Sunday, February 26, 2012

Simple over the Proud

Since time immemorial the Lord has shown His selection of the simple and humble folk over the proud ones. Consider for example the three children (Sts. Francisco & Jacinta, and Lucia) receiving the messages of the Virgin of Fatima or that farmer St. Juan Diego of Guadalupe in Mexico City who became the Virgin Mother’s instrument for the evangelization of the Americas and the conversion to Christianity of millions of indigenous peoples..

Isn’t that clear confirmation of how truly God’s words speak: “I tell you solemnly, anyone who does not welcome the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it” (Mk. 10:15; see also similar comments in Mt. 18:3, Lk. 18:17). The same is true in the life of the many saints. Only that basically they lived a hidden life and relationship with God. As St. Paul describes it in the letter to the Colossians 3:3: “…you died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God.”

Yes, it’s the simple and humble life that lives for love and service of God and humanity, not for outward show. They lived in the fear of the Lord who knows the inner secrets of every heart: “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Ps. 111[110]:10).

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Hidden Life

We notice in the gospels how several times Jesus told the people He miraculously cured or for whom He did a favor not to circulate the news but rather thank God for it. When He cured one leper, He told him: “Mind you do not tell anyone, but go and show yourself to the priest and make the offering prescribed by Moses, as evidence for them” (Mt. 8:4)

This is one lesson for us who tend to do good deeds for outward show or vested interests. We have forgotten the lesson of Jesus: “Be careful not to parade your good deeds before men to attract their notice; by doing this you will lose all reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give alms, do not have it trumpeted before you; this is what the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets to win men’s admiration. I tell you solemnly, they have had their reward. But when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right hand is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you” (Mt. 6:1-4).

“Let your thoughts be on heavenly things, not on the things that are on the earth, because you have died, and now the life you have is hidden with Christ in God. But when Christ is revealed—and he is your life—you too will be revealed in all your glory with Him” (Col. 3:2-4).

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Twisted Values

When people give more importance to the means rather than to the end or goal, we might call that twisted thinking or a form of twisted values. When legislators make laws to exterminate human life (by way of contraceptives and abortion), it’s also a form of twisted thinking. Why? Because human life is the very first right of man, to which all other rights are subordinated.

This is why the RH Bill is creating so much reaction in society because it tends to pressure towards actions that are contrary to a well-formed conscience, specifically one that respects man’s first right: life. You cannot force people to act against their conscience, especially in relation to moral good or evil. We might just simply remind people what God’s infallible truth reminds us of—“So always treat others as you would like them to treat you; that is the meaning of the Law and the Prophets” (Mt. 7:12; Prov. 3:27). Laws that run contrary to divine truth won’t oblige us since they are not conducive to the ultimate good of man.

Since we must endeavor to avoid being enslaved to money lest it become our cruel master, we can quote here a word of one business analyst, Robert Townsend, whose book ‘Up the Organization’ came out once in the bestseller list. “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.”

Let’s look at the nation today. When the leaders try to make a name for themselves by picking on others’ faults and defects to build up their own ego prestige, or making money promoting pornographic education or birth control devices, that’s not a positive way of service to society nor even a successful venture but one tending towards downfall and self-destruction. In all our policies of love and service to God and country let’s always take the positive side in line of the Gospel: “Do not judge, and you will not be judged; because the judgements you give are the judgements you will get, and the amount you measure out is the amount you will be given. Why do you observe the splinter in your brother’s eye and never notice the plank in your own? How dare you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the splinter out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother’s eye” (Mt. 7:1). Jesus says it clear in the gospel: “Beware of false prophets who come to you disguised as sheep but underneath are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their life and deeds as you know a tree by its fruits” (Mt. 7:15).

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sex Education Woes

Whether the sex education projects in our schools is beneficial or not is being controverted actually. But if we truly seek the future and the good of our young or the common good, we must be honest with ourselves in the process of the evaluation. Are we really seeking the moral good and formation of our younger generations or just being beguiled by the attraction of the money offers from interested parties who won’t care less for the future of the young students? That was indeed the revelation of Dr. Judith A. Reisman, PhD, when she lectured to the Philippine Bishops towards the end of January 2012 regarding the sexual sabotage unleashed by one man, Alfred C. Kinsey, which has caused a plague of corruption and contagion in America. His book publications Sexual Behavior in the Human Male (1948) and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953) have been source of false and distorted ideas which have corrupted our youth and people, not only in the U.S. but likewise in our country, the Philippines, since we do have a close culture with the U.S., having been once under the Commonwealth, and also because of close relationship of trade, cultural exchange and defense pacts.

But we should realize that in our relationship with others, however close, we cannot in the likes of a fish, just swallow all kinds of ideas as if they were ‘hook, line, and sinker’, and then get entangled in those problems that ensue as a consequence of erroneous premises. Amid the varying opinions on the sex education topic, Mahatma Gandhi simply put it this way: “Sexual science is of two kinds, that which is used for controlling or overcoming the sexual passion, and that which is used to stimulate and feed it. Instruction in the former is as necessary a part of a child’s education, as the latter is harmful and dangerous, and fit, therefore, only to be shunned.” (quoted in the book FACTS OF LIFE by Dr. Brian Clowes, PhD, page 266). Since we are beginning to observe and see the immoral and disastrous results of this vaunted ‘sex education’ movement we must wake up and do something about it. After all, the problems that will result will only backfire on us, our families and society.

“The conclusion that can be drawn from the sex education situation is crystal clear. If parents do not take the time to carefully review the sex education material that their children are exposed to (whether in public or Catholic schools), and aggressively shield them from it if necessary, they will certainly experience deep and unceasing heartbreak later in life. Their children will fornicate, become pregnant, abort, ‘shack up,’ suffer from venereal diseases and severe guilt, will give up the Faith, and will be far more likely to divorce and be unhappy later in life.” (quoted from FACTS of LIFE by Dr Brian Clowes in page 273).