Fetalvero: Wishing for heaven-A A +A
Two empty bottles
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
DEATH is inevitable. It will come sooner or later. Nobody can predict death, not even the most popular psychics in the world.
As I was in a pensive mood on the day I visited my mother’s grave, this question swept my mind: “Are my dead relations in heaven?”
I guess everyone who visited that cemetery hoped that their dear departed relative’s soul is with the Lord in heaven or what is referred to as Paradise.
In the book The Sacred Language of the Soul, author Jane Hope wrote: “Paradise is usually described as a garden … with a mountain at its heart, with a river flowing outward in the four cardinal directions. Existence there is invested with total harmony and peace as well as with glorious awareness of the sustaining divine presence … as a promise of the soul’s reward for a virtuous life.”
Well, in general that is the usual concept of afterlife held by most Catholics. When we visit our loved ones, a traditional ritual is observed. We offer flowers, light a candle and then pray for the souls of our dear departed. I can relate to the ritual.
What has been bugging my mind is this: Why do the Chinese visiting the graves of their loved ones leave food on the tombstone?
A newsletter, entitled “Drink Water, Think of Source” by Derek Lin, caught my full attention. He wrote: “When the Chinese hold incense sticks in their hands and face the ancestor’s gravestone, they are in silent prayer to the dead. The content of such prayers have to do with greetings, the paying of respects, invitation to share a meal (thus the offering of food) and request to watch over the safety of family members.”
Lin explained that “drink water, think of source” is the phrase that the Chinese associate most often with the concept of ancestor worship. “As you quench your thirst, do not forget the spring or well where the water comes from,” he reminded people.
His analogy is to never forget one’s ancestors. “If they had not lived, loved, struggled, fought and survived you would not exist. Just as you cherish your own life, it makes perfect sense that you should also cherish your forebears for they are the ones who paved the way for you,” he added.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on November 01, 2012.