Monday, November 28, 2011

Love & Gratitude -- Why They Come Hand in Hand

Love can be a bit confusing sometimes. I have never really allowed myself to love someone. And by love, I mean love love. You know, with the opposite sex. It scares me, the thought of falling so deeply in love with someone that you can't live or breathe without them. I've always thought that was so cheesy. But now I'm not so sure.

I'm going through a transformation that is alarming and scary mostly because this is unknown. I have a feeling that when the clouds part, there's something elusive yet oh so wonderful at the other end. Kind of like following a rainbow? I don't know how to explain this but it sure is nice. Sure, there is some pain but I prefer this compared to the numbness that I went through before.

The truth really does set us free. But who knew that it would bring joy and laughter together with pain and sorrow? I surely did not expect this. Such bliss! I know this sounds crazy and I'm scared half to death already but for some reason I just keep moving on. It's like turning pages too fast and then going back to check out what I have missed.

Here comes the heartache again. But this time I welcome this with open arms. Embracing the pain makes it so much easier to experience the joy. This is the first time I have ever pursued a dream that has been living inside my heart for so long.

I may have been soul searching for the past 17 and a half years and now I have finally discovered that what I have been looking for has been with me all along -- love. And for that I am forever grateful. I guess it's true what they say... love and gratitude comes hand in hand for the simple reason that true gratitude is borne out of love.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Lesson About Detachment

Mother Teresa of Calcutta mentions that we are to take what the Lord gives and give what the Lord takes. This is detachment. All too often, we become attached to many things, even money.

Money is to be used rightfully, in ways that honor the Lord and help those in need. The trouble is that money takes a hold on people’s lives and in the end, it kills.

What are the gifts that you possess? Do you possess them? Alternatively, do they possess you? Possession can breed selfishness. People can become stingy in their outlook in life. They are not willing to give and unwilling to make any sacrifice. On the other hand, many people are extremely generous. These are the good stewards. The selfless and detached person sees everything as given by God. They consider themselves unworthy to have such blessings. In their humility, they are more than willing to share. Let us be like the ones whom the Lord commends in the Gospel. If we have been faithful in small matters in our life, the Lord will entrust us with riches, the treasure of heaven, namely eternal life. What profit is it to gain the whole world yet loses one’s soul?

Are you trustworthy and faithful in what has been given to you?

God of my heart, give me the grace of detachment. Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous. Amen.

Gospel Reflections:

Friday, November 4, 2011

Where is Prudence at Work in My Life

Where have you seen prudence at work in your life?

Prudence is a gift of the Holy Spirit, one of the cardinal virtues. We need to be cunning as serpents and wise as doves. Prudence tells us that we should be practical in affairs and cautious in our undertakings. The prudent man looks where he is going (Proverbs 14:15). To be prudent is to discern the good in a given circumstance and the right means of achieving it (Catechism of the Catholic Church, No. 1806).

Prudence is an advice that I have receive from most of my loved ones... family and friends. I have received a plethora of advice but this is my favorite. You see prudence is something I sorely need. I act on a whim or on impulse and most of the time it gets me in trouble. Most of the time I manage to get out of the mess caused by my lack of prudence but sometimes I get in too deep that it kind of gets too "tangled" if you know what I mean.

My grandmother tells me it's important to seek the help of the holy spirit before doing anything, especially before I start working. My aunt tells me she asks the Holy Spirit to guide her in her daily activities. My uncle tells me I should think twice before doing or saying anything. My father tell me it's important to always act with prudence and ask God for help before doing anything. A plethora of advice. And good ones at that. I'm so happy to belong to such a loving and wise family. They help keep me grounded. And so do my friends.

Recently, my friends and I shared secrets and now I realize that their message was prudence too. That it's okay to act on impulse sometimes and let our emotions direct us. But not always... because sometimes emotions cloud our judgment and they make us act against the will of God. Fighting God's will is like swimming against the current. It's next to impossible and there's a huge possibility of drowning. My friends are like my sailing buddies now. They are on the same boat with me and my family has given me their blessing to go and follow my dreams.

We just started our own company this year, May 2011 to be exact. And I have to admit that it has its ups and downs. There were even times when I was so scared that we wouldn't make it. That's why I include our company in my prayers. I know I should learn to trust in Jesus and let him take the wheel. Sometimes I'm just too stubborn to realize that my God is the God of impossible things. He makes all things possible and with Him there is nothing that we can't do.

Running our company is fun. I have to admit that, even to myself. It was fun when we began and it's still fun until now. Sometimes though I wish we had less problems because it pains me to see my friends going through pain too. I know we're in this together and only recently did I realize that they are in this for the long haul too and that they are ready to help... that we are a team and we are blessed with amazing people who are always hard at work with us making all our dreams come true, with God's help, of course.

Now that I am no longer alone in my work, it has grown to become an integral part of my life that brings me joy. Yes, sometimes it brings me fear and sadness and pain but it's so worth it. It's always been a dream of mine, my personal mission, to help fellow Filipinos find work that they can do in the comforts of their home, like me. To make life easier for them and show them that they don't have to leave their families to pursue their dreams or earn a good living. Now I know that having my friends with me on this journey makes it all the more exciting because we're actually making a difference in each others' life.

My only prayer is that our business will grow and soar so that we can give more and help more people. The thing is, I do need constant guidance and for that I turn to Jesus and Mama Mary and seek the help of the holy spirit to instill in me the value and virtues that I need like prudence so that my work will always be according to God's will. I love my life and I'm living my dreams, thanks to Jesus and Mama Mary.

Heavenly Father, I thank You for sending the Holy Spirit to all of us. Lord Jesus, I thank You for staying with us on our journey and for never leaving our side. Mama Mary, I thank you for your example -- your humility, obedience and trust in our Lord Jesus Christ and your constant guidance. Thank you for bringing me closer to Jesus and our Heavenly Father. One thing I ask from you today is to remind me always to be prudent at all times. And to show me where I came from and where I'm going. Thank You Jesus for my family and friends and for my new team -- friends old and new who are with me on this journey called life. We're sailing with You Jesus and that's enough for me. Thank you Jesus. Amen.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

About Judgment... Why Can't We All Just Get Along?

“Stop judging, that you may not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1)

The funny thing about judgment is that it has a way of coming back to us. My personal experiences caught on God's canvas is very colorful and there are some embarrassing spots  this canvas but if there's one thing I've learned it's this -- judgment is like a boomerang -- once thrown out there it comes back with such a huge "WHAM" and when it happened to me, I didn't even know what hit me!

And so as I get up from yet another fall, I've learned a few more lessons along the way, thanks to my family and friends...

First, stop judging myself and other people and keep my emotions in check. Sometimes it's wiser to just accept that things happen for a reason.

Second, stop pointing fingers because when I point them, only one finger is pointing at my opponent, one finger (my thumb) is pointing down, and the other 3 fingers are pointing right back at me. If that isn't irony then I don't know what is.

Third, I've learned the value of detachment. Don't get me wrong, I'm still struggling with this one. I have the tendency to get too attached to people and things and when they go away or break down, as people and things are wont to do (didn't mean to lump them together), the loss gets a bit too much too bear.

Finally, I've learned to accept myself for who I am... human, prone to mistakes and imperfect. And that's just the way I like it. Sure I want to be better but at the end of the day, pushing myself too much only results in disaster so I've decided to cool it. Hands on the brakes just in case, pedaling slower to enjoy the journey better and maybe backpedal sometimes to remember a lovely memory or two. I'm loving this bike ride!

So there, I've learned some lessons which intend to keep. Thank God for so many second chances. I'm glad to be alive. Happy to be loved. And grateful to be surrounded by such a wonderful group of loving people - my family and friends. God is good all the time. And He is sooo awesome! :)