Monday, March 22, 2010

The Big Issue

When God created the world, of the things He created man was the masterpiece, as the Scriptures record: "God said, 'Let us make man in our own image, in the likeness of ourselves, and let them be masters of the fish of the sea, the birds of heaven, the cattle, all the wild beasts, and all the reptiles that crawl upon the earth'. God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them" (Gen. 1:26-27). "God blessed them, saying to them, 'Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it" (Gen. 1:28).

God's plan therefore in its normal course is that man be "fruitful and multiply, fill the earth and conquer it" (Gen. 1:28). You violate such design when you block the normal course of conception and birth by contraceptive devices and abortion which the RH Bill promotes or facilitates. Don't you see that if contraception and abortion are thoroughly implemented in any place, population is heading towards self-extinction and destruction. Note places in the world where the older ones are increasing while the younger generations are disappearing. That is the main issue wny the Church goes against the use of the contraceptive devices and abortion because it forms part of the ugly face of the culture of death. Such is not mercy or love when you block the possibility of new life by preventing conception or terminating human life at the incipient stage just because of worries regarding poverty, overpopulation, lack of educational facilities or other commodities in life. The Lord surely provides for our needs, if we do our part in respecting and helping one another.

God's word is infallible: "That is why I tell you not to be worried about food and drink for yourself, or about clothes for your body. Is not life more important than food and is not the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow, they do not harvest and do not store food in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than birds? Can any of you add a day to your life by worrying about it? Why are you so worried about your clothes? Look at the flowers in the fields how they grow. They do not toil or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his wealth was clothed like one of these. If God so clothes the grass in the field which blooms today and is to be burned tomorrow in an oven, how much more will he clothe you? What little faith you have! Do not worry and say: What are we going to eat? What are we going to drink? Or: what shall we wear? The pagans busy themselves with such things; but your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Set your hearts on his kingdom first, and on his righteousness, and all these other things will be given you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own" (Mt. 6:25-34).

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Hamas Incident

At a time when we are all aspiring for peace in our world we can do no better than be objective in our examination of statements and facts. The son of a Hamas founder, Mosab Hassan Yousef, after spying for Israel , converted to Christianity, affirming that “Islam is a religion that teaches people to kill.” You find the whole story in the daily newspaper Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 5, 2010 issue, at the section covering World news—page A26. He likewise added some strong statements like: “it is not a religion of peace….the more you follow the steps of the prophet of Islam and the God of Islam, the more you get close to being a terrorist.”

In the face of the preceding comments let’s just observe the facts without getting angry or reacting negatively. We observe the deaths and victims of war and brutalities. You heard the Latin proverb that states Contra factum non valet argumentum (You cannot argue against facts). After all, we are only aspiring for peace to save precious lives. We want to bring peace to our world. Islam and Christianity are the biggest world religions. As the person, Mosab Hassan Yousef said: “To be honest with you, being killed is not the worst thing that can happen….If they want to kill me…let them do it, and they will be responsible for my blood.” His purpose of the exposé is to prevent more deaths in the enmities and hostilities continuing between Israelis and Palestinians. At this juncture, we ought to remember the advice of the late Pope John Paul II whose prophetic words can only show how important is Jesus’ rule of forgiveness. John Paul II had emphasized this at an international dialogue between all religions at Assisi , Italy . There can be no peace without justice, but there can be no justice without forgiveness.

We must wonder why he converted to Christianity. What are his honest reasons. Let us at least investigate if he is telling the truth. After all Jesus had said: “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened for you. Because everyone who asks always receives, everyone who seeks always finds, everyone who knocks will always have the door opened to him” (Mt. 7:7). People can make mistakes. Let us only try to correct and right whatever wrongs we may have made. Only God does not make mistakes or commit a wrong act.

Monday, March 15, 2010

A Misunderstood Angle

(Culture of life vs. culture of death)

It does seem misunderstood, the position of the Church against contraceptive devices and abortion. The people and the legislators who push for the RH Bill that is open to such contraceptives and to abortion don’t seem to see our point. The position of the Church is precisely protecting the sacredness of life, even at its very initial stage of conception, plus protecting the potential life or possibility of life from any artificial blockages that hinder the merging of the male sperm and female ovum that normally would result in the conception of a human fetus. This is going against the very course of nature as God intended it at the time of creation. “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it” (Gen. 1:28).

Where is the morality here? They keep on talking about problems of overpopulation, poverty, lack of classrooms, health problems of people, etc. But with all those problems, that doesn’t give you the right to terminate actual life or prevent the emergence of potential life. If everybody does so, that will lead to the extinction of the human race. Just open your eyes at places where the contraceptive mentality is rampantly implemented. Mostly you will see old people. That is why Europe in recent or modern times was being described – “the graying of Europe ”. Since the very start the Catholic Church has been opposed to the use of artificial contraceptives, most of which are abortifacient. And more so, from the time of the Encyclical Humanae Vitae (1968) of Pope Paul VI. That is not just, as some legislators tend to suppose, a stand of some conservative members of the Church, but the very official stand and teaching of the Catholic Church, because she stands for life – the first right of man.

We realize of course the temptation towards corruption and bribery, considering that sexual licentiousness has ever been a temptation to man and that produces a market for those devices that serve to hide immoralities or even marital infidelities. Hence you must have heard of money offers under the table, plus it does seem strategy of the bigger nations to control booming population of the third world.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Kevin's Contention

The book of Kevin Trudeau (titled: Natural cures "they" don't want you to know about) that topped the New York Times bestseller lists has an important argument to offer us, in line with the gospel of Jesus Christ. He argued that the medical society and the pharmaceuticals should be there to offer the people the health they seek not just for the money purposes. He even echoes what is found in St. Paul's letter to Timothy: "The love of money is the root of all evils" (1 Tim. 6:10).

Jesus argues that money should not be our main target but only a means of serving the people. So Kevin's argument is that the market regarding health products, drugs or whatever related propaganda on the health services should not be manipulated for the sake of reaping more money but must endeavor to answer people's hunger for the cure to their illnesses. That distorted way of serving people's needs seems to be one main weakness of man in the different categories of society, manual jobs, clerical or white-collared jobs, it just seems to be a major temptation. The unfortunate thing is that this kind of attitude and strategy leads to eventual failure. People get turned off. As that famous business analyst and author of the bestseller ("Up the Organization") Robert Townsend wrote in his book: (under the sub-title: Family Baggage) "Money, like prestige, if sought directly, is almost never gained. It must come as a byproduct of some worthwhile objective or result which is sought and achieved for its own sake."

Jesus rather asks us to make use of our money for the service of our people, as a means for obtaining our eternal reward. "And so I tell you: use filthy money to make friends for yourselves, so that when it fails, these people may welcome you into the eternal homes. Whoever can be trusted in little things can also be trusted in great ones; whoever is dishonest in slight matters will also be dishonest in greater ones. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling filthy money, who could entrust you with true wealth? And if you have not been trustworthy with things which are not really ours, who will give you the wealth which is your own? No servant can serve two masters. Either he does not like the one and is fond of the other, or he regards one highly and the other with contempt. You cannot give yourself both to God and to Money" (Lk. 16:9-13).

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Noynoy’s Predicament

The article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer (March 5, 2010) on A2, second front page titled Noynoy Eases Up on RH Bill seems to show he misunderstands the Church’s position. He says: “If they have unwanted children that they cannot take care of, I think I will err in favor of the child that will not be attended to rather than the criticism I will get from the more conservative elements of my Church.” A direct question to Noynoy is: “Is that real love or concern for a child when you eliminate his chance to live just because you think his parents will not be able to take good care of him or her?”

It only goes to show the superficial perception he has of the point in question. The fact that you will find it hard to attend to or rear the life that you give birth to as the normal fruit of sexual love does not mean you have the right to terminate life or block the normal course of a life that will be conceived through sexual union. Whether actual or potential life, it is not moral to terminate life. If this mindset is allowed to escalate, life will tend towards extinction. You heard already the expression “the graying of Europe ”—i.e. where parts of Europe or other places for that matter, people disseminate the use of contraceptives and permit abortion, the growing number are the old people, the young generation disappearing. This contradicts the design God made at creation when he ordered: “God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it’” (Gen. 1:27-28). We are pro life. If people become permissive because of the money offers by the anti-life agencies that manufacture condoms and contraceptives and similar abortifacient devices that promote sex immoralities or marital infidelities, then God’s word is true indeed: “The love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Tim. 6:10). The final evil will be the destruction of the nation – because life is man’s first right. God alone is the Alpha and the Omega, the owner of life and death. Noynoy doesn’t seem to capture the nature of the Catholic Church when he refers to conservative elements in the Catholic Church. It’s not a matter of being conservative or progressive but what the official teaching of the Church is. The Church has held this unchanged position throughout centuries, in spite of dissenting views from within and without. If it’s wrong, why has it grown as the biggest religious denomination?

The Human Factor

A revelation regarding the private life of Rev. Marcial Maciel, founder of the Legionaries of Christ, a congregation numbering 500 priests and more than 2,000 seminarians, only shows the human face of the Church, scil. That we can make mistakes. This happened in lives of saints too, like a St. Paul or a St. Augustine , before their conversion. Rev. Marcial Maciels’s immoralities in sex were published at the Latin American Herald Tribune, March 10, 2010, Caracas, Venezuela, also could be accessed thru Internet; this also appears at the March 5, 2010, Friday at A plus Metro supplement of the Philippine Daily Inquirer on page A26. Is it surprising? If he makes mistakes in personal life, you might ask why the fruitful pastoral apostolate of the Legionaries’ group? Well Pope Benedict XVI ordered him to retire to a life of quiet and penance, which he complied with till he died in 2008. The secretary general of their Order, Rev. Evaristo Sada officially asked apology from the public for the said immoralities in the private life of their founder.

This only goes to show how God uses personalities who are sincere in their efforts of God’s service, in spite of personal deficiencies. In the history of the Church God has made use of weak instruments who repented, because after all the Church is the work of God. The human instruments strive to cooperate, notwithstanding personal weaknesses. St. Augustine had said: “God who created you without you cannot save you without your willing cooperation (Deus qui creavit te sine te non potest te salvare sine te). St. Paul says somehow a similar idea; “By God’s grace that is what I am, and the grace that he gave me has not been fruitless” (1 Cor. 15:10). We can believe that idiom: to err is human, to forgive divine.

A member of the feared Hamas organization, Mousab Hassan Yousef, a Palestinian radical group fighting Israel said he is converting to Christianity, since he wants to avert the fighting and deaths between Palestinians and Israelis. All I wish to say is: “Let’s go deeper. Which is true? Both say ‘Islam is peace’, the other one says ‘Christianity is love’. Let’s dialogue, reconcile and talk peacefully and truthfully. Lay down our arms. Because, it’s actions, not words that can convince us who is telling the truth, deep in the heart.” Check this story which is also published in the A plus Metro supplement of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, March 5, 2010, page A26 under the title Hamas who spied for Israel slams Islam. We may be reminded of the saying: “God goes straight through crooked lines.”

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Reasons Behind

If it’s true, as a common saying, that money makes the world go round, what then is the basis for some legislators pushing for the RH (Reproductive Health) Bill that supposedly contains use of contraceptives and admits of abortion. It could really be, as many do say, there’s lots of money involved. How and why? Well, these devices that may hide illicit sexual excesses and infidelities may cater to human weaknesses in this regard, thus providing a lucrative market for those intending to hide unplanned or unwanted pregnancies. But the Church approaches the matter from the moral point of view. God intended the nature of the sexual act as source of new life within marriage. So blocking the fruit of the normal sexual act, an act legitimate only within marriage, constitutes a sin, punishable by God’s law.

The stand of the Church is consonant with such divine will that intends the propagation of the human race within the indissoluble bond of marriage: “What God has united, man must not divide” (Mt. 19:6).

“God created man in the image of himself, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them. God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it’” (Gen. 1:27-28). God’s will and desire is for the good of man. When we violate God’s law in this matter which concerns life and family and the propagation of the human race, the Church warns us of grave (mortal) sin. In this regard too, many of the Blessed Virgin Mary’s apparitions have warned us of God’s anger and the dangers of eternal punishment in Hell. It would therefore be good to heed the Church’s warning, that of Mary our Blessed Mother, and the very words of the Bible that constitute God’s infallible word. If the ulterior motive and temptation of anti-life agencies is the money angle, truly then has God’s word said in these and other aspects of our world: “The love of money is the root of all evils” (1 Tim. 6:10).