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Posts Tagged ‘faith’

To many a Christian, prayer is important. Some might just say it in times of need, others make it a way of life. With the recent quake that hit Bohol the most, people around the country offer prayers to the victims.

Whenever you say “I will pray for you,” pray the instant after you said the line. Here’s why…

The intense of the desire to comfort the person is there, so make use of it–pray immediately. Have you noticed the fervor–that burning and warm feeling–when praying while we are in a dire situation? I say, that very moment makes our prayers effective and affective because we pour our hearts out, we pray with our soul and the force of our whole being.  I heard this advise from a homily in a mass I have attended a few years back. Since then, I pray immediately after saying I will pray for that person. Strike while the iron is hot, as they say. Also, we tend to forget as the day passes by. Our promised prayers for our friends and families could be forgotten because we’ve been busy. We have no intentions to forget them, right? So might as well pray now and not later.

 

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The Damsel’s

I may belong to a legit circle of the brilliants. But I don’t want to belong there. There’s a huge difference in what is in my heart and what I can do. They may be correlated, but I don’t want to give them the chance to mingle. There are a lot of things a person can do, but the passion is the most wanted thing his heart desires.

In a personal meditation, I find what I am doing now is in some degree uncomfortable. With a lot of things going on in my head—calculating included (I don’t like number, ugh!)—I can’t seem to focus on polishing the finer sands. And most of all, I don’t belong. It’s like squeezing into a bubble that would just pop every time I touch it.

For many a time, I never belong anyway—not to anybody, not even to a group. I just like it when I’m alone. Hell, no, I am not a loner. I just can’t fit right in most of the time. There’s a free spirit in each of us. I opt to use that part of me a lot of times. The stack of notebooks is a proof to that.

For a venture, I choose to fly. It is difficult, especially now, to be standing alone and doing it all. A call has been sounding off for years now. It’s about time to heed it—sack, pans, and a couple of pairs of little feet along. I may sound selfish, but I have been living a lie. I’d rather be called the bad guy and living true to myself than the good guy who weeps in a corner at night. I’m sure the universe will understand. I’ll make them see reason.

Inasmuch as I wanted to keep my principles in check, I cannot but make a tough deal with my cards. I don’t have much left. No more aces to play. But I still have myself and two beauties to carry through. I know this has been way overdue, and I would understand the criticism. I’d accept those and your cash too.

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Though Untimely

It happens I’m still lost. I never gave a thought about your natal day, actually. The people who loves you remind me of it. At a couple of posts, I gave away to tears. I cannot still get you in me. I am still guarded, walled, and full of doubt. I cannot see what they have seen. I cannot feel what they are feel for you. I cannot fathom what it is, I cannot. Please do not shake me beyond what I may not be able to contain. I seek you. Please come to me. Please let me know, give me a sign.

Why can’t I see you like your son? Why do you remain a human to me? Why can’t I believe in anything everybody believes in? I do not want to pretend. I have changed my values and the gauge of faith I should have on certain matters. Why did you fell on that category? I used to believe so much in you or did I? I do not want to lie to myself nor the people around that I revere you as much as they do. No, I am not comparing. I am envious even. Envious because they see you as their mother and worthy of worship; I do not.

I do not want to worship you. I want you to be my friend, my mother, my mentor, my teacher. 

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Franz,

I finished reading the book you gave. It’s an amazing book! From a point of loss and bewilderment, I came to the shore of peace and conviction. I now understand God’s point of view about pain and suffering. The author’s belief may not be that true, but to believe it as truth is what that matters. I also share his belief. I have not suffered pain as painful as what he had, and I am not wishing for it either J. However, as Desiderata says, “…shield your spirit from sudden misfortunes.” It is a relief to know God is right there for you, and he’s not, in any way, the cause of the troubles in life. This belief, in itself, is a shield to sudden misfortunes. God mourns with us, He keeps us company whatever happens to us. He has no reasons whatsoever to cause us pain. From this truth, I came to realize that when I surrender to God and follow and obey his commands, nothing of the bad things that will happen to me will come from him. It is not true that he will test his children’s faith by letting them suffer. True, Abraham almost sacrificed Isaac out of his commitment to obey God, but God himself did not let that happen, right?

What stuck to my head is the idea that God is a parent. I know this since grade school, but until I read the book, I did not know exactly what type of parent God is. I might have the musings of a child who wants a parent who can give it all. But God is a just parent—you get what you deserve, and you suffer or enjoy the consequences. He knows everything but chooses not to. He can do anything, but he chooses not to. All for one reason—he loves us that much. He gives us the free will to choose so we can learn and grow and become wise. Somehow, I want to be a parent just like God.

The greatest thing that stuck to my head is, Jesus did not just die, he was killed. He suffered from the people’s culture and thinking of the time he walked on earth.

Where the hell is God? He’s right here beside me. He’s right there beside you. Even the toughest time, he’s just there. All you need is to bend your head sideways… there you’ll find his shoulder you can rest upon.

Thank you for the wonderful book! God bless you a hundredfold. May he keep you strong in faith to continue on your journey…

~Where the Hell is God by Richard Leonard, SJ

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Pasabta Ako (a poem for Mary)

Og ngano, dili ko matugkad

Wala ka man unta kalimti pagpaila

Sa akong mga ginikanan, mga magtutudlo

Gani, nangaliyupo kami sa imong panabang

Matag gabii, sa katuigan

 

Ang kasingkasing ko gustong makakat-on

Unsaon paghangop kanimo sama sa buhat sa uban

Ang hunahuna ko gustong makasabot

Nganong ikaw angay ampoan

 

Ang akong kalibog,

Kakulang sa pagsangpit

Bunga ba kini sa nagsapawsapaw kong nakat-unan?

O tungod ba kay wala mituo nimo ang uban?

Sama sa awit

Pakitaon mo na ako sa hingpit mong kaayo

Apan pasabta ako

Nganong wala ako nadani?

 

Sama na ba ako sa bitin?

Usa ka suwail nga wala nagtamod sa pagtulon-an?

Sala ba nga lahi ang akong pangisip, ang akong pagtoo

Kung kinsa ka alang kanako?

Kung unsa ka alang kanako?

 

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unsent

Ya,

We are different, but it doesn’t mean we can’t meet in the middle. Our religious views have always been different. I have tried to keep up with your pace when it comes to keeping the doctrines of the religion like going to church on Sundays, praying the novena and the rosary. I did those, until you shattered it. When I found out about you destroying the trust we have for each other, I just cannot see the logic going to church praying for the best. What’s there to pray for? if I pray to him to keep our family together, would he listen to me? My thinking was, who will God hear—you who has been religiously active or me who can’t set foot in the church every Sunday? But I changed that because at the course of healing a stupid pain, I found that being religious is different from being godly. My thinking was wrong. I shouldn’t have judged God. It was wrong because I depended my faith in you. God should have been my shield. A friend helped me through that stage. We went to church everyday when possible during lunch breaks before. I learn to believe again, I learn to pray again and I can concentrate there because there were a few people inside the church. The silent ambiance helped the healing. But a lot has changed since then. A lot of problems came, a lot of troubled times. I don’t want to go to church just to report to God I had a miserable life. That was wrong also.

I don’t want to go to church just to show that I go to church and keep the commandments. I will go to church because it is my responsibility to keep the Sabbath and I will go there with my whole heart and soul with me. So, now that you brought this up, I am asking you, give me time to be alone when I pay my dues to God.

You don’t know how I feel about religion right now. I know you will say it’s because I am not active in the church. But what is being active in the church if you don’t even live what is taught there? You made me get confused with what this religion is all about—your church activities versus your daily life. I used to look up to you for spiritual guidance but it’s gone now. I am confused about which part of the religion I should be following. The ten commandments is all I can do and the Bible is my guide, the rest seems like a show.

I cannot follow anything blindly. I need to know what I am following. God gave me intellect and free will and I intend to use them accordingly. Your family will surely laugh when they will hear this. I don’t care. They don’t own my soul.

I am not perfect but I keep a slow but steady pace of knowing, understanding and trying to live Jesus’s teachings. After years of designing, editing and reading books with Bible verses, I learn to understand more who God is. I am thankful I learn things in a rather surprising way—from work. I come to understand that God is not restrictive. God is a jealous God. I cannot worship anyone but him. Jesus is the best teacher and he is not gentle all the time but firm and just—harsh if it has to be. I am now asking and searching what is true and that’s what I will follow. I’m sure you will say you know all of these since you are a little kid. Me, I didn’t. It’s good to learn about God when you feel that something in you is missing and you are ready to fill it.

I am not saying I know God better than you. We all have different perceptions about God. I respect yours. That’s you and no one can take it except when you will it.

I ask you to respect my beliefs and my journey in understanding and keeping faith. This is a big challenge and a personal goal. To what religion I belong will never change.

Please be open-minded.

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I wrote this letter to a friend for a personal quest to understand something I am losing. You might find this a bold move or you may not like this but I have to find some answers to questions that have been bothering me for a while. Yeah, I can ask a priest, my husband, or someone else but I chose Franz. Almost a decade ago, I remember him saying something about faith that caught my attention and made me pause for a minute. My quest to understand Mary’s role in the church reminds me of that moment. Please bear with me. I am not a hateful Christian, I just want to express.

Dear Franz,

I don’t think praying to Mary makes sense anymore. Please forgive me for traversing the doctrine of our religion. I lost it. Maybe because I find more sense in an article from another religion’s magazine I read a few years ago. Or maybe because nobody can point a single verse in the Bible that says we should worship her. I don’t even think praying the rosary is worth it because it’s all about Mary and less about Jesus. There is a verse in the Bible about repeated prayer being unnecessary. I found praying novenas even not worth it, too. I believe praying from the heart is much better and actually gives you a sense of relief after saying it. Desiderata says to be at peace with God, whoever I perceive him to be. I perceive him as a big-hearted guy who loves me. He’s an entity who decides on his own and no one knows what he will do contrary to the usual berating of the oldies “masuko ang ginoo ana” as if they know him that much. I believe that my God is someone who gives me what I deserve not what I desire. I have no hatred over Mary whatsoever. I just find the worshipping part not biblical. I know this is bold but I think the Catholic made her a vain person. We never met Mary but we know she’s Jesus’s mom. She’s been described as humble, beautiful, full of grace, prayerful. Then how come, this time, she wants us to pray to her? Did she really say that to the three children in France? Are we just making an idol out of her? I don’t pray to the saints, either. I know I have become someone so unCatholic. The saints do inspire me because they keep their faith until the end.

Please enlighten me. I have no other person to go ask about this. This has been in my vein for more than two years and I need to find answers if what I am thinking is correct or should I lose faith. I don’t even like to go to church (sa ato). I find the homily nonsense and I long for a better understanding about our religion. I have questions popping out of my head and I can’t find the answers like why is Jesus’s teenage life not in the Bible? Is it not worth printing? But the biggest issue for me right now is Mary. I am a mother and I was taught as a child to look up to her and pray to her because she is the mediatrix. But Jesus said he is the way, the truth and the light and that no one can get to the Father except through him. It confuses me every time I think about these things. However, I am compelled to think because I want to establish something in me, something I’m not sure about and wanted to find out. I hope you understand my dilemma.

Please don’t get mad at me.

Thank you for your time. I hope you can give me answers.

** Someday, I will post what I have learned from this quest…

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