|Ina, Our Lady of Peñafrancia?|
Our devotion to Ina must be enlightened and inspired by the Word of God, contained in Sacred Scriptures and Sacred Tradition. A true devotee of Ina reads, reflects upon and does the teachings of the Bible.
Our devotion to Ina, expressed through praying the novena, recitation of the holy rosary and other similar practices of piety, should not replace our attendance at Mass and reception of Holy Communion. Authentic devotion to Ina should lead us to adoration and reception of Jesus in Holy Communion.
A true devotee of Ina prays the novena, goes to confession, attends the Holy Mass and receives Holy Communion. True devotion to Ina does not end in the pious expressions of love for Mary but in the love for Jesus and His Church and love for the Eucharist and neighbor, preferentially the poor.
Our devotion to Ina should bring about unity-loving union of husband and wife, unity of the members of the family or community, unity of all members of an organization of movement, unity of the parishioners and the parish priest. A true devotee of Ina reconciles with God and with his/her enemies. Reconciliation is an indicator of true Marian devotion.
Our devotion to Ina should lead us to know more personally, love more dearly and follow more closely Jesus. A true devotee of Ina imitates Mary and follows Jesus ardently.
Our devotion to Ina should lead us to become better Christians so that our lives will be in absolute conformity with God’s will.
Devotional expressions such as kissing or touching the image of Our Lady of Penafrancia, immersing into the Bicol river during fluvial procession, walking barefoot, lighting a candle, waving handkerchief, shouting and many other forms of devotion cannot substitute for serious Christian commitment, persevering and practical actions.
“Viva la Virgen!” “Viva el Divino Rostro!” are shouts of lively faith and praise of Mary and Jesus. But these shouts of honor are also admonitions to us to live our lives in accordance with God’s commandments.
Let us be reminded by the words of Jesus: “Not everyone who says ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Mt. 7: 21)
In another passage, Jesus says: “You are my friends if you do what I command you.” (Jn. 15: 14)
A true devotee of Mary does not only shout, or touch or kiss her image but does the will of God every day, through faithful observance of the commandments.