I don't wish upon shooting stars. I don't whisper on wish cottons then blow them away. I never even tried my luck on wish bones. Don't get me wrong, I do believe in wishes coming true. But I do it differently- I light candles and then I pray. I don't believe in luck. But I'm a strong believer of the power of faith.
***Coming from a Catholic School (St. Paul College Makati), I probably know more angels and saints than the average number my friends could give. I memorize a number more prayers and know more about the beliefs, symbolisms and practices of the Roman Catholic Church than any kid of my age. (Yihee feeling bata! HAHA) I've been part of the church choir (singing and playing the keyboards) for a couple of years until I realized that my voice was better off reading the scripture than singing verses. (I seriously do not understand why I was even accepted in glee club back then. Maybe they just didn't want to break my heart!) My religion classes taught me most of what I know about my religion. But it was when I left SPCM that I knew what faith was really all about. Contrary to my mom's belief that MaSci and UP (especially UP!) turned me into a monster, it was actually being immersed in communities of diverse religions, beliefs, and practices that helped me define my own stronger perception of faith and GOD. Definitely not as consistent with the Roman Catholic's as it used to be but more personal. And I guess in the end, nourishing a more personal relationship with GOD mattered more than being merely consistent with a denomination's traditions.
Yesterday, I came with Parel, his mom and his sister to Baclaran Church for thanksgiving. I had to ride the light rail transit line 1. For the Parels' it was their fastest way to get from Kalookan North to Baclaran. For me, it was the much dreaded ride. We walked through the dingy streets of the flea market under the scorching heat of the sun (I forgot to bring my umbrella. Sun buuurn!). It was a looong walk. And I had to endure standing at the sides of the Church until the Novena and the Mass was finished. It was a longer walk on the way back. Parel and I went separate ways with his sister and his mom. They took the LRT Line 1 to Blumentritt. We took the MRT to TriNoma. Went random malling around TriNoma and then went home.
Went home and ranted to my mom about how hot the weather was, how uncomfortable walking through the flea market was and how long we had to walk before we reached the Baclaran Church. And she told me that that was what devotion is really all about- threading the infamous Baclaran flea market just to visit Him in His church.
She spoke of her adventures when she was younger. Mom is very religious. She spent most of her youth in pilgrimages to wherever and I admire her for that. But I guess the apple fell a bit farther from the tree. I'm not as religious (I won't even qualify as one) and I don't associate churches as "tambayan". But that doesn't mean I have less faith than she has nor does it mean I have more. It just means that we're different. No one is better or worse than the other. Just different. Mom would brave to travel as far as Rome (or more often Antipolo) just to attend the Holy Eucharist. I'd attend mass in Greenbelt and still feel the same presence that GOD wants us to feel. Mom could do novenas and pray psalms only their generation understands and I could pray to Him in colloquial English, Tagalog, French (yihee!), or even in jejemon, and He would hear and understand us both.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that GOD is the amazing god that He is. He wouldn't mind how and as to why we do it. He doesn't need demonstrations of devotions. He just needs to know that we love and respect Him. Every good thing in the world and in our lives in exchange of nothing more but a generous space in our hearts.
***I lit the first candle in thanksgiving for the blessing Parel was blessed with recently. The latter three are wishes that I've long been praying for. And which, I know, will come true in GOD's time -- definitely not because I would have been lucky by then, but because I have remained faithful. =))