Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Growing Body – Shrinking Faith

Someone in a group once confessed that as he is aging, he has started to question his faith in a divine being.  He didn’t have time to expound on this because everyone in the group jumped on the defense of religion to affirm what we believe in and was quick to advise that he should shut these thoughts off.  I’m quite certain that at that time he felt the need to regress and calm everybody in the group by saying, “I know, and I keep telling myself to fight off these thoughts”.  He said that, but it was apparent in his eyes that he still has questions, “Is there really a God?  Does heaven really exist?  Where will we go after we die?”  I’m not here to make the same mistake and jump to the defense of faith and answer (at least not right away).  For now, I just want to reflect on why as we grow older, and supposedly wiser, our faith (generally) grows weaker. 

Mysteries Easily Accepted by Children
I remember that when we were young, or hear very often in the church or just about anywhere, we were introduced to Jesus as “Papa Jesus” and we accepted that.  Children willingly accept Jesus as their “Papa Jesus”, never once questioning why there is another “papa” when 1 child can only have 1 papa (father).  We called St. Mary as our “Mama Mary” without question.  It was so easy to believe at that time that when we pray we really do talk to God and He really does hear us and He does listen to us.  What has our lives, our personal experiences, our academic learning, and our relations done to our faith that as we age we begin to doubt the mysteries we were so willing to accept when we were kids?  Yes, they were mysteries to us before and they still are mysteries to us now and, most likely, until we die. 

Mysteries Stay the Same, We Change
The mysteries in our faith don’t change but our acceptance of them do change.  Why?  I’m sure many of you will say, “Well, because when we were kids…  We just believed what people say because we didn’t know anything, and as we grow old we begin to have a better understanding of the things around us, we become more rational, and we start to challenge information presented to us.  We become more critical.”  And again, the same person who confessed about his wavering faith jokingly said on a different day, “What if faith was created by people just so there is order in the world, so that there is a reason to be good?”  I laughed that thought off with him and we didn’t really discuss that any further.  These thoughts, ideas, or fantasies if they may be called such, how much of these are influences of our personal experiences?  Have we experienced trusting a person with everything or with something really dear to us (a secret? our well-being? our future?) and that person betrayed us?  Have we experience the government’s corrupt ways first hand?  Have we experience distrust and betrayal so often that we now have come to question the faith that used to keep us safe, feel secure, and loved?  Have we been drowning ourselves with the fantasies that movies have presented us and simply applying them to reality?  Have media themes of conspiracies fed our criticality to think that conspiracies can be possible in an organization such as the church? 

My Personal Relationship with God
I would be lying if I say that I never think of these things.  I would be lying if I say that there hasn’t been a time that I’ve asked myself if the great men and women in the Bible are real.  I would be lying if I say that I never wondered if there really is heaven, or hell for that matter.  But as quick as these thoughts rush in, I slap myself mentally, as if to wake myself up from an evil trance.  I feel stupid for thinking these thoughts because even though I try to form these questions, I still do have a personal relationship with God.  I talk to Him like I would with my own biological father.  I joke around with Him, I tell Him my worries, my secrets, my fears, my joys, and my downfalls.  I go to Him for comfort and for guidance.  I thank Him for the littlest things that are happening in my daily life.  Thank Him for my lunch, for my clothes, my life, my husband, and the people I interact with everyday. 

Face Your Faith Head-on
Yes, I have a personal relationship with God (quite a very casual but very connected one), yet I question the difficult mysteries of my faith.  Often, I brush these thoughts off and don’t face them head-on.  I forget the times when my faith wavers and move on back on track only to find myself going off-track every once in a while.  Perhaps this person who confessed about his wavering faith was God’s message to me, that I should confront my own questions and address my own wavering faith too.  Perhaps my dear Father and my dear Friend wants me to listen to my own questions about faith that I’ve tried to silence all the time.  And perhaps He has inspired me with the Holy Spirit to write this reflection as well, so that others may wake-up from their trance, realize their wavering hearts, and begin to go back to Him, renew ties, renew their faith and make it stronger.  After all, it was during the Pentecost Mass that I have written this whole article in my mind, in my heart.  I felt a strong sense of duty to myself, the man who confessed about his faith, and a strong sense of duty as a Christian who plays part in Christ’s prophetic role, that I should, in my little way, make people aware that we all have questions about our faith, and more of them as we grow older.  And once we do know, we can address them properly by going back to the Bible or just by talking to God in the privacy of our prayers.  Do this before it’s too late, before you become calloused by life’s playful, sad, and unfortunate twists, or by the influence of other people and media.  If you are reading a book and you encountered a difficult word you don't know what it means, you look for a dictionary.  If in faith you have questions, you go to the BIBLE.

In the end, this article doesn’t really answer the questions about heaven, hell, life after death, God, and faith in general.  But if you did find the answer within the article, then that that’s well and good, but it’s just really about acknowledging the questions we have deep in our hearts.  It’s about bringing them out in the open so that your conscious self can act on it and pull it from its roots, weeding out your heart so that only the good thoughts and feelings grow.  And once you start your journey to renewing and strengthening your faith, you’ll find that the mysteries that bugged us out, the mysteries that we found hard to believe and understand, are actually the easiest to accept.  Faith is like closing your eyes before a kiss with the person you truly love, being vulnerable and trusting, yet that’s when you feel most loved and when you feel safest.  The moment that you close your eyes before that kiss is when you feel the happiest despite not seeing. 

God bless everyone!



I have started my own journey in strengthening my faith in the past year, and it’s actually very liberating, but I’ve only just begun.  I’ve started to feel like my heart could fly and not worry about a thing, my life is secured as long as I am in His grace.  Sounds corny?  But it’s a lot better than it sounds.  And it’s not perfect.  I still have a long way to go and I would like people to start their own personal journey too.  My journey started out in the most subtle way possible…  In the silence of my heart, where no one can see me, where no one can hear me, where no one can judge me…  I just closed my eyes one day and became aware of a great hand that has held me throughout the most troubling times of my life, and all of a sudden, I have become aware of the beauty of life and everything that I have, people, places, events…

Saturday, June 4, 2011

X-Men First Class - Free Screening!

I scored 2 tickets to a special screening yesterday by NuffNang and Hapee... The movie?  X-Men First Class!  Weeeee!!!

Here are the photos from the event (Greenbelt 3, Cinema 2):

The movie was definitely something worth anyone's time to watch!  The actions scenes were dynamic, well thought of, and the transition from 1 pair of characters fighting to the next pair was perfect!  I never thought I could bear the sight of a hairy, younger professor X, and a macho young Magneto, but the cast was perfect for their roles and, I can't believe I'm saying this, but Prof. X is actually crush-worthy in this film!  ^_^;  Thanks to NuffNang and Hapee for making this special screening possible!

Watch it and tell me what you think!

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