TaN: We claim to be Catholics yet we exhibit very unChristian behavior and make unChristian decisions. If the Philippines is truly (not only) Christian (but even Catholic), we should have be the least corrupt country, should have no crime rate and our detention facilities would not only be empty but redundant, should have no unhappiness (in fact, we should be able to best Bhutan in its own game of GDH or gross domestic happiness) index, and should be paradise on earth.
Even if we claim that we are a work in progress, we should exhibit improvement as time passes. But the contrary is happening. It is like the sarcastic “definition” of progress: the ever-changing process of making things As Good As THEY USED TO BE! In other words, as we make it “better”, it becomes worse.
Our biggest problem is our inability to identify and understand our problem – the ROOT OF IT ALL. The next big problem is our inability to solve problems properly. We always go for the “short cut”. We always try to short circuit the process and this always ends badly.
Remember that the Holy Scriptures is full of lessons and the first lesson God tried to teach us is PATIENCE – in the very first passages of the first book Genesis. In Genesis 1:1-2:2, He showed us how to systematically and properly do things, the proper sequence, no short cuts, and in 2:2, “And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.” – KJV. Take note, He is all-powerful and yet it took Him 7 DAYS! He could very well have done it all at the snap of His fingers, yet He took His sweet time, because He was saying that “Things of value take time.” In other words, Patience. And, there is also the other say, “…in His time”.
The first place we start with in our journey to be true Christians is to begin at the beginning. In our case, with the young. For those who are no longer young or do not consider themselves young, start from inside you, your heart. In the words of Mohandas/Mahatma K Gandhi, “Be the change you want to see in the world” and like in the song, “Let there be change and let it begin with me“.
December 21, 2012 was truly the end of the old cycle and the beginning of the new one, the Cycle of Enlightenment – of transparency, of accountability, of truth. Be part of the change, be part of the solution, or be part of the problem. There is no room for ambivalence. You have to choose and take sides. Those in between shall be crushed. Stand for your God, be a true Christian, stand up for Jesus.
Finally, in the slogan or motto of the Philippne Collegian (translated to English), If not I, who. If not now, when.
TaN: It does not make sense that (for Christians) cremation and other “non-traditional” or unconventional forms of burial is taboo, a no-no – or, at least, it used to be and still is among some segments. First, it does not make sense that a God so powerful that He created the universe but will need your old body for the resurrection. If He will burn and destroy everything in the end and make a new everything, I do not understand why He cannot make a new body for you.
Second, unless you have just died and your body has not yet been “(re)turned to dust”, I doubt if the old material of your body has not been recycled into something else. Think about it. When your material body decomposed, the basic elements and compounds are recycled. They are integrated into new things. Your carbon, your hydrogen, your oxygen, your calcium, your magnesium, your nitrogen, your potassium, your iron, your trace elements…all these will be taken up by other livings things and integrated into their bodies, from the worms, the insects, and the bacteria that breakdown and consume your body to the plants that draw whatever is left behind by the primary and the secondary decomposers up their roots and inetgrate your elements and compounds into their own systems. Don’t tell me God will retrieve all your elements from these various organisms and reconstruct your body?
And, what if the elements and the compounds you used for your body used to belong to someone else? Will your reconstructed body have missing parts because some of it had a prior owner and they will have priority over you since they got the materials ahead of you. Come on, God gave you common sense. Use it!
TaN: Every Lenten season, especially during the Holy Week, there are only a few chosen topics. 1st – Repentance, salvation, sacrifice, and everything related to the occasion. 2nd – Vacation spots and activities. 3rd – The heat.
1st – We talk of repentance, of sacrifice, etc – like the way we talk of giving and of generosity during the Christmas season. Come on, give me a breal. As Christians, we should not limit our Christianity to occasions. We should live it. Let us not be “holy” only during Lent nor be generous only during Christmas. Let us not be “occasional Christians”. [Occasional Christians are nominal Christians and nominal Christians are not (really) Christians.] We are very superficial. We are fond of names and of titles…but no substance.
2nd – Vacation spots and activities are good but let us put it in perspective. Year in and year out, whenever summer rolls around and the topic of discussion eventually shifts to vacation spots, it is the same old nauseating places: Boracay (barf and vomit), Baguio, Tagaytay, Palawan, etc. As if they are some newly discovered paradise. What is our tourism department doing? And what I mean is domestic. If the national government is lacking, there is no excuse for the local goverments not to take the initiative. And if the advertising budget is scarce, there is always cyberspace. Come on, there are countless undiscovered and underdeveloped natural beauty in the Philippines that the world does not know about. I think the main problem is that there is not enough coordination.
Why don’t somebody catalogue them and come out with an integrated system of domestic tourism somewhat similar to the China model – where there is a two-tiered system of guides (a local and a national). A tourist – preferably a group – gets in touch with a national coordinator who can develop and recommend a tour package based on the preferences of the tourist. The coordinator may “sell” the package (including transportation points, accommodations, and dining places for local cuisine) to the tourist and let them experience it on their own or accompany them (for a fee). When the tourist/s arrive at the destination, a local guide takes over and shows them around. The coordinator’s role is just to recommend and link the different tour interests. But before all of these, local tourism must first be in place.
3rd – The heat. IT’s SUMMER! What were you expecting, a blizzard? [Although I heard there was a blizzard somewhere in the USA just a few days ago.] Discusing the summer heat is a waste of time, effort, and saliva. Talking about the obvious is as pathetic as one can get.