Paralysis

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When you’re paralyzed within, it’s hard to move on.  But wait a minute, what’s ‘paralyzed within’ that I’m talking about?  I’m sure we experienced this.  It’s a feeling of massive compunction that we can’t control.  It’s a sensation of too much pain inflicted in our hearts because of past heart-brokenness and regrets which sometimes haunts and disturbs us whenever we feel alone and lonely in life.  It’s one of the malady within our emotional state that’s hard to deal with because it impedes us to move forward and to go on in life.  Hence, life is sometimes tragic.  It is really inevitable to experience this kind of feeling.

When we are ‘paralyzed within’ it’s really hard to see the brighter side of life.  Everything seems so gloomy and depressing.  We can’t take a good stance when we’re down and troubled.  We are confuse to decide whether to push through fearlessly even though it hurts or to let it be as it is by saying ‘I can’t’.  Life is really full of twists and turns.  When we are ‘paralyzed within’ we cannot but accept the fact that life is not a bed roses; it is going through its thorns.

However, in every paralysis that we encounter in life there are tidbits of hope waiting for us and assure us encouragement to move on albeit hardships and sufferings.  Thus, nothing to be afraid of when are experiencing paralysis within our lives.  There’s always an assurance of hope when we start to handle every paralysis we experience with a steadfast heart and optimism.

The Road of Uncertainty

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Life is like a road trip; exhausting, lengthy, time-consuming, and strenuous.  However, when you arrived at your destination or your journey’s end, what a great pleasure and joy.  In a road trip uncertainties are unavoidable to experience even though we know the direction of our desired destination.  Along a road trip we sometimes ask ourselves; am I able to arrive safe and sound at my desired destination?  Am I able to make it even though there are uncertainties, hesitations, worries, and fears inside my heart and head?  What will I encounter as my road trip goes on and on? Will I be meeting new co-journeyers along the road?  Hence, we cannot but ask a lot of questions as our lives goes on journeying in the midst of uncertainties.  Just like a road trip we cannot but place ourselves on a risk of continuing our journey for the sake of reaching our desired destination, i.e. the one thing necessary for our lives.

Yesterday we welcomed the year 2016 and we say our goodbyes to the year 2015.  For sure we have a lot of expectations and wishes as we welcome the New Year.  However, uncertainties, doubts, and hesitations disturb us when this question pops-up in our minds and hearts; what will be my 2016 as I go on in my life’s journey embracing the new chapter of my existence?  I myself also have this kind of mix feelings as I ponder upon the New Year.  Although I am assure that this New Year will bring a lot of good and unexpected surprises along my life’s journey, it’s also unavoidable on my part to have petty fears, hesitations, and doubts.

From this experience I realized the importance of placing our hope and trust in God.  He knows more what is deserving and better for us if and only if we start to believe in Him.  Though uncertainties make us tremble, placing our hope and trust in Him assure us encouragement and motivation to go on in life.  To whom shall we fear if we will place our hope and trust in Him?  Indeed, our life’s journey for this New Year will never be covered by uncertainties, doubts, and hesitations if we will place our hope and trust in God.

 

It’s Christmas!

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It’s Christmas!  The most wonderful time of the year has now arrived.  Our excitements are now filled with joy and presence of the Baby Jesus born in a manger.  Happiness is now overwhelming because God-is-with-us in the person of the Baby named Jesus.  The light has now shines upon us, giving us hope and reason for celebrating Christmas with firm conviction and enthusiasm to hope towards a prosperous life.

As we now experiencing the wonder of this grace-filled event, we ask the Baby Jesus to bless and guide us this Christmas and also help us to renew ourselves to Him for this coming New Year.  May He be our source of joy and happiness in our lives always.  May this Christmas also be the spring of love and prosperity in our hearts and in our daily struggles in life.  MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR!         

A Love Letter for Baby Jesus

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Dearest Baby Jesus,

One day to go before your birth. I cannot but feel more excited and cheerful for your coming.  I could say that I do my very best to prepare myself for your coming, but it’s not enough.  Anyway, I truly believe that it’s not on the grandiosity of my preparation what you would like to count on in me, but it’s my heart.  No matter how big or small my preparation for your coming, what matters most for you is the willingness of my heart to be open with the possibility for renewal and conversion.

Within this month I really do my very best to embrace renewal and conversion in my life.  Sometimes I gain and improve, at times I fall short.  To embrace renewal and conversion in life is really a win-or-lose experience.  It takes a lot of enthusiasm, determination, and faith.  It’s challenging, yet gratifying.  Dear Child Jesus, I’m sorry for failing you and also for not doing the good things that I ought to do.  I’m sorry also for my stubbornness and for doubting your graces and blessings.  I’m really so ashamed to welcome you, but you proved to me that I should not be ashamed in welcoming you despite the many failures and shortcomings that I have.  You still love me.  It’s a humbling experience to realize that your love helps me to move on and comforts me whenever I am anxious and preoccupied with so many negative things in my life.  I am so blessed whenever I fall.  You always say to me “Be still…Do not be afraid for I am always with you”.  As you always saying this to me I am always assured of your presence in my life. And, knowing you is one of the greatest gifts that I in my life.

As your coming is almost near, Lord, teach me to love just like the way you show your love on me.  Make me a channel of your love even though I am being rejected because of love.  It’s your love that make me realize who really am I; broken and unworthy, yet consoled and redeemed.  Clothe me with the mantle of your love that I may be strengthen and motivated by it to face life’s challenges with a positive outlook in life.  Although uncontrollable sadness sometimes distresses me as I wait for your nearing natal day, make me happy and have an eager and a joyful trust in you.  May I also learn to lean and to count on you as I really struggle for peace and serenity of my mind and heart.

Lovingly yours,

Alex.

#ChristmaSerye (Christmas: A Season of Renewal)

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Last December 17, 2015 I went to Oasis of Prayer for my monthly renewal of myself with the help of my counselor who is a priest.  During our conversions, he asked me a question; who is “Alex” for you now?  I suddenly felt the uneasiness within my heart because the question was referring to my understanding about myself despite the many flaws and shortcomings I have.  Indeed, it was a burning question for my present state.  In spite of many preoccupations and activities this coming Christmas, it is really important to find time for yourself and asking that question raised by my counselor to me.  Hence, Christmas is not just only a season of sharing, but also a season of renewing ourselves with the Lord.  As I reflect that question, I realized, there are so many things in my life that I am not aware, I ignored, and I avoided which needs to be consider, to let go, to be forgiven, and to renew.  That’s why I was not able to post a Christmas reflection on my blog last Thursday.

As we wait for Christmas with joy, hope, and expectations; we should not forget that together with our waiting for the coming of the Lord is our renewal.  It’s nice and meaningful to celebrate Christmas with renewed and peaceful mind and heart.  The nearing natal day of our Lord Jesus reminds us that renewal is possible if and only if we allow ourselves to be renewed by the real essence of Christmas, i.e. love.  Allow me to ask this question; do you really spend time to ask yourself ‘how are you today’ or ‘what’s going on to me today’ in moment of silence and recollection?  I admit, it’s really hard to be what we must supposed to be in the merciful and compassionate eyes and heart of God.  I myself can attest on this. I cannot count anymore how many times I fail the Lord.  Many times I allow myself to be overcome by my weaknesses and not by His love and mercy.  So, I always feel guilty, doubtful, and cynical whenever I am being overwhelmed by lapses.  It’s not too easy, but the Lord still kind and forgiving because He still gives opportunities for change.  And, the nearing Christmas season is a great manifestation of it.

Hence, let’s always remember that Christmas is not just only a season for gifts and celebrations.  It is also a season for forgiveness, mercy, and renewal.  The Lord in the person of the Baby Jesus born in a manger invites us to renew ourselves to Him.  He knows is not too easy to renew ourselves because we are finite-capable of committing mistakes and lapses in life.  But still, He encourages us to move on, to love ourselves more, and to forgive ourselves with mercy and compassion simply because He wants us to really feel that Christmas is all about loving and forgiving ourselves as He also loves and forgives us with His gentle mercy and compassion.       

#ChristmaSerye (The Real Reason of Christmas)

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Christmas is near and we cannot but be excited about it.  New gifts, parties, and groovy songs and dances are waiting at stake which really suggests enjoyment and celebration.  But, have we ever do our best to ponder the significance of Christmas into our lives?  Have we really able to see the impact of it in our daily struggles aiming to attain the newness of life?  Let’s join me to journey this Christmas with the purpose of reflecting upon the real importance of Christmas in our lives.

Whenever I perceive that Christmas is near, I cannot but remember the many Christmases that have passed in my life since when I was a child.  I realized, Christmas celebration can never be the same just like the past Christmases when you’re growing up.  It matures, deepened, and become meaningful all the more when we allow our growth to be influenced by it.  On the other hand, what makes it remain the same or similar just like the other Christmases from the past?  Actually, it’s not on the decoration nor the celebrations, nor the gifts itself which really makes it remain the same, it’s the Baby who is born in a  manger, i.e. Jesus.  It’s Jesus who is born on the manger the reason of our continuous growth and maturity every Christmas.  But, what kind of growth and maturity that He always asked us every Christmas?  It’s no other than our new self and our willingness to welcome Him in our hearts.  Hence, Christmas celebrations, decorations, gifts, songs, and dances change but its real message will forever be the same, i.e. the birth of the Baby Jesus in a manger who is the main and real reason of Christmas which invites us to renew ourselves to Him as recipients of His hope and love.      

Love Amidst Oppositions

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I am loved, you are loved, and we are loved. This is who we are. This is our real identity as we venture the different paths of life. But, sometimes we cannot deny the fact that oppositions come in an unexpected moments. So, we fail to realize who we are. We forget that we are not just ‘individuals’ but ‘persons’ who are loved and being immersed in love. Hence, in our lives, love is really a freely-given gift. We received and continuously receiving this gift, but the problem is we tend or unintentionally disregard or ignore the value of this gift simply because we have the tendency to be too focus to so many oppositions that affect our lives. So, we give up loving. Instead of choosing to be happy realizing that we are being loved, we choose to be sad. We choose not to love anymore. We close our hearts on the mere fact that we could still be loved amidst oppositions. That’s why we stop loving and allow ourselves be loved.

We have the tendency to give up when loving is so impossible amidst opposition. But you know, I know a person that He does not give up on loving you. Do you know who He is? He’s God. Remember this; since we were still on our mother’s womb, God does not give up on loving us. Even though we stop loving others and even ourselves, God continues to love us. Even we are unlovable, He loves us without any hesitations, without any second thoughts, and without any doubts. In spite of our sins, shortcomings, and limitations in life, He remains patient with us because He cares for us, and that’s how God loves us. He is willing to offer even His life just we feel and recognize His love, mercy, and compassion for us. Wow what a fantastic God! If all of us is like Him, for sure it’s easy to love, it’s easy to be merciful, and it’s easy to recognize that we are being loved amidst oppositions.

Why I am saying this? I just realized that in the midst of my brokenness, I forget the most essential and non-negotiable thing in my life, i.e. I am being loved by God. But, realizing that being loved by God is not enough. It is also serves as an encouragement for me to love despite the many oppositions that hinders me to love. Moreover, I remember what Leo Buscaglia stressed in his book entitled Love which for me serves as a reminder that even though we are being loved by God we have still the responsibility to love although it hurts;

One cannot give love what he does not possess. To give love you must possess love.

One cannot teach what he does not understand. To teach love you must comprehend love.

One cannot know what he does not study. To study love you must live in love.

One cannot appreciate what he does not recognize. To recognize love you must receptive to love.

One cannot have doubt about that which he wishes to trust. To trust love you must be convinced of love. One cannot admit what he does not yield to. To yield to love you must be vulnerable to love.

One cannot live what he does not dedicate himself to. To dedicate yourself to love you must be forever growing in love.

Hence, Love is power that manifested to us through the Love of God. We will be able to have it and to do it unless we are willing to be subdued and to be overpowered by it in spite of its pains and demands.