I have fought the good fight

I just want to share with you a homily by Saint John Chrysostom

Though housed in a narrow prison, Paul dwelt in heaven. He accepted beatings and wounds more readily than others reach out for rewards. Sufferings he loved as much as prizes; indeed he regarded them as his prizes, and therefore called them a grace or gift. Reflect on what this means. To depart and be with Christ was certainly a reward, while remaining in the flesh meant struggle. Yet such was his longing for Christ that he wanted to defer his reward and remain amid the fight; those were his priorities.  

Now, to be separated from the company of Christ meant struggle and pain for Paul; in fact, it was a greater affliction than any struggle or pain would be. On the other hand, to be with Christ was a matchless reward. Yet, for the sake of Christ, Paul chose the separation.

But, you may say: “Because of Christ, Paul found all this pleasant.” I cannot deny that, for he derived intense pleasure from what saddens us. I need not think only of perils and hardships. It was true even of the intense sorrow that made him cry out: Who is weak that I do not share the weakness? Who is scandalized that I am not consumed with indignation?

I urge you not simply to admire but also to imitate this splendid example of virtue, for, if we do, we can share his crown as well.

Are you surprised at my saying that if you have Paul’s merits, you will share that same reward? Then listen to Paul himself: I have fought the good fight, I have run the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth a crown of justice awaits me, and the Lord, who is a just judge, will give it to me on that day – and not to me alone, but to those who desire his coming. You see how he calls all to share the same glory?

Now, since the same crown of glory is offered to all, let us eagerly strive to become worthy of these promised blessings.

In thinking of Paul we should not consider only his noble and lofty virtues or the strong and ready will that disposed him for such great graces. We should also realize that he shares our nature in every respect. If we do, then even what is very difficult will seem to us easy and light; we shall work hard during the short time we have on earth and someday we shall wear the incorruptible, immortal crown. This we shall do by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom all glory and power belongs now and always through endless ages. Amen.

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Happy Birthday, Nanay!

“When I look upon your face, I see a gentle smile of ages past, I see a simple smile, a mother’s care, a mother’s stare, a mother’s special kind of love…”

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I am the kind of person who doesn’t know how to express himself personally so I took this opportunity to write down my thoughts through this blog…

First of all, Happy Birthday, Nanay! Words are not enough to wholly express how much I love you, how much I appreciate all the love and care you have shown me. I cannot thank you enough for not giving up on me in spite of everything. I know I already owe you so much. You provided for everything and I couldn’t ask for more. The love and care you have shown over the years is beyond comparable.

I am sorry for what I have done, for everything, for all my shortcomings. I am very sorry I failed you and Inang. I am very sorry for not being the son you always wanted me to be. The life that you’ve always imagined and dreamed of for me is far different from what and where I am now. The fact that I might not be able to give back breaks my heart and makes me realize sometimes that I am a total failure.

In spite of all the pains that I’ve caused you, you have always been at my side, guiding me in every step of the way, helping me to mend the broken pieces, and never stopped showing me greater love, selfless and unconditional love, a true mother’s love.

I am truly blessed you are my mother!

I wish you all the best and may God bless you more! I love you, Nanay! Happy Birthday!

Random Thoughts

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You will never know what you have and how much that means to you until you lose it, and once you lose it, you can never get it back. Sometimes good things really never last and goodbyes are inevitable, but we only part ways to meet again in the end.

Until then…

Find it in your heart…

We do not need to travel far or search everywhere. We only need to look for the STAR in our hearts and there we will find JESUS!

'ADORATION OF THE MAGI'

They were overjoyed at seeing the star, and on entering the house they saw the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their treasures and offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Matthew 2:10-11) 

Starting the year with a positive outlook

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A few months ago, I was browsing through one of the accounts I follow in Instagram when one of the posts there caught my attention. I immediately posted a comment and asked what’s the title of the book. I was told that it is “The Daily Book of Positive Quotations” by Linda Picone. Instantly, I became interested and tried to search online where I could possibly buy my own copy. It was only last December that I placed my order via Amazon, and thanks to their prompt delivery, the package arrived before Christmas, just in time for the start of this new year.

Over the past year, I became so consumed with negative vibes around me. I was easily distracted with little things that I tend to lose my patience and hurt someone in the end. It became a habit already that not a day went by that I was not mad against someone or something. Then I realized that I’ve already hurt so much and that I no longer have their respect. What drives them to follow me as a leader was no longer respect but fear. Fear that each time they do not meet my standards or every time they commit a mistake, I would raise my voice and utter some harsh words to them.

But that is not me. I am more than what the eyes can see. I can do better. I can be better. If only I wouldn’t allow myself to be consumed by anger. If only I would allow love, mercy, compassion and kindness prevail in my heart. If only I will learn how to be more humble. If only I would allow myself to recognize the presence of others, that I also need them, and that I can also learn something from them. Perhaps, it’s not yet too late to make a difference.

May this book open my eyes and see the good things around me. May it open my heart to embrace the positive side of life. And may it be a reminder to myself to always be good and do good towards the people around me.

Let’s start this year with a positive outlook. Welcome 2016!

The start of a new journey

It has been more than three years now since the last time I visited my other blog (from the other blog site), or even write something in it. The last time I logged into my blog, I felt like a total stranger. Maybe because some of the blogs that are in my reading list are no longer updated, or maybe the bloggers that I used to follow had not been active as well. Either way, I felt so lost in my own abode.

Hard as it may be, I decided to get over with my old blog and make a new one. This means that I have to let go of the friends that I had made in my few years of blogging, and to forego the blogs that I used to follow and read. It also means that I have to start all over again.

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Starting a new blog in a whole new environment somehow challenges me because I have to go back to the basics. But don’t get me wrong about this. One of the things that I learned in life is to never stop learning. I do not know where this will lead me but I am actually excited to explore and be able to learn and discover something new out of this experience.

I will be blogging mostly about photography, books, movies, music and everything in between. From time to time, I will also share my experiences about being in a different world, a world where I have learned to embrace as my home away from home. On the sidelines, I will also be posting photos of my pets. And lastly, the main reason why I created this blog, I will be writing about Jesus, my faith and on being a Catholic, and why His Divine Mercy is the last strand of hope in the darkest moments of my life. Without Christ, I Am Nothing!

So there you go, hello world!