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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Fall In Love: A Peek into the Hidden Life



I have ventured into a very ‘exciting experience' these past few weeks following my Purpose Driven Life Sessions... 

~ Silent, hidden, delightful ~ journey to the heart

A couple of friends started asking me to pray with and for them at regular hours and I did so ~ diligently waking up at the time we have agreed upon to pray together ~ meditating God's Words as the day progresses. 


*It has been several years since I have taken hold of my breviary and prayed with a community... 


A group of Dominicans gathered in adoration and prayer
taken after typhoon Maring.
I had a chance to pray with them.

Immersed in prayer with spiritual companions led me to understand the depth and importance of praying for others.

I've also been carefully rereading a compilation of homilies and reflections of a Spiritual Father and took in short retreats and visited the Blessed Sacrament in between the holidays we had last week.

Some friends would ask me 'how come' continue a life similar to the one I had before? How come when I had already been given 'freedom' to lead a 'totally different life?'


"Man looks at the outward appearance--but the Lord looks at the heart."





It wasn't the 'habit' that I wore that made me religious...

adapted image on charcoal by me

"The Beloved's Face need not be present on this portrait for the focus is on the Bride who takes her delight at the presence of the Groom that her soul longed for."

~ a spiritual companion~

I ventured, yes, in an exciting but difficult task, to share something that should be lived rather than explained...

Only God knows what is happening inside each one of us...

Again, where you are in your journey is where you should be... 

Pazienza! Corragio!

But when the time comes that He'd like to take you into an adventure ~ be ready to respond...


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Supplement Readings:

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Celebration with my Satur-dates


We practiced some songs before we had our formal lessons. 



Thanksgiving after the typhoon

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Step 2. Fall in Love ~ Formation of the Heart

  Part 2a.  Is it possible to love God and a human partner at the same time?

 
photo (used with permission) courtesy of Raising Ecstasy 

"...I meant that question for you." 

Point blank ~ shot straight to the core ~ I was taken aback...

I have read books on this theme more than a thousand times and even wrote about my vocation but how come my friend insists on taking me deeper into my call?
~ from a spiritual companion~
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The last few days after a month break, my friend and I have resumed our reflections on the Purpose Driven Life. This time, we dwelt on Growth (Ch.23 and beyond) and I have discovered in which 'particular' area I remained a child. I need to grow!


I told him yes, it is possible to love both... we need not go further from eros and agape.

"Then, what 'blocks' you from truly loving God... and from engaging in another relationship?" my friend continued... 

I was asked to reconcile my mind and my heart. It is a long journey ~ but am I also willing to start it? 

It is not enough to say that I love. I could have an entire discourse on this and yet have no heart ~ Love is not explained, it is expressed. 

Do it!


"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock.
~ Rev. 3,20 NIV

For several days my friend and I worked on a list of roadblocks to loving. And in each item, he asked: 
      ~ how can I do it? 
      ~ how should I do it? 
      ~ how will it make my life better if I do it?

He took me to the extreme coming up with the craziest ideas to counter the impediments and yet each time I did, I felt the thorns (fears) falling off and the horse blinders (lack of vision and creativity) lifted up.

On the Feast of the Assumption of our Blessed Mother, I took a day of retreat and thanked Jesus for giving me a pair of 'new eyes' ~ a renewed way of living, loving and relating with others. 

You Changed My Life in a Moment
via opendrive.com

 Listen ~ 
welcome the experience ~ let Him transform you.

“We need that love to make us fearless in our devotion."
via Catholic Online 




I took these parts out of my Vision Board and surrendered them to Jesus.

"Visualizing is what you want with your Vision Board, 
Visioning is asking God what He wants from you." 
~ Linda Lee



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*Note: What are the barriers that keep you from truly loving? 
Create your own list ~ identify the barriers ~ what do you do next?
You may download our list as a pattern via opendrive.com.
We suggest you do this activity with a partner or a friend or in groups.





Supplement readings:

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's Encyclical Deus Caritas Est 
Jennifer Hartline, Falling In Love with God: The Greatest Romance via Catholic Online
Peter Kreeft, Love Sees with New Eyes 
See Life Through the Eyes of Love via Positively Present
Scott Peck, The Illusion of Falling In Love, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth
Philosophy of Love: An Overview via Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Step 1: Close Your Eyes ~ in Prayer and Thanksgiving

Part 1. 

“Your face is radiant…” my mom told me this morning...

photo (used with permission) courtesy of Raising Ecstasy 

Closing my eyes, I saw, smelled, heard, tasted and touched Japan... 

...its 'meditative' ambience captivated my heart...
Road to the Imperial Palace
It's the first time I've seen swans!
brother fish welcomed us...
Tokyo Station at night

Some places were familiar ~ my brother and I lingered here taking cups of coffee as we enjoyed the cool breeze nighttime brought...

 across McDonald's overlooking Hotel Mets Komagome where we stayed for four days 
I often slipped outside during breaktime at the Bunkyo Green Court which was just beside the venue of the conference ~ immersed in God's beauty in nature.

Everything carried an admirable and surprising finesse...

...from simple food preparation 






...to complex subway and railway systems...

*photo courtesy of my brother, aot iii
photo courtesy of my brother, aot iii
...to this...

Truly fascinating! 
 The people were extremely organized and disciplined... calm and courteous

 Road to Asakusa 
 ...very creative...


 Okachimachi restaurant ~ with plates on conveyor belt


...with Italian influence...


beside Japan Medical Association, within the grounds of Bunkyo Green Court

Lunch at Denny's Hotel Mets 

Our last day was graced with a Eucharistic celebration. I saw many people of different nationalities (including Filipinos) there... we were 'one!'



 Saint Ignatius Church at Yotsuya 

As I concluded my prayer, I recalled all the beautiful people I met. The heart has its ways of communicating amidst the seeming language barrier...

As I spent time admiring the artistry and fine details of Japan's exterior plane, I was moved to reflect on the ways these things were manifested ~ they cultivated an 'interior life.'

It was almost like saying, "This is what we have... because this is what we are..."

"Che cos'e' l'interiorita'?
E' desiderio, e' cuore, e' attenzione a tutto quello che si vive dentro..." ~ P. Bini



We were there for a purpose...

*photo courtesy of Cecile Maramba-Lazarte, MD


The Journal of the ASEAN Federation of Endocrine Societies, where I worked, was formally included in the list of the journals of the Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)!




These were glimpses of Christ's Transfiguration... the Lord has manifested His ways beyond my imagination...

I am humbled in many ways by His great great love...

God placed me there for a purpose...

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Taking a peek at Part 2 on Vision Board with Ms. Linda Lee...