Of course He was there. God is everywhere.
The question is really “Did they know God could see them?”
It’s really unfair that the title of this piece only has the names of DBM Secretary Florencio Abad, Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Senate President Franklin Drilon. For it to be fair, the head should have all the names of the senators and congressmen who have been mentioned by the whistleblowers in the Napoles pork barrel scam to have allegedly received kickbacks from Janet Lim Napoles.
Oh, yes, the name of His Excellency the President should also be in the headline. Sec. Abad would not have had the guts to give the okay to the PDAF releases without President Aquino’s go signal.
And Sec. Abad would not have created the illegal and unconstitutional DAP if the President had not told him to go ahead. (If he did it on his own, then Malacañang and our Republic have a more serious problem!)
Secretary Mar Roxas’ “Mam Janet” allegedly created fake non-government organizations (NGOs) to receive millions of PDAF (or pork barrel) funds for destitute families and sick infants and children, to tide over hard-up farmers and fishermen, to cure the needy tuberculars, and so on.
Everyone who knows how things work at the DBM and the congressmen’s and senators’ offices is sure that the senators alleged by the whistleblowers and witnesses to have received PDAF kickbacks from Napoles knew what was going on. It is impossible, say they, that these lawmakers did not know the NGOs did not exist and that their signatures were forged in the letters DBM received from their aides and chiefs of staff asking for and hurrying up the release of the funds.
My question is—presuming that these lawmakers and Sec. Abad knew a scam was going on and that it involved taking away money from the mouths of sick babies and from the miserable dining tables of poor families—”Did they just wink God away?”
Or are these people, who we sometimes hear talking about God as if they believe in Him, actually what spiritual directors call “practical atheists.” Are they atheists, non-believers in deeds? Are they in truth “practicing atheists” instead of being “practicing Christians” or “practicing Catholics”?
In my childhood an aunt in her teens (who latter entered the RVM order) taught me the basics of the Catechism. She had me use a little booklet from the Catholic Trade store, which I now think was the abridged version of the Baltimore Catechism. On its cover was a picture of a young man being protected by his guardian angel (a white figure with wings of course) from the enemy, a dark figure, not quite the obviously wicked devil with horns.
Thinking about how these public figures just merrily do their part in the stealing of billions from the national treasury—funds that could alleviate the sufferings of the majority of our population who are needy and even destitute—makes me wonder if they have forgotten that each of them has a guardian angel and an opposite, the minion of Satan. Have they become close friends of the devil? Have they cast away their guardian angels?
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From Fr. Charles Belmonte Lopez, I got a copy of the news item by Elise Harris of CAN/EWTN News, with the headline “Pope: Inconsistency, Lack of Unity of Life, causes Church scandal.”
This message of the Holy Father applies also to those public officials and senators and congressmen who are known to be “good Christians” but are found to be involved in corrupt practices.
The report datelined Feb. 27 Vatican City says:
“In his daily homily Pope Francis spoke of the harm done when Christians don’t practice what they preach, noting that this incoherence leads others away from the Church and often brings scandal.
“ ‘When there is no Christian coherency (lack of unity of life), and you live with this incoherence, you’re giving scandal. And the Christians that are not coherent are giving scandal,’ the Pope said in his Feb. 27 Mass.
“Speaking to those gathered in the chapel of the Vatican’s St. Martha guesthouse, the pontiff began his reflections by drawing attention to a person to whom he administered the Sacrament of Confirmation during the Mass, observing that they had ‘manifested the desire to be a Christian.’
“ ‘To be Christian means to bear witness to Jesus Christ,’ he said, adding that to a Christian person ‘thinks like a Christian, feels like a Christian and acts like a Christian. And this is coherence in the life of a Christian.’
“However, the pontiff noted that ‘if one of these things is missing, he is not a Christian, there’s something wrong, there’s a certain incoherence (lack of unity of life),’ and that Christians ‘who ordinarily, commonly live in incoherence, do so much harm.’
“Recalling the first reading taken from the book of James, the Pope drew attention to words which the apostle spoke to the people who had boasted of being Christians, but took advantage of their employees.
“ ‘Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.’ ”
“ ‘When we hear these words, there are some who might think ‘Surely, a communist has said that!’ the Pope explained, emphasizing that ‘No, no, the Apostle James said it! It is the Word of the Lord. It’s inconsistency (lack of unity of life).’
“ ‘And when there is no Christian coherency, and you live with this incoherence, double life, you’re giving scandal.’ ”
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Pope Francis said a lot more. But I end where the last word is “scandal,” hoping that these officials and lawmakers get rocked and shaken into turning back to the embrace of their guardian angels.