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#BELOVED

"Every detail of my life is a loving gesture from the Lord."

And the third weekend of July was one affirmation of that. :) It may have been already a month ago, but the memories of that beloved weekend are still vivid like they just happened last week.

So here are the highlights and personal notes from my 6th Metro Manila Conference (MMC): 

Friday, July 19
It was a very personal talk and the worship was so powerful that I really felt God embracing me, telling me how much He loves me. My favorite moment was when we were singing Oh I Love You.

Oh I love You, Lord
Oh I need you here
Draw me closer to where You are
I wanna be with You

I was singing that line from the bottom of my (then bruised) heart. But God is so great that in the midst of tears, He allowed me to see an affirmation of His love. As if touched by an angel, I opened my eyes, looked up, and saw the lights form a heart on the ceiling. Sadly though, I didn't have a camera to capture it. My realization is, it was intended just for me. Clearly, it was God's "I Love You!", and all I was able to say was, "I love You too, Lord!" :)

Saturday, July 20
WORKSHOPS:
For the first time in a long time, chapter heads and up were required to attended a specific workshop (Loving Responses) in the morning. But in the afternoon, we all gathered for a very fun plenary workshop entitled "Obedience and Discipleship." Fr. Noel Nuguid shared the diaries of the dog and the cat and asked, "which diary reads like yours?" Aside from that, here are five of my favorite insights from Fr. Noel:

  • Run your own race. Stop comparing yourself with others. Everyone has their own mission to fulfill. I just remember another wise statement from Tata Lino (Bubble Gang): Ikaw ay unique, kagaya ng iba. :)
  • Give everyday a chance. Today is different from yesterday and so is tomorrow from today. Live  and love "today." :)
  • Major in the grace of God. Gratitude is always an option. Choose to be thankful. :)
  • "When I fall in love, it will be forever." When you obey, let it be forever. When you become a disciple, let it be forever.
  • For the love of God, YES WE CAN!

INDIVIDUAL CONSULTATION:
This is among my favorite moments in a conference. :) During the MMC, I was privileged to have a heart-to-heart talk with Sr. Patrick (real name: Anne Murphy) of Missionaries of Charity. All throughout our conversation, I saw, heard, and felt God. It was one emotional discussion, but it definitely was a "Jesus experience". 

Session 2: Beloved (Maan Aguirre)
  • The desire for God is written in the human heart because man is created by God and for God. 
  • Man is God's beloved. The cross is the reminder that we are loved beyond measure. Beloved (Jesus) for the beloved (man). 
  • There are obstacles to following God namely, attachment to the riches of the world, ignorance and indifference to God's love, and attachment to sin. But we can overcome by learning from our Bible heroes: 
    • Be intimate to imitate. If we want to follow God, we must come closer to Him, just like the disciples. 
    • Conversation to conversion. The Samaritan woman was transformed because she experienced love and acceptance while conversing with Jesus. Only God's love heals. Only God's love transforms. If we want conversion, we must first take time to have a conversation with God. 

Session 3: Be Loved (Noli Manuel)
  • "I want to BE LOVED more! Because I can never have enough of God's love."
  • Do not just desire good things in life but desire for God's best.
  • This (God's) love is so great that it will conquer anything and everything even sin and death.
  • Human love fails and has the tendency to falter but God's love conquers all. 
    • God's love conquers our fears. (1 John 4:18, Isaiah 41:13)
    • God's love conquers our doubts... by teaching us to trust. (Romans 8:28, Proverbs 3:5)
    • God's love conquers our inadequacies. (Romans 5:8)
    • God's love conquers our unforgiveness. 
    • God's love conquers sin and death. The main goal of sin is to disunite us from God but God's love desires for us to be united with Him forever. 
  • Choose, accept, desire to BE LOVED! Be a CONQUERED BELOVED!
  • To be a conquered beloved, one must learn from the two letters that one can see in the crucifix: 
    • "T" stands for THANK YOU (total surrender)
    • "Y" stands for YOURS TRULY (full submission)
During this session, we were asked to become prayer stations and amazingly, all the sisters who came to me prayed for the same concerns that I shared to Sr. Patrick. It was an affirmation from the Lord that I am not alone. It was also a blessing to pray for the sisters I do not even know but I can fully relate with. :)

Sunday, July 21
Session 4: Live Love (Bob Lasala)
  • Knowing that we are loved, our only response is SFC: sustainable membership growth, faithful stewardship, and CFC integration. 
It was also during this session when we had a "mission-sending" ceremony and were given the opportunity to thank, honor, and pray for our brothers and sisters who have been instruments of God's love and healing. 

Homily Notes (First Reading: Genesis 18:1-10; Second Reading: Colossians 1:24-28; Gospel: Luke 10:38-42)
  • Listening can sometimes destroy your frame of mind. When we listen too much, we sometimes forget to act. 
  • In order for you to learn something new, you must unlearn another thing first.
  • Priest to the delegates: "Thank you for the opportunity to serve you, because in serving you, I am also serving my God."
  • We are a church because we have a mission. After hearing the wisdom of God we need to communicate it to others.

And that was a flashback of that beloved weekend. :)

I always say that my best conference so far is the One Heart Conference in 2010. No, this conference didn't top my One Heart experience because this is totally different. So let me just say that the One Heart and the Beloved MMCs are the best conferences I've attended so far. ♥

Beloved Kabisig Sisters: Ruby, Alma, Nina, Aiza N., Aiza G., Kaycee, Leng, Cat ♥
 Beloved Kabisig Brothers: Fel, Brian, Jong, Mac, Mel, Ian, Ely, Ronald ♥
My Beloved Kabisig Family ♥
My Beloved Cluster 4 Household ♥
My Beloved Sector Household ♥

*I do not own the photos. I just grabbed them from other brothers and sisters. Thank God for their cameras. :D

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