I was supposed to blog every day of the Simbang Gabi but I was so lazy I didn’t even try. I was able to complete again the 9 nights/mornings (since there were times I had to go to the 4 am mass because I wasn’t able to attend the anticipated one) after a year of not being able to. It felt great, actually. Every single one of them. Especially the second to the last Simbang Gabi which I had with my mom and sister at the Greenhills chapel. The priest’s stories were touching. Very touching.
The first was when his mom died. February of this year, his mom died of stroke. He wasn’t able to speak to her before she finally went. She was in a coma for almost a week and the priest was devastated. He went to the hospital’s chapel and prayed to God. He was asking the Lord to atleast let him speak to her, before she leaves him forever. He said he had given his whole life to Him as a priest, and yet that had to happen. But at the end of his prayer, after all of his begging, he still told the Lord, “but Your will, Lord. Not mine.” And so, the priest’s mother died, without him having his last conversation with her.
The second story was from one of the victims of the typhoon Sendong. A man lost his house, his wife, and his 9 children. Imagine, ALL NINE of his children plus his wife died with all the other thousands who lost their lives. The man lost all of his hope and wished to kill himself because he thinks that life is not worth living anymore without his family. He lost it. He lost HOPE. It was as if he also died together with his family.
The last, and most inspiring of all his stories was also regarding with a typhoon Sendong victim. This time, a lady who doesn’t know if her husband, children and grand children are still alive was spotted by a newscaster cleaning a parol and tried to hang it on the post. She was asked by the newscaster why she did this and replied, ““Hindi ko man alam Kung nasaan na ang pamilya ko, at nawala man ang lahat ng meron ako… Kailangan parin magdiwang. Kaarawan ng Diyos eh, DARATING PARIN SIYA.”
All stories showed us one common experience: loss. All of them experienced great loss. The priest, losing the love if his life, his mother and having been strong enough to accept it, even If it was so painful. He gave his life to the Lord, and all he asked for was to speak to his mother one last time, and yet, it didn’t happen. Still, he told the Lord that His will be done. He could’ve been angry, he could’ve cursed God with all his might, but he didn’t. Because he had faith. He had hope. The two other stories, the man and the lady, they were both victims, they both experienced loss, and yet they reacted on it differently. One clearly lost all the hope in the world, while the other had cling to it, for it was all she had left; HOPE.
I believe that Hope saves. It does. For without it, then maybe we’re dead like the man who lost his whole family. Not physically dead, but spiritually.
Let’s all keep on hoping and praying for all of mankind. Keep the faith burning, no matter what. Because it is through that flame that we all experience God’s love.
Happy Birthday, Jesus!