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Couples told: ‘Have courage to fight divorce bill’ -

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Pastoral Statement Against Divorce -

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Cardinal Tagle to lead walk against killings -

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Tuesday, August 22, 2017

I Walked Away from One Man’s Promise of Prosperity – And Never Been Happier!

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By Anthony James U. Perez

Just before I wrote this I was browsing through the various viands at my favorite turo-turo near the Pro-Life office in Legarda. Hard to imagine that a few days ago I was casually dining at a posh Spanish restaurant, taking my pick among the different tapas, munching on croquetas and pollo and several other food items whose names I cannot remember. I was smug that I and my team of web developers, graphic designers, and writers will be working for a very rich man, and that we will soon be paid handsomely. He paid for our lunch by the way.

Our would- be employer told us his plans for the team over lunch on that fateful Saturday afternoon. I, in particular, was given a very specific job: to travel to his new manufacturing plant somewhere in Asia, spend a week or two taking pictures of the new plant, its people, and the scenery, then write a book about it. Never mind if I knew next to nothing about SLR photography, he was going to provide me with the camera, process my passport, and give me the money to buy the tickets going there plus some extra cash.

The pay will be good (which, out of modesty, I won’t post here – suffice to say that it was VERY sufficient ) but the perks will be awesome. We will have our own office, apart from all his other employees, but we can work from home if he wasn’t in the country, just as long as we were able to deliver. On top of that, he was also planning to rent out a place for us near the office, so we could be nearby if he’s around. We will be free to work almost whenever and where ever we want, and will be paid lots of money. Ah. Life is good!

There was, however, one catch.

Our employer was into the manufacturing business, and one of his products was the IVF, or In Vitro Fertilization, machine. The Catholic Church has always maintained that IVF, a process that produces what many people know as “test tube babies” , is immoral. After a few days of working for him, the team decided that enough was enough.

The team thought we had made our objection to IVF clear, and also thought that we could make some sort of compromise: we will do our utmost to work for the boss on everything except things related to his IVF machines. Yesterday, however, he secretly asked two of my teammates to go abroad ASAP and help out in promoting his IVF products. What the boss didn’t know was that the team made a pact: we remain faithful to the teachings of the Catholic Church no matter what. We will have to refuse to work for a man who will lead us to sin. We shouldn’t have made any compromise to begin with. The Gospel of Mark (8:36) made it crystal-clear for us: For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?

I am a Catholic. Son of Mama Mary. Son of Don Bosco. With all my heart I turn my back on the empty promises of fortune and walk away with my head held high.

Our choice was clear, but was in no way easy. I for one have been looking for financial stability all my life, and the work offered gave both artistic freedom and the answer to my financial woes. The job could have given me everything that I didn’t have so far – lots of money, good clothes, gadgets, perhaps even a car or two and my own condo unit in a few years’ time, and still have some money left in the savings account to give my future wife the wedding she always wanted. All proved to be elusive dreams once more.

This is the cost of discipleship. It hurts but Christ said it was never going to be easy following the way of the Cross. When you follow a master who himself was crucified, don’t expect your life to be any easier.

I am reminded of this movie I watched a few months ago, “For Greater Glory”. It tells about the Cristero War in Mexico (1926-1929)  when the government suppressed religion. There were two very poignant and touching scenes:

This first scene is where a young boy, Jose Sanchez del Rio, says goodbye to his mentor, Fr. Christopher, who was about to be shot by the soldiers of the government. The dialogue goes something like this –

Jose: Padre, the soldiers are coming! You must hide! Come with me, you can hide in our house!

Fr. Christopher: Can I hide from God? This is my home. Jose, who are you if you do not stand up for what you believe? There is no greater glory than to give your life for Christ.

Which of course led to this.

And this.

Fr. Christopher’s death had such a profound effect on the 14-year-old boy. He was eventually caught by government soldiers, tortured, and made to renounce his faith. This scene in particular was hard to get over with. His torturer carved holes at the soles of the boy’s feet, and Jose’s blood-curdling screams of Viva Cristo Rey! as he was being tortured echoed at the halls. The torturer then ordered the boy to be paraded all over town, with him walking every painful step, until they reached the spot where he was to be buried.

He was given one last time to renounce his faith, just before he died, in the presence of his family. His only words were: Viva Cristo Rey! and the angry soldiers bayoneted him to death, with the officer finishing him off with a bullet. Before he died, he did this:

He traced a cross on the ground, which was filled with his blood, and kissed it. His last words before being shot and thrown into his grave were: “I am going home.”

Jose Sanchez del Rio was beatified in November 2005 by Pope Benedict XVI.

His sacrifice, as well as the sacrifices of millions of Christians everywhere, puts my experience into perspective. I am sure that I am not alone nor was the first one whose life is affected by standing up for the faith. Many have done so, and have paid for their witnessing with martyrdom. This new post is dedicated to all Catholics all over the world suffering from persecution, discrimination, abuse, and torture because of their faith in Christ. I salute their courage and selflessness to give their life for Christ.

Meanwhile, life goes on. I still have lots of bills and some debts to pay. My shoes are getting all worn out and I need a new pair ASAP. I am coming down with a bad case of colds and would need some medicine and proper food to get well. That wedding I promised my girlfriend would have to wait a little longer. It doesn’t help to hear stories about how greedy politicians have made a profit by forgetting their baptismal vows to reject Satan and all his deeds and succumbing to corruption.

To top it all, I have never been so at peace with God and myself after deciding to turn our boss down. I started last weekend with thoughts about ending my poverty, and start this weekend still hoping that God would not let me down, that I would not be a modern-day Job.

I am sure God will lead me out of this financial rut I am still stuck in. There will be other clients that our team can serve. There is a moral way of doing business. Bread, work, and heaven was Don Bosco’s promise to us. God will provide as long as I keep searching for the answer to my problems.

I commend my teammates for remaining faithful to Christ and the Church’s teachings: Alvin, Queenie, Mary Ann, Jerome, and Aries. May God bless us all.

Between heaven and earth

Between light and dark

Between faith and sin

Lies only my heart

Lies God and only my heart.

This is the cost of discipleship. It hurts but Christ said it was never going to be easy following the way of the Cross. When you follow a master who himself was crucified, don’t expect your life to be any easier.

 

 

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Pro-Life Philippines Foundation, Inc is a non-profit, nationwide organization that functions as an Educational body coordinating pro-life groups, providing information on life issues it also functions as a political and legislative lobby group that advances the principles and policies with the pro-life and pro-family cause.

“What  Can One Person Do?

Every Single person, in his own little way, can do a lot to save a life”

+Sr. Mary Pilar Verzosa, RGS

Foundress, Pro-life Phil. Fdn. Inc.

Sept.24, 1944-Sept.9, 2012

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