My 2016 in less than 500 words

2016 is finally signing off in a few hours. It is during this time when most of us look back on everything that happened including lessons learned and look forward to more goals to fulfill (hopefully). For me this means looking back at my journals slash photo album where I keep my daily musings and photos of some events or memorable situations I was in. 😊

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In the past, I would usually cry during this time of the year. Probably because I hate goodbyes and feel daunted of new beginnings.  But not anymore. Today, I am glad that 2016 is coming to a close.

This year has brought mourning in our family as we lost two dear people – an aunt and our grandfather. They passed away barely a month apart, leaving behind great memories and irreplaceable places in our hearts.

2016 has also made me watch people in my life leave, both for petty reasons and for having frenzied priorities, which I respect and accept.  We can’t have everything, can we?

This year has also brought me into a chaos of anxiety. Questions like ‘Will I have to find another job?’ ‘What will happen to us?’ ‘What are my options’ ‘Why has anyone among the companies I applied for called me back?’ have bugged me and robbed me of peace and good appetite for quite a long time.

2016 likewise forced me to witness and deal with an ‘injustice’ right under my nose, at the expense of my back. It put my character into the fire a lot of times. And I will be honest, I failed many times.

My 2016 may seem pretty ugly (haha) but it actually taught me pretty amazing things.  My loved ones’ death reminded me to make wise use of my time and to treat everyone I meet with respect & grace. I was taught to give my full trust and surrender to the Lord in times of uncertainty. Those questions I allowed to bug me for a long time? Those questions don’t matter anymore today, because my confidence now resides in the Lord. I know He will catch me whatever happens.

I also realized that an earthly ‘injustice’ does not automatically mean heavenly injustice. Meaning, I should never be bounded by the world’s definition of things. This realization also made me see the grace of this ‘injustice,’ that is to mold my character, purify my love and strengthen my endurance.

“Consider yourselves fortunate when you meet with every kind of trial, for you know that the testing of your faith makes you steadfast.”  James 1: 2-3

On top of these precious lessons that 2016 taught me, I welcomed new things in my life as well. I was blessed with new friends, new places and new adventures.

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On my birthday this year, I just chose to be with the Lord in a retreat and He gifted me with these wonderful ladies. Just WOW.
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I got to join a Bible Study/class too and met more wonderful ladies there!

This may not be the best year in review but I hope this makes you also look back with gratefulness and look forward to greater adventures ahead. 😉

Adios, 2016!

 

P.S : Feel free to share your 2016  or blog link in the comments below! I want to read them!

 

 

The Best Position of Prayer

In celebration of the Holy Mass, people get often confused lately on whether to stand or kneel during the Eucharistic prayer, particularly after the consecration during Sanctus (Holy holy holy, Lord God of hosts…) until the Great Amen (Through Him, with Him and in Him, in unity with the Holy Spirit…). I for one am a bit perplexed on which one to follow. You see, Eucharistic celebrations in our office compound practice kneeling until the Great Amen while in the parishes in the province (where I attend mass), people stand after the consecration.

As I was hearing mass the other day in a chapel within a mall, I also notice both of these practices among the faithful.  This made me remember a particular story I read about the best position of prayer. Allow me to lift the story from the book and share them with you here:

A story was told of three pastors arguing about the best posture of praying. One said, “The best posture of praying is standing and lifting up our hands to God in prayer.”

The other said, “No, the best posture for praying is kneeling before God in prayer.”

And the third pastor said, “I’m sorry, but you guys have got it all wrong. The best posture of praying is prostrating yourself on the floor in humble contriteness.”

Just then, the telephone repairman who was listening to all these arguments spoke up. “Excuse me, I couldn’t help overhearing your discussion. I don’t know much about prayer,” he said, “but I think that the best posture of prayer is hanging upside down.”

“Hanging upside down?!” the pastors asked incredulously. “What kind of prayer posture is that?”

“Well,” said the telephone man, “once I was repairing the phone lines up a telephone pole. I slipped and I was hanging upside down. Knowing I might fall any moment, I prayed, ‘Lord, save me!’ and he did. That’s the best prayer posture of all.

We may laugh but we get the point. The best posture of prayer is the posture of the heart.

The story was on point. No matter how we are positioned or where we are, the best position when praying is the position of our hearts. We may say too many words or no words at all, we may stare or sob or cry before God in prayer, it is our hearts that HE will look into. It is our hearts that bring us to God’s presence and embrace.

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How is your heart?

As we begin our novena masses for Christ’s birth, I think it is apt to examine our hearts to fully receive the graces that this season brings. Let us let go of anger, resentments or fears and allow God’s joy, love and hope remain.

And this examination of hearts also falls into the most opportune time – the closing of another year. We might as well ponder on how our hearts was changed by this wonderful year, how the trials and joys of 2016 made our hearts ache and leap.

As we join thousands of faithful in waking up before dawn to join Simbang Gabi, may our hearts be pure and joyful in celebrating the birth of our Savior and be full of anticipation of the best that is yet to come.

Merry Christmas!

 

 

P.S. Kneeling or standing? What’s the real score? You can read Bishop Soc’s account here. 😉