Sunday, April 5, 2015

279: "Be not afraid. Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. Behold the place where they laid Him." - Mark 16:6

Photo taken when we were in Palaui, Cagayan

Jesus has been risen.

Finally we have reached the Easter Sunday after 40 days of sacrifices and of spiritual journey, we have finally arrived at this moment. I finally have arrived at this moment. I ended my Holy Week by attending the Easter Vigil in Manila Cathedral last night (and it was presided by his eminence, Cardinal Tagle). Attending the mass in Manila Cathedral became a devotion ever since the Holy Week kicked off. I go there to attend the mass on early Saturdays (as time permits). So far, during the lent, I was able to carry out the devotion and had concluded it yesterday.

Additionally, since the 40 days had ended, I had the Facebook application re-installed on my cellphone, and I started browsing my notifications.

Back to Facebook

To say, I should feel more relieved now I got back to my old self, but to be honest I felt unfamiliar with who I was before. After the 40 days spiritual journey, I felt like a different person. Looking on my Facebook, it felt like I wasn't the person who was in there. I even felt like a stranger to the people whom I have seen on my newsfeed because of my lack of updates on their lives. It's a strange feeling. It's something that I guess I need to ponder at. But if there's something that I am sure of, it's that I lost my interest in Facebook. I even wonder why I could not live not checking the notifications before.

What are the things that I did during the Holy Week and what Jesus revealed to me?

Saturdays with the Immaculate Conception

Inside the Cathedral, during one of my visits

One of the things that maybe non-catholics wouldn't understand (and I believe this would remain a discussion) is how Catholics are devoted to Mother Mary. I, myself, also wondered about her significance. However, through my prayers, I was lucky enough to get the answer (you may read here). My answer, of course, came through other's better knowledge, and me seeking.

In here I pray for Mother Mary to pray for me to Her loving son Jesus Christ in order for my soul to be forgiven, I also mention to Her to pray to Jesus Christ my petitions. I talk to Mother Mary as how I would talk to my mother. I treat my relationship to Her as how I would treat my real Mother. However, of course, I still have failings. But I know in my heart that She continues to pray for me as well.

Honestly, ever since I upped my relationship with Her, during my most heartfelt prayers, I would end up crying for no reason. There's one very significant moment that one time after my work (my work ends at 12 midnight) I decided to stay for another 5 hours in the office in order to attend the 7AM mass. When the time struck 05:20AM I left the office in Quezon City and arrived in Manila Cathedral by 06:30AM, when I arrived on the church, exhausted from lack of sleep and travel, I uttered "Mother" in relief, and wept. It was an incredible weeping (here's an info how far I work from Manila Cathedral). I prayed the rosary and my tears continue to fall every time I say my prayers.

Under the Starry Sky

When I was reading the book The Jesuis Guide to Almost Everything one of things (among many things) that I adopted is how St. Ignatius would pray among the stars. I felt that I should also do the same.

my caption

There's one thing I have learned while praying at night under the many stars that's scattered in the black ink sky, it's so quiet. You know the saying, 'in silence we find God'? -- it is indeed true. While everyone is asleep, when I go outside our terrace (right after I take my shower), I would pull out a chair sit there look up at the stars and would utter 'Lord Jesus look upon your lowly servant as I say my prayers to You',  and for some wild imagination, I would imagine that Lord Jesus would turn His head down and would indeed look upon me.

I've mentioned earlier that to Mother Mary I pray for Her to pray for me to Lord Jesus, what I say when I pray to Jesus is how I would talk to Him as my savior. I talk to Him of my gratitude, of my weakness, of my sins, of the Christian community and how the Christians are being persecuted, I talk to Him of my relationship with Him, and I pray for Him to help me that 'I may be able to live on His words and His teachings in order for me to bridge others to Him', and of course for Him to strengthen my faith.

During this quiet times at night, a bucket of tears would be shed. This is even the first time that I cried while talking to Him about our brothers and sisters in other countries who's being persecuted for their faith. This is something that I never thought I'd be able to do, and every time the prayer ends it always makes my heart at peace.

Find God in Nature

My friends and I recently went to Palaui, Cagayan (more on that next time). When we went there my goals were actually to pray during the sunset, pray at night, and enjoy with my friends. I almost didn't go because of Financial constrains but because I really, really want to try to pray among the nature (this is also mentioned in the Ignatian Spirituality -- praying among the Nature), I pursued.

Circumstances made it hard for me to pray during the travel for one thing: our first few days ended up staying in Hotel (so basically not yet in the nature). Second, the shore was too far where we first stayed. Third, when I was already underneath the stars, there was a rain. However, one time I found a perfect moment to talk to Jesus, while walking on the shore and the sun was setting I ended up talking to Him. It was a perfect solemn and quiet moment.

There's something I have realized, that when I talk to Jesus it's hard to stop! Sometimes I even feel chatty that maybe I was already confusing Jesus because I keep on jumping from one topic to another. But it was amazing.

When I was about to end my talk to Jesus, I closed my eyes as a tears rolled down my cheeks and said 'Jesus, thank You. Thank You for this moment.'

This was taken after my 'talk' with Jesus

A Conscious Decision

I remember before during my college years, while talking to this person I admired, and our eyes met I told myself that I love that person, and I will love that person. It was the first time that I realized that love is also a conscious decision. I learned that Love is not only an emotion, but it's a decision, and that I will love that person.

When I made the decision to be in relationship with God, it was like that moment too. It was a conscious decision that I will love Him, when I laid my eyes on Him.

But like any relationship, there will be a trying times, challenges, and temptations to stray and for me to continuously disappoint Him. But like what I say in my prayers, I pray for Jesus to 'not to let my eyes wander away from Him'.

The Holy Week might have ended, but this is just a beginning for my spiritual Journey.

Let's pray for each other. :)

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