If Silence is Death and Betrayal…
some insomniac musings by The Overlord Bear/Jem De Ocampo
Both heaven and hell use fire and silence.
If Silence is Death and Betrayal…
some insomniac musings by The Overlord Bear/Jem De Ocampo
Both heaven and hell use fire and silence.
A Prayer for Mental and Emotional Stability
by Jem De Ocampo
The suffering of our hearts and minds are ultimately born of our sin, and while we more than deserve to rot in that for eternity, You dare to give us chances to reconcile with You, God the Father. We attempt to justify our broken and hateful selves and refuse to think that we ourselves are also among those who hate us and You. We even dare to use Your name for such sinful endeavors. But You always frustrate our plans and the Devil who tries to take us away from You. And Your work is always better than what we tend to think and feel. Please keep on frustrating our evils as You grow our good.
You also use our madness to remind us about how You are Christ Almighty, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, but not without giving us the power to choose to believe in You first, even as it has the risk of us choosing to refuse instead. Your heartrending trust is something worth following, even as we won’t feel good and understand things a lot along the way. You see our sinfulness ruling over our virtuousness, yet Your love for us even reaches the point where You would endure the worst humiliation we can give You. Please give our suffering meaning as we strive to improve.
Holy Spirit, help us be clearly aware of what is right and what is wrong, with our emotions giving us enough boosts in our persistence with reasonings that are according to Your will. Do not let us use that awareness as an excuse to sin, do not let us make a false dichotomy out of emotion and reason, and do not let our control over our emotion and reason be disconnected from Your power. Help us grow and maintain our love for our fellow sinners as we vanquish and prevent our sins. And our bodies are also Your temples, so please help us preserve and cherish them for Your sake, and do as You please with us.
Mother Mary, Strongest Woman, please pray for us, too. Your Immaculate Conception does not prevent us from mistaking you for someone who lived a life that is insane and sinful, making your Fiat even more powerful to the minds and hearts of us weak humans who dare to believe. And even as you live with wholehearted service to God, you certainly feel happiness and sadness and fear and even anger and disgust just like any other human. Please intercede for us and help us live with our hearts and minds with love and without loathing, both for ourselves and for others.
So this prayer goes in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit,
Artist’s Note: Why did I not think of updating this part of my blog with stuff like this during the past 2-3 years?
On second thought, I think I know why now.
Also, this is the first time I posted under this category with art I made on a PC drawing tablet. So yeah, yay~
And of course, honest constructive feedback is highly encouraged and will be highly appreciated~ \(^o^)
a piece of fiction by The Overlord Bear
beta-read by TheOtherGabby
cover illustration by The Overlord Bear
Summary: Two rich yet terminally ill men have neighboring hospital rooms. One is a cynical comedian who wants to die, while the other is some dude who awaits death with a smile and a lot of beloved companions. Somehow, they become friends before death.
If I hadn’t known about my dad, his siblings, and their parents, then I probably wouldn’t have even considered reading this in the first place. Such wonders, indeed. 😀
Even though my large family has faced hard times and even suffered, I could not imagine life without every one of my kids in my life.
I did not plan on having a large family; I had never even held a baby before our firstborn. I had moved east with Michael after our first baby was born which cut me off from daily contact with friends and family.
Although I enjoyed living in the country, raising our own vegetables and later even all our own meat, it was an isolated existence. I felt like Ruth in a foreign land but without family support because Michael’s mother was busy with a huge extended family. In addition, my husband struggled with depression. Worldly opinion screamed we should not have any more children.
The question we had struggled with for years was,“How could we remain faithful to Church teaching when Natural…
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It was just recently when I began to seriously wonder about why Jesus Christ decided to have something as ordinary as eating as the core part of a Sacrament.
Yes, I do know and believe that the Mass is one sacred activity, but if I were someone looking forward to more explosive sounds and blinding lights in our quest for divine salvation and eternal life, I think I would also end up questioning the worth of gathering in one place, listening to readings, and then eating.
Yes, eating. After that and everything else that came before it, we go back to our regular life programs. There’s the change of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ during the Mass, yeah, but it can be easy to take for granted, especially since there’s none of those flashy and spectacular sensory effects accompanying the Consecration…well, unless you count the sacristan’s bell-ringing as flashy and spectacular, but that would probably be considered negligible by the popular lover of bright sparkles and booming shockwaves.
So yeah, during my continued endeavors at praying the Rosary daily (which is tough, even if I haven’t exactly broken my current streak, mostly because I waste my time on things like hanging around with questionable people and material online for the sake of pride and such), I had those thoughts about the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist. Not like I felt disappointment, though, as I actually realized more about the true level of difficulty that we need to face to truly get to Heaven when I had those thoughts.
Think about it: Eating is pretty much the most basic form of nourishment, and we people have to eat three balanced meals a day. And then there’s Jesus, instituting the Holy Eucharist as one of the essentials in Catholic life, the core of it all being a mealtime with His Body and Blood as the main course. And sure, Sunday Masses are the required Eucharistic attendance, but don’t you think there’s something to be said about something as basic as eating being that important a task?
And hey, don’t we easily take the basics for granted? I can remember how easy it has been for me to have an eating routine that goes from not eating much to eating too much like a seesaw. I don’t eat much when I want to focus on my studies and my Tobby stuff without a lot of disturbance, and I eat too much when I come to eat after those periods. There’s also my choices of food, which has a load of carbs, oil, and sugar lately, tipping the scales out of balance. And then there’s socialization during mealtimes, which I haven’t been appreciating as much as I should, considering things like my annoyance at my family complaining – even if they’re mostly through jokes – about diet struggles and such.
Now, my dad’s talks about less fortunate people come to mind again, with them eating the scraps they can get, and then there’s me, putting myself in a cycle of fattening up and then lazing around.
Yeah, the Eucharist got me thinking more about properly appreciating the basics, alright. Oh, and in the Eucharist, we eat, and we eat something that doesn’t seem much. It’s easy to question it, to call it a cheap lie, but in that, we can see the everyday challenge that God presents us. It reminds me of John 20:29, which is Jesus’ response to the once doubting Thomas after He appeared to him and the rest of His disciples: “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet believe.”
Indeed, it makes me think more about how there really is beauty in the ordinary.
So yeah, God Almighty help us some more. 🙂
These recently past days have been quite shaking for me. There’s me trying to settle in my boarding house room and doing all those basic care stuff I should know by now, such as bathing twice a day to keep the bad smell away and eating at least three balanced meals and drinking enough water to keep my body up and going along with my breathing. There’s also me having to mash in my school schedule and doing all the required work that would come with it, which has already hit me hard as a starter via complex readings and homework that, surprisingly, are still manageable, especially with the right assistance. And then there’s making friends, keeping in touch with my family, doing Tobby work…things that would be considered “free time stuff.”
So yeah, that reminds me of being told about how vacation is just a change of occupation…and yeah, it makes sense. I think I even despaired when I first heard it? Eh, more laughable me aside, “free time” is pretty much synonymous to “vacation,” making both terms matters that shouldn’t be taken as lightly as we usually do.
Yes, I really agree that vacation is a change of occupation.
Like, really, I have realized how much the darkness can start pulling my strings once I let myself go like a puppet without strings during my free time. Doing that while feeling troubled after discovering sharp bits of info about my first pieces of homework to deal with, along with being surrounded negative vibes floating around like how environmental pollution is nowadays, got me spitting very disturbing words of pride, lust, and wrath…words that I’m not gonna go into very deeper detail about.
Yes, they’re that bad, so please don’t ask about that further…unless you’re someone I consider trustworthy enough.
So yeah, with how tough it can be, we can call it a different brand of work time, therefore turning it into what’s probably the most hated thing of humanity, considering how frequently I encounter complaints regarding work, both online and offline. Even I myself have contributed such complaints, and that sort of thinking really turned my free time into more of a waste of time, leading into moments involving me being some self-righteous, Internet-obsessed dude with quite a lust for power, fame, control, and, of course, sex.
As much as I hate to admit it, I guess I really am not ready to get into a romantic relationship yet, considering the perverted habits I still have and should discuss with trustworthy enough people, like, say, my parents, whom I still foolishly doubt despite their tried and tested dedication for me and the rest of our family all these years of our life together. And hey, talk about pride-induced anxiety and procrastination. Real easy to trick myself with that, too, and then there’s me getting wrecked by things like slow computer processing combined with going for less important matters like immediately acting on my inspiration sparks for my Tobby activities, which I consider extracurricular. A bunch of times, I’ve thought that my parents can’t help me with certain troubling matters I have to deal with, which is understandable when I consider our imperfections, but still stupid because I haven’t even tried to ask for help when they’ve helped me deal with other troubling matters before, such as a bully that kept on bugging me during high school and me having to process a controversial piece of creative nonfiction and a bunch of responses to it for class. One can’t know where the ceiling really is unless it’s felt by the touch, you know. And sure, doing so, can be a pain, but that’s the way it goes. At least I know where it is once I touch it.
And hey, my stupid pride also made me scared about and protesting against my parents correcting me by stopping my bad computer habits via them taking my laptop and phone whenever bedtime comes, something which even I myself requested from them. No wonder they have a hard time dealing with me…
Yup, free time is quite a matter for me lately. It’s been an important point of discussion during my recent Confessions as well, with the priest reminding me about how every minute can be a minute of salvation or a minute of damnation, and I couldn’t help agreeing with him.
See, often, I had been scared of letting go of certain sinful things I’ve been doing during my free time. Some of those things are things I found hard to consider as sinful, making them tougher to remove, like those hard-to-remove stains that stick on the frying pan, either requiring careful removal with dishwashing soap and water if it’s on teflon, or hard scraping with dishwashing soap and water when it’s just uncoated steel. I even thought that they would just stay there forever as unchangeable parts of my life, just a natural part of who I am…but really, who am I kidding?
And now, I’m on a cliff, having to rappel my way down or, more likely, stick to the wall and climb down, having my arms and legs getting scraped by rocks and being strained by prolonged use. That’s also gonna be me during my free time, and if I didn’t know faith, then I would’ve just let myself drop and turn into a big red splat on the very distant ground, also letting myself seep into the depths of damnation because I let myself stay ignorant through claiming that I know better than The Best Writer of All Time a.k.a. God.
And again, I’m talking about free time here. If your butt, the biggest muscle in the body, lost all feeling while you thought about how free time is another heavy load you’ll have to deal with along with work, then don’t worry, ’cause I understand.
Still, we gotta recharge well and get up well. I mean, if we can’t improve, then I wouldn’t be here writing about this and you wouldn’t be here reading this, would we?
So yeah, I gotta think better about what to do with my precious free time, which is precious not because we can cut our moral restraints loose, but because we can reach true happiness better by spending it well along with our work time. With the setup I have now, I can do things like making friends at school with more consistency, and all I need now is to put good will in, with faith, patience, fortitude, and so many other blessings from God boosting it.
I also gotta think about how regular I should keep certain things, like this weekly reflection series, that monthly reflection series I prefer doing during month-ends, uploading writing and music stuff that take a considerable while to work on well, and me going through a bunch of creative content from others for entertainment and/or inspiration’s sake. And speaking of the creative content I choose to go through, that’s another matter I gotta take seriously, as they can influence how I think, even if they’re usually subtle there. There’s also the people I follow online and how often I should check for updates on them, too.
And again, I’m talking about free time here. It’s really easy to take it for granted, you know?
And hey, all this planning I’m talking about sure is easier said than done. For example, it’s easy to get lost into unnecessarily obliging myself to be rigid with an extracurricular activity like this, depriving myself of sleep while thinking that my required workload is that of, say, a celebrity artist or something like that, when I haven’t even proven my worth with smaller things like being more consistent with doing household chores, especially chores which I don’t need to be spoken to and reminded about so much just so that I would do them.
Heh, and I dream of having a happy family of my own while having my level of self-righteousness. I’m still not ready for that yet, alright, and I still got a long way to go until I can really fulfill that dream. I gotta bring my rigidity down and be more flexible, quickly thinking of and switching to more worthwhile things to do when something I’m working on is becoming a waste of time and energy.
But again, it’s easier said than done.
And once again, I’m talking about free time here.
So yeah, God Almighty keep on helping us.
Yet again, during a Sunday, though on my way to a Mass with my family and the prayer community we’re a part of, the saying “Cleanliness is next to Godliness” suddenly made more sense to me.
Well, I guess there was me also thinking about stuff to write about for my next reflection post. I kinda felt like I was running out of topics, really, especially with my mind spending a little too much time on my comp and on the Net again. Said overspending showed in things like me sneaking in bits of writing for this on my phone’s Notes feature…so yeah, I guess I should give thanks to God for using my phone’s kinda weakened battery to mess with my excessive desires.
Huh, now that makes me think about how laziness can kill motivation. And if you ask me, laziness isn’t doing nothing, but actually being unproductive. Like, really, one can be lazy in terms of sleeping!
But hey, I think I’m going tangential here, though considering what I want to talk about, perhaps I would end up tackling my other habits in life later on in this reflection.
So, cleaning up my room.
See, in my family’s house, I share a room with one of my younger brothers, specifically the one who’s also in college. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been subtly rubbing in his laziness in terms of keeping his stuff in order by trying to clean up for him without also politely telling him to clean his stuff up. I let out a lot of groans when the occasional time comes, times when I sweep out dust bunnies and pick up scattered and even hidden trash in our room. In other usual cases, I just leave his mess alone, just like that, thinking that he should just do everything ’cause he’s being such a messy guy…
And then I remember how there are other things that I can and should clean up, like those pieces of trash within the drawers we rarely clean up…and then there’s me remembering that it’s also my room, and not just my brother’s room.
Yeah, talk about a painful pride crusher.
But really, I gotta learn to clean myself more and more, or else I’d be more susceptible to sickness, and I’d also be stuck dumb with trying to teach others how to be clean. Sure, such a thing is probably not a decisive factor in improving my whole personal life, but a contributing factor still affects stuff, and they should not be underestimated as well.
And hey, the way I treat contributing factors still can say a lot about me, just like how bits of seemingly trivial info in my favorite stories are supposed to show a bigger picture. I guess contributing factors work that way too.
Hm, I seem to have gone on another tangent again, no? Well, whether or not that is case, I still want your honest constructive feedback.
Now, back to talking about cleaning my own room. Specifically, the obstacles in my way towards doing that right. And hey, I’ll try to talk about it like how my favorite stories do.
So, now’s some time for some questions and answers:
Q. The usual obstacles in my way towards actively cleaning my room when I have the time and energy?
A. Going online too much and waiting for cleaners too much.
Q. Why do I let those obstacles get in my way so much?
A. Because I still got a lot of important online work to do, and because there are people who should be doing cleaning instead of me.
Q. Speaking of cleaners, who are those people?
A. In my family’s house, it should be my brother. In my boarding house room, well, there are cleaners who come around from time to time.
Q. But what about the things I don’t want touched? And about my thoughts on my brother, why should he be cleaning the room?
A. For the former, well, fine, I do have to clean my own things up, especially since I know myself best when compared to other people. As for the latter, well, my brother’s a lazy butt who often forgets to bring his dirty plates out of the room and on to the kitchen sink, among other things.
Q. Okay, I guess my first answer is fair enough, but the second…Well, aren’t I forgetting those drawer and closet items which I haven’t been using for so long?
A. Uhh…but most of them are my brother’s.
Q. But I still have some that are mine, right?
Q. And whose room is that again? My brother’s and…?
A. …Mine. But I still have more important work to do! Like with my comp! And online too!
Q. And what’s so important with my computer and online activities that I gotta forego cleaning the room?
Q. Come on, what am I gonna say?
A. A bunch of peeps out there are within reach of my amazing artistic potential, and I would like to develop it by creating and sharing and creating and sharing and…uhh…
Q. And what about that “JUSTICE!” I just screamed? What’s that got to do with this?
A. I GOTTA TEACH THOSE NUTS RIGHT AND BRING JUSTICE!
Q. Can my own self give me a detailed plan for that, then, please? Like, say, including how I’ll properly maintain my mind, body, and soul along the way and not succumb to the poisonous nuttiness that I want to defeat?
A. Uh…Uhh…Okay, you’re sounding just like Mom now, you know.
Q. Yes, it seems so, but aren’t I just trying to run away now at this point?
A. Okay, fine, I suck.
Q. I only suck?
A. Okay, I can improve too, so stop bugging me already!
So yeah, now’s a good time for me to get back to some actually productive work, no?
Also, God Almighty help me again. Sucking at tasks so ordinary, although not exactly a decisive factor, can still be a mark of my spiritual weaknesses. Thinking about that some more as well, I’ve realized that the capital sins that often get in my way lately are pride, lust, and sloth. I think too highly of myself, thinking that I’m way above doing ordinary tasks, even to the point of being a coward and lying to myself about what I can do when it comes to ordinary tasks. I long too much for fame and control, longing to keep on working on my online activities, desperate to get famous and powerful real quick, all while lying to myself that I’m doing things for the good of others. I groan a lot when I need to do chores, especially urgent ones, even blaming my tendency towards rigidity instead of fighting against said rigidity when I’m faced with such sudden things.
And yes, there is such a thing as lying to oneself. I myself still have difficulty with noticing such occurrences within me, and I think that my improved detection on those is pretty much a miracle being caused by God. So yeah, I thank God Almighty so much.
And hey, although I find this kinda awkward to say because of my dumb pride getting in my way when other people ask me to pray for them…well, I ask that you pray for me as well.
So yeah…honest constructive feedback is highly encouraged and will be highly appreciated.
Despite my struggles with maintaining a regular exercise routine, I think it’s something that has taken root with depth in my life.
Well, my reasoning for that is how I tend to think of other tough but important things in life as things that remind me of exercise. Said things include learning from school, honing my creative craft, and doing whatever God wants me to do.
And just like most people I’ve encountered, I’ve been someone with a very pessimistic and reactive view towards regular exercise. I didn’t want to be tired, I didn’t want to feel those growing pains, and if I tried to put effort into exercise, I didn’t want such slow developments on my body.
Heh, and that reminds me of my lust…and not just the sexual sort. There’s my lust for fame and my lust for control as well, something which shows in my messy time management that has me staying up so late at night with my computer and slacking off on keeping the house in order. The poor and rushed execution just ends up twisting me away from the noble goal I wanted to reach and into a shoddy imitation that looks like the real deal because of my wrong processing.
Now, back to talk about exercise, I’m reminded about things like how to stretch properly and how to breathe properly. And if I were someone with a lazier mindset, I would be questioning the whole “how to breathe properly” part plus wisecracking with a “I’m still alive, therefore I’m already breathing properly, genius.”
And, uh…to be honest, I’m still mostly curious about the basics of proper breathing in exercise. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Anyway, lack of physical fitness technical knowledge aside, I have a growing liking for appreciating the importance of exercise and other related physical fitness essentials. I honestly wanna have a better figure, yeah, but if that were my only goal, then I would be easily swayed into complacency by all those “You’re perfect so just eat and exercise how you want” attempts at encouragement or all those “Go starve yourself and overwork for quicker results” calls of the desperate.
See, when more regular exercise became more involved in my life, I felt more alive. There was a subtle feeling, something with an effect that became more noticeable when I looked back after a considerable while of alternating mornings with exercise and no exercise. There was also an overt feeling, something which became more satisfying the more I gradually challenged myself.
And sure, seeing my figure become more pleasing to the eyes may be a cause for celebration, but that’s not everything. Another effect which I consider essential is having the feeling of someone who’s ready to take on tougher challenges.
Hm, maybe that’s the endorphin release kicking in? I don’t know if I remembered it correctly, but I think there’s something about exercise and endorphins that I learned during physical fitness theory class and that one exercise psychology lesson…
Anyway, although it may seem like something little, I find outdoing myself in exercise rewarding. Be it lengthened running time or a further in-sync dance workout performance, knowing that I’m able to break my own records, even by just a little difference, is something that makes me feel more alive and optimistic, especially when I think about how big things are made up of little things. It makes me want to endure a good amount of pain for a length of time that would end up feeling shorter if I work hard enough. It also reminds me about how talent – which, although in different forms, is something that I believe everyone has – would just be waste without it being sharpened and maintained as an evil-cutting blade.
Along with that, exercise becoming a routine feels lighter yet still fulfilling when compared to random blasts with exercise. It teaches me about how to have faith and patience, about how to not be complacent nor desperate. It also reminds me about how there’s a time and place for everything, particularly through doing exercises for specific parts of my body and changing the contents of my exercise routine.
And speaking of having faith and patience, I sometimes feel as if I’m insulted when my parents remind me to exercise, especially while we’re eating together with the rest of the family. There’s also when I feel discouraged by sudden stuff like bad weather, which keeps me from doing outdoor jogging, an exercise which I like to do, or being unable to do exercise in the morning because of my tired body. But I guess that’s just my pride trying to doing its usual stuff that is covering up and being the glass barrier that it is. Fortunately, it’s a glass barrier, which means that it can be shattered easily. If it doesn’t break or if it hurts me more than it should, then it’s just that I don’t put enough force and/or smarts into my smash.
Anyway, it’s not just my parents’ exercise reminders which the glass barrier that is my pride perceives as slights and uses to keep me foolish. There are also the reminders about eating enough and sleeping enough, reminders about things that would create an even bigger boost of health to not just my figure but also my mind and soul when done well with exercise. And freaking nuts, I find similarities even between dieting and exercise!
So yeah, I guess those reminders about a sound body leading to a sound mind do hold water. And of course, better not forget pushing my willpower towards that direction. Like going for those dance workouts in a smaller but still spacious enough room when rain falls and keeps me from going outdoors. That, and listening to my parents some more, ’cause I know that they can teach a lot more worthwhile lessons than what my ugly-colored glass barriers try to show me, considering their struggling yet still inspiring efforts at keeping themselves in good shape. Like, my dad managed to finish marathons before, and my mom’s diet efforts are shown by her printed diet plan and the ingredients she prepares separately from the rest of the family’s meals!
And indeed, the gym isn’t the only place where improvement and maintenance happens…so God Almighty help me do better.
As for when this exercise routine of life, breaks and changes and all, will no longer be needed…well, only God knows, I guess.
And now, back to putting effort into following what He has prescribed for me…
Here’s something that resonates with me and how I’ve been growing lately, yo.
4th Sunday of the Year
One of the recurrent challenges posed by non-believers to Christians , or even by believers struggling with their faith is how can one believe in a good creator God when there is so much evil in the world. I can appreciate the depth of this challenge to faith when it is reported that each year there are 45 million abortions worldwide. It is also understandable that even Christians may well question why God does not somehow intervene and put an end to this carnage. Even the Apostles asked Jesus in the boat when a storm came up and he was asleep, “Do you not care that we are perishing!” So anyone can honestly question why God tolerates such massive evils in His creation.
Now the response of the believing Christian when confronted with such massive evil has to begin from two firm beliefs based upon the…
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