Sunday, April 26, 2015

“I can't stand it to think my life is going so fast and I'm not really living it.” ― Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises

281: Lord Jesus, help me to be able to help your people

April 15 encounter ...

"Kamusta na po?" (How are you?)
"Nako, nabundol ako kahapon. Eto o' namamaga pa yung braso ko." (Oh my, I was hit by a car yesterday. Look, my arms are still sore)

Thus said by the 93 old lady who usually sits outside the Eton Centris Mall. This lady, who had become a friend.

This is the last thing I wanted to hear. Yesterday (April 14) I was looking for her so I can give her the rosary that I told her I'd give her in replacement of what she currently had. I've noticed that the rosary that she's using as a necklace has a broken crucifix. I told her I'd buy her a new one. So I purchased it the last time I went to Manila Cathedral.

When I arrived Monday on my way to the office, I noticed that she wasn't sitting on her usual spot. So I thought I'd just give her the rosary the next day, and then when that day came, she told me the accident that had happened to her.

It was the reason why she was not on her usual spot when I was looking for her.

My heart instantly broke when I saw the bruise that she had on her arm. It was large. I asked her if the one who had ran into her helped her, she said that it was a hit and run.

During that time I was torn between telling her to come with me so I can bring her to the nearest clinic or just give her a cash and go to my office since I cannot - obviously - help her that much (my shift was about to start 30 minutes before I met her).

I reached out to my pocket and gave her a money so she can get herself checked, then I left with a heavy heart.

Here again am I just handing out bills to the person in need. But as I walking away from her I keep on mumbling 'Lord, please help me know how I can help her'. I knew I had to do something.

It took me a while to figure out, but while I was setting up my laptop on my cubicle in the office, I thought about inquiring in the clinic what medication is needed to do if one is suffering from bruises and sores. I bought what she needed and told her what the nurse told me about curing bruises. It was the best thing I can do at the moment.

There are many times that I keep on wondering how I can serve the people that Jesus entrusts me -- us --  to take care of. I keep on wondering because, on my part, I know my limitations (such as capacity to provide, etc.,) But I always pray for Jesus to help me figure out a way -- to be capable to help His people.

For the past few days, I haven't seen Nanay  yet. I pray that she's better. I never had forgotten to pray for her. I hope I can see her this Monday so I can inquire how she is faring.

Friday, April 17, 2015

“Joy is what God fills us with when we trust in Christ.” — John Piper

Taken from my current trip in La Union
Have you ever wished that you had nine lives, and that you could live them all differently, but in one lifetime? Or you could follow each thread of your theoretically alternate life in a theoretical multiverse, just to see what it was like, and where it would lead?

Monday, April 13, 2015

280: Travel on: the Sunset of Palaui

Long overdue! My good friends and I went to Tuguegarao and to Palaui, Cagayan during the lent week (March 21 to 25).

If there's something that I can remember about Tuguegarao it's how generous the servings are when they serve meals. And of course, the temperature. It's scorching hot. If you want to experience raw, undiluted summer, if you want to experience the 'real' summer temperature go to Tuguegarao. But besides, the heat, the place was extraordinary. I hope I had time to explore it thoroughly. We went to Tuguegarao as our first stop towards our real goal -- Palaui Island in sta. Ana, Cagayan.

First, how did we end up on the idea of Palaui -- of all islands! To say, Palaui was featured as a spot for Survivor. So yeah, they had a season Survivor: Cagayan. Thank God for seat sale we were able to book Tuguegarao to reach the Palaui Island for only a thousand and few hundreds.

On the Palaui Island, we've hiked to Cape Engano Lighthouse, and I swear the great view of the island didn't fail to take my breath away. The faint sound of the waves crashing below, and the wind with a hint of saltiness from the sea, you'd wish you can take the moment on your pocket so you could relive the moment every time the world becomes unkind. This is also the moment that you can marvel on God's creation.

The view on the lighthouse
One of the fields that we crossed going to the lighthouse, reminds me of the Hobbit
On sunset: whenever I go to an island, I always take time to see how the sun sets there. The sunset in Anguib beach (somewhere in Palaui), is quiet.  It's not as grand and as boastful as the sunset in La Union, but it was quiet and placid. The sun hid behind the clouds until it finally and quietly waved good bye. The unobtrusive sea accompanied the quiet goodbye of the sun, is a perfect time for someone to meditate. Hence, it was the moment that I talked to God.

There are many things that the Palaui island offers. You can snorkle, and dive. Also, Palaui has a mangrove that you should not miss. When you get there make sure that you savor the moment because you become one of the nature. The place takes you to its 'paradise', and allows you to experience it if only you'd allow yourself. It's quiet, unassuming beauty is humbling. This journey is a wonderful chapter of my life. It allowed me (again) to experience things I haven't experience before -- something to take with me when I grow older.

See more of my photos in Tuguegarao and Palaui Island on my Facebook

Sunday, April 5, 2015

279: "Be not afraid. Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. Behold the place where they laid Him." - Mark 16:6

Photo taken when we were in Palaui, Cagayan

Jesus has been risen.

Finally we have reached the Easter Sunday after 40 days of sacrifices and of spiritual journey, we have finally arrived at this moment. I finally have arrived at this moment. I ended my Holy Week by attending the Easter Vigil in Manila Cathedral last night (and it was presided by his eminence, Cardinal Tagle). Attending the mass in Manila Cathedral became a devotion ever since the Holy Week kicked off. I go there to attend the mass on early Saturdays (as time permits). So far, during the lent, I was able to carry out the devotion and had concluded it yesterday.

Additionally, since the 40 days had ended, I had the Facebook application re-installed on my cellphone, and I started browsing my notifications.

Back to Facebook

To say, I should feel more relieved now I got back to my old self, but to be honest I felt unfamiliar with who I was before. After the 40 days spiritual journey, I felt like a different person. Looking on my Facebook, it felt like I wasn't the person who was in there. I even felt like a stranger to the people whom I have seen on my newsfeed because of my lack of updates on their lives. It's a strange feeling. It's something that I guess I need to ponder at. But if there's something that I am sure of, it's that I lost my interest in Facebook. I even wonder why I could not live not checking the notifications before.

What are the things that I did during the Holy Week and what Jesus revealed to me?

Saturdays with the Immaculate Conception

Inside the Cathedral, during one of my visits

One of the things that maybe non-catholics wouldn't understand (and I believe this would remain a discussion) is how Catholics are devoted to Mother Mary. I, myself, also wondered about her significance. However, through my prayers, I was lucky enough to get the answer (you may read here). My answer, of course, came through other's better knowledge, and me seeking.

In here I pray for Mother Mary to pray for me to Her loving son Jesus Christ in order for my soul to be forgiven, I also mention to Her to pray to Jesus Christ my petitions. I talk to Mother Mary as how I would talk to my mother. I treat my relationship to Her as how I would treat my real Mother. However, of course, I still have failings. But I know in my heart that She continues to pray for me as well.

Honestly, ever since I upped my relationship with Her, during my most heartfelt prayers, I would end up crying for no reason. There's one very significant moment that one time after my work (my work ends at 12 midnight) I decided to stay for another 5 hours in the office in order to attend the 7AM mass. When the time struck 05:20AM I left the office in Quezon City and arrived in Manila Cathedral by 06:30AM, when I arrived on the church, exhausted from lack of sleep and travel, I uttered "Mother" in relief, and wept. It was an incredible weeping (here's an info how far I work from Manila Cathedral). I prayed the rosary and my tears continue to fall every time I say my prayers.

Under the Starry Sky

When I was reading the book The Jesuis Guide to Almost Everything one of things (among many things) that I adopted is how St. Ignatius would pray among the stars. I felt that I should also do the same.

my caption

There's one thing I have learned while praying at night under the many stars that's scattered in the black ink sky, it's so quiet. You know the saying, 'in silence we find God'? -- it is indeed true. While everyone is asleep, when I go outside our terrace (right after I take my shower), I would pull out a chair sit there look up at the stars and would utter 'Lord Jesus look upon your lowly servant as I say my prayers to You',  and for some wild imagination, I would imagine that Lord Jesus would turn His head down and would indeed look upon me.

I've mentioned earlier that to Mother Mary I pray for Her to pray for me to Lord Jesus, what I say when I pray to Jesus is how I would talk to Him as my savior. I talk to Him of my gratitude, of my weakness, of my sins, of the Christian community and how the Christians are being persecuted, I talk to Him of my relationship with Him, and I pray for Him to help me that 'I may be able to live on His words and His teachings in order for me to bridge others to Him', and of course for Him to strengthen my faith.

During this quiet times at night, a bucket of tears would be shed. This is even the first time that I cried while talking to Him about our brothers and sisters in other countries who's being persecuted for their faith. This is something that I never thought I'd be able to do, and every time the prayer ends it always makes my heart at peace.

Find God in Nature

My friends and I recently went to Palaui, Cagayan (more on that next time). When we went there my goals were actually to pray during the sunset, pray at night, and enjoy with my friends. I almost didn't go because of Financial constrains but because I really, really want to try to pray among the nature (this is also mentioned in the Ignatian Spirituality -- praying among the Nature), I pursued.

Circumstances made it hard for me to pray during the travel for one thing: our first few days ended up staying in Hotel (so basically not yet in the nature). Second, the shore was too far where we first stayed. Third, when I was already underneath the stars, there was a rain. However, one time I found a perfect moment to talk to Jesus, while walking on the shore and the sun was setting I ended up talking to Him. It was a perfect solemn and quiet moment.

There's something I have realized, that when I talk to Jesus it's hard to stop! Sometimes I even feel chatty that maybe I was already confusing Jesus because I keep on jumping from one topic to another. But it was amazing.

When I was about to end my talk to Jesus, I closed my eyes as a tears rolled down my cheeks and said 'Jesus, thank You. Thank You for this moment.'

This was taken after my 'talk' with Jesus

A Conscious Decision

I remember before during my college years, while talking to this person I admired, and our eyes met I told myself that I love that person, and I will love that person. It was the first time that I realized that love is also a conscious decision. I learned that Love is not only an emotion, but it's a decision, and that I will love that person.

When I made the decision to be in relationship with God, it was like that moment too. It was a conscious decision that I will love Him, when I laid my eyes on Him.

But like any relationship, there will be a trying times, challenges, and temptations to stray and for me to continuously disappoint Him. But like what I say in my prayers, I pray for Jesus to 'not to let my eyes wander away from Him'.

The Holy Week might have ended, but this is just a beginning for my spiritual Journey.

Let's pray for each other. :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

“As long as you are proud you cannot know God.” ― C.S. Lewis

"I want you to know that I love you even when you are not yet born." Letters from the past. While decluttering because my dad will repaint my room, I found these stacks of letters I had written to my future children and husband 2 years ago. The message was so poignant. ❤
Father, let not my eyes stray away from You, my Lord. For it is You to whom I draw comfort.
Sail me on the sea of clouds. #airplane #travel #letsgo ✈
Should I, should I not? 😊

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