Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother and stepmother: The forgiven and the forgiver

Let me begin this story by telling you a personal testimony.

I had a miracle in mid-nineties and this miracle happened to my own mother.

I am unsure if I experienced dryness of the spirit or sickness of the body one Saturday so that it was a drag on my part to attend a Holy Mass-fellowship that day.

I was a regular weekly attender of the charismatic fellowship community of which I was a member for 11 years.

But that particular Saturday, I decided to forgo attendance.

As the saying goes, "the spirit is willing but the body is weak."

But I did something that enabled me to attend!

I discovered a "secret" to strengthen my body to give in to the wishes of my spirit.

I bargained with the Lord Jesus this way: "Should I make it to the Holy Mass-fellowship today, God, You will grant me my very special prayer-request."

My special prayer-request was for my mother to go to confession the following day: To confess her adulterous relationship with my father!!!

Yes, I bargained with the Lord Jesus, and it gave me strength to attend.

That's my "secret."

But I never put weight on the fact if God would grant my prayer or not. It was enough for me to have been given the strength to attend the Mass and the fellowship that particular Saturday.

The following day was a Sunday. And I was surprised to know my mother woke up early dawn for Holy Mass!

I was surprised because she was not a regular Mass-goer. And very early dawn, at that!

When she returned home, I noticed something in her eyes. It was fresh from having tears!

"What's wrong?" I asked.

She said, "I just went to confession."

My heart was beating fast!

"And what did you confess?" I asked her, and I did my best to withhold my emotion.

"My relationship with your father!"

I jumped for joy! It was a leap of faith!

And I told her everything.

But the miracle did not stop there.

A few months after her confession, a surprise overseas telephone call came. It came from America, from somebody whom Mama had hurt so much in life, my father's legal wife, my stepmother Tita!!!

It was first time for Tita to call up Mama.

Mama was overwhelmed with the gesture. It was a gesture of forgiveness even before it is being asked. Tremblingly, Mama asked for forgiveness after forgiveness.

Tita's reply was: "We are already old for those things."

After the call, Mama asked me to look for greeting cards that she could send to America.

Everything was perfect.

I found cards that say what Mama's heart was telling and feeling. She wrote sorry, signed it, and sent it to Tita and my half-brothers and half-sisters in the States.

Seven years after, Mama passed away.

Six years after her death, Papa followed her to heaven.

A year has passed since father died, I know my stepmother already missed Papa so much, but I am here to continue to pray for her.

Mama and Tita are two of my significant Catholics in my life.

Mama was not perfect, but she was true to herself: humble as to admit and confess her sinfulness.

Tita is not perfect, either; but she has forgiven somebody who hurt her most even before it was being asked of her.
Those traits of theirs, I know, are graces from God.
A manifestation of the Divine Mercy that God really is.

(Blogger's Note: In the above photo is Bella Flores, a famed Filipino actress, my mother's favorite and look-alike. She was always mistaken to be the actress wherever she went in the country.)

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