Sunday, February 15, 2015

You can't deprive others of the life you don't have.
And you can't bar them from enjoying relationships you don't have.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Prayer Time in Batangas

I really wanted to travel on my own. I wanted to have my alone time in a quiet, picturesque place where I can ponder about life. Until my friend raised the idea of going to a church where miracles supposedly happened -- and where prayers were heard and answered.

So I decided to travel with her.

We went to Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church in Lipa City, Batangas. It was where an apparition of the Virgin Mary supposedly appeared to a Carmelite nun decades ago. We arrived there past eight in the morning -- just as a Mass was about to end. We were lucky that another Mass would shortly follow at nine. So while we were waiting for our Mass schedule, we went around to see the church.

We went to the 'religious souvenirs' place where stampitas, rosaries, images of saints and Mama Mary, and prayer books were sold. It was an ordinary sales center except that it had a corner where you could write a prayer or list down your petitions and drop them off into a box with a measly love offering. This was what I did first thing in the church: shout my prayer to Him in a paper and ask the religious to pray with me.

We heard the Mass at 9 AM, then roamed around the church again to explore the place. It was a serene place of worship. There were many people around -- but the place is beautifully quiet. I missed that kind of silence. It was like I was covered in a precious white cloth like an angel that warranted me a spot in this holy place -- however unworthy I was. 

We climbed up the second floor and went to a veranda overlooking the garden where Mary's apparition supposedly appeared. There were a number of people praying. I took the center vacant seat and sat in silence as I examined the 'miracle corner'. I allowed myself to be swallowed by the silence. I prayed, but not the usual that I do. I did the sign of the cross and kept my mind quiet to give space for whispers in my ear and love in my heart.

I haven't done that for a long time. Having been so engrossed to my daily job, I could barely open my daily devotional or even utter a short prayer for thanksgiving in the morning and at night. I was so consumed by my daily routine -- and needless to say my hectic work schedule -- that I have seemed to forget to pray (and how to pray at that).

And so in silence, I sat down, and allowed holy silence to cover me. Gos listened to me, and I listened to Him. And He seemed to tell me: if you cannot change what's outside, change what's within.

P.S. Thank you Lord. I missed you.