By Fr. Roy Cimagala

THIS IS still a dream struggling hard to become a crisp reality. Imagine if our celebrities, instead of showing off their inanities, frivolity and the like, become models of virtues, showcasing the many aspects of these ideal human qualities!

At the moment, it sounds very unbelievable, quixotic, even impossible, but there’s always hope in our world. We need to put teeth into that hope by making a concerted and sustained effort to create a culture of virtues in our world of media, entertainment and showbiz.

Of course, all this should be pursued on the basis first of all of spiritual and supernatural means of prayer, sacrifice, sacraments, doctrine. But all the human means, like the virtues and all the way to the art and skill of making war, should not be neglected either.

Perhaps, an immediate task is to do some thorough housecleaning, especially in the papers, TV and other major media outlets. By now, we should be aware of the rotten excuse that because of freedom, right of expression, creative and artistic rights, etc., we can just show anything in the media.

No, sir! These rights and freedom need a clear foundation of truth and sense of responsibility to spring from. Otherwise, they become a spout of licentiousness, a source of malice and evil in all their varied expressions and subtle forms.

There has to be a better understanding of these human powers and privileges that have often been misused and abused. At this time, with all that we have accomplished as well as the dire lessons learned from sad experiences, we should already know the delicate character of these privileges.

They have at least dual effects, good or bad, and in between them, endless possibilities and variations and combinations that we should try our best to rein in, control and direct properly.

There are signs we have lost control of these crucial human elements, and we just allow ourselves to be at the mercy of chance. This latter thinking is naïve, because things are never happen purely by chance. They are ruled, if not by us, then by higher spirits, that is, either by God or the devil, to be simplistic about it.

I cannot understand, for example, why everyday newspapers should highlight the escapades of so-called sex-kittens and brute hunks, their strange peculiarities and idiosyncracies, etc.

They seem to glorify vanity and to flaunt a certain disturbing notion that at some point, certain people, precisely the celebrities, can be above moral considerations. They can do anything in public and for public consumption without having to account for it.

One time, while in a taxi, I heard over the radio the driver was listening to, songs with clearly risqué lyrics embedded in double-meaning words. And the announcer was reeking with flippant commentaries soaked with sexual innuendoes. All this, done with an air of impunity!

Ok, it’s all very easy to complain, and we should not stop there. We need to build, to construct and sustain a culture of goodness, of virtues, of what is truly for all of us.

If what comprises human goodness is still to be argued and proved, then let’s start there. But we already have to make a stand. What is good and bad can be known by us in a general way right from the start. Let’s discuss their finer points as we go along.

But right now, people are in extreme need to be encouraged and supported in their life’s endeavors and struggles that are becoming more difficult. They need to know how to be patient, hopeful, cheerful, resourceful, orderly, sincere, humble, simple, in control of their emotions, passions and urges, etc.

Virtues perfect our humanity. They too are a foundation for more significant developments in our spiritual and supernatural life.

The celebrities, if they want to contribute to the common good, can do a lot in giving out ideas, words and ways of coping with our current difficult situation. Since their every move becomes an example to many, they have to be very discriminating in their words and actuations.

Those who handle them—from their managers to the media people—should help to make their wards and talents comply with the standards and requirements of the common good.

Of course, the people should also do their part by promptly reacting to any deviations these celebrities may make and also encouraging them to stick to what is truly good to all.

SAN FRANCISCO, U.S.A — Filipino-Americans fret over a stark irony. Martial law fears have resurged precisely when Corazon Aquino, who sparked “People Power” into smashing Marcos dictatorship, battles cancer.

This  irony  will  dog  President  Gloria  Macapagal Arroyo when she meets President  Barrack Obama on  July 30. So will  Fil-American activist  Melissa  Roxas’ abduction.

Under  Leila de Lima,  the once-flabby  Commission on  Human Rights pieced together the six-day snatch and torture of  Roxas. The evidence  confirms  State  Department’s annual  human rights reports of impunity  that cloaks abductors and torturers, both  military and insurgents..

Majority  ( 58%) of  Fil-Americans voted for Obama. The  2007 census  tallied  3.1 million Filipinos in the US. They’re the   second largest Asian American group   Almost  half of Filipino  immigrants cluster in this state.   Hawaii, New York, Illinois and  New Jersey  account for smaller  numbers.

“We fought   the Marcos Conjugal Dictatorship,” three women leaders said over dinner..”What makes the Arroyo Conjugal Autocracy think it can undo what  Cory stands for?”.

They  oppose  scrubbing  2010 elections,  martial law or panicky charter change. They scoffed at  the idea of  installing  Ms Arroyo as  caudillo in a “transition revolutionary government.

Security  Advisor  Norberto Gonzales  peddled the transitory junta idea to the  Supreme Court chief  justice.  But Justice  Reynato  Puno  rebuffed him and, by implication,  Gonzales’  shadowy  principal —  the President.

How deeply  do  Fil-Americans feel about these  issues?   Scientific studies are few and far between . Kids here  are  like youngsters back home. They have no memories of martial law. Their  world is of anchored  freedoms  A  desaparecido,  like Jonas Burgos, is beyond them..

Ranks of those who fought Marcos are thinning. Those who sign up with the Overseas  Absentee Voting Secretariat are few but articulate.  Ex-defense  secretary Avelino Cruz’s July  22   warning, before the Integrated Bar, however  stoked concerns of many. .

Leading presidential aspirants  vow  “to prosecute President Arroyo and First Gentleman Mike Arroyo after she steps down,” Cruz noted.  A president, who stays too long,  is tempted to resist  leaving.   She  fears losing  constitutional  immunity.  What about  the  First  Gentleman’s de-facto  immunity?  Cruz didn’t  delve into that..

Will  the President   snip terms for today’s  heads of  key  Armed Forces services?, Cruz asked.  That’d  “pave  the way for the rise of  PMA Class of 1978”  They could  “run the security apparatus tasked  to secure the 2010 elections?”

Armed  Forces leaders  assure us PMA  class  1978 ’ll  be  spit n’ polish  professionals. Did  they  forget the “Rolex 12”?  Or Military Commission No 1? It sentenced  Benigno Aquino to “death by musketry.

PMA  Class 71  became the “mailed fist” of the dictatorship, notes  Yale University study: “Closer Than Brothers.” Five among  85 graduates  were torturers. Six were murdered. Others were coup plotters. Look at Panfilo Lacson and Gregorio Honasan. And Jose San Martin’s words ring in your ears: “How poor the country that must suffer gloriously  triumphant generals.”

Retirements whittled down the Supreme  Court  majority who thrashed Arroyo’s “People’s Initiative”,  Cruz  notes.“The Court will soon have all its justices appointed by one President.

Recall  the Chief  Justice who’d trot  after Imelda Marcos holding  her parasol. . Among other things, that Court  then surrendered  the power  to rule on habeas corpus petitions. Benigno Aquino’s airport tarmac  speech   challenged that capitulation. But  an assassin’s bullet  beat him to it.. .

`              “The  martial law bogey is being used to turn  people against the government”, screamed  everybody the  Palace press-ganged into service: from Senator Juan Miguel  Zubiri, to  Secretary Ronaldo Puno  and presidential adviser Gabriel Claudio. “That  was cheap of Cruz.”

Hypocrisy is unlike bread. There is never a short supply.” Thus, Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro  purrs:  “President Arroyo  would not use her power for her own political gains. Take it from  the “Brat Pack” bouncer for Eduardo Cojunagco’s coconut levy.  Juan Ponce Enrile  spark-plugged the “God Save the Queen” coups  against President Aquino. He  now cites  the Constitution, he tried to scrap,  on limits of presidential  terms.

President  Aquino came to the US and addressed  a joint session of the US Congress. She led Asia’s first non-violent revolution, since  Mahatma Ghandi’s  march against the Salt Tax. That example spiraled into Czechoslovakia’s  “Velvet Revolt”  and Lebanon’s Cedar Revolution, among others. With integrity unquestioned, she ensured   peaceful  transition of  power.

President Arroyo comes as a diminished figure. She’ll  posture as “leader”. Indeed, US and Philippine interests coincide in areas like terror’s protracted conflict. But like Marcos and Estrada  before her, she is necklaced  by sleaze. There’ is  a  Faustian desperation for  a little more time.

But  this  Oval Office doesn’t  work by the old “she-is-our-sob” rule. . “No country is going to create wealth if its leaders exploit the economy to enrich themselves, or police can be bought off by drug traffickers,” President Obama  told Ghana’s Parliament..

“No business wants to invest in a place where the government skims 20 percent off the top, or the head of the Port Authority is corrupt. No person wants to live in a society where the rule of law gives way to the rule of brutality and bribery. That is not democracy, that is tyranny, And  now is the time for it to end.”

By Juan L. Mercado

“THE BEGINNING of  wisdom is  to call  all things by their  right  names,” a Chinese  proverb   teaches. Widsom  has never been one of  ex-president Joseph Estrada’s strengths   But he insists  on  being called by  what he  claims is his  right name.

“My name is  not   bigote ( mustache),” the bearded Estrada told  the Inquirer. “It is Erap.  People call me Erap.”

That outburst came after fugitive and ex-cop  Cezar  Mancao  pinpointed  Bigote  as the “mastermind” in the Cavite  rubout of  publicist Salvador “Bubby”  Dacer and his driver.

The two were  kidnapped by 22   Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force men President Estrada  then was  reeling   from the BMW stock resources scandal. Dacer and driver Emmanuel Corbito. were strangled and their bodies burned. Investigators  itch  to ask Mancao if the documents burned  dealt with the BMW scam.

“Jose Velarde” was not his name either, Erap insisted – at least through part of his  tumultuous .impeachment.   He didn’t know  “Jose Velarde” from  Adam.  Authorities searched  for  a  phantom“Jose Velarde” who had a very down-to earth  Equitable Bank book. It’s contents  caroomed from an initial one peso deposit to over P3.2 billion in less than a year.

That account belonged to his good friend Jaime Dichavez, Erap claimed. Dichavez skipped town before a subpoena reached him. He didn’t leave forwarding address.In a February 2002 hospital-detention suite interview, Erap told ABS-CBN’s Pia Hontiveros, out of the blue, that  he signed as “Jose Velarde”.  That included signing a half-a-billlion loan guarantee – No, no, no. Not for Erap but  for his crony William Gatchalian.

Was this THE Jose Velarde  everyone futilely  searched   for, since impeachment erupted  into  People Power Two?, many asked then.  The  Anti Graft court’s decision convicting Erap for plunder,found: Estrada and Jose Velarde were one and the same persons.”

“The   beginning  of  wisdom is  to call  all things by their  right  names”? The mustached brother of Marx comedians Moe and Harpo once cracked. “No.  Groucho is not my real name. I’m just breaking it in for a friend.” So, is Estrada doing  a Groucho now in the  Dacerp-Corbito  rub out? Surely,  Erap is not doing this for a  phantom  Bigote? Greater love than this no man has than he lay down his name for a friend.

A name, the dictionary tells us, is “a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing”. It’s in the applications where the screw-up begins.

“William Saunders” and “Jane Ryan” were aliases that appeared on Swiss bank papers. Esda I crowds stumbled across the papers littering Malacanang floors, after the Marcoses scrambled aboard Chinook escape choppers.

It was not illegal, in 1986, to have pseudos on bank books. But the Marcoses never admitted to a Groucho caper. The desposits were so large, they couldn’t be explained away. The $35 million  the Marcoses stashed with embattled Merrill Lynch, Inquirer reported this week remained intact. Imee and Bongbong Marcos are ferreting  the  dicator’s loot  stashed with former  cronies like Lucio Tan.

Filipino maxims on names are linked to integrity, notes the authority on our proverbs: UP professor emeritus Damiana Eugenio.

“Can we go to market with our once respected name?, Aklanons ask. “A good name is better than wealth,” Ilocanos and Boholanos say while Masbatenos counsel: “Take care of your good name for the sake of your children.”

The Philippines is a country “where exoticism rule the world of names,” Matthew Sutherland wrote  in the Observer: from “doorbell” like : Bing-Bong, Ding-Dong to “repeating names”: Len-Len or Jing-Jing. “They’re refined by using the “squared” symbol, as in Len2 or Mai2.”

Do randomly inserted letter ‘h’ give a touch of class to an otherwise average name”: like Jhun, Lhenn, Ghemma, and Jhimmy”. Or how about  “A Rhose By Any Other Name” . That’s  a spin off from Shakespeare’s 1595 tragedy : “Romeo and Juliet.”

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.” Juliet fretted over Romeo’s family name. They belonged to the feuding Montague and Capulet families. These were the  Veronese version of our own feuding political dynasties. “Is she a Capulet?, a bewildered Romeo asks. “My life is my foe’s debt.”

Many bicker over names of places where one resides : upscale subdivision or crummy squatter areas “We go to gain a patch of ground / That hath no profit in it but the name,” Hamlet groused. But then he lived in a castle, albeit spooky.

The major faiths share a deep reverence for Divinity’s name. Muslims have 95 other names for Allah. Jews  would not address God directly. In “God Of A Hundred Names” say Barbara Greene and Victor Gollancz collate into a book  the  prayers of various faiths — including the Christian affectionate  address: “Our Father”.

Names have a function more than just accidental applications. Adam, Genesis tells us, named all creatures. He “called his wife Eve because she was mother of all the living.” John  The Baptist’s name was chosen before his birth.

“Our name is legion,” screamed the spirits in the Gerasene cave dweller, in response to the demand  by  One whose name, Luke writes, was chosen before his birth. And the night before He died, he was to pray for others: “Protect them with the Name you gave to me.”

By M.V. Asuncion

Water Conservation Tips … Hindi pa Abril ngunit matindi na ang nararamdaman nating init. Marahil ay ito na ang isa sa epekto ng tinatawag na “climate change” na dulot ng global warming. Kaugnay nito, nararapat lamang na lahat tayo ay magkaisa upang maibsan ang dulot na epekto ng tag-init. Isa na rito ay ang pagtitipid sa paggamit ng tubig.

Narito ang ilang tips .

· Sa paghuhugas ng pinggan, gumamit ng palangganang maliit kung saan pagbabalanlawan ang pinagsabunang mga baso, pinggan, atbp. Huwag itapon ang pinagbanlawang tubig sapagkat maaari pa itong i-recycle na pambuhos sa toilet bowl at panglinis ng banyo.

· Maaari ding gumamit ka lamang ng isang baso sa isang araw, hindi yung palit-palit ng baso sa kada inom mo ng tubig.

· Maging pamilyar ka sa iyong water bill at sa kontador ng tubig upang madali para sa iyoang pag-monitor ng inyong water consumption at kung mayroon ding leaks.

· Ituro sa mga bata kung paano ang wastong pagsara sa gripo. Turuan din sila sa paraan ng pagtitipid ng tubig ang kahalagahaan nito.

· Para sa mga gumagamit ng showers, bilisan ang pagligo. Try to keep it in 5 minutes. Mas matagal ka sa paliligo, mas maaksaya sa tubig. Mag-switch sa ultra low-flow showerhead. Malaki ang matitipid nito sa tubig. Gumagamit ng 12-20 gallons ng tubig kada 5-minute shower.

· Kung may flush ang toilets, maglagay ng plastic bottle na may lamang tubig o buhangin sa loob ng toilet tank upang makabawas sa tubig sa kada flush ng toilet.

· Patayin ang gripo habang nagsisipilyo at nagsasabon ng kamay.

· Gumamit ng balde o timba sa paglilinis ng sasakyan – kotse, motor o tricycle.

· Huwag itapon sa drain o diretso sa lupa ang motor oil, pintura, pesticide, insecticide, at iba pang lason sapagkat maaari nitong ma-pollute ang underground water resources.

· I-recycle ang tubig na ginamit sa panglaba o washing machine. Maaari pang magamit ang recycled water sa pandilig halaman, panglinis ng banyo, at pang-mop sa sahig.

Ilang facts sa water usage: ang average daily water consumption ng isang tao = 40-70 gallons. Toilet flushing – 5 gallons used; Shower (water running) – 7 gallons/minute; washing/laundry machine – 40-60 gallons; dish washing by hand – 20 gallons tap running.

Ang pagtitipid sa tubig ay tulad din ng iba pa nating kaugalian – mas madalas gawin, mas nagiging natural na aksyon na lamang. Nakasalalay sa ating lahat ang tipirin ang pinakamahalagang yaman ng mundong ito.

Maging water-wise! Saan ka man magpunta, i-praktis ang iyong water-consciousness. What works at home, works at the office!

By Geraldford P. Ticke

UNDERSCORING A story is one way a writer or a reporter, for this matter, entices readers to dig deeper in to the content rather than merely reading the title and then turning the pages of the papers. And one way to do this is to quote anonymous sources aside from the regular personalities who give details of certain breakers, especially controversial events that unfold by the minute. This is however an escape for some reporters to setup one-sided reports that often makes minor events blown up to draw unproportional attention.

It is not once that we’ve read items where Lady Justice’s hammer came crushing down, handling verdicts to individuals and/or organizations allegedly in the middle of something illegal through the inks and the tube. And while finger-pointing between our government and political leaders come swinging, the real culprits freely watch along the sidelines, laughing out loud at how they were able to make a mockery of the system.

Now the powers that come with the pen that a reporter holds have been overtaken by another tool – the Internet. Just recently, the Palawan Times webblog were flooded with anonymous comments, some of them even appearing that the comments came from the Paper itself. These commentors who use blatant and derogatory remarks yet hide behind the furtive curtains of the net are nothing but cowards who just want to employ press freedom for their own satisfaction at the expense of other people’s credibility and integrity. Sad to say for those who were able to go at it the first time around, these kinds of reactions have no place in the pages of our papers and the web as our editor has manifested.

*****

The soon-to-be-signed baseline bill recently approved by Congress, made Palawan officials squirm. The baseline excluded the Municipality of Kalayaan and other islands in the Kalayaan Islands Group being claimed by the Philippines outside the territorial baselines and will soon become a “regime of islands” of the country, thanks to the opposition of other claimant countries in the Spratlys, particularly China.

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile asking for “battleships and squadrons” to fight for the country’s claims to Scarborough Shoal in the Spratly Islands and the Kalayaan Island Group only shows how a third world country such as ours bows its head to the mighty ones.

The two representatives (Alvarez and Mitra) of the province in the House battled it out during the bicam deliberations but as Mitra said, they were outnumbered when voting came.

Keeping in mind the provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas provisions, maybe our government officials should look at American State Hawaii or Guam, for this matter. Kalayaan, just like Hawaii, is a municipality of Palawan having established a municipal government since Marcos’ proclamation. The only difference is, America is a super power and the Philippines is

By Juan L. Mercado

(ON THE second week of Lent, this column by Fr. Ron Rolheieser OMI may speak to all of us who, he says, are walking wounded – JLM)

At the heart of our faith lies the deep truth that we are unconditionally loved by God. We believe that God looks down on our lives and says: You are my beloved child, in you I take delight!

We do not doubt that truth of that. We just find it impossible to believe.

Some years ago, at a workshop, a woman came up to me during the break and articulated this in these words: “God loves me unconditionally. I know that’s true, but how can I make myself believe it? I simply can’t!”

She could have been speaking for half of the human race. We know we are loved by God. We can say the words. But how do we make ourselves believe that?
Why? Why is that so difficult to believe?
For many reasons, though mostly because (unless we are extraordinarily blessed) we rarely, if ever, experience unconditional love.

Mostly, we experience love with conditions, even from those closest to us: Our parents love us better when we do not mess up. Our teachers love us better when we behave and perform well. Our churches love us better when we do not sin.

Friends love us better when we are successful and not needy. The world loves us better when we are attractive. Our spouses love us better when we do not disappoint them. Mostly, in this world, we have to measure up in some way to be loved.
Moreover, many of us too have been wounded by supposed expressions of love. These were not love at all but were instead expressions of self-serving manipulation, exploitation, or even positive abuse.

Beyond even this, all of us have been cursed and shamed in our enthusiasm by the countless times someone, either through words or through a hateful or judgmental glace, in effect said to us: Who do you think you are?

We wither under that and become the walking wounded, unable to believe that we are loved and loveable. So, even when we know that God loves us, how can we make ourselves believe it?

At one level, we do believe it. Deep down, below our wounded parts, the child of God that still inhabits the recesses of our soul knows that it is made in God’s image and likeness and is special, beautiful, and loveable. That is why we so easily become angry and enraged whenever someone violates our dignity or puts us down.

But how do we make ourselves believe that we are unconditionally loved in a way that would make us less insecure in our attitude and our actions? How do we live in a surer confidence that we are unconditionally loved so as to let that radiate in the way we treat others and ourselves?
There are no easy answers.

For a wounded soul, like for a wounded body, there are no magic wands for quick easy healings. Biblically, however, there is an image that, while confusing on the surface, addresses this: When God gives Joshua instructions on how to move into the Promised Land he tells him that, once there, he must “kill” everything there, all the men, women, children, and even the animals.

Taken literally, this text is horrible and speaks about everything that God is not. But this is not a literal text but an archetypal one. It is an image, a metaphor. I suspect that someone in an Alcoholics Anonymous program will more easily get its message:

Killing all inhabitants of Canaan means precisely giving away all the bottles in your liquor cabinet – the scotch, the bourbon, the wine, the cognac, the gin, the beer, the vodka — everything else that’s there. You can’t take the Promised Land and still keep a few “Canaanites” on the side or you will soon lose the Promised Land.

That image also tells us what we must do to enter our true self-image, the deep truth that we are unconditionally loved by God.

In great mythical literature we see that, usually, before the great wedding where the young prince and the young princess are to be married so as to live happily ever after, there first has to be an execution: the wicked older brothers and the wicked step-sisters have to be killed off. Why? Because they would eventually come and spoil the wedding.

Who are those wicked older brothers and wicked step-sisters? They are not different people from the young prince or princess getting married. They are their older incarnations.

They are also inside of us. They are the inner voices from our past that can, at any given moment, ruin our wedding or our self-image by dragging in our past humiliations and saying: “Who do you think you are? Do you really think that you can marry a prince or princess? Do you really think that you’re loveable? We know you, we know your past, so don’t delude yourself! ”

To actually believe that we are unconditionally loved, we first have to kill a few “Canaanites” juanlmercado@gmail.com

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

HE, HE, he. This is not about fashion. This is actually about the serious business of priestly formation needed for the clergy to be mature and effective in carrying out their—our, me included—evangelizing mission.

In a get-together the Pope had with parish priests and the clergy of the diocese of Rome recently, this short-pants-long-pants business came out during the question-and-answer portion.

Pope Benedict is developing this tradition of meeting the clergy for an open discussion of priestly concerns at the start of the Lenten season. Pope John Paul II used to write letters to priests on Holy Thursdays. Pope Benedict seems to go a step further by engaging them in a direct meeting.

In this last get-together, the priest who asked the first question said something to this effect: that when he was still a new priest, he felt confident he was doing very well with his homilies and talks because of his theological training and all that.

According to him, one time a believing and wise woman of his parish jolted him when she asked him when he was going to wear long pants.
She meant when was he going to tackle the real spiritual and moral problems and pastoral issues objectively, that is, going beyond the short pants of theories and motherhood statements.

These were the words used by the priest: “That woman was trying to explain to me that life, the real world, God himself, are greater and more surprising than the concepts we elaborate.

“She was inviting me to listen to the human aspect, to try to understand, to comprehend, without being in a hurry to judge. She was asking me to learn how to enter into relationship with reality, without fears, because reality is inhabited by Christ himself who acts mysteriously in his Spirit.”

It’s actually an observation many parishioners have of their priests, again highlighting the grave need for priests to take good care of our continuing and hopefully deepening formation.

With our complex and complicated world today, we priests should be up to par with the challenges. We have to learn to take things on the chin. We play a very crucial role because we actually are responsible for the care of the most fundamentally determining part of human life—one’s spiritual and moral life.

All the powers we have, all the authority and privileged dignity we receive, are geared for this purpose. Failure in this task simply means misusing or even abusing the entitlements that go with priesthood.

Well, the Pope’s reply was a study in effective and profound response to a difficult query. In summary, the Pope’s answer can be divided into four parts.

One, that priests should not ignore or belittle their theological or theoretical training. This is always important and indispensable.

Two, that this theological framework should be personalized in our own experience of faith and made concrete in our actual dealings with people. It has to be internalized and made to guide us in our affairs.

We priests actually know souls well because outside of what we know in public and externally, we know them interiorly through confession and spiritual direction. There, they bare their heart and mind. They come unmasked.

Three, that the priestly work of evangelization today, though contextualized in current situations, should not lose sight of the simplicity of the Word of God.

Priests are not supposed to focus on the technical side of the problems of the times. These have to be known and studied all right, but priests should focus more on what the Lord says to the man of today.

“We do not propose reflections, we do not propose a philosophy, but rather the simple proclamation of the God who has acted, and who has also acted with me,” he said.

We have to understand these words well. They don’t mean that we don’t do any reflecting, philosophizing and theologizing. They mean that we have to go beyond them, not stuck with them, and really do what is necessary: proclaim the Word of God.

Lastly, the Pope advised that it is important to be really attentive to today’s world and also attentive to the Lord in oneself: “to be a man of this time and at the same time a believer in Christ, who in himself transforms the eternal message into a current message.”