Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Monday, March 28, 2005

Gaudium Paschale

One of the things I have realised during the past year in Manila, living among the poor of the city (and it was exactly a year on Easter Sunday), is that poverty means living with uncertainty and a lack of security. I think this is why the people I have met place so much of their trust in God and hope in his grace and mercy. They do not depend on wealth or power or influence or position. They do not depend on their knowledge or strength or the government and due authority. They have learnt that they can depend on no one but God because life is so fraught with uncertainty.

We too who hail from the more prosperous countries of South East Asia and the West would benefit from this lesson - to trust not in princes or in wealth but in the Lord who is risen. In the midst of the apostles' uncertainties and fears and the anxieties of Mary Magdalene, apostle to the apostles, Jesus rose from the dead, vanquishing sin and death to proclaim that he overcomes all our fears, all our unncertainties and pain. The one thing that we can be certain about because Christ is risen is this: He will make all things well; even death is not final; even the bleakest uncertainties will have an Easter outcome.

It is this faith, this certitude that the Filipino people exemplify so amply in their daily lives. In this sense, Easter is everyday here in the Philippines for these are people of hope in the hardest situations, faith even when battered by corruption, oppression and evil and Resurrection joy!

Why this meditation on uncertainty? Simply because this blog is over 24 hours late. I had wanted to share an Easter message with everyone at 2am on Easter Sunday as I came in from the Easter vigil... but the phones were dead and I could not get online. We had no idea why the phones in the entire area were dead and we did not know when we could get it back. We lived in helpless uncertainty. It is the same when the electricity is cut and we remain without for hours on end and wonder when it will come back. Or when the water supply to my room runs dry and I have to lug gallons of water from the main tap up the stairs and I wonder how many days or weeks this drought will persist. The very amenities we take for granted in the First World are the things we can not be certain will not fail us. And this is just the beginning of the list of uncertainties here in the Philippines...

This afternoon, the phones were restored. No one knows what caused their failure to begin with and no one asks. We just accept that these uncertainties are a part of life and we are thankful for their restoration. I know I am. I used to take things for granted... but now, I am thankful. I may still complain... but I am thankful and grateful for the many blessings and gifts that come from the Father above.

But today in particular, I am thankful for salvation won for us by Christ through his redeeming death and his glorious Resurrection!

ALLELUIA! This day was made by the Lord. Let us rejoice and be glad in it! ALLELUIA!


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