Much talk has been focused on newly appointed Chief Justice Sereno's "God Speech" at her first flag-raising ceremony in the Supreme Court on Tuesday, Sep. 4.
Indeed, CJ Sereno appears to be a deeply religious person on account of which she looks at events in her life as willed by God. Surely, to become Chief Justice at a "young" age of 52 and as the first woman to hold the position, and by-passing several senior justices, must have been quite an overwhelming experience that only Divine Providence could have designed in so far as she is concerned.
"By God's sovereignty alone, the leadership mantle has been given to me, and I accept it in all humility, knowing that without the Lord God anointing my leadership, success is not possible," she declared through her press release on Aug. 27, following her appointment.
Critics have been quick to score CJ Sereno for such references to the Divine. Some have even pointed out her alleged failing mark in the psychological test conducted as part of the JBC selection process.
But, we never should begrudge or worse, judge a person's religiosity. It should be most welcome unless there is abuse as when we are confronted with self-righteous individuals. Precisely for that we have our system of due process and bill of rights.
For that matter, as a People, we invoke the aid of Almighty God in our very Constitution, "in order to build a just and humane society and establish a Government that shall embody our ideals and aspirations, promote the common good, conserve and develop our patrimony, and secure to ourselves and our posterity the blessings of independence and democracy under the rule of law and a regime of truth, justice, freedom, love, equality, and peace...."
Verily, our courts begin sessions with an ecumenical prayer for Divine Inspiration required and prepared by no less than our Supreme Court. And as a practitioner myself, I find this truly meaningful and helpful since after all lawyers are supposed to be our "priests in the temple of justice."
Sometimes, we need reminding that affairs of state can never really be dissociated from the fact that citizens and government officials remain spiritual human beings.
Would that our leaders in government never forget that it is still Divine Providence that writes the destinies of nations and of individuals. And this is especially important at these times when our senators and congressmen are deliberating on the most controversial RH Bill. Note that RH Bill proponents have been quick to dismiss God, the Author of Life, from almost all discussions, pounding on so-called "state responsibilities" versus "Church intervention" by our bishops and priests and other religious leaders.
We congratulate CJ Sereno and we do pray for her continued success.
"Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God." (Mt. 4:4)