In God’s Company-A A +A
The Living Spirit
Sunday, October 7, 2012
IN MY previous columns I have dealt with God’s Face, his Name and his Place. This time, I would like to speak about God’s Company. For this purpose, I want to quote a passage from Psalm 27, which has the general motto: In God’s company there is no fear.
One thing I ask of Yahweh,
one thing I seek:
to live in the house of Yahweh
all the days of my life,
to enjoy the sweetness of Yahweh
and to consult him in his Temple.
Yahweh is our God and that means: He is there for us. As Psalm 27 says: therefore, we must be in his house, in his company, all the days of our life. Then there is nothing we should be afraid of; there is no fear neither for your fellowmen nor for your enemies. In fact, we shouldn’t have any enemies at all. That is why God said also: love your enemies.
Of course, that is easier said than done. We must try to adopt an over-all Christian outlook in life. Pope Benedict XVI said in a message to the International Forum of Catholic Action (Fiac) held in Romania last August 22 to 26 that the Catholic lay people must see themselves as ‘co-responsible’ for the Church’s life as well as that of the Christian community and society, rather than as mere ‘collaborators’ with the authorities in Church or government.
What strikes me here is that the Pope uses the term collaborator. As I have said in a previous column: collaboration you do with the enemy, with your neighbor you cooperate. That is how we have to look at the authorities in the Church as well as in the government.
From Monday to Friday last week, our politicians have filed their certificates of candidacy (COC) for the 2013 elections. Some are forming alliances with the administration, others with the opposition. Traditional politicians tend to look at each other as opposition and as enemies. They fight each other as collaborators. But some of our new politicians speak of constructive opposition. I think this is a more Christian outlook: you cooperate with each other in a critical way for the good of the country. You can have opposite ideas about running the government but you cooperate with each other in a constructive way for the benefit of everybody. That means also you cooperate in a critical way; you should not give up the moral principles and values you stand for.
The same goes for the lay people in the Church versus the hierarchy or the clergy. There should be mutual cooperation and understanding for the good of the community. Traditionally the Church used the concept of ‘collegiality’ for the relationship between the Pope and the Bishops in the Church, but collegiality should go down the line to the level of the priests and the laity as well. There should be a relationship of collegiality between the clergy and the laity. That means no religious belief should ever be imposed by force against someone’s conscience. For instance, in the case of the RH bill, you may agree or disagree, you may oppose it whatever your conscience tells you to do, even if it is against the teachings of the Church.
Now we have this case of that ‘Ivory’ priest in Cebu. The Inquirer of Oct. 3 reported that Cardinal Vidal, who even promoted that priest to monsignor, came now also to the defense of that priest. Instead of praising the author of that article in the National Geographic for exposing this big anomaly and sin of a priest in the Church, the Cardinal wants the author declared ‘persona non grata’. Is this not collaboration with the enemy, with evil? This is treason, the very opposite of collegiality. For me, you don’t do that if you are in God’s Company.
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Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on October 08, 2012.