|Love, forgiveness, pushed aside – Apr 27|
REGENERATING THE MORAL AND SPIRITUAL VALUES OF OUR SOCIETY
By Vernon Khelawan
Over the Easter weekend, the nation heard several priests, in their sermons, comment on the state of our nation. They spoke about corruption, the almost total absence of morals and values and the degeneration of society as a whole. These speakers included the Archbishop Joseph Harris, Msgr Christian Perreira, Fr Steve Duncan in Tobago – all of the Roman Catholic faith – and Presbyterian minister Rev Daniel Teelucksingh.
This is yet another indication that there is something seriously wrong with our society and that the goal of the Third Pastoral Priority to regenerate “the moral and spiritual values of our society” is right on target.
Throughout the Triduum, the message of love and forgiveness kept being repeated, and it would seem therefore, these references are indicative of the fact that in Trinidad and Tobago today, Jesus’ command to love as he has loved continues to be disregarded and treated as irrelevant and, in many instances, as if it was of no value.
In its guidelines for the Third Priority, the Synod Implementation Team notes, “Our culture puts before us a very different command, which is based on the promotion of self. It makes the self very centric. Each individual can determine his/her future. This is what Pope Benedict XVI called the ‘Dictatorship of Relativism’.”
The booklet contends that the society has reached the stage where it defines a person as successful, if he/she has come into money, power and pleasure, the so-called unholy trinity. In the West this has become the norm and we in Trinidad and Tobago, unfortunately, have been caught up in the trap. There is no longer any reference to the quality of one’s soul.
In today’s secular and atheistic world, what the individual wants is paramount. Since there is no God, each one is free to play God; to be one’s own god. The self is being exalted more and more.
“This means,” the book of guidelines states, “that we do not recognise any objective moral order like the Ten Commandments. Everything is relative. Moral relativism reigns as long as we elevate the self and morality becomes a private subjective matter, heavily based on the individual’s feeling.”
The do-it-if-it-feels-good mentality must be countered by the Resurrection message which calls us to live a new life in Christ Jesus.