chastity formula

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for uprightness

They shall have their fill!!

A couple of weeks ago I was commanded a mission to represent my country at an international meeting. The whole process to get there was already terrible as little help is given even when they say this should be a fast process. Regardless of all the hassle I was able to be at this meeting.

Once there I coordinated with the delegation chief on the work it was going to be made. Honestly, I'm not a person who loves to support ideology, more so when this is totally detached from reality. This is the case of the topic I'm in charge. In this sense I limited myself to pay attention to the general discussion and learn, and when the topic I had interest on defending I jumped in. This lead me to a smaller working group. Needless to say that indeed I learned a lot. For instance there are many things my higher authority never shared, so this was at least a place to find out some information.

While the meeting was taking place, of course I took advantage of free moments to network. I met a lot of interesting persons, but also found out that there can be some possibilities to get some cooperation and build capacity. I came back, presented my reports and started to connect to the next thing.

Little I expected to find out that some people is gossiping and mentioning that I had my own agenda over there, as if I have done what ever pleased me. First of all I truly despise gossip. Second, what's the point of being a grown up if you can't address differences with maturity and on time?.

For a moment I was a bit shocked, but then I started to pray....and more than that, I cried for help so I reached my LMC family, my Charismatic siblings, the MC sisters... and in less than 10 minutes I realized that my Father in Heaven is right here with me.

My mom told me a phrase that makes complete sense: Christ didn't cry at the Cross. Why would I despair with an attack? And finally I pondered a lot on how much patience and humility God is asking from me right now.

So after a Rosary, I finally found the strength and started a thankful prayer. These challenges are the ones that bring me closer to you dear Father! I will be brave in Your spirit and stand firm under the false attacks.  Not my will, but THY WILL.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Chastity in Thought

Last 3 days I spent them close to one of my favorite persons in the professional area. I met Pedro 2012 through a video conference. Later, I got to meet him for real. I have not much clue who is he, except that he is able to talk biotechnology language and is really good at organizing international meetings and educating people about genetic modified organisms and so on.

It was instant intellectual attraction!
Of course all contact with him was always very professional and I never had the chance to talk other things with him. Still I had a strong crash on him. 

This time I had worked more. This time I had experience and practiced on how to focus better and get  as close I can to see people with Divine Vision. Yes it is not something easy to achieve as we usually stain our glasses with sin.

Cat tie speaks for itself
From day 1, I had to put all my effort in self control. The main reason is that I didn't want to see him as an object, but to see further and appreciate his presence as a whole human being. Granted, I still don't know much about him, but we had more chances to talk and turns out he was very kind to suggest a new alternative for my work situation. It is actually a very kind suggestion, and very thankful as a human being for that. 

Today I depart away once more. Only my Father in heaven knows if I'll see him again. But today I can also have a little happiness dance!!

For I was able through prayer, penitence and a lot of commitment with God to achieve a step more into thought chastity. Not as easy as the world thinks, but in my Father's arms it was not impossible.

This whole small-big achievement is more meaningful as today is Mother Teresa's day, and tomorrow I'll start my novice year before becoming for the first time a Lay Missionary of Charity. 

Blessed day, blessed step, blessed life that is granted for FREE, to set me FREE from the slavery of this world.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Being God's Beloved

"All I want to say to you is 'You are the Beloved', and all I hope is that you can hear these words as spoken to you with all the tenderness and force that love can hold. My only desire is to make these words reverberate in every corner of your being - 'You are the BelovedHenri Nouwen

In 2012 I was still looking for a job and ended up interviewing for Bethlehem Farm. Since there was lots of snow, there was not much to do after 6pm. Despite I had my Ratizenger's book, I was tempted and attracted to read a book I found there: LIFE OF THE BELOVED by Henry Nouwen (1992). Up to that moment I've never heard about the author and had no clue what to expect. By the end of the book I was moved and kept the thought of being part of the BELOVED in my head.

A week ago I celebrated 19 years of having received the Confirmation Sacrament, and at least 2 months ago the thought of being God's beloved jumped into my head once more. This time I gave more time to it and even took it to Adoration. I only wish I can treasure this knowledge/certainty very close to my heart with Jesus. 

Experience the LOVE
Last weeks have been hectic, but at the same time full of new encounters and in more than one occasion I found myself praising the fact that WE are God's Beloved! By helping a friend with her papers I ended up meeting her cousin who turned out to be a member of the Opus Dei. We had such an intoxicating spiritual conversation that I ended up going home at 2:30am. 

Recently I met Lupe, who recently started her path to become a LMC. What a wonderful time we shared, as if we were friends for centuries. These two ladies and other persons I've been meeting during my Catechism class, study groups and more have showed me the BLESSING that is to be in this family that God loves so much. For there are differences among us, even in the way we think or the level of knowledge we have. But it is more certain that we have something that links us above all that. And that is what I recognize now and simply smile and think out loud inside myself: IT IS GREAT TO BE PART OF THE BELOVED ONES.

Last year, giving up ALL (yes even the persons I love) and learning to trust/let myself be loved by God Father was a major step in my life. A step that seems has lead me into the patio or perhaps the first room of my interior castle, where God is my Lord and Savior. What is going on this year, it seems to be so connected to the reflections I had last  year....that I want to jump or fall down in Adoration, as these are the GIFTS that my soul was craving. 

Deeply thankful Father for SOOO MUCH you give, teach and LOVE us, your beloved ones!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Dios madre (?)

I have to translate this one as in Bolivia many are confusing terms.

Versión original en inglés, disponible en:

Como aquel a quien consuela su madre, así  (Dios) te consolará; seréis consolados en Jerusalén. Isaías 66:13
La frase "Dios madre" es cada vez más popular, incluso entre los cristianos. Este lenguaje tiene varias fuentes. En los últimos años, el paganismo y el gnosticismo, con sus deidades masculinas y femeninas, se han vuelto más populares. También las feministas, que están perturbadas con un Dios que es Padre, han intentado crear un dios a su propia imagen. Mientras que algunos pueden demasiado hincapié en las imágenes maternales de Dios que se encuentran en la Biblia. Como acotación al margen, "Dios madre" puede confundirse con el título de María, "Dios madre", que es un tema diferente.
Un ejemplo que promueve el término "Dios madre" es un libro, titulado Charlas con el corazón a Dios madre. Este libro pretende fundarse en las imágenes maternales de Dios en la Biblia. Está escrito para los niños, para que puedan experimentar otra metáfora de Dios - "Dios madre, que los ama incondicionalmente." Por desgracia esto parece implicar que los papas, incluyendo a Dios Padre, no pueden amar incondicionalmente. El libro reduce la Creación a un mero "nacimiento", donde Dios ya no crea de la nada, pero tiene una matriz. También Jesús parece tener dos madres: María y Dios madre, pero estamos hechos a imagen de Dios. Podemos rechazar a Dios, pero no podemos cambiar o redefinir Dios. Los dioses de nuestra propia fabricación son simplemente ídolos (CIC 2779). El Catecismo de la Iglesia Católica (CIC) establece:
De ninguna manera está hecho Dios a imagen del hombre. No es ni hombre ni mujer. Dios es espíritu puro, en el que no hay lugar para las diferencias entre los sexos. Sin embargo, las respectivas "perfecciones" del hombre y de la mujer reflejan algo de la infinita perfección de Dios: las de una madre (Isaías 49:14-15; 66:13; Salmo 131:2-3) y las de un padre (Job 31 : 18; Jer 3:4-20) y su esposo (Jer. 3:6-19). [CIC 370]
En otras partes del Catecismo:
Al llamar a Dios "Padre", el lenguaje de la fe indica dos cosas: que Dios es el origen primero de todo y autoridad trascendente; y que es al mismo tiempo bondad y cuidado amoroso para todos sus hijos. Esta ternura paternal de Dios puede ser expresada también por la imagen de la maternidad (Isaías 66:13; Salmo 131:2), que hace hincapié en la inmanencia de Dios, la intimidad entre Dios y la criatura. El lenguaje de la fe se sirve así de la experiencia humana de los padres, ... [CIC 239]
El Catecismo continúa recordándonos que Dios trasciende a ambos sexos, la paternidad y hasta la creación. El lenguaje de la fe arraigada en la experiencia humana nunca puede expresar a Dios por completo (40ss CIC).
En la Biblia el título de "madre" nunca se usa para Dios. En el Antiguo Testamento (AT), Dios sí utiliza el título de "Padre" para sí mismo, pero sólo en raras ocasiones:
Él (Rey David) clamará a mí (Dios), "Tú eres mi Padre, mi Dios y la roca de mi salvación." [Salmo 89:26; RSV; cf. 2 Samuel 7:14; Salmo 68:6]
Los títulos del Antiguo Testamento para Dios son principalmente políticos (Señor, Rey, Maestro) o militares (Fortaleza, Roca, escudo). Fue Cristo quien primero desarrolló plenamente el título de "Abba" para el Dios de Israel. "Abba" es el arameo para el padre y no la madre (Marcos 14:36). Jesús en el Evangelio se refiere al Dios de Israel como "mi Padre" [Lucas 02:49] y "Padre nuestro", como en la oración del Señor [Matt. 06:09; 23:09]. En el Nuevo Testamento (NT), en las Epístolas, los títulos de "Dios Padre" [Gal. 1:01; Ef.05:20] y "Dios nuestro Padre" [Rom. 1:07; 1 Cor. 1:03] se utilizan con frecuencia. Dios a veces puede describir sus acciones en términos de la maternidad, pero Moisés y San Pablo se comparan a sí mismos como madres muchas veces (Números 11:12;. Gal 4:19).
La naturaleza divina es puro Espíritu (Juan 4:24), pero la segunda Persona de la Trinidad (Mateo 28:19), también tomó sobre sí la naturaleza humana. Esta doctrina se llama la Encarnación. Dios el Hijo vino en la carne como Jesucristo. Como está escrito en el Evangelio:
... El Verbo era Dios ... Y el Verbo se hizo carne y habitó entre nosotros ... [Juan 1: 1 y 14]
(Algunas referencias a la divinidad de Cristo son: Juan 5:18; 10:30; 20:28-29; Hechos 20:28; Colosenses 2:9; Tito 2:13 ...) Jesucristo, la Palabra encarnada, nació de María como el Hijo de Dios:
Pero cuando el tiempo había llegado plenamente, Dios envió a su Hijo, nacido de mujer ... [Gálatas 4:04]
El Dios de Israel es 'Padre (Mateo 11:27), mientras que María se convirtió en madre humana de Jesús (Lucas 01:43). [Esta es la razón por la que la Iglesia Católica llama a María "Madre de Dios" (CIC 495), ya que ella es la madre de la segunda Persona divina, Dios el Hijo. María no es un "dios madre", ya que ella es humana - una criatura de Dios. Ella no es el lado femenino de Dios. Tampoco es la madre de las personas divinas: Dios Padre o Dios el Espíritu Santo] Jesús no se avergonzó de clamar al Dios de Israel como a Su Padre. Se le acusó de blasfemia y finalmente murió por esta reclamación (Juan 5:18; 19: 7-8).
Algunas feministas afirman que la Biblia es parcial, ya que fue copiada a través de los siglos por los escribas masculinos. Pero esta afirmación no tiene en cuenta los versos que muestran a Dios en términos maternos (Isaías 42:14; 49:14-15; 66:13). Estas metáforas, siendo tan pocas, se podrían haber pasado por alto fácilmente fuera de la Biblia. Por lo menos en el Antiguo Testamento, el título de "Padre" se utiliza sólo en raras ocasiones para Dios. Una vez más, es de esperar que escribas patriarcales hayan usado ese título con más frecuencia en el Antiguo Testamento. Ahora bien, si Jesús realmente no llama al Dios de Israel como Su Padre, entonces los escribas posteriores habrían tenido que falsificar muchas de las palabras de Jesús en los Evangelios. Dado que los evangelios nos llegan a través de muchas tradiciones de los manuscritos junto con varios manuscritos antiguos, esta revisión radical se habría hecho muy temprano en el siglo I, cuando los primeros cristianos, que personalmente escucharon a Jesús, todavía estaban vivos. También los apóstoles habrían tenido que mentir y luego ser martirizados por esa mentira! En realidad, estos escribas estaban más motivados en la preservación de la Palabra de Dios, que en promover el machismo. De hecho, estos escribas eran escrupulosos en cuanto a la transcripción de la Palabra de Dios de manera exacta.
Los promotores políticos del "Dios madre" entienden el poder del lenguaje. Las palabras que usamos en nuestro discurso influencian nuestra forma de pensar y actuar. Por ejemplo, si uso el lenguaje impuro, soy más propenso a cometer pecados de impureza. Del mismo modo, si usamos el lenguaje que se opone a las enseñanzas de la Iglesia y la Biblia, entonces estamos más propensos a rechazar dichas autoridades. Un buen libro para leer sobre la relación con el poder, la autoridad y la política del lenguaje es La Iglesia y la Guerra de la Cultura por Joyce A. Little (Ignatius Press: San Francisco, 1995).
En la página 148 de su libro, Joyce discute sobre Dios como Padre. Y el Dios de Israel es santo (Salmo 99). La palabra "santo" tiene sus raíces en la palabra "separado" (1 Crón. 23:13). Dios, que es Espíritu puro, tiene una cierta "separación" o alteridad a Su creación material. Esta alteridad de Dios se revela aún más cuando envió a su único Hijo al mundo en lugar de a sí mismo. A pesar de que hemos sido creados a su imagen, Dios el Padre guarda su distancia desde la materia hasta cierto punto. Por esta razón, el título de "madre" no es apropiado para Dios, ya que las palabras: "Madre" y "materia", se relacionan etimológicamente (raíz latina: mater-). Dios no es la Madre Naturaleza o Madre Tierra. También las madres durante el embarazo están biológicamente unidos a sus hijos, pero los padres están separados físicamente. A pesar de que los padres aman a sus hijos, aún existe un cierto grado de distancia con respecto a las madres. Una vez más esta "separación" del padre del niño está relacionada con la "separación" (Santidad) de Dios de la creación. El Dios de Israel es llamado Padre no porque Él es hombre, sino porque Él es Santo.
Nuestras palabras humanas nunca pueden expresar adecuadamente a Dios, que es a la vez santo (Salmo 99:9) y amor (1 Juan 4:16). A diferencia de las palabras humanas, Jesucristo es el Verbo encarnado, ¿Quién puede expresar a Dios por completo (CIC 102;. Heb 1:1-3;. Mat 11:27). Los cristianos pueden llamar a Dios "Padre" porque Jesús nos dio el permiso (Gal. 4:6; CIC 2780). De lo contrario estaríamos cometiendo un sacrilegio o incluso idolatría.
En la Biblia, Dios es descrito por muchas metáforas entre ellas el de la maternidad (Deut. 32:18;. Matt 23:37), pero nunca se llamó "Madre" en sí. Al describir a Dios, hay que reconocer los problemas de nuestro idioma. A pesar de que nuestro lenguaje es inadecuado para describir a Dios, sí influyen en nuestro comportamiento y nuestra forma de pensar de Él; Por lo tanto, debe ser lo más correcto y preciso como sea posible. Nunca podemos encontrar las palabras exactas, pero hay que evitar el uso de las palabras equivocadas.Como cristianos, no tenemos el derecho de modificar personalmente el título de Dios para adaptarse a nuestros caprichos.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Not all the times sweet and cheerful!

Not so long ago, one friend who was baptized as a Catholic asked me some questions and I said that I have a community and pray with them each Saturday. I added: "if you ever want to come let me know". She never said a word about it, and ended up "trying" a cell from one of the 32,000 evangelical churches. 

After that, I met a new friend. She is younger and shy. I noticed she has this Guadalupe medal around her neck, so one day I introduced to topic about Catholic faith. She tagged along and was eager to find out more. She told me that during her confirmation catechism, she learned almost nothing. When I mentioned that I have a community and pray with them on Saturdays, she asked when she could come. I introduced her first to the Rosary, which she wanted to learn after listening my experience with it. Not 2 weeks after that, one day she came decided and asked: Can I come this Saturday?.

So she came, and ever since she's been coming regularly. Some days she has to miss because her studies, but in general she is thirsty and wants to drink the water that only Jesus Christ can give you. Unlike my first friend, who seem to be waiting that I drag her to a Holy Hour, and who doesn't pray the Rosary, I find a welcoming field in Z (the second friend).

This has lead me to understand something. I too have remain Catholic despite it is not always all bliss and sweetness. Many times living outside my country I've tried to find a group to pray or a community, and I was not welcomed the way I would have liked. That never stopped my search for Truth. Not all the times it has been a sweet experience, not all the times I've found people that would cheer for me. Except for God. 

In His Church, I've found always a reason to remain, even after meeting other "churches". For years I had no clue it was the Eucharist. Later I found the Sacrament of Reconciliation and in some other prospections, I found Eucharistic Adoration and the powerful Rosary. No one has lead me here. True my mother has prayed many Rosaries for my true conversion, but I've discovered (in His Grace) all by myself and decided by myself to remain here. Where else could I drink from the Water of Life? Who else could Light my shadows? Where else could I find Peace and such wonderful and Merciful God?

So I will try again with friend 1, and suggest her to pray the Rosary; explain her how come I never insisted on taking her to the Holy Hour that I have with my community, because I wish that to be her desire, not mine. But as today, I'm convinced that the Rosary, Eucharist, Reconciliation and your own will are key to find the reasons to remain as part of this Catholic, Apostolic, Holy Church of Christ.

Monday, April 28, 2014

I don't want to be the best!

Last week I had a beautiful moment with a younger friend. He was struggling with the girlfriend and with no shame started to shed tears in my presence. Since we were with other persons I didn't want to draw more attention to him for he was already embarrassed. His friend said something about him and tears, seems my dear young friend is very sensitive in a world where a crying man is seen as weakness.

Next day I wrote him a note, trying to give him some support and telling him how special, unique and wonderful person he is. I actually felt like exchanging hearts that moment so his pain wouldn't affect him. Yes by Grace I was willing to suffer his tears and broken heart. This is a complete new feeling of empathy in my life. I wanted to absorb his suffering so that he may have the Joy of Christ I feel. Since not much else could be done (physically), I started to pray for him, for the girlfriend, that they may TALK and start understanding each other, with respect and patience.

After I wrote him, I had a reply. His words moved me. He said I was the best, that he appreciated my kind words and how free he felt talking to me about his issues. We have a gap of 19 years, so sometimes I recognize feelings, reactions I used to have when I was his age. His sensibility and sort of being naive remind me that I was once fragile like him. I'm not a cold person, thank God, but those features have been changed in Christ's love for better. 

But those words..."you are the best", kept on banging in my head. That same day I started to think about our new 2PopeSaints (a day before their canonization). And then while I was in Adoration, the complementary thought to his words hit me: I don't want to be just the "best"..... 

And this was not just my head proclaiming this, but my heart and soul united! 

Indeed priests and nuns are a POWERFUL sign that reminds us all the time about our future life, and Saint John Paul II and Saint John XXIII are a clear example that it is not impossible if we let God work on us. Blessed Mother Teresa was clear and these words always stay with me ever since I read them: "We are all called to be SAINTS".

In TOB words, we need to be READY for UNION and COMMUNION with God!. So even if I don't become an official one, I want to die trying to become one. Yes, now my whole existence has realized that I want to make my best effort to become a saint. What a wonderful work God does with us when we allow Him to do His Will. 

“God creates out of nothing. Wonderful you say. Yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.” ― Søren Kierkegaard, The Journals of Kierkegaard

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Top list of Priests

It is Holy Thursday 2014. It is a sunny day in La Paz, Bolivia and by now most Chrism Mass celebrations are taking place right now. I was reading a post by one of my acquaintances, where he was greeting all GOOD Priests and bluntly criticizing those who need to work on their vocation and minister. 

Honestly I find this disgusting. We are prone to see the splint in our brother's eye, but we never realize the log in ours. More so we say "Do not judge", yet we stone these men who have set a distance between their vocation and the way they act. 

When I was younger I was very much like that. I was very much like that until a year or so. The challenge came with Fr. José María from my local parish. This man found much delight in giving his homily and then collecting applause. The bad point aside from the applause? The fact that his homily was a rhetorical speech about values in our society and almost never he would address what we had listened in scripture. I was literally BORED. Eventually we stopped going there, and would rather take extra 10 to 15 minutes and attend another parish. Some how in one of the other homilies that I was able to listen the challenge came....PRAY FOR HIM!

I know I don't pray that often for him, but to my surprise a Sunday that I was running late I had to attend the celebration he was proceeding. To my surprise and rejoice he was asking people not to clap after his homily. ONE STEP ahead! Fast forward after ash Wednesday I attended a Friday mass again with him. For some months I've been called to kneel for Communion. This time with him, I was denied to receive Communion on my knees. Quite frankly, it almost seemed the priest thought I was kneeling for him!!!!! Gladly God granted me Grace to stop complaining right away and realize how much more prayer and penance he needs.

Once when I was talking to Sr. Martin (my spiritual sister MC), I told her that I had a top list of priests who had lead me to LOVE more and whose teaching is really a treasure. It is really easy to keep them on my prayer all the time. So now I'm trading lists. Well not really trading but expanding it and putting in the first places those priests I know that need more prayer and penance. After all if the #1 has my Bishop, then it is really an emergency for La Paz Archdiocese. 

May God touch their hearts, so they will burn again with the fire of Christ, so that they will again, lay down their lives for the Bride of Christ. 

(BTW, if you want to know who are my top priests, know they include our two Popes, Fr. Cantalamessa, Fr. Muir, Fr. Di Quatro, Fr. Eleuterio, Fr. Lino, Fr. Clements, Fr. Auñion, Fr. Rastislav. God keep blessing them.)