Start of a New Year

The past few months have been quite a ride. Writing on this blog has been quite difficult, as I’ve found that emotions running high and dry are not the best conditions to squeeze out quality content.

The holidays have come and gone. Life’s chapters have come and gone. As with the more tragic chapters of any story, it seems more fitting to just close these chapters and start fresh.

And this is what I’m doing today.

Today started off on the wrong foot again. But I will always remain hopeful that perhaps I’m just coasting through a bad period in my life, and that things will start looking up again.

Upon arriving at work this morning, I opted to indulge my stormy mood and feast my eyes on visual inspirations that fed the hurricanes in my heart. These were the beautiful pictures I found on the Web taken by artful individuals.

At the end of it all, they may seem dark, foreboding and morose… but it does remind me that in the greater scheme of things, I am but one tiny piece that makes up the whole of this world. On the bright side, that means there’s a bigger force surrounding the universe that’s looking out for me. So hope always remains.

Meanwhile, I’m sharing with you the best of stormy weather as found on Google Images. Enjoy, and Happy 2011!

The Saint of Miracles

After my father passed away, I had been going through a lot of other things that left me feeling down and out for quite some time. Dad’s passing didn’t help much, but for a couple of weeks, I did find myself teetering on the edge of sanity, wondering if anything in my life would ever settle down and give me some peace of mind.

In the brink of desperation, a thought occurred to me.  Maybe I should pray.

As a young girl, well into my teens and early adulthood, I used to pray a lot. But life got in the way… my doubts about my faith and my Religion made me start losing faith in prayer.

I suppose it’s true what they say that there comes a point in time when you feel you have no alternatives or options left — so you just inevitably turn to God.

And that, I did.

And then some.

I’ve heard that there are particular Saints for particular petitions you ask for.

One particular Saint resonated with me, not just because my husband’s named after him as well… but because he was known as the Saint of the Impossible. The Saint of Miracles.

St. Jude Thaddeus. One of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ… and not to be mistaken for Judas Escariot. The Saint turned to for impossible causes.

I prayed a novena to him 3 straight times — which means 9 days x 3. 27 days of prayer while going about my normal everyday business in a desperate cry for peace of mind.

Part of this novena is a promise I made to spread the word about prayer to him, prayer to God, and prayer in general.

Whatever the outcome of this 27-day devotion, I have yet to see. Answers to prayers don’t come in the blink of an eye. But I do know that as the days go by, the act of praying has brought some measure of peace in my heart that somewhere in this World, there’s someone and something looking after me.

Below is the prayer I recited 9 times a day for 9 days, in 3 rounds. You don’t need to do 3 rounds. Just do as many as you see fit until your soul is ready to let go and trust God.

—-

Start with: 3 Our Fathers, 3 Hail Marys, 3 Glory Bes

O Holy St. Jude, Apostle and Martyr; great in virtue and rich in miracles; faithful kinsman of Jesus Christ; faithful intercessor of all who invoke your special patronage in time of need¬† — to you I have recourse from the depth of my heart to humbly beg to whom God has given such great power to come to my assistance.

Help me in present and urgent petition. In return, I promise to make your name known and cause you to be invoked. St. Jude, pray for us and all who invoke your aid.

May the Sacred Heart of Jesus be adored and loved in all tabernacles of the world until the end of time, Amen. May the most Sacred Heart of Jesus be praised and glorified now and forever. Amen. St. Jude, pray for me and hear our prayers.

Blessed be the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Blessed be the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Blessed be St. Jude Thaddeus in all the World, and for all eternity.

St. Jude, glorious apostle, faithful servant and friend of Jesus; the name of the traitor has caused you to be forgotten by many. But as the true Church invokes you universally as the patron of things despaired of; pray for me who am so miserable. Pray for me that I may finally receive the consolation and succor of heaven in all my necessities, sufferings and tribulations, particularly that of (state intention) and that I may Bless God with the Elect through eternity.

I promise you, O Blessed Jude, to be ever mindful of this great favor; to always honor you as my special and powerful patron; and to do all in my power to gratefully encourage devotion to you. Amen.

The Thing About Reunions

Just a quick random thought.

When we get together with friends of old, do we automatically revert back to how we used to be back then?

And corollarily, do our friends of old continue to regard us in the same way they regarded us back then?

The Bright Side of Adversity

I saw this image in a football blog site. It’s quite funny and charming.

Aside from alcohol and an overindulgence of tobacco, there are other things that help relieve the struggles that come with adversity. All in all, my sad story isn’t just all bad after all. There is a silver lining to adversity.

Something I realized last night while trying to battle the blues and the panic attacks is that I am quite blessed. Thrice now in my life when major adversity strikes (the kind that leaves you shaken up for days and weeks, and where you kinda never go back to how you used to be afterwards), there was always an overflowing amount of love and support from the most important people in my life. Nothing puts a relationship to the test better than when adversity strikes.

Friends. The best kinds of friends in the world who offer unconditional love and support. Who will always believe in you without even the need for an explanation. Who can sense from miles away when a text message of support is all you need to get through the next few minutes.

Family. The ones you want to murder almost on a daily basis, but when you’re at the end of your rope, they’ll reel you back in and remind you of what you’re worth. Who will pray for you, even when there are still unresolved issues on the other side.

Husbands. (I only have one, and I thank the universe with all my heart that he is my “one”). The one who will hold you when you cry, and tell you that everything will be alright. The one who will be as angry at the world in your behalf, if not angrier. The one who will take you away from your troubles for just a few minutes by telling you that he loves you more than anything in the world.

To anyone out there facing a tough battle, I hope this post reminds you that through everything in life, you will never be alone. Just look around. They may be the same people you’ve learned to take for granted on a daily basis. Most often, they are.

But I guarantee you, many times over with my life story as proof: adversity strikes and it’s tough, it’s unfair, it sucks. The world could punch you repeatedly, beat you up, tie you to the stake and burn you alive again and again while all the wounds are still fresh… but you will survive anything. Just put your trust on those around you, and believe with all your heart that this is the world’s way of reassuring you… you’re never alone.

Falling Apart and Coming Together

A friend of mine does something on her blog every Monday morning. She posts pictures with different messages. These pictures are meant to give a little pick-me-up for Monday blues.

In the peak of my slump yesterday, this photo broke through the layers of my beffudlement and disappointments:

I’m not the inspirational, kum-ba-ye-hands-up-in-the-air type of girl, but I do believe that sometimes the universe sends out messages and attempts to speak to us for whatever purpose.

So life may seem like it’s falling apart right this minute, and maybe it really is. In the midst of mind-blowing pain, there just seem to be no answers, to acceptable reasons for why bad things happen. It takes a lot to take a step back for one second and just have faith that everything – good or bad – happens for a reason.

This photo has appeared in a handful of blogs already. Among some: wifely steps, please don’t talk to me i fall in love so easily