A Hundred Leaps of Faith – 1ST PLACE
An exquisite offer of nature is hardly noticeable these days. The world is devoured by endless ranting of selfish, grumpy souls. There are rampant killings – not just of physical bodies but the spiritual connection itself. And as the fading light of the sun kisses the shore and the delicate yet radiant rays meet the horizon, a story of hope is on the making. Like a caterpillar turning into the most beautiful butterfly, a new tale awaits to unfold.
Religion has been everyone’s refuge when it comes to the darkest of hours. There is morale, a strong belief of what is greatly divine and purely evil. Religion has been the explanation to all the significant events that greatly affect people, undeniably. Yet, of all the interesting aspects this subject brings, the more sensitive it becomes. The more aggressive its defenders are, the more rivalries it creates. The race of humanity relies on the answers of religion to the unseen. This is what links God and human – FAITH.
In the heart of Dipolog City, many may not have known the existence and purpose of a religious Catholic organization called the Catholic Faith Defenders (CFD). Many may not have thought of how this group of people struggled to be accepted, to be looked upon on young and old for upholding a sense of dignity as Christians, to be dependent to people hungry of learning about faith…to be the kind of defenders they are.
The Catholic Faith Defender (CFD) is a religious group of people who are advocating the true essence of being a Catholic Christian, and that is, being aware and able to defend faith, doctrine, and moral being taught in Catholicism. They are commonly known as the “apologetics”. Because of its virtuous purpose, devotees eagerly supported the group. It became viral in the locale with outstanding scholars as its brothers and sisters, connecting people, bridging the gaps between the elderly and today’s generation of youth. They provide weekly bible studies during Sundays in any available rooms. They even get to use the Centennial Chapel for quite some time. The challenge of being faith defenders is this – not having the cathedral’s acceptance. Say, things happen for a reason. The higher authorities do not agree of this simply because there are traditions and practices of Catholics that are industriously corrected by these defenders; some of which offended egos which results to the strong disapproval.
As one of the greatest mantra says, “Stand for what is right even if it means standing alone”, CFD has greatly influenced hearts. The maxim to them does not necessarily mean alone, it suggestively say to stand as one. This is not just about debates. This is not just about pointing fingers to whoever is wrong. This is not about being disrespectful of other religions’ interests and beliefs. This is not about telling the world what religion or religion sect is righteous. This is not intended to be destructive in any kind or to explicitly point out flaws of any one. This is to inspire people, more people to re-examine their spiritual self.
The amazing factor CFD brings is their courage despite the odds. It is not easy to be questioned why they are not having proper designated rooms to hold their bible studies. During a talk, a young defender even shared his parents’ reluctance on his regular attendance of the Sunday sessions. He was in fact a conscientious student, religious devotee, and a thoughtful son but this was not enough to have their permission to constantly be present on many occasions. When asked about what drives him to continue, he cheerfully said that he has the willingness to motivate others to take some of their time studying God especially the teenagers. That sounded a terrific answer to most who overheard it.
Where do they stand from there? That continuously becomes their lifetime journey. Their search was never over, it has always been growing and inviting. They said as long as Catholics exist, CFD will continue to live. They will continue to teach people. Money is never their expected incentives. Their invested time of teaching and informing all ages mean living a life. The joy of seeing a Catholic Christian that indisputably knows his God is overwhelming to them. They want to establish a future of better Christians, that even the oldest of them is gone, the seeds continue to grow as blessing to others.
Big steps start with small steps. Proudly, they can say it only takes just few leaps to continue what they started. A hundred leaps of faith, it is!