BARUGO, Leyte, March 29, 2015 — Stressing the Church’s reminder about the true source of happiness, former Novaliches Bishop Teodoro Bacani, Jr. fixed the faithful’s mind again on Christ’s redemptive sacrifice for humanity as proof of His love, the real origin of joy.
He also warned that wealth and power could instead be the cause of one’s misery and even death.
In a recollection he gave at St. Joseph Church in Dulag, Leyte on March 25, Bacani expounded on a famous catechetical axiom, “Happiness is to be loved as to love and to be understood as to understand.” He underscored the inspiration that a person experiences from the kind of love God shows to all.
Love begets love
“Whatever is received, that, too, is being shown,” he said. He explained, “If we receive God’s love, we show love to others,” linking the essence of the two greatest commandments as interpreted by Jesus.
In the New Testament of the Holy Bible, Jesus summarized the ten commandments of God with these words: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.”
Bacani stressed, “When you receive the love of God, you become loveable.” Beauty and happiness emanate from experiencing and sharing true love, he said. He cited for instance St. Therese of Calcutta and St. John Paul II, whose faces, although they were old, held a certain attraction for many.
This, he said, is because of God’s love that they experienced and shared relentlessly to all until their last breath.
Action of grace
The prelate, who is among the most sought after bishops in the country for recollections and retreats, was also vocal in conveying a similar experience among those who believe in God’s supreme and unconditional love.
For him, a person who believes in God’s love exudes the same love as well.
Bacani likewise emphasized the chastisements of God, saying, “God punishes us not to get even but because he loves us.” In them comes grace from God, a fruition of God’s genuine love in that “He died for us while we were sinners.”
He stressed, too, the need for the people to be of full conviction in the grace that God bestows on humanity. “Our God is a God who loves to give blessings and graces due to his love for us,” he said.
“However, the grace we receive depends not only on God’s graciousness. This depends on us, on our disposition” the prelate said. “It is important that our hearts and minds are open to the Lord through faith,” he stressed.
Bacani was warmly introduced by Fr. Ronnie Mora, the parish priest and Palo Archdiocesan head of the Pastoral Action Secretariat. (Eileen Nazareno-Ballesteros/CBCP News)