VOICE FROM THE SOUTH
By FR. EMETERIO BARCELON, SJ
With Internet available in all public places and government schools, there will be greater access to Internet services like Youtube where some of the best preachers are available to everybody. You even have the Bible and the Missal available. Beyond ETWN and Deep in History, you have excellent preachers of the Word of God. Some of the best are Dr. Scott Hanh and Dr. Ravi Zacharias. There are many others like Dr. Petri. Of course, there also those who have lost their faith and are preaching against the Church. This availability of the Internet will be a great boon to the faith and the livelihood of the ordinary Filipino.
Dr. Ravi Zacharias is excellent in the philosophical underpinnings of the faith. He is not Catholic but probably Anglican but what he preaches is acceptable to the Catholic faith. He has one advice to other preachers and that is to prepare. This should be taken well especially by priests in their Sunday sermons. This is an area in which sermons on Sunday can improve. Frequently, this is the only way in which the faithful may have an intellectual appreciation and growth in the understanding of the faith. This is a real problem when we get degrees and even doctorates in secular subjects but leave our understand of our faith in second grade instructions for First Communion.
One of the teachings of Dr. Zacharias that struck me was that Europe emphasized rationality but the western part of the Atlantic emphasized moral rationality. This made a lot of difference. Another Youtube preacher recounts how around the first half of the eighteenth century, the Protestant to America began to be exclusively for the upper class.
Then there was the revival to commitment to and love of Jesus and there was this struggle between Protestant groups. Unfortunately this was quite bitter but it had good effects in that there was the move to personalize the faith in each one. To a certain extent this is what is happening to the Catholics of today. The faith is well explained to the educated but is not reaching the unschooled. We must not let this happen in our country. In many parts of South America there is movement out of the Church into a more personalized adoration of God and love of Jesus. This needs a lot of available resources to teach the faith. We may have the faith but we must protect it with the good understanding of it. In the cities there may be better access to teaching and intellectual appreciation of our faith but I am afraid that we are neglecting the lower classes and the rural areas.
Every generation has to be taught all over again. Each child that comes into this world has to be nurtured in the faith,. We must not only adhere to the faith but also understand it and be able to defend it. Besides going to Mass on Sunday, we have to have a personal commitment to Christ and love for Him. This has to be repeated again and again to every child and from generation to generation. We must not only adore God at Mass on Sundays but also commit ourselves to the love of Jesus with our whole soul, our whole mind, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.