Beauty as a Ministry

  We are all created by God in the most beautiful way. The difference of our beauty comes when people set a standard or a definition of it. Some would say that white people are the most beautiful. Others are in awe with black beauties. Many would find beauty in being skinny and tall while others would appreciate a voluptuous one. Now we get to wonder, what really is beauty in its truest sense?

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   I have been recently involved in pageantry. At first I  thought of joining because I wanted to gain more confidence and do something new in my life and explore my capabilities as well. Many girls also aim for the same thing, as for me, I have learned that I can use this as a platform to bring awareness to my advocacy, and that is, Mental Health. As what we can observe in today’s generation, we are blinded by what is pictured out as true beauty in the television and bash those who seem to not fit in the description and this is where the problem starts. Cyber-bullying, body shaming, social media humiliation and etc. This has all become worse day by  day and is causing high rates of youth depression and most of all, suicide. Because of this, I have chosen to be an instrument to make it known that our mental health is also as important as our physical health. That we must all look out for each other and not attack one another.

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   I have realized specifically that in joining beauty pageants, i do not just showcase my God-given beauty but i also inspire other girls to feel beautiful despite their insecurities and flaws. That no one should ever make them feel that they are not enough. That the truest sense of beauty is not in the physical form but it radiates from within, a heart that is compassionate and that is willing to help those who need help the most. I am not just a beauty queen, I am an instrument of beauty with a purpose.

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Ms. Iris Escalicas is a Lector in Our Mother of Perpetual Help Parish, Bajada, Davao City, Philippines

For this week…

Today’s gospel presents a rich young man who wants eternal life or union with God but unwilling to let go of the peanuts of riches. He was a rare young rich man among the people of his day. He was responsible – following the laws faithfully. He was very respectful and humble because he called Jesus as good teacher and again he was seeking eternal life with lot of eagerness. Moreover he was loved by Jesus because he is the only one who received double invitation, “go and come”. Even though the rich young man was good, he was breaking the commandment against idolatry and love of neighbor. He worshiped his wealth more than he worshiped God. Jesus thus makes it clear that a true follower who wants to posses eternal life must not only be a respectable person, who hurts nobody but also someone who shares his riches, talents, other blessings with the less fortunate. Do something beautiful for God by reaching out to others Said Mother Teresa: Do it with your life, do it every day, do it in your own way, but do it.
“You are lacking one thing”: we all have something in our lives that serves as major obstacles to be union with god. We must recognize and address it… it may be anger, holding grudges, alcohol, drugs, lust, apathy, lies, unfaithfulness, or theft.
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This reflection is shared by Fr. Christopher Prathap Stanley C.Ss.R, the Socius of our RFC community

To my Indonesian Sisters and Brothers,

(This is a direct translation from the Indonesian Version)Disaster is a reality that cannot be denied in each of our lives. What kind of planet do humans want? Is there no planet or life that can guarantee people feel comfortable? Is this a rebuke from the Creator? Or is it man himself who is too selfish with nature? Various questions come out of the mouths of humans themselves and even through social media. Who wants to be blamed?

Every journey of human life really feels close to the Creator because he feels given life with various things that make a man feel alive. It’s a thought when humans feel comfortable with their world. The human world is like a ball. And the owner of the ball is God. He really knows the ball to the inside of the ball. Whatever happens and will happen with the ball, he knows the strength of the ball. Events in the ball, I likened it to a disaster.

As a human person who has “origin” who makes it with others. This kind of thing requires a relationship with others to help and complement each other. And the most important thing is the relationship with the Giver of life. He who has life or the owner of life. The relationship is built on the basis of “faith” which is not once made but continues as long as the human being lives. Believe in your own way. What he believes to be the way to his Creator cannot be forced. The reason is because the relationship with the Creator is personal.

Therefore, various events experienced by humans such as natural disasters must be accepted that our world is a world full of mystery. Every event in our universe cannot be sure when it will happen. Keep on guard, watch and believe. Every headache, tear drops, and crying are for a reason. To ascertain a reason why this happened is still a mystery. I may say, we can imagine as far as we know. But the mystery of God we cannot be sure because we are His creation.

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Charlie Udak, CSsR. is a fifth year Theology student in Redemptorist Formation Community.

BENCANA ITU BERNAMA MISTERI (Indonesian version)

Adalah sebuah realitas yang tidak bisa dipungkiri dalam setiap kehidupan kita. Hamper setiap peristiwa hadir dalam rutinitas hidup kita. Tidak hanya itu tetapi juga kita mengalaminya sendiri. Berbagai pertanyaan dan komentar yang dilontarkan tentang alam semesta. Planet seperti apa yang manusia inginkan? Apakah tidak ada planet atau kehidupan yang bisa menjamin manusia merasa nyaman? Mengapa harus kami dan kenapa tidak mereka yang mengalami bencana? Apakah ini sebuah teguran dari Sang Pencipta? Ataukah manusi sendiri yang terlalu egois dengan alam sehingga alam menjunjukkan dirinya? Berbagai pertanyaan keluar dari mulut manusia sendiri dan bahkan melalui media social. Siapa yang mau dipersalahkan?
Setiap perjalanan hidup manusia sungguh merasa dekat dengan Sang Pencipta karena merasa diberi kehidupan dengan berbagai hal yang membuat manusia itu merasa hidup. Itu sebuah pikiran saat manusia merasa nyaman dengan dunianya. Dunia manusia itu seperti sebuah bola. Dan pemilik bola itu adalah Tuhan. Dia sungguh mengenal bola itu sampai bagian dalam dari bola itu. Apapun yang terjadi dan akan terjadi dengan bola itu, Dia tahu kekuatan dari bola itu. Kejadian-kejadian dalam bola itu, saya ibaratkan seperti bencana.
Sebagai pribadi manusia yang mempunyai “asal” yang membuatnya ada bersama yang lain. Hal semacam ini membutuhkan sebuah relasi dengan yang lain untuk saling menolong dan melengkapi. Dan yang paling penting adalah relasi dengan Sang Pemberi hidup. Dia yang punya hidup atau pemilik hidup. Hubungan itu dibangun atas dasar “iman” yang tidak sekali jadi, tetapi berlangsung terus selama manusia itu hidup. Beriman dengan caranya sendiri. Apa yang dia yakini sebagai jalan menuju Sang Penciptanya itu tidak bisa dipaksakan. Alasannya karena relasi dengan Sang Pencipta itu personal.
Oleh karena itu, berbagai kejadian yang dialami manusia seperti bencana alam haruslah diterima bahwa dunia kita adalah dunia yang penuh misteri. Setiap kejadian dalam alam semesta kita tidak bisa pastikan kapan akan terjadi. Teruslah berjaga, waspada dan beriman. Setiap pusing kepala, tetes air mata dan tangisan itu karena sebuah alasan. Untuk memastikan sebuah alasan mengapa ini terjadi itu masih misteri. Boleh saya katakana, kita bisa berandai-andai sejauh kita mengetahui. Namun misteri Allah itu kita tidak bisa memastikan karena kita adalah ciptaan-Nya. Selamat berefleksi.

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Charlie Udak, CSsR. is a fifth year Theology student in Redemptorist Formation Community.

Bishop “I Am.” RIP

He is fondly called as “I AM.”

Bishop Ireneo Amantillo, CSsR, DD returned to His Lord today at 8:25am in Cebu City and has received his crown of glory in heaven, as St. Alphonsus Ma. de Liguori promised to every Redemptorist who died in the congregation.

Bishop Emeritus Ireneo was born on Dec. 10, 1934 in Alimodian, Iloilo. He was ordained a Redemptorist priest on Dec. 16, 1962. He was appointed Titular Bishop of Giro and Auxiliary Bishop of Cagayan de Oro on Jan. 2, 1976.

His episcopal ordination took place on March 15, 1976. On Sept. 16, 1978 he was appointed First Bishop of Tandag. He was installed on Nov. 7, 1978. He retired on Oct. 18, 2001. 
(-from http://directory.ucanews.com/…/bishop-ireneo-a-amantil…/1998)

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Bishop I Am served also as Rector of St. Clement’s Community when he retired as Bishop of Tandag.

We will always remember your gentleness, your smile and your goodness dear Bishop.

Now that you are more closer with God who has chosen you to be His own, remember us and pray for us to Jesus, our Holy Redeemer!

Viva in aeternum! In aeternum viva!

From the Face book page of St. Clement’s Church – Redemptorists Iloilo 

 

For this week…

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80’s arrived at the clinic to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am. The nurse in attendance asked him to take his seat and since she was free she took time to evaluate his wound. The medico would not be free for another hour and the man was constantly checking his watch. On exam, it was well healed, so she talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound. While taking care of his wound, she asked him if he had another doctor’s appointment that morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman just said that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. While inquiring he told her that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer’s disease. The nurse asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now. He was surprised and asked him why he was in a hurry. He smiled as he patted her hand and said, ‘She doesn’t know me, but I still know who she is.’ The nurse had to hold back tears as he left, and thought, ‘That is the kind of love I want in my life.’ True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.
Fr. Eugene Lobo S.J. Bangalore, India

credit: https://msjnov.wordpress.com/