thursday and Good Friday are not Holy Days of Obligation, we just confine ourselves to our Parish.

I want to share this lovely  Palm Sunday prayer  with you all, (from ibelieve.com).

Dear God,

Thank You for sending Your Son and paving the way for our lives to be set free through Jesus’ death on the cross. Thank You for what this day stands for – the beginning of Holy Week, the start of the journey towards the power of the cross, the victory of the Resurrection, and the rich truth that Jesus truly is our King of Kings.

“Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord…”

We give You praise and honor for Your ways are righteous and true. We give You worship for You are holy and just. We will declare that Your love stands firm forever. For Your loving kindness endures forever.

Thank You that Your ways are far greater than our ways, Your thoughts far deeper than our thoughts. Thank You that You had a plan to redeem. Thank You that You make all things new. Thank You that Your face is towards the righteous, and You hear our prayers, and know our hearts. Help us to stay strong and true to you. Help us not to follow after the voice of the crowds, but to press in close to You, to hear Your whispers, and seek after You alone.

We praise You, we bless You Lord! Thank You that You reign supreme and we are more than conquerors through the gift of Christ!

In the Mighty Name of Jesus,

Amen.

 

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Four years ago, I wrote   a blog post on my birthday, just being thankful for everyday blessings.  For the past several months it always shows up in my Most Read Blogs/Top Posts. It is quite  surprising since  those  were just simple words of thanks for blessing me with life, health, friends and family.

It actually  reminds me of the book I a reading at the moment, The Kindness of Strangers.  

Being grateful and being thankful.

Sometimes in the midst of joys and happiness in our lives we forget to utter those words of thanks to our Saviour.  We take for granted that these days and moments of happiness are God-given.  We get lost in the euphoria.  Every day that we are alive, we should not forget to be grateful.

My priest son always asks  me every time he says mass in other churches what my petitions are and I always answer,  “just good health”. When you are healthy, alive and kicking, everything falls into place. No amount of money could ever match good health in the family.  When you have experienced  life-changing  moments in your life, you are thankful for everyday blessings.  I’ll be on my 9th year in remission come July. That alone is a wonderful blessing in my life.

 

 

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