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

Just another day or Is it?

 

Love was definitely in the air yesterday. There was the look of love in people’s eyes. Men carrying a bouquet of flowers. Cars are running in slow motion giving pedestrians a chance to cross the street.  I can’t believe that they are actually yielding to us. In turn, I gave them the peace sign instead of giving them the bird.

Valentine’s Day is now over. Yesterday’s red roses are dead. Some are feeling the effect of sugar crash from eating chocolates. I have none of these, but I still feel giddy about meeting people on the road and striking a conversation.

I meet a man on the street who lives two blocks away from me at The Poppy, a residential home for older folks. Still walking with the aid of a walker. I tell you, those walkers are the most significant invention for elderly as a means of their independence just to get around. He is so proud to say that he is 99 years old and can’t wait to reach his centennial year. He has two children. One of them came to visit him to celebrate her 73rd birthday. He proceeded to tell me that his wife died five years ago and they were married for 77 years. He’s happy having his children, grand, and great-great-grandchildren. He doesn’t appear to be that ancient. He seems to be in his 70’s.

We parted and wished me Happy St. Valentine’s Day.

It must be love that keeps him going.

To a disciple who was forever complaining about others the master said, “If  it is peace you want, seek to change yourself, not other people.  It is easier to protect your feet with slippers than to carpet the whole of the earth.”  ~ Anthony de Mello, SJ

MORSEL:    The paradox of control is simple. The more we try to control life, the less control we have.  ~ Joan Borysenko, Ph.D.

 

Photo via TWIST – Picasso, Merton, and Pathways to Peace.

 

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

The Gift of Prayer

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We have just finished our third night of prayer for our dearly beloved, Lorena when her sister’s mother-in-law followed Lorena’s footsteps. Now, we have to remember the mother-in-law in our prayers as well. Tonight will be the sixth evening that is extra … Continue reading

Respectful Woman – a Superhero

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  I suppose for a child, adult seems to be larger than life and that’s how my nephew, Carlos, drew his mom. Tall, colorful clothing with beautiful red smiling lips. As for the arms, I don’t know why they turned … 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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church-in-cuba

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

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

Mother T. How I met her.

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It was a warm afternoon when I suddenly came out of my meditation hearing the voice “Mother T died.” Mother T? Who is Mother T? Where did that voice come from? Perplexed, I ended the meditation and continued the daily … Continue reading

Human Race

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  I am here, Jesse, where it seems there is only the dry sand and the wet blood. I do not fear so much for myself, my friend Jesse, I fear for my woman who is home, and my young … Continue reading

The Earth is Our Sanctuary

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Earth teach me quiet ~ as the grasses are still with new light. Earth teach me suffering ~ as old stones suffer with memory. Earth teach me humility ~ as blossoms are humble with beginning. Earth teach me caring ~ … Continue reading

Finding Time

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Joining a guided walking and sightseeing holiday in Cuba with Walker’s World is not actually a pilgrimage. However, I made sure that I consider it as one for I always consider myself a pilgrim on this earth. Visiting Churches is … 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

Transformation: Way of Life

hands

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

Sitting, Waiting, Listening

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Prayer is largely just being silent: holding the tension instead of even talking it through, offering the moment instead of fixing it by words and ideas, loving reality as it is instead of understanding it fully. Prayer is commonly a … Continue reading

The “solution”

Distractions in prayer drive some people crazy.

I simply decided years ago that I would make my distractions part of my prayer and I refuse to get annoyed by my flighty brain.  The “solution” proposed here might work for you if distractions do disturb you.

Source: People for Others

 

Thanksgiving on nature.

Bee and Fuchia“I have noticed in all the serious circumstances of my life that nature always reflected the image of my soul. On days filled with tears the heavens cried along with me; on days of joy the sun sent forth its joyful rays in profusion, and the blue skies were not obscured by a single cloud.”

Our Thanksgiving Prayer

Thank you for the variety of seasons and moods in my life.

Thank you for the love affair You have with me and the whole creation reflected in the changing seasons of sun, shadows, transformations, dormancy and renewed life; seasons of light, darkness, rain, heat, cold and warmth, worry and warmth.

Thank you for the exchange and intimacy of life I so often take for granted.

Source: Little Flower

The prayer of the quiet

Praying Hand

“The prayer of quiet is a prayer that makes room for God’s presence.
When we are quiet, we have come to the end of talking, finished being in charge, finished insisting on our own way.
We are ready to make room for God’s voice, for God’s guidance, for God’s way.

The prayer of quiet involves listening and waiting.
This often does not feel like prayer.
Because we tend to think of prayer as doing something, rather than as waiting quietly before God….”

 

Source: UCANews by  Juanita Ryan

Pay Attention

grass

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.”

~ Praying by Mary Oliver (Thirst)

Rest

Open Sea Victoria, BC Canada

Read these words aloud as a prayer for this stage of your life—the fullness and generativity of your being.

Rest: A Poem

I believe in all that has never yet been spoken.
I want to free what waits within me
so that what no one has dared to wish for
may for once spring clear
without my contriving.

If this is arrogant, God, forgive me,
but this is what I need to say.
May what I do flow from me like a river,
no forcing and no holding back,
the way it is with children.

Then in these swelling and ebbing currents,
these deepening tides moving out, returning,
I will sing you as no one ever has,
streaming through widening channels
into the open sea.

— Rainer Maria Rilke, Rilke’s Book of Hours: Love Poems to God
(Translated by Anita Barrows and Joanna Macy)

via Richard Rohr

A little girl’s letter to Einstein: Do scientists pray?

einstein
The Riverside Church

January 19, 1936

My dear Dr. Einstein,

We have brought up the question: Do scientists pray? in our Sunday school class. It began by asking whether we could believe in both science and religion. We are writing to scientists and other important men, to try and have our own question answered.

We will feel greatly honored if you will answer our question: Do scientists pray, and what do they pray for?

We are in the sixth grade, Miss Ellis’s class.

Respectfully yours,

Phyllis

***************************************************************************************************

January 24, 1936

Dear Phyllis,

I will attempt to reply to your question as simply as I can. Here is my answer:

Scientists believe that every occurrence, including the affairs of human beings, is due to the laws of nature. Therefore a scientist cannot be inclined to believe that the course of events can be influenced by prayer, that is, by a supernaturally manifested wish.

However, we must concede that our actual knowledge of these forces is imperfect, so that in the end the belief in the existence of a final, ultimate spirit rests on a kind of faith. Such belief remains widespread even with the current achievements in science.

But also, everyone who is seriously involved in the pursuit of science becomes convinced that some spirit is manifest in the laws of the universe, one that is vastly superior to that of man. In this way the pursuit of science leads to a religious feeling of a special sort, which is surely quite different from the religiosity of someone more naive.

With cordial greetings,

your A. Einstein

 

source: brain pickings

This is love and nothing else.

spring flowersA Prayer in Spring

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees.

And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stands still.

For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill.

 

Robert Frost, from Robert Frost: Collected Poems, Prose, and Plays (Library of America).

Thank you David Lose for sharing another inspired poem.
Photo Credit: Karma Tube

This is really how it is

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I was looking what to post yesterday that is more palatable to readers when it comes to spirituality for Sunday Snippet.  I am very much aware when it comes to the topic of religion, it’s hardly entertained.  Using Parabola is … Continue reading

This is how it is

sunday snippet

As my prayer become more attentive and inward
I had less and less to say.
I finally became completely silent.
I started to listen
– which is even further removed from speaking.
I first thought that praying entailed speaking.
I then learnt that praying is hearing,
not merely being silent.
This is how it is.
To pray does not mean to listen to oneself speaking,
Prayer involves becoming silent,
And being silent,
And waiting until God is heard.

–Søren Kierkegaard, quoted by Joachim Berendt in “The Third Ear,” translated by Tim Nevill (Shaftsbury, England: Element Books, 1988).

Wisdom from our summer 1990 issue on attention |Parabola Magazine
Photo Credit: Randy P. Martin

On Being Thankful

Being Thankful When Depressed

Sometimes it can be difficult to be thankful when you feel miserable.  That misery usually becomes worse when well david-and-bathsheba-chagallmeaning people remind you of what you should be thankful for.  So, let me offer a prayer of gratitude for all who struggle with depression, or any other mental or emotional condition.

Dear Lord,

  • Thank you for giving me the courage to get up and face another day, and the stamina to work for health.
  • Thank you for holding me close when I have wanted to end my life, and for holding others who did die from depression, bipolar, or schizophrenia.
  • Thank you also for understanding when I couldn’t get myself out of bed to go to mass or feared confession because the very thought of facing my sins only made me feel more unworthy of love.
  • Thank you for providing the ability to hold up my head when people judged me, gossiped about me, or backed away during the times I became ill.  Likewise, for granting me patience and understanding when those who saw me at my worst could not accept my health and so treated me as if I were still “fragile.”
  • Thank you for teaching me how to carry my cross for love of you, focusing on you rather than my specific pains.  I know I don’t do that perfectly but you don’t care and for that I am most grateful.
  • Thank you for modern medicine, competent therapists and spiritual directors, understanding clergy, and Saints who had mental health difficulties.  These can bolster my hope, lessen my sense of isolation, and even make me healthier.
  • Thank you especially for those moments, days, and sometimes months of remission when joy and a clear mind return.  These are a foretaste of what heaven will be like after I have finished fighting the good fight in faith and hope.
  • Most of all thank you for accepting the offering of my imperfect, broken, and sick self at mass and responding by feeding and strengthening my soul with the Eucharist.

For all these things I thank you.  Amen.

 

Credits:
Article: Depressed and Catholic
Image: Friar Musings

 

Stages of Beginnings

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Morning walk to the train station is a beginning of my workday.  One can only be filled with awe seeing a painted sky and feel the gratitude of a new day.  I face the east only to see the sun starting to rise, welcomes and greets me: Good Morning.

Beginning 7am

Beginning 7am

Spirit who comes out of the East, come to me with the power of the East, the light of the rising sun.  Let there be light on the path I walk.  Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day and let me never be burdened with sorrow by not starting over.

As I step out of the office is a beginning of an evening; a beautiful horizon at the west as the sun starts to descend, bids adieu and so long: Good Night.

Beginning 4:30pm

Beginning 4:30pm

Great Life Giving Spirit, I face the West, the direction of sundown.  Let me remember every day that the moment will come when my sun will go down.  Never let me forget that I must fade into you.  Give me beautiful color; give me a great sky for setting so that when it is time to meet you, I come with glory.

In between this time is laden with new beginnings.  One has to be in tune with the surroundings, pay attention and most importantly keep my ears opened to any whisperings: the rustling of the winds, the cry of the gulls or the high-pitch sound.  When I hear that sound, I have to stop and be still.  I know that sound.  It is somewhat surprising to listen to it in the busy city just outside where I work.  Mind you, this is a residential area where garden abounds.

Finally, I see it.  Hummingbird!  Seeing this precious little thing is a beginning of an exciting afternoon break that I must tell any passersby who are willing to listen to me.  They, too, became excited.  And in the end, they are thankful to experience the sight and sound of a hummingbird.

Hummingbird (green)

Hummingbird (green)

It doesn’t end here.

Another sighting of another hummer that is doing its mating call and dance happened.  Have you ever seen how it courts a female hummer?  The male sounds off the most incredible ear-piercing soft sound, will sky-rocket way up high and dives down.  It does this maneuver over and over. What an accelerating experience.

Hummingbird (red)

Hummingbird (red)

I was looking like a fool until someone joined me in this marvelous dance of life.  Soon, it will be a beginning of a baby hummer.  Hopefully.

A taste of e.e. cummings

i thank You God for most this amazing

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any—lifted from the no
of all nothing—human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

Source:  David Lose

The Seeker: I’ll never find another you.

Singing is a form of prayer.  This is another song that I sing since childhood.  It is not a traditional hymn but it draws me nearer to the Lord.  I know there is a Promised Land. Sunrise at Mt. Beatitudes  Holy Land 2011
There’s a new world somewhere
They call The Promised Land
And I’ll be there some day
If you will hold my hand
I still need you there beside me
No matter what I do
For I know I’ll never find another you 
There is always someone
For each of us they say
And you’ll be my someone
For ever and a day
I could search the whole world over
Until my life is through
But I know I’ll never find another you 
It’s a long, long journey
So stay by my side
When I walk through the storm
You’ll be my guide
Be my guide 
If they gave me a fortune
My pleasure would be small
I could lose it all tomorrow
And never mind at all
But if I should lose your love, dear
I don’t know what I’d do
For I know I’ll never find another you
But if I should lose your love, dear
I don’t know what I’d do
For I know I’ll never find another you
Another you
Another you
 
“I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:15
 
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A Leap of Faith

Dec 22, 2013, Sunday.  Today, we will light up the fourth candle and it represents Love.

“I give you a new commandment: love one another.  As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:34-35
With Love, Prayers and Blessings to you and yours.  Pax Tecum ~ Seeker.

Reflection after the storm

Memories came flooding in, seeping out of my memory bank.  The earthquake, the storm, death, then calm.

Sea of Galilee

Being born in the Philippines Mother nature rules.  Nature does not discriminate, from the young and old, from the poor and rich, from the ordinary to famous folks; we are all affected.  One of the saving graces, I now live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.  Hardly any storm but plenty of rain and cloudy days.From what I can remember, Father was swept away by the sea, never to be found.  Was there a storm at the time that caused ragging waves?  I still have yet to know.  Mother had a nervous breakdown when Father died.  Was it his death or the thought of having to care for 13 children, the youngest four months old.  I was only four years old.  Most of my memory is vague maybe it was buried with Father in the sea.

Flying debris, the tin roof blown by the mighty wind, trees falling down, roaring of the wind, torrential rain and flooding are the effects of nature passing through.

Then came Ruby Tower crashing down.  It was intensity 7.7 in the Richter scale.  People rushing out of their homes.  Me standing by the canal, the water creating a whirlpool and saw a huge rock emerged from the ground.

We were spared from these disasters except Father.

The Voice of God in a Great Storm
A Psalm of David. (Psalm 29) 
 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;
worship the Lord in holy array. 
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, upon many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful,
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty. 
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars,
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, 
and Sir′ion like a young wild ox. 
The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness,
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh. 
The voice of the Lord makes the oaks to whirl,
and strips the forests bare;
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!” 
The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king for ever.
May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace! 
 This is a  Day of Grace.
 
Related Articles:

A Revelation

First, I had an epiphany and you can read it here.

Second, I found out what is the most popular search: The Cat Prayer.

It’s rather interesting to read the search engines and the various ways people identify what they are looking for.  These are the examples:

a cat’s life poem, a cat’s prayer, cat poem, cat poems, cat pray, cat prayer, cat praying, cat praying to god, cats good night prayer, cats prayer, cat’s prayer, cute cat poems, , poem about cat, poem on cat, praying cat, praying kitty, thankful cats and the best is meow I lay me down to sleep prayer

Thirdly, I am thankful and appreciate your interest on this article.  Therefore, I am reposting it for your enjoyment.

a-cat's-prayer

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Candle in Spain: November Peace Challenge

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Spain is filled with churches and we tried to stopped by in most of them, time permitting.  When I enter a new church, they say make a wish and your wish will be granted.  I have three wishes and I pray it all … Continue reading

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

Glimpse of Santiago de Compostela

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Entering the narrow pathways considered as a street in Santiago de Compostela, we could see the steeple of the cathedral.  The pilgrims’ steps quickened as they are getting excited to reach their destination. In front of the towering old steeple, dating as … Continue reading

Ascending the Mountain

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For most walkers or hikers, going up the mountain is far easier than going down .  When it comes to descending, it is really hard on the knees and toes especially when the mountain is too rocky and paved with … Continue reading

Something fell from the sky

On my way to work, something fell from the sky.  As I walked closer to it, it appeared to be a small piece of paper iridescent green colour.  I bend down to pick it up and it was paper light.

Good Lord.  A hummingbird.  I don’t know what to do.  I was so scared that it might have died from the impact of hitting the pavement.  It was breathing so fast. Stroking it as gently as possible and praying to it “Please do not die” was all I can do,

I turned around and went to the nearest bush.  I laid it gently, left and hope it will come back to its senses.

On my coffee break around 10 am, I went to check the bush.  The hummingbird was gone.  I hope it flew away.

This was the first time I encountered a hummingbird.

Fast forward a year later.  Spring, a beautiful sunny day, however, the dark night of the soul is trying to invade me.

I was gardening on my balcony at the same time talking to God.

God, where are you.  I don’t particularly like how I am feeling, please take this away from me.  Where are you?

Suddenly I heard this whooshing sound.  It was high pitched buzzing more like it.  Am I hearing things now?  Or the tension is affecting my eardrums again?

I look up and right in front of me was this beautiful golden hummingbird.

Oh my God.  I repeated this so many times in my mind. Transfixed to this small creature, I did not breathe nor move for fear of scaring it away.

Time stood still.

Zoom, it was gone.  So was the dark night of the soul.

hummingbird

From here on, the hummingbird is my constant companion especially when I tend to garden.  One hummer brought others  and they stay around all year.

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year. 
 Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night;
And make us happy in the happy bees,
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees. 
 And make us happy in the darting bird
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill,
And off a blossom in mid air stand still. 
 For this is love and nothing else is love,
The which it is reserved for God above
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfill. 
A Robert Frost Hummingbird Poem

Prayer for peace on Earth

Prayer for peace on Earth

Let us pray then, with all fervour for this peace which our Divine redeemer came to bring us.

May he banish from the souls of all people whatever might endanger peace.
May he transform all people into witnesses of truth, justice and brotherly love.
May he illumine with his light the minds of rulers, so that, besides caring for the proper material welfare of their peoples, they may also guarantee them the fairest gift of peace.

Pacem in Terris

  • How does the Lord want to transform me into a ‘witness’?
  • Can I be open to this as I ponder God’s Word today?

As we long for peace we remember our brothers and sisters of all faiths – and none – who share our longings.

Prayer of St Francis of Assisi

 Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury; pardon.
Where there is doubt; faith.
Where there is despair; hope.
Where there is darkness; light.
Where there is sadness; joy. 
This sequence of prayer was offered in the early days of Sacred Space and has remained online since. There is always a call to us to pray for the world, bringing its changing needs before God.
  • You are welcome to offer your thoughts on these prayers here.
Related Articles:
 

A Baha’i Prayer

A Baha’i Prayer
Be generous in prosperity, and thankful in adversity.
Be fair in thy judgement, and guarded in thy speech.
Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness and a home to the stranger.
Be eyes to the blind, and a guiding light to the feet of the erring.
Be a breath of life to the body of humankind,
a dew to the soil of the human heart and
fruit upon the tree of humility.
 
Baha'i Garden in Israel Pilgrimage 2010

Baha’i Garden in Israel Pilgrimage 2010

  Prayer for peace

May Christ inflame the desires of all people to break through the barriers which divide them, to strengthen the bonds of mutual love, to learn to understand one another and to pardon those who have done them wrong. Through his power and inspiration, may all peoples welcome each other to their hearts as brothers and sisters, and may the peace they long for ever flower and ever reign among them.

Pacem in Terris

At Sacred Space today can I allow the Word of God to stir up the authentic desires and longings of my heart? The men and women of the whole world long for peace.

 
Related Articles:

A Hindu Prayer

A Hindu Prayer
 Oh God, lead us from the unreal to the Real.
Oh God, lead us from darkness to light.
Oh God, lead us from death to immortality.
Shanti (Peace), Shanti, Shanti unto all.
Oh Lord God almighty,
may there be peace in celestial regions.
May there be peace on earth.
May the waters be appeasing.
May herbs be wholesome,
and may trees and plants bring peace to all.
May all beneficent beings bring peace to us.
May thy peace itself bestow peace on all,
and may that peace come to me also. 
Photo: AP/Niranjan Shrestha

Photo: AP/Niranjan Shrestha

 Prayer for peace on Earth

Everyone who has joined the ranks of Christ must be a glowing point of light in the world, a nucleus of love, a leaven of the whole mass. He will be so in proportion to his degree of spiritual union with God.

Pacem in Terris

A Sikh Prayer

A Sikh Prayer
 By the grace of God’s name May humanity find itself lifted higher and higher. In thy dispensation O Lord Let there be good in all humanity. 
Sikh Prayer 
 
Prayer for peace on Earth  
The International community, which since 1948 has possessed a charter of the inalienable rights of the human person, has generally failed to insist sufficiently on corresponding duties. It is duty that establishes the limits within which rights must be contained in order not to become an exercise in arbitrariness. A greater awareness of universal human duties would greatly benefit the cause of peace. (John Paul 2nd). 
As I pray today at Sacred Space we remember that the Lord never forces me. The voice of God is one of love. As we Christians long for peace we remember our brothers and sisters of other faiths who share our longings.
 

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A Jain Prayer

A Jain Prayer

Lead me from death to Life, from falsehood to Truth.
Lead me from despair to Hope, from fear to Trust.
Lead me from hate to Love, from war to Peace.
Let Peace fill our heart, our world, our universe.
– Satish Kumar

 

Source: Sacred Space

Source: Sacred Space

Prayer for peace on Earth

Pope John Paul II reflected on Blessed John XXIII’s Four Pillars of Peace:

» Truth will build peace if every individual sincerely acknowledges not only his rights, but also his own duties towards others.

» Justice will build peace if in practice everyone respects the rights of others and actually fulfils his duties towards them.

» Love will build peace if people feel the needs of others as their own and share what they have with others.

» Freedom will build peace and make it thrive if, in the choice of the means to that end, people act according to reason and assume responsibility for their own actions.

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A Jewish Prayer

A Jewish Prayer 
Cause us, O Father, to lie down in peace, and rise again to enjoy life. Spread over us the covering of your peace, guide us with your good counsel and save us for the sake of your name. Be a shield about us, turning away every enemy, disease, violence, hunger and sorrow. Shelter us in the shadow of your wings, for you are a God who guards and protects us, a ruler of mercy and compassion…. Blessed are you, Lord, who spreads the shelter of peace over us, over His people Israel, and over all the world.
Source:  Sacred Space

Source: Sacred Space

 Prayer for peace on Earth 
Pacem in Terris (1963) spoke to everyone about their belonging to the one human family and it shone a light on the shared aspiration of people everywhere to live in security, justice and hope for the future. Forty years later we are more obviously than ever the children of one global family. 
Today let me open my heart to the deep aspirations of those people who seem furthest away from me. As we Christians long for peace we remember our brothers and sisters of other faiths who share our longings.
 
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A Muslim Prayer

O God! O our Master! You are eternal life and everlasting peace by your essence and attributes. The everlasting peace is from You and it returns to You. O our Sustainer! Grant us the life of true peace and usher us into the abode of peace. O Glorious and Bounteous One! You are blessed and sublime. 
Source:  Sacred Space

Source: Sacred Space

Prayer for peace on Earth 
Forty years ago Pope John reminded the world of the Four Pillars of Peace. They are the basis of right order in our world. It is an order that is founded on truth, built up on justice, nurtured and animated by charity, and brought into effect under the auspices of freedom. 
As we join together at Sacred Space, we might express our hope for our world, that we may re-establish the divine order in our own hearts and in our world. Still, we remember that the Lord speaks to each person according to their own situation and needs. 
Our brothers and sisters of many faiths – and none – share our longing for peace.
 
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Do you believe in Angels?

Do I believe in angels?  I do! 
There is no doubt in my mind that angels exist and never a day goes by in my mind that angels exist.  They could be in so many different forms.  When they do appear to me, in some way on another, the memory leaves an indelible mark in my mind. 
The Angels can send a real person to protect and serve the goodness of mankind.  They protected me and helped in my most dire need.  No question about it.  
If Angels exist so does the devil.  I know, for I have seen the devil on someone’s face.  There are unexplained situations that happened and I have no fear for the Angel of the Lord is with me. 
Being present to everyday situation makes me more open to the divine more so with the evil.  Not that I am discounting the negative effect in daily life, there are more goodness in the world. 
It’s the little things that go unnoticed that makes life bearable.  An empty field with a single daisy flowering amidst the rubbles and the weeds chocking the earth will brighten my mind.  This is a singular beauty that I notice as I routinely walk going to work and coming home.  The Angel opens my eyes to the wonder of ordinary life as I pray this: 
Angel of God
My Guardian, dear
To whom Gods love
Commits me here.
Angel of God Post AT Work

Angel of God Post AT Work

 
Ever this day
Be at my side
To light and guide
Rule and guard.
Amen.

Related Link: Sunday Snippet

A Buddhist Prayer

Evoking the presence of the great compassion, let us fill our hearts with our own compassion – towards ourselves and towards all living beings. 
Let us pray that all living beings realize that they are all brothers and sisters, all nourished from the same source of life. 
Source: Sacred Space

Source: Sacred Space

 The world will never be the dwelling place of peace till peace has found a home in the heart of each and every person, till every person preserves in himself the order ordained by God to be preserved. 
Pacem in Terris ~ Pope John 1963

September Monthly Peace Challenge: And I Quote: Blessings of Hope

Hope provides the freedom to live at peace with ourselves,
others and God,
regardless of what may be going on around us. 
One Minute Meditation by Franciscans
  
May we be blessed with discomfort at easy answers,
half truths, and superficial relationships,
so that our lives have depth and vision. 
May we be blessed with anger at injustice
and exploitation of people,
so that we work for justice and peace. 
May we be blessed with tears to shed for those who suffer,
so that we reach out to comfort them,
 to turn their pain into joy. 
May we be blessed with enough foolishness
to believe that we can make a difference in this world,
and do what others claim cannot be done. 
– Based on a Franciscan prayer 
Eva: The Aspirational Agnostic
  
Soft as the voice of an angel,
Breathing a lesson unheard,
Hope with a gentle persuasion,
Whispers her comforting word. 
Wait till the darkness is over,
Wait till the tempest is done,
Hope for the sunshine tomorrow,
After the shower is gone. 
Whispering hope, oh how welcome thy voice
Making my heart in its sorrow rejoice. 
Seeker: Whispering Hope
 
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Reminder ~ Slow Me Down, Lord

With the computer automation, sometimes we are expected to work faster.  Working faster does not necessarily mean working smart.  Working faster means haste.  Haste causes mistakes.  Mistakes cause waste. 
Do you have a Hotmail Outlook?  I do.  When I delete or sweep the whole folder, a notice “running as fast as we can” pops up. 
In order for me to live calmly in a fast paced environment, I scheduled a reminder notice on my computer.  It pops up every 30 minutes.  A simple note to myself: “Slow Me Down, Lord.” 
The full meaning of this came from another clipping I know not where it came from.  It’s very old and faded.  Before it will fall into pieces, I wish to share it with you. 
slow me down
 
 
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Help me to be pure, but not yet…

I have a habit of buying cards when I visit places instead of taking pictures. I keep them for a long time, enjoying it and then I mail them out to friends or families.   
There is a particular card that I kept and I placed it on altar.  When I opened it, I wrote: 
December 6, 1991
Course in Miracle
Westminster Abbey
Mission, BC
 
That is a lifetime ago.  It was the time when I still have a car, when the gas price was only 50 cents to a litre, when I owned a four door sedan, V8.  The car was a guzzler.  But it took me to places where it is unreachable unless one has a private vehicle.  I was thankful for this car. 
Westminster Abbey is a beautiful serene place situated on top of hill. 
I must have taken a retreat at the Abbey but I cannot remember what the course was all about.  As for the miracle, the card is still with me.  The writing is beautiful and I have memorized it by heart.  It was written by St. Augustine. 
 
Who is he? I asked.  I really do not know much about him but he has a famous quote prior to his conversion:  
O Lord, help me to be pure, but not yet. ~ St. Augustine 
I have committed this prayer by heart.  
It is a daily mantra that I say on the way to work or when I go for a walk.  The mantra is very meditative and in the end, it is no longer I that is present but the Spirit of God, in this body.
 
 
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I’ll Never Find Another You

Singing is a form of prayer.  

As I mentioned on this post, A Song, A Book, My Name, I grew up singing The Pilgrim Song.  This is another song that I sing since childhood.  It is not a traditional hymn but it draws me nearer to the Lord.  I know there is a Promised Land.

There’s a new world somewhere
They call The Promised Land
And I’ll be there some day
If you will hold my hand
I still need you there beside me
No matter what I do
For I know I’ll never find another you

There is always someone
For each of us they say
And you’ll be my someone
For ever and a day
I could search the whole world over
Until my life is through
But I know I’ll never find another you

It’s a long, long journey
So stay by my side
When I walk through the storm
You’ll be my guide
Be my guide

If they gave me a fortune
My pleasure would be small
I could lose it all tomorrow
And never mind at all
But if I should lose your love, dear
I don’t know what I’d do
For I know I’ll never find another you

But if I should lose your love, dear
I don’t know what I’d do
For I know I’ll never find another you
Another you
Another you

YouTube:  Click to listen to the song by The Seekers 
“I will pray with the spirit, and I will pray with the understanding also: I will sing with the spirit, and I will sing with the understanding also.” ~ 1 Corinthians 14:15 
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Prayer of the Six Directions

Prayer of the Six Directions
(Indian Prayer) 
Great Spirit of Love, come to me with the power of the North; make me courageous when the cold winds of life fall upon me.  Give us strength and endurance for everything that is harsh, everything that hurts, and everything that makes me squint.  Let me move through life ready to take what comes from the North. 
Spirit who comes out of the East, come to me with the power of the East, the light of the rising sun.  Let there be light on the path I walk.  Let me remember always that you give the gift of a new day and let me never be burdened with sorrow by not starting over. 
Great Spirit of Creation, send me warm and soothing winds from the South to comfort me and caress me when I am tired and cold.  Unfold me as your gentle breezes unfold the leaves on the trees.  And as you give to all the earth your warm moving wind, give to me warmth so that I may grow close to you. 
Great Life Giving Spirit, I face the West, the direction of sundown.  Let me remember every day that the moment will come when my sun will go down.  Never let me forget that I must fade into you.  Give me beautiful color, give me a great sky for setting so that when it is time to meet you, I come with glory.
Giver of All Life, I pray to you from the Earth.  Help me to remember as I touch the Earth that I am little and need your pity.  Help me to be thankful for the gift of the Earth and never to walk hurtfully on the world.  Bless me with the eyes to love what comes from Mother Earth and teach me how to use well your gifts. 
Great Spirit of the Heavens, lift me up to you that my heart may worship you and come to you in glory.  Hold in my memory that you are my Creator, greater than I, eager for my good life.  Let everything that is in the world lift my mind and my heart and my life to you, so that we may come to you always in truth and in heart. 
Amen. 
Today is a day for celebration and recognition of the First Nations, Inuit and Metis peoples of Canada.  June 21 often coincides with summer solstice.  
In a retreat, I learnt this prayer and committed it to heart.  Now I offer the same prayer to the people of Canada’s First Nations

We have been told

No greather Love
 We have been told
We’ve seen his face
and heard his voice
alive in our hearts.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Live in my love
I have seen his facewith all your heart
as the Father has loved me
so I have loved you.
 
 

Walk with me

 
I am the vine
you are the branches
And all who live in me
will bear great fruit.
 
 
 
 

Father's DayYou are my friends
if you keep my commands.
No longer slaves
I call you friends.

 
I love you
 
No greater love
is there than this
To lay down one’s life
for a friend.
 
 
 
 
 
  
You tube:  We have been told

A Cat Prayer

An epiphany:  I think we are ruled by cats based on the cat incident.  

a-cat's-prayer

Maurice, Lucy… do you know how lucky you are?  I am your slave and at your beckon call.  My life revolves around you and the apartment has been rearranged so many times just to cater to your whims.  I sure hope you are grateful and thankful for what you have. 
You do know what happened during the past few days, didn’t you?  
maurice and lucy
 
Huh…What are you talking about, human?

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Feed me, please…

I am lost and really famished.  
Where am I?  I don’t see a soul on the street and the heat is sweltering.  My mouth is so dry.  I know there is a community centre somewhere but which way is it?  North? South? East? West?  My sense of direction is out of kilter because all I can think is food.  Stomach is giving me the signs and symptoms of emptiness.    
Feeling weaker by the minute, finally I found a path that looks familiar.  Trout Lake and the centre are just around the bend.  I picked up my pace and made a bee line to the centre.  The centre is CLOSED! 
Now what?  One more place to check out is the food stand by the lake and this is my last hope. 
Praying and hoping that the food stand is open, I headed toward the lake.  In an open field, behind the centre, a gentle breeze blew and a whiff of barbeques cooking is in the air penetrated my nose.  Food!  Excitedly, I followed my nose and I could see a big group having a picnic. 
As I approached closer, the group is within the confines of a rope encircling the picnic.  A table manned with two people is at the entrance, a good way to make sure that there are no gate crashers or intruders.  I will be crashing and I am an intruder because I intended to ask for food and pay for it.  Surely they will feed me because I have money to pay for and besides they seem to be a church congregation because of the hymns they sang.  Surely they will feed me for the Church is familiar with Jesus’ teaching ~ Feed my sheep. 
When I approached these guards, I told them my predicament and show them I have money to pay for the food. Feed me, please.
One of the guards said, of course I may eat only when I can say the Lord’s Prayer.  Delighted, I sang and danced the Lord’s Prayer from what I learnt at the Ashram.  Then the guards welcomed me in, introduced me to a few people, and feed me for free. 
Here I found myself at the other end of the stick and as I ate my fill, I was thinking of the intruded at the ashram. 
Related Article:

Pilgrim Progress Characters

John Bunyan’s main character is Christian who was stricken by spiritual crisis and set out on a pilgrimage to find salvation.  
In his journey he met an Evangelist, Obstinate, Pliable, Help, Wordly Wiseman, Hypocrisy, Discretion, Piety, Prudence, Charity, Faithful, Angels, Despair, Hopeful, Talkative, Contrite, and others.  But of course, Christian has a special guide that steers him to the right path. 
Strange names for these characters are present in the dynamics of being part of big group on a pilgrimage.  Strong characters that we all play a part with the hope that peace and healing will come our way.  Just like Christian, our deep faith and belief, we are guided by the Holy Spirit. 
It would be absurd to think that we are full of virtues just because we are on a spiritual quest.  However, we strive to see the goodness of one another.  Sure, disagreement can surface; that is the reality of it all.  
There seem to be more questions than answers when we pray along the way.  The force of evil will make sure that peace will be broken amongst us.  One has to be aware of this as it happens and not let it take over our will.  
As for me, I bear in mind the teaching of Thomas Merton on the journey of a pilgrim, that it is a time for solitude to deepen our love, faith and prayer. 
O Lord God, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.  
Nor do I really know myself
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you
does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.  
I hope that I will never do anything
apart from that desire to please you.
And I know that if I do this,
you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.  
Therefore, will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost
and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear,
for you are ever with me,
and you will never leave me
to make my journey alone. 
 

Bells are ringing

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It’s wonderful to be woken up by the bells of Fatima first thing in the morning.  From the balcony of our hotel room, I could see the steeple of the Cathedral.  Every hour, the bell chimes the song of El … Continue reading

Special Request

My oldest living relative in North America, Tito (Uncle) Tony, my Mother’s brother sent out an e-mail request.  Basically it’s a chain letter to all Clans.  I promised that I will post his request.  Bear in mind that the content of this letter is from Mary Stevenson, the author. 
Special Request: It is Lenten Season.  I am sending this to you to remind you how much Jesus Christ our Lord and redeemer loves us.  Some of you have already heard or read the FOOTPRINTS, but I still typed it for you to read and meditate.  God loves us forever and ever.  
May His peace, love, light and joy be with you.    Tito Tony. 
Footprints in the Sand 
 One night I dreamed I was walking along the beach with the Lord.
Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.
Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints. 
This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from
anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints. 
So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord,
that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”
The Lord replied,
“The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints,
is when I carried you.”
Mary Stevenson 
  Copyright © 1984 Mary Stevenson, from original 1936 text, All rights reserved
Feel free to share the footprints not on my behalf but on behalf of Mary Stevenson and Tito Tony.

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Courage to come back

The sign states: “No Trespassing, Private Property”.  What a strange sign when there is a church in this land?  How can I attend the church as a stranger in this property when it is situated in the middle of an Indian Reserve? 
Took all my courage to trespass in a deserted street and I was cautious of my surrounding.  I felt that there were eyes looking at me as I walked along the street and to my relief I saw a gray nun heading toward the church. 
I felt much better when I was inside the church.  The congregation was mostly Native Indians and elders.  Much to my surprise, they were very hospitable to me.  I felt at home.  Soon, I became a regular every Sunday Mass at St Paul’s Church of North Vancouver for a short period. 
Here I met Starr.  She is kind to me and a little bit on a serious side.  I told her that I was just passing through on my way to Thailand to do volunteer work.  Starr confided that one day she would like to do an altruistic work.  I said by the grace of God, it will happen, just keep praying about it.  That was year 1998. 
Before I left the church, there was an activity of hanging a star on a Charlie Brown Tree.  Anyone can take part to hang a star and share what it means to her or him.  Then Starr came to me and lead me to where the tree was.  She pick up a star and hanged it. 
She introduced me to the congregation that the star represents me as her “hero” because of what I embarked to do in Thailand.  I was a surprised by her kindness. 
When I came back home to Canada, Starr has obtained a home.  Her plan is to help out destitute troubled women.  The house will be a recovery home for addicted women.  I helped her a bit on some legal papers.  I provided her with boxes of books from my own collections of religious books for her house.  As a present, I gave her a meditation book “God in All Things by Anthony de Mello”. 
Then life got in a way.  
I’ve lost in touched with Starr until one night in 2010 I was watching the evening news.  The news was the Courage to Come Back Award presented by Coast Mental Health. They called a name that is so familiar to me, Starr Peardon, a recipient of the award. 
Oh my goodness, I have to watch this, dropped everything and glued watching the television.  
There is so little I know of Starr.  As far as I’m concerned she’s a beautiful person and I never once asked her what her background is.  Then I learnt her story from the news. 
Starr was a drug addict, drug dealer and a criminal.  She was in and out of jail and gave up her children to foster care.  However, it was in the correctional facility where she had her conversion.  
In an article written in The Province Newspaper, I quote: 
It was while doing time at the old Burnaby Correctional Centre for Women that the jail’s chaplain, Hank Smidstra, prayed over her while she detox. 
“This strange thing happened. It was like a warmth. Like God put his arms around me. I didn’t believe in God,” said Peardon. She woke up the next day and knelt on the concrete floor. 
“I prayed to a God I didn’t believe in. I swore and I cried and that same peace descended on me. That was my conversion experience,” 
With her conversion experience, Starr was able to  fulfill her dream.  “Talitha Koum”, meaning “little girl, rise” is the house for “broken women”, a place of healing.  Countless women have turned around their life with her help.  It is going strong until now. 
Courage to come back starr
Last year on March 31, 2012 we celebrated Starr’s retirement party.  And she has all the reason to smile for being an instrument of God.  And I have all the reason to smile outward and inward when I think of her.
God bless you, Starr Pedron. 
This article is a true story written for Writing Challenge: Truth.
 
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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

Listen with our heart (29)

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Back to Espace Bernadette.  Once we settled, Good Sister escorted us to Bernadette’s bedroom.  You know the room that I requested that I did not get.  The room is now converted into a chapel.  Subsequently, we followed the footsteps of Bernadette … Continue reading

Silent Retreat – Mandala

What:           Create a Mandala
Where:         Convent of the Cenacle Sisters
When:           May 27, 1995
Who:             Age 19 and over
Why:             Reflect on your Mandala 
Prerequisites: Silent and prayerful heart 
Provided:
  •        Guided prayer and meditation
  •        Round piece of board
  •        Old magazines
  •        Scissors
  •        Glue
 Procedure:
  •        Start with prayer
  •        Listen with your heart
  •        Use active imagination
  •        Quiet your mind for 10 minutes
  •        Collect magazines
  •        Quietly cut up any pictures from the magazine
  •        Glue the pictures on the round piece of board
  •        Remain quiet when you are finished
  •        End with a prayer
Wheel of Life: Mandala (Man and His Symbols: Carl Jung) 
Wheel of Life

Wheel of Life

“For an idea to take root,
Turn good intention into purposeful action
Only then will the idea grow and take on a life of its own” 

This is in response to Daily Post: Weekly Writing Challenge: Image vs Text

Fasting or Feasting (40)

For Catholics, today is Ash Wednesday, first day of Lent.  It is a period of reflection living Lent.  It is a time of prayer.  It’s about dying to our self, all that negative attitude and thoughts. 
In one of my retreats, Lent was defined as:
L – Lets
E – Eliminate
N – Negative
T – Thoughts 
Having said that, I learned to use soft words, less on exclamation point to make a point, bite my tongue.  For those who are familiar with cognitive behaviour, this is what they teaches in the course.  It all makes sense to me. 
This period is not all about me; it’s all about God whoever you conceive him to be, from Abba to Zen.  They said God lives in us.  Can you see the reflection of God in another person?  Or let’s not even mention God.  Can you see the goodness of a person? 
You see, I believe that we are all inherently good. 
Since you told me in my post Tell me and I will tell you mine, I will tell you the title of this list: Fasting and Feasting.  I choose Feasting.  Instead of giving up, I will give in and listen to the prompting of God. 
I will leave you with something to think about, a poem: 
“I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. “   Etienne de Grellet  (1773-1855); Quaker missionary
 
 Something to read:
We can make a difference right now
A Genie in a bottle or 12 steps program
Kindness of a stranger
 

Tell me and I will tell you mine.

A week from now, Wednesday, February 13, 2013, is the beginning of abstaining from what we like most for 40 days and 40 nights. 
When I ask the kids what they will give up, they normally choose chocolate, candy, pop, television, Facebook (right!), etc. 
On a higher scale, Patricia from Called by Joy provided this list to give us other ideas. 
Give up worry – trust Divine Providence
Give up discouragement – be full of hope
Give up bitterness – turn to forgiveness
Give up complaining – focus on gratitude
Give up pessimism – become an optimist
Give up harsh judgments – think kind thoughts
Give up hatred – return good for evil
Give up negativism – be positive
Give up anger – be more patient
Give up pettiness – become mature
Give up gloom – enjoy the beauty that is all around you
Give up jealousy – pray for trust
Give up gossiping – control your tongue
Give up sin – turn to virtue
Give up giving up – hang in there 
Let’s pretend for the sake of this prompt, more importantly,  for the sake of Daily Peace, what will you give up?  Tell me and I will you mine.
Hang in There

Hang in There

This is in response to Daily Prompt: Open ending.  Come and join us, it’s fun.

Genie in a bottle or 12 Steps program

Did you say major changes? Sure, I want to have a baby, let me go window shopping and buy one.  Sure, I will visit the a sperm bank to find good genes.  What a silly decision. 
I made a 360 degree turn yesterday and I am still thinking about the what if situation.  
Yesterday was Sunday and I left the mass early because the priest is boring.  I could have easily changed the situation but I stayed until closer to the end.  I did not wait for his blessings. 
Walking as fast as I could in a cold rainy February zigzagging around people, I made a 360 turn.  What made me do that?  My peripheral vision saw a person sitting on the cement outside the mall.  
Meet April in February 3, 2013.  
I asked are you ok?  Then she started crying.  She’s a new face in the block.  I recognize most of the street people in Metrotown Mall.  April made a wrong decision last night according to her, was accused of lying and hates being called a liar.  She left the facility where she stayed for two months to change her life, slept on the street last night and unfamiliar with the city. She came from the Island, up north of BC.  The time was about 2 pm. 
All of this happened out of a blue, don’t ask me why I paid attention to this stranger.  I don’t like WHY question.  Therefore, I did not ask April the why question. 
Did I make a conscious decision to help her?  Yes or No? No. Did I hesitate?  There was no hesitation in my part, I just acted.  She needs a place to stay for one night; she’s looking for the Aboriginal Lodge. 
I’ve asked April only one thing.  April, I want you to pray to your God to help us find you a place.  She sheepishly said yes with a worried look on her face. 
Skipping all the details, I found her a place to stay by 7:30 pm.  An emergency shelter.  We were wet, shaking like a leaf, tired, cold.  We shared a cigarette before we parted and made sure she was inside this beautiful blue looking mansion in a residential area that I’ve never thought it existed closed by where I live. 
This is in response to Daily Prompt: Changes.  Come and join us, it will change your life.

Forty Days and Forty Nights

I am preparing myself for Fat Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013.  After that, it will be 40 days and 40 nights of Lenten season in the Christian world. 
During this period, I will  focus on Pilgrim’s Progress; series of short stories of  my experience with a spiritual twist.  A period of cogitation, contemplation and vegetation; not necessarily in this order.  And of course, there will be humour.  For my God has a sense of humour.  He created me! 
Daily Prompt has to be sacrificed in order for me to pay attention to my spiritual needs. I am pressing the Pause Button.  Should these stories touch a few nerves or spark your divinity, the responsibility is yours on how to act on it. 
I will miss the daily fun and mostly I will miss the interaction with you as a community.  At any rate, there is a time for everything.  With the help of Patricia of day of grace, I feel peaceful about this decision.  This is a I calling, a prompting mentioned in my About page. 
This time is God’s time.  
With love and prayers, Perpetua aka seeker. 
 
One Minute Meditation:
The Master gave his teaching in parables and stories, which his disciples listened to with pleasure and occasional frustration, for they longed for something deeper. The Master was unmoved.  To all their objections he would say, “You have yet to understand, my dears, that the shortest distance between a human being and Truth is a story.”  Another time he said, “Do not despise the story.  A lost gold coin is found by means of a penny candle; the deepest truth is found by means of a simple story.” – Anthony de Mello, SJ 
MORSEL: 
People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering. – St. Augustine of Hippo
 
 
 

Raise A Reader

The previous Premier of BC started a campaign called “Raise A Reader”.  I once saw him handing out newspapers to public for free to encourage reading.  I politely accepted the newspaper; however, I cannot stand reading the news, all that bad stuff going on local and globally.  I quit reading the newspaper. Subsequently, more newspapers were produced for free.  There’s the 24 hours and Vancouver Metro.  A friend of mine used to work for 24 hours.  I started reading 24 hours because of her.  Then she changed professions, does not want to take pictures and become a paparazzi.  I quit reading, again. 

In my travels, I met this nice elderly Filipino lady. One day, on the way to train station, I saw her giving out Vancouver Metro by the train station.  I started reading again because of this Filipino lady.  To help her out distribute the newspapers, I went to the extent of taking five newspapers to further distribute them at work. 

I’m beginning to like Vancouver Metro because it has more good news than bad news.  Or maybe, I am just selectively reading the good part.  Besides, it provides easy to follow food recipes and this is the best part. 

For Tuesday, January 23, 2013 issue, the headline was “Nothing to Fret My Pet!”  It is actually a love story of a woman and her deer.  To make the short story even shorter: they will live happily ever after when it was decided by law makers not to forcibly separate them.  I love happy endings. 

Source:  Vancouver Metro

Source: Vancouver Metro

 To read more about it, here’s the link: Metro News.

 Psalm 42
As the deer longs for running streams… so my soul longs for you, O God.
 

Death, A Trip of a Lifetime

75 years old is my cut-off.  Take it or leave it.  I just don’t want God to forget all about me and let me live till the turn of the next century. 
I have discussed this with my sisters what I want to wear in the casket.  It will be my red dress that Mother made for me when I was in my twenties and still fits me.  The dress has been used by my sisters and nieces, and I keep on telling them to take good care of it because I need it for my burial gown.  
On the checklist is the reading at the mass, what songs to play (happy songs, please), no black dress in the funeral, cremation and of course, the Last Will and Testament. 
There, I am ready, any time, take me home. 
As for the Requiem, vengeance is mine.  I want to surprise them with an envelope to be read in the church should the priest allow it.  And at the end, one slide show, a pre-recorded  of my  last statement and a projection of my beautiful smile. 
The reading would be about Beatitudes, the teaching of Jesus Christ that in my opinion replaces the Ten Commandments of Moses.  
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are they that mourn; for they shall be comforted
Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful; for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers; for they shall be called the children of God. 
And in my pre-recorded voice: Lunch on me, let’s party and dance. And a smile.  Let’s move to the church hall. 
 
 This is in response to Daily Prompt: Write your own Eulogy.  Come and join us, it’s fun.
 
Read this:
Enjoy every moment you can

The Very Best of My Thoughts

Video

DP Jan 24, 2013 Ready, Set Go
Set a timer for ten minutes. Open a new post. Start the timer, and start writing. When the timer goes off, publish 
Good Morning, God, thank you for another day.  
I wake up way before the birds start singing, the day is still dark.  This is my precious time being one and one with my God.  It’s about me and my God.  Not much time when there is 24 hours in a day.  From 5 am to 7 am, then I head off to work. 
This is also the time I do the daily prompt, not much time to think but everything is Impromptu.  The more I think, the more my brain gets muddled up. Don’t think too much. 
The minute I step out of this sanctuary, I will be a whole different world.  It will be all about them.  I am out there to be of service especially at work, put in 7 hours, an honest work for an honest pay.  Then I say a prayer, Lord, Let every step I do begins and ends with you. 
Back to waking up; I fill my thoughts with goodness, a moment of Gratitude, this is the time where the very best of my thoughts come from my God: 
The very best of all my thoughts
Are those that think of you
The very best of all my words
Are those that speak of you
My fondest hopes, my cherished dreams,
My prayers to the Lord above
The very best of all these
I offer you my love. 
Faith, Hope and Charity is the basis of my being.
Thoughts, Emotion and Behaviour are the basis of cognitive thinking. 
This is triangle I follow in order to be at-one-ment. 
And here’s a song for everyone.  Have a safe day everyone.  God Bless. 

A Call to Service – On Peace

As part of human process, there are times it’s difficult to have an inward peaceful disposition.  If that is the case, for me, I look up to others and listen to what they are communicating to me. 
I listened to JFK’s famous Inaugural Address.  It was on this day, January 20, 1961.  And I quote “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.” courtesy of Britannica.  To hear it, click on JFK delivering his inaugural Address. 
This speech is equally applicable to all nations, not just USA. 
I played this over and over to truly deeply understand based on my upbringing and personal belief.  I zeroed in on words that are meaningful to me: 
  • Prophet summons us
  • Call to Service
  • For all mankind
  • Rejoicing in hope, patience and tribulation
And I translate these to:
           God Calls me to be of Service For All Mankind.
           Rejoicing in hope with patience even in times
           of tribulation.
With this in mind, I part you with a Peace Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi.  He was just a man whom the Prophet Called him to be of Service for All Mankind, always rejoicing the Glory of God. 
Peace Prayer

Peace Prayer

 To listen to the melody play the YouTube.  It was recorded at the birthplace of Francesco in Assisi. Italy. 
 
 
Related Links:
Britannica.com: John F. Kennedy
Biography of Francesco di Bernadone born on 1181 by Wikipedia
Huffington post by: Bansi Kara – A Prayer for Teachers
St. Francis, Friend of Muslim Sultan of Babylon
Notes on Peace by Seeker
Delicate minds about being Peacemakers
World Peace Conference – Culture of Peace by Louise Diamond
We Can Make A Difference-Right Here, Right Now by Kozo
January Post for Peace by Grandmalin
B4Peace – Love thy Neighbor by sarahneeve
Peace be with you today and all days by Tracy
Bloggers4Peace -Everyday Gurus

A Letter for the Grieving

Hi Uncle Cee:
 
I was pondering on what you wrote about the Holy Mother; how it helped you deal with losing the love of your life. And was reflecting on Mama Mary how she dealt with grief. 
  • What was grieving like for her?
  • How long did she grieve, when did she recover and what methods did she use?
  • Who were the people who supported her during that time?
  • How did she continue living life without Jesus Christ, losing the love of her life?
  • What was it like for her to see the love of her life, Jesus Christ, suffered, crucified, put to death and buried?
Grief somehow opens up more questions.  Just like you, I questioned God and still do: WHY?  Why can’t you just take away Jan right now, why can’t you give her what she wants right now, Jan wants to die right now.  For years, 5 or longer, I watched Jan deteriorate, withering away, angry at God. Divine Retribution she says.  I say the God I know is loving, kind and merciful. 
Jan asked me to take her to a place to be euthanized.  My response was that she is not a cat; I can’t help her. Morbid sense of humour but Jan likes the blackness of it. Did God answer my questions, maybe He did.  Did I hear what God was whispering to the ears of my heart?  No. I was too busy listening to Jan and my heart ached for Jan. 
When I shared the Celebration of Life for Jan, I know I have arrived to that peaceful place where I can think of her fondly.  No tears, somehow tears won’t come and my heart is glowing with sweet surrender. 
How strange this grief I have for Jan in comparison to the death of my Mother.  And I know the next time someone dies close to my heart; it will be a different experience; for nothing can prepare me how I will feel.  I would have thought that since I welcome death as part of living, since I have taken cared of people with AIDs, since I have been trained to volunteer and counsel in the Hospice of St. Michael, I am well equipped.  Not really, I just have to have to go through it and enjoy the ride. 
I am alright, Uncle Cee.  Thank you for your help, prayers and concerns.  I hope I may be an instrument to your peace. I am here just a click away.  
Pax tecum.  Perpetua 
This is in response to DP Challenge: Writing Challenge Starting Over.   It’s fun.  Come and join us.

A Solution or A Problem

In a crisis, I ask myself, am I a solution or a problem?  If I am a problem, I remove myself.  If I am a solution, I’m in. 
For my sweet niece, Lucy, she has the best answer in her Face Book.  Too smart for a tender age, full of wisdom for a young mind.  I will follow a child. 
Posted in Lucy's Face Book

Posted in Lucy’s Face Book

 As for my faith, I will always say this prayer:
 
Lord, grant me
the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change
the courage to change the things that I can
the wisdom to know the difference
 
And I will be guided by the Holy Spirit.
This is in response to Daily Prompt: In Crisis.  Come and join us.
 
 

Share is a verb

I LOVE SHARING and it’s my favourite word.  Share is a verb.  It’s an action word.  This was my opening word in my post Monday’s Peace News Captured on video. 
Sharing is very self-fulfilling.  It brings out the humanity in me especially LOVE.  In my reflection, this love is a gift from my God that is meant to be shared.  
So, here go I… 
After yesterday’s Daily Prompt: Polite Company, I am still deeply moved by Martin Luther King, Jr.’s history, not so much about the controversial topic about religion and politics. 
Out of deep admiration and respect for him, I want to share this song with you:

We Shall Overcome.

And a beautiful story Morning Story: Do Unto Others.

Have a blessed day.

Pax Tecum, (Peace be With You)  _/\_ Seeker

Monday’s Peace News Captured on Video

Share is the word I instill on the children in order for them to become giving or eventually selfless when they grow up.  Share your toys, share your food, share your clothes, and more sharing. 
One thing I have noticed ever since I joined the computer age is the “share” button.  The feeling of “I think it’s not so bad being to be in this age after all.”  I happen to like sharing and giving. 
I re-opened my Facebook account this year because I feel left out.  My family and relatives are now all connected in Face Book.  My intention is to make this site active to share my faith and to keep the faith alive in our family. 
One day my nephew shared a YouTube about “the good in people were captured on video”.  Isn’t that wonderful?  I love good news. 
And now it’s my turn to pass it on to you to spread Peace on Earth.  It will be the best 1:36 minutes of your Monday.  
  
More good news:  God loves you.
On this day, 1783 Peace of Paris was ratified.
In closing:
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you.
Not as the world gives do I give it to you.
Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. ~   John 14:27 
In response to Daily Prompt: Ripped from the Headline:  click here for details
 
Related Articles / Links
Delicate minds about being Peacemakers
We Can Make A Difference-Right Here, Right Now by Kozo
January Post for Peace by Grandmalin
B4Peace – Love thy Neighbor by sarahneeve
Peace be with you today and all days by Tracy
Bloggers4Peace -Everyday Gurus
World Peace Conference – Culture of Peace by Louise Diamond

Take Two – All Things Bright and Beautiful

“DP Prompt: Take Two – Run outside. Take a picture of the first thing you see. Run inside. Take a picture of the second thing you see. Write about the connection between these two random objects, people, or scenes.”

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountain,
The river running by,
The sunset, and the morning,
That brightens up the sky;

The cold wind in the winter,
The pleasant summer sun,
The ripe fruits in the garden,
He made them every one.

He gave us eyes to see them,
And lips that we might tell,
How great is God Almighty,
Who has made all things well.
Poem by: Cecil Frances Alexander

 
Related Articles:
All Things Bright and Beautiful Poem post by cristines
Hummingbird blogspot by mara gamiel
As a matter of cat by Ella on WordPress
 

This Is Your Life – eBooks

“If you could read a book containing all that has happened and will ever happen in your life, would you? If you choose to read it, you must read it cover to cover.” 
Just don’t feel writing what book that would be, today.  I can only imagine the book will be a Trilogy like Lord of the Rings.  That’s how sometimes I picture myself in book form.  There will be no ending. Fourth booking coming soon. Furthermore, it will be an eBook form. 
Instead let me share this beautiful video which I would prefer to call “Where on Earth is Matt?” instead of “Where the Hell is Matt?”  I find it uplifting. 
Hoping you will enjoy it as much as I did.  Have a good day, everyone. 
In keeping with his doctrine that nothing be taken too seriously, not even his own teachings, the Master loved to tell this story on himself:
“My very first disciple was so weak that the exercises killed him.
My second disciple drove himself crazy from his earnest practice of the  exercises I gave him.
My third disciple dulled his intellect through too much contemplation.
But the fourth managed to keep his sanity.” 
“Why was that?” someone would invariably ask. 
“Possibly because he was the only one who refused to do the exercises.” 
The Master’s words would be drowned in howls of laughter.
Anthony de Mello, SJ
MORSEL:    The teacher is like the candle which lights others in consuming itself. ~  Giovanni Ruffini (1807-1881)

What your fortune cookie tells you

“Daily Prompt: 32 Flavors.  Vanilla, chocolate, or something else entirely?”  I choose something else entirely. 
The cheapest way for my family to dine out is to go to a Chinese restaurant, New Lakeview Seafood Restaurant. The restaurant manager knows us and it’s the only restaurant, I think, that is crazy enough to accept a boisterous huge family. My family is loud and that’s why I live alone, away from the maddening crowd. Can’t really stay away from them far too long because sometimes I need to hear real voices; otherwise, I hear voices in my head. We try to meet at least once a month for a group birthday celebration; one big party for all celebrants of the month.  
After chow time, my nephew made a suggestion when it’s time to crack open our fortune cookies.
Fortune Cookie

Fortune Cookie

 “When you read your fortune cookie, make sure you add at the end of the sentence ‘in bed’  nephew said in his soft-spoken English accent. 
 “Are you talking dirty again?” the adults turned their head to nephew and exclaimed this in unison.
 “No, you guys are the one who is thinking dirty. I just want to have fun. Just play along with me. OK?” nephew retorted.
 “Sure, sure.” adults agreed.
 Just imagine all the ruckus of laughter as this is being spoken loudly.  So here are samples of the fortune in the cookies
 Sister #6: A thing of beauty shall bring you great joy … in bed (she’s happily married)
 Sister #5: You will soon be blessed with unexpected good luck … in bed (she dedicated herself in RCIA – Rites of Christian Initiation for Adults)
 Sister #4: You will be the centre of a special group’s attention … in bed (she’s one of the celebrants)
 Sister #2: Your genuine talent will find its way to success … in bed (she gave up her sewing business as a dressmaker in order to propagate the Devotion to Infant Jesus of Prague)
 Me:  Desires that are not extravagant will be granted … in bed.  OMG.  I was the laughing-stock (no comment)
 It was so much fun. Thanks to my Rocking Nephew, there is a whole meaning on fortune cookies.  Huffington Post begs to differ and wrote an article about how ridiculous the messages are.  Click on this fortune cookie to read.
 Of course, we say grace before meals even though we are in a public restaurant. The family that prays together stays together.
Prayer before meal:
We come to join in the banquet of love,
Let it open our hearts and break down the fears
That keeps us from loving each other.
            sung by Dominican Nuns at mealtime
 MORSEL: If you judge people, you have no time to love them. — Mother Teresa

1984 – What do you see?

“You’re locked in a room with your greatest fear. Describe what’s in the room.”

 Hotmail In Box:  No new mail.  I might as well read all the letters then.

Vanakkham – Greetings to you.  Mentally, I am in good health and my well-being is calm.  I like praying and I dislike quarrelling.  I receive so many suggestions and ideas about to live like a guide to others and how can I live without giving any difficulties to other and how can I be of help.  I shared everything to my friends.

With God’s grace and your love I am living peacefully.  I will remember you in my daily prayers.  Since I can’t write this letter, our field worker has written this letter for me.

Yours lovingly, signed with a thumb print

These are bits and pieces of the letters I received from PMB1245 Child ID.  My foster child’s name is Kulandai Samy.  He is much too old for a foster child, older than me.  He is blind.  And I am speaking on behalf of Samy.

I’ve never read a single word of fear from a blind person.  He cannot describe what’s in the room for that matter.  Samy, has given me so much joy since 2009.  Twice a year, I received a letter and annually a Christmas card enclosed a photo of him.  He does look so peaceful. 

I received a call from the agency that Samy died of a heart attack last week, beginning of January 2013.  Now, he is forever peaceful, united with God. 

Kulandai Samy, where ever you are, I thank you for coming into my life.  I’ll be seeing you in the next life.

*One Minute Meditation*
Our minds are like crows. They pick up everything that glitters, no
matter how uncomfortable our nests get with all that metal in them.
–Thomas Merton
 
Related post from WordPress:
Fear of the unknown: by seeker
A question for me; Was he afraid?  story by tkmorin
What you don’t know: by shadoza
The Only thing to fear: by jodahfirst
The voices in my bathroom were real, Oh God: by allthosesmallthings

Last Words

Last Word

Last Word

 
With all my love and prayers.  God Bless You All.
 
Daily Prompt: Last Words
November 21, 2012
You have the chance to write one last post on your blog before you stop blogging forever. Write it.
Just Catching Up.  😀
 
 PS:  I will be in hiatus starting January 1, 2013.

Sunday, January 6, 2013 , Epiphany Day

Happy Three Kings.    It’s the last day of Christmas based on my tradition.  I have mentioned this on my post Gimme – Traditionally Speaking .  If you want to read more about the history see Britannica – Epiphany.
Last night I reminded niece Lucy to bring out her shoes for the Three Kings since she forgot last year and missed out on the treats.  She was thankful for the reminder.
For myself, I hanged these shoes on my door.  On my side of the building, my neighbours are mostly Christians.  I don’t know if they practice, though.  However, they understand what those shoes mean to me.
Shoes for Three Kings

Shoes for Three Kings

 Needless to say, I received some treats from the Three Kings and then some.  Next celebration is Easter Sunday.  Mark your calendar that will April 7, 2013.

In my faith, today is also called Epiphany.  The meaning from Webster Dictionary is:
: an appearance or manifestation especially of a divine being
: an intuitive grasp of reality through as an event usually simple and striking
: an illuminating discovery, realization, or disclosure
: a revealing scene or moment
: a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something 

Have you ever had an Epiphany?  I think I did.  And let me tell you this story that happened in 2011 Pilgrimage to Holy Land, Egypt and Jordan. 

Pandemonium!  Everybody was excited to go home after 21 days of being on the road as a Pilgrim.  People are coming in and out of their hotel rooms.  Checking each other’s luggage.  Sharing stories, pictures and laughter.  What did you buy to bring home?  What’s your favourite place? What, what, what?  Too many questions and I am starting to become tone-deaf.  I need some solitude.

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 an Interfaith Dialogue.  But good things must come to an end.

Last night at Jordan side:  I retreated to the balcony to find some peace and quiet, drinking tea and having a smoke.  The balcony is facing a beautiful garden and overlooking the Dead Sea.  I could see Israel from the balcony.  On a clear day, I could literally see the walls of the old Jerusalem.  On the right, I can imagine the location of Bethlehem, Nazareth and other geographical areas of where ancient time began based on the First and Old Testament.  This will be my last trip.  I have now covered the places of the Testaments.  The Bible will become truly alive in my mind and heart.  The readings during the mass will be more meaningful for my mind can conjure the places where I have visited.  Gratitude, 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.  Inside the hotel room, commotion ruled.

I settled in the dark, trying to calm myself down.  It’s good to be here, Lord.  I started speaking in my mind.  Careful that nobody will hear me for they already think I’m batty.  Don’t care.  Then, whispering softly, I raised my right arm, started waving goodbye to Israel.

Goodbye, Jerusalem
            Goodbye, Bethlehem
                        Goodbye, Nazareth

Oh, what is that?  A star?  A bright shining star that appeared so close and yet so far.  Hmm, is it a plane?  No, it’s not moving.  Ok then, as I made this schizophrenic dialogue within myself.  One asks; the other personality answers.  Oh, let me see.  That’s Jerusalem, that’s, Nazareth; that’s Bethlehem.  Aha!  This must be the STAR that the Magi saw.  Imagine that and it’s not even Christmas yet.

Last Night at Jordan - Nov 2011

Last Night at Jordan – Nov 2011

 Excitement came rushing out of my body.  I must take a picture.  Made a quick dash inside the room, grabbed my camera and Neli, another pilgrim, to show her what I see.  This rushing must have only taken 15 to 25 seconds.  When I got out, the STAR is gone.  Oh, no.  It’s gone.  I was so disappointed and sad that I have no picture to show off about my last night.  Checked the horizon if there’s anything floating in the sky that is as big as the STAR.  No, it’s pitched dark.  Neli gave me “the look”, walked out of the room.  Later I followed for it’s time to check out.
At Frankfurt airport, I pulled Father Priest on the side and told him about my experience.  He simply said in his infinite wisdom, 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.
Picture, yes, I have a picture of the STAR; in the eyes of my heart.  I praise you, O Lord, for your works are wonderful.  Blessed be God forever.

Daily Post: Stroke of Midnight – First Night

“Where were you last night when 2012 turned into 2013? Is that where you’d wanted to be?” 
First Night is what we call it here in Vancouver.  In my life, it’s a family event.  We all gather around anxiously preparing for that countdown.  Children are excited and they are the first one to blow the whistle.  Hush, it’s not midnight yet, but they can’t wait to be the noise maker.  
The dining table is filled with food.  More food, same as Christmas.  Ugh.  I can’t bear to see the same food.  My body is already screaming for simple food that I am so used to.  Baked, boiled or broiled.  The arteries are now starting to clog up.  Cardiac delight is what I call this traditional Filipino food.  We died eating happily. 
Is it New Year’s yet, kids are screaming.  In a minute, we’re almost there.  How many times have we said this “in a minute” to the kids?  They have no concept of time.  We have said this all night long. 
COUNTDOWN:  10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…. Happy New Year!  Hugs and Kisses.  Open the windows and let the Spirit of New Year in.  Pots and Pans are all out of the cupboard.  Banging on them is our noise makers.  We were shouting out on the top of our lungs for the neighbourhood to hear.  Play the music; will somebody please play the music? 
  
All of these happened in my younger days.  At the stroke of midnight, I was at home happily ensconced in the couch watching the celebration on TV with my cats Lucy and Maurice.  My own little family, not with the crazy clan that I love dearly. 
Of course, I played the Feliz Navidad, cha cha cha; all by myself, sending out prayers and blessings to the world, just like any other night.   Then, lights out, nanight. 
Thank you Lord for another day.