Last week, I had the chance to visit my alma mater because of a planned bike ride with my closest friends. It was nostalgic and a lot of good memories were remembered. So many years have passed—yet it was both the same Ateneo where I “grew up”and culture-shocked to the max, and altogether different.
It’s more modern now, with improvements in the car park, provision for bike lanes, and new college buildings. One of the major changes from my college days is the church that was built in Bellarmine field, the Church of the Jesu.
I remember how we used to hold prayer meetings in that field on Fridays, our way of ending the week. In college that was a bit weird: to see groups of students in Bellarmine until sunset, as we chose bible studies over partying! Praying with a group has always been a part of my faith journey, and I am really blessed to have that chance again and again since my college days. The community of believers who become my friends have become really my second family, since I am physically away from my family.
Church of the Jesu, Ateneo de Manila University
Now, the simple yet elegant church is sitting on the field. This place that was once used by students to communicate with God is still serving its undeclared purpose, with the church in the heart of the field.
Beside the church, an area where a seemingly little garden was put up, is an area called “Contemplatio”. It is a replica of the St. Ignatius’ spiritual exercise of imaginative contemplation to know God and respond to Hiis great love. It was very creative! And under the heat of the afternoon sun, Sarah and I went through the different creative displays.
Contemplatio: Spiritual Exercise and Imaginative Contemplation
our earthly baggage: are you willing to leave it behind and follow Jesus?
I appreciate whoever thought of putting that up in the field. Its creativity and simplicity surely are able to reach out more people to convey that God is a good God, and we all ought to know and accept that love through His own son Jesus! 🙂 This place is especially good to visit this Holy Week.
looking at the mirrror, i see myself and a reminder below that God created me in His own goodness. i am His daughter 🙂
I was really blessed that day (so much more stories to tell during our bike ride, please see future posts). Despite the scorching heat of the sun, I was in good company of friends, and had a chance for a good day to bike to reminisce my college days (thanks friends, I really thought I will tour you around, but it was just really me reminiscing :p ) . What I am now is really because of how I grew up in Ateneo.
Sometimes looking back really makes us move forward twice the steps we could have taken than just staring ahead. Maybe because you remember where you’ve been and see how you’ve been blessed ever since.