It was my birthday when I started this blog. After a no-thought hibernation, I resumed my blogging on my birthday once again.
Today is my birthday and it is the first Friday of Lent. It's a day of abstinence for Christians. So I thought, I'd abstain from a festive celebration. No cakes or pasta or ice cream. Nothing at all except guisadong munggo (sautéed mung beans) for lunch. No gimmick with friends as well. My best friend, though, dropped by yesterday who didn't even know it was birthday. :)
My birthday won't be complete without hearing Mass. I want it peaceful, solemn, and quiet. I thought of the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel in Makati Avenue.
Where is solemnity?
Why not in my parish? I find the Mass every Friday at our parish church a little bit unquiet for the reason that the El Shaddai choir sings like they're in the middle of the ocean. They chant too loud like begging cows. And I don't like a choir that presides the Mass instead of the priest as if they own it. I don't think it's right that the choir immediately sings the Kyrie without first allowing the priest to pray and invite the community to reflect and pray the Confiteor. It's not just right.
I also wanted to stay a little earlier before the Mass to quietly reflect but I knew it wouldn't be quiet inside the church because people - both young and old - would be chatting and texting inside. Why couldn't they just shut up and pray!
So I thought of celebrating my birthday mass at the Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel. It's been years since I last visited the Chapel. It served as my refuge when I used to work near the area. I love hearing Mass there. It's so quiet, peaceful, and solemn. The celebration of the Holy Eucharist ought to be that way.
In the pastor's brief homily, I understood the essence of fasting. He quoted a saint who said "Fasting is the soul of prayer. Mercy is the blood-life of fasting."
A birthday celebration need not be festive, expensive, and full of gifts to make it happy and worth remembering. My birthday celebration today is one of my simplest but my happily purest. The Lord was my only guest. His Body and Blood was all my food.