Bridging gap between faith and conduct

Published January 20, 2018, 10:00 PM

by Restituto Cayubit

By Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD
Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

There’s an amusing story about a pet parrot trained by pious nuns to pray. By pulling the right foot, it would recite the  “Our Father”; when pulling the left, it would pray “Hail Mary.”

* * *

One  day a bishop paid the nuns a visit.  To  impress  their distinguished guest, the nuns bragged of their pious bird and gamely prodded him to pull the bird’s feet successively. The bishop eagerly obliged as instructed. He was amazed how the parrot promptly responded, praying the “Our Father,” then the “Hail Mary.”

* * *

The bishop was amused and wondered what it would pray if he pulled both  feet at the same time. Slowly, he grabbed both and the bird got off-balanced and angrily swore, “Lang hiya ka, matanda, mahuhulog ako!” (“Darn you old man, I’ll fall down!”). Poor bishop, he thought the bird would pray “Glory be to the Father.”

* * *

Today is the feast of the Sto. Niño. Just like the feast of the Black Nazarene, mammoth crowds of devotees jam the streets joining long processions and street dancing and pack ing churches full.

This form of devotion shows how religious and prayerful we  Filipinos are.  However,  like that  parrot in the above parable, when we’re in a fix or when the worse takes our better part, we forget  our moral values and Christ’s teachings.

* * *

The piety split between daily conduct and dealings is shown in the corrupt practices of certain government officials and their religious devotion.

This is also observed in  traffic situations where road courtesy is unknown to many drivers, yet they are devotees to the Sto. Niño as shown in mini-images displayed above their windshields.

* * *

Further, we are a country which is vastly Christian but we are among the highest when it comes to graft and corruption, crimes of violence and extra-judicial killings (EJK).

While  popular devotions are  certainly  part  of the Christian  faith,  the  greater challenge is  to  apply  Christ’s teachings of love, honesty, justice, forgiveness in every social, political,  economic sphere of life.

* * *

If we fail to live our true faith, we stand to incur the indictment the Lord said to the hypocrites during his time: “This people honors me with their lips but their hearts are far from Me.”

Let’s bridge the gap between our faith and conduct.

* * *

Support Seminarians. Seminarians are our future priests and bishops. We don’t have INSTANT priests and bishops. They all start as seminarians. We cannot have them if we don’t form, nurture, and support seminarians NOW.

Hence, this appeal.

* * *

God Bless — the latest donors to our Adopt-A-Seminarian scholarship program: Anita Alcasabas, Ana Santos, Marie Rose Navarro.

 * * *

Others who want to help may e-mail me at: [email protected]

 
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