What Do You Live For?

Merry Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all my readers!

And of course, last day of the year always makes you think about things you forget to even think about during the year… well today’s the day to be more thankful!

As I was reading Rediscover Catholicism by Matthew Kelly (I think it is God’s message for me today too), I came across the question, “What are you willing to give your life for?” It’s no longer what you are willing to die for, because we have multiple stories of martyrdom and in our society (where we live), no one is asking you to die for anything, but to live for something. We get so caught up with our life, emotions, plans, and building relationships with people around us that we forget to ask ourselves about our life, plans, relationship with God this year. How was it?

I gave up social media (IG, Twitter, sc, etc.) this year; it definitely was a difficult process the first couple months, but as the time went on, it became easier. There were definitely moments when I wanted to share my experiences through social media but I could not. I felt like I was cut off from the world because I seem to have no knowledge of what was happening with my friends that I don’t really see or talk to in a regular basis, I would find out through other people and it bothered me. This year definitely made me realize that if you want to maintain relationships, it is not enough to depend on social media to know what is happening, but for you to actually reach out to them. There were real relationships that flourished this year and relationships that I still need to work on and have realized my shortcomings. I pray that this year, I may have the courage to care more and delve into relationships that actually matter to me.

There were also a lot of “firsts” for me this year, and also realizations about myself that I have not even imagined existed. It was a blessed year in terms of travelling for me as I visited a lot of places. Those are the moments I wished I could share with everyone but I knew I could not share everything with everyone. Why and who did I want to share my life and experiences with was the question that popped in my head. For what was my reason for sharing? Visiting a lot of places this year put different perspectives in my head and heart. Where would I be three years from now? Would I still be where I am at? I pray that this year, I follow and find God wherever He is.

There were definitely a lot of questions that was asked this year as well, as per my questions that are already listed above. However, thinking about these questions or even thinking about the answers to those questions I realized that I may not always like the answer or the outcome. I may not like where God is leading me at the moment, but I have to think about the bigger picture (always think about the bigger picture). We may only see a fragment of the piece but God sees it all. I pray that this year, I may learn to trust more.

But really… how was my relationship with God this year? As usual, my answer is the same. It has been a wave of ups and downs. I struggle to maintain it. I struggle to pursue it. I just struggle. However, God never fails, He uses the people around me, my surroundings to always lead me back to Him. But I just dislike the fact that my high peaks do not surpass others, in other words, I’ve become stagnant and lazy with my faith. I found excuses this year to stay where I am at, because I like where I am at. I am simply did not grow in my faith. I remained the same. I pray that this year, I may have the strength to persevere with my faith even when things get tough.

So what do I really want to live for this year? I want to find myself again deeply in love with my faith, my family, and with what I do. I want to be able to look at things no longer in my perspective but through God. I want to answer others prayers. Matthew Kelly said in his book, “A lot of prayers go unanswered because we forget to heed the call.” I want to answer His call and I will start with myself again. It will be a struggle as always, but I want to look back through the year and say, “Hey, I actually grew in my faith this year.”

Blessings in the coming year 2018! I pray you will have more blessings with lots of hope, faith, and love.

 

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Something Beautiful – Day 16

Hey now, this is my desire
Consume me like a fire, ’cause I just want something beautiful
To touch me, I know that I’m in reach
‘Cause I am down on my knees, I’m waiting for something beautiful
Oh, something beautiful

I’ve always imagined this song to be the song for my wedding video. Imagine… as the church doors open and as I walk to the altar to meet my groom, smiling at all the other people staring at me, trying to contain the tears that is starting to well up in my eyes, and I imagine… something beautiful. This is something beautiful.

But since I am not even close to being married, the something beautiful I imagine is the birth of Jesus. Imagine… being with Mary and Joseph at the time Jesus was born, isn’t it beautiful? I can hear the angels singing “Gloria”. I can smell the winter air inside the little stable. It feels joyful. The image of Jesus’ birth is joyful.

Okay, okay, I must’ve imagined too far ahead and too far back… where am I leading your thoughts to again? Oh yeah.. have you ever longed for something for so long, and when you finally got it, you feel undeniably happy.

I’m always reminded every time I hear this song, that we already have something beautiful in our lives, we just have to be aware of the little blessings we have by being grateful. Be thankful for everything, because everything does not come easy for everyone.

Contrary to what the song is saying… we don’t have to wait for something beautiful to happen. We can make something beautiful to happen by just being thankful. Being loving. Being joyful.

May our Christmas be filled with more love and joy.

Haven’t we had enough? – Day 14

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” || Romans 3:23

Everyday, everywhere there have been multiple accounts of desperate call for help, whether it be through a child being sexually abused, through a mother’s decision to abort her offspring, a father’s dilemma of providing for his family, through the problem of world hunger, political and economic problems of the world… it just would not stop. I (sadly, most of the time) feel hopeless in this world.

The world has gone cold… not only literally because its winter, but cold-cold. It brings me back to a reflection when St. Paul wishes and longs to be brought “out” of this world. To be with God the Father and end the suffering. However, he continues on to say that his purpose to be presently in the world serves the people of God. I simply cannot. Sometimes it’s so easy for me to condemn people of the wrong things they do, and point it out like it is the front page headline in the newspaper. Why? Why are the news always about pointing out all the bad things in the world? Or sometimes reading comments from a video / post can also be disheartening.

Where is the love? Where is the hope?

I hope and pray for peace in the world. For Peace in Christ, because honestly I’ve had enough.

May we create change through ourselves this season.

2nd Sunday of Lent 2017 – REALITY.

It’s becoming more difficult. I know what God wants of me. I know what I have to do. Every day has been a struggle to find the best version of myself, because everyday brings its own challenges. Reality check– we are not perfect beings. We will be tempted and we will fail. The struggle comes when you know exactly what to do, but you choose not to do them. Why? Because we forget! I forget! I forget my purpose, my goal, my vision, and yes–my God.

The Gospel today teaches us that Jesus is the bridge that connects man to God. His transfiguration confirms His Majesty! Peter, James, and John must have thought they were dreaming. Jesus could have easily told the three, “Peace out I’m leaving with Elijah and Moses!” No. He chose to stay and do the inevitable. He chose us. He did not forget his purpose.

Reality is we forget what Jesus had done for us. We KNOW He died for us. As Christians that fact is already embedded in our minds and our hearts. What we always seem to forget is the why. Jesus loves us so much, let’s not choose to always forget.

Give me the grace to stay true to Your teachings.

PFM. PFW.

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.

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.

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.