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San Juan Gossip Mills Outlet

A veritable fanatic of the Internet. His avocation is teaching while his main vocation is practicing the much maligned law profession. Currently teaching Constitutional Law at the FEU Institute of Law and a guest lecturer at the De La Salle University teaching "Freedom and Regulation in Cyberspace" in the Graduate Program of the Department of Communication. He is married to his beautiful Ateneo law school classmate and is blessed with a daughter and a son.

Location: San Juan, Metro Manila, Philippines

Thursday, August 18, 2005

A Joyful Reconciliation

I have been a member of Ang Ligaya ng Panginoon Community, a Catholic charismatic renewal group that has been in existence for 30 years. I joined the Community, as we call it, 23 years ago right after I graduated from De La Salle University.

The Community was founded by a number of men but the leader among them was Fr. Herbert Schneider, an American Jesuit based in the Loyola campus for more than 30 years now. Among the Jesuits, he is jovially called the representative of the Holy Spirit owing to his association with the charismatic renewal. But more than that, he is an expert in biblical exegesis known around the world and is a kind and wonderful priest.

People carry a negative and funny impression of charismatics. What comes to people’s minds are the followers of Mike Velarde’s El Shaddai waving handkerchiefs and dancing to non-stop music or watching the followers of Eddie Villanueva praising and dancing in a choreographed manner. There is more to the renewal than singing and dancing.

While it is true that there is much singing and dancing and raising of hands, these things should not really be a sense of bewilderment because we do the same singing, dancing and raising of hands when we watch a basketball game.

We cheer, we shout, we stand up, we holler, we raise our hands in victory, we raise our clenched fists in defeat as we sing our college theme. All these are perfectly normal in a basketball setting. But it becomes abnormal in a religious setting because religious observance is supposed to be silent, gloomy and meditative. These external manifestations are not the end all and be all.

The renewal delves beneath the surface. It really focuses on the changing of the heart, the renewal of the intellect, and the healing of relationships.

My community, Ligaya ng Panginoon, is a simple organization of men and women trying to make a difference in the world they live in, trying to be honest in one’s dealings, and striving to bring joy, hope and light in the person of Jesus to others who are down and in doubt and to those who dwell in darkness.

Not many outside of Ligaya know that Ligaya established the now famous or infamous Couples for Christ depending on the politician you know. It was meant to be an outreach for married couples but some years back, the vision Ligaya had for Couples for Christ and the vision of the leaders of the Couples for Christ diverged in separate ways.

As a result, there was acrimony. Pride and prejudice got in the way and like a doomed father-son relation, the two groups became ships passing through the night. Over the years, Couples for Christ grew in strength, drawing people to Christ and by choice, became a national political force while Ligaya remained simple and true to its name to be a joy and light to others.

I share my community in the blogosphere because very recently, the two communities have reconciled with each other. For some time, their silent hostility was a blot to our evangelical calling to spread the good news. Now, the leaders of Ligaya ng Panginoon and Couples for Christ have asked forgiveness from one other. The reconciliation has ended the hidden shame and both bodies can boldly lay claim to be true disciples of Christ.

The renewal is more than what we see in television, more than the physical manifestation of tongues and praises. It is the call to be holy in this world, a call to repentance, reconciliation and shedding of old wineskins, a call to be a fool for Christ’s sake in this age of sarcasm and modernity and a call to raise men and women to take the extra mile in loving and serving God and others with all your heart, with all your mind and with all your soul.


Blogger mama_aly said...

With this behind us now, a revitalized renewal begins. No longer is the task of evangelism weighed down by past resentments.

Onwards to greater heights for Christ!

2:28 PM  
Anonymous edwin said...

That is true. Incidentally, Newsweek tackled spirituality and faith in their cover. And they featured the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

the articles are uplifting for a change.

1:45 PM  
Blogger Chrixean said...

Hi! I'm from LNP South E. Just stumbled onto your blog while blog-hopping :-)

6:11 PM  
Blogger marvinmacs said...

Hi Edwin, I am from Couples for Christ and in this blog you mention the reconciliation between LNP and CFC leaders after some time of cold relations. (Lo and behold, CFC is on the verge of splitting, thanks to the same leaders who instigated the split from Ligaya years before I joined CFC.) Ironically, our Chapter in CFC is the Gawad Kalinga caretaker team for Escopa 3. I'm starting a blog for it and there's not much there yet but soon there will be more. See http://www.gk-escopa3.blogspot.com. Our main partner in this GK site is, guess who? The Ligaya ng Panginoon community. Key LNP brothers whom we meet regularly are Bert Tenchavez, Lito Fider and Dennis Castillo. Bro Ben Galang and a few others whose name I cannot recall at this time were added to the Team lately. It is a blessing for us that our GK site is a venue wherein CFC and LNP can work together in the spirit of love for Christ.

May God bless you and your family.

Bro Marvin Macatol
CFC West B5E

2:59 PM  

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