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Love Makes You Beautiful :)

4 April 2015
Black Saturday

Here I am sitting on a bench at Dambana ng Kapayapaan. I love it here because it's quiet, and true to its name, here I find peace. I am under the shade of a big tree with flowers that looked pink from afar but are actually colored purple. (I found out later from Sr. Josefina that it's the national tree of Guatemala.) 

I was just walking with the intention of going to the big chapel for my personal time with God. But when I saw the pink flowers, I was so amused I no longer bothered to proceed to the chapel (which was just a few inches away :D). Instead, I just stayed on the bench and marveled at the beautiful sight before me. 

Then tears started to roll down my face. And I don't know why. In the midst of my crying, this line from the song "All of Me" kept ringing in my head: even when you're crying you're beautiful too. It was as if God was telling me, "Just cry, My child. You still are and will always be beautiful in My eyes."

I smiled, recognizing the strong and loving presence of the Lord. I imagined resting my head on His shoulders, His arm wrapped around my neck, just how we see it in romantic movies. :) And as sweetly as a child would request for a favor from her father, I whispered to God, "If it's not too much to ask dear Lord, I'd love to have someone who can also spend moments like this with me. Yung ganito katahimik, nakaupo lang, nakatunganga, pero puno ng pagmamahal." I imagined God smiling at me, as if assuring me that yes, He's just preparing that man for me. I just have to wait. :) 

The crying went on and I still don't know why. My mind was restless with a lot of thoughts trying to bother me, but I couldn't entertain them. I didn't want to because I wanted to focus on my Greatest Lover. I wanted to cherish this intimate moment with Him. 

I finally said, "Don't You really want me to stop crying, Lord? You're being a sadist already." Then the Lord said, "I love it when you cry before Me because you're being you, and I love you for being you." It dawned on me that I haven't done much crying these days. I weep for certain reason (mababaw talaga ang luha ko), but it's the first time in a long time when I didn't need a reason to cry. I just cried. (Sr. Josefina called it "the gift of tears." ♥) Pope Francis said, "Learn to weep." He also said "Allow God to surprise you. Allow yourself to be loved." This is me allowing God to love me, at my weakest, in my most humble form, in my ugliest self, and He still tells me, "You're beautiful, My child." 

It's His love that makes me such - beautiful.

I remember Ms. Michelle's sharing. She had cancer, she underwent chemo, she lost her hair. Yet she still felt beautiful because she felt so loved by the people who prayed for her, who supported her, who journeyed with her. 

While I was reflecting, a flower fell on my journal. I picked it up and God spoke again. "You still find it beautiful, right? That's you, My child. Even if you fell, and you've fallen several times, I still find you beautiful. Even if you hit the ground and you feel you're already dirty and useless, I still love you and believe in your worth. But like the flower that falls to the ground, you will eventually wither and die if you do not remain in Me. Remain in Me, My child. Remain in My love and you will live." Then I saw the adjacent tree with white flowers which sent me the message, the reminder that though my sins are like scarlet, God will make them as white as snow, though they are red like crimson, God will make them as white as wool (Isaiah 1:18). I just have to remain in Him.

Then there was silence. All I could hear were the chirping birds. And they make beautiful music together. I was at peace. I am at peace. I  rested in the Lord. It's almost time for lunch and to wrap up my time with God, I opened my Bible and was led by the Holy Spirit to read Sirach 18, the greatness of God! Such a fitting conclusion to a solemn reflection. The Lord told me to remain in Him, and He has given specific instructions how to do so. :)

Privileged to be loved by the Greatest Lover. ♥ I am beautiful because I am loved. :)

Sirach 18

1 He who lives forever created the whole universe;
2 the LORD alone is just.†
4 To whom has he given power to describe his works,
and who can search out his mighty deeds?
5 Who can measure his majestic power,
or fully recount his mercies?
No one can lessen, increase,
or fathom the wonders of the Lord.
7 When mortals finish, they are only beginning,
and when they stop they are still bewildered.
8 What are mortals? What are they worth?
What is good in them, and what is evil?
9 The number of their days seems great
if it reaches a hundred years.
10 Like a drop of water from the sea and a grain of sand,
so are these few years among the days of eternity.
11 That is why the Lord is patient with them
and pours out his mercy on them.
12 He sees and understands that their death is wretched,
and so he forgives them all the more.
13 Their compassion is for their neighbor,
but the Lord’s compassion reaches all flesh,
Reproving, admonishing, teaching,
and turning them back, as a shepherd his flock.
14 He has compassion on those who accept his discipline,
who are eager for his precepts.

15 My child, add no reproach to your charity,*
or spoil any gift by harsh words.
16 Does not the dew give relief from the scorching heat?
So a word can be better than a gift.
17 Indeed does not a word count more than a good gift?
But both are offered by a kind person.
18 The fool is ungracious and abusive,
and a grudging gift makes the eyes smart.
19 Before you speak, learn;
before you get sick, prepare the cure.
20 Before you are judged, examine yourself,
and at the time of scrutiny you will have forgiveness.
21 Before you fall ill, humble yourself;
and when you have sinned, show repentance.*
Do not delay forsaking your sins;
do not neglect to do so until you are in distress.
22 Let nothing prevent the prompt payment of your vows;
do not wait until death to fulfill them.
23 Before making a vow prepare yourself;
do not be like one who puts the Lord to the test.
24 Think of wrath on the day of death,
the time of vengeance when he will hide his face.
25 Think of the time of hunger in the time of plenty,
poverty and need in the day of wealth.
26 Between morning and evening there is a change of time;
before the Lord all things are fleeting.
27 The wise are discreet in all things;
where sin is rife they keep themselves from wrongdoing.
28 Every wise person teaches wisdom,*
and those who know her declare her praise;
29 Those skilled in words become wise themselves,
and pour forth apt proverbs.

30 Do not let your passions be your guide,
but keep your desires in check.
31 If you allow yourself to satisfy your passions,
they will make you the laughingstock of your enemies.
32 Take no pleasure in too much luxury
which brings on poverty redoubled.
33 Do not become a glutton and a drunkard
with nothing in your purse.

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