Thursday, April 21, 2011

manahimik at makinig.

I went to mass at the Church of the Gesu last Palm Sunday. I meant to sing again with Hangad, but, at the last minute, I chose to listen.

I'm glad I did. Sometimes, in the flurry of preparing for the next song (or the lines to say during the interactive Gospel reading of the Passion), I find no time to reflect on the mass readings. But that day was special; I felt it was necessary to find time to be quiet, and to wait quietly for things to come.

I had always been one to speak my mind; at times, to a fault. I may be patient, but to be patient with grace is a skill I have yet to master. Even as I was dutifully attending to my family responsibilities, it was not without complaints. When I feel I have been wronged, I say it; when I know I am wrong, I profusely ask for pardon and give a mountain of reasons. I don't know why, but I always feel vulnerable whenever I am at a loss for words or when I'm not given a chance to speak out, so I end up saying too many things to avoid the silence.

As I sat in the Gesu that day, I was at my most fragile state. There was nobody I could talk to (since I was at mass and I shouldn't really be chatting with anyone), and suddenly I didn't feel so confident to sing anymore, as I hadn't done that in a long time. I closed my eyes and I felt tears welling up. I shushed the thoughts in my head, and I listened.

As Hangad sang for the offertory, I reflected on St. Ignatius' prayer. It is indeed difficult to serve, to fight, to love without expecting anything in return. Yet too often I forget that the reward is in doing the act itself, because in doing it I am fulfilling what is willed for my soul. During communion, in the middle of Here In This Place, I remembered my Dad's passing and Dylan's birth, and how they have given our lives hope amidst loss.

I kept still, and looked at my family. We all have different roles now, and each of us have moments wherein we would deny the gravity of our responsibilities or expect a little more patience with each other. Yet I know we will be always bound by love that rises above despair. I marveled at Hangad and how the group continues to inspire its listeners, myself included. I feel lucky to have been a part of it, and to know that I am welcome to return when I am ready. I thought about those who have gone but given much of themselves for my happiness, and prayed for their happiness as well.

Now, while I am allowed time for it, I will learn to embrace my silence, and remember to listen.

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