Quo Vadis

June 9, 2020

Here is an article that makes us think.
Dr. Teresita R. Ochoco became an outstanding government employee when she was in the Civil Service Commission and was the Founder and First Dean of the Caloocan City Polytechnic College, now known as the University of Caloocan City.

A. Silence, a very precious untreasured gift
Showered to all men and women on this earth
Where almost all soak to glitters of wealth
From early dawn till after the sun has set

B. What is life but a continuous countdown
Of hours, days, nights, months – payable in sum
All work and everything that can be done
To meet the needs and insatiable wants.

C. Man has everything but not the self
The little voice within him lies unheard
The need to labor hard makes him deaf
No moment left to commune with depth

D. No solemn place there is for the little phone
To transact business, talk to friends, to answer call
Material things transcend the human worth
Man forgets his covenant with the Lord.

From deep slumber after a day of stressful work, the intermittent ringing of the alarm clock finally woke us up.
Strange! Silent morning!
No loud music from the nearby disco pub, no irritating honk from the neighbors’ cars, vans, passer-by jeepneys. No peddlers hawking their wares. Everything quiet in the neighborhood! What a beautiful, peaceful day to work!
Work. This seems to be the essence of our life from the moment we open our eyes. Our preoccupation is work. We consign our life, our livelihood, our existence to work. We feel afraid to lose our work; we hurry our breakfast, our hygiene, our gait in order not to be late in our work. We feel afraid if we do not work – no work, no pay; our security is work. Work is the bread and butter of our life. We totally forgot that man does not live by bread alone. I think now is the most opportune moment to meditate on the significant meaning of this forgotten vitamin for the soul.

The scenario remained for a month and repeated itself for more than a month. In silence, we cannot but hear the tiny voice tinkles. Now, we are no longer preoccupied; we now have time to listen, to meditate. No more noise around.
Why have we forgotten Him? Can it be that all movements – land transportation, airplane, sea vessels, and ships – are lessened to create a silence that will enable us to hear Him?
Is it possible that work is involuntarily stopped to give us time for Him?
Can it be that all these calamities are wake-up calls to notice Him?
We have become “deaf and blind” see-ers to all that happens in our midst. Grim events of the recent past – present: brutal killings, riding-in-tandem criminals, rape even of a 1-year-old, robbery, murder of sleeping innocents, corruption, sexual infection, greed, destruction of the environment, genetic alteration – more than the evils of Sodom and Gomorrah?
What have we, the citizens done? Do we help the effort of some good officials in the government to curve these infamous occurrences or do we just nonchalantly see and do not care? Or worst, do we even criticize? Wrath of heaven we deserve! But God so loves His creation. The tiny voice whispers:
I am the Lord thy God… Thou shall not kill
Thou shall not steal
Thou shall not lie
Thou shall not destroy My creation
Thou shall not defile thyself…

The voice is very soft but clear. Very metallic and strong but so tender and loving, very sweet…anointing a bruised wound.

Everything comes to an end. Social distance, community quarantine, and lockdown shall close their final chapters, but the essence of each one must continue in other forms. When all knots to prohibitions are cut may we give time to create silence for the little voice? May we allow it to penetrate into our whole being despite our preoccupation and wash us always clean?

“I am the Lord thy God… love one another.” This is the most potent vaccine for COVID 19. Let us not just go to a new normal. Let us create a future that is an improved normal.

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