The Diocese of Bacolod has condemned all Pro-RH politicians as part of “Team Patay (Team Death)” while all Anti-RH politicians are being hailed as “Team Buhay.” Well, that’s part of the politics of the season. It’s just sad that the diocese would condemn all Pro-RH lawmakers’ stand on a single law, without considering whatever other contributions they may have made for the common good (if any). That’s rather like condemning the Church in its entirety based on single issue, i.e. the sexual abuses of priests, without considering the good that the Church has done through the centuries. Both instances are wrong.
Meanwhile, the secular world doesn’t really care about what’s happening to Catholics and the Catholic Church. It goes on its merry way without troubling itself with such matters. After all, in the secular world, Jesus Christ, Yahweh, Mohammed, Buddha, are all just a bunch of characters among many. It’s a mindset reflected in the conversation between Salome and Mary quoted above. What use does the worldly person have of angels? The X-Men seem to be more exciting. If you believe that this world is all you have and all that you will ever have, then you just enjoy it for what it is.
One celebrated Filipino writer told me that he became an atheist after discovering that there’s really nothing and no one out there besides space, planets, stars, and maybe aliens. “Wala talaga, eh. Wala. (There’s nothing. Nothing.).” I totally get that. Imagine a situation where, while you are praying, you suddenly realize that you are praying to nothing.
There’s no one listening. You’re all alone. You realize that you are speaking, whether aloud or in your mind, to thin air. Why pray to air molecules—if air molecules are all that you could detect? If someone finds himself or herself in that situation, then it’s logical for that person to simply get up and give up on spirituality.
Such a situation has never happened to me, though, so I’m not an atheist. My psychiatrist told me, “Believe me. There is a Higher Power.” (If this happened in the U.S. for example, with an atheist patient involved, my psychiatrist could find herself getting sued for malpractice.) Then again, my psychiatrist could have been referring to the Higher Power in the electrical wires in the ceiling, because the lights in her clinic were flickering at the time. I have to clear that up with her.
Part of the reason why secularists make fun of Jesus and religion is the fault of some Christians, too. I mean, you have Christians who proclaim that Jesus appeared to them in a piece of burnt toast. Or they found a piece of cheese-flavored junk food in the shape of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s no wonder then that some people have begun to think that Keanu Reeves is Jesus:
Listen. We Catholics have got to make it easier for priests to be celibate. I mean, it’s easy for someone like me to be celibate—not because I’m holy and pure or anything, but simply because I’m married.
It’s one of the interesting ironies of life. You actually have a greater chance to be celibate once you’re married with several kids, since opportunities for some whoopee seem to get fewer and fewer. Unfortunately, so few Catholic men are able to appreciate this opportunity for holiness.
This leads me, logically, to think that maybe, just maybe, letting priests get married will help them to be celibate! No, wait, that’s not right, either…
Celibacy, though, seems to be so easy for a woman like Sonia Poulton, who cheerily says that she’s been celibate for eight years and she’s never been happier. She says:
“Celibacy has had a bad press. So, let me dispel the myths surrounding my decision. I am not celibate because I can’t ‘get’ any sex. It is a personal choice not an enforcement. The reality is, since being celibate, I have been propositioned by old and new acquaintances alike, and even high-profile ones. When I was invited on to This Morning (a British TV program) to discuss my choice, David Hasselhoff, who was also on the show, asked me out and offered to ‘cure me’. I politely declined.”
Of course, she wrote that in 2008. I have no idea if she’s still celibate. (Read the entire story here: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1077378/I-gave-sex-years-ago–best-thing-I-did.html )
I suppose celibacy is easier for women because they aren’t biologically wired to spread their genetic material far and wide, even indiscriminately, like men are. I’d just like to warn you women that celibacy may deprive you several health benefits for your gender (See the Huffington Post slideshow, “9 Health Benefits of Orgasms”; sorry I can’t get the link). One of these benefits is that orgasms make women’s brains healthier and, presumably, smarter. Men on the other hand, are stupid before, during, and after.
Are you contemplating celibacy because you’ve had bad relationships? You dread choosing the wrong person to date or to have as a boyfriend/girlfriend? Well, maybe an actual recommendation from God will convince you. I mean, God does that, right? He mysteriously directs circumstances to reveal to you Mr. Right or Ms. Right. Sometimes, God even gives you a very, very direct message:
Seriously, now. Believers are living in interesting times. For example, many believers still think homosexual acts are sinful and “inherently disordered.” However, we have U.S. President Barrack Obama petitioning his nation’s Supreme Court to redefine marriage and family to include gay marriages and gay families. We’ll get to watch how this plays out.
Just imagine how you’d deal with it if Obama succeeds—and if other countries follow suit. The Philippines may follow, but it would definitely take a loooong time; we’re still getting used to reproductive health for women. How would you, as a Christian, Jew, or Moslem, live in a society where gay marriages and gay families are considered legal and normal? The answer, I suspect, would depend on your idea of what Godly love is and how to extend it to others.
I realize now that these thoughts are occasioned not by the Lenten Season but by the meteor explosion over Russia. It’s the sort of thing that inspires mortal, even spiritual, thoughts. A meteor disaster diminishes our self-regard as a race in the same way that the weather humbles us. Getting soaked by a storm, wading through—or God forbid, getting swept away by—flood waters really just shows us that we’re far from being Lords of the Earth.
The scary CCTV footage of that burst of flame-red-orange light from above covering dozens of cars on the road, plus subsequent reports of thousands injured from being struck by flaming chunks of the meteor (which had burned/exploded in the atmosphere)—mean that we’re really defenseless against cosmic cataclysms. Falling rocks from outer space killed the dinosaurs and how sure are we that we’ll do any better when we’re the targets?
(More properly, they’re called asteroids while in space but are re-named meteors upon entry into the planet, and become meteorites when they end up on the ground; distinctions that would be interesting while watching them hurtle towards us—unless our screams obliterate all thought, first.)
We’ve heard of plans to create an outer space defense system that will either blow up or divert meteors headed for Earth—but really, how much faith do we have in that? I mean, the one that exploded over Russia had blind-sided NASA and whoever else was supposed to be watching our skies.
The reason? Bus-sized or house-sized meteors are hard to detect. They’re still, believe it or not, too small for our tracking instruments. I guess a meteor would have to be as big as all The Biggest Loser contestants combined before NASA detects it (“Houston! Meteor detected… uh, sorry, it’s just some really huge people, munching on red velvet cupcakes, while waddling away from their fitness trainer.”).
Still, a house-sized rock falling overhead makes us uncomfortable. Perhaps, the Russia meteor will teach us to value our limited time on Earth, and learn to care for each other because each other is all we have. Or we’ll just let everything hang while we get down and party. Or a coming meteor will cause crime waves and looting—like the way those cops stole cars during Hurricane Katrina. Hopefully, Keanu Reeves will save us.