Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Holy Tomb is Empty

The Holy Tomb is empty
Christ now lives in you!
Be the living vessel for the Risen Lord
And fill the world with Love so true.

Be the channel of Hope that Easter brings.
Be the Light in a world of darkness.
Let your Joy keep streaming
Into lives devoid of Him.

May you receive in abundance
The blessings of the Risen Christ!
Like the flowing Sea of Galilee
The more you share
The more Grace comes!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Wishing to be Rich yet Poor

In our village Mass today Fr. Jose Arcilla, S.J. said, “The real poor people are those who have many things to share but can not give and the real rich are those who have nothing yet they can still offer something to share.” The poor/generous giver has the best to offer—an open and welcoming heart.

From my e-mail box: "This is the great truth that the bible teaches over and over. When we trust God who is nothing but giving, we can give and give but never run out.
But if we cling to poor substitutes for God (money, power, fame or pleasure), we can hoard and hoard but never have enough."

If only the materially rich are also rich in spirit and start giving and giving, cease hoarding and hoarding, no one will be wanting. It takes poverty of the heart and richness of the spirit to make everyone rich.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

I Purchased Heaven & Felt like a Saint

All Saints’ Day caught me with eloquent reminders that we are called to be holy and that we belong to the community of saints—that we are potential saints and born to be saints.

Although awed by this insinuation I was excited with the possibility and made some research on what a saint is, or how it is defined. According to one Claretian priest, a youngster gave this definition: “A saint is a person whom the light shines through,” thinking of the beautiful stained glass windows in the parish church.

The Claretian commentary thus gave the following explanation.

The saints whose images are depicted in stained glass and on holy cards are famous for allowing God’s light to shine through their words and actions. The apostles, martyrs, doctors, virgins, religious and other holy men and women whose feasts are celebrated through the Church year offer examples to us of how to live so as to bring God’s light into a world that knows all too much darkness.

That definition pulsated in my head during the All Saint’s Day Mass. Finally during the moments of silence after communion and while praying for all the souls of the departed, a wistful thought flitted like a passionate desire—I wanted to feel exactly like a saint even for that moment.

Then it happened. I thought of all the souls still waiting for final redemption and entry into the full glory of heaven. For the liberation of these souls I offered the pains caused me by the betrayal of the people I love—forgave the latter and told the Lord: Let my offering of forgiveness purchase the souls in need of redemption.

I imagined souls finally liberated and entering the pearly gates. This made me feel jubilant and light. It was a saintly experience. My offering let God’s Light shone on the souls still in darkness.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Betrayal, My Shade of Crucifixion

For long I have been going through battering by all the betrayals I have gone through and am still going through. And this is done to me by people I care— a child, siblings, family—those closest to me.

This kind of experience makes me feel closest to my God, my Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus went through the ultimate betrayal unto the cross by one of His disciples and abetted by Peter who denied Him three times. Through the Cross, I was redeemed.

Through my own slight shade of crucifixion, I can participate in God’s work of redemption. I can be saved, And I can offer it for the salvation of others; first, of those who I love and who have betrayed me, as well as the rest of my brothers and sisters in Christ and those others who need salvation.

As I prayed this morning, below was one sharing which came my way. Like a balm on my soul.

“God chose to reveal the fulfillment of His plans to the childlike because their ignorance made them see with eyes of faith. When you are losing faith because of the troubles that you face, notice the constant signs around you that tell you of God’s presence in your life.

Like little children, let us trust in our Father’s ways”. Nova Arias (Kerygma)

Friday, April 10, 2009

It is no longer “Lent”; God has been “Given.”

And God will rise to live in us and among us!!

The “Lent” became a "GIFT"—a lasting gift of God’s presence in our humanity. The “GIFT” elevates us to the level of the GIVER—giving us the grace to see our Creator and Savior in everyone and in everything around us.

The challenge is how to allow God to be manifested through us and recognize God resurrected in our fellowmen and women.

Many times we do not recognize Him in our neighbor. Most of the times we refuse to see God in Creation. Almost always we deny God’s presence in our very own lives. And so we abuse the environment; we are indifferent to others; we throw away our dignity and squander our worth.

I hope to be a gift in return and give God a chance to be present in all.

Long Live the Risen Lord!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Some little Surprises in Search of the Lord

“The Bread of Life has been broken. The Cup of Life has been poured. Let us partake of the Supper of the Lord.”

It was the most striking line I imbibed in the long celebration of the Holy Eucharist which my family attended at the Church of St. Therese of the Child Jesus at UP, Los Baños, yesterday, April 9, 2009.

The Mass was the culmination of a Visita Iglesia, our short pilgrimage for Holy Thursday. We passed by all the churches along the route and had visited exactly 7 churches as is the tradition among Catholics. These churches are: The Chair of St Peter Church at Balibago, Santa Rosa, the St. Francis of Assisi Church at Cabuyao, St. John the Baptist Church at Calamba, St. Agustin Church at Bae, St. Anthony de Padua Church in Los Baños and Immaculate Conception Church in Los Baños town proper.

The Church of St. Therese played a special role in the life and history of our family for it was there that Rudy and I had our wedding in honor of St. Therese. She has been a favourite saint for her lessons on sanctification through little acts of holiness—like smiling and being nice at everyone even to the unpleasant characters in your life and picking up scattered things and placing them at their proper places even when one is feeling too lazy/heavy for it.

I was pleasantly surprised when upon seeing the face of St. Therese in a banner, for the first time, my daughter acknowledged what I have been saying and which she seemed not to have minded at all.
My only daughter, Maria Theresa, with an aura in her face which I seldom glean said: "Mom, you named me after her!”

Many surprises can happen in a journey in search of the Lord. Such as this pragmatic suggestion for a penance at the end of my meditation: Buy someone a meal or something to drink.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I Wrote a Last Will During EDSA 1

EDSA is the Philippines—survivor, resilient, loved by the Filipinos, etched in the living history of the world, alive in the memory of God.

When the Filipinos heard the voice of the late Cardinal Sin on the radio on February 23, 1986, asking the faithful to go to EDSA; I personally felt that God was drafting us to fight evil.

But it caused me a heart wrenching dilemma. It was not easy for me to bring all of my four children—with ages 5 to 11. EDSA could turn bloody.

And so my husband and I decided to bring with us our youngest child who we felt would be most vulnerable if left behind. The three other children, Joey, Val and Therese were left with their baby-sitter, Evelyn with instructions to always stay close to one another, pray the rosary and leave the radio on--all the time even while praying.

I wrote my last will and testament stating my wishes for my three older children in case my husband, I and Marlon perish in the battlefield of EDSA.

The moment of goodbye was for me a most scary and solemn one. I looked at my children intently to immortalize them in my heart. But when we arrived at EDSA—just about 3 km from our house—all my fears vanished.

There was a mood of celebration despite sporadic screams and panic sweeping through the crowd from time to time. The big throng of people were marching jubilantly from all directions.

Marlon wanted to climb a parked tank and his Dad placed him atop one. As I watched him grinning, I prayed, “Lord save our nation for our children.”

Despite interrmitent surges of fear, I felt safe and calm. I felt united and invulnerable with the multitudes who have responded to the call of God and country.

EDSA will live in perpetuity. Always pulsating with hope. So does our beloved country!