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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hidden Life

"You are not meant for convent life...

..and if you're thinking about it...

I beg you to reconsider..."


I was taken by surprise when two of my male friends wrote me this... perhaps, it was due to my prolonged absence from the social media. 

I reflected on the occasions I felt myself torn apart by indecision... but it wasn't about this...

Not at all...

I miss the life I had ~ I call it my glorious years in the mission field. I was young and impulsive. I didn't have second thoughts. Back then, the moment was right ~ pieces fit together. 

I dreamt big. I wanted to be included in history as 'somebody' who did this or was good at that...

But there was also a part of me that wished to remain 'hidden'... and that part could only be touched and visited by God.

Early on this week, I finally got to visit a friend who was stricken by cancer. I didn't recognize her when I saw her ~ her face was bloated and she wore a wig ~ but I felt her warmth that told me it was her.

I always see a miracle in sick people. Her priorities changed. She told me before she'd stretch herself to do incredible things but now, she developed 'patience'. She recognized her limitations and became kinder to herself.

I was at a loss for words. I remember another friend telling my colleague not to ask him how he was. "This {cancer} isn't fever... it doesn't go away after taking an analgesic."

There was a remarkable contrast in how people dealt with sensitive issues.

I was reading J.R. Miller's The Hidden Life and in Chapter 1, page 4 he wrote of a similar circumstance:

"...a few minutes' conversation showed me that in all the wasting of physical beauty her spiritual loveliness had not been marred. She had kept near the heart of Christ in all the bitter anguish, and the joy and peace of her inner life had not failed..."

My friend spoke to me of her hopes and aspirations. She had the same plans as I, a pilgrimage in Holy Land or a European Marian Pilgrimage. And hearing her spoke of what keeps her alive just made me reflect on the way I am living my own life... 

This brings me back to my dream. What makes me afraid of being forgotten? not being missed? of being a nobody?

I like the words Stephenie Meyer used... 

google image of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart


imprinted...
forever!

That is how I am in God's heart. Why go on further seeking my importance and attention in other people's eyes...


Interior life,  that is what is asked of us...






















Sunday, November 11, 2012

Stillpoint

I'm beginning to love October...

It is the month of healing and recuperation for me.

Song: My Love by Sia Furler 
co written by Oliver Kraus
Source: http://idolator.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/ECLIPSE-soundtrack-My-Love-Sia.mp3


I had three stillpoints in my life outside the walls...

First, when Sam left... 
second, when my sister decided to experiment further with her future 
and lastly, when a very close friend died in a tragic way.

Something inside me craved for silence... not the one we know of ~ mute... cut off from contacts...  
but the kind that is filled with the presence of the 'Other'.


This time around 'we' meditated on 'protect'...

----
A particular memory of the 'street kids' we used to assist came to my mind.

image adapted from a news photo in Tempo

We took them out of the streets and provided them shelter, food and clothing...
It was good for a time until we noticed a change in their behavior. They refused to 'visit' their own families ~ the ones they left behind...

I wished they wouldn't have to go back to their former way of life... I knew we adopted the kids in order to protect them but, perhaps, the message wasn't that clear, to us nor to them. They NEED to recognize their roots ~ and that they could do if they knew why they have to go back to their families...

I saw the same thing happening between  my nieces and I when they started going to school... well, when they started growing up actually.

I wish I was always there to protect them the way I did when they were younger...

I watched 'The Miracle Worker' with Belle last weekend... and my eyes were opened...

When people 'leave' either by separation or death, an unexplicable sorrow fills our heart.
It is as if 'something' inside us has died with them.

I remember asking God, "Was I not enough?"

I think what is not enough is that we protect people. 

We must teach them skills
to live...
to struggle...
and to fly...
{without breaking their spirit}

I finally, finally understood what my SD wrote about 'developing backbones'. 

There's a time to reach out and carry people 'across', to hold their hands and lead them the way... but there's also a time to sit back and allow them to walk alone in the dark, question life and find answers for themselves.

We could only live our own lives... not of others...


It is not my intention to leave noble thoughts in the minds of the people who reflect with me. I am struggling to put these reflections into practice...

Live...
in faith, in charity and in deep joy.

----


" Nothing will frighten me...
 If thick clouds hide the Sun and if it seems that nothing exists beyond the night of this life -
well, then, that will be a moment of perfect joy,
a moment to feel complete trust and stay very still
,
secure in the knowledge that my adorable Sun still shines behind the clouds."


~ St. Therese of Lisieux~

Friday, November 2, 2012

Life's Marrows

"This heart scares easily..."
- Rancho, Three Idiots 





I found myself 'discussing' Three Idiots at four in the morning with a dear friend. It is an excellent movie ~totally hilarious and yet at the same time riveting.

"Are some parts there realistic?," I curiously inquired...
"Do their parents determine their children's future ~ as engineers or doctors?"
"Is suicide rate really high among students?"

And my friend answered with a curt, "Yes..."

----------

The movie reminded me of high school ...





Way back into our Carpe Diem days... Henry Thoreau, Robert Frost and of course, 
Mr. John Keating...

We were so eager to suck the marrows of life

and contribute a verse!


It was at that moment when my heart was awakened by the beauty of poetry and literature. I devoured Thoreau's contemplation of life and made them my own...


Read: Where I Lived, and What I Lived For






I consider myself most fortunate, let's say blest, in every situation in my life.


My parents were very simple people who wished that I become a nurse so I could fly to the US and form my own family there...



I had a photographic mind that made it easier to remember facts in History and formulas in Chemistry. Ooo, I remember I liked Anatomy, Microbiology and Biochemistry back then. I just wonder where they all went because it went poof right after I graduated...

One of my college mates contested that I just memorized that's why I got As. My professors took it as a challenge and composed test questions that required analysis. I faired well, thanks God!

But that is my 'Eureka'!  I still remember that person and I am most grateful to her.

Analyze not memorize.
 Understand the concepts and apply them in everyday living.
Zero in the values that make one a better person and not high grades.




---
My life took a turn after graduation when I ventured with Jack in the mission field. I was not only nursing the sick but I was taking care of people's souls. I wasn't able to reach the US as originally planned by my parents but I was able to experience God in Italy and North Africa.

My siblings were very passionate about the arts, music and literature. I learned a lot from them too. I thought my brother would become a great writer someday but he opted to become a doctor. Nobody among us was coerced into a relationship that was pre-arranged.

----------

"Hey...are you still there? Or have you dozed off?" my friend chuckled.
I laughed, "Yeah, right here..."

My friend was caught in a dilemma between design and production. Designing was his passion. I saw his works and they were really unique. He wanted to try production because he could earn more money to provide for his child's future.

"I know that when the future is mentioned, the heart becomes anxious..." I told him.

"Should we measure success?
How much money we earn? the lifestyle we sustain? the vastness of our riches?"


"Make passion your profession..."
~Rancho, Three Idiots~




In other words...
be faithful to LIFE... 
and everything else will follow...