Tag Archives: Holy Week

"Let's Party!"

Yesterday at Easter Sunday mass, the priest said something very nice during the Homily:

Easter is God’s way to telling us with a smile, “Let’s party!”

I agree, don’t you think? :)

* * *

There’s something about this year’s Lent that is a bit different from last year. Okay, make it a lot different. Last year, I ended Lent and the Holy Week feeling a lot regretful, and even remorseful because of all the things that I did and didn’t do. Last year, I felt like a Peter. I was uncomfortable, but I didn’t accept it because I felt like all the things I worked for, all the things I planned didn’t happen and it annoyed me. I really did end the Holy Week more uncomfortable and humble, but I still had a hard time connecting with God because I was resisting. And I realized then that when I resist, boy I do resist.

So this year, I didn’t exactly promise to be better. I remember promising as Lent started that I will be more open this year. I will try, and I know I will fail, but I will keep on trying. It was the first time I fasted from something that I really love (which was really harder than it was!), and this was also the first time that I told myself to keep an open mind. I was a bit nervous for the Holy Week, because I wasn’t sure what was going to happen, and truth be told, I asked God to not make me cry. Hah, like that would happen.

Anyway. My Triduum was quiet. Wednesday night, my mom and brother and I watched The Book of Eli, then Thursday was the usual mass, followed by a night of silence because cable went out. Friday was spent in Bisita Iglesia, and followed by the Veneration of the Cross and Communion, which was the point of resistance for me last year. This year, I really prayed for an open heart, and found myself opening up to the experience. I realized that it may not be convenient, it may be hot inside the church…but as they say, the best time to be uncomfortable is during Holy Week. And it was definitely uncomfortable, but I was able to somehow relive Christ’s passion (less the gory images, of course) and realize yet again how much Jesus loved us, loved me.

Until now, my heart is having the difficulty trying to fathom all of this. How could one man save us from our sins? How could the death of one man do so much? But I guess that’s the mystery of it, that it’s really something that my puny heart and mind cannot and will not ever understand, at least until I get to His Kingdom. He’s not asking me to understand, anyway, He’s just asking me to believe. Sometimes I admit that it may be easy to just not believe because I honestly don’t think my mind can comprehend it fully…but going down the path of non-belief feels like a dark and dreary and lonely path that I would never ever go down that. I’d rather sell my timeshare and give up everything else than decide not to believe in God’s love and mercy.

One of the things I realized over the weekend one of the reasons (or effects?) on why I’m struggling so much right now. I wanted clarity. I feel so unsettled because although I know that God is always there, I had a hard time believing that He actually was. I have so many plans, so many dreams that I am always afraid of them not being fulfilled. I have so many questions that I don’t know how to answer or what the answer is, and in that fear, I just chose to stop asking. The reason why I wanted to keep on going back my college time is that it’s my mountain top. It’s the time when I knew I was so connected with God that never a day goes by without me knowing something about Him, without me hearing something from Him. Right now, all I can hear is static, and I know it’s not because He’s not speaking — it’s because I’m not listening.

I’m not sure if I’m explaining it correctly. What I learned in the past three days is that if I want to get some kind of clarity, I’ve got to connect. And for me to connect, well I’ve got to pray. I’ve complained and struggled about my prayer time, but I admit to never really doing anything about it…until now. I can’t remember if I blogged about fighting for my heart and all, but I’ve got to recognize that if I wanted to be connected to God, and to know His will and to hear His word…well, I’ve got to fight for it. I’ve got to assurance that it is a won battle, but it doesn’t mean I have to stop fighting. I need to fight for my relationship with God, I need to fight for my prayer time, because I’m pretty sure that He is fighting for it, too.

So by God’s grace, I’m trying again — this time, it’s for real. I will try, and I will fail, but I will keep on trying. I’ve missed Him for too long, and this Lent has reminded me that Jesus died because He couldn’t bear the thought of me not being with Him in Heaven…and I can’t let that go to waste. He loved me this much, and I can’t just ignore that. I can’t.

* * *

To celebrate Easter Sunday, my family and I headed to Bonifacio High Street at my request to check out Church Simplified‘s Walkway. Suffice to say that it was a great idea, and I’m glad we went through it even if it was really hot. I have a lot of pictures that I have to upload, and if you missed the Walkway, make sure you go there next year if they have it again because it’s definitely a new way to experience the Passion, Death and Resurrection of Jesus. :)

This part at the last station spoke to me a lot, and I hope I never forget this:

Never let familiarity breed contempt

* * *

One last before I head home! I rekindled my love for one of my favorite Holy Week songs over the weekend: I See Love by Third Day, Steven Curtis Chapman and Mercy Me.

Some see a prisoner, alone before his judge
With no one to defend him
Some see a victim, beaten and abused
With all the world against him
Some see a martyr, carrying his cross
For what he believes
Some see a hero who set his people free…

But I see love, I see love
Light of heaven breaking through
Well I see grace, I see God’s face
Shining pure and perfect love
When I see you

With your last breath, I see love
Through your death, I see love
I see peace in the eyes of the king
I see hope in your suffering (I see love)
I see a calm in the center of the storm
I see a Saviour…

Some see Him walking from an empty grave.

Happy Easter everyone. ♥


day twenty-six.

So here’s another attempt to blog using my iPod, because I don’t have any of my laptops with me. Right now I’m sitting at Starbucks in Robinson’s Galleria, eating dinner and waiting for my brother. My feet are aching from all the department store shopping I did. I’m happy about my purchases but my stingy side is angry at me for spending so much today (but at least it’s not as much as spending for Branson vacations) .

Just another day in the life of Tina.

Or wait. Not really.

I missed Earth Hour this year, because I was stuck in the mall. Some stores participated, but the rest of the mall didn’t. I guess it would be weird and chaotic if the entire mall turned off their lights? Then again I know SM Malls participated. Anyway, I didn’t feel Earth Hour, obviously, because I didn’t spend an hour in almost total darkness, like last year. Almost, because our TV was tuned in to NatGeo last year during Earth Hour. Next year I’m making sure I’m home then. Or at least, be in a place that participated so I can join in the unity and whatnot.

Today I also met up with my friend Cors at Greenbelt. We had lunch at Recipes, dessert at Gelatissimo (Hazelnut gelato! ♥), and shopped at Landmark — all with girl talk, of course! But those things were just side trips. The real highlight of our day is our confession at the Greenbelt chapel.

There was a time when I told myself I’d go to confession every month. Then it became every other month. However, I was only comfortable to go to confession at one place, at the Greenbelt chapel. I don’t know why – maybe it’s the peacefulness of the chapel even if it’s in the midst of a busy mall? Anyway, I’m ashamed to admit that I never got to do the confess every month thing, or every other month, because Greenbelt is too far. But I try as much as possible to go to confession before Holy Week comes around.

I won’t go discuss what happened inside anymore (of course), but let me just say this: a huge load was lifted off my shoulder when the priest said, “I absolve you in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. You are forgiven, go in peace and sin no more.” Okay, those may not have been the exact words, but that’s the gist of it. I felt lighter, and refreshed, like everything is right with the world again.

And maybe it is, you know? After all, I have been forgiven. I know, we can all ask forgiveness from God directly, and there’s really no need to go to a priest to confess your sins…but doesn’t it feel so much better when someone tells you that you are forgiven? Someone who Jesus has appointed and has given authority to hear confession and absolve people who want to repent?

But I’m not here to talk about the theology of the Sacrament of Reconciliation. If you want to read about that, go to Lifeteen or BustedHalo – they have answers and explanations for you. What I want to talk about, really, is it feels good to be clean. To be new. It feels good to be forgiven. To know that God has poured His mercy on you and all your sins are washed away, forgotten because He has forgiven you. My puny heart and mind can’t understand how His grace and mercy works, but I won’t refuse it. Who am I to refuse that gift?

Tomorrow is the start of Holy Week. Last year, I had a very different Holy Week, and I posted about all my struggles then. This year…I’m going to try and be open. And I’m going to try to be still and listen. I will try and ask God for the grace to see Him and feel Him and hear Him this week, as I reflect on the greatest act of love ever. And I hope that this week, I find Him again.

Whoever you are who’s reading this post, I hope you find Him this coming week. I’m sure He can’t wait for you, too. :)

Holy Week Break

As with last year’s notice, I will be offline starting tomorrow up to Saturday in observance of the Holy Week. Time to have some quiet time with my Greatest Love, to remember and be thankful of what He did for me way before I existed. This week carries the true meaning of what we celebrated last December, the real reason why He came into this world, and I believe that is reason enough for me to take a break this week. :D So forgive the silence here for a while – go visit other sites first, like Blue Cross, or something. :)

So thank You.

I leave you with one of my favorite Holy Week songs, Why by Nichole Nordeman. See you on Easter Sunday. :)


Nichole Nordeman

We rode into town the other day
Just me and my Daddy
He said I’d finally reached that age
And I could ride next to him on a horse
That of course was not quite as wide

We heard a crowd of people shouting
And so we stopped to find out why
And there was that man
That my dad said he loved
But today there was fear in his eyes

So I said “Daddy, why are they screaming?
Why are the faces of some of them beaming?
Why is He dressed in that bright purple robe?
I’ll bet that crown hurts Him more than He shows
Daddy, please can’t you do something?
He looks as though He’s gonna cry
you said he was stronger than all of those guys
addy, please tell me why
Why does everyone want him to die?”

Later that day the sky grew cloudy
And Daddy said I should go inside
Somehow he knew things would get stormy
Boy was he right
But I could not keep from wondering
If there was something he had to hide

So after he left I had to find out
I was not afraid of getting lost
So I followed the crowds
To a hill where I knew men had been killed
And I heard a voice come from the cross

And it said, “Father, why are they screaming?
Why are the faces of some of them beaming?
Why are they casting their lots for My robe?
This crown of thorns hurts Me more than it shows
Father, please can’t You do something?
I know that You must hear My cry
I thought I could handle the cross of this size
Father, remind Me why
Why does everyone want Me to die?
When will I understand why?”

“My precious Son, I hear them screaming
I’m watching the face of the enemy beaming
But soon I will clothe You in robes of My own
Jesus, this hurts Me much more than You know
But this dark hour I must do nothing
Though I’ve heard Your unbearable cry
The power in Your blood destroys all of the lies
Soon You’ll see past their unmerciful eyes
Look there below, see the child
Trembling by her father’s side
Now I can tell You why
She is why You must die”