Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Scallop Shell

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Scallop Shell


“Wow! My first ever pilgrimage will get me to Simala!”. Embarking on a pilgrimage was a life changing experience for me. However, the thought was also scary at the same time. Going to different and strange places all alone is frightening for a girl. Oh yeah! I’m a naturally born coward. But heck! I always take on the saying, “Courage is not absence of fear; it is mastery of fear.” Now, can somebody tell me who wrote that quote? I forgot the poet.


My excitement got me into making a passport for it. That ‘passport’ served as my record in church visits. It also functioned as a reminder for my prayers, reflections, and realizations that I made along the way. On the cover of my passport is a scallop shell symbol. I decided to adapt it because the pilgrims to the Road of Santiago use it.


The first church that I visited was, of course, the Sto. Rosario Parish. At that time, they were celebrating their Diamond Jubilee and the church underwent renovation. I always go to there to pray and attend the Holy Mass.


USC-TC is my school and on one of its peaks is the Church of St. Arnold and St. Joseph. That church has been a part of my college life. One thing though, visiting that church is physically challenging. You have to climb several flights of stairs before reaching it. USC-TC is a mountain, or so they say. When I arrived in the church, my thighs were aching and my breath was running short. Phew! But everything went fine as I said my prayer in front of the altar. The blue lights of the interior were so relaxing that it erased my pains.


Next in line was my own Parish in Naga. St. Francis de Assisi is its name. A large stone statue of the Saint is its landmark. It is a church which partly follows the ancient architecture of old churches: the cross-patterned interior, the belfry, and all the other features. However, the church is merged with a completely modern design. The place was art. Its beauty helped me get in a prayerful state.


Well, let me give it a stop for now. Those were the first three churches that initiated my pilgrimage. Starting something as big as this thrilled me. I was so dedicated of continuing it through to its conclusion.


Watch out for more!


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