Spir­i­tual blind­ness

Manila Bulletin - - Views • Features - By FR. BEL SAN LUIS, SVD

ONE time I was asked by a ba­lik­bayan lady to bless her hus­band be­cause it was his birth­day. “Where is he?” I asked. “There, Fa­ther,” she replied point­ing at an urn be­ing held by a helper.

“How old was he?” I asked. He was only 49; he died of lung can­cer.”

* * * “Was he a smoker?” I said. “Oh very much,” she replied. “He would con­sume three packs of cig­a­rettes a day. I al­ways warned him of the se­ri­ous ef­fect but he didn’t lis­ten.

“My hus­band died but he ex­pe­ri­enced ex­cru­ci­at­ing pains be­cause he also con­tracted em­phy­sema (swelling of the lungs) prior to his death.”

* * * The Lord re­marked about the Jews dur­ing his time, “They have eyes but can­not see, they have ears but can­not hear.”

There are peo­ple to­day, too, who do not want to see their faults and weak­nesses. They are spir­i­tu­ally blind and deaf.

* * * In­ter­est­ingly, we heed the warn­ings of con­cerned peo­ple only when we are in trou­ble or it’s too late.

I am re­minded of a pri­est whose weak­ness was drink­ing. He de­vel­oped pep­tic ul­cer; it be­came so bad that the ul­cer­ous por­tion of his stom­ach was re­moved. Un­for­tu­nately that didn’t de­ter him from drink­ing.

He de­vel­oped bleed­ing ul­cer again. He was op­er­ated on, sur­viv­ing with only one-fourth of his stom­ach.

* * * His doc­tor sternly warned him, “Fa­ther, do you want to live longer? if you con­tinue to drink, I’m sorry to say but that will be your end!” (Funny but this time it’s a doc­tor “ser­mo­niz­ing” a pri­est!).

The “ser­mon” proved ef­fec­tive. The pri­est made a firm re­solve never to touch al­co­hol again.

He ful­filled his prom­ise al­right and to­day, he is still alive and healthy at 85 years.

* * * There are other ar­eas when we’re spir­i­tu­ally blind and deaf. It could be a bad trait like cho­leric tem­per, pride, greed, self­ish­ness. We would all do well to be open-minded. Pray to God for the grace of HU­MIL­ITY--to be hum­ble to lis­ten to well-mean­ing ad­vices and con­struc­tive crit­i­cisms. Above all, pray for WILL POWER to change and cor­rect what needs to be changed or cor­rected in us. * * * Some­body once said, “Our minds should be like a parachute. They work only when they’re open.”

* * * STORY. A bus driver was bring­ing around tourists to Manila’s his­toric land­marks. Point­ing at an old fort, the driver said over the mi­cro­phone, “Hun­dreds of Ja­panese died on that spot.” Af­ter a while, he showed an old bridge and said, “The Ja­panese Im­pe­rial sol­diers were wiped out there.”

* * * The driver kept on nar­rat­ing how the Ja­panese lost. A guy stood up and said, “Is there any place where the Ja­panese also won?” The driver replied: “Sir, as long as I am the driver, the Ja­panese never won!”

MORAL: Bias is one cause of spir­i­tual blind­ness.

* * * IN­DI­GENT SICK. I am ap­peal­ing on be­half of some in­di­gent sick we are help­ing like Dante Ca­bansag and Fr. Ruben Ma­muad, SVD who are un­der­go­ing hemodial­y­sis thrice weekly, a stage 4 can­cer pa­tient, and oth­ers af­flicted with asthma and TB.

* * * GOD BLESS — the fol­low­ing char­i­ta­ble peo­ple who re­sponded to my ap­peal: DINDIN LATORRE, WILLY-LINA ONG, an anony­mous CHI­NESE-FILIPINO DONOR, GERRY “MR. FREEZE” SAN­TOS. * * * Oth­ers who wish to help may e-mail me at: belsvd@gmail.com.

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