…feel free to jump around as you choose 🙂
II my reflections on st. therese of lisieux
III couple of fave quotes by st. therese of lisieux
IV the closing of my day…
i took my first taekwondo class today. YUP. haha, clearly, i have a lot of free time right now, before i start my ministry at SOSCFI on Thursday! sooo let’s just say, for the time being, crystal is in the “exploration of baguio city” stage. 🙂
one of the young women i live with, takes taekwondo, so she invited me – especially because they were giving free lessons/tutorials for the next couple of days! so i went. the class was full of 12 year olds (most of them even younger!)…but they had some intense kicks in em! my kicking was way off, and for that hour and a half, i thought my legs were going to fall off. but i survived, met the instructor, and got to justify my unfortunate kicks to him, by telling him it was my first time (i’m pretty sure he could tell.)
luckily, he didn’t point out in any more detail, when i fell on the mat. like, full on, FELL. i was kicking with my right, then i kicked with my left (i think way too fast), and before you knew it, both legs were in the air, and i remember realizing, crystal! you’re gonna fall. it was like, a cartoon! i think we can compare it to wiley the coyote when he’s running so fast, and then he runs off the cliff, but realizes he’s not on the cliff anymore, then he looks straight at you, and then FALLS! yup, that’s totally what happened to me. the instructor did NOT anticipate me falling like that, that’s for sure! but then, i started kicking harder, cause i was like, oh HECK no. haha, i wanted to take advantage of letting out all of this energy! haha…the rest of the class, the children were showing me how to kick correctly. THAT was funny. oh how the tables have turned 🙂
haha, so THAT, was that! will i go again? haha, TBD. for sure.
on another note…i finished the book i was reading! woohoo! i have spent many of my afternoon/early evenings here, reading…i don’t think i’ve ever read so much, seriously. but i find myself at starbucks (which has become my pseudo office). it’s awesome because they have already begun to be familiar with my presence there, they know i will ask for hot water, and the security guard gives me a friendly hello. and no, not in a creepy way.
II my reflections on st. therese of lisieux
the book i just finished is on st. therese of lisieux. the little flower. the super inspirational patronness saint of missions. i picked up the book first at maryknoll training in new york, got to read about the first 10 pages, then i had to give it back, cause it was the end of the training. i then ordered it online, and could not put it down since! it’s not her autobiography, but it is a collection of selected letters and poems. all i have to say, is that on more than 5 occasions, i had to put it down, cause i was like, stop it. i felt like the letters she wrote to either her sister or to her other companions, were directed towards me, and there was such a strong connection. i felt like she was talking to me! it was really cool – and so, st. therese is now one of my go-to saints. i know she’s looking out for me, for sure. i’m pretty sure she has wanted me to discover her for a while now. 🙂 and now that i am on mission in the philippines, i’m pretty sure she knows i need the back-up support, especially from above.
she discusses the bible passage where jesus is sleeping on the disciples’ boat (one of my favorite stories from scripture), and they’re freaking out – and in writing to her sister, she says, “your boat is on the open sea, already perhaps very close to port. the wind of sorrow that pushes it is the wind of love, and this wind is swifter than lightning…” she creates this beautiful illustration of jesus sleeping, and only wanting rest, but truly desiring rest in the hearts of the apostles, amidst the craziness of the weather, and the fear ensuing.
in one of her letters, she also discussed my favorite passage, “where your treasure is, there is your heart also.” – we’re totally friends. 🙂
i also discovered that st. therese wrote a poem called “saint cecilia” (the saint of music aka, my confirmation saint!) and she writes along with it,”as long as your lyre does not cease to sing for jesus, never will it break…no doubt it is fragile, more fragile than crystal. if you were to give it to an inexperienced musician, soon it would break; but jesus is the one who makes the lyre of your heart sound…he grants you his choice graces; if always you remain faithful in pleasing him in little things, he will find himself OBLIGED to help you in GREAT things.” — through any challenge, she saw it as an opportunity to fully abandon herself into jesus’ hand, as his instrument, just as st. cecilia’s story goes…she is also the saint of abandonment, along with being saint of music. 🙂
i wanted to give st. therese a hug when i read yet again, another one of my favorite scriptures in one of her letters, “we do not know how to ask for anything as we ought, but the spirit pleads within us with unutterable groanings (st.paul). we have, then, only to surrender our soul, to abandon it to our great God.” Yessss!
i also liked when she talked about how difficult it was for her to pray the rosary…even though she was more than 100% fully devoted to the Blessed Virgin, she still had a very hard time focusing on each of the mysteries. i really liked her honesty in this – something that i can totally resonate with, and yet, i still try, just as she did!
III couple of fave quotes of st. therese of lisieux
…on missionaries: she also writes, “it seems to me all missionaries are martyrs by desire and will…if there remains in their soul at the moment of appearing before God some trace of human weakness, the Blessed Virgin obtains for them the grace of making an act of perfect love, and then she gives them the palm and the crown that they so greatly merited.”
..on the Communion of Saints: “very often, without our knowing it, the graces and lights that we receive are due to a hidden soul, for God wills that the saints communicate grace to each other through prayer with great love, with a love much greater than that of a family, and even the most perfect family on earth. how often have i thought that i may owe all the graces i’ve received to the prayers of a person who begged them from God for me, and whom i shall know only in heaven.” – i LOVE that.
and so, thank you st. therese of lisieux.
IV the closing of my day…
inspired, i finally started my prayer/quote wall, and i am looking forward to seeing it expand over the next couple of years. haha, crazy.
also, because i will be starting my ministry at SOSCFI on thursday, i took some time to go over my journal from MISO training, my papers, my notes, and some of the poems i wrote…oh yeah! and st. therese wrote lots of poetry too! how awesome is that! anyway, just from going over the materials from those two weeks and reflecting on them now, i am seeing such change in mentality, and it is very interesting to see how different i would answer some of those questions now. could it be that in this week and a half that i have been here in baguio city, i have already been changed? quite possibly, i would give a strong yes. that’s pretty remarkable. not super extreme changes, but definitely changes that affect my way of transition, as i begin this time. it’s pretty awesome, and i think it is also helpful and healthy for me to recognize it.
openness and cups of tea, and cups of milo (hot chocolate that is not really sweet, and so i add lots of brown sugar to it) every morning, and sleep, and unceasing prayer and faith, and keeping family and friends close to my heart everywhere i walk, and every time i get on a jeepney, i think i’ll be good. 🙂
always lookin’ up.