Why give?

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday in the Eighth Week of Ordinary Time, Year I, 30 May 2023
Sirach 35:1-12   ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'>   Mark 10:28-31
Photo by Mr. John Ryan Jacob, December 2022, Paco, Obando, Bulacan.
Why give at all, Lord?

Today you answer this 
"frequently asked question" 
of so many people especially
Christians:  why should I give?

Appear not before the Lord empty-handed, for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts. The just one’s offering enriches the altar and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High. The just one’s sacrifice is most pleasing nor will it ever be forgotten.

Sirach 35:4-6
There are so many reasons
why we should give but in the
wise words by Ben Sirach today,
one clear reason why we should
give is because everything is yours,
O God; we own nothing at all!

Whatever we have is yours
and the more we give,
the more we share,
the more you bless us!
Teach us, O God,
not to be selfish,
to be open,
to be generous
for we are mere channels
of your blessings and 
grace; forgive us, Jesus,
when we are like the rich man
who asked you about gaining
eternal life but unwilling to give
up his possession to share with others
or like Simon Peter counting 
whatever we have given
and shared, most especially 
what we have given up for you
as if everything we have is 
totally ours, that we owe no one
except ourselves in having them
without realizing we are your mere
stewards of whatever we have;
so often, we fail to realize 
the simple truth 
that when everyone
gives, everyone receives.
That is why we must give.

Facing God again

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Monday, Memorial of Mary, Mother of the Church, 29 May 2023
Genesis 3:9-15, 20   ><)))*> + ><)))*> + ><)))*>   John 2:1-11
From google.com.
God our loving Father,
as we resume the Ordinary Time
this Monday, grant us the grace
your Son Jesus Christ had given
his Mother, the Blessed Virgin Mary,
to "face" you again,
to be sincere and true before your
holiness and perfection,
power and might.
How sad that despite
the graces of his Cross
and Resurrection, we remain
too far from you, O God, because
we are still ashamed like Adam and Eve
to "face" you as we constantly turn away from
you in sins.
Remind us how on that
first miracle of Jesus at the
wedding in Cana when Mary
interceded for the newly-wed couple
that they have ran out of wine,
our worthless selves marred with
sins and imperfections like water
have been transformed into beloved
children of the Father,
so beautiful,
so lovely,
so noble 
like an excellent wine.

Braving the storm

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Solemnity of the Pentecost Sunday, 28 May 2023
Acts 2:1-11 ><}}}}*> 1 Corinthians 12:3-7, 12-13 ><}}}}*> John 20:19-23
Photo from manilatimes.net, 9PM, 27 May 2023.

Super typhoon “Betty” (aka, “Mawar”) provides us with some interesting insights on today’s celebration of the Solemnity of the Pentecost Sunday which closes the Easter Season after the last Mass tonight when the paschal candle is extinguished and brought back to the baptistry as we resume Ordinary Time this Monday.

St. Luke described in our first reading how the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and the Blessed Virgin Mary at the upper room in Jerusalem was like the coming of a powerful storm.

And indeed, it was a storm so powerful that have swept the whole world since then, still happening these days calling on us all Christians to be filled anew by the Holy Spirit to continue Christ’s saving work especially in these troubled times when the world is so fragmented and divided.

When the time for the Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Acts of the Apostles 2:1-4

On the other hand, we have heard in the gospel today how on the evening of the third day – that is, on Easter – Jesus came to his apostles amid locked doors and breathed on them the Holy Spirit after greeting them with peace twice. It does not really matter how the Holy Spirit came into the world, whether 50 days after Easter as narrated by St. Luke in the first reading or right on the evening of Easter as claimed by St. John in his gospel account. What really matters is the fact the Holy Spirit was given to the early Christian community who has continued to stay in the Church and in each one of us, renewing us constantly ever since. It is the same Holy Spirit alive and present in our congregations and parishes today

Photo from shutterstock.com

Pentecost is a different kind of storm we badly need these days in the Church. Unlike weather disturbances, Pentecost does not destroy but in fact builds people, specifically the Church as the Body of Christ and People of God. But, it is also very much like a typhoon in the sense that it batters us to destroy our pride and selfishness that in the process we forget our selves and start thinking of others.

The Holy Spirit is like the power of any typhoon that can shake the very foundations of our long held beliefs and traditions to give way to new ways of living and believing, opening ourselves to the movements of the Spirit that makes Jesus Christ more present in our time.

Let us allow the Holy Spirit to sweep us and the Church like a storm to enable us to see life and world in new perspectives, to find new ways of reaching out to others especially those in the margins we have always forgotten, even taken for granted.

I used to tell people that it is always after the storms when the leaves are greenest and rich soil are deposited that become seedbeds for bountiful harvests in the future. If we can allow the Holy Spirit to sweep us like a storm, then we also learn to hope and trust more in God than in ourselves, as well as in our traditions and even technologies that have prevented us from maturing as Christians and disciples of the Lord.

Every year, more than a dozen typhoons hit and devastate our country; worst, as we have seen in the last ten years, typhoons are getting stronger every year. If we apply that reality to the Holy Spirit, Pentecost is a constant call for conversion among us. And it is in this aspect that I wish to recall another news item we have had last week to appreciate the Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit.

Photo from gmanetwork.com, 24 May 2023.

While we were busy tracking the movements of super typhoon “Betty” last week, a huge fire razed the historic Central Post Office building early Tuesday in Manila. I personally felt so sad seeing the images on TV news of the Post Office building engulfed in fire having been there at least thrice to drop mail and visit the iconic edifice as part of our humanities class in college.

Watching it burned made me asking myself, “is there a war again?” because the last time the Post Office building was burned was at the liberation of Manila in 1945.

And indeed, there is another great war still raging, the war between good and evil, the war between life and death.

That is why, like the storm, the Holy Spirit is like fire in the positive sense. It purifies us, makes us stronger and more committed as disciples of Jesus Christ. Just what we needed in this time in history.

St. Luke tells us in the first reading how after hearing the sound of strong winds in the Upper Room on that Pentecost day in Jerusalem, “there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim” (Acts 2:3-4).

In the gospel, the Risen Lord’s breathing on the disciples was reminiscent of the Genesis account of the first man coming to life when God blew into his nostrils.

The Holy Spirit is life because of the fire and warmth it brings to every faithful and to the Church. It purifies our personhood into better persons to enable us to be converted into Jesus Christ.

It is this transforming fire of the Holy Spirit that we need to bring more warmth and life among us Christians who have become so cold in our faith, becoming more passive than ever with all the decadence going on in the world, even in the Church.

Indeed, as St. Paul said in the second reading, No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 12:3) because to believe in Jesus Christ is to always accept everyone as brother and sister by standing for what is true and good, protecting life especially at its weakest moments of infancy and old age.

Let the fire of the Holy Spirit dissolve the walls that separate us from each other. Let the fire of the Holy Spirit bring out her gifts for us to be more understanding and wise, being able to forge on with life with fortitude and knowledge, able to counsel those lost and weak, as well as pious and fearful of the Lord,

If fire has the power to destroy great buildings like the Central Post Office in Manila, fire also has the great power to build up not only edifices and other things but most especially people when they are open to its great potentials of conversion and transformations.

May this Solemnity of the Pentecost make us more attuned with the Holy Spirit so we may constantly be converted into better persons and Christians to sweep the world like a storm with great changes in uniting people to work for peace and like fire in having the enthusiasm to work for true development and progress of mankind. Amen.

The “finger of God”

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Seventh Week of Easter, Memorial of St. Philip Neri, Priest, 26 May 2023
Acts 25:13-21   ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*> + ><}}}}*>   John 21:15-19
Photo by author, sunrise at Anvaya Cove, Morong, Bataan, 19 May 2023.
On this final week of the
Easter Season while praying
the Scriptures, I am reminded
O Lord Jesus by your expression
"the finger of God" in Luke 11:20
when people were doubting your
healing powers.
Very clear in the lives of St. Paul 
in the first reading, then in your 
commissioning of St. Peter in the 
Gospel as well as the wondrous works
by St. Philip Neri in Rome during his
time were clear manifestations of the 
finger of God working.
In the life of St. Paul, there was
the finger of God working at his trial
that brought him to Rome to testify
for you; the same thing is true with
St. Peter who denied you thrice and yet,
it was the finger of God that brought 
him back to you and to his fellow disciples;
in the life of St. Philip Neri, it was also
the finger of God that worked wonders
that he was able to gather followers
to continue his works of bringing
people closer to God through the
Eucharist and prayers.
As the Easter Season comes
to a close this Pentecost Sunday,
help us dear Jesus to recollect 
and reflect our lives to see God's
finger in our life stories too;
open our eyes and our hearts
to find God's finger pulling things
together to make our lives a great
coherence so many times with
amusing and funny incidents,
comedies that make not only our lips
but also our hearts to smile
and experience deep joy
in you.

Our unique giftedness

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Thursday in the Seventh Week of Easter, 25 May 2023
Acts 22:30, 23:6-11   ><))))*> + <*((((><   John 17:20-26
Photo by author, Anvaya Cove, 27 February 2023.
How wonderful and
so touching, Lord Jesus,
for you to call us 
a gift from the Father.

“Father, they are your gift to me. I wish that where I am they also be with me, that they may see my glory that you gave me, because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”

John 17:24
Help me keep, dear Jesus,
that being of a gift to you
from the Father by being
a witness of your glory
which is standing by your
side at the Cross like St. Paul
whom you have called "to bear
witness to you in Jerusalem and
in Rome" (Acts 23:11).
May we always remember
this truth, our being a gift to
you dear Jesus, so that in moments
we feel so overburdened,
when we are losing hope,
when we feel like giving up,
we may forge on 
and persevere
in bearing witness 
to your Cross of suffering
so that eventually be one
in your glorious Resurrection.

Pakikiramay at paglalamay bilang pagpapala

Lawiswis Ng Salita ni P. Nicanor F. Lalog II, Ika-24 ng Mayo 2023
Larawan kuha ng may-akda, Jesuit Cemetery sa Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, Quezon City, 21 Marso 2023.

Bago pa man ako naging pari ay madalas ko nang naririnig ang tanong ng karamihan na bakit nga ba tayo nagkikita-kita lamang kung mayroong namamatay? Bakit nga ba hindi tayo magkita-kita ng madalas habang buhay pa upang ipahayag ating pagmamahal sa kaibigan o kamag-anak kesa yung sila ay patay na?

Bakas sa mga katanungang ito ang malungkot na katotohanan ng buhay lalo na sa mga nagkaka-edad tulad ko. Minsan naroon din ang panghihinayang at pagiging-guilty na kung bakit nga ba hindi tayo nagsasama-sama habang malakas at buhay pa mga yumaong mahal natin sa buhay?

Pero ang nakakatawa sa ganitong mga usapan ay ang katotohanan na pagkaraan ng ilang buwan o taon, magkikita-kita muli tayo pa ring magkakamag-anak at magkakaibigan sa susunod na lamayan nang hindi pa rin nagkasama-sama habang mga buhay pa!

Ano nangyari? Hindi na nga ba tayo natuto sa aral ng mga naunang yumao, na magsama-sama habang buhay at malakas?

Sa aking palagay ay hindi naman sa hindi na tayo natuto kungdi ang totoo, higit pa ring mainam ang magkita-kita sa lamayan kesa saan pa mang pagtitipon dahil sa ilang mas malalim na kadahilanan.

“Kaunting panahon na lamang at hindi na ako makikita ng sanlibutan. Ngunit ako’y makikita ninyo; sapagkat mabubuhay ako, at mabubuhay rin kayo. Malalaman ninyo sa araw na yaon na ako’y sumasa-Ama, kayo’y sumasaakin, at ako’y sumasainyo.”

Juan 14:19-20
Larawan kuha ng may-akda, Jesuit Cemetery sa Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, Quezon City, 21 Marso 2023.

Una, sa ating pakikiramay buhay ang pinararangalan at hindi ang kamatayan. Nakikiramay tayo upang ipagdiwang mabuting pamumuhay at magandang pakikisama ng yumao. Wika nga sa amin sa Bulacan, ang lamay lang ang hindi ipinag-iimbita. Ito ang sukatan ng kabutihan ng isang tao na siya ay parangalan hanggang magkapuyatan. Ito ang dahilan kung bakit paulit-ulit sinabi ni Jesus sa kanyang mga alagad na maging handa palagi dahil hindi natin alam ang oras ng ating pagpanaw. Alalaong-baga, mamuhay tayo sa kabutihan.

Isa sa mga paborito kong pelikula ay ang The Last Samurai ni Tom Cruise. Sa huling bahagi ng pelikula bago siya bumalik ng Amerika, namaalam siya sa batang emperador ng Hapon na nagsabi sa kanya, “Tell me how did my samurai die.” Sumagot si Tom Cruise, “I will not tell you how he died but I will tell you how he lived.”

Kaya nga sa lamayan hindi naman pinag-uusapan kung ano at paanong namatay kungdi paanong namuhay ang mahal nating pumanaw. Narito ang malaking kaibahan ng mga pagtitipon ng buhay gaya ng mga handaan at party na nauuwi lamang sa kainan, inuman, at tawanan o kantahan hanggang magkalasingan at di matunawan sa kabusugan. Minsan nauuwi pa sa away mga ito.

Ang ibig ko lang sabihin ay ito: sa patay mayroon ding kainan at inuman kung minsan pero iba ang lalim ng usapan at kuwentuhan. Lalong higit ng pagsasalo-salo – walang nagbabalot! – kasi iba ang level ng pagtitipon sa lamayan. Mayroong rubdob. Nahirapan lang ako sa isang bagay na sadyang makabago at hirap pa rin akong tanggapin. Ang pagpapakuha ng litrato sa mga lamayan. Mula pagkabata kasi aking nagisnan ay seryoso ang lamayan at dahil noon ay wala pang mga camera phone kaya asiwa ako na pumorma o mag-pose sabay ngiti kasama mga naulila sa tabi ng mga labi ng giliw na pumanaw. Maliban doon, ito ang unang kagandahan at biyaya ng pakikiramay at paglalamay – ito ay pagdiriwang ng buhay hindi ng kamatayan.

Larawan kuha ng may-akda, Jesuit Cemetery sa Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, Quezon City, 21 Marso 2023.

Ikalawang biyaya ng pakikiramay at paglalamay sa patay ay ang pagpapahayag ng patuloy nating pagmamahal at pagpapahalaga sa ating ugnayan hindi lamang sa pumanaw kungdi pati sa kanyang mga naulila. Hindi lamang tayo nakikibahagi sa kanilang dalamhati na siyang kahulugan ng pakikiramay o pagdamay, kungdi higit sa lahat ay ang ating pagtitiyak sa kanila na kahit wala na ang giliw nating pumanaw, nananatili pa rin tayong kamag-anak at kaibigan.

Pinakamasakit na bahagi ng pagmamahal ang paghihiwalay, pansamantala man o pang-magpakailanman tulad ng kamatayan. Isa itong katotohanang ating naranasang lahat dahil walang permanente sa buhay na ito. Darating at darating ang sandali na tayo ay mahihiwalay sa ating minamahal kapag ang mga anak ay nagsipag-kolehiyo o kapag sila ay nagsipag-asawa upang bumuo ng sariling pamilya. At ang pinaka-masakit sa lahat ng paghihiwalay, ang pagpanaw ng mahal sa buhay.

Gayon pa man, naroon sa kamatayan ang pinakamatinding hamon ng pagmamahal na ating ipinahahayag at ipinadarama sa pakikiramay. Alalaong-baga kapag tayo pumupunta sa lamayan, ating pinagtitibay sa kanilang naulila ang ating ugnayan, na tayo ay magkakamag-anak pa rin, magkakaibigan pa rin. Kahit mawala ang isang kamag-anak o pamilya at kaibigan, hindi mawawala ating ugnayan. Sama-sama pa rin tayo hanggang sa kabilang buhay kung saan magiging ganap at lubos ating mga ugnayan sa Diyos kay Kristo Jesus.

Kitang-kita ang ugnayang ito na hindi kayang putulin ng kamatayan sa paraan ng ating pagpapaalam. Walang nagsasabing “aalis na ako” o “lalayas na ako” maliban kung siya ay galit. Kapag tayo nagpapaalam saan man, ating sinasabi palagi ay “mauuna na po ako” gayong wala namang susunod sa ating pag-alis. Atin ding sinasabi bilang pamamaalam ang “tutuloy na po ako” e lumalabas nga ang isang nagpapaalam paanong tutuloy?!

Ang mga ito ay tanda ng pagtimo sa ating katauhan ng katotohanan ng kamatayan at buhay na walang hanggan. Sinasabi nating mauuna na ako dahil batid natin lahat ang katotohanan na una-una lang sa kamatayan. Gayon din ang pagsasabi ng tutuloy na ako tuwing nagpapaalam kasi isa lang ating hahantungang lahat, ang buhay na walang hanggan sa piling ng Diyos sa kalangitan.

Larawan kuha ng may-akda, Bolinao, Pangasinan, 19 Abril 2022.

Kaya hindi rin kataka-taka minsan kung kailan pumanaw at nawala na ang isang mahal sa buhay saka lumalalim ating ugnayan. Iyan ang ikatlong biyaya ng pakikiramay at paglalamay, ang pananatili ng pag-ibig. Higit nating nadarama lalim ng ating pagmamahal kanino man kapag siya ay pumanaw na. Ito yung hiwaga ng aral ni Jesus sa bundok, “Mapapalad ang mga nahahapis, sapagkat aaliwin sila ng Diyos” (Mt.5:4).

Mapapalad ang nahahapis dahil una, sila ay nagmamahal. Sabi ni San Agustin, kaya tayo umiiyak kapag namatay ang isang mahal sa buhay kasi tayo ay nagmamahal. Masakit ang mawalan at hindi na makita ang isang minamahal.

Higit sa lahat, mapapalad ang nahahapis dahil silay ay minahal. Iyon ang pinaka-masakit sa pagmamahal. Matapos maranasan ikaw ay mahalin, saka naman siya mawawala sa piling. Ngunit iyon din ang pagpapala. Kaya masakit mamamatayn kasi nga tayo ay minahal. Sabi ng isang makata, “kung ikaw ay mayroong pagmamahal, ikaw ay pinagpala; kung ikaw ay minahal, ikaw ay hinipo ng Diyos.” Tuwing tayo ay nakikiramay, naglalamay, ating ipinahahayag ating pagmamahal gayun din ang biyaya na tayo ay minahal ng pumanaw.

Tama si San Pablo na sa kahuli-hulihan, lahat ay maglalaho at tanging pag-ibig lang ang mananatili (1Cor. 13:13). Gayon din ang inawit ni Bb. Cookie Chua sa Paglisan.

Kung ang lahat ay may katapusan
Itong paglalakbay ay makakarating din sa paroroonan
At sa iyong paglisan, ang tanging pabaon ko
Ay pag-ibig
Ay pag-ibig
Ay pag-ibig

Manatili sa pag-ibig ni Kristo! Amen. Salamuch po.

Larawan kuha ng may-akda, Bolinao, Pangasinan, 19 Abril 2022.

Choosing what is difficult

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Tuesday in the Seventh Week of Easter, 23 May 2023
Acts 20:17-27   ><))))*> + ><))))*> + ><))))*>   John 17:1-11
Photo by author, Anvaya Cove, Morong, Bataan, 19 May 2023.
Lord Jesus Christ,
give me the courage and
strength to choose what is
most difficult
in order for me to follow you
more closely.
It is in choosing 
the most difficult
that we are able to
follow and do your
most holy will, Lord;
it is in the most difficult,
in the most painful,
and in the most trying
when we become truly selfless,
being able to give ourselves to you, 
through others
like your great apostle
St. Paul.

“But now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem. What will happen to me there I do not know, except that in one city after another the Holy Spirit has been warning me that imprisonment and hardships await me. Yet I consider life of no importance to me, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to bear witness to the Gospel of God’s grace.”

Acts of the Apostles 20:22-24
How ironic, dear Jesus
that in this age when
the instant and easy ways
are glorified and desired much
especially when they bring
fame and wealth,
the more our lives
have become empty
of meaning and 
lacking directions.
Keep me close to you,
Jesus, especially
to your Cross
for it is through
your suffering and
death we also enter
eternal life in you.

Keeping the love alive

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Friday in the Sixth Week of Easter, 19 May 2023
Acts 18:9-18   ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'> + ><]]]]'>   John 16:20-23
Photo by Mr. Mon Macatangga, 12 May 2023.
Dearest Lord Jesus,
thank you very much for this
week about to close,
thank you for this Friday
before the Solemnity of your
Your words today are very
encouraging, inviting us to
keep on working in your vineyard,
to keep your love alive amid the many
sufferings and trials in this life.

Jesus said to his disciples: “Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices; you will grieve but your grief will become joy. When a woman is in labor, she is in anguish because her hour has arrived; but when she has given birth to a child, she no longer remembers the pain because of her joy that a child has been born into the world.”

John 16:20-22

What a lovely description of joy,
Lord Jesus!
So encouraging to keep us going 
in your mission of proclaiming your gospel,
so encouraging even without you appearing
to us in a vision like with St. Paul 
at Corinth to become witnesses 
of your loving presence and service
to one another.

Remind us, dear Jesus,
to never look for numbers in measuring
the results of your mission;
true joy comes from the life
we bring forth into this world
like a mother giving birth to a child;
keep us simple in our goals today
in giving life, in keeping the love alive
through simple gestures of a smile,
a handshake, a pat on the shoulder,
a hi or hello to anyone,
a thank you and welcome,
a joke that tickles the bone.
Enable us to become your
loving presence to those grieving
today in silence while the world rejoices;
through us, may they experience
life and joy in you,
dear Jesus.

Everytime You Go Away (1980) by Hall & Oates

The Lord Is My Chef Sunday Music by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II, 15 May 2023
Photo by author, Jesuit Cemetery at the Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, Quezon City, 21 March 2023.

Hello dear friends! After almost a year of absence, we are back with our featured music we find related with our Sunday Mass gospel yesterday when Jesus told his disciples to keep his commandment of love as he prepared them for his approaching Passion, Death, and Resurrection leading to his Ascension.

In our homily, we have reflected that loving entails suffering.

And the most painful suffering in loving is when our beloved leaves us, whether temporarily or permanently like in death (https://lordmychef.com/2023/05/14/loving-living-leaving/) or infidelity of a partner in any relationship.

The song “Everytime You Go Away” captures that pain of leaving, of being left behind by a beloved because every leaving tears him apart as she takes a piece of him.

And everytime you go away
You take a piece of me with you
And everytime you go away
You take a piece of me with you, you

Sharing with you that part of our homily yeterday:

“Leaving is the most painful part of loving because every time a beloved leaves us, he/she takes a part of us, leaving us hollowed for the rest of our lives. The pain remains, leaving a hole in us. We merely transcend and move on but that hole remains. This is where loving and living become most challenging, most beautiful as they lead us to more amazing revelations as Christ had promised: “And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and reveal myself to him” (Jn.14:21).

When we continue to love and live despite our loved ones leaving us, we soon realize that life is actually more of a series of coming than of leaving. When children leave home to go to college, they come to new sage in their lives; when they get married and leave home, they come to form their own family too! When a beloved leaves us in death, he/she comes to eternal life.

Meanwhile, we who are left behind live on, loving amid the pains of a beloved’s leaving, risking and hoping in love. That is when new things open up for us as we slowly discover many other things that do not necessarily replace the one we love and left us but actually make them more present in their absence. That is because we sooner or later find out that we have become like the ones we love who have left us! We are slowly transformed by their physical absence because their leaving had pushed us to love more that in the process, we have become like them. Is it not that is the reason of love, that we become like the one we love, be it God or another person?”

Everytime You Go Away was composed by Daryl Hall in 1980 that was included in their studio album Voices with John Oates. It was covered by Paul Young in 1985 and became an instant hit worldwide.

We prefer the Hall & Oates original not only because we are a big fan of the dynamic duo ever since the 80’s but we find Paul Young’s version so pop and light, even cheesy. Daryl Hall’s version is still the best, so heart-felt rendition as you could feel his soul in his impressive vocals that are so powerful yet, so lovingly muy simpatico! Here is a man truly in love despite the pains and hurts by his girlfriend’s leaving and infidelity. Worth mentioning too are the great instrumentations so characteristic of every Hall & Oates music that are mostly considered now as classics.

Hear now and listen to Hall & Oates’ Everytime You Go Away… fall in love again despite the loss.

We have no intentions of infringing into the copyrights of this music and its uploader except to share its beauty and listening pleasure.

Praying not to quit

The Lord Is My Chef Daily Recipe for the Soul by Fr. Nicanor F. Lalog II
Monday in the Sixth Week of Easter, 15 May 2023
Acts 16:11-15   ><)))*> + ><)))*> + ><)))*>   John 15:26-16:4
Photo by author, Jesuit cemetery, Sacred Heart Novitiate, Novaliches, Quezon City, 21 March 2023.
Dearest Jesus,
this prayer is for those
who are about to quit,
for those who feel like giving up,
for those losing hope and
meaning in life because of
failures and disappointments,
of sickness and medical conditions,
of all kinds of brokenness.
Send them your Holy Spirit, Lord,
to touch their hearts and souls,
to enlighten their minds and their hearts
that they are loved,
that nothing happens in life without
your knowing,
and most of all, setbacks are temporary;
not all days are bright
and shiny!
Console, dear Jesus,
those at the edge of giving up
their dreams and goals,
of giving up in life;
let them see the beautiful journey
they have taken even though marred
and punctuated with losses
and defeats; 
give them strength and courage 
to move on, to forge on,
to persevere like St. Paul;
give them breaks to lighten their loads,
to put smiles on their lips,
and deep sighs of relief
with little moments of grace
and consolation. 
For those undergoing different
forms of persecution in life,
keep them strong testifying
and witnessing to your truth, Jesus;
despite the many oppositions 
and darkness we face in life,
let us still choose
love because it is stronger than fear,
life which is stronger than death,
hope that is stronger than despair;
let us choose you always, dear Jesus,
because it is always worth the risk
in following your Cross.