Sunday, April 3, 2011

Remembering the cathartic power of EDSA Revolution

The previous post marks the merging of my blog from other site. Today’s article is the first of the series of reflections during the 25th Anniversary of the historic EDSA Revolution in the Philippines on February 25, 2011. It is still relevant as the Christian world celebrates Lent this year.

Lent in the Christian tradition, as Wikipedia explains, is the period of the liturgical year from Ash Wednesday celebrated last March 9 to the Easter Sunday on April 24. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer for the annual commemoration during Holy Week of the Death and Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. It is a period of 40 days of prayer, repentance, almsgiving, fasting and abstinence.

Considered as one of the major liturgical seasons of the Roman Catholic Church, Lent is celebrated by other Christian denominations including Protestant groups. Although the calculation of forty days vary according to respective traditions. It has reference to the experience of Jesus before the beginning of his public ministry where he spent forty days of fasting in the desert enduring temptation, according to the Synoptic gospels.

But the number forty has long been universally recognized as an important number. Its frequency and the uniformity of its association has been associated with a period of probation, trial, and chastisement. For it points to the action of grace (5), leading to and ending in revival and renewal (8). This is certainly the case where Forty relates to a period of evident probation. But where it relates to enlarged dominion, or to renewed or extended rule, then it does so in virtue of its factors 4 and 10, and in harmony with their signification.

Among the Biblical references are the forty days of Moses on Mount Sinai with God (Exodus 24:18); the forty days and nights prophet Elijah spent walking to Mount Horeb (1 Kings 19:8); the forty days and nights of rain in the great flood of Noah (Genesis 7:4); the forty years of the wandering in the desert by the Hebrew people to reach the Promised Land (Numbers 14:33); the forty days reprieve for the city of Nineveh to repent as prophesied by Jonah (Jonah 3:4).

The spirit of EDSA lives on. Its cathartic power continues to provide relief and refreshes hope. The over arching and encompassing spirit cannot and will never be domesticated. Its mystery remains unspoiled, not completely unfold.

These three insights summarized my reflections on the 25th Anniversary of People Power. For the past weeks, it preoccupied my mind as past involvements flashbacked in my memory. EDSA recollections and learnings was the focus of my media activities. From radio and CATV programs to academic discussion. In my Live CATV show over CPU Channel, I invited past activists from various sectors who were participants to the pre EDSA struggles. We sponsored a University Forum for consciousness raising and internalization of the celebration.

Cathartic power

Nobody will ever deny that EDSA Revolution had provided relief to wounded and bruised nation, captive for decades by an abusive rule. Although debates over extent of healing still looms, it does not diminish the magical power of the historic event. I continue to experience this power while recalling my half a decade involvement in people’s struggle in the local context as part of the national call. Inevitably, haunting past events involving comrades, friends and the basic masses characterized the slow and painful process undertaken until that victorious day.

The feeling of gratitude to God for my survival and the thoughts of my contribution in shaping the history has been cathartic. Although my involvement pales in comparison to the intensity and period suffered by nameless and countless faces. The cathartic power of EDSA also refreshes my hope to attain full recovery from lingering illness. Chronic heart ailment, compounded by nerve disorder, has constrained my active life of service for more than a year now. The delay of complete healing makes me vulnerable to discouragement and depression. But recalling EDSA Revolution gives me new drive to conquer, if I will not give in to despair.

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