Desire

“What is your desire?” I asked myself. As I dug through my thoughts, I could not find the answer to my question. “What do you want to do?” Again I asked myself. Thoughts came rushing in my head, but no justifiable answer satisfied me. “What is making you happy?” It’s sad to think that after the third question, I still do not have a concrete answer that convinced me that what I’m even doing is worth it.

Today I came to a realization that feelings come to pass. I came to realize that the feelings that we have, will always resonate with the present and also will no longer matter in the future. We depend so much on what we feel or how we feel that we forget that these feelings come from our desire to share and create moments–create memories with the people around us. We focus our feelings about us so much that it molds us, it shapes us to be centered on our desire to always be happy.

“What is making you happy?” Again I asked myself. The answer to the question is unfortunately–the current state of my heart.

Lord, you know the desires of my heart. Let Your desires consume my weak, fragile (& slightly stubborn) heart. Amen.

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God is speaking. Be silent.

Have you ever had that moment when you realize that God is trying to speak to you? Or was there ever a random moment that urged you to do something out of the ordinary and at the end of the day it all made sense to you? Am I even making sense? I have been feeling the need to express myself, but could not find the words. However, right now words seem to flow out of my mouth or rather hands, because I am… typing.

Let me begin. I have been rather mentally and physically exhausted. The emotional stress that I have been dealing with everyday rapidly drains every part of my being. I am not the type to show this side of me as I am a very private person–to most, this will come off as a surprise. But that’s just it. There is a constant need for me to hide my true self, however long I try… God seems to be pointing me towards something different.

Today, I heard him. Not the way you would think… not in some sort of a burning bush, or even through an angel (which would’ve been cool…er), instead He poked me at my weakest.

You see today, He pulled me to go to mass. I heard Him through the priest’s homily, “…God shows mercy not by the way he showers His blessings, but by the way He leads you to act in mercy.” I heard Him through the song on the radio (Shine FM), “What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise” -Blessings, Laura Story. I heard Him again, “Are you not the closest when it’s hardest to stand?” -Here I Am, Downhere. So what was His point? I’ve prayed and prayed for Him to reveal Himself to me, when all I had to do was be silent, because He is there. He is listening. Now be silent and listen with your heart.

 

“Actions speak louder than words…”

…whether you like it or not, whether you mean to or not, and whether they judge you or not. It’s true and it will always be true. It’s unfortunate, but that is just the way how most people work. You cannot be one thing and claim to be another. A dog cannot be a cat all at once, the way I can’t be a girl and a boy simultaneously. Now, before you start to scroll down and look for the comment section and voice out your opinion how I’m being so insensitive and how I’m being such a hater of the LGBT community… Hear me out.

You are entitled to have your own identity. You are entitled to be you. I am not stopping you to be yourself. Go ahead and be yourself… but did you ever stop and ask yourself, “Who am I really?” We always seem to have our focus on other peoples’ identities that we neglect to reflect on our own identity.

“Who are you really?” 

Take away all generic representation of ourselves regarding name, gender, race, etc. How would you address the question?

Simply put, you are a child of God.

I want you to realize it, because it’s true. Behind our identity lies our biggest blessing. We can only be true to ourselves when we acknowledge ourselves to be children of God. You are entitled to be a child of God, because you are a child of God; but just like a child who obtained their parents’ last name, our identity should reflect the being of Our Father. The culture says, “actions speak louder than words.” We can’t just claim to be God’s children, we have to act on it, and we have to be proud of it. Come face to face with yourself and see that within the silence of our always aching heart, there is a voice. Are you willing to listen? Are you willing to act? Are you willing to swim against the current? Because believe it or not… I can’t do it alone.

The World We Live In

We wake up, eat, and go about our day,
We try to live as though everything is okay,
We turn on the news and see the world’s slow decay,
And act as though this problem will eventually go away.

We find having sex rules,
While porn’s been talked about in schools,
And often deemed as a fool,
When you talk about Jesus being cool.
We witness violence around us,
Everywhere hearing boys and girls learn to cuss.
Don’t you see what is happening?
Our desires slowly deceive us.

We hear children get abused,
And babies getting killed,
Through our actions and choices,
That were poorly instilled.
We see people stand up for causes,
And blindly see their destructive sources,
While our children suffer,
To all kinds of divorces.

We see more families that are broken,
Ripped to pieces and forgotten,
Children left alone–
Left alone and downtrodden.
We wish for a revival.
A quick tool for survival.
What happened to the Church?
The Church which deserves more approval.

We feel our hearts long for love,
An authentic kind of love,
But we ourselves settle,
For less love than providential.

Is this the world we live in,
Where the norm has been to sin?

When will we realize,
And stop believing the lies?
When will we ask ourselves,
To open up our eyes?
Is it okay to watch and wait,
And realize that it’s too late,
When will we start having faith?
That the youth deserves a better fate.

When will we finally defend,
The truth that will hopefully amend,
A future that promises,
A life that has no end.

The Passion of Christ Movie– (a long overdue review)

I am the type of person that hates, loathes, despises anything violent. I avoid it. It is just plain disturbing for me when I see or hear someone in pain. As soon as I know something excruciatingly painful is about to happen or show up in movies, in the news, or on the internet; I run the other way and avoid the subject entirely. I once walked out of the movies because it was mentally challenging for me. I felt like I was getting sick. I practically self-diagnosed myself of algophobia (fear of pain) because it haunts me.

Last night, I decided to watch Mel Gibson’s The Passion of Christ movie. As I turned the lights off, I wondered why on earth I would watch a movie so physically and emotionally disturbing for me. I told myself that I owe it to Jesus to be with Him on His passion. By trying to bear the gut-wrenching moments of my self-diagnosed disorder, I forced myself to watch the movie without looking away, without avoiding the painful scenes, without holding anything back, and just to be in the moment. It was a whole new experience for me, because during the entire movie I was balling my eyes off. Every hit and miss, every blow, every slap and spit, every single one they threw at Jesus, my heart started hurting. I couldn’t take it… I kept saying, “Lord… please no, stop” literally. I feared that I must’ve woken someone up while watching, because I was literally wailing. I have never forced myself to watch something that disturbed me so emotionally and it was distressing. It hurts. My heart was in pain.

Imagine… Jesus who is without sin, died for me. Why me? You don’t just look at the cross and see Jesus, you look at the cross and see love. That is love, brothers and sisters, pure love. True love.

I challenge you to journey with Jesus today. Journey with Jesus everyday, and remember why He took on that cross for you. Do you feel it?

Crucem tuam adoramus Domine, resurrectionem tuam laudamus Domine. Laudamus et glorificamus.

Why Going to Mass is Simply Not Enough

I am 100% Catholic, born and raised. I believe in what the Church believes. My faith is built upon its teachings, liturgies, doctrines, and all of its wonderful services. I have never missed mass my entire life. My parents were always so strict about missing mass, and although I found it a chore to go to mass despite not understanding what the mass is all about. I now know and understand why my parents were being strict about it. Come to think of it, I have been exposed to Jesus for the entirety of my life (appreciate them strict Catholic parents!) You’re probably thinking if this’ll be another life conversion story, where the writer falls in love with the Church. No. I didn’t fall in love with the Church. I didn’t fall in love with its teachings, or with the gospels, homilies… or priests. I didn’t. (Although that came after...) First, I simply learned… to serve.

At this point I’ve probably lost some of my readers, because frankly… most of us think that going to mass is enough. MOST OF US, IF NOT ALL OF US, THINK THAT BEING GOOD IS ENOUGH! (Sorry for the caps I got excited.) I don’t blame you, because for the most part of my life, I thought it was enough too. I’m a cradle Catholic, and that probably is one of my biggest advantage and/or disadvantage of my faith life. You see… we can be Catholic by birth from the Sacrament of Baptism, we can attend mass every Sunday and receive the Holy Eucharist, or go to confession every Lent. We experience all these Catholic celebrations, and think that it’s simply enough. Often we live our lives just trying to get by, just trying to make the right choices for our well being, and consider our life to be well put. We don’t seem to want to look for answers and meaning. We don’t seem to want to fill the void in our hearts–that void being Jesus. A priest once said in his homily, “We, Catholics are scared to learn more about our faith, scared to discover the teachings of the Church, because we know that when we start to know more about the genius of Catholicism…. it starts to become more difficult.” We pretend to be ignorant, because we want our faith life to be easy. Jesus didn’t say that our journey will be easy. It’s not in the Bible! We just know, quoted in several verses in the Bible, that He will be with us, that He will be our strength, and that nothing cannot separate us from Him.

Having faith is a blessing from God. Acting on that faith is grace. Learn more about Jesus. Read the Bible. Read Catholic books. Read your Church bulletins, read The Carillon. Read about the Saints. Read about Mary. Pray to Mary. Pray, pray, pray. Always pray. One minute prayer time? Fine, just don’t forget to pray. Serve the Church, be a reader, be a eucharistic minister, join the choir. Have a spiritual relationship with your priest. Join a lay community. And love. Always love. One of Mother Teresa’s famous quotes, “Faith in action is love– and love in action is service.” 

God bless.

Do you believe in Jesus?

Imagine praying to the Lord about something you have been truly desiring for a really long time and He gets back to you asking, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” (Matthew 9:28). What would have been your response? Many times we believe that God works in amazing ways, but we always fail to realize that sometimes His definition of “amazing” might not be equivalent to our definition of what “amazing” actually is. We consider that the blessings we receive are rewards for being a faithful servant, but sometimes we also consider the challenges to be punishment for being unworthy.

Most of the time we pray about something, but still end up worrying about it. We disregard the power of prayer, because we always appear to doubt it. We feel as though often times it will be “too good to be true,” and that our lives depend on ourselves alone. Our constant struggles become our life’s journey. Our wishes and desires become our future alone. We forget to put God in the picture. We forget to see Him in the picture. We forget that He is the picture.

Maybe, it’s true. Maybe it is the human condition–the human dilemma. We can’t stop worrying. We can’t stop trying to plan out our lives the way we want. We can’t stop focusing on our desires. We just can’t. It’s the human thing to do. We’re all human. And it’s okay to make choices that will benefit “us” from being human. It is. That’s the reason God gave us freedom.

However, we are also created to be holy humans–to be holy men and women of God. And that’s what we always seem to forget. It’s not really what we strive to become, because we think it is humanly impossible to achieve. I am no perfect human. And hey… I am not even close to being called holy. In fact, the struggle is there. Everyday I struggle to live a holy life. And perhaps, the only thing I really need to… or the only thing “we” really need to do is to actually, fully, entirely, and absolutely believe that Jesus is truly able to work wonders in our lives. If we firmly believe it.