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Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year 2011...A New Heart...A New Hope...

“...Rise thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee.”
– Ephesians 5:14, Douay-Rheims Bible

"Waking up is unpleasant, you know. You are nice and comfortable in bed. It's irritating to be woken up. That's the reason the wise guru will not attempt to wake people up. I hope I'm going to be wise here and make no attempt whatsoever to wake you up if you are asleep. It is really none of my business, even though I say to you at times, "Wake up!" My business is to do my thing, to dance my dance. If you profit from it, fine; if you don't, too bad! As the Arabs say, "The nature of rain is the same, but it makes thorns grow in the marshes and flowers in the gardens."

- Anthony De Mello, SJ

As I take a closer step into the New Year 2011, I am reminded by a Jesuit priest that I must always stay awake of God’s presence in my journey through life. I will choose to constantly cultivate and nurture a heart that knows God and a heart that is alive with love. This realization, I pray, will lead to a more total inner transformation and more hope for the coming year. From the beautiful reflections by the Catholic priest and writer, Father Henri Nouwen, I humbly quote…

We lived in a world where people don’t know much about hope. We know about wishes. The whole Christmas period is full of wishes. I wish this, or I want that. It’s very concrete: I want a toy or a car or a new job. These are all very specific requests.

But hope is precisely to say, “I don’t know how God is going to fulfil His promises, but I know that He will, and therefore I can live in the presence with the knowledge that He is with me.” I can then know and trust that the deepest desires of my being will be fulfilled. This way keeps the future very open.

Hope has nothing to do with optimism. Many people think that hope is optimism, looking at the positive side of life. But Jesus doesn’t speak like that at all. When Jesus talks about the future or the end of the world, He describes wars, people in anguish, nation rising against nation, and earthquakes.

There’s no place where Jesus says, “One day it will all be wonderful.” He talks about enormous agony, but He says, “You, you (my beloved ones) pray unceasingly that you will keep your heart focused on Me. Stand with your head erect in the presence of the Son of Man. Don’t get distracted by it all. Remain focused.” Don’t think that things will clean up, and finally there won’t be any more pain. Jesus is saying that the world is dark, and will remain dark.

If you live with hope, you can live very much in the present because you can nurture the footprints of God in your heart and life. You already have a sense of what is to come. And the whole of the spiritual life is saying that God is right with us, right now, so that we can wait for His coming, and this waiting is a waiting in hope. But because we wait with hope we know that what we are waiting for is already here. We have to nurture that.

Here and now matters because God is a God of the present. And God is God of the present because He is God of Eternity.

Hope is to open yourself up to let God do His work in you in ways that transcend your imagination. As Jesus said, “When you are young you put your own belt on and went where you wanted to go. But when you grow spiritually old, then you stretch out your hands and let others and God lead you where you rather wouldn’t go.” That’s hope, to let yourself be led to new places.”

Hope means to keep living
amid desperation
and to keep humming
in the darkness

Hoping is knowing that there is love
it is trust in tomorrow
it is falling asleep
and waking again
when the sun rises.

In the midst of a gale at sea,
it is to discover land.

In the eyes of another
it is to see that you are understood.

As long as there is still hope
There will also be prayer

And God will be holding you
in God’s hands.”

With this assurance, I must wake up as God continues to prompt me in the quietness of my heart to simply place all my trust in Him.

To all fellow pilgrims, I bid you a Blessed New Year 2011 filled with New Consciousness, New Awareness…most of all a New Hope for a New Life.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Pater Noster...

“Imagine that there are two men standing side by side reciting the Lord’s Prayer. One of these men is a fervent Christian; the other is an atheist. Naturally speaking, they are doing exactly the same thing. They are both speaking words in a human voice in the normal human way of speaking. They are both mouthing exactly the same words. This is the natural situation of these two men.

However, supernaturally, the reality is quite different. The Christian prays. He is speaking to his loving Father. The atheist is simply uttering words. The Christian is not involved in anything miraculous, but he is performing a supernatural act – based on a natural one.”

William A Meninger – The Loving Search for God

Our Father,
Who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen.

Pater noster, qui es in cœlis;
sanctificatur nomen tuum:
Adveniat regnum tuum;
fiat voluntas tua,
sicut in cœlo, et in terra.
Panem nostrum cotidianum da nobis hodie:
Et dimitte nobis debita nostra,
sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris:
et ne nos inducas in tentationem:
sed libera nos a malo. Amen

As we approach towards the beginning of another God gifted year, let us gently ponder in our hearts today that no matter where we are, who we are, what the language, we all pray to the same Father in Heaven....we are His creation all the same.

The greatest treasure anyone can ever be gifted, by God's merciful grace, in this earthly life is becoming aware of, and being in a relationship with, the God who loves us so much and have our names written on the palms of His hands.

"See, upon the palms of my hands I have written your name..."  - (Isaiah 49:16 - New American Bible)

"You shall be my people, and I will be your God." - (Jeremiah 30:22 - NAB)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Freedom to be...

Am I free? Am I developing the freedom God gave me?

We are “…living in a society that creates alienation. Many people do not realize this. We are offered many superficial choices, which engender the delusion that we are free. But actually we are pushed around a great deal by the media and by other people’s expectations and demands.

…(W)e are never allowed to be fully ourselves; we do not belong to ourselves. The real personal meaning of our lives is not allowed to emerge. We are dominated by someone else’s ideas, tastes, desires: speak this way, act this way, see these things, do these things, have these things.

…This is our very existence. If we would be truly free, we must choose to be our authentic self, but only for ourselves as the subject of this being. …True freedom lies in being completely open, being a complete “yes” to God and to every manifestation of His love, His life and His beauty.

If you want to identify me, ask me not where I live or what I like to eat or how I comb my hair, but ask me what I think I am living for, in detail, and ask me what I think is keeping me from living fully the thing I want to live for. Between these two answers you can determine the identity of any person. The better answer he has, the more of a person he is.

We cannot assent to the message of God if our minds and hearts are enslaved. The highest form of freedom is found in obedience to God. Christian faith frees us from the world’s myths, idolatries and confusions.”

M Basil Pennington, O.C.S.O, Thomas Merton - The Quest for True Freedom

As I was reflecting on the pages of this book, I am reminded that we are all born pure.  But along the life's paths, we get the extent that we simply forget who we truly are - gifts of God...created in the image of God...most importantly, loved by God and radiate the light of Christ...  Let us choose to share the light of Christ with all the people we meet...companions...pilgrims...let us give love freely.

Journeying Home...

"Do you realize that Jesus is there in the tabernacle expressly for you - for you alone? He burns with the desire to come into your heart...don't listen to the demon, laugh at him, and go without fear to receive the Jesus of peace and love...

"Receive Communion often, very often...there you have the sole remedy, if you want to be cured. Jesus has not put this attraction in your heart for nothing..."

"The guest of our soul knows our misery; He comes to find an empty tent within us - that is all He asks."

- St. Therese of Lisieux

Breathe in the Will of God...into the new year

"Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate."

"Cheap grace arose out of man's desire to be saved, but to do so without becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ."

"Costly grace is the gospel which must be sought again and again and again, the gift which must be asked for, the door at which a man must knock. Such grace is costly because it calls us to follow, and it is grace because it calls us to follow Jesus Christ. It is costly because it costs a man his life, and it is grace because it gives a man the only true life. It is costly because it condemns sin, and grace because it justifies the sinner. Above all, it is costly because it cost God the life of his Son: 'Ye were bought at a price', and what has cost God much cannot be cheap for us. Above all, it is grace because God did not reckon his Son too dear a price to pay for our life, but delivered him up for us. Costly grace is the Incarnation of God."

"Who stands firm? Only the one for whom the final standard is not his reason, his principles, his conscience, his freedom, his virtue, but who is ready to sacrifice all these, when in faith and sole allegiance to God he is called to obedient and responsible action: the responsible person, whose life will be nothing but an answer to God's question and call."

"To be silent does not mean to be inactive; rather it means to breathe in the will of God, to listen attentively and be ready to obey."

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer
(a minister in the Lutheran church, stood in courageous opposition to the Fuehrer (Adolf Hitler) and his policies. He was executed by the Nazis in the Flossenbürg concentration camp in 1945)

As pilgrims on this earth, we are all called into a communion of obedience...sharing the sufferings of God in the world.  God may not give us everything we want, but He always fulfill His promises, leading us along the best and straightest paths to Himself...He is our faithful companion on this journey.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Shadow of the Christmas

“The story of every human life begins with birth and ends with death. In the Person of Christ, however, it was His death that was first and His life that was last. The scripture describes Him as "the Lamb slain as it were, from the beginning of the world." He was slain in intention by the first sin and rebellion against God. It was not so much that His birth cast a shadow on His life and thus led to His death; it was rather that the Cross was first, and cast its shadow back to His birth. His has been the only life in the world that was ever lived backward. As the flower in the crannied wall tells the poet of nature, and as the atom is the miniature of the solar system, so too, His birth tells the mystery of the gibbet. He went from the known to the known, from the reason of His coming manifested by His name "Jesus" or "Savior" to the fulfillment of His coming, namely, His death on the Cross.”
Fulton J. Sheen, Life of Christ

We hear sweet carols, we see pine trees, silvery decorations and shimmering lights, busy shopping malls and traffic congestions…it’s the festive season, its Christmas…more accurately the “commercialized Xmas” (where CHRIST is, more often than not, removed [replaced with an ‘X’] and conveniently forgotten in this season of merry making)

The unwelcomed Babe of Bethlehem; the harking of heralding angels and the simple poor shepherds watching their flock in the quiet of the night are simply forgotten; true reminders of the birth of Christ and the purpose of His coming.

The words of Bishop Fulton Sheen calls us to pause and reflect on the silhouette of the CROSS overshadowing the manger below the Bethlehem star. Where there is no room in the inn (our hearts), let us make room…

More often than not, the “noise” of the season has caused us to forget that the Savior came to fulfill the will of our Father, not to live but to die, that all mankind everywhere might gain eternal life. This is the true reason for the season. This is why the holy day of Christmas is ranked second to Easter in the Roman calendar. Lent which begins with Ash Wednesday is but a few weeks away, in early March 2011, climaxing with the celebration of Easter; new life, the resurrection, the only HOPE that sustains us in our journey.

During Christmas, we are radically reminded of the preciousness, yet fragility of life. What is life? It is like a vapor, which is dispersed by a breath of wind and is no more. We all know that we must die but many are deceived by picturing to themselves death at such a distance as if it could never come near to us.

We must be still to be aware, to be conscious, to be mindful that the life of all mankind is short. Life is like the life of a blade of grass. Death comes, the grass withers and life ends, and the flower falls of all greatness and all worldly goods and possessions. We suddenly become no more. In every step, in every breath we draw, we approach nearer to our earthly death.

How often we hear of people, while they are busy with worldly pursuits are surprised by death, which cut short of everything else. All the things of this world vanish – the possessions, the power, the title, the rank, the grandeurs, the amusements, the entertainment and most of all, the noise of the world. The most enviable fortune, the most valuable possessions, the biggest stashed away wealth, the most exalted of worldly titles loses their splendor when they are viewed from the bed of death. We will come to know which of this happiness are true and false when we are about to draw our last breath – come too late?

Like Jesus Christ, we must be aware this Christmas season, that we are all born to die. The proper time to prepare for the hour of death is during this life, during this pilgrimage back home. Time is too short so let us act on those things that will truly matter to bring about our eternal life. We must take time to be quiet, be still, to simplify our life.

At the end of the day, we are all pilgrims here on earth so we must help each other by offering our companionship to lighten the burden and brighten the path of each other’s journey back home. That way, our Christmas will become much more meaningful and like Christ, we will rise up on the last day in Paradise.

Friday, December 24, 2010

A Simple CHRISTmas Reflection

"Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, and yet he must be in it, his place is with those others for whom there is no room. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present in this world."

~ Thomas Merton

“God came to us because he wanted to join us on the road, to listen to our story, and to help us realize that we are not walking in circles but moving towards the house of peace and joy. This is the great mystery of Christmas that continues to give us comfort and consolation: we are not alone on our journey. The God of love who gave us life sent his only Son to be with us at all times and in all places, so that we never have to feel lost in our struggles but always can trust that he walks with us.
The challenge is to let God be who he wants to be. A part of us clings to our aloneness and does not allow God to touch us where we are most in pain. Often we hide from him precisely those places in ourselves where we feel guilty, ashamed, confused, and lost. Thus we do not give him a chance to be with us where we feel most alone.
Christmas is the renewed invitation not to be afraid and to let him - whose love is greater than our own hearts and minds can comprehend - be our companion"

- Henri Nouwen

“It is Christmas every time you let God love others through you . . . yes, it is Christmas every time you smile at your brother and offer him your hand.”

~ Mother Teresa of Calcutta

May you and your family have a most meaningful CHRISTmas celebration this year, filled simply with peace, joy, good health and the gentle touch of the Infant Jesus in your heart!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Indeed, Life is a Pilgrimage...

“I am a stranger upon earth,” (Psalm 118:19)

 While we live in this life, we are so many pilgrims who wander up and down upon the earth, far from our country, which is Heaven, where the Lord awaits us, that we may rejoice forever in His glorious countenance. “While we are in the body,” writes the Apostle, “we are absent from the Lord.” If then we love God, we ought to have a continual desire to leave this place of exile by being separated from the body, that we may go and see Him. It was for this that St. Paul ever sighed as he said, “We are willing to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Corinthians 5:8)

Before the common redemption of us, miserable sons of Adam, the way of approach to God was closed up, but Jesus Christ, by His death, has obtained for us the grace of having it in our power to become the sons (and daughters) of God and thus has opened to us the gates by which we can have access, as children, to our Father, Almighty God.

On this account, St. Paul says, “Now, therefore, you are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints.” (Ephesians 2:19) Thus, so long as we are in the grace of God, we enjoy the citizenship of Paradise and belong to the family of God. St. Augustine says, “Nature, corrupted with sin, produces citizens of an earthly city; but grace, which frees our nature from sin, makes us citizens of a heavenly country and vessels of mercy.”

This fact coerced David to say, “I am a stranger on earth; hide not Thy commandments from me.” (Psalm 118:119) O Lord, I am a pilgrim upon this earth; teach me to keep Thy precepts, which are the road by which I may reach my country in Heaven. It is not wonderful that the wicked should wish to live forever in this world, for they justly fear that they shall pass from the pains of this life to the eternal and infinitely more terrible pains of Hell. But how can he who loves God and has a moral certainty that he is in the state of grace, desire to go on living in this vale of tears, in continual bitterness, in straits of conscience, in peril of perishing? How can he help sighing, to depart at once to unite himself with God in a blessed eternity, where there is no danger of his destroying himself?

Souls which love God cry out with David, “Woe is me, for my banishment is prolonged.” (Psalm 119:5) Therefore it is that the Saints have continually had this prayer upon their lips: “Thy kingdom come: quickly, O Lord, quickly carry us to Thy kingdom!” Let us make speed, then, as the Apostle exhorts us, to enter that kingdom where we shall find perfect peace and contentment: “Let us hasten to enter into that rest.” (Hebrews 4:11) Let us hasten, I say, with desire and not cease to walk onwards till we come to that blessed country which God prepares for them that love Him.

The Soul Sanctified“He that runs,” says St. John Chrysostom, “pays not heed to the spectators, but hasten on his course.” Therefore, the Saint argues, the longer our life has been, the more we should hasten with good works to win the palm. Thus, our one constant prayer for relief from the troubles and trials which we endure in this life ought to be this, “Thy kingdom come,” Lord: may Thy kingdom speedily come, where united eternally to Thee and loving Thee face-to-face with all our powers, we shall no longer know fear or danger of falling away. And when we find ourselves afflicted with the labors or dishonors of the world, let us comfort ourselves with the thought of the great reward which God prepares for those who suffer for the love of Him. “Rejoice in that day and be glad, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.” (Luke 6:23)

(meditation extracted from The Day Sanctified, 1873, republished as The Soul Sanctified)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010 Pearls

One of the most fascinating of all jewels…is the pearl. A pearl with all of its luster and beauty is worn during the hours of entertainment and enjoyment. We associate pearls with times of pleasure, but did you ever stop to consider how a cultured pearl is made…genuine, cultured pearls produced inside of an oyster. …consider how the making of a pearl contrasts strangely with its use.

No other jewel has such a fascinating story as a pearl. A pearl is a symbol of trouble that has been healed. If there has been no trouble, there would have been no pearl.

Scientists are in agreement that pearls are the product of pain. Sometimes the pain is caused by a microscopic worm and sometimes by a boring parasite. The shell of the oyster is chipped or pierced and a foreign object like a speck of sand gets inside. Immediately, all the resources of the tiny oyster rush to the spot when the breach was made. In that moment of danger, and only in that moment, the oyster discharges a secretion to close the breach and save its life. The speck of sand is covered by the secretion. The wound is healed, and a pearl is made.

Most of us have experienced what it means to be pierced and wounded by the troubles of life. Do we turn our troubles to triumph, or do they triumph over us? Suffering adds a maturing dimension to life.

At the famous Passion play at Oberammergau, Germany (, the characters in the play earn their livelihood as woodcarvers, carving statues of Biblical characters. ...At a woodcarver’s shop…there are …piles of ordinary blocks of wood. The woodcarver selects one, picks up a hatchet, and starts hacking away. The chips fly in every direction. Then he takes tools sharper then knives, and he cuts and carves until it seems as though he is cutting away a whole block of wood. If the block of wood were alive, it would kick and scream and say something like this, “Stop that at once! You are killing me!”

But out of the chopping and cutting, there finally emerges a St. Peter or a St. Paul or a St. John. Out of suffering and hardship comes character.

Suffering and suffering may weaken and even destroy some people’s relationship with God. While, on the other hand, trouble and suffering only deepen other’s relationship with God. Trouble has the possibility of greatness of the soul. It was a blinded John Milton who wrote Paradise Lost. It was an imprisoned John Bunyan who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress. It was a deafened Beethoven who composed the immortal 9th Symphony and it was an imprisoned, persecuted Apostle Paul, “beaten with Roman rods, lashed with Roman whips”, who wrote in his second letter to the Corinthians (v3-4), “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all consolation, who consoles us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to console those who are in any affliction with the consolation with which we ourselves are consoled by God.”

By the merciful grace of God for all his children, our troubles can be turned into triumph.

(extracted from a sermon by Bob Ralls, The United Methodist Church)

In nómine Patris et Fílii et Spíritus Sancti. Amen.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Becoming a Blessing to Others...

I remember my friends, in the rat-race (employment, they call it), who forcibly and painstakingly drag their feet to work each morning. It’s just that the office environment saps all the energy from them, reducing them to a mere piece of instrument, with no emotions, to be constantly exploited and abused by the powers that be; their superiors.

How can life be simple and quiet for them, when daily, these people are being mocked by the so-called “bosses” who professed themselves to be more “superior” than the rest (sadly, some of these bosses often term themselves so-called “religious´; part time, I’d say)? Isn’t this the dilemma many of us face daily? The paradox of life – need the money, must tolerate the cancer of the office.

When we are young sometime ago, we are taught by our parents, “Do good things. Don't do bad things.” We all know what this all means. But as many of us progress upwards in the rat-race world, we forget and get caught in the moment and choose unwisely. Instead of our lives being a blessing to others, we become a persecution to everyone else.

How simple and wonderful life can be if we could just remember this piece advice. Due to such forgetfulness or intent, many lives of our so-called subordinates may have taken a fatal twist, perhaps even families destroyed – simply due to our abusive exercise of powers delegated to us by virtue of the position and rank in office.

One wonders whether “bosses” can sleep well at night amidst their cancerous display of powers behind the camouflage of performance and profits – in the commercial world, they termed this as being “professional”. What is professionalism when we do not choose to see the goodness in others, do not want to be patient enough to bring out the best in others – do not play our part to make this world a little easier for others, a little better, lighten the burden…instead, many choose to play judge and condemn… How often do we keep going, on a daily basis, caught on the treadmill of deadlines without a hint of awareness of what is happening within or around us?

A great Zen monk Thich Nhat Hanh (also a good friend of Thomas Merton) once said, "It is said that God has created man in his own image. But it may be that humankind has created God in the image of humankind." It is sad that humankind’s interpretation of God today has come to constitute the blatant abuse of power, material possessions, money, position, rank, status, injustice…and corruption.

At the end of the day, in all the simplicity and fragility of this short life, God is pure love and present in each one of our fellow human sister and brother. God is always present to us and in us. St Paul wrote in his First Letter to the Corinthians verse 13:7, “Love…bears all things…hopes all things, endures all things.”

I recall the words of Mother Teresa, the Blessed Catholic nun…

"People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway.
For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway."

"I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things."

Therefore, whether one is an employee or a “boss” of this world, we are all part of the same human race and we must always remember and ponder in the quietness of our hearts, the simple wisdom, “Do good things. Don't do bad things.” Life then, can become a more meaningful journey and we, in turn, become a blessing to others; our fellow pilgrims.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Waves of Life...

"As soon as we are alone,...inner chaos opens up in us. This chaos can be so disturbing and so confusing that we can hardly wait to get busy again. Entering a private room and shutting the door, therefore, does not mean that we immediately shut out all our inner doubts, anxieties, fears, bad memories, unresolved conflicts, angry feelings and impulsive desires. On the contrary, when we have removed our outer distraction, we often find that our inner distraction manifest themselves to us in full force. We often use the outer distractions to shield ourselves from the interior noises. This makes the discipline of solitude all the more important."

— Henri J.M. Nouwen

In the quiet inner silence, we contemplate on the present and the truth of who we are will be revealed in time. This time of silence can either be voluntarily taken amidst all our busy-ness or forced upon us by some terminal disease or even death within the family or loved ones.

When we choose to carry and surf the wave of faith and hope, living life simply in the solitude of our hearts, always pondering on the present, being grateful for what we have, seeing the goodness in others - we will understand who we are in due time, we will know the purpose of our life and find strength to live it to the fullest; living it for God and radiating our light on others; making this world a little bit better - living a life that matters.

At the end of the day, when all is said and done, what is it that truly matters to us before we breathe our last? That is what must sustain us, this is what we must be living for in each present moment of our lives.

"Keeping a journal has taught me that there is not so much new in your life as you sometimes think. When you re-read your journal you find out that your latest discovery is something you already found out five years ago. Still, it is true that one penetrates deeper and deeper into the same ideas and the same experiences."

— Thomas Merton

Friday, December 10, 2010

Dashing through life...

As I listen to the familiar Christmas tune, "dashing through the snow...", I recall a meaningful reflection I read sometime ago in 3 Minutes a Day by The Christophers. I would like to share this with you.

What's the measure of a life? This excerpt from an anonymous poem that appeared in Bits & Pieces offers a new slant.

I read of a man who stood up to speak
At the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on her tombstone
From the beginning to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth
And spoke the following date with tears.
But said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between the years.
For that dash represents all the time
That she had spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved her know
What that little line is worth...

We don't choose our birth date or death date, but we do decide how we live the the in-between. Make the most of your life.

Blessed Advent to all, fellow pilgrims, wherever you are.

"Each year, God asks us to shed one more coat of awareness, one more dream state and come alive to the vision of God’s plan for each of us and the world-at-large.

The older we get, the harder this is to do. As children we had a sense of wonder. Our eyes were wide open and drinking in the fascinating gifts we beheld…Our thirsty souls could not have enough of the wonders of creation.

Then, somehow, we grew too old to dream. We tired of the abundance of the world, or at least grew weary of keeping up with the feast of life, and stepped away from the banquet of life.

The natural gift of wonder God gave us as children was meant to be kept alive.…Instead we let wonder go to sleep. We entered the typical dream state of most humans.

Why else does Jesus tell us today, ‘Stay awake!’…Advent says, ‘Wake up and realize the gifts of love you have received.

…Psychology says, ‘Let go.’ Spirituality says, ‘Wake up.’ In both cases there is a withdrawal from the busyness of daily life (our dream state) and a waking up to the subconscious and spiritual depths of ourselves."

Rev. Alfred McBride, O. Praem.,THE PRIEST, Oct. ‘87, p.26

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Advent, a time of waiting and preparing ourselves for the Lord's coming, as the incarnate God of love.

This short 28-day period can easily pass by without much significance for many of us amidst the “noise” of career-building, wealth-accumulation, commercialism of X’mas (see how the world so easily remove “Christ” out of the season?) and perhaps, social-networking. So many distractions...we become indifferent to the season.

Advent is a season of readiness, getting prepared, alert and awake…for what? For the coming of the Lord…into our hearts, into our lives. We must be conscious not be distracted by secular pursuits of the world. This season is the time for God, to listen to him in prayer, in scriptural reflection, for repentance… It is also a time to respond to his call, his invitation, unique for each one of us. In doing so, we trust that he Lord will bless us...will lead us along this life's journey.

Scripture tells us, “But they that hope in the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall take wings as eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:31 - Douay-Rheims)

Many a times, in responding, the seemingly long wait for assurance, for his blessing…our minds wonder, did we truly hear him or was it merely our human thoughts fooling us? Our human condition plants the seed of doubt in our hearts… We lose confidence…we become disillusioned…

Scripture continues to reassure us and goes on to comfort us, “The Lord is good to them that hope in him, to the soul that seeketh him.” (Lamentations 3:25 - Douay-Rheims)

We must continue to be alert and wait for his coming into our lives, wait for him to lead us, to bless us abundantly. We must never lose hope. Our Lord is merciful and faithful. Surrender the distractions of the world to him...and he will give you rest and lead you.

Yes Lord, in all our weaknesses, imperfections, complexity and noisiness, we continue to ponder and echo the prayer of the psalmist, “Defeat does not come to those who trust in you, but to those who are quick to rebel against you.” (Psalm 25:3 – Good News Translation) Help us to remain simple and quiet for your coming into our lives.

Jesus, we will place our trust in you this Advent, waiting for your blessings.

“The certainty of Christian hope lies beyond passion and beyond knowledge. Therefore we must sometimes expect our hope to come in conflict with darkness, desperation and ignorance. Therefore, too, we must remember that Christian optimism is not a perpetual sense of euphoria, an indefectible comfort in whose presence neither anguish nor tragedy can possibly exist. We must not strive to maintain a climate of optimism by the mere suppression of tragic realities. Christian optimism lies in a hope of victory that transcends all tragedy: a victory in which we pass beyond tragedy to glory with Christ crucified and risen.”
- Thomas Merton – Advent: Hope or Delusion?

Friday, December 3, 2010


"Simplicity of life requires that we be honest about who and what we are. We live a simple life when we do not pretend to be something we are not.

Simplicity is honesty, but it is also detachment. Honesty enables me to discover the hard truth that simplicity of life is not frugality of life. It is life unencumbered, life free of the things we own so that they do not own us.

Simplicity is openness to the beauty of the present, whatever its shape, whatever its lack. It enables us to be conscious of where we are and to stop mourning where we are not.

Simplicity and serenity, simplicity and honesty, simplicity and openness, simplicity and acceptance are synonyms too long kept secret."

What is a simple life in a world and a society where having enough is never quite enough? What is the value of simplicity?

This is what becoming fully human is all about...

Joan Chittister, Benedictine sister, author - 2005

Life's a Symphony

Here’s something I came across from Anthony De Mello, he shares:

“Happiness is enoughness.” The secret is to be content with what comes our way, rejecting nothing and hankering for nothing. The great virtue of contentedness. To take things as they are and to imitate the birds in the sky and the lilies on the field.”

I am reminded of a friend who is down with terminal cancer. A fellow pilgrim who has been blogging ( - sharing the journey with others and perhaps, to keep one’s own hope alive, find daily strength, purpose to go on. When one carries such a dis-ease, which does not discriminate, one must be brave to walk the lonely path, struggling with having to heal oneself and remaining strong for the loved ones. Yes, life can be harsh and unfair… the quiet can be deafening...

Tony goes on to share, “A classical symphony. The perfect experience. A symphony has no purpose, no meaning. There is also no clinging to it and no hastening it. One does not wait till the end to enjoy it, but takes in every note, every chord as it comes and lets it go to welcome the next in uninterrupted flow. Any attempt to stop the performance, any “attachment” to a single note, will ruin the symphony…. The less the attachment, the greater the love.”

Sometimes in life, we fool ourselves to think that we have found the perfect note or keep on pushing ourselves to find that perfect note; not realizing that life, in all its richness offers us a variety of notes, which, at the end of it all, becomes a great symphony. A symphony, only if we drop all attachments, possessions, presuppositions, clinging, unforgiveness. The less the attachments, the more we love, the more we live life to the fullest, the more we live in the present, the more we are healed; savoring just the chord of today - not worrying about tomorrow's note.

We all have to end this life one day but right now, my friend may be the luckier person, by the grace of God, to savor every chord that comes along and hopefully be the symphony that will inspire others to listen so as to be able to play out their own - a symphony that I pray, will last a little while longer, by the merciful grace of God.

Tony goes on to say, "Yield to the currents of life...unencumbered by baggage." We must learn to travel light as this pilgrimage journey can be long and the gate narrow.

"How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it!"
- Gospel According to Saint Matthew, Douay-Rheims Bible

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism

The Tide Is Turning Toward Catholicism

This easy-to-read, 300-pager book will help Catholics treasure what others are finding in our church; providing an accurate account, offering profound hope and satisfying the hunger for the truth. The first sparks of this book came to the author during the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, under the disguise of the very words entitling this book.
David J. Hartline is the editor of a popular online journal called Catholic Report ( He believes that we “need to hear all the ‘under the radar’ good news and great events happening in the Catholic Church” throughout the world – events that, more often than not, go unnoticed. As such, he tells us the largely untold story of why the Catholic Church is gaining in strength and appeal. The fundamental thrust of this book is to inform and encourage the reader and to facilitate “the springtime of evangelization” for the church.

The book passionately begins with the last few years of Pope John Paul II’s papacy – highlighting aspects of his life, his leadership during the dark days of the church when scandals of abuse penetrated the church. As the pontiff lay dying…huge crowds outside, many of them young…”For years I came to you,” he said. “Now you come to me.” At the pope’s funeral, the world witnessed the signs, symbols and rituals of the Catholic Church; the world was mesmerized when they heard the chanting of the Litany of the Saints. The author begins his reflection that the tide did not start to turn until the death of John Paul II.

The book then goes on, shedding much light, with many, many thought provoking facts to show how the Holy Spirit is still active and very much alive today in the Catholic Church since the very first Pentecost - touching on the laity, youths, traditions, clergy, sacraments, Sunday worship, Mary, the Eucharist, the Bible, education, mega churches…every where the tide is turning. There is even a short chapter on the Crusades – what were the Crusaders up against and what does it mean for us today?
A chapter on the Catholic vote will help introduce and highlight how traditional Catholic values are working into the electoral process, voting on many social issues. The author goes on to provide interesting facts about Marian apparitions and the increased devotion to Mary. The rosary, the author quotes Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “…is the book of the blind, where souls…enact the greatest drama of love the world has ever known…the power of the rosary is beyond description.”

In addition, the author also shares his view about influences that creep into the church – what are we to do about these – literature, music, amongst many others? He assures us that the foundation of the Catholic Church remains unchanged despite all these winds of change – “the foundation made of rock best stands the test of time.”

Storm of Glory...God's Calling...

I stumbled on this beautiful book entitled, "Storm of Glory" at a recent warehouse sale. This was John Beever’s first biography of St Therese of Lisieux, initially published in 1949. By the grace of God, I discovered a hardcover copy of the 1950 reprint with illustrations at a local used bookshop recently.

The names of Louis Martin and Zelie Marie Guerin would probably sound unfamiliar to most of us. Louis was turned away from the monastery of the Great St. Bernard, whereas Zelie was denied entrance to the Convent of the Sisters of St Vincent de Paul.

This family of a successful watchmaker and a lace maker stricken with breast cancer bore 9 children; 7 girls and 2 boys. However, within 3 years, the two boys, a five year old girl, and a six-and-a-half week old infant girl all died. The last child was weak and frail and the family already so used to death, was preparing for yet another death.
Today, people know this little girl as St. Therese, the "Little Flower" because her life is a testimony of her being like the simple wild flowers in the forests and fields, unnoticed by the greater population, yet growing and giving glory to God.

This 231-page book expresses beautifully how she, within her short life (died at the age of 24 years and 9 months of tuberculosis), understood herself before the Lord - simple and hidden, but blooming where God had planted her – keeping things simple in all ways, encountering God in the simple details of life. She never did like long prayers and even fell asleep during a community prayer session. “Heaven” was the very first word she could read.

For many of us today who feel that we do not have any talent for holiness, and tend to lose hope trying – contented to being just a mediocre attendee in church, you will truly be able to relate to Therese, being physically weak herself, stubborn and sometimes psychologically vulnerable. She humbles herself with the perception that great saints were giants and that she was merely an “obscure grain of sand”. This book provides inspiration of the fact that we all have many opportunities (some we perceive to be too small) of grace in our daily lives and that there is simply no excuse for “tidak apa”-ness” (indifference) in the practice of our Catholic faith in our daily lives.

This book echoes her belief that, “Our Lord does not call those who are worthy, but those whom He will.” She adds on, “I am a nobody. I did nothing great. Much of my life was spent in the laundry…looking after the linen…I was not learned. I read very few books…I was a little soul, an ordinary soul. But I loved God…”

As this captivating book is out-of-print, used copies can easily be found at these sites, amongst many others:,, or

Many, many other great books on this lovely saint can similarly be found.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Meaning of Life...

We Live: To Know, Love, and Serve God

Questions such as, “Why am I here?”, “What is the meaning of life?”, “Why is the world such a mess?” are not often considered in our journey along today’s crazy and sometimes mixed-up world. More often than not, these questions will only surface (hopefully) when we experience some significant setbacks, such as the diagnosis of some terminal illness or perhaps the death of a loved one.

Amidst the “busy-ness” of our personal lives, the pursuit of our careers, never-ending “doing” of so many other things and the seduction of endless worldly gadgets, it is challenging to find a little quiet time for spiritual reading; essential for the formation of our own faith and spiritual life.

In our pursuit of “success”, the depths of our human heart continues to echo what St. Augustine said centuries ago, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
This simple but effective book aims to satisfy the desire for your personal spiritual growth and faith enrichment; at your own convenience and pace. At the end of it all, you will surely improve the knowledge of your faith and in the process, radiate more joy from knowing, loving and serving God a little bit more intimately. There is a familiar saying that goes, “transformed people, transform lives”.

This book is very reader-friendly and takes one, regardless of your background, through God’s plan for our lives, reaffirming whether there is a God to be known and leading on to knowing God through the scripture, the sacraments and various moral teachings of the church. There are also straight-talk about issues like abortion, human freedom and social justice. Most impressive of all, the book takes you through, chapter-by-chapter, each of the Ten Commandments, more appropriately called, the laws of love because it originates from the loving heart of God.

The simplicity of this book lies with the clarity in which the author, Father Oscar Lukefahr, shares each topic; inter-twined with his entertaining style. The book also incorporates reflections for study and pondering, including a workbook to help understand and appreciate the main points of each chapter.

Through this book, the reader will understand that to know, love and serve God is never pointless. It leads to a promise of abundant life here and now. It is not enough to know about God. We must know God.

You may not be able to find this book in any of the local bookshop. Best of all, you can request for this good book, absolutely free-of-charge, online from Catholic Home Study Service at

Catholic Home Study Service, has been offering a whole series of free courses on the Catholic Faith worldwide for more than seventy years. A simple enrolment is required but that is only to facilitate the dispatch of the free reading materials to you and subsequent optional submission of the completed workbook, whereby you will be awarded with a certificate.

Now, anyone, young or not-so-young, can take the first step, to discover or re-discover the treasures of the catholic faith, scripture and teachings of the Church. In the words of Mother Teresa, “To keep a lamp burning we have to keep putting oil in it”.

So, make that pit-stop and re-fuel now!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

God...Seem Distant...

In life, we experience so many demands and distractions. Many a time, it is difficult to find God; difficult to look for stillness where God is found.

There is always an urgency in everything - too "active", some people say, cramming more and more into our lives. Most of the electronic gadgets today help us to cram even more!

But then, what is the purpose of all these? Is our life more enriched?

The challenge is to remove the distractions. Find the stillness and the calm. Only then can we draw closer to the source of all life; draw closer to God.

The media tells us everyday that our civilization abounds in violence, sex crimes, pornography, corporate scandals, child abuse, abortion, self-interest and self-indulgence. There is a constant and gradual erosion of moral truths and values. Where is the love?

Amidst the hurly-burly of life, God seems infinitely distant and exceedingly remote. The secular main stream media and free internet blogs have, most of the time to gain popularity, pushed God completely out of our lives.

Is there then a christian way of life in the world?

At every moment of the day and night, somewhere in the world, in a monastery somewhere, there are contemplative communities constantly praying for God's mercy and forgiveness of sins of the rest of the world.

These contemplatives live their souls cradled in the hand of God - unceasingly contemplating, worshipping and praying - in silence and solitude.

Prayer is the root of christian life. We must live, above petty squabblings, with, in and for God in prayer, silence and solitude.

Two reflections from the ancient fathers for today:

"Sometimes perhaps on a still night, you will have gazed up at the inexpressible beauty of the stars and thought of the author of the universe. You will have wondered who it is sowed such flowers so prettily in the sky..."

St. Basil (329 - 379)

"God has given the universe a musical arrangement. He has placed the dissonent elements under the discipline of harmony that the whole world may be a symphony in his ears...He has orchestrated this pure concert of the universe."

St. Clement of Alexandria (150 - 215)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Surrender...Get Rest...

"Many difficulties are really created by ourselves, we hurry and worry, and almost think it a virtue to be impatient. The best way to overcome a difficulty is certainly not to worry. The saints did not become perfect in a day, it took them a long time to overcome all their difficulties. But they were amazingly cheerful."

Father Daniel Considine, SJ

Today, choose to surrender all to the Lord...

The Lord said,"Come to me all you that labor and are burdened, and I will refresh you. Take up my yoke upon you, and learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart: And you shall find rest to your souls.  For my yoke is sweet and my burden light."

Matthew 11:28-30, Douay-Rheims

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Be Silent...Feel God...

"We need silence to be able to touch souls. The essential thing is not what we say but what God says to us and through us."

Father Karl Rahner, SJ

We are continually distracted by the noise of the world...the radio, the news, music, traffic, conversations, discussions, reminders, deadlines, gossips...within us, thoughts, worries, concerns, restlessness, lack of peace, lack of tranquility.

Unless we make a conscious effort to stop, reflect and be present, our life will simply past us by.

We are made in God's image and ought to reflect this image to others.

Let's make time to pause today.

Be silent and feel the gentle breeze...God's presence is within us.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Church...The Rock...

Just completed this book by Jeff Cavins; a great conversion story. Inspiring and satisfying to the longing and hungry heart.

My Life on the Rock: A Rebel Returns to the Catholic Faith

The opening pages of this book carry an excerpt from Pope John Paul II (Tertio Millennio Adveniente), “God therefore goes in search of man who is His special possession in a way unlike any other creature”.

This very down-to-earth book describes vividly the journey of an angry son who left the Catholic Church out of rebellion; unable to fill the emptiness within – “I wasn’t being fed”. This is the testimony of a baptized Catholic on a spiritual search – raised in a devoted Catholic family, was an altar boy, attended weekly Mass, goes to confession as a family, carries a rosary, held the Bible with great reverence, wore a scapular. This book reveals how he turned away from the Eucharist because he wanted something more.

It tells the engaging story of the encounter with Bible Christians communities; confidently “on fire”, Bibles worn from daily use, born again! The book contains simple honesty, largely disillusioned, about the Catholic mass being “dead”, built on empty traditions, Catholics being viewed as ignorant, even dumb sometimes, not knowing Christ and worst of all, not even knowing the Word of God. The author’s marriage to a Protestant and more than 12 years serving as a Protestant pastor makes this conversion story so much more emotionally intriguing and relevant in the midst of this chaotic world we live in.

The journey then unpeels layer-by-layer of the author’s re-discovery of the truth, the misconception that he would be better fed elsewhere and how this truth redefines the apostolic tradition of our one holy Catholic Church; how the Bible then truly comes to life.

What makes this conversion story appealing to all is the revelation of many Catholic theological insights in simple layman lingo, at times, humorous; all these interwoven between God’s gentle promptings in calling the author and his family back to the Catholic Church. This is a story of reconciliation with the Catholic Church, a prodigal son’s repentance and return to his father, coupled with the faithfulness of a mother who prayed for his return home at every Mass.

This book proclaims the treasures of our Catholic faith and also equips us to evangelize this faith to others. Appropriately, the closing sentence in the Postscript of this testimony reads,”…you can do greater things than you have ever imagined.”

If your heart is hungry, this never-can-put-down book will feed you with good nourishment

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Finding Self...

Anthony De Mello: Writings (Modern Spiritual Masters Series)

This book gives a great introduction to the wisdom and insights of this great writer.

Concealed within these pages (not in the printed words, not even in the tales, but in its spirit, its mood, its atmosphere) is a wisdom which cannot be conveyed in human speech.

Anthony de Mello, was a Jesuit priest, he became famous for his books on spirituality. He was born in 1931, in Goa, India and died in 1987 in the United States of America. A sample extract of his profound wisdom:

"It is a great mystery that though the human heart longs for Truth, in which alone it finds liberation and delight, the first reaction of human beings to Truth is one of hostility and fear!"

Some of his stories, or rather, parables.

"Sometimes there would be a rush of noisy visitors and the silence of the monastery would be shattered. This would upset the disciples; not the Master, who seemed just as content with the noise as with the silence. To his protesting disciples he said one day, "Silence is not the absence of sound, but the absence of self"."

God...In Our Hearts

A little something I read recently...something to reflect about.

A crowd of Catholics showed up at the gates of heaven. "Right this way," said St. Peter and showed them to a room.

Later that day, Buddhists came, Presbyterians came, the Sikhs arrived, and then the Muslims. "OK," Peter said, "Now everybody's checked in, and we can get you all settled. But please tiptoe pass the third room on the right." "But why?" the crowd said.

"Because that's where the Catholics are," St. Peter said, "and we don't want to disappoint them; they think they're the only ones here."

...God is in the heart of humankind. If we listen clearly, we can hear that same voice in another language.

Joan Chittister

Becoming Fully Human: The Greatest Glory of God

Monday, May 17, 2010

Rushing Through Life...We Must Pause...

In our rush through life, how often have we taken time to look up and take notice of the clouds, patterned in the sky? Appreciate the artistic form of the trees as we drive past; each unique and beautiful as they are.

In our pursuit of the so-called worldly success, we seem to have become immune or worst still, forgotten to live life and appreciate creation.

Our understanding of life is merely confined and limited to keeping ourselves busy...having a job, a house, repaying loans, credit cards, the endless pursuit of material wealth, etc. Is there all there is to life?

Beyond this man-made boundary, we fear to venture out...what could life be like if we take some personal quiet time to reflect on who we are, whay are we here and where we stand before the divine. Do we dare to take this radical step into the unknown so that we will come to understand?

Exploring what life is all about, delighting in the discovery. Living with hope, discovering the divine spark inside us all.

The spark that constantly hungers for union with the divine; the ultimate creator of everything around us...

"When I look at thy heavens,
the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars which thou hast established;
what is man that thou art mindful of him,
and the son of man that thou dost care for him?
Yet thou hast made him little less than God,
and dost crown him with glory and honor.
Thou hast given him dominion over the works of thy hands;
thou hast put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air,
and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the sea.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is thy name in all the earth!"

Psalm 8:3 - 9 (RSV)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Where Am I Going?...

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude" (1915 - 1968)
Trappist monk and author

In our achievement-oriented society, it is especially difficult for one to devote time to reflecting on life's ultimate values.

Even when the satisfaction of achievement fails one and all one's striving seems useless, the consideration of a possible God behind it all is usually rejected.

In each human, there is a spark, however dim, of enduring goodness. This spark is the divine within us, and if one is ever to find God, he or she must recognize and respect this spark in others...irregardless of status or class.

Today particularly many feel that God is missing from our world...

Fear not, He is always there....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Disturb Us, Lord...

Something worth reflecting as we journey through life...

Prayer of Francis Drake, 1577

Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
with the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wilder seas
Where storms will show Your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push back the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love.

This we ask in the name of our Captain,
Who is Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Simply 'Being'...Not 'Doing'...

“We are so obsessed with doing that we have no time and no imagination left for being. As a result, men are valued not for what they are but for what they do or what they have - for their usefulness.”

Thomas Merton (1915 - 1968)
Trappist Monk

We need a purpose, something to live for, a goal that will truly fulfill us and bring us status...power

Yet, none of these can completely satisfy. No matter what we have, there is always something else we want. These things cannot give us lasting happiness; for human weakness, tragedy or death can destroy all that we have; in a heart beat. Yet, we continue this aimless pursuit. The world of science and business is continually conditioning us to be constantly getting things done...accomplishing things.

Most of the time, we forget that we are human beings; not human doings.

What is life all about?

Some say life is a journey back home. We need to search within the depths of our beings...simply to listen within the quiet depths of our being.

Acquiring Happiness...

"To acquire happiness you don't have to do anything, because happiness cannot be acquired. Does anybody know why? Because we have it already. How can you acquire what you already have? Then why don't you experience it? Because you've got to drop something. You've got to drop illusions. You don't have to add anything in order to be happy; you've got to drop something. Life is easy, life is delightful. It's only hard on your illusions, your ambitions, your greed, your cravings."

Anthony de Mello (1931 - 1987)
Jesuit priest

How true! People often allow their lives to be seduced by the noises of the world. Our human condition is such that we are always tied up in the status quo; anxious about everything. Despite our worldly pursuits of the so-called "success", our hearts seem restless...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

What Is Life All About?...

"People travel to wonder at the height of the mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering."

St. Augustine (354 - 430)

What is life all about?

Nothing in life can seem to fulfill us and bring us happiness. The human heart is yearning for something more. No matter what we have, there is always something else we want.

Strange moral thinking we seem to have in our culture. It seems anyone can rationalize anything these days.

Yet, we must acknowledge that none of these can completely satisfy our inner longing...a peace that the world cannot give or understand.

In order to L.I.S.T.E.N to the inner voice of our hearts, we need to first be simply quiet

"We need to find God, and He cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature — trees, flowers, grass — grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence.... We need silence to be able to touch souls."

Blessed Mother Teresa (Theresa) of Calcutta
A Gift for God (1975)