Prayer and Work (Ora et Labora)

Ora et Labora is a Benedictine Motto. When I was little, I didn’t fully grasp the full meaning of it, at least not by my heart. I either pray or work instead of pray AND work, and most of the time I don’t pray at all. I met a very prayerful Baptist in my first year college, and he’s very talented. He has lots of potentials. He told me that before he works on his projects, he prays first. I laughed at the thought. I must admit, it sounded a bit weird to me. For a Catholic it shouldn’t sound absurd, but it did to me because it’s honestly the first time I heard of it (probably because I wasn’t practicing Catholic back then). It’s not my habit to pray actually, so it’s not that I intend not to pray, I just forget to pray. Now, I’m beginning to practice praying and working at the same time, and it works. I am more productive than I have ever been. I love the kind of work I have now, and I thank God for that.  Sometimes I run out of concepts, but this time whenever I do, I pray to God, and almost instantly, the ideas rush in my head like a tidal wave.  Now I know what St. Benedict meant when he said prayer and work.

OMG… It’s so HOT!!!

I can’t take this anymore!

I haven’t seen even a single drop of rain since the latter part of last year up to this month. When will rain arrive? Everytime I attend Mass, there’s always a prayer for rain. I think our situation is really that serious that we have already resorted to praying. Going outside is torture. The excruciating heat is unbearable. The humidity makes it worse! I’m not used to perspiring a lot, in fact, I’m not the kind who easily perspires, but this kind of heat can make glaciers melt within seconds! I feel so dehydrated, and I think I’m not the only one. Not so long ago there were bees swarming near our condo unit, dying as they drop onto the floor one by one due to the heat. It’s a phenomenon I never expected to witness. Are we heading to the same fate that the bees had? I sure hope not.

Okay, that’s all. I need to get up and get me some water. Gosh, I’m so thirsty!

When swarms attack

The electricity went out today so I went outside our condominium unit to get some fresh air, but a sudden gust of heat coming from the fire escape greeted me instead (Our unit is very near the fire escape.  And no, we were not on fire, it’s just that we are suffering from very hot and humid weather lately).  I turned around to where the heat came from and to my surprise I saw a number of dead and dying flies lying on the floor.  I drew closer to examine what happened to the flies and I was shocked to find out that the insects that I initially thought as flies aren’t actually flies but bees – honey bees!  As I drew closer and closer to the dead and dying bees, another bee dropped dead.  It dropped from the ceiling, so I looked up, and to my horror, I saw more bees swarming at the ceiling!!!  The whole scenario made me feel like I was in a twilight zone; like in a horror movie or something.  I stepped back for fear that the bees might attack and sting me (And I know exactly how painful a bee sting is because I was stung by a bee once).  I knocked at our friendly neighbor’s condominium unit to show her the scene and she followed me to see for herself.  She was so surprised.  She told me that bees naturally do that during Holy Week and only in rural areas.  Remember though that Holy Week is over and this is not a rural area.  This is Makati and it’s a city.  As we both wondered what could have caused this particular “phenomenon” I joked to our nice neighbor saying maybe it’s the sign of the times; that the world is already ending, and she chided me, haha!  But it could also be a possibility, who knows?  Earlier this morning, I already saw lots of flying bees outside our window.  I thought they were flies and even feared that there might be a dead person somewhere, and the flies are swarming at it (I know, I really have a very strange imagination.  No thanks to my paranoia).  I ignored it until I went outside our condominium unit.  Anyway,  maybe the reason why it happened just due to the extreme heat that our country is suffering for months now.  I went back to our unit and borrowed my older sister’s camera and carefully went closer and closer until I got a better view of them and take a good picture of it.  I took several photos and also took two dead bees later so that I could take a clearer picture of them as samples of the bees.

Here are the photos:

(Picture 1: On the floor)

(Picture 2: At the ceiling. I brightened the picture in Photoshop)

(Picture 3: The two dead bees I got as a sample)

Holy Week

I participated in Holy Week as best as I could for this year, and while I was participating in the Easter Vigil, I realized how blessed I am for being born in Catholicism through a devout Catholic family that sticks strictly to Catholic teachings and values; for being provided by God through the Catholic Church with as many means as possible for me to stay in God’s grace. We have the Mass and the Eucharist – the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that He shall be with us until the end of time. And I’ve witnessed a baptism of an adult in the Catholic Church for the very first time, and we were informed that since the adult is already an adult when baptized, that person will immediately receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Unlike Catholics who have been baptized as infants, we need to wait until the age of consent for us to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The only prayer I have for the converts, and all Catholics as well, is that, with the grace of God, they remain firm in their faith no matter what happens.  Nobody said it’s easy to be a Catholic.

May God bless the Catholic Church.