We are called to be missionaries. – Day 15

Contrary to what most people think, I believe we are called to be full-time missionaries. How do you see yourselves three years from now?

Being a missionary for the Lord is summed up by the homily I heard yesterday that quoted the following:

Only tell people about Jesus when you are asked. However, live your life so other people will ask about Jesus.

As we approach Christmas, we have to be reminded about the reason for the season. We can easily be distracted by material preparation, but how about our hearts? Are we ready to be a missionary for Jesus like John who testified to the light?

May we be filled with joy and spread thay joy to others.

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“Our lives should lead to a hopeful world.” – Day 3

Where would I be now if lost hope? They say that your hopes and dreams are the drive to your actions. But, sometimes those hopeful/wishful thinking brings about our worst times. Those hopes sometimes bring about our deepest hurts, failures, and sufferings. Why would the Lord put those desires in my heart only to crush me?

My relationship with the Lord had reached its ups and downs. Sometimes it’s been stagnantly on the downside. And I can hear that tug in my heart, that feeling of hopelessness when I am very far “down”. It’s no longer “Christ in me” but my own. And when we reach those points in our lives we feel hopeless and God seems so distant.

I can truthfully say that I will always have those moments, because I’m human and imperfect. However, me being human should not be an excuse for me to feel hopeless. Matthew Kelly said in the reflection today that sometimes it’s not enough for us to think hopeful thoughts, we have to act on that hope and our actions should be driven by that hope.

May we be filled with more hope in the coming of our Lord this season of Advent.

“Our destination is toward God.” – Day 2

If we know that we are destined for Heaven, wouldn’t we want to work towards that destination? As we enter, approach, and surround ourselves this Advent season on things that truly matter, inspire, and direct us, we need to reflect on the simple blessings that we sometimes fail to see in our lives. These little blessings are God’s way of saying hello!

One of the few things that I wished I should have done more this year is be thankful. Upon reflecting on the things that happened throughout the year, I’ve only ever counted the blessings that brought big announcements, created joyful memories, and those that ended up as Facebook posts. What about those little blessings everyday that go unnnotice? Am I not thankful for those as well?

I’ve always kept this saying at the back of my head, “God is everywhere, God is speaking to us, God wants to be with us, what is Your message to me today?” Life itself gets in the way of these little affirmations that God gives in our lives. We think that God only gives “big” blessings, when everyday He showers us with His blessings. We are just too focused on the “bigger” things that we fail to see His presence through the little blessings.

May we be more active in finding You through our busiest moments.

 

how the world sees You

help me understand why it had to be this way
when finding peace is as hard as trying to find a needle in a stack of hay
even when i am trying to find a glimpse of Your light
the world shines vanity and pride as bright
when my joy disappears
my sorrow creeps to ignite
why do You feel so distant
where are You
my heart feels so vacant
at a time when i need You the most
i fell i cried and i got back up to find you waiting
is it real is heaven real
i have been longing for my heart to heal
i am hoping You can help me
would you be willing to save me
help me find You
why do You have to feel so distant

God is the God of Miracles

“My child, I am the Lord Who gives strength in the day of trouble. Come to Me when all is not well with you. Your tardiness in turning to prayer is the greatest obstacle to heavenly consolation, for before you pray earnestly to Me you first seek many comforts and take pleasure in outward things. Thus, all things are of little profit to you until you realize that I am the one Who saves those who trust in Me, and that outside of Me there is no worth-while help, or any useful counsel or lasting remedy.”  (Thomas à Kempis)

The challenge is not found during the experience of faith–where you are side by side with people who choose to follow Christ with You. The challenge is not when you are at your best or when all your prayers have been answered. It is not when you are in deep realization of the power of God in your life nor when you recognize that living a holy life is the fastest way to Heaven. No, the challenge is the resistance within us. The resistance when we wake up in the morning, when we eat our lunch, when we go back to sleep at night. The resistance is within us; living through our words, thoughts, and actions.

Let faith arise, in spite of what I see Lord, I believe. But help my unbelief, I choose to trust You.

We are called militants for we are still fighting and our battle is not over. It’s easy to lose sight of this battle. If you don’t think that you’re in a battle, there is a slight possibility that resistance has already won over you. Can we profess ourselves as Holy Warriors of God and yet find ourselves lost in this journey called life? How can we live this life and also strive to be Holy Warriors? Help me to trust You more.

Listen with the ear of the heart.

We have so many voices in our lives that provide directions and instructions. The voices may confuse, motivate, inspire, or discourage us. The voices may come in the beauty that lies within our surroundings or come as loud and as terrifying like thunder and rain. It may come as a whispering smile, or a heaving sigh. It may come like a shock to your already beautiful life. It may come and disturb your perfectly planned goals and desires. Despite the voices that may come, we have to listen and respond to our deep longing to be united with God. Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.

Jesus has now many lovers of the heavenly kingdom but few bearers of His cross.

Living our convictions and professing our faith is not easy. It’s not. No saint had ever said it was an easy journey. No saint had ever proclaimed that suffering is not part of the journey. But God is faithful, we have to believe and pursue God’s dream for us. God is done writing our stories! We need now to open the book and read it. We need to let the inklings of faith and the hunches of desire make us better versions of ourselves. We need to see God as He is, hear Him as He declares, feel and experience Him as He profess. We need to feel God’s glory through the little miracles He put in our lives. Our lives are full of little miracles. When we fall in love with Jesus, we are motivated to suffer and always encounter Him, to meet Him over and over!

Love takes to itself the life of the loved one. The greater the love, the greater the suffering of the soul. The fuller the love, the fuller the knowledge of God. The more ardent the love, the more fervent the prayer. The more perfect the love, the holier the life. (Staretz Silouan)

I pray that this fervour, this zeal, this desire will not depart from us. However,  if it does leave us, help us to always turn back and find You. I urge you brothers and sisters to fight the good fight of faith. Stand up for what you believe. We are the generation–the new generation that will bring troubled souls back to Him.

Pray for world. Pray for peace.

 

Madrid and Guadalupe

I can’t get enough of this country… to the point that I have started researching how I can move here. No matter what the commotion around me everyday there seems to be a sense of peace inside of me–probably because of the blessing of all the churches I enter. They’re all beautiful… I cannot even pick a favorite because honestly I would not know which one to pick. As we went around Madrid today, one thing I started paying attention to, are the people. No matter how many tourists they have probably encountered–no matter if they know the language or not–they seem to have gotten used to it.

It’s amazing! We went on top of a mountain (I think) to visit Guadalupe where the Black Madonna resides, believed to be carved by St. Luke the Evangelist. We got to touch her relic too! (I really think I will be called Blessed Maria soon… haha) When I touched the relic, my heart skipped a bit and suddenly I felt the feeling when I pray in tongues. It’s like the Holy Spirit breathe through me. I’m not being dramatic here… we could not take photos or videos inside but the place itself is beautiful. The feeling is like a breath of fresh air after holding your breath under the water. I can’t think of better anecdotes. Must be the wine. I’m too tired. I miss home, but I also don’t. Now I am just out of it.

Lord help me find peace in my surroundings.

Avila & Toledo

We’ve been moving around so much in the past 5 days–moving from different cities and timezones–that sometimes we forget to take a breather and listen to how God is trying to reach out to us today. Being the youngest in the pack, people I am with tend to tell me things I should not even hear. I shrug it off and enjoy the trip anyway. However, I do understand where they are coming from. I love it and I hate it. I love it because everything is well prepared and done for you. I hate it because I simply don’t even have time to sit at one of the beautiful churches we visit in silence to pray. Even for just 5 min. There’s so much history in these cities… but really there’s so much of God you see in these places as well.

People, artists, architects, painters, etc. who made these are all God-inspired people. God is magnificent indeed.

Help me to focus on You alone.