INTERFAITH, INTERRACIAL, INTERCULTURAL PRAYER FOR PEACE

INTERFAITH, INTERRACIAL, INTERCULTURAL PRAYER FOR PEACE
UN INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE 12:00 NOON IN YOUR TIME ZONE

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Amb. Zara Juan

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Lady of Lourdes manifests herself to me in a different way…

Today is Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. I wish I can join the mass celebration in the nearby Parish at 10:00 AM, but as usual I am stuck in my work and I cannot join the novices and the sisters. Anyway, I was told by the Superior that since I already attended the 6:30 AM mass here in the convent, she said that is already okay. So back to my usual busy work schedule for the day, I can hear the festivities of the procession outside the garage. The Parish is just few meters away and the music is playing. I felt that even if I am not there physically, but spiritually in the corner of my small office, I am with them in the feast for Mama Mary. My alarm rings at 12:00 noon, time for lunch break! Since I am always in the middle of something, lunch disturbs my work, but I have to go because if I don’t eat, my immune system gets weak and I will be sick again. So, I went as usual with my pink jeans, tank-tops and shawl to cover my back thinking that anyway it will just be us, the three sisters in the community who is already used to my dressing-up. But this time, no, there was a visitor. She is an Augustinian sister who is also an author and I was told was a very good administrator. She is very happy to talk about her cloistered sister nun of the Pink Sisters who was granted the permission to be a hermit after years of discernment and prayers. She showed all the pictures and talk about the whole process of how her sister was able to receive the support of the bishop and her congregation. The story inspires me to sit down, look at the pictures and listen to the story intently. As I was listening to her story, she cannot kept herself asking me questions on why am I in the convent, on what do I do, etc. You know, this may sounds annoying, but living in the convent for quite some time made me use to these series of questions. I will just politely answer that I am a missionary, and that I am here because I am building a small chapel and prayer room in the province. Then several questions will follow on why I am doing it. “Do you have plans to become a nun? How do you get your funds, etc?” So, again I politely answered these questions asked to me a hundred times by visitors here that, I do not get donations because I am not a nun. I only get funds from my work as a Resource Speaker and that I live a simple life because I already opted to have an early retirement as a hermit in the province but in my prayer God still wants me to get involved outside, to be with people, to write my journey and share it to people who are non-religious etc. Now I have to stop talking because if I don’t the Augustinian sister will be so interested in my life that I won’t be able to hear the story of her sister nun who became a hermit. So she went on to tell the story on how difficult it is for her sister to start her new life as a hermit. The place that she got was not safe because there a lot of drug addicts, etc, and that the "nipa" where she sleeps has no light and water. And that she got sick because she cannot raise her own food because the water is not enough to raise plants! FYI: Hermits do not have money of their own to buy food. So she told her sister that what you are doing is not sacrifice anymore, but suicide! But still, no matter what, she still believes in her sister's prayer, but so worried for her well-being. She convince her to go home with them first to get some medical treatments for her soaring feet and be nourished. Her sister went with her and was taken care of by the family. But after some time, her sister was not happy because of her longing to live a solitary life. With continuous prayers, Divine Providence happened, her sister met a stranger and told her to come to their place and stay there as a hermit. The land was given to her sister that she can use and cultivate as long as she lives in solitude of prayer. Everything came in smoothly after that, the bishop granted her the permission, her sister was also given supplies for her needs and the locals volunteer to build her prayer room and garden. Now her sister fulfilled God’s plan for her to live as a hermit with the locals safely in prayer at the age of 62! To the religious community, the journey of her sister nun who followed God's will to become a hermit is remarkable! Now from time to time, the Augustinian sister will refer to me telling me that "now you know how you will you do your hermit life". Thinking that I am like them, she casually mentions that I can also design my own habit and wear it. A habit is the dress worn by the nuns. I just smiled and told her politely, that every time I pray, God will always tell me that I should not change myself because my vocation is to the "world" and not in cloistered religious life. Though there is a longing inside me to live as a hermit because I want to pray in silence, still God pulls me out and bring me back to the world, to the people outside, to mingle, and to speak their language. I told her how it happened several times when I was already living a simple hermit life in the province. I was lead by circumstances to go back in Manila and live my usual life again in the competitive world! Now I am talking and the Augustinian sister intently listens to my story. On how I became a book author by accident and not by choice because I just followed God’s will. And on how I keep the balance of living a monk’s life in the competitive world day after day here in the convent and in my social circle outside the religious community. On how difficult it is, but I have to, because God wants me to write everything that is happening to me and use that to encourage other people in the non-religious circle and even those who do not have strong faith to live a life of prayer and to allow God’s will to happen every single day! Now the Augustinian sister understood. She said continue with that because you are a Resource Speaker and that the most effective way for you to teach faith is to live through the actual situations of it, day by day, everyday! You know, her comments became an affirmation of the instructions I received in my prayers! Thank you for this rare opportunity to celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes by meeting an Augustinian sister whose words of wisdom inspires me in my mission, as she said: “Be Yourself!" So I will! I'll let God’s will unfold in my life! And by allowing myself to be me, I will no longer doubt myself... I will proceed.... and live my life to the fullest!.... I'll be free to take risks.... I'll embrace every single moment....And as my Indian friend told me, "Why don't we just do it, and let's see what will happen!"... Yes! Why not?... I will just do it and see what will happen next... -Journals of My Life 02.11.2014 written by Zara Jane Juan, Peace Ambassador, UN International Day of Peace; Internet Journalist, Climate Change Peace Building Campaign, NY, USA; Author & Public Speaker, Wellness for Peace Education on Climate Change. Contact Numbers: Smart: 09295197788 <> Globe: 09266787938. Address: Sailing for Peace: 1875 Magallanes Drive, Aguinaldo Hi-way, 4120 Tagaytay City, Philippines Websites: http://www.innovativemindandbody.blogspo... http://www.wellnesspilipinas.blogspot.com http://www.peaceadvocates.blogspot.com http://www.zarajanejuan.blogspot.com http://www.sailingforpeaceworldwidepeace... http://www.youtube.com/healthytalks https://www.facebook.com/ambassadorzara

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Vatican blasts “prejudiced” report from U.N. committee on Catholic Church child sex abuse - It was natural that the Vatican would object that its religious freedom was being trampled on when the committee recommended it consider amending its own canon law to allow abortion in some limited cases. The committee cited the case of a 9-year-old Brazilian girl who was raped and impregnated by her stepfather and doctors determined an abortion was necessary to save her life. The girl and her doctors were promptly excommunicated. The committee also urged the Holy See to ensure that sex education, including access to information about contraception and preventing HIV, is mandatory in Catholic schools. And it called for the Holy See to use its moral authority to condemn discrimination against homosexual children, or children raised by same-sex couples. In his statement Friday, Lombardi said by entering into such matters, the committee "appears to have gone beyond its competence and interfered in the moral and doctrinal positions of the Catholic Church." He said while it was wrong to blame the United Nations as a whole for the committee's "grave shortcomings," the organization itself "bears the negative consequences of what was done by one of its committees, beyond its competence." Despite the Vatican's objections, he said the Holy See was nevertheless committed to working for the good of all children via the U.N. treaty. -CBS News

Vatican blasts “prejudiced” report from U.N. committee on Catholic Church child sex abuse - CBS News: "VATICAN CITY -- The Vatican struck back Friday at a U.N. human rights committee that issued a scathing report on sex abuse by priests, accusing it of straying beyond its mandate and discrediting the U.N. as a whole by adopting the "prejudiced" positions of anti-Catholic advocacy groups."



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American Muslim filmmaker warns against discrimination in Islam. Wolfe, who embraced Islam over 20 years ago while travelling between North and West Africa, claimed that it is only natural for a global religion such as Islam to have different expressions. “Islam has been compared many times to clear water running over different coloured rocks in a stream,” Wolfe told The Malay Mail Online in an exclusive interview here. “Sometimes it looks red, sometimes it looks green, sometimes it looks yellow. But it is all water. It is all Islam.” But Wolfe conceded to subscribing to religious pluralism, a result of coming from a country where people of different colours, languages, and beliefs can find ways to co-exist with each other. - See more at: http://www.themalaymailonline.com/malaysia/article/american-muslim-filmmaker-warns-against-discrimination-in-islam#sthash.aGYJ5R9x.dpuf- | Malaysia | The Malay Mail Online

American Muslim filmmaker warns against discrimination in Islam | Malaysia | The Malay Mail Online: "To that end, Wolfe founded Unity Productions Foundation (UPF) in 1999, a non-profit organisation which aims to foster interfaith and intercultural understanding.

UPF has since produced nine award-winning documentaries on Muslim themes, with its first full-length film called “Muhammad: Legacy of a Prophet”, a two-hour television documentary."



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Canada's Crispin Lipscomb will be relying on the ancient wisdom of Buddhism to assist him in the halfpipe competition in Sochi. The 34-year-old, who is making his final Olympic appearance, told Reuters that the extreme sport and the ancient religion have an awful lot in common. "About five or six years ago I started travelling to Korea and I was introduced to some monks who run a thousand-year-old temple," he said. "In all the reading that I did and learning about that approach and some of the fundamental ideas that the Buddha was playing with, I found great parallels to our snowboarding. Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/sports/canada-s-lipscomb-takes-buddhism-on-board/article/369394#ixzz2snVvpLd4- Canada's Lipscomb takes Buddhism on board

Canada's Lipscomb takes Buddhism on board: ""I think that from what I know, the Buddha would remind everyone that you've got to chop wood before enlightenment and carry water after enlightenment.

"I think that that means no matter who you are and what your process is, you have to do your work.

"You can have your joy and your reward, but immediately following it you have to go right to work and right back to your life.""



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Social hostilities & government restrictions on Hinduism should end -Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has urged end to social hostilities and government restrictions on Hinduism in various countries of the world. According to a new study by the Washington DC (USA) based Pew Research Center on "global restrictions on religion", published on January 14, Hindus were harassed and intimidated by governments or social groups in 33 countries from June 2006 to December 2012. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, stressed that social hostilities involving religion and government restrictions on religions should not have any place in the 21st century world. Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought, Rajan Zed pointed out. The study, however, did not list the countries where Hindus were harassed and intimidated. Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. Alan Murray is the President.- | Oye Times

Social hostilities & government restrictions on Hinduism should end | Oye Times:



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Amb. Zara Jane Juan, Peace Ambassador

Amb. Zara Jane Juan, Peace Ambassador
I choose to be a Missionary of the Interfaith, Interracial, Intercultural Sailing for Peace Program inspired and guided by the discipline and life of the Virgin Mary of the Catholic Church. I am a Catholic, a Lady Datin of the Muslims, a Buddhist in my Healthy Lifestyle and a Hindu in Purifying my Soul. With Free Thinking and Scientific Approach to my Peace Work, my life on the over-all is a whirlwind of Faith and Fate. I refuse donations to my peace work to prevent corruption but rather I decided to live a very simple so that I can fund it personally through my own personal income as Professional Resource Speaker, Author, Visual Artist, Playwright and Director

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