Making the Holy Week meaningful
Let’s observe Holy Week at home, and recharge ourselves while contemplating Our Lord’s great sacrifice for us.
Watch spiritual films
Take a break from Korean telenovelas or Netflix supernatural thrillers to focus for a while on Christ-centered movies.
“Ben Hur” won 11 Oscars in 1959, a feat equaled only by “Titanic” in 1997 and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” in 2003. Nothing beats the original: Charlton Heston as Judah Ben Hur is superb in the famous chariot race, but the quieter moments stay in the soul: Jesus revives Judah the slave with a sip of water, and the Judah the freedman witnesses Christ’s crucifixion.
Though not as proficient or moving, other movies worth watching are “Quo Vadis” (nominated for eight Academy Awards in 1952), “The Robe,” and “The Passion of the Christ” (directed by Mel Gibson, rated R due to graphic violence).
These classic films are available on YouTube and Google Play, with more recent shows (such as “Paul, the Apostle of Christ”) on Netflix. Don’t miss the stellar Jonathan Pryce as Pope Francis I and Anthony Hopkins as Pope Benedict XVI in “The Two Popes.”
Follow services online
Do a virtual Visita Iglesia using Google Maps, and pray in the solemn environs of Manila Cathedral and San Agustin Church.
Rappler offers livestreams of masses, reflections and ceremonies this week. For Palm Sunday, for example, we can join the procession at the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, reflect on Pope Francis’ homily, or hear mass with Bishop Ambo David.
And what is devotion without music? Catch the prayer concert “Loving and Forgiving” by Himig Heswita on Jesuit Communications’ Facebook and YouTube pages.
Those fortunate to be living in selected areas can do open-air Stations of the Cross or visit grottos of our Blessed Mother in parks, while physical distancing and wearing masks and shields.
Read about faith
For depth and breadth, nothing beats a good book. Inspired by US motivational speaker Shawn Anderson, Filipina Melanie Hope describes in “Miracle at the Holy Land: A Joyful Story of Love, Loss and Hope” how traveling to this sacred place provided healing after the devastating loss of her partner.
In “God, Faith and Reason,” US radio host Michael Savage shares his struggles with the Christian faith, and draws from historical and sociocultural sources to make sense of Jesus and His message to the world.
For families who cannot stop thinking about business even in Holy Week, read “Business for the Glory of God” by US theology professor Wayne Grudem, who says that “business itself glorifies God when it is conducted in a way that imitates God’s character and creation … All aspects of business, including ownership, profit, money, competition, and borrowing and lending, glorify God because they are reflective of God’s nature.”
Get these books online at nationalbookstore.com
In uncertain times, mindfulness is essential, and one way to develop this is through meditation. Research shows that mindfulness and loving-kindness meditation can improve mental and emotional well-being, primarily by reducing stress and anxiety (See “Grace Tan Caktiong’s peace of mind and heart,” March 4, 2021). YouTube videos abound, but beginners may find solace in the guidance of experienced practitioners.
Eileen Tupaz and Abbey Rivadelo were my graduate students in stress management and trauma therapy in July 2020. Though our sessions were restricted by the pandemic, the class and I personally experienced meditation and yoga led by the two of them. Though brief, these sessions decreased stress and potentially can become effective aids in managing trauma, in conjunction with other psychological techniques.
Contact Eileen and Abbey at White Space Mind and Body Wellness Studio at 0917-5770345 or [email protected]
Have a blessed Holy Week.
Queena N. Lee-Chua is with the Board of Directors of Ateneo’s Family Business Center. Get her book “All in the Family Business” via Lazada and the ebook version on Amazon, Google Books and Apple Books. Contact the author at [email protected]
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