Me-thou Relationship by Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.

Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!

Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.
St. Thomas of Villanova House – OAD Aspirants

Tabor Hill, Brgy. San Jose (Talamban), Cebu CIty
Tel. no. (032) 344-6100

Be an Altruist
visit the following websites:
http://advocateforaltruistickidneydonor.yolasite.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/thelivingkidneydonor/

On Thursday, November 21, 2013 11:49 PM, jomar cool <jomar_cool@yahoo.com> wrote:

Me-thou Relationship
By Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.

“This is my testimonial speech at Cebu Doctors’ University Hospital’s during their symposium about the Kidney Transplantation Awareness.”

There’s this boy, I know. A decade ago of his existence, I could not imagine that a little boy survived his difficulties he had in life. Who was he anyway but a homebody kid, and at his young age he struggled against poverty. Who was he anyway a small but an optimistic boy. In spite of his struggles to make a living, he continues dreaming and move on. What a positive philosophy he has that he always believes that life is a beautiful journey. He has been a scavenger once. He never forgets this experience when he ate some foods that were thrown in the garbage because of hunger. What a grateful heart of a boy who thanks God despite a moment when his family could only have one meal in a day and eat some good meat when they got leftovers from the garbage. Who was he anyway a dreamer who believes that education is one of the great treasures that a man could keep. And so, he studied hard and finished his high school. He had also experienced different jobs such as a construction laborer, machinist helper, janitor and production. He became a breadwinner and sent his siblings to school as well as he continues his studies in college at night. This boy is me.
Life is a journey. Sometimes it seems like I am walking in the park and on the other days, I am running on an uphill rocky road. However, each experience contributes to shape my life and help refining the person of who I am today. It’s an achievement for me to see my siblings grown, got a stable job and some of them have their own family. Then I reflected to have a meaningful life, I decided to quit my white collar job which I had two decades of services and chosen not to work again since I preferred to serve God by pursuing my long-time dream of becoming a priest. I entered in the seminary to deepen my discernment for priesthood vocation.
While in the seminary, I learned that the uncle (a priest) of a fellow seminarian needed a kidney transplant. It has also been my dream to donate an organ after my death but did not know where to go to make an arrangement, so when I heard of the need of a fellow seminarian’s uncle, I quickly volunteered. I thought to myself, why should I wait to die for me to help? We’re in fact, I have two kidneys which one is in my care and the other one is to share. I can live healthy with one kidney. As a steward of this earthly body, it’s about time that I gave it back to the owner (God).
So, I underwent thorough checked-up and laboratories. While the process of donation was on progressed, I received personal confrontations from the people closest to me not to pursue the kidney donation because this might risk my life. But this is my ‘ultimate expression of love for my neighbor, as I am open to embrace sacrifice. Like fictional movies, the essence of being a hero is sacrifice. Everyone needs a hero, and we’re called to be God’s hands and feet to the need of others. We are God’s instrument to touch one’s life. According to St. Thomas Aquinas, “This kind of action is only virtuous if the person reflects upon the danger or risk involved in the act. The elements of risk and danger in virtuous actions are components of that certain kind of altruistic action that is defined by sacrifice or by the need for the agent to give something up in performing the act.” This action is, for St. Thomas Aquinas, directed ultimately towards the end of achieving divinity. With God I’ve done it bravely on May 10, 2011.
Nothing changes after donation and as usual some reaction undergoes an adjustment which is normal for a body with one kidney. For me, it’s not a risk than a man with two kidneys with unhealthy lifestyles. For the scar, it’s marked as a living testimony of the Gospel that whoever saves his life will lose it and whoever loses his life for my sake he will find it (cf Matthew 10:39). It does not degrade but boost up my self-esteem. As a social being, although, everyone is unique but our uniqueness will complement to each other’s if we will do our social responsibility. “Me-thou” as I call it, means “I” (me) and “my neighbor” (thou) called by different vocations in life and whatever it is, whether you like it or not we will meet at the intersection of life to complement, “no man is an island.” I do not know Rev. Fr. Renerio Dayanan, totally, he’s a stranger from Bohol but at a certain moment in time, God allows us to meet at the intersection of life to complement each other. I am joyfully grateful to God because there’s a new seed of hope sprout in the person who “experience life” again.
At some point, there is argumentation about the moral and ethical issue of donating an organ. Filipinos are a compassionate bunch and would always welcome doing a good deed but because of cultural apprehensions, misinformation and lack of information, they are driven to believe the misconceptions and thus stay off the topic as much as possible. There was also an issue arises about the selling of organs in the Philippines. It’s a selfish interest of the person that has driven him to sell his organ. For an altruist person and also in Christian ethics of charity, ‘courage was an important component too in pursuing true happiness and the good virtuous’ (Aquinas 1964: II-II. 129.2). Helping others without expecting any in return, indeed, is an act of altruism. And this is my advocate, to inspire a living donor by sharing these experiences, by touching the lives of those who have the desire to help other people especially those suffering the renal diseases. Inspiring them to become God’s instrument to let these people ‘experience life’ (an engrave words on the door of the Cebu Transplant Network clinic). And lastly, I would like also to share that the decision making was not done alone. I bent my knees and prayed that this decision shall be aligned according to His Will. And then, I interpreted a symbol after a fervent prayer. At the chapel of St. Therese of the Child Jesus in the San Carlos Seminary College, I’ve seen a rose petal (red) under the kneeling. There was no flower decoration in the chapel since it was Holy Week. And I believed my decision was aligned to His divine plan, “Me-thou,” for me and to Fr. Dayanan, who received one of my kidneys.

This selfless and life time sacrifice, thus, is a call and inspiration that everyone could be God’s instrument to let someone “experience life.” I, optimistically find the meaning and purpose in self-giving. My sacrifices, and the way I dealt with them, are among the many gifts that shape my life.

Sia lodato Gesu Cristo!

Marcelino A. Rapayla Jr.
St. Thomas of Villanova House – OAD Aspirants

Tabor Hill, Brgy. San Jose (Talamban), Cebu CIty
Tel. no. (032) 344-6100

Be an Altruist
visit the following websites:
http://advocateforaltruistickidneydonor.yolasite.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/thelivingkidneydonor/

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About coolm34

Let us keep the faith and together we will change the world.
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