I still have the Part 2 of my previous post, but I will momentarily postpone it. In fact I have loads of material for even more entries in this recently “revived” blog of mine, to be honest. And yet I don’t feel like working on any of them in view of a post today. Instead, I feel most compelled to come up with something else instead. This updated enumeration of the young victims in the war on drugs presently taking place in the Philippines says it all.
This article, for all its objectivity, is heartbreaking. In the meantime, a couple of recent events in my own life’s microcosm make me confront the ongoing issue. For instance, I just celebrated a Mass in a retreat of college-age young people belonging to a renewal community. Then also, I was able to gather some consoling thoughts and realizations from various incidences, which all took place on a single Sunday. One is as though a silver lining coming from one of our youth, concerning a disciplinary case in their school. And then there’s also something from an inspired talk on vocation to our young people, given by an enthusiastic Salesian vocation promoter whom we invited. All these make me confront the issue of the young victims in the war on drugs with yes, much pain and grief — but at once mixed with comfort and consolation. There is still hope, after all.
But even then, I cannot remain silent about the killings. No God-fearing and peace-loving human being, for that matter, can do so. Yes, the urge is there upon me to speak up or to write — and yet ironically I am at a loss for words. Yes, everybody is pitching in with words coming from all sides and angles of the debate, while I personally am not sure of what to say. It’s not that I am dumbfounded or speechless. Perhaps it’s really more of a silent protest (a sort of passive resistance), which I choose to assume as my personal stance.
As before, it’s so easy to give in to indifference and to cover up the pain, to sweep things under the rug or to just whitewash the whole thing. But it cannot be so. More than ever. If white is the presence of all colors, and black on the other hand is their absence — then there are no shades of gray for me in this case. I am appropriating the non-color black as a statement-in-itself, because of the absences of several things for me: there is neither rhyme nor reason, there is no method in the madness. All I can manage is some semblance of cold comfort.
And so anyone can see by now that I did get to write something after all, with an amount of words enough for a measly blog post once again. I should not fret. And don’t worry: I will continue to write. But still, there are no words for what is taking place. We are reduced to silence in front of the horror that is happening. God help us all.
MartYM or Fr. Martin Macasaet, SDB, SThD is a professor of Youth Ministry. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Theology from the Salesian Pontifical University in Rome.