A Grateful Heart will lead you to Love

I went to a guided silent retreat in 2011 at Cenacle and I got assured by God about married life. Then came my birthday in 2014 and I decided to go for another guided silent retreat just to ask God, “…ano na, Lord?” And i got assured by Him that He loves me so much no matter what and that I should be grateful of His love and blessings while I’m single. Which I did! When I became more grateful, that’s the time God gave me Love. 😂😍🙏 December of 2014, I met my Love Enrique Peralta! 🙏😍😇🎉💕

Be grateful. God see’s our hearts. He knows what is best for us in His own perfect and best time! 😇👍⏰ #MrandMrsPeralta #247loved #blessedandloved #blessedandgrateful

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Back to writing!

Got a Facebook pm from a friend, Chinky, asking me if I can write for her blog Looking at the Bright Side – Thankful Thursday. I said yes, and here I wanna share it with you.

http://www.lookingatthebrightside.com/2014/08/21/thankful-thursdays-teny-mardo-awesome-family-lbs-family-household-army-navy/

When I was writing, I totally missed writing in my own blog site. So here it is. Yay! My last entry was exactly a year ago about my WYD 2013 experienced in Brazil. A lot has happened indeed. Today marks my first year in my company too, ArmyNavy!

One year has passed and I can say God never missed a day to make me feel I am loved!

“Give thanks to the Lord; his love is everlasting.” From today’s Psalm, Psalm 107.

GOD’S EMBRACE

My World Youth Day 2013 Testimony 

my Maua Petropolis host. I'm holding here my very first pair of Havianas slippers that they gave me.

my Maua Petropolis host. I’m holding here my very first pair of Havianas slippers that they gave me.

When was the last time you were tightly embraced? In my case, it was during these past two weeks when God tightly embraced me of His awesomeness! God brought me to World Youth Day in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil and revealed these beautiful things He has in store for me. Who would ever think that I will be part of the delegation of pilgrims from the Philippines for the WYD in Brazil?  With God’s grace and love, nothing really is impossible. For eighteen days, we walked, we spoke Portuguese, we danced samba, we prayed, we attended mass, we chanted, “Pe-regrinos de Filipinas (3x) Oi, oi, oi, oiiiiii!!!”, we loved churros and we rode their subways and buses. In all of these, we felt God embracing us!

EMBRACED BY GOD’S GENEROSITY

For a missionary like me, to be able to attend an international event is a huge challenge that I have to face with so much faith that the Lord will make it happen.  Each missionary from CFC-FFL had to sell more than one hundred raffle tickets to raise funds. In my case, I needed to sell it online since I was in the U.S.A. for mission during the whole preparation of WYD. God was indeed generous in sending selfless people to share their blessings to us missionaries. People across the globe messaged us and long lost friends were connected because of this cause.  People sharing their blessings made them indeed part of the whole pilgrimage. Going to Brazil for the WYD made us all, missionaries, more prayerful carrying all the prayer intentions of all our families, friends and those who have helped us realized this pilgrimage. It has allowed us to be bolder in our calling as well, especially when the Pope starts to say, “Go out to the real world where Christ is needed! That is your battlefield! Be not afraid!”

It is also very much worth mentioning the very generous Brazilian families who have received us in their homes. Many from the Filipino pilgrims cannot speak Portuguese. But the families who have welcomed were not bothered by this. More so, they genuinely showed their love and generosity to us selflessly. They shared with us their homes, family, care, concern after our long days and long walks, food that really filled our stomach and they gave us a love that is so Christ-like! This is God’s embrace from heaven and we received it through the many people He has sent us – from those who bought tickets from us and from our Brazilian host families, plus the parishes who adopted us led by their generous parish priests and the other pilgrims from other parts of the globe.

EMBRACED BY GOD’S ASSURANCE

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God’s presence gives assurance. I wrote in my journal that I want to see the Pope in this WYD.  Never in my lifetime have I seen personally any of the Popes (Blessed Pope John Paul II nor Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI).  I would pray for it and I really squeezed my way through crowds of pilgrims and barricades of volunteers to make sure I’ll be at the right spot when the Pope passes. I saw Pope Francis thrice! And how I savored the moment of seeing Him! His presence is God’s assurance to me that He is with us. That to this time, He  continues to fulfill His promises. The Pope is the successor of St. Peter. St. Peter lived with Jesus. Jesus is the Son of God! The Pope is the closest to God I can be with!

I was silent after the whole experienced of seeing the Pope. It put me to silence, realizing that this is how real my God is. This is how real Jesus can be in my life! This made me think then. How real therefore can I be responding to His calling? I used to say, I cannot respond because of uncertainties. Now I say it is God’s voice! I will heed and am definitely certain that God will be with me all the way!

EMBRACED BY GOD’S PLAN

His plan for me is to become a revolutionary in evangelizing, be a protagonist of change and for me to “Go!”.  Pope Francis spoke in Spanish with a mix of some Portuguese words at the start and middle of his messages to us, youth.   His language therefore was called Portoñol, with Argentine accent.  To me, it was heaven!  Thank God for previous mission opportunities, I can speak and understand Spanish!  The last Latin American country that I served for mission was in Argentina. And to my surprise, if you know Spanish you can get by with Portuguese!  How amazing to realize that I can totally understand what the Pope was saying the whole time! When everyone else would start to turn on their radio or put on their headphones, I would take off mine so I can freely hear the Pope without the help of the English translator. At that moment, it was heaven for me! It was like God orchestrating the whole thing. God wanted me to understand Him in the language I am comfortable with and I heard Him so clear through Pope Francis!

Pope Francis spoke of going out in the world and proclaiming Christ’s greatness boldly. He even assured us that Christ will be with us as we respond to this call. The Pope reminded us of our calling – that we should never be confined to our parish, community and service. It is time to go out without any fear, for God is with us!

Attending WYD allowed me and the rest of the other pilgrims to experience God’s embrace big time! God’s embrace brings boldness to our way of responding to the call. WYD made us hear what is God’s calling to us, youth of the Catholic Church. We are the present and the future of the Church! And when do we respond to this calling? Now! I am responding now! When will you?

I praise God for the gift of the community CFC-FFL. This community has taught us how to become an active member of the Catholic Church. This community has taught us to love everything about the Catholic Church. And this community has brought us to places where we can proclaim and share God. Through this community, I dreamt of going to a big Catholic event such as the World Youth Day, with the Pope. And it happened! I will forever remember this God’s embrace which I felt big time during the World Youth Day. And I will never stop from sharing that, to this time, God’s embrace can still be felt!

Christ Redeemer. Cristo Redentor. The image of God's huge and tight embrace all the way from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Christ Redeemer. Cristo Redentor. The image of God’s huge and tight embrace all the way from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

DRAWN TO YOU

Today, i woke up wanting to be with you…the thought of having you close gave me comfort and peace.

My heart started to want to sing and raise my hands for your greatness in my life.

I say, thank you Lord for this yearning to love you more and be with you.

Completely, i am drawn to you…

Let my “all” sing for you, Lord and glorify you. And as i end my prayer, you gave me this song with these words:

Heal my heart and make it clean

Open up my eyes to the things unseen

Show me how to love like you have loved me

Break my heart for what is yours

Everything I am for your kingdom’s cause

As I walk from earth into eternity

[Please click to listen to the song Hosanna]

Thank you Lord for your love and the privilege to work for you. I offer all my works and thoughts today, Lord. Take it as my humble offering. Let me work with so much love, humility and care not to hurt others today, Lord. Amen.

SEND ME TO WYD 2013! :)

I have been praying to join the World Youth Day ever since, but i was not given an opportunity to be in one. The last time i was really close to attending, i was sent to a mission in the US to serve in the hispanic community.

World Youth Day will definitely fire me up more as a missionary. It will be an answered prayer to be with the Pope in an event so heavenly like WYD and be able to be nourished and inspired by many other youth and lay missionaries who are all proud to be Catholics! To me, this is one of those momentous experience as a lay missionary and to fulfill God’s calling to be one with His church in worshiping Him with many others.

I am certain that this will be a life changing experience for me as God’s servant and will definitely know Him more, love Him more, and serve Him more after this momentous event with God, the Pope and millions of Catholic youth all over the world.

In my heart, i know God will bring me to Rio, Brazil to be part of World Youth Day 2013. Faith works wonders!

[How can you help? Click this link]   

Heavenly peace!

GOD’S GREATNESS AND AWESOMENESS MAKES ME SO EMOTIONAL AND SAY, I LOVE YOU MORE, JESUS! Today, i went to mass early so i can meet up with our priest speaker for the weekend. We got to the church early for the mass and so i had time to kneel and pray my novena to St. Joseph [its the 4th day today!]. It was a short novena but i stayed kneeling and just being quiet with the Lord made me feel and hear Him say, “I am in control!”

The first reading affirms so much the state of my heart at the moment. Isaiah 49:8-15 “In a time of a favor I answer you, on the day of salvation I help you; and i have kept you…can a mother forget her infant, be without tenderness for the child of her womb? Even should she forget, I WILL NEVER FORGET YOU.”

So much stuff in my plate now BUT I KNOW GOD IS IN CONTROL and HE KNOWS! He will answer my needs! Therefore, i will remain at peace and will continue to praise God for this privilege to work for HIM! Nothing can compare to HIS awesomeness even in the midst of “worldly chaos” because in HIM i gain “heavenly peace!”
Life is beautiful and so i will celebrate it as i work for HIM! Thank you, Lord! Take the work of my hands as my humble offering. Amen.

[thank you Carl Casequin for the picture. God bless you!]

Photo taken in Austin, TX

Photo taken in Austin, TX

 

MY 40 DAYS JOURNEY: DAY 4

Daily Reflection: Appreciate God’s oppression as God’s way of saying that God’s love is all present and knowing of all my needs and even of my loved ones. His love magnifies from the smallest to the biggest “need” i have in my life. His grace is sufficient!

Please click this for reflection: Your Grace is Enough

The Readings
Isaiah 58: 9b-14; Psalm 86: 1-2, 3-4, 5-6; Luke 5: 27-32Loving creator, 

I am not asking to overcome my weakness,
but to use it in some way to glorify you.

Let me be aware of
the many ways you reach out to help me today
and let me stand in awe of the power
that you use in such loving ways.

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Please visit this link for complete meditation: http://onlineministries.creighton.edu/CollaborativeMinistry/Lent/index.html