Calamity, Covid, conflict, costs: what BBM can do
First of 2 parts
As President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. (BBM) completes his 100 days in office on Saturday, October 8, challenges to national security, advancement and governance are mounting with no immediate relief in sight.
President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. gestures during the Social Security System’s ‘Balikat ng Bayan Awards’ ceremony, held as part of the agency’s 65th anniversary celebration, in Quezon City, on Friday September 30, 2022. PHOTO BY JOHN RYAN BALDEMOR
From coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) and devastating calamities like super typhoon “Karding” or “Noru” to escalating food and fuel prices aggravated by conflict in Europe, the four Cs threaten the countries will not give the chief executive and cabinet many years of rest beyond their first hundred days.
With Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations on the rise, hospitals are rightly pushing to reinstate the recently lifted mask mandate, but conditionally. Those hoping for a year’s respite from the Category 4 storm “Odette” or “Rai” last December were left devastated by the Abra earthquake in July and the Category 5 pounding of Karding last month. And after?
Even if no disaster ravages this last quarter of 2022, the soaring cost of living and travel are all spoilers. With more than 2 billion pesos in agricultural damage from Karding and months before flooded farms and fisheries return to full production, expect price hikes on already expensive food on top of spikes in Christmas spending. .
Meanwhile, global oil and gas markets remain jittery with twin threats from Vladimir Putin to draw down army reserves and possibly go nuclear. More: The European Union aims to stop nearly all Russian oil imports by December, adding EU demand to Asian and regional consumption. Only fear of an economic downturn amid rising inflation and rising interest rates has lowered recent oil rates.
With regard to the conflict, as the September 29 column reported, there is a very real threat of a wider and possibly nuclear war, with EU Foreign Minister Josep Borrell saying that the war is at “a dangerous time” after Putin’s warnings. As for Asia, Washington’s military policy and actions in defense of Taiwan could lead Beijing to follow Moscow’s path of invasion before hostile forces triple (https://bit.ly/3dSR4N5).
First of all, pray
It is clear that undesirable events and forces are erupting and advancing faster than even entire governments and nations can monitor and manage. Thus, among the eight points of action advocated in this article, there is first and foremost prayer for the help of Almighty God, who sees, knows and controls all.
This is the lesson then-President Rodrigo Duterte learned at the start of the pandemic. Reversing his past contempt for religion, he called for national prayers when he imposed the world’s longest lockdown in March 2020. He repeated the prayer push in his State of the Nation address and several others. statements up to this year.
So despite fewer vaccinations than other countries, the Philippines has never suffered the worst of the contagion, including the mass graves seen in Italy, Spain, Brazil and India. And in recent months, Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations, although on the rise, remain manageable, even though quarantine restrictions have been eased considerably and most vaccines have been reduced with boosters given to only a minority. .
One prayer President Marcos should consider is national consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. This has been done twice in Portugal by its presidents and bishops in the decades following the 1917 apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima in the country. Notably, Portugal was spared from World War II and the Spanish Civil War right next door.
Among the messages of Fatima was an instruction from Christ, relayed by Mary, for the Pope and all the bishops to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart and for the faithful to perform the devotion of the first five Saturdays in reparation for the offenses against her. If these commandments were obeyed, it would lead to peace. Otherwise, a worse conflict would follow the First World War and Russia would spread its errors throughout the world.
Unfortunately, Pius 11, the Pope who was supposed to do the consecrations, did not, and as Mary had warned, World War II began during his pontificate with the bloodless German invasion of Austria and of Czechoslovakia, followed by full-scale war in Europe months after his death.
But successive popes have partly fulfilled the Edict of Fatima. Pius XII did so in 1942, and it cut short the World War with one Allied victory after another beginning three days after the October 30 consecration. He repeated it in July 1952, just as Josef Stalin, despot of Soviet Russia, planned to invade Europe. He died of a cerebral hemorrhage in March 1953, and his successors abandoned war plans and warmed ties with the West.
Pope St. John Paul II made consecrations in 1981, 1982 and 1984. At the time, Russia was again plotting an invasion to eliminate US nuclear missiles deployed in Europe and capable of hitting Moscow in minutes without any chance of retaliation. War was again averted when a massive explosion on May 13, 1984 – the feast of Our Lady of Fatima – destroyed the Soviet Navy’s armaments at its main base in Severomorsk.
The following year, Russian reformist leader Mikhail Gorbachev came to power. On the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary on December 8, 1987, he and US President Ronald Reagan banned the missiles that nearly started the war. And Gorbachev’s reforms ultimately brought down Soviet Communism.
Another Marian prayer event to remember is the Holy Mass and prayers on June 5, 2017 on the South Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating the opposing forces in the Korean Peninsula with the international image of the pilgrim of Our Lady of Fatima traveling around the world during the centenary of the 1917 apparitions. At the time, there were great fears of war over North Korea’s nuclear and missile development.
Less than a year later, in April 2018, the unthinkable happened: North and South Korean leaders met in the DMZ and signed a peace accord. And on June 12, 2018, another unthinkable kept war away: US President Donald Trump met with North Korean strongman Kim Jong Un in Singapore.
As our nation faces calamity, contagion, conflict and cost, the first of eight recommended action points is to pray for divine protection and help. This is what President Duterte did. His successor would be wise to do the same. This can only benefit all Filipinos.
The last game will take place on October 6, Thursday