Monday, April 09, 2007

Viernes Santo

Photo from Roy Pequeno.
As I enter my second year as an Associate (I know it’s hard to believe that I am entering into my second year, especially since I don’t update this blog) I am trying to take advantage of opportunities that I might have overlooked last year. Thus this year, when Padre Pepe invited a group of students to climb a mountain on Good Friday, I quickly volunteered to be a chaperon.

A typical Good Friday would usually consist of me attending the Stations of the Cross or evening mass. This year I accepted Pepe’s “locura nueva” and decided that I would go on the travelling Stations of the Cross, as we climbed up a mountain. About thirty of us accepted this challenge and spent the night sleeping in the principal’s office on the nice hard floor. Early the next morning we woke up and darted towards the mountain.

Before I continue I must preface, that I am not in the best of shape but then again I am not in the worst of shape. However, if you would have seen me (and my group) on Friday morning you would have thought otherwise. Our guide, Matias, must have thought we were on The Amazing Race, because he was running up the side of the mountain as we dragged ourselves behind – or better said as we dragged our behinds. As we rioted for our first stop (which was “ten minutes” early) the grand majority of us were coughing and fighting for air.

Living in the capital of a country, peace and quiet are hard to find. Thus the goal of the day was to take 14 moments to reflect on the Stations (we only actually completed 4). At each moment we would say the station, read a brief spiritual passage, and reflect on questions: How is Jesus condemned in our society? How do we see Jesus struggling/falling in our lives? How do our mothers (parents) struggle through our pains? Each member shared his or her opinion and helped bring a profound spiritual moment to the day. And if the reflection didn’t bring this spiritual moment, I guess the 6-foot cross our group was lugging to the peak of the mountain might have helped.

After about 7 ½ hours, we reached the summit. We did our final spiritual moment and marked our arrival by placing the cross on top. A cross that should be seen from downtown (if you have great eyesight and if the smog ring isn’t too heavy), even though I have yet to see it.

In the end, the day was lovely and truly a once in a life time experience. On our decent the only noise that could be heard, were the footsteps of our fellow members. However, since we were usually walking around corners, the other people couldn’t be seen, and thus left the illusion that an invisible friend was walking by our side.

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