FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2012
September 26, 2011
The Israelites were on the verge of entering into the promised land. They had wandered in the desert for 40 years due to their infidelities. They had experienced blessings and curses. They had been chastised and purified. Now they were poised to take the land.
The choice before Israel was not whether to cross or not. The choice was whether they would be faithful to God’s covenant or continue with infidelities. And it was a very stark choice–between life and prosperity or death and doom (Dt 30:15). It was a choice between “the blessing and the curse” (Dt 30:19b).
The journey of CFC-FFL is much like that of Israel. God raised it and entered into covenant with the brethren. Like Israel, there were infidelities including the veering away from God’s will and plan. There was the punishment and chastisement, but there was also the restoration. Now CFC-FFL is poised to continue with its work, armed with the fullness of God’s strength. “You are my servant, he said to me, Israel, through whom I show my glory.” (Is 49:3).
This work has been made very clear through the years, and further purified through the crisis and restoration. “It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.” (Is 49:6).
The work continues.
The fight of the third millennium
The fight in this third millennium is about the culture of life. It is an intense life and death struggle raging in the heavens and on earth. The assaults against family and life will get even worse. At the center of this conflict are the Holy See and the Catholic Church, the nations of the world, and CFC-FFL.
The Roman Catholic Church under the Holy See (the Vatican) is the only strong institution standing in the breach, speaking and acting strongly for faith, family and life, all of which the enemy seeks to destroy. The enemy, through anti-life, anti-family, homosexualist forces, aided by liberal international media, systematically and continuously rant, unjustly, about the sins and oppressive nature of the Church led by the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. The enemy can only succeed in fulfilling its diabolical work if it sufficiently weakens the Church, or to its mind, even destroys her.
The battlefield is the whole world, and the targets of the enemy are all the nations of the earth. Satan wants to preserve his dominion over the world. The western world is already largely post-christian, with its values and cultures dominated by modernism and secular humanism. These former Christian nations are becoming more and more anti-christian, seeking to suppress and eliminate our Judeo-Christian heritage. They are aggressively spreading their errors to all the nations, especially to the still-traditional developing nations. They bring to bear their economic, political and even military power to impose their evil agenda on helpless nations.
It is significant to note that the Philippines is becoming the last nation standing. Divorce and abortion are still illegal. Only two states remain that have no divorce–the Philippines and the Vatican. But there are no married people in the Vatican! And so it is only the Philippines still upholding traditional marriage. But this Christian nation, with a prophetic role to be God’s light in Asia (and to the world), is the target of converging enemy forces, determined to bring down this last bastion of life. The opening salvo is the RH (reproductive health) bill. Of course we know what follows–divorce, abortion, euthanasia or assisted suicide, same-sex marriage.
Then there is CFC-FFL. CFC started in the Philippines and has spread to many nations of the world. The enemy has sought to destroy it, even succeeding in using its own top leaders in causing a crisis and ultimately a split. God however restored a remnant, now CFC-FFL, true to its authentic call and charism. CFC-FFL remains as an international community, with brethren of many nations, races, cultures and tongues. It is a servant of the Church, committed to stand in her defense against the enemy.
We are now 30 years old, the full preparation time for a more intensive ministry (as Jesus was prepared for public ministry by 30 years of family life in Nazareth). We are at the crossroad, as the Roman Catholic Church and the Philippines and the whole world are at the crossroad as well. For the challenging work of this third millennium, God is making available to us the fullness of His strength. We are to intensify our work of re-evangelization, and the work of renewing the family and defending life. Given the critical role of the Philippines as God’s light to the world, we also aim to work at the re-evangelization of this nation.
The whole world is at a crossroad. It is a choice literally between life and death. “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.” (Dt 30:19b). “Here, then, I have today set before you life and prosperity, death and doom.” (Dt 30:15a).
It is in the light of all these that God has given us our theme for 2012. This is our battle cry as we go on and cross the Jordan. We have faced our crossroad, and we are making our stand.
OUR THEME FOR 2012: “CHOOSE LIFE”
The theme verse is: “Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live.” (Dt 30:19c). The larger context is Deuteronomy 30:15-20.
Elements of the theme
Personal and community. “that will mean life for you” (Dt 30:20).
* Call to holiness.
* Call to live community.
* CORE VALUES: Centered on Christ; Being community; Exercising servant leadership.
Family. “that you and your descendants may live” (Dt 30:19).
* Call to family renewal.
* Call to defense of life.
* CORE VALUES: Focused on the family.
Nation and world. “that will mean …. a long life for you to live on the land” (Dt 30:20).
* Call to rapid, massive, worldwide evangelization. “you will live and grow numerous” (Dt 30:16b).
* Call to work with the poor.
* Call to defend the Church and build the nation. “the Lord, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.” (Dt 30:16c).
* CORE VALUES: Evangelistic and missionary; Living a preferential option for the poor; Being a servant to the Church.
Choosing life in order to live
How do we choose life that we may live? “by loving the Lord, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him. For that will mean life for you” (Dt 30:20a). “If you obey the commandments of the Lord, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees, you will live” (Dt 30:16a).
Loving the Lord.
* Loving God with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength.
* Giving God the worship that is His due.
* Loving our neighbor as ourselves, with special love for our brethren.
Heeding the voice of the Lord.
* Keeping His commandments.
* Being faithful to our CFC-FFL covenant.
* Serving God and His body on earth.
Holding fast to the Lord.
* Walking in His ways along the path of holiness.
* Embracing Jesus’ cross.
* Trusting and rejoicing in Him.
All the above are what God has given and taught us in the last 30 years. “For this command which I enjoin on you today is not too mysterious and remote for you.” (Dt 30:11). We already speak about it. We already are experiencing it. But we are called to enter more deeply and to fully live it out. “No, it is something very near to you, already in your mouths and in your hearts; you have only to carry it out.” (Dt 30:14).
We are living in the end times and racing to the end of time. We strive to be good and faithful servants, at the ready when Jesus returns once again in glory. We look forward to our eternal reward, to be with God forever in heaven, which is what God intended from the very beginning. “For that would mean life for you, a long life for you to live on the land which the Lord swore he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.” (Dt 30:20b).
The call to arms
Choosing life means much more than what is commonly understood as pro-life advocacy (going against such things as abortion, divorce, etc.), though this fight against the culture of death will be a big part of it. Choosing life is opting for the fullness of life that God is giving us, when He created a wonderful world for us to enjoy, and over which He gave us dominion. Though that perfect world was corrupted, God sent His own Son to redeem it. Jesus himself announced his purpose: “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.” (Jn 10:10b).
An abundant life is one lived in and for God. We need to fight for and take hold of what God has intended for His people from the very beginning. We are to:
* LIVE LIFE — holiness, purity, prayer, family.
* DEFEND LIFE — pro-life advocacy, defense of the Church and her Magisterium.
* PROMOTE LIFE — re-evangelization, work with the poor, preserving the environment, nation building.
* * *