POPE FRANCIS WROTEÂ the Philippine bishops gathered in Cebu recently Â for Â their 112th plenary Assembly to find “new ways to show God’s mercyÂ to the people.” MercyÂ and CompassionÂ Â have been Â the overarching tenets of Pope Francis’ papacy.
At the Institute of Integrality we discovered that man basically runs after two types of pursuits in his life. “The Pursuit of Pleasure” Â brings temporary pleasure – until man gets bored and looks for the next “high”. No real “human connections” are ever achieved.
In the “Pursuit of Excellence” – man spends all his time to develop his social, physical, financial, intellectual and psychic well being- to satisfy one’s ego. Life becomes a network of contacts but not a network of relationships.
It is only when man does his “Pursuit of Transcendence” – forgetting one’s egocentric needs Â and be of service to others -especially the destitute and those Â who cannot repay one’s goodness that one can Â find true joy. Are there such people?
One such man is Brother Reylindo Ortega who spends all his waking hours to find support for at least six Â foundations for the poor to this day- in his senior years. Â In June last year- he was diagnosed with Â grave cancer and was given 6 months to live.
Brother Rey was ready to die anytime and join his wife who departed three years ago. But that did not stop him from founding or helping new foundations. He spoke at the Institute of Integrality – on January 23- already on the 7th month and he was still Â an engaging, humorous speaker. The impossible can happen.
What are these foundations of Bro Rey?
Tahanan ng Pagmamahal Â is an orphanage behind the Pasig Cathedral which is operated under the coordination of the Light of the Family of famous preacher Bro Bo Sanchez. Â Grace to Be Born, Inc. Â at the Kapasigan is home to mothers who were earlier Â contemplating abortion but were reared back into true Christian ethical behavior. Â There- no questions are asked – and women are given board and lodging until they deliver their “many times unwanted babies”. The foundation even searches and helps in the consummation of legal adoption papers to rightful foster parents.
So far, 200 babies threatened by an Â intent of Â abortion have been saved.
Facing grave cancer- stage 4 , Bro Rey still Â managed to assist a foundation in Abra that helped 48 lepers there, a disease borne out of poverty. Contrary to popular belief, leprosy is not transferable unless fluids from the lepers get in contact with a healthy person’s open wounds or skin. The foundation is called Hail Mary Inc Â which provides seed money for livelihood and training of lepers and even the persons taking care of the lepers to make them productive members of the community.
The Department of Health estimates there are 2,000 new lepers every year.
Jesus Cares for Cancer, Inc. Â precisely provides livelihood and aid to destitute cancer victims who have no one to turn to for support in their ailment.Â Â Currently , they are supporting 44 cancer victims and Â the foundation recently held a concert at the Aliw Theater with volunteer violinists, singers, dancers and artists last Friday in Manila.
The Jeremiah Â 35 6-7 Foundation Inc,Â on the other hand, is the sanctuary of girls aged 8-18 who have been rape victims. Founded in November 2012, it is a nursing home to poor victims ashame to face society and needing spiritual and psychological guidance.
Finally, the Pag-asa ng PamilyaÂ Â in Chicago Street in Â Cubao (with Bro Bo) provides scholarships for poor but persevering students and with guidance to pursue their dreams in life.
Bro Rey does not know how much longer he will still live but has not stopped looking for ways and means to help these various foundations. Volunteer work like babysitting, Â becoming mother for the motherless, teaching, food,clothing and toy donations are all accepted.
For those who want to Â financially help the foundations of the Transcendent Man- Brother Rey Ortega, he can be reached at 0917 -816-4700 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brother Rey had warned all that like Jesus in the Bible do not expect 100% of those being helped to come back and thank you. Nine of ten never came back after they were healed of their leprosy in Jesus’ time. Â One other reminder: we do not let out right hand know what our left hand is doing unless it’s needed to get support from others.
Christ has said in the Holy Book – Â “Seek first the Kingdom of God and Â His Righteousness -and everything else will be added unto you.”Â Not earthly Â riches ,perhaps, but certainly priceless joy and sound sleep at night. And riches in Heaven.
We are captains of our ship -and we can become the Authors of our lives- daily writing into our personal book Â regarding our journey in becoming a “man for others”.
In the “Pursuit of Pleasure” – man becomes a utilitarian , placing a peso tag price on Â everyone Â and every move is meant Â to take or get pleasure while resting is merely to escape from it all. Only to wake up Â in the morning -wanting to look for Â more and more- of the same.
In the “Pursuit of Excellence”- one is reduced to a game where the. bottom line is top “competitive capacity”- a stressful target. Transcendence, on the other hand, Â is to find a vocation, to use rest for contemplation of the higher order in life and thus become a Â “being”.
Ironically – in the transcendent stage, it is in the Â “absence of Â self” that one finds himself. For it Â is in giving that one receives- it is in dying to oneself, that one is born to eternal life. Â SHALOM!
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