Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 17th 2014 Contents B26
Sunday Guardian www.guardian.co.tt August 17, 2014
T&T is a peace-loving nation. Our diversity is
reflected in how we live in relative harmony. But
every time some major event arises, especially
regarding serious change, politicians and other
leaders seem to revel in the idea of sowing seeds
At present, the society is experiencing some trauma
brought on by the different interpretations of a piece
of legislation which means amending the Constitution.
Every person or group has come up with a "right"
Maybe Catholics should heed the Bible readings,
which give us great hope: they suggest an openness
to love and respect others, as taught today by the
decree of Vatican Council II on ecumenism.
So regardless of who you are, where you come
from, your religion, or which political party you sup-
port, you are part of a society that has traditionally
existed in harmony.
In today s liturgy, the alternative opening prayer
as reflected in the Sunday missal reads:
"Almighty God, ever-loving father, your care extends
beyond the boundaries of race and nation to the
hearts of all who live. May the walls which prejudice
raises between us crumble beneath the shadow of
your outstretched arm."
Our society is today being burdened with the "self
syndrome" whereby the values of giving and sharing
with one s neighbour or a workplace colleague seem
to have been lost in the shuffle of the "instant" world
in which we now live.
The same can be said for the "I-better-than-you
syndrome" which is now a real part of the human
condition. If this is put in a church perspective, it
appears as triumphalism. The evil of triumphalism
has stained the church for many centuries.
If a certain kind of triumphalism were to have
been confined to Jesus Christ and his abundant,
unsurpassed love for us, it would have been all right.
But often, the beauty, truth and riches of the Catholic
faith were identified with its proud sharers---and
resulted in an ominous "we are right, you are wrong"
complex that caused much damaging alienation.
It is the great merit of blessed John XXIII
that he "opened the windows," and of the
Second Vatican Council that it strived to
do away with all the "ghetto mentality."
Belonging to God s chosen people does not
necessarily mean that we are better than
people who, following their own conscience,
seek God in a different way.
Both these scenarios are rampant in our
society today. And while the "self syndrome"
has become deeply embedded at all levels
of the society (it is everywhere), the "I-bet-
ter-than-you syndrome" is more low-profile
and not as glaring.
To make any impressionable change for
the better would take years of almost unend-
ing hard work and dedication. The "Third
Pastoral Priority---Regenerating Moral and
Spiritual Values in our Society" might sound
particularly hopeful, but the job is huge and
would require the efforts of all the various
groups who claim to have the interest of
T&T at heart to come together and work
towards building a better and more loving
Let us then today fortify ourselves and
take up the mantle as we lead the church s
charge to create a society in which values
and standards become the norm and the
excesses of the past be banished forever.
This, however, cannot be done without
God s help and we call on Him to assist us
in reaching the kingdom.
Vernon Khelawan is the media relations
officer of Catholic Media Services Limited,
the official communications arm of the arch-
diocese of Port-of-Spain, with offices located
at 31 Independence Square. Tel: 623-7620.
Pope Francis, flanked by South Korean President
Park Geun-hye, left, is welcomed by children
wearing traditional costumes upon his arrival in
Seoul, on Thursday. The Pontiff arrived in South
Korea on the first papal visit to the Asian nation in
a quarter century. During his five-day visit, Pope
Francis plans to beatify 124 Korean martyrs and
encourage a vibrant and growing local church seen
as a model for the future of Catholicism. AP PHOTO
Time to banish our divisive excesses
Links Archive August 16th 2014 Remembering World Wars 1-2 Navigation Previous Page Next Page