Bishops: Work hard, be frugal

Published by rudy Date posted on January 1, 2009

Religious leaders called on Filipinos yesterday to work hard, exercise frugality and be compassionate and willing to help those in need in 2009.

Two officials of the Catholic Church and the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches (PCEC) said Filipinos need these traits to face the economic crisis this year.

In his New Year’s message, Archbishop of Manila Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales said Filipinos must exercise frugality, hard work, simplicity, compassion and a willingness to share their blessings in 2009.

“There is the possibility, they say, that the world’s current financial and economic crisis may affect the country by midyear,” he said.

“Compassion and the spirit of sharing, of which the Filipino is noted to have much, will make life at least bearable for both the poor and the rich.

“Other traits of our countrymen, like the old simplicity of choice, a cut-down on unnecessary purchases and the bayanihan spirit will assure that we will be able to cross the impending crisis.”

Rosales said people can start by cutting down on unnecessary expenses in their New Year celebration and be practical in their purchase and use of firecrackers.

“These are accepted practices in the past that we can invoke again while we cross these difficult moments of the man-imposed economic tragedy,” he said.

In a statement, Bishop Efraim Tendero, PCEC national director, said a bleak future awaits Filipinos this year.

“One of the effects of the economic crisis is that it would force some of our overseas Filipino workers to return to the Philippines jobless,” he said.

“God’s Word challenges us to simplify our lifestyle and make room for what is essential – a deep and vibrant relationship not only with those whom we care for, but even more, with the Lord who loves us.”

Tendero said Filipinos could also look at the financial crisis as a reminder from the Lord that before they could attain riches on earth, they have to establish close ties with Him first.

“How about the worsening global financial crisis?” he asked.

“Well, the Lord is ahead of us too. He reigns. It is He who is shaking the nations of the world to remind us that He is Lord even of the world’s economic order: ‘Mine is the silver and mine is the gold, says the Lord of hosts’ (Haggai 2:8).

“And God is doing this so that His people will seek first His kingdom and live for His glory. The economic crisis has caused the Kingdom of God to advance in the hearts of people. More and more people are now turning to the Lord.” — Evelyn Macairan, Philippine Star

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