Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Holy Week Reflections: The Dark Night

Can someone really experience a "dark" moment in his spirituality?

One of the many talks hosted by the university I am in was attended to by a priest who happened to be a scientist as well. His talk focused on moral theology and how Christians respond to the dynamism of the modern times. He made mention of Mother Theresa who, for 50 years, experienced a "dark" moment during her spirituality, where she prayed and held her faith firmly but she felt that "no one was there to listen".

Can we really experience such? Or is it a matter of personal perspective? Did Mother Theresa simply lack faith? Or is it the will of God that made her feel that way?

I could not deny that at some point in my spirituality, I have been experiencing "dark" moments too--when I feel no one seems to listen, or at least, I have this intention to reflect, ponder upon my thoughts, and clean my heart from the worldliness it has, but something holds me back. It scares me to end up like what Mother Theresa had experienced.

This Holy Week, I feel that way. I wanted to reflect, to seek out my soul, so have a quiet moment with God, a retreat for myself, but when I try to do so, something stops me from doing it. Is it the fear that no one might be listening? Is it the fear that whatever I do, I will still sin? I do not, really. But here's one thing I know. For sure.

When Jesus prayed at the Garden of Gethsemane, He sure had His darkest night. It seemed that no one listened. It seemed His words were never heard. Yes, His disciples cam with Him, but they fell asleep when they were there, leaving Him all alone. He prayed so hard, so fearfully, that his sweat was turned to blood.

If Jesus indeed felt this dark moment in His life, then we sure will feel it too, but I am sure He will not let us down. He sacrificed His own life for us to be loved--that alone is an assurance that He would always be here to listen. We simply have to hold on to our faith more firmly than ever, and surely, He will lead us to comfort.

Pray that when the darkest moments of your spirituality test you, you would remember His sweet words seconds before He was arrested: "let that the love you have with Me be with them and that I myself may be in them."

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Holy Week Reflections: What Hurts the Most

For American Idol Season 8 Top 4 Finalist Danny Gokey, what hurts the most is having "so much to say" yet not being able to do so. For many people, anything might hurt--even the simplest of all disgraces or badlucks may ruin their day. Sometimes, when we tell ourselves that something goes awry, we overreact. We tend to view petty misdemeanors as the end of the world.

Tonight, I watched a beautiful film entitled The Memory Keeper's Daughter regarding a doctor who had twin children: one was normal whereas the other had Down's syndrome. He hid the truth from his wife, and made the nurse take care of the forsaken angel. For that child, what might hurt the most is being neglected by your very own family.

When Christ initiated the Last Supper few hours before He died, He must have felt His life's worst agony. Imagine knowing your fate: being sold, being left behind, being neglected.

Sometimes, we think of our worries to much we forget to live life's miracles.

Should you see a gray hair when you comb your hair, think of the cancer patient who wished he had at least a hairstrand.

Should your car lose gas miles from the city capital and you had no other choice but to walk, think of the paraplegic who wished he could walk that far.

Should you get caught in a fight with your parents, think of the aborted babies who wished they had a chance to have a family--at least.

Should you think your worries are the worst in this world, think of Christ who knows He could help. Seek Him out, ask Him to carry your burden. Talk to Him. Believe that He knows best. He won't let you experience the worst, for He knows what hurts the most.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Holy Week Reflections: Magdarame

For how many years in my existence, never have I encountered any Holy Week without the magdarame. With blood-soaked backs and kids at their sides like flies, flagellants whip their backs with bamboo sticks to, as they believe, be united with Christ in His sufferings.

As what people call them, the magdarame do what they do because they believe they could make damay or oneness with the sufferings of Christ. Damay literally means to sympathize with someone.

I could not help but ponder why many people chose to become magdarame where they could make other forms of repentance.

When Christ died on the cross, He never reminded us that we have to follow exactly the path He showed us. He did not literally tell us the whip our backs, carry our literal crosses and nail ourselves. What He wanted us to do is to turn away from our sins, believe in Him, and do all in our power to help the least of our brothers and sisters.

Pakikiramay with Christ in His passion is to carry our own crosses--that is, to let go of our selfish and immoral desires so we can follow His examples better. When we sympathize with Him in His sorrows, we say "sorry" for all of the wrongdoings we have done and promise to life a new life--one that is in accordance with His will.

No amount of blood can symbolize how much we have "repented" for our sins. Genuine repentance comes from within, and not from back whipping.

Have a blessed Holy Week.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Palm Sunday, Election Campaigns, Earth Hour, Criticisms, BLAH... Ü

WRITING a new post is never that difficult. You just let your mind go free, release the internal energies within, and voila, you have your post. Thinking for a new post is the part that's not a piece of cake. When you let your mind go free, it wanders, and when you are finally ready to write what you feel would be your potpourri of ideas, voila, you lose words to make a good post. Simply because there are too many ideas out there, there are not enough words or space to use.

Ano daw?

Anyways, to serve my ideas and to, at least, make an organized post, let me separate the thoughts I have. Much like a word soup, yeah. Served hot and fresh. Nyah.

PALM SUNDAY----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I missed Palm Sunday. Not that "I miss you" thingy but rather, the literal definition of the word itself. I failed to attend the Palm Blessing Rites today. Such a sinner, I know. But Palm Sunday is more than waving palm branches, is it not?

Palm Sunday holds a very significant position in my heart. Other than being a significant day in my life, it's a day when we Catholics remember the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem. For me, this day symbolizes the entry of Jesus into our hearts. After His entry into Jerusalem, His passion begins. So is it with our lives. when we finally learn to accept Christ as our Savior, His passion begins. Transforming us into better individuals is a huge work for Him, but nonetheless, He chose to save us from the evil we have become.

Funny how many Filipinos see the Holy Week as a moment to "repent" for their sins and make their ritual "panata". They slash their backs, carry crosses, and even let themselves be nailed on the cross. Anubanamanyan. No one could ever equal the sacrifices He has done even if you shed how many gallons of blood, even if you slash your back every year. I agree with the bishop interviewed a while ago at 24 Oras that repentance comes from within. What hurts the most is that many penitents sin even after they "repented". Hah. Faith is materialized.

If you do not have the capacity to turn your back from evil, then, even if you kill yourself, it is no repentance at all.

ELECTION CAMPAIGNS ----------------------------------------------------------------

Familiar faces of many, uh-oh, several candidates are seen on walls, commercials, fliers, advertisements, calendars, fans, balloons, jeepneys, blah. The rush for office and political power has truly begun. The war over mud has just coomenced.

Mud. Yes. War over mud. I do not get the rationale why ***o A*i**** and ******o *i* throw mud or humiliating words over the other. Cannot they do their jobs without stepping onto the other? It fears me to see the leaders of the nation's capital display such untoward attitudes. Hay. Oo nga pala. anu ba naman ako. It's anywhere. Not just at the capital.

Just recently, a presidentiable was given a warning due to excessive total duration of infomercials. Hah! Mali ang hula ko. After all this time, i thought the one who's got to have the warning is the presidentiable who was close to kids. Uuuy, nagka-idea. Eventually, I was wrong. Ito palang si "L" ang nabigyan ng warning. I can't help but criticize the infomercials of many candidates.

No, I am not against the infomercials. It's a way of letting the people know who you are, right, and why they have to vote for you. What I am against about is the excessive campaign materials candidates use. I can't just help but get anxious of the money they use for these campaign materials. Jusmiyo naman! Gumagastos sila ng bilyon bilyon para sa fliers habang bilyong bilyong Pilipino ang walang makain! If they used their money to feed the less fortunate, then, they would have really become good leaders. Kung sanang makakain lang ung mga fliers at infomercials, WHY NOT?

Another issue. I was watching a TV show featuring presidentiables on a debate where in any one may ask regarding any topic. One person asked a presidentiable we hide by the name %^&* where he got all the money for his infomercials. %^&* answered that all the money he used was from his own pocket. Hah! Edi kita ngayon kung sino ang sinungaling! Para saan pa ung notice na PAID FOR BY THE FRIENDS OF **************?!

Last nalang. This happened a year ago. Haha. I was going home from town proper and I was riding a jeepney when I noticed a large, very large advertisement of a loca lcandidate. I was amazed, if not disturbed, of the advertisement's words. It tells of a candidate's achievements in bullet form, as in ALL of the achievements. Wow. I wished to tell the driver manong, para po! to read what the bulletin has to say. Amazing enough, the achievements were many, but I've never seen any improvement at the local market, or at the municipality. Amazing.

If you cannot trust a person even with the minutest details, then you cannot trust him at all. Maligo ka na lang sa dagat ng basura.

EARTH HOUR ------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I love the idea of Earth Hour. It united all nations against Global Warming and Environmental Degradation. if and only if the whole world would turn off its lights one hour each week, at least, then, we might save so much that we might improve the state of our environment today.

I love watching movies that depict the probable consequences of our reckless actions today like Day After Tomorrow, etc. because they bring into consciousness my soul regarding the state of the world's environment today. Though they do not present exact science, still, the thought of being in such a devastated place is a wake up call.

Start by living a green life. Plant a seed, recycle papers, segregate waste, and you'll see how much difference you alone could do. Let us all try save our planet since it is the only one of its kind. It's the only HOME we've really got.

Could Mars provide such life?

TO end it all, I would like to ponder upon something many of us might be doing but not aware of the real deal. Think of criticizing. Many of us criticize many things, or many persons each day. We point out or index fingers and spit out red hot words to people whom we think are unworthy, or in one way or another, wrong or inferior.

Criticizing is often a mistake, if not used constructively. Criticizing someone, or something, without any adequate knowledge of that person or thing is definitely a fool's criticism. One has no right to judge the other unless he knows the very person to the bone marrow. One will never know what the other feels unless they have the same heart, same brain, same amygdala, and same hypothalamus.

Being a critique is not bad at all as long as one learns the limitations and respects the thing or person being criticized. Unless the criticism is for good, then there is not point of criticizing at all. Many the words of an ill critique arethorns to heart, while the suggestions of a constructive one are awards to the soul.

The next time you point out your finger to criticize someone or something that you think may be inferior or wrong, remember that unless you are to say something for the better, then you better remain quiet at all--before you hurt other's feelings.

Ciao for now. Too long post. :)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

On Fears

THE question itself scares me. Thinking of any answer demanded by the title of this post scares me. A lot. The reason is plain simple. I start to think of several, yeah, several humane answers that almost any person may think of. I fear death. I fear losing people I love. I fear the unknown, the unseen.

One fear that I would like to focus on for this post might perhaps be one of the most controversial topics the world buzzes about today--fear of the end of the world.

Not to blame recent films narrating the end of the world (thanks Armageddon, Day After Tomorrow, 2012), the world goes gaga over various theories and ways that may be possible methods of how the world may end. Soon enough, we might realize we have come up with so many ideas of how we imagine to wnd our very own home! Nevertheless, we fear the very ideas we generate.

Whilst we get busy being creative of the apocalyptic scenario, we oftentimes forget many of things we really have to focus on. Why think of how the world could end if you could think of how to save the world from degradation? Why theorize regarding what you will do when the day-the-world-ends comes when you could formulate ways on living your life the best way you can even before that day comes?

I fear being caught at the day of reckoning not being able to live my life to the fullest. It scares me to imagine I have wasted my years of existence when I could have done wonderful things to others.

It is funny, if not foolish, that man plans or anticipates to end his world in ways unimaginable when he could not figure out how to live his life the best ways he could even before his most fearful day comes.

“The mark of your ignorance is the depth of your belief in injustice and tragedy. What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” - Richard Bach
Transform the thoughts of your fears into thoughts of how you could live your life even before your fears outlive you.

What is it that scares you the most?