Holy Week is upon us and we all know what that means, right?
A few days of no work for many of us. No classes for those who have kids and for everyone with kids and otherwise that means it’s time to jet off to the beach!
Or at least that’s what is probably on many people’s minds right now. Holy Week equals vacation time!
But many people also know that Holy Week isn’t just about time off from work and school. The mere phrasing of it Holy Week sends us an invitation to make the coming break more meaningful.
Holy Week is a time for pause, reflection and yes, even prayer. For us Christians, it is a time to connect with the Lord. Make your Holy Week more meaningful this year by doing one or more of the following:
1. Spend more time in prayer.
If you’re a Christian (and yes, Catholics are Christians too!), you would probably know that Holy Week is something like the “culmination” of the Lenten season. For us Catholics, Lent is usually considered the time for “prayer, fasting and almsgiving.”
Whether or not you have been observing Lent so far, take the opportunity this Holy Week to devote more time in prayer. If you haven’t been doing any Lenten practices like praying more, Holy Week is the perfect time to do so. You can even try spending some minutes praying while you are stuck in traffic! Just converse with God in your own words, or pray traditional prayers like the Our Father. What is important is you pray with your heart.
2. Go to confession.
If you’re a Catholic, you might want consider going to confession, or what we call receiving the Sacrament of Reconciliation. These days, many people think that going to confession is not an important thing to do, or that it is an “outdated” practice. But the reality is it is a very concrete way to be reminded of God’s love for us.
3. Do something “spiritual” as a family.
More than spending time with your family at the beach or swimming pool, or just lounging around at home, why not do something “more”? This Holy Week is a perfect time to introduce spiritual traditions like the Visita Iglesia or Pabasa. If you don’t feel like leaving home or have other reasons to be homebound, you can also consider doing the Stations of the Cross as a family at home (booklets can be bought at religious bookstores). You might want to search the Internet for ideas on how to observe Holy Week at home.
4. Attend a retreat.
Going on a Holy Week retreat is a great way to refresh your soul and recharge your spirit. It is also a good time to connect or reconnect with the Lord.
One highly recommended retreat is the “Shine Forth!” Holy Week Retreat led by well-known Catholic author and lay preacher Bo Sanchez, on April 13, 14 and 16. This is a unique retreat that will surely encourage and inspire you. Other speakers include Fr. Bob McConaghy, Fr. Bong Lo, Alvin Barcelona, Didoy Lubaton, John Ben Rodriguez, JC Libiran and Audee Villaraza, who are all set to deliver powerful talks that will change your life.
Go to Mass (by the way, The Grand Easter Feast has Holy Mass incorporated in the program), greet one another with “Christ is risen, Alleluia!,” learn the Christian roots behind the usual Easter egg hunts before you participate in them and search the Internet for more “Catholic ways to celebrate Easter.”
Most of all, rejoice because Easter is when we celebrate the resurrection of Christ!
So I encourage you, dear readers, make this coming Holy Week more meaningful. Pray, fast, give alms and remember, you are on this earth for a higher purpose! (www.philstar.com)