Faith and an empty stomach

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    ‘But how can a fearful people with empty stomachs accept that God is their Protector and their Provider?’

    MANY in the PNP say the mess that Debold Sinas created wouldn’t have happened if Lt. General Guillermo Eleazar was still the NCRPO chief. But the latter was stepping on many toes with his feared toughness. And while he was among those in the running as the next PNP chief, Eleazar was shunted upstairs by Malacanang in favor of Gen. Archie Gamboa whose loyalty had been “proven.”

    Eleazar defends the entire PNP organization against the insults thrown at Sinas and his party boys by numerous netizens. The bad eggs have again infected the good ones as many of us could not resist the vexation to unfairly generalize. Eleazar is right when he says that the police units on the ground have been quite dedicated in their jobs, commonly fatigued and with loss of sleep while risking being infected by the coronavirus.

    They do not deserved to be dragged into the ugly incident of a top PNP general enjoying himself in a social gathering with his men while violating major quarantine restrictions. Even those who were at the birthday party had probably been pressured to attend to show their numbers to please Sinas.

    Meanwhile, President Duterte should realign millions of reward money for the NPAs and other “enemies of the state” to the overtime pay of many undermanned police districts in Metro Manila. Otherwise, he can certainly find a way to cover the stretched budget of the police that also remain crucial frontliners in this “war.”

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    For the first time in their lives, many families in Metro Manila had been seized by a heavy sense of deprivation, especially those in depressed communities where hunger pangs threaten. The middle class could no longer stand being “caged” at home in the face of job and financial uncertainties. Food supplies seem to run out but they don’t and no one is seen dying on the streets.

    As this pandemic started its onslaught in Metro Manila many have suddenly turned to prayer, the common but no less significant being The Lord’s Prayer. But how can a fearful people with empty stomachs accept that God is their Protector and their Provider? Twice, Jesus fed several thousands from a boy’s small lunch. There was more than enough bread and fish for all the tired and hungry who had followed Him after He healed many diseases and cast out demons from the deranged and despairing.

    Our wants and needs – and the lack of it – have now become bigger than the One we should turn to.  Daniel Webster said that “faith puts God between us and our circumstances.” The founder of Bristol’s orphanages in 17th century-England, George Muller, had never begged for money and food for his hundreds of wards who never went hungry. He would always say,” Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There’s no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power end.”

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    In the face of the frenzy of people suddenly breaking out into the streets and malls due to the relaxed quarantine protocols, the following from the late US Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen should send chills down our spine:  “It is a characteristic of any decaying civilization that the great masses of the people are unaware of the tragedy. Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives.

    “Men do not want to believe that their own times are wicked, partly because they have no standard outside of themselves by which to measure their times. If there is no fixed concept of justice, how shall men know it is violated. Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world; the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on, because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they have fallen.”

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