Thursday, June 23, 2005

Excerpts from My Journal - Day Three

Wednesday June 22, 2005 8:40 a.m.

I wish I could transform our house into a place of tranquility. Teach me Lord to build your altar, as you instructed the people during Biblical times. Allow me to create prayer spaces at our garden, so your light may shine upon me everyday.

In the real world, I run out of strength, peace, joy, patience, compassion, and forebearance so easily. It is through daily quiet times of prayer that I could be recharged, I know that. Through this and daily offering of the Eucharist, I pray I could become a better witness to the world and the people around me.

I pray for tranquility, peace, joy, and love as I step out into the new world You are calling me to. There is so much grace to tap from. I trust in Your power to carry me through, always.

9:15 a.m.

Retreat is heaven. The world outside is a distraction. Here at the Cenacle Garden, with a cup of coffee and a cold glass of water beside me, everything is crystal clear. I can discern from the Image of God and the ego-image. I can consult my personal compass and give an unequivocal "Yes" to love Jesus with everything that I have. I can lift up to Him my struggles and not be burdened by them. Would that life could be this simple and easy daily!

John 10:10 "I have come that you may have life and have it to the full."

Lord Jesus, fullness of life in You means saying goodbye to my old self that is full of pride and insecurity. I am a living paradox. It also means following godly people.

Ezekiel 36: 24-28 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you.

Dear God, thank you for not stopping until I become holy. Thank you for showing me areas for improvement, and providing opportunities for me to become a more relaxed, grateful, joyful and charming girl. :)

Psalm 51:3 "For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me."

v. 6: "You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart."

I have often prayed this prayer with David the psalmist, who knows about times of rest and also about times of trouble. The man after God's own heart has been teaching me a lot this year.

And from Luke 1:26-56, Mary's "YES" to God's plan. What a beautiful passage. Mary, naturally, was perplexed at what the angel Gabriel said and pondered what sort of greeting it could be. She asked how it could come to be as she did not know man. The angel said, "For nothing will be impossible with God." (v. 37). Then Mama Mary replied, "Here am I, the servant of the Lord, let it be with me according to your word" (v. 38).

Her cousin Elizabeth said, "And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her by the Lord" (v. 45).

Mary sang her Magnificat. Her spirit rejoiced in God her savior! She said, "Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for the Mighty One has done great things for me" (vv. 45; 48-49).

From the start, Fr. Geoffrey already asked me to pray with Mama Mary, to learn to respond like her, when I first consulted him at the NLTC in Iloilo, October 2004. Back in QC, Tito Eddie Mendoza likewise e-mailed me to learn from Mary. Indeed, many more people said that Mary's Yes is God's desired response from me. To believe in the fulfillment of God's word. To rejoice! To be certain that I would be a blessing because of what God has done to me. To boldly proclaim His holiness and glory!

1:30 p.m.

I went through the pages that I wrote during this retreat. I was transformed. My soul grew bigger. I have moved from noise to silence.

2:05 p.m.

I'm dreading having to go back into the world. I wish I could stay here and put the world on silent mode, like my cellphone. Lord, I pray that I could respond better to the people around me after I leave the Cenacle.

Working for the Lingkod National Office

I prayed for this. I fought for this. I waited for this. Like I've never prayed, fought, and waited before. The discernment took six months. The people consulted - close to 50! The lessons in waiting - a lifetimes' worth. The changes I had to deal with - multiple job offers, changes in our leadership, surrender of salary and benefits, explaining to my family and relatives, harsh reality-lifestyle check, etc. - were of great magnitude. It was the biggest decision of my life.

And yet... I am at peace. I'm smiling. I'm excited. I'm looking forward to it. I desire to live more simply. To have less deadlines and headlines in life. To learn as much as I can. I would type documents, answer phones, receive faxes, prepare ice candy (Direk Mon's favorite), joyfully. I would love to travel the country and meet new people. I could sing, dance, write, type, or serve, on all occasions. I will be available for the Lord. I look forward to my future officemates. My sweet spot, like in a badminton raquet (Tito Eddie's analogy, not mine, as I don't play badminton), is reserved for you.

To love the Lord with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength. To love my neighbor as myself. This is my job description. And my salary? You can bet that it is out of this world! :)

My heart is ready, Lord. Here I am.

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