By DEEDEE M. SIYTANGCO
Kind words can be short and easy to speak but their echoes are truly endless. —St. Mother Teresa
Being quarantined and locked up is one and the same thing. We seniors and those below 20 years old realize this now. Not fair, I grumbled to my son AJ who is stricter than the jail warden in the best-run jail (if such a facility exists here).We also tried to get a travel pass to go up to Tagyatay. It’s a drag, and you will hate yourself for even trying.
AJ and his wife Ayet has this machine that’s like a mini-oven, which disinfects everything that can fit in it… receipts, cash, bananas, other fruits, frozen meats , chicken, etc. Those that don’t fit are scrubbed with alcohol or washed with soap and water before they are brought inside the house. Deliveries do not get inside the house either. The goods are delivered in the atrium, just inside our gate, and stay there until they are properly disinfected.
No visitors allowed, too, which means I can’t ask my manicure-pedicure girl to don a PPE and do my nails here in the house, as I initially planned.
How do I pass the daylight hours away, aside from scrolling through my FB? I am now a staunch fan of Bishop Pablo Virgilio David of the Diocese of Caloocan. I follow him on FB. I love his homilies. Then there are my other favorites, Fr. Jerry Orbos on Sundays on SVD media and Fr. Dave Concepcion of Sta. Maria Goretti parish. Occasionally, I catch Fr. Pio Acion, the persecuted confessor of the late visionary of Lipa.
Best of all, I am blessed with a rambunctious two-and-a-half-year-old grandson who lives with me and he keeps me sane with his interest in cartoons (Paw Patrol, Sunny Bunnies, Robots, Mr. Blippi), and for colors, planets, etc., which he ardently shares with me. I have no mountain-top view or a manicured garden to walk around in, but my family manages in our modest city home and we are thankful for our blessings.
For those going to Lipa to hear mass and visit the apparition site, please do so and say a prayer for visionary Teresing L. Castillo. She lies outside the chapel, on the right side, after the candle stands. You can get a statue of her from the store on the left side of the driveway and climb the stairs for a look at the grassy, well kept apparition site, with the original statue and spring. Have the statue blessed by the priest after any of the masses.
Back to Teresing Castillo, Lipa’s visionary and Mama Mary’s beloved “little one”—as she was called by her heavenly visitor. It’s true she refused to be in the limelight, even as the late June Keithley, who was a believer, wanted to film her life story. She refused this humbly, just as she did with any other kind of media exposure. She would always remind us: “I don’t heal. I can pray with you only.”
In the last years of her life, she had a very good friend and companion, Amy Zapata, now married to another Marian devotee, Nelson Zapata. Grace, Teresing’s adopted daughter, was already working then and she did not want to interrupt her young life. So it was Amy who accompanied Sister Teresing to retreats and recollections, especially when they were invited to the provinces.
They were “soul mates,” Teresing told her, and they were both members of the lay organization, Legion of Mary. Amy was ahead of Teresing in the Legion as the Visionary quietly joined later. Amy did not know who she really was but they became good friends, and like Jesus’ apostles, they evangelized in pairs.
Teresing confided to Amy some of the messages she received from Mama Mary after the apparitions. One of them was in March 16, 1992.
The Lady told her:
My dear children, pray hard so others may see in you that you believe, that you hope, and that you pray and love, and that you work hard to make your dreams come true. These days, little ones, people often wonder how the world could survive at length, day after day, year after year, in the midst of so much crime and poverty rapidly spreading throughout the world. There is so much immorality, sex and drug abuse, greed, injustice, abuse of power, thirst for riches, graft and corruption, that without the love and power of God, nothing could be achieved.
His grace is needed badly and his compassion is worth begging for. Now is time to move, to do something for peace and love, while there is still a little time left for the world to change. No matter how corrupt it seems to be, thank God for this world you’re in. It is a very beautiful world of promise and hope.
If you, as little apostles of Jesus, will extend your healing hand to convert the world, I am with you in your struggles, in your campaign for peace and love, in your bearing crosses and insults, which you will experience in answering this special call of God. I bless you all.
Uncanny how Our Lady foresaw future events and sufferings. But how wonderful her reassurances that she would be with us in our sufferings and persecutions.