Let there be light.

25 January 2015

I have a Catholic upbringing. I was born to a Catholic family and attended a Catholic school from elementary to high school. I was an active member of the Lector-Commentator Society and Legion of Mary and regularly led the Morning Prayer and daily Rosary during the flag ceremony. We recited prayers at the beginning and end of every class and had a 15-minute reflection in the classroom every day. I knew majority of the patron saints and feast days and won a lot of Marian Quiz and Bible Quiz Bees. 

However, when I got older, I became more discerning when it comes to my faith. Not that I ever doubted there is a God - I believe with all my heart that there is a God - but I have some reservations about the institution. I realized that I can be spiritual even though I am not that religious. I pray the Holy Rosary every day and regularly ask for the intercession of my favorite patron saints. I have a personal relationship with God and this will not be tainted.

As cliché as it sounds, I believe that there are no such things as coincidences. Last week, I was invited by my friends Ralph and Mike to go with them to a recollection with Verbum Dei. Since I was already feeling sick yesterday when we were in Binondo (for food trip and feng shui) and I have a long and busy work-week ahead, I thought I should just skip and take the day off to rest and paint. However, I woke up very early this morning feeling pumped up and excited to go!


It was easy to find the Verbum Dei chapter in Quezon City. Upon our arrival, we were given a warm welcome by friendly and smiling faces. We were recognized as newbies so we were given a quick introduction by Miss Ludy, Ralph and Mike's financial adviser who invited us to the retreat.

With Mike and Ralph
A couple of missionaries gave us Bible verses to ponder on and key topics to reflect on, but much of the morning was dedicated to prayer, self-reflection, and quiet retreat. It proved to be a challenge for Ralph because he said he prefers sharing within a group, but I personally didn't mind it that much - except for the time when my mind got too noisy with too many thoughts (yep, over-thinking is my second nature) that I had to write it out. We were given "freedom" to speak in the afternoon, when we were divided into small groups to share what we found the highlight of the day was with each other.

With my groupmates Sarah and Percy
Lunch was fun because aside from the good food, we also met a lot of new people who were all willing to tell us their stories.

I also saw a familiar face!

Reg is a professor in my alma mater Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila. I thought she looked familiar, and then I found out she's a colleague and friend of my favorite professor in college!
My favorite part was when J-Ann, a missionary from Cebu, spoke about light. She said, "When we shine, we also give permission for others to shine." This is somewhat connected to what I learned from The Art of Asking, Amanda Palmer's book that resonated with me, and what feng shui master Johnson Chua advised me the other day. When turning the light on, there is always a switch. Switch = will. If we have the will, the light will shine, and when it shines, it speaks.


The light doesn't have to end in us. We should look for people to pass it on. "Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the single candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." 

We bade our new friends goodbye after the celebration of the Holy Mass and went straight to Maginhawa Street for early dinner.

Crazy Katsu | Bookay-ukay which I was so tempted to check out, but I remembered my pile of books at home still waiting to be sorted and shelved | My favorite Moonleaf Tea Shop
J-Ann reiterated what I felt this morning when she said to us first-timers, "You being here is not a coincidence." I am thankful that I am blessed with friends who serve as instruments for me to have a deeper relationship with God. I've been looking for a recollection/ retreat house since I was used to doing it regularly when I was still studying but hadn't been successful to find any, until today.


Thank you for being my light, Ralph and Mike! You are stars.


Sunday well-spent.

5 comments:

AC M. said...

You know what, the past few days I've been thinking about Ted. Not the 'overthinking' thing, but more like his quest for the one. I think I am Ted these days, and I met yet another Robin. The nth Robin of my life. *sigh*

Rae said...

Hey Krissy, I haven't caught up with many of your posts but I was wondering if you're watching "A to Z". The "mother's" tv series.

Kinda helps with my HIMYM withdrawal.

krissy said...

Good luck to us Teds of the world. :(

krissy said...

Hi Rae! I've been downloading the episodes but I've yet to see one. Hoping to get around to it soon! :)

Rae said...

Watch it na! :D You'll really really like it, I think ;)