God is your love 

God is your love. He doesn’t disappoint you, he doesn’t hurt you, he loves you and you can be sure of his fidelity. 

Human being on the other hands are less reliable, less trustworthy and prone to hurt you. 

Advertisements

I am loved. Love is…

Lately I have spent time talking to my friend. I think perhaps I frustrate him during those nightly conversation. He see something in me that i do not yet see myself.

He deals with my insecurities and give me a taste of his ‘tough love’ and through it all, he is patient and reassuring and yet i doubt him and myself.

He tells me that I am afraid and that I do not want to change. He is right, but I don’t see what he see. He reassure me that God love me in my brokenness and that God knows where i am and God understand. Thus the question is that if God loves me in all my brokenness, why do i not love myself?

In the past two years I have hurt myself and I have pushed people who loved me away, afraid to let people into my life, afraid of the judgement and just being afraid. He tells me that if I keep living my life like this I would end up alone. He is quite right. He see thats. ever wise man that he is.

He told me that love is from God and love is an act of the will. Love is patient, love is kind…

Nada te turbe

Today I came across the story of St. Anthony the Abbot and how he fell prey to the devil and demonic attacks. It was said that in one occasion, he happened upon a cave and he was attacked so badly that he died and was brought to life again.After coming back alive, he then went back to the cave to confront the demon and then God came to help him. It was said that he asked God, where God was the first time around and God replied, ‘I was here but I would see and abide to see thy (your) battle, and because thou (you) hast (have) mainly fought and well maintained thy (your) battle, I shall make thy (your) name to be spread through all the world.’ (source: wikipedia)

Maybe it is my lack of understanding of what was being said, but is God saying, that since you are fighting your battle so well, i will let you be. If this was what God meant, then i wonder about the many battles that I have been fighting, have I just pushed him to the corner because I am fighting my own battle without his help?

Also I wonder why would God promise St Anthony fame? when this was the same thing that Jesus fought against in the desert? perhaps it is a bad translation of what was being said and i should rely less on wikipedia as a source of information.

But i digress. I have been rather anxious yet again about a new friendship that i seem to want to rush and push into a new relationship. Today on reflection about said friendship, I was brought back to the prayers of St Terese of Avila who said the following:

  • Nada te turbe, (Let nothing trouble you)
  • nada te espante,  (let nothing frighten you)
  • todo se pasa, (everything changes)
  • Dios no se muda. (but God does not)
  • La paciencia todo lo alcanza (Through Patience, you will obtain everything)
  • quien a Dios tiene (whoever has God)
  • nada le falta (is lacking nothing)
  • sólo Dios basta. (Only God is enough)

I have been much troubled because I have been impatient and I want to again rush things. St Terese’s prayer remind me that, I should be patient in God and let him do what he need to do and then it is through patience, that I will obtain just what i need, nothing more nothing less, because God know what I need.

God you are all that I need, and that there is nothing more that i should want. my lack of faith have led me to constant battles, where i have pushed against the direction that you intend to lead me, instead of letting you pull me slowly into the direction that you  had intended for me. Let me now learn to let go and let you take control and let me allow you to direct me to what need be, even when the direction sometimes does not make sense, let me be obedient to your will. Amen

Continue reading Nada te turbe

Priest friend, Sins and a good talk

Over the years I met and befriended a number of priest friends and I although we are seperated by miles, I do try to keep in touch with them, sometimes talking to them about their struggles and sometimes mine. There is a misconception that priests are superman and hence do not feel hurt, jealousy, anger, lust, and all humanly vice.

There is a great need to pray for our priests as they are doing the lords work and as eloquently put by St padre pio, “temptation is a sure sign the soul is very pleasing to the lord”. A lay friend once shared that when the soul is closest to the lord, that is when the devil comes to tempt the person. But I digress.

Personally I have experience what my parish priest would term a spiritual burn out. I started being resentful in my ministry in church and I felt bitter towards my parish priest and my fellow church workers. My parish priest said it was because I was trying to jump to 100 from 0 and I was chastising myself for every little actions that were sinful. He’s quite right. Suddenly I felt unworthy of the post I was holding in my ministry and I felt that I was being judge because frankly I was judging myself.

feeling lost tonight I reached out to my clergy friends. I needed to talk and I wanted someone to perhaps lead me and guide me. Out of the many text to the many friends I met. One answered.

I had a long conversation with him where I told him where I was spiritually and what I was going through. We spoke about confessions and how I was still hanging on to a guilt of a past sin that has been confessed and rather beautifully he said “forgiveness does not satisfy god’s grace, it’s for your own advantage” that’s true. God’s grace is magnificent and never ceasing and really when we go through the sacrament of confession the peace that comes with it is really for our benefit. He also added that “when you are broken, you affect the people around you.” He also told me that after i confessed the sin to  forget about it because God has already forgiven me for that sin, it’s me who’s hanging on to it and God really doesn’t count how many times we fall. He’s a merciful father. Needless to say after the conversation, I felt so much at peace. Thank you Fr.

on the fact that he was the only one who picked up or who answered. It was surely a sign of god’s grace working and as another clergy friend once put it. “Nothing is ever by coincidence but by god providence”

 

 

 

 

 

The wonder of God’s creation

image

I visited an aquarium recently and amongst the many beautiful sea life i saw, was the leafy seadragon. I was staring at it in awe and I marveled at the wonder of God and his creation. I thought to myself then and there, that surely it is a work of a master artist that would have created a creature such as a leafy sea dragon. It is truly an exquisite creature, truly amazing.

This lead me to another random question I had recently with my new found friend Mr. D. He posed the question of  ‘what came first, the chicken or the egg?’ Instinctively, the answer that came to mind was the Chicken because God created all living creature first. Today, I found a post that said that scientist have found that the chicken came first, because the protein that makes egg shells is only produced by Hens. how about that?

Beautiful words of encouragement

On a recent journey abroad, I met a new friend, who works in a related field such as myself. The advise that he gave me were priceless. On the journey back to the hotel after mass one morning, he said to me and another friend. ‘It is important in our profession to have faith’ i agreed with him and he added ‘It is also important that we are in the state of Grace’. His reminder about being in a state of Grace, struck me. I been thinking and pondering over this message since we met….. i am still digesting the message.

Another topic of discussion we had was about marriage, I cannot remember the exact discussion, but at one point, i told him that I have given up on the whole idea of wanting to marry someone, because it has made me happier, to let go and just let things take its natural course, and yet again he said something. He said, don’t forget that Jesus said to ask and to ask, remember the gospel when it said, if a son was to ask the father for a fish, he will not give a snake will he. This was i thought a timely reminder, because I have stopped asking. God want me to ask.

Ok Tatay, I will ask for it, Please…. can I please…. and i have been asking, I have been praying, and yesterday at mass, whilst plagued with doubt about a new situation in my life that has recently arose, i was comforted by the reading of the rich young man. To be honest, the rich young man has never been my favorite reading, but i noticed something in yesterday gospel that stuck me. The words ““For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.”  Yes God, sir, yes Sir. I have been reminded of this words many a time, when i felt that my situation is hopeless. Every time i feel that it is, he reminds me and I am so overwhelmed by his love. Thank you God.

Yes sir!!!

I swear to you, God is funny in how he tries to get his message across to me.

Tonight at the anticipated mass, the reading was about family, marriage and divorce.  (27th Week in Ordinary Time, year B) I won’t go into the readings but my thought and prayers during the mass. I was stuck tonight by how sinful I am and how my sins are repetitive and how i can’t seems to get out of my sinful ways. At mass my thoughts were, “Lord, I can’t seems to change my ways, I keep doing the same thing over and over again, and I am so paralysed by my sin. i am so ashamed of myself.”

I came home and I had to read the Pope Message to the Youth for WYD and i was stuck and deeply moved by the things that he was saying about mercy, i copied his message and it is in the post below this for those who want to read it. The pope spoke about mercy and how forgiveness is always included in mercy and how it is God’s Joy to forgive and then i came across his statement as follows “we keep looking for God, but God is there before us, always looking for us, and he finds us first. Maybe one of you feels something weighing on your heart. You are thinking: i did this, i did that…. Do not be afraid! God is waiting for you! God is a Father and he is always waiting for us! it is so wonderful to feel the merciful embrace of the father in the sacrament of reconciliation, to discover that the confessional is a place of mercy, and to allow ourselves to be touched by the merciful love of the Lord who always forgives us!” 

Yes, Lord! i heard you loud and clear!!!

Pope Message to the Youth for World Youth day 2016

I have copied the text from Vatican Radio site, which contain the full text of the Pope Message for the Youth for WYD 2016 in Krakow.

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7)

Dear Young People,

We have come to the last stretch of our pilgrimage to Krakow, the place where we will celebrate the 31st World Youth Day next year in the month of July.  We are being guided on this long and challenging path by Jesus’ words taken from the Sermon on the Mount.  We began this journey in 2014 by meditating together on the first Beatitude: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:3).  The theme for 2015 was: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5:8).  During the year ahead, let us allow ourselves to be inspired by the words: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Mt 5:7).

5. The Jubilee of Mercy

With this theme, the Krakow 2016 WYD forms part of the Holy Year of Mercy and so becomes a Youth Jubilee at world level.  It is not the first time that an international youth gathering has coincided with a Jubilee Year.  Indeed, it was during the Holy Year of the Redemption (1983/1984) that Saint John Paul II first called on young people from around the world to come together on Palm Sunday.  Then, during the Great Jubilee of the year 2000, over two million young people from around 165 countries gathered in Rome for the 15th World Youth Day.  I am sure that the Youth Jubilee in Krakow will be, as on those two previous occasions, one of the high points of this Holy Year!

Perhaps some of you are asking: what is this Jubilee Year that is celebrated in the Church?  The scriptural text of Leviticus 5 can help us to understand the meaning of a “jubilee” for the people of Israel.  Every fifty years they heard the sounding of a trumpet (jobel) calling them (jobil) to celebrate a holy year as a time of reconciliation (jobal) for everyone.  During that time they had to renew their good relations with God, with their neighbours and with creation, all in a spirit of gratuitousness.  This fostered, among other things, debt forgiveness, special help for those who had fallen into poverty, an improvement in interpersonal relations and the freeing of slaves.

Jesus Christ came to proclaim and bring about the Lord’s everlasting time of grace.  He brought good news to the poor, freedom to prisoners, sight to the blind and freedom to the oppressed (cf. Lk 4:18-19).  In Jesus, and particularly in his Paschal Mystery, the deeper meaning of the jubilee is fully realized.  When the Church proclaims a jubilee in the name of Christ, we are all invited to experience a wonderful time of grace.  The Church must offer abundant signs of God’s presence and closeness, and reawaken in people’s hearts the ability to look to the essentials.  In particular, this Holy Year of Mercy is “a time for the Church to rediscover the meaning of the mission entrusted to her by the Lord on the day of Easter: to be a sign and an instrument of the Father’s mercy” (Homily at First Vespers of Divine Mercy Sunday, 11 April 2015).

6. Merciful like the Father

The motto for this Extraordinary Jubilee is “Merciful like the Father” (cf. Misericordiae Vultus, 13).  This fits in with the theme of the next WYD, so let us try to better understand the meaning of divine mercy.

The Old Testament uses various terms when it speaks about mercy. The most meaningful of these are hesed and rahamim.  The first, when applied to God, expresses God’s unfailing fidelity to the Covenant with his people whom he loves and forgives for ever.  The second, rahamim, which literally means “entrails”, can be translated as “heartfelt mercy”.  This particularly brings to mind the maternal womb and helps us understand that God’s love for his people is like that of a mother for her child.  That is how it is presented by the prophet Isaiah: “Can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb?  Even should she forget, I will never forget you” (Is 49:15).  Love of this kind involves making space for others within ourselves and being able to sympathize, suffer and rejoice with our neighbours.

The biblical concept of mercy also includes the tangible presence of love that is faithful, freely given and able to forgive.  In the following passage from Hosea, we have a beautiful example of God’s love, which the prophet compares to that of a father for his child: “When Israel was a child I loved him; out of Egypt I called my son.  The more I called them, the farther they went from me…  Yet it was I who taught Ephraim to walk, who took them in my arms; I drew them with human cords, with bands of love; I fostered them like one who raises an infant to his cheeks…  I stooped to feed my child” (Hos 11:1-4).  Despite the child’s wrong attitude that deserves punishment, a father’s love is faithful.  He always forgives his repentant children.  We see here how forgiveness is always included in mercy.  It is “not an abstract idea, but a concrete reality with which he reveals his love as of that of a father or a mother, moved to the very depths out of love for their child…  It gushes forth from the depths naturally, full of tenderness and compassion, indulgence and mercy” (Misericordiae Vultus, 6).

The New Testament speaks to us of divine mercy (eleos) as a synthesis of the work that Jesus came to accomplish in the world in the name of the Father (cf. Mt 9:13).  Our Lord’s mercy can be seen especially when he bends down to human misery and shows his compassion for those in need of understanding, healing and forgiveness.  Everything in Jesus speaks of mercy.  Indeed, he himself is mercy.

In Chapter 15 of Luke’s Gospel we find the three parables of mercy: the lost sheep, the lost coin and the parable of the prodigal son.  In these three parables we are struck by God’s joy, the joy that God feels when he finds and forgives a sinner.  Yes, it is God’s joy to forgive!  This sums up the whole of the Gospel.  “Each of us, each one of us, is that little lost lamb, the coin that was mislaid; each one of us is that son who has squandered his freedom on false idols, illusions of happiness, and has lost everything.  But God does not forget us; the Father never abandons us.  He is a patient Father, always waiting for us!  He respects our freedom, but he remains faithful forever.  And when we come back to him, he welcomes us like children into his house, for he never ceases, not for one instant, to wait for us with love.  And his heart rejoices over every child who returns.  He is celebrating because he is joy.  God has this joy, when one of us sinners goes to him and asks his forgiveness” (Angelus, 15 September 2013).

God’s mercy is very real and we are all called to experience it firsthand.  When I was seventeen years old, it happened one day that, as I was about to go out with friends, I decided to stop into a church first.  I met a priest there who inspired great confidence, and I felt the desire to open my heart in Confession.  That meeting changed my life!  I discovered that when we open our hearts with humility and transparency, we can contemplate God’s mercy in a very concrete way.  I felt certain that, in the person of that priest, God was already waiting for me even before I took the step of entering that church.  We keep looking for God, but God is there before us, always looking for us, and he finds us first.  Maybe one of you feels something weighing on your heart.  You are thinking: I did this, I did that….  Do not be afraid! God is waiting for you!  God is a Father and he is always waiting for us!  It is so wonderful to feel the merciful embrace of the Father in the sacrament of Reconciliation, to discover that the confessional is a place of mercy, and to allow ourselves to be touched by the merciful love of the Lord who always forgives us!

You, dear young man, dear young woman, have you ever felt the gaze of everlasting love upon you, a gaze that looks beyond your sins, limitations and failings, and continues to have faith in you and to look upon your life with hope?  Do you realize how precious you are to God, who has given you everything out of love?  Saint Paul tells us that “God proves his love for us in that, while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:8). Do we really understand the power of these words?

I know how much the WYD cross means to all of you.  It was a gift from Saint John Paul II and has been with you at all your World Meetings since 1984.  So many changes and real conversions have taken place in the lives of young people who have encountered this simple bare cross!  Perhaps you have asked yourselves the question: what is the origin of the extraordinary power of the cross?  Here is the answer: the cross is the most eloquent sign of God’s mercy!  It tells us that the measure of God’s love for humanity is to love without measure!  Through the cross we can touch God’s mercy and be touched by that mercy!  Here I would recall the episode of the two thieves crucified beside Jesus.  One of them is arrogant and does not admit that he is a sinner.  He mocks the Lord.  The other acknowledges that he has done wrong; he turns to the Lord saying: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom”. Jesus looks at him with infinite mercy and replies: “Today you will be with me in Paradise” (cf. Lk 23:32, 39-43).  With which of the two do we identify?  Is it with the arrogant one who does not acknowledge his own mistakes?  Or is it with the other, who accepts that he is in need of divine mercy and begs for it with all his heart?  It is in the Lord, who gave his life for us on the cross, that we will always find that unconditional love which sees our lives as something good and always gives us the chance to start again.

7. The amazing joy of being instruments of God’s mercy

The Word of God teaches us that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  That is why the fifth Beatitude declares that the merciful are blessed.  We know that the Lord loved us first.  But we will be truly blessed and happy only when we enter into the divine “logic” of gift and gracious love, when we discover that God has loved us infinitely in order to make us capable of loving like Him, without measure.  Saint John says: “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is of God; everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God. Whoever is without love does not know God, for God is love…  In this is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as expiation for our sins.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also must love one another” (1 Jn 4:7-11).

After this very brief summary of how the Lord bestows his mercy upon us, I would like to give you some suggestions on how we can be instruments of this mercy for others.

I think of the example of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.  He said, “Jesus pays me a visit every morning in Holy Communion, and I return the visit in the meagre way I know how, visiting the poor”.  Pier Giorgio was a young man who understood what it means to have a merciful heart that responds to those most in need.  He gave them far more than material goods.  He gave himself by giving his time, his words and his capacity to listen.  He served the poor very quietly and unassumingly.  He truly did what the Gospel tells us: “When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right is doing, so that your almsgiving may be secret” (Mt 6:3-4).  Imagine that, on the day before his death when he was gravely ill, he was giving directions on how his friends in need should be helped.  At his funeral, his family and friends were stunned by the presence of so many poor people unknown to them.  They had been befriended and helped by the young Pier Giorgio.

I always like to link the Gospel Beatitudes with Matthew 25, where Jesus presents us with the works of mercy and tells us that we will be judged on them.  I ask you, then, to rediscover the corporal works of mercy: to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, welcome the stranger, assist the sick, visit the imprisoned and bury the dead.  Nor should we overlook the spiritual works of mercy: to counsel the doubtful, teach the ignorant, admonish sinners, comfort the sorrowful, forgive offences, patiently bear with troublesome people and pray to God for the living and the dead.  As you can see, mercy does not just imply being a “good person” nor is it mere sentimentality.  It is the measure of our authenticity as disciples of Jesus, and of our credibility as Christians in today’s world.

If you want me to be very specific, I would suggest that for the first seven months of 2016 you choose a corporal and a spiritual work of mercy to practice each month.  Find inspiration in the prayer of Saint Faustina, a humble apostle of Divine Mercy in our times: “Help me, O Lord,

… that my eyes may be merciful, so that I will never be suspicious or judge by appearances, but always look for what is beautiful in my neighbours’ souls and be of help to them;

… that my ears may be merciful, so that I will be attentive to my neighbours’ needs, and not indifferent to their pains and complaints;

… that my tongue may be merciful, so that I will never speak badly of others, but have a word of comfort and forgiveness for all;

… that my hands may be merciful and full of good deeds;

… that my feet may be merciful, so that I will hasten to help my neighbour, despite my own fatigue and weariness;

… that my heart may be merciful, so that I myself will share in all the sufferings of my neighbour” (Diary, 163).

The Divine Mercy message is a very specific life plan because it involves action.  One of the most obvious works of mercy, and perhaps the most difficult to put into practice, is to forgive those who have offended us, who have done us wrong or whom we consider to be enemies.  “At times how hard it seems to forgive! And yet pardon is the instrument placed into our fragile hands to attain serenity of heart.  To let go of anger, wrath, violence, and revenge are necessary conditions to living joyfully” (Misericordiae Vultus, 9).

I meet so many young people who say that they are tired of this world being so divided, with clashes between supporters of different factions and so many wars, in some of which religion is being used as justification for violence.  We must ask the Lord to give us the grace to be merciful to those who do us wrong.  Jesus on the cross prayed for those who had crucified him: “Father, forgive them, they know not what they do” (Lk 23:34).  Mercy is the only way to overcome evil.  Justice is necessary, very much so, but by itself it is not enough.  Justice and mercy must go together.  How I wish that we could join together in a chorus of prayer, from the depths of our hearts, to implore the Lord to have mercy on us and on the whole world!

8. Krakow is expecting us!

Only a few months are left before we meet in Poland.  Krakow, the city of Saint John Paul II and Saint Faustina Kowalska, is waiting for us with open arms and hearts.  I believe that Divine Providence led us to the decision to celebrate the Youth Jubilee in that city which was home to those two great apostles of mercy in our times.  John Paul II realized that this is the time of mercy.  At the start of his pontificate, he wrote the encyclical Dives in Misericordia.  In the Holy Year 2000 he canonized Sister Faustina and instituted the Feast of Divine Mercy, which now takes place on the Second Sunday of Easter.  In 2002 he personally inaugurated the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow and entrusted the world to Divine Mercy, in the desire that this message would reach all the peoples of the earth and fill their hearts with hope: “This spark needs to be lighted by the grace of God.  This fire of mercy needs to be passed on to the world.  In the mercy of God the world will find peace and mankind will find happiness!” (Homily at the Dedication of the Divine Mercy Shrine in Krakow, 17 August 2002).

Dear young people, at the Shrine in Krakow dedicated to the merciful Jesus,  where he is depicted in the image venerated by the people of God, Jesus is waiting for you.  He has confidence in you and is counting on you!  He has so many things to say to each of you…  Do not be afraid to look into his eyes, full of infinite love for you. Open yourselves to his merciful gaze, so ready to forgive all your sins.  A look from him can change your lives and heal the wounds of your souls.  His eyes can quench the thirst that dwells deep in your young hearts, a thirst for love, for peace, for joy and for true happiness.  Come to Him and do not be afraid!  Come to him and say from the depths of your hearts: “Jesus, I trust in You!”. Let yourselves be touched by his boundless mercy, so that in turn you may become apostles of mercy by your actions, words and prayers in our world, wounded by selfishness, hatred and so much despair.

Carry with you the flame of Christ’s merciful love – as Saint John Paul II said – in every sphere of your daily life and to the very ends of the earth.  In this mission, I am with you with my encouragement and prayers.  I entrust all of you to Mary, Mother of Mercy, for this last stretch of the journey of spiritual preparation for the next WYD in Krakow.  I bless all of you from my heart.

From the Vatican, 15 August 2015

Solemnity of the Assumption of the B.V. Mary

Aliena negotia curo. Excussus propriis. (I attend to other People's affairs. baffled with my own) =)