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Showing posts from February, 2011

The Ministry of God's Love

Yesterday I was blessed to spend the entire day with the youth. From ministry meetings to hanging out late into the night and talking about the longing to revive the fire in the apostolate. It hasn't been easy for me to come back and take this road again. There were some doubts and fears. But God finds a way to to knit the hearts of His beloved people together. Especially those who fall on their knees in contriteness admitting their vulnerability before all.
I always thought that I was only watching from the sidelines. Never quite new my place. Afraid that I am too old enough or too complex to resonate or truly connect with anyone. But there is something about this Apostolate that I've noticed whenever crisis hits it or shakes its very foundation. Love always raises it up.
Last night we talked about this love. And how we realize that everybody who is in this apostolate, loves the Youth in so many different ways. We also realized that so many people need the kind of love that w…

Visio Divina

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"Oh" Vincent wrote to Theo, "those who don't believe in this sun...are real infidels.  The sun, light in the darkness light that brightens nature and people, light that calls the dead from their graves.  Those who have eyes to see will recognize that all light comes from the same sun." (Vincent Van Gogh, Letters to Theo)


Revolutionary Conversion

It is my growing conviction that in Jesus the mystical and the revolutionary ways are not opposites, but two sides of the same human mode of experiential transcendence. I am increasingly convinced that conversion is the individual equivalent of revolution. Therefore every real revolutionary is challenged to be a mystic at heart, and he who walks the mystical way is called to unmask the illusory quality of human society.
- Henri Nouwen, The Wounded Healer

A Word

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It only takes a word or two for illumination to begin.


Like a Free Fall

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I went upstairs to check up on my Mom.  She was sleeping on her new couch with her work clothes still on.  What prompted me was the music playing in the surround system.  Dad's music.  Perhaps from the CDs in their CD player that he left inside the last time he went home for a visit.  My dad's been living away from home for the past 6 years because of work.  He comes every two weeks.  I'm not sure if he's coming home this week because they had a fight.  
My parents have been married for 35 years and they have this marital wound that never seems to heal.  This week was one of those weeks in our lives that it got unearthed.
I'm not sure what to feel about the whole thing.  My mom just finished her chemotherapy and we're all just trying to get used to everything.  And now this wound.  Resurfacing again.  The burden at home right now is heavy.  The air is thick.  If the walls could talk, they would probably be screaming right this minute.  The loneliness and bitterne…

Miracles, Meetings and Restless Interiors

Not another template design.  Restlessness is a sign of a noisy interior.  I am restless today.  I spent so much time looking through a report I will be presenting tomorrow during a 6 hour meeting.  My fingers almost feel numb with all the typing and wrist movement.  But I am grateful for this few moments of breathing space.  With whatever words I can unearth just to de-clutter.  
There is actually a rhythm I am learning to appreciate.  My work load is piling up but there seems to be something significant even in the small outcomes.  I realize that people issues are so prevalent and people need help in most of their interactions just so their work life becomes more meaningful and achieve a semblance of peace.  Peace is so scarce in the work place.  I am saddened by it.  I wish most of the technicalities can just be done away with so I can focus more on helping the environment unearth the peace that is mostly hungered by those who toil away infront of their computers like slaves.
I'm…

Busy

I have encountered this word so many times this week.  I have lost a relationship because of this word.  People get sick and experience anxiety because of this word.  People forget what matters most because of this word.  



Unwinding

Today I told myself I'm going to slow down but I couldn't.  From one people issue to another I found myself bridging gaps again.  Explaining feelings.  Accepting emotions.  The works.  I have to find it in myself to be able to absorb all these emotional intensity and not be buried 10 feet under.
So now I am trying to unwind by reading some of Jack Kerouac's words.
We live in a world we see, but we only believe in the world we do not see.  Who has believed in the world and died with tis name on his lips?  Who has said, at death "I believe in the future of this baubel, that triviality, this irrelevance--it will live forever!"  Who has died not thinking of the first and last things, the Alpha and the Omega of life on earth?
I never thought Kerouac to be spiritual and it's a delightful surprise.

Brain Breathing Space

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Yesterday my brain was revved up with a lot of Excel analysis.  Finally got some traction on compensation management initiatives.  Finally got the leaders to thinking about how people are being paid.  Speed reading theories on compensation such as range penetration has been useful.  This is not my expertise but I think I like it because I like Excel.  It makes me feel I have super powers.  Whipping a little bit of formula threads here and there and voila!  What I want appears on the screen with very little effort.  
I wish things in life were as easy as Excel formulas.  But unfortunately it isn't.  Right now I'm thinking about a myriad of things all at the same time.  An upcoming youth encounter retreat.  A mix of roles and role definitions that need to be laid out clearly.  A decision making process of a boss that fluctuates more than the weather.  Books that I haven't touched and read in the longest time.  Music that I want to make.  Photos that I want to take.  
Right now…

Insubordination

Today, I have decided to reprimand one of my staff because of insubordination.  It's a strong word.  But I am not sure if people really understand what it means and how it affects the one they behaved that way to.  The dictionary describes this word as, "Defiant to authority."  Defiant is another strong sounding word which means, "Open resistance.  Bold disobedience."
I have worked in this company for 2 years and have taken every single blow through mockery and ill-toned side comments against the department I have been trying to build from the ground up.  I have defended each and every member of my team and took a chance on each and every one of them.  I have tried to set up healthy work systems so that they will not have to deal with the pressure that other departments go through.  
I have treated them to lunches and dinners and have given them gifts that cost me my entire Christmas Bonus just so they can feel that they have been affirmed for their hard work bec…

Finally found a word for what I have been feeling

For the longest time I have been feeling so constricted and chained.  Emotions have become unsettling and I have been trying to navigate them this way for the longest time now.  Most often I sink into self-condemnation for the lack of understanding the rhythms of these emotions and why they drown me every so often.  Reading Henri Nouwen has enlightened me because he finally finds a way to describe what I have been feeling.  It's liberating and painful at the same time.  It shows how much I am and have been wounded.  It shows why I have been aching.  And it shows why I have never felt interior freedom.
Resentment is a passion, a paralyzing set of complaints that make us feel angry and frustrated with the people and institutions on which we have made ourselves dependent. Passion, in the older sense of the word, is a suffering (pathos = suffering) and a frustration of the power to act rationally due to an overwhelming emotion. Sometimes this helplessness expresses itself in the form…

Five Loaves and Two Fishes

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I am at a point in my life right now wherein I'm looking at the immensity of the challenges I'm facing, the issues of people and relationships I am dealing with, and not to mention my own personal issues with myself.  
I'm looking at a Goliath.  I'm looking at a multitude.  I'm looking at an impossible feat.  And I no longer know what to do.  
I only have five loaves and two fishes in my hands.  



At Home In Your Own House

Most Christian Leaders are used to thinking in terms of large-scale organization: getting people together in congregations, schools, and hospitals and running the show as a circus director.  They have become unfamiliar with, and even somewhat afraid of, the deep and significant movements of the Spirit within.  I am afraid that in a few decades the Church will be accused of having failed at its most basic task: to offer people creative ways to communicate with the divine source of human life.  
But how can we avoid this danger?  I think by no other way than to enter the heart, the center of our existence, and become familiar with the complexities of our inner lives.  As soon as we feel at home in our own house--discover the dark corners as well as the light spots, the closed doors as well as the drafty rooms--our confusion will evaporate, our anxiety will diminish, and we will become capable of creative work and a spiritually informed life.
The key work here is articulation.  People who …

Happy Things

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Currently I am happy about.

Receiving a copy of TRACES magazine for Marie.  She saw how much I loved Heather King's interview and said that she will send me a copy of this magazine from her office.


I am also happy about finding this wallpaper from Hillsongs United blog.


Hillsong United New Album: The Aftermath

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A new album by Hillsong United cheered me up today.  The song unravels the meaning of the cross and how in that wonderful bittersweet aftermath of Christ's death is the start of our life.  
What is death and life in the moments of everyday?  A discouraging word.  A rejected feeling.  An abandoned feeling.  A warm hug.  An affirmation.  A struggle overcome.  
This song reminds me that when it becomes too difficult to struggle and hold the tensions of life, there is a place to surrender and a place to rest.  The place is at the center of One Man's heart.  The Man who died with His arms outstretched.




Work Dilemma Blues

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One of the dilemmas at work right now is to understand why micromanaging bosses are micromanaging.  I literally spent the whole day gazing at my wall just trying to wonder what goes on in a micromanaging mind.  It's insane.  
My graceful rhythm seems to have dropped by an inch because of the food poisoning last weekend.  Not to mention a marathon on Life Unexpected has given me something to think about when it comes to life issues and what not.  
I fumble with my holy beads in the car barely thinking straight because my mind is racing almost a thousand miles a minute trying to tick off an imaginary task list hoping the pile of work issues would go away one by one.   But no.  It doesn't go away.  It stays there and it sort of grows bigger and bigger everytime you stare at it.  It's like everytime you try to understand the issue, there is another issue the grows out of nowhere and is actually linked to the issue you are presently staring it.  The cycle just goes on.  
I wish I …

Saturday Evening Blog Post by Elizabeth Esther

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Found this one on Rachel's Blog and decided to tag along.  I have not really gotten my own blogging rhythm up to speed just yet but hopefully joining these things will help me pick up momentum.  It's Sunday morning here and I just overcame a long Saturday bogged down with tummy problems.  :(  
Anyway from my favorite post last December I shared Making Lemonades and for January I shared Bethlehem's Star
Now it's your turn!


It's No Longer "Just Work"

My heart broke for 3 of my staff who struggle with life issues and coping with them.   I reached out to them as I would have wanted to be reached out to and helped find a voice for the prayers they were afraid to utter before God.  Their pain was intense and it made me realize that you really just can't say the personal life of people does not affect the professional life.  It is easier said than done to compartmentalize things and simply forget about what's bothering you.  The HR function in organizations should be able to find a way to bridge the gap between professionalism and humanism.  That's what I am still trying to do at a very limited bandwidth.  It is not easy to reach out to an 800 people population.
So my views on work are beginning to evolve.  It is no longer "just work".  It is almost a ministry.    A week or two ago I found some St. Josemaria Escriva's writings on the sanctity of work.  I thought I'd try to ponder them.  When the pressure at…