Reflecting in a time of crisis

Although I'm a fierce Catholic, I don't consider myself a religious person. The financial crisis, however, has led me to reflect on my inner values and spiritual beliefs.

Although I'm a fierce Catholic, I don't consider myself a religious person. The financial crisis, however, has led me to reflect on my inner values and spiritual beliefs. And even if I feel incompetent to discuss these things, let me attempt to give a lousy elucidation.

The utter commercialism that has consumed most of us, especially in our desire for electronic gadgets, has given birth to a monster in which consumers continuously crave for various devices. Thus, the financial meltdown has somehow rendered us poorer, unable to afford our "essential" tools.

In a way, that's what I felt about a few days ago when I lost my cellular phone after a pickpocket pulled it out of the pouch bag tucked around my waist. At first, I was mad at myself for allowing that to happen and I vowed to get a newer, more powerful replacement. But, reality dawned on me that times are indeed hard and that I had to fight my urge to a buy a flashier unit.

The next morning, I chanced upon a spiritual column in a newspaper discussing Misa de Gallo, the midnight or dawn masses held during Christmas time here in the Philippines. In the article, the writer said the Christmas tradition, in which local folks attend early morning masses for nine days, serves as a reminder against materialism that has become so pervasive in this world.

Why do people go through the trouble of waking up at the break of dawn when they can hear mass during the day? It's because things that really matter, he said, require a certain form of sacrifice. It's always not easy to search for something higher, something loftier.

In hindsight, it's a waste of time for me poring over a personal concern. Heck, it's just a phone; it can be replaced. There are more important things in life than getting obsessed with gadgets that appear very often these days.

I hope you had a meaningful Christmas. And let's hope for the best in the coming New Year.

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