A letter was sent to me by Nanise Gonewai, a native of the island of Fiji, now an active parishioner and member of Contemplative Outreach Philippines. Permit me to share:
When you had asked me to share my reflections and thoughts on “ GRATITUDE” for possible publication in our Parish Bulletin, the idea did not faze me at all solely and only because it is a word that’s daily on my mind, in my heart and on my lips . A large part of which is my new-found love for the Philippines and its people. Every morning, the first words I speak are “Heavenly Father, I bow my head this morning in prayer and in thanksgiving for my life, for all my blessings, and for bringing me to the Philippines”. And it is here in Manila, in the sunset of my life, that I have found true and enduring love through prayer, specifically Centering Prayer.
I arrived in your vast and vibrant country from Fiji in 2006. Within a week I was feeling at home and then found my niche through then Parish Priest, Father Tony Rosales, OFM – teaching catechism at the Parish’s Continuing Catholic Development (CCD) Ministry. My abiding love for children and teaching them about our faith are a channel for my serving the Lord through my work at CCD.
I was introduced to Centering Prayer. The continuation of my spiritual journey began in earnest. Something, had been lacking in my life, which I had been searching for so long. In the silence of the prayer, I re-encountered God in different ways.
My first Introductory Retreat was a turning point in my spiritual life. I have never looked back. The prayerful life, the love, the support, and the friendship I have with my San Antonio Parish Support Group are priceless as they are constant, continuous and completely un-conditional.
It has been ten year, and my blessings are multiplied: I now have two grandsons, I have a loving and a caring family, I have a wonderful group of friends, I have my CCD classes still, I have my daily Lectio Divina, I have time to smell the roses, and with His infinite love and mercy, I enjoy good health and happiness. What more could one ask for? And so YES, GRATITUDE, is a word I am very familiar with.
I would like to share with you a reflection which is based on Psalm 100 “Enter the Temple gates with thanksgiving –THANKFULLNESS OPENS THE DOOR to My Presence.” Therefore, my total and endless Gratitude to Him for everyone and for everything in my life.
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