How is your relationship with God?

>> Tuesday, December 30, 2008

All of us are wounded from time to time by those we love. And certainly we all do the wounding ourselves too.

I wasn't pleased with the situation we have in our Clan and with some of my friends. I wondered if I had fallen out of favor with God. Why we are having problems?

But the first thing that pops up in my mind was "How is my relationship with God?"

I just realized this logic: If my relationship with God was right, then I won't be terribly bothered by all these storms in my life. I must first settle my own relationship with God, allow Him to give me the ability to love, which i know will take considerable time. And then, in my room, and within my heart, I fell before God and chose to love.

When we are hurt of distressed in our relationships - let's keep our eyes on God, on Jesus. Before we ask "How are my relationships with others?" first ask " How is my relationship with God?" for He will never withhold all that you need to cope with your biggest relationship difficulty.

Oh Lord, I thank You for Your forgiving love which I use to forgive and love all those that have hurt me and my family...



>> Monday, December 29, 2008

Almighty and provident Father,
I thank You from the bottom of my heart
for this wonderful thing that has happened to me
I know it is the result of Your goodness towards me
and I pray that I may accept it as I should.
In a world filled with so many sufferings and sad occasions,
I am fortunate to be blessed in this way.
I offer You my sincere gratitude
and promise to remain united with You
In good times and in bad.

May You be praised forever and ever.


Celebrating Christmas

>> Sunday, December 28, 2008

I just want to share with you guys how we celebrate Christmas here in the Philippines.

Christmas season is the time for family reunions.

Together with my relatives we decided to spend our Christmas Eve Dinner in our grandparent's house. Each of the family brings their share of food.

We wait for the right time... the 12:01am of December 25th to greet each other Merry Christmas while we are handing over our Christmas gifts. Then we will gather ourselves in front of the dining table to start eating the food that we prepared. Its a festive atmosphere all around us, we share stories, cracking some jokes, some of us are singing, while some of us are passing bottles of brandy or beer.

There's a whole lot more things to experience during Christmas season here in the Philippines. But nothing is more valuable than celebrating Christmas with your whole family.



>> Saturday, December 27, 2008

Today, December 27th is the Feast Day of St. John the Beloved.

Year 2006 when I commissioned a processional image for the holy week procession in our parish, and I chose St. John the Beloved or also known as St. John the Evangelist. Many had ask, why did i choose St. John the Evangelist, and i simply answered them with "Because our surname is Evangelista".

Its not really that easy to commission a processional image because for one, its quite expensive, 2nd it will really cost you a lot especially during holy week processions since you have to spend for the flower decoration for the caroza, the food, new wardrobe for the image and so many other. So I decided to ask the help of my relatives to help me finance the completion of the life size image of this saint as well as the yearly expenses for the holy week, and without so much explanation they agreed to help.

Now St. John the Evangelist has been part of my life since he came to our house. I always see to it that he's comfortable where he stands, if there's enough lighting at night or simply make sure that he wears his cape properly.

It is such a great blessing for my family to have him and to have God in the midst of us.


Christmas Everyday

>> Friday, December 26, 2008

Each year we put up the decorations, the Christmas trees, the multi-colored lights, candles, the Nativity sets. We buy all the things we need for the "Noche Buena" dinner, we play some old Christmas recording of Ray Coniff and Bing Crosby.

During this time we attend so many parties and exchange gifts with our friends and family. We hear kids singing Christmas carols speaking about a baby from Bethlehem. Its the happiest time of the year because there is joy all around. Why all of this joy? Because we remember that our God became man in order to save us from our sins. Oh what a blessed night when Christ was born.

If only this joy can be seen all year round...

Lord, may I have this Christmas joy not only during this festive season but every day of my life.



>> Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Humility or Pride?

>> Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Humility is a strange virtue, it is when we think we are humble that we are proud, and when we admit our pride that we are humble.

There was this guy who sought enlightenment from God about a truth of his faith. He fasted, he prayed, and he tried all he could to humble himself to become worthy of His grace. But nothing happened! So he fasted, prayed and humbled himself some more. Still nothing. Finally, after the third try he gave up and rose to visit a priest friend who might help him understand this truth of his faith.

At this point, an angel appeared in his dream to give him the enlightenment he sought. The angel told him that in his attempt to humble himself, his pride remained and he got no closer to God. But when he admitted his inadequacy and started to go to his priest friend to seek help, it was this act of humility that brought down God's grace.

This guy now learned that one aspect of humility is accepting that we need others - that we are not self-sufficient. More importantly, this act of seeking help from someone else is a reflection of our need for God. And that is what we can call, Humility.

Teach me the right kind of humility - where I can be very strong and yet so focused in loving You and others.


Take me as I am...

>> Monday, December 22, 2008

I find refuge and sanctuary while praying to God. I admit, my feelings sometimes are not always joyful. I sometimes feel sad and sometimes feel rebellious. But I bring all of these negative emotions to the feet of Jesus in prayer, believing that He will answer me.

This does not guarantee though that I will always get my answer in an instant. Sometimes, I have to keep on praying with these negative emotions for months!

But then, they are like seasons, after awhile, the winds blow and the clouds disappear – and I feel happy again.

But the important thing is that no matter what the season may be in my life – I keep on praying.

No matter what the condition of my heart is…

I pray with my sadness, I pray with my anger, I pray with my tears. And I pray with my loneliness.

And yes, I pray with my joy as well.

And you know what? God understands. He takes me as I am!

How can I always pray with joy when I am laden with problems at home and pressure at work? Lord, rescue me! Give me your joy.


Been Seduced and Tempted!

>> Saturday, December 20, 2008

Let me tell you about a friend.

He has been blessed with so much abundance.

Talents, character, intelligence and good looks.

He’s got all it takes, it seems.

He’s your “super man” come alive.

Oh, a few more of his blessing: Abundant women. You see, women adore him. They think of him every second. Their walls are filled with his pictures. They seem to lose consciousness when they see him. Their feet don’t touch the ground after chatting with him.

But along with all these, he has remained single for the Lord. Yes, you read it right, Celibate! Can you believe that?!

He has been seduced and tempted into many a relationship, but each time, he has turned them down graciously.

Now you might ask, “Why in heaven is he doing this?”

I forgot to mention another blessing he has.

Deep faith.

No wonder.

Oh Savior Jesus, we have many illusions and deceptions in this world. Free us from all our anxieties that block us from being totally Yours.


I did this because I love you...

>> Friday, December 19, 2008

How does it feel to be embraced?
Wonderful isn't it? It is like being cradled, and deep within your heart, it feels so good to listen to the breath of love. Oh, how lovely it is that someone loves you!

One day, the embarrassment of my past dawned on me as I prayed. And with this, I realized the sins I've committed because of a mistaken love and false gods.

I envisioned the nail on His right palm pierce deeper because of my sins. I recalled all the sins in my past and felt how much hurt I have brought him.

I looked at Jesus and saw fresh wounds.

I cried in shame. It seemed as if His wounded body was His way of showing me He was there for me - in the course of my sufferings.

On the cross, Jesus looked at me with so much love and on His lips were words of comfort: "I did this because I love you."

Hearing those words, it was as though my soul passed out -but graciously caught by the embrace of His love.

And in that embrace, I rested and was at peace.

Oh Lord, forgive me if I depend on other things that do not come from You. Wash me clean from these influences, Lord!


The Imperfect Me...

>> Thursday, December 18, 2008

I just survived from a recent depression. Caused by so many disappointments, unanswered prayers and unmet expectations from friends and family. And because of such unfortunate events, I was left wondering if God really did exist and could ever hear my cry and hear my pleas.

If God really is God, then why all this agony? Sometimes I think that God takes perverse pleasure to see me suffer. Am I that unlovable that even God can't love me?

Then I started rebelling against Him. I was actually starting to doubt his existence. I stopped praying for a time, not even going to church to hear mass every Sunday as an act of rebellion. Though I continued serving Him, I was like a stiff robot. I knew I was drifting away. How can I love someone who can't love me?

Yet in all these, one truth kept coming back to me.

He still see me as His child.

A hurting child.

A rebellious child but a very precious one for Him.

Lord, accept my imperfections, my unfaithfulness, my imperfect love, my imperfect soul. Let me feel your love in your surprising ways!


Where is He?

>> Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Seek Him not in the confines of comfort.
Seek Him rather in sacrifice.

Seek Him not in an island of security.
Seek Him rather in the fray of battle.

Seek Him not in the seat of power.
Seek Him rather in the humblest dwelling.

Seek Him not in the well dressed people.
Seek Him rather in the tattered clothes of the street children.

Seek Him not in the grandest and elegant things.
Seek Him rather in the little things that are essential.

Seek Him not in an hour of personal gratification.
Seek Him rather in a moment of sharing.

Seek Him not only on the 25th of December.
Seek Him rather in the Christmas of every day.

Oh Lord, why is it so difficult to find You? Is it because I'm really not searching for you? Or am i searching in the wrong place and circumstances? Lead me Lord, Oh Lord!


Follow me... Do as I say!

>> Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It was one of the many Retreats I've attended, and we had this activity where I was blindfolded. Then my, assigned partner took me around, told me what to do and pulled me all around the room.

When it was my turn to blindfold my partner, I became naughty. I took him outside, on rough roads, rocky paths, muddy streets and humpy floors! All the while, my partner was telling me that he didn't trust me. So I tried to explain and consoled him, telling him not to worry even if the roads were bad - because I'll never allow him to get hurt. We ended the activity with so much lightness in our feeling.

When I joined the Catholic groups, it was as though I was blindfolded too. My friends teased me. My problems are still there and worries and frustrations kept flowing in my life. It was pretty dark and I could barely see what was in store for me.

But it was God were telling me, "I'm holding you, don't be afraid, have no worries. Just follow Me. Do as I say. Everything is dark for you now, but you'll have to trust me - you'll see light forever for I will never allow you to get hurt.

Let me listen when You're asking me to follow oh Lord and grant me the courage to follow You in the darkness!


God is Unfair!

>> Monday, December 15, 2008

My whole life screams this truth!!! You don't believe me, do you?

First, He showers me with grace and mercy particularly during time when I'm not in the "right path" with Him. So is God unfair? Certainly!

Second. He recycles what i consider trash and unnecessary, my disappointment, heartaches, illness, temptations, and embarrassments - as instruments for my personal edification and sanctification, thereby making me a better reflection of the One who created me. So is God unfair? Definitely!

Third, I don't deserve His love, care and attention and yet He sent His only Son to be the atonement for my sins and have earned in the process the right to call God Father. So is God unfair? Amen!

God's mercy exceeds His justice.

Imagine if He were fair. I'd be wailing and gnashing my teeth by now.

Jesus, fill my heart with your unfairness. I want more of it, Lord. Don't give me what I deserve. Give me what Your Son Jesus Deserves.


Vampires or Jesus?

“I wish normal people have a heart that vampires do. Once they fall in love… they never fall out of love…” - Twilight

Very famous line now... but for sure and am very sure that it would be nicer if we say...

"I wish normal people have a heart that Jesus does. Once He falls in love... He never falls out of love..."

As a Christian, I firmly believe in this... that no matter what we do, no matter how hard we commit sin, that we even get to a point of turning our backs from Him... He (Jesus) is still there... waiting for us, always extending His hand and opening His heart for all of us... He never fails to love us, not even thought of disowning us... because for sure, He will never fall out of love for us.


My Will For You...

>> Sunday, December 14, 2008

There was a young man who so much wanted to be a priest. However, after sincere prayer and repentance, his yearning vanished. It was clear to him that it was not the will of God for him to be a priest.

But it was not that easy for him to accept this. He asked the Lord, "Isn't it a great sacrifice to offer my whole life to You by becoming a priest?" Yet to his surprise, the Lord spoke to his heart: "Would it not be a greater sacrifice if you obey My will for you?" This man is now living a happy life with his family, though not yet married and no children, his parents and siblings make his life more happy. Serving the Lord in his very own little ways.

He rejoices and does not regret following the Lord. He saw how the Lord uses him now in spreading the Good News. In fact, he is very happy writing this blog for you.... yes, it's me.

Even if we don't understand at first. let us obey.

Lord, I seek for all the gifts of the Spirit - as well as all that I needed to serve You. But most of all, give me a greater love for you!


Letting Go

>> Saturday, December 13, 2008

I'm sure you've heard about this traveler who, while traveling one dark night, falls off a cliff. But on the way down, he is saved by a branch of a tree. Hanging until dusk, nobody hears his cry. With vanishing hope, he calls on God. And as expected, God hears him and tells him: "Let go of the branch."

The man replies, "But I want to live, Lord, help me!" The Lord answers: "Trust me, let go of the branch." But he was so afraid that he didn't let go. Though exhausted, he held on to the branch all night long. But when the morning sun begun to peek through the clouds, he looked down to see a most hilarious sight: he was only a foot away from the ground!

Just like in our lives today, we hold on to so many branches in our lives. Things that we value more than God. The branches of our dreams, our ambitions, our relationships. We hold on to these so much that we find it hard to trust God. Worse, some of our branches are sinful: materialistic, selfishness, greed, lust, etc.

Let go. You'll land on the Rock!

Lord, light up my mind to see the things in my life that kinder me from fully standing on You, Jesus. My firm foundation.


Sta. Clara de Montefalco, Patroness of those with Heart Illnesses

Patroness of those with Heart Illnesses
Feast Date: August 17

Born in 1268 of a well to do family in Montefalco, Italy, Clare was a lively, sincere and intelligent daughter of Damiano and Iacopa Vengente. In Italian, her name was "Chiara" which means, "clear, bright, pure."

Already a veteran ascetic at the tender age of 20, Clare was suddenly thrust into the first of her three great trials. She began to experience spiritual upheavals in ther heart. Temptations assaulted her, conflicts raged inside her previously well-ordered emotional life. She was now subjected to doubt: she could not resolve whether or not God had abandoned her. This upheaval she endured 11 years.

The Bishop of nearby Spoleto sent his representative to Montefalco in order to supervise the election of the monaster'y new abbess. The unanimous choice was Clare. So began Clare's second great trial. Preferring to serve God and His people in a more humble way, she declined to accept the role and responsibility of Abbess. Finally, however, she humbly bowed to ther will and became their Abbess. For 16 years, Clare served as mother, teacher, and spiritual director of the nuns. She governed wisely.

Clare also loved the poor, the ill as much as those who were persecuted. To these desperate folk and anyone in misery who knocked at the monastery portal, she gave whatever she needed. Her heart was so forgiving, that she even helped those who has spoken evil of her and who has wished evil upon her.

What Clare possessed was spiritual strength. This power goes by different names in each century, but always remains the ability to disregard the body and its primitive needs in order to focus intensely upon the spirit. Clare was a mystic, but she was realist enough to obtain funds to build a church for her monastery, which would serve not only her nuns but also the citizens of Montefalco and all the pilgrims who cam to this mountain village seeking her insights. Like the abbey, the church was also dedicated to the Holy Cross.

Frescoes on the chapel wall portray some of Clare's conversations with Christ concerning His Cross. In 1294, when she was only 26, she asked Him, "Where are You going Lord?" He answered, "I have been searching the whole world over for a strong place to plant my Cross, but i have found none." Later He tells her, "Clare, i have found a place for my Cross. I shall place it in your heart." From that day on, Clare's body ached with acute pain, marked there by Christ Himself. Thus began the last of her three trials - that of physical illness.

By July of 1308, Clare's illness had become so severe that she was bedridden. On the 15th of August, she was asked to receive the holy oils of the sick. On the 16th, she asked that of her brother to be sent for. On the 17th, after confessing her sins to the monastery chaplain, she declared "There is little else for me to say, for today i shall be with Christ, because i go with Him."

Clare's body was embalmed and to this day lies in state, incorrupt, in the church of the Augustinian nuns of Montefalco, Italy. Her Heart bears the marks of the Passion, the Cross and the instruments of Christ's Passion, just as she had said. Pope Leo XIII declared Clare a Saint on December 8, 1881 at the Basilica of St. Peter in Rome.

Sta. Clara de Montefalco Parish
C. Raymundo Ave., Caniogan
Pasig City 1606 Philippines


I want to be rich!

>> Thursday, December 11, 2008

Sometimes I wonder why people want to be rich.

Just look around at all the miserable, unhappy, lonely, unsatisfied, bitter, suicidal, neurotic millionaires and billionaires in the world. Wealth isn't that great.

Now don't get me wrong.

I've got a few very rich friends who are happy. Delightfully so.

But when i look at them, I discovered that it's not because they get so much wealth that they're happy. It's because they give away so much wealth! They're a bunch of very generous people.

Riches are blessings from the Lord. But they're blessings for a specific purpose: To give away. If you don't share, you're thwarting the very purpose of what God has given you. It's like food. If you don't eat it now, it'll spoil. And if it spoils, it'll smell bad.

Go near a rich person who's greedy, totally selfish, and you'll smell something bad in his spirit. Even if he's wearing the most expensive perfume, his soul is rotting ~ and you'll smell his misery!

Me? I'd rather be rich in His eyes.

Lord, let me know how to handle wealth. Let me know the joy of giving away what You have given me.


Don't tell God you have a lot of problems instead, tell your problems you have a Great God!

>> Wednesday, December 10, 2008

I heard this while watching the TV news about this one best fighter in the history of boxing, Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao. He said this phrase in front of his fans who joined him on his Victory Mass held at the Quiapo Church in Manila, Philippines.

This phrase hit me and made me think, he was right. Most of the time when I am praying, I tell God to help me because I am in deep trouble, i have a problem in our family, friends, money or relationship. It is as if I am so helpless, begging for help! But if i were to reflect more on what "pacman" said, I don't really have to beg to God for help, but instead, i should stand firm and tell myself that no matter what problems i may have or i am facing right now, i can solve it because I have a Mighty God who is always there for me no matter what.

God, give me enough courage to face all the problems and be stand firm that no matter how hard the problems are, i don't have to worry because you are always with me.


Canonical Coronation of Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepcion

>> Sunday, December 7, 2008

HIS EMINENCE EDWARD JOSEPH ADAMS, apostolic delegate of the Vatican to the Philippines, canonically crowns Nuestra Señora de la Inmaculada Concepcion on Sunday, 3 p.m. at the Our Lady of the Immaculate Concepcion Cathedral in Pasig City.

This event gives honor to Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, who has been the patroness of Pasig since the Augustinians arrived in 1571.

According to Fr. Roy Rosales, rector and parish priest, the Immaculate Conception Parish in Pasig was the first Marian parish in Asia. The first bishop of the Diocese of Pasig is Most Rev. Francisco San Diego.


Not on our Job Description

>> Saturday, December 6, 2008

It is so easy to judge. You ask someone about someone else and there out comes the judgment, "he's a thief," "he's a liar," etc. But do we have the right to make that judgment? Do we know the circumstances surrounding the act?

When i was a child, all fruit trees looked pretty much the same. They all had leaves, branches, roots, etc. The only times I could really tell them apart was when there were fruits already.

It is like that when we judge. We do not know all the circumstances that lead to an act. People are like icebergs, 90% are hidden from sight. The fruits that show, good or bad, are indications of what lies beneath the surface but we can never really know a person until they share their life experiences.

It is always dangerous, indeed probably wrong, to judge a person.

Let's leave that job up to God.

We should concentrate on love.

Jesus, help me love and not judge so that the fruits i bear will be good and healthy. Let me not judge that I will not be judged.


Failed Business Becomes New Business Opportunities

Whether its for trivial (Lord, don't make it rain tonight, i have a date) or life-and-death matters ("Please heal my friend from cancer"), I lift everything to God.

So when I started my first business some time ago, I prayed for His blessing. At first, things were fine. But as the months progressed, the problems started coming in - and soon, I was forced to close my business.

I failed. But did I blame God for not blessing me?

I must admit, it was difficult, but i knew that even if He wasn't answering my prayers, I knew He was asking me to increase my faith.

And true enough, that failed business opened a new business opportunities for me. He was blessing me after all!

I have learned my lesson, and I wish to share it with you. Is God not answering your prayer? Increase your Faith!

Let Him handle it His way!

Yes, Lord,increase my faith. When my eye fail to see Your blessing, let my heart see it pouring down like a thunderstorm!


Prayerful or God-full?

>> Friday, December 5, 2008

As a child and as a teenager, I was very prayerful.

I knew God as someone who was in a far distant place, whose job was to listen to people's wish or problems. My prayers were really simple, the formula prayers. The more words I recite, the better. Praying was a means of telling God what i really wanted. It was also a way of asking him to take me out of any trouble.

In my spiritual renewal, i found out that I belong to God. I'm marked as "His" - that God is my Father and I'm His Son. He is a God who is ever present, not far away. Like a true Father, He provides for all my needs. He protects me and keeps me safe at all times. I've developed total dependence on Him for all my needs.

Right now, am still prayerful, but I'm no longer just saying my prayers. I surrender! I trust. I am with Him. I'm no longer filled by prayer, I'm filled with God because in my prayer time, I just don't do the talking. I take time to listen to what He wants to say. When my Father speaks, He speaks lovingly.

Lord, be a Father to me, let me experience today Your gentle Fatherhood even more.

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