solemn saturday

My whole team attended a spiritual recollection today. It’s one of our spur of the moment bonding times and what’s funny is that none of us is that into religion or any of those spiritual stuff (yes, even Sheila wants to clear that air; not because she worked with Caritas Manila for more than a decade, she’s your poster girl of all saintly values. I actually believe her, hehe). We just thought of doing something together and one sunny Saturday morning, there we were, listening to Mike Enriquez’s testimony and celebrating a mass with a very familiar priest.

I long abandoned my Catholic duties, in its strictest sense. I very seldom attend Sunday masses. During the times I show up, I do not participate in partaking the Eucharist. If it makes me a disobedient follower, I don’t care. I have a very personal relationship with God. Actually, what remains in me are just from my Catholic education a decade ago; back when I knew all religious celebrations by heart, I was the favorite mass commentator on the block, I can lead the rosary in a heartbeat (now, I even mix up the mysteries and their days) and I knew all the feast dates of most saints. My presence in the recollection earlier was something that’s just okay, a fine way to spend the first day of my long weekend. At one point, I was even looking for cute seminarists but I found none. Hahaha!

Today’s recollection theme was the presence of God and His words in our lives. Mr. Enriquez asked the crowd, When was the last time you praised God for everything that you have? When was the last time you thanked Him for all your blessings? Isn’t it that all we do is ask whenever we pray?  There was a feel of collective guilt among the people there. For someone who is not really religious, I felt odd that they reacted like that. Because it’s very normal to me; I do praise Him everyday, I do thank Him everyday. Now, I admit my prayers, sometimes, do sound like a broken record, or something that has just grown into me, but it doesn’t take away the fact that I do it everyday. I don’t know when I started it but I have a pecking order when I pray: I praise, I repent, I thank, then I ask. Sometimes, I don’t even ask, especially when I’m particularly happy in a given day. It’s a process that will never grow old with me, and it beats having to go to mass every Sunday, where most people always end up daydreaming during the homily anyway (but the chapel in Greenbelt makes me listen to the homily actually…I think it’s because their sound system is great, hmmm, whatever).

– – –

So, it was a fun three hours, after which we headed to Powerplant to have lunch at this new restaurant. We also shopped at the Urban Bazaar and there, we proved that Sheila has the greatest holding out power in spending while I am the irrefutable queen of money-wasting activities. After a quick dessert, I even opted to stay behind, claiming to grab a reading time (but see, I managed to resist Fully Booked this time). Well, I did read for three hours but spent unwisely on insane amounts of caffeine. I discovered that this coffee shop outside the mall was way more conducive than any other shops in the metro. I long gave up on finding a decent reading place at Midtown because it’s just teeming with people, noisy people! Today, I got to read in peace, even if the shop was full. Most, if not all of them, were graduate and law students too engrossed in their books or laptops to even care about each other. It’s perfect. Starbucks Rob used to be like that until it became everybody’s favorite hangout to yak and gossip, and also to meet-and-greet foreigners with hardworking pimps.

Now that I feel as if a horse is kicking wildly in my full-sized aortic pump, I don’t know what to do first to waste all this energy. It’s almost 11 pm and I feel like the day has just started.  

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