Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Behind the Curtains

It's almost December and I have managed to write only two posts for this month. I have squeezed my brain out for the last couple of weeks since I came back and sought for inspiration from the blogs that I read, but still ~ nada... 

Dad's old painting 

Maybe I was just looking too hard at the wrong places...but...

On the second day of the liturgical year, three people visited me in my dreams. They gave me back some personal things I left in the missionary house. 

A former confidant  spoke to me in my room and asked for my forgiveness. 

While in reality, I've chosen complete silence over the matter... in my dream, I unleashed all those feelings ensconced all throughout these three years. 

I woke up with tears.

I realized that instead of simplifying things by just articulating the truth, I found them left to their own judgment of the circumstances ~ leaving scars in the relationship.

It has happened many times and I'd often cough out an excuse that I do not need to explain to everybody at all times... but people do not read minds and intentions. What they need is their peace of mind.

I think this moment of quietude was God's way of pushing me out of the curtains into the open:

'Expose everything... all of it...'

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not perfect in love." - I Jn. 4:18 NIV

Henri Nouwen, in his book Sabbatical Journey (168), asked:

" What is my responsibility to the world around me, and what is my responsibility to myself? What does it mean to be faithful to my vocation? Does it require that I be consistent with my earlier way of living or thinking, or does it ask for the courage to move in new directions, even when doing so may be disappointing for some people?"

Then I remembered my dream. My missionary companions gave me back some personal things: sandals (to continue my journey)clothes (my dignity), reconciliation (healing).

It was truly an invitation to become fully alive... to cease hiding...and to live in joy with other people.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

My Soul's October Journey:Third Part

It wasn't as dramatic as the encounter of Jesus and the woman at the well...

God led me there...

Walking with a Broken Heart

I found my way in a should see a couple of books I enjoyed browsing (well, at least their titles)...

I wish finding a soulmate was just as easy as shaking hands with a stranger... but do we ever need to look for them ourselves?

These are familiar names but... hmmm... not yet...
not these books...

Oh, are they really?

Oh, my heart says it's near...

How to Mend a Broken Heart sample PDF

And there, I found it!

The book took me side by side with the Old Testament. I thought I could just speedread it, but a good book is definitely worth buying.

I realized each day as every Chapter evinced that we are all broken hearted ~ wounded people.

It's not just because one is scorned or set free that we experience this. I see a deeper brokenness embedded in each of us.

My spiritual director in his book says that he prefers the term wounded people because the Spirit stirs them from their place of comfort towards a journey...

to the unknown...

 to a world of trust, openness and detachment.

That is, only if we expose our wounds.


Melissa in Chinatown
photo credit: May Christine Tandoc

I look up to a friend and he says, "Walk it off!"

~ Jim Brandano


"Taste and see the goodness of the Lord." ~ Psalm 34,8

God is faithful and He gives us Jonathan friends (Nelson Dy, How to Mend a Broken Heart, Ch. 2: You Gotta Have Friends, MM: OMF Literature, 2006, p. 22) to walk beside us...
I am very grateful that God led me to my FB friends...

they weren't invisible after all...
I could neither touch you nor see you in person
but I feel your presence in as much as the same way you express it through your concern and love.

I appreciate all those personal messages you sent me while I was away... you've posted them on the walls of my heart.

I am forever grateful Corinne Rodrigues for making it more concrete through Roy Durham 
You soothed my soul's woundedness without knowing it...

 My spiritual director once told me that the measure of my enlightenment is more pronounced in my drawings ~ my art...

But I'm truly learning a lot from my wise friend's ABS and my Irish art mentor who push me to the limits of my capacity.

The more I wish to shut off myself... the more I am invited to give the whole of me.

So, here I am

God wrap me and give me away...

p.s. To that angel who tweeted me, I know I can't write your name as you prefer to be anonymous...if you ever pass this way, I'd like you to know I am truly grateful...

Friday, November 4, 2011

My Soul's October Journey: In Three Parts

They Met Me In Dreams: First Part
I saw familiar faces and heard them droning, looking at me with strange eyes, as I brisked my way to the empty pew. The celebration was about to start but something just didn't fit in the picture...

I fail to point what it is...
                 "Why?" They continued to drill my thoughts and I...

I woke up with those queries reverberating on my mind...

My missionary friends would often visit me in my dreams especially on my periods of desolation... but they usually came in twos or threes and prayed for me. This time, 2nd of October, they were an assembly and have celebrated the Eucharist with me.

It was the Feast of the Guardian Angels... exactly two months after Our Lady of the Angels of Porziuncola.

Was God preempting what was to come?

He Met Me At Noon: Second Part
"Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil." 
Mt.4,1 NIV
I wasn't aware that the great battle started within the moment He left. I felt my soul grieving.I wandered in the desert and have forgotten of His love.
The stumbling block knew my weakest point and had me directly attacked  there.

Leb (Dt. 6,5 // Mt. 4,3-5)
"Tell these stones to become bread..." - Mt. 4,3

I drank from different wells ... inordinately craved for food ... one after another ... anxiously...  filling myself up ... but not one has satiated this tremendous hunger and thirst that I have.

They were as beguiling as they are vacuous... overtly gratifying but ephemeral. They left me empty at the end of the day.

Nefesh (Dt. 6, 5 // Mt. 4, 5-6)

"...Throw yourself down..." -Mt. 4, 6

I was journeying with several others... but we took different routes...

San Miguel Avenue 2011 (photo by Melissa)

We heard a commotion outside but we didn't mind and went on with work. We looked outside the window at three and saw many people rushing to the left side of the building adjacent to ours...

A closer look at the incident (2011, photo taken by Melissa)
It could have been any of us at his/her most desperate point ... 

Her husband left her.... and she plunged to the abyss...

How could it be that the battle ended this way?

Me'od (Dt. 6,5 // Mt. 4, 9)

"...bow down and worship me..." - Mt. 4,9

Where have all my time and energies been spent after all these days and months of absence? Have I ceased chasing my dreams?


Then, like a gentle breeze,  He came ...
without a sound...

and met me at noon...

(Parallelism of Shema Israel to Temptation of Jesus from Sr. Helen Graham's class on Psalms)