Seeker of Truth

For those who sincerely seek the truth, and only the truth. All are welcome, Christians, non-Christians, pagans, atheists, agnostics. etc. We hope you will find what you seek for.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Are we guilty of idolatry?

It's a fact. When asked what they prioritize in life, most people would choose either success in human relationships (family, marriage, etc.), or financial success (business, career, etc.) or even both. The ones who could excel in both are highly esteemed in society.

However, the question: "Where is the mention of God in this? Aren't we supposed to prioritize our relationship with God the most?"

Why? Consider this: most of us are guilty of idolatry and self-idolatry than we are aware of.

The first commandment in the Ten Commandments is: "Thou shall not have any other gods before me." At first glance, it seems so easy to follow, so direct. The truth is, it's not that simple.

Everyday is always a decision to prioritize either God, or someone/something. The will of God is for us to pass His tests, that we should ALWAYS choose Him. Simply put, God is first, before anyone or anything in this world.

That means a lot. Here are a few examples:

Example 1) A person who prioritizes his/her family above God.

Say, he is called by God to the priesthood, or she is called to be a nun and serve God. At first, there is great enthusiasm at such an honor given only to a very few. However, the person belongs to a wealthy family, and family pressures make that person change his/her mind. He/she has chosen family over God.

Example 2) Two lovers so in love with each other, that nothing else and no one else matters but the beloved.

Sure, it reeks of romantic emotions, of rosy "romantic schoolgirl fantasy". But that's beside the point.

Thoughts of love for God (of being in love with God first before another person or yourself, as God wills), are replaced by seemingly unstoppable human emotions for the human lover. The guy prioritizes love for God with love for the lady, and the lady does the same thing.

Instead of being grateful to God for giving them a partner, they failed the test and choose someone over God.

Reminds us of Romeo and Juliet. When family feuds besieged them, rather than be separated from each other, they chose to kill themselves. Literature has romanticized this, the truth is there's nothing romantic in suicide!

That's the result. Because they loved somebody else (their lover) more than God, they could commit murder - murder of their life. If they loved God more than somebody else (no matter who he/she is), the fear of committing mortal sin by suicide, would overcome any other emotion.

Be in love more with God first, before you love any other human person (not just as lovers, but also your family members). And never replace God with anybody else, not even love for yourself. Never forget who gave you those people to love in the first place.

As St. John said "God is love." God is the one and only source of all types of love. Without God, not one of us will have the ability to love or be loved back. Imagine a world without love, and life will simply have no meaningful purpose.

Without God, love cannot exist. Without love, life is meaningless, without purpose. Therefore, without God, life is meaningless and without purpose.


God made romance an important part of a male-female human relationship, especially at the start. It is like the "childhood part" of every person's life, where there's a lot of fun, joy, happiness, and not much problems or hardships (not yet at least). Everything that God has made is always good, always, never forget that.

But romance is only one part of a relationship. Like childhood is only one part of a person's life. It is not the highest priority. There are higher stages, where hardships, sufferings bring out the true test and strength of a relationship (or the lack of it).

Example 3) Prioritizing yourself over God

It's Sunday time, and a person knows he/she has to attend Mass that afternoon. He/she goes to the Playstation instead, plays around, and realizes it's time for Mass.

He/she muses "Hmmm, I feel quite lazy, I think I'll pass the Mass, just for today. I'll just attend Mass next week, anyway there's always a next time."

He/she has just prioritized himself/herself over God. Next week huh? What if God decided there would be no next week for that person?!!

This is also called self-idolatry. Every person always has that "free will" to choose either prioritizing God or oneself. This is never easy. There's that spiritual weakness called "pride" (also called vanity), which tends to pull us, and makes us prefer our own goals first before God (or even before other people).

Pride is also defined as inordinate love for oneself. It is a form of "narcissism", and the most dangerous of the seven sins. It is also acknowledged as the source of all evil.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Who has power over life and death?

Only God has absolute power over life and death. Not the richest businessman, nor the president of the United States. God and only God alone.

What then, is death's purpose?

The Holy Bible teaches death (physical death) occurred as a consequence of sin. God warned our first parents, Adam and Eve, that if they ate of the "forbidden fruit", they shall surely die. This death is both a physical death, and more importantly, a spiritual death.

When they did eat the fruit, they didn't immediately die but "spiritual death" occurred - a separation from God. From this, any person who commits sin against God dies a "spiritual death".

One may surmise that had Adam and Eve immediately repented and asked God for forgiveness, He would have forgiven them, especially that being their first sin (though a major one indeed). Of course, they didn't. When God asked them why they ate it, they resorted to "finger pointing".

Adam blamed Eve. Eve blamed the serpent (a creature who was Satan himself disguised). The test of God was a test of obedience and gratefulness. They couldn't repent simply because of pride. They were too proud and chose to blame others, instead of themselves.

Isn't it the same nowadays? It takes a lot of humility to say "I'm sorry, it's my fault." It is so much easier to lay the blame on other people (or the government!). That is why pride is the root of all evil. All other sins are inevitably linked to pride/vanity as the primary cause (cause and effect).

One can wonder what would have been, if Adam and Eve didn't eat the fruit. Remember that God talked to them freely in the Garden of Eden. There may not be any need for death, where Heaven and earth was joined together, earth being an "extension" of Heaven. Possibly, we could have been able to travel back and forth between Heaven and earth. Ah, such joys!

So, first of all, physical death is a punishment for sin. An effect of "spiritual death" or sin (the cause). Again this is cause and effect.

One must not forget that each and every person born on Earth has sins. It starts with inheriting the first sin from our first parents, Adam and Eve. This sin is called "original sin".

As we grow older, we accumulate sins, of our own accord and free will.

So nobody can implicate that those who die in tragic ways (like the Asian tsunami), are sinful, because everyone of us has sinned and has sins. This is very important to note. Let us not judge others, for only God has the right to do that.

It is not the way a person died that matters, but how he/she lived. Our Lord Jesus Christ himself died a tragic, excruciating death on the cross. St. Peter, leader of the apostles, died horribly too crucified upside down on a cross many years later. And who can forget the many Christians persecuted, fed to the lions, defending Jesus and the faith to the end?

Imagine Mother Mary, Jesus' mother, as she witnessed the brutality done to her son, innocent as He was. From the scourging, to the crowning with thorns, the beatings and public humiliation, insults, carrying the heavy cross with blood pouring out like water, and finally...... the slow, painful death by crucifixion.

Can we even realize how that feels? Her son dying in front of her?

For every tear we shed, God cries with us. We are never alone.

Death reminds us of our mortality, of how short our life is. In this way, death creates an urgency for us to repent from sins committed - a reminder that every life has a definite deadline.

Saturday, January 01, 2005

Why so many deaths this Christmas season?

It's Jan. 1, 2005 as I write this. December of 2004 is by far the Christmas season with the most number of deaths ever.

First, a massive typhoon in the Philippines (direct result of illegal loggers and legal loggers!) kills more than a thousand people. Then, famous personalities pass away. All of these just weeks before Christmas.

Then, the biggest disaster came. A tsunami (giant tidal waves) struck Asia, killing over 150,000 people in an instant, just like that. Many Westerners were there (especially Swedish), taking a vacation at the beaches. Men, women, and children. It is said that children accounted for a large number of casualties simply because they can't swim as good as the adults or can't hang on as long as them.

The inevitable question: "Why"??

First, the message is this: death can happen to anyone at anytime. Rich or poor, from the older people to the youth. Youth and riches or power are no guarantee or protection. Death is truly the "great equalizer".

Second, the message is to cherish every Christmas time with our loved ones. From what has happened, you can never be so sure if you'll get to spend the next Christmas with them, or they with you.

In this way, death actually makes us appreciate life more, both our own and that of others. We often take life for granted, don't we? It awakes us up from our usual day-to-day routine, lukewarmness.

Imagine living a life with urgency, where you don't take ANYONE or anything for granted, where every moment, every second counts. Ah, such a life is "heaven on earth"!

Cherish every moment with those you love. As the saying goes "Live life everyday like it was your last. For someday, it will be."

GOD Bless,
Alex C