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.

 

Jesus, I Trust in You

“Jesus, I Trust in You”

This has been a recurring message for me for years. I feel that no matter how deeply rooted I am in my faith, there is still a part of me that cannot fully let go and let God. I guess, it is safe to say that I am human after all. However, being human should not be an excuse to poorly imitate Jesus. No one is perfect or so the saying goes… but to be Catholic, to be Christian–our goal is not to achieve perfection, but Holiness. And what better way to achieve Holiness is to trust in the Lord! Trusting in the Lord is one of thing that all the saints have in common. They all trusted Jesus!

As we moved past Divine Mercy Sunday and the necessary survival of basic Christian journey, which is to always trust in the Lord, may we come to realize the significance of simply trusting the Lord. Why do we find it difficult to let go and let God? It is a necessary step to finding peace within yourself. When we do not trust in the Lord, we will get restless.

There had been days when I found it really difficult to get out of bed in the morning. What drives me to get out of bed? What drives me to go to work? What drives me to care? To be honest, I ask those questions not because my passion and drive comes from within my faith, no. Honestly my internal drive comes from some silly reason of “I care too much of what people think of me”. Most of the time, I find myself losing trust in the Lord because of what I think the people think about me. Do I even make sense?

I need to stop caring about what people think. I need to start letting go and letting God. I need to trust in the Lord. Trust in Him that He will always lead me in the right direction. I just hope I will be more than capable of letting go of the steering wheel.

#BestLentEver – Day 40. Black Saturday.

As we anticipate Jesus’ Resurrection, we now reflect on our Lenten journey. How has yours been? I have been blessed to journey with Dynamic Catholic on their program #BestLentEver. I have never been consistent in my writings and reflections and joining the program day-by-day throughout Lent had taught me a lot of things about myself and my faith. I have a lot to work on (I probably mentioned this multiple times throughout the season), however I know there are many more ways I can do to improve on myself–mainly to become a better-version-of-myself.

My life had been crazy busy with the ups-and-downs that life had thrown at me. It had been a hectic season of Lent both spiritually and physically. In all honestly, it had been difficult. There are times when I just did not have the time! I will find myself blogging in bathrooms, airplane, parks, buses, etc. It had been a great experience and I feel like the nudge from the Holy Spirit everyday had helped me get through it. Enough of my experience…

As we come tonight in Easter Vigil, we celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection and become witnesses of His great love for us. As I reflect on the reflection of the day, Matthew Kelly urges us to be present in the Gospel, most especially before, during, and after the Passion. If you were one of the disciples during His time, what would you have felt? Series of emotions and thoughts must have been whirling through their minds and it can get a little overwhelming. I can’t blame Peter for denying, Thomas for doubting, scared disciples for hiding… they all were acting rationally based on what they were feeling. Most of the time, we are the same. We act based on what we feel rather than what we know or believe.

Jesus, all powerful and loving, had helped us overcome this great mystery–mystery of our faith and his great revelation of His unconditional love for us. May we always be reminded, not just during Lent, to live and remember the Lord through His Passion.

I wish all of you a Happy Easter! Thanks for joining me on my journey of faith throughout this season of Lent.

Please continue to pray for me and pray for the world.

 

5th Sunday of Lent 2017 – Rise.

Today’s Gospel reveals not only God’s glorious magnificence but also God’s human nature. Raising Lazarus was one of the greatest miracles Jesus had revealed to us. The story of the raising of Lazarus displayed rather very complex characters. We will focus on Martha for today. Martha as we know her, has always been the “hands-on, logistics, all-around helper” of the ministry. Her character in this Gospel revealed three distincr characteristics that Christians tend to fall under, namely:

  1. Question/Judgement
  2. Reliance on what we know
  3. Doubt/Trust

Question/Judgement:

“Lord if You had been here (Lazarus) would not have died.”

We tend to ask God when faced with difficult situation what He had done or what He could have done to prevent certain events of our lives that are too unbearable. Just like Martha, we kind of put the blame on God.

Reliance on what we know

I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”

In our journey of faith, we will come to believe who Jesus really is in our lives. Martha had alreadt believed that fact, in fact she even stated and proclaimed that He was the on true Messiah. However, the human knowledge she has is clouding her faith. She knows that Jesus is the Messiah, but she also knows that Lazarus is now dead. Conflict of interest there…

Doubt/Trust

Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

At this point, Martha could only feel confused. She knows for sure that Jesus will no longer be able to relieve her from the pain of losing her brother. It’s as if she doubts Him. Only now… all she could do was to trust in Jesus.

Martha reveals so much of me. She relates so much to me because of everything she is and who she became–a true follower of Christ.

PFM. PFW.

#BestLentEver – Day 17. ERASER.

As I scramble to read all my accounting notes and finish practice questions for my exam tomorrow, I can’t help but keep looking at the solution pages. Am I ready for this test because I have the answers just a flip a way? Or am I really confident that I can do the exam without it?

In life and in our journey with our faith, it’s the same thing. The only difference is we don’t need to flip the page to get our life on track. We just need to turn our lives to God. The answer to life’s biggest mystery is not to succeed. The answer is to seek God, to know God, and to love God. It doesn’t matter how many times we get the answer wrong. It doesn’t matter how many red marks we have on our tests… because God marks with an eraser. He sets asides our mistakes to use and give us another clean paper to try it again! He also uses us to provide others the answer to their own exam! In other words, He uses us to be the solution!

Let our light be always a guide to someone in need.

Pray for me. Pray for the World.

1st Sunday of Lent 2017 – TEMPTATION.

“Away from me Satan…” – Matt. 4:10

Can we all just pause for the day and reflect on what happened this week? Think about all the things you could’ve said better, all the things you could’ve acted on–all the things we could’ve avoided!

Why oh why is temptation always so tempting? Why can’t I have the strength to run away? I mean, a voice at the back of my head is already ringing and telling me, “Stop! You will regret what you are about to say or do!” I just don’t have it within me. I even see Gabe, my guardian angel (I named him, because why not? We’re close) in my head “face palming” himself. Sometimes I just don’t have it within me. I’m just too proud at times.

How does Jesus make it look so easy? It’s not easy! I just need to be more than willing to admit that I am being tempted and that I am weak. We are weak. We don’t only have to rely on ourselves, we have to rely on God. God alone is our strength. So when I’m weak. I’m weak because I’m human–I can be made strong because of God.

Lord, help me to lean on Your strength and not my own.

PFM. PFW.