Let me break my silence now

I am tired and I feel suffocated by the people around me, and I wanted to set myself in oblivion if ever that is possible, however I am fully aware of what it will feel like, but at least there, I will live with no expectations, and I could only live in minimize reality without being overwhelmed with so many concerns. I am tired of the people who are saying they are concerned yet where are those concerns? No. I cannot feel those concerns. My beloved Saint once again reminded me that “Actions speak louder than words; let your words teach, and actions speak,” and I have this thought since 2007; it was when I felt my life suddenly shifted to a more serious shade and music suddenly turned to more depressing tones. Heartbreak and failures really teach a lot to a person and to tell you the truth, I turned into a skeptical person that to trust has been a top thing that is hard to do. I felt that even to love and to trust myself has been so hard to do, and you have been aware of this, so I think that I have to keep myself at distance again and learn again the basics and save myself from drowning in the sadness I am feeling now. When I left the University, I thought I could rebuild myself in the Church, that I can at least teach myself again to love people, and through that I could start again to love myself and with confidence, I could say, my love is true.  Maybe you could ask yourself, “what do my words teach and actions speak?” and start again to ask yourself, “how much love do I have for God?” and think of what you should do about it.

I know, that more than anyone else, I am the one who is in thirst to love the Lord, and I am struggling every day to love him even more deeply, and because of this love, I know that I cannot love without first loving myself and the people around me. Such an irony that I used to be so afraid to be in the large crowds of people and as I can observe I am being like this again, and I am helpless about it. Maybe you have no idea what kind of trauma does my University life gave me, and what does it really feels like to be in 6 years of depression and the struggle of trying so hard to love myself because it feels like no one really does. Keeping myself at distance is the only thing as I call self-respect that I can give to myself because everyone else in even in a little way disrespects me which makes me believe that people had lost their manners now. In each Ministry I am involved, including the Bible Study, I can see, that you are just curious and trying this because this is new, but you aren’t in love and I know if ever a devil swift you with his hand, you could easily change your mind and leave the group. And yes, all my dreams just came true and my dreams are almost in the last chapters of its revelation.

Let it be known to you that I am being too sensitive lately, that I am sticking so much to this “actions speaks louder than words” as my standard, and all of the people around me is such a failure. Everyone else is still in their comfort zone, and I have seen that when this comfort zone has been triggered and they suddenly feel exhausted and missed their life, people then will start to make excuses. “Accuse or excuse yourself”: however people loves to justify their excuses and that is tiring to hear, and your “sorry” and everyone else became just as easy as to say “I love you, Lord.” I know that God loves to manifest himself as a fire and I have observed that all of the people just love to be in “warm mode” and not get their selves burn to his fire. To love him is not to find pleasures in life, but even to love him even in pain. However, when people have reached the sacrifice this and that stage, it is when people are justifying their limits and keep their distance to God. God is good and merciful but God never forgets what we have done until we are truly sorry and do something about it.

It is difficult now to pray and ask the Lord to help me. To help me about my situation and the people around me. As I hear everyone having time to watch this and to get their selves to have fun, I know that people are not just not committed as they are saying, that they aren’t loving God as they think that they are. They are human too after all. And they are so in love with being human. In the other side maybe, I am loving the people around me in the wrong way, or right now, I am just disappointed about how each one of you loves to say “sorry” always and excuse yourself every time, yet has a gut to say “I love you, Lord.” I have no power over each one of you, and as I said above, you have just disrespected me even if you aren’t aware of this. As his servant, I am human too, and worst, God has chosen a fragile servant who is now being impatient with the excuses he is hearing. Please respect my silence and distance, my duty is to inform and not to convince, and let it be known to you those are entertaining their excuses and love to say they are sorry are convicted of their own sins. And if you are still amongst those whose habit is to say sorry every time and could be an author of a book about excuses and still will just justify those, better keep yourself away from me for a while, since I have no energy to entertain excuses and sorry from people.

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​The Sign of the Cross

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Yesterday at mass, the priest tried to relate the custom of making the sign of the cross to the feast of the Blessed Holy Trinity to his homily. He then started to a story when he went to the Sacred Heart Parish in Cubao and saw as the jeepney passed the Church made the sign of the cross. He felt curious and asked himself if does the jeepney driver is aware of what he is doing?

Not so eloquent in his sermon; the making of the sign of the cross is a Roman Catholic custom as he also confessed in last of his sermon as if he is saying implicitly that it is not a custom from the place where he came that’s why he is baffled when he first came in the Philippines. As if the making of the sign of the Cross is only active here in he Philippines! However, the homily became problematical when the priest tried to separate the idea of the cross being both a “sign” and a “symbol.” He asked the congregation first if we think that the sign of the cross then is really a cross, and so those who believe shall raise their hand. So as a summary of his sermon is relative; or to say it could have two meaning which falls being a sign and a symbol. For him, it is not a cross if not accompanied by this thought: he insisted that it should also be accompanied by saying “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,” therefore, without it from thought and mean that it is not a cross but a symbol. I actually have no problem about accompanying it with the name of God since it is the basic that whenever we do the sign of the cross, in our mind and heart we say “In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” And these two is inseparable (CCC 2157). My head is starting to ache but I have to keep my patience up and there was a part of history said by Tertullian that echoes in my mind yesterday which says:

“In all our travels, in our coming in and going out, in putting on our clothes and our shoes, at table, in going to rest, whatever we are doing we mark our forehead with the sign of the cross.”

Technically, the making of the sign of the cross has been a custom even back then from the 3rd century in time of Tertullian and even could be more earlier, since all of Christianity understood that the cross is the power of God (c.f. 1 Corinthian 1:18) In addition, Saint Ephrem the Syrian writes in 4th century:

“With the sign of the living cross, seal all thy doings, my son. Go not forth from the door of thy house till thou hast signed the cross. Whether in eating or in drinking, whether in sleeping or in waking, whether in thy house or on the road, or again in the season of leisure, neglect not this sign; for there is no guardian like it. It shall be unto thee as a wall, in the forefront of all thy doings. And teach this to thy children, that heedfully they be conformed to it.”

So okay fine, the jeepney driver and all of us is just in being of custom of doing the sign of the Cross, but as part of correction, it is not only ‘us’ Roman Catholics and Anglicans as he says  are using the sign of the cross, because even the Orthodox and Lutheran Churches and other churches not to mention here are doing so following the Traditions of the Fathers.

But what irritates me is the Cross being just a symbol or a sign and not being both because it is both in reality. When we recite our faith every Sunday we recite the Nicene Creed and as CCC 188 explains us the word Creed or Credo also came from the Greek word symbolon, it went further stating the creed being as “symbol of faith.” As the creed summarize the Christian faith, so the cross summarize the Salvation History, it is as the same as what the understanding of what the symbolon “a token of recognition,” and “broken part being placed together to bear the identity of the bearer.” The cross, again summarize the Salvation History, being the fulfillment of all the broken covenants, the unity of the scattered image of God in the earth gathered as one his Church which is his body, the Catholic Church: and to add the Catholic Encyclopedia even says “by the gesture of tracing two lines intersecting at right angles they indicate symbolically the figure of Christ’s cross.” Thus, saying the Cross is just a “symbol” as a derogatory term is an insult to the Salvation History and God’s plan, because it is the icon of God’s plan, people and with the Christ crucified.

The Cross is also a “Sign”, and cannot be separated from the concept of “Symbol” the word “Sign” came from Latin word signum which means “mark”. In this concept of the Cross gives us a picture or an item of God’s persons working with Christ, being God the Father as Creator, the Son as Redeemer, and the Holy Spirit as Sustainer.” The father, who is also the creator of the new generation, Christ being its first-born and Redeemer, and which the Holy Spirits sustains and sanctified. All of these starts from the cross, which before has an image of death but now life, destroyer of life, but now a redeemer, and a picture of crimes but now of strength and holiness.

The jeepney might not be aware of these theological implications, but it is a “a priori” act of a confession to Christ, in the unity of the Father and the Holy Spirit that saves us through our Lord Jesus Christ. As a Christian I believe what making us move with this simple act is not due to knowledge nor by reasons but by faith. Faith is what moves mountains, not wisdom nor knowledge, and faith is what cause obedience, not reasons or intellect.  The Father called us, and the Holy Spirit moves us to get and open our hearts to Christ and as we do the sign of the cross, we confess in the Church where the Eucharist rest, that Jesus Christ is Lord.

​Love beneath Sacrifice

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Let our love and service for God grows because of our pains and sufferings and not because of our joy and pleasure. Let us decrease so our Lord Jesus Christ within us can increase. Let us be strong and take courage and always consider that there is always a greater cross than to the cross that is already in our hearts; and whenever we are lost, let the way to Calvary be our guide, whenever we feel weak, let his passion be our strength, and whenever we feel helpless let him be, the crucified Christ our refuge. Let it be Christ and Christ alone be our example, because there are no Saints reached the Heaven without experiencing his own christ-like suffering and passion. We are crucified with Christ in different ways, all we have to do is realized that we are crucified with him and that we are not alone in our sufferings. In the cross of Christ, we are not helpless, but victors that can do everything. Amen.

Failure in Love

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“To love until it hurts,” said Mother Teresa, to give, to forgive and to sacrifice, thus just keep on loving. But, as a Christian, we often said, “I love you God”, but how many times despite of love do we fail? Does it mean we don’t love God? Does it mean our love is half-baked? Only God could say so. It could be true or false.

Loving hurts, but to hurt is not to love. We are hurting God because of shortcomings, as to how we hurt the people we love because of lack of commitment, honesty, respect and so and so on, and these are shortcomings. A failure to love more. We are afraid to give more or give it all.

-As I have thought God being a fire, as we get closer, hurts us and lose ourselves. However, the fact is we are being still distant to him. We just wanted to feel the warm, and we are afraid of being on fire. We are afraid to be consumed and lose ourselves. But, if we aren’t so distant, our love will be less of shortcomings but more sincere and Christlike. Becoming a Christian is not becoming a perfect imitator of God’s love asap; it is a trial and error. Our love is perfect because we do not fail, but our love for God is little by little close to what is perfect because we keep on trying and never give up and we believe in God’s grace. When we love, it is inevitable for us to commit mistakes, but no matter what, we should not give up and believe that love never fails.

Humility and Pride

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​I was asking myself how could I reach the people who are full of pride and my heart replied, “Humility”. Humility alone could approach a person who are full of pride, but pride cannot approach humility. It is a beautiful paradox itself, how a virtue of humility exercise its free will: a free will to exercise love, and to reach those living in self-love and hate. It is a picture of a virtue moving with no limits, a picture of God approaching sinners, that are bound in self-love and hate.

Do I love God?

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​I have learned that we always have to question even our own love for God: without questioning it lead us to danger of being complacent and not growing as a Christian.

As a reflection, a person who’s in love has his thought about the subject of his love first in the morning, last at night and even between these two; and the person who fell hardly in love is still thinking of love even in the most busy and difficult times of his life. This is an allegorical image. If we are in love with God, He will be our first thought, last and our thoughts in between. He will be still present in our hearts and mind and even in the most difficult times we are to face. If we aren’t like this, it still true that we are having a hard time to love which is invisible for us, and we are still loving according to flesh. Love needs commitment, effort and sacrifices. Let our “I love you Lord” be not a lips service, but an action that speaks louder than our words.

Prayer to Saint Monica

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“Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.”
-Psalms 32:1

Saint Monica, whose throne in heaven is beside her son, Saint Augustine are being both part of the choir of the Saints of God. God granted you not to be separated from him until both of you become his Saints shining in Glory, and the privilege to become nearer into his throne, the throne of Most Holy Blessed Trinity. Pray for us, who are committing sins everyday, especially those who do not believe and seeking God, but rather seeking the knowledge of the world, the flesh and not of Heavenly matters. May your intercession grant us what we seek; the change of heart and becoming a blessed gift to God as his servants to the Church. Intercede us to the Father to draw us closer to him, and to the Holy Spirit, to bless us with the gift of fortitude and faith so that we may not be separated from him. May we, like how your prayers converts your Son, Saint Augustine and your husband in the hour of his death, also transforms others, and become an instrument to lead others to Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to Saint Augustine

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“Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.”
-Psalms 25:18

Saint Augustine, my patron Saint, my spiritual guide in this life. God gave you the privilege to understand the mystery of this life in the light of the gospel of Christ. May you, having a high merit in heaven, sitting in your throne near to God, hear and intercede our prayers: pray for us to remain in faith, chastity, and in humility so we can follow Christ and imitate him so we can be with him in perfect state of grace in eternity. Hear our prayers, O humble servant of God, especially those are on the edge of losing their faith in Christ, convert those in infidelity and heresy, and every people who are being lukewarm in their service to our Church, remove the fear in our hearts, the enemy of God’s love so we can start looking to Christ only; but, If ever we find late to realize our deep love for God, intercede us not to befall in distress but in joy and in the hour of our death, intercede and remind us that our hearts could only truly rest to God, the source of our all joy and peace. Amen.

Prayer of the fallen saint

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​If I love you my Lord with little love, please be patient with me, and accept my love. If I love you with so much love, my God, don’t lessen this love. If you don’t love me, my God as you love others, have mercy on me, and teach me to be repentant for I am a sinner before you, so I’ll experience the greatness of your love. Call me to holiness, and be patient with me as you grace me with patience to be patient with others and myself.

Let me glorify you, little by little everyday. Change me my God, change me through thy love. Humble me, your servant, as I grow in holiness. Make me realize, the gravity of each sins I commit, make me realize that I need you so I can be perfect, because I am nothing my Lord, and I cannot do anything without you my God. Perfect me, so as I breathe my last breath, I can fulfill my duty as your humble servant and see you, face to face in your eternal glory, forever and ever, Amen.

The Story of the Heavy Cross

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Our sufferings are our cross, the greater our sufferings,  the greater is our cross. Let us be happy if we suffer too much, for the small crosses cannot reach heaven and carrying a light cross will not kill the evil inside us. The heavier the cross, the more we can focus on Christ and not carry our worldly concern. So let us chose the heavier one despite being able to carry the light one; keep in mind that we are called to imitate Christ,  and Christ does not bear a simple cross, but he carried all the crosses of the past, present and the cross of the future to come. God will provide the grace we need, and he’s still willing to carry the cross we chose with us.