DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines – Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) president Socrates Villegas is ashamed of the things he reads about the Philippines in the international media and of what he hears from the country’s leaders when he watches the local news.
In his reflections titled “Confused and sad yet hopeful,” Villegas said the Filipino values of maka-Diyos, makatao and makabayan (pro-God, pro-people and pro-country) are slowly eroding and being replaced by an open license for cuss words, orchestrated lies and vulgarity.
“I am afraid that our children and youth will catch and embrace these twisted values. I dread the thought they might carry these errors into the next generation and render tomorrow bleak and gloomy,” he said.
He said he grieved over the killings that he had been seeing and hearing about, apparently referring to the killings related to the government’s anti-drug campaign.
“The well is running dry and I can no longer condole with the bereaved families because I myself need to be assured that things will get better,” he said.
“My brows have not been without furrows for some months now – worried, confused and sad. I cry as I pray alone. I am horrified at the new ‘things’ that make my countrymen laugh,” he added.
To help him cope, Villegas said he holds on to the saying: The darkest hour is just before dawn. “The darkest hour is the hour before the sunburst!”
“In my great shame at where our nation is going, in my confusion, in my doubts, in my grief, in my worry, in my fears, what can I do to change the downward course of my beloved Philippines?” he asked.
He urged the people to pray the rosary everyday, noting the church will commemorate on Oct. 13 the 99th anniversary of the final apparition of Our Lady of Fatima to the three children in Portugal.
The Blessed Virgin urged the children to tell people to pray the rosary everyday.
“The rosary in our hands and on our lips are powerful weapons for our time. So simple we take for granted, yet so powerful for world change,” he said.
He urged the people to attend mass everyday and receive communion.
“The pious practice of receiving daily communion for the country will heal our land. Do not ever forget that one Eucharist lovingly offered is enough to change the entire cosmos. How much more this nation,” he said as he called on the people to go to confession at least once a month.
Survivors of Super Typhoon Haiyan march during a religious procession in Tolosa on the eastern Philippine island of Leyte on November 18, 2013 over one week after Super Typhoon Haiyan devastated the area. The United Nations estimates that 13 million people were affected by Super Typhoon Haiyan with around 1.9 million losing their homes. AFP PHOTO / Philippe LopezPHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images
Tags: called on the people to go to confession at least once a month, Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, Catholic Church, CBCP, Duterte, Eucharist, extrajudicial killings, Filipino values, Hitler, killings related to the government’s anti-drug campaign, prayer, pro-country, pro-God, pro-people, receive communion, Socrates Villegas, Summary executions, vigilante killings