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Posts Tagged ‘Dom Fil Cinco

The People Who Changed My Life

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Sir Isaac Newton said that we always stand on the shoulders of other people. In other words, our lives are shaped by our encounters with people, who shared generously their time, talent and treasure with us. On the top of my list are these people who changed my life:

1. Bro. Paul Aguas – My Dad. A selfless, loving and compassionate man, who to this day remains my model in the way I live my life. He spent his short but fruitful life serving God and helping people. He did not only inspire me, but he also inspired the countless number of people he met through his ministry both here and abroad.

2. Sr. Marie Jose Garcia, SSpS – Religious of the Holy Spirit Sisters, Social Worker and Missionary. Above all, dear friend for 40 years. She introduced me to the practice of Zen meditation. Never did I imagine that the practice of Zen meditation would have such a powerful repercussion in my life, and would tide me over during the most difficult and challenging times of my life. I consider her as a friend, mentor and guide to this day.

3. Dom Fil Cinco, OCSO – Abbot of the Our Lady of the Philippines Trappist Monastery. Our conversations in the open fields of the monastery, under the blue skies, about the spiritual life, especially about the Desert Fathers, remained etched in my memory. 30+ years later it seems that those conversations took place only yesterday.

4. Sr. Elaine MacInnes, OLM – Catholic Nun and Zen Master. She patiently and generously guided us, a group of young college students, myself included, 40 years ago, in the practice of Zen meditation by conducting Zen retreats for us. The seeds she planted would later bear fruit in our lives. In my case, it just took a little longer to do so.

5. Sr. Sonia Punzalan, RC – Religious of the Sisters of the Cenacle and Zen Teacher. It was on my first Zen retreat with her that I had one of the most powerful spiritual and transformative experiences of my life. It goes without saying that it profoundly impacted my life. Almost 20 years later that experience continues to inform and affect my life. I am very grateful for her guidance and friendship.

6. Fr. Thomas Merton, OCSO – Trappist Monk, Writer and Artist. He is considered as one of the great contemplatives, and among the most significant spiritual writers of the 20th century. I’ve never met him in person, but his books on the Christian monastic and contemplative tradition, which I read when I was 15 or 16 years old, changed my life forever.

I humbly owe them a debt of gratitude. They’ve made me the kind of person that I am today…

–Matt

Written by MattAndJojang

August 27, 2018 at 1:15 pm