While waiting for my flight going to Manila, I feel so excited and a little bit so nervous to attend our batch alumni homecoming which will be held on Saturday at Rogationist College in Silang, Cavite. After tem years I will be able to see now my batch mates with successful careers, stable jobs, and kids. While writing this write-up for my blog, I can’t really get through in managing my thoughts and insights about our homecoming because the feeling of incitement to see them and talk to them overwhelms me. For me, it’s really nice and perhaps significant to attend those vents which just happen occasionally in my life. As I sit comfortably here at the boarding area and try to organize my thoughts, I can’t but be nostalgic about my past high school life experiences. After ten years, the burning question that is now bothering me as I try to recall my past high school life experiences is this; how far have I been going through in accepting and abiding the fact that life is a never-ending process of embracing change and a never-ending pilgrimage towards happiness?
My ten years of keep pushing through has been really a long journey. As I try to recall it, there were moments that I succeed, I cried, I failed, and I fell in love. Those things helped me to become who I am now. Henceforth, Soren Kierkegaard, one of my favorite theistic-existentialist philosopher is right in saying this as I try to reminisce my past ten years of journey and including also my past high school life experiences; Life can only be understood backward; but it must be live forwards. Attending our batch alumni homecoming is not just only for me a celebration of our 10th year anniversary, but an opportunity to understand my life backwards so as to make it a means for me to lived it forwards. I can’t wait for tomorrow’s event. I can’t also wait to see the changes that my batch mates have been going through as they also struggle for the best like me. Hence, life moves in mysterious ways. It really has a lot of surprises despite the fact that it is also sometimes demanding.
However, though everything changes in life, memories remain the same. Memories is something that warms us up inside according to Haruki Murakami, and we can never let go of it because it helps us grow as a person even though it also sometimes tears us apart. Even though it’s impossible to bring back all the memories of my the years’ pilgrimage in life; I am proud to say from the bottom of my heart that I have learned something from it and it made me embrace changes and newness in my life.
Now, the gate has opened and the plane is ready for flight going to Manila. The feeling of excitement engulfs me more as I prepare myself for the travel. Today is Friday; tomorrow will be a very special day for my life. Many things bother my mind like what will I wear for the occasion; what kind of impression that I will show to them; what stories will I share to them…etc…etc. From all those preoccupations that are kept on bothering my mind now, there’s only one thing I would like to unfold to them, i.e. the new and true ME, nothing more; nothing less.
When I always encounter the word ‘weak’, I cannot but be affected on it. It simply reminds me that I am a person who is limited and capable of committing mistakes. But, as I kept on accepting the fact that together with my strengths I have also weaknesses into my life, sometimes I asked myself; why is it hard to reconcile into our lives that our weaknesses could also be an occurring issue? Why is it hard to escape in this reality?
It’s really hard to settle the fact that we are limited on certain aspects in life. It’s also undeniable that we sometimes fall on our weaknesses when the struggles for authenticity and perfection become so tough and demanding. Henceforth, we cannot but cry and grieve when several of our weaknesses haunt us and full us down. After the tears and sorrows, we easily give up and be complacent with ourselves by saying these words; “I cannot move on because I am weak. I am tired and hopeless in improving myself because nothing happens. So, it’s better for me to give in to my weaknesses and just consider it as a normal thing.” Having this kind of perspective is not a healthy disposition. This unhealthy disposition will fall us into a negative attitude called mediocrity. Mediocrity is one of the enemies of optimism. It destroys our capacity to see the good things in us despite the fact that we have shortcomings and weaknesses in life. To be honest, when my weaknesses strike me and thump me below the belt, I cannot but escape the reality of acceptance and be mediocre about it. Later, I realized that the more I become mediocre about my weaknesses the more I become pessimistic about myself. And that’s what makes me more vulnerable and prone to distrusting myself.
Yes, we are born with certain weaknesses into our lives. But, our weaknesses are not an indicator for us to give up and improve ourselves. There are still rooms for improvements and changes in our lives; all we need to do is to find those rooms through optimism and self-introspection. This may take a lot of our perseverance and courage, but it assures something good and pleasing later on. I myself could say, that this kind of challenge beneficial into my life. Only through accepting this kind of challenge I would realize that recognizing my weaknesses is an important factor for strengthening my faith and trust. Indeed, St. Paul is correct in saying that there’s strength in every weaknesses that we have. The invitation of St. Paul for me and for all of us is not to be afraid to boast our own weaknesses and to consider it as our boost to move on and persevere in our daily struggles. Every day, we engage ourselves in an endless battle of conquering our weaknesses. The only necessary thing as we face this reality is this; DON’T GIVE UP. Only in not giving up we realize that our weaknesses will lead us into something we aspire for, i.e. eternal bliss that gives LOVE to our restless hearts.
Let not our hearts be restless when our weaknesses strike us back. Let it be; Accept it; Stay humble, and for sure it will lead us to something good, pleasing, and perfect.
In yesterday’s gospel, we witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus which anticipates the description of His resurrection from His passion and death. As I reflect upon the significance of His transfiguration and connecting it to Lent, the words light and cross popped-up into my mind. Why light and cross? As I let the words on the gospel speaks unto my awareness, transfiguration as light can never be depicted as a ‘transient sign’ of Jesus’ victory over death if there’s no cross. The cross of Christ may consider as the horror of His death, but later, His death will be taking place by LOVE which is the concrete manifestation and the reason why He accept the cross. This is beautifully represented by His transfiguration that conveys a message of hope and salvation. However, transfiguration can never be a sign of hope and salvation unless there’s sacrifice which is the only path to lasting glory.
What does the transfiguration of Jesus would like to say to us? In the midst of all turbulent moments in our life we should not forget that the transfiguration of Jesus is our means in order for us to continue believing, hoping, trusting, and loving because Jesus whom vividly transfigured in the eyes of Peter, James, and John and later will experienced passion and death is more powerful than all the sufferings, pains, grief, and persecutions that we encounter into our lives. Indeed, Paul in his letter to the Roman’s expressed this wonderfully through these words; “If God is for us, who can be against us?” So, the invitation of the gospel yesterday for all of us is this; we must not be terrified when we experience grief, confusion, pain, and sufferings. These are only means for us to realize that we must climb our own mountain of transfiguration which will lead us to our lasting glory and to become close to God.
“Too much hate will really make us very mad”. As I update my awareness about what’s happening around the world through news, I cannot but be on remorse. There’s too much hate and animosity now that surrounds around the corner of the globe. Today, the main issue is not anymore stability and competence; rather it is all about ‘colonial hate’. Because of hate, violence is now the coat of arms of every ‘colonizers’ of the world whose purpose is to be on the world’s pedestal. Aside from this, the outcry for peace, love, human dignity, and justice are not anymore the raison d’être of those who are struggling for power and thrones, rather they choose to be in fury and to settle things using the ‘iron fist of atrocity’ impeding the human rights and the freedom of the innocent to live in peace and harmony. Is this already a manifestation that we are now living in a civilization of madness which starts everything from hate?
It’s all because of hate that the world is struggling for serenity. The madness in hate is now becoming a trend for those who seek for immediate stability and independence. But wait, is the quest for stability and independence attainable by the madness of hate? It’s impossible! Let’s take a look on what’s happening around us; could we say that stability and independence is attainable by means of guns, beheadings, lootings, brutalities, exploitations, and terminations? Are we still able to be at peace and steady seeing those things? These things are unthinkable and unreasonable if we try to connect these from the perspective of serenity; but these are now considered as common grounds for attaining stability and independence.
Where’s the love? Due to many mayhems and outrages that is happening around us because of the madness in hate; it seems that love and hope are becoming an abstract goal of every nation around the world. Many faced their deaths instantly because of the madness in hate that is now becoming an incurable disease in every society. Many people are now questioning the worth of God in their lives and asking this burning question as an uproar for their sorrows and grief; “Why God we suffer? Why you allow these to happen on us? Why they hate us?” Seeing these realities, I cannot but be pessimistic about this insight that pooped-up unto my mind; ‘The world is a better place for us to live’.
Today, our society is scorching in its own lapses called ‘blame’. It’s really annoying and embarrassing that the rules of the tongue of those who are ‘in power’ and ‘in pursuit of fame’ are all blames and denunciations. It is now somehow becoming a system of thought for those who want to hide the Truth and to reverse it as something to be ignored. Why blame and not to tell the real Truth? Indeed, Truth is a shame for the righteous and for the powerful, so they engage themselves to the vicious cycle called ‘The Blame Game’ for the sake of power and fame. Unfortunately, who suffers the consequences? It’s not them, but us; the society. In this emerging scenario, it’s hard to reconcile that today we are being carried by the bandwagon of fools in our society which annihilates our perception and hope for enlightenment and truth.
Now, everything is being blamed. When there are unfortunate events; when there’s a blitzkrieg of stupidity and foolishness in the authority and society; and when there are accusations and malversation, denunciations or simply ‘blames’ enter the picture through pointing fingers. The point finger takes now an important role in our society. It’s silly, but that’s now the fad of every ruler who overtakes the throne of democracy. Hence, democracy depends on its power of finger pointing overrule our society. Truth lies on the persuasion of the point finger to predict and figure out who tells a lie and who is the enemy of the state. It’s unbelievable and unacceptable, but that’s the reality on how our society is being controlled and governed now by our leaders who popularized the new system of governance called “The Blame Game’ and sad to say, our society became its specimen ad experimentum.
Now, we suffer but the problem is we still close our eyes on the reality that we are becoming victims of ‘The Blame Game’. When we will wake up on the reality that we are being fooled around by so many denunciations and blames? When will be the right time that we will stand up on our feet and say; ‘the game is over; and we need to move on and oust the fools?’ I hope one day it will happen and realized.
One of the things that we hate most in life is to be criticized. So, in#struggles order for us not to be criticized, we avoid opportunities and responsibilities that are hassle-free and easy going. I myself would like to prefer these things as I do my very best to live in happiness and peace. Criticisms are just a hindrance for me to see better perspectives, and this is what I believe. But, it will not be always the case as I venture this kind of life full of possibilities and opportunities. I cannot but accept the fact that criticisms will always be my significant other in the story of my life.
Why there’s a need for us sometimes on the hot seat in the midst of criticisms? As I reflect upon this reality, this is what I found out; it is hard for us to attain authenticity without criticisms. They balance expectations and anticipate transformation. They are not made in order for us to be grouchy and embarrassed; rather they are made and allowed by God to be our reference in pursuing conversion and transfiguration. In the history of mankind, no one ever became great without the pangs of criticisms. Even great figures in the history have experienced the blows of criticisms which they consider it as the teacher or the wise sage. So, we should not be afraid in facing and handling criticisms in our lives.
As I continue to move on in my daily struggle, criticisms enlighten me to build firm perspectives that soon will be a useful means for my perseverance. Hence, my life will never be in harmony unless I consider criticisms in life as the canon and the standard of my existence. In every midst of criticisms there’s wisdom. Life cannot be what it ought to be unless it is being scrutinized and sanitized by criticisms which builds a firm foundation towards a better life.
In yesterday’s gospel, we witnessed how Jesus overcomes the pangs of temptation and drove by the Spirit out into the desert. Afterwards, He went to Galilee and proclaims the Kingdom of God by inviting the people and His followers to repent and believe with it. It is such an awe to notice in the gospel how Jesus overcome the enticement of Satan and proclaimed to the people the wonderful truths of the Kingdom of God. How about us who are easily tempted and distracted by the devil looking upon our nature as fragile and limited?
As I reflect upon the gospel yesterday, Jesus gives us a secret in order for us to overcome the temptation of Satan and emerge as victorious, i.e. Repentance. Yes, our story is different from that of Jesus because we are always falling into temptation. But, the gospel is inviting us to repent because it is only on this way that we may be able to reject the schemes of Satan and be belonging to the Kingdom of God. Yes, we recognize that we are not strong in the midst of trials, so we easily give in to temptation. But, Jesus is reminding us that it is not the end of everything. We can only repent unless we humble ourselves and admit that we have done something wrong. Repentance presumes admission of our sin and guilt, and this is what it means to commemorate the sanctity of Lent. In order to prepare ourselves on our Lenten journey, let us consider into our lives that we won’t be able to believe with firmness that God is merciful and forgiving unless we repent and accept into our lives that we cannot live and be at peace without the presence of God.