"For a long time I have held my peace, I have kept myself still and restrained myself; now I will cry out like a woman in labor, I will gasp and pant" (Is 42:14)

Day 20: Openness to Awe and Wonder

here is an animated film entitled “Soul” released in 2020 that I would like us to ponder on day twenty of the Season of Creation. There are spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen the movie yet! Towards the end of the film, Joe Gardner (Jamie Foxx) finally got the gig he wanted in his entire life. On the day he was told that he was selected, he met with an accident and died on the spot. However he managed to regain back his life to fulfill his dream gig of playing the piano with jazz legend Dorothea Williams (Angela Bassett). When the show was finally over he felt empty–his bubble was suddenly pricked. Joe had finally passed the rubicon and, all along, he had been hoping to feel different, to feel intense excitement and happiness. That did not happen. Dorothea consoled him by telling the story of the two fish. “I heard this story about a fish. He swims up to an older fish and says: ‘I’m trying to find this thing they call the ocean’. ‘The ocean?’ the older fish exclaims in disbelief, ‘that’s what you’re in right now!’ ‘This’, says the young fish, ‘this is water. What I want is the ocean!’”

In this parable of the two fish, the younger fish has an incessant desire to experience honor, praise and glory. Such pursuit is not wrong per se but it becomes dangerously wrong the moment it turns into greed and it clogs the senses from appreciating the many joys found in the here and now. Many times we find ourselves like the young fish–always seeking for what is best at breakneck speed and not taking a second to appreciate the many second bests that have transpired right before our very eyes. We are living in an ocean of God's creation but to be able to see, taste and relish the beauty all around us in the everydayness we must have that openness to awe and wonder.

Pope Francis writes in Laudato Si', I quote,
"lf we approach nature and the environment without this openness to awe and wonder, if we no longer speak the language of fraternity and beauty in our relationship with the world, our attitude will be that of masters, consumers, ruthless exploiters, unable to set limits on their immediate needs” (Laudato Si' 11).



  1. Appreciate what is at hand. No more chasing ...Time to let go of nothing...Stop looking so afar when actually the treasure is at present moment...in front of me.. .Thanks po Fr. Jomari! Gid bless!

  2. Thanks for sharing this movie, Fr. JM… I enjoyed so much watching it last night!

    I like this particular quote, “The spark is not finding the purpose of your life, but the meaning of it.”

    I would like to connect that SPARK to HAPPINESS. Everyone perhaps like me is looking to attain and retain happiness in their life. But sometimes I tend to look at it in a somehow superficial way, like without having troubles and sufferings, always smiling, with light feelings. I failed to find the MEANING of it that gives the depth of its purpose. Why am I Happy? I remembered one line from a drama, “Does someone cries when she is happy?” Sometimes, I stop at that painful part and become blinded by it. I see struggles but do not recognize each victory. When I am faced with difficulties, I forgot the moments in which God gave me bountiful graces to move forward.

    “Does someone cries when she is happy?”
    Yes, It might have been an overwhelming feeling of joy, passing through life’s challenges, winning over the battle, being forgiven, and carrying the yoke of the cross with trust and faith. Perhaps, these give much more meaning to happiness.

    Take care po, Fr. JM and GBU!

    1. Thanks so much for your wonderful sharing! I can feel how it springs from your prayers seeing the one "Constant" amidst all the ups and downs, tears and laughters! GBU!


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