RAY de Antipolo Lenten Recollection 2021: “Isang Pusong Mapagpasalamat”
by Abbygale Anne Felipe
Pililia, RIZAL—The Recollect Augustinian Youth (RAY) de Antipolo attended a Lenten Recollection as part of their spiritual program facilitated by Fray Jhoben M. Rodriguez, OAR last March 14, 2021.
With the topic “Isang Pusong Mapagpasalamat,” Fray Jhoben set this as the main point during his talk. He let the young participants to look back on what they went through since the beginning of the pandemic. A lot has changed and many were affected. Others were quite unfortunate to lose their job, to be mentally affected by the distressful ambiance of lockdown, and many were compelled by the situation to do things far from their usual routine.
During this timely spiritual activity, Fray Jhoben mentioned the sad realities of the pandemic but the focus was not on the said tragedy. The facilitator asked the participants to look back and remember the things that they must be grateful for. In response, the youth said that happiness is just dependent on how one perceives things. A person can have a lot of privileges and still feel dissatisfied. Somebody can be at rock bottom but still be filled with joy.
The participants were reminded to be more aware of how to accept the things that cannot be altered. It was done through a hand drawing activity. Listed inside the hand drawing were the things that the participants can control and outside were the things that one cannot. “Among these which should be surrendered to God?” asked Fray Rodriguez.
Another activity was introduced and the participants were asked to express gratitude in writing but without saying “Thank you.” They were able to provide an array of ways of extending their gratefulness. Praying is a way of giving thanks to Him while being a blessing and being kind to others is a profound way of showing appreciation to others.
The pandemic is not yet over, but on the bright side, everybody is now stronger, more appreciative, and closer to God. Knowing that it is Him to whom one can always turn to. All else may fail but never the Lord.
The opportunity to be back to Brgy. Quisao, Pililia, Rizal for another recollection was a blessing itself and proof itself that God never abandons His people especially during the hardest times. The Prayer of Serenity summed it very well: “May we be reasonably happy trusting that God will make things right if we surrender to Him.” Fray Jhoben, is one of the seminarian in-charge of RAY de RFC. Present during the event is the RAY de Antipolo Spiritual Director Fray James Castelo, OAR. After the Recollection, he spearheaded the meeting for the programs and formation of candidates for the upcoming acceptance as full-pledged RAY.