Posts

Showing posts from January, 2012

Grandmother's Little Books

Image
I got this little book from my grandmother's library last Christmas.  She has a lot of these.   When she passed away, I asked my Mom if I can take some.  This was one of the books I got (amongst others).  I love the old leather binding.  The typeface and her cursive script.  I love old things and their meaning and I love how I remember all these things on a Sunday.  
I read chapter 1 again to myself.  Out loud.  Softly.  Imagining if St. Thomas were to read this to me, how would his voice sound?  Would I be changed in an instant?  Would I embrace the truth he provokes me to believe?   The road that stretches before the feet of a man is a challenge to his heart long before it tests the strength of his legs.  Our destiny is to run to the edge of the world and beyond, off into the darkness: sure for all our blindness, secure for all our helplessness, strong for all our weakness, gaily in love for all the pressure on our hearts.In that darkness beyond the world, we can begin to know t…

Quiet for Today

This week, I had experienced some sort of a crucifixion that made me realize how wounded work-places can get.  People in the work place need ministering too.  But I am young and inexperienced compared to most of them who are all in their mid-40s or early 50s.  What can they learn from someone like me?  Sometimes I find myself wondering if I have lost my place and purpose but there are times when I see it very clearly.  Three years ago, my Mom had told me when I just started here, "Be the miracle." 
I wonder if I have already been one.
January is about to end and the second month of this year is about to begin.  There are quite a lot of new things brewing and growth is being anticipated.  There are areas at work that have started to change for the better.  Areas of youth ministry that have responded more authentically to what needs to be paid attention to.  There is this sifting and this morning I just sit still and ponder about it all.
I pray for some quiet today.  A sinkin…

The Maker who Makes Sense

Image
I hit another middle of the week without being able to write as much as I want to but I've found these moments of breathing nonetheless.  Most are scribbles on my journal.  None of them as coherent as I would like I suppose.   But I shall try to work my way through the past few days and see what I come up with.
In my mind, I'm beginning to realize that there are so many things I try to pay attention to and only a few things that are really important.  
Right now, it's important that I survive the stifling feeling I always get when I step into my office and the hopelessness that comes along with it.  It is important that I continue to see God in situations such as this or in situations like arguing with the most irritating and disrespectful young person ever.  It is important that I continue to see God in situations that make me feel insignificant, betrayed or cheated upon.  It is important because I know that a cycle of anxieties will not give me freedom.  Finding peace a…

A Reflective Pause

Image
This morning I enter into this yearning for quiet.  The thoughts are swimming in my head in an unruly discord.  There are questions I need to ask but remain stifled from all the noise of expectations and obligations.  

I decided to spend some time quietly enjoying my favorite cup of Starbucks coffee.  Just drawing from the familiar rhythm of getting into the part of my mind where stillness has not left.  Going through the motions of getting settled.  Laying my laptop on the table.  Surveying the emptiness of the second floor and relishing the lack of ambient noise.  Getting captivated with the sun's rays on my favorite corner and slowly leafing through the pages of my journal.

Writing settles me down.  It pins down my thoughts and keeps them from swirling around.  So I enter into this rhythm today to sort out the questions that need answers and to find peace in just knowing the questions and that some of them will never get answered.

Joy Dare No. 16

Image
I started this late because I got too engrossed with the workload for the first 3 weeks of the year.  I've finally decided to start yesterday.  
I'm working on some resolutions right now.  Active ones.  Real ones.  Something I can remember and do and share.  Simple ones enough to write about or snap a photo for.




Yesterday's Joy Dare called for: a gift that made you laugh, a gift that made you pray and a gift that made you quiet.  
What made me laugh yesterday was the reaction of my friend Jarro when we talked about our vocation for youth ministry.  He and I haven't been getting along for the past couple of years.  We've known each other as long as I can remember but our familiarity with each other has caused us to just focus on our differences and we've lost the purpose of why God has made us friends in the first place.  I met Jarro at the height of my work for youth ministry.  He has helped me quite a lot with understanding young people, himself included.  B…

Understanding Church Divided

Image
I have been reading "Forgotten Among Lilies" for the past 3 weeks now.  I'm 72% done says my Kindle eReader.  I've decided that for me to really get into what I read, I'll keep sharing some excerpts here since writing helps me believe.
Today I read Fr. Ronald's Rolheiser's reflection on how the Church has been divided.  He writes with a voice of true seeking.  I can understand how he must have felt he went on a far limb.  But doesn't one who loves really go that far just to stretch the capacity of how their hearts can hold on to an embrace?  And isn't being Catholic a huge embrace of diversity?  The tension is clear.  The discomfort is present.  But to me, his message is love.  To continue to love.  As wide.  As high.  To the ends of the earth.  

His words are close to home because these are the words that ring true in my very own ministry.

We live in a time of pain and division.  Daily, in the world and in the church, hatred, anger and bitternes…

Revisiting the Word Rock

Image
I move in silently into this day and look through the things I wrote from yesterday.  I started a page with fellow youth ministers eager to ponder about this relentless call to reach out to the young.  To change and be changed.   Yesterday I wrote about my conversations with them.  This introspection has been 6 years in the making.  I've finally decided to cast my net out into the sea, in faith.
Unlike my occupation, I am quite passionate about youth ministry.  It's something I can probably talk about for hours.  Most people would probably look at it as some kind of glorified way to chaperone young people and herd them into a place where they will not cause any trouble.  But, I don't think about it this way.  There's more to ministering than "chaperoning".  
Yesterday's talk reminded me about how faith can make our hearts soar and believe the impossible.  It can make us deepen our hope.  
I pondered upon the words exchanged and my memory holds on to the …

Keeping Afloat Through the Holy Pursuit of Others

Image
It's hard to wash away the residue of busy-ness when I don't get into a moment of real silence.  Thoughts just barge in unwanted like, the list of reports due on Tuesday, or the unfinished timelines for a sales plan. This week, I had to get into that mind-frame of shutting out everything else just so I can calculate the hours of how long a project runs until its finished and how much more do we lack to reach a month's worth of sales.  
Somewhere in between is the effort to fight off having to struggle with decisions that do not make sense and the question of how long till the realization of support be heeded.  It is that effort of balancing not having to retaliate to every person who can't quite grasp your situation that they unreasonably make conclusions of your lack of progress or your lack of compliance so that you can be more Christ-like in your openness to understand them and in a way find a solution that can appease your own misgivings and theirs. 
It is that ef…

For a Graceful Walk

Image
Reading Christa Well's blog tonight reminded me how I've been absent from my writing the past couple of days and how I need to remain faithful to the journey of being better at my craft.  It's plain and simple.  I write to believe.  She puts it in a something I can easily digest tonight
I write songs to communicate with other people, but I write also to imbed more deeply in my own soul the truths I know I'm in need of.
I've gotten back into the daily grind and it's been just two weeks since my vacation and I feel quite detached from the solace of the holiday.  A part of me feels disappointed that I seem to have lost "this peace" but a part of me feels hopeful.  I seem to be moving into a new thing.  It feels like God is doing something new.  While the circumstances surrounding my situation at work seems to not have fully turned around and while I struggle with these feelings of discouragement, I am slowly finding a foothold in the Word that I try t…

Tabernacle Letters: To a Savior I come to know and love (i)

Image
Dear Beloved,
I write this to you tonight in the silence.  Pondering upon the conversations I had with two friends in the most unlikely of places.  I write this to you tonight because I want to tell you how it has been such a breather to be able to talk about you with people who long to experience you the same way I do.  I've missed it.  This connection that tells me you are moving in our lives even in the ordinary moments of everyday and you move with so much grace that we need to really slow down or else we'll miss it.  We'll miss you.  
I am glad that tonight was slow enough for us to pay attention to your voice that spoke through each other.  How it washed away the anxiety of this past week!  How it gave the assurance of a promise for breakthroughs!  How it gave us the much needed peace.  How it has made me long for more of this peace.  How it makes me wish that I do not have to be separate from it and how I wish it pervades my everyday.  I often lose touch with you when…

Finding the Higher Purpose

Image
The week has been filled with ups and downs.  But if there is one thing I've come to realize it is this.  Distress allows a person to sharpen something in their thoughts and unearth a solution or magnify a problem.  Anxiety allows a person to push forward or to back down.  My reaction to what distresses me is something borne from my experience, my values, my character and my skills.  One thing I have learned from my Mom this morning is that when you are in a situation that doesn't make sense, you need to find it in you to elevate your attention to a higher purpose and focus on what makes sense there.  
Terminal death is a death that ends life, ends possibilities.  It brings dreams, health, honeymoons and happiness to final closure.  Paschal death is real death.  Something precious dies.  However in this kind of death there is an opening to a new life and a new spirit.  In paschal death there is always a birth as well, just as in childbirth a woman also loses her child in givin…

One Day

Image
One day I will find my way and heed the beckoning of the sea and journey above its waves and float to another dream.

In the Stillness of Yearning

Image
I find myself sitting in stillness and back on my desk tonight.  I arrived this morning and just wandered into the mall and letting the reality sink in that I am back in the city and I can no longer hide behind a vacation and I'm going to have to work tomorrow.  So much of my interior wanderings have made me reclusive in a sense that I am not able to interact with so many people at a time not because I don't want to but because something inside me feels "stuck" and cannot interact freely.  There's this knot that needs to be untied.  
I missed a very beautiful wedding of a friend today because I did not have time to think about how to get there and what to wear and all the other things that people think about when they're invited to weddings. There was just so much going on and as I think about my reasons tonight I think about the past year again and the year before that and the year before that.  
During New Year's Eve, my family and I prayed together an…

Because in Writing I Become

Image
The year 2011 marked such a delicate process and journey in my being able to break such a long writer's block.  I started the blog in late 2010 and managed to keep up with it all throughout 2011.  Writing about many different things and along with it realizing again and again how writing for me has been a form of breathing, believing and becoming.  
I cannot deny that the readers of this blog has helped a great deal in encouraging me to persevere with this craft which has become my anchor and my spirituality.  Writing for me, has become, indeed a form of praying and a way for me to crystallize my thoughts into reality.  
I've decided to be a little bit more serious about this and turn my writing into a commitment to prayer and helping others come to terms with their struggles.  
If you want me to pray for you, please email iwritetobelieve@gmail.com .  For each prayer request I will post a written prayer here for you in this page and invite others to pray with me.  Together ma…

A Posture of Reflectiveness

Image
The mass this morning was beautiful.  I'm glad we went to Pink Sisters today.  It's always uplifting to hear mass at their chapel.  One of the things I love about the priest's homily that encouraged me today was how he pointed out that we often celebrate the new year with so much noise and definitely want to welcome it with a big bang, yet he challenges us to be like Mary, who welcomed her new life in a posture of reflectiveness and silence.  
I've found myself wanting to be surrounded by more silence as of late.  Not so much to withdraw from noise but to gain a silence of heart so that I can engage more meaningfully with those around me.  This Christmas vacation in Cebu has given me that.  I still struggle with keeping the peace and often find myself anxious about certain thoughts that cause me discomfort (mostly about work) but I've realized today that when I simply keep thinking about God, His presence permeates the darkness and lifts the heaviness of anxiety a…