VOICE FROM THE SOUTH
By EMETERIO BARCELON, SJ
There is grave danger that in our country, as in South America, the poorer classes have little knowledge of the most precious jewel that they have, their Faith. In the old days, with processions and home recitations of the Angelus and the Rosary and other prayers basic to the the faith are preserved. Now many of these helps no longer exist. Furthermore, there is the competition of radio and TV. The upper classes have the schools to teach them and TV programs like YouTube that broadcast things of the faith. Our poor are left with no help toward knowledge of their faith. Then come the marauders that teach them some things of the Bible and intellectual appreciation of the faith. But they are asked to give up their allegiance to Holy Mother the Church…
There is a joy and peace in the intellectual appreciation of the love of God, but that is only part of faith. We have to know God but also we have to worship Him. Our faith consists basically of three parts — repentance for sins, knowledge of what we can learn of God, and finally worship of Him. This is the basic structure of the Mass. Repentance is followed by reading of scriptures, then adoration of the God-made-man in the Eucharist and the reception of God in the Eucharist.
We have some preachers who tell the ignorant of the love of God. And that is good but the problem comes when they cut them off from the Body of Christ and ending their preaching there: It Is good to tell people of the love of God for them and the reciprocation of that love but it must not be left on the intellectual level. There must follow the adoration and worship of God as we do in the Mass. There are other preachers who do the work of God by preaching of love of God but keep the faithful link to the body of the Church. (For example Be Sanchez and Mike Velarde of El Shaddai.) There is joy and peace in the teaching of the love of God but it must not take the faithful away from the Body of the Church.
We acknowledge we have a problem. We have nuns and many volunteers who have thrown themselves into the problem. We have to teach our people of the love of God for us and His desire for our reciprocating this love. That also we have to love our neighbor and as we ask pardon for our sins, we also have to learn how to forgive others who offend us. We need to expand the work of preachers like Bo Sanchez but especially to the poorer uneducated. Therefore we need preachers in the local languages — Tagalog, Bisaya, and the other local languages.
Of course this is looking at the problem in human terms but we know full well that this is also a spiritual problem and therefore the need for prayer and sacrifice. It is the Lord who initiates all good things and we have to ask Him to bless us as He has blessed us in the past. We are afraid that we may lose this precious jewel but He — and through His mother — ask for His help and grace.