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

As Above, So Below

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This gallery contains 6 photos.

My feet carry me in different parts of the world to understand the divinity of Mother Earth.  I am grateful what Mother Earth provides beneath our feet. Along the way, we encounter a bridge and calm water that create a perfect … Continue reading

Hearing the voice of the one you love

Mary Magdalene Da-Vinci

“Woman, why are you weeping?”

Mary Magdalene heard someone talking to her as she stood weeping outside the tomb of Jesus.  She did not recognize the person at all.  She thought he was a gardener.

Then Jesus said to her, “Mary”.

When Mary Magdalene heard Jesus called her name, this is the time that she recognized him.

“Do not hold on to me, because I have not yet ascended to the Father.”

Mary Magdalene is the first person that saw and spoke to Jesus since he died.

This is the reason I chose Mary Magdalene as my gravatar. I am hoping that one day I will hear Him call my name and hoping you will hear Him call your name as well.

Wishing you all a Blessed Easter.

This causes me to tremble

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Was I there? At the crack of dawn, when everybody is still asleep, before the narrow streets of Old Jerusalem turn into a market place and become crowded with people, we were there to do the Via Dolorosa and reflect what … Continue reading

Last Supper

fasting
Remember:  Jesus said to love one another as he has loved us.
Please note that further posting is suspended until Easter Sunday, April 20, 2014.  

If you are curious what I am doing in between times, take a peak at my Facebook.
If you want, you can reflect on 
Stations of Life: As I see it.

Pax Tecum:  Perpetua aka seeker.


Photo Credit: Henry Hargreaves

Temptation

Assisi overlooking Porzuincula, Italy

Assisi overlooking Porzuincula

Every day the sun rises.  The light and the warmth of the sun give life to everyone and every living thing.  Not just the sun.  There’s the water, air and earth, they, too,  give freely.  They simply offer to us all that is good to sustain our well-being. There is no exception, no discrimination, and no judgement.

I am using these four elements as an analogy to how I can understand a scripture verse and apply it on my daily life.

“Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgment you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbor, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ while the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your neighbor’s eye.”

I suppose I have to look at this more on a personal level.

First, I am not perfect therefore who am I to judge?  Second, maybe it would help me to put myself in the other person’s shoe.  How would I feel if I am the one being judge?  And finally, I think judging is a sign of weakness on my part.  And to put it in a facetious way, I can only imagine how ugly-looking I am should I have a “log” in my eye.

This verse reminded me about another verse “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”  Again, I can imagine that there will be a lot of blind and toothless people running around the world.

Seriously, I need to hold back or bite my tongue no matter how tempting it is to be righteous.  This verse does not say anything about goodness or love but I believe this is the heart of it all.  It isn`t  easy to be as generous as the sun, water, air and earth but who says being a follower of Jesus would be easy?

Jerusalem: Filmed for IMAX and Giant Screen Theaters

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Jerusalem: Video Clip

If you have the time, please view the  breathtaking scenes on Jerusalem today. Don’t take too long, though, for it might be taken off any time soon because of copyright.

After a year of research and preparation, the giant screen film JERUSALEM advanced into production with an unprecedented aerial shoot throughout Israel and the West Bank.

The film will take the audiences on a spectacular tour of the Holy Land and the city once believed to be the centre of the world.

A 7-minute preview of a new IMAX film on Jerusalem. The aerial views are breathtaking and in HD Quality.

Child’s Lesson

The world misses the lesson because it confuses littleness with weakness, child-likeness with childishness, and humility with an inferiority complex. 
lady and sheen
 It forgets that great moral strength may be hidden in physical weakness, as Omnipotence was wrapped in swaddling bands; and that great Wisdom may be found in simple faith as the Eternal Mind was found in the form of a Babe. There is strength – strength before which the angels trembled, strength before which the stars prostrated, and strength before which the very throne of Herod shook in fear.
 “When you got what you wanted, were you happy? Do you remember when you were a child, how ardently you looked forward to Christmas? How happy you thought you would be, with your fill of cakes, your hands glutted with toys, and your eyes dancing with the lights on the tree! Christmas came, and after you had eaten your fill, blown out the last Christmas candle, and played till your toys no longer amused, you climbed into your bed and said, in your own little heart of hearts, that somehow or other it did not quite come up to your expectations. And have you not lived that experience over a thousand times since?”  ~Fulton Sheen (You)
 
 
 
Source :  Christmas: Our Lady and Sheen

A Pilgrim’s wish

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And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us. (Song: Oh Little Town of Bethlehem)It is difficult to express the absolute bliss that I felt during this unique spiritual adventure.  As I literally followed the footsteps of Jesus, the journey … Continue reading

A Child is Born

christmas 2013

For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given, and the government
shall be upon His shoulder; and his name shall be called Wonderful,
Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

Star of Bethlehem: A Pilgrim Story

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The Holy Land is not so holy when the Israelis occupy the land of the Palestine’s, the Muslims building mosque on top of the Christian church and the Christians are now a minority.  There is always trouble yet I went … Continue reading

Email received: A gentle reminder about Christmas

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This is the content of the e-mail about a Christmas song:  A beautiful story, read, watch and enjoy.

While at the mall a couple of years ago, my then four year old nephew, Spencer, saw kids lined up to see Santa Claus.

Having been taught as a toddler that Christmas is the holiday that Christians celebrate the birth of Jesus, he asked his mom, “where’s the line to see Jesus”? My sister mentioned this to my dad, who immediately became inspired and jotted words down to a song in just a few minutes. After putting music to the words, and doing a quick recording at home, he received a great response from friends.

He sent the song off to without much response, except for a Christian song writer who suggested adding a bridge at the end of the first chorus. My dad then asked if I wanted to record the song to see what we could do with it. I listened to the song, made a few changes to the words to make it flow better, and we headed to Shock City Studios.

It was at the studio where Chris, owner and producer, rewrote the 2nd verse and part of the chorus… with goose bumps and emotions high, we were all hopeful and felt like we had something special. The demo was recorded in just under 2 hours and sent off again to … still no response.

Then 2 weeks before Christmas last year, my cousins Greg and Robbie decided to do a video to see what we could accomplish on YouTube. The first day we had 3000 hits and it soared from there. We received e-mails, phone calls, Facebook messages from people all over asking for the music, CD’s, iTunes, anything… we had nothing.

After a couple of meetings with Chris following the amazing response, we got serious. We headed back into the studio this past spring… this time with guitars, drums, bass, pianos, choirs… the real deal…. and here we are today. Getting iTunes set up, a website put together, and loving that thousands upon thousands of Christians have come together… remembering the true meaning of Christmas.

Out of the mouths of babes come profound truths that many adults cannot understand. Hopefully Spencer’s observation will cause people all over to reflect on the love of Jesus, and that one day we will all stand in line to see Him.

We are most thankful to our Heavenly Father to have this chance to share our music with you.  Merry Christmas everyone.

Christmas isn’t just another holiday.

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What Christmas means to me says it all on this song.

Christmas isn’t just another holiday.  The word Christmas derived from the name  Jesus Christ.  Christmas is the time when we celebrate His birth.  I’ll stand up in the crowd and proud to say Merry Christmas.

Joyful Mystery

Announcing that a new baby coming is filled with excitement.  We cannot wait for the baby to come.  Wait we must, with joyful anticipation for the birth of a new child.  Same thing with birthdays, we can’t seem to wait to celebrate someone else’s birthday.  Wait we must, with gladness. 
It’s a waiting game. 
I don’t mind waiting.  For most of my life, I wait.  Life consists mostly of waiting.  The question is what do I do while I wait?  The in-between-times. how do I respond to this?  
This photo is one of the many depictions of the Annunciation displayed in Bethlehem contributed by the Philippines.  It’s an image of pure simplicity. 
Bethlehem  Annunciation
 
The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary.
And she conceived of the Holy Spirit. 
Meditating on this photo with Mary in mind, she gladly accepted what was unacceptable.  She said YES to conceive.  What a courageous act.  She waited with great understanding, anticipation and longing to fulfill her calling. 
As I reflected on this, my breathing slows down absorbing the joyful mystery.  A one-minute-meditation, my mind and heart became pregnant with desire to be more intimate with Jesus Christ. 
 

I believe ~ a different perspective

Halloween was not even over yet, the Christmas stockings are now on sale.  Just a minute, wait until we bury back the dead, the ghosts to return to ghost town and bring out the ghost of Christmas past on Christmas day, not on October 31st.

Recently, a group of little green people accosted me insisting that Santa Claus is already in town.  Yah? Really?  And where he could be, I asked.  They responded in chorus line: Richmond Mall!  Hah, there you are, it’s all about going to the mall to entice me in spending money that I don’t have.  They even bribed me with candy canes and a button that says “I believe.”  No thanks, I still have yet to finish all the Halloween candies.

green people

Passing by Metro Town Mall, look who’s there?  Santa Claus.  There’s no need for me to go to Richmond since Santa’s doppelganger is right here up my alley.

Seriously!  Before Christmas starts, this whole idea will wear out thin.  Come to think about it, the twelve day of Christmas does not start until December 25 and it ends on January 6.  And real gift giving is on the first Sunday of the following year when the Three Kings arrive to bring the gift of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Hearing Celine Dion sing “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas” and Michael Buble’s rendition of “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” while I shop at Safeway makes me want to scream “Will somebody please turn off this music!”  I can’t concentrate what to buy for dinner on a rainy day and to come home in an apartment without fire-place.

I must admit Vancouver features many areas where one can go to be in the groove for Christmas.  The famous lights in St. Paul’s Hospital, the Christmas train at Stanley Park, the German Market at Queen Elizabeth, the dancing fountain at Van Dusen garden and the many homes that are fully decorated with Christmas lights.

christmas market

And what do I really believe and celebrate during Christmas season?  My answer is one word:  Advent

What is Advent?

The word “Advent” comes from the Latin Adventus, which means “coming.” It is a time for quiet reflection, prayer and conversion in anticipation of the coming of Christ from two different perspectives. The readings and the liturgies during Advent prepare us for the birth of Jesus, but they also prepare us for the Second Coming of Jesus at the end of the world. The season offers us the opportunity to share in the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah, and to be alert as we await his Second Coming. Advent begins four Sundays before Christmas. It ends at sundown on Christmas Eve. Since Christmas falls on different days of the week, Advent can range in duration from 22 days when Christmas falls on a Monday to 28 days when Christmas falls on a Sunday. Advent marks the beginning of the Church year. Unlike the secular year, which marks the passage of time, the liturgical year celebrates the sacred mysteries of the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The year begins during Advent in anticipation of the coming of Jesus with reflections on the Hebrew prophecies and the ancient longing for the coming of the Messiah.

Jesus beloved son

Christmas is not a holiday.  Please don’t greet me with Happy Holidays.  Christmas is merry.  I will joyfully greet you Merry Christmas.  I’m sure I’m not alone to wish you a Merry Christmas and won’t the last.

Merry Christmas.

A Story of “Faith” Umbrella

The spring rains did not come and the summer heat was worse than it had ever been.  All the fields in the area were parched, dusty, and brown. Our livelihood, our way of life, was wilting away. Most mornings we would search the sky for any sign of relief, for a hint of rain on the horizon. Days turned into arid weeks and soon became months.  Everywhere faithful people prayed.

The ministers, priest and rabbi of our local churches announced that there would be a special service to pray for rain on the following Saturday. They asked that everyone bring an object of their faith. So come Saturday morning we all gathered in the town square. People came with anxious faces and hopeful hearts. Looking around you could see the Bibles, Book of Prayers, crosses, crucifixes, pictures of Jesus – and you could tell the Catholic because of their rosaries.

And so we prayed.  We prayed a mighty prayer of praises for God, praises for His divine protection, and  petitions for rain. We sang, prayed some more, and heard the minister proclaim our faith in Jesus. And then we prayed some more. Just as the hour of prayer was concluding, and as if by some divine cue, a soft rain began to fall. Cheers swept the crowd as they held their treasured objects high in gratitude and praise.  The Pentecostals were shouting out their Hallelujahs with arms raised in ecstasy. The Catholics even got excited and were waving their rosaries, whipping them around in a frenzy.

But one symbol of faith seemed to overshadow all the others; one person had brought an umbrella.

Faith Umbrella

Special birthday pilgrimage to receive blessings on my 50th birthday in Vatican, Rome, Italy.

Source:   Friarmusings

Buddha says “Life is suffering.”

Photo by: Daehyun Kim Source: New York Times

Photo by: Daehyun Kim
Source: New York Times

Buddha says “Life is suffering.”  
Every time someone says this quote, I add: “Get with the program!” 
Yes, I agree.  What I do with suffering is either use it or lose it. 
Useful suffering teaches me something; it makes me wiser and cut away any useless limbs so that I may bear fruit, so to speak.  It makes me a better person, a better sister, a better friend and then some.  
Useless suffering is negative and depressing.  I cannot make sense of it.  When I try to analyze the situation, it causes analysis paralysis.  My spiritual, emotional, mental and physical well-being deteriorates.  I feel it’s a dead-end street and sometimes death is a good way out.  It is devastating. 
I have my fair share of suffering.  Family and friends help tremendously with their outpouring love to help me recover.  Behind this love is the deep faith we have that help me redeemed myself.  It is called Redemptive suffering. 
“Redemption accomplished through love remains always open to all love expressed through human suffering.”  Since my faith is based on the theology of Jesus, I offer my suffering to Him and I am privilege that He allows me to unite my suffering.  This is the greatest way for me in order to rise above the existential angst and cesspool of the soul. 
I can offer the grief, depression, limitation, frustration, pain and sorrow that I experience without suffering.  The uselessness of suffering becomes powerless.  Of course, I have fear.  I am never useless no matter what condition I am in.  And I can say the same to you, you are never useless.  In fact, other people can learn from us; we may be doing more good for humanity.  I know.  Being in the company of women at Talitha Kuom, I learned humility, love, perseverance, trust, compassion and patience. 
To keep up with my answer “get with the program”, I take a look at the area of my life and make sure that none of it is useless and wasted.
 
Related Articles:

Let It Be

When I find myself in times of trouble

when my heart is  broken

in my hour of darkness

when the night is cloudy

Mother Mary comes to me

Speaking words of wisdom

Let It Be…

Mary and Jesus Indian style

A mosaic of Mary and Jesus
by Indian artist Balan is in the Matridham Ashram in Varanasi, India. 
Image by: Paul Jeffrey  Source: Women’s Division
 
 
 

 

Plant a Seed in My Heart (28)

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This room is so inviting.  Not a soul, lucky me.  As I walk along the hallway, the altar is simply plain and a symbol of Christianity hangs on the wall.  Crucified Jesus Christ.  Standing in front of the altar, on my … Continue reading

Gotta have heart (34)

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The next destinations after Lourdes were Ars and Paray Le Monial.   It was a beautiful drive.  We were back to normal, no feud amongst the pilgrims and singing in the bus as if we were school children.  First stop was … Continue reading

Daily Prompt: My Hero! – When I grow Up, I want to be just like you!

Tell us about your hero.

When I grow up, I want to be just like you said my niece to me lovingly as if she was looking at an angel at a tender age of under 10 years.  Children don’t know how to lie, just yet, they are open and honest; children have 20/20 vision, they can see an angel.  Ah, such sweet innocence as pure as driven snow.

I felt so vain, I am her HERO.  HOLD THAT THOUGHT FOR A MINUTE! No, don’t even think about it, NEVER!  When you grow up, you are going to be YOU!

Modesty aside, I am the hero not just to my niece also to my nephews, other nieces and younger generations since I am Auntie Mame to them.  Now they are all grown up, matured and have a place on this earth, their views have changed.  I am pretty sure if I’ll ask them who their hero is, it won’t be me.  Oh well, such as life.

Turning that question inwardly: asking, musing, pondering, thinking, talking to myself; who is your hero, Lady? The answer, really honestly and seriously.  I can easily say that my Mother Lucia is my hero for she gave birth to me.  She fought for my life when I was being conceived in her tiny womb.  I should have not been born.  The fetus is self-abortive says the doctor.  You will lose the baby.  Mother has such great strong faith and determination.  She wants me to come into this world for she loves me.  She prayed hard to all the angels and saints; to Our Lady of Perpetual Help for her intercession.  Should my life be spared, Mother will name the baby after Her.  What?  How does she know if it will be a baby girl?  What if it’s a boy?  Our Lord of Perpetual Peter Pan?

TADA, fast forward, 55 years later. Here I am at WordPress, pressing the words about my hero.  Long have I been waiting for this moment to speak boldly who my hero is.  I must say I am a little bit concerned that I may be laughed at should I tell you the 5Ws of my hero.  But I will stick to the rule: WHO.

I have so many heroes, not just one. My heroes are those little things that we seem to take for granted.  My heroes are those that saved my life aside from my Mother Lucia.  The most recent episode in my life, they are Lady Bugs, Hummingbirds, mustard seeds.  They saved my life and sanity.  And I am sure there will be more little things to come.

All kidding aside, my real hero based on my faith is nothing but a little child, Baby Jesus Christ.  He saved not just my life. He came to this world to save the world and mankind. Should you want to know the story of Baby Jesus, Google it!

Mary’s Boy Child Jesus Christ (song)

My Hero: Baby Lord Jesus Christ

My Hero: Baby Lord Jesus Christ