BECAUSE GRATITUDE IS a grace that should not be stemmed (else why do cups run over or I’ll never again be able to drink from the saucer), I was convinced to make public the palancas I received when I took NDAPPS PREX Refresh Class 24. The reason is simple: I’m no longer choked up. I must’ve been a sight in the seminar room, the last and longest-struggling letter-reader (it was a chore reading through rain) and attracting an auxiliary to hand me wads of napkin. The first weekend was rather watery but not soaked (Kuya Ross, God bless him, was quick with his wit and arrested the flood before it could flourish). With that vivid memory, I took time before reaching out for the first palanca and, convinced I got it covered, swore not to go through the waterworks again. Either my daring was deficient or the second encounter was hardier. At either rate, the following tearjerkers speak for themselves.
I responded to all of the writers already without naming who they are. By their pens (and propensities) they shall be recognized now.
“You have proven once again your addiction to PREX. What a refreshing sight – seeing you get refreshed which, in context, means you are getting a boost, a shot in the arm (addict ka talaga) so you can get more immersed in the Lord’s service.
“Until our final destination, our road to conversion never ends. You have responded to another challenge, taken another big step. BILIB AKO SA IYO!
“Congratulations. I love you, Kuya.
“I take this opportunity to say this – ano mang sugat meron ka sa iyong puso na dala ko, makuha mo sana akong patawarin.
“At salamat sa pagkakaibigan, kahit na may di pagkakaintindihan paminsan minsan.
“I’m sure the Lord has already rewarded you for taking this PREX Refresh. Saludo ako sa ‘yo, Kuya! I’m happy for you; happy that you have found the “pearl of great price” – the source of your true joy and peace, and the reason for your being.
“Inspired by Fr. Jigs’ talk yesterday in the PREX Seminar in Nuestra, I pray that everyday will be a conversion experience for you because this is how we should imitate Jesus.
“I admire your resolve to live a life pleasing to our Lord, Kuya. With God’s grace, your journey as a pilgrim will surely end in success.
“I’m so glad you are a friend and a brother. Thank you for all the inspiration that you’ve shared and your presence most of all. May our good Lord bless you and your family in this journey called life. May you have many special encounters with HIM and I can just imagine those beautiful encounters. Please keep on as HIS servant and know that He loves you so much.
“Wanted to hand-carry this but you also know my life is a jiffy at times. Thank you always for your understanding. May we continue to bring the message of the love of our God and Mary together. And may He take care of us in all our imperfections. I congratulate you for spending time with the PREX Refresh and for sure you are coming out fresh as the morning air – evergreen. Naks!
“I am like you curing those within that need to be cured. Blessed are we attached to the Divine Healer! May He keep you in His tender embrace and may Mary hold you closer than you can ever imagine. Take care Kuya.
“Dito lang ako,”
“Patience with family is love. Patience with others is respect. Patience with self is confidence and patience with God is faith. Never think hard about the PAST, it brings tears. Don’t think anymore about the FUTURE, it brings fear. Live this moment with a smile, it brings cheers.
“The heart that cares is healthy. The heart that serves is happy. The heart that prays is holy. May God keep you always healthy, happy and holy. Keep on loving.
“Congratulations and always be a blessing to us your Mom and Dad in PREX.
“There’s really nothing worthier than living a life dedicated and lived for the glory of God.
And, on the back of the cover of ‘Miracle Hour,’ her accompanying gift, “Here’s something to remind you of our nothingness without HIM.”
“Thank you very much for being a true friend and the best Kuya! God bless.”
“I am glad you are attending a refresher on PREX.
“I pray to God this will help our family to have a better relationship with one another.
“May the good Lord enlighten each and everyone of us in the family.
“You are already filled with the Holy Spirit by virtue of your wholehearted support to the mission of the Legion of the Mother of God.
“I’m so happy that you are in the Legion and supporting the Legion all throughout.
“Through Mary, for Mary, with Mary and in Mary, with you, we can tackle everything, with your additional knowledge you gain from your PREX refresher I know the mission of the Legion can go a long way to save more souls.
“Congratulations! With Jesus and Mary, accept the love of your brother.
“P.S. Sana lalo kang tumibay bilang Legionary sa pagpi-PREX refresher mo. Dalangin ko biyayaan ka ng umaapaw na kaligayahan. God bless!”
“This is the day that the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.
“I’ve always believed that life is a journey and everything is a work in progress. I am happy to have witnessed your spiritual journey. I thank you for being an inspiration which made me realize that there is always hope and everything is possible if we have faith and believe. I thank you for your untiring effort to serve in the works of the LOM and other church organizations which made me realize that we can do more and produce better results. I also thank you for your guidance that equipped me to communicate better. Thank you for the works of affirmation and encouragement which make me feel that I am doing something good.
“I admire you for your humility in admitting your own mistakes and shortcomings.
“I pray to God and Mama Mary that They will always guide you, strengthen you in faith and keep you always in good health that you may continue to be a living example and witness of Their great love.
“I am always here to support you in every step of the way towards a brighter life with Jesus and Mary.”
“Welcome to the renewed PREX Family! May this experience bring more joy, peace and happiness to your spiritual life.
“I am indeed delighted by your decision that soon would inspire and empower you to face the thrills, joy and challenges of Christian life and communal living.
“Congratulations and best wishes!”
“Nais naming ipabatid sa iyo na lubha kaming natutuwa at humahanga sa iyong masigasig na pagsusumikap na higit pang makilala at mahalin at paglingkuran ang Panginoong Hesukristo at ang Kanyang Ina, ang Mahal na Birheng Maria. Alam namin na hindi madali ang gawaing ito at kalakip ang maraming hirap at sakripisyo ngunit batid din namin na sa ganitong pamamaraan din natatagpuan mo at nadarama ang ligaya, kapayapaan at layunin mo sa buhay – at higit pa rito. Alam namin na ang lahat ng ito ay ginagawa mo para rin sa intensyon mo para sa iyong asawa at mga anak.
“Mahal ka namin, Kuya, at ikaw ay aming pinahahalagahan at nagpapasalamat kami sa Diyos sa biyaya ng iyong pagkatao. At marami kaming nagmamahal at nagpapahalaga sa iyo – alam naming alam mo ito. Tanda ito ng aming pagkilala ng kabutihan at kagandahan mo.
“Isa kang mabuting Halimbawa at Abang lingkod ni Hesus sa pamamagitan ng ating Inang Maria.
“Laging Handang maging Alagad ni Maria!
“Mahal na mahal ka namin, Kapatid, Utol, Brother, Kuya!”
“Kuya HAM – Humble Admirer of Mary
“I thank God for the chance to know a man whose love for Mary is exceptional. The way you smile reminds me of the calmness of Mary and the way you laugh reflects the joy the Gospel brings to a person who truly believes in the power of God in one’s life.
“Your words of appreciation are assurances to continue the work for the reign of Jesus through Mary and your humility to be guided reminds of Mary’s attitude towards God.
“I am humbled to journey with you in the Asdociation of Mary Queen of All Hearts.
“Thank you very much for all your contributions in helping the mission of the Montfort Missionaries.”
“Congratulations on your PREX Refresh!
“May you continue to feel Jesus’ love and grace for you and your family.
“With your name you are always…
Held in the Arms of our Blessed Mother Mary today and forever!
“With my prayers in Christ,”
“My morning starts with a prayer, thanking God for the gift of life, the blessings, the strength, the time to be with my two handsome princes and a call from my loving daughter, her husband and my two beautiful apos far from home.
“Then I check my phone for messages, first of which is our viber group account. Reading the Gospel Germs and teachings fill my mornings enough to start the day right. Thank you for that, Bro!
“Though I may not know you personally, I’m sure deep within you are a good man. Whenever I read your write-ups, posts and accounts of what transpire in certain events, I always feel present at those occasions. Not all are given the gift to write well! What a privilege God has given you! And because of this gift, I had been a great fan of “Mr. Google!” As I always tell you, you are a highly spirit-driven person!
“Thank you very much for walking side by side with me in my journey. Proud to have you as my forever Bro!
“Greetings from your sister in Mary, with Mary and through Mary.
“My leader in the Evangelization Team of the Congregation of the Company of Mary (Montfort Missionaries).
“My buddy in preparation for our Recollection of Mary this coming August 18.
“Reading everyday your Gospel Germs helps me grow spiritually.
“In the short time we spent together, I feel the goodness of your heart. I admire you for being a good writer. With a sharp memory.
“A man of prayer. Thank you for including Tatay in your prayers everyday. You always appreciate others. A very simple man.
“I hope you will continue to be what you are now.
“Thank you for being my kuya.
“Thank you for always supporting and appreciating me.
“Thank you for guiding me always.
“See you in my prayers.
“You have been a model of patience and virtue, so much like St. Joseph, quietly working for our Lord and our Lady. You never vie for center stage, but diligently handle the tasks at hand, ever so gentlemanly, but always acting as servant of the Lord.
“We are all privileged to have known you, and will continue to pray for you and your family as you have prayed for ours.
“May God and our Lady always keep you in their loving care.”
“It’s a beautiful blessed day, especially bringing with it the shower of grace to pull US through every challenge we have to face every day!
“Every hand and hug from all of us brings the assurance of GOD-SENT energy enough to pull you through every test and task!
“CHEERS FOR THE GREATER (expect that) TASKS GOD EMPOWERS YOU TO TAKE FOR HIS GREATER GLORY! TWIF MARY.
“With my prayers,”
“I greet you with some of the words of Chiara Lubich from her book, ‘God loves you immensely, in my neighbor is God.’
“The behavior that best expresses love is making yourself one, going out to meet your neighbors where they are, to take up their burdens, meeting their needs, taking care of what is burdening them, helping them in their needs, taking on their pain. Then, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, offering advice would have true meaning.
“Our Lady’s love, a motherly love, is so unique because she loves her children as herself, actually seeing herself in them. We can find Jesus, our
brother, in them.
“Let us also embrace our sufferings and offer them to Jesus. Our neighbors, be them friendly or hostile, are part of us, because we are all children of the same Father.
“My best wishes and congratulations to you, Kuya. Remember, God loves you immensely.
It felt good to post on fb the blanket, anonymous thanksgiving that I wrote to them. Not quite fulfilling, however. Social media as a venue for my homage may have served a trendy purpose but posting the actual sentiments that pushed the overflow on this revered Catholic website confers on my well-wishers no mean measure of import, moment and respect.
One letter-writer figured more than once in my accounts of Totus Tuus Journey, a faith pilgrimage/purging process similar in intent to PREX. In my case, because the renewal is a renewal, even if the period is shorter (2 or so days compared to 33 sessions), the refresher reinforced the “ebbing” enthusiasm of my first time. It is outstanding to mention that this writer stayed on until the consecration, the C-Day. The writer said it will just be the beginning because the Journey has just started, is not ending on Consecration Day. “To be fair,” the writer posited, “why should the journey end at Consecration? We were taught valuable lessons about love, God’s love, Mary’s love, our own love for God, for Mary, for brethren – should not these lessons lead us to love more intensely? If we continue to love, then the journey cannot end.” Needless to say, the writer knows whence derives the declaration.
Given the enormity of that single testimony and its buoyant, accompanying boosters, my spirit could not help but soar with Bro Milo’s integrity. It is this integrity I deign to express for the edification of the burgeoning evangelizers of the mission.
Twif Jesus and Mary, PREX be to God.
ABRAHAM DE LA TORRE 😇