Message to the Batch
from Fr. Jim Achacoso
To dream the impossible dream . . . To reach the unreachable star.
You will still remember the emotion with which we - full of youthful ideals - sang those lines of our graduation song. Eighty-odd teenagers, ready to take on the world. A bunch of kids, who had gone through five years of hurdles, united by bonds of friendship which only going together through thick and thin could forge. Bonds which have weathered a quarter of a century, bring us together once more in this yearbook.
What has happened to that dream? Where has that star led us? Where are we now? Quo vadis, PSHS class of '70?
A few have consecrated their young lives in the service of the country and the ideal of democracy: I think now of Pastor, of Lassie . . . Monching and I have been called to the priesthood. Manuel has simply been called by his Maker. While the great majority have followed the paths of a career, marriage, family. But all of us, who remain on this planet, continue the search.
St. Thomas Aquinas -- that great medieval philosopher -- tells us that the final cause is the first in the mind of the agent, although the last in the execution. It is the mark of the rational being to act always for a given end or goal. From this vantage point, where we find ourselves now, it is good to take stock of the dreams which we set out for, and of the star which we wanted to reach. The result of this soul searching could very well determine the next quarter-of-a-century period of our lives, which -- by law of nature -- could be the final one for some of us.
Don't let your life be sterile. Be useful. Blaze a trail. Shine forth with the light of your faith and your love.
With your apostolic life wipe out the slimy and filthy mark left by the impure sowers of hatred. And light up all the ways of the earth with the fire of Christ that you carry in your heart. (The Way, no. 1).
Those words of a man, who is in the threshold of beatification -- the Venerable Josemaria Escriva, founder of the Prelature of Opus Dei, of whose clergy I form part -- caught me a few years after graduation from the Phiippine Science High in 1970. They soon made the other dreams and stars fall in their proper perspective; note I say fall into place, not disappear. Because all those noble dreams of youth, all the realities of today, can and should be made a function -- nay, rationalized and unified -- by a still higher and supreme ideal.
Paraphrasing yet another point from the previously cited book: Heaven and earth seem to meet in the horizon; but where they really meet is in the heart of each of us, when we try to live as the true children of God that we are. Then the mundane becomes divine, and the most supernatural realities find expression in the most ordinary affairs of our lives. If our talents, our work, our failures and triumphs, our very lives do not lead us to God -- our true End -- then in vain would we have run all these years.
And I know if I'll only be true to this glorious quest.
That my heart will lie peaceful and calm when I'm laid to my rest.
A quarter of a century after we sang those lines, we are in a better position to chart the course of our lives. May the Most Blessed Virgin Mary, Stella Maris, guide us safely to port in the next leg of our journey.
And may God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be with us always. Amen.