Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Favorite Verses

One of my best friends in high school often criticized me that I didn't know my Bible well enough. I couldn't argue otherwise because I knew she could quote verses by heart (and I couldn't) and so she had a point. I remember her asking "Do you read the Bible, Nikki?" and I remember not being able to answer quickly enough because... well, okay, I didn't at all. Thanks to her constructive criticisms and positve example, I was challenged to pick up my Bible and get cracking.

I haven't read the entire Bible, and I'm nowhere close to reading it as much as I really should. But allow me to share my top four favorite verses of all time, and why I love them so.

Psalm 8: 3-4
When I behold Your Heavens, the moon and the stars that You have set in place,
What is man that You should be mindful of him?

I have always been fascinated by the sky. I enjoy watching clouds (and even take lots of photos of them, especially the "crunchy" looking ones... yung parang tirahan ng Care Bears?) and stars (I have starcharts and can name certain constellations from memory). I love watching the sun and moon rise and set. When I read this verse, my love for the sky made so much sense - far from being New Agey, it's that feeling of awe (and ultimately, humility) that keeps me gazing upward.

Matthew 6:28
Learn from the way the wildflowers grow.

Aside from the sky, I also have this fascination with wildflowers. Some may call them mere weeds, but if you take the time to look at them up close, you may be surprised at how complex (and beautiful) they are. Check out my original (and sadly unmaintained) prayer blog for my favorite photos of wildflowers. What can we learn from them?

Psalm 37: 4
Delight in the Lord and He will grant you all your heart's desires.

I love how Ignatian spirituality highlights God in all things, particularly in our purest and deepest desires. Isn't it great that He also wants what we want? As a good friend of mine put it so well: "I've learned about God's perfect time. Whatever you seek, and whatever He promised, is only a matter of WHEN, not a matter of IF." I couldn't have said it better.

Isaiah 30: 15
By waiting and by calm you shall be saved,
In quiet and in trust you shall find your strength.

My Holy Week retreat focused on these two lines and I am still overwhelmed with how much you can get out of 14 unique words (yes, I'm a logophile... okay, nerd... hee-hee... and actually counted!). For now, let me just say: I realized I haven't been very good at waiting, remaining calm or quiet, and trusting in the last months. No wonder I felt so lost and tired. More to come in future prayer posts.

Posted for LD's Prayer Musings, 30 March 2008.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Isaiah 30:15

By waiting and by calm you shall be saved
In quiet and in trust you shall find your strength

This is the verse I stayed with and relished in during my individually-guided Holy Week silent retreat at my favorite sacred space, the Sacred Heart Center in Novaliches, Quezon City.

Sa pagbabalik at sa pagpapahinga ay matitiwasay kayo
Sa katahimikan at sa pagasa ay magiging ang inyong lakas

Thank You, Lord, for the graces of waiting, calmness, quiet, and child-like faith.