June Mapping

This is the first of my monthly mapping posts, which I explained here. I had wanted to post a May mapping, but... Well, now it's practically June, and I am so going to have a June mapping. For the sake of instilling organization and constancy in my crazy life, and hopefully, to prod others to have the same in their own lives (I can use the company), I hope this will be regular posting theme.

 In adoration

and in awe of a God who, in His generosity and kindness, blesses abundantly and overlooks that we hardly give Him anything in return, I chant with David:

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is Thy name in all the earth!

When I look at thy heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars which thou hast established;
what is man that thou art mindful of him,
and the son of man that thou dost care for him?

Yet thou hast made him little less than God,
and dost crown him with glory and honor.
Thou has given dominion over the works of thy hands;
thou hast put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea,
whatever passes along the paths of the sea.

O Lord, our Lord,
how majestic is thy name in all the earth!

~ Psalm 8:1, 3-9
(RSV, Catholic Edition, Ignatius Press)

In contrition,

I examine myself on my practice of mercy. June is the month devoted to the Sacred Heart, whose mercy cannot be outdone. And with the Jubilee Year of Mercy half-done (did I get my math right?), an examination is indeed due. 

I will start with these:
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church 1829 (mercy as a fruit of charity)
~ Catechism of the Catholic Church 2447 (spiritual and corporal works of mercy)
~ Quotes from the Saints on Mercy (from the Divine Mercy website)

Do you have anything to add? Please include them in this posts's comments. Thnaks :-)

In thanksgiving,

I will focus on the blessings of family and friends. How we take for grated the blessings that we see and experience everyday! But time is fleeting because eternity awaits. So let's go visit our parents more often, and go for that beach trip with the kids soon!

A bit of a digression:  as a young mom, these were lines that I treasured:

"Oh, cleaning and scrubbing will wait till tomorrow,
But children grow up as I learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down, cobwebs. Dust, go to sleep.
I'm rocking my baby. Babies don't keep."

I did not know until just know, that those lines are actually part of a bigger work -- a lullaby actually -- by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton. Check it out; the entire peace is sweet and endearing. Not all babies are hushed by lullabies, but this one can still any anxious mom's heart. Yup, even moms with grown children :-).

With her sleepy friend

In supplication, 

I will remember the Holy Father's intentions for June:

Universal intention: Human Solidarity -- "that the aged, marginalized, and those who have no one, may find -- even within the huge cities of the world -- opportunities for encounter and solidarity." 

Evangelization intention: Seminarians and Novices -- "that seminarians and men and women entering the religious life may have mentors who live the joy of the Gospel and prepare them wisely for their mission." 

As a mom, I also bring before the Lord, my children's intentions. A new school year is coming, and it will be a milestone for each of them. Eldest Daughter will be on her last year on college, Second Daughter will be starting college, Only Son will be on his last year in high school, and our baby, Youngest Daughter, will be in junior high. Their mom is feeling so ancient...

Never say die (a.k.a. around the house)

I know, I know, I said something about working on closet organization and disaster preparedness MONTHS ago, and I did do something about them (here I go again, trying to redeem myself). But as things go in my crazy life (didn't I say that somewhere at the beginning of this post?), I start on a project, and then get distracted by urgent everyday demands. 

So! Let's let me do these again! On the matter of our closets: I will do this one closet at a time, starting with mine and Husband's. On the matter of disaster preparedness: We will review the presentation slides of a lecture that I attended last year on earthquake preparedness and recent advisories on La Nina. Then I will start buying the items in my emergency kit lists for the house and the car. Since I have done a bit of initial work, I have no reason to harp on the lack of time and the like...

Never ever say die (a.k.a around the kitchen)

Breakfast, breakfast, breakfast. Breakfast will have to start getting healthier around here. We really should be eating less oily sausages and fried garlic rice in the mornings. Delicious and very filling, but nanay and tatay (mom and dad) are not young anymore, and the kids themselves are starting to request healthier meals. We went grocery shopping this morning after Sunday Mass, and they loaded several boxes of cereals and vegie juice bottles in the cart. Yikes! My kids are making a statement!

Primary educator, always

I am doing transcript work for Second Daughter and a minimum of curriculum planning for Youngest Daughter (we use a boxed curriculum in the homeschool). I should be done by mid-month max, otherwise  I will consider myself a very bad mom...really :-( !

Tackling the book hoard and bookmarks

I haven't read a John Grisham book in a while. I am actually reining in myself because a Grisham book is not something that you can read in installments over several months. You have to read a book in big blocks of time over a few days, and the fewer the better! So until I am done with the transcript work and curriculum planning (And professional work -- have I told you? I'm working (from home) again! Long story for another post), Rouge Lawyer and Gray Mountain will have to wait.

With her loyal friend

Liturgical living and devotions

So soon! We are at the longer part of the Ordinary Season, a multi-themed and devotion-rich period for Catholics. 

The memorial of Saint Anthony de Padua is on June 13. I learned something new about Saint Anthony. Not that he is the go-to saint for lost things because I had learned that even as a young child, but that ladies wishing for good husbands (as you should wish for if you are young and being prompted to marriage as your vocation) can go to him for that intention. Hmm, by extension, I say that moms who wish for virtuous husbands for their daughters can also start praying to the dear saint. I have three daughters, so I think I will get started. 

My goodness, I have ranted, haven't I? 

Would you like to do your own mapping for June, and share it with us? Please do so, and post the link through a comment below. 

Have a happy and productive June. God bless!


Why I Make My Bed Most of the Time

~ Early in the morning, a made bed seems to say, 
"If I can make my bed, I can do anything. Bring it on!"

~ It is sad to have to pass by my room during the day with an unmade bed in my peripheral vision.
On days that I leave the house, it even sadder to come home to an unmade bed.

~ I don't want my children to think that I'm a slob.

~ The cat will appreciate it.

~ Our mom imposed it on us when my siblings and I were kids.
Excellent training, Ma!


An Invitation to Monthly Mappings

Writing on the daybook theme is one of my most enjoyable experiences as a blogger. Done on a weekly basis, it encourages reflecting on and planning for each of the significant aspects of my life, which in turn, allows me to thread these together to a (hopefully) cohesive whole. And because my blog is available to the cyber-public, there is an added accountability feature there.

So for two or three years, I have written intermittently on the daybook theme and called them an assortment of names. Some posts I have linked with other blogs, the rest stood on their own.

A few months ago, I renamed all my past daybook posts as "My Week". I thought it sounded simpler and more purposeful.

Today, I decided on another change in my daybook writing. To be more in keeping with my commitments and the cycles of family life and professional work, I will be writing monthly instead of weekly. I will also be calling such posts, "mappings", and I will post my first monthly mapping in May.

If you are up to it, I invite you to also post your own monthly mapping in your blog
on the first week of every month
so we can share our hopes, plans, and current concerns and activities, 
maybe our apprehensions and some advice, 
and surely, opinions on what works and what does not 
in our lives 
as moms, 
and daughters of our Lord. 

My monthly mapping posts will have several headings: the first four are based on the ACTS (adoration, contrition, thanksgiving, and supplication) format used in private prayer, followed by our daily concerns as moms, namely, the household, the kitchen, and our children's education, what we are currently reading from our shelves or online, and our liturgical living practices and devotions.

In adoration
In contrition
In thanksgiving
In supplication
Never say die (a.k.a. around the house)
Never ever say die (a.k.a. around the kitchen)
Primary educator, always
Tackling the book hoard and bookmarks
Liturgical living and devotions

You are free to use all, some, or none of headings... you get the point. The important thing is to get some sharing going on because moms need to connect, right? Maybe we can start a regular linking activity started. Who knows? I'm getting excited. 

Please do consider :-). Thank you!

P.S. If you have questions or suggestions, please write them in the comments section of this post. Thanks again!


The Choice of Easter

Gone for over a month! Can I believe that?! Not that multitudes have noticed my absence, but here I am again. Have a blessed Easter, everyone!

Trite (but true!) as it may sound, Easter morn is so worth the wait of the Easter vigil. This must be what's in the mind of those who religiously attend the vigil every year. (I don't, I'm not proud of it, but I am hopeful that this non-pattern change.) And with attendance in every recurring rite, one is rewarded by being able to see, feel, know, or realize something new each time.

Easter vigil at the Manila Cathedral led by Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle.
Photo source: CBCP News Photo Gallery

I realized something new this Easter vigil just past, thanks to a few words from the parish priest, in annotation to the formula prayers of the vigil, which in part said:

The good priest said that with the newness of Easter, we are given a choice. The choice is whether to leave the darkness for the light that will never dim again, whether to continuously live in that light or shirk to the deceiving comfort of the darkness that we have left, or in the simplest terms, to live right before God or not.

Easter vigil at Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines. Tacloban was hardest hit by typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
Photo source: CBPCP News Photo Gallery

Isn't it mysterious yet marvelous how God goes through the length of salvation history and the supreme sacrifice of His Son to allow us an Eternity with Him, and yet gives us the freedom to choose whether we want it or not?

How can we say no?


Blind (a re-post)

This is a re-post, with minor revisions,  from 2012. I am sharing it anew as I reflect on almsgiving, a Lenten pillar together with prayer and fasting. It is quite easy to understand why we have to give alms to the materially poor. But there are other forms of poverty that we also need to be aware of.

... for I was hungry and you gave me food,
I was thirsty and you gave me drink,
I was a stranger and you welcomed me,
I was naked and you clothed me, 
I was sick and you visited me,
I was in prison and you came to me.
...Truly I say to you, 
as you did it to one of the least of my brethren,
you did it to me.

- Matthew 25:35-36,40

Image courtesy of manostphoto 
at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It was a rare afternoon off just by myself. No little one tugging at me begging to go to the pet aisle, no teenagers hissing at my ear that they need new clothes, and no husband spending too much time at the video section. At the very least, I was looking forward to a cup of good coffee taken leisurely, unhurriedly.

I was crossing the street, and saw him from the corner of my eye. A middle-aged man with eyes more closed than open. He appeared to be squinting. Lightly, he swayed his cane from left to right, to and fro. He had to be blind. He had a companion who supported his elbow while they were crossing the street.

When I reached the bus stop, the blind man was there, too, sans his companion. He lifted his head and slightly turned it from side to side, as if looking for something that he couldn't see. There was a tentative smile on his face, and he would alternately steady his cane on the ground and gently swing it from side to side in small arcs.

I got the picture. The blind man was by himself. The man I had mistook for his companion was a kind soul who helped him cross the street. I don't know why he did not go on guiding the blind man and help him get a ride. Probably he had some business and was pressed for time. Probably the blind man told him to go on for he was sure that some other kind soul would come along and help him get a ride. That helping him cross the street and delivering him to the bus stop was kindness enough. He must have thanked the kind soul and wished him a good day.

Image courtesy of pakorn 
at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
That had to be it. The blind man was sure that someone would pick up from where the kind stranger left off by offering to help him get a ride. He was turning his head from side to side as if in search of something because he was actually trying to sense the presence of another kind soul. He had that tentative smile because he was telling people that if it was not too much, all he needed was someone to please read the route signs of the oncoming public vehicles and make sure that he got his ride.

That was all. That was all.

I had meant to ride a bus or jeepney to save on fare. I had not planned on taking a taxi, but when one came by, I hailed it only too quickly. I jumped onto the cab, bowed my head low, and over-busied myself looking for an unknown missing item in the depths of my purse.

The cab sped to the mall, and the sight of the blind man did not bother me anymore.