Fr. Martin Tobin, CSsR provided a very helpful introduction in the Redemptorist Parish Mass to welcome the New Year.
He clarified that She was not only Mother of Christ but also truly Mother of God. This is especially significant for the devotees of Mother of Perpetual Help, since as such we have entrusted ourselves to the immeasurable power of God.
He also urged us to look back and remember the good things we have done, as well as to reflect on how we have pained others. We needed that reminder to be more sensitive towards others and not just be caught up with personal whims and caprices.
The first day of the year is also International Day of Peace. He pointed out that Pope Francis was concerned about migrants and refugees.
He hoped not only for the acceptance of the refugees but also for their integration into the societies which they entered.
I will continue to pray for Germany’s female leader who has been consistently accepting refugees from the war-torn Middle East into the country.
We also pray with gratitude for the peacemakers. I remember with fondness Lola Tuding (Gertrudes Itaas) who as barangay captain of Barangay Santa Cruz was very active as leader of the Lupong Tagapamayapa.
I remember that when Hon. Mary Ann de Los Santos was barangay captain of Lahug, I learned that she was awarded because of the many cases she resolved in this capacity. The resolution of cases in the barangay level lessens the burden of our courts. My sister, Delia was trained and acted as Mediator. She told me: “The most important thing is to listen!”
Because of Fr. Martin’s reminder, I became eager to have peace-encouraging activities with my students. Social Studies, now called “Araling Panlipunan” is the subject where students learn to understand the historical background behind diversity. It is here where acceptance of different perspectives is nurtured.
We will be singing their peace songs again. We will recall heroes for peace like Inday Santiago, Malala and Mother Teresa.
Of course it is very important that I am a person of peace. I review the “Peace Muna” pamphlet from Brahma Kumaris.
In “Savoring the Moment” I find “My life is valuable; every second is precious. So I make sure to treasure each moment. This is the moment of my life.”
From “Peace Sees Beauty” we have: “Let me re-charge myself with coolness. Let me withdraw from the chaos outside. Take a deep breath and let it out. Keep my body still, my mind calm. No bad thoughts, no waste thoughts. I appreciate the uniqueness in everyone.”
Let us never forget the Real Source of Peace:
“I let His serenity fill me with calmness and joy. I let it be. I keep still, I gain strength. In peace I communicate with God with love.”
Starting the New Year with Loy Arcenas’ “Ang Larawan” was very inspiring. The competence of the entire cast and crew was awesome. Many said that the film was a look at ourselves, a look at our past.
With the professionalism and perfection displayed, one realizes the heights the Filipino can reach. The thoughts in the film make it ideal to start the year.
Its center was decision, choice. Must poetry be given up for political power? Is the painting and the house to be sold for material comfort? Is the painting to be sold to buy freedom?
Paula and Candida chose freedom; freedom to choose what was authentically valuable for them.