It’s Holy Week, a fitting time for reflection and recollection, of taking stock of one’s life and coming to terms with one’s self, what one has done and gone through and what one is doing and is headed for.
This week, dust off your Bible and discover the words of the Lord. There are Bible verses detailing promises and examples of God’s love and protection.
What are some Bible verses that can encourage you? What are your favorites?
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.- Deuteronomy 31:6
Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.- First Peter 5:7
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.- Isaiah 41:10
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.- Jeremiah 29:11
And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.- Philippians 4:19
The Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting … -Psalm 100:5
The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him. -Nahum 1:7
For thou hast been a shelter for me, and a strong tower from the enemy. – Psalms 61:3
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.- Lamentations 3:22-23
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.- Proverbs 3:5-6
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise.- Jeremiah 17:14
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.- Psalm 55:17
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. – John 3:16
If you plan to go to somewhere else this coming Holy Week, be sure it is for prayer and meditation and not for a summer escapade.
The Church said Holy Week was supposed to be a time “to be with God” in silent prayer and reflection.
For those wishing to adhere to tradition, VRS has picked some places to make your activities meaningful.
Old churches- There’s no place better than Bohol to make your Visita Iglesia pilgrimage, a good try for spiritual journey. Although some churches in Bohol were destroyed by the strong earthquake in 2013, they still provide space for meditation and prayer during Holy Week.
Fatima Rosary Hill- The shrine of the Madonna of the Miraculous Blessed Virgin Mary in barangay Buenavista in Carmen town was built sometime in the early 1940s. There is a concrete chapel, a spring and a souvenir shop. Spiritual recollection becomes more enhancing on top of this hill where one can look at the wide plains of Carmen and Sierra-Bullones. Don’t forget that it is holy and quiet. Burn a candle and pray.
Village of the Compassionate God the Father- The shrine located in barangay Fatima in Inabanga town provides a unique place for quiet, restful, meditative prayer during the remembrance of the final days before Jesus’ death and resurrection. There are life-size structures of the 14 Stations of the Cross with a big figure of the God the Father of All Mankind at the top of the hill.
Virgen sa Kaluoy in Calape- The image of the Virgin is believed to be growing from an empty giant shell. From a mere obscure figure, the image now is very visible, showing the beautiful virgin with the giant shell in the background.
Shrine of San Pedro Calungsod- A five-foot tall statue of Blessed Pedro Calungsod found in barangay Malbog, Jagna town, is a popular pilgrimage site. The only statue dedicated to Pedro Calungsod in Bohol, tourists and pilgrims pray before the statue and leave written prayers at the foot of the statue.
San Antonio de Padua Shrine- Located in barangay Tinibgan in Calape town, it houses the miraculous image of St. Anthony of Padua, one of the Catholic Church’s most popular saints. Saint Anthony of Padua is the patron saint of lost and stolen articles.
Krus Daku and the Statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Loboc – It is one of the favorite destinations of the pilgrims during the Holy Week. A huge white cross 80 feet in height is on top of the highest hill. In the next hill, one can visit the giant image of the Our Lady of Guadalupe. Here, one can view the towns of Loay and Loboc.
Lenten Procession in Baclayon- During Holy Wednesday and Good Friday, the streets of this town are filled with life-size religious statues depicting key events of the Passion and Death of Christ on decorated carrozas which are solemnly paraded along the streets followed either by devotees reciting the rosary.
Hugos in Loboc- The ritual that dramatizes the first meeting of Christ and Mary after His resurrection, and takes place at dawn on Easter Sunday. It begins with two processions, where statues of Christ and Mary are carried from opposite ends of the community. The statue of Mary is covered in a black veil of mourning. Eventually, they will meet at midpoint, during which an angel (typically played by a young girl from the community) will lift the veil, ending Mary’s mourning and Holy Week celebrations. Well, what makes it special is the world-famous Loboc Children’s Choir sings during the mass and the ritual.
Amulet hunting-It is a folk belief that anting-anting (amulets) are especially potent if collected, made, or charged on Good Friday. In Lamanok Point in Anda town and in Kalagan in Garcia-Hernandez, some albularyo search for anting-anting in caves and forests.
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