Tag Archive | prayer

a Mahatma Gandhi quote screenshot

… something worth considering, thinking about, and reflecting on …

❤ this is a slightly Paint-edited shot of my screen I took just now … I love the 4 funny guys on top 😀

I especially wanted to share the website shown, one that I visit often, http://www.worldprayers.org, and which has no WordPress share-button, and so I thought I’d just get a shot like this, to remember my 4 faithful companions by also ❤

😉 have a happy day everyone!

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how next, Lord?: battling incoherence

Lord, it’s been a long time, since, since when, when I could, I would, think.

it’s been a long time… here I am, again, sitting before You, Lord,

with nothing, with all that I have been, I was, Lord, I’m…

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…I have to start. I must continue. Lord, how?

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how will You do it, Lord? Where to? Is it possible? Can we do it? Isn’t it too late yet?

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Here we are at it again, Lord. And it has become more improbable than all those, the rest, ever were. By the world, I would tend to blame myself. But I’m not ready to, I mean, I won’t blame myself. There are blind spots and it could be said that this is how it should be, that I’m in the best position possible.

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Lord, please help me not to be afraid and not to lose hope. And help me to work properly. Just help me to work, and hard, and not stop until I’d nearly drop.

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Let’s do this again, Lord, like we did all those, the rest, together. Let’s go.

🙂

On My Stupidity. And A Miracle Gift On St. Nicholas’ Day

flurries1What does one do when one suddenly discovers that one’s Residence Permit expires on the Saturday that is only two days away? One panics. One calls oneself stupid. One smirks at one’s utter stupidity.

Thursday evening I looked at my electronic Residence Permit card and the 7.12.2013 deadline hit me like a thunderclap, in my skull. On Fridays the City Hall is open for only four hours in the morning. If a miracle doesn’t manifest within that time frame then I’d find myself an illegal alien by Sunday. Horrors.

St_NicholasI spent the late night and the early morning preparing, and producing a passport photograph using a camera that I had to hold at an arm’s length. I needed to be at the City Hall, waiting in line and nothing else, by the time it opens at 8 a.m. My quest for survival intensified my focus for the essentials. Proofs for continuous enrollment. Proof of financial support. Insurance papers. What else? Seminar attendance certificates, just in case. Check the weather forecast. What to wear? — double of everything because it’s the start of the chilly days, and snow is expected. Best to have a good breakfast to compensate for lack of sleep. And a maximum dose of vitamin supplements.

flurriesAfter 1 hour of sleep I got up and semi-fried two free-roaming-chicken’s eggs and heated the left-over rice and fish. I was so happy for the left-overs. I had the breakfast of breakfasts, this without coffee, while listening to favorite songs. On the bus ride I had the happy view of the waking day and the throng of youngsters heading for school. All that while, I was miserably hoping for a miracle.

The City Hall employee who attended me didn’t give a hint of an opinion of the stupidity that I have assigned to myself. He asked, “Did you fill up a Request for Renewal Form?” I said, “No.” He asked again, “Why?” I answered straight away, “Because I saw the deadline only yesterday.” We didn’t discuss anymore the Reminder Letter that got lost on its way to me, sent by the City Hall two months ago. santa claus chocolateHe was simply relieved that I had all the required papers with me and we could proceed with the process. As I was answering his pages and pages of questionnaires the sky suddenly sent down thick the first flurries of the season. My tiny burst of exclamation at the magical sight brought a smile and a lift of eyebrows from him. The impersonal atmosphere became warm. Ah. Thank you, Lord, for miracles.

Germany, Switzerland and Austria are celebrating St. Nicholas’ Feast today. It is prominently indicated on the calendars. Ah, thank you, Lord, for the miracle that it is a ‘working-day’ holiday. A City Hall employee with a basket was going around handing out to each of his delighted colleagues what looked to me a 15-cm tall Santa Claus chocolate. Ah, thank you, Lord, for gift-giving. What a happy day.

snowAll went well. I warmly thanked Mr. W. for helping me. He wished me a nice weekend. I was out of the building, after just 45 minutes, with a paper Temporary Residence Permit pending the processing of the electronic one. As I was panicking the night before I read on the net that I was supposed to process for the renewal as early as two months before the deadline.

LORD, thank you for the several-hours’ miracle. I will always rejoice for your miracles, but please help me to not shamelessly keep asking for them, and more importantly to be not as stupid as this in the future. Amen.

Thank you many times to the owners of the photos 🙂

Meditating, After Super Typhoon Yolanda

[This post was created on Sunday, November 10, 2013]

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Today my going to Church and taking communion had the special intention to be in solidarity with my countrymen the Filipinos in the wake of one of the worst land-hitting hurricanes in recorded history. Googling images using the terms Philippines, Haiyan, and Yolanda will be enough to get the whole picture… go ahead, please… because I hesitate to post some here…

Haiyan is the hurricane’s international name, Yolanda is its local name. The Y of Yolanda reflects the advent of this hurricane to us at the end of the year almost, since we name the typhoons alphabetically. Hurricane, typhoon, and tropical cyclone refer to the same thing, which is a type of storm.

I feel like picking up the entire sprawling archipelago and hug it tight, to comfort. The amazing thing is I know that somehow my mga kababayan (countrymen) will get over this because that’s how we are. Generally we’re simply naive that we can’t even think of berating God the way Job did. In Hiligaynon we’d all at once say in a resigned tone, “pag-buot sang Maka-ako”, with a bent head. The will of the Almighty.

The area worst hit by Yolanda had also suffered a magnitude 7 earthquake recently. Philippines is along the Pacific Ring of Fire as well as in the path of tropical cyclones. We are also affected by the El Niño. With these three things, at the least, it is easy to understand why our faith in God is a given thing. It doesn’t ask for philosophical considerations or systematic qualifications. Our faith in God comes as easy as breathing, a constant, so much so that even the worst of disasters is not strong enough to shake us off it. On the contrary, it is our lifeline and so the harsher the experience the tighter we cling to it. [ 13.Nov.13 Updates, below, links to 3 research websites, help elucidate what I’ve written in this post]

Earlier in our history there were those who called out to Bathala, a name that now has come to be heard throughout the archipelago by way of lessons in elementary school. Theologians will argue that this Bathala is not Yahweh or Elohim. This argument is irrelevant in this post, for a special purpose…

… Because I would like to translate Joey Ayala’s song Bathala into English as my way of being one with my people. I need to render Bathala as God in English, otherwise it won’t make much sense. I assume that when Mr. Ayala composed this piece he was referring simply to God, the One that the overwhelming millions of us go to church for on Sundays. I assume that when Mr. Ayala made this song he simply used Bathala to refer to the One whom I believe created everything, the Creator referred to in the Bible. Okay.

It can be argued that the globe is undergoing the cyclic ice ages and so humans have very little contribution to the warming. Okay. I don’t want to argue against that because I’m not an expert in that field. However, humans do so many things that result in the release of chemicals in the atmosphere, whose prevailing presence in turn blocks the escape of heat into outer space — the so-called greenhouse effect. Still, even if the cyclic ice ages is indeed the culprit of global warming it does not follow that we are free to do as we will with nature.

We do not have the freedom to unleash greed. Cutting of trees for profit. Mining for profit. Synthetic compounds for profit. Indiscriminate consumption for pleasure. The worship of ease and comfort. We are so submerged in greed that we cannot anymore tell between it and our skin. It cloaks us. Our souls are so soaked in it we feel like dying without it. We simply must consume frantically. We simply must have money in amounts beyond embarrassment.

The Homo sapiens sapiens is guilty of greed, from the poorest to the richest, from the most ignorant to those with multiple doctorates. So I appreciate it that Bathala is what Mr. Ayala used instead of Panginoon (Lord) or Poong Maykapal (God Almighty) or Diyos (God) because the song is like a confession of my people of the guilt to which we are part of. The mega-conglomerates of the global economy come to my mind as I meditate on this song yet I am reminded of Jesus’ words: forgive them for they do not know what they do.

butterflies The Mahatma Gandhi and Michael Jackson have said to the effect that if we want to change the world then we must start with our own self. “Be the change you want to see in the world.” “I’m starting with the man in the mirror.” A little less greed goes a long way. It’s a butterfly effect, like the phenomenon with the storms: a reduction in the propensity to consume will create a chain of events of unimaginable scale. Who knows, it may even prevent more super hurricanes from occurring again. Hurricanes are the collective manifestations of teeny-weeny changes of atmospheric pressures here and there over time, of tiny butterfly-wing drafts so to speak.

In calamities such as Yolanda my mga kababayan are simply too occupied to engage in blame games — that’s far from our thoughts. In solidarity, therefore, with this post I celebrate today’s going-to-church spirit of my country and render into English what sounds to me as our collective confession and supplication. I rest my diwa (inner self) and refrain from pointing a finger. Mr. Joey Ayala, sir, in case you come across this, please tell me on the parts that I got wrong; and I hope it’s fine with you that I have your song here, shared with the rest of the world. Here goes:

Bathala (God)

Bathala

Likha Ninyo ang bawat bagay sa mundo

Lupang kayumanggi’t luntiang bukirin

Alat ng dagat at tamis ng hangin

Oh God,

You created everything,

the brown lands and verdant forests,

the saltiness of the seas and the sweetness of air.

 Ang bawat bagay na nagmula sa Inyong palad

Ay may tungkulin sa mundong kinagisnan

Sa pagtupad nito ang lahat ay tinitimbang

All things that came from Your hands

have their own purposes in nature, the home they were reared in —

— the fulfillment of which entails reckoning to the detail.

 Ang tao

Inyong hinugis at pinaahon sa lupa

Pinagkalooban ng  talino at diwa

Upang mundo’y ipagyaman

Mankind —

him You shaped, established on earth,

provided with intellect and soul,

in order to enrich the world.

 Talino

Naging ararong nagpaamo sa parang

Naging kumpit  na sumagupa sa karagatan

Naging apoy na nagpalayas sa karimlan

Intelligence

became the plow that tamed the land,

became the vessel that battled the ocean waves,

became the fire that banished darkness.

 Sagana

Sa kayamanan ang mundong Inyong likha

At may bahagi rito ang bawat nilalang

Kung susuyuin lang mula sa kalikasan

Abundant

in wealth this nature You have created

and all creatures can partake of it

were the acquisition of them be done mindfully.

 Subali’t

Buhay-dalisay ay ‘di sapat sa iilan

Sila’y nasilaw sa kinang ng kasakiman

Ganid na diyos ang sinamba

However,

simply-living for some is not enough,

they were blinded by greed’s glitter,

they worshipped a selfish god.

 Pinaghati-hatian po nila ang lupa

Karagatan at himpapawid ngayo’y may bakod na

Kapwa tao’t hayop ma’y inaagawan ng tahanan

Walang nakaliligtas sa kanilang karahasan

Kaunalaran at kabutihan daw ang kanilang sadya

Subali’t ang lumilitaw ay ‘sang panggagahasa

They partitioned the lands among themselves,

the high seas and the atmosphere now have fences;

his fellow man and even the animals are robbed of their homes.

None are safe from their cruelty.

They say that progress and well-being is their aim

but what has turned out is violence.

 Bathala

Ako’y hinugis Nyo’t pinaahon sa lupa

Ang aking buhay ay dito nagmula

At dito rin inaalay

Oh God,

You shaped me and placed me in this world,

 earth is my origin/my sustenance comes from it,

and my life is a gift to it.

 Bathala

Bigyan lakas itong inyong tanod-lupa

Upang umiral sa mapagsamantala

Panalangin ko’y Inyong dinggin

Harinawa, Bathala.

kalabaw _Filipino farmer plowing a rice paddyOh God,

give strength to this earth-ranger of Yours

so to prevail against the opportunists;

may You hear my prayer;

so be it, oh God.

maraming salamat po sa mga may-ari ng mga litrato (thank you very much to the owners of the photos)

13.Nov.13 Updates:

A Prayer Before Sleeping

Dear God

thank you for the dayDSCF2148 c

thank you for the many things that happened today

please take care of my mom, and my sister,

and my brother, and his family,

and my uncles and aunts, and my cousins,

DSCF2148and my friends,

and my enemies,

and the rich people,

and the poor people,

everyone in the world.

Thank you that there is you being with us,

for holding the world in your hands.

I don’t have a gut understanding of “worshipping you”

so I can’t really say “I worship you”,

and I really don’t mind that I don’t have a feeling for what it means,

but what I know is that I am thankful

that you have made us like this,DSCF2148 b

that you have allowed us to live, as humans,

that we are alive in this world.

Because it’s beautiful, living in this world,

being able to feel in so many ways,

happiness, sadness, pain, failure, triumph, want, need,

being able to see, being afraid, savoring all that life has to offer,

just being human, putting us in a place you’ve prepared for us,

and there being you.

Amen.