PARADOXICAL

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

 

Good Friday thoughts


I don’t know what to feel about all these Lenten shows on TV aimed at conversion and evangelization. Through no fault of their own, they all sound to me like preaching to the choir, which leaves me feeling left out. That’s because I already surrendered myself to the Lord, have long been in the service striving to do good works, doing my share of the burden of evangelization – and yet this still happened to me.

I still lost my bread-and-butter job, I still developed hypertension, I was not spared from anxiety and panic attacks, on top of being besieged by other problems in the family that make me question what I believe in, enough to empathize with atheists.  

If I was able to relate at all at one drama show, the only part of the script I can relate to is this most bitter of paradoxes: "Lord, bat mo ko pinabayaan? Tapos parurusahan mo ko." (Lord, why did you abandon me? And only to punish me.) It rivals the worst lines in Biblical jeremiads, the most anguished verses in Lamentations and Psalms. I felt betrayed by God, no less.

One could argue, as one old friend did, that I am being called to further conversion, to a new level of relationship with God. Wow, I don't know if I like that, but thanks anyway.

The scarier thought, however, remains, nagging at my conscience: maybe I displeased God in some way and I am reaping the whirlwinds of past misdeeds?
Whatever it is, my dominant prayer is more of deliverance – “Deliver me from evil” – than “Give me strength, for I don’t think I can bear any more." I acknowledge my pain threshold is quite short.

It’s Good Friday. I anticipate that it will soon break into the Dawn of Black Saturday, because this pain can be too painful even for a masochist.



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