SARA SOLIVEN DE GUZMAN: WHOSE SIDE IS GOD ON? (PHNO COLUMN OF THE DAY! tribute below this page)
MANILA, MARCH 3, 2008 (STAR) AS A MATTER OF FACT By Sara Soliven De Guzman - One of the more dangerous beliefs a people can hold is that God is on their side. But, what about the other side? Does God automatically see them as the enemy?
I am actually addressing these questions to all the nuns, priests, cardinals, bishops and spiritual gurus involving themselves in the political mess. I am sorry but I am quite confused with the role you play. Simply put, I was brought up to believe that you have a special role to play in the society and one of them is that of being a “spiritual adviser.” Taking on this task is not easy. In fact, it is so delicate you should make sure you do not take any side.
The role of priests and nuns is also one of inspiration. The kind of inspiration for which they become a channel to lift others up from their lowly condition, to inspire the people of the world to higher aspirations, to provoke people to noble virtues, and to raise the consciousness of mankind. Spiritual people help make our view about life better. You nourish our body, mind and spirit to live a better life.
I always thought that one of the responsibilities of the clergy is to heal the minds and the spirits of men and to encourage happiness, fulfillment, and a positive attitude. But it seems that they too have lost faith. So, how then can they lead a people to inner reforms when they are the very ones initiating and leading the mass protests nowadays?
I thought the clergy have high expectations of moral conduct for themselves and for others? Is what they are doing today, morally correct in the eyes of God? Just asking.
Apparently, one obnoxious trait that often besets priests and nuns is that they have an inherent sense that they are enlightened which often translates into a feeling of superiority. This very feeling causes them to presume that they know what to do and that they have all the answers. I hope I am wrong but this trait is manifested nowadays in their actions. So, please take heed. It is a good thing that the matured ones like many in the CBCP have learned that they do have limitations.
By the way, what if GMA approaches any member of the clergy, to ask for guidance, how can she approach you – when you have already condemned her? In this case, can you truly call yourselves messengers or instruments of God?
Many of our politicians act so holy in the entablado. Do they have amnesia or Alzheimer’s disease forgetting they belong to the list of the Philippine’s Most Corrupt? Susmariosep! Strong emotions might make us forget the underlying principles of our fight for justice. The public should not join such bandwagon of the corrupt in their campaign to oust corrupt officials. Pare-pareho lang naman sila. Remember politicians are very good in the art of persuasion so do not be fooled. We are not fighting for a Ninoy Aquino to rescue us from this terrible nightmare – Ninoy Aquino is dead. To date, Ninoy has not been cloned yet. We are still on the lookout for that knight in shining armor.
True priests and nuns reach down and take the hand of those who are a step behind as we seek to transcend our human limitations. True clergymen do this all the time. They view the whole world as their congregation. They reach out to others and offer them illumination. Priests are the shepherds of mankind, caring for their flocks, watching over them. Their purpose in life is to bring about spiritual changes in the lives of men.
People with a high degree of spirituality point out the path to righteousness, and illumine it with supreme truth. The act of preaching, exhorting, campaigning, crusading, proselytizing, provoking, and evangelizing should be done with extra caution.
Haven’t you overextended yourselves quite a bit? What happens to a son or a daughter of a person who belongs to the “other side”? Do you crash them as well? Where and when do you draw the line?
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As we preoccupy ourselves with politics, we should remember that there is life out there waiting to be improved. The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) statistics on the Human Development Index reminds us that three basic human dimensions: life expectancy at birth, adult literacy and gross enrollment at all levels need much attention. Further, compared with the rest of the world as reported in the Philippine STAR, the Philippines is sliding down.
The same report states that the poor public health care resources, high dropout rates of public grade school, college and even vocational students contribute to the stagnant growth of the country.
Filipinos are well aware of these problems but the UNDP report all the more confirm our observations. So, what do we do about it? Do our leaders actually care about the quality of life of every Filipino? I guess not. If they were truly dedicated public servants, they would not let politics get in the way of public service. But look at what is happening now in Congress, in the Senate and in government. Everyone seems to be distracted focusing on one issue instead of trying to save and improve the lives of the Filipinos out there. C’mon! Wake up and smell the freshly brewed coffee. It’s a Monday. This is the dawn of a new day. Let’s get to work with a new direction and a new spirit. Let us not be pulled down by politics and controversies – rise up and shine!
(PHNO SALUTES THIS AUTHOR FOR RELIVING THE MEMORY OF HER GREAT WRITER FATHER, WHO 'BY THE WAY' IS THE LATE MAX SOLIVEN. PHNO MISSES HIM SO MUCH!)
Footnote: Wikepedia said that former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once said that "Max has walked with more heroes than Romulus and more heels than Adidas."
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