Friday, March 29, 2013

Holy Week 2013 : Christ As Our Guiding Light



"The solemn observance of the 'Good Friday' and 'Black Saturday' is a message that Christ has died to save the sins of humanity. This is the centering thought of the Holy Week and this is a call to follow Christ  to lead and be the guiding light in our lives forever."



The last week of the Lenten season is the highlight in commemorating the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. During the past 40 days, we have observed liturgical events that are significant in understanding the life story of Christ on His suffering, crucifixion and ascension to heaven. We started the Lent on the ash Wednesday with the message of  Embracing Christ in Our Lives. On this day we begin our journey by following the path of Jesus and emulating the virtues that He has taught.

Every year, the observance of the Lent gives us a unique perspective about life as we reflect on ourselves. It gives us the opportunity to acknowledge our misconduct and to have the act of repentance. This lead us to achieve peace of mind and opens our heart to give more time for self-ministry in the fulfillment of our 'life purpose'. 



Last Sunday, Christians celebrated the Lord's coming by waving palm leaves to welcome the great 'Rabbi'. The event symbolizes humility when Christ came in the crowd riding a donkey. This would remind us to practice the virtue that we must serve everyone selflessly with all our strength. 

On this year's Holy Week, I have been observing it in a non-dominant Christian world. It may be a different experience, yet my devotion and faith is strengthened in a solitary moment of contemplation. This is the right time to know thyself and be with Christ's loving presence. 


My observance of  Holy Week 2012  is meaningful and memorable as I have seen fellow Christians of a different nationality expressed their faith in Christ. Though we may have different culture, still we are united in faith before Christ. It was a great Lenten experience since I have visited some of the Churches that are famous among Christian devotees. 


In the Philippines where Christianity dominates, the faithful would have an extraordinary observance of the Holy Week, especially during Good Friday. Some would perform the religious tradition called 'Senakulo' which reenacts the passion and death of Jesus. Some men would even allow themselves to be crucified to experience the suffering of Jesus and with the belief that their sins would be forgiven. Other traditions include, 'Visita Iglesia' or to visit different churches and pilgrimage sites and offer a prayer. The old way of reciting a prayer with a melody that is called 'Pasyon' is still practiced by devotees. 


On the Good Friday, there is the 'Seven Last Words' that is celebrated in a holy mass. It offers a deeper understanding of the passion of Christ and his last words until his death in the cross. The solemn observance of the 'Good Friday' and 'Black Saturday' is a message that Christ has died to save the sins of humanity. This is the centering thought of the Holy Week and this is a call to follow Christ  to lead and be the guiding light in our lives forever.



© 2013 Del Cusay





Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Celebrating Holi Festival 2013


"At the near end of the celebration, some faces looks funny with all the colors on their skin. Even the colors would take some time to wear off, but the memories would remain forever. After all the true significance of Holi is not on the outward expression but it is through unity, freedom and peace to prevail forever."



It is officially the end of winter season in India, and today people are celebrating the most colorful festival known mostly among Hindus as the Holi festival. For the second time, I had the opportunity to witness and experience this vibrant festivity. 

A day before the main event, people are already celebrating with their families and group of friends. I have witnessed how they make fun of the colored powder called 'gulaal'. Almost everyone of any age groups are having fun while putting this colors on each others face, hug and greet each other. On the evening is the bonfire which is a tradition that has a spiritual significance. According to the the Hindus, Holi festival is to commemorate the victory of virtue over evil. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Oprah's Lifeclass: What on Earth Am I here For?


In a discussion with Oprah, one of my favorite Spiritual teacher, Rick Warren gave an insight to one of the most important question of existence: What on earth am I here for? 


As a motivational speaker and writer, Rick Warren has inspired millions of people through his book 'The Purpose Driven Life' which is my all-time favorite. 


Yes, we tend to find an answer on this thought-provoking question, what on earth am I here for? Here are my insights on the topic. 



1.  According to Rick Warren, everybody lives at one of the three levels in life, the first level is survival--where people are putting in their time, waiting for the weekend and just going through the motions. Would you consider yourself at the survival level? If so, why? 

I've been through with this level in life. I was not certain about the path I'm taking and the future that lies ahead. I have missed productive days and I was contented of what's there at the moment. Day after day, I felt incomplete and empty deep inside. This was just a recent past; now things have change and I have taken the vows of a more productive life and a life of purpose. 

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pope Francis: The New World Pontiff


"The Pope has a great responsibility towards his followers and I hope that he will be able to finish what he started until his last breath of his reign. We need a leader who will resolve the issues that created trouble and confusion among his people. May His Holiness remain to be strong in all levels so he will be able to act on duties vested in him."



It was just few days ago when the conclave started to elect new pontiff to lead the Catholic Church. There were 115 Cardinals from around the world gathered in Sistine chapel to vote whom they think is capable of guiding and leading a billion of followers. After several attempts for the voting, finally a new Pope was declared. 

A humble man from Argentina, Jorge Mario Borgoglio was chosen by his fellow Cardinals to be the successor of Pope Benedict XVI who declared his resignation last month. At the age of 76, he will be the guiding light of the faithful towards their spiritual path. 

His Holiness will be officially addressed as Pope Francis after he has chosen the papal name as his title. I must believe he was inspired by St. Francis of Assisi and decided to adopt as his designation. I hope that His Holiness will be able to uphold the reputation of St. Francis as an icon of humility and peace. 

As a Christian, I adore St. Francis for his life stories and holiness and I love to sing the prayer that was made in his name; The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi. Pope Francis could be like him and start the great transformation in the Catholic church. 

It would take will-power and great love for the Pope to reform the church against controversies that is left unresolved. However, like the late Pope John Paul II; I believe that Pope Francis has the charisma and heart for the reformation of Christian values and will be able to influence people regardless of faith and religious beliefs. 

The Pope has a great responsibility towards his followers and I hope that he will be able to finish what he started until his last breath of his reign. We need a leader who will resolve the issues that created trouble and confusion among his people. May His Holiness remain to be strong in all levels so he will be able to act on duties vested in him. 

'The Pope' not only shows greatness as a title, but it is such a great responsibility and accountability to uphold. I highly admire and respect 'The Pope' as my source of inspiration and religious wisdom and 'The Pope' who believes and teaches people that 'There is A Certain Holiness in You'

The world is becoming more materialistic as we reach the modern age, but we have to strengthen our spirituality and faith to our Divine as the ultimate source of life. We have a lot to improve and there are 'Nature and Sources of Power' in the fulfillment of our Divine self ministry.

I am grateful that now we have a new Pope that will lead us to Christ. He is our spiritual Father living on earth that was chosen by his people. He will guide us and he needs our support and prayers for spiritual devotion and evangelization.  




© 2013 Del Cusay

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Meeting The Dalai Lama in New Delhi


"Meeting The Dalai Lama is a rare opportunity and truly a blessing. His spirituality and compassionate nature gives hope and faith to the people to appreciate life and realize that there is a certain holiness in you.  It is for us to discover our 'Dharma' or 'life purpose' and live in the holiness of our being."



Today it was another great opportunity that I have met and attended His Holiness The Dalai Lama's teaching in Buddha Jayanti Park, New Delhi. It was just few days ago when I was blessed to travel -- 'Meeting The Dalai Lama in Dharamsala and attended his lecture about 'Jataka Tales' which is about the story of Buddha's birth and rebirth. Today, he addressed to thousands of attendees about 'The Three Principal Aspects of The Path' which is significant to the Tibetans-in-exile and also to everyone present regardless of nationality and creed.


The majority of the crowd are Tibetans followed by Indians and some foreigners who are followers of The Dalai Lama. After falling in line towards the entrance of the venue, it was good that I have found a seat at the back which is more comfortable than sitting on the ground like my previous experience in his lecture in Dharamsala. Some people in groups are sitting on the lawn while others are busy roaming around organizing the event.

Image from: tibet.net
At the entrance, people are welcomed with Tibetan ushers and walking on the path are blossoming colorful flowers around. The chirping of birds and the vibrant surroundings makes it relaxing to the senses. Even rabbits and flocks of swans in a pond are visible and have been taken good care. Walking further are some hilly path ways with petals scattered on the aisles which is made especially for welcoming His Holiness. The weather is warm but tolerable since it is not the official summer yet. In his lecture in Dharamsala, it was cold while in Delhi it was a good weather for me since I like tropical season.

As the open ground is about to be filled by attendees, The Dalai Lama together with his entourage walked towards his elevated podium while greeting people with his smiles. This time there was no chanting ceremonies by the Namgyal monks prior to his lecture which started at around 2 pm. The good thing about his lecture is that there was an interpreter who translates every part of The Dalai Lama's lecture in English language for the benefit of the non-Tibetans. This is better since the previous lecture in Dharamsala was delivered in Tibetan language and only those who had an fm radio were able to hear the English translation. However, if the same thing happened as the previous experience, I do not worry since seeing the The Dalai Lama for me is enough and I do not mind the language he will use in his lecture; but since there was an English interpreter, I felt more grateful and happy that I understood his message better. It was also good to hear The Dalai Lama to have tried speaking in English to give his point. He still cracks some jokes accompanied by his world-renowned laugh and smile to uplift people's spirit. 


The Dalai Lama, being the living Buddha of compassion has made his teachings as meaningful and lively as possible. Even though it was a long time sitting, it was not tiring and one can feel his loving and compassionate energy to the people. His teachings include human suffering, happiness and enlightenment which is still significant in today's time. 


According to His Holiness, the primary cause of suffering is discontentment. People of today are becoming more materialistic and wants something more in spite of having enough already. Nevertheless, happiness can be attained by contentment and satisfaction to everything. The feeling of 'have enough' and being spiritual at the same time can be an ultimate source of internal happiness and peace of mind. 


Image from:  tibet.net
Likewise, a person can become more happy and experience less suffering if enlightenment is achieved. Spiritual tool like prayer, 'The Power of Meditation' and selfless services to the people are indispensable in attaining a happy, fulfilled and enlightened life in a Buddhist philosophy. 

Although I am a Christian, I find this principles relevant and meaningful. These are the things that we can learn from the Buddhist's perspective of living. 


At the end of The Dalai Lama's lecture, he expressed his gratitude to everyone for making the event possible and successful. It was followed by his recessional ceremony going back to his destination. Before he finally vanished to our sight, I got the chance to
meet him up close while he waived his hand to the people that signals his blessings. 


Meeting The Dalai Lama is a rare opportunity and truly a blessing. His spirituality and compassionate nature gives hope and faith to the people to appreciate life and realize that 'There is A Certain Holiness in You'. It is for us to discover our 'Dharma' or 'life purpose' and live in the holiness of our being. 



© 2013 Del Cusay




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