It was quite a long day. It was cold and mostly grey, a perfect day to remember the dead, it being All Soul's Day. I came to know of my grandaunt's passing very early in the morning, and with two hours of Latin in the morning, it promised to be very lengthy indeed. In the last hours of class another contradiction presented itself: I had to inform a professor of something with which he won't be particularly pleased. I took the silent scolding stoically (the professor did nothing actually, but I imagined that it was as good as any scolding). Not wanting to waste time crying over spoiled milk, I chose to forget the embarrassing episode. At table I clashed with another professor over a filipino custom, and I chose to be silent after that. in the afternoon, some more hours of work.
|The Tabernacle of my home|
I entered the dark chapel after a long, cold, and typically depressing day. I felt as if it was all my fault that I had a day like that. But it's always possible that what you feel doesn't always correspond to the truth of things. The only source of light came from the tabernacle, draped with a violet veil, evocative of the patient Presence that always waits, evocative of the dead who are especially remembered today. As I knelt in the semi-darkness I became very conscious of the fact that tomorrow, Nov. 3, I would be turning 29. I don't feel especially exited to celebrate my day, not because I don't want to be remembered of the advance in years (I don't mind it seriously), but simply because I don't feel anything. I look at the brightly-lit and yet somberly draped golden box. I liked the violet hue of the veil; it contrasted neatly with the gold paint of the altarpiece. I looked at the Presence and it dawned on me how much time I have wasted, how much energy I had wasted in useless pursuits and in loves that bore no fruits, because they were incapable of doing so. The darkness suited my mood, and all the more showed how dark the past, both remote and immediate, had been. And yet it served to highlight the warmth of the light that seemed to flow from the tabernacle. It even made the darkness cozy, believe me. I came to think that the darkened chapel and the lighted tabernacle might as well be a symbol of how i have lived these twenty-eight. I have been deeply conscious of how and where I have failed, how many people I have hurt, the ugliness that was extant in my life, especially in its darkest corners; the evil I have done and that of which I am capable of. Yet the darkness emphasized and made the light even shout all the more. I am led to think that for some reason the Lord allows darkness to flourish in our lives and makes it even evident to us, so that we may see the light even more, and move toward to it. We may not be able to approach it totally while we are here. The chapels of our lives will remain darkened until the Tabernacle finally opens itself, the veils are lifted in the end, and Christ stands before us not anymore hidden under the Eucharistic species, but as He is. Only then will the sanctuary of our lives be illumined in the reality of our beauty which God alone knows how to bestow and appreciate fully.
My wish for my 29th year? that I may be more realistic and more faithful. Grant, Lord, that this year be one of grace and increased fidelity and generosity. Amen!!!