Growing Child in Faith

This Holy Week gives us time to reflect on our spiritual life. Normally, we are reminded by our parents or wife to go to confession during the Lenten Season and do the Stations of the Cross. My wife ensures that all of us in the family do go to confession and complete the Stations of the Cross, something my mother made sure we did when we were growing up. I would tend to argue that anyway I would commit the same sin or that I can confess to God directly.

The challenge of many entrepreneurs is that sometimes, we would place our spiritual priorities last as we get into more work. Sometimes, we tend to forget the real Source of whatever success or blessings we receive. This is when we need our co-pilots in life, our spouses, to keep the balance and give us reminders.

For over four years now into the Go Negosyo advocacy, I have been exposed to a lot of people who want a better life for themselves and their families. The thousands of people, who attend our forums, caravans and summits, and now the Negosems (Negosyo Seminars), are there to seek that better future. They are there either to get inspired or to know the How-To’s in entrepreneurship.

While our country is predominantly a catholic nation, the rise of renewed Christians or Born-Again Christians have come about as different people are touched or inspired in different ways. We see Brother Eddie, Brother Mike and now Brother Quiboloy. We also have the Iglesia Ni Cristo and Ang Dating Daan who have been here for decades. I have been exposed to a number of religious organizations. I am a catholic and so is my family. Before, my dad wanted to be a priest and my mother – a nun, so you can imagine the catholic influence they have in us. My in laws are predominantly Born-Again Christians. We do have a few yayas who are Iglesias.

Meantime, our meat plant is Halal-certified. This means it can cater to the Muslim consumers. We have met people coming from the Muslim faith. While some may not agree with my view on religion, I believe that in our next life in the form of spirit, we will have no religion or Church affiliation. There will only be one religion. God or The Supreme Being transcends all religious faith. Whatever faith or religious group we belong to here in our earthly life, I believe that all can enter the kingdom of heaven.

Look at things this way, our parents and teachers brought us up with the right values and principles. Our religious faith and the Church we belong to act as our mentors in bringing us closer to God, while on earth. It is important to live a prayerful and God-centered life. I believe in our personal relationship with God, accepting the gift of salvation, and fully submitting ourselves to Him. Of course, a well-founded spiritual group like the Catholic faith, which has been around for thousands of years, has guided me all these years. It is not just about which church we belong to. It will not assure us of entering His kingdom. I would tell many of those who joined us that it is not enough that we just pray and pray and not work for our aspirations. The bahala na attitude, which can be likened to blind faith, is very common in many of us.

God has blessed us with our intelligence, a mind and body to work on our dreams. And when all has been done, we pray that for guidance to make the right choices. Prayer and work cannot be separated. They are to be done together. I believe that God has blessed us with families and has provided us a choice of mentors, from our schools to our religious organizations.

One thing we cannot choose is our parents. But even assuming that our parents have not been good mentors for one reason or another, God has given us the chance to meet mentors or earthly angels to guide us in our life. Some religious leaders would promise material success and blessings with a white handkerchief. This may be symbolic of hope or used to strengthen faith. What is important is that we use this strength in faith and hope to work. Without hard work and a right attitude in life, it is usually difficult for prayers to work. One would have to wait for a miracle. But combine a right attitude in life and prayer, this increases our chance to move up or achieve our dreams.

This holy week, let us spend even just an hour of our time to reflect on what we have done this past year. Let us reflect on how we can improve our relationship with God. As I write this column, it helps me to reflect on things that I should still do. I hope that as I share these insights, I do not offend anyone as I am still a growing child in faith.