Monday, February 21, 2011


I came upon something this afternoon which kind of transported me back about eight years ago. It doesn't seem that long ago but nevertheless one could just see how fast time flies. I came upon a copy (the only surviving copy, in fact) of my college thesis. Way back then we had to come up with a philosophical thesis, not unlike today that college seminarians are just told to come up with their vocation stories. I still feel that quiet satisfaction when I see that I was capable of whipping up a book of 135 pages (or more, since the introductory pages are not included in the count.
"HUMAN DIGNITY ACCORDING TO KARL MARX AND KAROL WOJTYLA: A COMPARATIVE EVALUATION" was how I entitled my very first intellectual and academic opus. I originally thought of something about communism but a professor sniffed at the idea and called my choice of the topic "old-fashioned and lagging behind the times" (actually my thesis got a far better grade and review than most of my companions, the aforesaid professor's directees included) so I zeroed in on Karl Marx. I had read the Communist Manifesto already by that time and I was looking for a significant question which could serve as the basis for my thesis. John Paul II was--and still is--one of my great heroes and knowing that had some philosophical writings and ideas as well, especially concerning man, so I came up with the happy idea of having a comparative study between Marx and Wojtyla about Man, knowing that between the two the Communist ideal stood as a bridge. Marx's was largely responsible for the formulation of the Communist genesis of thought which would later gravitate to the rise of Communist totalitarian systems in Europe, most especially after the Second World War. Wojtyla would live in one of its strongholds as a young man, a priest an a bishop. Later on as Pope he would be one of the architects of it downfall.
The work cost me many a sleepless night and long hours chained to the desk, first writing the manuscript, and then encoding it. It took me a year to finish the job. I remember being hugely frustrated when a printer glitch happened at the very last hour; it was the final printing and the stupid printer won't just work. I remember  being frustrated at that time seeing that I was so close to casting this weight from my shoulders and being held from blessed post-thesis peace by a stupid printer.  But the long hours paid of:


I was stepping upon the shoulders of giants: Fr Gil Manaog, Fr. Lito Maraya, Fr. Ric Marpa and Fr. Al Cris Badana all had a hand in this experience.
As I said, hard work always pays of: a grade of 92.33 was what I got.
It's nice to think that very soon one of the subjects of the thesis would be approved for public veneration by the Church.

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