Wednesday, December 31, 2014

THE TRUTH ABOUT MAN



Man has to be looked upon and thus treated as a whole being – with body and spirit, heart and soul, mind and will, conscience and consciousness.  Often repeated is the profound and interesting truth that man exists with the minerals, grows with the plants, feels with the animals and thinks with the angelic spirits.  Thus it is that the question as to the place of man in the sphere of nature as well as in the realm of human society has to be duly addressed and properly answered.  Otherwise, man himself is the loser.

The most profound meaning of man – of human living existence – can be drawn from the free quest for, and ardent pursuit of truth that offers him not only the rightful direction in his existence but also true fullness of life.  Philosophies and creeds, civilizations and cultures are some of the factors that propose their own interpretations of the universe and of human society.  So is it that the direction of human existence, of human society as well as of human history, depends on the said quest for truth.  The Social Doctrine of the Church squarely and clearly addresses these concerns here and now with the vision of the hereafter and beyond.

This is why during these times, first, it is a special and distinct challenge to know the truth of the being known and called “man” as a pivotal question in this age of superior science and technological findings.  The second but still significant and relevant challenge, is to find the understanding and moderation of pluralism in the ways of man's thinking, cultural values and ethical choices.  And there is the third yet also important concern brought about by  globalization that has its marked influence in human destiny, viz., where  humanity is going and how will it all end.

The Social Doctrine of the Church draws and acquires its inherent significance and standing relevance  from the following main reasons:  One, the Church as a people is not only preoccupied with the truths hereafter but also with the here and now realities continuously affecting man.  Two, the Church as an institution has accompanied humanity – in its blessings and misfortunes, in its joys and sorrows, in war and peace – for more than two thousand years, and counting.  Three, the Church that is “in the world but not of the world”, thus journeys with humanity hereto offering her rather long existence and vast experience – remembering well the maxim that “Experience is the best teacher”.

The Social Doctrine of the Church is nothing else and nothing less than the distilled product and integral teaching of the Church based on the nature and dignity of every human person as gathered and learned in the course of history loaded with historical realities that eventually prove as either beneficial or detrimental to every man, woman and child.  The Church offers her teachings in solidarity with humanity accompanying this with utmost respect and genuine love.  Reason:  the Church is pro-man from the latter's conception to his ultimate demise – from the first day of the year to the last.