Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pinoy bishops' exhortations for Lent

Courtesy of the Philippine Star


MANILA, Philippines - Catholics are being called to repent for the sins that they have committed and promise they would become better Christians during today’s observance of Ash Wednesday, which will mark the start of the Lenten season.

Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president and Jaro, Iloilo Archbishop Angel Lagdameo yesterday said he is hoping that the country’s leaders would experience a “moral renewal” and shun graft and corruption. [We have been praying for this since the time when Marcos was still president.  Let's continue to hope and pray.]

Archbishop Lagdameo said today’s leaders should use the Lenten season to re-examine their lives.

“The call of Lent is for moral renewal. To achieve this we need at least a critical mass of citizen-leaders who are willing to ‘break out of the box,’ to operate with a new social consciousness and conscience, not for their individual or group security, but for the good of the greatest number,” he said.

In his Lenten Message, the CBCP president reminded leaders that graft and corruption is like a contagious social cancer that eventually affects the services to the poor. [It is almost the same as robbing the beggar of the alms he received the whole day under the blazing heat of the sun.]

The most seriously affected by the crisis of moral values are the poor, the marginalized, oftentimes treated like commodities. Graft and corruption breed widespread poverty. Widespread poverty in turn breeds graft and corruption,” he said. [Beautiful!] 

With national elections slated for next year, he reminded the public that one way to cure the social cancer is by electing new leaders who possess the values of honesty, justice, truth, integrity, credibility, accountability, transparency and stewardship. [Leading isn't it.  Love it though.  We have lots of competent, intelligent people who can be president but none have the strength of character to stand up against the ills of our country.]

“The forthcoming national elections must not simply be a changing of hats for the same persons, or change of faces but with unchanged hearts. We must be able to gather a critical mass of citizen-leaders with a genuine passion and obsession for good governance and prophetic leadership,” he said.

Meanwhile, Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales told the faithful that in order to complete their true transformation, they should be generous and perform good deeds and almsgiving.

In his pastoral letter, Cardinal Rosales invited Christians to “live out a deeper meaning of Lent this year by performing acts of good deeds and almsgiving.” [The cardinal is really for his movement Pondo ng Pinoy.]

The money that they could save from their fasting and abstinence could be donated to one of the programs, HAPAG-ASA which is dedicated to feed hungry and malnourished Filipino children.

HAPAG-ASA is an integrated nutrition program meant to alleviate hunger among Filipino children. Through the Archdiocese of Manila and the five Suffragan Dioceses, the program has been able to feed close to 24,000 children in its two-and-a-half-year history. [This is a worthy project.  Imagine for just P1,200, you can feed a malnourished child for 6 months!  How can you save that much for these poor children?  Stop drinking that ridiculously expensive water-down coffee.  My 3-in-1 coffee tastes better and it costs only P12!  The money you save from that coffee shop can help more needy people.  Don't you agree?]

This year, HAPAG-ASA aims to feed at least 12,340 children from Metro Manila as committed by the dioceses.



To donate to HAPAG-ASA, click here.

No better way to observe Lent than to do acts of mercy.

Remember what the catechism taught us?

The Corporal Works of Mercy
To feed the hungry
To give drink to the thirsty.
To clothe the naked.
To visit and ransom the captives.
To shelter the homeless.
To visit the sick.
To bury the dead.

The Spiritual Works of Mercy
To admonish sinners.
To instruct the ignorant.
To counsel the doubtful.
To comfort the sorrowful.
To bear wrongs patiently.
To forgive all injuries.
To pray for the living and the dead

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