by Arnel Banaga Salgado
"…and when you have been praised a little and loved a little, I will take away all your gifts and all your love and all your praise and you will be utterly forgotten and abandoned and you will be nothing, a dead thing, a rejection. And in that day you shall begin to possess the solitude you have so long desired…"-Thomas Merton
Liberation is a state that all human being must possess to assert his humanness and live in the likeness of Christ who showed to all the highest expression of LIBERATION and FREEDOM, i.e. LOVE. If one LOVES, he must know how to live since he would always remove his vested interest and self-centeredness that from the start of creation, all the living things were gifted with and only humans were given the option to choose if he would renounce his self-interest to favor the interest of others. Liberation involves living not with oneself alone, instead it is a life living for others. Unless, a man has this - he could not be considered liberated, free and Christ-like.
Attachment to worldly things will always be the reason why one will not express his LOVE to others. These worldly things will involve honor, praises and wealth therefore if an overly attached person will start losing all these, he will soon start living a life of EVIL and his soul will start to deteriorate. A true LIBERATION is a liberation of both body and soul like a life LIVED in LOVE not in EVIL and if a person would go astray, he will take the road that goes backward and the life that he wants to LIVE will be filled with EVIL ways. A person need not think about his welfare but instead, he needs to think about the welfare of others. And this is the meaning of true CHARITY and LOVE. Here is the simple formula of my Liberation Theology:
LIVE - I + O = LOVE (True Liberation)
LIVE (reverse) = EVIL + D = DEVIL (False Liberation)
O = Oher-orientedness (Nothingness)
In modern times, it is very difficult to LOVE and make an ultimate sacrifice of CHARITY since people are abusive once that they see someone who is vulnerable to abuse because of his kindness and self-giving. I did not abuse anyone, instead I tried understanding them. But during my trying times when I was down, I could not think of charity and love, instead I would always conceive about anger and resentment. But once all the clouds of darkness would be cleared, I would be beseeched with remorse since I believe that God would always see the sufferings that I have. As I am writing this reflection, I was faced with two options on the recent tragedy that involved me and my career, one - i.e. to forgive those who offended me and caused so much of my sufferings or to continue the fight that I started up to the end. Many of these people caused the destruction of my career, my honor and my life but as God would always remind us, he would always be there and wash away our tears. He never left me alone, because during the time when my soul was enveloped by darkness, he would always give me a little ray of life where HOPE would always be anchored as He would always give me a reason to live.
I did not abuse anyone but God when I went against His will and make a reverse gear, that brought me an unimaginable pain and suffering which almost cost my sanity and my life. I was attracted by a married woman when I thought that my marriage would be crumbling because I and my wife who bore in her womb my son would always fight at the slightest mistake and provocation that I would make. I thought it was a disastrous and tragic marriage but only to find out, my wife was the only person who stood up for me when all the people detested me because of my sin.
As I always recite the rosary and pray through my breviary every single day after the disastrous event that transpired because of the greed of people who surrounded me, I learnt to forgive myself first, then my wife. This event provided me a foundation to FORGIVE those who OFFENDED ME as I resolve that all the cases I filed against them in the court of LAW will be WITHDRAWN the soonest possible time. I feel for MARIEL who suffered like me and those who would not take this opportunity to learn from this expression of my IMMENSE LOVE to them, may God will help them see through the light.
THIS IS LOVE. THIS IS CHARITY. THIS IS TRUE LIBERATION - MY UNDERSTANDING OF LIBERATION THEOLOGY.