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Posts Tagged ‘Closer to God’


Believe it, it’s Sunday again and it’s like it was only yesterday when Nate and I were busy being crazy together.

Do you believe that faith is a choice?

Early this morning, the homily was about faith and choices. There is this story of a man traveling in a secluded place when he lost the brakes of his car. He catapulted to a ravine and the car went down the ridge with him hanging in a tree branch. It was dark and he could not see anything.  He prayed that his life be spared because he was not ready to die. He shouted for help but nobody came.  He noticed that he was being shackled by his shirt which was hanging from the tree. He prayed again fervently that someone helps him in his predicament. Then he heard a voice that said, “Jump and I will catch you.” But out of fear, he stayed and didn’t. The following day, some people found him hanging still, lifeless.  They looked at the road down, it was only a meter from where the man was. Because of fear, he died. Just imagine if he jumped, there was a possibility that he was saved.

Most of the time in our lives, we have to make choices. They may not be the best,  or it may not be the best choice we had to make but we believe in it.

Faith.

Never lose that faith.  Never lose that belief that somehow that One up there would never forsake us. Do not waver in your faith.  I remember a book I read before of Mitch Albom called Have A Little Faith. This book taught me so many things.  Our journeys in life are not always that smooth. We keep on believing that it would be one long ride of faith and courage.

Have a blessed week ahead.

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Nate was here yesterday and we had the whole day playing together and laughing out loud.  Being crazy with Nate was  a priceless bonding together.  Today is Father’s Day.  Greetings to all my thoughtful  and loving  daddy friends here on WordPress.

We’re back to making bead works and rosaries. Josef bought additional materials last week. There was a time when my days were consumed by rosary making. I give the rosaries to friends who come over for a visit.  I like working on Swarovski crystals, Hematite beads and fake pearls.  I’d like to try something using Tiger’s Eye. Love the shade of golden-yellow and deep red.  Tiger’s Eye is a very protective stone.

I  collect rosaries too, mostly gift from friends from abroad. I have Rose rosaries from Italy and Siena, rosaries from the Vatican and   one from Israel. Some are locally made.  I found a lovely bracelet which Nissa made when she was still with us a few years ago.  It would be nice to pair it with my rosary bracelet which comes with me everywhere I go. It is nice to be able to pray the rosary while waiting, in traffic and in a doctor’s office.

Do you like working on beads? Are you fond of it?

 

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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 have previously blogged about our Lenten celebrations in so many posts before. Today, Palm Sunday, is the start of the celebration of Holy Week. It ends on Saturday, April 15 then Easter starts with Easter Sunday next week.

We attended an anticipated mass last night.  The palms we brought were blessed thrice. Most of the time we attend such masses the night before during Palm Sunday. There usually is a Palm Sunday procession in the morning. Palm fronds  are blessed. It signifies the triumphal entry of our Lord  into Jerusalem.  Holy Week is a solemn celebration for us Catholics. We remember Christ’s passion and  death for our sins.

Thank You Lord for these silent moments.

Quiet days in contemplation, quiet days of  reading  inspirational books I have collected through the years. I love the works of Thomas Merton, a Catholic writer, theologian and a mystic. He was also a  poet and a Trappist monk of the Abbey of Gethsemani.  Back in college, I encountered  his works particularly his book, The Seven Storey Mountain. It’s a timeless spiritual book that influences  probably millions of  Catholic readers worldwide. My favorite though is a thin copy of  Thoughts in Solitude  given by a friend a few years ago. I always read it now and then.  I have some favorite quotes from the book:

“My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.”

“Words stand between silence and silence: between the silence of things and the silence of our own being. Between the silence of the world and the silence of God. When we have really met and known the world in silence, words do not separate us from the world nor from other men, nor from God, nor from ourselves because we no longer trust entirely in language to contain reality.”

Henri Nouwen’s books come next.  He was a Dutch Catholic priest, writer and Theologian. I have three of his books which I also read when I am inspired. I bought them a while back at St. Paul’s.  I am quoting this lovely prayer for Lent which he wrote in A Cry for Mercy.

“How often have I lived through these weeks without paying much attention to penance, fasting, and prayer? How often have I missed the spiritual fruits of the season without even being aware of it? But how can I ever really celebrate Easter without observing Lent? How can I rejoice fully in your Resurrection when I have avoided participating in your death? Yes, Lord, I have to die—with you, through you, and in you—and thus become ready to recognize you when you appear to me in your Resurrection. There is so much in me that needs to die: false attachments, greed and anger, impatience and stinginess…. I see clearly now how little I have died with you, really gone your way and been faithful to it. O Lord, make this Lenten season different from the other ones. Let me find you again. Amen”

How lovely it is to encounter such gifted writers. How lovely it is to read their  inspirational works again.

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For the past several years, we spent Holy Thursday in several churches for our annual  Visita Iglesia. It is always a joy to discover new sites and churches to visit. One of my favorite destinations is the eastern loop comprising Rizal towns and some towns in Laguna.

Rizal is  a picturesque province with so many other nice views, scenery and tourist attractions to visit. Laguna has preserved its old churches which go as far back as  1800. The plains of Mabitac town are so green you would think it is not summer in the area.

Discovering new places, spending time in prayers, what a joy! The vivid green of the countryside is an attraction in itself. I’d like to go back here and visit these places again.

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This morning I received another copy of the cute Irish Blessings book that I lost back in 2009 from the same friend who gave me the first one.  He sent it via a courier.

And these are just some of them, wishes and prayers that bring a smile when I read them.

May the good saints protect you

And bless you today

And may trouble ignore you

Each step of the way.

May your troubles be less

And your blessings be more

And nothing but happiness

Come through your door.

With the first light of sun –

Bless you

When the long day is done –

Bless you

In your smiles and your tears –

Bless you

Through each day of your years –

Bless you.

 Blessings to each one of you who read this.

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