Category Archives: Spirituality

BOOK REVIEW. Panagkutay: Bringing us right into the Lumad lifeworld

BOOK REVIEW. Panagkutay: Bringing us right into the Lumad lifeworld Levy L. Lanaria, Ph.D. A.Th. TITLE: Panagkutay: Anthropology & Theology Interfacing in Mindanao Uplands (The Lumad Homeland) Author: Karl M. Gaspar, CSsR Publisher: Institute of Spirituality in Asia, 2017 (This review by Levy L .Lanaria, Ph.D A.Th., faculty member at the Department of Philosophy and Religious […]

Ramadhan Reflections

By Atty Mehol Sadain, MindaNews, August 2011
Day 1
The month of Ramadan is compared to a month when the devils are chained. But to effectively chain the devil, you should first chain your desire. Ramadan Kareem to all Brothers and Sisters in the Faith.
Day 2
What would otherwise be unendurable on ordinary days comes easy during Ramadan. That is the blessing of the fast of Ramadan. 
Day 3
While the physical benefits of fasting have been proven by science; its more important spiritual benefits are proven by the unique experiences of the individual devotee. Let us reflect on these spiritual experiences for they are GOD’s compensation for our sacrifice. 
Day 4
The accepted fast should result in the self purified and the community revivified. 
Day 5
Suffering from hunger and thirst for fourteen hours every day for thirty days is not so difficult if we remember that there are millions who go without food and water for even longer hours and days. What should be difficult is luxurious dining amidst poverty.
Day 6
The fast of Ramadan is like a 30-day test after a year’s attendance in GOD’s school of life. When we pass the test, we go on to a higher level where there are new lessons and challenges. Viewed this way, the fast never leaves us, for it is part of the lessons we receive from GOD, and we should continue to improve ourselves and our community with every Ramadan that goes by.
Day 7
We should thank GOD for creating us as human beings, for He could have created us as the smallest of parasites. Hence, as beings with intellectual capabilities, we should devote our efforts in discharging the trust He has reposed on us: To enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. 
Day 8
Hunger and thirst weaken the mortal body; fasting in GOD’s way strengthens the immortal spirit. Hunger and thirst can break a man; the accepted fast makes him whole again. 
Day 9
If we are full of longing and expectation when we meet love ones because we cherish their presence in our lives, so must we be filled with utmost longing and expectation when we meet GOD in our devotions because we owe our lives to Him. If we respect a great leader, so must we have infinite respect for the Greatest of All Kings.
Day 10
Our intellect is but a drop in the vast Ocean of GOD’s Wisdom. We can never be the Ocean; but like a drop of water we can always be part of the Ocean. This is called divine enlightenment.
Day 11
We are tested by what GOD has given us, but we succeed by what GOD has decreed for us. We court temptations because GOD gave us free will, and we overcome them by following the Law that GOD has given us. 
Day 12
Prayer and fasting symbolize a movement from the outside world into our inner sanctum: the superconscious mind that links us to the Universal Mind. In both, we silence our physical senses so we can listen to our subconscious. Witness the movement of the takbir in prayer and the physical deprivation in fasting. They both move from the outside to the inside.
Day 13
The Straight Path is not just a path; it is a Way of Life. [Ang Daang Matuwid ay di lang isang landas; ito’y isang Paraan ng Pamumuhay.] …”Ihdina s-Siraatal Mustaqeem.”[“Guide us to the Straight Path.”] [Holy Qur’an, 1:6]
Day 14
Death is like a shadow that trails us wherever we go. Hence, before we sleep we beseech GOD to take our soul in His Mercy and to return it with His Protection; and when we awake, we thank Him for reaching another morning, and acknowledge that all Sovereignty belongs to Him,… the Lord of All Worlds.
Day 15
A leader assumes a heavy mantle of responsibility: He should be discerning enough to know the favors GOD intends for His creation, and competent enough to discharge them. This is what is meant when we say that the leader is GOD’s steward on earth. 
Day 16
The best relationship for two people is that of two minds complementing each other, two souls uplifting one another, and two destinies intertwined in the service of GOD.
Day 17
In the days of prophets, GOD gave his Mercy through His Revelations and His Messengers. Nowadays, when GOD dispenses favors, He does so through providential events and acts of men. Remember then: The task you discharge maybe GOD’s answer to another man’s plea.
Day 18
There is a direct and very obvious correlation between seeking GOD and being blessed; yet we don’t always see it when we are enjoying our blessings. As we seek GOD we are blessed; and as we are blessed so should we seek GOD.
Day 19
Mankind has very limited intellect, and the only way to expand it is to surrender to the Greater Intellect, where true wisdom is lodged and the universe’s secrets are kept. 
Day 20
Let us reflect on, and anticipate the Night of Power [Lailatu l-Qadr] by remembering that one night of revealed knowledge is better than a thousand months [alfi shahrin] of ignorance. Let us ponder on the lessons of Ramadan as divine inspiration coming through the angels [Malaika] and the Spi…rit [Ruh] descending on us.
Day 21
Remember that the GOD you seek is closer to you than your jugular vein, and the guidance you need has always been part of your discerning heart, leading you to the Words of GOD. 
Day 22
The keys to a worthy act are: Doing it well; Doing it in moderation; and Doing it in GOD’s way. The material has a claim on the spiritual just as the spiritual has a claim on the material, for the spirit illumines the body which holds and houses the spirit.
Day 23
It’s past the days of empires and colonialism and coerced conversions; today we live in a world where we must co-exist, and understand and tolerate each other; where we can dialogue on inter-faith matters, recognizing that we are like different rivers flowing into One Infinite Ocean. 
Day 24
If religions must interact, as they frequently do nowadays, we must remember that it does not help to talk from the fringes of faiths because if such were the case, we will never reach resolve in the center of commonality. 
Day 25
We talk in words, about concepts and principles; but we accomplish in action, through good work and righteous deeds. We cannot really say we succeeded as a religious faithful, if we have not followed and performed the teachings of our Faith.
Day 26
Bearing pains, trials or disappointments without complaint is patience, and persisting on an undertaking in spite opposition, discouragements or counter-influence is perseverance. Combining both is patient perserverance. GOD calls it sabr and rewards the man who practices it.
Day 27
Under the principle that men and women are equal but different from each other, Shari’ah gives each their commensurate rights and obligations. Eventually, they are judged by GOD, not by their sex, but by their fulfillment of their respective obligations.
Day 28
To understand or embrace the Muslim psyche, one must first understand Tawheed or the Doctrine of Unity — the concept, belief and subscription to One Supreme, Eternal, Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient GOD, for this accounts for the high sense of obligation a Muslim manifests for his Faith.
Day 29
Eid ul-Fitr is not the end of the fast because there will be more fasts and more months of Ramadan to come. The Eid is a celebration in the struggle to renew one’s life and cleanse one’s soul. More than a celebration, it is a stage toward perfection. More than thanking GOD, it is… about drawing closer to GOD.
Day 30
As we end our Ramadan reflections, remember that the best reflection is that which our mind holds with our heart. We write it as manifestation on paper and we imbibe it as attestation of the soul. Till next Ramadan, Insha ALLAH.