Friday, March 29, 2013

Of Sacrifice and Penance this Good Friday

Allow me, folks, to be a little more spiritual this Good Friday of 2013.

Thoughts on a Good Friday

Having been raised a Catholic, which also includes attending Elementary to Graduate school in Catholic universities, it has been ingrained in me what the season of Lent stands for and what a proper follower of this faith should do at this period.

Oh sure, I've done my fair share of fasts in all my 30ish years here on earth.  But I'd be the first to tell you that it felt empty.  It felt like I did it because a higher authority (and I'm not talking about God here; but it came from i.e. my lola, my professors, my priest, etc.) told me it was the right thing to do this season of penance.

But call it fate that I was fortunate enough to attend this Ash Wednesday mass in our neighborhood and had been a willing recipient to one inspiring homily.

Sacrifice this Lenten season, as our priest so lovingly puts it, does not always require us giving up sinful food (as is customary to most Catholics).  Sacrifice and penance should come in the form of avoidance doing something that we find ourselves performing or patronizing each and every single day.

For instance, say you are addicted to expensive coffee (Starbucks or something similar) and find that you can't enjoy your day without at least a cup.  Then that's the thing you should sacrifice this Lent.

But it should not just end with you giving up your favorite cup of joe.  If, on average, you spend Php150 a day for this indulgence, then that same amount should be put to good charitable use.  Buy Php150 worth of food and give it to someone needy.  Or donate it to an organization you believe in.  That, then, is true sacrifice.

Be not an overactive drama queen but shouting to the heavens (or in our case, posting on your FB timeline for all the people to see) that you are suffering because you had to sacrifice your favorite coffee this Lent or that you gave a street kid a Php150 Jollibee meal.  

Be still.  Be quiet.  For the Lord knows what you have done.  And He alone should be the only one to know.

***

Things haven't been working out for me lately.  Nothing concerning my family (or their health, thank goodness); but this problems has been giving me grief these past months already.   I've been praying constantly, asking the Lord to answer me and tell me the reason for this hardship.  I never got a reply.

But then, I realized, I was doing all the talking.  I never took the time to be quiet and listen.  So now I try to keep still.  Although He still hasn't answered me yet, I try to keep my hopes alive.  I just constantly pray that He never leaves us.  The world is crazy enough as it is with faith to steady us.

***

Hope everyone is having a blessed Lenten season.  Have faith and I pray you never lose hope.  That's the worst place to be in. 


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