MAKATI City, May 12, 2015—A leading churchman has alerted the faithful on the dangers of “Cain syndrome,” a condition he lamented continues to infect many today, stressing the value of giving and sharing.
“No matter how small it is, just doing something for the poor is already more than what you could give. It is because that way, you remind that person that he or she is your brother or sister,” said Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles during the First Saturday Marian Conferences held at the San Carlos Seminary recently.
“Pagbababahaginan [sharing, giving].This is the solution to poverty in the country. Bahaginan. It is showing sincere concern for one another. The answer to our problems is in the Bible, in our faith in God. Let us put God where He really belongs,” he stressed.
The prelate explained the poor are kept poor because some use them for their own purpose, stating that when there is poverty in one’s neighborhood, in the town nearby, or in one’s surroundings, the faithful are not just there to “watch cable news.”
While extreme material poverty is tragic enough, Arguelles pointed out what is more tragic is the “culture of indifference,” a spiritual poverty which blinds many to the sufferings of others, rendering them incapable of sympathy and compassion.
“That [kind of] poverty is [a] curse. We cannot say, ‘Kawawa naman sila’ [Poor them]. We cannot just say, ‘Padala tayo ng madadala’ [Let’s send them something]. No, we are also cursed. Because we see them. We live in the same world. We like to convince ourselves that we live in comfort, sheltered from all hardships. No! The fact that there is misery in those areas [make us think also of] our own miseries,” he explained.
“In the same way, if you think you are blessed, our choice of poverty should be a blessing. There is no excuse for not helping. We many not know it yet but we have to do something for them, because their curse is ours, and our blessing is theirs,” he added.
Am I my brother’s keeper?
He bemoaned how “Am I my brother’s keeper?” has gone down in infamy, and has been the question the indifferent often ask unconsciously.
Taken from Genesis 4:8-10, the verses read: “Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let us go out in the field.” When they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him. Then the Lord asked Cain, Where is your brother Abel? He answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” God then said: What have you done? Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground!” (Raymond A. Sebastián/CBCP News)