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Posts Tagged ‘my Catholic journey’


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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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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One of the highlights of our Black Saturday was visiting Santa Clara de Montefalco Church in Pasig City.  Santa Clara de Montefalco is the patroness of those with heart illnesses.  She was also called St. Claire of the Cross.

It is one of the loveliest churches I ever visited.  This was renovated about a decade ago, I  used to pass by the place when I  went to La Consolacion College where my kids spent their high school years.  It was only today that I had the chance to visit it with Mom, Josef and Jovy.  I didn’t bring my cellphone and tab  to take photos but I liked the big dome and the wide entrance and angle of the altar. According to their page, it is the Philippines’ tallest church. Josef took some photos of the altar and the facade of the church.

Santa Clara de Montelfalco church

The  wide entrance to the church.

Sta. Clara de Montefalco4

You can see the big dome  in the second photo. This is the altar.

Sta Clara

The facade of the Church.

It also houses the Santuario del Amor  Divino ossuary that serves as a resting place of our departed loved ones.” This contains 3,912 crypts (2,848 crypts ready for interment) built within a 2,028 square meter-floor area and is situated beneath the church proper. Its lower plan is partitioned into sections dedicated to a saint each.”

We had dinner at Savory Restaurant  then dropped by Breadtalk   again to buy  their fire floss.  When it comes to bread and pastries, Breadtalk is the best.  They are just more pricey than those you find in other bake shops.

Tomorrow is the first of  April which happens to be our much-awaited Easter  Sunday.  the day of Resurrection.  Let us celebrate Resurrection with joy in our hearts.  It’s Christianity’s most important holiday.

While we were on the road (facing East of course), Josef got excited when he saw the   full moon partly hidden by clouds. Jovy told him to take a picture but when you are in a running car, taking photos is not good. I told them, “did you know that Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the full moon?” 

Happy Easter to all!

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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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