Sedaqah's First Face: Mercy
"Of all the agonies of life, that which is more poignant and harrowing---that which for the time annihilates reason, leaves our whole life lacerated,mangles the heart---is the conviction that we have been deceived WHERE WE PLACED ALL THE TRUST OF LOVE..."
--- Edward Bulwer Lytton
I wasn't at all prepared to write this face... but let me pour my heart out the best way I can express it...
I have always been tagged as "weak". My theological reflections always involved love. Saying "I love a person" is easy. Understanding it is impossible. Doing it, it is, (what should I say?) in its real and profound sense illogical... totally incomprehensible...
But is loving a person a weakness because it involves mercy and forgiveness?
Reading a reflection by a hermit nun from UK on the Mystical Union of the Soul with God, she says that when one is loved...or when one allows himself/herself to be loved, the soul feels great sorrow in her heart for all her impurities. I clearly remembered this feeling when "he" loved me. I felt my soul's need for "Miserere"... I truly felt it...
I'd like to start off with this face of "sedaqah"... as justice tempered by mercy...
Humility: Sedaqah's Second Face
I have been for a while plagued by questions on justice.
One common goal among our politicians is to eradicate poverty. As I listen to their sugary coated campaign jingles and advertisements, I also look at how much money was spent on their ads. Every political candidate has his/her own formula to fight off poverty. I suggest a full team force, instead, to concretize such plans.
The Pope spoke of Sedaqah in his Lenten reflection last year. It takes more than a president to give his/her due.
JUSTICE is EVERYBODY'S WORK.
Pope Benedict XVI spoke of a "deeper exodus"... a "liberation of the heart"...
Poverty and Hunger: Sedaqah's Third Face
I remember, while studying the psalms, our teacher drew a chinese character symbolizing peace: the stalk, the mouth and the field = food for all... and we concluded that where there is justice, there is peace.
While we celebrate World Thinking Day last 22nd of February, I read from the editorial section of Tempo that world hunger is not caused by lack of food. Similarly, poverty is not caused by the lack of resources. "Poverty consists not in the decrease of man's possesssions, but in the increase of man's greed," says Plato.
What then is asked of us this? The Pope challenges us to a deeper humility --- to accept that I need another in order to free me from what is mine. Needing the other means looking at them as my brothers and sisters... opening my eyes to their reality... and seeing that their needs are as important as mine.
Easy? Mother Teresa, when asked what must we do to eliminate poverty (in India) answered, "We need to learn to share with the poor."
OPEN our minds, our hearts and our arms Lord...