MattAndJojang's Blog

God. Life. Spirituality.

Posts Tagged ‘Paul Aguas

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…


Written by MattAndJojang

August 27, 2018 at 1:15 pm

Remembering My Father

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Paul Aguas

A short piece written by Matt’s sister, Katherine, to honor their father, Paul Aguas, on his 21st death anniversary.

My father was a man who had smiles to brighten your days,
Who always made you feel good with his warm words of praise
And what’s more he knew what to do to make your wishes come true.
He was my father.
My father was someone who always had good stories to tell,
But just as importantly he knew how to be a good listener as well.
He was patient & kind and the very best friend you could ever hope to find.
He was no ordinary man,
And I’m proud to tell the world that he was my father.
Rest in peace, Daddy. We miss you so much.

–Katherine Aguas Padua


Written by MattAndJojang

December 16, 2014 at 8:58 am

A Private Audience With A Saint

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A Private Audience

An awesome moment: my Dad and my Mom having a private audience with Pope John Paul II! He will be declared a saint today…

— Matt

Written by MattAndJojang

April 27, 2014 at 8:51 am

“See the Good…”

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Matt's Dad and Mom. Photo taken at Monterey, CA.

Matt’s Dad and Mom. Photo taken at Monterey, CA.

See the good. Assume the best. Be ready to forgive.

~ Paul Aguas (Matt’s Dad)

Written by MattAndJojang

June 10, 2013 at 10:37 am

Remembering Dad

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Paul Aguas, Matt's Dad, bowing before Mother Teresa of Calcutta while she holds his hands.

“… but she out of her poverty put in all the living that she had.”  ~ Luke 21:4

Paul Aguas was a man who loved God.

When he was young, he was a man of the world. He married young and had a family. He earned his first million at the age of 23. He was successful in his endeavors and enjoyed life to the hilt.

In 1972, he was invited to attend a prayer meeting. Along with his family, the Lord touched them and changed their life forever. Since then, Paul Aguas and his family, chose to live an austere life similar to that of  St. Francis of Assisi. He gave up his material wealth, and spent the rest of his life preaching and teaching the Word of God.

Last 1993, Paul Aguas passed away.

But unto this day, the lives he has changed, the  lives he has enriched, the people he has touched continue to tell us that he was a man who gave up everything for the sake of the Kingdom of God. He lived a life well lived.

Just like the widow in the gospel… who gave everything she had as an offering to God.

~ Jojang

Note: Paul Aguas is Matt’s Dad. Already a successful businessman in his early 20s, he found that being successful and having all the material things wasn’t enough to make him happy. In his early 30s, he had a conversion experience while attending a prayer meeting. He then decided to give up his material wealth and live a simple life. He spent his life as a lay missionary sharing the Good News not only in our country but also in other countries up to his untimely death, at the age of 53, last December 1993. Today is his birthday. 

Written by MattAndJojang

April 1, 2012 at 11:01 am


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To pray is to open our hearts

And to wait for God to speak

And for God to reveal himself.

To pray is to give God freedom –

Complete freedom

To do what it pleases Him to do with us.

To pray is to believe and to trust

No matter what our Lord does

It is because He loves us.

To pray is to allow God to teach us How to love –

so that prayer becomes

The hunger and the thirst,

The longing and the desire

To love God more.

To pray is to allow God to destroy

The idols in our hearts – and the

Barrier we have placed between God and us,

because of our Self love.

To pray is to suffer the agony of our Sinfulness –

for despite the grace of God

we continue to sin.

To pray is to experience the sorrow of our wickedness

and yet find hope

For if God reveals us ourselves

It is only to reveal His love to us.

To pray is to suffer the agony of not

Loving enough – and to learn to

Wait in hope for God to act

For he alone can increase this desire

How to love more.

To pray is to meet the God of silence

Who loves in silence and works

In silence and brings peace

By healing us.

Speak Lord when it pleases you to speak

Reveal yourself Lord when it pleases you to do so.

I am here Lord – I am here to love you

That is all that matters. You alone matter!

To pray is to walk the journey of faith in our Heart.

Knowing that God is both our Companion and our destination!

– Paul Aguas (Matt’s Dad)

Written by MattAndJojang

June 7, 2009 at 9:48 pm

An Awesome Moment

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An Awesome Moment... My Dad and My Mom with Pope John Paul II...

An Awesome Moment... My Dad and My Mom with Pope John Paul II...


Written by MattAndJojang

December 14, 2008 at 12:18 pm

My Brother’s Passion

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Paul's Car

My brother, Paul, is a systems administrator by day but he restores old cars during his free time. That’s called passion. Just recently I got an offline message in my YM from him. He said: “Check this out.” It was a link to an article in a car magazine about his latest project – restoring a 1974 Corolla. I know he was proud that his car was featured on the magazine, and I’m happy for him. I invite you also to check it out, too. Enjoy!

– Matt

Click Here To Read About Paul’s 1974 Corolla

Written by MattAndJojang

November 19, 2008 at 9:28 am