What I really fear is that, as a nation, we are POSSESSED—truly possessed —by the devil of hatred. It is alarming to me that HATRED is what propels much of what we do. Disagreement can be a catalyst but hatred is always destructive.
• President Digong hates drug pushers, peddlers, users and those who oppose him.
• Opponents of President Digong hate him and use every means possible to make their hatred known and shared by others.
• Supporters of President Digong hate Abp. Socrates and other bishops and priests of the Catholic Church.
• Regrettably, many church leaders join demonstrations, post statements, and issue pronouncements dripping with hatred for DU30 and his supporters.
• Supporters of Leni hate Bongbong, and anti-Marcos opponents hate both Ferdinand Marcos and all his progeny down to the generation of Bongbong’s sons and Imee’s children.
• Supporters of the Marcoses hate Leni, and hate all those who hate the Marcoses.
• Votaries of the communist movement hate capitalists and all those they call exploiters of the people.
• But there are as many Filipinos who hate the NPAs for all the trouble they have caused, the lives they have taken, and the property destroyed.
WHAT HAS BECOME OF US? That which we condemn in others stares back at us from within ourselves. Why have we allowed ourselves to be taken captive by this evil spirit of hatred? Can we not all together decide to ask the Lord to exorcise us, and we can all start by taking the Beatitudes more seriously...starting with me!
The reign of hatred has enervated our souls and rendered arid our spirit as a people. We tear at each other, and we demolish each other’s proposals, instead of rejoicing in the gift that each of us can be, and discerning the wisdom that lies hidden for as long as we look only with jaundiced eyes.
We are deeply wounded, and hating will not bring us any closer to healing. If anything at all, it will only cause the wounds to fester, the injury to become putrid. We all too frequently protest that we hate the offense and not the offender—but the truth is that insofar as our hates go, the offense is the offender, and our rejection of the misdeed is also our shunning of the person.
Just as the people we adulate are always good no matter how dumb they can sometimes be, the people we hate are always wrong, no matter how noble they can be. The truth is that no one is ever perfectly noble, and no one is completely ignoble.
Social media is one site where hate abounds. There, you will find its different, ugly manifestations: From words of hate and hateful words, to insulting caricatures all the way down to unconcealed cursing and insulting.
But it is also found in those who should know better, those who are consecrated to forgive, those who are anointed to embrace and never to reject. The President has not hidden his aversion for us priests, and that is sad, because we could be his allies in what I do not doubt is his sincere desire to rebuild the country. But do we upon whom hands were laid to preach a Gospel of forgiveness find it in our hearts to forgive him, let alone to love him? And will hating him as much as he hates us make anything better for the country and for us and the consecrated lives we are supposed to live?
It was hatred that cut down the priests who were just murdered—whatever the stories, tragic or sordid, may lie behind their murders. How does healing even begin if all that reigns in our hearts as we grieve over their lifeless bodies is hatred, and worse, if we pin the hatred on someone who does not deserve it at all?
For its part, how can a leader rally his people to a common cause if cuss words, hateful speech and indictment drive wedges even deeper between those who rally to him, and those who rally against him?
It was like that with the world, and that is why when the Cross was raised above the world, it summed up all the hatred and the ugliness of which the world is capable. But upon it was hanged to die a man so full of love that none of the hatred that sent him to his death could turn his heart to hatred in turn.
Forgive them…words from the cross; words from the summation of hatred. But they were and will forever be the only words that can save us. Only forgiveness and love so divine can save us. If we do not believe this, and if we lack the courage to live it, then all is truly lost for us.