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  • Holy Week Reflection: Is There A Righteous Way To Be Angry?

    Bianca Gonzalez and Father Tito Caluag discuss the role of prayer and good deeds in the pandemic
    by Lei Dimarucut-Sison .
Holy Week Reflection: Is There A Righteous Way To Be Angry?
PHOTO BY Unsplash
  • COVID-19 statistics still continue to rise with no apparent end in sight in the near future. In the midst of the pandemic and all the suffering and death, we might have found ourselves asking, "Where is God in all of this?"  

    The special edition of Bianca Gonzalez's "Paano Ba 'To" this week tackles this subject in time for Holy Week with her special guest, educator Father Tito Caluag, who joins her via video conference.

    How to pray when you're feeling down

    With so many things going on around us, one might find herself feeling down and discouraged. Bianca asked, in a time like this, how should one pray?

    Father Caluag reminds us about Jesus' own prayer at the Garden of Gethsemane, before His crucifixion.

    "He prayed to God and said, 'Could you spare me from this?' He prayed with what was going on inside His heart," Father Caluag replied. 

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    "It's important for people to bring their emotions to prayer. We need to trust God that He will understand the emotions. Unless we let open our heart to Him, we will never get into that deeper conversation.

    "Ultimately, it's the surrender. Ibubuhos natin ang lahat sa Diyos.

    "The Lord will not judge us with the feelings that we express to Him. Whether it's anger, tampo, or fear. If you trust someone, we open up all our emotions without fear of judgment.

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    "I think that's part of learning to pray to God. Trust that He is listening. He may not always grant us what we ask for, but alam mong nakikinig siya."

    Bianca summarized Father Caluag's answer with this: "Be vulnerable, be open, no template, speak from the heart."

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    Righteous anger

    The next question Bianca asked Father Caluag is, "Is there a Christ-like way to be angry?"

    Father Caluag replied with a resounding 'Yes," and cited the cleansing of the temple in the Bible. 

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    In that instance, Christ was so  angry he overturned the tables at the temple.

    But Father Caluag clarifies, "Jesus was not angry at the selling per se — it was the corruption that angered Him. Those who were selling at the temple were paying off the priests.

    "There is such a thing as righteous anger. When there is really something wrong, it is our Christian duty to point it out. 

    "Anger must not lead to anything violent. Anger must lead us to positive change to correct what is wrong. 

    "It's not wrong to feel anger because it's a human emotion. What determines the morality is how we're gonna act. Christ did not hurt anybody."

    Father Caluag says righteous anger must fulfil two things: One, that the information our anger is based on is correct, and two, that we must still be respectful regardless of how we feel.

    "When you talk about righteous anger, it's important na tama ang information. Anger must be based on the truth. 

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    "We need to ask ourselves, what is the right way of doing it? It must be based on values. We need to make our voices heard in a very respectful way."

    Bianca's summary: "You really have to take a step back, listen to your voice. How do you want to say it? How is it authentic to you and your values based on the truth?"

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    Finding God's hand in the pandemic

    Among the faithful, many are probably wondering why God has allowed this pandemic to happen. 

    Bianca asks Father Caluag, "Where is God in all of this?" The latter clarifies, God did not put this disease upon us. 

    "I don't think it's true that God wanted this to happen. We're experiencing what we're experiencing now maybe because we did not act in a timely fashion. 

    "God did not inflict this on us.nWe need to immerse ourselves in doing good, doing acts of kindness." 

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    Father Caluag goes on to tell the story of one person who once asked him if he believes in eternity. He replied in the affirmative. But the follow-up question baffled him.

    "What, for you, is eternity?"

    He replied, "I think eternity is the good we do in this world. Because long after we're gone, people will live on that memory of goodness. The kindness and the good that we do will last forever.  

    "Maybe now is the time to build the new heaven and the new earth.

    "Our building block for a better world and our way out of this crisis is to do good and to be kind."

    Watch the full video below:

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