Skip to main content

Heaven On Earth Experience at Our Lady of Banneux ♥

I went to heaven last weekend. There I was welcomed by Our Lady of Banneux. :)

Our Lady of Banneux ♥
I never planned to be in that BCOP Weekend. As mentioned in my previous posts, the only place I wanted to be in during that time was Iloilo. But God had better plans, as usual. :)

You guessed it right, He did not surprise me with a ticket to Iloilo but He allowed me to experience heaven on earth in San Mateo, Rizal. ♥

The activity started with a trip to the "old land" where most of the "home partners" used to live. During the walk, Tito Eric, shared with us how they struggled to survive the wrath of Ondoy.

The "old land": Under the bridge of Banaba, San Mateo
Tito Eric: OLB Community Leader
Then the long journey to the "promised land" began. While traveling the long and winding road to Silangan, San Mateo, I could only imagine what would meet us there. I had my expectations already, but I was still open to God's surprises. Though I wasn't at all excited to be there, I chose to believe that God has a message.

When we arrived, I was stunned by the beauty of the Our Lady of Banneux (both the image and the community itself).

Wedding at Cana ♥

Mountaintop experience ♥
God spoke to me powerfully during Ate Karen Mangulab's talk when she shared her own story of poverty and reliance on God's providence. Her words really struck me: "Nakatanggap ako ng tulong dati. Sino ako para hindi tumulong ngayon?" And I had this strong conviction: Pwede akong mapagod magmahal pero hindi ako titigil, dahil ang Panginoon hindi napagod mahalin ako at kailanman, hindi Siya titigil mahalin ako.

I seriously need to be reminded of that. Lately I am being tempted to just stop loving. It has already become too tiring for me. I even came to the point of telling God, "I cannot do this anymore." Loving has already costed  me too much that I feel I could no longer afford it. 

But attending the BCOP Weekend humbled me and made me see how proud I have become. Fr. Benedict would always tell me, kayabangang isiping ikaw lang ang nagmamahal at ikaw lang nagbibigay. Mayabang na kung mayabang pero ganun talaga ang pakiramdam ko lately. Then God showed me how false that belief is. 

That weekend, instead of me blessing the people of Our Lady of Banneux, it was I who received so much love from God through them. And because of them, once again I realized how blessed I am. Tito Nicole said, "Count your blessings, think of the things you have, and you'll realize how rich you are. But if you focus on what you don't have, then you'll end up being the most miserable, poorest person in the world."

According to a song, "in heaven, love comes first." By love, I mean the genuine kind of love described in 1 Corinthians 13. Here's some good news: if you haven't experienced that kind of love yet, go to Our Lady of Banneux and you'll taste, see, feel, and breathe that love. :) I got to experience that and I felt so rich afterwards. :)

When asked why we are doing what we are doing or why we are in the place where we are, we in community often answer, "because we were called by the Lord" or "because we were chosen by the Lord" or "because we love the Lord." Here's my answer: I went to Our Lady of Banneux not because I love God but because God loves me so much that He wants me to experience simplicity, service, sacrifice, and ultimately, heaven there. ♥

Isn't it amazing? Amazing! ♥
Isn't it surprising? Surprising! ♥

Home away from home. Family away from family. :)

Our Lady of Banneux in San Mateo, Rizal is an ANCOP community. ANCOP, which stands for Answering the Cry of the Poor is a program founded by Couples for Christ (CFC) for the purpose of consolidating efforts in building the church of the poor. Click here to know more about the program and the many ways to help. :)

Popular posts from this blog

Jesus Week 2015: A Time To HEAL ♥

I had the best, most meaningful HOLY WEEK ever, so far (the best is yet to come!). :) Thanks to Joy who shared the Jesus Week poster on Facebook. It was God's personal invitation, and I couldn't thank Him enough for the grace that He also gave me to respond. Everything is grace. It was not just my personal decision to join. It was God's grace that allowed me to. 
So how did it go? Well, as what I have told my friends, it was amazingly beautiful! The experience was priceless! On Holy Monday, I posted Fr. Jerry Orbos' acronym for HOLY WEEK. I experienced all of that and more! :) 
I won't be able to share everything as there is just a lot of personal, intimate encounters with the Lord. But if I were to summarize, it was a time for me to HEAL. :) 
Halt. Indeed, I was able to stop and just rest in the Lord. Before leaving Manila, I have already told myself that this retreat will be all about Jesus (Jesus Week nga e :D). No emails, no texts, no calls. I'll just spend…

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…

Thank You, Lord! :)

It has been a long and stressful day (the past three days have been lonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng and stressssssssssssssssssssssssssssssful), but You are just so amazing, Lord that I couldn't sleep without telling You how grateful I am. :)
Thank You, Lord for the miracle that You did yesterday. Break even and more. :)
Thank You, Lord for the laughter and stories shared during the post-mission meeting with Team Thailand. :)
Thank You, Lord for Lawrence. He is just the (almost) perfect man. He has his flaws, but they are acceptable; he makes mistakes, but they are all forgivable. There are a lot of men but there can never be anyone else. He's really the one. And You know it very well. :)
Thank You, Lord for giving me strength and endurance each day. :)
Thank You, Lord for the short but restful sleeps. :)
Thank You, Lord for every waking moment and every opportunity that You give me to proclaim Your greatness. :) Thank You, Lord for Your message through Fr. Frank. I heard it loud…

The Holy Spirit*

*Cluster 4 Household Topic
Reflections from John 15:26-16:4

True friendship is strengthened in adversity. Jesus offers His disciples the best and truest of friends. Who is this promised friend? 
Jesus calls the Holy Spirit our Counselor and Advocate (also translated Paraclete or Helper). Counselor is a legal term for the one who will defend someone against an adversary and who guides that person during the ordeal of trial. The Holy Spirit is our Advocate and Helper who brings us safely through the challenges and adversities we must face in this life. As Jesus approaches the hour that He was to be glorified - through His death on the cross and His resurrection - He revealed more fully to His disciples the person and the role of the Holy Spirit. What does Jesus tell us about the Holy Spirit? 
First, the Holy Spirit is inseparably one with the Father and the Son. It is the Holy Spirit who gives life - the very life of God - and who kindles faith in hearts receptive to God's word. The S…

Interesting Facts Courtesy of Celebrity Bluff :)

I was writing a different post, but Celebrity Bluff is just so fun and informative, I had to stop from blogging to list down the fun facts that I learn from each round. :) 

Thought it would be nice to share them here as well. For future reference. :D 
Q: In 2012, what kind of animal was named after Beyonce? A: Horse Fly
Q: What rare job in China will pay you US$50,000 a year?  A: Fart Smeller
Q: What alcoholic drink literally means "water of life"? A: Whisky
Q: In which part of the body can you find the tragus? A: Ear
Q: According to Merriam-Webster, what is the female equivalent of dude? A: Dudine
Q: What is longer in the male turtles than in the females?  A: Nails
And the final question is...
Q: According to Box Office Mojowhat are the top four (4) movies of 2013 according to global profit? A: (1) Iron Man 3, (2) Despicable Me 2, (3) Fast and the Furious 6 (4) The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
That's all for today. :) 
For more fun facts, follow Celebrity Bluff on Twitter or watch it…