17 January 2015

A Miracle from Deep Within (Pope's visit to the Philippines)

I’m not the most religious person you’d know and I don’t visit the church that often but after today, I feel like I'm still blessed knowing that despite of my negligence, someone is still praying for me.

Papal visit to the Philippines 2015

It was a mixture of tears and happiness when I saw Pope Francis earlier during the motorcade towards the Holy Mass at Quirino Grand Stand. Despite standing over a flooding pavement at the side of the street and enduring the uncontrollably pouring of rain, I undminfully bear it all just to see our beloved Pope. Some people may have misinterpreted the dedication we have shown for his visit but no one can fully understand our devotion not until you witness his glory.

The road and rail network from Vito Cruz to United Nation Avenue are closed this afternoon for today’s schedule of Pope Francis. I was one of the people who walked patiently in the streets of Manila to attend the Holy Mass which the Pope will be presiding. I have to say it was a struggle squeezing in the crowd not only because of millions of attendees but also the inconvenience brought by the rain. But in spite of those sacrifices, never once I’ve heard a complaint. I have then realized that it was not just about the Pope, but it was also the commitment that people are willing to undertake for the glory of their faith.

For their love and devotion, people don't mind standing by the rain just to see the Pope
Today, I and my sister are taking part of a history. This is definitely the biggest Sunday mass we have ever attended.
"We love you Pope Francis!" 
Based on what I understood from Pope’s message to us, he wants us to be grateful for our experiences, appreciate the love of our family & friends and be compassionate & kind to others. Though these are the common things we often hear at church or even at our religion classes, the thing about the delivery of his message is that I feel his utmost sincerity and he is speaking truly from the heart. No offence but it is something I don’t normally feel from other preachers. Nonetheless, Pope Francis’ words truly make me feel the love of God and it serves as an affirmation of my faith as a Christian.

"Real love is about loving and letting yourself be loved. It’s harder to let yourself be loved than to love. That is why it is so difficult to come to the perfect love of God. We can love Him but we must let ourselves be loved by Him." -Pope Francis

I don’t consider our Pope as our God but I consider him as a holy one for he is a reflection of a genuinely kind and loving person. He welcomes and embraces everyone regardless of status in life, physical appearance, differences in religion and even if you have an illness condition. And just as how I see everyone gathers together today for His Holiness, he became an instrument to unite people.

Our Pope Francis still manage to smile despite of his tiresome schedules
Pope Francis’ visit is definitely one of the early highlights of my year 2015. I’m beyond thankful that I’m given a chance to see him face to face. Listening to his words of love and kindness made me understand life profoundly. Though I can not say that I feel like I'm changing, I just know that after today he lifted up my faith in a spiritual way and that to me is a miracle from deep within. :-)

Pope Francis said, "For this the Gospel offers us a serene way forward: using the three languages of the mind, heart and hands – and to use them in harmony. What you think, you must feel and put into effect. Your information comes down to your heart and you put it into practice. Harmoniously. What you think, you feel and you do. Feel what you think and feel what you do. Do what you think and what you feel. The three languages..."
All the phones and cameras are ready for the Papal's arrival
We know if the Pope is coming when people start shouting and raising their phones
The closest encounter I have with Pope Francis earlier and this picture is definitely the most precious photograph I've taken to date.

Here's a short clip of Pope Francis during the motorcade.

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