I am always looking forward to Holy Week, because to my mind it is the real vacation time for everybody. It’s the time that you are with your family, time to reflect on your spirituality, just stay at home , so quiet, no malls to go to, no traffic, stress free days and its really rest time for most of us.
From the prayer “He suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried, on the third day He rose again, He descended into heaven and sat at the right hand of the Father”. I think Easter should be really a grand celebration more than Christmas time, because it’s the time that Jesus rose again from the dead.
What I did this Lent?
• Bisita Iglesia with the family to 8 churches, 5 in Manila, San Sebastian Church, San Beda Church, St Jude Church, Saint Therese in Villamor Air Base, Las Pinas Church with Bamboo organ, San Pedro Church, Binan Church, Cabuyao Church. Some of these Churches have the old Stations of the Cross, so we have to adjust our prayer. We have been doing this for the last 6 years and I must say nothing beats the Laguna churches for their grandeur and history.
• Church activities, masses and of course Salubong
• I am reflecting on what will be my mission for mydelf self specially the health aspect for the coming days ahead taking advantage of having a clearer mind.
• Family gathering ,had night swimming in a private pool with my mom, brothers ,sisters, nephews and nieces, just being at home, lazying around , catching on reading and cooking
What I did not do this Holy Week vacation? Really a respite from my other so hectic activities
• No classroom lecture, no LRT MRT rides, no traffic, no so many people to see, no patients to see, no blogging activities to attend, no text messages to answer.
Of course I surf the net, but as I was searching for Lent messages I came across this:
Catholic bishops and priests in Italy are calling on churchgoers to give up text messages, TV and iPods for Lent. Bishops in Italy want young people to “detox from the virtual world”
”We want people to pause for reflection during Lent and think about this before they send an SMS text message.
“It would be a sign to remember that, as that message is written, we are shaping the lives of people far away.”
The NO SMS for Lent initiative was also backed by Modena’s bishop Benito Cocchi who said that it was an ideal way for ”young people to detox from the virtual world and get back in touch with themselves”.
Besides texting, church officials have also suggested giving up Facebook and all other forms of virtual entertainment – fasting and abstinence is a cornerstone of the Catholic Church’s following of Lent.
The period marks the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Good Friday when Christ was crucified, and is a way for Catholics to remember the Passion and prepare for Easter.
I got this text message:
“It’s really no coincidence that this season is LENT, the past tense of LEND, may it remind us that we are living on borrowed life and time, LENT to us by God, .Today may we all be reminded that God’s love surpasses every cross we carry, every pain we endure , every love we profess. Have a meaningful Lenten season.”
Message Highlights of His Holiness Benedict XVI for Lent 2009
• As part of Christian tradition, one has to do three penitential practices – prayer, almsgiving, fasting.
• He focuses his reflections on the value and meaning of fasting. He traced the Sacred Scriptures and the entire Christian tradition that fasting is a great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it. For this reason, the history of salvation is replete with occasions that invite fasting.
• Fasting represents an important ascetical practice, a spiritual arm to do battle against every possible disordered attachment to ourselves. Freely chosen detachment from the pleasure of food and other material goods helps the disciple of Christ to control the appetites of nature, weakened by original sin, whose negative effects impact the entire human person.
• The faithful practice of fasting contributes, moreover, to conferring unity to the whole person, body and soul, helping to avoid sin and grow in intimacy with the Lord.
• Denying material food, which nourishes our body, nurtures an interior disposition to listen to Christ and be fed by His saving word. Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God.
• How the ultimate goal of fasting is to help each one of us, as the Servant of God Pope John Paul II wrote, to make the complete gift of self to God (cf. Encyclical Veritatis splendor, 21). May every family and Christian community use well this time of Lent, therefore, in order to cast aside all that distracts the spirit and grow in whatever nourishes the soul, moving it to love of God and neighbor.