Loving and knowing

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Thursday, Week XXIII, Year II in Ordinary Time, 10 September 2020
1 Corinthians 8:1-7, 11-13  >><)))*>  >><)))*>  >><)))*>   Luke 6:27-38
Photo by author, dusk at my parish, July 2020.

Thank you, dear Jesus, for the grace of being together again with our family and relatives at this time of the pandemic. Your words from St. Paul today are so timely as we now spend more time together at home due to shortened work periods while kids have online classes.

But, despite these grace-filled moments in the pandemic while being together again with our family, frictions happen because we have never been truly at home with each other. We always forget the fact that love of one another is more important than being right.

Brothers and sisters: Knowledge inflates with pride, but love builds up. If anyone supposes he knows something, he does not yet know as he ought to know. But if one loves God, one is known by him.

1 Corinthians 8:1-3

Oh yes, Lord! We are sometimes surprised at how fast we have grown in age with our parents and siblings. And yes, how we have grown apart too from each other, still carrying those sentiments and memories we have had when younger.

Purify us, Jesus. Heal our memories. Enable us to let our love flow to others specially those dearest and closest to us. Remove all emotional blockages in our hearts and mental blocks in our minds that prevent us from being kind and understanding, and be more spontaneous and more sincere with everyone.

Make us realize that the more we know, the more we must be loving and understanding.

Photo by author, Malagos Garden Resort, Davao City, 2018.

Let our knowledge make us “holier” because to know what is right always leads us to being more loving as we heed your words in the gospel today, “Do to others as you would have them do to you” (Lk.6:31).

Inspire us to reflect further on these words by St. Bernard about spiritual life so that it may soothe our souls and calm our minds:

The whole of the spiritual life consists of these two elements. When we think of ourselves, we are perturbed and filled with salutary sadness. And when we think of the Lord, we are revived to find consolation in the joy of the Holy Spirit. From the first we derive fear and humility, from the second hope and love.

Office of Readings, Wednesday of 23rd Week, The stages of contemplation by St. Bernard

We pray in a very special way today, Lord, for our family and relatives, for those we live together at home. Amen.

Kindness of Jesus Christ

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Saturday, Feast of St. James the Greater, Apostle, 25 July 2020
2 Corinthians 4:7-15 ><}}}*> >><}}}*> >>><}}}*> Matthew 20:20-28
Facade of “Santiago de Compostela” in Spain in honor of St. James the Greater. Photo courtesy of Fr. Gener Garcia during their “El Camino de Santiago de Compostela”, May 09 to June 05, 2019.

Glory and praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ who had called and given us the Apostles as foundations of your Holy Church as we celebrate today the feast of St. James the Greater, the first bishop of Jerusalem and the first among the Twelve to die a martyr.

In him, O Lord, you gave us an image of hope in you, of how we can grow in holiness in you.

Through St. James the Greater, you have shown us your kindness in joining us in our earthly pilgrimage, slowly making us realize how we must adhere to you more closely to finally make it to our final destination in your kingdom in heaven.

Jesus said in reply, “You do not know what you are asking. Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” They said to him, “We can.” He replied, “My chalice you will indeed drink, but to sit at my right and at my left, this is not mine to give but is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”

Matthew 20:22-23

Your kindness is very evident, sweet Jesus.

I really wonder how you felt when the mother of James and John asked you that her sons be seated “one at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom” (Mt.20:21).

You were so kind to simply tell her and her sons, “You do not know what you are asking.”

Photo by Fr. Gener Garcia, image of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, 2019.

So many times, Lord, like St. James, we ask so many things from you, even demanding from you in exchange of what we believe as too great we have given you. You perfectly know so well that we do not know what we are asking at all. You know how we are blinded by fame and honor, power and wealth – things that do not matter at all in your kingdom.

You are so gentle in reminding us about the deeper realities of life, of discipleship by simplifying your demands, “Can you drink the chalice that I am going to drink?” to which we are often so naive, even oblivious for good reasons. Primarily because, we really do not know what we are asking.

And that’s when you are kindest of all, sweet Jesus: like with St. James and his brother St. John, you invite us “to drink the chalice you are drinking” by assuring us it can be done, that it is very possible, that in fact, that is the greatest honor of being with you, to drink from your chalice – without letting us know right away what it meant! St. John eventually realized and wholly accepted what you meant of drinking in your chalice when he became the first to share in your passion and death during the persecution by King Herod Agrippa (Acts 12:1-1).

Slowly, you make us realize too what is to drink in your chalice as we continue life’s journey with you, most especially into our inner self where we eventually find and rest in you when the goings get tough and rough.

It is total kindness on your part Lord to show us the beauty of sharing a meal with you, of sharing in your mission, of sharing in your life and most especially of sharing in your death that we make it with you to your kingdom.

Like St. James the Greater, continue to be kind with us, Lord, accompanying us in this journey.

In the same manner, make us kind to one another too like St. James the Greater who offered his life for the early church, for being the first to drink from your chalice. Amen.

Photo by Fr. Gener Garcia, marker along the “El Camino de Santiago de Compostela”, 2019.

When a small act of kindness is like a pinch of salt

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday, Week X, Year II in Ordinary Time, 09 June 2020
1 Kings 17:7-16 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Matthew 5:13-16
“Tiangge” in Carigara, Leyte; photo by Mr. Jim Marpa, 2019.

When this pandemic struck us and kept us home for two months, Lord, you never failed to bless us with food on our tables. It does not really matter whatever was served but the most important thing is how we have shared meals with family and friends, even with strangers.

And what makes food so glorious and wonderful, Lord, is not merely the food itself, be it meat or poultry, vegetables or fish but the things we take for granted like the people who prepared and gathered together, and not to forget, ingredients that bring out the flavor like the lowly salt.

Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

Matthew 5:13

Like the food we prepare and share, we are good in ourselves because of you, Lord.

But our real goodness comes out when we become kind and generous with others, even a single smile or a pat on a shoulder of someone else can always make a world of difference. Indeed, a small deed is better than the best intention.

Like that widow at Zarephath of Sidon who was so kind and generous enough first to give your prophet Elijah some water and later with a bit of bread.

And you rewarded her kindness with overflowing goodness:

She was able to eat for a year, and Elijah and her son as well; the jar of flour did not go empty, nor the jug of oil run dry, as the Lord had foretold through Elijah.

1 Kings 17:15-16

Teach us, O Lord, to be generous like St. Ignatius of Loyola and make life here on earth more flavorful with just a pinch of salt.

Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous, 
teach me to serve you as you deserve. 
To give and not to count the cost, 
to fight and not to heed the wounds, 
to toil and not to seek for rest, 
to labor and not to seek reward, 
except that of knowing that I do your most holy will. 
Amen.
Photo by author, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Monastery, Guiguinto, Bulacan, 2019.

Aral ng COVID-19, I: Pagmamahal at pagpapahalaga sa kapwa

Lawiswis Ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-19 ng Abril 2020

Maraming aral sa atin
itong COVID-19
ngunit ito muna ibig kong sabihin
dahil kung mayroong mga ningning
sa gitna nitong dilim 
na bumabalot sa atin
ay ang tila pagkagising sa kahalagahan
ng pag-ibig at pagtingin 
sa bawat kapwa natin.
Bago pa man dumating
itong social distancing
matagal na tayong malamig
at manhid sa nasa paligid natin;
nagsasarili, kapwa di pansinin
nahuhumaling sa texting, 
gaming, at social media networking.
Kaya ngayon nakita natin
bagsik at bangis ng COVID-19
hindi malaman gagawin
lahat ibig dalawin
maski makipag-lamayan gagawin
mapadama lang kalinga natin.
Nakakatawang isipin
na mga microorganism
nakapagpagising sa katauhan natin
mahalin at pahalagahan kapwa natin
buhay di natin matitiyak
kung ito'y magniningning 
o magdidilim, papanaw sa lilim.
Panatilihin sa puso at kalooban natin
isang buhay hindi kayang himayin
biliangin man o tuuusin
dahil maski isang buhay lang
ito ay mahalaga at napakarami pa rin.

*lahat ng larawan ay kuha ni g. raffy tima ng gma-7 news maliban yaong una sa ibaba, kaliwa na kuha ni bb. lane blackwater nagpost sa kanyang facebook ng kabutihang loob ng mga nagpapanic buying sa isang supermarket nang mapansin ng isang babae ang kakaunting pinamili ni manong na mukhang hirap sa buhay; lahat ng namimili ay nag-ambag sa kanya ng iba’t ibang de lata at pangangailangan kaugnay ng banta ng covid-19.

Thinking kindly of others

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul

Tuesday, Week 1, Year 2, 14 January 2020

1 Samuel 1:9-20 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Mark 1:21-28

Inside our church from the altar table. Photo by author, November 2019.

Hanna replied to Eli, “Think kindly of your maidservant,” and she left..

1 Samuel 1:18

While praying over your words, O Lord, of that scene at the temple when Eli mistook Hannah to being drunk while praying intensely to you for a child, it reminded me of Taal Volcano’s restive behavior, of her spewing ashes and causing tremors.

But despite all these, Taal remains lovely and magnificent.

Sometimes, Lord, that is what exactly we need in life: to think kindly of others always.

The people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. All were amazed and asked one another, “What is this? A new teaching with authority. He commands even the unclean spirits and they obey him.”

Mark 1:22, 27

Purify our thoughts, Lord, to always think kindly of others.

To always have that disposition for silence and being non-judgmental with others to always listen to them and be open to their thoughts and feelings as well.

Like you, Lord Jesus Christ, enable us to share in the power of your words, to speak with authority by entering into that daily union with you in silence and prayers.

May we learn also from the gentle Taal: to be still and silent, to speak only when necessary so that everyone listens intently to her inner rumblings when she finally “speaks”.

We continue to pray for those severely affected by Taal’s eruptions, most especially that they may remain kind with people and nature alike in this trying moments of a major calamity.

We pray for businessmen to have a heart, to think kindly of those affected by Taal’s eruptions and stop jacking up prices of much needed goods. Amen.

From inqirer.net

Prayer to cleanse our lips

The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe for the Soul

Monday, Memorial of St. Martin of Tours, 11 November 2019

Wisdom 1:1-7 ><)))*> ><)))*> ><)))*> Luke 17:1-6

Photo by jami jari on Pexels.com

It is the start of work and school today, Lord.

Thank you for our jobs, thank you for our schools, thank you for the food and clothes we have.

Thank you very much for the gift of self and most especially for the gift of others.

Unfortunately, O Lord, they are the ones we always hurt with our painful words, and yes, with all sorts of profanities.

If our words were like swords or clubs, or even at least like thorns of the cactus, everyone of us would be beaten black and blue or worst, mangled.

For wisdom is a kindly spirit, yet she acquits not the blasphemer of his guilty lips; because God is the witness of his inmost self and the sure observer of his heart and the listener to his tongue. For the spirit of the Lord fill the world, is all embracing, and knows what man says.

Wisdom 1:6-7

Bless us today, Lord, to be like St. Martin of Tours who always spoke with humility and gentility, full of wisdom and kindness to everyone. Most of all, bless us to be like him to see you Lord among everyone and treat them with respect and dignity always.

Fill us with your wisdom, Lord, especially our public figures that they may never let speak evil of anyone and be an occasion of sin as you warned in the gospel today.

Help us to bring back decency and kindness especially in our language for indeed, “from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Mt. 12:34).

Cleanse our lips, Lord. Amen.

Prayer to be filled with Life Anew

JohnHay2
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Tuesday, 20 November 2018, Week XXXIII, Year II
Revelation 3:1-6, 14-22///Luke 19:1-10

            Lord Jesus Christ, today I feel like your beloved disciple John, receiving your revelations not about the end of time but about my real self.

            Like the people of Sardis, so often I have that “reputation of being alive but actually dead (Rev.3:1).”  Yes, there are times I merely accomplish things for you but deeply lacking with life and vitality, zest and enthusiasm.  On the surface, like what St. Paul had noted in one of his letters, I act like busy body but really doing nothing.  If yesterday I lacked love in the things I do, most likely I also lack life.  When there is love, there is always life.

            Like the people of Sardis, I would always hide on the sides refusing to walk on the main street because I do not have the drive to be with you on the way.  Like Zachaeus, I climb trees to hide from others though too eager to see you, to look at you, to listen to you.

            Give me the grace to be filled with life anew, with warmth and energy, to make a stand for the gospel, to stand for what is true and just.  Forgive me in my lifelessness that made me lukewarm in the process like the people of Laodicea who were neither hot nor cold (Rev. 3:16).  Do not spit me out of your mouth, Lord.  Like Zachaeus, give me the grace to turn away from sins and evil, to make a stand for justice and truth.

            Let your salvation come today Lord in many families divided!  Like what you did in entering upon the home of Zachaeus, smash the walls dividing many family members from one another like indifference and coldness.  Fill them with more love and life, kindness and warmth, goodwill and concern for one another.  I pray for all family members who have stopped talking with each other, those with festering bitterness and suspicions deep inside, those who continue to hurt each other in words or in deeds, in silence and indifference.  Rekindle the warmth of their kinship, of their being one flesh, one blood, one root, one family.  AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022.

Photo by the author, Manor House, Camp John Hay, Baguio City, November 2017.

LMC

“Seasons of Love” from the musical “Rent” (1996)

yellow watch on tabletop
Photo by Vincenzo Malagoli on Pexels.com

LordMyChefSundayMusic//Week XXXIII-B//18 November 2018
And Life Goes On…with Love

         What matters most in this life is not really what we have achieved but what we have become:  have we been more loving, more understanding, more forgiving?  Today’s gospel reminds us of the end of time.  It is something we must not be afraid of but actually anticipate with joy because eventually, we all die.  But we do not simply die by ourselves.  We die in Jesus Christ.  And to die in Christ is to live in love.  The moment we come to terms with life, then, we come to terms with death because that is when we start living in love.  Love is the only measure of life as expressed in this beautiful music from the rock opera “Rent” of 1996.  Enjoy your Sunday with a lot of love with everyone!  A lovely Sunday and week ahead of everyone!

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles
In laughter, in strife

In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure a year in the life

How about love?(3x)
Measure in love
Seasons of love
Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned
Or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned
Or the way that she died

It’s time now to sing out
Tho’ the story never ends
Let’s celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends

Remember the love (3x)
Measure in love
Measure, measure your life in love

Seasons of love
Seasons of love

Children of Light

MaiRothenberg
The Lord Is My Chef Breakfast Recipe-Prayer
Monday, 29 October 2018, Week XXX, Year II
Ephesians 4:32-5:8///Luke 13:10-17

            Thank you, loving Father, for reminding us on this blessed Monday to “live as children of light” (Eph.4:32) as I still remember yesterday’s beautiful story of the blind Bartimaeus, of how I sometimes live in darkness, of being blinded by my selfishness and sin.

            Help me to be kind as St. Paul tells us in the first reading.

            Being kind is the first step in living as children of light because to be kind is to consider everyone as my kin, a relative or someone not different from me.  There are times, O God, that I am blinded even by your commandments like in the gospel that I no longer see you among people most especially the sick, the elderly, and the poor.

            Thank you for being so kind, merciful Father, in sending us your Son Jesus Christ to become one of us – a kin, a brother who clears our vision that we may see more of the other person as a brother and a sister created in your own image and likeness.  It is only when we see everyone as a kindred that we begin to see you on the face of every person and start living as children of light.   AMEN. Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Parokya ng San Juan Apostol at Ebanghelista, Gov. F. Halili Ave., Bagbaguin, Sta. Maria, Bulacan 3022. 

*Photo by Dra. Mai B. Dela Pena inside St. Jacob’s Church in Rothenberg, Germany 2014.  Used with permission.