Monday, April 7, 2014

This Lent and Holy WeeK: Fall in love with God

                               Source of music: RELEVANT. Support their music.

How is your Lenten journey? No matter what, or wherever you are in your journey, be still in God (see Psalm 46:10). Allow him to love you completely in the moment, in his presence, and in his embrace. God loved us first (see 1 John 4:19). With that in mind, to ask God to make you fall in love with him will come naturally: All you have to do is to be still and he will show you how. In his presence allow him to ignite your heart with the deepest longing for him. Let God make you fall in love with him so generously that all you want in life is to desire God, to love God, and to love only God. When this happens, love surrounds you and you will not be able to resist him. It is then at this point when you can truly love everyone in the purest way. "We love because he first loved us" (1 John 4:19).

“To fall in love with God is the greatest romance; to seek him, the greatest adventure; to find him, the greatest human achievement.” --Augustine of Hippo

"Nothing is more practical than finding God, than falling in Love in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you do with your evenings, how you spend your weekends, what you read, whom you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in Love, stay in love, and it will decide everything." --Fr. George Aschenbrenner, SJ

Copyright © 2014 Easter Almuena

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

A Dream of Unlimited Determination

Childlikeness, friendship, love, and community are simple elements of life, but they can be very powerful. A group of boys could only savor the joy of watching football played by kids their age on a small t.v. screen. That joy became their passion to build their own football team -- soccer as we know it -- but when an older person in their fishing village told them to look around, reality brought their dream to a big halt. How is it possible to play football when their houses stand on stilts that rise above the water there on the southern tip of Thailand?

Sample photo of stilt houses found in the City of Yawnghwe in the Inle Lake (Heho, Burma)
photo c/o Wikipedia

Determination didn't dampen their spirits. They searched for answers and sought the best one that gave them the opportunity to play football as a team. They played to their hearts' desire and won many awards, but how did they do it? Here's how...

I hope you enjoyed this short film. Thanks to YouTube for allowing good inspirational films, such as this one, to be available for viewing.

One's dream may seem colossal and unreachable but determination -- out of childlikeness, friendship, love, and community among other essentials of life -- is what it takes to reach a dream in a place where space or amenities is limited. Let's bring our dream to prayer and meditate on how we may reach its fulfillment.

To learn more about the floating village of Koh Panyee, check out this website. Mahalo.

If anyone wondered where I disappeared to, I had to be in a place called "healing" -- a beautiful place where I could revisit many things, dreams being on of them, so I may bring those dreams to prayer to see how God might want them fulfilled. I thank you for your love and patience!

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year 2014!

Happy New Year!

I am most delighted to share with you an extraordinary resource for the coming year 2014. Are you determined to walk in the newness of the One whose love is eternal? I invite you to journey with me; or, find one that suits you best. My spirituality revolves around St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross. Throw in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas and I have one complete package; it is known as Spiritual Theology by Jordan Aumann, OP. How I relish in the writings found in this book! Recommended to me by my spiritual advisor, I find it hard to wait for the moment when I can open its pages to see what God might have in store for me for the day. Such a spiritual delight! Such a beautiful embrace of God!

Chapter 8 of Spiritual Theology is breathtaking. It brings one, as it does me, to a level of greater awareness of what is to be kept, tossed out, or simply ignored that one’s focus may be set firm on the Beloved.

I hope you find a book or a resource that will inspire you somehow. Keep searching. When you find one that’s right for you, peace and joy shall overcome you – no doubt!

Friday, December 27, 2013

It's Still Christmas

It's the third day in the Octave of Christmas --- yes, it's still Christmas! Have you told anyone? Spread the word. Greet people 'Merry Christmas.' Let them know Christmas is not over: It is only the third day of Christmas and there are 9 more days to go. (This is based on the traditional 12 days of Christmas, but how many days are there exactly in Advent and Christmas seasons? Click on link below.)

I remember a young man's eyes that shone with gladness upon hearing Christmas is not over. "Really?" he said. "Really!" was my reply was I walked away with my chocolate flavored macadamia tea wafers after getting my receipt from him.

The incarnation of Christ must have been very important to the Father to have allowed our Church its significance to be celebrated for several days. Beyond that, we are the living flesh where Christ resides; through us he can touch the lives of others.

"...what we have heard,
what we have seen with our eyes,
what we looked upon
and touched with our hands
concerns the Word of life —
for the life was made visible..."

In our pondering and celebrations of Christ's birth, we embrace God's peace and joy. Yesterday, as I was shopping for pillows for my husband, inevitably I overheard the husband of the family berating his wife for having been so inconsiderate, making him and the children wait as she went shopping. (He did use the word "inconsiderate.") I was amazed at how the wife handled the situation: She maintained her peace and calm by letting her family know of the huge savings she gained from buying on-sale items they needed anyway. The tone of her delivery did not precipitate any harsh response from anyone. Wow! That wife and mother certainly reminded me to maintain my own peace and calm. I praise God for her example!

Be filled with God's peace and joy, and maintain peace and calm in the days to come. As my daughter had said, the one who got an A in English, "Mom, attitude is everything." She did work hard in that subject and broke the teacher's rule to give B as the highest mark -- unless her highest standards are met.

I praise God for the opportunity to share with you! A most Blessed 3rd day in the Octave of Christmas!


How many days exactly are there in the Advent and Christmas seasons? Check it out here: Liturgy: Advent and Christmas by Felix Just, S.J., Ph.d.

USCCB Advent and Christmas Calendars

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

A most joyful Christmas!

As beautiful as this painting is, I do regret its exclusion of St. Joseph; 
with him in it, it would have made a good picture of the Holy Family.
My apology to the artist. I do reiterate its magnificence of art.

A most joyful Christmas to All!

May our Christmas days be filled 
with much joy, peace and love
not only in the physical sense as we 
celebrate it with friends and family,
but mostly within,
that deep within our hearts,
is the being of Christ
truly alive and living
real and true in how we experience
each other
not only in celebrations, 
but mostly in times of need.
Being there for one another in 
difficult times is the true measure of Christ
born and being born again and again
as we extend hope in how we extend ourselves.

A most joyful Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Gaudette Sunday 2013

The Third Sunday of Advent or "Gaudette," meaning a day of "rejoicing," is an invitation to be joyful in the promise of the coming of God.

God's joy is made manifest in the church; Pope Francis himself said on Gaudette Sunday that the Church is a "house of joy." In the liturgy the invitation to rejoice and to arise is evident as it resounds to us that "the Lord is near, Christmas is near."

"Christian joy, like hope, has its foundation in the faithfulness of God, in the certainty that he always keeps his promises," Pope Francis said.

I say that Evangelii Gaudium or "Joy of the Gospel" is most likely the best resource to read for this week. I invite you all to read this writing of our dear pope, Pope Francis. I'm in the process of reading this apostolic exhortation and already I am filled with awe for what God wants his children to see that many have forgotten: mainly, that he is a God of joy.

A most joyful Gaudette!

Read more about Gaudette Sunday 2013.