Sunday, June 2, 2013

The journey continues

Times went by so fast. I stopped blogging when I was dealing with a battle against the culture in the justice system. Although the war is not over yet, I know I have stepped on a vantage position to know the strengths and weaknesses of the enemy in order to give it a good fight.

As a law student, I have slowly understood the complicated and sophisticated culture of lawyers.   Now that I am in the system itself, I can move freely to map my way to help promote the agenda of truth, justice and protection of creation.

This come back is short, but, a signal of a long journey with my netbook.  Catch you more often.

Friday, January 15, 2010



New City Magazine - January 2010


by Chiara Lubich

“God will dwell with them; they will be his people” (cf. Rev. 21:3)

“See, the home of God is among mortals.He will dwell with them; they will be his people,and God himself will be with them” (Rev 21:3).

This month’s Word of Life is an exhortation: if we want to be part of his people, we must allow him to live among us.

But how is this possible, and what can we do to have a foretaste, while still on earth, of the endless joy we will have in seeing God?

This is exactly what Jesus revealed to us, this is the very meaning of his coming: to communicate to us his life of love with the Father, so that we too can live it.

We Christians can live this phrase even now and have God among us. Of course, to have him among us requires certain conditions, as affirmed by the Fathers of the Church. For Basil, the essential condition is living according to the will of God; for John Chrysostom, it is to love our neighbor as Jesus did; for Theodore the Studite, it is mutual love; and for Origen, it is accord in thought and in feeling, so as to arrive at that concord which “unites, and contains the Son of God.”

The key for allowing God to dwell among us is found in Jesus’ teachings: “Love one another as I have loved you” (cf. Jn 13:34). Mutual love is the key to the presence of God. “As long as we love one another, God will live in us,” (1Jn 4:12) “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’’ (Mt 18:20), says Jesus.

“God will dwell with them; they will be his people.”

In this light then, the fulfillment of all the promises of the Old Covenant - “My dwelling shall be with them; I will be their God, and they shall be my people” (Ez. 37:27) - is not far off and unattainable.

Everything is already accomplished in Jesus who continues, beyond his historical existence, to be present among those who live according to the new law of mutual love, that law which is the norm that makes them a people, the people of God.

This Word of Life is therefore a pressing call, especially to us Christians, to witness through love to the presence of God. “This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another’’ (Jn 13:35). Living out the new commandment sets forth the conditions for the presence of Jesus among all people.

We cannot do anything unless this presence is guaranteed, a presence which gives meaning to the supernatural brotherhood that Jesus brought on earth for all humanity.

“God will dwell with them; they will be his people.”

First of all, it is up to us, Christians, even though we belong to different ecclesial communities, to let the world see “one people” made up of every ethnic group, race, and culture, adults and children, sick and well – one people to which we can apply the words referred to us about the first Christians: “Look at how they love one another and are ready to give their life for one another.”

This is the “miracle” humanity is waiting for in order to regain hope. It will also make an essential contribution to progress in ecumenism, the journey towards full and visible unity among Christians. It’s a “miracle” within our reach, or better, within reach of the One who, dwelling among his own united by love, can change the destiny of the world and lead all humanity towards unity.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Some things this month.


2 - Family bonding at Santos Beach.

4 - First Day of Work for the new year.

7 - The Art of Loving was our 2010 Fellowship Opening Salvo.

8 - Visited Tita Liling in Davao Doctors
- I was informed about the canonization of St. Theresa of Calcutta.

10 - Meeting with Hazel in Mabini
- Word of Life Meeting in the haus
16 - Lectors' meeting

28 - ABMC3 Students from Ateneo with Edfer came to feature Banaybanay.

31 - Meeting with Emmaus in Cebu.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

December 2009 Word of Life

“Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father” (Mt 5:16)

December 2009

Light that shines out

This light is seen through your good works. It shines through the love radiated by Christians to all other people.
Perhaps you’ll tell me: but Christians are not the only ones who do good works. There are others who work for progress, establish charitable institutions, promote justice and do many good things.
You are right. Certainly, Christians do these things too, but this is not a Christian’s specific function. Christians must bring a new spirit into the good works they perform, which means it is no longer they that live in them, but Christ in them.
In fact, when St. Matthew wrote this, he was not thinking merely of isolated acts of charity such as visiting prisoners, clothing the naked and the many other works of mercy done to meet people’s needs. Rather, he was thinking of a Christian’s total commitment to the will of God, in such a way that his or her entire life becomes a continuous series of good works.
If Christians do this, they become “transparent,” and the praise given for whatever they had done will not go to them, but to Christ in them, and through them God becomes present in the world. The Christian’s task, therefore, is to let this light that dwells within them radiate out so that it can be a sign of this presence of God among men and women.

“Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

If good works performed by individual believers have this character, then the Christian community in the midst of the world must have a similar specific task. That task is to reveal, through its communal life, the presence of God that is manifested where two or three are united in his name, the presence promised to the Church until the end of time.

The early Church gave great emphasis to these words of Jesus. Especially in difficult times, when the Christians were facing persecution and being maligned, the Church urged them not to react with violence. Their behavior had to be the best refutation of the evil spoken against them.
St. Paul’s letter to Titus reads, “Urge the younger men, similarly, to control themselves, showing yourself as a model of good deeds in every respect, with integrity in your teaching, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be criticized, so that the opponent will be put to shame without anything bad to say about us” (Titus 2: 6-8).

“Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

This is an experience of Christian life that even today is a light that shines out and leads men and women to God.
Let me tell you a story.
Antoinette was a girl who left Sardinia in order to find work in France, in Grenoble. She found a job in an office, but it was a place where most of the other workers did not want to do the work. Since she was a Christian and saw in every person Jesus to be served, she helped everyone and was always calm and smiling. Oftentimes the others would get angry and take it out on her, saying in loud, mocking voices, “Since you like to work, take this and do my typing also.”
She remained calm and at peace, and worked on. She knew that they were basically not bad people. They probably all had troubles of their own.
One day, when the others were not around her, her boss approached and said: “Now you have to tell me. How come you never lose your patience, and why you are always smiling?”
Antoinette tried to evade the question by saying, “I simply try to stay calm and see the positive side of things.”
The boss banged his fist on the desk and exclaimed, “No, God certainly is involved here! Otherwise it would be impossible! And to think that I never believed in God!”
A few days later, Antoinette was called in by the director. She was told that she would be transferred to another office, the director explained, “so that you may transform it the same way you did the office you’re in now.”

“Your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”

The Word of Life, taken from Scripture, is offered each month as a guide and inspiration for daily living. From the Focolare’s beginnings, Chiara Lubich wrote her commentaries on each Word of Life, and after her passing in March 2008, her early writings are now being featured once again. This commentary, addressed to a primarily Christian audience, was originally published in August 1979.

By Chiara Lubich

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chiara in our Family Life

(This was our tribute to Chiara on her 1st Death Anniversary)

Eden; Good afternoon everyone! I am Eden.
Edna: And I am Edna
Eden: We were married in 2001 and gifted with three (3) beautiful sons, ages: 7, 5, and 3. We live in Banaybanay, Davao Oriental. I work in the Local Government as Secretary to the Municipal Council.

Edna: The movement is a gift of God to me personally, to our growing family, and to all our life’s endeavor. At first, I was not attracted to the movement and we had a lot of struggle as Eden was already ahead of me in giving himself to the movement and I did not understand why he kept on attending the movement’s activities here in Davao, even though I sometimes showed and told him of my opposition.

Eden: Yes, those were difficult moments for me because I have already learned to love the movement’s charism, the members who are my spiritual family and the activities we did when I was still here in Davao. Embracing Jesus on the cross in that situation, I would sometimes give in to my wife’s opposition just to be in unity with her.

Edna: Seeing my husband’s struggle while giving in to my opposition made me realize that I was not loving and allowing him to be himself at all. I tried to die to my preference - that he stay at home often – and I joined him in attending the movement’s activities, like the annual summer retreat called Mariapolis. There with him, I saw – the beauty, goodness and truth in the Focolare.

Eden: Edna’s heroic act of unity with me marked the beginning of our journey together as husband and wife with Jesus in our Midst. In fact, we named our three sons JIM short for Jesus in the midst. Jesus in the Midst with her made me strong in going against the current of our political system which is shadowed with the culture of death: corruption, injustice, hatred, disunity, etc. As a secretary of the Municipal Council, I became involved in the mining operation due to the participation of the Local Government in the Memorandum of Agreement with the permitee and the operator who happened to be our distant relative. Thus, by association, his adversaries became hostile to me even to the point of sending me death threats through cell phone.

Edna: At first, Eden tried to hide the situation from me, but accidentally I opened his cell phone and became aware of it. I felt so anxious since our two children were going to school and I am working, as a High School teacher, 20 kilometers away from home. Together, we embraced with much love and unity the suffering Jesus in that emotional and psychological turmoil. The loving support of the sisters of Eden gave us peace and security while we were in our respective works.

Eden: By the grace of God, with the support of our immediate family and the prayers of the community, we were able to calmly surmount the fear and entrusted everything to the mercy of God. Thanks, I am still alive!

Edna: The world of politics, as Eden said, really requires solid foundation and faith to be able to stand firm in doing the right thing. During election day of 2007, I witnessed Eden’s zeal to keep the process of election clean when he confronted people who were grossly violating the rules.

Eden: I felt hurt because the claw and pang of the law was used against me and sued in court for advocating the law to be obeyed. Thanks to the unity, courage and much love by my wife during that moment, I was encouraged to face the accusation. The focolare community was all out behind me during those difficult moments. From time to time, I received words of encouragement and acts of concern for the resolution of my case. Those moments of trials enabled me to enter into the agony of our Lord, and found Jesus Forsaken on the cross who suffered much more than I do, as my inspiration to love even more including those who caused our suffering.

Edna: The word of life and the daily password to live the present moment with love were very useful instruments to be faithful in doing the will of God. I remembered one time, when I arrived in school, one of my fellow teachers, with loud voice, was unstoppably and angrily airing her clamor against another teacher. The word of life immediately flashed in my mind and I silently prayed, “God what is your will at this moment?” After listening to her, I came closer and lovingly touched her back to ease the pain that she was going through until she calmed down.

Eden: Chiara is really a mother to us who equipped and fed us with all practical and spiritual food for our soul.

Edna: Chiara taught us to live the culture of sharing and so we tried to live simply in order to be able to set aside some amount or things for those who are in need in our family, neighborhood, and cell of environment.

Eden; As Volunteers of God, we are trained to live the different aspects of this life that consequently produce a balanced way of living. With mutual love and readiness to die one for the other, we saw to it that we have time in sharing our souls. We also invite others to share with us the life of unity through the word of life and the new city, the magazine of the Focolare. We do our daily family prayer, meditation and attend mass and sanctify all our activities by offering them to Jesus. We give time for rest and recreation. We keep our surroundings orderly and clean and as educators it was natural for us to study; and we keep in touch with the focolare center through the modern way of communication, and much more.

Edna: Jesus in the others and even in strangers made us open our house for the neighborhood and students who need a place while taking their lunch. We share with them the God-given free and abundant potable water. When new neighbors were constructing their house, we offer them electrical connection. This is our joy.

Eden: Life in the movement is truly a journey, exciting, joyful, difficult, risky. There are guides though. But, we need to be focused on the road. When we sometimes detour, Chiara would say, ‘start all over again’, meaning go back to the right way. Love again with the love of the Lord, the crucified and Risen One.

Edna: Had it not been for Chiara, we would not have found so much meaning in our family life. This is her legacy. Thank you, mother Chiara. We thank you for bringing us forth to birth. We will always be a family for you.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Chiara's Birthday

Grazie, Chiara, grazie!

22 January 1920 is the birth date of the woman I consider a saint.
Chiara Lubich who died on 14 March 2008 left on me and my family a great imprint.
Love was her message. She taught no new doctrines, but, her faith in the Crucified and Risen Lord, Jesus Christ, was so strong and concrete that magnetized millions of well-meaning followers from different walks of life.

On her Birthday, I'm inspired to blog again. I cannot hold myself anymore. I refrained from blogging for some time now because of a personal struggle with politicians who I want to love but seem to be too heavy a cross for me. Day after day, only Chiara's message "to start all over again" that had sustained me on the train of charity and God's Will.

The Art of Loving that Chiara taught the members of the Focolare has become a second nature that I cannot but love everyone, see Jesus in the other, make unity with the others except in sin, love my enemy and be the first one to love.

Jesus in the Midst, the reality that is so spectacularly present in our meetings, is her legacy. It is so because of that mutual and selfless love among the members. This builds our families, villages and communities into a haven of communion - a trinitarian experience.

Selflessness is modeled in Jesus Forsaken. The nothingness of the Son gives back to humanity the Father in the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the One uniting those who love the other totally to the point of losing oneself so that Jesus in the Midst is generated and sanctified.

Pray for us, O Chiara, during this trying times and help us understand the dark nights of the senses, of spirit, of God, and of culture.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My Pillow

Here is my Firstborn's poem:


My dear pillow
You are not a fellow
But you are to me
When I am weary.

Your softness
Like my mother's breast
Gives me comfort
When I need support.

When I'm up
I toss you up,
When I'm down
You can be found.

Without mom and dad
I'm very sad
Yet when I'm with you
As if they're on view.

My dear pillow
Though you're not a fellow
I love you so
coz you love me, too.

by JIM (Jesus in the Midst)