What we lose is what stays


17 February 2006: Friday of the 6th Week in Ordinary Time
Mark 8, 34 – 9, 1: Finding Life by Losing It


There are certain things that are lost by being kept, and saved by being used. The essence of life is in risking life and spending life, not in saving it and hoarding it. There certain things in us Filipinos that marks us. Here is a list.

1. The book, “What makes you Filipino”: the new sofa is covered with plastic.
2. When newly-acquired equipment such as the LCD projector is kept displayed at the Audio-Visual Room, and hardly used because of very strict rules. Some appliances are mostly underutilized.
3. Talents that we possess: if we use it, talents develop into something greater. If not used, the person loses it in the end.
4. Heroes, saints and martyrs: People who risked their lives for our sake, have gained freedom and independence for us. By losing their lives, we have kept them alive.
5. Love: How do I find true love? By doing it, as 1st Reading from James: what is faith without work. If you say you love another person, but you do not show it, it is useless. If you say you care about workers and their plight, but do not concretely act on it, you are then a liar. Love is about doing and expressing it in action. St. Ignatius said that love ought to find expression more in deeds than in words. It means that love should be spent to save it.

Here is a personal experience: an excerpt from my journal.

“Some things change. Two thousand five hundred years ago, Heraclitus said, “All is flux, nothing stays still." Recently, two choirmates bid us a temporary goodbye. A few hours ago, FEU students about to take their PT Board Exams wept when they realized that the five years were over and the inevitable was about to take place. A few hours ago, our choir wished our former choir coordinator, a safe trip abroad and years well spent in the US studying children's literature.

This is a good lesson about loss and goodbyes. Only a week before I got ordained, the bus from Baguio burned. In that burning bus was a black sweatshirt I hardly used, saving it for special occasions. Perhaps the only way we get to keep anything is to use it up. From then on, I formulated my room rule: If an item isn't used for a year, it belongs to someone else.

I remember the movie, With Honors. Monty (Brendan Fraser) learned about life from Simon Wilder (Joe Pesci) who collected stones to remember the experiences he wanted to keep. Perhaps to keep my friends is to spend time with them.

Indeed, some things do stay. And all I get to keep are my memories.”


*photo by Neo Saicon SJ

1 comment:

boniface "junjun" bonhayag said...

Nice article! Go on!