Meditation is an ideal way to pray. Using God's word (Lectio Divina) allows me to hear, listen and reflect on what the Lord wants to say to me - to one of his disciples - just like He did two thousand years ago.
The best time to reflect is at the beginning of the day and for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Prior to going to sleep, read the Mass readings for the next day and then, in the morning, reflect on the Meditation offered on this website.
I hope these daily meditations allow you to know, love and imitate the Lord in a more meaningful way.
God bless you!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Lk 21:5-19 Perseverence in the Philippines

Thirty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time

(Click here for readings)

Jesus said, "By your perseverance you will secure your lives."

Philippines 2013.  With horror I looked at the hundreds of images of total destruction caused by super-typhoon Haiyan.  My heart went out to the Filipino people.  I love these people.  I know many of them.  I am proud to say I had the grace to go visit the Philippines a few years back.  In fact, I went there twice and I loved every single bit of it.

The Filipinos are a faith-filled people.  Hence, they are a service oriented people.  Without doubt, they are the best at hosting foreigners.  To put it in a nutshell:  they love people because they love God.  Is there any wonder why so many of them work as nurses and caregivers around the world? 

While I was there, I was struck by their strong devotions, sincere prayers and tremendous love for the Catholic Church.  I wondered where this faith in God and Church came from?  Their answer was historical and spiritual.  

A History Lesson.    From 1965 to 1983, the Filipinos lived under a ruthless dictator, Ferdinand Marcos.  While he, his wife and their cronies accumulated millions of dollars, the majority of the Filipino people had to sell the little they had just to survive.  But with the backing of the Catholic Church, a daughter of the Church, Corazon Aquino, led a non-violent "yellow" revolution to overturn the government.  The people succeeded and the beginning of an era of freedom and accountability emerged.

"People Power" still has a long way to go to stamp out corruption, but they trust in God and in the Church that is with them in their needs.  With tears of joy in my eyes, I read an article on just how strong their faith is: 

TACLOBAN, Philippines – Hours after the storm hit the Philippines, the Rev. Amadero Alvero was on the streets, sprinkling holy water over the dead and praying for them. By late afternoon, the 44-year-priest had blessed about 50 corpses in the remains of this shattered city.
He then returned to his half-destroyed Santo Nino church and led Mass. Today, Alvero was again overseeing worship at the peach-colored building, leading services for hundreds of survivors of one of the worst storms on record.
“Despite what happened, we still believe in God,” he said. “The church may have been destroyed, but our faith is intact, as believers, as a people of God, our faith has not been destroyed.”

But the joy did not last long.  After reading another article, I scrolled through the comments and read one left by a religious bigot.  Can you believe this individual actually chastised the Filipinos for rebuilding their Churches?!   This person obviously does not their history or understand just how important a church and the Church is to them.  To the poor, a church is not only the house of God but there house as well.  To the poor, the Church is not only a set of beliefs, but thousands of people who serve them unconditionally.

Perseverance.  Filipinos are hardworking people.  They work hard even for the little they get.  They don't complain.  They don't give up.  Instead, they persevere.  How?  Through faith.

Faith is perseverance.  And the people of the Philippines have a faith that endures all things, bears all things and hopes all things.  They know how to love because they know what to believe. 

1 comment:

  1. Just the other day I called PayPal customer service to ask a question about my account. After my transaction was completed, the polite man with an accent said, "Jennifer, I wish to thank you for helping us in the typhoon relief effort!" I was a little confused. What did I do so special to receive a thank you? Then I realized the customer service rep was located in the Philippines. He explained how he saw five huge American planes land carrying food and supplies. With excitement, he explained the Americans were the first emergency response team to arrive after the typhoon hit. I heard so much gratitude in the man's voice. It made me proud to be an American. :)




Updated: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. Comments must be concise and to the point.Comments are no longer accepted for posts older than 7 days.