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Hocus Focus

corridorsOur class of Sacraments in FTG started with the wild ideas on how did the sacraments started and the weird things that we believe in since the very start. I remember Pepe discussing about hocus focus, about magic. Is there really magic in the sacraments or sacramentals when we receive them or do them?

I was reminded of these questions in the sacrament class because of some incidents that have occurred during these past three weeks of being here in the mission. The first incident was during the Wednesday mass with the Claret School students and teachers. One of the altar boys peeped on the tabernacle and upon seeing that  there are only few hosts being kept there, he innocently added a handful unconsecrated host to the consecrated ones. So as when Julius opened the ciborium when he came to the communion rite of the liturgy, lo and behold, a multiplication of bread had occurred.

Julius knew that there are already few hosts left so he was surprised. I started to laugh at the back of the church when I realized too what have had occurred. I was waiting on what he was planning to do. Perhaps he will just dip it into wine, or will not give the communion, or separate the consecrated ones. But how? Finally he just gave the mixed unconsecrated and unconsecrated hosts to the faithful since we do not know which of them are consecrated and those that are not.  The consecrated ones could just mix up with the rest then the rest are converted to consecrated ones. What’s that, a salad dressing? What a blooper we have just here. The following day, he just consecrated and re-consecrated the hosts. I do not know if there’s such term as that since I have never heard that in class.

Then just yesterday fourteen students from the school, four of them were catholics and the rest were muslims, and a muslim school teacher were inhabited by bad spirits. All of them fainted, talking in different languages than the ones they knew and talking about strange stories. All of them had convulsions. The four christian students were brought to the church and the rest were sent home to their families. Some of the non-christians asked for the chrism that were given to the four. But I started to wonder how would exorcism take effect on them if I would think of the theology behind the sacramental act. Will it really take effect on a non-christian? At once I remembered Pepe and that hocus focus day in class.

Is it really magic that drives away bad spirits or is it the faith of the one who is driving away the spirit or the faith of a possessed individual? I hope this blog entry would reach our professor in Sacraments in Spain so that he could  give some pastoral explanations. Meanwhile, I join the school teachers in their expressions “I used to just see this on TV or films, now I saw it by my own very eyes and felt by my very own flesh.” Oh my God! It’s the 21st century, and yet these events still happens…


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