Thursday, February 11, 2016

All Return to Dust

Miguel and I almost figured in an accident yesterday. The traffic light had turned green so the taxi driver started to move the car forward. We were already accelerating when a white car just suddenly crossed right in front of us. Our taxi (who had the right of way) almost hit the car if not for uncle's quick reflexes on hitting the brakes. I felt things slow down as uncle was hitting the brakes and I raised my arm to hold onto the front seat since my seatbelt wasn't working. Strangely though I wasn't pulled forward by the force of the brakes. It felt like someone hugged me from being thrown forward. I know it was my guardian angel protecting me as always (thanks H*!).

We were on our way to church yesterday to hear mass because it was Ash Wednesday. The priest opened his homily with "Without God you are nothing" to highlight what Ash Wednesday is about. Ash Wednesday is a very good reminder for us that, "All go to one place. All are from dust, and to dust all return." (Ecclesiastes 3:20). I felt a different calm yesterday after the incident. It must be because I've been working on being more prayerful and trusting that God would take care of me. The past 3 years since I had heart surgery felt like I've been trying so hard to prove that I'm still alive and working hard to ensure that my family will be okay even when I'm gone. Now I'd like to understand better why God saved me and what is my mission.

I have lost so many loved ones in the last 6 years, my Dad, all my loving uncles and recently my Titay. My Mom has been really strong throughout these ordeals. When we lost Dad she said, "That's just how life is." I could not understand then why she was so matter of fact. I now realize that being the Mom you really have to be strong for everyone. My Mom though is a hero, she's not only been strong as a Mom, but also as a sister and as an aunt. She is the last one standing among her siblings.

We are all just on borrowed time. I know this, but I have not been really good at managing this time and working on what is essential. So this Lent this is what I'd like to work on. Pope Francis quoted "I desire for mercy, and not sacrifice" (Mt 9:13) for Lent. He said Lent isn't about sacrificing your favorite things (i.e. milk tea!), but about showing mercy and compassion. That's actually harder to do versus not having or doing your favorite things (i.e. shopping!). So for this Lent that's what I'll try to do and I'll try my best to go out of my comfortable hole to reach out to others who may need me.

What about you? What are your plans for this Lenten Season?

*Many years ago before I went to sleep I asked my guardian angel to let me know what his name was. I dreamt of the letter H. A few years back during a visit to the La Salle museum in Bacolod I found out that H stood for "Hamaliel". Try it asking the name of your angel =)