Rebooted by Pope Francis

A miracle happened in Luneta hours before the Holy Mass was about to be officiated by Pope Francis.  It was a miracle that involved me and my elder sister.  Both of us did not whine nor whimper about going to and from the people-infested Luneta right in the middle of the storm.  In fact, we both actually enjoyed it!

My relatives know that in case I am subjected to any discomfort, I whine and grumble to the highest level.  While my elder sister is the most cautious and the least adventurous in the family.  So if we are together, nothing really happens and everything seem so dull.

thank you santo padre...

thank you santo padre…

But not today.  I would like to claim that I and my sister were rebooted and were recharged by the visit of Pope Francis in Manila.  At exactly 12 noon, I, my sister and her son Luis converged at Vito Cruz.  In our respective jackets and rain coats, we walked our way heading to Luneta to attend a once in a lifetime Holy Mass in Manila by Pope Francis.  Both of us surprisingly did not complain nor felt tired nor whine about the long walk, the drenched feeling, the muddy puddles, the dizzying swarms of people as well as the cold and heavy downpour of typhoon thrashing above us.

And when we were heading back, we were actually caught in a throng of people crammed and tightly squeezed together.  People were so compact, it was like a wave of people.  You cannot just standstill because the wave of people would thrust you in varying directions.

I actually got nervous for my sister and my nephew for it really takes a lot of energy to survive the shoving force of such surfs of moving people.  The three of us got separated along the way after about 25 meters.  But when the crowd got a bit loose and no longer too crammed together, I found a concrete planter box and stood up to look for them.

Luckily, in about five minutes my sister saw me high on the planter box and headed towards me and then suddenly my nephew appeared smiling walking towards us.  My sister told me that she was pressed towards a group of old ladies while my nephew was prodded towards a group of young foreigners also attending the Pope’s pastoral visit in Manila.

my elder sister enjoying the rain and the pope francis vibe

my elder sister enjoying the rain and the pope francis vibe

At an ordinary occasion, I would have wailed, whined and complained.  While my sister could have simply passed out.  But we kept our composure and actually smiled and congratulated ourselves for surviving such a deadly throng of people.  We headed back home happy and feeling accomplished.

Now that I am writing this, only now that I realized that I would definitely will walk that far or get drenched that drenched or brave a smashing typhoon or subject myself to be crushed by hordes of people if it is in the honor of the Holy Vicar of Christ.

This experience is definitely nothing but a miracle.

Maganda din pala kapag iniiwan ang kaartehan sa bahay.

I Think I Like Pope Francis

Because of a couple of hot-button issues that I don’t agree with the Catholic Church, I consider myself a “Catholic in bad standing”.  Though born a Catholic, I don’t even have a friend or even an acquaintance who’s either a Catholic priest or a nun.  Nevertheless, I participated in welcoming with huge open arms His Holiness, Pope Francis to my country, the Philippines.

one cool pope...

one cool pope…

I think I like Pope Francis.  I like him because he has an effective way of changing the public’s perception about Catholicism.  His tone is totally different as compared to a traditional, strict and highly conservative Catholic.

I think like him because he is not out in the world to evangelize the non-Catholics.  He is out of Vatican and visits parts of the world to re-evangelize the Catholics (like me) to reconsider the Catholic virtues of compassion, love and service to fellow human beings.

I think I like him because he is not the usual judgmental type of a Catholic.  He seem to be the type who would just let you be what you be as long as you mean no harm and it is in pursuit of love or of helping the poor.

I like him because he concedes to the idea that God shall be your judge at the end of the day and not those people with ostentatious robes running the Roman Catholic Church.

Lastly, I think I like Pope Francis because he seem to possess the power to warm hearts.  Through the feeling of warm hearts, this opens up people’s appreciation towards the beauty of Catholicism, the strength of Christianity and the love of Jesus Christ.

After seeing Pope Francis in person, I know what the phenomenon dubbed as the “Pope Francis Effect”.  Seeing him was like one of the coolest things.  It seem like an out of body experience!

Maligayang pagdating po sa inyo…