a buried prayer

i love attending mass. i used to visit a particular church for quite a period of time; it holds a kid’s mass, and my trips there were humbling: i felt closer to God whenever i listen to the kids singing “ama namin.” these kids weren’t from the A, B strata; often, they would come to hear mass in faded clothes and leather shoes that have seen better days. i love to stay on the second floor where their voices wafted towards the ceiling, towards the faux stained glass windows, towards Jesus’ smiling face.

i just love being inside any church. it’s beautiful, just looking up towards the ceiling. i’ve seen statues of jesus in different media, different materials, and reproductions of His image never cease to amaze me. my favorite is ang kiukok’s crucified christ done in wood. i used to visit the museum in our school because it had that figure on exhibit. it was very raw and very moving, as if the wood was made for that figure alone.

i’ve just read a book by my most favorite author, my “anonymous” author (i love him so fiercely, and i don’t want to “share” him). the first few chapters disappointed me. it lacked the vigor of his other books. but when i reached the ending, i was hit with such great force. i went through lengthy descriptions about two sub-catholic religions, events depicting lust, griefs, familial discoveries, Indian undertones, quoting of lines from other authors, allusions to other great themes from other great writers, the bittersweet end. and then i realized the boring chapters were there as an irony. my favorite writer quoted a writer: real life doesn’t give us endings that we’ve dreamed of. real life ultimately disappoints you. but the ending for the book was nothing short of a miracle. the miracle didn’t happen to the narrator; it was disappointing for the narrator, that he would forever remain to be only a witness, but oh, what happened to his friend is right up the alley of miracles. it was enough for him to be by the sidelines.

i love my faith, my belief in Him. there are churches with choirs that sing my favorite songs. those are the times that make me cry; i would feel such gratitude for Him. even if real life doesn’t give me great and powerful endings, the fact that i am richer because of Him is compelling enough.

O Diyos Ikaw ang laging hanap,
Loob ko’y Ikaw ang tanging hangad.
Nauuhaw akong parang tigang na lupa
Sa tubig ng ‘Yong pag-aaruga. – awit ng paghahangad (the communion song i prayed with and sang last sunday)

Crucifixion by Ang Kiukok


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