One of the things that gladden my heart as I watch Jonathan and Jane growing up is their sense and experience of the sacred. Jonathan can be a bubbly bundle of energy at play but I love watching him take on a reverent and devout posture when serves Mass in church. Jane can look very chic and stylish when she does one of her fashion shows but I am deeply touched when I see her make a prayerful and pious bow when she leads us in our prayers before meals. Young as they are, they have a sense of the spiritual and the divine. Their different body postures when praying tells me that they experience something beyond the play and fun world of a child.
My own sense and experience of the divine and the sacred was awakened pretty early. I remember Ima teaching me how to pray at an early age. She had a lot of religious devotions and she would often include us in them. I loathed it then when she did; but this sense of the sacred and the divine has been among the pillars in my life, with Ima being a major one of them.
Yesterday, the story of the prodigal son reminded me to Tatang. Today’s story of Jesus cleaning the temple reminds me of Ima. It is also her birthday today. Additionally, it is International Women’s Day. If Tatang was the light and energy of our family, Ima was the warmth and heartbeat. Where Tatang would give guidance and direction when it was dark and I seemed lost, Ima provided the breeze and the shelter when it was uncomfortably hot and I needed a safe and comfortable home to go to.
I remember Ima as always having been prayerful. She sought and found refuge in God’s presence. She was beside herself with joy when I told them I wanted to enter the seminary and she was heart-broken when I left. Now, as I create time and space where I can encounter God in prayer, Ima is never far away. She is here with me whenever I enter my Sacred Space. She helps the Lord in cleaning up the temple that is my body of the dirt and grime I bring into my life. Like Tatang, Ima is still here with me.