The Official Newsletter of the Archdiocese of Cebu, Philippines

A FAITHFUL OUTLOOK

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By: Adessa F. Otarra

What is it really, to be faithful? The word FAITH is commonly used and has got differently-worded descriptions and varied depths in every person. Though it is unique per individual circumstance, it carries one core meaning that I’d like to simply put as “STICKING TO” or “STANDING BY”.

My column in the printed version of the Bag-ong Lungsoranon was entitled ‘TIDLOMAN TA’ which meant going deeper – in thought, in interpretations of life events and the like. It was mainly in Cebuano so that I could get my message across to common folks including those who just learned to read but not exposed to other languages. It meant a lot to me because one time I met an old lady in a market in one of the far municipalities of Cebu. She was apparently a friend of the priest assigned there who told her that I was the one behind the Tidloman Ta column. She then went out of her stall towards me and gave me a tight hug, telling me that she has been following my write-ups as she felt encouraged each time and somehow had changed the way she saw her misfortunes. It truly moved me! I did not feel it as a tap on my shoulders but more of an affirmation of God’s purpose. We truly cannot tell whose hearts we get to touch, whose minds we get to influence in thinking, whose lives we unknowingly help to change. And that encounter gave life to what a close friend priest told me when I sadly shared about me quitting the lectors ministry that I may not be proclaiming God’s word anymore during masses, but I am and will be proclaiming His message, His love, His mercy, His wonders, to a bigger and farther reach through my writings. True enough, that moment with the old lady gave me a fresh zeal in pursuing what I am doing which is to find the blessings from God disguised in our day to day trials and tribulations. The inspiration grew that I use the Visayan language, imagining the ordinary readers who might come across my article. But Covid came.

The pandemic that the world is facing now pushed almost everyone to go online and do things web-based. After public masses and religious gatherings were cancelled, the printed Lungsoranon was put on hold indefinitely as well, but gladly were made available online. With the wider audience expected which will surely include non-Cebuano speaking ones, the change in “packaging” became necessary. Thus, the shift from my Visayan-based “Tidloman Ta” to the English-based “A Faithful Outlook.”

Why “A Faithful Outlook”? First of all, it still holds the same concept of finding a “light at the end of the tunnel”, of looking for the hand of God in everything, of looking forward to the “rainbow after the rain” which a FAITHFUL should always do no matter what, that is “sticking to the single belief that God is good and ever merciful, that His love for us is there in everything, that nothing in our life happens without His approval or purpose, and that in Him and with Him, nothing is impossible.” Secondly, this was coined by a very dear friend after my initials (AFO), consistent with my column concept. Thank you, FRB (Msgr. Renren Beltran) for this. And thank you to the Lungsoranon chief editors – Msgr. Marnell Mejia and Fr. Philip Pepito – for making me a part of the team then and now, offline and online.

I may be sad that I could not relate directly to my Visayan readers albeit temporarily; but to a bigger potential, my mission through my writings continue. Brothers and sisters, hope you can join me in my reflections with a faithful outlook. Padayon ta og TIDLOM, mga igsoon.

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