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-Pope Benedict XVI
-Pope Benedict XVI
Saturday, February 14, 2009
We had a fun Patrician meeting last Wednesday. I was a bit worried before the meeting, especially because I really couldn't write down my opening speech. An hour before the meeting, all I had was an outline. Well, it went quite well and the first round of discussion was fun and interesting.
We had Friar David Garcia, O.P. as our Spiritual Director and he was really, really, really good. He explained things very well.
Favorite Verse: John 8:32 "Then you will know the truth,
and the truth will set you free."
Photo Source: Dominic
Is the Church a killjoy? Father David summed it up this way. First, the Church does seem to be a killjoy. Second, the Church is a killjoy. Third, the Church is not a killjoy. Haha. That's Dominican for you. =p Okay, let me explain that again. Father David said that there are three things that influence a person's actions: Reason, Emotion, and Will. Reason usually only points to the direction, but it is the emotion that pushes. As a result of original sin, those three things are constantly pulling against each other, all pointing into different directions. When they do, we feel divided. We find it hard to make decisions. But when those three things decide to cooperate and point to one single direction, that's when a person finds peace in his actions.
Now, the Church, being the guardian and the bulwark of truth, has for centuries, tried to steer us to the right direction. It tells us that there are objective truths. But times have changed. Now, Truth is equated to popular opinion. What is good for a person is now also based on the person's opinion, and not fixed to any objective truths. Thus, our reason pulls us one way, and our emotions (which are usually much stronger) the other way. Because of this division, when the Church tells you that you're going in the wrong direction, naturally, she will definitely seem like a killjoy.
If the Church is a killjoy, it can only be through our consciences. For our consciences, if properly-formed, often speak inconvenient truths. They are not ego-boosters, as some may think. Nor is our conscience our scapegoat. A truly well-formed conscience will keep on nagging it you, telling you to choose what is good no matter how difficult it may be. So I guess, in that sense, when the Church's teachings resound in your consience, and governs your actions, it can be a killjoy. But it's a killjoy that I'd most welcome.
The truth though, is that the Church is really not a killjoy. She only seems to be like one because what she teaches goes against the grain. It goes against what the world is telling us. "The Church is a killjoy only for a disintegrated person," Father David said. That is, a person with his reason, emotion, and will tugging at different directions. But when our desires coincide with objective truths, when we truly become whole, the Church ceases to be a killjoy. The Church leads us to happiness.
I managed to chat a bit with Father David during the break. I asked him how long he's been in Singapore and he said he's been here for six years. Before that, he was in China trying to pick up Chinese. When I asked him how long he's been a Dominican, he said, "24 years"and then astutely asked me how old I was. I told him I was younger than that.haha.
Then I asked him, "Why (did you choose) Dominican, Father?" Without missing a beat, he replied with all honesty, "Because it is the best!" We all burst out laughing but he said, "No, really. If you're buying shoes, why shouldn't you pick the best?"
Do visit their website! Fr. David's blogs are very insightful and they've got helpful resources on Catholic issues, especially on bioethics.