Monday, June 09, 2014

The coming season of change

Last night, I had a dream. In that dream, I was sleeping [double dream] and I sprang up suddenly from my sleep in the middle of the night as I felt the breakage of all the generational curses afflicting me and my family. I was very excited also for my loved ones because I knew that, at that very moment, wherever they might be, they were also being set free. -Diary, April 13, 2008, 1:58 p.m., Sunday. 

God is all to me. If people see my imperfections, I don't care. God knows I am imperfect; and I, too, know it. I never do things to impress the world. God is pleased by my acceptance of the truth, the truth that I am not perfect. My imperfection is actually an asset. Because, through this, I can long for God, the Only One Who can make me whole. It never saddens me when the world sees the truth about me. I rejoice instead. Because when Divine Intervention comes in my life, the world will know that "everything is possible with God!" -Diary, July 17, 2008, 6:43 p.m., Thursday.

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Divine defense - Three

Reading 1ACTS 20:28-38

At Miletus, Paul spoke to the presbyters of the Church of Ephesus:
“Keep watch over yourselves and over the whole flock
of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers,
in which you tend the Church of God
that he acquired with his own Blood.

I know that after my departure savage wolves will come among you,
and they will not spare the flock.
And from your own group, men will come forward perverting the truth
to draw the disciples away
after them.
So be vigilant and remember that for three years, night and day,
I unceasingly admonished each of you with tears.
And now I commend you to God
and to that gracious word of his that can build you up
and give you the inheritance among all who are consecrated.
I have never wanted anyone’s silver or gold or clothing.
You know well that these very hands
have served my needs and my companions.
In every way I have shown you that by hard work of that sort
we must help the weak,
and keep in mind the words of the Lord Jesus who himself said,
‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

When he had finished speaking
he knelt down and prayed with them all.
They were all weeping loudly
as they threw their arms around Paul and kissed him,
for they were deeply distressed that he had said
that they would never see his face again.
Then they escorted him to the ship.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

'Bl. Almendras'

I had a dream at early dawn. There was a tower-like structure where in the middle was an inscription that reads "Bl. Almendras" or "Blessed Almendras." Almendras is a local political name. A little higher than the inscription was a man walking on a platform. The inscription was his name or as he was fondly called. He was admired. Even my nephew told me he is good and kind. But the Lord let me feel who he is. He was satan. I faced him and he faced me. I took my rosary and said it; he took a rosary and said it. But when I shouted that the Blood of Christ was shed for me, he could not say it himself, he could not repeat my declaration. And I woke up. -Diary, November 17, 2008, 11:50 p.m.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Divine defense - Two

Gospel JN 15:1-8

Jesus said to his disciples:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vine grower.
He takes away every branch in me that does not bear fruit,
and everyone that does he prunes so that it bears more fruit.
You are already pruned because of the word that I spoke to you.
Remain in me, as I remain in you.
Just as a branch cannot bear fruit on its own
unless it remains on the vine,
so neither can you unless you remain in me.
I am the vine, you are the branches.
Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit,
because without me you can do nothing.
Anyone who does not remain in me
will be thrown out like a branch and wither;
people will gather them and throw them into a fire
and they will be burned.
If you remain in me and my words remain in you,
ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.
By this is my Father glorified,
that you bear much fruit and become my disciples.” 


John 15:1-8

New International Version (NIV)

The Vine and the Branches

15 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes[a] so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you.No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.
“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Prayer heals a sick baby

I remember a family neighbor who won gambling. From my room, one night, I heard the father shouting for winning "last two" game. Next day, I saw the mother buying groceries. A thought came on me: feeding the children of something that came from gambling? What would happen to them? Days passed and the youngest, a baby, was sick of diarrhea. They admitted the child to a government hospital every now and then without healing -- until the older boy went to my room and asked for prayers. It was a spontaneous prayer -- really from the heart because the Lord let me feel the pain of the family. Next day, the boy thanked me. His younger brother started having semi-hard stool. I told him to thank the Lord because it was the Lord Who healed his baby brother. "But it was you who prayed!" -- said the boy. Lord Jesus, thank You for those graces. I am giving back to You the glory. Amen. -Diary entry, June 7, 2008, Saturday.

(The blogger's noteBefore praying, I remember I asked the boy to repeat after me the prayers of repentance I would be saying. I asked for forgiveness for all my sins and the sins of my family -- which the boy also uttered so that the boy repented for his sins and the sins of his family. And I went on with a free-flowing prayer for healing -- born out of mercy. Of course, the older boy was prompted by his mother to ask me to pray for the baby. They attributed the healing to that prayer so much so that the baby is now a boy and each time he sees me he takes my right hand for blessing. To God be the glory!)

Sunday, February 09, 2014

Divine defense - One

Reading 1IS 58:7-10

Thus says the LORD:
Share your bread with the hungry,
shelter the oppressed and the homeless;
clothe the naked when you see them,
and do not turn your back on your own.
Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your wound shall quickly be healed;
your vindication shall go before you,
and the glory of the LORD shall be your rear guard.
Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer,
you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am!
If you remove from your midst
oppression, false accusation and malicious speech;
if you bestow your bread on the hungry
and satisfy the afflicted;
then light shall rise for you in the darkness,
and the gloom shall become for you like midday.

Responsorial Psalm PS 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9

R/ (4a) The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
R/ Alleluia.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright;
he is gracious and merciful and just.
Well for the man who is gracious and lends,
who conducts his affairs with justice.
R/ The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
R/ Alleluia.
He shall never be moved;
the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance.
An evil report he shall not fear;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.

R/ The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
R/ Alleluia.
His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear.
Lavishly he gives to the poor;
His justice shall endure forever;
his horn shall be exalted in glory.
R/ The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
R/ Alleluia.

Reading 2 1 COR 2:1-5

When I came to you, brothers and sisters,
proclaiming the mystery of God,
I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom.
For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you
except Jesus Christ, and him crucified.
I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling,
and my message and my proclamation
were not with persuasive words of wisdom,
but with a demonstration of Spirit and power,
so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom
but on the power of God.

Gospel MT 5:13-16

Jesus said to his disciples:
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?
It is no longer good for anything
but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
You are the light of the world.
A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.
Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket;
it is set on a lampstand,
where it gives light to all in the house.
Just so, your light must shine before others,
that they may see your good deeds
and glorify your heavenly Father.”


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Roxas Avenue: 'Take the right road!'

Two roads make Roxas Avenue: the left road and the right road.

Going to school on foot, I always took the left road; but, one time, mother said to take the right road so she could see me as I walked my way through end of that road. Our balcony was situated in such a way that anyone sitting there could see the right road.

"OK, I will take the right road, Ma; and when I reach the end of the road, I will wave at you."

Mother, attending to my new-born baby brother (the fifth in the family), nodded.

And off I went, taking the right road -- excited, knowing mother was seeing me from behind.

Five blocks away and I reached the road's end. I stopped walking and faced back our house. Already too far away, almost blurry. I had to make the wave as promised, though; but it seemed hard to do because you cannot see the one you are waving at.

Out of faith, I did the wave from left to right and from right to left and vice versa in almost slow motion to emphasize the hand-wave so she could see it.

Did mother see it? "I will ask mother once I am home," I said to myself.

But I never had the chance to ask because family was more concerned with important things than to talk about trivialities.

Before I started my primary education, I had the chance to live in the farm house of my grandma in the mountain and they had a long, slender pathway that one, from the viewpoint of the window, could see someone coming or leaving.

This norm of seeing the coming and leaving of someone dear to one's heart was ordinary phenomenon to children in the mountain farm where they lived, especially when grandma left my mother and her siblings in the house to sell crops and vegetables in the town market.

Mother never knew but I'd watch her go via a crack on the wall every time she left me and my younger sisters locked at home to do beauty home-services for a living during my six years of age; and this changed by way of fire that broke out in the neighborhood -- but that's another story.

To end this story: Despite the minutes spent in walking, not to mention the lingering moments in those grasses along the road of Roxas Avenue, I wondered why I finished my third grade as the "most punctual" pupil in the class.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

One day in your life... along old Roxas Avenue

“Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.” -A. A. Milne
My feet were yet of a nine-year-old and trudging on a dusty, rugged road. I was in grade three and alone to walk my way to school on that innocent and lonely road of Roxas ["Raw-has"] Avenue. It was a two-way country road with a long stream in the middle. And it was a stream surrounded by tall and tiny spiky green grass growing alongside. In the tenderness of a young mind, I would stop from grass to grass and take a look and be lost at the beauty of these taken-for-granted blades. The mid endings. The hairs. The cottons. The blooms. The tiny blossoms. The bulbs. The berries! Really, something was on the grasses of that place, I had the longing to behold them, to feel them, to take them home. I could feel the softness touching my face. And the winds! Yes, I could see the wind in that long-stretch part of the world because grasses swayed and danced and rustled and sang. But the song was somewhat of the past that one seemed to want to return to. And as I began to walk the road, the song itself began to sing…

“One day in your life, you’ll remember a place. Someone touching your face. You’ll come back and you’ll look around, you’ll… One day in your life, you’ll remember the love you found here...
"You’ll remember me, somehow. Though you don’t need me now, I will stay in your heart. And when things fall apart, you’ll remember one day… One day in your life…”

Almost forty years passed and it is noon, and fierce is the sun — and I am walking along the new Roxas Avenue. Wide and deep is the canal in the middle of the broad street; it is concrete, tree-lined and grass-less. Gone are the grass of my tender years. Gone are the grass of my childhood. And the road is no longer country and carefree but one of a big city. A structure — the tallest, so far — is standing in the horizon of the other end, white and green — the Marco Polo. The road is busy, busy, busy. Wheels. Business buildings. Houses. People walking and talking. Trade is even in the dead of night. Roxas Avenue is innocent and lonely no longer. It is now tourist highways. But the song of old is on air once again. And I can’t help but remember: One day in my life, I remember the place, something touching my face, I come back and I look around me… One day in my life along old Roxas Avenue in Davao City, Philippines.

REMNANTS: THE GRASS OF YORE. Take heart, sadden not, the grass of tender years are alive, thriving silently underneath, pushing itself through thickness of concrete-walled canal. Remnants — don’t you see? — standing straight under the sun from the crevices of a hardened slope. I picked a stalk and ran its softness, hairy-ends on my face — a reunion! My hairs standing. My eyes misty. Be of good courage, lo, they die not. Hope, its life testifies — and of joy and of triumph.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

'Just do it!'

December 3, 2013. Day 129 of being homeless. 7:00 pm. Sitting at the "round ball" fronting Ateneo university, I was waiting for a certain bank to close doors (outside the bank was where I took my rest at night) when I heard somebody calling me in the familiar name at home: "Do!" I thought, my fellow sidewalk night settlers were calling me -- but, when I looked back, it was my eldest nephew. I froze.

Life in the sidewalk is not easy, especially when you are sick and the "floor" you are to sleep on is pooled with water because of constant, heavy rains.

"Until when is this, Lord?" I asked the Lord and I meant my life as a homeless, sidewalk night inhabitant and He spoke to me through words I saw on the street, words that seemed to jump out from a billboard and, as I received it, my heart panted in the manner so special: "Just do it!" And I knew the words came from the Lord as response to my query.

Upon receiving the words, I prayed the Prayer of Acceptance and found myself relieved and wanting to keep on with this particular suffering: a homeless life.

I was healed from colds and coughing eventually; but after super typhoon Yolanda (international name, Haiyan), I developed more severe dry coughs and it happened during the final stage of my homeless life where I spent at the sidewalk of a particular bank at Roxas Avenue. "Trust" was the only word that I knew during those times.

And as I got used to living this kind of life under the pressure of an illness, I was located by my nephew who had several nights been looking for me in practically all downtown sidewalks.

Brothers and sisters knew of my plight through a family friend who saw me sleeping in the sidewalk one time. Another family friend told my older brother that I was walking with dirty clothes on, not the usual me that he knew of as always "neatly-clothed."

Upon knowing, my family had sleepless nights so that they went to every downtown sidewalk every night looking for me -- until my nephew finally located me on the night of December 3, 2013, the 129th and final day of my homeless life.

I am home again; and I got healed of severe dry coughs, thanks to my brother who bought me medicine. My sister asked for forgiveness. I have forgiven all of them who can't be all perfect all the time. Just as I am.