Sunday, March 29, 2009

Living without arms

I haven’t written for long time (again!). It was partly because of my moving back home and the adjusting process I was suffering. This time, I did suffer deeply… it’s amazing it had to be that tough when it’s supposed to be my own country! LOL

Anyway, that’s another story…

However, this past Saturday I got one of the best lectures I’ve ever had about life. I drove my mom, an uncle and a couple of aunties to a small town near to Guadalajara called Amatitan. Amatitan is the real town where Tequila was first produced by the indigenous people of this region, several centuries ago, before the arrival of the Spaniards to our territory.

Well, in this town I met a family, friends of my mom, who recently moved to this town from Guadalajara. The old couple had a son and 2 daughters, all of them married. But I’m gonna talk about the son only because he was the teacher who gave me this lecture about life.

This man, named “Tavito” (the short name of Gustavo), is only around 33 years old. He lost both of his arms in an accident when he was 21 years old. He was working for the Federal Commission of Electricity. Unfortunately, he had the bad luck to be at the wrong time and at the wrong place and he got electrocuted. After the shock, he woke up in a hospital and he realized that both of his arms were totally burned. They had to cut them off if he wanted to survive.

He told me that as soon as he woke up, the very first thing he did was realizing that he was breathing and therefore, he also realized he was still alive. From that moment on he started a new and challenging life, a life worth living and a life that wouldn’t be easier than before. Then, he realized he had committed a mistake while working and he immediately apologize to his dad, who used to work with him at the same place. The father was shattered and he couldn’t do anything but embrace him and cry out loud. But this was just the beginning of a better life…

Tavito doesn’t allow himself to get depressed. After so many years of real struggle because of his physical limitation, he is still optimistic, an outspoken and friendly person. He is well known around the town and now he is even running for Mayor of Amatitan. Whether he’ll succeed or not, that doesn’t really matter. What really matters is his strong temper and his amazing will to live and never give up.

Tavito taught me that life isn’t about capacities, but will. It is also about humility to recognize that one alone can do nothing (and it’s even more shocking when you cannot even eat by your own). We live in a community and we cannot be excluded from it. We must recognize that together we can overcome any obstacles that we encounter on our way... alone, it’s possible, but more difficult.

Life is short and must be lived at its fullness. We have no assurance that we’ll be alive by tomorrow… tempus breve est – time is short. What is life but an opportunity to love and be loved? I saw this materialized in this man’s wife, who after so many years of marriage they are still together, she helps him out all the time and you can see that by this mutual sacrifice, they are more united than ever.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A precious treasure

I haven’t written for a few days, already. Honestly, I had no inspiration or anything interesting to share with you.

A couple of times a month, in the Church I normally attend my Sunday Mass, I serve as a lector. Today, the reading I had to do was from St. Paul. Probably he is the one whom I identify most from the writers of the Bible. I love his temper and character. He is such a powerful man, full of energy and love for Christ, but at the same time he learns from his weaknesses and is humble enough to amend his mistakes.

Today’s reading was really moving to me. I felt as if I had written those words I was speaking aloud in front of my fellow parishioners. I copy the text for you below:
I speak the truth in Christ, I do not lie; my conscience joins with the holy Spirit in bearing me witness that I have great sorrow and constant anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and separated from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kin according to the flesh. They are Israelites; theirs the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; theirs the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, is the Messiah. God who is over all be blessed forever. Amen.”
Rom. 9, 1-9

I just put in bold the phrase that really shocked me from the text. Why? You may ask if I am constantly depressed. Probably I was… before. A few years ago, I found light on my path and I decided to change for my own sake. And I discover the world of love which transformed me deeply and it is still changing day-by-day.

Yesterday on my way outside, I had my Ipod on and was listening to some relaxing music while walking. I felt as if I was flying and not walking. I was totally transported into a different reality for a few moments. I saw the faces of all the people around me, full of sadness, anger, depression, emptiness… probably only a few of them reflected a great inner peace and joy. The majority were totally absorbed by their duties… running from place to place, shouting, busy on the phone, fighting against each other in the middle the crazy traffic of my town… and there I was, floating and watching with a new vision. I simply shut up my mind and my mouth… there were no more thoughts or ideas…

When I finally woke up from that kind of trance, if you want to call it like that, I felt sorrow and pity for them. I am not better than them, but I found in my life what they all lack of. I got a precious treasure and I don’t want to change it anymore, because that brings me life and hope. I don’t feel like going back to what I was, a seeker of the unknown right in the darkness.

Probably this post might sound strange or difficult to stomach for some of you. Even myself I find it kind of pointless. But probably He wants me to write this to make you think and apply it to your personal situation.

Life is so full vanities and vain things… We can make it different! We can change the nature and the dimension of things. Love is the matter of this new reality, the substance which transforms things and brings us into a new world. Freely is given to you, but it is up to you whether to choose it or not.

Therefore, I encourage you all to keep tracking it, wherever it may be. Look for it earnestly and once you find it, don’t let it go. If you are hungry for it, you are already on the right path...

Striving for Love,

Monday, August 4, 2008

Is love painful?

Have you ever thought why when we love, there’s some sorrow? It may sound paradoxical, right? Well, apparently, it is not! Love and sorrow come together as a double deal at the same price.

I thought about this subject because of what a friend told me this morning: “how come to love we must always suffer?”

I was reflecting on this matter and there are 2 points under consideration:

  • Firstly, we may suffer when the love we purse is real and pure. On the way many difficulties will arise, but that’s a good sign! If this love is valuable, for sure the “enemy” as well as some evil-doers will try to step on our way to avoid us to reach our goal. Perseverance, as I stated in another post, it’s a matter of moving on day by day and getting better a bit more each day. It may be tough, but as many say: “no pain, no gain”. But there is something else to emphasize: despite the difficulties, the pain or suffering is always accompanied by inner peace and self-satisfaction because we are accomplishing God’s will.

  • Secondly, we may suffer when the desired love is selfish. What do I mean by this? Well, as simple as this: when we want something to satisfy our pride or our emptiness, then is when love turns out to be evil. I’m not saying that love can be evil at times. Love is always good, because the fountain of love is God, who is virtue himself. But love in human hands can be wrong when it serves to our own pleasure and not with a desire of self-giving or with a generous spirit. That’s the reason why sometimes, love seems to be so painful. However, the suffering in this case is full of anguish, bitterness and even hopeless.

Loving is a task to be performed and perfected as time goes by. No one knows how to love, but we all have the potential to do so. We are sons of the most pure Love; therefore, our nature is already positively affected by it. Let’s strive for love, and let love to transform us.

Striving for love,



So many times we, believers, question about the existence of Heaven. But parting from a basis where we all believe it, we may ask ourselves at times how it looks like.

There are some descriptions given by supposed witnesses, who had died and came back to Earth for some strange reasons… others say they had received special revelations of it. Whatever the description or source of them, I do believe that the reality of Heaven must be different for each person, according to the quality of life and the merits received for it.

In the Divine Comedy, from Dante Alighieri, there’s a description of Heaven as if it were a series of concentric circles in different levels, based on the heroism of their lives on Earth. I don’t believe it’s like that. I think it’s more like different worlds. Probably for those who suffered more on Earth, life must be more joyful on Heaven.

If we consider this, we should feel a higher responsibility to live more in accordance to the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that every single act counts.

Fidelity is a daily task. How many times before bed we recounted our day and didn’t see any goodness in our acts; only wrong doings and crooked intentions? Well, even if so, we must procure to do better the following day, trusting God deeply and knowing that in His infinite love and mercy, He forgives and gives a new opportunity to start again in every new day.

The reflection now would be: how am I living? Am I doing the best to build up the reality of Heaven that God wants for me? I believe that the responsibility is not God’s, but our. We will obtain what we deserve for the merits of this life. The important thing is to rectify now: one day at a time and every time a bit more. This is the only way to reach the reward promised by our Good Lord to each one of us.

Striving for love,


Sunday, August 3, 2008

A universal language…

This past weekend I had the chance to visit a small town in Zhejiang Province, here in China. It is called: TienTai. The town itself is practically insignificant, but it is surrounded by wonderful natural places, which are actually some of the National Parks of China in this province. I was with a colleague from work, a Chinese guy.
My Chinese is worst than ever (spoken), but I can understand a lot, nowadays (which makes me feel very proud!). During out trip, we met some of my friend friends from TaiZhou, a place near to TienTai. There were an old couple, their son and their little grand-daughter.

First, we went to the mansion of a rich old Chinese guy, from Qing dynasty (apparently he was very close to the Emperor). Afterwards, we visited a Temple, where I wanted to stay because of the peaceful atmosphere; then a forest with a beautiful waterfall, where it rained heavily for an hour or so; and finally, we ended up at the most wonderful place I have seen in China up to now: a national park with a huge cliff.

The place speaks by itself. It was astonishing just sitting there in the middle of a small peak and surrounded by a great canyon while admiring the sunset. I was speechless! When I went up again to the place where the old couple was standing (because we had to go downhill to reach that peak in the middle of the gorge), I told them with my poor Chinese and lots of signs that I loved the place. What I could understand from them was that in another province (Anhui), there’s an even better park than the one we visited (I cannot wait to go there!).

During the trip, we hardly talk to each other, unless we had my friend as translator. However, we got along pretty well. I wonder what it was: the facial expressions, the signs, the general attitude… but they liked me and I liked them, too. At the end of the trip my friend told me they were very pleased to meet me and that I would be most welcome to go there again.

I decided to title this post “A universal language”, because the more I relate to other cultures, the more I realize we all have the same “operative system” written in our souls.

Sometimes, we can speak with words, but they could say almost nothing… or we can speak with the mouth of our heart, and it could say thousand beautiful things that will be able to touch every single soul we encounter on our way. It all depends on us to make it pleasant or sorrowful to others. I definitely go for the former one!

Striving for Love,


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Impressions from the WYD 2008

Firstly, I want to apologize if this post is extremely long, but the event itself was great enough to write an entire website of it. LOL

Probably there is no farer place on earth than Oceania (at least seeing it from a perspective of inhabitants of the northern hemisphere)

Despite the distance, there we were nearly 500,000 people from different races, languages, cultures and origins, united for the same cause: hearing the words of hope and love from the Pope Benedict XVI.

What a wonderful place! Sydney is not just literally beautiful in its geographical constitution and location, but it is full of gorgeous and kind people, always willing to help you out.

The atmosphere was awesome! You could feel a great energy all around. I guess many of the Aussies got deeply moved with our fervor and happiness during those few days of the WYD week.

Following, I will try to write down the most striking ideas that I personally liked from the messages of the Holy Father in Sydney:

    • “We must allow the love of God to penetrate our hard shell of indifference, of our spiritual dryness, of our blind conformity with the spirit of our time. Only then, we can allow Him to light up our imagination and to engrave our deepest desires. Therefore, prayer is very important: daily private prayer in the tranquility of our hearts and in front of the Most Holy Sacrament and the liturgical prayer in the heart of the Church”.

    • “Young people: what will you leave to the next generation? Are you building up your lives on a solid basis? Are you living your lives sparing some space to the Spirit in a world that pretends to forgive God or even to reject Him in the name of a false concept of freedom? How are you using the gifts that had been given to you, the “power” of the Holy Spirit that is to be poured out on all of you?”.

    • “A new generation of Christians is called to contribute to the construction of a world where life can be received, respected and cared carefully; not rejected or seeing as a threat and therefore, destroyed. A new era in which love is not eager for selfishness, but a pure, faithful and sincerely free love; open to the others, respectful for its dignity. A love which promotes its wellbeing and which shines with happiness and beauty. A new era in which hope frees us up from superficiality, apathy and selfishness that hurts our souls and poisons the human relationships”.

    • “My dear young friends, the Lord is asking you to be His prophets in this new era, messengers of His love; being able to bring all the people to the Father and to construct a future of hope for the entire humanity”.

    • “Do not be afraid to say “yes” to Jesus, to find out your happiness in doing His will, giving yourselves completely to reach holiness and using your talents to service

    • “There is more happiness in giving than in receiving. Never doubt of the truth of our Lord Jesus’ promises, in which we receive afterwards everything that we give (our creativity, our resources, our people), in abundance”.

    • “The real source of freedom is in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. Christians believe that He reveals in fullness the human potentiality to grow up in virtue and in
      Good. He frees up from sin and from the darkness”.

    • “The authentic love is certainly good. When we love we are fully human. But often it is believed to love someone when in reality they tend to possess or to manipulate the other. Sometimes, other people are treated as objects to satisfy their deepest needs. It is so easy to be deceived by those many voices in our society which sustain a permissive focus of sexuality without paying attention to modesty, self-respect and moral values that confer quality to human relationships”.

    • “We can fall into temptation by reducing the life of faith to a mere sentimental issue; therefore, weakening its power of inspiring a coherent vision to the world and a rigorous dialogue with the many visions that compete in the conquest of minds and hearts of our contemporaries”.

    • “Walk each day before the Light of Christ, through your fidelity to the personal and liturgical prayer, nurtured by the meditation of the Word, inspired by God. May the daily celebration of the Eucharist be the center of your life!”.

    • “The Holy Spirit! His function is this: to accomplish the work of Christ. Enriched with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, you will have the strength to go further, farer from the partial visions, from the empty utopia, to offer coherency and certainty to the Christian testimony”.

    • “Love has a particular characteristic: its aim is to remain. By nature, Love is lasting. The Holy Spirit offers love to the World; love that dissipates uncertainty, that overcomes the fright to be deceived by eternity itself; the true love that incorporates us to the reality that remains”.

    • "Being fully alive is to be transformed from the inside, being open to the power of God’s love. If you receive the power of the Holy Spirit, then you will also be able to transform your families, your communities and the nations. Free up those gifts! May wisdom, intelligence, strength, science and piety be the signs of your greatness!”.

    • "Christ offers more; He offers everything. Only Him, who is the Truth, can be the Way and therefore, the Life”.

    • "We must remain faithful to the yes with which we accepted the offer of friendship from the Lord. We know that He will never abandon us, that he will always maintain us with the gifts of the Spirit.

    • "Mary accepted the “proposal” from the Lord on our behalf. Let us go to her and ask her to guide us through the difficulties, so that we may keep loyal to the vital relationship that God established with each one of us”.

It is not just a challenge but also a great responsibility what we acquired there in Australia during that week. I am sure all of us, the attendants, were changed in some way by the Spirit. In a few cases, the changes will be dramatic; as for the rest of us, the changes might be slight, almost imperceptible, but representative because it will imply changing habits or attitudes, for better.

It will be a along way for WYD 2011, but enough time to get ready for another encounter with our Creator through His servant, the Pope. The challenge has been given to us and it’s a challenge of Love. Are you willing to take it?

Striving for Love,

P.S. For further information on WYD 2008, please check:

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

On inner life

I was wondering what I should write about since a couple of days ago, when I first posted in this personal blog. A good friend of mine suggested “anything and everything”. Probably that’s the right attitude. Unfortunately, I am not really an expert in “everything”… though I would love that! LOL

Recently I had been exploring more about my personal spiritual life. It is such a vast spectrum to deepen into. Probably I should start by defining what spiritual life is. Probably one of the easiest definitions to understand comes from a book called Furrow, from Josemaria Escriva:

“I like to compare the interior life to clothing, to the wedding garment the Gospel speaks about. The cloth is woven from all the habits or acts of piety which, like threads, together give strength to the cloth. And so, just as a torn dress is rejected even though the rest of the material is in good condition, if you pray and work... but are not penitent (or the other way round) your interior life is not (so to speak) complete.” (Furrow, “Interior Life”, P. 649)

And well, if interior life is like a cloth, wouldn’t we prefer to wear beautiful garments? Well, in order to do that, we have to work hard and pray more. Prayer is like a power-maker powder (so as to speak in physical terms), that makes you know yourself better, exploring your possibilities, realizing about your weaknesses and getting to know the almighty, who can make you achieve even the craziest or unreachable dreams you could ever have had.

However, at the end of the day you must be conscious that you don’t do this alone… even the greatest spiritual achievements are not your own successes. Being humble is then the task and the challenge!

So today, I want to encourage you, my dear friend, to keep striving for Love. Love is the best power-maker, the best medicine for any spiritual or emotional wound. Love is the best ingredient to cook the beautiful and majestic cake of life.

So, what is that thing called Love? I’ll get into that at the right time. Right now it’s time to stop and to work!

Striving for love,