To Search is to Find

To Search is to find

We do not have the answers to every question – but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer. So why don’t you send us your questions and let us together find the answers to our questions.

MONEY LENDERS

I know a member of a Catholic organization who runs a lending company which works like a 5-6. They are good leaders in our community but I understand that this is against the Church teachings.

The Bible forbids the lending of money with interest. But that was at a time when money had a stable value. Today the value of money changes so that if I lend you P10,000.00 today, next year when you give it back to me it will actually only be worth maybe P9,000.00 in terms of the goods it can buy or in terms of rice. So the Church does allow interest to be taken on a loan. That interest should not be excessive and it is to be judged by several factors. One important factor is the RISK involved. If there is no collateral then the lender runs the risk of losing everything and sometimes does. Hence he or she makes up for it by increasing the interest. Another factor is to ask what is the prevailing interest at that time and place. What is very wrong is to take advantage of people’s illness or otherwise to lend them money on a land title with an exorbitant interest rate and deliberately use that to get the land from them. This happened a lot in the Marcos years in the rural parts of the Philippines and was one of the factors that drove the revolution. Now to your friends we should be slow to judge and you would have to be quite sure that you really have the true details. People are inclined to give only their side of the story.

To Search is to find

For some time we have been asked to put in Misyon a section on Questions which our readers would like raised. We are not too sure how appropriate our suitable this is so please let us know if these questions have been of any help to you. We are calling this article To Search is To Find because we do not have the answers to every question – but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer.

Misyon to China

Sometimes you have articles on priest going to China. I thought China was not open to missionaries.

Answer: China is not a present open to missionaries in the traditional sense. You cannot preach the Gospel there publicly by word of mouth. But China does allow Christians to wok there and is quite content of them to preach the Gospel by their lives. Indeed it is the most effective way to preach the Gospel though a much more difficult way. That is one of the ways the Church developed in the early times; look at these Christians, see how they love one another!

Father Shay Cullen

To Search is to find

For some time we have been asked to put in Misyon a section on Questions which our readers would like raised. We are not too sure how appropriate or suitable this is so please let us know if these questions have been of any help to you. We are calling this article To Search is to Find because we do not have the answers to every question – but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer.

Corruption: No Hope?

Recent events in the Philippines have revealed great corruption on all sides. Is there any hope for change? What can Christians do?

Answer: We must never lose hope. Other countries have been through similar crises of corruption and have now reduced it o manageable levels. As Christians we must:

a. Protest clearly, loudly and continually.

b. Vote for people with a clean record and not continue the old system of voting for our friends, relatives and kababayans.

c. We must join organizations set up to stop corruption like Namfrel or Graftwatch.

To Search is to find

For some time we have been asked to put in Misyon a section on questions which our readers would like raised. We are not too sure how appropriate or suitable this is, so please let us know if these questions have been of any help to you. We are calling this article To Search is To Findbecause we do not have the answers to every question – but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer.

SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE

Is there not separation between Church and State in the Philippines? How come the Church in the Philippines seems to be interesting in State matters?

Answer: The bishops of the Philippines have spoken out on the 1995 mining laws, on the Visiting Forces Agreement, on the Cha-Cha, on gambling, on the death penalty and on general corruption in the government and on the environment. These questions are all in the domain of the government but they also are moral questions and the Church should speak out on them. But the Church should not interfere in party politics or involve itself in campaigning for elections. That is the job of ordinary Christians. The Church should try to enlighten Christians and then leave them do their job.

To Search is to find

We do not have the answers to every question –but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer. So why don’t you send us your questions and let us together find the answers to our question.

No Christianity Without Community

I have been told that I must go to Mass only in my parish church. Why is this?

Answer: it is preferable that you go to Mass in your local parish church precisely because in that way you will take part in the community. Mass in your local parish church precisely because in that way you will take part in the community.  Mass is community worship and it implies also the involvement in the building of a local community. However, one fulfills one’s obligation by going Mass anywhere. Now that people in the cities us cars they have a habit of choosing a parish which suits them and enrolling in that parish. What is important is that you should not be just Sunday Mass Catholic but that you should be involved in the community. No Christianity without community.

To Search is to find

For some time we have been asked to put in Misyon a section on Questions which our readers would like raised. We are not too sure how appropriate our suitable this is, so please let us know if these questions have been of any help to you. We are calling this article To Search is to Find because we do not have the answers to every question in the universe – but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer.

LEAVE THEM ALONE

Misyon sometimes contains stories of tribal people. Are these people not happier left to themselves? Sometimes their cultural and religious practices are more environmentally friendly than our own.

You have two questions here. Yes, they might be happier left on their own. No one can really tell. But in today’s world inevitably they will be invaded by the 21st century. Which is better: to be made feel small, ridiculous, irrelevant and uneducated by the shining consumer culture of the West or to be made feel the dignity of being the children of God and the brothers and sisters of Jesus with the true hope of Life? That is what the Good News offers them. Apart from that as Christians we are bound to share the Good News. Someone once describe a missionary one who comes when he is not wanted and leaves when he is wanted. It is quite true that tribal people often have very environmentally friendly cultures and we should be ready to learn from them. I think that is what Misyon tries to do.

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