Saturday, November 17, 2007

Animo Spirit

Last month, I met a priest who was attending the ANS conferece in the retreat house. The meeting was not an accident. I willed to meet him since I wanted to send the copies of Inner Glimpse (our publication in the novitiate) to the Salesian houses in Luzon. And since I saw that he was just in the kiosk (speaking with Boni) in front of the novitiate house, I immediately grabbed the copies of the publication and off I went to him.

After asking him to bring home the copies of the publication, he gladly obliged. However, the conversation did not end there. He asked me about our life in the novitiate—the apostolate, our schedule on weekends, and some stuff about our novitiate formation. He was a complete picture of a man who was eager to listen to me, who wanted to know about my life.

I couldn't exactly remember the last time since I encountered somebody like him who was not interested about anything else but me. His warmth and sincerity were real, not just a put on.

He checked his watch and he realized that he needed to return to the retreat house in time for the first session that afternoon. But before he left, he was reminded that I used to teach in DLSU. I could see the sparkle in his eyes, and his eagerness to remind me that our school won the basketball championship a couple of weeks ago.

There was a faith angle to the victory of DLSU, he quipped. And he told me that I was in for story that might not be known by the general public.

He told me that he was not supposed to celebrate the Mass with the Archers one week before the championship match. A priest was supposed to say it but because of a prior commitment he was asked to celebrate the mass. Anyway, he should not feel foreign about it because he's coming from a La Sallian school when he was in high school.

In his homily, he stretched out the role of the Spirit in their upcoming match. He noted that the battle cry of DLSU is "Animo La Salle." The Archers, having rested for a year because of a penalty, was feeling down. People didn't expect them to bag the championship, but surprisingly, they managed to go beyond all odds; perhaps not because of the sheer strength and agility of the players and of the vast resources of the institution. The Spirit was behind them.

I'm not sure if the players saw it the way it was—using the spectacles of faith, but I got the point.

Here was a priest eager to share with me something about faith, something about God whom he himself experienced. The feeling was like I just came from a retreat. It was reinvigorating.

But one would ask, "He is a priest. He cannot but should talk about God."

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