How do we reconcile? We hope…

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“We hope that your faith inspires you to be just, loving, humble and merciful. We hope that your faith inspires you to encourage the church to be more just, more loving, more humble and more merciful.” “We hope you find … Continue reading

Sacred Ordinary

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… simple prayers are sacred acts. They’re tender and profound. They aren’t the formal prayers of the institutional church. They aren’t the ecstatic utterances of a miraculous vision. They are dignified, homely and eloquent, the ordinary and yet sacred stuff … Continue reading

Trip of a Lifetime

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 I would like to stay longer and soak up the three world’s religion: Islāmic, Judaism, and Christianity.  I want to be with the Muslims, Jews, and Christians: and have interfaith dialogue. At the hotel in Jordan, waiting to leave for Canada, I … Continue reading

Reaping the rewards

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  “Blessed are they that have not seen, and have believed” – John 20:29 It is with his scientific mind that he has proven black holes, gravity, and wrote the book a Brief History of Time, Steven Hawkings absolute cannot reason … Continue reading

Approaching Good Choices

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  Decision making is challenging because sometimes we have no idea the impact of what we have decided. Just thinking about what to choose to wear is a grueling daily event. Some outfit brings happiness, others blah. What made us … Continue reading

Painted Prayers

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The primary emphasis in this work is based on evolution distinctively a combination of three persons, one God: God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit. He is drawn and inspired by The Trinity. The Prayer of St. Augustine … Continue reading

In Praise of Books

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  It was a stormy windy night that I ended at Vancouver Public Library for shelter and kill time on my way to a concert. I am not the only one seeking refuge here. From the main floor, the children’s … Continue reading

I am a Pilgrim, not a Tourist!

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It is a challenge and a hair-raising experience to go on a pilgrimage. It’s not an ordinary travel just because we paid an enormous amount of money to travel in luxury and be catered to. I join a pilgrimage because … Continue reading

Memory

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THERE ARE TWO WAYS of remembering. One is to make an excursion from the living present back into the dead past. The old sock remembers how things used to be when you and I were young. The faraway look in his eyes is partly the beer and partly that he’s really far away.

The other way is to summon the dead past back into the living present. The young widow remembers her husband, and he is there beside her.

When Jesus said, “Do this in remembrance of me,” (1 Corinthians 11:24) he was not prescribing a periodic slug of nostalgia.

~ Frederick Buckner

Wandering Wonders

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Somewhere in Canada, I was given four glorious days to spend time at Victoria, BC. It was a gift for being part of belonging in a delegation to make a better British Columbia for the working class. The timing was … Continue reading

Good vs. evil: The answer is found in Easter itself

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It’s God’s gift that enables peace. The supernatural message of Easter is that Jesus overcomes death, and when people believe that and act upon it, it changes the headlines. Spiritual beliefs change how people respond to evil. The bloody cross … Continue reading

Rough edges of security

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Do think that I am weird and uncouth. I give you permission. I allow you to talk and discuss about me with others even in front of me Or pull the rug underneath me Hoping that I will fall flat and … Continue reading

Amber Alert

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When a child is missing, we can make a difference by sending out Amber Alert to secure the child’s safety as quickly as we can. Meanwhile in Vancouver, BC, an infant is venerated by thousands of people at the Cathedral, the image … Continue reading

As close as you can get

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Imagine that you inherited the land below this mountain, as far as your eyes could see in the middle of the desert. Thinking of Las Vegas, this is a gold mine that could easily be transformed into a watering hole … Continue reading

The Calling

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It was there calling to serve and now they are both called in the afterlife. First Barb on September 2015, then Brenda on February 2016. The call becomes important to them not to save the world, solve all problems and … Continue reading

Border Security

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With heightened awareness on the growing tension crossing the border to USA, we make sure that we bring all proper identification. Canadian passport might not be enough because our passport states our country of origin, Philippines. Should we ever get … Continue reading

Words

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What is prayer?

You take words,
everyday words,
and all of a sudden they become holy.

Why?

Because there is something
that separates one word from
another and then you try to fill
the vacuum.

With what?
With whom?
With what memory?
With what aspiration?

So when words bring you closer
to the prisoner in his cell,
to the patient who is dying on his bed alone,
to the starving child,

then it’s a prayer.

words by Elie Wiesel

An experience we will remember for a long time ~ Trout Lake

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We discovered that there is no language barrier to strike up a friendly conversation, have a few laugh and just enjoy a frozen lake on a perfect sunny day.

The atmosphere was heavenly. An ambience we could not ask for anything more and an experience we will remember for a long time.

I thank God for this amazing day!

Let the children play

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Children nowadays play with technology. It’s quiet this way. Only the adults are noisy from telling stories, asking too many questions, laughing and plenty of dark jokes targeted at you.  One has to have broad shoulders to deflect shady puns … Continue reading

Bringing back fond memories

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Today marks the first day of advent. A day of excitement filed with hope and grief. But hope trumps! It’s Not This Time of Year Without… a message of hope, everlasting hope. The message is to step out of our head … Continue reading

Church Bulletins – They’re Back!

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Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for church ladies with typewriters. These sentences (with all the errors and BLOOPERS) actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced in church services. The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals. The sermon this … Continue reading

Whatever you do, don’t look at your phone, instead…

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“My mind echoes a chant: Don’t look at your phone. Whatever you do, don’t look at your phone. I sit alone on the bench, outside of a café as I wait for a friend. The lines on each passing face, … Continue reading

Theology of Dylan’s Songs

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I was only seven years old when Mr. Tambourine man played a song for me. Didn’t really pay too much attention to his music until yesterday. All day, I listened intently to the lyrics of his music, realized he is drawn … Continue reading

Connection

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The hummingbird’s delicate grace reminds us that life is rich, beauty is everywhere, every personal connection has meaning and that laughter is life’s sweetest creation. Legends say that hummingbirds float free of time, carrying our hopes for love, joy and … Continue reading

Grant me the Grace to desire it.

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Litany of Humility O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me. From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver me, Jesus. From the desire of being loved… From the desire of being extolled … From the desire of being honored … Continue reading

It’s still raining. So intoxicating!

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I don’t  which one is more intoxicating. To take a close up photo of an African Queen Basil whose sweet aroma fills my nose or the smell of a wetness that permeates the earth to quench our thirst. “What would spirituality … Continue reading

Mission on the Hills and Valleys

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The beauty of the space nourished by temperate climate is what makes this place conducive to live permanently or a travel destination to enjoy the many amenities of the Okanagan Valley. From the balcony, I could see the Mission Hill … Continue reading

On any given day, give thanks.

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When it comes to gardening, I prefer to start from seeds. It reminds me of conception to birth. The seeds are the eggs and the sperms are a mixture of good potting soil mixed with mushroom manure saturated further with … Continue reading

“When God Created Mothers”

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When the Good Lord was creating mothers, He was into His sixth day of “overtime” when the angel appeared and said. “You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.” And God said, “Have you read the specs on … Continue reading

Do you understand? Do you see?

Red Kite RunnerA good book gives me something to ponder, something to learn, something to move my senses. Reading The Kite Runner just did that to me. To sum it up:

Thou shall not steal, thou shall not lie, thou shall not cheat.

“Now, no matter what the mullah teaches, there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft. Do you understand that?” […]
“When you kill a man, you steal a life,” Baba said. “You steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness. Do you see?” […]
“There is no act more wretched than stealing, Amir,” Baba said. “A man who takes what’s not his to take, be it a life or a loaf of naan…I spit on such a man. And if I ever cross paths with him, God help him. Do you understand?” (3.29-34)
Credits:  Red Kite Runner ~ oil canvass by Allan Chow
The Kite Runner: Khaled Hosseini 

Small worlds

Do you love stories with lessons to learn? I do. Story of love and forgiveness, story of Madness and Acceptance, story of them and yours. This is a story of King Lear, Thomas and You. Read and tell me your story how you want to live. Blessings. Perpetua

friarmusings

doubting-Thomas-DuccioI think that on our best days, we who profess to be Christian, we are storytellers. This morning I have three stories for you. Two of which we know the ending; the third is a work in progress.

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Be One With The Tree

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  The Tree of Contemplative Practices Mirabai Bush pointed us to this illustration of contemplative practices, which shows the breadth of meditation and mindfulness within traditions. Although this list isn’t comprehensive, it does open up one’s imagination about how these … Continue reading

For the briefest of moments, every last man felt free.

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“Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt 

I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about.

Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid.

I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it.

I tell you those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.

Go ahead, play, relax, free your mind, redeem yourself and listen to the full aria of Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro Duettino Sull’aria Le nozze di Figaro. This is a moment of grace.

 

The sweet refrain, “Oh take me to church”

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Take me to church sang by Sinead O’Connor has a very catchy tune especially the first three lines of the refrain.

 […]
Oh, take me to church
I’ve done so many bad things it hurts
Yeah, take me to church
[…]

It’s not so much that I have done so many bad things; it’s the bad things that people did to the world that hurts. It has nothing to do with the church either just life in general. You know, the existential angst that is part of living.

When I am hurting mentally, emotionally, physically or spiritually, I take refuge in a church. Even if it’s not a catholic church, it does not matter to me. Even if it’s a temple, I will still go in, sit in the quiet, calm myself down and talk to my invisible God.

In a church, temple, mosque, forest; they are more than an oasis. It’s a place for me to connect and replenish my spiritual needs.

Here’s the song. It’s just a song with a catchy beat. But if you want something deeper, I found the song at Friar Musings and there he wrote more about Sinead.

Enjoy.

when we are hurting it’s difficult (and) to understand where God is. I know that God is using her to educate not just the Catholic but as well as the whole world.

You are excused should you truly know

Photo taken at an Art Gallery in Vancouver, BC

Photo taken at an Art Gallery in Vancouver, BC

Anyone who truly knows creatures
may be excused from listening to sermons,
for every creature is full of God,
and is a book.

~ Meister Eckhart

Each and every creature is a unique word of God, with its own message, its own metaphor, its own energetic style, its own way of showing forth goodness, beauty, and participation in the Great Mystery. Each creature has its own glow and its own unique glory. To be a contemplative is to be able to see each epiphany, to enjoy it, protect it, and draw upon it for the common good.  ~ Richard Rohr

Take Care, Be Careful, Heal, Look after and Watch out

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“Take care of your spiritual life, your relationship with God, because this is the backbone of everything we do and everything we are.” “Take care of your family life, giving your children and loved ones not just money, but most … Continue reading

I want, I want, I want

blake-I want

We are put here for a little space
that we may learn
how to bear the beams of love.
…..William Blake

Think about this:

“What is it you seek?” asked the Master of a scholar who came to him for guidance.

“Life,” was the reply.

“If you are to live, words must die.” Said the Master.

When asked later what he meant, he said, “You are lost and forlorn because you dwell in a world of words. You feed on words, you are satisfied with words when what you need is substance. A menu will not satisfy your hunger. A formula will not slake your thirst.”   ~ Anthony de Mello, SJ

Credits on William Blake from:
Image from Todo El Oro Del Mundo
Qoute from Make Believe Boutique

No need to pretend

holy fool

When you are a “holy fool” you’ve stopped trying to look like something more than you really are. That’s when you know, as you eventually have to know, that we are all naked underneath our clothes, and we don’t need to pretend to be better than we are.

I am who I am, who I am, who I am; and that creation, for some unbelievable reason, is who God loves, precisely in its uniqueness.

My true identity and my deepest freedom comes from God’s infinite love for me, not from what people think of me or say about me. Both the people who praise me and those who hate me are usually doing it for the wrong reasons.

Adapted from Franciscan Mysticism (an unpublished talk) Richard Rohr

Gateway to Silence:
I am who I am in the eyes of God, nothing more and nothing less.

Transformation: Way of Life

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Tri-angle hands of women

May I see what I do.
May I do it differently.
May I make this a way of life.

 

The story behind the prayer Let the discomfort begin with me.
Contributor: Courtney E. Martin
Via: On Being with Krista Tippett

Waiting in silence

"In the Dark" ~ Thanksgiving 2014

“In the Dark” ~ Thanksgiving 2014

The true contemplative is
not one who prepares his mind
for a particular message that he
wants or expects to hear,
but is one who remains empty
because he knows that he can never
expect to anticipate the words
that will transform his
darkness into light.
He does not demand
light instead of darkness.
He waits on the Word of God
in silence,
and when he is “answered,”
it is not so much by a word
that burst into his silence.
It is by his silence itself,
suddenly, inexplicably
revealing itself to him as
a word of great power,
full of the voice of God.
Thomas Merton from Dialogues with Silence
Source: Parabola Fall 2004 page 71

Gateway to Silence: Ripen me into fullness

Artist: Tom Miller 2002 donated to VGH Hospital Foundation

Artist: Tom Miller 2002 donated to VGH Hospital Foundation

When James Finley was a young monk at the monastery of Gethsemane, he shared with Thomas Merton (who was his spiritual director) his frustration at his seemingly inept efforts to experience God’s presence.Merton responded:

“How does an apple ripen? It just sits in the sun.”

Not that we don’t need to continue to seek God, but by our own efforts alone we cannot achieve spiritual maturity. We must bring ourselves to the Light where God’s grace seasons us into juicy, sweet, flavorful ripeness.

An understanding of ripening basically teaches us the wisdom of timing, love, and patience, and allows us to be wise instead of judgmental.

Source: Richard Rohr

 Consider these:

A zealous disciple expressed a desire to teach others the Truth and asked the Master what he thought about this.
The Master said, “Wait.”
Each year the disciple would return with the same request and each time the Master would give him the same reply: “Wait.”
One day he said to the Master, “When will I be ready to teach?”
Said the Master, “When your excessive eagerness to teach has left you.”  ~ Anthony de Mello, SJ

 

MORSEL: You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips. ~ Oliver Goldsmith

The Visitation

Before she came to Canada, she had a dream of a lady with a blue veil. 
After leaving her country she dreamt of the lady again. 
In her dream the lady came with an open arm, embraced her and her children. 
The woman who dreams of the lady finds solace in front of the grotto at Our Lady of Mercy Parish church. 
She comes early in the morning to sit in front of the lady as if the lady called her to come to visit. When she is worried about family members still living in Syria, here she sits. Just by sitting in front of the lady she feels much better. 
The woman is a Muslim.
OLMOur Lady of Mercy used to be a little house on a prairie. It was the very first church I visited when we arrived in Canada. I lived a few blocks away from the church. Now, it was rebuilt to accommodate more people and the grotto is a new addition.

Series of thoughts on living and death. We don’t have forever.

 
Basil
Give them a packet of seeds to plant and nurture.
New growth means never too late to start living.
Encourage those around who simply exist.
Show them the endless possibility of life.
Every moment is a new beginning.
You can do it.
Step by step.
Adjust along the way.
Look into people’s faces and eyes.
Simple pleasures and beauty abounds.
Hold, hug, touch, smile, visit, call… Do it NOW.
You are given this life with no plot.
Like in the movies, it has a script.
Your life has no preview.
Be active in writing your life story.
Use your imagination.
Write or rewrite.
Be surprised with unexpected scenarios.
Not knowing the exact ending.
Make it exciting.
Let it unfold.
Death is just around the corner.
You realized you have never actually lived.
Squeeze every ounce of living while you can.
Squeeze. Squeeze. Squeeze.
We only have one life.
Moments don’t last forever.
Disappearing too quickly.
Never to return.
“He is not here, for he has risen.”

Signs and Wonders

Spirit GardenGod uses loneliness
to teach us about
living together.

Sometimes he uses anger
so that we can understand
the infinite value of peace.

At other times he uses tedium,
when he wants to show us
the importance of adventure
and leaving things behind.

God uses silence
to teach us about the
responsibility of what we say.

At times he uses fatigue
so that we can understand
the value of waking up.

At other times he uses sickness
to show us
the importance of health.

God uses fire
to teach us
about water.

Sometimes he uses earth
so that we can understand
the value of air.

And at times he uses death
when he wants to show us
the importance of life.

Read the signs.

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