Sunday, November 16, 2008

heartbeats: rear view mirrors

Not knowing how to drive and having only a minimal knowledge on the rules of driving I never got to know the importance of rear view mirrors until an incident three years ago. I once rode a car driven by a friend which has no rear view mirrors on it. We were happily driving and talking when all of a sudden just as we were about to overtake a loud thump jolted the car leading my friend to scamper for the brake pedal. We were bumped by another car which smashed a door all because my driver friend did not see what was coming up from behind him when he was about to overtake. 

heartbeats: making mistakes

As a young priest I make a lot of mistakes. In my desire to give instant solutions to the problems of people who come to me, sometimes I would give the wrong advice and bite my lips afterwards after giving some considerable thought on the problem. Sometimes I would react so haphazardly sending the wrong messages and hurt a lot of people. There were even times when my judgments err on important issues presenting me with no chance to redeem myself. During those times I would sulk and despair for days. I would worry and get so irritated leading me to create more and even greater mistakes. 

heartbeats: teachers

Believe it or not (this is for unbelieving students) I have wonderful experiences with my teachers. Throughout the twenty one years I stayed in school I met a lot of them who made lasting impressions on me and made an impact in my life. By now I could not really recall their names, only those scant memories of their faces and the wonderful lessons they taught me.

heartbeats: an appointed time for everything

The month of June is a month dedicated to the environment. This is intended to promote awareness of the perilous situation of our environment today, its effect in our lives and what we can do to improve it. Reflecting on these environmental issues, I came upon a beautiful passage in the bible which to my mind could help us develop an attitude of concern and respect for the resources entrusted to our care. This will include, as we shall see later, not just our environment, but also our bodies, our work, and even the woman’s cycle which is at the heart of responsible parenthood or the natural family planning method (NFP). The passage that I am referring to is taken from the book of Ecclesiates (3. 1-8) which begins by saying: “There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. . . . a time to plant and a time to uproot the plant . . . a time to embrace and a time to be far away from embraces . . . a time to be silent and a time to speak.”

Saturday, November 15, 2008

heartbeats: the sign of the cross

We may not be so aware of it or so conscious of what it means when we’re doing it. We flex our hands hurriedly from corner to corner in a gesture we have been so familiar with since childhood -- the sign of the cross. It has become so ordinary, so casual and so haphazardly done so that through the years it gets smaller and smaller by force of habit instead of encompassing the whole body which it did the first time we learned it when we were small. We begin and end our prayers with it. We rise and sleep doing it. It precedes the most important activities in our lives and our most simple mundane concerns -- taking a test, studying, before eating or making important decisions or just simply shooting a ball. It accompanies all kinds of emotions such as anxiety, fear, excitement or a mere feeling of relief. And it is done by almost everybody, from the most impious criminal to the most rigid religious fanatic, from the businessman whose decision could either mean millions or bust to a simple jeepney driver.

heartbeats: co-creators

Comic strips can tie your hands. Whenever I read one I feel like I could do something to right the wrongful situation, but could not. Its the same when I watch TV. I would fret around, complaining out loud how stupid the characters are when it could have been done that way or this way. And somebody will always remind me behind my back saying, “anhon mo kay amo ina ang sugo sang direktor.” That would shake me back into reality. I was just watching a story coming out from the idiot box.