27 02 2007

Reconcialition Box Photography by Clary Lopez

Lent marks for me the journey within, a deep reflection of who I am and who I would like to be. I fall short of so many great ideals and I must persevere in this life never losing hope to start fresh one more time.

At Immaculate Conception Church, Jacksonville, FL they still have a confessional, and reconciliation before Mass. I go in after examining my conscience determined to make my peace with God and I get out brand new. Not only that but I also receive special graces to help me do better the next time I face temptation.

I’m going through a lot these days and sometimes feel overwhelmed. When I feel I can’t take it no more I looked up to the crucifix, that’s love. Then I realise that what I’m going through is nothing compared to that sacrifice.

One thing I learn during this season is to keep my eyes off myself and on Jesus. I am not accustomed to that but by making a decision to sacrifice something during this time it helps me to get the most out of it. To get rid of bad habits, bad aptitudes, bad influences, selfishness, apathy, laziness and many other things that keeps me from being what God intended me to be.

As I begin this journey I hope, that like years before, it strenghtens me spiritually in order to complete my earthly mission.

Dreams, where do they lead us?

26 02 2007

Dreams are part of our life and some people claim that they have a purpose and meaning and we should act upon them. When I have a dream I immediately think about it and try to relate it to anything that has happened to me or try to understand if it’s trying to send me a a message.

In the Bible we read about how St. Joseph receives messages from God by an angel in a dream and he acts upon them. I believe that God still communicates with us through dreams.

I have been preparing to part from one of my loved ones for months now, the agony was unbearable at times and the closer the moment got the worst I was getting. I prayed daily for strength and acceptance, but it wasn’t until I had a vivid dream with my late grandmother Julia that I felt calm. The heaviness of my heart disappeared and I began to pray “Your strength Lord, not mine.” My grandmother went through a similar experience and I know that she provided me with her strength. The were no words exchanged in my dream, just her face before me as real as in life, that’s all I needed.

Perhaps you have other experiences with dreams that would like to share here with me.

For now I’m thankful for the gift of dreams in order to somehow connect with whoever or whatever the Lord wants to communicate to me.

What’s Love

14 02 2007


Someone asked the question and everyone has a definition of it. I’ll give you mine:

“Love is a gift of self. A voluntary surrender of my heart to another seeking only their happiness.”

My friend Chatter Box asked on her blog about love and if it can be controlled, I don’t think so. Once you love you have no control of it, there are no conditions and unfortunately make us vulnerable. We are so open to the other than in many cases you can get hurt. But if you are loved in return is the most wonderful feeling, it’s an exchange of emotions that will let us experience Heaven on Earth.

Love begins as a feeling but it’s ultimately a decision, it is the only way to make it last a lifetime. Without that decision it won’t survive the ups and down of life and the many situations we face in our relationships.

Love is sacrifice for the sake of the other. It is not about me, it’s about seeking the other’s happiness and we are happy in return. I believe that’s is why so many relationships fail these days, we are too self centered sometimes. When we take our eyes from us and unto others it is when we are rewarded.

That is why recreational dating worries me so much. Young people today engage in dating for the heck of it, it’s cool to have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. Sometimes they have a good example of what love is in their homes with their parents but many others don’t. By the time they are 19 years old they have had their heart broken quite a few times and with every heart break comes a fence or barrier into their heart. Once those barriers are up it is very hard to bring them down and they deprive themselves of experiencing love the way God intended.

If I could tell the young people what to do in relation to love I would say:

“Have fun and lots of friends. Love your friends and be on the look out for that special person who would want only your happiness and will never hurt you. Dating that person will have a purpose and a goal, not just for the time being but for a lifetime…”

My favorite scripture of all is 1 Corinthians 13

It seems unreal the first time you read it, way before you have fallen in love for the first time. It even sounds ridiculous but then that moment comes and there it is, “love is patient, love is kind, hope all things, believes all things, bear all things…” (this is from my memory)

Care to tell me what Love is to you?

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Copyrighted by Clary Lopez 2007

Journal Writing

6 02 2007


Today I wrote on my journal, my last entry dated November 13, 2006. I had the habit of writing almost daily until I discovered blogging and now it is very hard for me to grab a pen and start writing by hand all my thoughts and feelings. For some reason today I had the urge to see my words appear as I move the pen over the paper. Couple of nights ago I was reading the Oprah MagazineJanuary 2006, it had an excellent article about journaling titled: The Burning Question on page 122. It talks about the dilemma of many journal keepers who are faced with the decision to destroy their journals before they die or to leave them for their families.

To me this dilemma is one that I haven’t got to yet, I have many journals already written and for years I didn’t mind writing what was on my mind. Lately I’m getting to think more about what I write and I do it in a careful manner. Perhaps that is why I don’t do it as frequently, I’m not being totally open when I write and that’s hurts the quantity and I’m sure the quality of my writing. I’m afraid of my honest opinions, feelings and fears in life, not a healthy way to be. I need to open myself to who I am and what I want my life to look like. I realise that it will be something completely different to what I’m used to but that’s okay, that means that I’m alive and if I am change is always good. Changes means that I’m not stagnate, that I’m growing and developing according to the growth of my knowledge and my experiences in life. Those who fail to change start dying slowly, they become the living dead and I sure I don’t want to be that.

By journal writing I release the tensions in my daily life and most of all unburden it. I don’t know if you feel the same way but I like the idea that my family later on will be able to go through them and learn something from the way I lived my life. Even if I made mistakes, that they learn the consequences of doing so hoping they don’t judge me. Nobody is perfect, and the more we try the harder it gets. I believe in being the best you can be instead, to get up after every fall and be aware of the bumps on the road. It’s a journey and like a travel log I will have the route plotted and commented for others to travel in time with me.