|If I were in this picture, I would be that man at left!|
I spent the afternoon with the Little Brothers of Jesus yesterday. It was the 94th death anniversary of Blessed Charles de Foucauld.
I wasn't able to be with the Brothers at the Mass, but anyway, I joined them in their Evening Prayers + Adoration. It was so wonderful. It was my first time to pray with them actually.
Although I could hear the neighbors talk and feel the cats walk nearby, I wasn't really distracted by them. We prayed the Evening Prayers (or Vespers) in Filipino, and it was so inspiring. I appreciated my native tongue more. I realized that it is really beautiful to pray the Hours with a community. I was able to focus well on the Psalms when we were reciting them together. I felt so united with them. I felt we are one in prayer.
Brother Patricio, LBJ brought me to the village's greenhouse and to the Brothers' farm. My, FarmVille became so real! I was so amused to see the greenhouses, the gentle sprinklers for the seedlings (Brother told me that those sprinklers send out smoke-like water, probably just like a cloud, so the seedlings won't get hurt), and the irrigation system (I don't know if that's how we should call it). I became so interested in farming. Brother Patring harvested some peanuts too. He took the whole plant out of the soil, and that was so amazing! There were other crops, like tomatoes and corn. I cannot remember the names of other vegetables, but there were plenty of them.
Farming is a very contemplative work and I understand now why monks prefer this work. The farm is so conducive to prayer. Also, I learned that farming requires not just bodily strength, but also knowledge about the work. Farming isn't just about planting. It is a real science. Br. Patring would point a crop and say it is sick. Well, yes, the leaves of the cucumber plant has big spots on them. When he was harvesting the peanuts, I noticed that the leaves were somehow dry. Brother said it's a sign that the peanuts are ready to be harvested. I also noticed that the distance between plants are the same... and I realized mathematics would follow me even at the farm!
At supper we didn't eat any luxurious food. Rather, we had dried fish and beef soup, of course with rice, at the table. Their simplicity and poverty just hit me. The house, the environment, the chapel, their work... everything is just so simple. I was so ashamed of myself. I was living so comfortably and taking my life so granted- complaining about the food I eat, complaining about little discomforts. I realized that when we live simply, we'll be able to appreciate life more. We'll appreciate Jesus more as we learn to surrender to Him everything. We'll appreciate Jesus more because He is Life, because we have nothing but Him. Simplicity of life detaches us from the world.
My heart was filled with gratitude as I went home.