Prayer During Panic Time!

I heard the news as it was happening in Japan. I was on my way to the university to fetch Tish, listening to the afternoon radio talk, by way of habit.  At first it was hazy because the news anchors couldn’t confirm the magnitude of the quake. It was a 7.9 magnitude but CNN is flashing an 8.9 US Geological Survey. A colossal tsunami had hit Japan and the epicenter seem to come from the Miyagi coastline. I cried!

I know theoretically what a tsunami means. And I have seen enough doomsday movies to, more or less, have an idea how destructive it could get. The massive killer waves would eat everything in its path.

And as the news broadcasters announce that the tsunami is fast heading our way, I couldn’t fathom at all what had happened in Japan! How in the world is it threatening the Pacific islands? But so much for questions. Fact is: A Super Quake Hit Japan! And my cousin Angel is there! She is our consul and she is three months on the family way, first baby. That is why I cried. Angel is in Tokyo, where, reports say, a huge boat was just brought in by the wall of waves!

When I saw Tish at the parking area, I asked her to immediately dial my aunt’s number. She clicked the cellphone number but I yelled landline! My uncle answered the call and I told him about the bad news. He asked if the quake hit Tokyo? I gave him a strong affirmative including the tsunami that is currently threatening the whole Pacific. And I told him to tune in to CNN at once.

After I hanged the phone, my daughter asked me why I was panicking. I shouted You don’t know what a magnitude 8.9 means. Tita Angel is there! Yes, Tish said, but have you not learned anything about faith yet?

Thus I kept quiet!  Tish was right. My prayer goes…Although a thousand may fall to the right of my loved ones, although a thousand may fall to the left of my loved ones, no hail, no fire, no quake, no flood, no disease, nor any weapon built by man, can put my loved ones down.

And as it transpired, I terrified my uncle and my aunt, who was then taking a nap. My uncle did not stop dialing Angel’s number, and was able to get through before the power was cut. My aunt initially got scared because she was seeing on CNN the havoc that was ripping Japan. But once she got to talk to her daughter, she calmed down.

I had to thank here the heavenly Powers, Mary’s legion of angels. I invoked their help to shield Angel and her baby, and Bruce, too, her husband, from the destruction. I have to thank our Blessed Mother, whose blue mantle I asked for again, to cover us from impending dangers.

Thank you, dearest God, for giving Angel and her family a second chance at life. But I also do pray for the eternal repose of those whom you have called back into your hands. It will always be your will! Amen.


The Solar Eclipses of Life!

The heavens had displayed another wondrous moment for us today, a long solar eclipse that could be seen with the naked eye. However, the scientists advise us to wear shades and use binoculars. Looking st the majestic sun romancing with the moon might cause damage to our eyes. As if on cue, the gigantic cumulus clouds made their own show. They provided a little shade to the heat-stricken viewers. But they also concealed what would have been a totally spectacular once in a lifetime splendor. 

Real life is much like that. Many times, we miss the splendor because it had been concealed from us. Take for instance the contention of a rich friend who wanted to collect dues from each and every household in the subdivision. When I told her that not everyone can afford to pay the dues the association was demanding and are really living a hand-to-mouth existence, she proceeded to enumerate the benefits the lesser people are availing without paying. I kept mum. She also came from humble beginnings. I would have thought that she would have understood. I realize now that money had come in the way. The chance to romance life with the simple people had been concealed.

Probably we need an infra-red filter.


(Reflection from two years back)

The Child of God!

Fr. Ralph related the story about a little boy who wanted to receive Holy Communion. He kept on inserting in the queue even if his parents had prodded him a few times not to. When the line was gone, he still stood there waiting for his host. So Fr. Ralph went up the altar to get a host that is not consecrated yet. Then he gave it to the boy. He whispered “Soon you will receive Jesus”. The boy finally sat on his seat between his parents. From the corner of his eye, Fr. Ralph saw the little boy look at the host and put it near his heart. Then Fr. Ralph reminded us that we must become like little children in wanting God. Are you like a child in wanting God in your life? Me, guilty! Too many logic. Must make my way to become a true child of God again.

(Stories from the Pulpit)


Mommy, you owe me this much today!

One day, a mommy tucked her young son to sleep. As she did, the son handed her a letter. Right then she started to read while her son dozed off to slumber. And the letter said Dear Mommy, this morning your asked me to wash the dishes after breakfast. That cost a hundred pesos. Then you sent me to the store to buy vinegar, that was another hundred pesos. Then you asked me help you in the garden when I was supposed to play with my friends. That’s another hundred. Then tonight, you asked me again to… so all in all, you owe me five hundred pesos. 

The mommy was taken aback. She didn’t know that her son was putting an amount to every errand she asked of him. And she felt bad. So she wrote him a letter, too. When the son woke up the following morning, he saw an envelope beside his pillow. But when he opened it, there was no five hundred pesos that he was expecting. Instead, he read the letter that his mommy wroteSon, I carried you in my belly for nine months. For that, no charge. When you got sick and had to stay in the hospital for two months, your dad and I had to endure backbreaking sleeps in the cold hospital benches so that we could be by your bedside. For that, no charge. Since you’d been going to school, I had to wake up extra early to prepare your breakfast and packed food. For that, no charge. And since you were born, I resigned from my work so that I could take care of you each day. Again son, no charge, all because I love you so!


(Stories from the Pulpit)

The Letter That Changed My Life!

Once upon a time, a busy corporate man called Dan related the following story: 

I was always running after time. My schedule was always hectic that I had to rush from home to the office and vice-versa. One afternoon, I had to speed home because dinner was being served. My wife called and the children were already home. And I was hungry. I went over the limit and soon enough, a cop stopped me. When I opened my car window, I saw that it was George, a church mate. So I told myself I could pull it off. So I began telling him that I was horribly busy and terribly hungry that I had to get home for supper. The family was waiting. But George pulled out his ticket and started writing on it. I got sore and closed my window but waited for the ticket.When George was finished, he tapped on my window and I unrolled it as little as I can, just admitting the sheet of paper George was issuing me. And then George left and rode on his bike. When he was gone, I started to read what violation he had imposed on me. To my surprise, there was no ticket at all, but instead, a letter composed this way…Dan, a year ago today, my only daughter was killed by a speeding man. This morning, he was set free and could now go home to his three children and hug them. I will also be going home tonight but I have no daughter to hug. Yours, George. For half an hour more, Dan stayed in his car…


(Stories from the Pulpit)