On forgiving your enemies
THE front page article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer Sunday about the pain and anguish of a father, Jose Fernando Alcantara, over the death of his son was very moving.
As a father myself, I understand how Alcantara feels about losing his son, Amiel, in an accident on the Ateneo de Manila campus.
I fully understand his pain, his anguish even a year after the accident.
Losing a loved one suddenly and unexpectedly is painful beyond words. No emotion matches it.
It’s also understandable that he would want to exact revenge on Ma. Theresa Torres for his son’s death by sending her to jail.
Torres drove the van that ran over Amiel.
A single mother, Torres drove a school van to augment her income as an artist.
Nothing Alcantara can do, including seeing a single mother in jail, can ever bring back Amiel.
Sending Torres to jail and depriving her child of a mother is unchristian.
For an ex-seminarian, Alcantara is acting like an atheist, a person who is Godless.
Alcantara’s thought of revenge on Torres would have been understandable had she deliberately killed Amiel.
I would probably have had a hard time myself deciding not to take revenge if I lost a loved one to a murderer since I distrust our judicial system.
But the poor woman, whom I don’t know from Eve, never wanted to take Amiel’s life.
In fact, from the news accounts about her, she’s suffering the pain of unintentionally killing a boy who could have been her son.
If Alcantara would just pause and ponder for a moment why his son died, he would conclude that it was Amiel’s time to go back to where we all came from, the bosom of The Source.
It just so happened Torres became the vehicle for Amiel to go to the Other Side.
* * *
Alcantara should learn to forgive the woman who killed his son unintentionally.
I know it’s hard for one to forgive people who have done him harm.
I used to be a person who always thought of getting back at people who wronged me. But that was then.
Since I changed my attitude from holding a grudge to forgiving my enemies, I have noticed little things about me.
I now sleep soundly, my blood pressure has dropped, I don’t easily catch a cold, my peptic ulcer is gone, I now drink moderately, and I’ve lost weight from eating moderately.
In short, I’ve become healthier now than I was when I held a grudge against my enemies.
As self-improvement guru George Sison said of a sickness: “The question is not what ails you, but who ails you.”
When you forgive your enemy, you’re not doing him a favor, but yourself.
. . . . .
Monday, June 22, 2009
Loving Your Enemy
Most of the time, Ramon Tulfo tackles graft and corruption. In the Philippine Daily Inquirer today, he devoted a big chunk of his column to loving your enemy. Very good stuff: biblical and practical.