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Showing posts from November, 2013

Do Not Bring Us To The Test

Thus speak those who know their weaknesses and little faith.
We will be more prudent if we know that the enemy is not simply evil, but the evil one. Somebody stronger than ourselves is watching to deceive us, to make us lose faith and fall, as soon as we feel sure of ourselves and abandon the means given by Jesus for perseverance in the faith and in the Church. 

*Source: Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
♥ 8th of The Lord's Prayer Series

Prayer of Thanksgiving

True gratitude leads to generosity. 
Writer David McCasland said, "Be thankful for God's many blessings, but be sure to remember those who have less." 
This is also one of the main messages of yesterday's GMC Advent Recollection facilitated by Fr. Benedict. "Tuloy ang pagdiriwang ng Pasko ngunit hindi natin sila (Earthquake and Yolanda victims, and all those who suffer)kakalimutan. We will remember them and lift them up in our prayers."
And so let me share this beautiful prayer by Pauline Phillips (a.k.a Abigail Van Buren): 
O HEAVENLY FATHER:   We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry. We thank Thee for health and remember the sick. We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless. We thank Thee for freedom and remember the slaved. May these remembrances stir us to service, That Thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen.

"Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his nam…

Understanding Lupang Hinirang

Every Filipino knows Lupang Hinirang (though some know it better as "Bayang Magiliw"). How can you not know it when it is the national anthem of the Philippines? But do we really mean the lyrics that we sing? Do we understand it in the first place? 

This video has gone viral weeks ago. This afternoon, I shared it to my teammates, and one commented, "Yun pala yun. Ngayon ko lang naintindihan."He immediately downloaded it and converted to MP3.
So for those who have not seen it, once again, here is Joey Ayala's version of Lupang Hinirang. And I agree, you would never want to sing it in another way. (But that's just me. :D) This rendition is simply beautiful. Truly Filipino. :) Of course that doesn't mean we need to revise our national anthem but maybe we can consider about correcting the way we sing it (read: proper pronunciation).

Read more about the Philippine National Anthem here.

P.S. I read a lot of negative comments on the original video uploaded o…

Dear Lolo

Ika-19 ng Nobyembre, 2013

Kaninang umaga, may nakita akong matandang lalaking nagbibisekleta angkas ang dalawang bata, isang babae, isang lalaki. Hinala ko apo niya ang mga batang iyon. Nung napadaan sila sa tabi ko, narinig kong umaawit ang matanda at masayang nagpe-pedal. 
Naalala kita, Lolo. Lalo na ngayong nagdiriwang si Papa ng kanyang ika-limampu't pitong kaarawan. Kung hindi mo siguro isinakripisyo ang buhay mo para sa kanya, marahil hindi na namin siya kasamang nagdiriwang ngayon. 
Salamat, Lolo. Kailanman, hindi kita makakalimutan. Kung paanong inalagaan mo kami, lalo na ako, nung tumira kami sa inyo; kung paanong pinagluluto mo ako ng pagkain at pinagtitimpla ng Milo tuwing umuuwi ako galing eskwela; kung paanong inaalala mo ang kalagayan namin lalo na nung bumalik kami ng Manila; at kung paanong ipinaramdam mo sa amin ang iyong pagmamahal. 

Maraming maraming salamat, Lolo. Mahal na mahal kita. Hanggang ngayon, masakit pa rin sa akin na sa patio na lang kita nakikita at pang…

That's Not All ♥

What I thought was the best proposal is not even close to this:

I didn't know anything about Justin Baldoni until I saw his epic proposal to his very beautiful (and lucky) girlfriend, now wife, Emily. :) I'm a fan! 
It was the best thing I've seen and experienced in 27 minutes. One pack of tissue is not enough. Haha. It was just... perfect! I couldn't think of any other word to describe it. Pure bliss! ♥
By the way, they already got married. And their wedding vows? Absolutely the best - the most sincere I have ever heard. :)

Justin + Emily :: Corona, CA :: Extended Trailer from FFDC :: Jeffrey Holland on Vimeo.

Now the "sense-making" part, as what Fr. Benedict calls it. :D

I saw these videos at a time when I am exhausted, drained, troubled, and in a way, feeling that "so many things to do so little time" syndrome. And in both videos, `Abdu'l-Bahá was quoted: "Where there is love nothing is too much trouble and there is always …

Say A Little Prayer

Sometimes, the best way to comfort someone in need is to say, "I am praying for you."

Prayer In Time of Calamity (by Cardinal Tagle)
God, our Father, in faith, we acknowledge You Care for us, Your children.  In hope, we trust in Your divine providence to give us wisdom and courage as we face the challenges of life. In love, we invoke Your help and guidance during these difficult days of death and destruction in our land. 
Grant eternal peace to those who lost their lives. Embrace the children who died in their innocence. Console those who are grieving. Help those who are hurt and cure those who are sick. 
Encourage those who suffer the destruction of their homes and properties as they rise from the ruins and rebuild their future.
Bless all those who extend a helping hand to those in need of food, shelter, and clothing, and provide an assuring presence to those who are lost and confused.
At Your command the wind and the seas obey, raise Your hand, Almighty God and spare us from other natural di…

Enjoy Philippines: In Giving, We Receive

Indeed, the worst of calamities bring out the best in humanity. 
Last Saturday, I was privileged to have attended Blogapalooza 2013 at SMX Aura. The event offered lots of freebies and substantial talks for every participant - bloggers and businesses alike. Attendees were also able to help in their own little way the victims of the strongest typhoon that ever hit the Philippines (and the world), Yolanda, through the Piggybank Movement.
One of the exhibitors in the said event is Enjoy Philippines. They gave out free membership cards to the bloggers who visited their booth. Just today, I got an email from their Marketing Director, Mr. Alfonso Sy Jr. thanking us bloggers for checking out their booth. The email also contained essential information regarding the privilege card that we received during the event. 

What I liked best about the email was it mentioned that Enjoy Philippines is donating 100% of their online membership sales from November 16 to 30 to An Waray Relief Efforts for the…


Yesterday, I had a rare opportunity to hear mass alone. And the experience was too deep and personal. 
I arrived at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Karangalan a little bit early for the 6PM mass. I stayed outside the church until after Communion. When the commentator was already reading the announcements, I went in and stayed at the back while looking for a good place to sit. Before the priest gave the final blessing, the commentator took some time to thank the people for praying for her. She shared that she has been hospitalized for the past 5 months due to a rare disease (so rare that it affects only 1 in every 100,000 people). She was in the ICU during the first three weeks of her confinement. And she thought she would never recover. But one day, while she was lying on her hospital bed, she had an encounter with the Lord. There she felt healing. And she shared a beautiful message from the Father: 
"Endure your suffering without complain. It is part of your purification. If…

"Increase Our Faith"

With all the things happening around us, especially the horrible aftermath of the super typhoon Yolanda, we can't help but wonder why. Inasmuch as we want to ask God why, we can never question Him. All we can ask from Him is to increase our faith and let His power be upon us. 
Prayer: Oratio Imperata (Obligatory Prayer) for Deliverance from Calamities
Almighty Father, we raise our hearts to You in gratitude for the wonders of creation of which we are part, for Your providence that sustains us in our needs, and for Your wisdom that guides the course of the universe.
We acknowledge our sins against You and the rest of creation. We have not been good stewards of Nature. We have confused Your command to subdue the earth. The environment is made to suffer our wrongdoing, and now we reap the harvest of our abuse and indifference. Typhoons, heavy rains, floods, and other natural calamities  occur in increasing number and intensity.
We turn to You, our loving Father, and beg forgiveness for our sins.

Definitely Infinite ♥

Last Thursday night, I was privileged to share about prayer in SFC UP's Chapter Assembly. All I had was a topic and one GREAT GOD! :) 
On my way to the venue, I was exchanging text messages with Fr. Benedict. I told him how tired and, at the same time, nervous I was. I requested him to pray for me and for all the participants that we may be able to experience Christ and hear His message loud and clear during the talk.
What he told me was exactly what I needed to hear at that time: "God bless you all! Diyos ang pupuno sa lahat ng pagkukulang natin." (God will fill what is lacking in us.) And so I just entrusted everything to the Lord and asked Him to use me as He wills.

There were eight of us who attended the chapter assembly. And I praise and thank the Lord for once again reminding me that strength does not lie in numbers. Because the truth is, a few plus God is better than a majority without Him (read: Gideon) :)

And most of all, eight is a symbol of infinity which is …

♥ That's All ♥

And I thought I have already seen the best proposal until I saw this:

This is just too beautiful not to share. :) Vida is the ideal woman. Gino is the ideal man. Theirs is the ideal relationship. Feeling ko lang yun. Hindi ko talaga sila kilala. Haha. But I really am happy for them. And I thank God for beautiful relationships like this which makes one still hope for and believe in love. :) 
And because God saw me crying while watching the video (especially when Gino began to sing), He immediately consoled me and serenaded me with His own version of this song (and it's definitely way better than Gino's or Michael Buble's or Nat King Cole's!): 
I can only give you love that lasts forever And a promise to be near each time you call And the only heart I own For you and you alone That's all That's all
I can only give you country walks in springtime And a hand to hold when leaves begin to fall And a love whose burning light Will warm the winter night That's all That's a…

Forgive Us Our Debts

The Lord's Prayer speaks of debts that we must forgive. In Matthew 6:14, we read wrongs. Jesus considers debts and wrongs as the same thing. When we forgive someone who asks for forgiveness, we are not doing that person a favor, nor do we deserve any credit for doing it; we actually free ourselves from some rancor or hatred that is poisoning us. Inasmuch as we stick to our rights, we hold fast to this world. God wants to forgive us and bring us closer to Him, but how can He if we remain anchored to the things of this world? 
Jesus speaks to the poor who are accustomed to being burdened with debts, which many times they cannot settle. They are obliged to live together with neighbors they have not chosen. All this increases the occasions for offending one another. Many people today live very independent lives and hold as an ideal not to owe anything to anyone. This independence can make it harder for us to understand God's mercy towards us, poor as we really are before God. 


Give Us Our Daily Bread

We ask the Father for the bread He has promised to those who listen to His word. Modern people believe that their material welfare depends only on their own effort. The Bible, however, says that it depends on both God and us. Alone we can bring some economic miracles about for a while, but we may waste the accumulated riches. Only by listening to the word of God (Deuteronomy 8:3) will people have bread and be able to distribute it. A person who expects from God, not his or her bread but our bread, will strive to find work, to work in useful ways, and to promote justice where he is working. 
What should we say? The bread "we need" or our "daily" bread or sustenance? The original text uses a difficult word that has different meanings. Many have understood that the children of God feel the need of much more than what is asked for the body and that the Eucharist was already meant as it is in the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves. 

*Source: Christian Communit…

On Earth As In Heaven

This applies to the three previous petitions. It reminds us that everything in this world that is created and subject to time depends on another, uncreated world, where time does not exist and which is nothing less than the mystery of God. There the Father, source of the divine being, enjoys His infinite perfection in the mutual gift of the divine persons. In Him there is neither sadness nor resentment and before Him are the elect: he sees them as they will be after the resurrection. He sees the universe unified in Christ and His will fulfilled and glorified by all. We, who live in time, are in anguish because of an imperfect situation, in a world in labor where evil appears to triumph. We pray that everything may come about according to the initial plan of God, as it truly will. 

*Source: Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
♥ 5th of The Lord's Prayer Series

Your Will Be Done

These are the words of Jesus in Gethsemane (Matthew 26:39). This prayer condemns many of our prayers through which we want to force God to act. Some people consider themselves to have faith because they always wait for God to solve their problems. The children of God instead lift up their spirit to Him so that God's will may be, at last, their own will. 
*Source: Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
Praying for God's will to be done is the greatest act of surrendering and also a beautiful expression of our love for Him. It's like telling God that we trust in His promises and that He is truly the Lord of our lives. I just would like to further point out that along with our "Your will be done" prayer, may we also not forget to add "in Your time." :)

♥ 4th of The Lord's Prayer Series

Marriage Is Not For Me

If I could ask God just one question today, it'll be this: WHY IS EVERYBODY GETTING EITHER ENGAGED OR MARRIED?! WHY?!
I swear there's no bitterness in that. Haha. 
As what I have previously shared, I have come to realize that I'm not getting any younger because of social media. Sa totoo lang, tuwing binubuksan ko ang aking Facebook account, ang mga nakikita ko sa News Feed ay isang malaking sampal sa mukha at sigaw sa tainga na ako'y matanda na. Okay. Exaggerated. :D 
But seriously, everything I see nowadays is all about marriage and family - engagements, proposals, weddings, babies, etc. And I really am happy for them. :)
Just this morning, I heard that some lady is getting a bit impatient because the man she's been dating for two months now hasn't popped the question yet. Goodness! Nagmamadali masyado si ate. Kamusta naman ang ibang relationships na more than 7 years na? Well, siguro nga wala talaga yan sa haba o ikli ng pinagsamahan. Kung kayo, kayo talaga.…

Your Kingdom Come

With the coming of Jesus, that Kingdom has come near to us. God reigns in every place where people have known Him through the teaching of Jesus. There He can act without danger of being misinterpreted for He is now known for what He is. The believers now perceive Him, not as a God who imposes obligations, nor as a Savior more powerful than the evil ones, but they recognize Him in the gift of His Son, in the humiliation of the Son and in their mutual love. 
From this discovery, love and mercy pour forth and, in time, we will see on earth some fruits of this Kingdom. The reconciled children of God are a leavening element in society, and the whole of humanity with its projects, labor, economic and political plans moves towards a common goal: everyone and everything must return to the Father. 
Whether we are good, bad, or indifferent, the Kingdom of God will come, with or without our help, because it is actually already here. 

*Source: Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition

Holy Be Your Name

May Your Name be known and proclaimed Holy! May Your splendor and generosity be seen in those who become Your children. May Your perfection be recognized through their good works. May Your presence and Your riches be welcomed by those who keep Your word, according to John 14:23. 
The Father only wants to pour out His holiness and happiness on the children He has chosen and loved. He wants to seal us with His Name so that, day and night, we will be united with Him, like the Father and the Son are united by the Holy Spirit.  

*Source: Christian Community Bible Catholic Pastoral Edition
♥ 2nd of The Lord's Prayer Series