La Salle

I had a chance to visit my Ninang/Dra. Laarni ‘Let’ Fajardo- Roque in De La Salle University- Manila.

Inside the chapel and etched in the main altar wall, I was struck by this beautiful quote from St. La Salle:  “Iniibig ko nang higit sa lahat ang kalooban ng Diyos para sa akin.” 

Gods will

When I was a young man, I seemed to continually wrestle with knowing God’s will for my life. I wanted more than anything to follow His plan. I still wrestle with doing His will in my life. I have come to learn that this is not just something that a young person does early in life; it is a lifelong pursuit in order to stay in the exact center of His plan. Together with Ninang/Dra. Let of PLM- Student Catholic Action and with Bro. Edward of our Light Group.

But what if God’s will for my life is not what I want? What if it involves discomfort, suffering and pain?

What if I don’t like it?

But, His will prevailed.

We are all living in a fast-paced, hard driven, “make it happen” world. Most of the time, I got distracted.

I find it difficult to see what He sees, hear the sound of His voice, and love and serve by the power of His Spirit within me.

I am still a work in progress.

Talking with Ninang Let today during my visit and also our sharing session with Bro. Edward during our Light Group, I’ve realized that:

We must migrate toward relationship with Him first and always! This is our only hope of real and lasting transformational change. Intimacy and presence is His power in you and through you.

We must examine our hearts and ask the Holy Spirit to illuminate and reflect back to us the things that we may not be aware of. Once revealed, our love for Him should motivate us to take the steps He shows us to get healed.

We must look at our daily activities and check and see if the actions please the Father or grieve the Father. We should decide today to be “Father pleasers.” How we treat our spouses, how we love our children, how we give without having to receive, how we become absorbed with Him and others, rather than self all matter much to God.

Talk to Him often, but mostly listen. Jesus only did and said what the Father gave Him to do and say. Jesus is always our model. Sometimes Jesus would turn away the crowd, the noise, the ministry stuff, to get away with the Father. So must we. He loves to hear from you and He is big enough to listen to the gripes and complaints. He is also big enough to show you that the gripes and complaints are insignificant in light of His eternal plans for you. Take time to listen often, He will give you what you need more often than what you want.

Just love. God is love. Everything about Him oozes love. Love does not mean we ignore truth and justice. His perfect love always includes truth and justice. But how our hearts move towards truth and justice often reveals where we are in His love. Love seems to gravitate towards healing and restoration, rather than judgment. Love within you will cause you to not focus on self and you will pursue loving those who have hated and rejected you. You will pray for your enemies and you will begin relationships with those who are different than you. If anything you do is not founded on Love, then it is not founded on God.

Walk humbly before your God and with others. When I write, I am writing these things to myself as well. I thank God for my evolving development, but wow, I have a long way to go, just ask my wife Jude. The more I know, the more I don’t know and the more it keeps me pressed into Him.

No matter where you are in your life journey, God is constantly working in and through you. He is working daily in all of us.

And one day the time will come when that light bulb inside of us will click. That moment when it all makes sense. When we see and understand God’s plan for us and why certain relationships never worked out, and why others did. We will understand why our ultimate plan was not God’s.

And that moment may not be right now, and that is okay. To be honest it probably isn’t right now for a lot of us.

That is because we have to trust God and have faith that He will show us direction in our lives. That he will close doors that are not meant for us and will present us with new opportunities and open other doors that are indeed part of His plan.

Puso

How do you pray?

Bro. Alvin Barcelona, The Feast Bay Area District Builder shared during the ‘Deeper’ Holy Week Retreat 2018 the importance of praying from the heart.

To have a relationship with God, we have to keep in constant communication with Him through prayer.

Remember, when you pray, let your prayers spring from the heart. There is no need to scour for words. Words flow naturally when you pray from the heart.

Puso Pray from the Heart

The best way to begin anything is with honesty, so you might want to say something such as, “OK. Here I am, God. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. I’m scared. Teach me. Guide me and protect me, and lead me to You.” Remembering that Christ told us to pray constantly (Luke 18:1), so that the lovely garden of the Spirit He planted in you at baptism receives careful cultivation and does not go to weeds, do not be afraid to repeat your improvised prayers constantly. Moreover, maintain a constant awareness of God’s presence by talking to God about everything you do, telling Him of your difficulties and frustrations, asking for His guidance, and doing everything for love of Him.

When feelings of loving devotion arise from the heart, it will nourish your soul.

Fr. David J. Dohogne shared that as Catholics, we are well aware of the importance and necessity of daily prayer in order to maintain a strong and healthy relationship with the Lord.

The Church reminds us that there are different types of prayer which we offer to God.

These are namely prayer of praise (thanking and glorifying God), prayer of petition (seeking something from God), prayer of contrition (seeking forgiveness from God), and prayer of intercession (seeking God’s blessings on behalf of another person).

A healthy “balanced” prayer life would include each of these types of prayer.

Be excited about your daily times of prayer! Following the example of Jesus and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, may the words of our prayers be real, sincere, and truly come from the heart and not just from our lips!

Bro. Alvin shared during the retreat that all thoughts and feelings are valid material for prayer.

Simply put: When you go to pray, lift up what’s inside of you at that moment. If you are bored, lift up that boredom; if you are angry, lift up your anger; if you are tired, lift up that tiredness; if you feel selfish, don’t be afraid to let God see that.

Jesus said that we must become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. One of the qualities in children to which this refers is precisely their honesty in showing their feelings.

Children don’t hide their sulks, pouts, and tantrums. A good mother handles these rather easily, often with a smile. God is up to the task.

If we do that, it makes it easier for us to “pray always”, as scripture asks. What does this mean?

Obviously it doesn’t mean that we should always be at formal prayer, that we should strive to be full-time contemplatives, or even that we should seize every possible occasion we can to pray formally.

To “pray always” invites us rather to live our lives against a certain horizon. It doesn’t necessarily mean to stop work and go to formal prayer, important though that is at times.

The point is rather that we need to do everything within the context of a certain awareness, like a married man who goes on a business trip and who, in the midst of a demanding schedule of meetings and social engagements, is somehow always anchored in a certain consciousness that he has a spouse and children at home.

Despite distance and various preoccupations, he knows that he is “married always”. That awareness, more than the occasional explicit phone call home, is what keeps him anchored in his most important relationship.

Our relationship with God is the same. We need to “pray always” by doing everything out of that kind of awareness.

Let us offer everthing to Him and pray from the heart.