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Spiritual Exercise at Monte Cueva ♥

One of the blessings of mission is the opportunity to explore and be awestruck at the beauty that the place has to offer. On our last day in Maasin, our generous host brought us to a holy place called Monte Cueva, officially known as the Diocesan Shrine of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus and Our Lady of Assumption

Entrance is free as it is maintained by the Diocese of Maasin but you have to pay a minimal fee for the use of the toilet. (Sorry, I was not able to ask how much.) 

Monte Cueva is truly a sanctuary of prayer. By the time you enter its gate, you know you are standing on holy ground. We did not count but we were told that we are to climb 400 steps up to the peak of the sacred mountain. To me it seemed like the stairway to heaven because with every step, I truly felt closer and closer to the Father.

The way up was both a physical and spiritual exercise. Aside from the stations of the cross, there are beautiful reminders posted around the mountain. One cannot help but reflect.

When we finally reached the top, it was a rewarding experience, truly a glimpse of heaven!

There was absolute silence inside the cave, the Diocesan Shrine of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus. All I could hear at that time was the beating of my own heart. I was so amazed, so overwhelmed, so captivated. It was an authentic Christ experience that I would never trade for anything else. I'm almost certain that my other four companions (Kuya Biane, Kuya Mel, JM, and Kaye) felt the same. We were all soaked in prayer and basked in the most loving presence of Jesus. I fell in love all over again, for the first time in a long time. :)

Still a few steps up is the Diocesan Shrine of the Our Lady of the Assumption where the image of the Blessed Mother stands mightily facing the vast seas. For the people of Maasin, it was Mary who protected them from the destructive typhoon that almost wiped out the province of Leyte last year. And who am I to question their faith when I myself have experienced being under her blue mantle of protection? :)

At the peak of Monte Cueva, I was once again reminded and assured of God's victory over sin, death, failures, pain, and suffering of all kinds. The mountaintop experience was God's personal affirmation that we can always begin again... together. 

2014 has been a big year for me. Big decisions were made. Big changes happened. I was emotionally, physically, mentally (so overwhelmed with a lot of projects and work demands), and spiritually hit big time! But I continue to rise and begin again with the help of a bigger God who remains by my side as my greatest Lover, my constant Partner, and my loyal and faithful Warrior. 

The mountaintop experience at Monte Cueva was God's loving assurance that we will overcome... with Mary, the Spouse of the Holy Spirit, who will lead me to Jesus, and ultimately to the Father. :)

We've only just begun. The best is yet to come! ♥

Happy, lovely, first of December! Hello 2015! :)

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