Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Semana Santa 2013 Diaries

In the wee hours of Holy Thursday, I boarded a bus bound for Baguio - the beginning of three-day solo retreat. It was a much needed respite from the heat of the city, and a deliberate attempt to seek peace and serenity in silence an prayer

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28 March 2013
Thursday
11:41 AM

Sta. Catalina Spirituality Center, Baguio City

I come here looking for rest, rejuvenation, communion and forgiveness.

* Reboot from doing work that weighed heavily on my spirit.
* Reconnect with God, my Creator.
* Perform a forgiveness ritual
* Calm my spirit
* Nourish my body with food and rest

1:00 PM

At the Grotto

At this moment, I feel at peace and serene. In this place, as I am surrounded by pine trees, the cool breeze kissing my face, listening to the muffled roars of vehicles on the highway below, the tinkling of a bell somewhere nearby, the hushed conversations of the sisters - I feel calm. Happy.

6:18 PM

In today's mass, the priest noted how quiet and gloomy the congregation was. He said that contrary to what we have been conditioned in our childhood, Holy Thursday was actually a time of joy and rejoicing for it was during this time that the Eucharist and the priesthood began. The Eucharist's roots is in the Last Supper, and the Washing of the Feet symbolized the call to service of the religious vocation.

I feel this joy today. Truth is, back home, this Lenten season does feel onerous. Routinary. But today, it feels new and refreshing.


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This was a self-guided retreat, so I had brought with me Margaret Silf's Days of Reflection Hand-outs. The hand-outs gave some structure to my inner sojourn. I share some of my insights here:

Hand-Out #1 God's Dream - My Life

I have often used the word "unfolding" to describe myself. I like this word because it connotes a gradual revelation. I feel excited and anxious at the prospect of this.  ANXIOUS because it is unknown. EXCITED because I know whatever is unfolding is something beautiful.

Hand-Out # 3 Living Pathways

Christ transforms through the difficult parts of our lives - the breakdown leading to a breakthrough.

Hand-out # 4 Copernican Revolution

Consolation = with the Sun, directed towards God, living true
Desolation = away from the sun, directed away from God, lack of authenticity

I felt this desolation most this year in the following events:

* Migration paperwork speedbump
* Restlessness and lack of joy at work

I felt consoled when I sat in silence at the Blessed Sacrament and felt comforted and loved

Hand-Out # 8 Kickstarts and Strange Attractors

" There is a premise of "chaos theory" which states that just as 'order' periodically breaks down into chaos, within that chaos, there is a new order trying to reveal itself."

Hand-Out # 9 Faith in the Future

"Faith is an experience, not imposed creeds and doctrines."

"Following Jesus is not the same thing as worshipping him or as 'going to church'" - a disturbing statement for mainstream Christians.

We are called to :

a Way of LOVE: choosing to do the more loving thing in every situatio
a Way of TRUTH: living True to the core of our being
a Way of LIFE: shaping life in all its fullness - the human being fully alive.

Why did Jesus die in such a gruesome way? He had to because He wanted to show us that following Him meant rocking the boat, provoking the darkness.

BUT HE ROSE AGAIN - Light and Life will prevail.

30 March 2013
Holy Saturday
5:07 PM

We are an Easter people. The mark of a Christian is joy.

At this moment, I am not wishing that I was elsewhere. 

31 March 2013
Easter Suday
6:25 AM

God touches and reaches out to us in different ways because He realizes our uniqueness and individuality. To me, He speaks through His creation. My desire to go outside of the city is an expression of my desire to connect with Him.

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On my way home, I was exchanging text messages with Papa and he said something that struck a chord, for it is the truth, "Before you sought Him, He has already found You.
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