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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’


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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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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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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Today is Ash Wednesday.

I unconsciously donned a red shirt early this morning to get ready for the early morning mass. When I switched on the TV, everyone in the morning show were wearing red. Oh gosh, I forgot. today is Valentine’s Day too. Haha, as  I don’t want to wear red, I have to change.  We don’t celebrate  the latter.

The church is full.  What a lovely homily reminding the faithful that Ash Wednesday begins the season of Lent, a season of fasting and prayer.  The ashes symbolize the dust from which God made us.  Ashes also symbolize grief, grief that we have sinned. The wearing of ashes on our forehead  is a sign of penance.

Seeing those fake roses, teddy bears galore and stems of single roses wrapped in cellophane and tied with a red ribbon, I just smiled.  Will they be able to sell all those in a day? I wonder. Just like the celebration of Christmas, Valentine’s Day has been much commercialized.

Let’s celebrate love every day, not just on hearts’ day.

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I was looking at the calendar earlier. Wow, Ash Wednesday falls on Valentine’s Day. How good is that for those who usually celebrate the latter event?  One next big thing that people celebrate here is Valentine’s Day. Dangwa (where  all kinds of fresh flowers can be found) makes a killing on or before Valentine’s day.  Even business establishments  dress their  malls in red hearts, flowers and red ribbons.  Restaurants and eating establishments follow suit. They prepare their own specialties. Even small eateries become busy. The V-day is just an ordinary day for me. We don’t observe it.

For us Catholics, we are required to fast and abstain during Ash Wednesday.  Ash Wednesday marks the start of the traditional season of Lent which is a  forty-day period that leads to Easter and has its roots in Jesus’ forty  days in the wilderness. It is a period of reflection, prayer and penance.  And did you know, Easter Sunday falls on April 1 which is also an observance of April Fool’s day for some.  We don’t also observe  April Fools’ day.

Easter Sunday can fall anywhere between  March 22 and April 25.  Easter is a movable feast.  It comes early this year.

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I had a grand time reading Christmas greetings from friends, family members who are far from us and those friends who have left the country and got in touch.

I do believe the Christmas season unites friends and families, people you haven’t seen for ages, people who don’t normally get in touch regularly. It makes friends out of enemies too.

Social media is inundated with greetings always with the thought that the celebration of Christmas is a merry one for all of us. First and foremost is to remember what the occasion is for. Parties, exchange  gifts, reunions and greetings are just trimmings to make the occasion truly happy.  Christmas is a celebration of life, God became man.  It also means love, family, laughter, joy. Going to mass together as a family is the ultimate  thing we can sincerely  offer  to God.  Christmas means giving not just material things you can buy from stores but giving your time to other people. Christmas is sharing love. Somehow, others don’t  feel the beauty of the celebration. We can celebrate the occasion even without those trappings that come from commercial establishments.  We can celebrate Christmas quietly in our hearts.

The occasion though would not be the same without food on the table no matter how simple it is. We share, we reminisce too and we make new memories.  I spent the morning looking at pictures of my friends and relatives on Facebook.The happy faces, the festive atmosphere captured in several photographs. The food galore stands out. The surprised look of kids who got what they wished for and those who believed that Santa heard their prayers and read their letters.  My three brothers and I grew up not really believing in Santa Claus. We knew that Mom and Dad bought those gifts  we had before.  I asked Nate if he was aware of Santa and he answered with “ho, ho, ho”, but I don’t have stockings Nonna. I’ll stay awake on Christmas Eve.”   Haha, I wonder if he did.

I set aside reading for a while, well, probably until the  new year. Greeting the new year is always a happy occasion too sans the noise.

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Hello friends!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Contrary to what some believe that Christmas is over, December 25 is just the beginning of the twelve days of  Christmas which will end on January 5.  It is also known as the Twelvetide, a festive season that celebrates the Nativity of Jesus. Remember the song, Twelve Days of Christmas? It is an English Christmas carol which is thought to be French in origin.

Accordingly, each element of the song  is a code word for religious truth.  I found these on the web this morning.

1. The partridge in a pear tree is Jesus.
2. The two turtledoves are the Old and New Testaments.
3. Three French hens stand for faith, hope and love.
4. The four calling birds are the four Gospels.
5. The five gold rings recall the Hebrew Torah (Law), or the Pentateuch, the first five books of the Old Testament.
6. The six geese a-laying stand for the six days of creation.
7. The seven swans a-swimming represent the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit.
8. The eight maids a-milking are the eight Beatitudes.
9. Nine ladies dancing are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit.
10. The ten lords a-leaping are the Ten Commandments.
11. Eleven pipers piping represent the eleven faithful Apostles.
12. Twelve drummers drumming symbolize the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed.

The song speaks of our Christian faith. ““The Twelve Days of Christmas,” was written as a kind of secret catechism that could be sung in public without fear of arrest – a learning or memory aid to Christians in fact. Each verse refers to a teaching of church doctrine — with the partridge being Christ who died on a tree and the “True Love” being God the Father, who gave us all gifts. The twelve days of Christmas are the twelve days between Christmas Day, Dec. 25th, the birth of Jesus, and the Epiphany, Jan. 6th, the day Christians celebrate the arrival of the Magi (Wise Men) and the revelation of Christ as the light of the world.”

Looking forward to 2018. How was your Christmas celebration?

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