I’m not the most devout practicing Catholic out there. I didn’t like going to Mass at all, and I just went with my parents because of a) the Jolly Kiddie Meal that would come after, and b) my crushes. Don’t get me wrong: I think going to Mass is fine, but it can be boring and, sometimes, pretty rude.
People in my town — priests included — are old-fashioned. I guess that’s the euphemism now for being close-minded and dismissive of actual courtesy and general niceness. And in the age where #wokeness is more or less a requirement, it’s hard for younger people to accept each sermon without question. Yes, religion and spirituality are important factors in our lives but so are personal values. If it’s difficult to stay quiet on social media, keeping your thoughts in church is much harder.
“Don’t focus on the bad things; just listen and accept what you want,” my mom would always say. That’s easier said than done; but at the same time my willingness to get back to it is at an all-time high. I was desperate for some good news and maybe even enlightenment. So when the challenge to attend church for five consecutive days came up, I was willing to try it. After all, having something to believe in never hurt anybody.
Day 1, Thursday: Santolan, Pasig City (8 p.m.)
Most of the people here are senior citizens. That was kind of like watching the first full show at the mall, actually. The homily today was about helping others in need and giving what you can to help out. I think I’ve heard this one before. Are they allowed to do that? Repeat old sermons?
Day 2, Friday: Eastwood, Quezon City (7:30 a.m.)
Mass today was generally pleasant. There was air conditioning and there were no kids running around the room. If this were a regular public space, I wouldn’t mind spending my day finishing my to-do list here. The only thing that almost broke the deal for me was the priest.
I remember him as the priest who shamed OFWs for leaving their children during a mass homily before. Although, surprisingly, the homily today was kind of funny. He kept making jokes about that time when he sang the entire Mass and he made a lot of errors. (It was funnier in real life.)