Saving the Soul, Saving the Nation
There is a blanket of darkness enveloping our land, our people. Beneath this blanket all struggle to see the light, the truth. Many, struggling to see through the darkness merely see passing, fleeting and shallow illusions.
There are those who really revel in this darkness. Who take joy in seeing others suffer as they wade in prosperity gained through evil deeds. Those who would do whatever they can to ensure that this darkness will persist and flourish throughout the land.
However, some are well-intentioned. They believe that they truly wish to dispel the darkness… If only I had power, more power, I will penetrate and ultimately destroy this darkness. If only I had money, more money, much money I can buy a different blanket, less black, more translucent and transparent, so that I can see more and better. And yes, it will help, if I had more followers, preferably strong and armed soldiers who, with their arms and weapons wrench away this unwanted darkness and blackness. Thus, many have been deceived and misled by the illusions of power, wealth and the awesome force of arms and men.
For centuries, nations and entire peoples struggled to see through the blinding darkness of illusion. In the struggle, some persisted while some gave up and simply accepted the illusion as fact. Those whose inner world are muddled, cluttered and polluted by illusion are rather jealous, suspicious, aggressive and usually violent. Give them authority, position and clout, they can corrupt, destroy and kill.
Those who did not give up, slowly realized another power, higher and deeper, the power of soul. The Filipino soul, the Filipino “kaluluwa” dwells within, “nasa loob, nasa kaloob-looban, nasa kalooban.” Here, in the Filipino soul, lies our hope for dispelling the darkness.
Philippine Society is now struggling under a thick blanket of darkness. Power, money and armed force, Guns, Goons and Gold are the idols holding sway over the lives of so many leaders, allowing them to keep others conveniently huddled with them under the blanket of illusion. Recently, in Malacañang, so many, as if dazed and mesmerized, picked up brown paper bags with their much coveted contents and quietly walked away. All but a few, behave like hapless creatures possessed by a power impatient to cast its spell. This power seemed to nervously pulsate inside those brown paper bags. Many then possessed the bags—or was it the other way around?
A few led, by Among Ed, dared to reveal and unmask the fake power within the brown paper bag, P 500, 000 in cash. They saw that beyond the tempting illusion lay a trap set by those who would have the darkness prevail over all.
Our Catholic Bishops decried the situation of “moral bankruptcy.” And so it is in a country where money and not morality possesses the leaders and the led. But to what extent are we morally bankrupt? How many of our leaders are afflicted with this sorry state—who, where, how? Is this blight confined to politics? How about the other sectors? Business? Church? Schools? Entertainment? Etc?
It is easy and convenient for some to seem blameless as they judge others, as though they are not equally culpable. However, isn’t it becoming more and more difficult in this country, to come off clean, untainted, unstained by social and political grime?
Dirty money, idolatrous money has robbed us of our dignity and freedom. It has corrupted our leaders and poisoned their followers. Many of us have allowed our most dearly-valued principles to be compromised by ambitions for self-advancement.
This is why today, we pray and carry out a special ritual to ask for the grace that will empower us to lift the blanket of darkness and liberate our minds, hearts, souls and bodies. To retrieve what we lost and return to where we belong.
The pot is the soul of our nation, the soul of each citizen. In this pot we burn the god of money and extinguish the flames with the waters of life and purity. In these ashes we plant hope…and ask Comelec and our Bishops to join us in nurturing this endangered treasure…
Fr. Roberto P. Reyes
October 22, 2007