3 masses down, 6 more to go .. :)
Family and Friends close to us know how important Simbang Gabi is to me. As with all religious traditions, it all started with my father. For as long as I can remember, he would drag us in the 4:30 am mass at our nearby parish church. My brother and I would attend the first and last mass of the 9 day novena. I actually dread it, since I really don't like waking up so early and the church was so crowded and the mass was sooooo long. There were speeches after communion abd before the final blessing that took "forever!!!"
Then came second year high school. I think it was about that time that I learned you get to make a wish when you complete the 9 days ... I decided to try completing it despite the hassle. My wish was pretty shallow, quite embarrassing actually, hehe. I didn't get my wish but somehow this didn't discourage me for going again the following year. But this time, we convinced my dad that we should go to Mary the Queen Parish near our school. I love this parish, the ambiance, the location, and the people. I honestly believe that I wouldn't be going to Simbang Gabi until now if not for this parish.
What about the wishes? Well, lets just say that maybe God was telling me to aim higher with my wishes. He may not have granted my first "mababaw" one, but He has been answering my prayers ever since. One of the reasons why the start of Simbang Gabi is meaningful to me and Bry because it is our original anniversary as boyfriend-girlfriend :) Fast forward 15 years later, we now have Ben - another answered Simbang Gabi prayer - which is why I insist on bringing him along despite being a handful.
Things are a little different now, though. Ever since we had Ben, we're been attending the anticipated masses to accommodate his schedule. It may seem easier because we don't have to wake up early but it still requires a lot of effort. And aside from the wishes, I think it is a good way to prepare yourself for Christmas. Whenever I'd attend Simbang Gabi, I'd find myself reflecting on the year that has passed and feel grateful and hopeful. I wonder if Ben will have a special place in his heart for Simbang Gabi someday.
Anyway, my prayers for this year's novena are mostly related ... hmmm .. will keep yo guys posted how it goes (wink!)