Sunday, May 6, 2012

№ 78. Sacraments

There are many sacrifices I have to endure in Manila.

Bad Banana

One daily grinding thorn is commuting--- either by public transportation or private car. Traffic, heat, pollution, noise and all urban blight seem to converge like LDL or bad cholesterol in the arteries of the city.

It helps that someone---yes, a priest---had the vision to write about the art, he calls it "sacrament", of waiting.

That dirty word, again. Tsk, tsk, tsk. "Sacrament" has been so burdened with all layers of Catholic meanings for me that it's become almost sinister. I hesitate to use it.

But I must admit, he saw the insights in the experience and wrote damn well about it. So I must share the space with those nuggets about the art (I insist! And for us secular folks) of waiting.

"Waiting is a mystery - a natural sacrament of life - there is a meaning hidden in all the times we have to wait. It must be an important mystery because there is so much waiting in our lives. Everyday is filled with those little moments of waiting (testing our patience and our nerves, schooling us in self-control). We wait for meals to be served, for a letter to arrive, for a friend to call or show up for a date. We wait in line at cinemas and theaters, concerts and circuses. Our airline terminals, railway stations and bus depots are great temples of waiting filled with men and women who wait in joy for the arrival of a loved one - or wait in sadness to say goodbye and give the last wave of hand. We wait for springs to come - or autumn - for the rains to begin and stop. And we wait for ourselves to grow from childhood to maturity. We wait for those inner voices that tell us when we are ready for the next stop." (Son of the Prodigal).

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