Sunday, April 21, 2019

Easter Sunday 2019: A Peaceful Journey

The holy week gives us time for contemplation about our faith in God. It renews our faith in Jesus Christ through his passion, death, and resurrection. In commemorating his painful sacrifices and journey to Calvary, we have walked through our path and be with Him.

This year's Holy week gives a new level of enlightenment. Just a few miles away from Manila is a pilgrimage city that millions of Christians visit, especially during the Holy Week. The Shrine of Our Lady of Peace and Good Voyage, known as Antipolo Cathedral, offers tranquility for devotees as they pray and renew their vows.

Holy Week 2019: Our Journey to Calvary is our version of Christ's passion. We carry our own cross towards our own Calvary, perhaps experienced in our lifetime on earth. Our sufferings give us hope and strengthen our faith that things are not in our control but only God, the source of our power and the giver of life.

Easter Sunday gives new hope for Christians and humanity as we celebrate the resurrection of Christ. It is a celebration for every family, knowing that Christ is indeed alive and with us always on our life's journey.

Easter Sunday is a joy we share among family members and friends. We see the pleasure glittering in the eyes. We hear the holiness in someone's voice. We feel compassion for someone's actions.

We are now truly living and continue to follow the path that gives us pure bliss and enlightenment through God's loving mercy and glory forever.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Holy Week 2019: Our Personal Journey to Calvary

Calvary is a hilly place associated with the crucifixion and death of Jesus, a place we always remember to be the most painful event in His life. Its relevance in today's time goes beyond our catechism about his passion and death, but also our personal journey as we experience carry our own cross our trip to Calvary.

This year's Holy Week celebration commemorates Christ, our Lord's passion, death, and resurrection. This is the time for personal reflection and devotion about the significance of Christ's suffering for humanity that is not exclusive to a particular faith, culture, and social status but refers to Christ's love for all human beings.

We may be suffering endlessly in our lives, even after death, but through pains and sorrows, we learn to grow spiritually and become a more substantial followers of Jesus and servants of God. If we can remember the stories of several saints that we venerate, they may have been the most sinful man who lived on earth. However, God transformed them into his living disciple until their last breath.

Just like us, ordinary humans, we strive hard to become holy, but sins are inevitable. No matter how prayerful we are, we commit sins with our thoughts, words, and actions, yet we still follow Christ and do not abandon our faith. The church is our refuge in times of difficulties; we kneel to pray, ask for forgiveness, and repent for our sins even though we continue to commit sins to various degrees.

We carry not just our own cross, but we have multiple crosses along the way. We take the cross for our family, country, and humanity. From our own cross, we are now connected and interrelated. We have sinned personally, as have our families, government, and society.

These crosses are the hardest and the most painful to carry. Every day we struggle for something, from our thoughts and intentions to our decisions and actions. Our daily suffering is a reminder that as we live on earth, we are bound to suffer just like Jesus, and He taught us that through pains and struggles, we can be saved through His examples; for me, that's how Jesus saved us from our sins through His unconditional love.

We have our personal journey of suffering and our very own Calvary in our hearts and mind. When we become a prisoner of our negativity, we also become a prisoner of our faith.

In my hometown in Jamindan, a Parish was built by the people as they carried their cross. Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Linambasan, Jamindan, Capiz, is a place for people who call for the Divine Mother to help us ease the pain and comfort us in our difficulties as we carry our cross.

At these times, we even go beyond our personal cross as we help each other carry the cross of the community of the faithful so that we may be able to walk straight on the path and take a lighter load than we can bear. When we can maintain the little discomfort as we carry our cross, we can help lighten up the heaviness of our society created by our negativity. We can then go beyond our share of the country by being the responsible and faithful citizens that our family and small community have produced.

Holy Week 2019 is to reflect beyond our personal desires for holiness. We may be a sinner, but we can grow spiritually to become better members of our families, community, and beloved country. The Calvary in our time is not a final destination of suffering, but we always carry it and bear with it until our last moment and judgment.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Related Post:

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Lent 2019: God's Amazing Grace

The 40-day Lenten season may be a long spiritual journey among the faithful. This is quite a long time of sacrifice and giving up on insignificant things with our faith. Though this is a yearly commemoration of Christ's passion, death, and resurrection, we still haven't forgotten its meaning and keep following Christ for His teachings on living a Christian way.

During this Lenten season, our sacrifices would mean receiving Divine grace. When we feel hopeless and defeated, God is in the rescue. God comforts us with His loving arms when we are lost, tired, and sick. We feel His presence, and that grace means so much that is His amazing grace.

No matter how undeserving we are of God's blessings, we still receive and accept them. God's love for us, humanity, is that kind of saving grace.

As we celebrate Holy Week 2019, we will go through our personal struggles that signify our limitations; we are one with Christ's suffering. We will also offer our prayers and petitions for ourselves, our families, our communities, and our country. 

We may have different prayers and petitions, but the most common thing we ask for is our safety and security in times of crisis and at all times, to be spared from natural calamities, to achieve peace of mind, and to experience soulful renewal.

God's grace is truly amazing. We will forever be grateful for this Divine gift. A gift that uplifts our souls. A gift that makes us whole.

An amazing Lenten Journey 2019.

© 2019 Del Cusay

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Lent 2019: The Spiritual Works of Mercy in Our Time

In celebration of the Lenten season, I have shared about the 'Acts of Mercy' which Jesus Christ taught us by example during his time as a living son of God on earth.

Corporal Works of Mercy in Our Time is about showing compassion to those suffering physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually in these modern times and how we can help them live a dignified life and feel the love, care, and support of fellow brothers in Christ. 

Corporal Works of Mercy are more on the physiological needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, there are other Acts of Mercy that we are called to practice, which as the Spiritual Works of Mercy; to purify our souls and uplift our spirits.

To instruct the ignorant and counsel the doubtful 

Christians are called to reach out to others to draw them closer to Jesus Christ. During our younger years, we attended a catechism study in our Parish. That was our first step in knowing and practicing the faith passed on to us by our parents and even our great-grandparents as they have learned the Christ before us.

In our society today, we may see a lot of street children, orphans, and out-of-school youth who may not receive proper guidance and are the most vulnerable to exploitation and dangers. They may still be innocent and don't practice their spirituality since their elders may abandon and neglect them. This may lead to doubts about their faith and the absence of Christ in their hearts.

At some point in our lives, we may doubt our faith when a painful event happens. Why me, my Lord? This conflict in our spirituality may result in a deeper understanding and relationship with God as we sincerely strive to know the mystery of his love and mercy.

Even Mother Teresa of Kolkata experienced a dark night of the soul when she expressed her doubts about her faith; however, in the end, she conquered this spiritual conflict and continued serving and loving the abandoned and uncared poor. She left a legacy for us to overcome our doubts and remain faithful to Christ by letting people experience Divine love.

To Admonish, the sinner

Giving a warning or reprimanding someone for sinful acts may be challenging since we are all sinners and, at some point, have committed a sin and may be vulnerable to future sins in our lifetime. In short, who are we to judge?

But as Christians, we are called to protect our brothers and sisters who may be lost and against the direction of Divine light. Yes, we are all sinners, but that doesn't mean we can't lead others to correct their ways when they are fallen in the dark.

Today, we see children who are victims of peer pressure and lack good parenting and curiosity, making them vulnerable to sin. They showed lousy behavior, a rebellious attitude, and indifference. This may be quite different from the previous generations when kids show the highest respect to their elders and are afraid to commit wrongful acts against family values. Parents just want to protect their children so they will grow to have the correct values and contribute to society. Parents want their children to take the right path and rescue them whenever they are at the crossroads of right and wrong.

To bear wrongs patiently and forgive offenses willingly

There may be times when we become impatient towards the wrongdoing of others, and as human nature, taking revenge or hatred would justify our actions in return.

We may have been a victim of circumstances where our patience is being tested; either we accept it or fight for it. For instance, someone may have cut us in line. Let's let it happen and understand the person for whatever reasons he may have, or we could confront and verbally reprimand and embarrass him. Sometimes we commit the same mistake without knowing it, but others act patiently on us without any harsh words from them.

Also, we may encounter road rage, and both sides seem aggressive in proving their right. When someone offended us, our reaction would be to hurt that person even more just to get even and to protect our ego. This happens many times on the road causing public scandal and physical injuries.

Patience is indeed a virtue that we must cultivate and practice, and forgiveness is more significant for our peace of mind and purity of the heart. It may be tough to forgive those who have wronged us. Still, we must remember that as humans, we may have consciously or unconsciously hurt other people resulting in their emotional and mental suffering.

It is said that 'forgive and be forgiven, and this timeless wisdom is relevant even in our time. We can forgive people, but how can we be ignored by people we have wronged? I have learned that one of the steps in meditation is the forgiveness ritual, on which we have to visualize that we are already forgiven by that someone. This two-way process of forgiving someone and asking for forgiveness gives lightness to our hearts and freedom from worries and fears.

To comfort the afflicted

There may be moments when we are tested through suffering and pain. We ask God, why me? Yet, we are not alone in these trials since Jesus even asked, Father, why have you forsaken me?

We may have been victims of natural calamities and the death of loved ones, and heartaches resulting in loneliness, grief, and apathy. We may be experiencing setbacks and discomfort to fully understand and be compassionate with other people's sufferings. We go through the same path and feel their pains and sorrows.

In difficult times, one way to comfort those suffering is to walk with them to find their inner peace, thinking of their fate and offering a prayer. Then when they regain strength, they will be able to live a peaceful life and comfort other wounded and lost people.

To pray for the living and the dead

Our religious leaders often asked us to pray for them, and even Pope Francis did it several times when the church was exposed to scandals and issues that would test his leadership and faith.

Sometimes we pray to someone to ease his suffering or for whatever intentions they want to receive. It is said that whatever you ask will be given to you. This may be a universal law and doesn't fail to provide us with whatever we ask through prayer.

Prayer beyond personal intentions requires humility and compassion when directed to others going through tough times. It is even more excellent service
when we pray for those who passed away before us. We dearly departed need our prayer for them to be cleansed before entering their final resting place in heaven. We remember them in November on the celebration of all souls day; our prayers are what they need for their salvation.

During this Lenten season, we reflect on the teachings of Jesus Christ for us to have a deeper understanding and relationship with Him and to receive his glory. Through Acts of Mercy, we develop Christ-consciousness that will serve as our guide towards Divinely-inspired living today and beyond life on earth in eternity.

© 2019 Del Cusay