Monday, October 15, 2012

Reaching the Skies with Nanay...(A Guardia's story)

Then a student,...
2011 LN Festivities
Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, La Naval de Manila. This is a splendid name for a queen who always comes to the aid of her children. I am proud to become one of the millions of people who felt the intercession of Our Lady, and continued to become at service to her. What was just a simple and unprepared visit at the start, now turned out to be a life of service and ministry for her love and affection.

Just a year ago (this is different from my very first visit in 2010), I was among the sea of spectators for the Feast of La Naval de Manila. Back then, I promised Nanay then that I will try my best to visit her more often. I began my monthly habit of visiting her during the First Sunday of the month, as a fulfillment of my vow. Not that I still feel the bitterness on my own home base, but it was a moment for me to reflect with Mary on my performance as a lay rising from the ashes.








...now a teacher.
Besamanto 2012
This monthly date turned, unexpectedly, into a weekly one. It was the Thesis semester and as the team leader, I know Nanay can do something for us. After my Saturday classes, I make it a point to leave CMU as soon as possible so that I could go to Mass at SDC. My classmates are asking me why do I give myself a pain in the neck and the pocket; I always say, it's a secret I could tell when the time comes. I confided to her my problems as the defense comes nearer. I shed tears in front of her, as I surrender everything to her intercession. Indeed, Nanay showed her grace as we passed the defense and, after five years of problems, I graduated from the institution.

As I was about to leave CMU, I began looking for a good job which will fit my needs. I tried going to Makati CBD, but in vain. I was desperate then to look for a living; I don't want to be a burden for my parents, especially my mom. So, in that time of need, I came to Nanay's feet, asking for help. She did not fail me again, the next day I went to Eastwood, a place so unfamiliar to me, to apply for a job as Online Teacher. To my surprise, they accepted me as a trainee and, as of the present, as a probationary employee. I don't know if it will continue to regularization, this I entrust again to Nanay.

Back then, I still knew nobody there, neither the brothers nor the lay servers. i was just alone going to Mass on a Saturday eve, which will be followed by the Vespers. It was that simple for me, then I will go home with the promise of returning the following week. I have no particular intention then of joining any group, nor getting involved. That was, until April of this year.

I stumbled upon an Acolyte then who introduced me to a particular group in SDC, which took my initial interest. Through him, Nanay paved the way for me to enter through Dominican Spirituality, as I became a member of the Institute of Preaching Lay Missionaries. My first Dominican Family welcomed me into a new world of preaching and service. This gave me an avenue to share what I can regarding the Word of God and Church Teachings which I could only do before through Ur Dose. It was indeed a great blessing for me.

Because of IPLM, not only was I able to deepen my knowledge in the scriptures, but I was also given the chance to show my unknown skills as a radio announcer in U-Speak, which is airing over Radyo Manaoag (which also gave me the chance to visit her on her Shrine in Pangasinan). Never in my life did I think of hosting a radio program, but with Nanay's help I'm given the opportunity to be one. 

Later on, she led me to Mukha AD, a youth formation program of the Dominican Studentate. We are aloft at first, but after ten weeks of attending the sessions and having some good time together, I could say that I have found a new family, away from the hustle of my dark past (which, I think, is moving on too). We were taken to many places, met new people especially the Friars, found out many things about ourselves and our role as youth of the Church. 




THE BELFRY EXPERIENCE

On one of its modules, we were given a quick tour around Santo Domingo, including a tiring yet exciting climb up its belfry. We were given the chance to feel how it is to be on the top of the church.

We can see the tall buildings, small houses, mountains and everything else from its windows. From SDC's belfry, we felt like we were on a different dimension; we were reaching the skies!

I realized from the belfry experience that God has a better plan for me soon. It will be a rocky road for sure, but in perseverance and faith, I know that this plan would help me reach the skies. I would never be alone, Jesus and Mary would always be there.

LA GUARDIA DE HONOR DE LA VIRGEN DE LA NAVAL DE MANILA

As the LN season drew near, I realized that everything would be a lot different this year. I may be with the familiar faces at SDC, either IPLM or Mukha AD. But Nanay gave me a very special task to do. She made me her Guardia de Honor


Out of the blue, I realized how unworthy I was to be beside her as her Carroza Triunfal passes through the streets. I see myself as not the guy she wanted, but she proved me wrong. On that moment, amid the throng of devotees, I realized that Nanay picked me up to be with her, to see that she has a lot in store for me. This I also did as a gratitude for all the blessings God gave me through her intercession.

That was one of the most touching moments I have in my entire life: the privilege of being with her, walking by her side, and guarding her, proving to me - to us - that she would never leave us down on our journey in life as long as we continuously cling ourselves to her.

I look back on these events and I realize how Mary led me closer to her bosom, leaving the past behind and moving on towards her care. A lot of people ask me why serve in SDC whereas I still have SCP. I tend to answer, I don't know. Even I was took by surprise to see this development in my life as a server. 

I keep on asking myself, Why me? I am just a devotee and I will always be, subalit hindi ko talaga lubos maisip na aabot ako sa ganito. Out of the many people, why a super proud sinner like me? Yet, I am here right now! Out of Divine Providence, and with Mary's care, I am now given the chance to live a very different life, a preaching life. I am called to commit myself to proclaiming the Word of God by word and work. This is not just an opportunity, this is a blessing which must be taken care of.


But still, I would face her as her simple devotee who still wishes for nothing but God's will in my life. I pray for perseverance in what I am in right now, which I know only she and Jesus could give. Like the belfry experience, like the privilege of being her Guardia de Honor, may I always strive to reach the Skies with Jesus and Mary by my side. 

I have written this post not to brag my achievements, but to show everyone that Devotion to Nanay doesn't end in the prayers; but extends through everyday life. She gives us everything we need as long as we remain faithful to her Son. She always defends us from every harm, and leads us to Her Son. For our part, we are always called to defend her from the enemies of the world, and to tell everyone how much she loves us as her Mother.

Let us, then, be faithful. As we reach the Skies with Our Dear Mother and Queen, let us show our love for her by defending her no matter what. Let us always pray to her for our needs. Don't worry; she'll lead us always to Jesus!


3 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:52 AM

    wow...Nanay is proud of you....

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous11:34 AM

    Mama Mary, Pray for us!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Simply exquisite! Ang galing ng pagka-gawa. Ang your Experience was truly wonderful.

    ReplyDelete