Wednesday, January 28, 2015

PRINCIPLE OF THE COMMON GOOD


To say it clearly and briefly, the dignity, unity and equality of all people – it is hereon that the “Principle of the Common Good” squarely rests. In other words, the more people in society live with dignity, live in unity and live with equality, the more felt and manifest is their common good. The reverse is not hard to conclude. When certain individuals in society wallow in wealth and luxury while the rest suffer from hunger and want; when some powerful families look down at everybody else as miserable people with neither rights or rightful claims; when certain public officials lord it over the citizens practically treating these as one big composite inconvenience – then, there can be anything in the society concerned but the common good.

While it is somehow understandable to say that the good of every individual equals the common good, it is however more proper and right to say that the common good is the opportunity for people to strive and benefit from the opportunities afforded them by public welfare. Equal opportunities, equal possibilities, equal chances – these are the premises of the common good. But then, while the same possibilities for the realization of the common good are present for everyone to accordingly sweat and toil and thus enjoy the fruits of their labor, not all individuals however have the same potentials to be duly benefited by it – for lesser talents and/or strength, for lesser education and/or possibilities.

The reality of the above-said phenomenon is precisely the basis for the admirable pronouncement of a known national leader, saying, “Those who have less in life, let them have more in law.” If this proposition of concern and advisory were brought to fulfillment, then the Principle of Common Good for society in general would not only be right but also real, not merely an ideal but also a fact. At this writing and these times, the “Principle of the Common Good” appears to be unheard of and unknown even in some countries, the Philippines well-included – as proven by the following phenomenon: The so-called “Upper Class” of people has become fewer but richer. The “Lower Class” instead has become so distressed that it is not altogether wrong to say that it has become the “Lowest Class”. And the socio-economic ID of so-called “Middle Class” seems to have been in effect dissolved and consequently disappeared.

More concretely speaking about the Philippine socio-economic situation, it is not a secret that there are people living by merely collecting and selling garbage, by looking for, picking and eating leftovers from street food stalls. This is not to mention families wearing rags, living under bridges, staring at nothing. No wonder then that there are even the phenomena of not only child labor but also child prostitution.

Meantime, a good number of public officials are feasting on public funds by nonchalantly engaging in enormous and repeated graft and corrupt practices, by making politics a great business, a very profitable dynastic venture. All these and other hideous egoistic actuations of a good number of people in government make the common good an impossible dream.

Monday, January 26, 2015

GAP BETWEEN THE LETTER AND THE REALITY


In the world, there is the 1948 Declaration of Human Rights as defined and affirmed by the United Nations. In the Philippines, there is the Bill of Rights written down in its 1986 Constitution. But needless to say, all these notwithstanding, there are existing and glaring realities in the World – the Philippines well-included – that take human rights as but big jokes and that wherefore make human persons as but useful clogs to have or harmful things to discard. Such an odious posture and erratic disposition are specially true and relevant on the part of those in tenure of power and wealth, those running governments and thus governing people as if petty gods. So it is that there are the phenomena of modern slavery in terms of the exploitations of workers, the trafficking of women, the marketing of children – and many other malevolent practices that demonstrate the big gap between the reality of human rights and but the words they are written with.

In other words, political interests and economic concerns are more often than not, the main reference points of individuals holding public authority whether to treat the general public as people with intrinsic human dignity or but mouths to feed, to render them public service or but simply use and abuse them. It is not a secret that there are governments that in fact hate population, want to lessen them and thus even promote abortion through various nice sounding programs. Such is precisely the basis and the essence of “Population Control” under whatever deceptive title is used in order to hide its real anti-people nature and intention.

Though shameful to say but also shameless to deny, anti-people governments are not exactly worried when people wallow in poverty with not enough food to eat, with no decent clothes to wear. Neither are they disturbed by the fact when people live in misery neither having even but menial work to earn from nor even having a place to live in. So it is that when they eventually get sick and die, the less people there are, the bigger victory it is for the anti-population government officials who – strange to say – subscribe to the strange thesis that the lesser the people, the greater is socio-economic development. That is why it would not be altogether strange to say that the people should get rid of so many scheming and stealing public officials in order to have their socio-economic progress.

Recently, it was made public in many ways through many means that the Pope himself said that people should not multiply like rabbits. This interesting and seemingly strange pronouncement is in fact exactly in consonance with the long standing teaching of the Church that couples should observe “Responsible Parenthood” through “Natural Family Planning” - contrary to a good number of them who have more children they can really care form give ample support and send to school.

So it is that the Filipinos continue proclaiming their identity culture with the precious and endearing shout of “MABUHAY!”

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

THE HUMAN FAMILY

"The Vital Cell of Society", "The Natural Society", "The Communion of Persons" - these are the three more distinct phrases and significant truths promoted by sound reason and ethics in conjunction with the smallest human community. The family is so ordinary and so common that it is considered as a matter-of-fact phenomenon. It is in every place at anytime such that the family is taken for granted. It is the standard unit of persons that people by and large see nothing that distinct nor that special to address it with gravity and importance. So it is that the family is usually taken for granted - if not in fact depreciated and even violated.

Needless to say, the family is the origin of every human person in the past, the present and the future yet to come. This fundamental as well as practical reality alone already signals the unique nature, the distinct attributions and finalities of the family. In other words, unless someone directly falls down from the skies in heaven or nonchalantly rises up from the depths of the earth, the family is a basic and phenomenal human entity giving origin to individual persons. Without the family, there would be no community. Without the community, there would be no society. Without society, what would the big wide world be, what would it be for?

So it is nothing less than the Good Book forwards the following three figures that brought the family to living reality. One, there stood a man. Two, there came a woman. Three, there appeared their children. And so the family came to being. And so humanity became a living reality. By the way, before the coming of any man and woman, no less than Divinity saw to it that everything else was prepared - the land, the sea and the skies, the plants, the birds and the animals. How then could the family not have its rightful significance - even but in the purely temporal order? How then could the relevance, importance and finality of the human family be not duly recognized? The truth is that the family - based on marriage and intended for the birth of children - is the basic origin of humanity as a whole.

The objective truth is that the family is the very first natural society, with thus equally natural rights that are proper to it that in effect place it at the center of human society by virtue of natural law itself.

The standard notion of society is that it is a group of people who come from a group of neighbors, who in turn basically come from a group of families. In other words, the family is the beginning of the making of a society that is wherefore by composed of families. And society being basically a composition of individuals and individuals being constituents of a family, it follows that family is the "First Natural Society". In other words, in the order of time and in the sphere of realities, the family is the first society in the order of nature. Woe to those who in effect actually destroy families by legislative provisions and/or amoral practices. Would that they neither come from a family, nor have a family of their own.

Monday, January 19, 2015

THE WORK BEGINS




After a truly successful Pastoral – caring, teaching, leading – Visit of the good and lovable, wise and holy Pope Francis, the renewed pursuant implementing Pastoral Ministry of the Church in the Philippines begins by working for the deeper understanding and consequent observance of his reminders, advisories and mandates.  It was great to see him!  It was a big experience to witness his kindness, humility and concern!  It was a blessing to listen to him!  According to him:

The poor are crying for help.  They are all over the land – in urban and rural areas, in the slums, in the streets begging, in the pavements sleeping.  Children are  begging for food, shelter and clothing, for care, safety and education.  Their parents have no work.  Meanwhile, there is much gambling among the people, not to mention the reign of criminals, the proliferation of drugs and addiction thereto.

The  families are threatened by parents leaving their children behind to find work  abroad.  Decent housing,  they do not have.  How to satisfy their needs,  they do not know.  How to send their children to school,  they have not the means.   So is it that the answer of the government to all these is to prevent the birth of children through all possible ways and means to impede the coming of life.

The Country is suffering not only from corruption and consequent maldevelopment but also from ideological colonization.  While the former guarantees the continued poverty of the Filipinos, the latter undermines their sound  cultural traits and moral value system.  Unfilipinos they ultimately become.

So the work begins:

The Clergy have to minister to the people not only by attending  to their spiritual but also material needs, not simply  by catering to their heavenly quest but also by looking after their earthly preoccupations.  This pastoral ministry is in perfect accord  with the two fundamental  Commandments  of Love of God and Love of Neighbor – neither simply one or the other but both.

The Religious have to look after the human welfare – the mental, ethical, social –requirements of those committed to their care, those who ask and/or need their attention, those who are lost and need their care.  More than anything else, the active Religious Vocation is meant for serving others.  It is in serving others that they find their real self.

The Laity have to be attentive to the cries for help of their fellow laymen and women, their fellow married couples, their fellow fathers and mothers.  More than the Clergy and the Religious, they understand  better the aspirations of those who have the same vocation.  The Laity is the wealth of the Church – particularly in the Philippines.

Friday, January 16, 2015

MERCY + COMPASSION = SOLIDARITY



POPE FRANCIS IS HERE! The CATHOLICS are ecstatic! And the FILIPINOS in general are truly blessed by his presence, edified by his examples, and most of all, beneficiaries of his teachings – all essentially in accord with people loving people, with FILIPINOS being more aware of and attentive to the common good of their fellow Pinoys in the spirit of MERCY and COMPASSION and wherefore in the realm of SOLIDARITY.

When someone is alone, companionless, unsociable – avoids others for whatever reason, shuns community for whatever cause – this is known as being solitary. This is usually identified with being lonely, desolate and isolated. When somebody remains in seclusion – stays detached, remains reclusive, lives solo – this is solitude or “solo-flight”. But when someone seeks not only unity but also closeness with others, wants not merely companionship but cooperation with others as well, pursues consolidation of interests and duties with his/her neighbors – this is the essence and implications of “Solidarity” with “solid” (full and compact, durable and tough) as its root word.

Egoism and selfishness, remoteness and isolation, disharmony and divisiveness – these are some of the more common options and consequent actuations of certain individuals, contrary to the meaning and spirit of “Solidarity”. In this case, the losers are the individuals with such negative social particulars. The truth of the matter is that man is a social being, i.e., customarily seeking and living in society herein finding his fellows and having companionship with them and herefrom having his needs satisfied and his aspirations realized. This is why being a loner is a personal liability – having nobody to share his joys and blessings.

It can be rightfully said that sociability is the basis of “Solidarity”. The connatural disposition of man to be with others, herewith sharing his interests and concerns, yearnings and aspirations as well as satisfaction and good fortune – this is the composite causal factor of solidarity. The better person someone is, the more he/she not only keeps but also shares his/her good fortune, the better citizen he/she becomes and the more “Solidarity” the same lives by. Let it be well understood that such a positive and honorable reality as “Solidarity” in no way applies to the groups of gangsters, thieves, and other criminals. Reason: As “Solidarity” is categorically pro-society, criminality is definitely anti-society – considering that criminals are but for themselves and thus against everybody else who are in fact the objects of their evil deed, the victims of the crimes they commit. It is good to note that there is no “Solidarity” among evil individuals – but only conspiracy along the infamous solemn oath of “Omerta” among Mafia members who are all anti-social.


Solidarity through mercy and compassion – this is a signal composite social blessing. And this is what Pope Francis stands for.