This past Valentine’s Day, the girls were beautifully woken up at 5:00am by the boys serenading us outside the windows. I remember hearing the first song thinking… Why is there song practise so early in the morning? I thought wake up time is 5:30am today?! After two songs I finally realized OH! This is not a song practice… it’s the boys! It’s Valentine’s Day! How sweet! I had a face mask on from the night, but that didn’t stop me from going outside to watch and be the emotional person I am. No one has ever serenaded me outside my window before, and because it was these boys, it was extra special! Their kindness didn’t end there. They surprised us again during breakfast by bring each of us flowers! It was such a morning filled with love.
In the evening we had a “Date with the Lord” at the parish. A night of song, reflection, and Taize prayer. It wasn’t just our young people, but the young people of the whole parish – from barangys Salvacion, Bahile and Macarascas. It was nice seeing the church full of youth on Valentine’s night. A portion of the night was spent in small groups where we were able to share our stories, our challenges and our joys. I learned a lot about my group and I’m happy I was able to meet young people from outside the dorm. It wasn’t until I shared that I am not perfect, that my teenage years were also filled with vices, that they were able to open up. I often feel like the youth here think I’m “so good” and that I’ve never experienced making mistakes. Little do they know… But I am relieved that they were able to relate to me enough that they felt comfortable sharing their own stories. It was a long night, but also filled with lots of love.
This past Wednesday marked the first day of this year’s lenten season. I think back to this night and I am reminded that I am far from perfect and that no one is perfect. We all have our flaws and vices and temptations. We all have something we need to work on in order to be better servants of Christ. So this lent, let’s work together to become greater and stronger. The point of “giving something up” for 40 days isn’t for you to challenge yourself so say you did it, but it’s to give something up that was not benefitting you so that you can change for the better. Our community here has decided on some practices we will participating in all together.
Spiritual: We will pray the Stations of the Cross on Fridays, and we will substitute “Movie Fridays” of action/comedies/dramas with spiritual movies instead.
Material: We will sacrifice merienda (snacks) on Sundays, only soup for dinner on Fridays, and only bread for breakfast on Tuesdays.
I also have my own personal lenten practices for these 40 days… but I will keep those to myself! Pray for us as we pray for you! May this be a blessed Lenten season for all!