Hulk

Are you like the Incredible Hulk?

I saw this Marvel Comics life-size statue of our favorite green superhero, the Incredible Hulk at SM MOA Arena during the Holy Week Retreat 2018 “Deeper”.

Anger was expressively shown in his face with a glaring or hooded look straight to your eyes.

Eyebrows lowered and formed a ‘V’ over the nose. Wrinkles seen on the nose due to flared nostrils. Lips appeared thinner than their normal size. Exposed teeth allows Hulk to threaten his source of anger and often precedes shouting or screaming, an extreme sign of anger.

Hulk Anger

Research scientist Bruce Banner has a problem. He has a forgotten and painful past, which comes to light during an experiment gone awry. During an accidental explosion, Bruce’s heroic impulse saves a life, but exposes his body to a deadly dose of gamma radiation. Remarkable, he survives, but he begins to feel something different within him. It’s a massive creature known as the Hulk, which begins to make sporadic appearances when Banner gets angry. The unleashed Hulk cut a path of destruction that terrified the public and engaged the military against him. But, how can the Hulk be stopped? As Bruce Banner says, “I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I’m becoming. But I know one thing for sure – you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

Anger is a difficult emotion to control. When you are livid with rage, you lose your ability to reason and turn into a monster. You shout, you rage, you smash things and cause destruction.

This statue of Incredible Hulk, the poster boy for anger and destruction, taught me a lot about losing my temper.

The Incredible Hulk debuted in 1962. His alter-ego, Dr. Bruce Banner, was a nuclear physicist working on an atomic bomb, when he accidentally received a huge blast of gamma rays. The rays split Banner into two personalities: one, the mild-mannered scientist he had always been and The Hulk — a walking natural disaster — upon an unprepared world.

Although Banner’s brains are to be prized, the real message is: no matter how smart you think you are, control your emotions or face social rejection.

The Hulk was the embodiment of all of Banner’s repressed emotions. But it was mainly anger that drove the Hulk. The angrier the Hulk became, the stronger he got. Due to the Hulk’s superhuman strength and lack of self-control, he caused untold damage and destruction wherever he went. Naturally, most people feared and viewed the Hulk as a monster.

What then are the dangers of letting anger control you?

Anger Causes You to Say Hurtful Words
The Hulk had very little self-control over the things he said or did. In the midst of anger, it is hard to control the things you say. But when you are angry, you may not even want to do so. Instead, you want to give vent to your anger and frustrations to feel better. Under such conditions, you could say many hurtful things that you would not have said otherwise. Words spoken in anger could cause irreversible harm to a relationship. By then it is too late for regrets. You cannot take back what you say.

Anger Causes Destructive Behavior
You cannot speak of the Hulk without thinking of the destruction he left in his wake. The damage he caused cost billions of dollars. Words alone may not be enough. When you are livid with anger, you could engage in hurtful and destructive behaviour as well. You could do spiteful things just to even the score. While you may not necessarily destroy things like the Hulk, you could hurt people unwittingly on a mental or emotional level.

Anger Makes You a Burden to Others
It comes as no surprise that the Hulk was a danger and a burden to others. Losing your temper is disruptive to the environment around you. It creates a scene that brings everything around you to a halt. When you lose control of your temper, you force people to drop what they are doing to deal with you. Depending on the situation, they may have to accommodate you or put you in your place. This can make you a burden to others and cause them to feel tensed if you lose your temper on a constant basis.

Anger Causes You to Alienate People
One of the challenges that the Hulk faced was his alienation of friends and allies. When you get mad at others, you are bound to do and say things that will have negative consequences. You cannot expect to lose your temper without paying a price for it. After all, you might alienate others in your rage. This could lead to tension in your relationships in the short run. If the damage is deep enough, you could end up turning a friend into an enemy. Repeatedly losing your temper will cause people to dislike you. Although they may not openly admit it, they may be unwilling to lift a finger to help you if you need it.

Anger Turns You Into an Unthinking Monster
When people think of the Hulk, they remember the dumb, angry monster who caused widespread damage and destruction. He was a danger to friend and foe alike because he could not control his temper. This is what anger does when it consumes you. Your rage, which may prove too much for you to handle, clouds your reason and judgment. In the throes of your anger, you could across as an unthinking brute to those around you.

Take Action
As long as you live in this world, you are bound to get angry at one point or another. Anything can set you off. Even so, it is important not to let your anger get the better of you. Cutting loose and lashing out when you are angry may help you to relieve your rage and make you feel good. But there is a price to pay. The things you say and do in your anger may have grave consequences for you. You should try to avoid losing your temper and turning into a monster.

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.

SDE

Just want to share the wonderful journey I had during this Holy Season of Lent.

Relive the wonder of going Deeper into God’s love at this year’s Holy Week Retreat/Grand Easter Feast last March 29-30 and April 1 at the SM MOA Arena and SMX Convention Center.

Go (click here) #Deeper here at #TheFeast #HolyWeekRetreat2018

Run

Dive deeper into the love of God and allow His grace to wash away our sadness and worries.

This was the message of the Grand Easter Feast 2018 dubbed “Deeper”, organized by the Light of Jesus (LOJ) community.

The event was a great opportunity to rediscover our meaningful relationship with God.

His Eminence Luis Antonio G. Cardinal Tagle of the Archdiocese of Manila led the Holy Eucharist in the morning.

Grand Easter Feast 2018

As a resurrected Church, like the apostles, it is incumbent on us to go out and proclaim the Good News. The instruction of the Risen Lord to the disciples was, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers.” (cf Mt 28:10) We do this by recovering our personal relationship with the Lord. We need to rekindle the faith of our Catholics. We need to reach out to those who are searching for God in their lives or who desire a personal relationship with Him. Faith is not just worship and doctrines. We need to express them concretely as there are many who are seeking for signs of love and welcome, a sense of identity and belonging. Photo credits: small bottle with water juxtaposed with the stage by Sis. Hannah Sharisah Marquez.

His presence was like a tight embrace from God.

He reminded everyone on the true essence of Easter in our lives.

He said that Easter was all about running.

Like the apostles when they opened the tomb, they run as fast as they can when they found out that no one was inside the tomb.

Are you letting God run your life?

Are you tired?

Are you weary?

Are you just trying to survive and stumble across the finish line?

Are you striving to give it your best?

Or are you thriving? Are you trained and prepare to run this race of life and faith well?

Para kanino ka tumatakbo? Sinong nagpapatakbo ng buhay mo?

Last year, I was in Angeles Pampanga during the Holy Week for my healing journey. Never did I think that I would participate in a Holy Week experience like in 2018.

I let go and let God guide me.

Fruitful.

Meaningful.

Empowered.

Ready to dive again with life’s many challenges.

Bring it on!

Easter, then, is the beginning of attitudes and spirits of hopes, of confidence and trust. It is our responsibility to cooperate with this wonderful grace that Jesus is offering us. Only then, can we move ahead with determination to new possibilities, as the apostles eventually did after Pentecost.

We have to confront our empty tombs and discard our burial cloths. Then we can turn them into signs of hope and new life.

Jesus’ resurrection proclaims the miraculous transformation of our earthly existence. Death has been conquered. We understand what was meant by what the early Fathers (and perhaps, Mothers) of the Church meant when they said: “Jesus became human so that we could become divine.”

We participate in the Paschal Mystery. We know and experience the cycle of life, death and new life. We know that new life is often borne in pain. We know that we can hold life and death together.

Even while something within us is dying, something new can be rising. We have to give ourselves over to God and not confine God to our human limitations.

Then we can truly proclaim with St. Augustine that “We are Easter people and ‘Alleluia is our song.’ Let us sing Alleluia here and now in this life so that we can sing it one day in the life to come.”

Let’s give up all of our negative views of ourselves. “If God is for us, who can be against us?” (Romans 8:31). Second, let’s listen to Jesus as he tells us that he knows how much we love him. Let’s allow these words to move us out into the world to feed his sheep.

May we all have a blessed Easter season!

Deeper

These wonderful photos were taken by Bro. Ariel Barrera. As a servant of the Media Ministry, he captured the essence of being a missionary in action.

Deeper

Photo Credits to Bro. Ariel Barrera.

This was the challenge to everyone during the Light of Jesus (LOJ) Holy Week Retreat dubbed “Deeper” on Maundy Thursday at SM Mall of Asia Arena.

Special thanks to Bro. Topher Francisco and his Tropang Quiapo (Sis. Nene & Bro. Gilbert) for the company and also for tagging me along for a boodle lunch hosted by the Agojo couple (Sis. Marichu & Bro. Stan) from Lux Batch 23.

We are all called to become a missionary.

A missionary is a follower of Jesus who feels God telling them to share the Gospel with people who have never been taught about Jesus before. A missionary is not a better Christian than other followers of Jesus.

Missionaries are normal people who choose to obey God and tell people about Jesus in places all around the world be it big or small.

Every Christian is challenged, here and now, to be actively engaged in evangelization; indeed, anyone who has truly experienced God’s saving love does not need much time or lengthy training to go out and proclaim that love.

An evangelizing community knows that the Lord has taken the initiative, He has loved us first, and therefore we can move forward, boldly take the initiative, go out to others, seek those who have fallen away, stand at the crossroads and welcome the outcast.

Such a community has an endless desire to show mercy, the fruit of its own experience of the power of the Father’s infinite mercy.

Let us try a little harder to take the first step and to become involved. Jesus washed the feet of his disciples. The Lord gets involved and He involves His own, as He kneels to wash their feet. He tells His disciples: “You will be blessed if you do this” (John 13:17).

An evangelizing community gets involved by word and deed in people’s daily lives; it bridges distances, it is willing to abase itself if necessary, and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others.

Every Christian should be on mission for Christ. Just as Jesus gave the disciples, and I believe He gives all of us, an imperative command, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt 28:19-20).

Jesus doesn’t say, wait till they come to you, rather you go to them, so in a sense, we are all Christian missionaries.

We may not be able to go into all the world, but we can go into the neighborhood, or wherever else we happen to be.

To seek those who are lost so that they might place their trust in Christ.