Monday, 11 April 2016

Praise and Worship



I am born, baptized and raised to a Roman Catholic family. My grandparents are Roman Catholic devotees wherein both of them serve the church in their ‘able’ years. My family goes to Sunday Eucharistic celebrations, pray the Holy Rosary and knew the Lord's Prayer by heart. I even went to a Catholic School until my tertiary level. I think it was not a conscious thing that my parents sent us to a Catholic school. Yeah, I’m sure now because my brother studied in a non-Catholic school during his elementary to secondary years. So basically it’s more on its accessibility to our house, my parent's workplace for most part. I never changed my religion even until I married a non-Catholic person. My husband and his family were actually Roman Catholics before they converted to Christian-Protestants. We even got married in a Christian ceremony with Pastor as our celebrant and wed in a garden, not in the church. I can say that we are just lucky (so I think) that both sides of our family supported and understood our relationship until we tied the knot. Both our kids were dedicated to our Lord as Christians and my eldest daughter went to a Catholic school. Religion was never a big issue in our family. And it should never be. Thank God! I believe that for as long as we live harmoniously, respect each other and our relationships’ untainted despite religious differences, God doesn't mind. I cannot remember I struggled so much adapting to these two different religions because there are also some similarities as to how Catholics worship versus Christian Protestants. I am not very particular on the history of why they are called Protestants but base on what we practice, the way they service Mass has a similarity of how Catholics celebrate. There are songs of praise that I am accustomed to singing in Catholic mass that I sing in Sunday service at my husband’s church. The Holy Bible is the basis of both church’s Gospel reading and worship. When I enter both house of worship, there is a big sign of the Cross which is situated in altar and the stage. It may have some differences but I think it doesn’t matter as long as we worship and believe in the same God and what's base in the Holy Bible.


Ever since I attended Sunday service mass at my husband's church, I feel an overpowering joy to the extent of tearing up. Every time I sing songs for God, I feel grateful for my life. I feel the Lord is touching and healing me. Passages from the Bible gives me a sense of relief and calmness. It gives me comfort, hope and joy for myself and my God.


And when an opportunity came for me to attend #TheFeast (a Catholic meeting of Prayer and Worship), I didn't have second thoughts. I am ecstatic and told myself this is my chance since the venue is near my workplace. 
 

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every Fridays at Cinema 3 SM Ecoland from 6:30pm-9pm.


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Fridays now is my 'Fridates' with my God and myself.

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A person who ran out of DREAMS is a person who ran out of LOVE. 

I've heard of this group way before because of Bo Sanchez. I didn't mind it at first until my cousin has been attending The Feast at their Bay Area assembly. Attending The Feast is an answered prayer. I love singing and I like it that I can sing here with all my heart's might. More than that, it gives me a breather and time for myself. My 'me-time' with my God. Even for just 2 hours in a week, it recharges my faith and remind me that God is with me whether in bad times not only in good ones. Honestly, I am guilty that my family don't regularly go to Sunday service. But attending this once a week is like having attended Praise and worship service. But I know it is still not okay because my family is not with me everytime I attend this. I need to restore our bonding as a family to God in order for my children to grow up knowing God. If my husband can't, then who else will? Putting pride aside, maybe God is giving me in charge of our Faith. Then I have to obey.
 

As parting words, what I am trying to say here is that religion will not save us. Our faith does and it is our ticket to salvation. Nowadays, I see a lot of religious groups formed through time and it is sad to note that there are some of its members who righteously brag that theirs is the truth. I mean, it is not right to judge. For me, as long as you find yourself and God in whichever sect you have chosen to join, then that's where you belong. If you feel in your heart comfort, love, peace, kindness and selflessness, then you found the right one. Let us respect each others' belief because I believe if respect dwells in each one of us, our world will be as harmonious as we would like it to be. God bless our world!

Friday, 1 April 2016

Pained Heart: Remembering Courageous Caitie

Yesterday is a devastating one for me. As a mother, I cannot imagine myself losing my child because of a life-threatening illness. During the journey, it's like each day gets harder and harder and you don't know what tomorrow has in store. You don't know until when the agony and pain will end. I am talking about the painful story of the almost 4 year old Caitlin 'Caitie' Lucas, daughter of Feliz and Jay Jay, who suffered and acquired a rare kind of leukemia which I got to follow in their facebook page, Courageous Caitie. Before, I was glued on the same situation of the 4-year-old daughter of actress Jackie Forster, Caleigh known as Kikay Caleigh at Instagram, who was struck with leukemia (but not the rare kind) also. But now, I rejoice because she was healed by God. It's so painful and I can't bear to feel what the parents of Caitie's undergoing right now. Sure, words of God and people who sympathize overflows with so much encouragement for the bereaved family. But nothing can ease as of the moment the reality of losing a loved one. I cannot bear to post photos from their Facebook page because everytime I see it, my eyes and heart tears. It aches so much. Yesterday at lunch break, I really cried coupled with sobs in between and even now writing this piece. I remember the photos of Feliz and Jay Jay holding Caitie's lifeless body in their arms. And in one photo, Jay Jay cradled Caitie and kissed her on the forehead. It's such a sorrowful ending. My only consolation is that Caitie is now pain-free and is safely in God's hands. My reflections about this journey of Caitie and her family is I PRAY that... I wish that accepting death is not too hard to deal with. Honestly now, I fear the life after death. Because I don't know where my soul take me. I know I will be in an unknown place and travel alone. I fear death because I still don't want to leave my kids behind at a very young age. I want to be present in their journey towards adulthood. Secondly, how I wish that my faith endures all things. Yes, I am weak. I need God in my life so much and I know that I've been missing a lot because I am preoccupied with a lot of worldly things.



Caitie touched my heart in so many ways. Like I said, I have a child almost as the same age of Caitie. That's why I am so moved and touched with the Lucas' family journey. Seeing my kids last night as I arrive home from work, I feel blessed and grateful to God that my kids are healthy and active. And I pray that it will always be that way. As a working mother, every minute that I got a chance to be with them, I take advantage of it by spending quality time with them. I know I am not a perfect mother and sometimes I want to take a break but with the realization Caitie has shared to us, I will never stop being there for my children. So that in the end there will be no regrets... only gratefulness of the moments that God gave to each one of us.

Caitie, my dear, you'll always be remembered. Thank you for showing to me how to be courageous, faithful and cheerful despite life's battles. Please help your Mama and Papa cope up with your loss. Always make rainbows in the sky so that they will feel your presence even in that instance. I love you!


For full details of Caitie's journey until the end, see links below:
http://www.yourpagemeetsmine.com/
http://mommyfleur.com/2016/03/31/rest-now-courageous-caitie/
http://teachwithjoy.com/2016/03/courageous-caities-legacy/

Caring For Our Skin...and Eyes Too!

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