Palangga Beloved JJ Oil Pic
edited: Thursday, August 04, 2011
By Nellie Sonido Feng
Rated "G" by the Author.
Posted: Wednesday, August 03, 2011
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a letter I wrote to Fr.Arsenio C. Jesena, SJ 's niece Tisay eight months before she passed to the eternal beyond...
Palangga ~ Beloved ~ JJ Oil Pic
written AMDG by Nellie Sonido Feng
April 15, 2010 ( Monday)
Despite being bedridden for a week , thank you for replying to my text message yesterday. I hope you are feeling better now. Please continue to be strong in Christ Jesus. Be assured with the thought that Fr.JJ and I have you always in our prayers.
Given the choice, you know I would readily fly to Bacolod and be with you in person, and again, we would gather together in your Mom Daday’s place with your husband, Tingting, Stella, Bandoy , Naty and the kids. We can even call Fr.JJ in Ateneo de Manila and Selen in Paranaque and have a mini tele-conference!
For now, let us focus our attention on your framed postcard size reproduction of Fr.JJ’s oil portrait painted by Joey Velasco. Recall how two years ago, he gifted each one of the Bacolod Jesenas with a rosary that he blessed and a copy of that picture. Feel Fr.JJ’s warm spiritual presence there with you right now. Allow tranquility to embrace you . Gently put his picture over your heart as you pray using his gift rosary. The picture, as always, will emanate a tangible warmth in confirmation that Fr. JJ is praying for you and that GOD HEARS you as you join your prayers with him. Be loved, be healed my dear Tisay…notwithstanding the endless dialysis , the complications, the nausea , the side effects, you know in your heart you are the one most blessed to continuously receive God’s sustaining healing grace.
Do you still remember the chain of events that led to our “ just a text away “ covenant with you and your youngest sister Tingting? To this day, what brought us all together still remains a marvel to me!
It was the year 2000, the feast day of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel ( July 16th) , a Sunday and I was in my favorite bookstore with my little girl Marianne Therese enjoying our usual book browsing . My curiousity was tweaked by a red covered book with the picture of a small silver haired lady kissing the cheek of a younger chubby curly haired bespectacled man. This book strangely entitled YAYEE 2 was written by a Jesuit priest Fr.Arsenio C. Jesena,SJ. At first , I was doing some scanning , then I found myself actually slowing down to read , then re-read some lines… and I am crying…touched, spell bound about the items found in the little make shift altar of Juni’s yayee , Otilia Cajili…. Rather than risk the embarrassment of teary puffy chinky red eyes, I bought the book that I may read it in privacy at home! Two days later, right after reading about Father Kenkoy’s “love letters’ from the simple people of Valencia , Maramag & Bukidnon , I could not help but send an email to this person whom people call Fr.JJ to let him know how much I appreciated the simple honesty of his writings . After another two days, not only did Fr.JJ wrote back, he also asked for my mailing address, to send some stuff he said. And on July 26, many copies of Yayee arrived via courier, it was the day I have become the self-appointed lifetime YAYEE liaison officer and girl Friday of Manong Juni in Cebu. Fr.JJ kept in touched and we were among the first to know that he was chosen by the ASIAN CATHOLIC PUBLISHERS INC. as one of the five recipients of the CATHOLIC AUTHORS AWARD FOR THE YEAR 2000 JUBILEE .
Upon learning that I am going to Bacolod to visit my high school classmate, Fr.JJ wanted me to meet his loved ones in Bacolod, so I had lunch with all of you in your Mom Daday Xenia’s home in Tapulanga St. I also prayed with your young son Andre. It goes without saying that Fr. JJ joined us in our little gathering through the telephone! Fr. JJ loved all of you very much but he could not be with you most of the time because as a priest he belonged to all. Although counseling and praying over people would take a heavy toll on his frail health, he never turned anyone away. I took it upon myself to be his auxillary prayer partner specially where praying for his loved ones are concerned , be it Selen in Manila or Daday or you or Bandoy, or Tingting or Romy or Xavier in Bacolod. And that is when our “ just a text away “ covenant with you and your youngest sister Tingting started. Thank you for letting me into your heart my dear Tisay when you were grieving and hurting over the premature passing of Andre. Like the recollections in Fr.JJ’s book YAYEE ,our utmost consolation is that our loved ones will be with us forever through our cherished rememberings. The cover of YAYEE 4 Embraced by God which was Joey Velasco’s oil painting of Jesus embracing an old man helped me immensely to come into terms with my own old father’s passing last Oct 23,2007.
Sometimes people would ask me what it was like to hear God in one’s heart, I say it is hearing Him in every line of YAYEE . In fact, I have yet to find a book besides the Holy Bible that speaks to me like YAYEE ! Indeed, only the Spirit of God can be the inspiration of YAYEE , those who sampled it couldn’t help but ask for more! It is clearly the spirit of Jesus moving in our midst.
How fleeting is time…first published by JAMES B. REUTER ,S.J. FOUNDATION on December 8,1998, YAYEE is turning 12 years old this year. My complete set of YAYEE 1 up to YAYEE 6 are safely tucked in my book cabinet . Through the years, Fr.JJ have sent me copies of YAYEE in English, Bisaya and Pilipino . He gave me complete freedom as to whom I will gift his books and I did just that. Wherever I go, be it in speaking engagements on inner healing or just plain traveling , I bring along copies of YAYEE. The day Manny Pacquiao won the boxing match against Miguel Cotto November last year, I was on the escalator of Ocean Park in Hongkong giving away a Bisaya copy of Yayee to a Cebuana domestic helper .
Often, people would tell me that they like my non confrontational approach because it gave them the freedom to open up at their own pace. You and I know we have the book YAYEE who led me to The JJ Way to thank for that. It is a template best explained by the picture of Jesus, gently knocking outside a massive door that could only be opened from the inside. It is Fr.JJ’s non-imposing approach nga “ wala pilitay” in bringing Jesus to those who do not yet know that they needed God! In a nutshell: "JUST LOVE THEM" unconditionally. Kay indi bala GOD IS LOVE? In loving a person and seeing their inner worth in their most unlovable moment , I learned from Fr.JJ’s way of life , that we are bringing GOD's LOVE to them. The JJ Way is the legacy of Fr.JJ in my life.
Fr.JJ has a heart so big it can contain all the broken pieces of other shattered hearts. He inspired me to wait on the Holy Spirit in the ministry of gently bringing Jesus to those who needed Him, knowingly or unknowingly. “Indi lang ta mamilit, Neng.” That is why right after the last page of my meditation materials used as an integral part of the numerous healing the inner child workshops that I have facilitated, I have a picture of Fr.JJ looking back at me, rooting for me , encouraging me to bring Jesus gently to my participants , never to change , never to convert but to "JUST LOVE THEM".
For as long as I live, I could never stop thanking God for the gift of the person Fr.JJ. He believed in me and was always there for me. He also had the knack of letting me meet people that mattered. During the summer of 2003, when he gave me a Yayee grant to learn Hypnosis and Hypnothrerapy under Fr. Jaime Bulatao,S.J. in Ateneo de Manila, I was able to meet in person Dra. Heidi, Manong Lando, Trudy, Selen, Amy Duremdes and the late Fr. Benny Colpotura, S.J. Summer of last year, in response to my query for “a place to hang-out” in Makati while waiting for my son Nathan Joshua to finish his NCLEX exam, he arranged that I meet Amy Gustilo and together we listened to her play her heavenly compositions on her grand piano. Best of all, Fr.JJ showed me the original JJ oil pic masterpiece of Joey Velasco! And before that day ended, I even had the chance to thank retired Fr. Bulatao!
So, my dear Tisay, let us agree to be both around to greet Fr.JJ on his 70th birthday this coming September 14th, okay? Who knows? Maybe we might even be there with him when he celebrate his thanksgiving mass ! Did you know that in all the ten years that I have known Fr.JJ, never did I had the chance to attend any of his masses? My siblings fared better because they were able to attend a mass celebrated by him in Boracay a few years back!
Till then Dear One…
Be well, be blessed, be loved.
AMDG APRIL 22, 2010
Nellie Sonido Feng