Ongoing Formation with the Minister: To SEE (Part 1)
The ongoing formation is a monthly session with our very own CFAM Minister, Rev. Fr. Carlo Magno Marcelo. It is a once-a-month formation, aimed to give direction or redirection by the shepherd to his herd. The OGF for the month of February is a continuation of the topic he gave the preceding month (January). He dissected the book of Pope Francis entitled ‘LET US DREAM’ (THE PATH TO A BETTER FUTURE), an interview done during the pandemic, part by part, and focused his discussion on these topics.
He started the session by reviewing the January topic “Our Hearts Revealed,” which aims to challenge us to see clearly, to choose well and to act right. This month, the first part focused on knowing and understanding “to see.” As an introduction, he started by assessing the current state of the pandemic, wherein Pope Francis encourages us to see this as an opportunity to re-imagine the future. The pandemic brought change but Pope Francis believes that the future must be a more equitable global society. He also mentioned a movement that considered the pandemic as a reset. The Pope spoke about the importance of placing human dignity at the very center of our political efforts by providing the people with 3L’s - Land, Lodging, Labor plus education, and health care. But the lingering question is, how can we help in doing this?
The Pope invites us, through the process of discernment, to see, to choose, and to act. “To see” is to go to the margins, for it is where you will see the world as it is. God himself chose to go to the margins when He wanted to regenerate creation. This place is full of possibilities. To see is to look at people who paint themselves silver to be seen. During these challenging times, to look at the frontliners, we must honor them instead of taking them for granted, likened them as the antibodies to the virus of indifference by serving others.
Who shows us the way that we must now rebuild the future? Pope Francis leads us to the myth of self-sufficiency, reminding us that we belong to God and to one another and we are part of His creation. Like Noah’s ark, the Covid-19 pandemic will carry us to a new tomorrow, resetting the world, and making way for the regeneration of human society. The keys to regeneration involve the sabbath and jubilee. The pandemic served as a forced sabbath for us and for society. Pope Francis’ invitation is set out for us to have a culture of service and not a throwaway culture. The Holy Father also warns us by revealing the 3 ways in escaping reality - narcissism, discouragement, and pessimism, because these three ways block, paralyze, change our focus and give us illusions. These three are also sirens and voices that make us a stranger to ourselves.
Fr. Carlo ended his talk with a short silence for reflection on the three ways in escaping reality. Before the session came to an end, Fr. Carlo reminded everyone about the launching of the “Kataga ng Buhay” and took the opportunity to sing along the Kataga ng Buhay theme song “Narito Ako.”