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Liberation Theology and Discernment

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One of the initial questions posed in Gutierrez's Liberation Theology is the question of finding a way of speaking about God. Adopting the viewpoint of the theology of liberation, Gutierrez says that we can begin with contemplating God and doing God's will. This is the first act, the act of silence. In this first act, a person commits and contemplates. This contemplation is manifested through prayer and worship. It then allows us to live the faith, a faith which seeks understanding. This understanding is a result of reflection, the second act. The first act of living a Christian life inspires this next act. When you reflect about God, you then also create discourse. You talk about God. You create a theological discourse. It is a talk that is constantly enriched by silence (first act). This is where theology comes about, a theology which not only is reduced to the rational part (reasoning, meanings, concepts), but a theology that also embraces the more important, spiritual part (prayer, worship).

Last November 12 at half past 4 o'clock in the afternoon, I attended a talk that gave college seniors a beneficial guide in dealing with post-graduation life. To be honest, I attended not because I thought it was going to be fun, or because I am passionate in giving my life a sense of direction, but because of the fact that the talk was a requirement in my Theology class. There was one main speaker who was a Jesuit priest, if my memory serves me right. He basically talked about how he was just like us. He was once an Ateneo Loyola Schools student too. He talked about his unexpected path to priesthood. Coming from such a "holy" background, the main point that he stressed to us was how prayer could help us in discerning the path in which we would lead our lives to.

When one discerns, he is able to judge in a certain manner hardly regrettable. Whatever he is able to think of, whatever he is able to rationalize in the process, would come off us something which he can more or less depend upon. I believe that just as discernment is important when trudging upon which career track we should take, or which jobs we should apply for, it is also important when it comes to deepening our spirituality. Discernment in the case of spirituality is not really so much about making the right decisions. In my opinion, it is more of about thinking in a rational manner the existence of God. It is more about letting the force of God move us from deep within and allow it to make changes in our lives. Just as we allow our lives to be shaped by our faiths in the first act, this rational exhortation that we allow ourselves to experience deepens the way of life that we are trying to live, that is, the life of faith. Consequently, we allow ourselves to have a better position to at least start in trying to understand, in trying to reflect and talk about God. The rationalization process that we allowed ourselves to go through puts us in a, so to



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