Don’t start…

Don’t start what you can’t win. Make sure that you are protected from what will precipitate an ensuing puzzling behaviour.

In my daily walk, not only do I stop and smell the roses, but I also stop to make connections and conversations with people. Am I weird? You betcha.

On my way home, two young men approached me and asked:

“Sister, are you a Christian? Do you believe in Jesus Christ?”

Me thinks… Hmmm… These men are ordinary looking wearing jeans and a warm toque hat holding a thick book I assume is a Bible. Interesting opening line. I was thinking to respond facetiously by saying “yeah, I have a direct line with Jesus or we’re BFF.” I thought for a while and responded hesitatingly…

“Ehem… I am a catholic (with a small c. Let’s see if they are good with definitions.

“Catholic churches are corrupt.” said he.

Gong bell! Wrong answer.

“Nononono… I don’t discriminate” I smiled and turn my back.

This is my Sunday Snippet to celebrate the National Puzzle day that RDP precipitated.

60 Minutes report on Divine Intervention

A recent episode of 60 Minutes saw correspondent Bill Whitaker visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France. The footage offers inspiring views of the popular pilgrimage site, as well as interviews with faithful visitors seeking to be healed and even one nun whose sudden recovery after visiting Lourdes has been deemed miraculous.

Sr. Bernadette Moriau

The 60 Minutes report goes into great detail on how reported miracles are investigated and authenticated. Whitaker spoke with a team of physicians who examine each case under various criteria, in order to prove that a miracle occurred.The massive size of each case folder is a testament to how deeply they study their cases before coming to their conclusions.

Whitaker even had a chance to interview Sister Bernadette Moriau, the 83-year-old nun who is recognized as the recipient of the 70th miracle said to have occurred at the Lourdes Shrine. Sr. Moriau explained that she had a “dark diagnosis” of full paralysis that was completely healed within three days of visiting the shrine. Sr. Moriau explained that while she was at the shrine she heard a voice in her head:

“I really had that feeling that the Lord was walking with us. And I heard him giving me these words: ‘I see your suffering and that of your sick brothers and sisters. Just give me everything.’”

She said that when she returned home she was in debilitating pain for three days until she suddenly felt the strength to walk to the chapel to pray. While in prayer, she began to feel a great heat inside of her and suddenly she felt urged to remove her foot and back braces, which she previously needed to walk. Suddenly her foot was straightened and her back was no longer in pain.

In order to validate the miracle, Sr. Moriau subjected herself to rounds of testing, both physically and mentally, but no scientific or medical explanation of her sudden recovery was ever identified. Her case was eventually recognized as the 70th instance of a miraculous healing taking place at the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes.

There’s more packed into the 60 Minutes report than would be possible to cover here, and the expressions of St. Moriau as she explains her miracle are worth a watch on their own.

Source: Aleteia

I am only a man

He is just another man, a real person that I would have very much wanted to meet personally. Unfortunately, he was born way ahead of me and died 20 years before I was born. If you ask him who he is, the response was “I am only a man, just like you.”

– Trait D’espirit / Drawn by the spirit

“It is with the smallest brushes that the artist paints the most exquisitely
beautiful pictures,” said St. André Bessette.

André Bessette is a native of Canada born frail in a poor family in Quebec. He became an orphan at the age of 12 and had hardly any education at all. In his early twenties, he entered the Holy Cross congregation in Montreal. Nobody wanted him. The main task given to him was menial as a porter, someone who opens the door and greets people who come to visit the Oratory. Yet he did his duty for 40 years accepting the little he had and turning it into a holy act.

One would not think that he lacks formal education when he is an effective teacher of faith by his action, love, kindness, and example.  He used the simplest means.  It is his complete trust with divine providence is what made him an exceptional person.

His dream was to build a church devoted to St. Joseph.  He trusted that if he is really doing the Lord’s will the Lord would bring it to fruition.  And it did happen.

How I would have wanted to see him open the door for me when I visited the Oratory in Mount Royal.   I felt small as an ant standing at the first rung of the steps looking up at the Oratory.

In a world filled with educated minds and an era of countless celebrity, glitz, and glamour, I am amazed at what a simple man can do.

Brother André is what I call him and has left me a legacy to place my trust in Jesus.

Joy. That’s. It.

I’d rather have joy than happiness.

Let me share this poem by Rilke posted by Robin Bates.

Without your simplicity, how could this
have happened — what shines now in the dark of night?
The God who thundered over the nations
makes himself mild and through you enters the world

Were you expecting something greater?

What is greatness? He moves straight through
all measurements we know, dissolving them away. Even the path of a star is not like that.

Behold: these kings standing here are great
and drag into your lap rare treasures
that each believes to be the greatest.

Perhaps you are astonished at their gifts.
But look into the blanket in your arms,
how He already surpasses all of them.

Amber that is traded near and far,
rings of gold and costly spices
that drift for a moment on the air:
these are quickly fading pleasures
and leave behind a vague regret.

The gift He brings — as you will see — is joy.

Nativity Scene. Carved by Arnolfo di Cambio in the late 13th century on display in Santa Maria Maggiore in Rome. Image by Catholic Traveler

I can taste that lasting sweetness what Joy brings. Joy to you all.

How do you plea?

Plea the Fifth Amendment. I refuse to answer for this might incriminate me.  In Canada, we call it Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Self-Incrimination. 

“Do you swear to tell the truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God.”  And then I swore on the Bible.  This was my experience as part of a Jury for 10 days.  A priest once told me when he is called on to swear on the Bible he refuses because he has already taken the Oath when he decided to serve God and mankind.  Of course, I forgot about this when I was asked.  I placed my hand on the Bible, and I said:“I swear.” 

It was quite an experience and an honour to serve Canada being selected as a Jury.  It made me think that the future of this man lies on my hand should I decided against the other jurors.  I was Number 8.  Mind you, we were given a manual on pointers on how to become a jury and how to make a decision based on just law.  No bias, no discrimination.  The jurors came from all walks of life.  One juror, in my opinion, was very fashionable.  She made sure that she is well dressed for the public and for the Judge.  This is not a criticism.  It’s important that we are dressed properly.  But once we deliberate behind closed doors, we have to divest ourselves.  Not our clothing, but our just minds.  We have to have an open mind without the probability of a doubt. 

We did reach a verdict.  NOT GUILTY.  Whew.  I was glad we came to a conclusion.  What was the case, you asked?  Joe vs. the People.  Joe was accused of killing his brother.  Just like in the Bible, Cane killed Abel.  But Cane was guilty; Joe was not. 

Back to swearing on the Bible to tell the whole truth; when I was a child, my Mother always reminded me to tell the truth.  That is so plain and simple.  Should you ask me WHY, the answer my friend is blowing in the wind.  (click to play the song) 

Tell the truth, try, you might like it. Nothing adversarial.

One Minute Meditation:

“Why is everyone here so happy except me?” “Because they have learned to see goodness and beauty everywhere,” said the Master. “Why don’t I see goodness and beauty everywhere?” “Because you cannot see outside of you what you fail to see inside.” || Anthony de Mello, SJ

Sunday Snippet

This is supposed to be a reblog but I am having difficulty doing it in my second generation iPad.

The source is from friarmusing, I call him FrG as a term of endearment, short for Fr. George.

His writings are enjoyable to read and exceptionally good reads. This post is about a list of reading materials.

This post is by no means complete, thorough, or makes any claim to being the last word. It is just a slice of what is out there on September 4th that caught my eye, looked interesting, and so I gave it a read. Maybe you will too.

▪Worried About Breakthrough Infections? Here’s How to Navigate This Phase of the Pandemic – New York Times.

▪Long-Haulers Are Fighting for Their Future – The Atlantic

▪Six Important Questions About Booster Shots Answered – Smithsonian

▪The Coronavirus Could Get Worse – The Atlantic

▪Pandemic Psychology – The Guardian

The Pandemic Psychology from The Guardian surprised me. As I dig deeper, a Canadian Psychiatrist from UBC Department of Psychiatry published an article that I never encountered in our news media written by Steven Taylor in 2018 pre-covid era. I have so much respect for this department because they helped me reshape my faulty thinking due to brain disorder.

He interpreted that pandemics “are essentially a psychological phenomenon and about the behaviors, attitudes and emotions of people” and that “the psychological footprint is bigger than the medical footprint”.

That, Taylor says, is not to downplay the significance of the disease to those that have become sick or died, but that many more people have been psychologically affected. The analysis was fleshed out in another academic paper, published in Canadian Psychology, in which he wrote that “pandemics are not simply events in which some harmful microbe ‘goes viral’”.

He wrote: “Psychology plays a central role in pandemics, influencing the spreading and containment of diseases, and shaping pandemic-related distress and socially disruptive, divisive and potentially harmful phenomena such as panic buying, racism and protests against pandemic mitigation restrictions.”

Lesson learned: Sunday sermon is not all about the Gospel.

Living for something bigger than myself

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to live the words of the prophet: “I, the LORD, have called you…I have grasped you by the hand…I formed you…and set you as a covenant of the people, a light for the nations” (Isaiah 42:6)

 

via A view from the kitchen window

Pilgrim Progress

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Here I am, another Sunday, another sacred space of faith and spiritual journey, more memories and reflections. There are times I don’t want to understand the course of our actions that affect other people similar to a “butterfly effect.” Still, … Continue reading

Black Mother

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Someone told me to read the lives of the saints to help me in times of the dark night of the soul.  Not just the saints but as well as people who had the courage to come back.  These are … Continue reading

The House of Belonging

The House of Belonging

This is the bright home
in which I live,
this is where
I ask
my friends
to come,

this is where I want
to love all the things
it has taken me so long
to learn to love.

This is the temple
of my adult aloneness
and I belong
to that aloneness
as I belong to my life.

There is no house
like the house of belonging.

The House of Belonging- David Whyte ©1996

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.

View original post 1,094 more words

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.