Luab: It is the heart that perceives-A A +A
Saturday, January 26, 2013
IT IS the heart that perceives, that discerns, not reason. Last Jan.14, I lost my driver of long standing to the taxi world. He approached me and said that his salary of minimum wage plus fringe benefits, which included free meals and lodging, was no longer enough for his family. He has eight children.
I go to Mass early in the mornings and on three days of the week I have to pay overtime from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. due to my apostolic commitments. My heart bled at his pronouncements, especially since his resignation had to take place immediately for he was already accepted by a taxi company. But since he told me that the minimum net income of a cab driver is P1,000 from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., I had no choice but to let go.
I have been riding in taxis since Jan.14. I’ve interviewed a few drivers and at least three of them said, ‘’Yes, we do make P1,000 per day during the months of October, November, December and January.’ We have also been driving for a long time now and we know how to reach this amount. We also have no vices.’’ I was glad to hear this and I’m praying that my ex-driver will be able to follow his dream.
The first time he tried to leave me was several months ago. His wife and I were able to use reason with him that a driver for a private car was more lucrative and less tiring. However, this time, I understood that there comes a time in one’s life when the grass looks "greener in another pasture" or "the apple out of reach is sweeter than the one within reach." Perhaps this saying could also be true.
Recently I saw on HBO the movie A Perfect Day, starring Rob Lowe where I picked up the line that says, "Life is fragile. Love is not!’’ Reflecting on this line, I saw that the saying is true. From my experience love is strong.
Once upon a time in the process of loving and grieving, I discovered the strength that love brings. Love teaches us to forgive, to pray for the one who hurt us. Love is so strong that it erases all ill feelings and accepts that life has its twists and turns and sometimes one falls off the bus of life. After a time, the mistake of the heart is forgiven and forgotten. After all, “Time is a healer of all wounds.”
I guess when one’s ego has been taught to decrease, being loved is no longer the "be all and end all" of things. One just gives love. One cannot control anyone’s emotions.
One, however, can be discerning enough to just love freely without expecting anything in return. That is the way God loves. Should we do less?
I have also noticed several kinks in our culture that the heart often discerns. There have been occasions when we get visitors from out of town, who arrive just in time for lunch. So we say, “Mangaon ta.” The usual answer is, “Busog pa mi.” This response is found in our culture. It’s called kaikog (or keeping face; it’s not really shame, but it’s more of we don’t want to be a bother). So how does the heart remedy this situation? We say, “I’ve not yet started. Please, let’s eat, so I can have company. I need you to eat with me!” These words work.
I also remember a time, when people would come down from the hills to bring sweet potatoes, bananas, or eggs in order to exchange these for clothes. The brain tells us they need the food more than we do. The tendency is just to give the clothes, especially if our kitchen cupboard already has these items and we really have clothes to spare. But the heart sees desire for self-worth, for dignity. They are not beggars.
They want to barter what to them has value for what they need. Discernment does not come easily but it comes when the heart is attuned to God in prayer.
Christian meditation really has helped a lot of us who are in it. We listen in the stillness what the heart hears. We have two Christian meditation groups. Every Wednesday, at the Cenacle House at Banawa and every Friday at St. Gerards room at the Redemptorist convent. We have Sister Sonia Arao on Wednesdays and Fr. Martin Tobin and Fr. Noel Gartlan on Fridays. Both sessions start at 6:15 p.m. and we end at 7:30 p.m.
For more information call me at 2668931 or Abe Lucero at 2366629.
We are all beginners in a journey of stillness where we pray in silence. It is not difficult at all. Everyone is welcome. Do not come with high expectations. Just come and discover for yourselves what prayer, what Christian meditation is. The experience can be so fulfilling.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 27, 2013.