Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Fullness of Life

 AT the height of the debate on the Reproductive Health Bill, I met so many new friends and allies and met a good number of foes too.  I have to be honest that it was one of those times that I felt personal pain when you read in the blogs, and hear and see in the media so many detractors of the Church’s official teaching, and yes even among the members of the Church.

                I would have chosen a more “quiet and tranquil life.” But then again, when I see the countless faithful—lay, religious, and clergy alike—that are heroically defending the Family and Life, I feel a more nagging pain.  I need to be a part of this warfare.  And the beauty of it all is that as I wage a personal warfare in my soul, you just feel you’re part of this bigger, cosmic warfare; and God has actually already won this war.  We are simply following through His victory on the Cross.

                We vividly recall how the Apostles were gathered at the Upper Room, waiting for the coming of the Paraclete.  St. John describes them to have been full of fear.  Then came the Holy Spirit.  He gave fortitude, wisdom, and strength.  They spoke, they preached, they performed miracles, and they even laid down their lives for Christ.  That is the Holy Spirit. That is the fullness of life. Not a life of comfort, but a life spent for others, for the Kingdom of God!

                Soon we shall be having a new set of national leaders.  The hibernating RH Bill would certainly be resurrected again, propelled by the same people, support by the same foundations, the same NGOs, the same funding agencies. They would return with vengeance. They were so close in passing it in the last Congress.  We have to brace ourselves.

                But our aim is not simply to weather the coming storm.  As in any warfare, we have to be equipped, foreboding, insightful, clothed and armed.  We do not have their material resources and vast network of people.  Ours is more of a guerilla warfare; never in the offensive, holed-up in our trenches, protecting our bastions, defending our enclaves.

                For how long could we fend off the enemies?  I honestly do not know.  I share the optimism of Cardinal Rosales, I also share the militancy of Cardinal Sin.  We have to have both.  We cannot give-in to discouragement but we should always be in the look-out.
                St. Teresa of Jesus (of Avila, as she is better known) advises us to be ever-protective of our interior castle.  We have to fend off the enemies while they are away from the walls of the castle.  That is what we have to do.

               That is why for the many that think the RH Bill is simply a contraceptive-promotion bill.  Better think again.  It will be the Trojan Horse in our national morality.  From contraception to abortion. From reproductive health education to sexual concupiscence. From population management to total population control. We shall reap what we sow.  Sow contraception and we shall be harvesting abortion.

              Giving the benefit of the doubt is one thing, complacency is another.  We cannot afford to be complacent at this time.  I would not wish to be a prophet of doom and gloom, for certainly our people have always been God-fearing and family-loving people.  But I would not be true to my priestly ministry if I would not state it now. We cannot take things for granted.  We cannot be engaged in a guerilla warfare all the time. We cannot be tepid and lukewarm when it comes to Family and Life values.  Family and Life should always be our primary concern.

                Time and again, I have written and said in many fora, the first battle waged in world was the battle between the Woman and Her Fruit on one hand, and the Serpent in the other (cf. Gen. 3, 15) and the last battle to be waged would be between the Woman and the Fruit of Her Womb on one side, and the Dragon, the same ancient Serpent, on the other (cf. Rev. 12).

                It was and will always be defending the Woman and the Child in Her Womb.  Life is a gift from God and the Serpent will do anything to end that transmission of life.  Whether we like it or not, whether we admit it or not, defending Family and Life is not just an advocacy, it is an issue among so many.  It is a spiritual warfare, in the fullest sense of the word.

                In the wake of the very first bad news, that is the falling into sin of Adam and Eve, the very first good news (that is why we refer to it as the Protoevangelium), is the promise of the Woman.  This Woman who said yes to Angel Gabriel.  This same Woman who mediated to Her Son for His very first miracle at Cana.  The same Woman faithful at the foot of the Cross. This Woman clothed with the Sun.

                In the wake of this Warfare, to this Woman we have to have recourse to.  This same Woman was present at the coming of the Holy Spirit (cf. Acts 1, 14). This Woman, ever present at the critical junctures of the salvation of mankind, is present at this final battle.

                May, Mary, Mediatrix of All-Grace, obtain for us the strength, the wisdom, the fortitude to constantly defend God’s gifts of Family and Life.

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