Monday, July 22, 2013

Listen to your heart: WHO Lives There? (first part)

Of all the places she wanted to be, 
it was right here on my chest 
that she found rest...


It was the little sage's turn to visit me this weekend. She wasn't used to be carried around but I did...
I held her several minutes each day to understand her valuable lessons...

My infant Jesus a gift from graziealcielo

"As I see it, 
we shall never succeed in knowing ourselves unless 
we seek to know God:
let us think of His greatness and then come back to our own baseness;
by looking at His purity we shall see our foulness;
by meditating upon His humility, we shall see how far we are from being humble."

~ S. Teresa of Avila, Interior Castle. Translated and edited by E. Allison Peers. (NY:Doubleday, 1989)38.

As a young nun, we were taught to contemplate the Infant Jesus so often. I have only come to know how by holding a real infant in my arms...

It just tells me to 'receive love.'

I felt an allergic reaction towards the concept ~ of vulnerability.

I have ceased being me ~ open, spontaneous ~ at a young age... 

The world of love and trust that was initially created as an infant was shattered.

I have realized that I have used the 'habit' as a haven to cover my femininity ~ and the 'walls' as a barrier between men and me. I had to move out of my comfort zone to start another journey outside the 'walls.'

But the vow of 'chastity' is beyond that. Love couldn't be given in parts. It has to be whole... It entails relationship with Jesus that is concretely manifested in our relationship with other people.

"Se la persona apre la sua mano, fatta per ricevere e dare, al dono, vive una relazione con gli altri molto piu' vera." ~ P. Bini
(translation: If a person opens his/her hand, made for receiving and giving, to a gift, he/she lives in a more real/genuine relationship with others.)

The promise of springtime has indeed come!

I ask pardon if I lack charity in my words and actions~ the tension between 'receiving' love and 'refusing' it comes in the way too often ~ 
but here's the catch, 
know that God holds my heart and I am capable of change with the help of God's grace.

The sage, the Infant Jesus, tells me to listen to my heart...

Who lives there?

I received a tweet this afternoon and I couldn't leave misinterpretations of what I wish to convey in this post:

"I believe nuns & priests should be allowed 2 marry,as the rest of the body of Christ."

One, I believe in the vow of chastityIt has always been a debate to make the vow of chastity optional for priests and nuns  but we have to deepen this aspect. It is not only for the religious, priests or nuns to live. It is a call to each one of us. More than a question of 'marrying' or 'not' ~ it is the question of how freely I could give this love to God through other people.

Second, one has to read the rest of the posts in order to understand the different journeys I have taken. I was a religious and I have left. My motives and vocation story has to be purified. 

Third, one is free to ask questions... the posts are meant for self-knowledge and  self-understanding. 

"You are a very brave woman!"

I understood this in this aspect, 'courage' to purify intentions, realize that and take a new road. And 'courage' to continue journeying to know oneself and Christ.

Preparation for World Youth Day 2013 
with my Satur-dates

"What are we expecting next week (referring to this time)?" I asked the kids.

"SONA!" they chorused. True, the children here in Quezon City have no classes because of the State of the Nation Address this afternoon.

"Okay... and what else?" There was silence... 
and so we began our project.

Beginning tomorrow, July 23 to 28, 2013, we celebrate the World Youth Day!
The theme for this year is: "Go make disciples of all nations (Mt. 28,19)!" 
I'm so excited to see all those young people gathered in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil led by Pope Francis to pray and be united in God's love.

Source of Logo explanation: A World Youth Day Pilgrim's Journal

Fau, my niece


  1. Loved this post. Loved how you wrote, "Love couldn't be given in parts. It has to be whole."

    Beautiful pictures. Little ones, so innocent, trusting and loving, are like gateways to understanding love Divine.

    I haven't been able to blog much lately...Need to catch up on some of your past posts! xx

    1. "Love has to be whole." ~ I like that too sis. It has to be whole so it could be shared entirely ~ completely.

      There's wisdom in contemplating the little ones. I always think that they are the gateway to Heaven.

      Always be at peace ~ there's no hurry. Lots of love and thank you!

  2. Dear Melissa,

    As usual, I am astounded by your powers of self-reflection and wisdom. Especially this:

    "I have realized that I have used the 'habit' as a haven to cover my femininity ~ and the 'walls' as a barrier between men and me."

    Well done, Love! You are a strong and brave woman which is the best give you can give to the world! Thank YOU! XOXOXO

    1. Thank you very much Linda love! I had to cover that one too so I could make the VB alive in that aspect. Love has to shine everywhere.

      Lots of love always! Thank you for journeying with me all the way :)

  3. "Of all the places she wanted to be, it was right here on my chest where she found rest."
    Imagine, climbing into the lap of Jesus, leaning your head upon His chest, listening to the beat of His heart and the rhythm of His breath.
    Peace! Within and without.
    Prayers and love and blessings to you, dear Melissa!

    1. I think I have an image of Jesus just like that ~ except that in my mind, I always remain as a little girl on His lap.

      To hear His heartbeat and to be one with it is my desire... would really love that...

      Thank you for all your prayers dear friend. I am with you there. Lots of love and blessings to you too!

  4. "Know that God holds my heart..."
    "Who lives there?"
    I feel the sincerity and depth of these words of yours.
    Words from within coming out so gently yet with conviction. Your journey has just began to a world full of wonder as you walk closely with Love himself in a different path seeing Him in the person you will meet each day. It will be a great adventure of love unfolding before you. You are in my prayers,
    votre petit frère dans le Christ

    1. I love what you wrote Daniel ~ and I am eager to seek this adventure of love each and every moment of my life. Yes, in a different path that I know will lead me closer to Him through other people.

      Thank you for your visit and most especially for your prayers.

      Ci accompagniamo in questa strada di santita' ~ sempre per la Sua gloria.

      Lots of love fratellino mio,
      tua sorella in Cristo

  5. I love the way each person has taken away a different phrase from your post, Melissa. I was struck by the phrase 'receive love'. Sometimes, it's all to easy for us to put up barriers to supposedly protect ourselves from hurt, but we end up not allowing Love to come in.

    1. So true BS and inside the walls ~ we cease to grow. The only way is to risk everything ~ to allow the negatives inside that were accumulated to come out...

      Love you so much ~ thank you BS!

  6. Glad to hear you're tearing down the walls around you and allowing more love into your life, starting with God's love. It is not so easy to be vulnerable but so uplifting and freeing. When people see who we truly are, we allow them to love us more:) No walls, no boundaries, no barriers.

    I think you're listening a lot to our little saint, haha, Audrey, and wisdom is pouring out from the many lessons she teaches. She teaches without saying a word:)

    You continue to find new and interesting projects for your Saturdates:)

    1. Perfect Vishnu ~ "When people see who we truly are, we allow them to love us more:)" I remember my SD saying that, 'How can I love you if I don't know you?' And in our favorite psalm 139, the Lord knows us through and through. This is such a wonderful reflection.

      Wow, as little as she is, yes, I pray Audrey will continue to grow in love and faith. She is very wise :)

      Thanks ~ you are one of my inspirations to grow and to take this new road towards authenticity.

      God bless!

  7. Love cannot be given in parts, but has to be whole. The walls may block the love we are meant to receive...good luck and god bless.

    1. Thank you so much Janu! Yes, love can never grow if not given completely.., Lots of love to you!

  8. Beautiful images and beautiful thoughts from a beautiful heart!
    Speaking of listening to the heartbeat, I learned at a spiritual retreat to sit and listen to His heartbeat. Now, when I lay me down to sleep, as soon as my head hits the pillow I say, “Here I am, here to rest in You and just listen to Your heartbeat. And dreams, they are mostly sweet. Bless you dear heart!
    ♥ ♥ ♥

    1. Love this Debra ♥ I missed you dearly! I have read the supplements you gave me . They have deepened my self-understanding. You are very wise. Thank you sooo much for journeying with me.

      Love you lots!

  9. Melissa, I love your dedication to Christ, life and children. Yours is a tender soul. God bless you!

    1. Thanks God Tameka. I wish I could say I love Him sooo much but I have to learn a few more lessons from Him through other people.

      Lots of love to you!

  10. My most respected Mom, I know that God resides in your heart and that's why your words are pure as morning dew-drops. While reading your articles I feel like listening to a great Oak tree, I dunno how, but this is exactly how I feel.
    love you, revere you!

    1. Thank you dear daughter, but I am not worthy of such praises ~ let us offer them back to God Who is the source of all this good.

      Lots of love!

  11. Love should not be given in parts and that it should be given wholly... this is a powerful lesson I learned from you today, Melissa.

    Your journey is very fruitful. It's wonderful that you get to spend a part of it with these children, helping them grow in their faith.

    Thank you for being a part of my journey, too, Melissa. You are one of God's gifts to me. <3 :-)

    1. 'Our' journey Irene :) ~ if we just allow God or at least learn to open ourselves ~ to be humble and to accept. He just waits for our yes and I'm learning to say yes for the first time :)

      You are so loved Irene! I keep you in my prayers.