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Monday, February 26, 2018 26° Partly cloudy

Christ saved us; now let’s save ourselves


By Fr. Bel San Luis, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Fr. Bel R. San Luis, SVD

Once the great Catholic English writer G.K. Chesterton was playing a little quiz game with some friends. He asked, “If you were shipwrecked and alone on a deserted island, what one book, above all others, would you wish to have with you?”

* * *

One of the friends immediately said “The Bible,” and gave a pious reason for his selection.

Another said, “A volume of Shakespeare,” and gave his personal reason.

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Chesterton said, “Well, if I were allowed just one book on that deserted island, I would choose a manual of instruction on boat building.”

Chesterton didn’t intend to belittle the power of the Bible but he chose the most practical means.

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Christmas is the greatest event of our redemption brought about by Christ’s coming to our world. But remember. He already saved us more than 2,000 years ago. What’s needed is our personal response.

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We should now do our part in saving ourselves. In the above story, G.K.Chesterton tells us to be resourceful and practical in confronting our problems, whether economic, social, political, or spiritual.

As the oft-quoted saying goes, “God helps those who help themselves.”

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Once a middle-aged man approached me for counseling. “I lost my job, Father,” he lamented. “I’ve been praying to God to help me. I make novenas in Quiapo, but my prayers are not answered?”

* * *

After listening patiently to his story, I asked for referrals. I rang up the office where he worked and, to my surprise, a different version came out. The man owed the company P20,000. The manager told him to pay the amount first before returning to his job.

* * *

But in the meantime, he was not doing anything practical, like borrowing money or doing some odd jobs in order to gradually liquidate the debt, except to pray.

Praying is, of course, important. But along with it, he should have raised small amounts to gradually pay back the company.

* * *

On the national level, we as a nation should help save our country from the morass of poverty. Public officials, for instance, should shun corrupt practices like plundering the government coffers so that the funds be will used for much-needed social services.

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For instance, some public hospitals, especially in poor provinces, are gasping for much-needed medical supplies and equipments due to lack of funds.

Billions are lost in smuggling as in some government agencies like the Bureau of Customs and funds are lost due to government scams and ghost projects like the notorious pork barrel and grand-scale briberies.

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The Greek philosopher Plato once said: “Poverty consists not in the decrease of man’s resources, but in the increase of one’s greed.”

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Yes, Christ saved us when he came on Christmas. He is still helping us but he doesn’t work miracles to solve our own problems. We should work hand-in-hand with him to save ourselves.

Let’s do our best and god will do the rest.

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Support Seminarians. Seminarians are our future priests and bishops. We don’t have INSTANT priests and bishops. They all start as seminarians. We cannot have them if we don’t form, nurture and support seminarians now.

Hence, this appeal.

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God Bless — the latest donors to our Adopt-A-Seminarian scholarship program: Rosario Suntay, Charlito-Lillian Gaviola, Jaime-Anita Alanis, Jo Valencia.

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Others who want to help may e-mail me at:

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