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Posts Tagged ‘Faith’


I was having my own reflections while watching the sharers of  The Seven Last Words. A long time ago, during one of the  retreats I attended, our guest speaker asked what was our favorite passage in the Bible and this came to mind.

It sums up everything that Christ did for mankind. He died so we may live.

Last Friday, lots of thoughts played in my head. The times when I had problems with my health, the times when everything was not okay, the sacrifices we have to endure with the family not complete, the things we dreamed of but not fulfilled. Everything seemed to be all complaints  with no sense of gratitude. When you are at that point that everything seems to be topsy turvy, sometimes you can’t even think of the good things coming your way. You seem so focused on the problems and not how to go about it until one day you wake up and say “problems are not really bigger than our lives”. You wake up to the fact that they are part and parcel of our lives.

Gosh I thought, I was just dizzy. The table was shaking and so was my monitor. There was a strong earthquake a few minutes ago while I was writing the first paragraph. I was so afraid, I have just Oreo in the house with me and he is pleasantly asleep in the comfort room. My monitor was shaking. God please protect us from such calamities. 

I lost my train of thought. Nissa just called me up asking how I am and how strong it was here. So many comments on FB. So it was 5.9 here in Luzon and  Metro Manila. 6.3 in Pampanga. Oh my.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will take care  about itself.  Each day has enough  trouble of its  own”. -Matthew 6:34
I love this passage too. Sometimes we worry too much to the point that our health is affected. We must learn to let go at let God.
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Just watched The Seven Last Words from 12 pm until 3 pm on television.

Ang Huling Pitong Wika.

It’s Jesus’ last seven expressions on the cross as recorded in the Scriptures. I watched the SVD presentation this time with seven SVD priests reflecting on the Seven Last Words and also seven sharers  who made me cried some, laughed a little and reflected on their shared reflections.

I was particularly touched by the woman who shared her life, abused as a child and further abused by her stepfather growing up. Her wrists are full of marks brought by suicidal tendencies.  She thought of ending her life several times but eventually found her way back to the Lord. There was this priest from the Discalced Carmelite Order who was bullied as a child and while growing up.  He has club foot and find it hard to walk but he persevered to become a priest. Another one is a cancer survivor who bore a premature child while having treatments.  Her husband and little girl were  there while she was sharing her journey. Another became a chef even without both hands. Then Fr. Orbos, an SVD priest shared about his accident two years ago. He thought he died and it was thru his accident that his doctors found it that he had stage 2 lung cancer. He is a survivor like I am.

I often watch  Fr. Jerry Orbos when he celebrates mass on tv. Our journeys in life  are different from the journeys of other people. We may take different roads but the destination is the same, our paths take us to God. With Him nothing is impossible. Fr. Jerry emphasized just to let go and let God always.

What a meaningful and inspiring program. Every year I get to watch each episode, different stories, lovely sharing.

A blessed Good Friday to all.

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Holy Wednesday ended up with a visit from our neighbor who is a good friend. We had a lovely and enriching sharing. She gave me a jar of pickled papaya.  Yum!

Last night I also watched the Sambuhay TV Mass Holy Recollection 2019  with Fr. Pao Asprer who is also a friend at FB.  Sambuhay is sponsored by the  Society of St. Paul. Learned a lot about faith, temptations and prayers. It was a very meaningful and inspiring Recollection. Fr. Pao is that good, a young priest who was ordained four years ago. I jotted some points which he discussed.

  • Proximity to power is power in itself
  • True prayer is listening.
  • If you know yourself, that’s a sign of true wisdom.
  • In the face of temptation, we’ll know ourselves better.

He touched on some quotes by Thomas Merton and I am glad I am reading one of his books at the moment.  The Seven Storey Mountain is a 467 pages book  with so fine prints.  I don’t read it at night because the prints are so small. Good luck to my eyes. It’s not that kind of reading that you have to finish in one go. There are so many words that you can reflect on.  This book has been on my wish list for quite a while. Maybe Grace (my friend from Canada) saw it on Goodreads so she gave me a copy.

By the way, Grace posted  the photos they took when she and her husband were here for a while last month.  She was the one who gave me a copy of the book. I grabbed this from the album she just posted, the two of us together at the lobby of Richmonde Hotel in Pasig City.

We’re getting old, imagine more than four decades of friendship. and I’ve always said that  “when friends meet, hearts warm”.

 

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I promised myself I won’t start the week in front of my PC and I didn’t. Know what? Our service provider Globe did it for me. We didn’t have internet connection yesterday. It was quiet around the house with only the radio on playing some old songs.

Today is Holy Tuesday. Most shows on television are about the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The best times to watch and reflect. Holy Week is that time of the year where we need more of these – reflections and spiritual readings.

I started on The First Phone Call From Heaven.  I guess this is not one of the best books by Mitch Albom. Except for his two latest books, I read all starting from Tuesdays With Morrie which I like the best. Like the rest of his books, this is an inspirational one. A glimpse of how we perceive what life is like in Heaven.

Gotta start The Seven Storey Mountain in a while, a book by Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk. Accordingly, is one of the most influential religious works of the twentieth century. I encountered his works the first time when I was in college working as a student librarian at  the Humanities Section of the UST Library.  And this book used to be on my wish list but a friend gave me a copy when she went home for vacation a month ago. I completed posting the whole Bible readings for the month of April  at our Catholic page on Facebook.

It’s a nice start for the Holy Week. Holy Thursday and Good Friday are official holidays here.

 

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Today is the last week of Lent and the beginning of Holy Week. We celebrate Palm Sunday. Palm fronds are blessed before the beginning of the Holy Mass to celebrate the joyful entry of Jesus to Jerusalem. The mass is quite long, beginning when Jesus was put in front of Pontius Pilate to be judged  until His death on the cross.

I have always blogged about activities during Holy Week, the highlight of celebrating the Lenten season. For the first time in our parish, they will have THE SEVEN LAST WORDS on Good Friday. Before I just used to watch those reflections on television. Reviewing my other previous posts during Holy Week, I found these lovely words and references from the Gospel which everyone could reflect on. I am reposting them here.

God has positive answers for all the negative things we say to ourselves.
You say: “It’s impossible.”
God says: All things are possible. (Luke 18:27)

You say: “I’m too tired.”
God says: I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28-30)

You say: “Nobody really loves me.”
God says: I love you. (John 3:16 & John 13:34)

You say: “I can’t go on.”
God says: My grace is sufficient. (II Corinthians 12:9 & Psalm 91:15)

You say: “I can’t figure things out.”
God says: I will direct your steps. (Proverbs 3:5-6)

You say: “I can’t do it.”
God says: You can do all things. (Philippians 4:13)

You say: “I’m not able.”
God says: I am able. (II Corinthians 9:8)

You say: “It’s not worth it.”
God says: It will be worth it. (Romans 8:28)

You say: “I can’t forgive myself.”
God says: I FORGIVE YOU. (I John 1:9 & Romans 8:1)

You say: “I can’t manage.”
God says: I will supply all your needs. (Philippians 4:19)

You say: “I’m afraid.”
God says: I have not given you a spirit of fear. (II Timothy 1:7)

You say: “I’m always worried and frustrated.”
God says: Cast all your cares on ME. (I Peter 5:7)

You say: “I don’t have enough faith.”
God says: I’ve given everyone a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)

You say: “I’m not smart enough.”
God says: I give you wisdom. (I Corinthians 1:30)

You say: “I feel all alone.”
God says: I will never leave you or forsake you. (Hebrews 13:5)

Have a blessed Sunday everyone.

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I took a rest the whole of yesterday. I was not feeling so good. My throat hurts until now and last night was a struggle to sleep well. I woke up before 12am, then was able to sleep again before 4am.  I have to brew some ginger slices  which I drank as substitute for water.

I am so afraid when I get sick because over the years my immunity has gone down. If I have colds, it would take me weeks to get well. And to think flu is rampant nowadays because of the cold weather. Early this morning, I went out to buy pandesal for breakfast and I had to wear a face mask.  Just a precaution.

I found this very inspiring  and uplifting book entitled The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes. I could wholeheartedly relate, a case of been there, done that.  Mia was nicknamed Rabbit by her family and friends. She is a young mother battling cancer. The story mostly happened in a hospice where she was transferred  during her final days. She reflects on her life’s journey as she waits for the final hour that she’ll meet her Maker. She is an atheist though while her family members are Catholics.  The support of her family members, her friends and her twelve-year old daughter makes the story even more poignant. Anger, hope, despair  and denial, the love between a mother and a young daughter, the relationship of parents to their kids, the love between siblings. I guess this book is not for the weak-hearted for you will surely cry while reading it.  But there are instances where you would also laugh and could easily relate to what they are all going through.

Anna McPartlin was born in Dublin, Ireland.  Her inspirations are her friends and family. I wish I could find her three other books.  I love the way she write.

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Happy Feast of the Epiphany!

Christmas season has just ended. It’s something that I look forward to every year. No matter what the circumstances, the event is just so wonderful.  Not every one of us of course enjoy celebrating it, what with the attached commercialism to its celebration.  Allow me to say for the last time  early this year. “Merry Christmas”. 

Until next December.

 

“We three kings of Orient are
Bearing gifts, we traverse far
Field and fountain
Moor and mountain
Following yonder star
Oh, star of wonder, star of might
Star with royal beauty bright
Westward leading
Still proceeding
Guide us to thy perfect light….”

May the rest of the year be a fruitful, joyful, peaceful and a happy one for us. So many things to discover, so many things to explore.

What is your gift to the world?

(photo culled from the net)

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