Merry Christmas and Have a Grace-filled New Year!

I would like to take this opportunity to greet you a very Merry Christmas.

I hope you’re spending the holiday season with your family, friends and loved ones.

Remember to always count your blessings and leave your past failures behind and then take the Christmas as a start. Your trust and faith in the Lord will make you a victor. Take some time to pause, reflect and share some love to the people that mean most to your life…

I am joyfully grateful for people who has made my life meaningful. May you continue to be a blessing to others.

Merry Christmas and Have a Grace-filled New Year!

Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!

Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.
St. Thomas of Villanova House – OAD Aspirants

Tabor Hill, Brgy. San Jose (Talamban), Cebu CIty
Tel. no. (032) 344-6100

Be an Altruist
visit the following websites:
http://advocateforaltruistickidneydonor.yolasite.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/thelivingkidneydonor/

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The Joy of Serving the Lord

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The Joy of Serving the Lord

MARCELINO ARCILLA RAPAYLA JR.·TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 2015

The joy of serving the Lord is a manifestation of emotion of whats happening from within. It is a fact not a word. The same emotion manifested by a child in the womb of St. Elizabeth when the Lord visited her. It is my joyous learning which was learned in one of our monthly recollection that was shared by Fr. Adel Villarojo on August 21, 2015.
To expound the subject, let me extricate one of my personal experiences. It is a fact that there is joy when you serve other. You will find life by giving life, hope by giving hope and love by giving love with other.
Moreover, when it comes to theme writing in school, nothing beats the all-time favorite topic, how I spent my summer vacation. I don’t know about in your time, but it is a fact not a word, that as soon as classes started, my first assignment in English was to write about my summer vacation experiences. When you finished your studies and started to work, summer vacations don’t last for two months anymore or else your boss will fire you out from the office. So the all-time favorite question is different and your friends will ask, how did you spend your holy week? And where did I spend it? Most of the answers from these questions are the joyous experiences at the beach such as in Malapascua Island, Bantayan Island and Boracay or in Baguio by experiencing personally of picking strawberry, riding the horse and sight seeing in pines view sceneries. Whew! But when you go back to your work places, you would not consider how much money you’ve spent. What will matter’s most is the happiness you’ve been experienced, right?
Now that I’m in the seminary, I was one of the few seminarians given an opportunity during my summer vacation. I was with a set of friends from clergy to go around, blend the nature and chilling out on the same way and amazed by the nature’s beauty in Camotes Island. All I need was to take a few minutes to stop, hear, see and feel. And then I tried to pick some flower a long the road and experience to smell the fragrance of nature, like smelling a rose.
But one of my most unforgettable experiences started during my summer vacation seven years ago, when I’ve felt a real joy being a volunteered catechist in the slum area. Serving other as volunteer is a learning experience. I suggest or recommend it to other by testing themselves in a new situations to see what truly interests them, for me, I learned and love teaching children. It gives me to experience disappointment, to fail, the chance to risk doing something you’ve never done before and to learn from it. So, I learned about myself, my values, my beliefs and my views of the world in which I live. Discovering one’s talents, learning a new skill or a new knowledge, as well as, learning about the community you’ve serving for, and better understanding the social justice issues, around you.
So, summer vacation was an opportunity for me to nurture the virtues of commitment and selflessness for the welfare of the other, but mind you, when you do this, one thing that I have discovered. There is joy of fraternal communion with others, a double effects of such altruistic act: you are helping someone to grow in values and commitment and there’s also a sense of achievement in my part as volunteer. Serving “Gasa sa Gugma” of the missionaries of Charity community in Mabolo, Cebu City, cultivates virtues. I taught the children from the slum area but I was the one learning from them of what truly life is in the slum area or dealing those children which is product of broken family. One of the hardest part of my volunteer work was the time I had to leave. The aged one would smile and hold my hands and ask when I’ll see you again or when are you going to come back. At first, like most of the world, I was only concerned about my personal interest. I wanted to do only what Marcelino wanted to do.
Through volunteerism, I’ve learned and found the real meaning of self-giving. Being in the community, it is really an important too to be open. Open to ask help, open for criticism and open to accept one’s weaknesses because by that sense, I am open to God’s grace. It is a fact that seminary formation is not easy but by giving one’s self to the formation is a never ending saying yes to my life and to my God. Hence, there is joy in serving other because God is joy who is infinite other that dwells the other.

Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!

Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.
St. Thomas of Villanova House – OAD Aspirants

Tabor Hill, Brgy. San Jose (Talamban), Cebu CIty
Tel. no. (032) 344-6100

Be an Altruist
visit the following websites:
http://advocateforaltruistickidneydonor.yolasite.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/thelivingkidneydonor/

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Searching for Meaning of Life

When a moment that my eyes open and comprehend the world where “the fusion of my horizon” is situated, I started to search the meaning of the daily struggles of my life. I am philosophizing until I found myself at the intersection of life. From there, I tried to choose which road to follow or which path to journey that which makes my life a meaningful one.

But then, the world continues to offer its allurement with beautiful promises. I grabbed them all, hoping to fulfill the longing of my heart. I enjoyed and feeling delighted the worldly pleasure offered. Later, I realized that what a world have, are just fancy, temporary, or not a lasting one. Because there is still lacking or still looking for a piece which something missing in my heart that I long for. And my life is feeling miserable and misdirected one.

According to Sis. Ando which I also agreed that the more you are aware of yourself, the more you are aware of God too. Yes, trials and adversities are opportunities to open the door of your boundary, knowing oneself by determining one’s weaknesses and strengths. But it is possible If you have an open heart.

Only in the Lord that delights my soul. This extrinsic experience with God can be known through service to others. I am aware of myself because I am aware of others. This awareness directs me to my lifelong vocation. Though, everyone is called in different vocation, but one thing in common is service to another being. Thus, to be truly human is to be happy and being happy person is being with God. When you are aware of yourself, you are aware of another being which you also recognize the presence of God with him.

In relation to this, I could sing the lyrics, which Sister Ando suggested during in one of the monthly recollection we have on July 27, 2015, which goes, “I am precious, God delights in me. I am precious, God walks with me.” Thus, I felt precious despite the problems I have in life because those are wake up call or reminder that God is there willing to carry and lighten my burden. I am precious because with all the struggles, God walks with me to find the meaning and overcome those circumstances in my life. Searching a meaning of life, indeed, is serving others with love that which is also exercising one’s freedom. To be free is to be happy and being happy is a blessing from God, because that is, an initiative act of God. Knowing oneself, actually, is a gift to know Him and to be with Him is a choice to be happy, the essence of one’s life.

Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!

Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.
St. Thomas of Villanova House – OAD Aspirants

Tabor Hill, Brgy. San Jose (Talamban), Cebu CIty
Tel. no. (032) 344-6100

Be an Altruist
visit the following websites:
http://advocateforaltruistickidneydonor.yolasite.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/thelivingkidneydonor/

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ALCON’S LAMENTATION

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.Maya Angelou

No one can please everyone, and that is, a reality of life.

A story of friendship will contextualize above.

Once upon a time, there were two buddies, Alcon and Larry. Their friendship is like true brothers.

To describe both characters, Alcon is a mature one and Larry is a young one. Alcon is a soft spoken person, responsible, and very hospitable one while Larry has this potential of being proud, energetic, talented and scholarly excelling.
They shared their own experiences in life. In reality, there is a reason why a man should pass through such empirical knowledge of the other’s learning. True enough, some philosopher says that experience, indeed, is a good teacher.

They spent their vacation wisely by exploring from one place to another. They fondly have him home hopping and having movie marathons. Watching movies on the big screen both. Out of town escapade, and visiting some friends are the usual activities that complete their summer vacation.

Larry loves to see himself doing good and documented, as the society called it, “selfie.” This guy is updated with social media every now and then. Alcon can be oftentimes found at the coffee shop with brewed coffee.

Alcon takes the responsibility for his younger brother. He reminds and gives paternal correction. This young man used this attitude to listen, but did not heed. For some naughty actions at school, Alcon told the parents of this young man. It was also a moment that this young man never talk to his buddy anymore. He got mad because he felt that this buddy intervene his life which he doesn’t like. In the story, I’m not sure if Larry’s parent does know that his son is doing gay acts. And maybe this young man is not open to talk about it with them. Larry is very good in “ninja moves,” in contrast with Alcon. Though Alcon is imperfect but being liar for Larry is normal.

So, in the story, whether we like it or not, reality check, life is not always on top. It happened that both friends are not in good terms. For the reasons that this young man got jealous with other friends if they would go with Alcon. However, Alcon never stops guiding him and taking good care of him. In worst situation, there is a point that Alcon saves Larry from the possibility of kicking this young man out at the school for escaping.

Valid knowledge of Aristotle is not only an idea, but also a sensory experience. And Heidegger, would say that every one of us is situated or thrown into the daily struggles of life. It means that every one of us has his own horizon. It comes to the point for the young man that he was not able to fuse his horizon. For Gadamer, fusing such horizon is like subject and object which subject project the horizon of the object and the object is open for conglomeration and both are willing to embrace and understanding would be the result in terms of giving meaning the present situation. Moreover, Larry tried to deviate from the moral way to his own way, focusing his own way of being gay. Alcon critiques this mentality because based on his empirical thoughts, he will foresee the possible outcome in the future that might lead this young man live into a miserable one.

Our extrinsic experiences happen for a reason, but because man has his own horizon. According to Thomas Nagel, self-preservation is man choose, in that sense, man tries to avoid pain and suffering, that neglect the true essence of it which serve as purification that shape one’s future. He becomes egoistic. According to Aynd Rand, Selfishness is a virtue. Hence, an egoistic person is selfish.

Back to the story, the stubbornness of this young man, which Alcon lamented. He hopes that every time that this young man meets their common friends, he may recall the first time he meets them. That every time this young man travels to their common places, he may remember the first time he arrived there and every time he sips his coffee, he may recollect the happy moments and sad moments with his previous friends. In some point of this young man’s life, he will say that Alcon is correct in some of his advises and reminders.

Life is a mystery. It means at some point, you cannot fathom some of life situation. I agree with Maya Angelou, when she says that you may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them that we cannot control life.

Alcon hopes and prays for dialogue or reconciliation, as well as forgiveness.

For this story, humility and acceptance one’s weaknesses are necessary to cultivate one’s life. Recognizing the human worth is one aspects to accept and recognize another human being as one among the many that need to be appreciated. As John Donne reflected on his poem, “No Man is an Island.” Because man as a social being, he must relate to one another, by this, you may not please all of your friends but you have made it to the Absolute Other. Hence, the story of friendship ended by gaining back their friendship. Despite that this young man is undergoing crisis, and I believe so that guidance, acceptance and understanding necessitated for him.

Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!

Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.
St. Thomas of Villanova House – OAD Aspirants

Tabor Hill, Brgy. San Jose (Talamban), Cebu CIty
Tel. no. (032) 344-6100

Be an Altruist
visit the following websites:
http://advocateforaltruistickidneydonor.yolasite.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/thelivingkidneydonor/

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Prayer is About My Relationship with You, Lord

God, I know that prayer is about my relationship with You. But my prayers are often talking TO You rather than listening for your still small voice. So much of my praying is asking, complaining, and telling. Forgive me, O God, and help my prayers to be praising, listening, and responding. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Marcelino Arcilla Rapayla Jr.'s photo.

Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!

Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.
St. Thomas of Villanova House – OAD Aspirants

Tabor Hill, Brgy. San Jose (Talamban), Cebu CIty
Tel. no. (032) 344-6100

Be an Altruist
visit the following websites:
http://advocateforaltruistickidneydonor.yolasite.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/thelivingkidneydonor/

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A Grateful Heart Singing For My God

A Grateful Heart Singing For My God

God, I thank You for my family, that group of friends who are never happier than when we are together. We are like flowers of different scents, together making a bouquet of loving support. Each family gathering is a celebration of other times together, never forgotten, times prized in the retelling, sacramental times. We sing familiar songs, songs made more joyous by the vigor of children’s voices, somehow sensing that they are strengthened by the songs of belonging, the songs of love. Thank you for my family, for our shared pains, and tears, and laughter, and joy. God, You made us; You love us; You set us in families. Blessed be Your holy name! Amen.

Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!

Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.
St. Thomas of Villanova House – OAD Aspirants

Tabor Hill, Brgy. San Jose (Talamban), Cebu CIty
Tel. no. (032) 344-6100

Be an Altruist
visit the following websites:
http://advocateforaltruistickidneydonor.yolasite.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/thelivingkidneydonor/

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Restore us Lord

Dear God, restore to our nation the meaning of common decency based upon Your Word . . . restore the quest for truth . . . restore the integrity of right and wrong . . . restore the true meaning of sin . . . restore us as
one nation under God . . . restore our unity as Filipinos with liberty and
justice for all. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!

Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.
St. Thomas of Villanova House – OAD Aspirants

Tabor Hill, Brgy. San Jose (Talamban), Cebu CIty
Tel. no. (032) 344-6100

Be an Altruist
visit the following websites:
http://advocateforaltruistickidneydonor.yolasite.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/thelivingkidneydonor/

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