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Articles on this Page
- 09/22/13--01:20: _Unveiled: Why I lef...
- 09/30/13--13:59: _Awakening our Soul
- 10/15/13--03:19: _Step 3: Stay In Lov...
- 11/17/13--05:25: _Love Never Fails
- 01/04/14--13:40: _Epiphany in Three P...
- 01/14/14--06:30: _Epiphany: On Life a...
- 02/02/14--01:01: _Epiphany Part 3: On...
- 03/07/14--21:08: _The Bride, The Brid...
- 04/19/14--01:00: _At the Foot of the ...
- 06/02/14--14:19: _Pilgrimage of Love
- 07/12/14--16:54: _Love is
- 09/07/14--15:38: _Self-Mastery Myster...
- 09/17/14--20:31: _Self-Mastery Myster...
- 09/23/14--00:56: _Self-Mastery:100 Vo...
- 11/12/14--05:00: _Self-Mastery: Humility
- 12/06/14--04:40: _Self-Mastery: Thoug...
- 12/26/14--00:19: _Self-Mastery: Thoug...
- 02/21/15--04:13: _U-turn and Crossroa...
- 04/24/15--15:47: _U-turns and Crossro...
- 06/11/15--21:47: _Re-building bridges...
- 07/02/15--05:09: _Love Memories
- 08/07/13--15:45: _Step 1: Close Your ...
- 08/18/13--03:13: _Step 2. Fall in Lov...
- 08/28/13--08:40: _Fall In Love: A Pee...
- 09/09/13--21:23: _A Word of Hope for ...
- 09/22/13--01:20: Unveiled: Why I left. When should you?
- 09/30/13--13:59: Awakening our Soul
- 10/15/13--03:19: Step 3: Stay In Love ~ On Spiritual Friendship
- 11/17/13--05:25: Love Never Fails
- 01/04/14--13:40: Epiphany in Three Parts
- 01/14/14--06:30: Epiphany: On Life and Nature
- 03/07/14--21:08: The Bride, The Bridegroom and the Bridegroom's Friend
- 04/19/14--01:00: At the Foot of the Cross
- 06/02/14--14:19: Pilgrimage of Love
- 07/12/14--16:54: Love is
- 09/07/14--15:38: Self-Mastery Mystery [part 1: AI NO UTA]
- 09/17/14--20:31: Self-Mastery Mystery [part 2: Rekindled Love]
- 09/23/14--00:56: Self-Mastery:100 Voices for Suicide Prevention
- 11/12/14--05:00: Self-Mastery: Humility
- 12/06/14--04:40: Self-Mastery: Thoughts on Forever part 1
- 12/26/14--00:19: Self-Mastery: Thoughts on Forever part 2
- 02/21/15--04:13: U-turn and Crossroads part 1
- 04/24/15--15:47: U-turns and Crossroads part 2: Dreams
- 06/11/15--21:47: Re-building bridges...breaking down walls
- 07/02/15--05:09: Love Memories
- 08/07/13--15:45: Step 1: Close Your Eyes ~ in Prayer and Thanksgiving
- 08/18/13--03:13: Step 2. Fall in Love ~ Formation of the Heart
- 08/28/13--08:40: Fall In Love: A Peek into the Hidden Life
- 09/09/13--21:23: A Word of Hope for World Suicide Prevention Day 2013
I received my dispensation of vows from Pope Benedict XVI in 2008.
I was filled with idealism and concepts on God, vocation to love, service and what religious life is all about ~ but it entails much much more than that since what should be formed first and foremost is the heart.
I had chosen the Franciscan road out of romantic notions of poverty, devoid of knowledge of community life.
I was challenged and confused with my personal relationships. I feared work life and had apprehension over my career. My poor self-esteem was exposed and I doubted my ability to survive in my community.
The pressures great, the choices unlimited.
Instead of staying to work through my life’s dilemmas, choices and relationships, I thought I would find comfort and freedom in the religious order. I wrongly believed the convent would liberate me from the struggles of my daily life.
Over some time, I came to realize that I was carrying myself, not Jesus, in the mission field. I slowly came to terms with why I had entered and why I must leave despite the disappointment and pain I would cause to those dearest to me.
You may have your awakening [earthquake and crisis] at the most inconvenient times. God may be telling you to move on. To leave the structures.
I realized that I had been afraid of other people, especially the opposite sex. Afraid of relationships, afraid of heartbreak and afraid of the pain which came when relationships evolved.
If you face your fears, you might find pain, but you'll also find your strength.
It is a very humbling and liberating experience to accept the truth.
Once you decide to be true to yourself, you'll no longer compromise your mental health or emotional well-being. Your heart [desire] and mind [will] are aligned.
2. When you need to face your fears.
Since I have been out now for some time, I can assure you that with God’s guidance, all will turn out well for you. Your worst fears won’t materialize.
There are two roads one follows in decision making:The road to trust the process that will lead to discovery and reality or the road back to despair and dependency.
While no one likes what the unknown may offer, the unknown is filled with possibility and will allow you to live your essence, your true self.
I didn’t wish to take full responsibility so I waited for my superiors to decide but that did not happen. The decision, despite the presence of a spiritual guide, was mine to take.
It took me several years to do so but I finally did.
Life will not give you the easy way out. You will have to choose affirmatively to change your situation. You might have to do something you’ve never done before; take responsibility for your choices and decisions.
You may have a nagging feeling about what you should do in life but you have to do it when the time is right for you.
Growth is nothing but God’s grace along your journey for self-understanding and awareness.
Leaving is never easy when you have so much uncertainty and fear to face but it is the path we must travel through to live our divine purpose.
He nourishes his "hidden life" with Christ and ministers to people like him.
I remember an incident before I left the convent, at my days of depression. I overheard a comment a volunteer made, which until now clearly rings on my mind ~'NOW, I know it serves a purpose' ~ thank you.
"Look at her [referring to me], she's complete yet incomplete at the same time."
Complete with all the faculties the Lord has given me ~ rich in talents the world can benefit from ~ and yet I dis-abled my mind, closed my heart and hands and stifled my growth. In short, when I stopped giving, I ceased living...
You see, change doesn't happen in a day, a month, not even a year. Time is relative to God. An experience should touch one's heart, break it open ~ to awaken the soul!
We might find ourselves crippled, not necessarily by a deformity, a gene defect, a freaking accident, but by our own prison cells ~ FEAR, strict rules, narrow-minded parents, culture, religion, beliefs, inordinate attachments, judgment of other people.
“The work of the eyes is done.
God will always find all the means for us to open our doors to Him...
I woke up after an hour's rest...
I couldn't bring myself to write, draw, make music much less do my usual spiritual readings. My blog was devoid of inspiration...
I took a momentary vacation from some friends...
I felt my pulse come alive ~
Inside his heart resided
~ the ONE I loved!
We mirrored each other's soul in so many ways...
Together, we were a team...
It's still a long way for me to understand the path leading to the Cross but
|The Creation of Adam by Michelangelo *detail of hands|
I see you ....
Your gaze is upon me.
You desire to consume me, you pursue me
Do you really love me this much?
I'd like to stay right where you are
There, where I can be so near
consumed by the fire of your love
Like a fragrant incense, a lamp burning forever at your side
I wish the world would know
How much you thirst for them
The Beloved to His beloved
The Lover to his beloved.
The Creator to his creation.
Beloved whom I love
Here take my heart, it is yours
I receive you, I breathe you
consume me day and night
Rest my heart within your heart
stay with me i beg you
Be a presence i implore you
hide not from me anymore
Take me now ... Take me now.
Wrap me with your arms
consume me with your love.
Unite my heart with Yours
let not my heart wander again
Let it rest in your love in your heart
Now and for eternity
My Lord, my Savior, my God.
~Daniel Bugnini, 1 January 2014~
As I sat and reread this draft the nth time ~ I wished a simple Thanksgiving would suffice. My 'peculiar' silence over the last months have again triggered some friends to write me, wondering if I had gone back to the convent...
I just laughed and wrote back. I needed the 'silence' in order "LISTEN."
The grace of starting anew was coupled with the birth of my niece in April. I saw how God smiled.
Her birth was unplanned but I saw how my two nieces lovingly welcomed her presence.
She threw me off my schedule as my brother asked me for charity to spend time with her on my weekends.
*Audrey Louise ~ click here to view images via slideful.com
Come May, a friend I met wrote me in FB and volunteered to journey with me through Rick Warren's Purpose Driven Life. The sessions had several demands on sincerity and coming out fully from my shell. I suffered by struggling against it but I heeded in the end. Unmasked, my friend encouraged me to write those pieces of me which were left hanging in the open [My Life as a Nun and Why I Left]. It was a real test of humility. And just like Jesus who manifested Himself to the Magi, the star led me to this friend who was just starting his journey with Christ.
That opened the door to love ~ the gift of acquiescence through self-revelation.
That also opened the door for me to accept other people into my life.
June, I defined where my vocation lies... God refined it...
*Satur--dates ~ click here to view images via slideful.com
July, Martha Orlando's super squirrel found its way to Twitterland and brought me closer to a spiritual friend [3rd part of this post]~ a rare gift I asked Jesus earlier while I reviewed my 2012 Vision Board.
Around the same time, the Lord granted my prayers for a community. The Lord led me to
a strong Catholic community in Twitter [#CatholicFollowChain].
Through it, I was gifted with a spiritual son.
A few months later, I developed a strong bond with #Eur2015 family
*#Eur2015 ~ click here to view imagesvia slideful.com
I have visualized myself in other places but the Lord envisioned me in Japan[paraphrasing Linda Lee, my mentor in VB]
August, the gift of trust was developed side-by-side with our work.
My brother allowed me to "fly" [to trust him] I didn't know I had wings...
I had a very 'rare' personal encounter with my bosses ~ later on they entrusted me with additional work. Real educators that they are ~ I felt like a plant growing in their hands...
However, with the gifts came several unexpected blows...
A few days after receiving this SMS, my boss informed me of Mam Mercy's demise...
To her belong these posts I earlier wrote:
Not long after, there was a strong quake in Bohol and Cebu. Then came, the worst typhoon ever ~ Yolanda [Hayaan].
It moved our nation to be one and the world to save lives ~ people prayed and shared their goods. We are deeply blessed despite these tragedies but we continue to pray.
Facciamo memoria. Let us move forward but let us never forget how these painful events have united us.
In the midst of this turmoil, I realized how fragile my parents were becoming. My mom had several instances of vertigo and my dad had a totally worn out left lung. It limited their travels abroad and 'our' trips here [my dad begged off to drive for long hours].
How short life really is....
Our own bodies could betray us ~ with sickness...
MidNovember, we received news...
a person whom we love and admire for her passion and dedication for medical service became sick...
I saw in her courage and deep gratitude for life.
With the 'idea' of becoming a gift... I was led instead by God to a special journey to re-learn things...
~ to love Him in the form of an infant ~ and cater to His needs...
|Photo Credit: google|
I have come to know Jesus since I was three and have decided to be with Him when I turned thirteen. I thought of serving people as a nurse and as religious missionary ~ taking care of people's body and soul ... but Jesus desired more than that...
I romanticized it all ~ ‘charity,’ ‘poverty,’ ‘life inside the walls,’ ‘prayer’ and ‘perfection,’ ‘community life’ and ‘apostolate.’ The Lord wanted my ‘heart’ and I felt I couldn’t give it all yet despite efficiency in service and length of years living with Him.
Given the opportunity to ‘grow’ more outside, I felt that a part of me died when I left but the seed of hope was replanted in the presence of my mother.
I know your heart’s every desire.
He sent me a spiritual friend...
|photo credit: Google via my spiritual friend|
but first you must give the pen to Me.
I received His gift...
You must let Me become the center of Your existence.
You must let me have total control of your love life
and every other area of your life as well.”
to be continued...
The gift ... "a mirror to my soul"...
Everything I am before Him was laid bare...
I couldn't look at Him for a long time for I knew in my heart how much I have done Him wrong...
and yet He continued to gaze on me, piercing me through with those same compassionate loving eyes.
"I slipped His fingers, I escaped His feet, I ran and hid, for Him I feared to meet. One day I passed Him, fettered on a Tree, He turned His Head, and looked, and beckoned me.
"Neither by speed, nor strength could He prevail.
Each hand and foot was pinioned by a nail. He could not run or clasp me if He tried,
But with His eye, He bade me reach His side.
"For pity's sake, thought I, I'll set you free.
'Nay --- hold this cross,' He said, 'and follow me.
This yoke is easy, this burden light, Not hard or grievous if you wear it tight.'
~ Elizabeth Cheney ~
He has carried my cross for me for a time and when we met, he has taught me the value of real loving... by taking up my cross again... throwing off all securities, expending my energies for others, praying for others' souls...
|Source: Guy Fortin (@Even_haezer)|
"So did I follow Him Who could not move,
An uncaught captive in the hands of Love."
~ Elizabeth Cheney ~
A week spent with Venerable Fulton Sheen's reflections:
*No copyright infringement intended
Claim your belovedness...
Pray a whole lot...
Trust and go...
Some say, love starts at the womb with the 'encounter' and eventual 'union' of the sperm and egg cell.
Others say, it's destiny
Still most of us believe that it simply happens...
|photo credit: Google|
welcome it with openness
|photo credit: Daniel B+|
I opened the windows of my heartand rays of sunshine rushed in and
playfully bathed me with its Divine light...
~a breath of Heaven.~
so was mine.
I embraced His cross... He embraced me in His cross.
It was sudden and unplanned...
I just heard one distinct voice...
|Jesus, the Way, the TRUTH, the Light|
14th of September, as I listened to Fr. Barron’s invitationto allow the light to pervade the ‘darkness’ within… I realized that I had created a ticking bomb inside me that took toll on my health. God taught me humility.
I have been silent for awhile. My journey is known to my intimate friends and those who frequent my blog.
0917 558 HOPE (4673)
2919 (toll-free number for all GLOBE and TM subscribers)
My niece just recently celebrated her sixth birthday…
I remember coming home on the very same year she was born…
constantly guiding and taking care of me.
"You are important but not indispensable," my head nurse from my mission area once told me several years ago when I had a fracture.
How true for most of us, who
In my case, it was a bit late ~ my ultrasound showed overgrown ovarian cysts that necessitated immediate operation.
While others took their illness as a curse, I was counselled by wise friends to embrace mine as a gift. The idea of being 'chosen' was far from my mind. Humility is a virtue I needed to learn everyday.
It opened my eyes to the minutest things that I should be grateful for. First of all, for that sense of awareness my sickness brought me. I began to see [and listen to] the areas in myself that cried for attention. I started to value myself ~ my body [my reproductive organs], my femininity ~ and others [esp. my family] more.
|photo source: Daniel B+|
What a long way to go ~ to completely and sweetly abandon myself to the love of God [through others] ~ who patiently awaits me...
|photo source: Deacon Guy Fortin|
While I started the whole process with a heavy heart ~ the pain of the changes I went through made visible God's hand throughout my journey. I was tenacious in some of my decisions because I didn't trust God enough. I began to reflect on how forever becomes an excuse to preserve "homeostasis," when what the Lord truly wishes is a life of adventure. He is, after all, a God of surprises.
So I began to relax and welcome whatever He has in store for me... little by little everyday...
"Friendship will endure only in the measure that the two friends fall in love,
not so much with each other, but TOGETHERwith a transcendent third."
~ Fr. Robert Barron [cf Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics]
Can You Love Someone Forever? by Penelope Crowe
Encounter with the Youth:
Testimony of Jun Chara and Glyzelle Palomar
Testimony of Leandro Santos II
Testimony of Rikki Macalor
Papal Visit -Philippines 2015 FB
January 22-February 10, 2015 Visit from friends
in his last visit...
I found myself at the second crossroad. I was challenged to re-think my decision of being single because of my condition. These three full months [January to March] I saw how the Lord has opened all the doors for me ~ He IS a very generous God. And He gives us freedom to choose where we would like to go.
The dinosaur was the cyst I allowed to grow within me. The anger that blocked me from seeing my future in a different way ~ it symbolized the people and the different voices that tell me "I could have..." ~ the blames, the hurts, the pains.
The dwarf is my creative potentials. My ARTnerhelped unleashed that side of me through an art group. The creative energies need to be re-directed in a more useful way ~ I let go of the blocks...
The white tiger presented itself in many ways. In my dream, I was with children playing jumping with them. I never felt such freedom and joy! The tiger came along and even if it were not chasing me, I was afraid. The white tiger was my friend who came to visit me in January, it was the doctor and my colleagues who felt I needed to do something to "prevent" my cysts from growing.
I have ran away for a long time and I am facing my fears. I am no longer inside the thick walls [literally and metaphorically speaking].
~St. Therese of Lisieux~
For quite sometime, I've grown comfortable leaving a few notes to friends and "disappearing" for a long time without a trace... I was 'busy,' or at least I tried myself to be. I thought I was 'forgetting myself' by doing so.
I stopped sharing...I was no longer re-inventing myself.
Many times I am quick to say I am suffering but the Lord always takes me to other people's world ~ taking my eyes away from myself.
"What can I offer them?" I asked.
"Give your 'little coins' daily," He said [cf: Mk.12:41-44].
The priest in Saturday's homily stressed that, at offertory, it is the very act of giving daily ~ faithfully ~ that is practiced so that we will learn to open not only our hands but also our hearts to other people.
Later at night, I was 'admonished' by my twin heart:
With that the Lord opened my eyes...
His last words were the 'little coins' that the Lord were referring to. The things that the Lord has gifted me with. The difference is the 'attitude towards giving' ~ it should be enlivened with love and enthusiasm not an alm that I am obliged to give.
Love presented itself as a "twin heart" ~ one who loves Jesus dearly. For a while, I thought it would end up to something else but God had different plans. He continued my life inside the walls. He told me not to "look back" at my past like Lot's wife who became a pillar of salt [Gen.19,26]. A memory should never "paralyze" us nor keep us from moving forward.The Lord always intends that we live full lives.
|Road to the Imperial Palace|
|It's the first time I've seen swans!|
brother fish welcomed us...|
|across McDonald's overlooking Hotel Mets Komagome where we stayed for four days|
|*photo courtesy of my brother, aot iii|
|photo courtesy of my brother, aot iii|
Okachimachi restaurant ~ with plates on conveyor belt|
...with Italian influence...
beside Japan Medical Association, within the grounds of Bunkyo Green Court
Lunch at Denny's Hotel Mets
|Saint Ignatius Church at Yotsuya|
*photo courtesy of Cecile Maramba-Lazarte, MD|
The Journal of the ASEAN Federation of Endocrine Societies, where I worked, was formally included in the list of the journals of the Western Pacific Region Index Medicus (WPRIM)!
These were glimpses of Christ's Transfiguration... the Lord has manifested His ways beyond my imagination...
I am humbled in many ways by His great great love...
God placed me there for a purpose...
Taking a peek at Part 2 on Vision Board with Ms. Linda Lee...
|~ from a spiritual companion~|
I took these parts out of my Vision Board and surrendered them to Jesus.
"Visualizing is what you want with your Vision Board,
Visioning is asking God what He wants from you."
~ Linda Lee
We suggest you do this activity with a partner or a friend or in groups.
|A group of Dominicans gathered in adoration and prayer|
taken after typhoon Maring.
I had a chance to pray with them.
Immersed in prayer with spiritual companions led me to understand the depth and importance of praying for others.
"Man looks at the outward appearance--but the Lord looks at the heart."
|adapted image on charcoal by me|
"The Beloved's Face need not be present on this portrait for the focus is on the Bride who takes her delight at the presence of the Groom that her soul longed for."
~ a spiritual companion~
I ventured, yes, in an exciting but difficult task, to share something that should be lived rather than explained...
Only God knows what is happening inside each one of us...
Again, where you are in your journey is where you should be...
But when the time comes that He'd like to take you into an adventure ~ be ready to respond...
I would like to thank my BS (Beautiful Soul), Corinne Rodrigues who has invited me to write about this. She has been one of my pillars of strength. Forever grateful!