By the time I arrived home, it was merely about 20-25 minutes before waking time for preparation to go to Simbang Gabi. Ha! I have no more time to sleep! hehehe… I just managed to fix my belongings and dump my wet clothes into the washing machine for the washing queue. I took off my clothes for awhile and slipped into a more comfortable sleepwear. I wanted to sleep, but how could I go waste 8 days of continous Simbang Gabi just by missing the last one! That would be stupid of me!!!
So, then I went to prepare myself for the Mass, physically and spiritually. When we finally got to the Church, I was trying to avoid falling asleep. I told my sister lots of stories about EK. She just listened. I was very impatient. I wanted the Mass to start immediately so that I could go home already. Soooo bad of me.
Mass began, and the celebrant was Father Benjie. This priest is the best one. He gives the best sermons during the Simbang Gabi marathon. So, I knew I just couldn't fall asleep. It would be a shame, and not to mention a very vulgar one, for I was seating at the corner seat of the balcony. Everyone, best of all, the priest would see me if I fall asleep! Hehehe…
Even whilst singing the Entrance Hymn, I was already battling with my eyes, which are both closing in on me. Goodness! And then there was Papuri.. I said, this, is where I can finally muster all the skills that I have to awake myself. Even before, when the priest would gesture a different hand movement, I would not obey. I disliked waving my hands in public, most especially during praises. It felt awkward. But at that point in time, I needed a little strategy to wake myself up. So, I waved my hands. It was to my surprise, almost instinctively, I was awakened by the feeling of shame on what I was doing! Hahaha.. It felt as if my body and my mind was acting differently. Really, a very funny feeling. Though I was awakened, it was for a brief time only. Everytime I felt more awake, it would only take another 3-5 minutes before I grow sleepy again.
I remember falling asleep during the sermon. But I only closed my eyes. I still remember the sermon and here it goes:
Father Benjie said that there are many wishes in this world that God hears, most especially during Simbang Gabi. But to those whose wishes do not come true, its not as if He doesn't choose to answer your prayers, but He delays when He must it give it to you. And even so, God also asks something from us. Father asked, "If there was something that God would wish from you, that you'd give, what would it be?" Hmmmm… I was stunned. I never thought I wouldn't be able to reply right away.
I just couldn't think of something. So, just when I was out of ideas, here was Father Benjie said:
God wants us to give him joy.
God wants us to give him obedience
God wants us to give him laughter.
I believe I did finish the Mass. I did my best to avoid falling asleep again in the other parts of the Mass. I am fulfilled. I finished my Simbang Gabi again.