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David Hume

David Hume
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  Daniel I. Nacar Jr., SSS September 19, 2019 Reflection Paper - David Hume (Of Liberty and Necessity) “Repentance wipes off every crime if attended with a reformation of life and manners.”   They say that in a family, there will always be someone to be considered a “black  - sheep”. Someone who seems to be the oddball member who does not fall in line with the others. Someone who fails expectations; makes bad decisions and has bad reputation in the family. And in my own family, I personally considered and treated one of my brothers as a “black  - sheep”. I can still clearly recall how harsh I have been to him, how I have treated him indifferently and how I failed to be a brother to him. Being an eldest son and having entrusted to discipline my siblings, I made sure that they will be raised as responsible and mature individuals. I wanted to adopt the way I have been  brought up by my parents. And so by all means, which I believed was good for them, I tried to impose discipline according to my standards. But I knew I have been unfair and unjust to one of them, just because I have seen from him a very little potentiality. I have rejected him. I have  judged him as one who is mediocre and slow-learner. I rea lly made him felt that he was “good -for- nothing”. In short, I have underestimated his capacities and have put him in a box of humiliation and insult. Added to this emotional torture, I have been physically maltreating this  poor boy. I have inflicted not only wounds in his heart but also physical pains.  No doubt, my brother has grown up rebellious and disobedient. He was totally different from all of us. He was so detached and aloof, especially to me. He even lost his esteem and self-confidence. And there I started to realize that there was really a big mistake on how I have treated him. I was a big part of his brokenness. I caused him to be a person whom he does not  deserve to be. I denied him the rights to be felt secured, accepted and loved. I was the first one to reject him, and the brotherhood between us was blemished because of my own indifference. He rather became worse, than how I wanted to correct his “wrong deeds”. After all, I was thinking I did everything I can to help him. But I actually did the opposite. I was the one who made him worse. When I realized all these things, it seemed everything was too late. Our relationship has  been destroyed, and I was too ashamed to approach him, nor ask for forgiveness from him. I was conquered with pride, thus my humility succumbs. I said I can no longer cry over spilled milk. I will just let everything flow on its own direction. Or maybe time will come and everything will  be healed. But I was wrong. This experience taunted me in my novitiate formation, when I undertook the 30-day retreat. It was during this time that I discovered and realized how wounded I am with this experience and how I blamed myself for all these things. If that is in my case, how much more for my poor brother? I cannot imagine how deep are the woundedness and the pains he bear in life and how he has tremendously suffered for it. I cannot help but felt guilt and shame, and remorse for my erroneous actions towards him. Then I felt the urgency to make reconcile with him. To regain the relationship we have. And to make him feel that I am his  brother. But I was reminded by my formator, that before I can do that, I must first forgive myself. So I processed it with the help of the formation, made up my mind and made it as an aim that after my novitiate formation, I have to be reconciled. I must humble myself and ask for forgiveness. And I began first by writing letters for him. When I got the chance to talk to him during my vacation, we talked about this issue seriously. It was so dramatic, painful and tormenting for the two of us. But we both took all our guts to be widely open for each other and for whatever may happen between us. In the end, we  were both relieved. I know from then on that the wound between us, especially in him has started to heal. And I was very happy and fulfilled for what I did. I did not do it for the sake of getting away from the guilt that haunted me. I did it for my brother, to help him mend from his  brokenness caused by me. From then on, we became close and he started to reach to me when he has problems. I also make sure that I am always available for him whenever he needs me. This is now the time for me to fulfil my obligations as a brother to him. Not only because I owe him, but  because this is what is right, and he deserves it. Indeed, repentance wipes off every crime if attended with a reformation of life and manners , as David Hume would say. One who sincerely asks for forgiveness and shows the pure intention to be reconciled will surely touch the heart of the one whom he owes forgiveness. It requires great humility, courage and will to make the move. And it needs efforts or visible means to manifest the sincerity and purity of intentions. Yet, repentance is more than an action, it is a decision. And once a person decides to repent, he has to live with it. Otherwise, the meaning of repentance and the value of forgiveness given to the person will all be wasted. I realized that in my experience, the greatest threat to my true repentance is my tendency to trust in myself. Hence, I need God. I need to cling on the grace of God to imbibe true repentance and sincerely ask forgiveness. In the end, I cannot solely rely on myself but with the One who is truly forgiving and merciful.
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