maybe because it's turning 30... that big three oh that is making me think about my life and that sounds like a death sentence to some... but i find myself actually waiting for this day to come. it's not that i don't feel old... i really do especially if i'm in st peter, i feel my age a lot because i'm surrounded by everyone's who's a lot younger than me... but it's because i can't believe that i've lived in this world for three decades already! and i guess, though my life is still turning pages and has not made a significant mark yet, i feel i am so blessed by God with friends who care and a family that has its own quirks but loves each other dearly.
maybe it's also because turning 30 soon gives me the confidence that there are more exciting blessings to come and i can't wait to embrace it. :)
i've thought of writing a wish list... but all material things to ask seems so... materialistic and listless... so i thought of what i want to do and accomplish (and not necessarily on that day because it's maundy thursday):
- i want to attend,
not organize (haha) a soup kitchen where we can serve soup to the less fortunate
- i want to start my "visit-to-the-hospital-and-cheer-patient-up-through-singing" program that i've been really wanting to do since i had this idea which was already 5-10 years ago????
- i want to write an inspiring song about friendship and God's blessing and try to compile an album of my lyrical compositions and ask omar to put the music behind
- i want to have a quiet dinner with my family and best friends (preferably not together - i am a small crowd kinda girl)
- i want to visit a flower farm in Tagaytay or someone near... and try to grow plants again
- i want my room to be renovated - better chi and feng shui! hahaha
- i want to attend a retreat
- oh of course, i want to have a post-birthday small-group party with char that we talked about a year ago when she comes back from US (jovs, you're invited... :P)
quite hefty but i know can be done... :) not in a day's work... maybe in a month. hahaha.
prayers please :)
When one educates himself further of the mysteries of the Church, one is bound to either love his faith more dearly or turn to the other direction and bolt as fast as his running shoes can take him. To me, the decision to believe in stigmata and understand its suffering is enough to make me firmly love my faith more.
What are Stigmata? Stigmata is a plural noun that means bodily marks or pains resembling the wounds of the crucified Jesus and sometimes accompanying religious ecstasy1, and this could be visible and invisible. Famous stigmatics includes St. Francis of Assisi, St. Padre Pio, St. Catherine of Siena and Ven. Anne Catherine Emmerich (of whom the latter was an inspiration and source of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ). Why do Stigmata happen? New Advent offers an explanation: “The person being keenly impressed by the sufferings of the Saviour and penetrated by a great love, this preoccupation acts on her or him physically, reproducing the wounds of Christ”.
Its existence is actually very well established that it is hardly disputed nowadays. However, this may come as a shock: stigmata are not part of essential Catholic teaching. You could deny that any person other than Christ ever received the marks of his passion—and be a good Catholic.2 Although references were made on this, such as Paul’s exclamation: "I bear in my body the brand marks of Jesus" (Gal. 6:17), this could not be a direct allusion to the mystical stigmata. However, the same person who says stigmata are not part of essential Catholic teaching also states: “I do not deny that some people have had the stigmata. In the best situation, the stigmata remind us that Christ’s passion and resurrection are very real and that we need to be open to God’s grace. The stigmata cannot be the object of faith but could, if properly understood, be a support to faith.” And to understand why God allows this mystical stigmata and its suffering to happen, I would like to refer to Pope John Paul’s message in the World Day of the Sick, 2002: “The answer to the question of the meaning of suffering has been "given by God to man in the Cross of Jesus Christ" (ibid., 13). Suffering, a consequence of original sin, takes on a new meaning; it becomes a sharing in the saving work of Jesus Christ (cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1521). Through His suffering on the Cross, Christ has prevailed over evil and enables us too to overcome it. Our sufferings become meaningful and precious when united with His.”
And that is what made me fall in love with my faith once more. “Our sufferings become meaningful and precious when united with His” – and perhaps the greatest manifestation of these sufferings are in the form of the mystical stigmata.
1 Merriam Webster online, www.m-w.com
2 Ask Franciscan by Father Pat McCloskey, O.F.M., www.americancatholic.org
This is a discussion you need to read!
Enjoy it. I did!
GOD: Angels, do you know what I was just thinking about?
ANGELS: What were you thinking about?
GOD: Christians seem to have forgotten what kind of power they have available and the devil keeps on deceiving them!
ANGELS: God, exactly what are you driving at?
GOD : I have made my children in such a way that when the people of the world are sitting, they would be standing, when the world is standing, they will stand out, when the world stands out, my children must be outstanding and when the devil dares the world to be outstanding, my people will be the standards to be used!
JESUS CHRIST: They (Christians) are also forgetting the words in Ephesians 1:3.
GOD: Please read it out!
ANGEL: PRAISE BE TO THE GOD AND FATHER OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST , WHO HAS BLESSED US
IN THE HEAVENLY PLACES WITH EVERY SPIRITUAL BLESSING IN CHRIST .
ANGEL: So what do we do now since the end is almost near ?
HOLY SPIRIT: My Presence is still among men and I will teach and remind the Christians of all that we have discussed. I will also make sure that they pass this message on!
JESUS CHRIST : I will also keep on interceding for them and stand in for them even in their weaknesses.
GOD: I will also make sure that I give to all those who ask of me, seek me and try to find
me. The blessings I have promised them through my son Jesus Christ will be delivered to all those who discover that I, Jehovah, I am ready to bless them! Not because of any special things that they have done, but just because I LOVE THEM !
JESUS CHRIST: I will also give all my followers who are willing to pass this conversation on, enough strength to carry on!
ANGELS: We are all backing THE TRINITY and even the devil cannot stop us! How funny!
Christians are finally taking over and .......
DEVIL (eavesdropping behind
the gates): I hope you all heard!
I will deploy more troops (demons) and make sure the Christians pray less, read their Bibles less, preach less and make sure this mail does not move anywhere! Also.....
YOU SURE HEARD THAT! THE DEVIL WILL MAKE SURE YOU DO NOT PASS THIS ON
BUT PROVE HIM WRONG AND SHOW HIM THE POWER YOU HAVE IN CHRIST JESUS AS
A CHRISTIAN. PRAY MORE; STUDY THE WORD MORE AND PREACH THE WORD!
DO NOT DISAPPOINT GOD! PASS IT ON!
it eventually happened. a colossal mistake in one of our tasks as wedding suppliers. Although everything really went well... the entourage flowers were nice, the set-up at the reception was good despite the fact that we were faced with a very limited budget... we missed a detail that was really very important to the couple and it made everything looked just so.
at first, i couldn't believe it. it was one of the most dreaded things I face whenever I do weddings... it's because weddings are a once in a lifetime thing, and i hate to be remembered at that day as the worst supplier ever. this happened to me once when i was doing flowers alone. maybe because of this, i stopped doing flowers by myself. now that i have partners, i thought this would not happen anymore... but it did.
i actually did not feel bad about any of my partners, and did not want to point any finger because as a group, and with my training at work, i have to face the responsibility especially to the couple. i just felt bad that it happened to this couple. but at the end of the day, we just have to move on...
and yes, mistakes are lessons to be learned. and rising above this brings forth character and makes successful people. and these will be what we'll be working on.
as for the couple... i hope that the mistake we did... albeit small compared to the larger picture of things... will be forgiven and forgotten. after all... they do have more things to enjoy and worry about after the wedding, which is marriage! :)