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Monday, November 06, 2006

Human too!

I can still remember one segment in Sesame Street where they featured a goat. A voice would tell that goat different scenarios that would anger someone and ask how he would feel and each time he would say “I get ma-a-a-a-a-d!!!” and in the end the voice said (actually there’s a tune and I still remember that tune) “He gets mad… he gets mad! Everybody gets mad!”

I think it is part of human nature to get mad… Oops he ain’t human, he’s a goat!!! :-)

Seriously though, we feel different emotions and one of them is ANGER. Sometimes we may not show it but still we feel it. They say emotions are amoral, it doesn’t distinguish from right or wrong, you just feel it! The person feels something but he always has a choice on the course of action to take. He could react or he could act on it.

Anyway, that song and segment from Sesame Street was actually triggered by what happened last Saturday yet and I find myself still humming the song now.

Last Saturday, a friend asked me to bring someone to church so she could make a confession since their activity in the afternoon required participants to have gone to confession. I know there is no scheduled confession that day (their schedule is Monday to Friday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm) but I figured the priest would consent since the church should always be excited in taking back lost sheeps. However, I was surprised when he got mad and banged the filing cabinet nearby telling me that his schedule would be disrupted… still after a while he asked me to wait as he came out with his “confession collar” (am not really sure what it is called but it is the cloth the priest place on his shoulder as he hears confession). You can see from his walk though that he was not happy with the situation and I wondered how it would be in the confession box having an unwilling listener. Still I was glad he consented.

However, I was again surprised when the woman got out and told me the priest did not allow her to confession since she has not even had her first communion. Actually one time I saw her in church, I saw her received communion. I think the priest meant the preparation for the first sacrament of reconciliation.

When the priest got out he was already calm as he explained softly that she had to have the preparation first before she should go to confession. I explained what talks were covered in our program and asked what further preparation was needed and whom to talk to but he could not offer any concrete plan. He said that the church’s program for first communicants (usually for children in grade 2 or 3) is usually done middle of the year and I told him that it would be too long to wait for that plus her concerns are definitely different from those kids. He was sad about the reality since he realized there are many Filipino catholic adults in her situation but there was no program for that and he was still blank on what to do and just entrusted her to us. We are layman!!! Ahh… it is actually sad that this secular priest (may I add newly ordained too) lacks the skill on tending and calling his flock for I believe that there would always be a way if he really wanted to (maybe if he prayed for enlightenment) after all Jesus Christ was not really limited with the laws and tradition (but by love!) and shouldn’t Christ not be his model?

Anyway that’s not really what I wanted to write on but on getting angry.

Priests gets angry. They commit mistakes (some pretty grave) after all they are human too! But we shouldn’t really get turned off and leave the church just because of one incident or of one priest. On the contrary, we should be praying more for them to be stronger since their task is actually difficult. Now, thinking about it, their task is really difficult! Just imagine yourself hearing all kinds of garbage, wouldn’t that break you down??? Maybe that’s why only few churches now offer regular and long schedule for confessions (and the Greenbelt chapel, in Makati is one that offers almost non-stop confession, thanks God for it).

There’s a prayer for priests and religious posted in the pews in the Adoration chapel of Binondo church for them to be strong. And at the end of the prayer is a plea that no person ever enters the priesthood without a “call”. I say Amen to that.


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