Sunday, May 29, 2011

Greatest Conquest, Conquest of Self

The many sages of the past have said so. For this we need God’s help and grace (see Mt. 19:26). We might think fulfillment is in making money, winning in games, or politics and getting a famous name, but what can bring us to peace inside and in the final eventuality is really the conquest of self in the direction of fulfilling God’s will every time, anywhere. The saints were always happy even when they were left unattended, unknown or neglected, for their trust was always in God.

So Jesus had reminded us—“What will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life?” The very finalities of man can be reduced to four last things, as taught in Christian catechesis: Death, Judgment, Hell or Heaven. At the very last you either end in Heaven or in Hell. Jesus clearly talks about this as He discussed on the narrow and hard road to Heaven and the spacious and wide road to Hell in Mt. 7:11-12, and about the decisive question that will be required of you for entrance to eternal bliss in Paradise or eternal damnation with the devils in Hell. Read that in Mt. 25:31-48. “Whatever you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me” (Mt. 25:40-46). On that will depend your ultimate destiny. Don’t be too late on reading such important reminder in that short but important chapter. It asks to be not so selfish and greedy but always considerate on others’ needs, rights and feelings. Why did the Lord God Almighty in sharing man’s lot by taking up our humanity in His Son, Jesus, chose always the line of humility in word and the example of His life? “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and the man who humbles himself will be exalted (Lk. 14:11, Lk. 18:14, Mt. 23:12). “I honor my Father but you want to dishonor me. Not that I care for my own glory, there is someone who takes care of that and is the judge of it” (Jn. 8:50). For all our efforts to reach salvation we must remember how much we are in need of God’s grace. But God’s infallible word will not fail in His promises. “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him”: (Mt. 7:7).

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Honesty is Best Policy

Whether in pharmaceuticals, politics or any category of business or enterprise, the principle still holds. Like the defective missile that plummets to its own self-destruction so does any corrupt institution that operates on deception, hidden agenda and insincerity. They do not really operate based on transparency and openness but a way of doing things that leads to doom and failures.

"On these grounds is sentence pronounced that though the light has come into the world men have shown they prefer darkness to the light because their deeds were evil. And indeed, everybody who does wrong hates the light and avoids it, for fear his actions would be exposed, but the man who lives by the truth comes out into the light, so that it may be plainly seen what he does is done in God" (Jn.3:19-21).

The devil which is the source of evil in the world, together with the cooperation of corrupt people, is described by Jesus as "a murderer and the father of lies" (Jn.8:44). How important then we follow the ways of truth and sincerity so as not to fall into the clutches of the devil, the father of lies. Even Shakespeare had quoted that in other words in his work Hamlet: "To thine own self be true and it will follow as night follows day you will be true to every man". (Hamlet Act 1, sc.3) "People who long to be rich are a prey to temptation; they get trapped into all sorts of foolish and dangerous ambitions which eventually plunge them into ruin and destruction. The love of money is the root of all evils and there are some who pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith, and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds" (1Tim.6:10). People get enticed by money offers just as a fish is caught by a bait. The solution is that you never be motivated by the love of money but by the desire to be of service to God and humanity. And you must give the best you can since "the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you" (Lk.6:38).

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Obedience to God Comes Before Obedience to Man

(cf. Acts 5:29)

Amid the entire controversy on the Reproductive Health bill, the main consideration of the Church is that we respect God’s laws as regards respect for the life of human beings, which as you all know is the very first right of man. Of course, it’s not just respecting the life that is existing but it implies also that we respect the normal outcome of life as result of the male and female sexual relationships. If we block nature’s normal trend through artificial devices we go in a direction that brings us close to self-destruction or extinction.

That is the reason why the Church opposes the artificial methods of birth control as being opposed to God’s will and design. “God blessed them, saying to them, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it.” (taken from the first book and first chapter of the Holy Bible – Gen. 1:28). We must endeavor to follow God’s laws and decrees faithfully, otherwise we risk falling under God’s anger and punishment. St. Paul describes it this way: “it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31). Remember history and consider how God has punished those who dared to violate His laws and decrees.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

An Alarm Cry

(versus prostitution)

An anonymous person wrote me and some other bishops asking if we could do something to help the plight of girls being victimized into prostitution at the big cities here and elsewhere. The complexity of the problem is worsened when the dangers of the HIV AIDS virus are being spread this way (in sexual contacts) plus the other sexually transmitted diseases. One problem is at present there is yet no clear medicine for HIV as this is still being researched scientifically, and expenses too may be mounting.

Its true prostitution is an age-old profession, not because it’s moral or legal, but because of human weakness and sinfulness. The person who wrote me told about some big popular cities being punished by God with various calamities: earthquakes, tsunamis and floods because of syndicates and persons of influence that beguile young girls into forced prostitution, under threats, holding their airline tickets, pressuring them into disreputable ways of livelihood just because of their indigent situation. Some of these prostitution joints are being handled or owned by DOM (dirty old men), from ages 40, 50, 60 and above who come from some big nations of the world around us to indulge in their immoralities. These were his exact words of caution which I quote in part below to make our people aware of such problems, especially for the girls of the third world who may seek employment in the big cities:

“As a Christian in America connected with Filipina women groups I wrote yourBishops several years ago on hundreds of young foreign degenerate, ugly old men 50s-60s in the country to sexually target young Filipina whores for money while your Bishops are blind and deaf to this and one day GOD will severely judge your souls for cowardice and negligence. GOD hit Japan with two disasters because it’s a major country where many foreign young women from Asia and Eastern Europe are tricked into Japan by fake jobs and given “free” one-way tickets then outside the airport taken to rented bldgs owned by dangerous criminals and subjected to violent threats, beatings and raped over days and those who still refuse get death threats against family members to force them to “cooperate.” From material I’ve seen many are either infected with aids and others become insane and likely murdered and their bodies cremated. As I wrote prostitution brings crime, violence, drugs, corruption, and the deadly aids and still your Bishops do very little but very tough to condemn condom use in Philippine high schools…”

This situation is supposedly an open secret that comes out in the news because of the problems encountered by those victimized. It might as well be exposed (Jn. 3:19-20) for the sake of saving young lives and putting a stop to the evils in our midst. If it came as an appeal through an anonymous letter, yet because most know of its existence by some sad news of the victims or many off-hand information we get from people, from the Internet, it’s an open secret and God asks us to be concerned, from the conclusive words of the last judgment of each and everyone of us to determine our very final destiny of either everlasting happiness in Heaven or the eternal punishment in Hell. “What you did for the least of my brothers and sisters, you did it for me.” (see Mt. 25:31-46).

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Live and Let Live

(contra RH Bill)

This is a proverb that means we should be free to live and allow others to do the same. This expression precisely comes into play in our present controversies regarding human life. Powerful nations and legislators want to make laws to control and limit human life, for some vested interests presumably. The Church’s position is ever to respect human life, whether born or unborn. Now come into play the contraceptive devices designed to prevent fertilization and implantation, resulting in the decline of population. It will be causing or tend towards extinction of population, leaving mostly the elderly. An ageing lot indeed!

The voice of the Church, following the will of the Creator, wants rather that we improve world situation, facilities and conveniences in the table of life rather than limit the guests to such table. God has said in the very first book and chapter of the Bible – Genesis: “God blessed them, saying to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth and conquer it’” (Gen. 1:28).