TRAVEL THEME: Metal#2: The Eiffel Tower

TRAVEL THEME: Metal#2:  The Eiffel Tower

There is no more magnificent and artistic piece of metal out there in the world that could in any way give the Eiffel Tower the run for its own money. It is the king of metalworks.

But what really makes the Eiffel Tower so special is the many people who hug and kiss, eat and drink, love and celebrate. These all make the Eiffel Tower a softened metal, in that, people around it immediately exude a sense of beauty and freedom, no matter how much crowd there is. So when I hear of metal, this si the one that first comes to mind, and I am sure I am not the only one.

This is my second entry to Ailsa’s Challenge: Metal.

TRAVEL THEME: Metal #1: The Pummerin

TRAVEL THEME: Metal #1: The Pummerin

I am truly convinced that the bell is a necessity for life, even in the spiritual life. A bell sets order and communion. In our seminary, we used to refer to it as the “Voice of God”… and do I still have to explain?

Here’s a magnificent bell. Folks, meet The Pummerin, which I came in close contact in 2012, during my pilgrimage to Vienna, Austria. The composer Ludwig van Beethoven discovered the totality of his deafness when he saw birds flying out of the bell tower as a result of the bells’ tolling but could not hear the bells. St. Stephen’s Cathedral has 23 bells in total. The largest is officially named for St. Mary, but usually called Pummerin (“Boomer”) and hangs in the north tower. At 20,130 kilograms (44,380 pounds), it is the largest in Austria and the second largest swinging bell in Europe (after the 23,500-kilogram (51,800-pound) Peter in Cologne Cathedral). Originally cast in 1711 from cannons captured from the Muslim invaders, it was recast (partly from its original metal) in 1951 after crashing onto the floor when its wooden cradle burned during the 1945 fire. The new bell has a diameter of 3.14 metres (9.6 ft) and was a gift from the province of Upper Austria. It sounds on only a few special occasions each year, including the arrival of the new year.  (information from Wikipedia)

This is my first entry to Ailsa’s Travel Theme Challenge: Metal.  Thanks.



One of my favorite spiritual exercises in letting go is riding roller coasters. There is no better feeling that being taken for a ride by a machine that was creative for this purpose. Roller coaster give a sense of excitement or thrill that one can only enjoy if one actually lets go of all types of control and just let’s the roller coaster what it best does – take you for a crazy ride with the promise that you will be all right in the end.

Isn’t riding roller coasters so much a lot like living one’s life in full gear? Many things about life can be more enjoyable when we stop trying to control it or manipulate it. When we let go, we experience the true freedom of a child of God, which is what He as our Creator truly and actually intended.

I had the chance to ride this amazingly smooth roller coaster at Six Flags Great America recently, with some 8th graders in our parish school. This is called the X-Flight, and I really love it because it offers the most corkscrews (or twists), and the highlight being the one in this picture… going through a vertical as the ride twists through a vertical opening on the control tower.

This is my entry to Daily Post Photo Challenge: Twist.



As one enters the Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican City, the statue of the Pieta by Michaelangelo Buonarroti welcomes everyone on the right side. It has a way of summarizing what Saint Peter’s Basilica is all about. This work of art stands in all its glory to show that the church exists because of the death of Jesus, His sacrificial work for our salvation, and Mary, His mother, with a disturbing sign of resignation and peace in her face, symbolizes all of humanity or perhaps the Church, seemingly bearing the Christ as an offering in total surrender of the plan of God.

This is one of those things in Rome that should never be missed. Interesting enough how such a great work of art is on display, free for everyone to see, while in France the entrance to the Louvre just to see the Mona Lisa is so much more… and I have to say that this work of art is so much more precious than the Mona Lisa.

This is my entry to The Daily Post Weekly Photo Challenge: Work of Art.  Enjoy!



The Money tree, or more appropriately, shrub, has many varieties, they do not even look alike. I think when a plant bears flowers or fruits that are perfectly round, they tend to be called money tree. Well, it doesn’t matter, because this particular one has dull red flowers that certainly looks like a million dollars. 🙂

I believe that people who love the gardens and who have an appreciation for flowers, are well balanced people. The more we love the earth and its beauty, the higher is our level of our awareness of the transcendent. That is why gardeners are awesome people!

This is my SECOND ENTRY to Ailsa’s Where’s My back Pack Travel Theme Challenge: Blossoms.



Flower #1: Calachuchi. That is the local name of this variety of flower. The more common name for the rest of the world is Plumeria. This particular variety is usually a smaller plant, unlike the other varieties that can become big trees.

Flower possess in themselves such enchanting beauty, and their varieties make a garden very beautiful and interesting. That is exactly like human life. The varieties of humans that we meet in our lives enrich us, and so therefore, the differences among individual should never threaten us, but rather excite us to widen our horizons.


This is my FIRST ENTRY to Ailsa’s Travel Theme Challenge:  Blossoms.    Thanks!

CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE: Trees#2 – Sequoias

CEE'S  FUN FOTO CHALLENGE: Trees#2 - Sequoias

So I just returned from a very short but substantial trip from California. My friend lives in Bakersfield, as so i we were looking for places to do during the short visit, my eyes went like a beagle to the national park called Sequoia and King’s Canyon National Park, some three hours northeast of Bakersfield. I have always been longing to see these giant sequoias, and this particular national park boasts of the BIGGEST TREE IN THE WORLD – it’s called the General Sherman Tree, that distant middle tree in this picture. The drive and the half mile hike to this tree was not bad at all, although I was a passenger. I can imagine how it’s like to drive up there. It happened to be raining in that part of California that day, and so as we went up to the Sequoia National Park, the rain started to turn into frozen rain to sleet, to real snow. By the time we made it to the area of General Sherman, we were literally seeing a winter wonderland scene! Yeah, we had a long and tiring winter in Chicago, but this one was different. I was looking at pines and sequoias that stood up into eternity, and the snowing was sweetly dancing down from leaf to leaf, and it wasn’t that chilly at all, because there was no nasty wind that could drop the temperatures to frigid nastiness. I have to say that I have been in Chicagoland for 14 years, and I never expected that I had to go to California to be able to see the prettiest winter scene I have ever seen in my life.

The sequoias are amazing, especially as they are mixed with the other trees. The old sequoias are amazing to see, and standing next to them is a deeply spiritual experience. It is humbling and overwhelming at the same time to be in the midst of old trees that hover over me. For some of these sequoias to live over a thousand years, I can only bow in reverence. It teaches me that life is truly miraculous, and the only possible explanation for these to remain alive after so many years is that there is truly a universal design to each and every specie of creation, and behind it all is a divine order.

This is my SECOND entry to Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Trees. Thanks!

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