Literatus: Mysteries in health-A A +A
Tuesday, October 23, 2012
THERE is a mystery that moves around and between the health of one’s soul and that of one’s body. And that mystery has deep implications in our lives as religious Cebuanos, as well as ardent believers of a healthy lifestyle. Today, we veer away from the stark numerical world of medical research into the realm of faith in celebration of the recent canonization of the second Filipino saint, Saint Pedro of Cebu.
But even in this subject we cannot always do away with scientific thinking, and the use of statistics as far as it can be applied.
Of the two Filipino saints—Lorenzo of Manila and Pedro of Cebu—there had been interesting similarities that can help us appreciate the religious charism of Filipinos.
First, both saints are lay faithful, not clergy. When we look at the preponderance of saints around the world, most of them had been largely clerics—popes, bishops, priests, religious brothers and nuns. Even in the absence of statistics, it is a safe guess that more than 80 percent of declared saints in Christendom had been clerics.
But not here in the Philippines. Our rate so far is 100 percent laity.
Second, both saints obtained holiness through martyrdom. They received the baptism of blood much like the martyrs among the first-century Christians. They gave their lives for the faith. Contrast that to Catholics who abandoned their faith for lesser grounds. The Philippine Church too, continues to defend its role as the last bastion of Christian morality if not in Asia, but around the world, second only to The Vatican. While countries bowed to the mugging of unchristian values, the Philippines withstood the assault against the sanctity of marriage by repelling calls for legalizing divorce and homosexual marriages. She too fights a continuing war against the evil influence attacking the sanctity of life by repelling calls towards institutionalizing abortion through sneaky legal avenues.
Third, both saints died outside the country, serving the needs of people not their own. Saint Lorenzo of Manila died in Japan. Saint Pedro of Cebu died in the Marianas.
Our salvation as a people seems to be coming from our service to others. Is it
surprising that our present economy obtained much of its “salvation” from dollar remittances of Filipino overseas workers?
In the point of health, the mystery continues to amaze us how a healthy spiritual life can inevitably lead to death of the “body.” That may contrast our desire to live a healthy lifestyle. But in the higher order of things, a consistency can be appreciated. It is always through dying in ourselves that spiritual health can be arrived at. We don’t have to give up our healthy practices. But we do have to give up our unhealthy obsessions to it.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 24, 2012.