Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Faces of Sedaqah

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.


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...


  1. It takes strength to realize the right or wrong, and to be able to realize and pinpoint're not weak..

  2. I think you are far from weak. Many times to love, takes courage and faith (especially if it is somene that doesn't love us, even an enemy). I loved this post and the Pope's thoughts towards humility. Without humility, it is impossible to become in Union with God. Pride creates a barrier.
    Beautiful reflections.

  3. is not a weakness and neither are you weak... truly being in love and being loved back is not misery....I do think some humility is a good thing but pride is not a bad thing either. We should have a self pride.. a realization that we have something to offer to the world, something good and for that we and you should be proud!!! But then again I am just a photographer not a saint \, I might be wrong!!!

  4. As Mother Teresa said, “We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.”

    Is the goal of politicians to eradicate hunger? From what I’ve seen of the politicians here in the U.S. it isn’t the goal at all. I’ve never seen such greed as we have among our so-called “leaders.” I just pray that God will deliver us from blind leaders of the blind.

    ~ Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on us!

    Jesus said “the poor you will always have with you.” But he always tells us to feed and clothe the poor. It won’t be the political leaders who accomplish this mission, but rather those who walk in truth, humility, and love. It will be those who, like Mother Teresa, follow the call to charity. Thank you, dear Melissa, for your stirring messages, and blessings always.

  5. Melissa,

    Who ever tagged you as weak should have there lights punched out.. You are far from weak.....
    You have more strength in your little body than most men have. You have fought your whole life for what is right in your life. Please stop playing those tapes they will destroy you. Love is not weakness love is empowerment you are love.

  6. I think to love someone and want someone is not weak. I think only the brave and courageous are ready to love and to go through the pains of love and longing. You are ab brave and woman, soul sis

  7. great thought process. its not weakness its ur bravery, ur big heart

  8. If you're weak then you don't can't even write jot down these things.If you're weak then you can't wait the person you love.If you're weak then you can't even express yourself.
    Remember, Anyone can give up, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. But to hold it together when everyone else would understand if you fell apart, that's true strength. You say you're weak? Hell no!