Monday, March 2, 2015

"Although the life of a person is in a land full of thorns and weeds, there is always a space in which the good seed can grow. You have to trust God." - Pope Francis

The beautiful Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. First time to visit this yesterday after the concert.
I was lucky enough to witness a wedding, and I was able to pray to Mother Mary before they closed the door of the church.
I hope to see Her closer soon, and I look forward in attending the mass too.
Watercolor students for the day. I am glad that I gave this one a shot. I enjoyed and learned so much.
Thanks to Liz of Project Vanity for teaching us, and Tin Tin for inviting me to join.
Angel of Light.
My simple pleasures: random toys and figures. Hoarding more curiosities and tinkeries in the future.
Follow me on instagram.

276: Abstaining from Facebook

From https://arleneplacido.files.wordpress.com
This lent one of the things that I vowed to abstain from is accessing Facebook. To say, I'm one of those people who's consumed of knowing what's happening from the people I know, to knowing the current events. Facebook made things easy for me to know the latest news.

When I decided to abstain from Facebook I actually feared that I may end up breaking it, because Facebook became a habit. However, I was glad that during Ash Wednesday the priest who was conducting the homily said "God had given everything for you, because He loves you. Can you give up something little for Him?". It was right then and there that I told myself that I will be staying away from Facebook.

12 days after, there are few things that I realized:
  1. Being unable to know the current updates from the people I know helps me from comparing my life to their life.
  2. I am no longer the source of a gossip. With my lack of knowledge of what's happening to people's lives, I usually find myself ending up listening to people tell story of other people. 
  3. I can focus on improving myself.
  4. I actually have more time than I imagine.
  5. Being away from Facebook and being constantly updated of news updates, people's rants, and reading of people's lives helps me achieve peace of mind.
When the lenten season ends, I know I will be back from Facebook. But what I am sure of is that I will end up lessening my activity there because the good things that I have learned from staying away from FB made me realized how much I won my life back.

This also reminds me that when we sacrifice something for Jesus, we get something much better. On my part, God gave me time.

Monday, February 23, 2015

275: How Do We Help?

Image From: https://fullydevoted1011.wordpress.com/
A week ago, a man got into the bus that I was riding on my way to the office and spoke out loud in the middle saying that he needs help to pay for his badly injured leg due to an accident. To prove that he wasn't lying, he showed his wound, and the smell of a festering wound surrounded the enclosed bus. You cannot imagine how a festering wound smells like.
Learn how to cry for the Poor
While he solicit coins, Pope Francis' message in UST echoed in my mind. Here is the man who needs help, how can I help?
[...] There is a worldly compassion which is useless. You expressed something like this. It’s a compassion that makes us put our hands in our pockets and give something to the poor. But if Christ had had that kind of compassion he would have greeted a couple of people, given them something, and walked on. But it was only when he was able to cry that he understood something of our lives. [..]
I may be rushing on my way to the office, but here is my opportunity to practice my being a better Christian by reaching out, but one cannot help but wonder: how can someone who's a middle class worker, who's in the rush to reach to her office, who currently has no influence, no power, no position can help?

But besides, the helping, you cannot imagine how bad I feel for the guy. You can feel how much he was unwanted in the bus because of his wounds. I didn't want to add more injury to the guy, instead of wincing on the smell, or showing grossed out by evading his outstretched hand, I stretched my hand and handed him some money. The only consolation I can offer at such limited time was my sincerity, so I looked at him straight in the eye, smiled, and nodded.

It was the only thing I can do at the moment. I hope it was suffice, but a week after, I am still disturbed that it felt like I fell on the category of those people who just gives money on those who asked. I seriously hope I have done something else that would have told the guy that there is still some people out there who are not indifferent on his sufferings.

If I can go back at the moment, I would have reached out, grabbed his hand and say 'I will pray for you'. It may be some of the last thing that he needed, but a sympathy from a stranger might at least a balm on his soul. I wish I have done this, but I am glad that this came to me, I'll do this when I get an opportunity in the future, and I hope that in spite of my limitations to help, I may have done something.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

274: It's Lent Season!

Image from http://www.holyfamilysisters.org

It’s Lent Season! This is possibly one of the biggest event for Catholics, next to Christmas. To say, this is the first time that I am actually excited. I never really cared much about Lent because I found it too melancholic. For those who do not live in Philippines, during Lent you can really feel that the nation is in mourning. There are little, to no regular TV programs, most especially during Good Friday to Black Saturday. The retail stores are closed, the people are in their own respective houses praying, meditating, and simply savoring the silence. To me, it’s too bleak. But of course, while others are doing vigil, there are those who spend the Holiday in beaches. It really depends. But where I live, it’s evident that we are in vigil.

You might wonder why I suddenly had a change of perspective. With my renewed relationship with God, this will allow me to go deeper with my reflections and meditations. I want to spend the Holy Week meditating on God‘s love to save us. For me, this is an opportunity to further deepen my relationship with Him, and I’d also like to reflect on my own sinfulness and what can I do to in return for God’s love for me.

CONFESSION
. Funny moment. Like what I have said, I never really participated that much during Lent so this is actually my first time to do fasting. I thought that the fasting would start next week, so earlier I enjoyed eating hotdog and egg during breakfast. To my regret, I was told that actually, the fasting starts today. You cannot imagine my confusion with what to do with the hotdog and egg that I ate. I asked my mom if I have to poke my throat so I can throw up the contents of my stomach. On the other hand, I thought I’d confess it to the priest, but then saying ‘Father I have sinned, I ate hotdogs and eggs when I should be fasting’ sounds ridiculous.

Actually, I still do not know what to do with the hotdog and the egg. But yes, I’m actually fasting, I’ve given up Facebook and Twitter, and will reduce my eating to only one full meal in a day.

You, what are you going to do this Lent?

By the way, if you have tumblr. Can you please follow the two blogs that I have created?

http://weareromancatholics.tumblr.com/
http://longlivepopefrancis.tumblr.com/

Friday, February 13, 2015

274: “Taking a new step, uttering a new word, is what people fear most.” ― Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Crime and Punishment

New read! I just finished reading Haruki Murakami's Kafka on the Shore
One of my projects! I love how I rendered the picture of Pope Francis. It's so cute. Look at the details by the way.
He even has a dove on top perched on his head.

Every day planning is best done with brewed coffee and Cassava Cake.
My fascination and love for figurines seems to be growing

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