Tuesday Marian Cenacle invites you to join us in our 33Days journey to Consecration to Divine Mercy, and this will also complete our Consecration to each member of the HOLY FAMILY, JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH.
In the Parish Bulletin, this week…
33 Days to Merciful Love
By Crissy Castillo
When I returned from World Youth Day (in Krakow, Poland), my friends, Marie and Clar, invited me to do the 33 Days of Consecration. We had recently purchased the 33 Days to Merciful Love, so I decided to follow that book instead of 33 Days to Morning Glory. After my trip to Poland and going on a pilgrimage under the theme: “Blessed are the merciful,” I felt that consecrating myself to the Divine Mercy would complete the full circle. While Morning Glory brought me to Mary who watched the suffering of her Son, Merciful Love brought me to the beauty of suffering with her Son.
I never thought deeply about “the beauty of suffering” until I was going through the 33-day Retreat. I knew that suffering is something everyone goes through and at different levels. We are all suffering during this ongoing and seemingly never-ending lockdown/pandemic. Every day, we feel small in the face of things that we cannot control. There is nothing we can do to help except to stay home.
I am scared to share my fears of “being little”. We live in a culture where we do not show fear. We try to keep a stiff upper lip. We try to swallow our fear and appear like superheroes, by showing our brave faces. I am not perfect, by whatever society tells us is “perfect”. I try to find strength in my sufferings by trusting in God Who shows His merciful love to me every day.
This lockdown is a darkness that seems endless. I feel so helpless when facing this darkness. It is scary that my defense against this darkness is to stay home and to avoid physical contact with others. In the last 13 months since the lockdown started, I have never felt so little and so incapable. I have felt like my hands are tied because there is suffering that I cannot fix. I can only sit and watch and do nothing in my home. There is an unavoidable helpless feeling as I watch friends, relatives, and co-workers face the battle outside my walls, a battle wherein I cannot join them.
But that is what I learned from Merciful Love. I learned about “the Little Way” of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, who talked about how even by being little, she could do big things. She could achieve MORE.
Encouraged and warmed, I saw that — even if I am little, even if I am imperfect, even if I cannot do big things and take big steps — I can keep trying to GROW, and keep TRUSTING in God that I can achieve His love, that I can receive His mercy.
Instead of wallowing in my fears, I have embraced my faith that there is a light at the end of suffering. And, like St. Thérèse of Lisieux, I will do my best to follow the three key words of the Little Way: Recognize, Trust and Try.
I recognize my brokenness, my helplessness, during these past 13 months. And I recognize that it will not end at 13 months. It might go on for months more. I will not lose this feeling of helplessness any time soon. It is here to stay. For now.
I will trust — beyond hope and beyond what I see on my phone or on my screen — that God loves me and will lift me from this suffering. I will trust in God’s mercy that He will end this suffering that we are going through. I will trust that He will end “For now” at the right time.
And until “For now” ends, I will TRY. I will keep trying to have faith. I will keep examining my conscience. I will keep trying to be more aware of myself, be more aware of my thoughts and actions. I will TRY and be more proactive in what LITTLE WAY I can do at home. I will try and pray more. I will try and reach out to others who are also feeling little. I will try to remember that God’s merciful love will not abandon me.
And until that day comes that I can stand in front of the altar, in my re-mended Lector’s robe, with my YSA family beside me, ready to help build our church again — I will keep doing what I can — in my own little way.
BULING BULING 2021
This year’s Buling-Buling was definitely unique compared to those of the previous years because this was the very first one to be held via Zoom! Buling-Buling 2021 was indeed special as we were able to come together albeit online and watch video performances lovingly put together by each of the ministries. These video performances were just as full of passion and energy as past performances and it was truly a delight to see what each ministry had to offer. It was a night full of wonderful song numbers, dance numbers, video montages and even a poetry reading! Here is a brief rundown of all the performances:
LeCom, clad in red tops, skillfully performed an upbeat samba dance number to the song, “Love is in the Air.” Antioch was represented by the talented Gaby Singson who sang the aptly titled, “Groovy,” a song which he composed himself. EMHC, MSH, and FLM gave a touching rendition of the song, “Pass It On”, a video montage of the medical frontliners to whom they’ve been able to pass on God’s love. Scholarship Ministry, together with past and present scholars of the SSAP Scholarship Foundation, beautifully sang the all-time classic, “What the World Needs Now”.
A few scholars also performed a couple of dance numbers to accompany their singing. SYA and FIA were represented by Dav Dionisio who performed a beautiful song that he wrote himself entitled “Sumabay (Wika ni Jesus)”. This was accompanied by a video montage of fond SYA and FIA memories throughout the years. CWL put together a heartwarming video showing what giving love means to children they asked and what it means to themselves as well. Tuesday Marian Cenacle Group presented a video of their many activities in the previous years. They also showed how the pandemic has not stopped their prayer life, but instead, has strengthened it even more. SoCom performed a cute dance number to the classic Nat King Cole Song, “L-O-V-E”. Parish Bulletin gave a deep and meaningful poetry reading of “Beannacht” by John O’Donohue. Last but certainly not the least, the Pastoral Team and the Execom put together a fun and memorable video of themselves dancing and singing along to the song, “Put a Little Love In Your Heart”.
And what a night before the Lenten Season it was!
Read these messages and other interesting articles
from the Parish Bulletin.