In My Father's House

Poems, Prayers, Inspirations, Photos and Musings about life, love and what it means to be a child of the Father

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Making Jesus Our Very Best Friend

Can we really make Jesus our own best friend? Is it possible that this man who lived two thousand years ago would have anything to do with us? For many saints and martyrs this seems to be the case. We read from their autobiographies or pious works that they indeed have befriended Jesus and were willing to do anything, suffer anything and be anything for Him.

Imagine Jesus walking with you, eating with you, sleeping beside you, crying and hurting and loving with you. Difficult? Just imagine your best friend doing all things with you. Now replace this best friend of yours with the person of Jesus. What is the difference?

Imagine having someone who always understands you, will always be there with you, fulfills his every promise to you. Imagine having a friend who does not leave you or grow s tired with your complaints and eccentricities.

But the question is how? How can this Jesus be my best friend? If you know someone whom you want to be friends with, what do you do?

Start learning something about Jesus and from Jesus everyday and pretty soon, He'll really be your best friend.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Whoever Loses Someone

Today's Gospel teaches us that "...whoever loves someone more than God is not worthy of God's love. " (Mt 10:37-42). Now isn't that a draconian law? Surely, God must be joking! But Jesus, in no uncertain term explicitates that this is so.

How are we to make of this? Do we love to our parents, children, siblings, friends, husband/wife less so we can love God more? I think what Jesus is trying to tell us is that we should not keep something or someone from Him. Let us share everything with Him. God loves us and He loves
those people we love. God is telling us that if we love them and so does He. What makes us think that only us can love them?

If God is love and Father, wouldn't He love those whom we love more than we can love them? Now if we love God more, we are in fact letting God take care of those whom we love, more than we can take care of them. So what Jesus is telling us is this: put your trust in God the Father and in me, and we will take care of everything, even the concerns of your loved ones.

Son of the Prodigal

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Lord, Make Me Holy

Lord, make me holy especially this day
when temptations abound and I am weak
cleanse my thought of impurities and unholy

Make me regard my fellow humans with
love and not lust
Direct my eyes to what is beautiful in Your sight
Lead not my heart to inordinate attachments
and material possessions

Make me speak of words of love and compassion
to my fellow human beings
May they find You in what I say or do

Lord, I beg of You
even if a little each day
to make me holy and therefore
wholly Yours.

Son of the Prodigal

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Say it Anyway!

Today, more than half of the world's population will greet their own fathers on this occasion of Fathers' Day. The other half would just shrug: "I didn't have a father anyway," or "My father wasn't that good or special to me," or "I hate my Dad, why should I greet him Happy Fathers' Day?"

We can all lament on how bad or irresponsible or unloving our fathers had been to us but we can't change the fact that they are responsible for bringing us into this world. That without them, there can never be us. We cannot experience the beauty of life, the wonder of having friends.

We owe it to them. So no matter how bad or irresponsible they have been, it should not stop us from thanking them for this most precious gift we call life.

Son of the Prodigal

Saturday, June 18, 2005

On God's Own Palm

A priest friend once told me that no matter how miserably we fail or screw things up we should not lose sight of the bigger picture. No matter how we try to give our best effort, no matter how we work things out or prepare for the worse, shit really happens. Rather than sulk in frustration or dismay let us remember that things happen for a reason and that God draw something beautiful even from chaos.

And just to remind us, though we may stumble and fall, we remain on God's own palm. He sees us. He knows what is happening to us and in us. We need never be afraid because He always beholds us with His loving and eternal gaze.

Isaiah 49:15, 16

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget, I will not forget you!
See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands...”

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Jesus loves children because they are so dependent.

Let the Children Come to Me

Why is it that Jesus is so fond of children that he even chastised his own friends for keeping them away from him? Because children are so transparent. They mean what they say. They show what they really feel. They freely express what they think about certain things. They are not afraid of what others feel or think about them. They just be.

Children are also dependent on adults. They need their parents to feed them, clothe them and send them to school. Children also know that they are not in control of most situations. They ask for help. They question. They try to get the attention of someone stronger, taller or more knowledgeable than they are.

But most of all, children know that no matter what happens their parents will take care of them.

We were children once but because of many hurtful experiences we had, we lost our childlike qualities. We learn to depend on ourselves because others are often unreliable or dishonest. We learn to take care of ourselves because often people can be so selfish and mean and can take advantage of us.

But with Jesus, we can be like children again. We can approach him like a father or a bigger brother or a learned friend. We can be transparent with him and tell him what we really feel or think these days. With Jesus, we can be what we really are. And that is, we are children of God.

Son of the Prodigal Father

Friday, June 10, 2005

When God Closes A Door

Have you ever heard the hit musical Joseph the Dreamer? I like it very much because it's a story of a young man who suffered most terrible tragedies in life yet came out of them glorious in the end. Joseph was his father Jacob's favorite son. His other brothers got jealous of him because of the special relationship he enjoyed with his Dad. They sold him as slave. But he eventually became an administrator in Egypt. When famine struck Canaan his brothers set out for prosperous Egypt to buy grains. Joseph had the perfect chance to take his revenge. Yet he did not. He forgave his brothers and even asked that they celebrate with him because they were reunited as a family and that everything (even the bad experiences) was all in God's plan.

Now, there is a song in that musical that I often sing when I feel that the world is closing on me. The song is entitled "When God closes a door, He opens a window." And this has been true to my experiences. When something or someone is taken away from me, God makes sure that I get new and better ones in exchange for what was taken from me. When He takes away, He replenishes with something new and something better. Therefore I need not be afraid but just believe in Him.

Son of the Prodigal

And Here's My Prayer for You

That you may grow wiser in life
That you may find friends along the way
That you continue to trust in the goodness of people
That you are gifted and beautiful and holy
despite your wounds and failings
That you may see truth amid the encircling gloom
That you may learn to let go of all the powers that
imprison you and let God take control
That in your pains you may find healing
and in your afflictions, comfort
That in the dark you may stumble holding on
to a flickering light and stand up just the same
That Life may give you enough troubles to make you
strong but not too much to maim or kill you
That you may find not simply answers to your Questions
but the capacity to ask for more questions and wait
for anwers that may not come or are too hard to take
That in your dealings with strangers you may find old
friends in them and in your friends new strangers
That in times of defeat you may learn to celebrate your
divinity and in times of triumph your humanity
That in the ebbing of your life you may look back at
what has been and what has not and see and remember
that once you had a friend and that friend still is
whatever had been, whatever will be and whatever will not be...

Not the Last Words

Why do people continue to harbor grudges or resentment long after a bad relationship has ended?
For many of us anger, bitterness and pain take the last words in our goodbye. Unresolved issues, unexpressed emotions, unexplained side of the argument leave a nasty taste in our mouth. We go on living our lives keeping hot coals of hatred and desire for vengeance in our hearts. And since we cannot satisfy this, our anger turns inward which causes depression and loneliness.

Not what happens if instead of anger, bitterness and pain, we forgive, we continue to love, we let go? We not only free ourselves from physical and psychical pain but we embrace our very humanity and allow growth and healing to take place.

I recently had a falling out with a long-time friend. Our parting has really hurt me because a lot of things remain unresolved. I wanted so much to talk with him but he wanted none of it. He walked out on me. Now, I cannot force him to open up to me or restore the friendship that we once had. I can either live my life with so much bitterness, hurt and pain or I can let go, forgive and have love the last say. I choose the latter option.

I don't know whether we'll become friends again. But I know that anger and bitterness and pain are not the last words that would characterize the friendship that I cherished for years.

Monday, June 06, 2005

A Prayer of Supplication

Dearest Lord,

There are days when I feel that the burden I carry is too heavy for me.
There are times when I feel I want to quit praying because You seem so far away.
There are moments when I question whether I still can take one more pain.

I entreat You Lord to increase my faith, strenghten my resolve to hold fast to You
and to believe in Your promises.

When I feel overwhelmed, place Your hand gently on my shoulder.
Press me to move forward despite the darkness I see in front of me.
Never abandon me Lord, You alone are my hope.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

When The Hurting Won't Go

A friend once confided to me, "What do you do when the hurting won't go?" For a while I was not able to answer him because in truth I do not know what to say. This question has bothered me for a very long time and continues to do so.

What does one really do when the hurting inside won't stop and won't go? Do you simply pretend that it's not there? Do you surrender and say, 'What can I do, this is beyond me!'?

Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ may provide an uneasy answer. When Christ fell on his knees because of the heavy burden he was carrying, he embraced the cross as if he were clinging to his own life. I suppose we can do the same: embrace the pain that won't go away.

But not only that. Offer to Him every bit and ounce of the things that hurt us and be comforted by the thought that He too embraced the hurting that won't go. Until the hurt was no more...

Son of the Prodigal

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

God, Are You There?

When people ask me that they don't pray anymore because they feel that God was never "there" in their prayer, I usually ask them back: What do you mean by "there"?

I then receive responses such: "Well, you know. The feeling that HE is with me." Or, "Deep emotion accompanied by tears." Or, "Joy or exhiliration." Then I tell them that it is probably not God that they are looking for in their prayer but feelings of God, or beautiful thoughts about God.

God is ever present to us in any event of our lives especially when we feel that He is not "there". He is ever present with us even if the feelings that usually accompany His presence are absent. Like a mother or a father who watches over her/his son who is in coma. The son cannot feel or know the parent's presence. Nevertheless, the mother or father stays with the son until he gets well.

It is the same with prayer. So never despair when you feel that God is not "there" in your prayer. Rather, remember that even in those times when we feel most alone, abandoned, and rejected, God watches over us and hears our prayers.

Son of the Prodigal

To pray with mediational music, click link below