I am not devout a Catholic. But I believe in God, in Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit, in Mama Mary, and in the saints and angels in heaven. I pray every night before I sleep to thank God for his wonderful blessings, to ask for His guidance, and to share my saddest feelings that I cannot share even to my diary. I talk to God even when I’m not inside the church. I believe that God is ominous, that He is everywhere, that He makes all things possible. I believe in His power.
I cannot remember whether I knew how to make the sign of the cross before I entered pre-school. My pre-school, grade school and high school years were spent in a Catholic school near our place. Every year, we studied the lives of St. Theresa of Avila (patron saint of my school), San Lorenzo Ruiz (first Filipino saint), and St. John Marie Vianney (patron saint of priests). We had confession twice a year. We had first Friday masses. We were required to submit proof of attendance to Sunday masses. Sadly, I remember only a few details about their lives. I only studied their lives because the history of their lives was always included in monthly and quarterly exams. I am still familiar with the seven sacraments, the Angelus, and the Holy Rosary. The rest of the topics that we studied in Religion, I am not sure if I can still remember.
When I went to college, I enrolled in UP, where I mixed with students with different religions. I had a friend who belonged to another religion but it was never an issue. I did not go to Sunday mass as often as I should but whenever I got the chance, I visit UP chapel to hear mass. Only once did I go to confession back in college.
After graduation, my relationship with God was limited to prayers at night, Wednesday mass in Greenbelt chapel, occasional visits to church to attend Sunday mass, and praying the Holy Rosary, which was not very often. I knew that it is against the Catholic teachings to have sex before marriage, but, as the Bible says, the flesh is weak.
What is the point of all these? My first writing challenge is to write a short autobiography. In observance of the Lenten season, I chose to tackle my religious side, as a way of reflection with regard to my relationship with God. As I wrote at the beginning of this piece, I am not a devout Catholic. I am pro-RH bill. I use contraceptives, not the family planning method supported by the Catholic church. I am frustrated over the ultra conservative stand of the Catholic church. I believe in God’s powers and that God answers my prayers. I still pray everyday. I pray when I need help; when I have a big decision to make; when I am happy; when I am sad; when I feel depressed. I pray for other people. Sometimes I pray for the world.
My family is not very religious either. We were never involved in Visita Iglesia. We seldom go to church together. We never had Pasyon reading in the house. Every year, we spend the Lenten season at home. I try to make small sacrifices, which is incomparable to what Jesus did to save mankind. In my own little way, I give back to God as a sign of gratitude for all his wonderful blessings to me and my family. I try to be a good person, although it is very difficult to be good.
As a wife and mom, I want my family to be a little more religious than what we are now. I want God to be the center of our family. I want my children to be God-fearing. I know it has to start with me. What am I going to do? I am not yet sure. Maybe start teaching Kaila to pray every night. Let’s see tonight.