I am sharing for you my email story. I started my indefinite 40 day period of prayer and reflection last Wednesday for granting my wish to the Lord for the approval of my student’s visa to Canada. (I hope you must not be offended to my Biblical verses or else I will stop sending emails to you). I will start my new class there in October at the Academy of Learning in Toronto, Canada. I will upgrade my network designs and designing website for my business. This is a real trend there in Canada but I did not use it as my profession because I assisted my family’s meat shop and meat-processing business.
Why 40 days? I read the book was written by Rick Warren called “The Purpose Driven Life.” Well, I read all the series of 40th chapters in 40 days when I was working as a proofreader volunteer at the Word and Life Publishing Company owned by the Salesians of Don Bosco in 2003. My mom’s former officemate at Nesic Philippines, Yami Gutierrez, who recommended me to buy that book. I was quite curious to buy the Purpose Driven Life at the Powerbooks in Glorietta, Makati City and Yami wrote a piece of message, said:
“To Chester: Jeremiah 29:11, God has a plan for you. Read this book I’m sure this will help you. God bless!”
I always browse the Bible to find Jeremiah 29:11. I am going to write the verse of the scriptures according to Jeremiah 29:11 in Catholic’s New Revised Standard version (NRSV): “For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.”
That verse is too beautiful. The prophet Jeremiah told by the Lord that he has plans for my welfare, not harm, and to give me a future with hope. Hope is the last word of the verse. I believe there’s a hope for the Lord not by the hope of the people. Well the Lord shall give me a sure hope who is the anchor of the soul. It is written in Hebrews 6:19 (NRSV): “We have this hope, a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul, a hope that enters the inner shine behind the curtain,…”
Each boat has an anchor. Without an anchor, you know, the boat might possibly sink because all passengers will be drowned. With the anchor the Lord shall save you because a hope that enters the inner shine behind the curtain. I am focusing hope in God, not by men in vain.
My indefinite 40 day period of prayer and reflection is not just my ordinary ritual but this is a serious task that I must follow God’s will. Like His begotten Son Jesus Christ who fasted forty days and forty nights in the wilderness and tempted by Satan. The Lord Jesus overcame the temptation through his 40 days of fasting. Spending 40 days of prayer and reflection is more than you pray Novena (9 days of prayer) like the Novena to the Mother of Perpetual Help every Wednesdays in Baclaran and the Black Nazarene Novena every Friday in Quiapo, Manila.
According to the “Purpose Driven Life” hand book on pages 9 to 10, the Bible is clear that God considers 40 days a spiritually significant time period. Whenever God wanted to prepare someone for his purposes, he took forty days:
- Noah’s life was transformed by 40 days of rain.
- Moses was transformed by 40 days on Mount Sinai.
- The spies were transformed by 40 days in the Promised Land.
- David was transformed by Goliath’s 40-day challenge.
- Elijah was transformed when God gave him 40 days of strength from a single meal.
- The entire city of Nineveh was transformed when God gave the people 40 days to change.
- Jesus was empowered by 40 days in the wilderness.
- The disciples were transformed by 40 days with Jesus after his resurrection.
Those characters in the Bible were changed their lives in 40 days. It is my challenge that I would not quit running.
I went to the Insular Life Head Office at the Madrigal, Commerce Avenue (at the front of Festival Mall) and paid my father’s two insurance policy bills last September 2. After my payment, I took breakfast and grew up my mind that I wanted to start my indefinite 40 day period of prayer and reflection for granting the approval of my student’s visa to Canada. This was my Lord’s indefinite schedule so I followed Him, Joanne! After taking my breakfast, I drove my Toyota REV-O heading to the Presentation of Child Jesus (PCJ) Sacred Heart Health Center. I arrived and entered at the Sacred Heart Center at ten in the morning. I talked to the former head of the Mary Help of Christians Praesidium Nora Arnaldo. So I begged this request, “Tita Nora, may I request to start indefinitely the 40 day period of prayer for me?” She replied: “Mama Mary will help you.” I was smiled that she granted my request. My elder colleagues at the Legion of Mary shall pray for me to grant my student’s visa approval to Canada.
I sent through a text message for my two friends that I begged them to pray for me in 40 days but they were granted and I thanked for their warm response!
Well, I am not imitating Sen. Noynoy Aquino who is spending the Spiritual Weekend Retreat at the Carmelite Seminary in Zamboanga for his reflection whether he will run in the highest office or not. I believe Noynoy will run for the presidential bid and continue to sacrifice that he will continue the legacies of his late parents.
I spend my indefinite 40 day period of prayer and reflection here at home, attend the mass and private prayer at the adoration chapel of PCJ. I always pray the lauds (every morning), the vespers (every before sunset) and night prayers (every before my sleep) through my Liturgy of the Hours. I thanked Fr. Rolly Agustin, PCJ parish priest and vicar of San Antonio De Padua Vicariate of the Diocese of Paranaque, who started and propagated praying of the Liturgy of the Hours in each morning and evening. I started to pray when I was at the EDSA Shrine before the start of the Holy Mass. I bought the 2 books of the Christian Prayer at the Saint Paul’s in Festival Mall and at the Catholic Book Center at Intramuros, Manila a year ago.
[I planned to buy the complete set of the Liturgy of the Hours (4 books in one set) worth P 10,500 in St. Paul’s and P 8,500 at the Catholic Book Center. I will buy that in the future, Joanne. I am identifying those 4 color-coded books: Blue is for Advent and Christmas; Red is for Lent and Easter; Brown (1st-17th week) and Green (18th-34th week) are for the Ordinary Time. I have a reason I want to buy in the future for the reflection of the hagiography or writings of the ancient fathers and saints of the Catholic Church. There’s a good news you may log-on to http://www.universalis.com for free.]
I must sacrifice within 40 days, Joanne. I must always pray to the Canadian visa officers to stop doubts and pessimism not to refuse my visa application. I remember that we chatted at Yahoo Messenger as I said, ” I am applying student’s visa. Medyo mabigat (quite heavier), and must pray harder….” And you replied, “nothing is impossible with God.”
My composed prayer “Justice for Ruby Rose Barrameda” was answered by God. The mastermind, Atty. Manuel Jimenez, Jr., was surrendered to the authorities today but the Malabon judge will post no bail for Atty Jimenez, Jr., his brother Lope (owns of Buena Suerte Jimenez Fishing Company) and other 4 suspects tagged for murder. I prayed to the Barrameda family that they have one percent hope. (Read my blog at https://chester2278.wordpress.com/2009/06/17/one-percent-hope).
By the way, you have one percent hope that one day that your son Dylan Inigo and his father will be reunited soon. I will include it during my 40 day period, Joanne. Just trust me. I am leaving you a verse according to Philippians 4:6 (NRSV): “Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
May I favor, Joanne, to pray for me indefinitely in 40 days? I hope the Lord will give you a sure reward. Bye and take care.
Your spiritual advocate and friend,