Lovers of Wisdom

April 21, 2007

I am writing this during a three day convention at Caleruega in Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas. I am in a gathering of philosophers: members of the Philosophical Association of the Philippines (PAP). There are about 50 who came for this event (professors and students)—only a few compared to the conventions of the past years.
I myself am not at home in considering myself a philosopher, or the Greek “philosophos” (etymologically meaning “lover of wisdom”) albeit this term is already the “humbled” form of the more flamboyant “sophos”, which means “wise person”. The feeling of smallness comes to me in meetings like this when I mingle with the likes of Prof. Rolando Gripaldo and Fr. Dionisio Miranda, SVD (whose books I use in the philosophy courses that I teach), and the philosopher-playwright Jovy Miroy. It suffices then that I am happy to have this opportunity to be with lovers of wisdom.

It is likewise this very day that I got elected to the PAP Board of Directors. To this moment I have not fully comprehended what this would mean, but one thing is certain: that all the more should I be more and more in love with wisdom. It is through a habit of looking into the meaning of things great and small, of searching for the truth that this would come to pass. Therefore, as such, we are all called to be lovers of wisdom.

(April 12, 2007; Caleruega, Batulao, Nasugbu, Batangas)


Message to Don Bosco College, HS Batch 2007

April 20, 2007

My dear Bosconians,

It seems just yesterday when I was talking to all of you as a batch during the orientation days at the beginning of this scholastic year, your year as Seniors. If you recall, I told you one strong and encouraging statement: “What the fourth years are is what the school will be.” If the senior students are good, then the whole school will be good. A lot of things depend on how the senior students fare.

It was heartening to see you, when during my birthday (still in the first days of this school year), all of you went up the stage to make a promise to do your very best in your senior year. It was a moment of jubilation for me. I did not expect that and to me, that made the impact of that act much stronger and the act itself more meaningful.

Now, looking at what you have been through for the rest of the year, I am happy seeing that all of you were able to complete your scholastic requirements. Everyone has passed. And there is more than that. That which I hold dear, which I remember vividly at this very moment are the tears that were shed during your graduation rites. I have heard from a good number of teachers that this year’s graduation ceremony was among the most moving that they have seen.

I firmly believe that the commencement exercises brought forth more tears than usual because of several factors, two of which I would like to emphasize.

First, that you are an endearing group of Bosconians—rowdy and loud at first blush, but sentimental and grateful in the inside. Malambing is an adjective that can very well fit your batch. Second, that you, both as a batch, and even more so as individuals, have gone through a lot of difficult times from the time you first stepped into Don Bosco as high school students. But as one philosopher said, “What won’t kill you will make you stronger,” I know your struggles have made you better persons. And this makes your graduation a more precious treasure.

This makes us all understand the motto that you have chosen: AD ASTRA PER ASPERA. Onstage in your graduation night, it was written: to the stars through toil. I propose a more euphonic translation: TO GLORY, THROUGH ADVERSITY. You have gone through adversity and so at the end you deserve very much the stars, you deserve that crowning glory you received in graduating from this school. This makes our father Don Bosco proud of you. This makes me proud of you.

My dear Bosconians, my hearty congratulations! There will be more toil, but there will be brighter stars. God bless every step you take in life, every choice!

Yours in Don Bosco,

Fr. Joel N. Camaya, SDB
Principal


THE Thursday

April 17, 2007

This is the day of La lumière. Our weekly newsletter comes out every Thursday and even as you come out of your annual spiritual retreat, while at the same time I am making mine, it is worthwhile to look at the reason behind the special character of this day of the week, Thursday.
Every Thursday, in praying the rosary, we meditate upon the mysteries of light, and thus, the name la lumière. These mysteries culminate in the institution of the Eucharist by our Lord: Holy Thursday. This Lord’s Supper the institution of which we celebrate today, begins the Easter Triduum which leads to our celebration of Easter, the commemoration of the Lord’s resurrection. Thursday thus becomes the light that leads us into the threshold of the summit of our Christian life: celebrating Life—Jesus rising again to life.
Let the ponderings that we make these days of the Triduum and throughout the Easter Season make us even more thankful of the gift of Thursday: the gift of Christ’s love and service, the gift of his presence—so vivid in the last supper! A blessed Easter Season to each one of you!