July 18 - July 31, 2005


Time for magnanimity

(Editor’s note: The following is an article written by Roy A. Cimagala on the ongoing political crisis currently plaguing the entire country)

LOOKS like the dark and menacing clouds in our political horizon are clearing up a bit. Let’s thank God for this. We all need a breather, and the past days have just been quite a hell for us!

We have just seen some really ugly aspects of our political life that in the end can spring only from our sinful and wounded human condition. I had a hard time pacifying people horrified by what they saw and heard.

What bad example some leaders are showing our children, one told me. This is made worse by the fact that we often simply go by impressions. We miss many facts. The children and the weak really would suffer the most.

I remember what our Lord said about how better it was for some people to have millstones hung around their necks and thrown to the sea than for them to give scandal to the little ones.

I could only tell them to pray, to consider things very calmly, and to go on quietly with their usual work, doing it extra well as an offering to God for a peaceful resolution of the crisis. I told them it was not the end of the world yet.

I was struck most by what I considered to be an extreme case of disloyalty, treachery and hypocrisy displayed by some people. Oh, what a pit of depravity we are capable of falling into!

Certainly, there was wanton crookery, greed, lust for power, ambition, etc. done by many of our political leaders. Only God knows what went into their hearts and to give them what they deserve. He is always merciful.

The cruelest cut were the subtle maneuverings of certainly respectable leaders who, whether intentionally or not, subjugated the common good to some secondary goods and interests of some parties. Only God can judge them.

When Cory asked GMA to make the supreme sacrifice of resigning, many people commented that Cory should have addressed that call first to her erratic daughter. I just kept quiet. People can become impertinent when under heavy stress.

Others complained that some Church leaders seemed to have strayed into partisan politics, making hasty and reckless pronouncements that tend to divide rather than unite the people. Again I just kept quiet and asked them to pray.

I was amused at some of their reactions. One said that the devil can speak in the person of a bishop who seems fixated or obsessed with something or someone. I closed my ears, appealed for patience and charity, and immediately changed the topic.

I was happy when the bishops finally came out with a statement that tended to quell the fire. Their voice of temperance and dispassionate effort to resolve the complicated issues definitively achieved a temporary peaceful respite from the crisis.

There can be endless things that can be said of what just took place, but now all these are already past. Yes, there are still many things to be done to correct the serious political mess, but for now let us focus on moving on.

Thus, an important virtue to know is that of magnanimity. This, unfortunately, is a hardly known virtue. But it has to be known and lived by all of us especially these days.

Magnanimity is the moral quality that helps to heal wounds, reconcile enemies, rebuild society. It springs from a humble heart who realizes he has to ask for pardon as well as to be ready to forgive.

Forgiveness is what in the end overcomes any evil. The unforgiving heart who prefers to get stuck with the problems effectively leads one on the road to self-destruction.

Magnanimity corresponds more to our need for charity than for so-called strict justice, never achievable here in this life. It enables us to go past the irksome kinks and quirks of justice to focus more on our common good.

It purifies the heart of any trace of resentment and animosity, clears the air for the fresh wind of a new beginning to set in. It cleans our memory so we can recover our true dignity as responsible citizens and loving children of God.

Magnanimity is necessary in our life. It is indispensable especially in our social and political life, where a lot of conflicts and differences among ourselves can be expected.

It sets the proper atmosphere for a continuing cordial dialogue and earnest effort to sort out different views and positions. It infuses the air with a constructive rather than a destructive character.

This should not be a mere external form of civility. It should come from the heart that is properly converted, purified and reconciled with our Lord who said he can only forgive us if we also forgive others.

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Time for magnanimity

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