I belong to a group called Adoracion Nocturna Filipina (ANF), a worldwide church organization whose task is to love and worship God in the Blessed Sacrament at night. Aside from praying, we also do apostolate works in reaching out to the poor: visiting the sick, comforting the prisoners, and going in medical missions.
During the early days of January, we go to a mountain for spiritual refreshment and supplication. For us, climbing up a mountain means going to a convent in Baguio. Fr. Manuel M. Flores, SJ, our spiritual leader, takes us on this journey annually. With about one hundred members, most of whom are elderly, we renew our closeness to God and our love for Him during this activity.
According to Fr. Manny, it is in a higher ground where we find God, talk to Him and ask Him for many favors. It’s where our spirituality is at its peak, our mortalities are bared, and where His presence feels so real.
We remember that Jesus during His earthly life retreated to a mountain to be alone and prayed to the Father. Scriptures say that His important decisions were made after meditations in the mountain: choosing His Twelve Apostles, performing miracles and doing good works to the poor. It is in Mount Tabor where He was transfigured and was seen talking to the prophets Moses and Elijah.
In our three-day stay, we write letters of petitions to Him, becoming children again, and asking Him for everything: forgiveness, wisdom, and a purified soul. As we are nearing our graves, we ask things not for ourselves but for others.
Baguio’s temperature is at its coolest at that time, yet our souls are burning.We are always in prayer, in meditations, and in songs. In supplication, we are in tears, humble in our plea to God for humanity’s needs and existence. We also discover our own weaknesses and the shortness of our lives. Our members are all advance in years, weak in flesh but strong in spirit. We are happy that Jesus comes to us with His forgiveness, kindness and love.
As we go down, we feel our knees and bodies aching, but the magic of His love is seen in our faces. We will be in churches and in dark rooms praying. Our efforts may be small compared to the needs of our people, but lives and events will change as Jesus goes down with us from the mountain.