I lately catch myself wondering, especially in this season, why God is allowing all the injustices and other moral aggressions to go around, and hoping He intervenes—and soon. But God seems to be taking His time.
The Duterte regime has been able to jail, impeach, harass or eliminate anything and anyone that got in its way. I, of course, must not forget that God has His own plan—that, for the salvation of the whole humankind, He Himself appeared to have abandoned his only son and let him die on the cross, pleading, “My God, my God, why hath thou forsaken me?”
Sometimes I feel we are similarly forsaken, country and countrymen. Our very democracy is under siege; its system of checks and balances is being run to the ground by an emerging dictatorship; our own territory being ceded to a foreign patron.
Until I read the book “How Democracy Dies,” I didn’t think that could happen again after Ferdinand Marcos. But the signs are becoming more obvious every day. The last time the House of Representatives took a vote, it was one nearly unanimous in finding the chief justice impeachable for unimpeachable offenses. Earlier, the Senate all but delivered a member to her arrestors. She’s been in jail for more than a year now on the implausible accusation of life-term convicts that she was complicit with them.
And the police and the military, the people’s ultimate protectors, are inspired to indiscriminate action by being repeatedly assured none of them will go to jail.
The nightmare won’t go away. My husband says that for now all protesters should lay aside their differences—to be picked up later if they wish—and come together for democracy because no cause will be a greater loss.
We have to do more than just pray. Don’t get me wrong. Prayer is important and powerful, but it has an active component; as the song goes, ”Let it begin with me.” And part of active prayer is an examination of conscience.
I go into it desperately myself. I ask myself, Why did God give me this problem? Why does He think I need to be in this situation at this time? This reflection feels in itself an act of humility; I acknowledge that, at this time, in God’s eyes, I’m not worthy of a better situation.
Is it because He wants me to suffer and be unhappy? I think not. I’m convinced I’m a part of His overall salvation plan.
Things could be worse, but they aren’t. Obviously I need to change something somehow. But what can I really change except my inner attitude about what’s happening?
Reflection helps me rid my mind of negative thoughts—
envy, anger and blaming —knowing in my heart everything is as God wants it to be, for now. It’s suits me, probably not necessarily anybody else.
I work on harmony at home and within my own family. I also make peace in my heart with those who may feel animosity toward me, admitting to myself that, knowingly or not, I have somehow caused it.
I remain hopeful that there are enough brave, decent and righteous people in and out of government coming together or willing to do that for democracy. I believe that all these positive feelings will help properly alter my inner state and that my reformed inner state will manifest in my outer world.
Life’s been happier and more secure since I started doing this. I jealously guard my happy state against outside threats of fear, doubt and discontent. I believe our dire political state is but a reflection of our national spiritual inner state.
I am a Catholic, but through the years I have learned to expand my relationship with God beyond religion, because God is more than any religion. And as with people, all religions, too, should do away with whatever separates them and come together. There is only one God, and He belongs to all.
What we see today is moral decay. A beloved Indian guru taught, “When people do wrong repeatedly, sooner or later they lose their power of discrimination.”
It also gets easier to do. As the thoughtless remark goes, “Sanayan lang yan”—it’s all a matter of getting used to.
When Pilate brought Christ before the crowd and asked them to choose between Jesus and Barabas, Barabas got their vote; Jesus lost that election. The Roman mob had lost it.
Is that what happened to us?