Thursday, October 27, 2016

Pilgrimages

Last September 2016, my husband Lucas and I, together with my sister Helen; in line with the celebration of the jubilee year of mercy, visited several churches of the archdiocese of Manila. We entered the designated holy doors of Manila Cathedral, the Archdiocesan Shrine of Divine Mercy in Mandaluyong City, Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Pasay City, and the National Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Makati City. My husband and I also tried to enter as often as we can the holy door of the Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Cubao, and I have been doing my own personal pilgrimages too here, passing through the holy door of Immaculate Conception Cathedral of Cotabato City.
This Jubilee Year, I need to come to the Lord, to ask for mercy and blessings. As we obtain mercy and pardon from God, the Catholic Church likewise is teaching its faithful to perform acts of mercy towards others too. For me the virtue of charity is the hardest thing ever, owing to the fact that we are inherently selfish. I hope, that through the grace of God, I shall be drawn to exercise this virtue in my own small ways.

Several years ago, during the onset of the Year of Faith, I was in Lourdes, France. It was a pilgrimage of a life time. I was there with my husband and children (except Tom). We spent 4 days and three nights: drank the healing water, took the bath, prayed the rosary nightly, went through the 'way of the cross', attended morning masses, lighted candles etc. It was a pilgrimage of a life time, for I had had no intention to do pilgrimages abroad, it being so far and costly. It was just so timely that my daughter Marion was finishing her MA in UK and we went there as a family to visit her and to come back home with her. And since France was nearby, I could not pass this chance to visit Lourdes. Was I ever thankful of this opportunity!!! Thank you so much.

This October, my sons namely Roy, Tomas and Emil are presently in Spain doing the Camino de Santiago. It is a walking pilgrimage to Campostela where St. James, the apostle was buried. They are doing the 2 weeks strenuous walk and I have been following their journey ever since they left home. Their pilgrimage is like my pilgrimage too, for I feel that it is a feather on my cap to have brought them up to love their Catholic faith. I will be happy and proud if they finished well this journey. May the Lord be with them always. May our blessed mother helped them along the way. May the holy angels guide them along the difficult paths. 

Have mercy on us, O Lord, have mercy.

Friday, October 7, 2016

In Faith

Today October 7 is the Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. I have been praying the rosary since I became a young caring mother to my children. My children were mostly very sickly. I could not in my own capacity cope up with them. I was frantic, ignorant, worthless and wretched. I could not simply endure the many problems and trials that came my way. I was a total wreck, so I came to the Divine Mother for help. Reciting the rosary has calmed me down. It has helped me in times of difficulty. Sometimes help comes fast and sometimes even miraculously predestined in times of danger. Through my prayers, I have become more hopeful and trusting. Even though some prayers take time to be answered, and although at times it may seem so difficult to accept the will of God, yet I will continue to hold on to the string of beads in my hand and with the help of God, may it strengthen my faith even more. Reciting the rosary keeps me going. Now that I am nearing 65 years old, I am more scared of what the future holds. I am only comforted at the thought of our loving Lord who died on the cross for us. And that my divine mother who held him close to her bosom has taught me a way to get near him by constantly praying the rosary.

On this occasion of the Feast of Our Lady, let me show you some of my rosaries:
Fragrant red beads on the living room buffet table. I use this almost daily.
Rosary from Rome given by cousin Nelly Co, is on my bedside.
My traveling rosary, given to me by Tom after a year of exchanged student program stint from Oregon.
Rosary from Fatima, Portugal given by sister-in-law Conchita Tan.
From Jerusalem given by Mildred Lim.
A bracelet rosary from Boracay given by sister-in-law Jean Ledesma. I dipped this one in the pool water of Lourdes, France. It used to be my traveling rosary before but the crucifix got detached on the plane during one of my flights. I still keep this inside my bag.