Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Suffering Man

Cross at the Manila Cathedral
As humans, we experience joy in living as well as pain.

When we are in pain and sense helplessness, remember compassion, with passion. We are assured that Christ understands. That is the mystery of redemption when Christ became man to experience the passion.
Cross at the grandstand
Suffering to us is symbolized by the poor, elderly handicapped, individuals separated from family, the helpless, victims of natural calamities and the lonely whose human dignity is compromised.

Burdens are further made more difficult in general by society due to social inequality and the denial of support from fellowmen, institutions like church, bodies, communities and the government.

Like the challenged, all of us as ordinary mortals face through struggles as well. There are times we face difficulties and go through moments when there are no answers. Faith tells us to look up to Christ as he understands. Allow Him to surprise us.
Cross at the Cathedral altar

Faith opens us up to hope. As Filipinos, it is our deep faith that gives us a profound dignity. Most of the time we recover. When we overcome, it validates the promise of redemption.

Continue to commune with God in prayer and to the communities through action.

Pope Francis State and Pastoral Visit Post Mortem Reflection 20 Jan 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

In silence

 In total silence, all you hear is the splatter of the rain when a moment of silence was asked against the backdrop of the native mat and the statue of the Mother and Child.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Not comfortable of giving dole outs to the marginalized, the poor and to the disadvantaged or those denied of human dignity?

The poor, the elderly people, the over seas worker, people with disability are handicapped in living their life to the fullest. They are the focused target of the Papal's visit advocating to extend mercy and compassion to them. Are we comfortable in extending help to them?

Michael Tan in his Inquirer.net column on Translating Mercy quotes Fr. Soc Villegas on the 4 levels of helping people. 1st is to pray for them, 2nd is charity which includes the dole outs. 3rd is developmental or self-help which I interpret as enabling and lastly is liberational tackling structures that affect poverty. In words that we can relate to, it still translates to "Nasa Diyos ang awa, na tao ang gawa."

When a young boy selling rags lining up to see Pope Francis at Roxas Boulevard upon arrival was interviewed by reported Sandra Aguinaldo of GMA News’ State of the Nation, he said why he wanted to see the Pope, “Para gumanda ang buhay naming dahil pagod na po akong naghahanap ng makakain para sa amin.” His sincere view depicts 3 levels of the model; he is already doing a remarkable task by selling which is self-help and has asked for prayers to liberate them. I will pray for this young boy and wish he goes to school, enjoy his childhood, finish school.

While waiting for the Pope to return back to the Nunciature from Tacloban at the corner of Taft and Quirino Avenue, I was in a company of strangers with diverse backgrounds: There was an aggressive party of a mother, grandmother with a daughter who managed their way to a good vantage view of the pope’s entourage by climbing on the steel railing at the expense of the crowd behind them. There was another exploitative teenager girl who denied a senior citizen her seat and her vantage who lined up two hours earlier than her. On the other hand, there was a young family of three from Palawan who flew in the day before, traveled from Cavite bringing their luggage with them patiently waiting at the road for whatever view is offered to them. One needs praying, the other party needing assistance and a structure to enable them. Two apparently are enabled but lack the compassion.

Helping is a journey that passes through levels until one becomes self sufficient. To help others is a challenge. But when we realize what compassion is, which is acknowledging and emphatizing with one's suffering, why withhold help when we can?

Not to forget that we too also go through moments wanting for help. Pray for us too!