We agreed on the community penance that we'd adapt for the Lenten season this afternoon. After some rounds of show of hands (we're only six in the community, I hope I'm not rubbing it a little to much!), we finally settled on three things. I'd like to post them next time. But penance is indeed the in vogue these days, at least in the realm where I am in.
The three most common characteristics of the Lenten penance should (1) direct us to pray more and deeply, (2) lead us to be more charitable towards others, and (3) develop self-discipline (through fasting, abstinence and other forms of mortification). After the forty days of lent, if we would be faithful to our resolutions, it would not be far for us to become better individuals.
Penance is something difficult. But of course, the very etymology of the word leads us to the Latin word paenitentia which means "regret." But come to think of it, if one is faced with studying treatises of scholastic philosophy, why the need for penance? These days, I'm an unwilling witness to how Br. Eric and Br. Jomar—two candidates for the comprehensive exams in philosophy—handle the biggest stressor of their lives as the moment.
I myself feel the stress. And there, I saw the need to chill out a wee bit.
Last Sunday, I saw the film “Slumdog Millionaire”--hailed as best picture for this year's Academy Awards--and I would have to say that it was not a disappointment. I only have one criterion for me to consider a film to be good--it has to affect me, even after I've stepped out of the movie house (or in many cases, I switch off my player). “La Vita e Bella” remains to be my most favorite film, and Slumdog could conveniently occupy the second slot.
These two films perhaps radiate the immense sense of positivity that we all need in order to survive our own lives.
This sort of optimism I especially hope for the members of my youth group who wish to have their camp next month despite the vehement "no" of a teacher who serves as their adviser. The young men emotionally relayed to me how they wanted the camp badly since the event would help them smoothen some creases in the group. I helped them do some maneuverings.
And if it need be, I could still flex some of my muscles. Naughty me.