Fr. Roy Cimagala (The Freeman) - March 22, 2013 - 12:00am

March, of course, marks the end of the school year. Baccalaureate Masses and commencement exercises will take place. Graduation speakers will do their best to give their go-go speeches. Families of graduates will happily get some high, a salutary lift.

In all this, I wonder if the fresh batch of university outputs would be up to par as to the challenges of the times.  In fact, we can ask if everyone in the schools who will move up to the next level can competently handle the increasingly complicated world.

How about the schools themselves? Are their programs and curricula attuned to the times? And the teachers who are not supposed to give technical information only to the students, but should also be involved in the wholistic process of human formation? And the parents? Are they adequately equipped to take on the new challenges? There are now many crossroads to face. And the choices are getting subtler and subtler. Even the distinction between good and evil that was quite clear and sharp before now seems to be obliterated. Just the other day, I noticed that there seems to be a drift toward legalizing same-sex unions in many so-called developed countries.

Their leaders have openly endorsed it, describing it as good for society or that its time has finally come. Some have described it as one giant step toward progress and human maturity.

One former US president even wrote recently an article explaining why he has changed his mind about gay marriage. He previously signed into law a Defense of Marriage Act, but now wants to overturn it, practically branding that law as intrinsically discriminatory.

He said that the country has met this crossroads often enough that it would already know the right path to choose. Nice words, but always a politician’s words, which means they should be taken with a grain of salt.

In our country, the enactment into law of the notorious RH Bill is making an opening for the legalization of abortion, divorce and God knows what else. In fact, many politicians are already sounding off and stirring public opinion. We have to be wary of politicians. Politicians, by choice or circumstance, usually take the social pulse no deeper than the surface. They obviously serve some purpose, alright, but it would be dangerous and wrong to entrust our entire destiny into their hands. We need leaders whose vocation, vision and skill go beyond the skin-deep. That means that together with politicians who have to be regarded in their proper place and role in society, we need other leaders who can lead us especially in the more important aspects of our life.

Thus, we need to recognize the importance of spiritual leaders. No point disparaging them, in spite of their own share of defects and mistakes, just as we cannot totally disregard our political leaders.

Obviously we have to be discerning always. Let’s hope the modern world can disentangle itself from that unfair bias against spiritual leaders.

In these times of many controversial and hot-button issues, we need to be very clear and well-grounded on the doctrine of our faith, if we still believe in our Christian faith.

Yes, we need to study the doctrine thoroughly and assimilate it such that we can live our daily life also under the light and guidance of our faith. Toward this end, the study of the Catechism of the Catholic Church should be an ongoing affair.

We have to remember that the doctrine elucidated there are not merely ideological theories, but truths that can bring us to our ultimate end. We need the proper dispositions to study and imbibe it into our life.

In this regard, we have to be well focused on the example of Christ whose unwavering teaching of the truth was pursued always in the context of humility and charity, of obedience to his Father’s will and abiding compassion for everyone. It was this attitude that ultimately led him to his death on the cross, something that we too should be ready to take, if we really want to follow Christ, which is what an integral life of faith would entail.

This is the only way that we avoid the pitfall of self-righteousness that often becomes the reason many people get alienated from Christ and his Church. Unless we are ready to take on what Christ faced and suffered, our efforts to proclaim and defend the truth about ourselves would just be futile.

We need to go all the way, the way of Christ!

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