Generally, when we speak of Faith, we think about something we possess or that is given to us: the gift of Faith. So we speak of Faith as though it were a material thing. In reality, Faith is a verb because Faith can be manifested only in action, so we better use the word “believe”. In its original meaning believe signified to “hold dear” “to be loyal to” “to cherish”, like in our Chiro creed: “ my joy is Christ the Lord, my courage, fidelity to His will, my radiance, witness of His love”. This is not certainly an act of our mind only, but of our whole person because through our Faith in Christ we can experience joy, courage and radiance or being inspired to reach out to others Faith is thus also the basis and foundation of our commitment to others.
That is very different than believing in God that He will be always on our side and help us. There is always the danger that we overemphasize this trust in God and Let Him accomplish everything! We don’t have to worry about anything, just leave it al to Him. Thus we say “bahala na ang Diyos”when we take unnecessary risks, as in riding overloaded buses or boats, when prudence and wisdom should tell us not to take the risks.
There is this well know story of a man who had complete trust in God. After many days of rain, there was a flood in his barangay and all the people were warned to seek higher grounds. The man ignored the warning because he was certain God would not let this happen to him. As the flood rose the man climbed to the second storey of his house. A boat came to take people who, like himself, had left it too late to escape the water. He refused again because he was certain that God would help him. As the waters rose further, he climbed on the roof of his house, at which point a helicopter, rescuing the remaining survivors came nearer and lowered a rope for him. No, he said God will not abandon me, and after some moments he drowned.
The man arrived in heaven, and angry at the way he was treated, complained to Saint Peter that God had let him down despite his great Faith in Him. St Peter replied:”Did we not give you ample warning to seek higher ground? And did we not send a boat to collect you when you did not respond to the first warning? And did we not even send a helicopter for you? It seems to me that we really did answer your prayers!”
To cooperate in an active way with God is to take up our responsibilities But the crucial question is this: How can we know what God asks of us – what must we do? To answer this question we must look to the life of Jesus and his active promotion of the Kingdom of God. His simple message is that we can only love God by loving one another, which means to actively work with Him. Chiro wants to participate in an active way in the establishment of His Kingdom among the children and the youth. Are you willing to join? In the monthly watchwords of this Year of the Faith we will explain more in detail what this means.
Fr. Gerry Bouckaert, CICM
Chaplain, Chiro Pilipinas