To the Church in the Philippines -
JESUS CHRIST is our Exemplar:
Our Path and our Destiny.
He is the Second Person
of the one Triune Perfection -
The true and everliving God -
Most to be adored
Yet so little known
By needful men.
He is the Eternal Word of God,
Beloved Son of the Father,
Eternally begotten, not made;
True God from True God,
Infinite Truth from Infinite Truth -
One with the Father and the Holy Spirit -
Through Him all things came to be,
The Splendor of all living creation,
The Light of the human race.
And this Light shines in the darkness
and the darkness has not overcome it.
Though immortal and invulnerable
out of love for suffering mankind
He went down from heaven
through the obedience of our Lady
and the love in her Immaculate Heart.
He was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and was born of the Virgin Mary.
He is True God and True Man.
In His Sacred Humanity,
He is True Man,
like us in every manner
save for sin.
In His Eternal Divinity,
He is True God,
unlike us in all truth
save for grace.
He constantly yearned over us
living in solidarity with sinners.
He lived to serve the least of men
desiring that all men be saved.
He lived and walked among us
examining our hearts and our ways.
He called each of us by our name
and made Himself available to all.
He called us to live a life of repentance,
to worship God in spirit and in truth;
and he gave our hearts, our hope -
and he gave our hopes, His Heart -
with the courage to overcome
the darkness within ourselves.
By our common Christian baptism:
He rekindled in our hearts
The sanctifying fire of Divine Love.
And called us out of this world
to belong forever with Him
as one Covenant family of God.
He illumined the darkness of our minds
by the Light of His own perfect human life.
And taught us His timeless counsels -
to be meek, humble, and contrite,
to be chaste, holy and upright,
to be like God, our Father in heaven,
giving us His new commandment of love
by which heaven and earth shall know
that we are His disciples.
He grieved much for our sakes
and prayed assiduously for us.
He lovingly offered for us
His own Body and Blood
and instituted for us
Our common Eucharistic meal
that would feed our souls,
as our new manna from heaven,
and sustain us for the journey
across the void of exile time
through the bitter portal of our death
into the promised Kingdom of God,
Our one, true Country.
His Peace is a promise
that He will be with us for always -
His Light will see us through this darkness,
His Truth being both our Path and our Destiny,
and His Love will not let us perish in the end.
For His Peace is a promise indeed -
that He will see us through to better days -
into a place without war and tears,
into a better world without sin and suffering,
into a time of everlasting life and of joyous peace
lived in the timeless embrace of the vision of our God.
He sent us His Holy Spirit
to guide and to fortify,
to serve and to strengthen,
to shape and to sanctify,
and protect from the gates of hell
His Militant Church on earth.
And illumine for all of us the way
along the hard and narrow road,
up the difficult, high mountain path
of universal truth and Christian virtue.
He lived for the truth,
He spoke nothing but the truth,
He is nothing but the truth,
and died instead of mouthing the lie
that would deny Him His Divinity.
He became vulnerable
to suffer with our suffering
and embrace our human condition
giving true meaning to our living.
He became mortal
to die with our death
and transform our fallen nature
giving true meaning to our dying.
He was betrayed and abandoned by His friends,
and suffered under Pontius Pilate.
He was rejected, slapped, spat at, mocked and scourged,
punched, tortured, crowned with thorns and beaten with reeds.
He was made an object of contempt
and though innocent
was treated more guilty than a murderer.
He was unjustly condemned to die
a horrible and ignominious,
slow and lingering death by crucifixion.
He was made to carry His heavy, wooden Cross
and amidst a jeering, shouting crowd
was dragged violently through the streets of Jerusalem.
He was stripped naked and was nailed to the wood of His Cross.
He was raised up and made to hang in unthinkable agony,
upon that lonely mount of Calvary;
an object of scorn and ridicule to His own creatures,
suspended between heaven and earth
like a bridge between the world of God and the world of men.
His Sacred Humanity, bloodied and bruised beyond recognition,
He did reveal to us the depth of his hunger for us.
He did thirst for our love.
He wept out of sheer loneliness
and looked down in sorrow
upon the grieving faces of His Mother, Mary,
and his beloved disciple, Saint John.
Out of love for His Mother
and out of mercy for us,
He entrusted us to Mary
and Mary to us through Saint John
at the foot of His Cross.
His most loving and Sacred Heart,
a most loving Heart that has loved us so much
yet in return is loved so little,
was emptied out for us.
He bore for all mankind the terrible wrath
gathered up for all our sins past, present and future.
He bled His Sacred Blood in profuse torrents
to wash away all our iniquities
He cried out in abject grief
and utter desolation
to His Father in Heaven,
commended to God, His Spirit
and died of a broken Heart.
His broken Heart was then pierced
with a lance
and It flowed with the water and the blood
that sealed forever the new and everlasting Covenant
between God and man.
It is said that our Holy Mother Church,
as Christ's new Covenant people,
sprang from His wounded side.
Alleluia, O my soul, Christ our Savior
Has paid the ransom
For the sins of all mankind!
Our Blessed Lord gave to us the gift of Himself
out of His perfect obedience
to the tender mercies
of the Father of all mercy
and His infinite love for us,
miserable and wretched sinners that we are,
until He was so completely
and utterly spent
that even though He was God
and He is God
and God being infinitely rich
and powerful beyond measure,
as Saint Augustine said -
He gave until He had nothing left to give.
Indeed, He loved us all without exception
and cherished us each without measure
right to the bitter end.
He forgave His tormentors
for He loved both His enemies
as well as His friends.
In so doing, our Blessed Lord
and Holy Redeemer
our common heritage
by His life, Passion, death and Resurrection
from one of everlasting death
into one of resurrection unto everlasting life.
Glory to God in the highest!
Peace to all men of goodwill -
Adoration to Jesus Christ -
Our Beloved Lord and Omnipotent God;
Our Blessed Savior and Loyal Friend;
Our Divine Master and Celestial King;
Our Eldest Brother and Faithful Helper;
Our Light and our Truth;
Our Resurrection and Life;
Our one true Shepherd,
Our Pledge of Victory;
Our Prince of Peace;
Our Hope Everlasting;
Our Eternal Daystar;
The True Morning Star;
The First of our First Magnitudes
Our Everything and our All.
He is Jesus Christ, our Exemplar:
Our Path and our Destiny -
True God and True Man,
Son of God and Son of Mary.
And this I most solemnly confess
as most sincerely mine own,
with all the Christian truths
of my Roman Catholic Faith,
in silence and in words,
alone or with others,
in thought and in deed,
in time and in eternity
by the blessed
and thrice-holy Name
of the one, great Triune Perfection:
and the Holy Spirit -
One God and LORD forever!
Mabuhay ang Pilipinas! God bless us all.
God is not a product of religion. Religion is a response to the Divine Reality.
While all men are called to faith, faith is not a choice begun by any man. Faith is a choice begun by God of all men. And as thus is a surrender to the calling by which all men participate in the Divine will.
Unity is an aspect of the liberty of nations.
The separation between Church and State is not a separation between God and human reality.
The fruit of all honorable religion is peace.