Catholic nuns as Avatars of peacemaking PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 28 March 2016 13:18

The southerner

Rey-Luis Banagudos


In what is surely a tragic way to mark this March as Women’s Month, ISIS terrorists killed in a especially cruel manner four nuns belonging to the Sisters of Charity – the order founded by Mother Teresa – in Yemen earlier this month. They were four of five nuns running a home for the elderly, who ironically are mostly Muslims in that predominantly Islamic nation. The fifth nun survived by hiding in the kitchen. The ISIS men tied the nuns to trees, shot them in the head, then smashed their heads.  Afterwards, they also kidnapped a Salesian priest serving in the same facility.

Even during the time of Jesus Christ, women have served actively in the movement that would later become known as Christianity. Mary Magdalene, the same saved prostitute whose sins Jesus forgave, was the first to be greeted by the Resurrected Christ when she went to visit his tomb at dawn of the first Easter Morning.

Today, Catholic nuns are a class of women all their own, beyond comparison whatsoever – as they have been in the over two thousand years of Christianity. Filipina nuns, in particular, are serving in Christian and non-Christian communities all over the world - as school teachers, counselors, parish workers, nurses, janitresses, administrators, environmentalists, and so forth. If our hundreds of thousands of Filipina OFWs are heroes, these humble nuns are superheroes because they do it not for money but instead for love of humanity and human life in all its inherent sacredness, grandeur and beauty. Such service is the highest form of resurrection and redemption – even for non-Christian monks.

Filipina women (including Pia Wurtzbach, ahem) are truly the “light of the world” today, as Jesus exhorted his followers to become and to be. Among the most prominent peace-makers in the country today are women – they who complement the peace team of President Aquino as negotiators, legal and security advisers, staffers; the thousands of advocates who comprise peace and interfaith non-government organizations; even more, the thousands who have signed up as members of the MILF’s United Bangsamoro Justice Party and so will wage a peaceful revolution to uplift Mindanao’s Muslims.  These women peace advocates are the best guarantee of the Mindanao peace process and its future success.

Expanding the participation of women in government is one way to propagate the practice of good governance, too. Electing more deserving and qualified women political candidates in the coming May elections would be good for this advocacy since political leadership is most crucial.

More Christian and Muslim Filipino women are now enrolled in higher education schools, as there are more and more working in government and private companies. They are also our best guarantee against senseless violence and terrorism in the future, because educated mothers will raise law-abiding children.  In comparison, women in the Middle East who have long been deprived of proper education have bred men like the ISIS terrorists, plentifully. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world – for good or bad.

By the way, how those ISIS men could kill those four nuns so cruelly could but have nothing with their religious devotion.  More likely, it was because they were high on hallucigenic drugs. A news report revealed that a pharmaceutical facility in Syria regularly manufactures tons of mind-bending psychedelic drugs for terrorists like the ISIS. These drugs literally turn the terrorists into zombies. Their dream of a religious worldwide caliphate is likely a product of that mass hallucination.  (Other news reports said that Hitler also supplied his Nazi troops with a similar hallucigenic drug to keep them going and fighting even when the war was going badly. Also, after the Zamboanga Siege the military and police found lots and lots of shabu paraphernalia in the hideouts of the MNLF attackers.) So, probably one way of countering the ISIS terrorism is to simply destroy the production and supply lines of their devil drugs. Likewise for the security of Mindanao and Zamboanga. (Rey-Luis Banagudos)