Trip of a Lifetime

 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 retreated to the balcony to find some peace and quiet, drinking tea and having a smoke.  I was facing a beautiful garden and overlooking the Dead Sea.  I could see Israel from the balcony.  On a bright day, the walls of old Jerusalem is visible.  I can imagine the location of Bethlehem, Nazareth and other geographical areas of where ancient time began based on the First and Old Testament. I  have covered the places of the Testaments.  The Bible will become genuinely alive. The readings during the mass will be more meaningful for my mind can conjure the places where I have visited. This will be my last trip. 
I am filled with gratitude to my God for making it possible for me to experience the trip of a lifetime. It’s dark.  Only a silhouette of the mountain is visible.  The lights were flickering across the waters.  It’s good to be here, Lord.  I started speaking in my mind.  Whispering softly, I raised my right arm, waved goodbye.
Goodbye, Jerusalem
            Goodbye, Bethlehem
                        Goodbye, Nazareth
Oh, what is that?  A star?  A bright shining star that appeared so close and yet so far.  Is it a plane?  No, it’s not moving. Mapping the silhouette of the mountain, naming the places, Jerusalem is to my left, that’s Bethlehem, over there is Nazareth. The star is situated above Bethlehem. This must be the star that the Magi saw.  Imagine that, and it’s not even Christmas yet. The star is real.

Jordan November 2011

Excitement came rushing out of my body.  I must take a picture.  Made a quick dash inside the room, grabbed my camera and another pilgrim, Neli, to show her what I see.  This scene must have taken at least 15 to 25 seconds.  When I went out, the STAR is gone.  I was so disappointed and sad that I have no picture to show off.  Checked the horizon if anything is floating in the sky. None, it’s pitched dark.  Neli gave me “the look” and walked away.
At Frankfurt airport, I pulled Father Priest on the side and told him about my experience.  He quietly said in his infinite wisdom that the STAR is meant only for my eyes to see.  No camera can ever capture it.  I was so moved by his explanation and tears of joy came out.
Imprinted In the heart of my heart is the image of the star. This memory will live forever. I praise you, O Lord, for your works are wonderful.  Blessed be God forever.

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

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

Transformation of Malcom Muggeridge

Taj Mahal, India

Unknown woman at Taj Mahal, India

Malcom Muggeridge, an agnostic British journalist met and filmed Mother Teresa doing her work catering to the poorest of the poor in India.

He wrote a book “Something Beautiful for God.

“This Home for the Dying is dimly lit by small windows high up in the walls, and Ken was adamant that filming was quite impossible there. We had only one small light with us, and to get the place adequately lighted in the time at our disposal was quite impossible. It was decided that, nonetheless, Ken should have a go, but by way of insurance we took, as well, some film in an outside courtyard where some of the inmates were sitting in the sun. In the processed film, the part taken inside was bathed in a particularly beautiful soft light, whereas the part taken outside was rather dim and confused…Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying is overflowing with love, as one senses immediately on entering it. This love is luminous, like the halos artists have seen and made visible round the heads of the saints. I find it not at all surprising that the luminosity should register on a photographic film ”

Influenced by his experience with Mother Teresa, he received the Catholic faith at the age of 79 together with his wife.

What brings you here?

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One human being, one heart, one love? Our heart is bigger than having one love. But it is Love. For love is boundless.   He is now to be among you at the calling of your hearts Rest assured this … Continue reading

The happiest table at home

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It is a gradual change of transition as we waited patiently with anticipation when the happiest table in our house is redecorated. The decoration then was pumpkin, Chinese lantern flowers and golden maple leaves on Thanksgiving Day. Now the table … 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

An Open Wall

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  This is more than a crack on the wall, it’s one of the gates of Jerusalem called St. Stephen’s Gate or Lion’s Gate. I spent more time on the walls of the gate, soaking up the atmosphere, listening to … Continue reading

Waiting for us

This post resonates what is written in my “About” page. One cannot hurry up the waiting process. Trust in the slow process on waiting even though one is not religious. De Chardin has proven his point and Friar pointed it so well.

friarmusings

waiting1There are lots of different ways to wait. Scripture has over 162 verses that describe all sorts and manners of waiting. I suspect you are familiar with a good portion of the different kinds of waiting – after all, we all wait. In the military, the common experience was to “hurry up and wait.” We all wait. It is a common experience, and yet there are differences in waiting. There is a difference between expectant, on the edge-of-your-seat waiting; the patient “it will happen in its own good time and there is nothing I can do about it” waiting; and the waiting of dread, tedium, and despair. I think our “are we ever gonna’ get there waiting” because a flight to Europe can take 8+ hours, would fall on deaf ears for our ancestors who traveled months on boats to reach these distant shores. But things change, the world has…

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