Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Now Playing: I Choose You

I Choose You
Point of Grace

All our mind's attention
All our hearts affection
Every heart-cry, every rhyme
Everybody's worshipping something

All our life's devotion
Has been set in motion
Religions dozen for a dime
Everybody's worshipping something

'Cause that's what we were made to do

And I choose You
All my attention, affection
And all my devotion's for You
If everybody's worshipping something
I choose You

You are beyond conception
Defying definition
And You knew me before time

Centuries of pagans
Idols fill the nations
But You are Lord to me and mine
Everybody's worshipping something

'Cause that's what we were made to do...oh oh


Before I chose You, You first chose me
I worship You, You alone are worthy

You alone deserve it-all of my worship
Lord I choose You

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Parish of St. Benedict

Today August 27, 2006 I attended the Eucharistic Celebration for the Canonical erection of the Parish of St. Benedict (Don Antonio Heights, QC) and the Installation of its first parish priest, Fr. Steven Tynan of the Missionaries of God’s Love. It was a well-attended mass, celebrated by Rev. Bishop Antonio Tobias and concelebrated by Fr. Geoffrey Coombe and the other priests serving in the diocese of Novaliches.

There was a short program afterwards wherein we heard Fr. Steve’s vision for the new parish as well as some messages from the presidents of the sub-parishes in Don Antonio, Don Enrique, Isidora Hills, and the other areas covered by our newly-erected parish. The guests, which numbered by the hundreds, were then entertained by a lively and colorful dance number from the officers of the sub-parish pastoral council.

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned to a young brother who visited us at the Lingkod Office that I belonged to the parish of Saint Benedict. He pulled out from his pocket a medal and handed it to me. I was surprised, but accepted his simple gift. I had a very interesting conversation with that brother but that story belongs to another day. Now I want to write about our patron saint. Curious about the medal which I now carry with me always, I got this from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Medal of Saint Benedict

A medal, originally a cross, dedicated to the devotion in honour of St. Benedict.

One side of the medal bears an image of St. Benedict, holding a cross in the right hand and the Holy Rule in the left. On the one side of the image is a cup, on the other a raven, and above the cup and the raven are inscribed the words: "Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti" (Cross of the Holy Father Benedict). Round the margin of the medal stands the legend "Ejus in obitu nro praesentia muniamus" (May we at our death be fortified by his presence). The reverse of the medal bears a cross with the initial letters of the words: "Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux" (The Holy Cross be my light), written downward on the perpendicular bar; the initial letters of the words, "Non Draco Sit Mihi Dux" (Let not the dragon be my guide), on the horizontal bar; and the initial letters of "Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti" in the angles of the cross. Round the margin stand the initial letters of the distich: "Vade Retro Satana, Nunquam Suade Mihi Vana — Sunt Mala Quae Libas, Ipse Venena Bibas" (Begone, Satan, do not suggest to me thy vanities — evil are the things thou profferest, drink thou thy own poison). At the top of the cross usually stands the word Pax (peace) or the monogram I H S (Jesus).

The medal just described is the so-called jubilee medal, which was struck first in 1880, to commemorate the fourteenth centenary of St. Benedict's birth. The Archabbey of Monte Cassino has the exclusive right to strike this medal. The ordinary medal of St. Benedict usually differs from the preceding in the omission of the words "Ejus in obitu etc.", and in a few minor details. (For the indulgences connected with it see Beringer, "Die Ablässe", Paderborn, 1906, p. 404-6.) The habitual wearer of the jubilee medal can gain all the indulgences connected with the ordinary medal and, in addition: (1) all the indulgences that could be gained by visiting the basilica, crypt, and tower of St. Benedict at Monte Cassino (Pius IX, 31 December, 1877); (2) a plenary indulgence on the feast of All Souls (from about two o'clock in the afternoon of 1 November to sunset of 2 November), as often as (toties quoties), after confession and Holy Communion, he visits any church or public oratory, praying there according to the intention of the pope, provided that he is hindered from visiting a church or public oratory of the Benedictines by sickness, monastic enclosure or a distance of at least 1000 steps. (Decr. 27 February, 1907, in Acta S. Sedis, LX, 246.) Any priest may receive the faculties to bless these medals.

More details on this medal can be found at the following site:

As written by Fr Steve in the invitation to this occasion, St. Benedict was the son of a Roman noble and according to tradition, the twin of St. Scholastica. He was born about 480 in Umbria, Italy. St. Benedict was canonized in 1220 and has been declared as the Patron Saint of Europe and the founder of Western Monasticism. He wrote a rule for the monastic life, which Fr. Steve said laid the foundation for most of the principles of political and societal life as we know it today. He said that the Benedictine motto ora et labore – prayer and work – ought to find an important place in all of our lives.

Prayer attributed to St. Benedict:

Gracious and Holy Father give me
wisdom to perceive you,
diligence to seek you,
patience to wait for you,
eyes to behold you,
a heart to meditate on you,
and a life to proclaim you;
through the power
of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer to St. Benedict

O glorious St. Benedict, sublime model of all virtues, pure vessel of God's grace! Behold me, humbly kneeling at thy feet. I implore thy loving heart to pray for me before the throne of God. To thee I have recourse in all the dangers which daily surround me. Shield me against my enemies, inspire me to imitate thee in all things. May thy blessing be with me always, so that I may shun whatever God forbids and avoid the occasions of sin.

Graciously obtain for me from God those favors and graces of which I stand so much in need, in the trials, miseries and afflictions of life. Thy heart was always so full of love, compassion, and mercy toward those who were afflicted or troubled in any way. Thou didst never dismiss without consolation and assistance anyone who had recourse to thee. I therefore invoke thy powerful intercession, in the confident hope that thou wilt hear my prayers and obtain for me the special grace and favor I so earnestly implore (mention it), if it be for the greater glory of God and the welfare of my soul.

Help me, O great St. Benedict, to live and die as a faithful child of God, to be ever submissive to His holy will, and to attain the eternal happiness of heaven. Amen.

Friday, August 25, 2006


When people blog because you blog, it's not exactly something to blog about.

Today, however, as yet another friend informed me that she was inspired to start her own (we)blog after reading my blog posts, I was made to think about it. Maybe this could be my alternative career number 2: Encourager (see previous post sometime last June yata, on my Alternative Career No. 1: Tour Guide). So why am I looking for alternative careers? It's because I'm still singing Que Sera Sera, after all this journeying. The list is actually longer than I allow myself to write about. ;)

I'm happy when more people unleash their inner writer and just get down to it, and get even happier when they tell me that I had something to do with it. I do wish that visitors to this site would say hi by posting a comment somewhere, though. I didn't put a tag board here because, one I don't know how, and two, even if I could learn how, I wouldn't know the first thing about monitoring the tags to keep to the wholesome image of this blog. But it's ok if people prefer to lurk, like any writer my ultimate goal is simply to be read, and hopefully, to influence my readers in some way. I learned the hard way while in law school (yes, that late in life) that I can't please everybody, so readers may disagree with what I write, get bored, irritated, or even infuriated, but the bottom line is still accomplished, and that is, this blog has allowed me to express myself responsibly.

To bloggers who are born almost every minute, may you find what it is that you could contribute to the world, and be extremely blessed in the process. Through my lessons in waiting, I have shared in a lot of people's difficulties and written about the Lord's triumphs in this area of my life. To say I have found this fulfilling is an understatement.

Why do I sound like I'm spreading my wings and going somewhere else?

Now Playing: All Shall be Well

One of the best songs recorded by the Bukas Palad Music Ministry, I sing this now with joy and gladness. I'm not surprised that the words were written by my favorite lyricist, Fr. Johnny Go, S.J., and the music composed by Fr. Manoling V. Francisco, S.J. The refrain of this song was said to be inspired by "Revelations of Divine Love" by Julian of Norwich, quoted below.

All Shall be Well
Bukas Palad feat. Laine Laudico-Santana
Something More; All Shall be Well; Let Your Praises be Heard

Too many sunsets have we seen, too may mornings far between
Too soon the clouds have passed us by, too soon the sun died in our eyes

Too many broken forevers, too long has been this stormy weather
No more rainbows after rain, and no more healing from the pain

Yet all shall be well, all shall be well
You'll see, all shall soon be well
All things, all men, all the world shall be well

Broken wings that cannot mend. Are we afraid to dream again?
The world is full of passing faces. Our hearts are bruised in many places (REFRAIN)

I know, you'll see, through all the pain and sadness
All things, all men, all the world shall be well

"It is true that sin is the cause of all this pain, but all shall be well; and all shall be well; and all manner of things shall be well. These words were said most tenderly, with never a hint of blame either to me or to any of those to be saved." -- Julian of Norwich

"Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out." -- Vaclav Havel

Saan Ka Patutungo?

I would like to invite single Catholic professionals and working people to a weekend retreat sponsored by Ang Lingkod ng Panginoon - Quezon City. Email me at for details. God bless!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Where I'm At

I will write what I’ve been up to in snippets.

The Blind Leading the Blind

Sometimes I say yes to service and then later on realize how much God is teaching me in the particular areas where I’m supposed to lead.

I’m helping a sister with her discernment now and as we journey in prayer together, I find that I have to plow through my own heart and be discerning in major areas of my life for me to be able to pray with her. I’ve had to face my own ghosts, unknown to her, and I’ve gone back to my previous journals to see how God had led me and where He might be taking me. My own waiting had been brought to the fore of my prayer time once more. And we have a long way to go, God and I.

Another thing I said yes to was to serve in the bible study/sharing ministry for sisters. Although I would love to formally study Theology someday, all I had attended so far were short bible study courses. So when the women signed up, hungry to study God’s word and apply it in their lives, I felt some pressure and asked for help. Thankfully, priests came to the rescue. They gave me study materials and said they’re available for consultation anytime. They also said I’m not blind, that I could do this if I just kept things simple. This was something that I did for love – of God, His Word, and my Lingkod QC sisters. Now I’m reading up to prepare and thinking of our lesson plan. It’s a new and interesting ministry.

As the parish of St. Benedict is being formed, I was asked to serve there in a ministry. Being clueless about serving in a parish, yet unable to say no, I said yes but to put me in any ministry except finance. I have yet to find out where I’ll end up serving but I would like to think that building a parish with the Missionaries of God’s Love would be inspiring and exciting. At least in this area, I would be a follower and those who are leading me are not blind. Fr Steve, who would be installed as Parish Priest on August 27, and Fr. Geoffrey, who would become Assistant Parish Priest, certainly know what they are doing. And I would be happy to follow them as they in turn follow Jesus’ call for them to serve here in the Philippines.

Three Mountains

For three weeks (with one weekend’s interval) now, Lingkod QC has been singing praises to God on top of a mountain. It's a different mountain each time.

Last Aug 4-6, we were up in Antipolo serving in the RLTC. It was an exciting, albeit exhausting, weekend full of surprises. Our cup was filled to overflowing, so much so that last August 12-13, the Music Ministry decided to go up to Baguio to celebrate the many blessings in our service. There we went to all the major tourist spots and had the time of our lives in pure fellowship. Then on August 21, the RLTC service team went up to Tagaytay for a half-day of prayer at the Don Bosco Chapel on the Hill and for the requisite visits to Leslie’s and Bag of Beans. We were filled with the gift of joy all throughout that trip, discovering who among us were most knowledgeable about Philippine movies. We exchanged movie trivia and were delightfully surprised that shy and quiet Leah beat all of us in answering Doc Jun’s most trivial questions about movies and stars from way back the ‘70’s. Going home, we listened to Ted’s CD, the tribute to the Apo Hiking Society, over and over again. I particularly liked the remake of their famous song “Ewan”.

All of us were in high spirits as we went back to work today.

Rest in Various Forms

I was able to rest last Sunday too as my high school best friends and a particular family from there adopted me for a weekend getaway at Canyonwoods Resort. I was able to do the most basic fun things with them – eat, swim, drink, and sleep. The Jacuzzi and the spa also added to the restfulness of our short vacation. A bonus was that I was able to memorize the songs from “High School Musical” as the two girls, one of them my inaanak, repeatedly played the movie on their portable DVD inside the car. I couldn’t get the songs out of my head! Disney lyrics! When I listened to my own music later on, the Apo songs, they reminded me of my own childhood.

Happiness versus Joy

Rick Warren explains this better. Basta happiness is external while joy is internal. Happiness is based on happenings, while joy is based on the truth that the Lord is near no matter what happens.

A friend asked me if I’m happy with what I’m doing. She who remembers me from the time I was a driven student, acing Algebra and English, running for student council, joining the choir and the school paper, entering U.P. and all that. She had to ask if I was sure I was where I was supposed to be. I said I could not explain to her, just as I could not explain to my own mother, that true, I might not be happy all the time – due to my own weaknesses, or even other people's- but that does not mean I’m not joyful, just at the knowledge that I was called, and I followed, and I have faith that the One who called me would never let me down, even if His ways are not my ways and His time is not my time.

It’s so hard to make my loved ones understand this because they don’t want to see me struggle, and I know they worry for me. But when I myself am not sure of my plans, when I myself am not in control, and I’m ok with this as this is the only way God can truly take the lead and steer my life at this point, the contradiction is something I cannot explain yet. So I leave even this up to God to explain. It’s within His expertise anyway. Maybe someday the clouds will open up and reveal to me my future. Or maybe they will not. I have just enough light for the step I’m on.

I just came home from our Action Group (my support group) meeting, and there we discussed verses in the bible that speak of joy, to check our hearts on where we were in this area. I was reminded that Jesus wants our joy to be complete (John 15); that He could turn my mourning into dancing (Psalm 30); that I should rejoice in all circumstances and let my gladness be evident to all (Philippians 4). All these, because the Holy Spirit is in me already, and love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control is the fruit of the Spirit that is in me (Galatians 5:22-23).

I would like to bear that kind of fruit in my life, but sometimes I falter. So each time, I will go as Jesus did, up to the mountain to pray, to get some rest, and to be reminded of my joy and of who truly leads me: the Son of Man, who makes even the blind see.

Monday, August 14, 2006

The Mansion

My Shot of The Mansion with some QTs in the foreground. We're egging Manny to write a song about our weekend entitled "Sa Session Road". We must have seen it twenty times in a span of two days! Until the next session, music min! Posted by Picasa

The Baguio Cathedral

We could have been in Europe. Abby and Nenen's thrill at seeing everything for the first time was contagious. We loved every minute! Posted by Picasa

Mines View Park

The Lingkod QC Music Ministry a.k.a. Quezon City on a Hill(Song) spent a perfect weekend in Baguio. The sisters posed. The brothers took our pictures, drove the cars, manned the oars, built the fire, and carried our bags. Perfect! Posted by Picasa

Friday, August 11, 2006

On Discipline


The word appears forty-two (42) times in the English Standard Version (ESV), my next Bible. (Aside: this version comes highly recommended by Dr. John Yocum, a brother from the Servants of the Word, who gave us a very concise and inspiring course on Scripture study last weekend at the Lingkod Regional Leaders’ Training Conference [RLTC] in Antipolo.)

I find that I balk at being at disciplined as much as any human being. Who loves to be corrected? Who looks forward to receiving feedback? Who does not cringe when faced with his/her weaknesses and failures in life? This is a perfectionist’s nightmare.

It is tempting to walk away and say, I don’t need this. I don’t have to complicate my life by subjecting myself to discipline. This generation characterized by permissiveness does not put value to self-control and discipline, and to be one who willingly undergoes pruning is to be labeled as stupid, even outright insane.

I have established myself as foolish by doing crazy things in life, anyway, so by reading about discipline and who gives it and what He has in mind, I am more able to accept it as my reality for now, and to fix my eyes on the end-goal which is to please my God and become the woman that He wants me to be. For it is written:

Out of heaven he let you hear his voice, that he might discipline you. And on earth he let you see his great fire, and you heard his words out of the midst of the fire. De 4:36

Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. Job 5:17

My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:11-12

Bull’s eye. It’s out of my Father’s love that He’s doing this. So yes it’s uncomfortable and painful, but I have to be formed, reformed and transformed if I want to be put through the Refiner’s Fire and reflect the image of my Creator in my heart.

There is more… though I’m not including every mention of discipline in the bible here. I also want to do a Scripture study but I lack time.

Pr 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life,

Pr 12:1 Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.

Pr 13:24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.

Pr 15:10 There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way; whoever hates reproof will die.

Pr 29:17 Discipline your son, and he will give you rest; he will give delight to your heart.

I want to be a disciple of Jesus, and if I just add the word “IN”, that spells discipline. And that makes the difference. May my heavenly Father delight in me.

Saint Paul puts it clearly in his First Letter to the Corinthians:

1Co 9:27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

There is even a long discussion on discipline in Hebrews 12, as follows:

4 In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. 5 And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons? My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him. 6 For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives. 7 It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? 8 If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. 9 Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

With a very deep sigh, I say “Yes Lord, I see your point. I submit to you in this area, and to my leaders whom you have sent to love and prune me.” I admit though that I have an ulterior motive for doing this: I want to yield “the peaceful fruit of righteousness” in my life.

Discipline? My response to that before was like the message in a mug we once had at home: “I’d rather be dancing.” But I know I can’t simply dance my way out of this one.

Finally in the last book it says,

Re 3:19 Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent.

This aspect of love is quite painful. Nothing is ever easy, and I am reminded of the rich young man who turned away from Jesus’ challenge to leave everything behind. After he left, Jesus said in answer to the disciples’ question, “Who then can be saved?”:

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” (Matt. 19:26)

So I die with this disciplining. As today’s Gospel says,

Jn 12:24-26

Jesus said to his disciples:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies,
it remains just a grain of wheat;
but if it dies, it produces much fruit.
Whoever loves his life loses it,
and whoever hates his life in this world
will preserve it for eternal life.
Whoever serves me must follow me,
and where I am, there also will my servant be.
The Father will honor whoever serves me.”

Lord Jesus, help me to serve you and follow you in the way that you want me to. Not my way, but yours. Amen.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Bukal ng Tipan

Lovely Leah and cute KJ caught on camera leaving the Class Picture scene at Maryhill Retreat House in Antipolo, specifically, the Bukal ng Tipan, where we felt the multiplication of the loaves and fish and God's control over everything. We served a generous and loving God! . The view from this building was spectacular. I had little time to enjoy it, but the moments were enough to create unforgettable memories.

I hope to have more energy to write a sharing. Perhaps tomorrow. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Wondrous Weekend

The 1st Lingkod GMMMACQ (greenhills * makati * manila * marikina * alabang * cavite * quezon city) RLTC banner, with Delegate Alan smiling before the camera. The theme was splashed across the page. Colossians 1: 28-29. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My Cup Overflows

I just got home and realized I had to face the unfinished half of my prayer time. In the busyness of the RLTC preparations, I found myself lacking enough time to pray! It was a heavy, disorienting feeling that I don't want to have to endure often.

I was anything but still. There were too many things going on and I was juggling and struggling the past few weeks. Sure it was my birthday and I'm thankful for all the blessings I received, both tangible and intangible, and yet a day later I was back to a sleepless, worried, and irritable state. I realized what a contradiction my life was. I knew I was loved - for my cup overflows! Friends, family and community showed Jesus' concrete love. I was also reminded of how the Lord had granted my prayers and taken care of me the past year.

So how could I realize such blessing, and forget the rest of the message: That my cup overflows because the Lord is my shepherd and He gives me rest?

I close this day and this prayer time with this Psalm.

Psalm 23, RSV

A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want;
2 he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters;
3 he restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me. 5 Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil, my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.