(a priest forever)
Rev. Fr. Rommel M. Arcilla
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.”
This was the very beautiful message from our last Sunday’s gospel. The truth about Jesus being sent to the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through faith in Him. There is also the assurance that, whoever believes in Him will not be condemned.
When we were born, we did not decide on our own, whether to be born or not. We were not even asked what race would we choose or to whose family should we belong. We just realized, one day, that we are here in this world, trying to live our lives no matter how hard it is and no matter the circumstances in life that we are faced with.
I know, most of us may have some inhibitions or bad feelings about our life. Some are asking why they were born. Some others are despairing on how hard life treated them, while other people are simply enjoying it all, the worldly things around them.
One of the most important things in our life is our own awareness of everything around us, the people around, the events that are taking place around us, and everything that we see and hear. Awareness is important because it becomes the basis of our decisions and action, good or bad.
Our failure to be aware of those things around us, which may affect our decisions and actions, can sometimes bring us to that feeling of regret. It is because we acted or decided on some things without even knowing what really must be done. We must always be aware that, in this world, there are a lot of good things, as well as those bad things, that we can do or choose. To avoid the sad reality of regret is to be aware of these things. Whether we choose the good, or the bad, no one else is to blame except ourselves.
Another important aspect of our life, aside from awareness, is our acceptance that we are just but weak and limited human beings. This is so easy to accept, actually, because we all know that we are not perfect. No matter how hard we may try but, only a few (if there are a few) can attain perfection in life, a perfection patterned to the perfection of Jesus. So, this acceptance can help us embrace our own miserable life because of our sinfulness, and also accept the truth that we can do nothing without the grace of God to help us going on.
I had made a lot of failures in my own life because there were so many times in my past when I believed only in my own abilities and capacities. I thought, then, I can do things in my own way of doing them, even if sometimes I am really pushed against the wall of my self-centeredness. I mean, I will still push and try hard to do what I want to do even if it means going against the most turbulent winds and seas. I knew that, when I encountered all those bad things in my life, I was not aware of what was going to happen and I never accepted the fact that I am just human, needing the grace of God to help me out and save me from those oceans of evil around me.
Most of us had faced situations like what I experienced. Some people had totally lost control and direction along the way. Most of them are dead, some are inside their prison cells, and some had been admitted into mental facilities because they had lost their sanity. Some managed to look beyond their imaginary life and were able to rise up and face the hard realities of life. At least, they were made aware of things around them, and were able to accept their own misdeeds and vulnerabilities, so they decided to accept, just the same, the healing grace of God.
Sometimes, things just happen to us without any warning at all. Natural calamities, illnesses, deaths, and some other problems can shatter our peace and tranquility. But, the effects of these things, whether we get even stronger, or succumb to the negative feeling of despair, will always depend on our decision and action. If we have faith in God’s love and in His promise to take us to where He is now, then maybe, we can survive. Belief in God is required of us if we want to be saved. If we want to have that eternal life, only our faith in a God of love can help us.
Not so long ago, a generous person asked me why is it that my articles here in this column is not consistent. I mean, sometimes I contribute and sometimes I do not. I told her that it was because I lost my laptop, it was destroyed beyond repair, during the super typhoon. At that very moment, she asked her daughter to give me a gadget which she no longer uses and now I have this very beautiful tablet to work on. I was aware of my needs, I accepted my incapacity to provide one for myself, and I had opened up myself to the grace of receiving a gift that I can use for this writing apostolate.
I will continue writing these articles for as long as I can, not because I want to get popular knowing that there are followers of this Sacerdos in Aeternum, but simply because I was able to help a person, who was about to commit suicide, and changed her mind after reading some of my life stories of survival in my own battles in my own life. I never had the chance to know that person but I still pray for her time and again. We are just vessels of His love and grace and we are all being challenged to make those graces be felt by other people through our own life story and simple gestures of inspiring people to accept God’s love and grace. After all, He died for us on the cross, not to condemn us, but simply to love and save us. We are God’s BELOVED and we must live on to that fact. God bless us all!