It used to be that I usually attend the Maundy Thursday Last Supper Mass and Veneration of the Cross on Good Fridays and the Vigil Mass and the “Salubong” from time to time. The past Holy Week, I didn’t. I visited two churches last Maundy Thursday for my confession and another church which I used to pass by but never got to entering when I was undergoing Radiotherapy. It used to be that during my “Visita Iglesia” (Catholics are encouraged to visit churches on Maundy Thursday), I usually feel the peace and presence of the Lord while I kneel down in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the church nearby that it was hard for me to leave. I did kneel down and prayed for quite a while, but the feeling of not wanting to leave did not come. Maybe because it was a renowned church, there were many people coming and going, it was hard to meditate. and I had wanted to empty my bladder. I didn’t even do the Stations of the Cross as for 6 weeks, as soon as the Lenten season began, we had the community Stations of the Cross in our place led by us chapel officers. I had wanted to do some things differently. I preferred to listen or watch testimonies about changed lives on TV or movies that have topics related to Holy Week. In fact watching a movie about a lady boss who was dying of bone cancer made me teary eyed towards the end of the movie. It was cathartic and I needed that. I had wanted to attend the “Grand Easter Feast” a sort of prayer meeting with Holy Mass, but no one wanted to go with me since the MRT and LRT were not operational and the venue is too far from our place, and it is no longer for free. I thought it was going to be another lonely celebration of Easter but I had a little good surprise. Going home from Bicol, my nephew and family passed by my house and spent the night with me. In the morning, they attended the early morning Easter Mass with me. I was so delighted because they don’t usually hear Mass. Maybe my persistence paid off, prodding them on Facebook, posting about the importance of the Mass and that they need to thank God for all the blessings. Although they didn’t have lunch with me as they were in a hurry to go home, I was grateful for their presence and seeing and talking with my grandniece and nephew again.
Having been a chapel officer for almost 15 years, I sometimes feel that I’m losing the enthusiasm for rites and activities that we’ve been doing for years – from Simbang Gabi during the Christmas season to Palm Sunday dramatization of the Passion of Christ wherein I am often the narrator, to Easter Salubong. I do not know if it has to do with my having had breast cancer and some not-so-good diagnostic test results recently. Maybe I’m fearful and depressed about the future and it’s affecting the way I worship.