Coping with Transitions – a Recollection
by VS Perdigon Jr.
It was the Birthday of Mama Mary, September 8, and AUL administrators took that chance to go on a recollection. The ambience of AQ Peak afforded them the disposition with which to set aside, at least for a day, the constant stress of running an office. It was a time to step back and examine oneself, to gauge how things are in relation to the “grand scheme of life.”
Rev. Fr. Edwin A. Lao, OP, Vice-President for Administrative and Financial Affairs, revisited the work of Robert Fulghum, “Everything I Needed to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” and St. Paul’s epistle to the Romans (7;15-19) “What I do I do not understand, for I do not do what I want but I do what I hate. Now, if I do what I do not want I concur that the Law is good, for I do not do the good I want but I do the evil that I do not want.” This is the lot of most people. Ours is a wounded nature, although redeemed. Fr. Edwin proceeded to quote Matthew 15:17-20. “Do you not realize that everything that enters the mouth passes into the stomach and is expelled into the latrine. And as such, nothing that comes from outside defiles the person. But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart and these are the things that defile. For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, unchastity, theft, false witnessing, blasphemy. These are what defile a person but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.” Fr. Edwin reviewed the Catholic precepts on the seven deadly sins and their corresponding cardinal virtues. He noted that certain virtues are very hard to imbibe in part because of technology which affords instant gratification. Nevertheless, he admonished the participants not to despair but to strive instead when they find themselves in unhappy human conditions because “there are virtues to exercise and above all the grace of God is the power that makes us perfect in our weaknesses.”
Rev. Fr. Roberto G. Reyes, OP, Vice-President for Religious Affairs, invited the participants to look back to significant moments in their lives and plot the same on a timeline. Then he asked them to recall what they left behind. Finally, Fr. Robi requested them to remember what they kept in their journey through life. Several administrators shared their insights, a process that allowed others to understand more the personality of some colleagues.
Rev. Fr. Ernie Arceo, Rector and President, presented the various transitions that can happen in a person’s lifetime, from conception, birth and adulthood to old age and death. We need to go through a Christian transformation, whereby we are enabled to say “It’s no longer I who live but Christ living in me.” Even environmental change affects our lives sometimes very deeply. The need to move on must be acknowledged. Change, though sometimes accompanied by pain, must be accepted as a part of life. To protect ourselves from too much pain, we undergo denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance (not necessarily in that order). It matters not that the problem is small or big. What is important is our ability to deal with it. If resources are not enough, some people tend to succumb. Unlike other people, however, Filipinos are noted for leaving everything to God when all seems lost. This attitude gives us a string to pull which does not run out. In reality, God is in charge. We survive not through our natural ability but because of Him who is there all along. He loves us more than we love ourselves, knows everything we have done, knows us totally. So only God has the capacity to love us perfectly as we are. In closing, Fr. Ernie quoted St. Paul who wrote “God makes everything work together for the good of those who have been called according to His will” (Romans 8:28). Hence, even trials become blessings in disguise. It is necessary that we surrender ourselves to Him and let Him be in charge of our lives in ways we hardly imagine, concluded Fr. Ernie.
The day was capped with confession and anticipated mass. It was a cloud-covered, cool and calm afternoon when we went down back to the city refreshed and renewed.
Posted on: 09.10.2012
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