random thoughts on faith, hope and love

God is God and I am not.

This post was originally posted on Facebook last July 10, 2014.

I am very much aware that I am not God. I also know for a fact that I am human, but I guess as a human being, I also have the tendency to pretend or play “God.” There are those times when I feel frustrated, only to find out that I’m trying to be on top of everything and to control what in reality can’t be controlled anymore.

I was moved to write this note because what I learned in our class a while ago struck me. I told myself that I would really write a reflection about it before going to sleep tonight. Our priest professor said “The most human experience you have in life is the most divine.” I didn’t get it at first. It sounded ironic. How can the most human experience become the most divine? Does it actually make sense?

Our professor went on and further explained that line. He said that “In your humanness, you admit that you’re human and you realize your limits as human. When you are most human, the more you recognize your need for God, that without Him, you are nothing.”

It eventually made sense to me. I believe that it’s during those rock-bottom moments of our lives when we realize that there’s no other way but up. We’re so down, so low, so depressed, so disappointed and so frustrated that the only thing left for us to do is to admit that WE DON’T KNOW WHAT TO DO ANYMORE and so WE NEED HELP – FROM NO ONE ELSE THAN GOD.

It’s during those most humbling moments that we realize that we are indeed weak, and that we cannot do everything even if we try our best. There are really things in this life that we cannot explain or fathom. Of course, we try to understand, but we will reach that point when we’ll finally realize that our human faculties just can’t contain it. It is a mystery we do not know and so all we have to do is surrender to the One who knows everything.

It is really making perfect sense. We’re talking about humbling moments, our humanness, our most human experiences. Talk about the root word “HUM.” The Latin root “hum” means earth. It actually talks about our origin – that’s why we have the words human, humble, humane, humanity, humus, etc. It puts things in perspective – that even if we believe that we’re really great rational beings and that we are such progressive people of our generation, we must have come from somewhere. We have an origin. We were once created. I believe that it’s so beautiful to recognize that in accepting who we really are, our humble roots and all, we recognize that there’s Someone bigger than us, Someone smarter than us, Someone more powerful than us.

This Someone is not alien to those who believe. This Someone is the “Highest Good” – the “Summum Bonum” as St. Thomas Aquinas coined it. This Someone is the Source of us all – the One who created us, the Only One who makes every person both a GIFT and a MYSTERY to others.

Whether we like it or not, in the end, we will go back to where we came from. This Someone created us out of love. At the end of the day, we shall go back to Him who wants to “marry” us. After all, Marriage is about going back to your Beloved.

God is God and I am not.

I am merely human, I should say, but I am very much grateful that the one who forever calls me “Beloved” is no one else but God, and that’s more than enough.

It’s making a scene. It’s hitting big. I say it’s making what’s black and what’s white GREY.

I was asked by someone to share my opinion about this rather trending phenomenon.

To start off, it is a piece of literature which is considered erotic – an erotic novel at that. I read from a source a comment to stop pretending by not calling it for what it truly is. She referred to it as “the ultimate in romantic crap that we might call female porn…it’s textual porn and that’s okay…why are women lying to themselves? Why won’t we just own what it is (Betty Dodson)?” It has been labeled “mommy porn” because it was reported to satisfy the sexual fantasies of housewives. 

While everyone seems so crazy about Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele and the movie that’s making it big in the box office, I decided to inform myself by reading articles and blog entries on why people from different walks of life are against it. Of course, there must be substantial reasons why.

I, knowing that it’s already pornographic (read: stimulates impure thoughts and images that would not help me as I strive to be pure in mind as much as I can), did not intend to read the book or watch the movie. Some may say that I haven’t even read or watched it and so who am I to comment on it? Well, I am a concerned human being who has a heart for young people, their formation, and holistic growth. While I haven’t read nor watched it, it doesn’t mean that I do not have the right to share what I know is true. After all, why should I even decide to invest in it when I in the first place, do not believe in the principles it presents to the human family I belong to; when I deem it harmful to the authentic growth of the human person? It’s like already knowing that an enticing chocolate cake in front of me has poison in it, so will I still taste and eat it just so I can have a “real experience” of it even if my health or life will be at stake? 

There’s also such a thing as vicarious learning. I learned from my professor recently that one does not have to learn things first-hand because he/she can learn through other people’s experiences. Just like in love, when you already know from your dear friends the kind of relationships that would just cause you pain because it’s got dead-ends, then you in your sound mind will decide not to enter such kinds of relationships.

So what are the principles I believe in? Why do I choose to say no to 50 Shades? Let me count the ways.

1. True love doesn’t have to manipulate.

What concerns me is how Hollywood twists totally a “sick” kind of relationship into a romanticized one. True love is not forced. If it is forced, can it be even called love? It is the giving of one’s self freely to the other person. And when one gives his/her consent, he/she doesn’t have to be under the influence of alcohol or bribed with different grand gifts first. The yes of the person should be a result of a process which requires his/her sound mind, heart, and soul.   PQ_LOVEandRES

2. Violence is never sexy. Since when did the expression of true love have to be violent? Do we really need a whip, handcuffs and blindfold just to surprise the person we love so much; just to try “new exciting” ways of showing our “love?” Does the bondage-discipline-dominance-submission-sadism-masochism element have to be part of the equation? Is this how a human person you dearly love have to be treated? Do we actually enjoy seeing the person we love in pain or in suffering or are we also happy when we see them happy? True love is desiring the very best for the other person, even accepting the hard fact that you may or may not be a part of the reason for his/her happiness.  All you want is what will make him/her happy; not merely what will make you happy. Talk about how love should be – selfless.

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3. We can choose to live pure. It’s a given that everyone seems to be practicing pre-marital sex, so what’s the big deal if we incorporate the “sexy” practices of Christian and Ana? While it is happening and everyone seems to be doing it, it doesn’t diminish your power to choose. Whatever you’ve been through, you can always choose otherwise. You can always choose to be the better or even the best version of yourself. Your past doesn’t define your future. You can choose to go against the tide for some noble purpose. There’s got to be an alternative to such a promiscuous lifestyle that can lead to consequences which we may not be ready to handle.

You can choose to save sex for marriage. You can choose to live pure. This sounds so old-fashioned, but at a time like this when black and white have already become grey,  we have to bring classy back. We have to remind ourselves that values are classic and they still rock no matter what.

Chastity is the sure way to happiness (St. John Paul II). A life lived in purity can only be driven by something as noble as love, and where there is love, there is no fear but real freedom and total happiness.

Deep within a woman’s heart, all she wants is to be pursued, protected and loved for who she truly is and not for what she can do or offer. For real men out there, please rise up to the challenge. Please give chivalry a comeback. Men and women are not created to compete nor dominate but to complement each other. Let us respect the dignity of each person. Let us remember that at the end of the day, each person is not to be hurt but to be loved.

PQ_Chastity

Sources:

http://www.covenanteyes.com/2015/01/29/50-fast-facts-fifty-shades-grey/ http://www.catholiceducation.org/en/marriage-and-family/sexuality/a-psychiatrist-s-letter-to-young-people-about-50-shades-of-grey.html http://madeinhisimage.org/love-isnt-grey-post-not-50-shades/

Love.

A mystery.
A reality.
A gift freely given,
A gift received.

They say it makes the world go round. Some others say it moves in mysterious ways. People get crazy about it, while others try hard to conceal or avoid it. Nevertheless, it is powerful.

It finds home in every human being. It seems as if it’s part of us. Let me correct that. It is not just “part of us,” but it is who we are. We may not realize it anymore given the materialistic word that we are part of, but we ARE made out of LOVE and for LOVE, thus making us real living images of LOVE. Love, then, is our identity. We exist to love. We become fully human when we love.

And so, while the commandments on LOVE seem very challenging, difficult or even impossible, a part of us would naturally be drawn and concede to it. It’s that powerful. It’s that mysterious. It’s that unavoidable.

Love may be presented to us in a way that is just romantic, something that brings us to Cloud 9 or to a bed full of roses, but real love goes beyond what seems all-good and ideal. While love is truly good, it is not just about having that giddy feeling when you see someone you’re attracted to. Love sees beyond and goes beyond. I heard someone say before that true love starts from the moment you fall out of love.

Love is not just for lovers. Love has to be brought back to the family where we all first experienced love. Love stretches out to every sphere or aspect of our lives – in our circles of friends, in our offices, in our schools, in the Church, and in every place we find ourselves in – in every place where we encounter persons who have minds, hearts and souls.

Love is a decision. Love is a risk. Love is accepting the totality of each person (strengths, weaknesses and all), realizing that he/she is also an image of love who longs and needs to be loved. Moreover, love is desiring what’s good for the other. The end goal would be to consider what would make him/her a better person. Ultimately, Love is desiring Heaven for him/her.

We can keep on writing and talking about love, but it will always fall short until we apply it in our lives.

Believe that you are where you are for a noble purpose.

Open your eyes.
Open your ears.
Open your heart.

You’ll see, Love is not just anywhere. Love is right there.

Period.

A period is just a dot.

Maybe, maybe not.

It completes a sentence.

Without it, a new one can’t start.

Well it actually can, if you wish,

but without the period, it doesn’t make any sense.

It’s so symbolic.

It ends a chapter.

It brings with it a promise of something new.

Major thanks to the period,

it closes what needs to be closed,

it moves us to do what we need to do,

it leads us Where we should go.

 

Open.

Be open.

Why?

Because nothing or no one can come in your system if you don’t.

It’s when our eyes are closed that we cannot see.

It’s when our mouths are closed that we cannot bite and taste.

And it’s when our hands are fist closed that we cannot touch, hold or receive.

There is wisdom behind being open.

We’re simply made this way.

Because it’s when our hearts are closed that we stop loving, and so stop living.

Star.

Bright.

Guide.

Sign.

You led the wise men to find the greatest Gift the world has ever known.

You went before them.

You led the way.

Up to now, You do the same.

That makes You stand out.

That makes me believe.

You’ve made things happen.

Now who I am not to wish?

Hide and Seek.

10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1!

We start to hide and the “it” starts to seek for us.

How many times have we actually decided to “hide” in this lifetime?

Did anyone seek for us?

When we thought no one ever did, God proved us all wrong.

Why?

Because “hide and seek” is not His language.

“Come and see” is.