sing when it hurts – a lesson from the cherubim

“He put a new song in my mouth; a hymn of praise to our God.”  Psalm 40:1:3

REPOST from Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Life is hard. Sometimes dark. There are times when troubles pile so high we fear we might suffocate under them. We are lonely. We are scared. We are burdened. These are wintry, cold spiritual seasons when there seems to be no light, no help, no relief, no comfort in any direction.  It’s at these times, when we are most discouraged, most weary, that the angels teach us what we must do. We must SING!

Angels are actively engaged in the unceasing praise of God. At Mass several parts of our Liturgy come from Scriptural accounts of angelic worship. The Gloria begins with words sung by the angels at Christ’s birth (Luke 2:14). The Sanctus is from Isaiah’s vision of God surrounded by angels who sing, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory’ (Is.6:1-3).


Some angels are called cherubim, thought to be from the root “to mount.” The Psalms describe a majestic God “mounted” upon, or riding, the exotic winged cherubim: “And He ascended upon the cherubim and He flew: and He flew upon the wings of the wind” (Ps 18:10).

This sort of ascendance imagery is also used in fifteen songs which comprise one of the most precious and beautiful portions of the Bible, the Psalms of Ascent. Sung by the children of Israel as they ascended Mount Zion in Jerusalem during liturgical feasts, their worship was an integral part of the sweaty, joyful exertion and anticipation of arriving at the summit where God awaited.

Their physical climb up the mountain was a type, model and picture of the slow upward trajectory of the Christian spiritual life here on earth. It is a glorious, sweaty enterprise that will ultimately require our very last breath, but those same Psalms of Ascent lift and accompany us, too, up the grand, grueling mountain as we sing them in the Divine Office and our hearts ascend to God in daily prayer. 
*for the complete text, go to:  http://www.catholic.org/hf/faith/story.php?id=37673 

by Sonja Corbitt, NASHVILLE, TN 8/4/2010 Sonja Corbitt is a Catholic speaker, Scripture teacher and study author, and a contributing writer for Catholic Online. She is available to speak on the New Feminism, current events and your preferred theme. Visit her at http://www.pursuingthesummit.com for information and sample videos.

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the greatest entertainer who ever lived

“it is only bodies that are separated, but minds and hearts remain united, especially in Him, for whom the sacrifice is made of leaving all that is dearest.” – anonymous

 what an overwhelming memorial that was.  last night would forever be etched in the hearts of those whose lives Michael Jackson touched, as well as the generations to come.

mj casket

at the Staples Center, those who knew Michael Jackson as family and as friend paid tribute to this great man who will forever be remembered as the king of pop.  but then, it is an underrated title for an artist who will forever be larger than life.  definitely, he is the greatest entertainer who ever lived.  and yes, last night, i get to know the kind of man that Michael Jackson was, from those who were fortunate enough to have known him personally and lucky enough to be a part of his life.  to quote his daughter Paris “Ever since I was born, daddy has been the best father you could ever imagine.  And I just want to say that I love him so much.”  and this much i can say, he must have been such a great human being as well, to be loved and missed that much.

i knew him only from a distance; only by his songs and performances.  i didn’t have any photos, or memorabilia of him.  i didn’t have any songbook, nor any of his records.  i don’t keep news clippings or magazine write-ups, nor any scrapbook detailing his achievements as an artist. i don’t know the lyrics of some of his songs, except of course my favorites, and i don’t know much about the details of his career or personal life.  but when he passed away, i felt like someone very close like family to me had died.

12418_check-out-these-shot-of-michael-jackson-over-the-years

Michael was like part of our family.  he was there in our house even before I went to school.  he was there when I started venturing into a bigger world outside our home.  he was there when I first fell in love.  he was there when I went to college and found a job.  he was here now that i have a family of my own.  he was in my life all this time.  And only in his death did i realize that.

his music is his presence.  and now that he’s gone, i tried so hard to hold on to whatever i could.  because like those who have gone before him, i thought he’d be here forever.  now i have his greatest hits in my mobile phone, to stand as a symbol of how he’d been such a part of my life.  to immerse myself into the genius of his creativity which i should have done long before.  oh if i could only…

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as i watch the memorial last night, i realized it was not only me who had this unexplainable connection with Michael.  his person, his passion, his music.  he has such a powerful hold on all of us.  and like what Smokey Robinson had said, i am also glad to have lived in his era.  needless to say, i praise God for lending us Michael who have torn down barriers so that color, race, religion and nationalities no longer matter.  in his music, the world became one.  praise God for this wonderful soul, and this extraordinary human being. 

“if he is not with us, then who is against us.”  to all who have judged Michael harshly in the past, may you realize that one who has evoked such goodness in our hearts did not deserve to have been treated that way.  Michael Jackson deserved only the best.

so the Lord blessed him.  you are now free Michael.  where you have gone, no cameras can follow. they won’t bother you now.  from now on, there will only be peace and love in our Father’s embrace.  oh how i just wished you had seen how much you are loved.  and how much you will be missed.

michael's kidswhich reminds us to never! never! never! take anybody for granted.  let us all do as much good as we can, when we still have chance.  be it for a friend or foe, family or stranger.  even so, let us surpass the goodness.  let us give more. or better yet,  let us be the best for everyone.  we may not be the greatest entertainer who ever lived, but we can be the best human being that we can ever be.  AND THAT WOULD MAKE MICHAEL —S M I L E.

mj memorial

that’s my Michael

“The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24

young michaelthere’s no doubt about it.  Michael Jackson is the man.  based on worldwide reaction on the news of his death, there’s no denying that indeed, Michael is king.

when i read about his passing on the internet, all i could feel was shock and sadness.  although i don’t know him personally, he left a void that only a Michael Jackson could fill.

my first conscious memory of my love for music started with a tiny piece of a record player.  and there were two records that stood out from the rack. one was a local pinoy record of cinderella (?) “sa aking pag-iisa”, the flipside now escapes my memory.  and the other one was Michael’s  “ben” and “one day in your life”.  these records were played over and over again, so that at my tender pre-school age, i could already sing both songs correctly, and in tune.  thus started my unconscious connection with Michael Jackson. 

i am not really a die-hard fan.  but i love his songs and his uniqueness as a performer.  i practically grew up with his music.  Christmas was never complete without his “give love on Christmas day”. and when i was old enough for teenage love,  “she’s out of my life” was a favorite during LQs (lovers’ quarrels).  when love got deeper, it just got more romantic with ” i just can’t stop lovin’ you”. happy times were accompanied by “rock with you” and “black or white” or “pyt”.  most probably, he’s also the reason why Gary Valenciano is one of my top local favorites.  he moves and grooves muck like MJ too.  aside of course, from his deeply religious and inspirational songs.   and as i mature into a young lady, my awareness about the world’s urgent and more serious concerns were awakened by “we are the world” and “heal the world”.

his music became part of the soundtrack of my own life.  my favorite is “the man in the mirror”.  it somehow became a personal anthem of mine, believing that if ever i want to change something in the world for the better, i must begin with myself first.  it somehow gave me a deeper perspective about man’s existence.  and i knew somehow deep inside of me, that song had such a relevant impact on how i see myself in the context of being a part of the human race.

although Michael’s personal life may have sounded out of tune at times, we must remember that we have no right to judge anybody, much less someone who had made such a huge difference in the lives of many.  and if ever he had any faults, then who ever has none? so he never experienced an ideal childhood and preferred a reclusive life, so what? who can blame him for that?  all that matters now  is how his life, and his musical gifts that God had endowed upon him, had taught us. 

goodbye Michael…your music will forever live on.

michael-jackson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we too, have our own God-given talents.  are the gifts that God has blessed us with, remain wrapped and hidden? is there something too, that is unique in us that we also ought to share? something that would make another’s life more profound and meaningful?  aahhh… we would never know, unless we take a look at ourselves…  i’m starting with the lady in the mirror.

a RUBY by any other name is still as sweet

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for Thou alone, Lord, makest me dwell in safety.” Psalms 4:8

flowers111

one of the saddest realities of life is dying.  it comes in different forms and circumstances.  sometimes slowly, but more often than not, just suddenly.  there was a time when i see death as a possibility that can happen only to a generation ahead of us.  a remote eventuality for the much younger generation.  as i stand in the middle, i found out this glaring truth- that we are never too young to die, nor are we too old to live.

roobee-and-me3

she was a childhood friend, a next door neighbor, a classmate, a kumare.  we were together since 4th grade until high school graduation. we went to school together, played the same games, ate the same foods, enjoyed the same music, even shared secrets. we practically grew up together. our daily routine together changed only when we went to the university.  though she had a love life way later than i did, she got married long before i did.  she chose to be a full time housewife to her husband and mother to 5 wonderful kids.  but our friendship stayed on, though we no longer see each other that often.  we knew in our hearts that our love for each other remains.  but death snatched her away.

they say she was too young to die.  yet if we believe that our lives are already pre-destined by our Creator even before birth, so does the fulfillment of our life’s purpose, no matter how much time we have.  how we accomplish that with the given time, the Lord gave us free will to decide.

reunion1

last week, we were all unprepared.  Roobee passed on so quickly.   we never had time to say goodbye.  we could only stop and look back at all that we had shared together, and just imagine how it would be like to grow old with her.  but no matter how briefly we had her, in God’s eyes she had already completed her purpose.  what most mortals see as Roobee’s unfinished business, is now the life’s purpose of  those whom she left behind.   it would make her happy to see all of us to realize our own regardless of how many years we still have to fulfill it.

roobee1her first name was Rubira.  her childhood nickname was Rubie.  some spell it as Ruby.  when she got back from Thailand, she preferred to spell it  R-O-O-B-E-E.  but no matter how we call her, she remains my sweet and dear friend (actually there’s just too many beautiful words to describe her) who is always  in my heart.  she had so much love to give, and she gave it all away.  those  of us who have known her, are just so lucky to have received a piece of that unselfish kind of love that inspires us to also give a part of ourselves.  so that when the time has come for us to go,  love would still remain and live on.

Francis M-ang kababayan ko, bagets forever

 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.”  Romans 12:2

kiko2Francis Magalona is now being laid to rest as I write.  it’s been almost a week now since he passed on and so many praises had already been said.  honestly, the moment i learned of his death, i instantly wanted to write about him.  but what really do i know about him except at a distance?  so i held back and watched on GMA7 as everyone close to him share anecdotes of what he was, as they all knew him.

the reason why i really feel sad is somehow because of the connection that we have.  i grew up in his Bagetsera.  bagets, that’s entertainment, breakdancing, spray nets, and tusok pants.   those were the years when we were bridging the gap from the age of the young to the age of the restless.  and it was a happy era.  a carefree generation.  a joyful batch.  so that in his death, a part of my bagets life died too.

looking back, i am truly amazed about how Kiko, as he is fondly called, was able to accomplish so much in such a short lifetime.  his life, as we all see it, was a full life.  he was all over the place. no lulls, no emptiness, no gaps.  his death was an exclamation point to a statement whose message we must all learn from.  and that statement is not to take life for granted.  ours is but just a journey. and whatever we can do today to make the world a better place as we pass by, then by all means, JUST DO IT. and NOW!

morbid as it may seem, and somehow a bit funny, i am already designing in my mind a slide show which i would want to be shown in my own wake or funeral with matching musical score.  i have even joked with bhoy that when i die,  i prefer that i also be cremated so that they will always have me close to them.  because you see, cancer or without, we are all dying in a different kind of way.  but then again, all that would no longer matter to me when i die.   but what is important now, is how i shall be living the days ahead of me fully. (how i wish with the same kindness, compassion, courage and drive that Francis M had).  we just need to be prepared and remember that everyday  is a gift.  a day that leads us closer to Home, and be with our Creator for eternity. 

kikoall of  Francis’ accomplishments and passion were already enumerated in all the other articles and blogs written about him.  i think, the real message of his life  is for us to reflect it in our own.  our life shall be measured by our good deeds, the trials that we overcome and  the people whose lives we touch.  and that is what Francis M had become.  over and above the accolades, he will be remembered as a man who truly cared, a man who truly loved, a man who truly lived.  touch act to follow, but then again, as Jesus’ sacrifice would not have been in vain, so should Kiko’s death.  Kiko lives for as long as we instill in our hearts his child-like submission to our Father’s will. 

KALEIDOSCOPE WORLD
(Francis Magalona)
So many faces, so many races
Different voices, different choices
Some are mad, while others laugh
Some live alone with no better half
Others grieve while others curse
And others mourn behind a big black hearse
Some are pure and some half-bred
Some are sober and some are wasted
Some are rich because of fate and
Some are poor with no food on their plate
Some stand out while others blend
Some are fat and stout while some are thin
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most
Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin’ round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world
Some are great and some are few
Others lie while some tell the truth
Some say poems and some do sing
Others sing through their guitar strings
Some know it all while some act dumb
Let the bassline strum to the bang of the drum
Some can swim while some will sink
And some will find their minds and think
Others walk while others run
You can’t talk peace and have a gun
Some are hurt and start to cry
Don’t ask me how don’t ask me why
Some are friends and some are foes
Some have some while some have most
Every color and every hue
Is represented by me and you
Take a slide in the slope
Take a look in the kaleidoscope
Spinnin’ round, make it twirl
In this kaleidoscope world

francis2

RAP IN PEACE FRANCIS! REST IN PEACE…

Overwhelmed!

There’s always a first time! I feel so excited and anxious about doing this, you know this blogging thing. I’m not really quite knowledgeable in this field yet. but I’m excited to learn. (help!)

There are lots of reasons that motivated me to get into this.  One of them is to reach out to as many as possible, and in some way touch lives.  I have always wanted to be an angel. but I can’t grow wings so maybe I just have to make use of my gifts as a human being to be of help to others.  I’m not sure in what way, but that’s the closest I think I could get to being an angel. 

I’m a Catholic, over forty, a wife, a mother, a college degree holder, a lover of art and music, loves to cook, write, watch the news, and some tv series and lots of movies.  That’s basically me.  So if you happen to need to talk about any of these, or anything ‘alien’ to me at all, I shall be glad to hear from you.  Who knows maybe I could be of help and touch your life.  Or perhaps, be your angel on earth.