Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Commitment and Home

Not too old for this life nor too young to speak about things, commitment is one thing that I learn for myself in my every day. For many of us who are on the verge of deciding hoping to trod the right path, I can see the pattern of struggling which way to keep. The moment we feel we are ready to commit for the next step, certain circumstance comes in to test our fidelity, faithfulness and for some to awaken for a different way. Nothing is certain in this world, not even the life we look forward to the moment we give our 'yes.' I see the contrasting reality that we need to battle with, which reminds me of the parable of the wheats and the weeds. Along with our growing desire to fulfill the Call is the growing temptation to keep us away from that desire. Survival of the fittest, it can be.

I was made to realize by a good friend of a possible meaning of a commitment. She reminded me of the will to do and to always choose to decide for that commitment. From which I recalled that yes, I could have decided otherwise but all this time I decided to commit myself in search of the Call. Definitely the searching was never perfect, in fact I arrived at a point that all I could see was a total mess of my so-called journey! But from where I am now, I am happy to realize that all of those were part of the bigger plan for me. Because those were the things that allowed me to truly experience life, to feel just how it is to be, and to be molded to be who and where exactly I am now. I am grateful to be blessed enough that I could end any regrets and to rather look at each as a precious piece in the puzzle. I continue to walk in the maze of my journey, the searching being part of the deepest desire to fulfill what I ought to fulfill.

I must admit that living in a different 'home' is quite a challenge as I am to deal with different people coming from different orientation and family culture. In my effort to embrace each of them in all their uniqueness, I am to realize that they too are exerting effort to do the same for me. If I find it difficult at times to deal with them, they too might be feeling the same way. The community of my ideals is for me to let go so I might embrace the reality of how it is to live with them. The beauty behind all these is that I am taught to learn the things I need for the coming days. Every single day is for me to experience, and by grace I will be able to learn the lessons of each.

Sometimes when I simply feel tired I would miss 'home.' And in my longing for a 'home' I would found myself sitting in the corner of the chapel. Then I could simply close my eyes, imagine and feel the loving embrace of a loving God. For the few minutes I feel cuddled and just like magic, I am somehow refreshed ready to get up again. The big consolation for me is that I am assured within me that I am happy. Tomorrow comes with or without a promise of new beginnings. But I am sure that it's gonna be a brand new day.

God bless and happy day, everyone!
~ jocrossy + ~

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A time of pain, a time of grace

Newspapers carry on the headlines today the apology extended by CBCP over the PCSO fund mess. Since the allegation broke out involving 7 bishops, I was moved to check and analyze a bit from the different angles. Just like most of the faithful, I was surprised and saddened by it. I once spoke with a Catholic defender and yes, she expressed her frustration. But then again, it was not for us to condemn but rather to see it as a way to strengthen our faith while accepting our Church leaders in their desire to serve in all their frailties. Let it rather be a way to see just how we can further improve the Church knowing that temptations and baits are always around. I am reminded by the verse from the First Letter of Peter (1 Peter 5:8-10),

"Be sober and alert because your enemy the devil prowls about like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour. Stand your ground, firm in your faith, knowing that our brothers and sisters, scattered throughout the world, are confronting similar sufferings. God, the giver of all grace, has called you to share in Christ's eternal Glory and after you have suffered a little he will bring you to perfection: he will confirm, strengthen and establish you forever."

I am humbled and happy to have read today the pastoral statement of CBCP which you can read below. 


A time of pain, a time of grace

(A Pastoral Statement)

Our Dear People of God,
Our Mother Church has been deeply wounded by the controversies in the
Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office that have erupted in the past two
weeks. Some members of the Church believe in the innocence of the
bishops involved in the issue, while others do not. There is no doubt
that everywhere in the Church there is great sorrow. We your pastors are
one with you. As shepherds struggling to love you like Jesus the Good
Shepherd, we are sorry for the pain and sadness that these events have
brought upon you.
We are saddened that many of you, especially the youth, the poor,
our Basic Ecclesial Communities, have been confused because of the
apparent inconsistency of our actions with our pastoral preaching.
As we express our sadness, we also ask you to be slow in judgment
and to conscientiously seek the whole truth behind the controversy. Let
us seek the truth always in charity.
We assure you that the bishops concerned are ready to accept
responsibility for their action and to face the consequences if it would
be proven unlawful, anomalous, and unconstitutional. We assure you that
their action was done without malice. Out of their sincere desire to
help their people, they failed to consider the pitfalls to which these
grants could possibly lead them. They have also expressed their
readiness to do everything that is necessary to heal this wound so that
we can all move forward in hope.
We also assure you, our beloved people, that we shall re-examine
the manner of our collaboration with government agencies for purposes of
helping the poor, making sure that pastoral sensibilities are respected
and the highest ethical standards are observed. We shall examine our
values in the light of our vocation to be disciples of Jesus Christ. We
commit ourselves to the long journey of personal and social
transformation required of all disciples of the Lord. We plead with you
to walk with us in this path of constant renewal.
We express again our deep sorrow for the pain that the recent
events have brought to you our beloved people. The good Lord knows our
love for you. The words of the psalmist come to our mind: “My sacrifice,
a contrite spirit. A humbled, contrite heart you will not spurn”
(Ps.51). As the same Psalmist addresses the Lord, we take his words as
our own to encourage and challenge us: “Indeed you love truth in the
heart; then in the secret of my heart teach me wisdom.”
For the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines,
Bishop of Tandag
President, Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines
July 11, 2011