THE REASON Jesus Christ was crucified was because people “cannot stand the light” He emanated, a former dean of the Faculty of Philosophy said.

Fr. Enrico Gonzales, O.P. told students from nine seminaries across the country that “Lumina Pandit” (Latin for “spreading the light”) is what guides people in their path.

This year’s meeting of seminarians, dubbed 2011 Bukluran, was held in the University for the first time since the yearly fellowship started in 1997.

“Ask the light and it will help us. But it must come from the purity and sincerity of our hearts,” Gonzales said in the forum held at the Medicine Auditorium last Nov. 26.

In the context of the Philippines today, however, people have been living in a “culture of lies,” where the “conscious doesn’t work anymore.”

“If you do something bad, you must admit your faults. But today, people would rather lie to get away from the consequences. Nothing [good] is happening anymore because it doesn’t come from the purity of heart that sees God,” Gonzales said.

For instance, “I love you” and “I’m sorry” have become empty phrases.

Relationship must not just be a matter of function, and even if people are divided by the sea, their relationship continues because of communion, he said.

Gonzales also underscored the importance of the “Kingdom of God,” especially in the time of declining religious faith in the country.

“The Kingdom of God is at our hand, and it is always in our midst. It is also a communion, which is ‘bukluran’ in Tagalog,” he said.

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Eugene Parayaoan, a beadle (head of the seminarians) from San Jose Seminary in Ateneo de Manila University, said interactions like Bukluran bridge the gap with other seminaries.

“Through [Bukluran] we are able to overcome challenges and get out from what we have grown accustomed to. It is like we are at home, but away from home,” he said.

Reynald Atienza of St. Peter’s College Seminary in Laguna said seminarians were able to form a priestly fraternity through inter-seminary encounters , which he said would be “helpful for the future presbyterian who will serve God.”

Meanwhile, Kirk Irvin Romasanta, beadle of the Holy Rosary Seminary in Naga, said gathering “helps have a dynamic formation that is not only intellectual, but also social.”

“There becomes a unity among the seminaries across the country,” he said.

Other seminaries that participated are the UST Central Seminary, the San Carlos Seminary and Lorenzo Mission Institute in Manila, Our Lady of the Pillar Seminary in Cavite, Mt. Saint Aloysius College Seminary in Quezon Province, and St. Francis de Sales College Major Seminary in Batangas.

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