Friday, April 01, 2005

Before Heaven's Gate: An Epilogue

Permit my mind to dance through a single thought right now. Permit me to speak in words that are foreign on my lips. Permit me to speak about religion.

You might be living under a rock if you haven't heard of the grave condition that the Vatican Pontiff is in. I was smitten, much to my surprise.

I have grown up in a household wherein the most symbolic icon that has a vague resemblance to religion would be an immaculate reproduction of Leonardo's The Last Supper. It wasn't even bought. It was a gift from a distant relative. John, Matthew, and Luke to me are Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln.

When I was a little boy I'd often associate somber feelings towards religious rituals. My eyes were accustomed to see these events as just one of those human need for ostentation. They were pointless, and a tad too hypocritical. I could reach back to a time when I was looking for my own god. One who doesn't castigate you for not attending Mass on Sundays, one who speaks on a lofty abode, one who does need words from a book to prove his existence. But thats another story altogether.

For a while, I felt extremely malevolent towards the Church and what it represents. Its trying to herd sheep that doesnt want to be penned up anymore. Doctrines from antiquity being applied to modern society. Labelling people because of their lifestyle and telling to their faces that they do not deserve a piece of heaven. And who would take the blunt of my dislike than the spearhead himself? However, I still gave Ceasar what is due to him. I gave him my respect.

Over the years, that respect fluctuated. He won my heart when he went here for the World Youth Day during my elementary years (the soundtrack of which would be the ubiquitous Tell The World Of His Love ditty, which caused ringing in my head for so many months). There was also the time when he sent a hefty amount of aid to those famine stricken countries. But then he fell out of grace with me when he gave his blessing to Mr. George "WMD" Bush to wage a war on a country on the pretense that his nation is on a mission of "peace". More like: Give me a "peace" of that Oil rich land. To this, he just washed his hands clean. And what more can cripple whatever remaining veneration I had for him? Its when he said in his 'Centesimus Annus' (encyclical letter), that homosexuality is an 'Ideology of Evil'.

At this point in his life, when he is at his last moments, I can't help but feel a tinge of sympathy. I wonder, what was it like dedicating your whole life to a dying cause? What is it like to grow up in monasteries, shielded from the realities of the world? What is it like to be deemed the closest thing on this Earth to God? And what is it like to lead an entire multitude and try to carry their burden? For the last part, thats where he wins back my admiration.

I sincerely hope for your recovery, Karol. You are a strong man. We may not be on the same page, however I respect you. You did the best job you can. And your lot would remember you for that. A good journey to you. And if ever we meet at the Pearly Gates in the not so distant future, could you put in a good word for me?

Have a good weekend everyone. Remember that prayers are potent. It doesn't hurt to try.

[Music of the Moment: Vaghe fonti - Arioso ]
[Mood: solemn ]


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