Lenten Season – A Test of Faith



Submitted by Dolly Punsalan Castillo for April 2019 Mabuhay newspaper – Higher Story column


What will make a worldwide event launch its meaning from the usual mundane practice to a more renewed realization of its essence?

At first, it’s quite a daunting task.  On further analysis, there’s a way to arrive at a simple yet meaningful spiritual practice.  An unexplored practice, yet good enough to shift from the usual known familiar tradition.

At the heart of this redemptive practice is the willingness to forgive and to let go.  As one holy person said, forgiveness is not an emotion, but an act of will.  It takes a very conscious effort to realize that humanity is not perfect and we are all culpable of our weakness and wrongdoing.

This is the prelude to accepting people’s hurtful acts as being in situations where they cannot do otherwise.  It is not condoning sin, but rather the intuitive knowledge that people slide down the slippery road of decadence.

A wise saying goes that people don’t intentionally want their lives screwed up.  Nobody wants that.  It’s just that in everyday living, the precocious balance between right and wrong can at times become skewed and unbalanced.  One good trait is to forgive not only one’s self but the event itself.  This helps prevent the enlargement of the issues beyond their original occurrence.

Here are some gospel excerpts that best express this condition of forgiveness:

Lord, it is tempting and easy to cast a scornful eye on those around us and note every fault.  When my pride tempts me to do so, prompt me to turn the magnifying glass on myself instead.  If I keep in mind how much I need your forgiveness everyday, my love for you will never grow cold.  I know you are willing to forgive each and every fault if I only ask. ……Luke 7 : 47

Forgiveness  includes letting go of the little things.  Choosing to forgive people  – even for the littlest things they do that hurt or annoy us – is vital for enjoying life and love. Luke 6: 37

Father, I need to understand that forgiveness is not dependent on my feelings, bur rather on a determination of my will.  Help me form a few well chosen words of forgiveness.  Amen. Mark 11: 25

Learning to forgive myself of all the mistakes I made and of all the people I hurt was the hardest thing I ever did.  I could forgive them, but myself?  I was too busy beating myself up to see that I deserved the same compassion for myself, that God had for me.  I forgave myself with love and empathy.  It was incredibly healing and opened the door for God’s Spirit to work in me in new and powerful ways. Acts 2:38

Gratitude or thankfulness has been relegated to an innocuous and automatic level and done without much conviction.  This most wonderful value opens a lot of doors leading to unprecedented graces and blessings. Here are some beautiful excerpts from the gospel:

Lord, how precious water is to us, and how parched and desperate we are when it’s in short supply. How grateful we are that you promise to access to the living water that will  never run dry.  Keep us mindful of that refreshing supply today, Lord.  Fill us up for we are thirsty.,  Isaiah 58 :: 11

Taos pusong Salamat sa inyong pagkalinga at pagsubaybay sa aking munting alay sa inyong lahat na galing sa kaibuturan ng aking puso.