The more I come into contact with the people I know – people I live or work with – the more anxious I become over my relations with them. Even old friendships have been breaking under the pressure of my scruples. What a struggle it has been! I am always wondering about my state. Am I in the company of friends who bring me to occasions of sin? Am I leading them to sin? Do I come off as natural when I am around them? I find myself increasingly tempted to stay away from the company of people since it appears to be the only means of avoiding falls.
Nature’s beauty simply cannot be described adequately. Words fail in capturing the sheer energy which emanates from the scene my eyes bask on. This whole sight exudes an abundance of God’s creativity – the way a wave rolls across the ocean and its crest bulges before showing its full fury near the shore; the way the brown of the beach contrasts perfectly with the blue green of the ocean; the way the mountains in the distance pierce the sky and resemble a painting. The foreground, then, is composed of people and their accessories: boats, huts, and boards.
When I wrote to you about responding to the call to conversion, I was speaking as someone who had just awoken from the slumber of his past life. At the time, everything appeared new and fresh, and so I was full of vigour in exclaiming “I want to become a saint” and was very sure I could become one. The labors against this violence was not something I bothered too much about. My hope still stood on the “vision” rather than the “means”.
In the middle of EDSA’s painstakingly snail-paced traffic they too stare aimlessly outside—perhaps waiting for the bus in front to pick up some speed, perhaps remembering the children they have left at home, perhaps thinking of the work ahead, perhaps resolving conflicts in their minds while observing the urban realities staring back at them. These are not aimless pursuits rather consolations which, albeit fleeting, are still reliefs.
If you asked maybe a year ago if I ever saw myself in the place where I am now, I would have called you absurd, and true to my wit, go as far as to claim you’re drunk. But you’re not drunk. And neither am I. Going from a place in my life and time which was plagued by loneliness, materialism, lukewarmness, a certain degree of sexual promiscuity, relativism, and disorder to a place where I now struggle—because this whole conversion business is indeed laborious—for holiness was never something I thought of, and so I would not be offended at all if you too never thought of it. Who knew? I didn’t.