We must pray for deliverance from evil
SHOOTING STRAIGHT - Bobit S. Avila (The Freeman) - February 26, 2015 - 12:00am

We are now in the first week of Lent, and it is time to remind our readers to spend some time to pray, pray, and pray for our country and offer some kind of sacrifice or mortification for our sins, especially the sins of omission and hope for the conversion of sinners. Too many of us Catholics mistakenly believe that we no longer need conversion because we are all baptized Catholics, that those who need conversion are folks from other religions who wish to join our Catholic Church. This is wrong thinking. All of us need conversion, as conversion is our way to God.

For this Lenten season, I will be writing to you some tips or reminders on how we can make a good reflection for the coming Holy Week. So allow me to reprint a piece from a booklet that the Vatican published for the Catholic faithful to prepare themselves for the Lenten Season, which I got from a Catholic website called Zenit.

"The Lenten season is a time of spiritual combat in which "we have our gaze fixed upon Easter, which is the definitive victory of Jesus against the Evil One." With these words, Pope Francis addressed the faithful gathered in St. Peter's Square on the First Sunday of Lent. The Holy Father reflected on today's Gospel, which recalls Jesus' 40 days in the desert where Satan tempted him. During that time, the Pope said, Christ engaged in "close combat" and was victorious over temptation.

"The Church reminds us of that mystery at the beginning of Lent, so that it may give us the perspective and the meaning of this time, which is a time of combat," he said. "A spiritual combat against the spirit of evil; and while we cross the Lenten "desert", we have our gazed fixed upon Easter, which is the definitive victory of Jesus against the Evil One, against sin and against death."

Francis went on to say that the meaning of the First Sunday of Lent is to place ourselves on the path of Christ, who is "the road that leads to life."

With this piece, let us all reflect on what is happening to our country, especially this week when we are commemorating the 29th anniversary of the EDSA People's Power Revolution, in which well-meaning Filipinos are asking themselves where did they go wrong? In truth, a great majority of the Filipino people have analyzed themselves to death, and it only leads to one conclusion… that the system of governance in this country is so below par to our neighboring nations, we could never hope to catch up with them unless the Filipino people grab hold of their senses and rid themselves of those forces of evil that have only caused untold poverty to our people.

Indeed, our centralized type of governance, which has been made worse under the incompetent leadership of Pres. Benigno "PNoy" Aquino III, has hurled our country back into the past. How many times did we write in this corner that the largest centralized government in the world collapsed in its own weight and I'm referring to the unlamented Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics  a.k.a. the Iron Curtain. Because it could no longer financially sustain its puppet regimes ranging from Cuba all the way to Africa, the USSR crumbled and like dominoes, the Communist nations of Yugoslavia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Georgia, Ukraine, and East Germany all broke away from the clutches of the USSR's central authority.

I have no more doubt that the residential system of governance in this country has not helped propel our nation into the 21st century. Let me remind our readers that the last time we really had a well-crafted constitution was in 1935, done via a constitutional convention (con-con). But by 1971, that constitution, which was made during the Commonwealth times, was rather outdated. So in 1971, a con-con was called.

But in the midst of fixing the 1935 constitution, then Pres. Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law on Sept. 21, 1972 and turned into a dictator. Pres. Marcos saw that he could use the con-con delegates to solidify his power, so he literally hijacked the 1973 constitution through a very infamous payola campaign. This is why 29 years ago after the EDSA Revolt of 1986, Pres. Corazon C. Aquino removed the 1973 constitution in favor of putting up a temporary Freedom Constitution.

Then Pres. Cory went on to create her own constitution which was erroneously ratified in 1987 giving the Filipino people no choice as it was a Yes to a Cory created constitution or if you voted No, Pres. Cory would have continued to rule with the Freedom Constitution without a Congress.

But 29 years after EDSA, the Philippines is becoming a failed state. It can only be because our political elite has a vise grip on political power, especially when they introduced the PCOS machines, which could be manipulated to elect only those candidates that they want to win. This is the evil of politics that Pope Francis meant when he said, "A spiritual combat against the spirit of evil; and while we cross the Lenten "desert."  What we need today is to pray for deliverance and make a better nation by ourselves.

leo_lastimosa@abs-cbn.com.

AQUINO CATHOLIC CHURCH CONSTITUTION CORAZON C EAST GERMANY EVIL ONE FERDINAND MARCOS FIRST SUNDAY OF LENT FREEDOM CONSTITUTION POPE FRANCIS
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