Olive’s Life…a story of love and compassion
(for Olive Asong)
By Apolinario Villalobos
Here’s a story that I hope will open the eyes and mind of those who claim to be Catholic but whose acts are wanting of its essence.
The first time I saw her was when she was just about four years old in the care of his father who diligently and lovingly attended to her needs as a growing child. Her mother left them to work abroad. She practically grew up till her teen-aged years with her father by her side, as her mother came home only when her “schedule would permit”, being a pianist in music lounges.
Loneliness drove her father to find intimate relationship with other women. Despite the “un-Christian” ways of her father in the eyes of the devoutly Catholic, she did not condemn him. This she did to reciprocate the honesty of her father who did not hide anything from her.
When her parents parted ways, she maintained her compassionate understanding of her father’s ways until the latter got sick beyond recuperation. She practically shed tears and humbly implored her mother to reconnect with her father. When finally, forgiveness was uttered by her mother, she unabashedly announced it to the world to let go of the overpowering emotion in her heart.
Not only did she reconnected her father to her mother, but she also gave recognition to her “other” siblings that they deserve. She lovingly refers to them as her “extended family”. In the company of her stepmother, she brought the remains of her father to his hometown for internment. In front of relatives, she announced her unconditional love to her stepmother and her half-sister. Her act was followed by the rest – relatives and friends who welcomed her “extended family”.
Unconsciously, Olive did what the people’s pope, Francis, has been asking for the whole Christian flock to do – be compassionate to others and love them unconditionally.
Olive is a baptized Catholic, the essence of which is Universal. In my simple understanding, one can only be one, if he takes down the walls of hypocrisy around him. To love like a Catholic means having no borders around…without laying down conditions. Questions should never be asked before a Catholic extends a hand of compassion to others. A Catholic should never ask a hungry stranger if he is also a Catholic before a few coins can be given to him. And, a Catholic should never ask somebody if he has sinned before he can become a friend!
What Olive did is more than what the people’s pope, Francis has been asking his flock to do….