On Being a Father

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Today is the feast of St. Joseph.
One of the names by which Jesus was known is “the son of the carpenter”.
There many things about being a father I learned from Joseph.
And thinking of him now, I remember my own father.

He was a man of few words.
And so was Tatang. Today, I would love to hear his voice and his stories.
He was often reticent to talk about himself.
There were times he would start talking about himself;
but I guess I was too busy playing to really listen to him.
I can be very talkative and noisy but there are many times
I have had to hold back my tongue as a father.
Like Joseph, I am guided by dreams, of which I have a lot.
I have dreams for my family,
dreams for each of my sons,
and now dreams for my apos.
Dreams and fathers. These are what start out a family.

Joseph must have been bewildered many times
about the things happening in their family,
often not comprehending these things.
Tatang was a simple man but something in him must have bewildered him
and he went out to find the answer.
He alone among his siblings left his home and his town
to seek the answers he was looking for.
And so am I.
I am often baflled, and in my bafflement I set out to seek answers.
I left home early and have not hesitated to pull up my stakes to seek answers.
Joseph stayed on strong in his faith,
a source of support and strength for Jesus and Mary,
always compassionate and caring.
And so I pray that I too will be like him
and in praying, also thank Tatang for the lessons he has subtly and quietly
taught and left me.

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Light Sings

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Nothing speaks better of the freshness and newness of life, of hope and renewal
than the streaks of first light at the break of dawn.

Nothing seems sadder or more melancholic
than the fading light of a sunset at the end of the day.

Light is the energy that suffuses our entire world and keeps everything alive.
I imagine grace to be the divine light that sustains us and enable us
to be, to achieve and to become.

For thus is the law of life.
Life begets life and it will never be denied.
So it is the law of love.
Love is paid back with love and it will always win over hatred.
We forgive and we are forgiven.
We give and we receive i the same measure.

“Forgive and you will be forgiven.
Give and gifts will be given to you;
a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure with which you measure
will in return be measured out to you.”

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Being Transfigured

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In the beginning, just before theBig Bang, there was just a singularity of a particle,
And all particles have an energy inside them waiting to burst forth.
Energy that is equal to its weight multiplied by the speed of light.
Indeed, everything that exists carries almost infinite possibilities.
A tiny seed contains a life aching to be expressed.
And every human person has within him the seeds of eternal light.

Anywhere there is matter, there will be energy.
Anywhere there is energy, there will be light,
Anywhere there is light, there will be life.
And anywhere there is life, there was love before.

Because the universe in here, existence is stronger than non-being.
Because energy is here, light is stronger than darkness.
Because life is here, we have been loved into existence.
And because we can love, we have been loved priorly.

There is in every person what it takes to live in eternity.   IMG_20190202_153056-ANIMATION
There is in everyone of us that same light and energy
that sparked the universe into existence.
Thus, at the end of life, we do not walk towards the light.
Instead, the light within us will break out and burst forth
to actualize and release our true being and potential.

 

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In the Gathering Darkness

P1050911These days, I am often overwhelmed by the magnitude of the problems we face.
Then I would feel utterly helpless at the puniness of what I can do.
I have to remind myself of the strength and beauty there is in smallness.
In the vastness of the universe, we are but stardust;
but what we have built on earth is simply amazing.
Just a small fraction (about 1%) differentiates us from apes;
and yet there is a world of difference between us.
Micro-nutrients, infinitesimal in quantities, are vital to life.
A pinch of salt adds infinite flavor to a dish.
A whiff of a favorite scent is enough to bring back a flood of memories.
And we get to live life one day at a time.
Things will get done in due time.
And ‘in due time’ is God’s time.

In spite of all the pain and suffering,
all the tears and misery,
despite all the bickering, violence and wars,
despite all the hate, the greed, the pride and selfishness;
the universe is being transformed bit by bit.
Today is better than yesterday and tomorrow will be better than today.
God’s plan and design will not be frustrated,
watching the passing of the seasons tells me so.
Spring will soon be here.
Nature is never in a hurry;
and yet everything gets done in due time.

In the face of all the evil and imperfections in this world,
of which I am often a part of and a contributor,
my efforts to make good may indeed seem puny and even futile.
It seems Satan is gaining the upper hand in this cosmic battle between good and  evil.
‘Satan’ means ‘adversary’ and refers to all that stands against the goodness of God.
I may live under a corrupt government,
where bad legislation oppresses the innocent,
and unjust structures enrich the powerful.
Single-handed I cannot change an institution;
but I may be called by God to protest against wrong-doing.
I can also pray! Always.

 

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Ask, Seek, and Knock

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“Ask and it will be given to you;
For everyone who asks, receives.”

What is there to still ask for?
I have run out of things to ask.
Many things I have asked for have been given to me;
justas many things I have asked for have not been granted.
Did I receive because I asked
or would I have gotten them anyway?
Just don’t ask and make the best of whatever you have?
Or, just don’t ask so you are not asked in return.

“Seek and you will find;
For everyone who seeks, finds.”

I am done with my seeking and searching.
What is there still to seek and search?
Just keep still and and silent and quiet
and enjoy whatever you have already sought and searched for.
Much of what I sought, I found;
just as much of what I searched for I never obtained.
What is it I am seeking or searching for anyway?
At this stage of my life, it does not matter anymore.
Seeking and searching some more carries more aggravations and complications.
I do not have the stomach nor the stamina for that anymore.

“Knock and the door will be opened to you.
For everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.” 

I am done with opening doors.
There are not many more doors left to open anyway.
And those that are left unopened are probably best left closed.
Besides, I am afraid of what might be behind those doors.
In fact, some of the doors I have opened
I have started closing again.
In my time, I enjoyed opening doors.
I always loved what I find inside.
There may have been some disappointments
but still in all, I am happy I have opened many doors in my life.
But I am done with that now.
Sometimes, I want to start closing more and more doors.
Shut myself in and just be with myself in the peace and quiet.

 

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Our FatherWho Art In Heaven

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“This is how you are to pray:

Our Father who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy Kingdom come,
thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

I am not in control of my life nor of the people or the world around me.
God, our Father, who is in heaven, is in control.
His will reigns over all the earth and throughout the universe.
He plans the birth of the stars and the falling of the leaves.

He wills only what is good, true, and beautiful for me and the whole of creation.
Even when I am weak and do wrong by myself and by my fellowmen,
He cares for me with a forgiving love and a gentle compassion.
I am tempted often but I want not to be a disciple of the Evil One,
from whom I pray he delivers me.

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Temptations

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There is so much conflict, turmoil and violence in the world today
– in and among individuals, in families, in societies, in and among nations.
This turmoil is often but a reflection and an echo
of the storms and tempests raging within us.

There is a hunger within us crying to be satisfied.
But even with food, there is a lingering hunger within that remains unsatisfied.
We seek to slake and relieve it with other ‘foods’ – pleasure, fantasy, vainglory.
Nothing works to ever satisfy that big yawning hunger
– in fact, a big hole – within us.
It takes a while for us to realize that
that emptiness within is reserved but for one Person.

We are distracted from physical pleasures and yearn for wealth, power and fame.
This is a lusting much stronger than our craving for food.
But we sooner or later also realize these are ephemeral.
What people consider wealth, power or fame today
may be but trash for the garbage bing tomorrow.

Then, we try to pretend we are in control.
This is the greatest temptation of man,
to pretend that he is in control.
We make our own happiness.
We create our own illusions of what life is all about.
But that big gaping gap within remains.
There is only One who can fill that unfathomable hole.

We all long for peace and serenity.
Only by going back where we came from can we ever have those.

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