I have come to realize that the process of inculturation is a very tedious, painstaking and a lifelong process. But then, I’m reminded by the song of Fr. Jerry, SJ which says: “Live One Day at A Time”, and I take one step at a time and, with my strong faith that nothing is impossible with God, then everything will be in order in God’s own time.
It’s almost fifty years since Vatican II had talked about inculturation but until now the Church is still struggling for it to really take root. Again, it’s a lifelong process. Our five-day session is not a guarantee that we will indeed be into this kind of initiative. What I enjoin with my co-journeyers is to commit ourselves to embrace the challenges of “letting go” and speaking out as the spirituality of inculturation involves.
Letting go of the peripheral experiences that need to be changed and speaking out about the truth and authenticity that nourishes and nurtures the richness of our own cultures, to support the cause of those in the margins and those demeaned. Letting go of the stumbling blocks such as syncretism, anthropological poverty and the feeling of inferiority imposed on us by our colonizers.
Being colonized for almost 500 years is not easy to undo, but only through patient, painstaking, step by step process of inculturation- where members of indigenous or traditional societies are led and are willing to rediscover and reclaim their cultural heritage and identity including indigenous spirituality.
We are also challenged to engage with passion, on the tasks of inculturation of theology such as: relativizing the inherited cultural expressions of the faith, putting our culture in its right perspective, de-stigmatizing and re-valuing them in the context of present day challenges and re-interpreting the faith with indigenous categories.
As pastoral agents and sharers in God’s mission, we are challenged to engage in the hermeneutics of appreciation focusing on the affirmation of the good qualities, giving priority on grace over sin, and the goodness of God as the original blessing. Returning to our roots will energize us, reclaiming our “Treasures”, that is, that which is good, that which is right and which is life-giving.
We are called to “ripple out” as far as it can reach all the “gems” that we have acquired here in our Euntes journey. Let us engage in a truly human conversation to let the “Divine Light” permeate in and through us, as a nation, as a people of God, and truly experience and relish God’s “Kagandahang Loob.” GOD BLESS US ALL!
Sr. MIla, OND