Sunday, April 30, 2017

St. Joseph the worker

WITH this feast of St. Joseph the worker on May 1, we are
reminded of the great value that our work represents in our life and
in our need for salvation. We have to revisit the basic character of
our work that we often take for granted as we allow it to be overtaken
by other considerations that, while important, only hold secondary
            The first thing to remember is that our work, whatever it
is, as long as it is honest, is an integral part of our nature. It is
not a mere obligation or an unavoidable necessity. It somehow defines
            And more than that, it is what enables us to correspond
and cooperate with the God’s continuing providence over all of us. In
a sense, our work is sacred, since it cannot help but be a
participation in God’s continuing sacred work over all his creation.

            For us to see the sacredness of our work, we need to be
driven first of all and always by faith and an abiding piety. There is
a great need to bring our faith and piety down to the middle of the
world. There is a great need to develop and live an authentic
Christian spirituality of secularity and not confine them in churches
or some sacred places alone.
            We should therefore love our work, doing it as best as we
can. And this can mean that we carry it out very conscientiously,
“squeezing” each hour for all it is worth. And we should work in such
a way that we would always be short of time for finishing what we
would like to do?
            It can also mean that we look very carefully after the
details in finishing well our daily work. We should lovingly exert the
necessary effort for it and embrace the sacrifices involved—that is,
the setbacks, the difficulties, the tiredness and fatigue.
            These are normal occurrences in our daily work that we
should not anymore be surprised about. We just have to be prepared for
them, since they are occasions to grow in our love for God and others.
In short, in our holiness.

             One big challenge we now face with respect to our work is
the issue of how the new technologies should be used. These things
definitely offer us a lot of good, but they too can occasion a lot of
disorder in us, since they can be a big, almost irresistible
temptation to be simply on our own, that is, separated from God and
from others.
            Our new technologies should, in fact, nourish our piety
and our relation with others. That´s why, the tremendous practical
advantages offered to us now by our growing technology should always
be related to God. We just cannot get stuck at the level of
fascination because of the novelty it offers, the convenience and
practicality it gives.

             At the very least, we can thank God for them. These new
things should bring us closer to God and to one another, instead of
distancing us from Him and putting us in self-absorption.

             From here, let´s try to discern what God´s purpose is for
these new powerful things. They are supposed to boost our love for God
and for others.

Saturday, April 29, 2017

God always takes the initiative

THIS truth of our faith should console us. In our relation
with God, on which depends also our relation with others, it is God
who makes the first move before we do our part.

             Ours is only to correspond to his tremendous love that
knows no bounds, a love that is full of mercy—mercy being the summary
of all his wisdom and power insofar as we are concerned.

             We should do away with our ignorance or any doubt with
respect to this truth, and try our best to live by it as fully as
possible. That way, we relieve ourselves with unnecessary burden and
focus more on what we are supposed to do, that is, to love and to
serve God and everyone else.
            St. John in his first letter described this point very
well. “There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear,
because fear involves punishment. The one who fears has not been
perfected in love. We love because He (God) first loved us.” (4,18-19)
            This truth was lived to the full by Christ himself. With
his passion, death and resurrection, he has offered us forgiveness of
our sins even before we can ask for forgiveness.

             And in his post-resurrection appearances to his disciples,
he would always greet them with peace. He likes to reassure them,
avoiding as much as possible to startle them. In that story about the
two men on their way to Emmaus, he did not immediately make himself
known but blended with them in a friendly conversation.

             This is how God treats each one of us. He does it with
full tenderness and compassion. We have no reason to be afraid or to
be anxious. In fact, in those instances when Christ would appear to
his disciples in an extraordinary way, as when he was seen walking on
the water, he would reassure them by saying, “Do not be afraid. It is
            With all this divine goodness, we on our part should be
quick to recognize God in all the circumstances and situations of our
life. Let us make certain adjustments in the way we see, perceive and
understand things to accommodate this wonderful truth of our faith.
            Let’s give ample space in our consciousness to this truth
of our faith. We should try to feel God’s constant presence, nay, his
abiding love and mercy for us. And this can mean taking care of our
spiritual faculties, that is, our intellect and will, cuing or
prompting them to this wonderful reality.
            Yes, it is important that we make many acts of faith
during the day, and make use of any human devices that can help and
reinforce this awareness of God’s constant presence and love for us.

             We can, for example, associate certain things or actions
or events with some acts of piety. Like, every time we open and close
a door, climb up or down the stairs, see a blue or white car, etc.,
etc., we can make some act of faith, hope and charity.

             We need to learn these skills if only to avoid failing to
correspond to God’s tremendous love for us everyday. We have to learn
to find Christ in the little things which comprise most of our day, if
not of our whole life.
            We need to be more aware of this reality about ourselves,
since we often do not realize it, dominated as we are with the merely
material and sensible realities and with what is the here-and-now and
what is immediately felt. We many times fail to go beyond this level.
            God is in everything. He is behind all events in our life.
We need to be constantly aware of this truth in order to have peace
and joy whatever the circumstances, and poised to do good only and

Thursday, April 27, 2017

For God’s glory, not men’s praises

A PASSAGE from the gospel of St. John can remind us of
what our intention should be in everything that we do. It comes as a
way of reproach. “For they loved human praise more than praise from
God.” (Jn 12,43)
            With these words, we are reminded that we should do
everything for the glory of God. All other motives for doing things
should be subordinated to this first and foremost intention and should
be compatible to it. They should flow from it and tend toward it.
            Thus, human praise, whether actively sought or simply
earned, is not bad in itself. It just should not undermine our primary
duty to give glory in everything that we do. We have to be wary of the
danger of letting it spoil our ultimate motive.

             This is simply because all our life has no other purpose
than to give glory to God. There can be no other higher purpose. Our
Catechism tells us why in a very direct way: “The world was created
for the glory of God who wished to show forth and communicate his
goodness, truth and beauty. The ultimate end of creation is that God,
in Christ, might be ‘all in all’ (1 Cor 15,28) for his glory and for
our happiness.” (Compendium 53)

             It’s important that we are constantly aware of the origins
of the whole creation so we do not forget the fundamental principles
that should shape our mind and heart and govern our whole life.
            This is the problem and challenge that we have these days.
We tend to forget or ignore the origins of things and simply allow
ourselves to be carried away by the impulses of the current state of
the world, now mostly intoxicated by our own accomplishments and
            Nowadays, what drive our intentions and motives are
usually selfish principles: pride, vanity, sheer quest for wealth and
power, popularity, pleasure, and good and healthy animal life.
            Nowadays, we need some extraordinary effort to correspond
to God’s unfailing graces to counter this tremendous grip of
self-seeking motives in us. We need to humble ourselves like what
Christ did when he insisted that he washed the feet of his apostles.

             Indeed, some drastic efforts are needed, a kind of
paradigm shift that should start with each person, and continually
reinforced in the families and society in general. We need to explain
why we have to work always for God’s glory and show ways of how to put
this intention into effect. We need to get to the practical aspects of
this concern, and avoid getting stuck in the theoretical level only.
            I imagine that one good way to see if we have the right
motive and intention when we do things is to continually ask
ourselves: Does this task I am doing now please God? Is this what God
wants me to do now? Am I doing this task with my best efforts? Am I
consciously following the commandments and duly carrying out the
duties and responsibilities of my current state in life? Etc.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Chastity in crisis

THIS is no breaking news, of course. Chastity has long
been in crisis. In fact, it would seem that today the word itself is
disappearing from people’s vocabulary. It’s now an endangered species
crying for urgent protection. As a cultural value, it’s practically in
            News about teenage pregnancy on the rise only confirms
this modern tragedy. With pornography constantly and easily available,
sexual addiction and promiscuity would not come far behind. And the
statistics simply reflects it. And we should not be naïve to think
that the crisis in this area does not bring many other moral
irregularities and anomalies along.
            We, of course, should not be indifferent to this
development nor stop at merely lamenting. While the challenge is
overwhelming, we can be sure that the means to combat or at least to
contain this problem are at hand. We just need the will to tackle it
earnestly. Now is not the time to be casual about this.

             An all-out campaign to recover the beauty and truth about
chastity should be made. All levels of society, all aspects of life
should be involved, because even if chastity is not the most important
virtue and value, the problems in it can easily undermine the more
sublime goals we all need to reach.
            We have to spread the gospel of chastity and human
sexuality as articulated by the teachings of the Church and given
witness to by thousands of saints and other holy men and women through
the ages.

             Nowadays, thanks be to God, there are serious and massive
efforts to explain the intricacies of human sexuality, especially to
the youth. Of course, we can neither deny that there are also many and
powerful forces that deface this important virtue.
            One of these pro-active initiatives is the series of books
entitled, “Values education on human sexuality,” published by Global
Creative Publishing House Corporation.” It’s a textbook series for
students from Grades 5 to 12, with a teachers’ guide.
            More on character education rather than on mere sexuality
education, the series is an easy-to-read reference to parents,
teachers and students with the view of educating the youngsters in the
proper understanding and attitude toward human sexuality.
            Let’s hope that there can be more similar initiatives. But
what is even more important is that we strengthen the family network
so that the parents are properly empowered to carry out their duties
as the first teachers to their children on human sexuality.

            Of course, we should not neglect the spiritual and
pastoral means. We should teach everyone how to pray and how to make
their spiritual lives vibrant, full of true love and other virtues,
because that is how chastity can be truly lived.
            We should teach the youngsters how to deal with their
weaknesses, temptations and sins. This should always be done in a
positive and very human tone. A lot of patience and hope is needed
here, especially when we deal with those who are not yet ready to
change their errant ways.
            Let’s also tackle the issue of the pornography literally
glutting the Internet circuit.

Monday, April 24, 2017

God and evil

A USUAL question many people ask is, If God is good, is
goodness himself, if he is truly omnipotent and provident, why is
there evil? It’s definitely a very complex question that is hard to
answer. In fact, the Catechism recognizes this.

             “To this question, as painful and mysterious as it is,”
the Catechism explains, “only the whole of Christian faith can
constitute a response.” (Compendium 57) It hastens to reassure us that
“God is not in any way—directly or indirectly—the cause of evil. He
illuminates the mystery of evil in his Son Jesus Christ who died and
rose in order to vanquish that great moral evil, human sin, which is
at the root of all other evils.”
            Then in the next point, it says: “Faith gives us the
certainty that God would not permit evil if he did not cause a good to
come from that very evil. This was realized in a wondrous way by God
in the death and resurrection of Christ. In fact, from the greatest of
all moral evils (the murder of his Son) he has brought forth the
greatest of all goods (the glorification of Christ and our
redemption). (Compendium 58)
            We also know about the story of Joseph, the son of Jacob,
in the Old Testament who was sold by his own brothers out of envy but
who later became a prominent man in Egypt. When that dramatic reunion
between him and his father and brothers took place, the brothers were
very apologetic for what they did to him and expected to be duly
            But Joseph, with utmost magnanimity, the magnanimity of
God, simply told them: “You intended to harm me, but God intended it
for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many
lives.” (Gen 50,20) Once again, the divine principle that God knows
how to derive good from evil finds its proof.

             It’s important that when we consider the very many
different forms of evil that can come to us and that we see around, we
should immediately have recourse to our faith and not stay too long in
our merely human estimations that are usually based on our emotions
only, our prejudices, our sciences that cannot fathom the many
mysteries in life, etc.
            We should not waste too much time lamenting and
complaining, and worse, drifting towards the loss of faith. We need to
go to our faith as soon as possible, and there find some refuge for
our troubled souls.
            But for this to happen, we need to practice some emotional
and intellectual humility, otherwise that faith cannot shed its proper
light, and we would be held captive by our limited ways of
understanding things. We cannot deny the fact that our emotions and
our intellectual pride can easily dominate the way we think and react
to things.
            We have to find ways of embedding this attitude in the
people and in our culture itself. We should not be too afraid when
some forms of evil come our way. We just have to ask: “Lord, what do
you want me to learn from these?”

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Personal and abiding prayer

A COMMON complaint people have with respect to their duty
to pray is that they have hardly anything to consider during their
prayer. “I have nothing to say and neither do I hear anything in my
prayer. I just go blank and empty and bored.” That’s what some people,
especially the young, say.
            I usually tell them that I also feel that way many times
in my prayer, but rather than do nothing about it, I consider the
predicament a challenge. My prayer may feel like I am just crawling in
some dark hole, but I crawl just the same until I get to see some
light and to breathe quite freely.
            It’s important that our prayer is considered as necessary
and indispensable as breathing. This is how to make prayer very
personal and abiding. Short of that, it’s very understandable to deem
prayer as a useless burden.

             But we actually never run out of material for prayer. The
very feeling of boredom and helplessness is a very fertile ground for
prayer to grow. If we would react to this predicament with humility,
that’s when we can easily become intimate and sincere with God, and
prayer can spontaneously start.
            Actually, with just a little effort, we can already pray.
For sure, we will always have some plans and intentions that we can
pray for. They can be something personal, or related to the family,
our work, our relations with others.
            And then we can start to be concerned with bigger things,
like the issues in politics, business and the economy, society and the
world in general and the Church herself.
            We should try our best to train ourselves to be interested
in others and in things. It’s when we run out of this interest that
our prayer also would run out of steam. This will require effort and
discipline, but it would all be worthwhile.

             We have to be wary of our tendency to simply think of our
own selves, for that will surely lead us to a dead end insofar as
material for prayer is concerned. These days, we have to do conscious
effort to fight against the continuing bombardment of distractions,
like the games and other things, that undermine our desire for prayer.
            What can also help is to sit down for a while and make a
plan of how to do our prayer. Definitely, we need to have some topics
ready, as well as the appropriate materials like books. We can list
down the intentions to pray for.
            We also need to choose the appropriate time and place for
our prayer. And definitely, we have to work on the proper
dispositions. In this regard, it is important that we continually
reinforce our faith, and enrich it with other acts of piety, like
making little acts of mortification and penance.
            To sustain our life of prayer, we should avoid relying
only on some spontaneous reasons to pray. Our prayer life should bank
on solid convictions. This is how we can pray in all seasons, fair or
foul. This is how our prayer would become very personal and abiding.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Morning offering

WHAT a difference a small act can do! I am referring to
that practice of making a morning offering as soon as we get up from
bed in the morning. It’s what saints and many other people have been
doing to set the proper human and supernatural tone to their daily
affairs, giving them a sense of direction and purpose for the day.
            It’s usually done by greeting God as soon as one wakes up.
The effort to give the first thought of the day to God is all
worthwhile since it corresponds to the fundamental reality that our
life is always, from beginning to end, a shared life with God, our
Father, Creator, Savior, Sanctifier, yes, our everything.

             Our life, of course, can be described in many, endless
ways. It's a shared life with God. It's a life in the Spirit, a life
of grace. It's a participation in the intimate Trinitarian life of
God. But we have to remember that we have been created in love and for
love, and that love should be the basic governing principle of our
            In other words, our life has to mirror the life of God
himself, whose image and likeness we are. Since God is love, is
self-giving, then we too have to live in love and in self-giving.

             That means giving ourselves to God and to others. That's
what an offering is, what a gift is. It has to be given away freely,
because as our Christian faith tells us, it's when we give that we
receive, when we lose that we win, when we suffer that we gain in

             It's a mysterious law, spiritual and supernatural, that
goes way beyond our natural understanding of things, or our common
sense. But that's how it is. We need to live by that law, because
outside of it, we expose ourselves to danger, to harm and to our own
            In fact, given the temper of the times when we are almost
systematically subjected to pressures and challenges, to moments of
thrill and sadness, we need to have a very clear grasp of this basic
law, otherwise we would just be lost. We have a greater need now to
develop and maintain a supernatural outlook in life.
            After greeting God, which we can do by saying ‘Serviam’ (I
will serve), for example, we can start going through the expected
different events of the day that we are going to have.
            We can start figuring out how we can offer each event,
each concern, project, etc., to God. We can start figuring out how we
can sanctify them and how they can produce apostolic fruits, since all
these things are not meant to be tackled technically only. They are
actually occasions to develop our love for God and for others.

             In this way, we can start the day on the right foot. We
would be less prone to getting distracted, and much less, confused and
lost, and in the words of St. Paul, “tossed to and fro, and carried
about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning
craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (Eph 4,14)

             We have to devise plans and strategies to keep our
supernatural bearing all throughout the day. Thus, the initial
offering we make as we wake up in the morning ought to be renewed
frequently as the day progresses. We have need for different acts of
piety, spread in the different parts of the day, to keep ourselves
going spiritually and supernaturally.
            It would be great if we can encourage everyone to develop
this habit of making morning offerings.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Imparting Christ’s mercy to all

WITH the celebration of the Second Sunday as well as the
Octave of Easter that happens also to be the Divine Mercy Sunday, we
are reminded of our duty to know how to dispense Christ’s mercy to
all. It’s truly an overwhelming task since it requires nothing less
that our vital union with Christ. It requires our assuming his mind
and heart that is full of mercy.
            What may console us is the fact that as this Sunday’s
gospel reassures us (cfr. Jn 20,19-31), it is Christ who will take the
initiative, the first move, to come and appear to us. Ours simply is
to welcome him and to learn as much as we can from him.
            That may create some problem because in spite of
everything that Christ has already done and given to us, we can still
be like the doubting Thomas who needed a direct vision of Christ’s
wounds in his hands and side. Christ had to reprimand him: “Have you
come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have
not seen and have believed.”
            We somehow have to understand that the words addressed by
Christ directly to the apostles are also meant for all of us in ways
that depend on our state in life and personal circumstances: “As the
Father has sent me, so I send you.” And this sending can only mean, in
the end, imparting Christ mercy to all, since that would be the
ultimate sign of our redemption.
            We need to know what is involved in imparting this divine
mercy. Yes, for this purpose we have to study well the doctrine of our
faith and morals, now authoritatively taught by the Church
magisterium. We need to be generous with our time and effort so that
that divine mercy can be readily given to everyone.

            This way we can hope to be father, a friend, a judge and a
doctor to the others insofar as their spiritual and moral lives are
            More than that, we really should pray so that we can see
more directly and reflect in our attitudes, our thoughts, words and
deeds the very passion, death and resurrection of Christ which in the
end is the very substance of divine mercy.
            The ideal situation is that we be filled with holy desires
to ask for forgiveness, to atone and make reparation for our sins and
the sins of others. It’s a mindset that we have to deliberately
cultivate, always getting inspiration from the example of Christ

             I wonder if our idea of what Christian life ought to be
includes this very important factor. Until we have these desires to
dispense divine mercy to others can we sincerely say that we are truly
Christian, another Christ if not Christ himself, as we ought to be.

             In our daily examination of conscience, let us try to see
if we have been doing something concrete in this regard. Are we
willing to bear the sins of others, in an effort to reflect Christ’s
attitude toward all of us who are all sinners?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Data-giving and truth-seeking

THEY need not, and in fact, should not be given equal
footing. Seeking the truth definitely is much more than just giving
data and other pieces of information.

            Seeking the truth necessarily involves charity and the
justice that should flow from charity and should tend toward it.
Merely giving data and other pieces of information may be motivated by
something else, like simply wanting to justify oneself or to seek
revenge, etc., and so it need not get to the truth as truth should be.

            Truth without charity and justice is no truth. At least,
it is not the complete truth. It would just be a truth that would not
serve the common good and would cater only to some self-interest.
Without charity, the quest for truth and justice would consider mercy
and compassion as unwelcome strangers, if not enemies.

            And how can we get the truth in the context of charity and
justice? To be blunt about it, the only way is to be with God who is
the truth himself, and the very foundation of all reality, and who
reveals himself to us through his Son who became man and declared
himself as the light of the world (cfr. Jn 8,12).

            To seek the truth necessarily involves seeking God and not
just collecting data. We cannot overemphasize our need to be with God
through Christ for us to know the truth and live it in charity and
justice. Christ himself said so: “Whoever is not with me is against
me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters.” (Mt 12,30)

            In today’s highly information-driven world, we have to be
most wary and prudent in assessing the data presented to us,
especially in the media. Before we lap up these pieces of information,
we need to ask ourselves many questions before forming our reactions,
foremost of which is, what is the motive behind these data?

            We all know that, especially in the media, the pieces of
information given are usually yet in their raw and superficial state,
still unrelated to a bigger picture, and whose motives hardly go any
further than to generate sensationalism, more ratings, intrigues and

            If we really want to know the truth, especially in the
context of the media, we should practice a lot of restraint and
discernment in forming our judgments. We have to exercise a healthy
critical spirit, since there is great likelihood that the news items
are biased or simply incomplete. This is not to mention that nowadays
there is a surge of what is called fake news.

            Very often, objective facts are clothed in opinion or
interpretations and spins that give a distorted view of the reality.
We should always be conscious of this grim fact of life. We should
always remember that seeking the truth, especially in the context of
the media, should be a function of our pursuit to identify ourselves
with Christ, and not just to satisfy our curiosity or meet some human
need or worldly goal.

            Let’s remember what St. Paul once said: “Speaking the
truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body
of him who is the head, that is, Christ.” (Eph 4,15)

Monday, April 17, 2017

Today’s quest for order

IT cannot be denied that today’s quest for order is
getting more difficult and challenging. There are just too many things
around, producing so much clutter. The world is spinning increasingly
faster. And things in general are getting more complicated and

            We just cannot sit around, contented with our current
level of our sense of order. We have to learn to grapple with reality,
take the bull by the horns, and adapt ourselves with the rapidly
changing world without getting lost.

            Yes, we have to continue monitoring, reflecting, verifying
and learning. We have to be wary of our tendency to be complacent with
what so far has been working well with us. Times are changing and we
need to update ourselves with the new tools available. More than that,
we have to somehow update our attitudes and skills.

            The other day, a priest-friend confided to me that he is
finding it harder nowadays to give a meaningful homily, not because he
does not have ideas. The problem, in fact, is that he has too many
ideas and data that he does not know anymore what to choose from them
to make a very organic and meaningful presentation of God’s word in
the homily.

            Obviously, the problem goes beyond the technical. It is
actually asking for another turn tighter with respect to our
relationship with God and with our virtues, especially charity. It is
actually asking for more sacrifice, more humility, etc.

            We need to be more observant of the many simultaneous
developments around. Precisely because of this, we need to submit
ourselves to a certain discipline so we can cope better with the rapid

            Priority should always be given to God, to prayer, to the
sacraments, to the cultivation of virtues. These give us the firepower
to see things clearly, enabling us to put things in their proper
hierarchy. Otherwise, we will end up repeating the story of the Tower
of Babel.

            We need to see to it that we try our best to be in good
shape all the time, both spiritually and physically, mentally and
emotionally. We need to organize our day well, coming out always with
some concrete plan for the day, so we avoid finding ourselves idle or
at a loss as to what next to do.

            Even our rest, which is also very important to us, should
be properly planned. We should not take it for granted, because
neglecting it will surely take a toll on our over-all health and
capacity to work. We have to find a way of recharging ourselves
periodically during the day.

            I happen to know some people who have gotten so addicted
to their work that they lost the capacity to rest. The result, of
course, is a big disaster. We have to take care of our rest in all
aspects of our life—spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, etc.

            Of course, it is also important to realize our own
limitations and not worry too much about them. We have to learn how to
live with them, neither getting complacent nor nervous or too worried
with them. We have to learn to be both busy and serene.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

What makes us new

WITH the celebration of Easter, which commemorates the
resurrection of Christ, his victory over sin and death, we are told by
our Christian faith that we are made new. We are now a new creation.

            St. Paul tells us as much. “If anyone is in Christ, the
new creation has come. The old has gone, the new is here.” (2 Cor

            But we may ask, what does it mean to be ‘in Christ,’ and
how does Christ make us new? What has his resurrection got to do with
our becoming a new creation? What does his resurrection contain that
it can make us new?

            These questions, I believe, can help us to have a finer
understanding of the process of our renewal, which actually is a
lifelong process for us and which we have to do continually.

            We need to renew because we tend to grow old and to die
spiritually. Bodily, of course, we cannot help but grow old and die
eventually. But spiritually, we are supposed to live in eternity, ever
young, new and fresh.

            We have to remind ourselves that what makes us old and
subject to death is sin, that is, when we detach ourselves from God
from whom we come and to whom we belong. We, who have been created in
God’s image and likeness and adopted children of his, are meant to
live our life with God who is eternal, ever new and never growing old.

            To make ourselves new again after we have fallen into sin
and thus putting ourselves in the system of getting old and dying, we
need to be forgiven, to receive God’s mercy.

            Christ’s death on the cross and his resurrection actually
represent the ultimate of divine mercy and forgiveness. His death
represents his bearing and assuming all the sins of men, from that of
Adam and Eve to the last sin that still has to be committed, of the
last man who still has to be born. His resurrection represents his
victory over sin and death. His death and resurrection therefore
comprise the ultimate of divine mercy.

            There’s just a very interesting passage in the Book of
Lamentation in the Old Testament that can give more forcefulness to
this divine mercy that is responsible for making us a new creation.

            It says: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed,
because His compassion fail not. They are new every morning. Great is
your faithfulness.” (Lam 3,22-23)

            We therefore have every reason to be most hopeful. Christ
has already guaranteed for us that we can be made new, as long as we
go along with him. Better still, as long as we identify ourselves with
him to the extent that we become “another Christ, Christ himself.”

            We should assume the mind of a victor and a winner, full
of confidence, but aware also that to be such would require constant
struggle. We should think that no evil can overcome us as long as we
manage to be with Christ who gives himself to us very abundantly and

            This is how we are always made new.