The overwhelming love of God for an unworthy being – me. He initiated the love, and in response, what have I done? I run towards it, and then shrink away from it with my sins. I plunge into its amazingness and then withdraw and drown in my own misery. It’s like that scene in Tangled where Rapunzel was finally out of the tower and she was celebrating her freedom one moment then feeling bad another moment. Yet for me it’s celebrating how God has freed me and then going back to sinning then feeling bad for sinning. And all the time, God looks at me with love and mercy, waiting for me to realise what I’ve been doing and return to Him. That immeasurable patience God has for me, I have no words.
If only letting go and letting God is easily done as it is being said (in a span of few seconds). Experience has taught me, and most would agree, that it is not the case. I happened to read on this verse from Romans 3:23-25 last night and dived into the grace of God. I knew that grace is God’s gift – God’s mercy, my salvation and the promise of eternal life. Amazing, amazing grace. However, last night led me deeper into what grace is and I encountered these words telling me to guard this grace, to use it wisely and make it increase. How?
Previously I have called Lent the “white space”, the “white noise” of God, the period where winter turns to spring and it becomes cold and eerily quiet, it’s beautiful yet eerie. This time, the battle rages on but our God is ever faithful.
I have been struggling internally with all the emotions and delusions I have – of the deceit and lies the devil feeds my mind. I am unwanted, I am alone, I am made to be alone in this world, I will not find love, I will forever be left behind – name the lies, the enemy has it. Yet, God, in His loving mercy and almightiness knew beforehand what will happen and has sent forth the weapons and help for me. Well, He could have just stopped it but He didn’t, like with Job’s story. And as for me, I could let the enemy fill me with lies and not use the weapons God has been providing me.
Yet here we are, here I am. Faced with all these lies and deceit, God has been feeding me with my dose of Daily Bread, with His Word of Truth and Mercy. It’s not easy, it sounds Continue reading
In the Philippines, especially in its capital Manila, the roads are filled with these rowdy jeepneys – the engine sound, the sudden stops, the blings and stickers on their bodies. As a driver, you would want to stay as far away from them as possible which is an impossible feat in the metro. These jeeps would often have names written on their body or hanged on the back, sometimes stickers of zodiac signs, artwork, or the face of Jesus, others hang signs like “God bless our trip” or some pinoy hugot or humor quotes.
As I was done with my first trip this morning and on my way to the second one, I was already getting cheesed off with the bad Manila traffic, the buses and pedestrians, the chaos so early on a Monday morning. And it’s a Monday. Half-way to my second destination, this jeep cut me and I was about to lose it when I saw what’s written on its side “Jesus Owns You” and it spells JOY.
So simple. 3-letter word. 3 words. Says it all. It occurred to me how we all strive and struggle to be happy, to find peace, to be filled with joy – the joy that the world can never ever take away from us. We search, we seek, we ask, we knock yet often we are left asking for more or asking more questions. All along, what Jesus is telling us, what God wants from us, is to be owned by Him – yet we cannot have that. I am my own, this is my life – don’t we all say that and live that? I want joy but I want my life to be my own as well. Hmm… I really don’t know how we can work around that when JOY is simply being owned by Jesus.
What does it mean to be owned by Jesus and why do most of us resist?
To be owned even just by someone is to be a slave of that person, to obey and act on that person’s commands. Didn’t God give me
Love your enemies.
Simple. Direct. Crazy. But, why should I? How could I?
In theory, it’s already hard to postulate. In practice, what more? The world sees this as the craziest idea – a world that demands justice, revenge, vengeance sugar-coated into something we sometimes use as ‘I’m just teaching him a lesson’ or ‘He deserves it’. Oh, how kind of us, teaching lessons, giving deserving presents! And the world who loves gossips and dramas would be against a person who quietly accepts persecution and forgives – corny, boring, stupid.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for an eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:38 – 42
Personally, I struggle with this command. It’s just too hard to comprehend and it goes against lessons the society has taught me growing up. I look at a society that demands Continue reading
Truly, God, in His Mercy, takes care and provides for His flock. For me to be able to join the recent World Youth Day in Krakow is a miracle in itself. He has converted the ‘yes’ into a possibility. I had my reservations going into this trip – with all the chaos going on in most parts of Europe, then as we were nearing our departure via Turkish Airlines, there was bombing in the airport followed by a failed coup less than a week before we leave. The trials never stopped there but with the loving mercy of our Lord, He has went ahead and prepared a way for us.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Litomerice, Czech Republic.
Everything that comes into our lives is a moment of encounter with God.
From the homily by Fr. Bert during the Eucharistic celebration last July 25, 2016 at the St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Litomerice, Czech Republic.
It’s not only in the extravagant events or in the ‘fireworks display moment of our lives’ that we encounter God but also in the little moments and sometimes, for us, trivial events that He is there, nudging us, knocking in our hearts, presenting Himself to be recognized by our soul. And it is easy to be distracted and to not see God in the midst of the noise and the activities, with the world presenting you with so much diversions, with sceneries and oh the potatoes. When we were reminded that Continue reading
To believe and to EARNESTLY SEEK HIM. To go beyond the mental details of knowing Him and come to know Him even more deeper than the words printed in the Bible.
I received a strong WORD today. God telling me to behave and act accordingly and properly. It is a follow up to what I have read about what Saint Gemma Galgani’s guardian angel told her in behaving as a woman. More than that – to not be deceived. To live humbly and in submission according to His will and purpose for me.
1 Timothy 2:9-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
9 Also [I desire] that women should adorn themselves modestly and appropriately and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with [elaborate] hair arrangement or gold or pearls or expensive clothing,
10 But by doing good deeds (deeds in themselves good and for the good and advantage of those contacted by them), as befits women who profess reverential fear for and devotion to God.
11 Let a woman learn in quietness, in entire submissiveness.
12 I allow no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to remain in quietness and keep silence [in religious assemblies].
13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve;
14 And it was not Adam who was deceived, but [the] woman who was deceivedand deluded and fell into transgression.
15 Nevertheless [the sentence put upon women of pain in motherhood does not hinder their souls’ salvation, and] they will be saved [eternally] if they continue in faith and love and holiness with self-control, [saved indeed] through the Childbearing or by the birth of the divine Child.