(Editors’ note: The Midland Courier is reprinting the columns of the late Atty. Benedicto T. Carantes as a tribute to one of its long-time columnists. This piece was published on Dec.26, 2010)
Needless to say, Advent or Christmas serves to remind us that Christ was born to redeem the world from sin, God’s greatest gift to mankind.
Today, 2,000 plus years later, Christianity is the widest practiced religion throughout the globe.
Given the enormity of the Christian faith, and in the light of the teachings of Jesus, we should all be living a peaceful existence, even if there would still be some misunderstandings between Christians and Muslims, with the Hindus and Buddhists caught in the middle.
But such conflicts would only be doctrinal in nature, not a war among nations and men, not Christian against Christian, although the probability is not lost that Muslims will readily fight anyone, even their own kind, for territorial expansion. How in God’s name, can war be holy?
If we were to stick strictly to the tenets of Christianity, material wealth would be meaningless, no need, therefore, to go to war, like invading another country because of its rich natural resources on the pretext of “redeeming” it from a tyrannical and oppressive ruler.
Alas, while most Christians show their gratitude to God by following Christian rites and practice, many are nonetheless quick to align themselves with the devil for personal gain or comfort.
In Mexico for example, a Catholic country, dozens of deaths are reported nearly every day because of the lucrative drug business, and it is in church that drug lords and impoverished town folk mingle together, with one cursing the other under his breath, and the latter ready to take life if his illicit business is placed in jeopardy.
To escape prosecution, drug lords bribe the police, lawyers, and judges. Perhaps we should take Shakespeare’s suggestion to heart – which is to kill all the lawyers.
So, what about lawyers? Well, the story is told (with apologies to columnist Father Jerry Orbos for the line) that when Satan encroached on the properties of heaven, St. Peter threatened him with legal action for ignoring demands to withdraw from the premises pronto.
“Ha,” retorted Satan, “and where will you get a lawyer to do that for you? They are all here with me.”
Paraphrasing the Reader’s Digest funny pages, there was this bachelor who was such a good man that he went straight to heaven right after his death.
But even with all the blessings of paradise, the poor bachelor was soon overcome with loneliness, and forthwith he sought out St. Peter so he could find him a nice girl who would cure the ache in his manhood.
“I will need some time to find this nice girl for you,” said St. Peter “Given today’s loose morals, good girls are becoming harder and harder to come by in heaven.”
Two months later, St. Peter calls up the bachelor to tell him that he finally found such a girl, apologizing for the rather long search.
“But St. Peter,” the bachelor scratches his head, “I am a good man, and I need to marry the girl before we do the rites that a man and a woman do in their private moments.”
“Okey,” St. Peter replies, “but it will take a longer period to find a priest here in heaven, assuming of course that there are any. Only the really ancient friars are here, and they don’t solemnize marriages anymore because of their advanced years.”
“Poor fellows, there are only a few doctors treating their ailments, and no engineers to build them a home for the aged.”
Six months later, St. Peter comes back to the bachelor. “You are in luck,” St. Peter informs him, “I searched far and wide for a priest, and this one is ready to administer the sacrament of marriage for your sake and your girlfriend.”
But a year following the wedding ceremony, the bachelor complains to St. Peter that his marriage has become a disaster, and wanted out.
St. Peter turns red in feigned anger. “What,” he says, his voice rising several decibels higher, “It took me two months to find your girl, six months to find a priest, now where in hell will I find you a lawyer, let alone a divorce lawyer?”
With that, we wish you dear reader, a Merry and Blessed Christmas!