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ACC Lenten Retreat 2017

Lenten Reflections – Level Up!

Level up! After yesterday’s Sunday mass, these two words from Father Victor’s homily got stucked in my mind. It was the Eucharistic celebration of the 5th Sunday of Lent.

So, what do these two words really meant? I wonder why, it lingers? As I was contemplating, my St. Rosita had suddenly flashed this blog to my mind 🙂  As you would notice, this blog has been stale for a while and wasn’t updated for the past few months.

I have to admit that even though there had been so many inspirations, good reflections and testimonies to be written and shared – I had been bombarded with twice as much of distractions too.  My spirit was so confused that instead of spending an hour or two to scribble these reflections to go out, it had been easier to just procrastinate and forego.  Why not?  I wonder if anyone cares to read anyway.

As I was on another attempt of procrastinating because of that thought, I was astounded by a roaring voice deep within.  A voice which compels me to just move my hands, and every words will be provided.

Our lives as sealed servants is indeed full of wonders. If we only open our selves to the immense possibility of Mahal na Ingkong’s providence; it is just actually there, waiting to be delivered at our disposal. Nothing is really impossible.  All we need to do is ask.

Truly, our Mahal na Ingkong is just a whisper or could I say a “prayer” away. Last week, I was in a tremendous stomach cramps that I could barely get up for work.  I have been praying if my 9:00am meeting would be cancelled as I’m not really prepared to face hard conversations with our tough users. It would be an endless explanation, why some our tasks are getting delayed.  I’m praying if I could at least buy some more time.

Well, it turned out that the meeting went through anyway and it was not cancelled.  I have to attend, nonetheless.

Usual routine is to layout all the deliverables, discuss the updates so on and so forth.

But you know what, when it was my turn to talk, I just sensed and felt an inner vigor and had noticed that a good selection of diplomatic words are coming from my mouth.  I could say this, because there is no one trying to argue or at least demanding to have my manager on board on the discussion. They had agreed to accept my suggested timelines with a bonus to have an extra tester to validate before delivery.  Isn’t this deal sweet?  Mahal na Ingkong indeed has the fastest response, especially when we are in desperate situation.

ACC Lenten Retreat 2017

On another occasion, I wonder how I could raise my kids amidst their own prejudices.  As part of their growing up – these kids though they are undoubtedly smart are also surrounded by conflicting beliefs, ideas and upbringing from their teachers and influence from their peers.  I sometimes wonder how could we let these kids carry on with the legacy of our Mahal na Ingkong’s mission and continue to be faithful with Him – if I literally have to beg them every Friday or Sunday to go to mass.

This prayer had been answered too!

Last  March 18, there was a Lenten Retreat for the Youth.  It was conducted by Vicar Debra from USA in conjunction with Father Abelardo as the moderator.

The retreat went on covering basic Catechism, what is a Sealed Servant, who is Mahal na Ingkong, our Matriarch’s life story, our Patriarch’s life story and so on.

One thing that I really liked about the Youth’s retreat, is the moment when Vicar had covered the topic about how they came to earth, and their advantage as being entrusted to parents that are Sealed Servants.

There was a portion where the parents would read their letter to their kids – a time of opening up some fears, wishes and showing how these kids were loved and also mentioning some unique traits that only a parent could really know their kids inside and out.

Then there was also Climax portion where the piety was so effective somehow, that I saw my 3 kids – all of them were crying (myself included)!  It was a point in time, where each family are in front of the Blessed Image of our Jesus Christ, re-uniting and making a pact for a more open communication and releasing all those doubts, fears and ambiguities.

To be honest, during that night, I felt that a 20 lbs load was lifted from my shoulders and had disappeared in thin air. I felt an inner relief!

I just hope that somehow, the kids who participated in that retreat will continue to nurture in their heart and mind those golden nuggets of shared experiences and spiritual knowledge as, it is not everyday that these quality of retreat come often.

The last reflection that I would be sharing is my personal take on last Saturday’s Lenten Retreat for the Apos.  This retreat had been conducted by His Eminence Archbishop Almario from Manila.

If I have to summarize what I have learned from this retreat. It would be  – “Giving your best according to what was entrusted to you.”

Let me elaborate, based on how I grasped it.

So, what really is our ultimate goal in doing all of these spiritual things. Why do we spend so much time, attending these repetitive retreats every year, go to mass every week, pray unceasingly?

Our ultimate goal, brothers and sisters, is for our soul to be saved! This is about it really.

All the rest, like our adhoc prayers are answered or not answered, these are just our bonuses. Just to keep us sane and keep going.

We are all Sealed Servants and all of us are same with respect to this.  However, all of us might differ on what have been consigned to us.  Some have been blessed with a privilege to be Clergies, some Lay Leaders, or Lay Followers, some as Nuns, or Third Order Members, some could be Deaconesses, Nanay Marias, Auxiliaries, and so on.

Alongside with these privileges however, we were entrusted with the responsibilities in accordance with these roles. For instance, if you had been privileged as a Priest, you have to serve as a Priest in accordance with Mahal Na Ingkong’s expectation.

If I have to highlight one of the many stories that were shared on this retreat, one testimony had stricken and awakened me somehow.

It was the testimony of a Sealed Servant who is meditating and praying the rosary. While this Sealed Servant was praying, a vision had transpired.  This vision is showing a revered ACC Clergy who had just passed away and is in front of our Mahal na Ingkong.  On his vision, Mahal na Ingkong is pointing to a certain “Gate” and is asking the Clergy if is he worthy on entering “that Gate” ?  If had he fulfilled his duties to build His Church and had propagated His Mission?

In short, when our time comes, we will also face the same scenario like the Clergy’s.  Are we prepared to answer that same question? Are we prepared to prove any worthy contribution to His mission?

Truly, all of us might go tired and exhausted, along with it, our capacities would be vastly challenged.  So, like cellphones which works day in and day out, and hence the battery got drained.  So as our spirits.  Who are also battling with all sorts of challenges, that it also got drained and needs to be recharged.

The only means where we could recharge our Spirits is through the Eucharist. It could also be supported through the Blessed Sacrament, prayers, meditation, rosaries and the like.

This we need to do, if at all possible, through the Church that was installed by our Mahal na Ingkong. This Church will be the conduit of all the graces and blessing and further spiritual strength for this will be the rendezvous where our Mahal ng Ingkong will be waiting to meet us. In this regard, it would be our obligation to maintain and upkeep this sacred place. This would only be possible if we give any resources and means we could offer.

I do hope that this post in its simplest form had emitted a message somehow.

Let us “level up”! (me included).  Let us keep in mind, that our stay here is just a journey. All of us are just transients and passers-by.  This is not meant to pressure anyone, this is just a reminder.

The good news is that, Mahal na Ingkong’s hotline is opened 24×7 all year round. We are also abounded by our guiding Angels and Saints.

All we need to do is just to lit 3 candles in front of the altar to talk to Him, to thank Him and ask further strength for the day. Or, if we are in deep turmoil, confusion, ambiguities, tiredom, spiritual laziness, all of those sorts. We could also ask for guidance and spiritual healing.

The Santa Maria Virginia Chapel (ACC Canada) have an Exposition of the Blessed Sacrament every First Friday. This is also a time where our Mahal na Ingkong opens up a of face-to-face communication if in case we need to talk to Him.

All channels had been put in place, all we need to do is have a willing heart to comply and execute.

Peace be with us all.  I do pray that all our journeys will find its true meaning and purpose.  Let us prove our worth!
Deaconess Rosita de Alexandria

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