Mercy and Compassion

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The whole gospel is summarized in mercy and compassion. If those who have done evil still lives today, God is still exercising his mercy and compassion to those sinners and are expected to come into his fold. We are turning into a nation of judge, liars and killers. We rejoiced when someone’s flaws are exhibited, we lied to justify our actions, and our resort and tolerated killings to end crimes yet we turned a blind eye to human rights violations committed by those in authority.

We failed to grow the virtues God has infused into us in our birth: i.e. faith, hope and love. We have lost faith in our brothers and sisters to do good, we failed to see a brighter future for them, and we failed to love as we are commanded by God because we have seen them as enemies of peace and order, (c.f. Matthew 5:44) and failed to realize that is not the virgin Mary, the apostles and disciples and prophets of old who have attained the heaven first but a criminal. We failed to be prudent as our authorities are doing; we are ill tempered and react too quickly, especially when offended rather contemplate the cause why people offend us, we are not fortified to live our ideals in a crisis of faith and seek our own idea of justice which could be perverted and inhumane. We attacked even our own pastors, accusing them as protector of certain politicians, and greed who protects their own interest forgetting they are the vicars of Christ, the Christ in persona Christi, and that we are first a christian before we are a Filipino, a child of God before a citizen of any country and we are commanded to listen to our pastors in faith. (c.f. Luke 10:16) We terribly failed as a Christian nation, and felt under confusion, whom to serve first and later hated the other, (c.f. Matthew 6:24) We justify public sins by comparing the other person also have sinned. The issue here is not the person who have sinned, but a sin being done in public.A sin done privately becomes a habit, but a sin done in public not only becomes a habit but also becomes a norm. The only norm that should be acceptable for us Christians, especially the laity is the gospel of Christ.

Again, we failed. We failed to be merciful and compassionate. We have failed God through loving our neighbor. We have failed to love our neighbor because we have loved much more ourselves. Let us not judge according to appearances as Christ told us. Let us not judge other people for sinning differently because we are all guilty before Christ, (c.f. James 2.10) and the wages of our sins still remains death. (Romans 6:23) We are all criminals before God, yet the reconciliation Jesus Christ made in cross weight most to him and thus we remained the prodigal sons of God.

http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2014/03/stump-priest-what-did-christ-write-on.html

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To God be The Glory

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The God be the glory, forever and always,
Let all the praise to him alone.
To God be the glory, when I paint.
How blessed I am to be his hand to work.

To God be the glory and all the praise,
When I sculpt with my tools and create.
He is always the creator and I am just a mere tool,
How blessed I am to be in his use.

To God be the glory, when I sing,
Let all the tongues praise his glory.
May my tongue and lips only glorify him.
How blessed I am to use my voice for him.

To God be the glory when I write,
To express my thoughts when I am in silence.
May all the world, knows his name,
Let all glorify his name in all the earth.

To God be the glory when I love,
How blessed I am to be his channel of his love.
To God be the glory when I am in pain,
For letting me imitate even a little the pain of Christ.

To God be the glory and all the praise,
May his grace and mercy forgives when I displeased him.
-Hold me tight my God, and do not forsake me,
Let me be with your saints in heaven to always glorify you.

The Crucifix

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“You foolish Galatians! Who put you under a spell? Was not Jesus the Messiah clearly portrayed before your very eyes as having been crucified? I want to learn only one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by doing the actions of the Law or by believing what you heard?” – Galatians 3:1-2, ISV

The crucifix as a portrayal of Jesus died in a cross has been done by Saint Paul in his letters to the Galatians. But a prefigurement of Christ being crucified was done first by Moses by fashioning a bronze into a snake. The snake as a symbol of sin is an allegory in the old to humble the Israel to look and realized their sins. But in the new, sins has been crucified with Christ, with cross which symbolize death, but the divinity of our Lord nullified the sins of man, and with him, our nature has been graced in his death and resurrection.

So whenever we gaze upon the crucifix, let us contemplate this as a constant reminder that we are sinners, but God has already purchased for us the salvation to those who confess their sins, that Christ willingly become the image of the sins humanity has done, and the cross which was once the image and symbol of death was redefined by Christ.

On the other hand, the snake, which clings to the pole is an image of sin flirting with death; and a reminder to us that whenever we sins we flirt with death. Unless we leave our sins through humility of accepting it and live in Christ, we will enter into salvation and the promise of resurrection could be attained.

Guide Me Lord

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This life of mine is certainly short, and I don’t have any other plans but to live it well. May God guide me and always rescue me in all the evils around me. Forgives my sins as I often fall everyday. May God be praised in my works. Let him be alone always in my thoughts to pave always all my anxieties and my only joy in my depression. May his words be the light in my paths, and as I breathe my last breath, may his grace and mercy let me find rest in his heart.

Prayer to the Sacred Heart

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May your sacred heart Jesus grant me peace and let your divine mercy helps me to be holy and grant me grace to stop sinning. Only in you I wanted to take my refuge now, may your holy wounds gives me comfort. Send your Holy Spirit to strengthen me and help me everyday. For You alone are eternal. You alone is my Lord. You and You alone can see my sufferings. Help me God. Amen.

Faith in Process

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God is an artist: he created Adam from the clay, and he gave every artist this attribute; to say this ability to see beauty from any materials available to them. It could be clay, stone or a canvas. Michelangelo says he is not carving his statues, but simply freeing the figures within.

Let it be a lesson for us, no matter how messy the situation could be, how much impossible to figure out to solve any problems because it seems like a block, and the situation is so empty to find any solutions. God will make a way where there seems to be no way. God is just in a process of unleashing a masterpiece in every difficult situation his saints are facing. It could be a slow and long process, but God is always in control.

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.

​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.