Amazing how another week is now behind us. Here I am sitting alone reflecting on the past week.

Spiritual wise, the highlight for me this week is reading about Pope Francis stating that “it is better to be an antheist than a bad Christian”. One statement that can be interpreted in so many ways but as simple as it is, I must agree.

It got me thinking about the factors that causes us to hold strong to goodness and justice. And perhaps, what breaks.

The world offers us so many distractions and temptations that not only challenge our moral values but also pose a threat of destroying the fabric of our communities.

I sometimes wondered why people feel no remorse for their wrongdoings. I can only tell myself that there is a very thin line between good and bad. The tipping point or the most challenging moment is when one convinced oneself enough (through various justifications) that his or her morally and legally wrongdoing is right.

My observation tells me that we live in a very conflicting world where everyone wants so much to be correct. While some of us look at things from a higher moral ground, others are not at all too particular. Thus, good and bad are open for interpretation and definition.

But I guess the hardest thing is for us to expect others to act in a certain way that is within our acceptable and comfortable boundaries. That is exactly what religions are for some – a set of instructions to lead a good life. If only there is a Life 101 book, we would all be living in perfect harmony.

Lent is upon us and for Catholics, it is a time of fasting and self-denial. At a certain corner of my mind, I am questioning the need for conformation and uniformity. I am not one who follows blindly but seek the purpose of every action. I am bad news for religious people who are over assertive and imposing. The one question that I have always asked during this time is “Why should I be made, accused or compelled into convincing myself of being an undeserving sinner?”

What is the purpose in that?

Yes, through self-denial I may become a humble person but can I not practice humility without “downsizing” myself?

It really is a struggle. Just when can we stop crucifying ourselves? Year in and year out, this is rinsed and repeated. What is the purpose exactly – just to keep us in line?

Perhaps it is not my purpose in life. The struggles that I have within me is not about religious values anymore. It is beyond that. I know I must love – that much I have learned from the religion I profess.

My struggle is missing the people I love far away.

My struggle is not able to make people I love happy.

My struggle is not being able to get a good response when at one’s deathbed, the question “Have I Loved You?” is asked.

Plainly because, saints are not saints if they are not recognized and canonized. I wonder how many saints we have missed in our lifetime because of our disillusioned expectations and wrong moral obligations.

I would like to leave you with a quote from a very touching movie I watched only last evening entitled “A Dog’s Purpose”. And the quote goes:

So, as all my life as a dog, here’s what I’ve learned. Have fun, obviously. Whenever possible, find someone to save and save them.
Lick the ones you love. Don’t get all sad faced about what happened and scrunchy faced about what could. Just be here now. Be here now…

If you have not watched it yet, make sure you go watch this beautiful movie. Don’t forget to bring along some extra napkins – I am pretty sure you’ll need them.


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