Of Faith and Persuasions

As much as possible, I try not to write anything too personal in this blog.

I guess it’s enough that my best 3 readers know that I am a neurotic drama queen easily obsessed with androgynous looking Asian boys (read: Japanese). Beyond that, I try not to dwell too much on my personal life even if I managed to post my husband’s face and that of the circle of friends that I maintain.

So even if there are days when my heart is breaking, or my chest is too painful that I can’t breathe…for days when I’d rather say things I want to say, or even write the things that I am too much of a coward to even utter — I try to stay away from this blog. There are days when I feel like my heart is breaking and I needed an outlet to say what I really feel…my natural recourse was to write, but I keep on editing myself, not wanting to divulge anything too personal.

The purpose of this long discourse is my decision earlier to attend Fr. Fernando Suarez’ healing mass held at Glorietta 5. Fr. Fernando Suarez is a Filipino-Canadian priest known for his healing gift. Through his intercession, countless wheelchair bound patients have managed to walk again, the sick was healed and the distressed was given strength.

I have been depressed for almost a month now due to financial, emotional and physical problems that have been hounding me repeatedly. I have been suffering from chronic headache, colds and cough; the hubby was diagnosed with gallstones and might have to undergo surgery (right at the exact moment when we were very low on funds); I was stressed at work plus all these baggage were adding up to put strain in my marriage. Plus, I have been asking the Lord for one thing that I wholeheartedly desire.

Honestly, I am not a very religious person. Yes, I am spiritual and very attuned to my beliefs…but I am not the type to spend hours and hours at the church. Plus, I have a serious aversion to deeply religious people (case in point: my own mother) who are very active in the church yet seriously lacking on fellowship to common folk. So, when I had the chance to get tickets to the healing mass, I was approaching it with a very open yet (slightly pessimistic) mind.

And I am glad to be proven wrong.

The mass was serene and hopeful, very solemn in spite the fact it was held at the middle of a busy mall, with attendees close to 500 people. Fr. Suarez has a way of connecting to his audience. His words are moving and easy to understand. He speaks humbly about his gift and stresses that he is not the one who should be credited with the power of healing, but Jesus Christ and The Lord alone. He is just an instrument, he says.

How do you explain faith? This is what I asked myself when right in front of me, I saw old men and women–feebled, their bodies ravaged by sickness–stand up from the very wheelchair that they used to occupy. I saw an old lady wheeled in by her daughter…only to stand up after the blessed father laid his hand on her chest. I saw people, overcame by the Holy Spirit, fall to their knees (to the waiting hands of some volunteers from the Landmark), only to wake up a few seconds later. I saw men–big burly men–crumple to the ground like a used sack of clothes, crying while praying. I wish I was making this up — but I saw it.

Here’s the funny part — when I started seeing people fall to the ground, my overactive, mildly neurotic mind started to wonder. I really do not want to fall in public. One, your face and your fall due to His grace will be beamed live to the four corners of Glorietta 5 courtesy of the ever present camera documenting those who were crying, who were healed and most importantly, the neat row of people lying on the ground after they have felt. I keep on thinking, “I don’t wanna fall and resume consciousness surrounded by worn shoes plus with a camera sticking to my face”.

I guess this was the reason why I didn’t fall right the moment Fr. Suarez held my hand and prayed over me. I reached out and touched him and said my solemn prayer invoking his intercession. When I looked up, I was still standing, while a neat row of unconscious people were laid at my feet. At first, I was sad that I didn’t collapsed, does that mean that I didn’t get the Holy Spirit? The thing is, right after Fr. Suarez uttered his prayers, I felt a very light feeling in my chest. As if a load has been lifted.

In my heart I know that I believed and that He heard my prayers. I believe that in due time , the Lord will give me his answers.

Faith is a very tricky word–prone to misuse and abuse. At the end of the day, it depends on what your heart desired. For someone who is crying out for His help, there is no need for words. In my mind, faith is the language that our heart uses when we talk to our Maker.

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