11:26 PM

Discovering Daily Grace

Posted by Prosy Delacruz

“I was with God all day. He was with me when I woke up at 530 am to greet the sun. He was with me when a generous, disabled man had a wrench and fixed the car’s flat tire, on our way to catch the ferry. He was with us when we missed our 10am ferry, only to find out a 1045 am special, only for that day. He was with us when we met the priests in Catalina Island, getting there after a mishap. He was with me when I got lost in a postcard shop, and located my companions not much later in a restaurant by the sea, when the cell phones did not work. He was with us when we took a chance to drive with an ailing tire yet, got home safely. God was with me and all four priests, all day and night. ” Fr. Camilo Pacanza.

When I heard this story from Fr. Camilo, I enjoyed it so much, I retold the story over and over. I then realized that my faith in God is equally strong. I expect abundance now that my dreams will come true, if I work hard to fulfill my dreams, a step at a time.

But, I had not expected God to make things right: down to the flat tire, down to the special ferry ride to Catalina Island, down to even the ailing car tire which sustained Fr. Camilo and his companion priests. He related it with such gusto, that I could still imagine how he greeted the sun, how the sun’s rays touched his face, but also warmed up his heart to say Mass, then, to drive an hour away in traffic, to navigate over the St. Tomas Bridge (which by the way, is also the same bridge where folks get lost, as the tale goes). Yet, Fr. Camilo and Fr. Rodel and two other priests found their way to see Catalina Island, and Fr. Camilo’s dream came true.

How does one acquire such a deep faith that anything from God is for the asking? I had stopped asking God, a friend, C, once told me. For everything I asked, He gave me. Instead, she is grateful for each breath and each day. She is a successful woman, and sometimes, she gives away portions of business profits, as gifts to the community.

Not J. J is a loving mother of a teenager, who recently lost her fiancée. She works hard at two jobs, her hospital career job and a business she created to share her skills. She shared her prayer, one Sunday Mass: to have a God-loving man as her life’s companion. After mass, she drove home. At a stoplight, she glanced to her right, and the driver of another car smiled. She smiled back. Off to another stop. The same driver followed her and smiled a second time. He then rolled down the windows, “ Are you J who went to this church sometime ago? “

She was surprised. How can he know this about her past? “ You were wearing this ribbon-accented dress ”, he said. “He paid attention to my dress? He is that much into me? God, you are answering my prayers, now? That was just minutes ago. she reflected. “ Indeed! For J and her newly ‘bumped into friend’ are ‘slowly’ dating, building up to a long-term relationship! To her friends, she said “ Be careful what you pray for, for they will just manifest! “

Yes, “ Ask and it is given! “

I shared my own prayers with J: to find a smart, intelligent, loving, community-oriented spouse 33 years ago. I told J that God gave me that spouse and he is all those. But, since I did not ask God to give me a man who will not try my patience, and God knows I have no patience, He gave me a spouse who pushes my buttons, for my patience or my anger or my frustration to be revealed each time.

I do have a real choice though, it is for God’s grace to be revealed in me or not.

Here is what happens. When I choose to be unforgiving, when I choose to react to my husband’s naughtiness, I lose literally all of God’s grace for almost two weeks: no parking spaces in any buildings I drive to, cranky folks to exchange pleasantries with, appointments cancelled, inability to write, even a power struggle with more nasty and dishonest folks, pipes breaking, literally all at once.

If I choose patience and love to be, I receive more grace: available parking spaces, errands done smoothly, strangers to connect to and to share stories with, an inspired writing day, blessings manifest and invitations from friends to be with them. It feels like a glorious, spring day, perfect for high tea and scones!

When I chose to give love and compassion, I get more of the same. It takes work to be all that, all the time: to be loving, to be affectionate and to harvest the goodness in folks, rather than their weak points!

But, in turn, God’s sacred space is what I consciously operate from, and away from an unconscious, reactive, difficult life which creates tensions and frustrations! My husband jokingly says that God has a sense of humor, that he was given to me for my God’s purpose, to create more patience in me! We laugh, we hug and we simply just be!

It is time to let God in, as if a fresh wind, as if a fresh ray of the sun to warm one’s cheeks, as if a Good Samaritan who changes Fr. Rodel’s car tire, as if a human GPS ( global positioning system ) to point the way for others. Yes, we are all connectors, but we must choose His love to manifest in our daily actions!

Ask and it is given! Thank you, Fr. Camilo and Fr. Rodel, and May God bless Immaculate Heart of Mary Church with more blessings, and with renovated structures, to last seven generations to come, in time and on time for its Jubilee!


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