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Arsenio C Jesena

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T H E P A G A N J U N I
by Arsenio C Jesena   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, August 02, 2011
Posted: Tuesday, August 02, 2011

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the notion of God, was pretty much
absent in my youth...

T H E P A G A N J U N I

by Arsenio C. Jesena


My dear Nyssa,

God, or the notion of God, was pretty much
absent in my youth.

I did not feel him, or sense him. He just was not present, or
important in my family as I was growing up.

My parents’ worry and preoccupation with the basic need of
feeding the family gardually dissipated their devotion to church
sacraments, practices and sacramentals that had been present
while they were in Jaro and Manapla.

I was never taught by word or example, about the importance
of and my own need for the Holy Mass, Confession and Holy
Communion.

Unlike so many young children who prayed because of the
good example of their parents, I never prayed until I was seven
years old.

I FINALLY LEARNED TO PRAY BECAUSE OF A SWORD.
A sword!

My big brother Rene and his classmates, seniors at the Negros
Occidental Provincial High School, used to rehearse their English
dramatic presentations at our residence in #108 Washington Street.
One day, after Manong Rene’s fellow thespians had gone home, I
saw the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life -- it was, like
some Excalibur destined only for me, it was -- a sword,
a magnicent sword stuck into our sawali wall!

I yearned, I craved, I longed to possess that sword. But it was
not mine. It must have belonged to one of Manong Rene’s classmates. “Find out, Manong, please find out who owns this
beautiful sword.” Manong Rene asked around but no one had lost
or left his sword behind. During all that time, I pleaded, I prayed, I
entreated whatever god there was to please, please give me that
sword. After another three days, and there was no claimant, my
family reluctantly awarded the sword to me, with the proviso that as
soon as there was a claimant, I would willingly surrender it.

So I possessed that sword and gladly stuck it to my belt and strutted
around with it and regally carved the air with it, like some King Arthur
with his magic Excalibur -- and I displayed it all around Washington
and San Sebastian and Rosario Streets -- my little Camelot, my little
kingdom. Yes. I fell in love with that stage prop, that sleek, menacing,
enticing sword, and I craved to possess it.

And my childish, heartfelt prayer was granted by some invisible,
gracious, extra-human power to me!

That was my first contact with God. I prayed with all my heart
for that sword, and it was granted to me.

The sword and I -- that little adventure was my first experience
of prayer -- of calling to God, and being definitely and concretely
answered. By Him.

My next experience of God and the things of God happened when I was eight.



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