Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Triumph of the Cross

[A Reflection Part 1]          Mary -The Price

St. Paul eloquently says  .. “Love endures all; believes all; hopes in all” 
[ 1 Corinthians: 12:13]

It all began with a "YES" 2000 yrs ago...
"You did not choose me; I chose you to go and
              bear fruit."  - John 15:16

Mary heard a voice and she replied : 
"Fiat mihi secundum Verbum tuum"
[Be it done to me as you have said.]

Mary  was chosen by God  ...

          For God  ...

When the time came, her son prayed, 
 "Fiat Voluntas Tua"  [Thy Will be done]

and there on the Cross His final words were,

               "It is accomplished." 

What was "Thy Will"? ...that we be reconciled with the Beloved.
What was accomplished? ... the  fullness of a "sacrifice" being offered for Love.

Our sure passage to the fullness of joy  with God in Heaven has been assured by the 
                                            "Triumph of the Cross of Christ".

And what about Mary, the Mother of the Son of God?

She accepted her part in the plan of God.. 
The Cross that Jesus carried on his shoulder is the same cross that pierced the heart of a Mother , a mother who in silence died and rose again with her son to bring about the JOY promised to those who journey towards the same path... the path of JOY through the narrow road of the Cross... 


once we take heed  to the words of Mary "do whatever He tells  you".

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

JOY is...

To love and be loved in return...

To bear love and embrace its demands… 

With the gift of faith…

That makes you see clearly the path to Light… 

And with this light you see Light Himself 
and you soul burst into unexplainable ...

Your soul surges ... high enough to touch Love…

Touching Love, 

Light fused itself in you..

Free at last!

When your soul is free…That is

Joy is to start afresh with a new life; A life fully hidden in the bosom of LOVE …

"Use me Lord, whatever it takes. If I am in the way, get me out of the way so that "I" no longer exist; I no longer see anything... but  You living in me." 

“This is the way to happiness…we leave God free to act in His way. He is infinitely capable of rendering us happy than we ourselves are, because He knows us and loves us more than we can ever know or love ourselves.”
-Father Jacques Philippe

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Golden Age

In my many years of experience as lay religious missionary to the "little ones of Jesus" - the poor and vulnerable- the sick - the outcast, our ministry with the  elderly is the closest to my heart. Maybe because I had a good memory of my time with my two grand mothers, but I never had the chance to return gratitude for their goodness to me as they were already both gone at my earlier adult years.

Memorable moments with the elderly, I have many...

"Golden Age, I'll tell you what Golden Age means", said Mary...

What's golden age, Mary? I replied.

"Well, it's the "icing on the cake!"she said. ... "Hmmmmmm" I replied... trying to grasp what she just said.

She continued  with those twinkles on her two eyes and a smile on her face; yes, with that peaceful joy aura behind those lines on her face --no pretense, just pure and simple, she looked at me as she replied, "It means the best it yet to come..."

I paused... she was waiting to see if I understood what she meant....

"Oh I think I got it ! Icing on the cake makes the cake desirable to eat ! The packaging...and we can't wait 'til we get a slice to taste what's inside.  To confirm that the cake is good ! Correct?" , I teased her.

She laughed and said, "you got it!"

"But, what does it mean".... I was asking myself...

Laughing she volunteered answering my unspoken question...  "I never thought I have many gifts .. that I  have acquired intelligence as I grow older ... that I can do many useful things still... that I can still be of help to others..I never understood about wisdom when I was young... "

"O.k..." I quickly replied, wanting her to keep talking...

"I never thought that reaching this age (she was 92 then)  I would realize the gifts I received in the grace of my Confirmation.."

The "Gifts" she was referring to are wisdom, understanding, prudence, fortitude, knowledge, fear of the Lord, piety.She was talking about Gifts of the Holy Spirit that were sealed by the grace of the Sacrament of Confirmation in our soul when we reached the age of reason and further enriched as we grow mature in life's journey. She was telling me that golden age allowed her to experience and live these gifts of the Holy Spirit and with the grace of God in faith, hope and love she knew that she was still being given the opportunity to perfect them one by one in hopeful anticipation of the "best that yet to come"...

"Gratitude"... that was the meaning of those twinkles on her wrinkled face with beaming joy...

In other words Mary was telling me that golden age is the time of "expectation" for something worth waiting for... HOPE!

"I think I understood!" I exclaimed...
Wanting our conversation to keep going so I asked,

"Do you still remember often your husband?"
(She has been a widow for 42 years. They were together for 30yrs)

She looked at me without blinking her eyes,,,

"Everyday... in my sleep... when I wake-up; when I have my breakfast... when I take a walk.. in my prayers...Everyday...everyday...He is here with me..."

"Some people think that being old means life has ended... On the contrary, golden age is the precious time of expectation ... the 'icing'  that creates the excitement of waiting for something "yet to come"! Something far more than the here and now...The golden memories we acquired in life, brought forward to the present that excitement we had as we discover life.. And while we are threading on the lessons of life we take these memories unto the future... to that day...  and I know waiting will be over and .... I shall meet him again who never really left me by myself."

Yes, the best is yet to come.... for Mary... For us... If we become conscious in living of this present temporal reality as we prepare for the eternal joy that awaits us ; as we continue to put the beautiful "icing on the cake of life" ; as we move along to our own journey of life lived in gratitude for ..

...and it is not earned by anyone.
... it is a GIFT that we are given and one day, we will be asked to return this gift to the GIVER... 

I hope with beautiful "icing on the cake"!

The Gift: Aim for JOY...
Gifts and Fruits of the Holy Spirit
Seven Gifts and their Meaning

Friday, May 2, 2014

Ainsi soit-il

Life is a journey and in every journey there comes a time that we are faced with surprises, uncertainties even events that we are not prepared. 
I call  living  an adventure. And when we chose God as our companion, that is when I named living an "adventure of love."

In our spiritual journey with God,  
He may take us to several “roads”
Some roads are smooth;
Some maybe rough;
Some roads could be brightly lit, but some maybe damp and dark.

All this years from the moment I began my  adventure of love on the road to perfect charity and if I can name one thing that I have learned and has helped me "live my life's journey" to pure JOY, it is: 

"Peace comes about only through acceptance." 
"Peace can never be achieved through resistance."

              There is no such thing as co-incidence in the plan of God.
                What has bound to happen has to happen
                Even in the most unassuming subjects
                Even in the most unexpected places and time.
                Even in the most crooked line, nor mind.
               God can draw a straight line, can enlighten minds.
               God can create a masterpiece even out of a lump of clay.
               God can make “all things new.”
               And because He is God,
               Every plan He has in mind is good.
               It may not be the way we perceive it
               But none the less, believe that
               God is LOVE.

 Let us pray:  
Dear God of my heart,
My Jesus,
I want what You want;
I want all that you want;
    as You want it,
   when You want it,
   where You want it,
   as long as You want it, and just because
   “You want it.”
   So be it. Amen+
   Ainsi soit-il 

Wounded Heart

Friday, April 18, 2014


I could hear her voice saying, 

"Me? How can that be possible?" when she heard the voice "I chose you".... 

When one is "called" the person knew it. Only the one who have been called can hear the voice. The question lies on the freedom of the one chosen to say, "YES"... 
(cf ccc488)

"Mary untied the knot's of Eve's disobedience by her obedience" - St. Ireneus

 Let it be done unto me. (ccc494) ....

In the garden, our first parents broke their relationship with Love [God] through pride; 

It is fitting then that healing took place in the garden through humility...

Everything is possible with love and in their humanity, they prove that we are capable to do the same- let go of our preference for greater good, for the good of many .

For true and perfect love  means saying “YES” to sacrifice in the service of and for Love, when we hear the "voice" calling us to  love...

A sword pierced her heart at the sight of her Son..

His side was pierced by a soldier's lance ...  

Their lives were intertwined from the beginning to the end... 
       Their hearts are one+, consecrated to and for Love.

Twin Hearts of Jesus and Mary

Ainsi soit-il [Amen]

Mary, with your yes, you gave flesh to the Son of God.
Jesus by embracing the Cross on Good Friday, you gave me  hope to look forward to my Resurrection,  my Easter Sunday - my perfect JOY .

Thank you.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Of You

I wrote this poem sometime ago for someone very special whom I met in God's Gift of Borrowed Time... We've journeyed together -- laughed together; cried together; explored thoughts of the heart and mind together; prayed together; meditated and reflected God's Words and God's Will together...
When we thought our time was over, then we realized, our time HAS JUST BEGAN...  

The Gift of You

I didn't know you are coming
In a moment of God's timing
Surely not of my own's planning
Little did I know it was my heart's yearning

Yes the Beloved knows us best
Even the right moment we should meet
A meeting of two souls, of two hearts
Nurtured by Love, prepared in time

Truly I've learned a lot from you
A world out there I can only see through you
A dance and motion I can only do with you
Songs and music I can only sing and play with you

I claim you as my gift
A precious one indeed
And with grateful heart
I would like to keep

Not a stumbling block
Not a distraction
But a presence, an inspiration
A soul like mine whose heart beats the love of God

Thank you my Lady,
You are my Gift
Through you I understood
The mystical love of Christ our Beloved

A love that is free
A love that is intense
It need not have a body
To trap its immensity

With you I will celebrate Love
With you I will breathe Love
With you I will live Love
With you I will be Love

Not wanting, not expecting
Nothing more than celebrating
True love, pure love, intense love
And just be love for Love Himself

The Gift of You I will cherish
As Jesus cherishes us both
Cuddled by His love
Kept in His Heart for eternity

I think my time now is approaching
To enter into a deep silence
I can hear the song we used to sing being played
While I write this poem for you

If I haven't say it yet,
Let me say it once again
I thank Jesus, our Beloved
For the gift of YOU

Remember me just like when we first met
You know where you will find me
"There" hidden a soul in constant vigil
Before The One Fasten on the Cross

----For Love---

"My lady, we shall meet again. Right now, the GIFT we received we shall GIVE it as a GIFT"
----For God who is Love--- 

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Borrowed Time

   I have just completed my degree course in college when our family was confronted with a painful experience that none of us - my mom, my sister and I had known before -  the sudden death of a member of our family - my father.

Life is precious yet so short. It took me a while to accept the reality, the truth that was right before my eyes - my father, my friend, my model... he's gone. I was the first born and the only son; I knew right there in that hospital emergency room that I needed to be strong for my mother and my sister. I thanked God for the gift of a mother. In the midst of pain and grief, my mom's deep faith had helped us, my sister and I to live the following days and months with peace and serenity though it wasn't easy. My mom had a way to hide her own sorrow - for our sake she made sure to be emotionally strong. Her unwavering  trust in God were like the invisible arms that embraced us as we traveled that unfamiliar 'road'. Dad is in the hands of Love himself.

I was blessed to find myself working in New York City right after my college days. I was in one of the buildings in Manhattan when the September 2001 World Trade Center was attacked by terrorists. The building where I worked was not near the site of the attack, however the impact was enough to shake the depth of sadness out of me as I saw the many lives that were lost. It opened a wound that was slowly healing from the experience I had from my father's death. I became more aware of the vulnerability of human life and often reflected: " Life, how short you can now...gone tomorrow. God help me use this gift wisely."


"Make us know the shortness of our life, 
that we may gain the wisdom of heart" (Psalm 90:12)


   World Youth Day Toronto July 23-28, 2002
   "Build a civilization based on love for the third millennium, by making Christ the cornerstones of your lives." These were the words of Pope John Paul II at the World Youth Day held in Toronto that year. His message was clear - "use your gift of life in building a future worth living". His presence was so powerful! His love for the church and the young was so evident that not one of us left the city of Toronto without taking-in those challenging words of the late heroic vicar of Christ. We were burning with zeal to be the "Lumiere du Monde et Sel de la Terre" ( Light of the World and Salt of the Earth). Though the Pope's body was wasting away and frail, his passion for life, love and service was so alive! Enough to stir in us the desire to take heed, listen and act!

     These words .... "civilization based on love... make Christ the cornerstone of your lives... Lumiere du Monde" - they were like wake up calls to a sleeping soul...  my soul.

      After the WYD, I came back to New York a different person. There was something restless within me though I was trying to ignore it. The Holy Father's words were like an echo that kept coming back over and over again in my memory in next days and weeks that followed.

The time has come...

      God is love. He chooses each one of us to be His witness in the world. However there are some who are chosen for a special tasks- to work in His 'vineyard' yet He never insist His rightful place in our lives. He gives us freedom to respond or ignore this call. The choice is always ours.

       Flashback: During my junior high school and college days I have always been involved with volunteering works; summer services to the community. I was always happy coming home with stories to share- how I made myself useful by doing community services. In the Bronx- soup kitchen; nursing homes - visit to the elderly. In college, there were evenings where we went to a nearby nursing home to serve supper to the elderly residents.

 "An encounter with Love"

Borrowed times are God's life surprises; gifts presented in different "packages" waiting for us to unwrap one-by-one as they come. These gifts always come at the right time --God's Time,  when we are ready to receive it.

I have had quite a few of these 'gifts':

  • my father's death - I realized as I "opened this package" that no matter how much we love this world, there will be a time when we have to let go of it. It is not up to us to know when and where will He call us back home, it is up to Him. So, if life is this short, and I have no say when will this gift needs to be returned to the Giver, then it does matter a lot how will I "unwrap" it;

  •  the event that caused several casualties at 9/11 attacks:  unexpected loss of lives... things happened for a reason; we may not know it now but God knows and He is in control.                 

                  "...this night thy soul shall be required of thee,
     then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? (Luke 12:20)

  • the message at WYD 2002 Toronto; ".. build a civilization base on love..."

  • the summer service experiences I had that gave me a sense of how love can make a difference to the world and to the one who become an instrument of Love.

The Gift you received give it as a Gift

         Yes, I heard the "call".
          I hesitated. I did try to ignore the 'voice' I heard. I remember saying, " Not me Lord, I know what I want, I can see where my career is heading, I'm happy with my life."

          But the voice within me was more powerful.

          The message was clear,- everything we have is a gift  on "borrowed time." Life is the most precious... That I should make use of it wisely and not waste any moment, for today will be yesterday in no time if I missed the opportunity to live it - worthily; fully.

          The interior restlessness was becoming stronger as days and weeks passed by. I was looking for an answer -I was searching / thirsting but at the same time unsure if I want to know the answer!

"How do you say that you love God whom you do not see, if you don't love your neighbors whom you see." 
(1Jn 4:20-21)

        The God of love is calling me.   I just knew it!    Don't ask me how?    I just know.

The self-offering with structured prayer, community and ministry to the poor, it was to this life that He was drawing  my attention! I 'entertained' the idea and said,  "Well, I can be a missionary for a year or two... but no Lord, not life with vows as religious- I can love and serve you as a lay person."

"Spring follows after Winter" 

         The more that I tried to ignore the 'voice', the more I can't stay away from it.  It was one autumn afternoon of 2002 when finally God  came and "settled' my predicament.  I was with friends at Mount Vernon ,VA for the weekend enjoying the scenic road and nature walk when the majesty and wonder of nature before me - the autumn leaves, the changing colors of the foliage suddenly hit me like a clear flash of lightning! Being immerse with nature can bring a soul to contemplation of the Divine! It dawned on me that He is God and I am not! He made me realized through the majestic panorama of His creations that I should not fear! He'll take care of my concern. All I was able to say was, "O God what  an awesome God You are!  If you can create such beauty that changes from one season to another, always leading to a hope of a new life, You must know what you are doing! I don't know why you want me but I should trust You!

         God's call never insists, he whispers, then lovingly and patiently He waited for the soul to respond at its own pace, in his own time...His time.

I surrendered my life to Love. " You have called Lord, here I am."

 Autumn of  2002, I turned my back to the world I knew and entered a new world yet to be discovered (by me) an 'unknown' world to many. A life fully given to the service of the Gospel as missionary religious brother.  Why the Gift Blog

Life is a series of Borrowed Times
              Living this life for many years now, I have slowly understood as I looked back of the past on how God has prepared me even before I knew it. He unraveled His plan in stages of my life...His time, a series of encounters when I deemed ready and able to understand the wisdom behind every visitation.  My world seems unknown to many because it takes one to enter into its door, a door that leads to a "narrow road" as it may seem, but in reality it's the door that leads to a world full of love, for at the center of it is Love Himself.

              I turned my back from the known world of a promising professional career
              I fixed my eyes to journeying in the world of life fully given
              A life whose sole purpose and desire is to be a witness of Jesus,"as a servant"
              A life full of love, life, peace and joy... in the service of the Poor of Christ.

Life is beautiful and precious gift from God yet so short.
It is given to us for a purpose.
That is, to honor the Giver of life
Make full use of this gift for purpose it was intended to
So that your joy will be complete.

              The God of love is not hidden.
              He is right 'there' waiting.
              His rightful place is our heart
              Let not the world prevents us
             from hearing His Heart beating in us.

              A Heart that beats love
              A Heart that sees love in all things
              A love that knows no boundary
              For He is Love himself
My friend,
the people we cherish and love,
the blessings we received,
the life we have,
they are all gifts from God given on borrowed times.
We unwrap each gift as we journey through this land.
I hope that you too will see the wisdom of God at every gift you received.
And when it's your turn to unwrap the gift, I pray that you would take the cue.

Follow  His leading
that you may experience the true joy of living.

Borrowed times are God's precious moments with us, an encounter with Love Himself.
Take heed, listen, learn and follow the wisdom of this visitation
and experience the fullness of life in love, peace and joy.

A life in union with Him.
Be a gift! 

 It is possible in any state of life...just pay attention when you "unwrap" your gift.
Happy journeying...