NEWS AND VIEWS
by Tess Colayco
The COP virtual Prayer
Room is open! Every Tuesday morning and Friday evening the virtual
adoration chapel has been a place of silence and stillness, reflection
and prayer, where people go for an hour just be-ing with the God of
silence, compassion and love. It is open to both COP members as well
as anybody who wishes to spend time with the Lord, in silent
In particular, the intentions for having the Prayer Room are the
• For the healing of the world
• For an end to the pandemic
• For the coming elections
• For prayer requests
“For God alone my soul in silence waits.” (Ps 62:1) …
“Be still and
know that I am God.” (Ps 46:10)
On Sept. 16, Lita Salinas gave a talk to the Centering Prayer group
heads at their 3rd Quarter Meeting. It was a deepening formation talk
on centering prayer and Lectio Divina. The following points were
highlighted by Lita:
• Persevere in the prayer
for its only in one’s fidelity to it that personal transformation will
happen with God’s grace
• Consent to be transformed
• The spiritual journey is a “camino”, a journey with God
• In Lectio Divina, one reads Scripture, reflects on it and lives the
Word in one’s ordinary daily life. Without obedience to God, lectio is
A workshop on The Human Condition was held on Sept. 17 to Sept. 18,
facilitated by Chickie Ferraren and Billie Trinidad, 2 commissioned
presenters of Contemplative Outreach. It was attended by 45 people. At
the end of the workshop, Terly Chikiamco and Pixie Cuisia shared with
the group, the fruits of centering prayer in their lives. Terly spoke
about the practice of the “active prayer sentence” that help her in
dealing with afflictive emotions, while Pixie shared her experience of
“changing the values of the unconscious” as a way of dismantling the
false self system.
Beth Nasal was moderator, aided by the technical team of Cris
Rosenthal and Sam Leuterio.
Fr. Tito Caluag was presider at COP’s monthly Mass for Sept. Before
the Mass, he gave an inspiring talk on what it means to be a
contemplative person. “Listening to the voice within is very important
in one’s spiritual journey. Be mindful of God’s call to us while
living our ordinary daily lives.”
Mary is the perfect example of a contemplative person. She always
listened to God’s messages to her, sought understanding when she was
not sure what they meant, discerned, and followed God’s will. Her
mission was to be the mother of God and she lived up to this task with
“To be a contemplative is to be attentive and present to each moment
as it unfolds.” Reverence is important in responding to the leadings
of the Holy Spirit. Devotion moves us to action. “To contemplate
reality is to contemplate God. “
For COP’s Mass and talk in August, Fr. “Junjun” Borres, S.J., brought
up the following thought-provoking points:
• Prayer is lifting our mind and heart to God. It is a relationship
with God “who is obsessed with us”. It is to think, and live His
presence. God initiates and sustains us in our prayer.
• Go to God as we really are. We are acceptable to God whether we are
“holy” or not. He loves us unconditionally.
• By the fruits of our prayer, we will know whether or not our prayer
is authentic. Some fruits of genuine prayer: being more loving,
forgiving, non-judgmental; being less biased/prejudiced, less proud
and arrogant, etc.
• To be “holy” is to walk with God despite our flaws, and trust in His
abiding presence in our lives.
• There ought to be no aspect in our life that is outside of prayer.
An Introduction to Centering Prayer was held on Aug. 18 to Aug. 19.
This was done in Tagalog. Presenter was Charit Montalban, head of
Retreats and Workshops committee in CCOS (Coordinating Circle of
Service). The 2-day workshop was attended by 17 participants. Sharing
with the group about the fruits of centering prayer in their lives,
was Joyce Adan. She mentioned several positive changes that she
experienced thru her fidelity in the prayer such as gentleness, peace,
In the COL (Contemplative Outreach Ltd.) quarterly publication, The
Voice, COP was featured showing its different activities, workshops,
A workshop on the Human Condition was held on June 8 - June 9, 2021
attended by 30 participants. It was facilitated by
Charit Montalban. Sharing the fruits of centering prayer in her life
was Beth Ngo.
The topics presented were the following:
• God’s original blueprint for man whom He made in His image and
• Our natural instinctual needs for security/survival,
• Man’s difficulty in finding happiness due to his sense of
alienation/separation from God
• The True Self as the self created in the image and likeness of God.
• The False Self as the injured and compensatory self.
• Dismantling the False Self system thru:
* the active prayer sentence
* guard of the heart
* letting go of the emotional programs for happiness
Healing and transformation are the result of our spiritual practices
of centering prayer and lectio divina. At its best, we progress from a
state of resentful resignation to one of joyful acceptance of God’s
For our monthly Mass and spiritual talk for June, Fr. Pat Villasanta,
SDB, celebrated the Eucharist, and Dr. Carmen “Pinky” Valdes gave a
talk on “Viktor Frankl – Man’s Ultimate Search for Meaning”. It was
attended by 94 COP members, and friends. The following are some of the
profound quotes that Dr. Valdes gave for our reflection.
• “He who has a “why” to live for can bear with almost any “how”.
• “If there is meaning in life at all, then there must be meaning in
suffering.” (Viktor Frankl)
• Happiness cannot be pursued. It is a by-product.
• Spirituality is an experience, an ongoing practice.
• The meaning of life differs from one person to another moment to
• “Dance with me, God, at every moment in my life”.
• The ego has to die. … What is to give life, must endure the burning.
• The more you love, the more you are open to suffering, pain and
• God consciousness is being one with God.
• “Forces beyond your control can take away everything you possess
except one thing, your freedom to choose how you will respond to the
situation.” (Viktor Frankl)
COP invited Dr. “Pinky” Valdes on July 10, 2021, to give another talk
as a follow-up to the previous month’s talk on man’s ultimate search
for meaning , based on the book by Viktor Frankl. The morning’s
activities started with a Mass celebrated by Fr. Dave Buenaventura,
In her talk, “Where the Ego and its Shadow Hide”, Dr. Valdes explained
some of the characteristics of the Ego.
Among them was the fact that the Ego has several layers in our
consciousness, going all the way down to the unconscious level. Here
we are not aware of the materials (i.e., our woundedness, traumas,
negative experiences, fears, sadness, coping mechanisms, emotional
programs for happiness, etc.) that contribute to our False Self.
The Ego is not bad in itself. We need it to survive especially in
childhood. It only becomes problematic when it controls the way we
think and act. Then it needs to be moderated. The False Self, referred
to by Dr. Valdes, as the “scaffolding” that we have, is not our True
Self. It is an illusory self but we erroneously think that it is who
It takes courage and humility to see and admit our woundedness and
flaws buried in the unconscious. But we must acknowledge it, accept
it. Denying it will only prolong our bondage to our Ego. As Dr. Valdes
said: We must kiss our woundedness.
In our life journey, we meet all kinds of experiences, some of which
leave us in a state of bewilderment, confusion, and terror. How do we
respond to these life-shaking situations? Rainer Maria Rilke, a German
poet gives us an answer:
“…have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to
love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books
written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers,
which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to
live them. And the point is to love everything. Live the questions
now. Perhaps then someday far into the future, you will gradually
without even noticing it, live your way to the answers.”