A good friend comes home to the Philippines from Texas where he has been a resident for the past decade or so. He visits familiar places and sees familiar faces. Something in him gets rekindled. A fire that was once burning inside gets him to start thinking what he can do for the country – again.

Young students from grade schools reap laurels for the country in various international competitions. Young millennial entrepreneurs break new grounds in eco-tourism, the arts, and science. And they get recognition for their work. New breed of politicians buck the trend of corruption and self-serving governance to lead with principles and dedicated service. These young people keeps the light burning that the youth are the hope of the fatherland.

A small group of seniors getting together regularly to reminisce and remember, often around the Eucharistic table. They still discuss animatedly what contributions can they still make for Community, Church and Country. They keep fanning the dying embers to keep their faith, hope and love alive and burning.

On the other hand, just when one thinks that things couldn’t get any worse, a man convicted of heinous crimes – note, crimes – is being given parole and will go scot-free. This is on top of convicted plunders being released from prison and self-confessed drug dealers released from prison while suspected small time drug dealers are killed and a senator accused of drug dealing languishes in prison.

It is easy to have faith and be hopeful when on hears stories like the first three. But can I keep my faith, hope and love even in the face of evil seemingly triumphing over good? Can I still call on God with love and trust even when overwhelmed by disasters and vexed by difficulties? Or, am I just a fair-weather believer?

I will keep my faith and hold the Lord to his promise: “You will see greater things than this.”  The Lord giveth; the Lord taketh away. Whatever he send me, I will stay in his love. I make as my own this radical prayer of St. Ignatius:

Take and receive, O Lord, my liberty
Take all my will, my mind, my memory
All things I hold and all I own are thine
Thine was the gift to thee I all resign

To thou direct and govern all and sway
Do what Thou wilt, command, and I obey
Only Thy grace Thy love on me bestow
These make me rich, all else will I forego

Mas ramdamang hugot ng mga kataggang ito sa ating sariling wika:

Kunin Mo, O Diyos, at tanggapin Mo
Ang aking kalayaan, ang aking kalooban
Isip at gunita ko, lahat ng hawak ko,
Ng loob ko ay aking alay sa ‘Yo

Nagmula sa ‘Yo ang lahat ng ito
Muli kong handog sa ‘Yo
Patnubayan Mo’t paghariang lahat
Ayon sa kalooban Mo
Mag utos Ka, Panginoon ko
Dagling tatalima ako
Ipagkaloob Mo lang ang pag-ibig Mo
At lahat ay tatalikdan ko
Tatalikdan ko


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