Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Day 31: A certified poor beggar

"Good morning po. Pwede po makahingi ng pagkain?" (May I ask for food?) I was hesitant to say this for the first time to somebody not related to me, apprehensive of the negative reaction it would gather from the person from whom I was saying it to. I did! And God's Mercy was shown through the words of the request-recipient when she replied: "Mag-antay lang po kayo sa puno." (Just wait under the tree.) Much more, when I was offered a box of cooked rice and some scrambled egg with a disposable fork and spoon -- plus, a bottle of water. I went out from the compound of the Carmelite monastery in Bajada to eat the food somewhere else. Realization dawned on me: I am now a certified poor beggar! Another day, I uttered the same statement: "Good noon po. Pwede po makahingi ng pagkain?" The reply was: "Please speak in English." "I am asking for food," I said. "You have not eaten yet?" the nun asked. I replied: "Yes." I went out from the chapel of another nunnery with some steamed rice scraped from the bottom of the pot -- plus, fried heads of fish! Another day: I said to the doorkeeper of another institution, "Kuy, mangayo lang ko og pagkaon." (Sir, I am asking for some food.) "Tan-awon usa nako kung naa pa." (Let me see if there are some leftovers.) He returned with some steamed rice and fried fish nuggets. I tried not to go begging to the same institution everyday so they would not grow tired of me. Why should I not work instead? I am willing to work when there is a job for me. But I am already working: my work is allowing God to work through me in this blog. I deserve to be fed. But I am begging. I deserve a shelter. But my bed is a piece of carton in the sidewalk. I deserve a ride. But I am walking. I am agreeable to this kind of life because I am trying to live the life of possibly the "poorest of the poor" whose trust in the Lord is so great that every time the "Our Father" is sung, tears easily fall in sobs. Drama? It is a real-life drama. Even Job was a dramatist whose outpourings deserve to be treated with silence, for in silence you let him express himself and ease his pain. It is "good work" on your part. St. Francis of Assisi himself almost became blind because of constant shedding of tears. The poor always shed tears. Always dependent upon the Lord of all its needs; the Lord becomes their Very Own Need. "...do not cry for Me [the poor Jesus] but cry for yourselves..." "...cleanse first the inside of the cup, so that the outside [the government in view of the current 'pork barrel' misuse issue] also may be clean." You are not to give all -- but simplify your life; give up luxury. Availing of luxuries you do not spend is the same as owning it.

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