The Touched by Grace Blog


What's in a Name?

A rose by any other name will smell as sweet. - Romeo and Juliet If you had a choice, would you choose the name you carry now? I know my boys will have second thoughts. Because the ones we gave them all spell and sound close to each other, that even I get confused. (There should be a mini lesson on how to choose the name for your child.) I'm not sure Mom would. She never really used her baptismal name except for legal documents. She preferred her nickname Ningning which meant

October Feast Days

February and October are the busiest birthday months for our family. But October seems to outshine February because of my many devotions to saints who celebrate their feast days in October. Whenever we pray the Apostle's Creed, I love the part that goes, "I believe in the communion of saints..." Being people who lived holy lives for Jesus while on earth, I believe they are enjoying their eternity in Heaven. I also believe that they are given grace to help those on earth... Oc

On Milestone Anniversaries

I thought we'll be celebrating our 30th anniversary this year. Apparently, it will only be our 29th. I was never good at math. God knows best. Hubby is good at it. Our oldest son asked his dad what is the secret to a lasting marriage. (I did not hear the happy part, but I suppose that part was understood. After all, rarely can one last this long at this time and age without being happy.) He said he will ask his dad because I am the vocal one, and I usually provide the answ

On Real Problems

Today is the death anniversary of dear cousin - more specifically, a generous, selfless, magnanimous, kind-hearted, loving, and dear cousin. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer at 58 and passed away within eight months of diagnosis. A 38-year-old friend with two young sons was diagnosed with breast cancer about six months ago. The previous month, I learned that her cancer has metastasized to the brain. Numerous tumors detected. Surgery was cancelled. Two weeks ago, she

On Gentle Proddings and Mysterious Ways

It's been a while since I went to confession. I have it on my weekly calendar, but it seems something always comes up when the day comes. (Could this be the case with most things that people, subconsciously or otherwise, do not think urgent or important?) One Sunday, our family livestreamed a Mass so that we could join the celebration as we were in different locations. I chose the shortest one at 30 minutes, thinking that the boys will want something short and sweet. (Anythin

Labor Day and Mother Teresa of Calcutta

As we celebrate Labor Day weekend, let us remember Mother Teresa who labored countless hours helping the poorest of the poor. September 5 is her feast day. In a way it is similar to the way the laborers worked 12-14 hours daily seven days a week just to bring the basics to their homes. Their protests gave way to the better work environment enjoyed these days while Mother Teresa's deeds brought the plight of the poor to light. On the occasion of her feast day, let us visit a f

On Connecting

Mom passed away on Aug. 27, 2012. She has made her presence felt at least once every year since she passed away. How could I then think that there is no afterlife? At the hour of her death, I heard her bid me goodbye. On the same day, she made her presence felt by our family. Around her first anniversary, she made her presence felt while on a trip she had wanted our family to take for the longest time. On her second anniversary, she "devised a plan" to have me connect with m

On the Longest Study on Happiness

Millennials were asked what will make them happy. Eighty percent of the surveyed wanted to be rich, fifty percent wanted to be famous. Let's see how they fared. The longest running study by Harvard Adult Development on happiness is now on its 75th year.* And it's still going strong. What have they found out after three generations? Something we probably already know.... that close relationships with family, friends, and community are the most important factor in creating hap

On Olympic and Other Goals

Olympics 2021 ended. It was an awesome display of Japanese cutting edge technology and creativity as well as of global athletic prowess at its best. The few who have garnered their gold, silver, and bronze medals will exuberantly go home to a huge embrace by their homeland (and commercial establishments). Many who have achieved their dreams of joining the games will go home to family and friends carrying in their hearts the precious time they had. For those who have given the

August Reflections

August 1 news augurs gloomy days ahead. A dear aunt texted that her daughter's brain tumor surgery has been cancelled. MRI showed numerous growths, and the situation is beyond surgery. She will be moved to a hospice. Her daughter is only 38 and has two young children. Another family friend contracted Covid and has not been responding to texts and calls. A family friend suddenly passed away August 1 after having sniffles for a week. It was something no one thought, not even

On Time

It seemed only days ago when I blogged that we have already begun the second half of 2021, and it seems that the holidays are just around the corner. And this weekend is a new month! I don't know what's with me and time. It's something that preoccupies my being. "How have I used my day?" "Am I on track with my schedule?" I want to be able to do a lot of things given the time I have. I've wondered why this consumes me a lot. Last Tuesday, one of the ministries at our church

On Requests upon Death

My father unexpectedly passed away on July 25 fifteen years ago from what began as a bleed in the brain, followed by multiple organ failure, and a fatal heart attack. He was physically very strong, and my sister who is a doctor said on his most recent check-up that he was good for another ten years. He passed within a year after being given a good bill of health. I wonder what he would have asked if he knew death was close at hand? I read that one of the mightiest conqueror

Half-full or Half-empty

Is the glass half-empty or half-full? These two descriptions are the same. But how we see them affect how we go through life. How we see things depends on our innate personality, our current situation, and habits. Some people are born with a more optimistic view of things. People who have stability in their lives are more positive. Habits that encourage personal development and growth can create a lot of good. These people are usually those who see the glass as half-full. Wh

On Visions and Goals

It's the second week of the second half of this year! I'm starting to see oranges and browns, greens and reds in the near future. My husband told me Thanksgiving and Christmas are still quite a way down the road. I reminded him that time flies. And if we do not plan, these wonderful occasions to celebrate and give thanks will come as a jolt. Since high school, planning has been a part of me. I remember having a notebook, a planner where I jot down my goals and schedules. Fu

A Time for Everything-July 4

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 1 [a]There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. 2 A time to give birth, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant. 3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build. 4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance. 5 A time to scatter stones, and a time to gather them; a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embraces. 6

On St. John the Baptist

I have a few family and friends who celebrate birthdays and anniversaries on June 24, the Feast of St. John the Baptist. I learned from the day's homily that St. John is one of only three people who were born without original sin. The two others being Jesus and The Blessed Virgin Mary. The priest also mentioned something we all know - that he died as a reward from Herod for a compelling dance by Herodias's daughter. And that he died for his strong beliefs. In this case, ab

On How to be a Dad

Biologically, it is quite easy. In all other aspects, it takes deliberate effort, time, and lots of sacrificial love. So how does one become a dad? If you ... - know that your work, hobbies, and friends can wait while a child's growth won't wait for anyone, - believe that the time you give to a child is priceless, - mentor your child or another like he or she were your own, - inspire a child to be the best that he or she can be, - share your stories of love, life, and lessons

On Weeding

Many decades ago, weed did not mean the same thing as it does now. :D In the seventies, Mom used to weed the grass Saturday afternoons, and I would stay beside her to help. She taught me how to distinguish the weeds from the grass. They looked similar at the start. When Mom passed away, I would often recall our weeding sessions during Gospels about separating the weeds from the wheat. It dawned on me that there are also weeds inside us, in our hearts. Our weeds are those that

What Would Transform You?

'When Jesus arrived at the official's house and saw the flute players and the crowd who were making a commotion, he said, "Go away! The girl is not dead but sleeping." And they ridiculed him. When the crowd was put out, he came and took her by the hand, and the little girl arose. And news of this spread throughout all that land.' We have heard this story many times. It usually enters in one ear, and it goes through the other. If we were to listen to this story with our heart

Feast of the Blessed Trinity

I do not remember when I felt the beauty of the Glory Be prayer first touch my heart. I know I've been praying it since time immemorial. At that heartfelt moment, it dawned on me that the Glory Be prayer is a celebration of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit at the same time! We are in effect giving glory to the Blessed Trinity, which is the feast we are celebrating today. You probably have watched one of my videos in Youtube. I had to stop making those beca


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