Saturday, July 16, 2011

Salutation #36

(Exhortation to America for National Unity)

You are either American by birth or by deliverance -
either way, shouldn't you be grateful that you are?

When you came forth into your Country,
when the Providence of Almighty God
called you forth into citizenship with your Nation
you were either Democrat or Republican,
black, white, yellow, red or brown -
do your still remember this?

And does it matter to you now
whether you were born into America
or you were graciously adopted by her -
you were just a soul in great need
of the love and strength of human community.
You needed a place to grow up in.
You needed a place to shelter away from.
You needed a place you may build your dreams upon.
You needed a home away from Home - for you.
Now you have come this far only to forget
that with divisions you spurn her love.

If a Filipino like myself can have a feel
for your sense of Country, how much more you -
dear American soul, friend to my Friend,
and kindred to the peace of my own Nation?

I spent a little over 8 years
immersed in your undertaking of Country, America.

I was there with you at the close of the last century.
I felt your trepidation as we counted down the Y2K clock.
I felt the relief that came after.

I felt your insecurities at the start of the 21st century.

I saw it come to a head during the presidential elections of 2000.
I felt your growing distress at the confusion this election brought you.
I admired the strength of your loyalty to your Republic afterwards.

I was there with you during the 9/11 attacks.
I felt the initial haze and the awestruck disbelief.
I felt the growing anger.
I felt the anxiety and the uncertainty.
I felt your cries for justice and I yearned for it as well.

I feared for you, America,
for the consequences of this new war on terror.
For it seemed to me a war with no clear conclusions.

I saw you went to war in Afghanistan.
I saw you went to war in Iraq.
I experienced with you the savagery
of all those videotaped terror attacks on individual civilians.
I felt the thrill of your small victories.
I experienced with you
the bittersweet story of Pat Tillman
and Jessica Lynch.
I felt the pain of your mounting losses.

I mourned with you the loss of Columbia and its brave crew
and felt your helplessness when Katrina hit New Orleans.

I felt your concerns
for the well-being of your citizenry,
even your celebrities - their exploits and scandals,
but especially your unforgotten veterans
and the common folk.

I felt your social insecurities.
I felt your growing racial divides.
I felt the quiet class struggles within you
between the haves and the have-nots.
I felt the depth of the longing in your youth
and the resilient strength of their own dreaming as well.

I felt the frustration of those undocumented workers
who were all lumped into the singular term "illegal immigrant"
as if being a person is a crime.
I was one of them.

I felt the frustration of your traditional sources
of sober civic strength
in the dwindling middle classes
retreating either into walled isolation
or forced to retire far, far away from you.

I felt your own growing frustration,
O elder Republic.
And I grew afraid for you.
For I have long felt your inward fragmentation
long before War cast its shadow on you.

Above all, I felt this need,
this really deep-seated need for a faith
that will restore you to yourself -
the faith that was yours right from the start.

The faith you forgot.

I am grateful for the chance to experience you, America.
And I am thankful to God that I have kept my gratitude.

if there is anything I'd like to see, America -
it is your own faith restored.

You must awaken to new things!

you must work to liberate your soul
from too much materialism -
The Common Market exists to serve
and to prosper the Nation.
So too does the Responsible State exist
for the sake of the good of the Nation.

I promise you it will be difficult.
Indeed, it will be difficult for all of us
as the one family of the nations of Mankind.
But consummate with its hardships are its rewards.
And we are not without help, America,
- we have God and we have each other -
as nations dreaming together this time.

You must understand
in this new age, under this season of heaven -
we are all pioneers now.

-selah -

The spirit of War
- being conscious of itself -
will exert maximum effort
to prevent our entrance
into the door that leads us away
from its unfamiliar reign.

it shall be natural for the spirit of War
to strategically pick its fights.

And America,
your own heart of hearts
is one of those choice battlegrounds
and you know it.

The major Countries,
the most developed,
those who are near its age of maturity,
the emerging ones,
the stronger ones,
as well as those decisive groupings of nations -
they shall all be placed against this common test.

We shall be pitted against each our own truths,
tempted to the point of breaking and despairing,
and even exposed to danger.

But through it all,
we shall either only surrender
to the gravity of War - or break away from it -
by our drawing nearer to God,
the LORD and Sovereign of all human nations
and first defender of thy Republic
(and of mine, and of all other orphaned nations).

So may God preserve us all, dear America,
from the evil of these present times.

Substance and the American Dream

It is not material wealth that makes people happy, starshine.

Although I will not deny that material wealth greatly improves the lives of people, it is the needs of the people's hearts that must first be addressed to make a way for happiness.

For it is the heart that asks to be happy: It is the soul of Man that wills to contain the happiness he seeks and not the corporal body.

Now, the corporal body desires corporal pleasure and will not be happy by itself with a smile, or a loving touch, or any spiritual blessings wrought in graces or gifts.

What the body desires for itself must dwell only within the limits of its physicality but because it is the soul of Man (in the habitation of his or her heart) that asks to be happy, we all seek for an everlasting kind of happiness.

Ultimately, we realize, in the course of each our lives, that we have somehow fallen in love with the dreaming more than the dream itself, with the living more than the life, the Eternal more than the temporal.

Because the soul of Man, Beloved of God, endowed with the image and likeness of His Creator, is immortal.

This is why it will just not do to fashion the American Dream on material substance alone. The pursuit of happiness is a spiritual striving.

Is it? Can a nation ever really lose its dreaming?
Redefine the dream, I say, and it shall be yours once again.

Mabuhay ang Amerika at mabuhay po tayong lahat! God bless all His nations of the one family of the nations of Mankind.

A Just Equality