One Sunday Morning

198716One Sunday morning, I woke up and went outside of the room that I use for resting.  As I rubbed my eyes, I was fascinated by the sunrise hovering in the pale blue sky.  As my eyes were delighted by the beauty of the morning sky, I said to myself, “it is really the Lord that gives Hope.”

The Lord does not fail us every day, He always surprise us.  He makes our eyes always fixed with His graces that bring delight and hope in our lives even with our ordinary experiences.  When difficulties and struggles arises in our journey, He always grant us an assurance of concern and guidance that will help us to be encouraged and motivated to face all life’s challenges with courage.  When we put our trust and hope in Him, there will be no worries along the way if only you believe.

Life is so beautiful, though difficult, but if we start to prioritize God before our other priorities in life.  It will be so refreshing when you wake up in the morning finding out that God has a surprise for you.  It’s good to ponder that if we allow God to work in our ordinary experiences, then our daily journeys will be full of hope though we cannot deny the fact that there will be conflicts, trials, and challenges along the way.

P.S. This thought just popped-up in my mind; it’s good to savor the beauty of the morning while sipping a cup of coffee and imagining that God is together with you sipping a cup of coffee too.  What do you think?   

being-in-the-world-in-the-midst-of-wolves.

chaosWhy is there so much hatred in our world today?  Why is it that there are lots of conflicting dilemmas governs in each and very ideologies of people, countries, and beliefs?  Why it is that hate is so visible and inevitable fad of today’s generation?  Every time I flip-up the pages of the newspaper it always talks about violence, war, abuse, exploitation, anger, and even graft and corruption.  It always makes my day stressful whenever I encounter these things.  Is there anything that is still “good” in this world?  Why does “good” which every people and nation is longing for seems to be losing its taste, ardor, and significance?  Where can we find “good” nowadays?

People are killing themselves in the name of tradition and strict ideology.  Some are dying innocently because of a hundred years of conflict and disagreement.  Other exploits and abuses the dignity of the human person for the sake of profit and economic stability.  Where is “good” now?  Do we have still the sensitivity to love our neighbors and to have a concern to them despite the differences with race, religion, tradition, background, and character?  As the world advances, hatred becomes a great occurrence.  As the world engages in the different influxes of modern principle, life becomes complicated.  Justice, love, and peace, which are the pillars of authenticity and life’s harmony, are now irrelevant and also disregarded.  What the world want nowadays are not these things, but stability and power.

As what we can see in our world today, it seems Thomas Hobbes’ Homo Homini Lupus is now a methodology.  In my opinion, I consider my life here in this world as being-in-the-world-in-the-midst-of-wolves.  Where can we find “good” nowadays?  Where’s the “love” now?  Though the world now is engaging itself from the different man-made catastrophes of this generation, its subordinates, the people now are still longing for something which is “good” and “lovable”.  Hope is their hymn of lament as the wolves of today are battling for a chaotic pedestal.  I, together with the people of this generation are still believing that evil will end and the good will triumph.  It’s undeniable that there will always be evil in the world, but there were promises that came from the eternal that “good” and “love” will always be the victor of this so called endless battle.

The Search for the Pearl of Great Value

pearl-great-priceHave you already found the pearl of great value as you go on in this journey called religious life?  This question was been asked to me six years ago by my Spiritual Father when I was still a postulant.  The same question was reiterated to me by the gospel for today as it tells us about the pearl of great value.  Have I already found the pearl of great value in my life?  Nine years have passed and I am still going through this journey called religious life.  My experience would tell me that I already encountered a lot of good, pleasant, splendid, and even worst things in my life and I also experienced a lot of success and failures in my life.  As I had experienced all these things, did I already encountered and experienced the pearl of great value in my life?  Did I already find it?  Did I already say with that many instances in my life that “Alas, I found it!  I am ready to give up and to abandon everything because now I already found the pearl that I am searching and longing for so long”?  To be honest, I haven’t found it yet, but I am still searching for it.

You know what’s my problem why I am still not finding the pearl of great value?  To tell you honestly, the greatest enemy that I have why I am still searching for the pearl of great value is I.  I am a person that is full of me.  Then, sometimes fear also hinders me to take the risk of searching and finding the pearl of great value.  No matter what effort that I exert all the more, pride and fear blocks my sight and my actuations to seek and to gaze upon the pearl of great value.  I always allow myself to be subordinated by many pearls of great value with my pilgrimage, but it seems that they lost their valuableness afterwards for they are just mere flatteries and illusions.

Still the Word of God is patient with me and it is still inviting me and reminding me to continue searching and move on.  The gospel does not disregard the reality that seeking and searching for the pearl of great value demands a lot of time and effort, but, it gave me an assurance today that if I continue to move on and to search for its significance into my life, it will never fail me to experience constant joy and happiness with my life.  It also motivates me to give more effort to go on in this journey even though sometimes it is risky and takes a lot of patience, endurance, and perseverance.

Why is it so hard to love truly?

true-love-isnt-found-its-built-love-quoteWhy is it so hard to love truly?  Why true love is demanding?  These are the questions that keep on bothering me every time I reflect upon the significance of love into my life.  If love is the topic, it seems every person here in this world has their own definition of love based on their experiences, but, for me, I don’t like to talk about it.  It’s not that I hate love or I am indifferent about it.  I just don’t like to talk about it, because I am nothing in front of it.  Love is so immense, yet demanding; it is sweet yet it hurts; and it is wonderful yet sets standards.

It is in loving that I can see myself as nothing.  It is indescribable, because human words are not enough to fathom and truly explain its significance in life.  It takes a lot of honesty and sincerity in order to be well-founded with it.  True love begins when the feeling is gone, and it does not end in romance, but it ends in God.  So, I am not worthy of it, because it’s too high for me to reach.

Although true love is demanding, it knows humility.  Hence it doesn’t matter that I am unworthy of true love because of its significance; it has a welcoming attitude, it does not flatter, and it is patiently waiting for us to grow well-founded in its essence.  Fort how many times That I say to myself that I am nothing for this so called immense grace, yet it gives me an assurance that I shouldn’t be afraid in allowing myself to be deeply rooted with this true love.

As I am journeying in this pilgrimage called searching for true, I am not yet finding the right answer for true love, but the only concrete insight that I gain as I search and struggle for the real meaning of true love is when you will allow yourself to search for it.  When you struggle and search, you will be finding yourself unworthy on the first place.  It is also not nothingness or unworthiness that you will find the real meaning of it.  In true love, faith matters and it takes a lot of it in order that you may be able to know the real meaning of true love.  In the first place, it’s really demanding, but in its demand there’s wisdom behind it.

The Promptings of God’s call

emvideo-youtube-2MOFvIUzXu0_0Indeed, God called us for a greater purpose in life.  What makes God’s call ironic is the way He calls and chooses each and every one of us.  At the very first instance of the History of Salvation, He did not choose the powerful, the famous, the most influential, the prestigious, the most intelligent, and the richest person in the world.  But, He had chosen and preferred to call the weak, the meek, the humble, and the simple-hearted.  Why God does not call the best among the rest, instead He preferred to call the least among the best?  This shows that, the most important aspect for God is a heart that has the capacity to accept His call without any hesitation, rather than a heart that is full of his or herself.  Only the simple-hearted, the meek and the humble can gaze upon the promptings of God’s call coming from his/her inner self.

For the world’s logic, the least one are insignificant for a greater purpose in life, but in God’s logic they have the significant role for building up His kingdom, because He trusts them fully.  They can easily know the plan of God for their lives, but the most important thing is that they are open for God’s will no matter how difficult it is.  God’s grace is their joy, because it is always overflowing as they strive to follow God’s call more closely.  They are always ready to be taught by God and to be used by Him as earthen vessels of His grace for others.  Hence, though they are insignificant in the eyes of the world, but for the eyes of God, they are significant for the salvation of the world.

When God calls you for a greater purpose in life, try to open your heart.  Learn from the examples of the least, the single-hearted, the meek, and the humble on how they accept and allow God’s call to penetrate their lives.  Do not be afraid and do not let your heart be hesitant in opening for the promptings of God’s call.

On Seeking God

9699625magnifyingforwebWe are naturally born as seekers.  We always seek for a reason that will make us feel happy and contented.  We search for the right answers to all the questions that bother us about living and loving.  As for that, it is undeniable that we are surrounded by a lot of possibilities and insights, as we continue to seek for true wisdom.

But, the challenged nowadays is this; “are we satisfied for all the answers, insights, and possibilities that we found as we continue to search for the right reason to live?  Are we able to find the right reason for our existence?  Are we happy as we realize that we found them?”  We cannot deny the fact that we are born seekers, and we cannot also deny the fact that we are also restless beings that are continuously seeking and searching for right answers and reasons that will make us forever happy and satisfied.

But, as we seek for the ultimate answers and reasons in our lives, I would like to ask you; “have you ever tried to seek God?  If you tried to seek Him into your life, have you experienced Him working in your life?”  It’s undeniable that part of our living is to seek for the right meaning of life, because we have the capacity to search for it.  But, we forget one thing as we seek for the ultimate reasons and answers, i.e. our capacity to seek God.  Why don’t you start searching for God today and for sure you will not feel restless anymore.  There’s no need for you to seek God from the outside of yourself.  Just dig deeper for God is inside you heart, because He dwells in your heart.  Don’t be discourage if you feel lost when you seek God within your heart.  Just continue searching and for sure you will find Him smiling and waiting for your coming.

The Story of My Life (Epilogue)

IMG_8913After Alex had his first profession on May 31, 2011, he was immediately transferred to Father Di Francia Center of Studies (FDFCS) for his theological studies.  New beginning, new life-that was the atmosphere he felt when the FDFCS family welcomed him uon his arrival.  The family spirit of the FDFCS strengthened his conviction to follow the footsteps of Christ despite the many discouragements in his life.

During his first year of stay in FDFCS, Alex excelled well in his academic formation and community life.  The family spirit of the FDFCS helped him to be at home with himself and with his brothers.  He really enjoyed his stay in FDFCS.  Whenever he had a problem with his life and vocation, he always approached his formators, especially his Rector without any hesitation.  Staying in FDFCS, he felt the support of the community for him whenever he felt the uneasiness in the demands of theological studies.  With this, the providential care of God is very evident in Alex’s life.

 Although his life as a religious was a variety of happiness and joy, it was not an exception for him to experienc discouragements and defeats.  It was on his first year in Theology that he experienced the difficulty of adjusting himself of the ambiance in FDFCS.  It was a great challenge for him to apply in FDFCS the wisdom that he gained from the novitiate.  It was not so easy for him to master the insights that he learned from his Novice Master.  When he started to become a religious, some were compromised; others were left behind because of the many distractions and unnecessary ideologies and praxis that he entertained.  In spite of these difficulties that he undergone, he did not lose his hope to move on and go on in his journey.

Alex really excelled well in his academic formation, but too much emphasis on excellence and craving for recognition led him to destruction and distraction.  He became engrossed with a perturbed principle that “everything he achieved came from his personal efforts”.  Self-centeredness became a disease in his sanity.  Being too much engrossed with his self led him to anxiety and depression.  These were the two major issues in Alex’s life when he entered religious life.  It was a major blow for Alex’s vocation journey.

In the midst of breakdowns and unsteady clique in Alex’s introspection, he met a person who became his professor, counselor, friend, and guide; he was Fr. Chito Dimaranan, SDB.  At first, he was very hesitant to approach him for counseling because he was like a prodigal son who does not know what to say to his forgiving father.  He took him a long time to decide whether to approach him for counseling or not.  He approached his kind Rector in order to open up if it is possible for him to be one of Fr. Chito’s counselee.  The kind Rector agreed with his intention.  Together with the Rector’s approval, Alex visited Fr. Chito’s office courageously for counseling.  That spirited act of Alex for counseling was the start of his journey towards accepting the beautiful and ugly truths of his life.

Alex life was transformed by the help of counseling, but it was challenged and tested by the different circumstances that made his heart broke into loneliness.  When he was a second year student in Theology, Alex will not ever imagine that he will be facing the greatest blow in his life.  One day, Alex visited his house in order to greet and celebrate Emman’s birthday (his sibling).  When he surprised everybody in their house, he noticed that they were all sad.  He asked them, “Why are you sad?”  “Alex, we need to talk to you”, his Father said.  Confusion rushed into his mind when he heard his father saying these words with loneliness.  “Alex, Nerrisa is pregnant”, his father said these words with anger and loneliness inside his heart.  Nerissa is just 16 years old.   Alex was stunned and shocked when he heard the news that will create an animosity in his relationship with God.  After he heard the sad news about Nerissa, Alex complained deeply to God.  “How dare you Lord!  You duped me!”  “Why did you allow this thing to happen in my life?”  “Why have you abandoned me?”  “Do you love me Lord; if you love me, why have you disregard me as your follower and as your lover?”  “Why are you so rude to me?”  These were the questions that Alex shouted in front of the crucifix while he was crying in deep anguish.  After the complaints and angst he became indifferent in his relationship to God.  But, it was settled immediately when he realized that everything was part of God’s grander plan for his life.  God put him into the test whether he is faithful to him or not.  Even though the test for him was distressing, humiliating, and excruciating, he still coped up in saying to God these words coming from his wounded heart; “I surrender everything to You, O Lord”.

What makes Alex life pleasing in the eyes of God?  His life was not all about success, achievements, honor, and glory.  But, his life was started from failures.  Though majority of all he experienced from his childhood to his religious life were all failures, he never gave up.  Indeed, he believes that there are wisdom in failures.  For him, life is not all about winning the race, but also learning from one’s mistakes.

It is all because of God’s LOVE which made Alex always motivated to move on in life despite the pangs of catastrophes and disappointments in his life.  This is the story of Alex’s life; broken and struggling, yet totally redeemed and flourished by the unconditional love of God.