Today, is a Benedictine Feast day of St. Scholastica.
I was browsing the Internet for a phonics and math program for Ignatius. And, I found this website called K5 Learning.
K5 Learning has an online reading and math program for kindergarten to grade 5 students. I’ve been given a 6 week free trial to test and write a review of their program. If you are a blogger, you may want to check out their open invitation to write an online learning review of their program.
Okay guys, stay tuned as we journey into this program and take notes on how their program can help my 8 year old in our study goals this year. I am hoping that this will truly be a gem.
It is not my business accomplishments where I will be judged by the Lord, but in my motherhood and being a wife.
If you are going to ask my children if they would have a family or enter the religious life, they would say that they will discern both. But, what do their hearts say?
I honestly think that though my husband and I have raised them to be suitable for convent life and priesthood, I doubt if they can see themselves as being a nun or a priest.
The lure of family life feels comfortable for them more than community life. They could not grasp community life no matter how much I will try to explain it to them. We are closed friends with many priests and nuns, but in their minds, the community life is a discipline structured life. They want more freedom instead of just thinking about God all the time.
Again, family life brings warm cozy feelings of your childhood. And, most of your peers think in the same way – that the religious life is simply unattractive.
Thus, I can only do so much. I like that they are not openly averse to the idea of being priests and nuns. I also like that they enjoy the vocation retreats.
But, in my perspective, I need to rely on God to show them the way. For I am so imperfect to lead a soul to God on a daily basis, what more to lead them to a vocation such as the religious life?
It has been months since I last posted a decent article. It has been a busy year. But, in retrospect, we had such tremendous blessings in 2013. To name it one by one will take forever, but the most important blessing we have received is becoming a Third Order Benedictine also called an Oblate.
My husband, my daughter and I made a solemn promise before the Eucharist to live according to the Rule of St. Benedict. Since that time, our life changed. We have attained so much peace.
Like as St. Benedict prescribed, we pray 7 times a day. He believed that we should pray unceasingly and he described the hour and the content of those prayers that will punctuate your day.
We thought we would be losing time but instead, we felt our time multiply.
We ended 2013 with our usual Filipino Tradition, an article I have written in 2009 summarizes this called “How to Have a Unique New Year Celebration” .
We also went to Holy Mass at 11 pm and followed it with Eucharistic Adoration at midnight. It was very peaceful.
The best thing is my children looked forward to the New Year Celebration and the tradition of having FILIPINO food on the table. They were so excited. It is nice to see that on their faces.
The Filipino tradition states round circular stuff represent money, for me, it represents God in our lives. He created the world round and not square. For me, that tells something. The circle shape is more profound than we care to think about it. It is like God, the Beginning and the End but we cannot pinpoint and have no knowledge of the Beginning and the End, we just have an idea and a clue. Same goes with the circular shape – we do not know the beginning and the end, but God knows.
Noodles represent “long life” and that is our inheritance from God – an abundant long life. It is the devil that wishes to STEAL, DESTROY and KILL. Thus, on this New Year’s Day, we will be reminded of our inheritance – we are meant for a happy, abundant life that can share boundless love to one another.
PALITAW or white floaty sticky desserts. It floats out of the water and yes, it is another circle, and you put grated coconut (purity) and some toasted sesame seeds (golden) and it represents “golden pure blessings sticking on you all year round”.
I like putting this seemingly God-less tradition back to God.
Happy New Year!
It takes two to tango. We can never solely blame someone with Borderline Personality Disorder that it is all their fault that is why you have no peace in your life.
A Borderline will always seek to engage you. Some of us have separated ourselves from our Borderline loved ones for the sake of peace in our lives and in theirs. It is a mutual giving and respect for their needs and happiness.
However, if things are going perfectly in their lives, the Borderline loved one is happy and will have no obsession to be with you. It is only when something is amiss, even boredom, can lead them to you.
And, when they are ready to engage with you, they do not need your permission. Having little sense of boundaries, they will storm your place without the usual etiquette . They know they are not welcomed based on their past experiences, but they justify the unwelcome by gatecrashing the social boundaries that everyone understands except themselves. It empowers them with their so-called “rights” to their loved ones.
The healthy person in the relationship steps back and re-affirms the boundaries to their disgust and dismay. Taking a risk after an abrupt decision to engage, they find themselves unwelcome and convince themselves that they are “ok”. It gives them a false sense that they did something right, yet they feel the same old emotional garbage that makes them angry with their families and loved ones. It a cycle of “hate, resentment and bitterness and rationalization.” It seems there was never a growth on the direction of healing. They are still holding on to the past hurts, when everyone has already moved forward to their healing and peace.
While it makes us sad to witness this, we realize that it isn’t that they are not trying at all to be better and to make a headway in their lives. In fact, the false sense that they are in a better place is the one the keeps them stuck to their old bitterness and resentment.
You cannot be better if you cannot forgive. You can just suppress it for it is all over your face. And, your body language says it all. Without forgiveness, all the blocks to your healing are enforced. And, you look happy to the world but in the secret depths of your heart, you do not have the full freedom that our Lord Jesus is talking about in the Gospel.
One of my blog reader wrote me a few weeks ago about his spouse who attacks him with profanities. I know of some folks who do not see any wrong with spewing out “F-bombs” from their mouth. They live a split life. With their friends they appear to be accommodating and sweet, but at home they throw out profanities when they get surprise about something as simple as an item falling down the floor. Or when they are angry, this is their way to show that they are really furious.
In a primitive sense, a Benedictine Abbott explained to me that this is barking. It is common among men. They bark to let the other men know that they are tough. Thus, when you hear men sprinkle profanities in conversations, they are like dogs “marking” their territories. It is even their attempt to belong and sound cool.
For women, it is the same way. Among their girlfriends, they find it acceptable to once in awhile show intense emotions through their cusses. It sounds pretty normal and again, cool. They need to do it or someone might let them know they are too straight and holy.
These people are too self-absorbed that they are clueless that their lives revolve too much about themselves. The impurity of their words is like polluted water. It stinks. It is dirty. It is ugly.
In demonic manifestations, the spewing of profanities is very typical. To able to handle this with your Borderline spouse and loved one , you have to realize that whatever you do, you cannot take it for granted because it will affect you in a disturbing way.
You need to leave the scene to regain your peace. You cannot engage, but instead flee. The first intervention when your Borderline spouse talks in this way is to find your peace. Not only is it abusive, it is very demonic.
For more articles on Borderline Personality Disorders and Spiritual Warfare, you may be interested to read the following:
For my post today, I like to spend time to talk about my beautiful daughter who just celebrated her birthday. She turned 18.
It was a beautiful day. My husband and I were filled with extravagant ideas on how to celebrate it and make it the most awesome birthday ever.
Well, with the best intentions, our Lord had a different plan.
A Benedictine priest was eager to come to our house to celebrate Holy Mass. Is that normal? No, it is not. At my age, no priest had ever come to our home to celebrate Holy Mass for me. My jaw dropped. Wow. This is amazing.
We took the lead of the Holy Spirit and cancelled our plans. With the best of intentions, we carried out God’s plans and not our plans. Is that a super idea?
It is, but only if, you will recognize it as such. It made me realize that if we are not willing to set aside our individual plans for God’s plans, we won’t be happy with the results.
The actual birthday was a teaching moment for me. Jesus taught me that I do not have any power on how to make my children happy after they reach adulthood. I can try but it will only be to the extent that He will allow it.
It never occurred to me that parents can be helpless in this way. But, this is what the Lord did. He tied our hands so His plans will be evident at the end of the night.
The Holy Mass was very beautiful. It was very personal. I have no doubt that our Lord visited our house through this holy priest. His presence is enough for the day.
My daughter decided to have another birthday party at another day with her Catholic friends. She planned it to the tiniest details. She planned for a Disney princess party. Most of her friends were eager about the idea and looked forward to it. They gave her extravagant gifts. Their thoughtfulness and presence made her feel very loved.
She was tired at the end of the night but she was happy. Her best friend was out of the country and her other close friend could not make it. Yet, the other friends showed her the love that she missed out with her old friends. It was an eye opener. It did not make her love her old friends less but the new friends enriched her life. She felt happier knowing that God gave her new friends while her best friend was out of the country.
The amazing revelation is my daughter blossomed to a woman with grace.
What does a woman of grace look like?
It is a woman who is beautiful not only physically but most importantly, beautiful inside.
As I was getting jittery about the whole mess when guests were supposed to be arriving, I witnessed how each of his siblings helped her out. They were more than willing to assist her in the food that she will serve for the party. I saw her father help with the cooking. I saw even our youngest 7 year old son help in sweeping the hallway and the dining area.
I saw her handle this anxiety-filled moment with so much grace. We have all the reason in the world to get upset when things do not go as planned. But, this daughter of mine, handled the last minute preparations with composure. She might be getting anxious inside but she knew the importance of staying calm to the most possible extent.
When the guests arrived, she was not yet dressed up. The 3rd floor , where she was planning to hold the event did not have party decorations yet. Her 5 girlfriends were not all disappointed. In fact, they were so willing to help her get ready. They decorated the room with smiles and laughter. One friend did her hair. The rest of the siblings cleaned the kitchen downstairs and assisted her with whatever last minute stuff that needs to be done.
Though, I would have preferred it to be with my planning prowess, I watched at the bottom line. It was not perfect. But, the perfection of the moment was not if expectations were met. The perfection was when she handled everything with grace.
Thus, I let go. I forgave the chaos and mess and the part assigned to us. I forgave her for committing us to pick up two friends 30 minutes away in a van without air conditioning in the humidity-filled heat of the Carolinas. I forgave her for not making the house perfectly clean for this event. I forgave her for inviting last minute guests that require us to entertain the parents while they wait. Actual blessings came from that forgiving. Each second was worth it. The letting go and remaining calm about it were the test.
At night time, I let them relax to watch a Redbox movie with their Dad. It was Labor day and I wanted my dear husband to have fun too. I went upstairs and praised God that my daughter had a beautiful day. It was not important whether we had a beautiful day likewise. It really did not matter on her perspective if the rest of her siblings had an awesome Labor day. And, it did not matter to us whether she will realize the backstage chaos that I had to prevent from escalating so that peace will reign in her princess party kingdom.
I rested in my bed appreciating the comforts of having a first class hotel-like bed to rest on. I praised God for a room that is very spacious. I praised God for my high tech computers. I praised God for not being sick even when some of the children were sniffling and sneezing. I praised God that my family was happy downstairs watching a great movie.
The day was ending. I lived my vocation that day as a mother. I was a witness to the wonderful transition of a woman from a girl to a woman, not fond of cupcakes anymore but with a whole plethora of girly stuff that changes as the breeze.
This is the world of a young adult. They are on fire to setting their dreams to reality. The blessing is just not to watch them beam with happiness and pride with their success but to see them grow in grace. I count that as a blessing that I can see her grow up each day. I watch her fail sometimes but I see her pick it up and continue to grow with so much hope. She is not stuck in her life to some old wounds. She is determined to be free but only within the boundaries of the will of her Savior. And, that is a beautiful thing to watch and ponder. The best realization is knowing that her blossoming has little to do with me but a lot with the graces that our Lord had given her. For it was due to me, she will be a mess. Not out of false humility, I have to give credit where credit is due. All glory to you Lord.
For more articles on raising Catholic children in a blended family, you might be interested in the following: