Thursday, April 26, 2012

Relationship Status: Attached

part 1

Have you ever 'done' theology?

I was amazed by a subject offered in our Religious Science course on "studying and doing theology"...our professors engaged us to live among the poor in the squatters area.

It reminded me of the first time I stepped into our mission house...okay, okay...I didn't have to walk barefoot nor sleep on the floor, nor dig out food from the garbage... the thing is, it's so easy to romanticize poverty. 

I could do away with less clothes, a non airconditioned room and a tv/radioless area... but when a friend asks me for my webster or my favorite book, or to spare time to listen to a patient after duty hours or to spend less time with my virtual world... it is difficult to let go! 

These are my riches...inordinate attachments... soft addictions .

It's a lot easier living among the poor... but becoming one myself in its real sense is a challenge ...

Didn't God Himself, the Word, assume our human form inorder to be one like us in everything? 

Are you poor?

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Towards the Road of Love

There was a moment in my life, when everything could be resolved by eating an ice cream...

Me at UP Diliman April 2010
It lifted me up especially during those dry moments...

it shifted my focus from what was real...

As I grew up, some pains became unbearable.

I remember crying too much from broken relationships. My mom said my eyes would pop out...

I found solace in the Psalms and spiritual readings. But at the same time, my mom taught me to take a retreat and find God in prayer...

At Anilao May 20

Some of God's revelations come from conversations with friends or from the books I read...

but most of them came from listening and  through dreams.

My Italian friend once said that I was a fish inside a bowl where everything was provided for: food, shelter, love, family, cream...

But as I grew up, God fished me out of the bowl into a better place where I could extend my arms and swim the ocean of life.

Along the way, I met other fishes with different experiences ~ some have a truly fulfilled life. They shared their faith and inspired people. 
Others had led a rough road but they overcame their difficulties by facing them and now became testimonies to God's great love.

All experiences are incomparable. God gave each of us a road to take... a place to swim.

But the challenge is to swim against the current. I am still far away from the words I write and I am still learning that
every experience reveals God's love.

I felt  like the disciples walking the road to Emmaus until Jesus Himself walked along with us. 'I am Risen! Why continue being sad?'

And He took me back to the road of peace...
along with the others to fish some more...


The Changeless Friend
-St. Teresa d'Avila, Autobiography, Chapter 25

"Alone I was without a single friend to give me a word of encouragement, I could neither pray nor read, but there I remained, for hours and hours together,
uneasy in mind and afflicted in spirit, on account of the weight of my trouble...
and wondering what in the world I could do for my relief.
Not a gleam of hope seemed to shine upon me from either earth or heaven;
except just this
that in the midst of all my fears and dangers
I never forgot how Our Lord must be seeing the weight of all I endured.

Oh my Lord Jesus Christ! What a true friend You are, and how powerful!
For when You wish to be with us You can be,
and You always do wish it if only we will receive You.
May everything created, O Lord of all the world, praise You and bless You!
If only I could tramp the whole world over, proclaiming everywhere with all the strength that is in me what a faithful friend You are to those who will be friends with You!

My dear Lord, all else fails and passes away; You, the Lord of them all, never fail,
never pass away.
What You allow those who love You to suffer is all too little.
O my Lord, how kindly, how nobly, how tenderly, how sweetly,
You succeed in handling and making sure of Your own!
Oh, if only one could secure that one would love nothing but You alone!

image sketched by Melissa, adapted from postcard

You seem, my dear Lord, to put to the trial with rods and agonies one who loves You,
only that,
just when you have brought her to the last extreme of endurance,
she may understand all the more 
the boundless limits of Your Love."

Friday, April 6, 2012


I have not encountered the word until I met Him…to whom I gave ten years of my life. To his friends, it was a fairytale sans happily ever after. To my parents, it was fiction, something that was only brought in by the height of my desires. To people, it was madness… I gave up a promising career, my family and a comfortable life…

I attribute the word to love. It compels one to do all those “crazy stuffs”. All art forms putting aside its twin pole, pain, have contributed much to our society.

Poems, songs, novel, monuments… and the best are newborn creatures called babies…

Many have attempted to define what love is all about….

The greatest of which is the very Word became flesh and lived among us.

What madness has He brought confounding all our ideas and fantasies of power and dominion?… teaching us that the way is through the cross.

Scourged, crowned, cursed, spitted upon and crucified -not a single word came forth from His mouth. He forgave His transgressors. Whereas I, I wouldn’t even spare a moment not to defend myself from insults.

Dare I ask, “Was He the most understood man?”

When even His own mother from her moment of conception until His death has stood by Him and kept all things in her heart.

How many times had His own disciples doubted His identity? What was He saying? Why was He eating with tax collectors? Why was He talking with this woman? Who is He?

Who is He? That even after His death, many had come to follow Him and died for Him.

How come every year of crisis, an odd person is born to remind us of Jesus Christ?

An alter-Christus like San Francesco di Assisi? Mother Teresa? The martyrs and all the saints? religious men and women?

How come we celebrate the sacrament of the Eucharist?  Who is it we adore in this bread in the Blessed Sacrament?

Ah, love…madness!

Who do we live for? What do we die for?

post inspired by Corinne Rodrigues' To Be Understood and Debra El-Ramey's Those Peculiar People