February 26, 2009
It is in the early hours of the night that they come amidst the marching clouds, when the wind was fragile and the moon was somewhere out of sight. Clouds of all sizes and magnitude swayed like sailboats and ships in an ever-moving sea. They remain vague to my naked eyes until I train it a little further until I gain more focus. Then the clouds would take shapes of all sizes, of men with great wings of the widest span---the images of angels appeared to me, as we know them in lore and stories of old, handsome in their white robes and wings white as pearls, signaling to me the messages that they desired to convey, in beautiful and graceful pantomime, vividly staging what to me was the greatest show ever witnessed by my mortal eyes. In some instances, winged horses appeared in the sky, just as handsome and nearly as graceful. And to emphasize their messages, the clouds would also take the form of other things, such as ships with giant sails, a traffic enforcer directing an intersection, a man clearing a canal, a beautiful woman adorned in a bridal gown, and a giant mushroom cloud. And the most enigmatic of all these vision was a very endearing bearded man, with hair lengthy and full, with a big grin on his face, sitting on a huge throne. If I was not mistaken, the bearded man on a huge throne was Jesus Christ Himself.
The cacophony of visions came through a span of many nights that until now, as I looked towards the sky, night or day, the clouds would take shape and there would appear “the greatest show on Earth”, to repeat and reiterate the messages, to make known that they have come to fulfill a promise that was given to us in a time that was so long ago. The angels have come indeed.
They have these wings with span nearly double their heights, and physical features that could easily be described as epitomizing the perfection of the human body. Indeed, the sight of them is so invigorating that I could feel a certain surge in my heart whenever they appear---such feeling of happiness and lightness.
There is also a feeling of being overwhelmed by the sight of an amazing grace, a view of an unparalleled beauty whenever the angels appear. A feeling of being subdued by a higher being that in my mind I vowed and declared full obedience to them and sought their utmost consideration. I asked for understanding of my being a lesser man, for the sins of my past and of the present, nearly confessing all my sins where my memory could reach them and seeking forgiveness as I avowed repentance.
The angels came through the clouds in order to impart to us a message so full of hope and promises, a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow---to lead us towards a place and time that had been murmured and whispered to us from the beginning until the end of times. They have come to invite us all to follow their footsteps towards a voyage that would take us to a land full of joy and happiness, towards an everlasting life, in a world in which all men are brothers and sisters to each other with no regard to race or creed. Where conflict becomes a thing of the past. “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.”
The Creator of All Thing---God---have prepared for us a new Earth, a paradise reborn somewhere in one of the constellation found in the universe, and there would be many worlds to dwell, as well as mansions in the clouds. The worthy shall have wings of great span where the entire universe is a place for us to wander upon, an infinite territory for us to dwell, without the limitations of our present habitat.
One may ask, why have the angels come? Why at this point in time? Is the end of the world nearly approaching? Have they come to punish us? Or have they come to bring the graces of the Lord?
The message is but singular, of a voyage towards a life hereafter and everyone is invited. Those who are chosen shall be aboard the ship and theirs is the rewards of Heaven.
Underlying the invitation towards the Kingdom of God is a message for us to follow the way of the righteous and not that of the blind. It is a time for spiritual reawakening to the true meaning of our faith and the meaning of our existence here on Earth. It is a wake-up call for all of us, to work for changes and to heal this world from the many evils that holds it down like a monkey wrench. It is a time for us to prepare our souls for the coming voyage.
A spiritual renewal and reawakening of humanity must come soon and a world of understanding and harmony must be pursued in order that humankind shall be cleansed of the many evils that have pervaded within and around us. It is for us to thwart the many evils that had enveloped our everyday lives as well as the many great evils that give the peace of this world its present fragility.
Global terrorism and racial wars are stains to the very idea of a livable world, as God had intended it to be, as men nowadays kill in the name of false pride and false dignity, upon groundless assumptions and flawed conclusions.
Jews are greedy many say and soon conflict arises. Arabs are bloodthirsty and discrimination easily prevails. America is the great evil some say and upheaval takes place violently while the real evil permeates somewhere else. Europeans are imperious, they say and isolation results. Asians are too close-minded, and prejudice takes strength.
And ultimately, one Christian is against one Moslem and one Jew would be against one Christian.
These are causes of conflicts that are hounding us today and many times in the past and these causes, if we examined them closely, are grossly specious and unwarranted; when the truth of the matter is that many great conflicts that the world faces today merely arises from the basic evils each of us suffers. The envy and hate of one man injures another man. The envy and hate of many men injures the peace of the world. In order to repeal the great evils that harms us in a global scale, it is but time to heal ourselves with the many and “common” evils we face everyday. To stave away the great prejudices in this world, we have to take away first our personal prejudices.
If we could not defeat the evils in each and every one of us, then how could we aim to defeat the great evils that hound the entire humanity? All great evils come from the small evils in each man. For the devil implants in us a seed of evil and this seed would grow into full fruition if we do not stifle them with great faith in God and in the righteousness of man. In order to change the world, it is essential to change the self first.
In our everyday lives, many evils occur around us that their incidence have already reached a certain level of acceptability, as if they are merely part of our everyday life---a routine, a culture, and a habit.
Men in government steal everyday and we say there goes just another government man. Men gossip against another everyday, and we just say there goes another gossiper. Men lie in order to gain advantage almost every time, and he is just another opportunist.
There are many in our midst---a neighbor or a co-worker---who covet another man’s wife or lust upon another man’s daughter or son, and yet they are not so much already as a surprise to us all. And everyday many lives are taken due to the violence of some men; and while indeed killing is ever contemptible, we could not anymore escape their seeming ordinariness.
We must repel these “common evils” and rebel strongly to their occurrences. To lie and to gossip may be small faults and yet does a gossiper enter the Kingdom of God? Of course not, for a habitual gossiper would only disrupt the peace and harmony in Paradise. Therefore, gossiping then is just about similar to stealing and that to killing. If to gossip is never to enter the Kingdom of God, then what makes it less detestable than to steal or kill? (A lesser punishment perhaps for a lesser crime.)
There might be the cognizance of lesser crimes as compared to graver crimes but why should we risk losing the Kingdom of God with lesser sins when both the gossiper and the murderer shall be cast away from the Promised Land and thrown into “the vengeance of an eternal fire” .
What we need today is a total cleansing of our spiritual selves, to go back to the roots of basic ethics as declared to us in countless ways and in too many instances, over and over again, whether in The Torah or in The Holy Bible or in the Noble Qu’ran. For all these books, no matter the discrepancy in their roots, declares adherence to the same basic concept of ethics, a code of conduct that is uniform regardless of religion or creed for every religion is very similar in their propagation of good and the casting away of evil deeds, where stealing is intolerable as well as gossiping and where fornication is ever abominable. If every religion despises the thief and the fornicator what difference does it make then?
Let us go back to the dictates of the Holy Bible, of the Noble Qu’ran, of the Torah, or of the teachings of Buddha and Confucius. All religion preaches the propagation of goodness and the avoidance of evil and in them our salvation is secured and the dictates of the Lord God, as declared in many times and in many forms, are far too clear in fact for us to ignore them. The desires of God on how to go about our conduct were simple that to feign ignorance is almost criminal. Even if you have not read any book on religion or hear the sermon of any preacher, you could always determine what is good and what is evil by invoking the discretion of your heart and mind, and ultimately the inquiries of your consciences. For example, the act of murder is absolutely disdainful to anyone and wherever it may happen for it takes away the right of another to live and causes intense sorrow and difficulties to the kinsmen of the dead one. You do not have to read the Bible or the Qu’ran in order to know that murder is wrong. We feel a burden in our hearts whenever we commit wrong. It is like a microchip imbedded to us by God so that we may not be led astray and yet many among us have opted to disregard this mode of self determining the propriety of our conduct, preferring to lavish their earthly instincts by disregarding the callings of our consciences, leading them ultimately to no other place but their own perdition.
Stealing is abhorred in every religion. Killing is always heinous. Adultery and fornication are pure abomination in whatever religion. Gossiping is vice always.
On the other hand, sharing is ever enriching. Helping the poor and the needy a must to us all. Every religion teaches us to love our neighbors and to have the greatest faith in God---the Creator of All things---these are the usual works and traits of a man with great faith whatever religion he may profess.
All these dictates (in whatever book they are contained) are all very simple and easy to comprehend that we do not need extraordinary intelligence in order to know what is good and what is bad. It does not matter if the dictates came from Jesus Christ, from Abraham, from Moses, from Prophet Mohammad or from Buddha; for if we examine closely all their teachings, they are very similar to one another, that is, the propagation of the good and the avoidance of evil.
Every religion may be peculiar and unique on its own ways that certainly many differences arise. However, these differences are what we call marginal and does not often comes in the nature of substantial matters. These variances often come in social conducts and customs like the food we eat or the rituals of prayers yet the basic ethical dictates are generally similar. At the bottom of it all is that, it is not how we have faith in religion but how we have faith in God.
We need merely to realize the undeniable fact that God existed long before any religion arose, before the word “Roman Catholic” or “Islam” was conceived. And God has no religion. God loves the proper and obedient may he be a Chinese, a Russian, an American, a Jew or an Arab. The Christians pray while kneeling. The Moslems touches the ground with their foreheads. The Hindus does not eat cow’s meat. The Buddhist meditates for long hours. These are differences merely in the conduct and practice of religion. For Americans eat potatoes as staple while Asians have rice on their table everyday. Europeans have wine upon every meal while many of us have water instead. These differences are not reason for us to kill each other and be separated by prejudices for in fact the differences among us were meant to make this world more livable, to have synergy and diversity in our existence, so that a true brotherhood of man could be attained, where there is the acceptance that your brother may not look like you but still he is your brother.
For how could we ever imagine a world of Catholics all in faith or of a world of Asians all in race? The world then would be an existence of monotony, without assortment and diversity, and that would be a boring and insufferable world. When variety does not take place, no one would travel anymore in order to learn the unknown, for the conditions in other places and continents would just be the same as the place where one is coming from. And all the things that are found there are also found in the place where you are. Trade would not prosper if every civilization in the past produced silk, mine gold, molded porcelains and grow spices, olive oils, cotton and tea---all at the same time. There would have been no Spanish galleons and Chinese junks crossing oceans in the past. The Spaniard would not have met and known the existence of the Chinese man half a world away.
No one would have asked questions on the nature and peculiarity of other men if all of them looked the same, with the same facial features, the same body structure, the same culture, and hence the same character. Why would I be interested in you if in fact you are just the same as me? I would not have the usual motive to know you and to get acquainted with you, in order to inquire more upon your conditions in life, about your family, and your occupation if you are just the same as me. I would not have converse with you with the same level of interest as when you have blond hair and stand so tall while in contrast I am short and have brown skin. I would not be able to understand you as much, for our monogamy in person would make me inquire about you lesser.
Let not the differences in race and creed divide us but instead let them allow us towards unity and enhanced understanding among people of different roots and credos. We are brothers and sisters all, born from the same Creator, the same Maker. We all must agree that all things come from the one Creator, the only one God. We are all the offspring of the Lord.
Indeed, the rewards of the obedient are bountiful and aplenty beyond expectations and the punishment for those who have been defiant to the dictates of the Creator shall be of suffering that is also beyond the boundaries of our human comprehension. The reward is an everlasting life of joy and happiness in the Kingdom of God while the punishment is never-ending suffering and castigation in hellfire.
There was one fish story that brought me to the very ends of the world it seems, so far away that running water does not exist and a paved ...
Over gallons and gallons of tuba ---the quintessentially popular Filipino beverage made out of palm or coconut trees--- I once in a while co...
When I was in highschool, Michael Petralba, an old neighborhood friend from Carmen Street but who is now residing in Los Angeles, once sp...