Leo Tavarro Valdez: I have faith in His power that in His time, this health crisis He will cast away
How they know that there is God (Part 6)
FUNFARE - Ricky Lo (The Philippine Star) - April 7, 2020 - 12:00am

Second of a series

• Leo Tavarro Valdez

“I have been brought up in a Baptist family and as my parents were devoted Christians, they’ve left me a legacy of faith and belief in the Divine Ultimate Power which laid a strong foundation to my Christian faith. I am not a regular Sunday-going Christian although I pray a lot alone whether in an empty church anywhere I am sent by London doing Miss Saigon or back at home.

“My prayers are mostly a prayer of thanks, of gratefulness for all the blessings I have been showered with in my life’s journey. I believe I have a friend in Jesus who keeps me company always. And as with bowed head and deep in prayer with my eyes closed, I can almost feel a gentle hand tenderly resting on my head, a highly spiritual and emotional experience I cannot explain telling me that God is there with me, always reassuring me that the blessings are well-deserved, that I am never alone and that I have no need to worry about anything because He watches over me.

“Lastly, I know there is a God and I have faith in His power that in His time, this health crisis that made the whole world stop on its feet He will cast away and once this is over, hopefully I can look at life from an even better perspective as I get together with friends, family, and loved ones once again. Happy and blessed  Easter.”

Louie Heredia: I don’t see God but I know He is in my soul, heart and mind 24/7

• Louie Heredia

“I know that there is a God because I pray to Him every day to ask for forgiveness, to always guide me in my life and to always trust in Him in times of trials like what we are going through now. I don’t see God but I know He is in my soul, heart and mind 24/7. It is through His Word that we learn and understand what He wants us to do and achieve in our lives.”

Joel Tuason (with wife Carla Angeles-Tuason): It is through faith that I know God exists.

• Joel Tuason, a Eucharistic Minister, Los Angeles, California

“This is a question of faith. St. Thomas Aquinas did a thesis on faith. He said that whatever comes from God will return to God. It’s one attribute that we give God and that is creation.

“As I was growing up with my faith, I looked at the mountains, the forest, the animals and, most of all, the people.The air we breathe, the food we eat, where do they come from? They are truly God’s creation.

“The thesis of St. Thomas is so true because God created us and he said that when we die we go back to Him. I know in my heart that God exists. I had a lot of heartaches and He comforted me. God always puts me in the right direction no matter how many times I deviate from Him. He is like a GPS. Every time I make a wrong turn, He points me back to the right path. God’s existence is truly a mystery.

“The Holy Mass that we celebrate is always being offered to God through the sacrifice of His Son Jesus. And right after the consecration, the Holy Spirit takes it all back to the Father with all our offerings. It is through faith that I know God exists. Without faith, we are helpless.

“I hope I shed some light to this question. Check out St. Thomas Aquinas on exitus reditus...LIFE IS NOT A RACE, IT IS A JOURNEY.”

Arlina Onglao (with Martin Nievera): On the career path I have chosen, which deals with travel, I see God working miracles in my life

• Arlina Onglao, travel tour manager that organizes pilgrimages (Journeys of Faith) to the Holy Land

“From early childhood at home and in school, I have been trained to believe that there is a God. My grandparents together with my aunts would pray the Holy Rosary every 6 p.m. without fail.

“On the career path I have chosen, which deals with travel, I see the same God working miracles in my life by way of many answered prayers. My friend from Philippine Airlines (PAL) days, Nina Intengan, once suggested to me to light candles at the church of Our Lady of Good Voyage in Antipolo and pray for all my departing pilgrimage groups for their protection and safety. This I immediately did so. I was often going to Antipolo to do this regularly for all my departing groups. Now the parish that we have moved to is named Nuestra Senora de la Paz y Buenviaje. The Lady has moved closer to me now. What a blessing!

“But today, many pilgrims going to the Holy Land are experiencing extreme difficulty due to the lockdown in Bethlehem and the West Bank...very long waits at the borders and even closure between the borders of Jordan and Israel, and Israel and Egypt. Last February, my groups had already left but I was able to stop my next group scheduled to leave last month Indeed, what a blessing! We are really guided by Our Lady and Mama Mary.

“But my last group successfully crossed the border from Israel to Jordan without any delays. Our driver told me that as soon as they had left, floods started forming from the heavy rains so the border had to be closed. They left in the nick of time. So, how can there not be a God?”

(E-mail reactions at rickylophilstar@gmail.com. For more updates, photos and videos, visit www.philstar.com/funfare or follow me on Instagram @therealrickylo.)

ARLINA ONGLAO JOEL TUASON LEO TAVARRO VALDEZ LOUIE HEREDIA
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