Wednesday, March 19, 2008

pietistic comfort zone

To recall one’s sins against God and others. To repent for violations of the Commandments of God and the Laws of Nature. To make amends for sins of commission done as well as for sins of omission realized. It can be said that this series of three agenda items is what is both normative and imperative particularly during this Holy Week—specially for the Christian Faithful. Anyone who would dare say or claim that he or she is sinless, is not a member of humanity.

The yearly commemoration of the painful passion, cruel death and glorious resurrection of Christ is also meant for the Christian Faithful to once again be conscious and receptive of the following realities: To expect difficulties of life. To accept sufferings in living. To be grateful for the blessings in life. Anybody who thinks, claims or expects otherwise, does not belong to this real world.

The living of the faith, the saying of prayers, the doing of penances—this is another threefold observance that is well in order during the Holy Week. While all these and more should be regular entries in people’s regular agenda, they nevertheless acquire greater significance and relevance during this signal and distinct days of listening to, learning from and following Christ—in His Way of the Cross.

While Holy Week has its over-all finality of people reconciling with their God and their neighbors, for one reason of another, on account of this or that particular state of life and/or office in hand, there are those who—by engaging in intense self-love and living in their own self-made world—have recourse to Holy Week for self-forgiveness and self-reconciliation. This strange but true phenomenon is not merely intriguing to others but also self-deceiving to the person concerned.

Credulity, piety and religiosity. Teary eyes, quivering lips and nice feeling. Self-condonation, self-satisfaction and self-love. These are the combinations for making the Holy Week one big hallucinatory COMFORT ZONE. There are always individuals who can make themselves their own little gods, who can thus re-write the Commandments, and who can eventually give self-absolution on their own puffed-up selves. Thus it is that these somehow rare persons determine their own value system, design their own moral norms, and make themselves feel that they are actually living saints. They delude themselves in feeling good and doing great. They are comfortable in their self-deception. They are proud of their falsified holy life. Theirs will be a great surprise when confronted by really honest and upright people, when required by God to render a true and real accounting of their misdeeds.

While such self-deluded individuals are in truth pitiful, they are also in fact dangerous when wielding power, exercising authority and wielding influence. And there are characters like these in the country today.

19 March 2008