Tag Archives: God


Allow me to use a common introduction to horror stories to start this post: This time last year, it was a dark and stormy night.

This time last year, my parents, my best friend and I were carrying our important belongings through chest deep flood water across the street to our neighbor’s house, where they have been waiting for us to evacuate for a while now. The rain won’t stop, and we carried all the important things that we can to their house, where they welcomed us in one room. We cleaned up, changed and prayed and listened to the rain pour down. My parents fell asleep, but my best friend and I were too antsy to do so. We talked in hopes of calming our own fears and listened and prayed for the rain to stop so the water will not go up anymore.

I was expecting the worst the next day. We woke up to this, our house submerged, on our street that has never flooded for the 20 years we’ve lived there:

One year ago.

I’ve been afraid of typhoon season starting ever since that day. Hard rains freak me out, and I find myself always, always praying for sun, and stopping myself from complaining about the heat. Better heat than flood, right?

I always said that I just need to get through this one year anniversary without any major calamity and I will be okay. Just that, and I think I can really, and fully move on. I don’t know how I could say that, but I’m big on dates and anniversaries and all that. I’m not a human calendar for nothing, you know.

But you know what? I will never really know if there will be another Ondoy. It doesn’t matter how much weather watching I do — if there’s another one, it will come and I am only human. I can’t stop it from happening. I can only do so much, I can only prepare myself so much and read about all the life insurance premiums and acts of God on insurances I can read about, but in the end, it’s all…well, God’s. He commands the weather, and everything else in this world, after all.

Ondoy really changed my life last year, and even if I know I’d rather not experienced it, I am still thankful that it happened. I don’t think I would be the person I am right now if I didn’t. I still don’t understand why it happened to us, to me. I don’t know if I will ever understand it, at least in this lifetime. But it doesn’t really matter if I understand it, or know why it happened. It’s kind of hard to explain, but trying to figure it out will just stress me out, when I can just rest in the fact that God knows and God understands and He will never ever give me anything that I can’t handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). So…why worry, right?

I will never forget what happened on September 26, 2009. I refuse to forget because I don’t want to forget how it changed me and the lessons I have learned. It will always be a part of me. But I will also refuse to worry about it happening again. My God is bigger than any other typhoon or calamity, and I rest in the fact that He is always in control, and He understands even if I do not.

I don’t know if I have thanked everyone who helped, prayed and listened to me and my family during the entire ordeal and after — if I haven’t, well, THANK YOU. You were all God’s blessings to us. Thank you, thank you.

It’s been a year, and I am never more happy when I woke up and saw sunlight shining through my window. :)

And for the record, I want to say that despite all that happened last year, I’m not an Ondoy victim. I’m a survivor. :)

Blessed be His name.

Read other Ondoy related entries in Refine Me:

Related posts and such in the world wide web:

Lessons from the Flood # 2: God's Plans

A couple of months ago, a few days before Father’s Day, we heard news from my dad that his house got robbed in Saipan. When he got home from mass, he found that his window was broken, and a lot of things were taken inside, including his passport because the case looked like a wallet.

It was scary to learn that even in other countries these things are also possible, especially in a small island of Saipan. I’ve been there a couple of years ago and it’s pretty peaceful, so hearing about the robbery is kind of shaking, especially to my Mom.

For the next weeks/month, my mom questioned why it happened. We prayed for the robber and prayed most especially for the passport to be returned. It wasn’t returned, so my dad had to get a new passport and then schedule a flight back here to fix his US Visa. Since doesn’t have a US Visa, he can’t get his normal flight back home so he had to choose another airline which has lesser frequent flights coming from where he was, and he found a specific schedule so he could be home to fix his Visa  – September 20 to October 4.

On the morning before the flood, I woke up early, with all intentions of going to the gym to attend Body Combat class. I slept really late the night before, so I was very lethargic in the morning. My brother had a baptism to go to, and I was planning to ride with him out to the gym, but decided in the last minute not to go because I was too sleepy. We noticed the rains when my brother left, so he told me he’ll text me in case it’s already flooded at our village’s entrance. Minutes later, I got a message that it was indeed flooding already, so I stayed home. I cancelled all my plans for the morning and the rest of the day, and instead planned to go with my family to reserve a venue for my brother’s wedding.

I was all happy in the morning, too, because my friends and I were booking our flights to Palawan on December. However, when I got out after booking my flight, I noticed something weird in the street. Then my dad said, “Look, water’s rising in the gutter.”

That just about stopped me from celebrating.

And then we know what happened after.

The morning after the flood, my parents told me to stay at our neighbor’s while they started cleaning up. Everytime I went out and I saw the flood waters and the state of our house, I felt like crying. And I cried. Because how could it have happened to me? To us? Why now? Why us?

I prayed that afternoon, and as I did, I began to see some puzzle pieces falling into place:

  • If my dad didn’t get robbed, he wouldn’t have flown home to fix his Visa and he wouldn’t have been here to help us and be calm during the flood. If it were only me and my mom home? I don’t know what we would’ve done.
  • If I didn’t feel lethargic in the morning, I would have gone to the gym and would have been stranded with the rest of the people in the mall because of the flood that submerged the basement of Robinson’s Metro East.
  • If my brother had stayed home and not gone to the baptism (that didn’t push through, by the way), our car would have been at home and it would’ve been submerged in the flood, too.

I know there are more things, but these three items were enough to tell me that all the things that happened — they’re connected. And all these things fit into God’s plan, a plan bigger than I could ever understand.

Sometimes I still find myself questioning why all these happened to us…but then I hold on to the hope that this event is also connected with another event that only God knows. But that’s where I just have to trust. I mean, regardless of what happened, we’re still pretty blessed — all our losses are just material things, and we actually managed to save a lot (things that definitely has more value than cheap health insurance). I still have a home, we’re all safe and the things we lost…are just things. And those chain of events just mean that He’s watching and taking care of us all the time.

I may not understand why everything happened, but I think it’s enough that God knows and understands. I don’t have to understand everything anyway, I just have to trust Him — trust that He has plans for me, for us, and it’s for our good.

Blessed be His Name. :)

Blessed be His Name

So that wasn’t so bad.

To those who don’t know, another typhoon hit the Philippines yesterday — the fourth one that came inside the Philippine Area of Responsibility in the span of four/five weeks. Just today, five weeks ago, our house got flooded, and in a way I find it funny that another typhoon just left the country. And I hear there’s more?

But anyway. I have been enjoying good weather for the past few days. Every time I wake up with the sun shining through the window, I feel a huge sense of relief. When news hit that another typhoon was coming in, I couldn’t sit still. I try, but at the back of my mind, I feel so restless, so powerless, and all I could do was just pray.

Okay, maybe not powerless exactly. I just can’t rely on my own power.

Yesterday was kind of funny. I woke up and I heard that there was already a Public Storm Warning Signal # 2 in Metro Manila. And the sun was shining through my window.

For the rest of the day, everyone was confused at the storm signal. By seven in the evening, the storm signal was raised to #3…and there was still no sight of rain or wind. It only started raining around eight in the evening. My mom and brother and I were already planning stuff in case we needed to evacuate again. I stacked my books up my shelf, and then started fixing things in case we have to leave.

In the end, we decided not to leave. We prayed the rosary, and I read myself to sleep, trying to hear if the rain would pour down harder, and to see if we need to go.

But we didn’t. I slept through the winds, woke up with no power and saw later that the sun is shining through the window.

There. That really wasn’t so bad. :)

I want to say that I’m over the trauma of the flood…I pray I am. But I feel victorious over what happened today. Like I’ve passed a major hurdle, and that I’ll be able to face anything else that comes for me after this. Like I’m stronger somehow.

But of course, all by God’s grace. :) Always, always.

Right now life is almost back to normal after yesterday. I’m just waiting for cable to be back, but I can actually live without that. Now I’m back to preparing for NaNoWriMo (which starts tomorrow!!!), and for our first chat tonight (using some kind of live chat software — or not. Hello IRC!). I might even drop by our street’s  Halloween Party tonight.

Thank You Lord, for always being faithful. Blessed be Your Name. :)

Oratio Imperata for Deliverance from Calamities

Almighty Father, we raise our hearts to You in gratitude for the wonders of creation of which we are part, for Your providence in sustaining us in our needs, and for Your wisdom that guides the course of the universe.

We acknowledge our sins against You and the rest of creation.

We have not been good stewards of Nature.

We have confused Your command to subdue the earth.

The environment is made to suffer our wrongdoing, and now we reap the harvest of our abuse and indifference.

Global warming is upon us. Typhoons, floods, volcanic eruption, and other natural calamities occur in increasing number and intensity.

We turn to You, our loving Father, and beg forgiveness for our sins.

We ask that we, our loved ones and our hard earned possessions be spared from the threat of calamities, natural and man-made.

We beseech You to inspire us all to grow into responsible stewards of Your creation, and generous neighbors to those in need.


Source: inquirer.net

I feel like I'm Job

For those who are curious: I live in Cainta.

Obviously I’m blogging so you know I’m okay. Normally rains don’t bother me except the fact that it’s so hard to commute, because our village entrance usually gets flooded and I get stranded inside the village. Plus rains mean brownout and no internet, so you know.

Saturday gave me a whole new reason to be scared of rains. I woke up with a plan to do the following: go to the gym, go to NaNoWriMo volunteers’ meeting, then buy the bag I want and go home. However, I woke up late so I didn’t get to ride with my brother so I told myself I’d just commute. He then warned me to not go out anymore, so I just went online to book flights for our Palawan trip this December. I knew there was a typhoon but I didn’t think much of it, since it’s just rains and like I said, it doesn’t flood in our street. I cancelled the meetings and was fully prepared to be inside the house the entire day and enjoy the bed weather with my new books…but then a few hours later, I went out and my dad said, “Look, water’s rising up to the gutter.”

Again, let me reiterate: we never get flooded in our street.

By lunchtime, water was beyond our gutter, and by three in the afternoon, water was in our garage. Four, water was inside our house. By eight, we crossed waist-deep flood to get to our neighbor’s second floor with our valuables and prayed for the rain to stop.

Waking up the next morning was surreal. Our house…is…I can’t describe it. The things we put up so they won’t get wet tumbled down into the water anyway. My brother’s camera got wet because we didn’t see it. Our clothes are safe, thank goodness, but most of our furniture are wrecked. We’ve cleaned up stuff yesterday and today, but we’ve got a long way to go. Some of my books got wet, I lost a lot of files, my brother’s clothes all got soaked. It’s surreal.

I’ve helped out flood victims, but I never thought I would be a flood victim myself. I try to laugh it out and say it’s time to clean up anyway, but tell me: how does one go back to normal after something like this?

I know I’m luckier than the other ones because most of my belongings are saved and we have good neighbors and our house is still intact and everyone I know is safe (well, still waiting for the other people to text). But my heart is unsettled, and I want to be brave but I feel like I can’t. Sometimes I wish I had the power to magically make everything okay, but I can’t. How can I ever go back to functioning normally again after this?

I’m not mad at God, nor I am questioning His purpose. I’m trying very hard to trust Him right now, to trust that this is a part of His plan. I’m trying very hard not to be afraid, but I feel like I will always be afraid whenever there is rain. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to sleep soundly with the sound of rain. I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to work and hear the rain without worrying about my mom at home. I don’t know if we’ll even be able to restore our home.

It’s just so, so, surreal.

And then I remember Job.

My situation isn’t anything like Job’s of course. He got it so much worse. But there was this verse that I remember from his book that I am trying to hold onto:

I was born with nothing, I will die with nothing. The Lord gave and now He has taken away. May His name be praised! (Job 1:21)

What strength and faith he has to be able to utter that. Imagine me, losing so little and saving so much and I find difficulty to praise and thank God for it. All I could think about is “What next?”

I want to find the strength to be optimistic, to be brave and to start again. I want to be brave for my family and my friends. I don’t know how, but I know I’m out. And I know He’s got more. And He’s bigger than all of this. And He’s the only one I can hold onto in this time.

Interestingly, when we got back after the flood has gone down, we found that the altar in our house wasn’t moved at all. Everything else tumbled down/was wet, but the water didn’t even touch the Bible enthroned on our altar. If that isn’t a sign of God’s strength, I don’t know what is.

I don’t know what will happen next, and I have a feeling I’ll swing from happy to sad and back and I don’t know when we’ll be able to recover from this…but I’m going to try to hold on. I’m going to try to praise God regardless of what happened…because He is God. And I am not. And He knows and understands more than what I can understand now.

It’s going to be a long week. Maybe even months for others. Thanks to everyone who texted and sent a message through all kinds of social networking stuff. :P Thanks to our neighbors who we stayed in for two nights and to everyone in the street who helped out. It’s far from over, so please keep on praying. Not only for us but for the other people who got devastated by Ondoy.

I will do my best to echo Job in this situation. God, please give us the strength to hold on. Please don’t let us go.

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

(Blessed be Your Name, Matt Redman)

We’re okay. We’ll be okay. Other people need more help than we do, so please send donations their way. You can visit Philippineaid.com to see how you can help.

Faithful to Me

I think I’ve mentioned this before sometime and somewhere: I’m not a person who gets mad easily. My roommates even wondered that about me back in college, how whatever they do, whatever they say, I keep on saying that everything’s okay, that they don’t have to worry about it and I’m not offended. It’s not that I don’t get annoyed, I just don’t get annoyed easily, and when I do, I don’t get annoyed for too long.

I also thought I wasn’t a person who carried grudges. I mean, how could one person who doesn’t get mad too easy even carry one, anyway?

But lately, I’ve learned that I actually do carry grudges. A bit.

I’m not confrontational, so usually when I’m pissed off, I let it pass and then it’s gone. But I never really tell the person if I get offended. It’s something I should work on, I know, because no one is a mind reader and I can’t blame them if they don’t know what they did to offend me, right?

Anyway, during my 23rd birthday, a person that really mattered to me didn’t greet me. And…well, it hurt. I know it feels kind of shallow to be annoyed at something like this, but birthdays are a big deal for me and when it’s that person’s birthday I try to make sure that I can greet that person, you know? How hard would that kind of greeting be? I wasn’t expecting a surprise; a simple text would have sufficed.

I was trying to give more time for that person to greet me, even if it ended up being days and weeks after. I’d settle for even an “OH MY GOSH I can’t believe I forgot about it I’m so sorry happy birthday!” type of greeting.

But it never came.

And then I started thinking, “Does this person even care?”

And then I started wondering when was the last time we even saw each other.

What was the last thing I knew about this person?

When was the last time I was able to talk to this person and tell him/her about whatever is bothering me?

When was the last time he/she exerted an effort to meet me halfway?

And I realized how much I’ve been putting my life on hold at times just so we can catch up. How much I have been calling this person a certain title that maybe he/she doesn’t really deserve.

And then I started feeling really, really hurt, to the point that I wanted to text the person and confront him/her about it and how lousy of a friend he/she is.

You know that feeling, when you just wanted to give up? And I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because it’s been going on for a while, and I knew I shouldn’t have expected anything more, that I should have learned from how it was in the past. I had this strong feeling that I should move on, that that person doesn’t deserve the way I value him/her, and I deserve more.

It’s just fair, isn’t it?

I was brewing with all of these thoughts up until Wednesday. Interestingly, I had changed my Yahoo! Messenger status to something related to that (But now I feel like I don’t know you — don’t you just love Paramore? :P), and I actually got a couple of replies, including that person in question.

But I wasn’t appeased. I was more annoyed, actually.

I was more annoyed at myself because I couldn’t bring myself to say anything about what I feel.

And then I went to the chapel for First Wednesday Mass.

I got to the chapel late, so when I got in it was already time for the homily. I was pleased to see that it was the priest I know from the other chapel (ever since I went on midshift I started hearing mass in this other chapel),  and I missed hearing his homilies so I listened. The readings for the day were kind of hard to digest, so it was kind of hard to really get into it, until he finally said something that hit me like a brick.

Be faithful to one another.

Incidentally, I was listening to Jennifer Knapp’s Faithful to Me earlier that day, so that line kind of struck a nerve. Fr. Odon repeated the line: Be faithful to one another. Faithfulness goes a long way.

And then I almost broke down crying in the chapel.

Okay I may have exaggerated, but I did want to cry.

It hit me then…what right do I have to demand to be treated that way? To be remembered on that day? I know it’s my birthday and it’s a big deal, yes, but why do I demand such treatment? And why am I threatening to turn away from this person after I have been forgotten? What right do I have?

What right do I have to turn away, to give up, especially when Someone who I’ve been hurting and forgetting a lot has never turned His back on me? What right do I have to demand so much attention when I couldn’t even give the same kind of attention to The One who really deserves it all? What right do I have to get angry when Jesus never gets angry at me for forgetting Him?

Tell me, what right do I have? What right do we have?

No matter how much I turn away, no matter how much I forget, He has never failed to be faithful. It blows me away when I really think about it, how He has never turned away from me, from any of us. And I know for a fact that if there was anyone who didn’t deserve having someone so faithful, it’s me, being the sinner that I am.

But I’m just glad He is. Faithful. In every way possible.

I know I may have every reason to be mad, to cut of all ties from that person, and I know all of these feels martyr-like…but in the bigger picture, I deserve the same thing. But He didn’t cut me out of His life, His love.

So how could I not be faithful to others when He has always been faithful?


Through another day, another trial, another chance to reconcile
To one who sees past all I see.
And reaching out my weary hand I pray that you’d understand
You’re the only one who’s faithful to me.
You’re the only one who’s faithful to me.
Faithful to Me (Reprise) by Jennifer Knapp

From My Love

As if to answer my post yesterday, I found this post in Boundless. This part made me tear up:

Nothing Can Separate

Later that night as your Daddy tucks you into bed, there’s one thing bothering you. You know that even when you do your best, you can’t be good all the time. Some of the kids in your group home talked about their Daddies hitting them, or calling them bad words that hurt more than the hitting. And because of their stories, you can’t shake off a hidden fear that one day, your new Daddy will stop loving you and send you back to the home, deciding you aren’t worth the trouble anymore.

So just before he turns out the light, you screw up all your courage and ask a question: “Daddy … what makes you stop loving your kids?”

“Me?” he says. “Absolutely nothing.”

“But what about when I do something really bad?”

“Nothing can separate you from my love,” he replies.

“What if I can’t figure things out in math and get an F?”

“Nothing can separate you from my love.”

“What if I get hit by a car and die?”

“Nothing can separate you from my love.”

“What about when I come home and it doesn’t look like you’re here, and I wonder if you went away?”

“Nothing can separate you from my love.”

Your Daddy can tell you’ve run out of questions for now, so he gives you a kiss on the forehead and a big hug. But before he leaves the room, he sits down on the edge of the bed and looks you in the eyes.

“I love you, kiddo,” he says. “I love you in good times and bad. I love seeing you seek after me; helping you and comforting you. I loved you before the world began, and I’ll love you all the way through eternity.”

Then he starts to leave the room, but before he goes, you have to say — not just because it’s habit, but because it’s the deep truth in your heart — “I love you, Daddy.”

And he responds, “I love you too, my chosen one.”


I realized a few days ago (while I’m all so down about my novel) that I hardly have posts in my blog that are in the In His Steps category. I can post book reviews, novel updates, but this category has been long quiet. It’s been a long time since I wrote something related to my faith, and I kind of miss it.

So how have I been?

It’s been…difficult. Not difficult that I can’t bear it type of difficult, but just difficult that I don’t really know what I’m doing. I don’t know where my spiritual life is going, I don’t know how I’m going to fix this. I’m not having a faith crisis, as far as I know…it’s just that everything feels like it’s in limbo.

You know how easy it is to fall back into the world and not remember who you are and whose you are? It’s kind of like that. I admit that I haven’t been exerting that much effort into my faith as much as I do before. I still go to mass, and I do my best to go to mass every first Wednesday and first Friday. I’ve had “God” moments too — moments that I feel enlightened, that I feel that He is talking to me. I try my best to revive my prayer time, to pray the way I used to back in college, where the first thing I hold when I woke up is my Bible. Right now…it’s just not the same.

Sometimes I’m scared that I’d get used to this thing, this limbo. I’m scared of not feeling scared of me losing this “battle”. I’m scared of the possibility of getting used to God not being near, to see Him as Someone I’ll run to when I need Him, not someone I need like the air I breathe. I don’t want that to happen. I can’t lose Him.

I still don’t know what I’m going to do, but I am taking baby steps again. It’s me being stripped of all my ideas about faith once again to start anew. Cliche as this may sound, this is a journey, and God values what happens in the journey. So…as a baby step, I finally did something about this limbo last weekend.

I went to confession. After one and a half years. :)

It’s a start, right? I’ve got a long way to go, and by God’s grace, I’ll get to where He wants me to be.

 God wants you to understand that it is a life off aith, not a life of emotional enjoyment of His blessings…Faith by its very nature must be tested and tried. And the real trial of faith is not that we find it difficult to trust God, but that God’s character must be proven as trustworthy in our own minds. (Oswald Chambers)


This week has got to be the most book-filled week. I think I finished four books this week, and not all of them were short. Wow. Talk about enthusiastic reading.

But that is what happens to me when I take away one thing that has become more or less an essential to me every night and day – my computer and the Internet (okay, so they’re two things). And although I have successfully avoided them last year (I don’t know how I did that, really), this year proved to be a bit more difficult. Not only in this particular fast, but also in the other fast. Let’s see how I fared this Lent:

  • The first fast I told myself I’d be doing this year was the 40 days of prayer and fasting…which I failed miserably. Last year I did the seven days of prayer and fasting, which I was kind of successful in doing. This year was just…hard. Every Friday of the fast, I’d end up eating too much. I didn’t even mentally prepare for the fast. And come Holy Week, I had it in my mind to really fast…but then the Holy Week started with my birthday! Ack.
  • The next, which was what I mentioned earlier, was the no computer and Internet fast. I almost made it…but not without me going online for an hour each on Thursday and Friday, and finally breaking the fast yesterday. How about that for conviction. :( I bet even taking away my laptop wouldn’t help; I probably would’ve just stolen some online time from my dad’s or from some laptop rental out there. :(
  • And to top it all off, I didn’t get to confess this Lent. :(

So conviction and fasting wise, I had a pretty crummy Lent. I did manage to stay away from meat every Friday…but it doesn’t feel like it’s a worthy offering, you know?

I’m sorry Lord.

I know I shouldn’t be too hard on myself with that, but I just feel like I took away some of the gifts that I planned to give to someone special. Or that I broke a promise to someone and although he says it’s okay, I can’t help but feel guilty.

Or like Peter, who promised that he would never turn his back on Jesus, but denied Him not once, but three times, a few hours later. How’s that for conviction.

There’s one book I’ve always loved reading and going back to especially during Holy Week: Max Lucado’s No Wonder They Called Him the Savior. Here’s the particular part that always makes my eyes fill with tears:

Look in Mark, chapter 16. Read the first five verses about the women’s surprise when they find the stone moved to the side. Then feast on that beautiful phrase spoken by the angel, “He is not here, he is risen,” but don’t pause for too long. Go a bit further…the verse reads like this: … “But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee.”

…If I might paraphrase the words, “Don’t stay here, go tell the disciples,” a pause, then a smile, “and especially Peter, that he is going before you to Galilee.”

What a line. It’s as if all of heaven had watched Peter fall — and it’s as if all of heaven wanted to help him back up again. “Be sure to tell Peter that he’s not left out. Tell him that one failure doesn’t make a flop.”

pp 93-94, No Wonder They Called Him the Savior by Max Lucado

St. Peter is one of my favorite saints (together with St. Paul). His stubbornness (“No, you won’t wash my feet!”) and his short temper (he cut off an ear!) were definitely his flaws, but I can’t get over his intense devotion that made him say those words, “Even though all the others fall away, I will not.” (Mark 14:29) I’d like to believe that Jesus gave him a rueful smile before he foretold of his denial, to which Peter stubbornly insisted, “Though I have to die with you, I will never deny you.” (Mark 14:31)

I see myself in that moment, especially in the past Lent. As much as I’d like to be John, who stuck by Jesus’ side all through out, I think I was more of Peter, who promised such and such to Jesus, but didn’t follow through. And I knew Jesus knew that would happen to me this year, just like He knew Peter would deny him.

I’m not saying that what I failed to do in the last few weeks was excusable, that I shouldn’t do it again next time since I failed this year and still God loves me anyway. I’m not saying that I shouldn’t bother to fast or confess next time. That’s not the point. The thing is, even in my lack of faith, in my lack of willpower, God still grants me the grace and forgives me. Jesus knows that this would happen, and yet He forgives me. And although I know God appreciates that I promise to try harder next time, He’s asking me to accept the grace He is offering. Because He wants me — as in the WHOLE me — more than He wants any of my sacrifices, just as how He wanted Peter more than His promise of sticking by Him. :)

It sounds a bit absurd in some ways, I know, but what’s faith if you’re certain about everything?

As we start on this Easter season today, I leave you with a quote I got from one of the books I finished reading this weekend:

Easter cannot exist for you and for me without a deep willingness to embrace the mystery of love at its most fundamental: he who was dead now lives; I who was lost am found. I don’t ever pretend to understand that. Even that willingness is a gift…His death paid for my sin; his Resurrection opened the door for me to new life.
– p. 264, May Crowning, Mass and Merton: 50 Reasons I Love Being Catholic by Liz Kelly

Happy Easter, everyone. :)

Virginia Tech Massacre

Back when I was serving in YFC High School Based, our program head, Kuya Noli, told us the story of why YFC HS Based is very important. Kuya Noli often related to us the story of the Columbine High School Shooting, where after the event, a dad of one of the victims was present at some sort of conference about it discussing why it happened, and he spoke up: Because God has been taken out of the schools.

Hearing about the Virginia Tech Massacre reminded me of Columbine, and reading about what happened, seeing news about it brings tears to my eyes. There are many possible reasons why this happened; people could debate over the killer’s background, his attitudes and whatnot, but I think — and I know some of you might not agree with me — that the reason this happened is a God thing. Or lack of it. Not that God wasn’t there or He let this happen because He wasn’t looking or because He wants to punish people because no one is noticing Him, so He took the side of the killer in this event…rather, it was the lack of actually living out God’s love.

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