Quantcast
Latest Stories

Vignettes

‘Drawing out our faith’

By

“…4…5… what’s next to five dear?” Maybelle asked her daughter.

“Six!!!” Mara confidently answered.

“Goood! Now, go on… The shape of the animal is slowly coming out.”

Mara continued drawing lines to connect the numbers consecutively. Then she paused and asked, “Mama, what’s after ten?”

“Now, think dear…we studied that before, remember? Try to recall.”

Mara propped her chin on the eraser end of her pencil. Her eyebrows crumpled together as she tried to remember.

“Well, what is the answer, dear?”

Mara’s eyes widened with excitement as an answer suddenly materialized in her head. She exclaimed, “THIRTEEN!!!”

“You just said that because you like the way ‘een’ sounds,” Maybelle controlled herself from frowning and drew her best smile. “Honey, look again at the numbers you’ve just connected.”

Mara stared at the numbered dots but she got distracted in trying to figure out what shape she was drawing.

“Concentrate dear…,” Maybelle said and pointed at the numbers. “If it’s thirteen then you’re skipping two numbers, right?”

“Yeh, I know. It’s at the tip of my nose,” Mara said.

“You mean your tongue, dear,” she pinched her daughter’s nose.

“Then it must be one and one,” Mara was trying to mischievously get the answer from her mother.

“Alright dear, it’s called ELEVEN!”

“Mommy’s correct, yahoo!!!” Mara dove into the math exercise to continue drawing the hidden picture.

* * *

We have all enjoyed, sometime in our lives –maybe even at the present as you tutor your kids–, such an entertaining exercise as connecting dots. I’ve never got around to liking math, but I had quite a number of these exercise books because I enjoyed drawing.

Our faith is drawn out for us in a similar way but not through a mathematical method. As we grow up, we too have to learn how to connect the dots of the contents of our faith so that we can slowly learn to love and live it.

We were taught how to pray the grace before meals, to offer sacrifices during the seasons of Advent and Lent, to visit Churches and walk with processions during town feasts, etc. All these were literally many ‘points’ that were gradually completing the picture of our faith.

Without wanting to stretch the analogy too much, we can however see that our faith also works with numbers. For example, there are 10 Commandments and their order must be properly memorized because this points to how we observe the proper order of love: which begins with God, then our neighbor and finally with ourselves.

The liturgical calendar also is like a series of days, with dates, that are linked with one another to finally complete a beautiful and living reality, which the Church offers to God unceasingly. There are solemnities of our Lord and our Lady, feasts of apostles and martyrs, memorials of the saints and other celebrations depending on the pastoral needs of every place and faithful. One cannot deny that this rich spiritual kaleidoscope does not fail to enrich and nourish our own faith as well as attract others to truly experience the presence of God in the Church.

Still there are many examples where we literally connect spiritual dots to express our faith and deepen it. There is the recitation of the Rosary, which is made up of small ‘rose beads’ offered to our Lady and to our Lord in varying intensity. We have novenas that span throughout the entire year, and depending on each person’s devotion somehow, add color to the collective piety of the faithful.

The list of this ‘connectivity of our acts of faith’ is endless because love is creative. Striving to keep this attitude alive throughout the day is also called ‘presence of God.’ St. Josemaría expressed his faith in little things. In fact, he once said, “Do everything for Love. Thus there will be no little things: everything will be big. Perseverance in little things for Love is heroism. (The Way, no. 813)” He was always fond of talking about this ascetical reality and gave many wonderful and practical suggestions for people to apply to their different circumstances.

For example, he writes: “Make use of those holy ‘human reminders that I suggested to help you keep presence of God: aspirations, acts of love and reparation, spiritual communions, ‘glances’ at a picture of our Lady. (Ibid., no. 272)” These human reminders, he would say can be a door gently opened or closed for of love God. The image of a donkey can be a reminder of serving God without complaining. And frequent glances at images of our Lady or the Crucifix accompanied with an affectionate phrase or greeting can express our immense love and devotion.

* * *

Maybelle tucked Mara into bed and kissed her goodnight.

“Mama…?”

“Yes, dear. Need anything else.”

“No, I just wanted to say that my favorite number is four.”

“Really, why is that so?”

“Want me to show you why?”

“Sure,” Maybelle sat by her daughter’s bedside.

Mara closed her eyes, then slowly made a sign of the cross as she whispered, “One…two…three…four!”

“There are only Three of them, honey. What’s number four?”

Mara smiled and whispered, “Number four is for Mama Mary!”


Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Other Stories:


More from this Column:

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.




Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  2. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  3. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  7. Passengers denied chance to escape sinking South Korea ferry
  8. South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  9. Two Popes who would be saints
  10. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  5. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  6. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  9. Massive infra spending set
  10. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  5. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  6. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  7. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
Advertisement

News

  • US teacher fired over comment on black president
  • Magnitude-7.5 earthquake shakes Mexican capital
  • Title of new Hillary Clinton book: ‘Hard Choices’
  • Filipinos, Dutch re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • 14 killed in car bombing in Homs
  • Sports

  • Nadal ousted by Ferrer in Monte Carlo quarters
  • Pacquiao shorts in Bradley fight sold for P1.7M in LA auction
  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • Myx TV premieres Asian American ‘docu-series’
  • A nutty finale for ‘Scandal,’ TV’s craziest show
  • EXO postpones release of mini album ‘Overdose’
  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Business

  • US commerce secretary spells out economic facet of ‘pivot to Asia’
  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Las Vegas ‘Pinoy Pride’ fest hails Filipino heritage
  • Marking Jesus’ journey on Good Friday
  • Filipina accomplice arrested for fake bills in Malaysia
  • DoH denies Filipino nurse no longer positive for MERS virus
  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement