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Monday, December 31, 2012

Peace



"Do not let yourself be distracted by the great noises of war, the dramatic descriptions of misery, and the sensational expressions of human cruelty... 
The newspapers, movies, and war novels may make you numb, but they do not create in you a true desire for peace..."
-Nouwen, Henri, The Path of Peace, Finding My Way Home: Pathways to life and spirit, (Diliman, Quezon City:  Claretian Publications, 2004),80.


I was at St. Paul's Saturday afternoon when I received an invitation to reflect on 'peace.'


The reflection grew with several posts I read ~ 'survival stories,' an uproar on justice, war, gruesome crimes, family misunderstandings, passing of a bill I don't support, etc. 

It took me to a dream I had in November, it was a short flash but it was enough for me to remember ~ I saw the devil sitting on top of my roof 

"it prowls like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour" (I Peter 5,8 NIV).

It's the second time I saw it. The first was in the form of wolves chasing after me... 

"Be alert" (I Peter 5,8 NIV)... It deceives, disturbs and divides...

"Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of suffering" (I Peter 5,9 NIV).

I've always clung to a wall for support.  It's strong, steadfast and full of love...

God lives inside... and as long as He does, the devil can NEVER enter...

Several friends wrote me during my absence. Believe me, the silence to cull the impurities was worth the wait...


Everything came together this Christmas: Belle was hospitalized, my mom suffered nausea and vomiting for several days and I had to switch antibiotics for a lung infection I still have now... 

I realized how short life really is... 

I broke into reminiscing several instances of my inquietude...

and I also recalled periods of grace ~when God gave me true peace ... HOPE! I unlocked these treasures in my mind ...



...redemption...

...in Rome, seeing the Pope face-to-face... One Friday moment



...retreat...

...in Africa, those moments in the water
... and in the desert

... the Christmas concert...






...reconciliation...

... little Strawberry in our midst this Christmas... 




...recreation...

... my Satur-dates ... Affairs of the Heart


...renewal...

Arvy's promised Communion early 2013...

My aunt spoke to a catechist in our parish who would help us out this January... thanks God!

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffice.


-St. Teresa d'Avila-
(Source: EWTN Prayer Devotions )





There are so many things, news, events, incidents that take away our HOPE, JOY and PEACE this Christmas season... Look at that baby... 

"Keep your eyes on the prince of peace, the one who doesn't cling to his divine power... That one, Jesus, is the source of all peace" (pp.80-81).




Christmas Concert


December 26, 2009 at 3:02 am, lifted from my 'Memoirs of a Young Traveler'

"It's the most wonderful time of the year..." goes one song. 


It's the BEST time of the year for me...

I remember on one occasion, I was asked by an Egyptian priest to play for the Arabic community in a mini concert sponsored by our bishop. I said okay, even if they told me about it a few minutes before the concert began. It was good that they had the musical sheets readied, I had time to rehearse with them (but I practically had to read the notes from right to left). Anyway, the best part came before we sang our Christmas carols. I was a bit jittery, still studying the notes. 

There was this little African boy who looked at me intently. He had those cute innocent eyes. I was anticipating what he might need. I thought maybe he was getting hungry... or maybe he was lost and was looking for his mother. I was thinking a lot of things, when he suddenly took my hand and held it (and held it for several minutes).


 I was a bit surprised by his gesture. All the while  I thought I was holding him but it was the boy holding me and was thinking of my needs. He gave me more than what I needed at that moment... 

He gave me peace...





A thought flashed on my mind and I looked at the manger on the altar. There was this infant lying so peacefully on the hay. 

He was just waiting for the singing. This concert was for Him. So when the time finally arrived, I played the song from my heart... 

and it was because of this tiny hand that reached out to me...




















Monday, December 24, 2012

Kindly visit my Christmas post at We Have A Story


Kindly visit my Christmas post at We Have A Story

my drawing of the Madonna and Child on chalk between 2009-2010, adapted image

"The question is:
Is the humanity of our time still waiting for a Savior?...

...despite its contradictions, worries and tragedies, and perhaps precisely because of them,
humanity today seeks a path of renewal,
of salvation,
it seeks a Savior and awaits,
sometimes unconsciously,
the coming of the Savior who renews the world and our life,
the coming of Christ,
the one true Redeemer of man
and of the whole of man."

~ Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience, December 20, 2006

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hidden Life

"You are not meant for convent life...

..and if you're thinking about it...

I beg you to reconsider..."


I was taken by surprise when two of my male friends wrote me this... perhaps, it was due to my prolonged absence from the social media. 

I reflected on the occasions I felt myself torn apart by indecision... but it wasn't about this...

Not at all...

I miss the life I had ~ I call it my glorious years in the mission field. I was young and impulsive. I didn't have second thoughts. Back then, the moment was right ~ pieces fit together. 

I dreamt big. I wanted to be included in history as 'somebody' who did this or was good at that...

But there was also a part of me that wished to remain 'hidden'... and that part could only be touched and visited by God.

Early on this week, I finally got to visit a friend who was stricken by cancer. I didn't recognize her when I saw her ~ her face was bloated and she wore a wig ~ but I felt her warmth that told me it was her.

I always see a miracle in sick people. Her priorities changed. She told me before she'd stretch herself to do incredible things but now, she developed 'patience'. She recognized her limitations and became kinder to herself.

I was at a loss for words. I remember another friend telling my colleague not to ask him how he was. "This {cancer} isn't fever... it doesn't go away after taking an analgesic."

There was a remarkable contrast in how people dealt with sensitive issues.

I was reading J.R. Miller's The Hidden Life and in Chapter 1, page 4 he wrote of a similar circumstance:

"...a few minutes' conversation showed me that in all the wasting of physical beauty her spiritual loveliness had not been marred. She had kept near the heart of Christ in all the bitter anguish, and the joy and peace of her inner life had not failed..."

My friend spoke to me of her hopes and aspirations. She had the same plans as I, a pilgrimage in Holy Land or a European Marian Pilgrimage. And hearing her spoke of what keeps her alive just made me reflect on the way I am living my own life... 

This brings me back to my dream. What makes me afraid of being forgotten? not being missed? of being a nobody?

I like the words Stephenie Meyer used... 

google image of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart


imprinted...
forever!

That is how I am in God's heart. Why go on further seeking my importance and attention in other people's eyes...


Interior life,  that is what is asked of us...






















Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stillpoint

I'm beginning to love October...

It is the month of healing and recuperation for me.

Song: My Love by Sia Furler 
co written by Oliver Kraus
Source: http://idolator.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/ECLIPSE-soundtrack-My-Love-Sia.mp3


I had three stillpoints in my life outside the walls...

First, when Sam left... 
second, when my sister decided to experiment further with her future 
and lastly, when a very close friend died in a tragic way.

Something inside me craved for silence... not the one we know of ~ mute... cut off from contacts...  
but the kind that is filled with the presence of the 'Other'.


This time around 'we' meditated on 'protect'...

----
A particular memory of the 'street kids' we used to assist came to my mind.

image adapted from a news photo in Tempo

We took them out of the streets and provided them shelter, food and clothing...
It was good for a time until we noticed a change in their behavior. They refused to 'visit' their own families ~ the ones they left behind...

I wished they wouldn't have to go back to their former way of life... I knew we adopted the kids in order to protect them but, perhaps, the message wasn't that clear, to us nor to them. They NEED to recognize their roots ~ and that they could do if they knew why they have to go back to their families...

I saw the same thing happening between  my nieces and I when they started going to school... well, when they started growing up actually.

I wish I was always there to protect them the way I did when they were younger...

I watched 'The Miracle Worker' with Belle last weekend... and my eyes were opened...

When people 'leave' either by separation or death, an unexplicable sorrow fills our heart.
It is as if 'something' inside us has died with them.

I remember asking God, "Was I not enough?"

I think what is not enough is that we protect people. 

We must teach them skills
to live...
to struggle...
and to fly...
{without breaking their spirit}

I finally, finally understood what my SD wrote about 'developing backbones'. 

There's a time to reach out and carry people 'across', to hold their hands and lead them the way... but there's also a time to sit back and allow them to walk alone in the dark, question life and find answers for themselves.

We could only live our own lives... not of others...


It is not my intention to leave noble thoughts in the minds of the people who reflect with me. I am struggling to put these reflections into practice...

Live...
in faith, in charity and in deep joy.

----


" Nothing will frighten me...
 If thick clouds hide the Sun and if it seems that nothing exists beyond the night of this life -
well, then, that will be a moment of perfect joy,
a moment to feel complete trust and stay very still
,
secure in the knowledge that my adorable Sun still shines behind the clouds."


~ St. Therese of Lisieux~

Friday, November 2, 2012

Life's Marrows

"This heart scares easily..."
- Rancho, Three Idiots 





I found myself 'discussing' Three Idiots at four in the morning with a dear friend. It is an excellent movie ~totally hilarious and yet at the same time riveting.

"Are some parts there realistic?," I curiously inquired...
"Do their parents determine their children's future ~ as engineers or doctors?"
"Is suicide rate really high among students?"

And my friend answered with a curt, "Yes..."

----------

The movie reminded me of high school ...





Way back into our Carpe Diem days... Henry Thoreau, Robert Frost and of course, 
Mr. John Keating...

We were so eager to suck the marrows of life

and contribute a verse!


It was at that moment when my heart was awakened by the beauty of poetry and literature. I devoured Thoreau's contemplation of life and made them my own...


Read: Where I Lived, and What I Lived For






I consider myself most fortunate, let's say blest, in every situation in my life.


My parents were very simple people who wished that I become a nurse so I could fly to the US and form my own family there...



I had a photographic mind that made it easier to remember facts in History and formulas in Chemistry. Ooo, I remember I liked Anatomy, Microbiology and Biochemistry back then. I just wonder where they all went because it went poof right after I graduated...

One of my college mates contested that I just memorized that's why I got As. My professors took it as a challenge and composed test questions that required analysis. I faired well, thanks God!

But that is my 'Eureka'!  I still remember that person and I am most grateful to her.

Analyze not memorize.
 Understand the concepts and apply them in everyday living.
Zero in the values that make one a better person and not high grades.




---
My life took a turn after graduation when I ventured with Jack in the mission field. I was not only nursing the sick but I was taking care of people's souls. I wasn't able to reach the US as originally planned by my parents but I was able to experience God in Italy and North Africa.

My siblings were very passionate about the arts, music and literature. I learned a lot from them too. I thought my brother would become a great writer someday but he opted to become a doctor. Nobody among us was coerced into a relationship that was pre-arranged.

----------

"Hey...are you still there? Or have you dozed off?" my friend chuckled.
I laughed, "Yeah, right here..."

My friend was caught in a dilemma between design and production. Designing was his passion. I saw his works and they were really unique. He wanted to try production because he could earn more money to provide for his child's future.

"I know that when the future is mentioned, the heart becomes anxious..." I told him.

"Should we measure success?
How much money we earn? the lifestyle we sustain? the vastness of our riches?"


"Make passion your profession..."
~Rancho, Three Idiots~




In other words...
be faithful to LIFE... 
and everything else will follow...







Monday, October 22, 2012

Home... at Last!



 I wish it could be like this...
forever!

google image from Tangled
A friend frantically wrote me, "No news for many days, are you okay?" 

Oh if you could only see me! 


I am FEELING for the first time in many years...

music: Sleeping at Last by Turning Pages
device: opendrive.com


It was an assignment I picked up since it started way back 2001.

Where have I been all these years?

Outside of myself! And now, I'm fully coming in.

I am inside my 'body' ~ my own skin marked with history...


MY story... 

I thought I could just fly to God leaving this body behind. Then he hushed me, "We communicate with Him not only with our heart (cuore) BUT also with our head (la testa) and feet (i piedi)... with our whole body (con tutto il nostro corpo)...

---

If that is so...

then what have I been doing sitting infront of my pc all day?

CAMMINIAMO...





...food to taste!

October 2012: I ordered a gigantic pizza from Yellow Cab

October 2012: A friend brought us this special empanada originally from Ilocos...

...books to read!

Belle and I devouring old books from the shelf

September 2012 Bookfair at MOA

...languages to learn!

... crafts...art... everyday a NEW thing to paint!

Mother and Child Belle and I painted together

Glitter Ballerina I painted at my brother's house... it takes time but it's really therapeutic!

... celebrations!


October 2012: Procession, Our Lady of La Naval de Manila
21 October 2012, Pedro Calungsod's canonization along with six others at EWTN
...visits...
1 October 2012 Julius Legaspi's exhibit
Magnificat!
Linda Lee, not only angel visits but Mama Mary gets to stay with us til the first week of November.

...play...create music with kids!



...illusions and dreams... overtaken by the books I read... and my VB...

...hopes... now outside the tower... beyond the walls... to be as light as a feather...



...and Him... He'll always be a part of me... no matter what I do... or think... or plan in my life...


... "you are going to reach dizzy heights," my friend continued...

google image from The Twilight Saga

a friend mirroring my soul...
there's a mirror PURER and MORE PERFECT than this...

''but please...
remain in the practical world.

Sometimes, 
what we see doesn't happen...

and that which we don't see...
happens..."


Well, I want to know what I am living for...

WHO I'm living for...


~ let that song linger~

 I'll see Him face to face
 one day...


..












Monday, October 15, 2012

Closer



google image: Twilight 
I couldn't...


----


I've been spending sleepless nights since Sunday (10.07.12)...


I just couldn't bear that 'that part of me' dies...
----

device: opendrive.com
*No copyright infringement intended


My eyes rested on my Vision Board... 


----
For several months, my heart hibernated and refused to be awakened...

I lost a piece of me...



but there's a continuous glow that grows inside...

 finding it's way back...

------

I Come Back To Myself Slowly
Shalom Freedman
source: PoemHunter.Com

I come back to myself slowly
I have been away for a time
To another part of myself
I do not want to be at all ---
It is the part of Despair and Fear and Loss
of Hope
And guilt over my own unworthiness ---
I have come back to myself a bit
I am sort of alright
There is not around me all this weight and cloud and
all this heavy dragging me down ---
I am calmer now.

I say I am coming back to my better self
I hope so
I do feel better ---
But I know Life and the Other Self wait for me and will
find me again ---
Up and down, over and out, all around
The human being is a succession of his own
continually conflicting selves.


-----


"There is no fear in love...

but perfect love drives out fear..."







Sunday, October 7, 2012

God's Gift

Blogger Widgets



"At Last" painting by Lauri Blank
music: Carol Banawa's version of If I Believe
device: OpenDrive
falling hearts: Blogspot Tutorial

Passion...
Intimacy...
Pure love...

Rafa (Be still)... ephphatha (Be opened) ...rakhma (Love)...

Monday, October 1, 2012

Εφφαθα 2: Take hEARt

I roused from a dream of a storm... 

Water trickled from my room's ceiling and the wind banged my window. I thought another flood was coming... I looked outside my window and to my surprise... it wasn't raining heavily outside!

The Spirit breathed into the dormant regions of my being. 

Several days ago, God showed me the way to 'reconciliation' also through a dream. I 'felt' the changes it brought me afterwards ~ my body and mind were more relaxed. 

Yesterday while listening to the priest's homily, the Lord brought up a memory from seven years ago. He pointed out a sin recurring because of postponement. Why am I terribly fond of delaying a decision? "Sin enslaves", I heard the Lord whispered. There's so much emotional blackmails tied in this ~ ALL because I lingered in another whirlpool

And here comes the Lord leading me to the gates of freedom... choose <life>!
---
I looked at myself in the mirror and echoed what my soul sister told me, "It's your inner beauty that reflects on your face."  The Lord sees more... 
---
Belle, my niece 30/9/12



I want to keep my ear wide open
like a door folding out to the sun,
ready to receive all that the ball of
of fire spills across the threshold.
I want the Word to trickle through
the long canal to the heart and
find a place to stretch out in a dream,
then expand through my sense
to some form in reality. I want
it to grow sturdy like a tree
that dances in every emotion
of the wind, hearing music
even when there is only silence.

~Morning Ear by Georgen ~

----
And looking up to heaven, He sighed and said to him,
"Εφφαθα," which is 'be opened'. ~ Mk. 7, 34



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