Friday, October 02, 2009

Healing the Earth - Healing the Heart (Oct 03 09)

When I was teaching biology in Xavier School in San Juan, Jesuit priest Fr. Moran gave a retreat to the faculty. He showed a poster depicting us as little fish and around us are many bigger fishes. Then he showed us another poster showing us as little fish, and around us are many more little fishes, so much smaller than we are. I think the lesson that the posters is trying to depict is that we are not the most unfortunate creatures, since we can always find others less fortunate than we are. We should feel truly blessed for the gift of life that God gives us everyday we are still breathing.

I'm really quite fortunate -- I believe God has not truly abandoned me during the flood. My house was flooded to chest deep only, while two houses away, my neighbor had to climb up to the roof to stay out of the floodwater. I lost a few pets, while many families lost more than 300 parents or children. I lost one little car, while my neighbor Oafallas lost one car, two vans, one dump truck, etc. I can go on and on, and describe in so many ways how God loves me and took care of me and my family.

Whatever kind of fish we are: big or medium or small, we have to heal our wounded soul. We can't forever be hurting. So I am learning to forgive and to forget the administrators of Angat and Ipo and La Mesa for flooding my community. I will also forgive the wreckless people who throw plastic bags and styro stuff into our drains, clogging the waterways and contributing to the flooding problem of the metropolis. I am also trying to forgive myself for the lack of preparation during times of emergencies like this.

I am also fortunate that I work in a University where people care for you: for both your material and spiritual health. Today, Dean Marlu Vilches sent this message via email:

To live content with small means
to seek elegance rather than luxury
and refinement rather than fashion,
to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly,
to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart
to bear all cheerfully,
do all bravely,
await occasions,
hurry never?
in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious
grow up through the common
This is to be my symphony.
William E. Channing

As a way of contributing to the University-wide endeavor towards the rebuilding and rehabilitation of the human spirit in the midst of the recent upheaval in our community and nation, the School of Humanities begins our return to class with a paraliturgy on the theme HEALING THE EARTH, HEALING OURSELVES, prepared by the Theology Department.
Through this event, we hope to encourage students, faculty, and staff to see the work of rebuilding in the light of faith.

Monday, 5th October 2009
5:00 to 6:30 PM
Natividad Galang Fajardo Conference Room
Ground Floor, Horacio de la Costa Hall
School of Humanities

You are most welcome to this evening of songs, poetry, readings from biblical texts, reflections on recent experiences. All this in view of recognizing our need for mercy and compassion, showing our praise and thanksgiving, and inclining ourselves to the call for service.

We continue to celebrate MAGIS in our responses to the crisis situation that our society faces today.

All the best,

Associate Professor
Dean, School of Humanities
Loyola Schools, Ateneo de Manila University

No comments: