Commentary

Listen to Fr. Johnny Go
when despair tests your faith

'Pins of Light' Holy Week online retreat—
to hold body and soul together in the time of pandemic

Fr Johnny Go: What started as blog has become Lenten tradition for many. (Photo from the Jesuit College of Spirituality website jcs.edu.au)

IT’S our second Holy Week on lockdown, and the feelings of despair and despondency are testing the faith of even the most devout and resilient of Filipinos.

Heeding the call to worship at home, however—good thing many did choose to do so—priests and religious institutions are offering online retreats and recollections, free of charge. You just need an internet connection and the willingness to dedicate some time and space to reconnect with the One whose passion, death, and saving resurrection Christians commemorate this week, even as we go through our own “tomb” days and seek our own “resurrection” from the trials and challenges of Covid-19.

We’re looking forward to—and heartily recommending—the 14th Pins of Light online Holy Week retreat led by Fr. Johnny Go, SJ, a pioneer in bringing the faith to the internet. This year, the theme is “Letting Good, Letting Evil, Letting God,” and the teaser talks about how the world has changed so radically and abruptly in the last year, such that quiet time for reflection is more urgently needed to keep body and soul together. Last year, Father Johnny also posted “The Way of the Cross in a Time of Pandemic,” which resonated with many in the early throes of fear and uncertainty.

Little did we know then that we would be in this for much longer than we all thought.

Pins of Light Holy Week Retreat Facebook page

What started as a very popular personal blog for this priest and former director of Xavier School, and now director of the Institute for the Science and Art of Learning and Teaching (the SALT Institute) of the Ateneo de Manila University, has become a tradition for many.

In an interview last year, Father Johnny already warned against the toxic content of social media, and how Pins of Light can help balance that negativity. “People are worried and scared as it is—and we have every reason to be. But it does not help when we amplify or exaggerate the bad news…I think we can be sources of hope for one another when it is so fashionable and so tempting to spread fear and desolation on social media.”

We would do well, as well, to hear again Father Johnny’s advice for people who will be glued to their computer screens this Lent: “Choose what you expose yourself to and what you spend your time on.” Clearly, this Holy Week Retreat, scheduled for 9:30 to 11 am on April 1-3—that’s Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday—will be quite worthwhile. It’s free.

The Pins of Light Holy Week Retreat

Check out the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/events/486146015751315/?ti=ls to register; view the teaser at https://fb.watch/4v_2vV0Yru/.

 

About author

Articles

She is a writer, editor, breast cancer and depression survivor, environmental advocate, dog mother to three asPins, Iyengar yoga instructor and BTS Army Tita. She edits part-time for a broadsheet, but is headed towards a full-time vocation as an online English writing coach and grammar nazi.
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