The story is told about a man who complained about the food in his lunch box every day. “Rice and fish again! Rice and fish again!”  was his continuous lamentation. After one week his fellow worker told him: “Why don’t you ask your wife to change your food?” His reply: “I have no wife. I make my own food.”

* * *

In today’s Gospel (Lk. 14, 25-33) Jesus challenges His disciples to follow Him. But before they can do so, they must change their attitudes and be free of their worldly attachments. “In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” Are you detachable? Are you able to detach from yourself and attach more to God?

* * *

Today is the birthday of Mama Mary! Here was someone who gave up all her worldly attachments in order to follow God’s will. It was not easy for her to give up a “normal” married life. It was not easy for her to be the mother of a prophet so outspoken and courageous. It was certainly not easy for her to give up her only child in Calvary. What made all that detachment possible? It was her attachment to God, and obedience to God’s will.

* * *

I remember what Fr. Albert Van Leeuwen, SVD, told me when we left the comforts of the Mission House in Bangued, Abra, and the jeep brought us to the Calaba river on the way to our mission station in La Paz in the same province. “Now the journey begins,” he said. And we walked the rest of the trip, wading through rivers, and trudging through the long, lonely, rugged roads up ahead.

* * *

The journey to God’s heart really begins when we step beyond our comfort zones and go the “extra mile.” As long as we are focused on and attached to our career paths, or to family ties and our circle of friends, the journey to God’s heart never really begins. When we are willing to leave everything and everyone for God, then the journey starts.

* * *

Remember the story of two people who were shipwrecked? One was rich, and he would not let go of two bags full of money and jewelry. He drowned. The other was poor. His hands were free to swim and to hold on to floating debris. He survived. So, too, in life. Travel light.

* * *

It happens that sooner or later, we encounter life situations which help us make that real journey to God’s heart. Sickness, failure, disappointment, separation, hurt, fear and shame can make us stop, and take the turn toward God’s heart. But it can also happen that such moments of misfortune can harden our hearts and make us run away from God. Remember, though, that one cannot flee from God too far or too long. All roads lead to Him in the end. The sooner we go to His heart, the better.

* * *

Happy Grandparent’s Day! Some grandparents are still loaded with power and money, but most grandparents are already outside the limelight, and are already traveling quietly and slowly on the road of life.  This should be seen as a blessing—i.e., not so much to be able to rely more on one’s own resources as to experience more God’s power and providence. If only we learned this early enough, and early on!

* * *

Someone observed that some grandparents keep saying: “I had much power and money!” That’s past tense. Other grandparents still say: “I will have much power and money!” That’s future tense. And there are those who insist: “I still have much power and money!” That, as someone put it, is pretense.

* * *

The key to a meaningful and peaceful life is surrendering. Unless and until we learn to surrender to something or someone greater than ourselves, we can never experience the freedom and the joy of being sons and daughters of the Most High.

* * *

Yesterday was a day of fasting and prayers for peace, especially in Syria, as declared by Pope Francis. Let us pray daily for violence and atrocities all over the world to cease. Let us continue to pray for natural and political calamities in our country to cease, or decrease.

* * *

How consoling it is to pray the rosary, or even just to hold the rosary. As a little boy, and up to now, I hold my rosary in my sleep.  That is one attachment I have, for life.

* * *

Food for the journey: “Those who joyfully leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s hand in everything.”

* * *

We have come to the “BER” months once again: September, October, November and December. May the rest of the year be more kind for our people, and may we all experience mightily that there is a God who is in control. “Be still and know that I am God.” Amen!

* * *

For those preparing for marriage, or with marital problems, you are invited to register and join the Psycho-Genetics Gestalt Retreat weekend on Sept. 21-22 at St. John the Baptist Retreat House in Tagaytay City. Please contact Angie or Harry at 7883450/0917-8410398 or Ed at 0917-8360305, or log on at for more details.

* * *

A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help me to detach myself more from this world, and attach myself more to you. Amen.

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  • cross my heart


    “We have come to the “BER” months once again: September, October, November and December.” – Fr. Jerry M. Orbos

    A number of years ago, a remarkable Christmas card was published by the title “If Christ Had Not Come.” It was based on our Savior’s own words, “If I had not come,” in John 15:22. The card pictured a minister falling asleep in his study on Christmas morning and then dreaming of a world into which Jesus had never come.

    In his dream, he saw himself walking through his house, but as he looked, he saw no stockings hung on the chimney, no Christmas tree, no wreaths of holly, and no
    Christ to comfort and gladden hearts or to save us. He then walked onto the street outside, but there was no church with its spire pointing toward heaven. And when he came back and sat down in his library, he realized that every book about our Savior had disappeared.

    The minister dreamed that the doorbell rang and that a messenger asked him to visit a friend’s poor dying mother. He reached her home, and as a his friend sat and
    wept, he said, “I have something here that will comfort you.” He opened his Bible to look for a familiar promise, but it ended with Malachi. There was no gospel and no promise of hope and salvation, and all he could do was bow his head and weep with his friend and his mother in bitter despair.

    Two days later he stood beside her coffin and conducted her funeral service, but there was no message of comfort, no words of a glorious resurrection, and no thought of a mansion awaiting her in heaven. There was only “dust to dust, and ashes to ashes,” and one long, eternal farewell. Finally, he realized that Christ had
    not come, and burst into tears, weeping bitterly in his sorrowful dream.

    Then suddenly he awoke with a start, and a great shout of joy, and praise burst from his lips, as he heard his choir singing these words in his church nearby:

    O come, all ye faithful, joyful and triumphant,
    O come ye, O come ye to Bethlehem!
    Come and behold Him, born the King of angels,
    O come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!

    (Taken from the book “Streams In The Desert” by L.B. Cowman)

    “May the rest of the year be more kind for our people, and may we all experience
    mightily that there is a God who is in control.” – Fr. Jerry M. Orbos

    • Isagani Gatmaitan

      Please… If Christ had not come to the Judeo-Christian world… The Hindu, Buddhists, etc. also have their own salvation paradigms. Sa ating mga katutubo me paraiso rin, ibang version nga lang – our Tabon Cave people left ornate burial jars carved with symbolic boatmen to the next world. Neantherthals buried their kin with supplies and gifts for the journey to the great beyond.

      • Mang Teban

        I think that you have misunderstood the coming of Christ. While your hypotheses on the Tabon Cave people and the Neanderthals may be accurate as far as believing in the afterworld, these groups of people were still attached (and no fault of theirs) to the natural world. They had no concept of a Divine Being coming down from above and living amid the people in human form. They attributed mystical things and unexplained phenomena to what they saw and postulated to be from a higher being or beings.
        Therefore, the coming of the only begotten son of God was no ordinary event though Jesus came in all humility to be born in the womb of an unknown woman named Mary in the most humblest place in a small town of Bethlehem and grew up considerably unknown as well but came out in the open to proclaim the Good News and “went about doing good” (as simple as it was written in Scriptures).
        So, sir, you cannot trivialize the coming of Jesus the Christ, a true man and true God in the same category as the “spiritual beliefs” of the ancient people in the prehistoric times. Jesus came in fulfillment of the promise of God to save humanity from the snares of the Devil who lords it over in this world. Jesus defeated the death and sin by His resurrection from the dead. That, sir, is not to be found in any ancient archaeological sites, burial jars or any artifacts.
        Finally, Jesus is God of all people in this world. He may have been born as a human being in Israel, learned to be a Jew and died in Jerusalem…but, Jesus is God of all since the beginning of time. “The Father and I are one.” If you do not believe this, that is your option. You can live with such an anomaly but that is the truth – Jesus did not come ONLY for the Judeo-Christians. He came to save mankind.

      • cross my heart

        “…the document on the relations between the Church and Hinduism and other religions of the Far East is so important. We read: ‘In Hinduism men explore the divine mystery and express it through an endless bounty of myths and through penetrating philosophical insight. They seek freedom from the anguish of our human condition, either by way of the ascetic life, profound meditation, or by
        taking refuge in God with love and trust. The various schools of Buddhism recognizes the radical inadequacy of this malleable world and teach a way by which men, with devout and trusting hearts, can become capable either of reaching a state of perfect liberation, or of attaining, by their own efforts or through higher help, supreme illumination’ (Nostra Aetate 2).

        “….the [Second Vatican] Council remarks that ‘The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. The Church has a high regard for their conduct and way of life, for these precepts and doctrines which, although differing on many points from that which the Church believes and propounds, often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men. However, the Church proclaims, and is bound to proclaim that Christ is ‘the way and the truth and the life’ (Jn 14:6), in whom men must find the fullness of religious life and in whom God has reconciled everything to Himself ‘(Nostra Aetate 2)”

        (Excerpted from the book “Crossing The Threshold of Hope” by Pope John Paul II)

  • virgoyap

    Even those drug addict and the alcoholics find it hard for them to get rid of their addiction unless they surrender themselves to the Higher Power.

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