NO- I am not prescribing that to atone for our collective and individual sins, let's do self-flagellation in the form of a screening of the erstwhile quintessential Filipino youth flick, BAGETS.
BAGETSS is a list that contains tips and reminders for us Christians to experience a fuller Lent and a more enriching Holy Week. Rest assured the items below will never be deemed baduy (not chic), will never go out of style. The items below somehow helps ensure that we'll always be 'in'- in God's favor.
B - Balik Panginoon, Return to God. In the midst of our daily toil, it is always fitting to allot a portion of our day to the Lord, moreso this season of Lent and the Holy Week. Attend church activities, go to confession, read the Bible, pray. He is just waiting patiently for us.
A - Alis galit, Be rid of anger. Anger is that slippery slope which leads to an almost endless litany of hurt, pain, and sin. Let go. Let God.
G - Gawa mabuti, Do good. Sincere acts of kindness for family members or strangers alike, when they become part of our system, ought to solve many of the world's ills. Let's start today.
E - Express love. A door held for an expectant mom, a well thought of comment on a blogger's article, biting your tongue as your dad scolds you for the nth time for hogging the phone. What we do to least of our brethren, we do it to the Lord.
T - Tanggal bisyo, Be rid of vices and bad habits. From smoking and excessive drinking, to gossiping about co-workers, to tardiness, to not flushing the toilet after use. If it kills your body's cells or it gives a reason for other people to kill you- kick that bad habit out of your system.
S - Sakripisyo, Sacrifice. Here are my Lenten decisions: no TV after 12 midnight and no late-night fastfood deliveries. They help me save money, get enough rest, be healthier. More than that though, these simple personal decisions allow me to somehow, no matter how feebly, be united in the Lord's sacrifice. Bearing our own crosses helps us remember, appreciate, and celebrate God's love for us, this great love that even prompted Him to give us His only Son...
S - Smile. A smile is often an outward manifestation of inner happiness. Inner happiness stems from finding satisfaction and contentment in blessings big and small. Blessings big and small have only One Source. A smile is therefore a symbol of God working miracles in our lives. Be a blessing yourself. Smile always!
May all of us encounter God in a very special way, this time of Lent, and always. His love endures forever. His love for us will never fade and loving Him will never go out of style.
(Thank you to Fr. Emil SDB for sharing with us this list during one of Lingkod Manila's First Friday masses.)