Archdiocesan Shrine of Our Lady of Loreto Parish Chapter

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Forgiven

Here is a story of a family having a conversation about sin. The son was about to attend a retreat the next day so he decided to confess his sins to his parents first. That evening, they sat down in the living room and the boy told his parents about all his wrongdoings in the past. As he finished, he was crying and he asked, “Can you still love me?” His father laughed and said, “Of course we still love you”. At the back of his mind he is laughing hard because he finds it so funny that his son is crying thinking that his sins are too unforgiveable.

If this boy’s father is that willing to forgive his son from all his past sins, how much more is our Father in heaven? Sometimes we think that our sins are too unforgiveable that we find it hard to kneel down in prayer while God is just waiting for us with arms wide open.

“Go and sin no more” – John 8:11

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Be by His side forevermore

I’ve only come to know of the worship and praise songs through the Christian Life Program. And when I graduated from the CLP, I started listening to these songs. I listen to it everyday, during travel, upon waking up and upon sleeping. And it turned out to be that they’re now my favourite songs. I’ve come to love One way, Still, Through it all, One desire, Now that you’re near, Free to dance, etc. But last Sunday, in our Prison Service, I really felt the song, “By Your side”. As we stood in front as the service team, I was looking at the huge portrait of Jesus at the back. While singing, my eyes were looking at His eyes and at His face.  And what I see is a face so kind, so comforting and so forgiving.  I was touched at the moment. Here are the lines that struck me.

Oh dear God we asked for Your favour

Come and sweep through this place

Oh we desire You

I just wanna be with You

Be where You are

Dwell in Your presence oh God

Oh I want to walk with You

And I will climb its mountain

And I step off the shore

And I have chosen to follow

And be by Your side forevermore

Tell me what You want me to do Lord God

Tell me what You want for my life

Well it’s Yours

Oh God, it’s Yours

Do Your will

Have your way

Be Lord God in this place

Oh I want your will to be done 

-I really felt this song, maybe because I was discerning in one aspect of my life. Since yesterday, I have been repeating this line over and over again, “Tell me what you want me to do Lord God, Tell me what you want for my life, Well it’s yours, Oh God, it’s Yours”.  I have plans I’ve been eyeing for, but I know if it’s not God’s will, He’ll replace it with better plans that’s way more than I ever hoped for.

A sister told me that of all, discernment is really the hardest to achieve. Knowing God’s will in our lives. But if we’ll continue to walk with Him, pray in Him and BE BY HIS SIDE FOREVERMORE, there is nothing to worry. He will reveal His plans right in front in of us in His most definite time.

Original post by:

Sis. Bernadette Solis


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Proclamation of Freedom (serving New Bilibid Prison)

It always feels like first time whenever I set my feet on Bureau of Corrections or New Bilibid Prison (Muntinlupa).  As of date, Prison Ministry has been there for the third time since December and however I consider myself familiar with the situation of the inmates, it only leads me to discover more and more about myself and to learn more of them. I realized that my life is no different from theirs for I also made a couple of wrong turns before, I am also struggling with sins and I have set my own bars of captivity.

Before, I thought of inmates as heartless people, dangerous and stone-faced however everything changed when I finally had an encounter with them through Prison Ministry. They are people with dreams, talents and so much love in their heart who happen to squander their opportunities in the past. Seeing them struggling to change their life testifies the possibility of conversion and forgiveness – all of us can get away with sins.

I thank the Lord for the privilege to witness how His love manifests even to sinners; murderers, kidnappers, thieves and drug dealers / users deserves forgiveness and can change their life. All they need is a society of no condemnation and people who are willing to embrace them despite their painful past. Undoubtedly, the ministry opens our eyes to God’s call of Liberation, singing these lines from one of my favorite song makes more sense now:

He has come, to bring light into the darkness
He has come, to bring freedom to the captives
He has come, to restore the broken hearted
It’s time to proclaim, the year of the Lord

Preparing the way of the Lord is exactly what I feel in serving Prison Ministry. I know that other volunteers who visited NBP will agree if I say that serving these inmates is a Proclamation of God’s victory.  Victory won by God in bringing back His children to light, not only the inmates but liberating all of us from the captivity of our own sins. The experience allows me to appreciate the gift of freedom that God has given and motivates me to use this gift for His greater glory.

The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. – Isaiah 61:1

God is calling us in this mission of love. Join us and experience the liberating Love of our Father God through Prison Ministry.

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