Don Bosco Philippines South Province

Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippine South Province FIS

Honoring Commitments

I attended several wedding anniversaries at the start of this year. Jaime and Grace had a very meaningful and touching silver wedding anniversary surrounded by six well-mannered sons to their credit. Ching and Sioning marched to the altar in red motif to celebrate their ruby anniversary. Though they only had a son and a daughter, their “apos” are extending their small family. Tony and Nena had a simple but heartfelt renewal of their promise of love made 45 years ago. Only their two sons could join them while their two other daughters with their respective families were in the States. I’m sure they will be around for their parents’ golden anniversary God willing.
As I watched these couples promising their love once again I could sense a deeper timber in their voices. It was not the excited and inexperienced romantic love that they professed like the first time they made their vows. It was more of a resolute yes to the commitment borne out of years of pain and perseverance. The tenor of their voices was definitive and carried a depth of maturity. No ounce of regret could be traced from their years of togetherness as time is their proof that their love was real. This time their love went beyond looks and appearances. It was an inspiring witness that faithful love is still possible today.

The main ingredient of their commitment is the vow that they made “for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part.” I found it ironic that as these couples testified through their lives that unconditional love can still happen, a party-list group somewhere in Manila suggests to put an expiry date on marriages. It suggests a 10-year marriage validity mandate similar to a passport or a driver’s license. Failure to renew the license would automatically render the marriage null and void. In short marriage is likened to a piece of cake which has a “best before” label on its packaging. Thus it loses the real intent God has for marriage: a pact that should last for life!

We live in an age of broken vows and fragile promises. Some people do not trust in promises anymore. Moreover, they don’t trust on people making those promises. How often do we hear people say nowadays: “promises are meant to be broken.” Commitments have no hold because people have lost their word of honor. Perhaps there was a time when people were more honorable and kept to their word. Today, it’s a sad reality. Does it mean that we have to bend the rules because words like “honor” and “integrity” are lost? Do we have to lower our standards because the ideals are difficult to reach?

Ideals are like the stars. They are up there beyond our common reality. They inspire and give direction. They guide our experience and challenges us to live up to the dream. Christianity was once upon a time an ideal that generated much interest of a new heaven and a new earth introduced by Jesus Christ. It made and impact and it transformed the world. Obviously it has not lost its aura and its magic. Though many other fads and philosophy vie to catch the attention of people for a following.

The young are particularly the hapless victims of these “market control.” I once heart a speaker of a forum observe that many of our young people are characterized by their indifference to the world. They have no anthem. No battle cry. No cause to stand for. Just like the philosophy of Beavis and Butt-head: Do nothing. Absorb nothing. Stand for nothing. They have become shallow and superficial. Is it perhaps we have robbed them with their models and ideals or we have demanded so little from them?

The Archdiocesan thrust this year is on the “Evangelization of Culture: Becoming witnesses of hope, reconciliation and peace to the world in our time.” It’s time that we start transforming our culture of dishonesty with simple acts of sincerity. We begin by honoring our commitments and keeping our word of honor. Let’s keep our promises as our New Year’s resolution. Perhaps in the near future honesty will no longer be a “lonely word” for everyone will be more truthful and trustworthy like Jesus. Pit Senyor!

Disclaimer: This section of the website is a personal creative writing of the author and does not necessarily reflect the official views, opinion, or policies of the Salesians of Don Bosco – Philippines South Province. For concerns on the content, style, and grammar of this piece, please contact us.

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