Our Friends Are Saints And Angels

We are all blessed by God in the days we live.

Breath is free, as the Almighty God created us. We are beautiful flesh, bones and hearts living this life. We have form, touch each other and bear children to fill the land God has lent us. This time we live, as yesterday, when our ancestors primed improved ways of life. And so, it is our duty to make way for superior progress tomorrow. And if by chance, we can make something happen for good, we have achieved a purpose of which God has created us for.

Here, we can be happy, make others happy and pray for God’s power and love in all our lives.

Our friends are angels and saints, too. I could sound too imaginative, like creating fiction, but growing up Catholic paved me the way to realize that saints and angels are real.

Of course, I have not seen angels’ wings and feathers or halos, but their calm presence in my everyday ordeal makes it evident that they are guarding all the desires of my heart and those of the people I love and pray for. An angel’s promise is real, as they are the messengers of God to light and guide, to rule and guard.

Neither, have I witnessed immense miracles by saints, but I believe the small miracles that St. Therese tells us. I could feel in my being and through other’s lives the small inspirations that move us to love and serve every new day.

On October 21, 2012 Pope Benedict XVI canonized seven new saints at the Vatican.
The new saints are: Saint Giovanni Battista Piamarta, Saint Jacques Berthieu, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha, Saint Maria Del Carmen, Saint Maria Schaeffer, Saint Mother Maria Anna Cope, and Saint Pedro Calungsod.

Here are manifestations that God’s love prevails. The power of faith is a gift to all until the end of time, or till that day each of us sees our dearest Father face to face. We only have different paths to tread, but one last.

Literally, there were many instances of my travelling alone that led me on journey, with faith in saint companions. Of course, the saints I was with, were only pictures and prayers on sheets or books, but then, the assurance, love and completeness I felt, sustained all my time of need.

For example, reading the book of Blessed John Paul, while accompanying someone waiting for death was a challenge of an evening. Every tick of the clock scared in those waiting hours, minutes, and seconds. But then, those hours, moments and seconds were moments of grace, too. My mother was geared up, peacefully to meet Jesus. This was a big grace for our family.

All of us are blessed! May we all become witnesses of the small miracles in our lives. Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, thank you.

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What A Deepest Sympathy Letter Might Be

I couldn’t write this letter. I wouldn’t write this deepest sympathy letter. I’d rather not.

Why would you let the agonizing person know how sad things are? Why would you focus on his/her miseries instead of cheering up? A prayer would go well for this kind of situation. The person would be happy knowing you would join him/her in prayer. But be sure to do this prayer promise, or else, you will be judged for fooling people saying you’d pray for them.

No one wrote to us when my Dad died. My mother wouldn’t understand. Neither could I. Maybe, had we got one, it’ll add to our misery. And though how kind the words in the letter might be, it will still cut like a knife. And though it is appreciated, I would soon forget it for sympathy can never be fully expressed by mentioning it repeatedly. Sympathy becomes complete only by sitting beside someone in quietness. It is also realized in a prayer, and prayer, and more prayers.

I could remember, in my younger days how it was like a parade when my father died. And when everyone tried to join us, even his colleague (lowest rank to the highest positions) visited and went with us until my Dad got to his finish destination: 7 feet under.

And there were prayers from time to time from friends and family, and cards of prayers. I think these mattered most because someone died, for both the living and the dead need the assurance of God’s caring.

How would you write your deepest sympathy letter then? Would you enumerate every feeling of grief and detail of sadness? Would you, if afar, burst in crying pages of interrogation to give hints for justice? Would you write in madness to show how it breaks your heart, as well? How would you do them?

How would you write I grieve with you, and I empathize with your pain?

Would your letter cut open your chest and show how your heart bleeds? No, that will not suffice.

How about a letter of affection? And in a letter full of prayers showing God’s presence like a mountain that connects lands, and oceans that connects spheres, and air that sustains the magnificence of heaven?

A deepest sympathy letter would come best in a letter of affection and pleadings from God, writing nothing but of love; I grieve because I love. Let God suffice the longings of your heart. Let me wipe your tears with my kisses and let me hold you tight in my silence. I’m meant to love you. I love you.

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The Basic Rules of Writing

The basic rule of writing is to make a clear sentence. That one basic rule embodies more rules that include basic grammar rules, thought building, and a way to communicate or express oneself in a language.

Knowing grammar entails being familiar with the parts of speech: noun, pronoun, adjective, verb, adverb, preposition, conjunction, and interjection.

Each part of speech embodies a set of rules, as to how each part should coordinate with the other parts of speech in writing a sentence. A sentence is written, and analyzed as to idea, construction, or style. Different languages display various basic sentence patterns, like the English language.

When a child, words are learned from the foundations of vocabulary building and thought building. Later, many forms of literature are available. So this one basic rule is easy, as it is hard. Remember the Kiss Theory, “Keep it simple stupid.” Sorry for the negative connotation, but that word was emphasized to make us remember how to make a good sentence.

Have this in mind:

A sentence must have unity, coherence and emphasis.

A sentence has unity when it expresses a single complete thought. The sentence contains only significant details. Unity is oneness.

A sentence has coherence when the parts of the sentence have an apparent and logical relationship with each other. The idea is expressed in a logical manner and/or a consistent manner.

A sentence has emphasis when a word or idea shows clearly what is important. The emphasis helps in an expression of a strong idea; a strong sentence.

After the sentences, paragraphs are built. A good composition follows from the effective paragraphs, after good sentences are made and/or written. Again, the paragraphs require unity, coherence, emphasis, until all revolves and highlights a complete thought. The complete thought could be shown from a topic sentence. In a more formal paper, the complete thought is the thesis, which is supposed to be supported with significant details.

Know by heart the use of proper punctuations. Know the rules of capitalization, which are included in the study of nouns and pronouns. Know how to spell. Spelling goes in getting familiar with words and more words. A dictionary will help.

Be familiar with sentence faults, and practice how to express yourself clearly. All these, and you will get through one by one. As one poet says about writing in a metaphor, “Writing is learning bird by bird.” And don’t worry if errors come, “No grammar is perfect.” Learning how to write requires checking and revising, among others.

Finally, read a lot. If possible, read the news everyday. Also, one article or one story each day would help. After learning the rules, break them and write in your own voice or style.

Good luck!

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How To Write Objectively On A Controversial Topic

Journalism is writing objectively. You need significant and primary data to write articles.

A controversial topic is somewhat unsafe to write or the writer might turn out to be scandalous, or be charged with libel.

Columnists are experts on these controversial topics like politics, law, economic trends, societal issues, government foibles, and current events issues, among others. They know which techniques to use.

Also, the editorial page of newspapers says a lot and explains on such issues.

Before you can write about the controversial issues, you have to study the topic thoroughly, like present enough evidence, conduct an updated research and interview. Moreover, go into investigative journalism. The positive (advantages) and negative (disadvantages) sides must be noted in detail and comprehensively. Beware of gossip, this will demerit your credibility. The writer (journalist/reporter), who delivers authentic facts is standing on a strong ground. If the readers find out, or the editors/publisher might have missed out that you were making-up stories, the writer’s career is doomed.

If you present true data, then you are safe to give your points. Be fair as possible. Get some people or specialists to testify on the controversy, but don’t keep blaming someone or be too preachy. The readers are intelligent. They have their own minds to explore on the topic. Just give them the lead and lay down your information, then your points or principles, and others points, as fair as possible. Remember that objectivity is true facts and figures.

Show the data strongly, and avoid the word “maybe.”

Here are some tips for your news and controversial topics:

1. The facts must be accurate. When in doubt, “leave out.”
2. The facts are not opinions.
3. Answer carefully the questions pertaining to the facts.
4. Omit unnecessary details. The controversial topic is not literature.
5. Present an evidence.
6. Present statistics.
7. Get a sharp photo about the topic.
8. Interview experts on the topic.
9. Be prepared to answer queries.
10. Verify and check the facts. (reference books and/or source books)

Examples of controversial topics are bills passed by law makers, councils, and those that concern the public welfare. But then, in any undertaking courage is needed. If you have something significant to report or verify, if it holds the truth: don’t be afraid.

Truth wins, even way up from the popular. In this present time, we have what we call “people’s power, community power, and networks, among others.

So why not? If it’s good for all, truth is the only way out! Write about it, it’s the one way out.

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How To Develop A Reputation As A Credible Author

Being a good writer is not just writing a paper and getting an A. It is not just being published one time, read one time, or trying a manuscript one time. “It is hard labor,” that truth in Eliot I have always remembered in my Literary Criticism subject under Professor Campomanes.

As for me, aside from my daily grind of life, I have discovered my bones as a writer. My life is embedded in what I have learned from time and finding solace and inspiration in my work as tasks I could share. I find my work challenging and excruciating, too, like something you just can’t leave or not do. I can leave all others, but not writing because it sustains my existence and my communication with the Divine. I don’t assume anything I’d get from it, but as I find it so comforting, it brings me bliss and all inside of me, bursting like foam of clouds and fire from heaven. Of course, my younger days were over, when I got big payments. Now is pay back time, in whatever deal of simplicity as a common worker, I must assume a better purpose while I still can.

Tips:

Join writing seminars and workshops.

Be an expert in your field, if you aren’t a writer by profession. You must be an expert in your niche.

Read a lot. At least, read an article from a magazine or ezine and a story from a good book or blog.

Be a student or brainstorm with other writers, teachers, and experts.

Learn from good authors and learn to share factual information and inspiring ideas.

Know how to observe and listen attentively.

Write the truth without fear.

Relate to facts that are truthful to life and be ready with statistics or proof, if needed.

In fiction, whatever the theme, some lessons are necessary. The readers will feel it in their hearts and understand the light you spread in words.

You are good as your last article or story. You must not stop, if you really want to be a serious writer.

Be prompt in submission to editors, teachers, and co-writers, among others. Beat deadlines.

Humility is very important. In fact, the better authors and the best writers are those who bleed and labor, in completion of their writing endeavor.

Join a network of credible editors, authors, teachers, students and more writers.

When I started writing, I was just a naive housewife, but I endured. I lived my days and nights in mind, with nothing but what I’d write. I lived my stories real as my flesh, real as where I am now, and pleading to God that something divine might come day by day. Today, I know what my bones are made of in the beautiful chance that God gave to me.

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Fortezza of Rethymno

Originally posted on The Sophomore Slump:

I think its about time for me to tap into the history of Crete. I found just the right place. Fortezza of Rethymno is quite the destination to talk about it. ;)

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The Sophomore Slump Recommends:

Music: Trouble by Ray Lamontagne – A singer-songwriter album to its truest form. This troubadour is one for the books in my book. :)

Prepare to be amazed … here is … Shelter.

Movie: The Slumdog Millionaire – You gotta admit, this made-epic movie is still incredibly entertaining.

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Today a tour in Fortezza of Rethymno offers overlooking panoramic views of the entire city center and the west coast of Rethymno.

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The views are just … muwah. :D

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During the 4-century Venetian period in Crete called Kingdom of Candia, there were these walls of Rethymno protecting the harbor and surrounding houses in the area. But that didn’t go so well when one Turkish attack took place because of the weak integrity of…

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The Proverbs. On Moral Lessons and Story Summaries

Many stories tell about kindness, love for work, and the perils of being lazy.

In different parts of the world, children grow up learning these stories from grandparents, relatives, helpers, and of course, the school and church.

Children get very excited every time they hear these stories. From these stories, they extract life’s lessons quite easily.

Good manners and right conduct are the writer’s evident highlights in literature, especially those that children read. Stories must be positively interpreted.

Ponder upon these Proverbs and take a folktale, fable or parable as examples.

Chapter 6.10-11

Let me sleep a little longer!
Sure, just a little more!
And as you sleep, poverty creeps upon you like a robber and destroys you; want attacks you in full armor.

Folktale: The Lazy Boy Juan

Once, Juan was asked by his mother to buy some crabs. Because he was so lazy and stupid, he told the crabs “I feel so sleepy. I’d rather sleep here under the tree. All of you crabs just walk home to mother.”

What can you say?

Chapter 6.12-15

Let me describe for you a worthless and a wicked man; first, he is a constant liar; he signals his true intentions to his friends with eyes and feet and fingers. Next, his heart is full of rebellion. And he spends his time thinking of all the evil he can do, and stirring up discontent. But he will be destroyed suddenly, broken beyond hope of healing.

Parable: The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Once, a boy spent his time thinking and stirring up discontent in his work. He thought of alarming his neighbors and playing up on them. Several times, he deceived his neighbors and shouted for help. So the neighbors tried to help him, but the boy only screamed a lie. In the end, no one came to help him when the wolf really attacked.

Chapter 6.16-19

For there are six things the lord hates – no, seven:

Haughtiness
Lying
Murdering
Plotting evil
Eagerness to do wrong
A false witness
Sowing discord among brothers

Parable: The Bundle of Sticks

Thought: Showing kindness, not discord brings true happiness and freedom to everyone.

Tips: How To Summarize Stories

1. Read the story again and again, until you can remember what happens.

Example: The Boy Who Cried Wolf

2. Know the setting, the characters, the plot (beginning, conflict, climax, resolution), the theme and the ideas or lessons, the story presents, among others.

The setting is in the farm.

The characters are the lion and the mouse. You can include the hunters, if you will portray the action in the story and write snippets of dialogue.

The climax in the plot is the time when the boy cried for help, and no one came. A real wolf attacked his flock of sheep (after his series of lying), and his neighbors didn’t believe him anymore.

3. Set a limit to your number of words (500, 250, 100). Use your own words and not those of the original author.

Be creative in your summary or re-telling of the story.

4. Retain the structure of the story. Retain the point of view of the original.

Don’t distort the theme of the story. Never mess with the truth and ideas the story tells.

5. There are many ways to be creative, but be careful with the story elements.

Make a research. Know the story by heart. Relate to your point in time and to your audience.

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