Commentary: Invoking God to be of service
By Bong Pedalino
Maasin City (21 November) -- Critics cannot be faulted for smelling something sinister even in the territory of communicating with the Almighty, the Creator of all things seen and unseen.
It just does not fit, on the one hand imploring divine grace for the President to lead beyond 2010, and on the other hand seemingly exploring a constitutional prohibition setting the political limit on June 30, 2010. Period.
So in effect, it was like storming the Heavens with a single petition to change the 1987 Constitution, the one in use now, or at least amend its particular provision on term limits.
There's no wonder then that a "self-serving" prayer raised a lot of eyebrows and an "are you serious, Jess" look.
But Press Secretary Jesus Dureza, the source of this cat-and-mouse "what-you-hear-is-what-you-get" guessing game, cannot be faulted, either.
Dureza, whose first name was revered and made the foundation of hundreds of faiths worldwide, was simply being light-hearted when he uttered the prayer -- not only in addressing the welfare of his Boss but to all the others in attendance, too.
Besides, he had explained quite thoroughly that there was a continuation of the invocation that was downed out in the "big bang" that followed, which is "... beyond 2010 . . .. in a personal and private capacity."
Verbal or spoken, spontaneous prayer in any gathering has become an occasion for making a statement, aside from spiritual intentions of asking the Lord for divine mercy, healing, good health, strength, and thanksgiving -- all the virtues needed to make life worth living here and now, not in the afterlife.
The words coming out of the mouth are said to be flowing from the heart, led by the spirit, even if somewhat humorous or unbelievable to some extent, or downright open to misinterpretation.
But Dureza's call for the Divine must be understood within the framework of practical and legal boundaries, for beyond that is to break the law, which is against divine will.
Indeed, anyone can invoke God's blessing to be of service to others in a personal and private capacity and in whatever lawful manner so this nation can move forward, its citizens prosperous.
And while we are in a prayerful mood, we might as well call on the Giver of Life so that Bolante and De La Paz can be enlightened in examining their conscience.
Conscience, by the way, as generally defined, is God's presence in man.
LOCAL FRONT: Maasin City formally opened today, November 20, 2008, a barangay bagsakan at the port area. Mayor Maloney Samaco said this will be the right venue for farmers to sell their farm products and for buyers who are looking for lower priced goods. The store will be run by the Maasin Employees Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MEMCO) with a no-interest bearing capital loaned by the city LGU. Our prayers for this deserving initiative to be of service in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead.
ODDLY YOURS: Four years ago, in 2004, the world has never known a Barack Obama. He was transformed so fast: from an ambition to play in the NBA, he ended up playing as a Senator in the US Senate over the past four years. Now, all world leaders look up to him as incoming President of the USA at age 47. Another man took thirty years to achieve just that. At age 31 this man failed in business; at 32, defeated in a legislative race; at 34, failed again in business; at 35, his girlfriend died; at 36, had nervous breakdown; at 38, lost in another election, and in other elections at ages 43, 46, and 48; at 55, lost again in a senatorial race; but at age 60, he was elected as the President of America. He is Abraham Lincoln. (PIA-Southern Leyte) [top]