My Sub Judice Plea

Agustin Apostolado

It could have started with just a certain unwillingness to obey a pastoral instruction. One which tried to protect them from undue influence of evil but ignored for devotional friendship which was unknowingly unreciprocated to be equal. And one for a feeling of oppression and indignity to lack of privacy at the moment of distress. And lastly, to a feeling of indignity too, when one replaced by another due to sloth and lack of action due to preconceived personal conditions.

It may also be mentioned that the cause of the issue came from them and had never been observed from those accused. Perhaps, the presence of the brethren, though they are seemingly threatening, are in reality irrelevant to the issues called forth.

It is therefore with such pain that I am now placed in a situation wherein I am pressed into making judgements for those who were often accused have finally asked to be heard for a certain closure to be reached. Therefore, I have given both sides to be heard on a date prescribed but I hope before that appointed time the prayers would already be in effect to soften the hearts of everyone concerned since they are all my spiritual children

Therefore, I refer both sides to read the advice given by St. Paul to the early Christians for its
truth is based on the Truth of Christ and may therefore help in the speedy resolution of the case put forward. Since the accusations threaten the unity of the brotherhood, I now posit St. Paul’s call to unity.

He wrote (Ephesians 4:22-25); “You must give up your old way of life. You must put aside your old self, which gets corrupted by following illusory desires. Your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution so that you can put on the new self that has been created in God’s way, in goodness and holiness from the truth.” Hence, one’s self should be set aside for the essential change to come in and apparently old illusions and pleasures should not intervene.

Moreover, from verses 25-29 (Ephesians), he wrote; “So, from now on, there must be no more lies: you must speak the truth to one another. Even if you are angry, you must not sin; never let the sun set on your anger. Or else you will give the devil a foothold.” In other words, those who are nursing their grudges for so long a time have unwittingly given the enemy much concession.

Also in Ephesians 29-32, he wrote: guard against foul talk; let your words be the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners. Otherwise, you will only be grieving the Holy Spirit of God Who has marked you with His seal for you to be set free when the day comes. Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper, raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names, or allow any sort of spitefulness. Be friends with one another and kind forgiving each other as God readily forgave you in Christ. I am in fact, personally guilty of this as I lost my temper when I started to see that the children are starting to unduly suffer because of the misunderstandings and I am sorry for having grieved God.

The following book, St. Paul’s letter to the Philippians complements the Ephesians quoted above as it calls for unity by humility in 2:3-8; “There must be no competition among you, nor conceit; but everybody should be self-effacing. Always consider the other person to be better than yourself, so nobody thinks of his own interests but everybody thinks of other people’s interest instead. In your mind, you must be the same as Jesus Christ;

His state was Divine
yet He did not cling
to His equality with God
but emptied Himself
to assume the condition of a slave,
and became as men are:
and being as all men are,
He was humble yet,
even accepting death,
death on the cross.

Wherefore, the numbers game of quantity is never a factor for me since St. Bede already prophesied that the “flock of the Lord will be called little” as there will only be a few which will comprise the flock. Quality, therefore is what matters in the end. Therefore, there is really no need for competition or someone saying he is better than his brother which is what being conceited means. And if it is then a matter of quantity, how can someone determine that he is better than another when in fact, quality is oftentimes hidden and covert, as humility dictates.

If competition is indeed not being considered in the issues, when then is it that at least one brother was cited for approaching another to have his work checked? Why then am I being asked also why there are brothers who have asked me to have their works checked? Why, I said, it must be their expression of humility. Yet in the end, I saw my own works censured as they may cause unpopularity or pain for some who needed to learn. And only recently I was asked why I have to write so many things when I can just focus on one topic or theme! But my simple answer was because I was trying to cover for the numbers who are inactive in one way or another for the there is really much work to be done and the workers are few. And why am I being stopped from doing something for the Lord when I owe Him so much much more.

Had there been prompt obedience perhaps it would not come to this. But it is too late. Now, it had to be addressed as some are being bold enough to engage and call for changes. The time to engage is inevitable and perhaps as in the mother church, some changes are inevitable, too. Except that Truth is not expected to change as God is immutable.

It is therefore my hope and prayer is that all concerned will read this as my sub judice plea. In the court of secular law, sub judice is not allowed. I break convention in doing this as it does not only involve mundane issues. I want people to have open hearts before the engagement or hearts may be broken and not heal.

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