Posted in Uncategorized

Vengeance

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Mt. 5:38-42         Teaching about Vengeance

Reflection

Vindictiveness and vengefulness these are the kind of feelings that contributes to the escalation of violence.  This may look perfectly alright in a society that is fiercely jealous of its possession.  When something is exacted, a corresponding value must be paid.  It has no room for forgiveness.  The peace that ensues from such rigid possession rest uneasy and insecure.

This may be the reason why Jesus proposes a new way of seeing and evaluating what justice means.  He wants us to embrace the violence of others and transform it with our meekness and gentleness.  Now this calls for a real strength of the spirit and extraordinary self-discipline.  Violence coming from violent people if faced head on with violence will not solve the problem.  It will only postpone it to erupt again at a later time.  Whereas violence can be transformed if the violent heart finds understanding and the willingness to suffer for his or her transformation.  And once they forsake violence, we multiply the presence of people with goodwill.  Let this be our silent revolution to rid the world of violence.  Let our strength lie not in force but in love.

 

I Say . . .

With the situation the Philippines and the other parts of the world face, where violence strikes hard, and war seems the means of communication.  I can’t help but think of the many victims of hatred, of racism, of religious idealism which terrorizes the human heart.  So many of us are victims of our own false understanding of peace, of power, of unity.

When will our effort of peace and unity be heard, be seen, be real in a world wounded by our own wounds.  The cycle of violence will never stop.  The cycle of evil will never cease to devour human hearts unless I (we) choose to stop the cycle from within.  Unless I (we) choose to recognize that I am victim and I am perpetrator – the hurt I caused to others is the pain I feel within which I want to be healed but unable to find a better way to desire it.

Healing is a process which we have to go through inside out.  Eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth has been understood in a different light.  I must believe that when God instructed this, wants Israel to understand the sacredness of life.  That even the offense of a slightest degree must be rendered in full account, thus, making us steward of our own self and our neighbor- to protect.

Healing is a grace.  A process only I (you) can enter in.  Humility to accept our own woundedness is the beginning of wisdom. 

All have been wounded.  Let us not add up to the generations to come.  Let’s end the war outside by taming inside

 

 

My sincerest apology to my friends for failing to keep my blogs, i really have a bad internet connections.  thanks alot!

 

©Daily Gospel 2017, Claretian Communications Foundation, INC. (Claretian Publication, Quezon City Philippines)

Posted in Uncategorized

Anxiety, Depression, and Self-Loathing

Reblogged

Ramblings of a Twenty-something

If the words in the title are relatable to you, this post is for you. I have suffered from all of the above. There were points in my short life thus far that I would sit in my bed and wish I wouldn’t wake up the next day. There are days when I’ve felt lower than dirt and I couldn’t even bring myself to make eye contact with another human being.

I overthink everything. The simplest of tasks can be made into a mountain of responsibility by my mind. I have ruined so many potential relationships due to my mindset and my tendency to overthink. I always went searching for a solution. Unfortunately, I convinced myself that everyone else in the world had this elusive answer that I could never find myself.

I was in a relationship not too long ago and I would often find it amazing that it…

View original post 282 more words

Posted in Church Events, Holy Week, Inspiration, Love, Religion, Spirituality

The Nails that were Used, weren’t Enough, it was His wondrous Love

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Love held Him to the tree

 

Father, look with love upon your people,

the love which our Lord Jesus Christ showed us

when he delivered himself to evil men

and suffered the agony of  the cross,

for he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit one God, for ever and ever. Amen

 

 

 

***

Liturgy of the Hours, Good Friday Concluding Prayer

Posted in Church Events, Holy Week, Religion, Spirituality

I am At Fault

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T’was Friday and was Good

For our sake our Redeemer suffered death and was buried, and rose again. With heartfelt love let us adore him and pray:

  • Christ our teacher, for our sake you were obedient even to accepting death, teach us to obey the Father’s will in all things
  • Christ our life, by your death on the cross you destroyed the power of evil and death, may we die with you, to rise with your in glory
  • Christ our King, you became an outcast among us, a worm and no man, teach us the humility by which you saved the world
  • Christ our salvation, you gave yourself up to death out of love for us, help us to show your love to one another
  • Christ our Savior, on the cross you embraced all time with your outstretched arms, unite God’s scattered children in our kingdom of salvation

 

 

 

***

Liturgy of the Hours, Good Friday Intercessions, Christian Prayer

Posted in Church Events, Inspiration, Religion, Spirituality

Fear vs Love

Holy Thursday

The beginning of the Paschal Triduum

Fear paralyzes us from time to time. But not all fears come from the same source.  There are psychological fears, fear of offending the beloved. fear induced by external threats and violence, and there are fears that comes from finding out the truth and changing the way we live to adjust to such truth.

Peter may probably fall in this last category.  He will not allow Jesus to wash his feet.  It is not solely because he has high respect for the Lord and is therefore jealous of the Lord’s dignity.  It is because he realized what power and authority will look like in the new dispensation that Jesus will bring.

It is service and not perks and privileges. And so there is a war going

Posted in Lifestyle, Pain

Repost

Change is painful. Whether you decide to change, or life simply demands change, it is a painful process. Harmful habits die hard, because we sometimes are so in love with our pain.

We like to have an excuse. Someone or something to put the blame on.

But the truth is that there’s no force on earth stronger than a human being who wants to achieve something. Who truly wants something. Who fights, who struggles, who cries in pain but doesn’t surrender.

Man achieves the impossible by sheer power of will, and that makes him magic.

But we must ask ourselves if what we want is truly important, because most times we want what we want because we hope it would make us happy.

Things, people…

But that is just a way of fooling ourselves.

Nothing outside ourselves can ever make us happy.

Change makes us happy. Progress makes us happy. Overcoming obstacles makes us happy.

Happiness is not a destination, but the road we travel to reach that destination.

And all that we need to go down that road is within ourselves.

Right now, right here.

***

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Also, you can purchase reblogs here. Advertising here. And signed paperbacks here.

Any help matters. Any help brings me closer to having a normal life and enjoying once again those simple pleasures of life.

via — Cristian Mihai

Posted in Church Events, Inspiration, Religion, Spirituality

Heeding the Call

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Children of Mary visits leper patients at Yangco Ward

HOLY MONDAY 

John 12: 1-11 Anointing At Bethany

There are two major differences between the anointing in the Synoptic gospels and that in John: (1) in Mark 14:3-9 and Matthew 26:6-13, the anointing is on the head; in John, on the feet; (2) in Mark and Matthew, the anointing takes place after Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem, just two days before the passion (Mark  14:1); in John, it precedes the entry and takes place six days before the passion (12:1)

In the Old Testament, the king is anointed on the head (cf 1Samuel 10:1); anointing on the feet is for the dead.  In Mark and Matthew, Jesus is anointed as the Messiah; but in John it is for Jesus’ burial (v. 7).   John (12:12-19) will relate Jesus’ triumphal entry to Jerusalem, symbolic of his resurrection.  although he is anointed to his death, he will rise from the dead.  The raising of Lazarus from the dead prefigures Jesus’ resurrection.

As we start the Holy Week, let us imitate the humility, devotion and generosity of Mary to serve Jesus.  Let us devote more time to prayer as well as to corporal works of mercy, especially to the poorest of the poor, with whom Jesus identifies (ccf Matthew 25:31-45).

Happy Holy Week!   Enjoy your Week!

 

 

image: ©Pheng Rosello [ a group of graders visited the leper patients at Yangco Ward, Culion Sanitarium and General Hospital, Culion, Palawan, Philippines

reflection ©365 days with the Lord 2017 , St. Pauls publication

Posted in Church Events, Inspiration, Religion, Spirituality

Sun Day

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Almighty Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, you sent your Son to be born of woman and to die on a cross, so that through the obedience of one man estrangement might be dissolved for all men.

Guide our minds by his truth and strengthen our lives by the example of his death, that we may live in union with you in the kingdom of your promise.

Grant this through Christ our Lord

 

 

 

 

 

evening prayer II Palm sunday

image © Jongnono Palm Sunday La Inmaculada Concepcion 

Posted in Inspiration, Spirituality

Losing Is Gain

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You don’t have to win to be a winner

As a Religion teacher, I have always thought of explaining the Paschal Mystery of Christ in both Biblical and Theological manners.  I have always tried not to fail in explaining to my students the relevance of the PDR (Passion, Death & Resurrection) in Salvation history and in our life as believers. Yet, I have to admit that though I have thoroughly exhausted my means of  “downward mobility” in order for my students to understand each and every part of this Paschal thing,  part of me feels half-filled. Unsaturated by the Truth that I am holding on.

Come Sunday, April 9, this will open us up to the threshold of the Holies of Holy weeks. And I am again in a sort of dilemma, as to how to make these seven days meaningful and holy! I am again anticipating the Paschal Triduum of which activities are lined up to make this event not just meaningful but to MAKE PRESENT the actual events of Christ’s life.

As we gaze on the cross of Christ we see His Paschal Mystery – a grandiose event! However, my humbled spirit has opened a door that leads me to grasp a wisdom so “ancient so new” that the Paschal Mystery as I always thought of vis a vis Christ’s experience is not a grandiose act or event, rather, a self mastery of the self- it is an act, an event that is made of AGERE CONTRA in order to gain not for my self but for others.

It is my daily, voluntary dying to myself.  A personal choosing over something. Say, in a dinner talk on a topic  I knew by heart, I’d prefer not to dispute only to make myself heard or clarified or that I may stand correct or has made a right decision or has known something (unless with grave reason, of course!) It is paschal in itself when I voluntarily give-up and die to myself and trust in the Lord that in due time-Kairos, it will be revealed as it is or the other will see the wisdom on it.

I have come to see that it is not something outside of me either imposed upon or I am left to embrace it due to given circumstances (well, can be for a time) and  as a consequence I have to choose a disposition that is appropriate.  Well, it can be! However, more than that, is the daily paschal experience- a personal experience of saying No to the self and Yes to something; for some reasons, it may even cause you to “sweat like blood” as Jesus was. AGERE CONTRA.  I always coil in resistance.

I am considering these three things for my self, ah! easy said than done. But its a sure way  to finish lent victorious and an Easter-felt celebration:

  1. From being self-righteous to putting myself in other’s shoes
  2. From being self- made person to “pretend” not to know much in order to build relationship or sees it as opportune time to bond
  3. From being quick to judge to becoming an understanding or discerning person

It is so relieving to know that daily I have a chance to share in Christ experience and redeemption not in exceptional moments but in ordinary events of my life.

I just have to be aware! And Choose!

Have a Holy Days of Week ahead!

 

 

 

image: google images 

Posted in Inspiration, Lifestyle, Religion, Social Concerns / Commentary, Vocation

Leaf Is Green

MY

Duterte rejects same-sex marriage for PH

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE. President Rodrigo Duterte says that under the Civil Code of the Philippines, marriage is only for man and woman. File photo from Shutterstock

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte said the Philippines cannot legalize same-sex marriage, unlike the United States and several European countries.

Duterte was speaking before the Filipino community in Myanmar, where he is on a two-day official visit.

“Wala nang gender, because you can be he or she… ‘yan ang kultura nila. Kayo lang. ‘Di ‘yan puwede sa amin, Katoliko kami. At there is the Civil Code, which is you can only marry a woman for me, and for woman to marry a man. ‘Yan ang batas natin,” the President said on Sunday, March 19.

(There’s no gender, because you can be or she… that’s their culture. That’s only for them. That can’t be applied to us, we’re Catholics. And there is the Civil Code, which is you can only marry a woman for me, and for woman to marry a man. That’s the law in the Philippines.)

Dalawang brother-in-law ko gay. May mga pinsan ako na gay, wala akong ano, pero kung saan ka pinuwesto ng Diyos, diyan ka lang,” he added.

(I have two brothers-in-law who are gay. I have cousins who are gay, I have nothing against them, but you have to stick to where God placed you.)

This is in contrast to Duterte’s stance during the 2016 campaign period, when he expressed openness to possible legislation allowing same-sex marriage.

“Definitely, the gays were created by God… God made them so medyo nagkamali ‘yung bilangan diyan sa Bible (there is a slight error in the Bible). [It should be] Adam, Eve, and the gays,” he said during Rappler’s “The Leader I Want” forum in January 2016.

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, one of Duterte’s staunchest allies, said last October that he would push for same-sex civil marriage in the Philippines.

But Alvarez also said it will not be fast-tracked because it is not among Duterte’s priority measures. (READ: Same-sex civil marriage bill may ‘divide’ House – minority lawmakers) – Rappler.com

I SAY:

I have a group of friends who are gay and lesbian, they are the great gays and lesbians I’ve every met.  They are talented and wonderful persons.  However, let us discern more. Listen more. I have nothing against them, nevertheless, it’s the act and not the person.

love you all my gay and lesbian friends–Keep itUP!

©Rappler.com

Posted in Church Events, Inspiration, Lifestyle, LIVES OF THE SAINTS

Most Wanted

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Joseph of Nazareth, you are the man

Last in the line that rose from David, King,

Down through the royal generations ran,

and ends with Jesus Christ.

Gabriel from heaven came to Mary’s side,

Came with joyful promise of a King

Came to you also, Joseph, to confide

that God conceived this child.

Guardian and foster father of the Christ,

Honor to you, so chosen by our God!

Husband of Virgin Mary,

You are first to show us Christian Love.

March 19 – Feast of St. Joseph, husband of Mary

The feast falls on a Sunday, in the Roman Catholic Liturgy, Sunday celebration supercedes any feast of the day. Happy Feast to all the Fathers in the world.

image: google search

©Joseph of Nazareth text Stephen Somerville, 1971

Posted in Inspiration, Religion, Spirituality

Life’s Like That!

Do you read the Bible as often as you check your phone? Francis asks

Pope Francis speaks during his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican, Jan. 21, 2015. ROY LAGARDE

 

— On the first Sunday of Lent, Pope Francis said if we want to fight against the temptation of sin, we must be familiar with the Word of God – treating the Bible more like how we treat our cellphone.

“During the forty days of Lent, as Christians we are called to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and address the spiritual battle against evil with the power of the Word of God,” he said March 5. “For this you have to become familiar with the Bible, read it often, meditate on it, assimilate it.”

“Someone said: what would happen if we treated the Bible like we treat our cell phone? If we always carried it with us; or at least the small pocket-sized Gospel, what would happen?”

Pope Francis spoke to pilgrims before leading the Angelus in St. Peter’s Square, drawing a stark comparison between the attention we give our cellphones and the attention we give Scripture, for example, always taking it with us, and going back if we forget it at home.

“You forget you mobile phone – oh! I do not have it, I go back to look for it; if you read the messages of God contained in the Bible as we read the messages of the phone…” he said.

The Pope reflected on the day’s Gospel reading from Matthew, which tells about the temptation of Jesus in the desert by Satan.

The episode comes at a specific point, he said, soon after Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan River but before his public prosecution.

“He has just received the solemn investiture: the Spirit of God descended upon Him, the Father from heaven declared him ‘my beloved Son’ (Matt. 3:17). Jesus is now ready to begin his mission,” he said.

But first he must go up against the Enemy, Satan, who presents him with three temptations. “By means of this triple temptation, Satan wants to divert Jesus from the path of obedience and humiliation – because he knows that in this way evil will be defeated,” the Pope said.

But the Word of God is like a shield against the poisonous arrows of the devil, Francis said. Jesus doesn’t use just any words – he uses the words of God, and in this way, the Son, full of the Holy Spirit, emerges victorious from the desert.”

This is what we must do against the temptations of the devil, the Pope said. The comparison between the Bible and our cellphones “is strange, but sobering.”

“In effect, if we had the Word of God always in our heart, no temptation could turn us away from God and no obstacle could deflect us from the path of goodness,” he stressed. We would know how “to win” against the daily temptations within and around us.

“We would be better able to live a resurrected life in the Spirit, accepting and loving our brothers, especially the most vulnerable and needy, and even our enemies.”

Let us ask the Virgin Mary, “the perfect icon of obedience to God and of unconditional trust to his will,” to help us during this Lent to listen to the Word of God in the Bible and “to make a real change of heart,” he concluded.

“And, please, do not forget – do not forget! – What would happen if we treated the Bible like we treat our cellphone. Think about this. The Bible always with us, close to us!”

©cbcpnews.net

Posted in Inspiration, Religion

If You Sing You Pray Twice

A community of Benedictine sisters recording an album of sacred music. BENEDICTINES OF MARY, QUEEN OF APOSTLES

 

– Pope Francis said Saturday that while liturgical music has often struggled to live up to the quality and beauty the mystery of the Eucharist requires, we can promote its renewal by investing in a solid musical education for clergy and laity.

“Certainly the encounter with modernity and the introduction of the languages spoken in the Liturgy stirred up many problems, of languages, forms, and genres” he said March 4. “Sometimes a certain mediocrity, superficiality and banality prevailed, to the detriment of the beauty and intensity of the liturgical celebrations.”

“For this the various actors in this field, musicians and composers, conductors and singers of choirs, liturgical animators, can make a major contribution to the renewal, especially quality, of sacred music and liturgical chant.”

The Pope spoke to participants at the end of an international conference on Sacred Music held March 2-4, titled “Music and the Church: worship and culture 50 years after Musicam sacram.”

Organized by the Pontifical Council for Culture and the Congregation for Catholic Education in collaboration with the Pontifical Institute of Sacred Music and the Pontifical Atheneum of St. Anselm, it looked at sacred music 50 years after the Second Vatican Council.

“Half a century after the Instruction of Musicam sacrum, the conference wanted to elaborate, in an interdisciplinary and ecumenical perspective, the current relationship between sacred music and contemporary culture,” Francis noted.

“Of great importance, it was also a reflection on the aesthetic and musical education of both the clergy and religious and the laity engaged in the pastoral life, and more directly in the choirs.”

The Church has a great responsibility toward liturgical music, the Pope continued, because it deals with the sacred mystery of the Eucharist, and that sacred music, to that order, must balance the past and present in a way that invites full participation and lifts the congregation’s hearts to God.

The “dual mission” of the Church, Francis said, “is, on the one hand, to safeguard and promote the rich and varied heritage inherited from the past, using it with balance in mind and avoiding the risk of a nostalgic vision” that becomes a sort of “archaeology.”

On the other hand, we have to also ensure that sacred music and liturgical chant don’t ignore “the artistic and musical languages of modernity.”

All those responsible for liturgical music, on whatever level, “must know how,” he said, “to embody and translate the Word of God into songs, sounds, harmonies that make the hearts of our peers vibrate, creating even an appropriate emotional climate, that puts in order the faith and raises reception and full participation in the mystery that it celebrates.”

“Active and conscious participation” in the liturgy constitutes being able to “enter deeply” into the mystery of God made present in the Eucharist: “thanks in particular to the religious silence and ‘musicality of language with which the Lord speaks to us,’” he quoted his homily at Casa Santa Marta Dec. 12, 2013.

Quoting from the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, Pope Francis said that “Liturgical action is given a more noble form when it is celebrated in song…and with the participation of the people.”

He highlighted the document’s emphasis on the importance of “active, conscious, full” participation by the entire faithful, quoting that the “true solemnity of liturgical action does not depend so much from a more ornate form of singing and a more magnificent ceremony than on its worthy and religious celebration.”

To promote this requires “a proper musical education…in dialogue with the musical trends of our time, with the demands of the different cultural areas,” he said.

Concluding, he thanked all of those who participated in the conference for their commitment to sacred music, and asked for the blessing of the Virgin Mary, “who in the Magnificat sang the merciful holiness of God.”

“I encourage you to not lose sight of this important goal: to help the liturgical assembly and the people of God to perceive and participate, with all the senses, physical and spiritual, in the mystery of God.”

 

©CBCPNEWS.NET

Posted in Church Events, Inspiration, Uncategorized

The Beauty of Lent

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Lord, your glory in Christ we have seen, full of goodness and full of grace: In Christ let us live anew. Fill us with his love, and all men shall see the fruits of your victory.

The Almighty has planted his seed in the earth: He tended well the grain and he waits for rebirth.

The Almighty has ground all the grain for the feast: He made it into flour, and he waits for the yeast.

The Almighty has given hi body for man:  He broke for us the bread, and he waits like a lamb.

The Almighty was given a crown made of thorn: It pierced him till he bled, and he waits: do we morn?

The Almighty did suffer and evil destroy: He died to ease our pain, and he waits for our joy

 

 

©Christian Prayers: Lord, Your Glory in Christ We Have Seen

 

Posted in Inspiration, Religion, Spirituality

First Step to Lent

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To keep the law is a great oblation,
and he who observes the commandments sacrifices a peace offering.
In works of charity one offers fine flour,
and when he gives alms he presents his sacrifice of praise.
To refrain from evil pleases the LORD,
and to avoid injustice is an atonement.
Appear not before the LORD empty-handed,
for all that you offer is in fulfillment of the precepts.
The just one’s offering enriches the altar
and rises as a sweet odor before the Most High.
The just one’s sacrifice is most pleasing,
nor will it ever be forgotten.
In a generous spirit pay homage to the LORD,
be not sparing of freewill gifts.
With each contribution show a cheerful countenance,
and pay your tithes in a spirit of joy.
Give to the Most High as he has given to you,
generously, according to your means.

For the LORD is one who always repays,
and he will give back to you sevenfold.
But offer no bribes, these he does not accept!
Trust not in sacrifice of the fruits of extortion.
For he is a God of justice,
who knows no favorites. (Sirach 35:1-12)

As we enter the season of Lent, may we be reminded that during this 40 days beginning tomorrow are moments for us to REconsider, REevaluate and Revisit our altar and find on it unholy acts fit for offering to the Holy One

A Holy Season of Lent to all!

Enjoy your Lent as I will with mine.

Posted in Inspiration, Lifestyle, Religion

Oh! Heaven Can You Please Come Down

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Rome Gives Okay to Cause of Canonization for Filipino Archbishop Teofilo Camomot

The late archbishop was known for generosity to the poor

 

A Filipino bishop who is known for his service and generosity to the poor is on the road to possible canonization.

The Congregation for the Causes of Saints in Rome has opened the process for the possible beatification of the late Archbishop Teofilo Camomot of Cebu, according to MetroCebu News.

Father Mhar Vincent Balili, vice postulator for Archbishop Camomot’s cause, said the congregation said it will give attention to the cause.

If Rome approves the diocesan process, the diocese will submit a “positio,” which is basically a biography of the archbishop, establishing that he lived a life of heroic virtue.

Father Balili said they have “many testimonies” from people on the favors they received after praying to Archbishop Camomot, the news outlet said. But they have yet to find evidence that someone recovered from a major illness because of the late archbishop’s intercession. Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma has ordered all parishes to say a prayer for the late archbishop’s beatification on a regular basis.

The website of the Daughters of St. Theresa, which Archbishop Camomot founded, notes:

Claims of miracles attributed to Msgr. Camomot circulated after he was reportedly seen in two different places at the same time while he was still serving the clergy of Cebu, according to Lungsoranon, the official newsletter of the Cebu church.

Archbishop Palma also recommended that the faithful go on pilgrimage to the late archbishop’s tomb in the motherhouse of the Daughters of St. Theresa in Barangay Valladolid, Carcar City. According to a video on the website of the Daughters of St. Theresa, the archbishop’s body was found incorrupt when it was transferred from a Catholic cemetery to the motherhouse in 2009.

Archbishop Camomot was born in Barangay Cogon, Carcar on March 3, 1914. He was the third of eight children born to Luis and Angela Bastida Camomot. He died in a car accident in San Fernando town on Sept. 27, 1988.

“There were many stories about the Archbishop’s Francisan-like poverty,” says a biography on the sisters’ website. Cebu archbishop emeritus Cardinal Ricardo Jamin Vidal once said that “on one occasion he noticed that Archbishop Camomot was not wearing his pectoral cross…. Curious, he asked Monsignor Camomot about it. He made some excuse. Later a priest told the cardinal that the archbishop had pawned his cross to give some money to the poor. The cardinal later gave him a new cross and told him not to give it away.”

Rome Gives Okay to Cause of Canonization for Filipino Archbishop Teofilo Camomot

©Aleteia. Org

image: google search images

Posted in Politics / Commentary, Uncategorized

Bringing Ghost Back

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MANILA, Feb. 21, 2017— Anti-death penalty advocates aren’t giving up easily if the controversial measure gets passed into law.

Rodolfo Diamante, executive secretary of the CBCP Commission on Prison Pastoral Care, on Monday said the Supreme Court will surely be their next battle ground.

“We will go to the Supreme Court. We will exhaust all these legal means available because we believe that it is unconstitutional. It is cruel. It is inhumane,” said Diamante during the Tapatan media forum at Aristocrat Restaurant in Manila.

Along with other prison rights groups, he said, studies are now being conducted in order to build a strong case against the capital punishment.

He said they are considering at least two options on how to challenge the death penalty before SC— either through a death-row convict or through lawmakers who ratified the country’s international treaty obligation against it.

According to him, filing through lawmakers may be more practical since they can easily invoke the violation of the country’s commitment to the United Nations’ International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

“The argument could be since the country has already signed the treaty, a senator can easily claim that he/she is affected since he/she was among those that ratified it. Therefore, they can file a case before the SC,” explained Diamante.

On the other hand, anti-death penalty advocates can also wait for the “test case” involving a death row convict.

“So that the case won’t be dismissed, there has to be a victim. In that sense, we can do it when a person convicted and penalized with death penalty files a case to the SC and say that it is unconstitutional,” Diamante said.

Aside from the High Court, he revealed that another plan is bringing the issue to the international community since the Philippines signed the ICCPR.

“We are seeking the opinion of the international community. The Philippines cannot simply withdraw unilaterally. It has repercussions. And the international community is very active in making pronouncements,” he added. (Roy Lagarde/CBCPNews) 

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©http://www.cbcpnews.com/cbcpnews/?p=91898

image : google search images

Posted in Lifestyle

I Want The Crown She Wears

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The best thing about being a Miss Universe candidate, is that you have all the power to be who you are.  You hold in your hands the beauty of creation- friendship with other beauties, camaraderie, being able to share the crowns of your country, and above all, you very self -confidently beautiful with a heart and mind.

All are winners in such competition, however, the crown is not what is more important.  It is more the CHANCE to bring in the CHANGE you would want to share with the whole UNIVERSE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Spirituality

A Different View

footprints-on-sand-at-beach-a8yhna

In Timor-Leste,I saw the building of a school dormitory with flooring and walls almost done but the posts still missing.  Fr. Raniel Nachima, SVD said that herre, without typhoons, floods and earthquake, building a house is easier, cheaper,and without worries about its foundation and security.

Our gospel today tells us that entering God’s eternal dwelling (built on love, justice, mercy, peace) isn’t at all easy, cheap and reassuring.  “For the gate is naroow and the road is hard that leads to life and there are few who find it.” (Mt. 7:14) It sets a condition which can make exclusion inevitable. “What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you’ve faith but don’t have works? Can faith save you? (James 2:14).  Indeed, saying “Lord, lord” is not enough. Professing our faith, teaching and preaching the word of God are empty without the outward manifestations of doing the Father’s will.  Jesus tells his disciples that the Father’s will is abou taking care of the little ones- chidlren, the lost, outcasts, the sick, naked, hungry, thirsty, prisoners, strangers (Mt.18:25:35ff); about changing one’s mind, beliecing and working in the vienyard

St. Paul urges us to be rich in good works, generous and ready to share (1Tim 6:18) Just “saying ” is nt enough; it is too hypocritical. Just “doing” is neither enough; it is too secular.  saying and doing, listening and acting, praying ans performing, faith and good works must always go together.  As we begin this new liturgical season, let’s build our lvies and homes on the spirit of Christ’s Adventus.  Amidst life’s storms, we will never be ruined if our foundation and security are solidly built on the Eternal Rock, Jesus Christ.

Reflection by: Fr. Jay Baliao, SVD | TImor Leste Region

©2015 Society of Divine Word, Published by Logos Publication, Inc.

M Y  S A Y:

Our preparation for this advent of Christ, will always be meaningful if we “build” our celebration of Christmas in the Person of Jesus and not on our commercialize idea of Christmas as Happy Holiday, or of Santa Claus and reindeer, or parties here and there . Or the many “creative” ideas suggested to us by the market, which for one, IS not bad, but we fail to SEE the real meaning of the celebration.  That is why, at the end of the season, we find ourselves, empty-handed. And the we look forward to the next year’s christmas again.

But, really, let us practice, or atleast try to have a Christmas Season Examen. It will surely, make this year a lot different.

 

 

 

 

Posted in LIVES OF THE SAINTS, Spirituality

The Point of Bleeding

O God, source and origin of all fatherhood, who kept the martyrs St. Andrew Dung-luc and his companions faithful to the Cross of your Son, even to the shedding of their blood, grant, through their intercession, that, spreading your love among our brothers and sisters, we may be your children both in name and in truth.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

Collect of Nov. 24 Mass

Nov. 24 – Memorial of Sts. Andrew Dung-lac, Priest and companions, Martyr

 

st-andrew-dung-luc

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Lifestyle, Religion, Spirituality

Dishonest Steward Praised!

chess
Jesus said to his disciples, “A rich man had a steward who was reported to him for squandering his property.
He summoned him and said, ‘What is this I hear about you? Prepare a full account of your stewardship, because you can no longer be my steward.’
The steward said to himself, ‘What shall I do, now that my master is taking the position of steward away from me? I am not strong enough to dig and I am ashamed to beg.
I know what I shall do so that, when I am removed from the stewardship, they may welcome me into their homes.’
He called in his master’s debtors one by one. To the first he said, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
He replied, ‘One hundred measures of olive oil.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note. Sit down and quickly write one for fifty.’
Then to another he said, ‘And you, how much do you owe?’ He replied, ‘One hundred kors of wheat.’ He said to him, ‘Here is your promissory note; write one for eighty.’
And the master commended that dishonest steward for acting prudently. “For the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.”  Luke 16:1-8.

 

REFLECTION:

All of us are entrusted – as parent, as children to our parents and sibling, as teachers, as caregivers, as street sweeper, as street-pick up garbage taker, as vendor – no matter how little or great is the task, it is a responsibility given to us.  It is entrusted to us.

The challenge is how well have we been in our tasks. How honest are we in our task. As parents, do we give the spiritual needs of our children not only the corporal needs? As street sweeper, do we clean it out of duty or out of social concern? As vendors, are we honest in our food preparations (if its food)?

Most of the time, We (I am included) we allude mission to great and big things ( you can name as many as you can) but most often, we forget that it is really, REALLY the small, unnoticed acts. Unnoticed act such as the refugee (i forgot the name, she participated in the Rio Olympic as swimmer, Yusra Mardini, i remembered!) who courageously volunteered to alight the boat, swam  for 3 hours in sea pushing the sinking boat carrying 20 persons to reach the safe place.

Or, those simple people who continues to care for the lepers in Yangco, Culion Palawan.

There are so many!

Can we not include the sacrifices we make each day?

We have been dishonest, we have failed the master, but we never really miss out the chance to start again, we just have to be prudent in out choices and decisions.

Posted in Inspiration

Hurried Time

ve

If You sees me fit to be your vessel of grace, and so be it. . .

Yesterday, while on my way home from Jardin Cemetery, a woman approached me, expressed her concern – a prayer for her mother who is serious ill- In her own words, “mahina na po at malapit na po.” (weak and dying) Without second thoughts, I granted her desire.

I left, joyful, grace-filled knowing i was able to do some corporal and spiritual works of mercy. It was a day filled with gratitude.

This morning, on my way to office, a woman riding a tricycle stopped in front of me , unaware of who she was, i nodded to acknowledge her presence. “Wala na po siya sister,” (She passed away, sister)  she said. It was the woman who approached me yesterday. “Kailan?”(when) i asked, “early this morning,” she replied.

These words lingered on me throughout the day, the words i used during the prayer “Panginoon, patawarin mo siya sa kanyang mga kasalanan. Palayain mo siya sa mga kasalanan niya” (Lord, forgive her of her sins. Give her freedom from sins.)

It just dawned on me, how God uses people to prepare us.

This is Church!

#OneFamily
#OneCatholicChurch
#OneCommunity

Posted in Uncategorized

Holiness in One Minute

dark

Who among us would rejoice when hurt? Or hopeful in the midst of death?

I can’t help but think of the many martyrs in the Catholic Church.  I recalled how the first Christians sung, in the movie Quo Vadis, awaiting their turn to be eaten alive by the lions. Or the many unnamed martyrs who fell victims of hatred- religious or ethnic, culture or race- yet stood courageously and defended their faith [the bombings and tortures experienced by our brothers in all parts of the world, whose concerns should be ours, mine.]

Ironically, Catholics don’t rejoice over suffering yet when given the chance to witness rejoices willingly as their eyes are fixed not on this world but of the glory awaiting them.  They, who will inherit the kingdom of God because of being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, the glory we rarely [seriously, never] think of.

We fashion on mundane glory.  And, none of us, can deny this inevitable and indispensable truth.  No one walks on this earth unperturbed of hunger for glory [glories, i may add].  However, I can’t deny the salient reality that there are men and women who rises above human glory.

These are men and women who never exhibited extraordinary holiness or heroism, nevertheless, are soaked in the reality of life and brought it to perfection through their ordinary love and faithfulness inspite their weakness and sinfulness.

No one so sinful that he/she can’t be holy [and may be raised to sainthood].

Saints are people like you and me, sinful, weak yet fixed in their goal.

san-lorenzo

Sept. 28 – Feast: St. Lorenzo Ruiz de Manila, martyr

 

 

(images: google images web search)

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Lifestyle, Vocation

Unveiled Face

via Daily Prompt: Witness

culion

The face of  witness is courage.

The Sisters of St. Paul of Chartres (SPC) at the service of the lepers: “Culion is a leper colony in the Philippines they have dedicated themselves to the care and nursing of the lepers. I could not name for you any single work of the missions which is more repulsive , more repugnant…yet more glorious…the Sisters alone through their charity in practice in its purest form- you will find it in Culion – Fr. William J. Wood, SJ wrote in the Catholic News of New York

 

 

 

 

 

 

lifted phrase from the article: SPC Sisters’ Mission in Culion Celebrates 110th Anniversary/ written by: marionette martinez – st. paul university manila

photo credit: Culion Sanitarium And General HospitalCulion Museum and Archives culionsanitariumandgeneralhospital.com426 × 317Search by image

 

Posted in Church Events, LIVES OF THE SAINTS, Religion, Vocation

Don’t let your Mama cry

PREGGY

Mother’s tears have a place in heaven..

St. Monica prayed for the conversion of her wayward son Augustine (now St. Augustine, doctor of the Church). Her generosity and trust in the Lord’s compassion made her son’s conversion possible.  This eventually paved the way for Augustine’s sainthood.

She represents the struggles of all parents whose children are walking towards the wrong path.  As parent, it was her responsibillity to guide and supervise her child.  Her intense prayer and love for her son, by the grace of God, helped her to fulfill her mission towards his son.

August 27, Memorial of St. Monica, patron saint of mothers

©K+WORD Bible Diary for the Youth

Posted in Inspiration

Logs from my Eyes

bo

The Feast of the Transfiguration of Jesus last Aug 6 taught me something that only the eyes of someone willing to learn can see.

I would often think of how privileged the friends of the Lord to have been with Him the whole time especially in moments of confirmation of his identity and mission by the Father. But, how is this relevant to us, to us who have not seen and heard the Lord as did the disciples? The element of prayer comes into my mind.  It is in prayer that we experience this feast. During prayer, we are being transfigured and gradually configured to the person of Jesus.  As we fix our gaze on Jesus, and contemplate his being indeed, we behold the face of the Son. This beholding is not confined to the chapel or church.  Our meditation or contemplation is not us ascending to God but He descending amongst us.  The challenge for us is to recognize his presence amongst us – the crowd in our midst.

I was in the airport waiting for my boarding time, I happened to catch a conversation between two female foreigners and a maintenance attendant on the ground.  Listening to them, the attendant was asked how to find a way to check some schedules of flights, in which she confidently responded “bring with you your boarding pass and present it to the guard. And they’ll let you go out.”  To the foreigners’ surprise, the two left filled with gratitude to her.  As I was staring at her, I gave her a thumb’s up sign.  I just want to affirm her of a great job done! She returned a beautiful smile to me.

What shines out in that event? For an ordinary sets of eyes, it’s just one of the many episodes of airport inquiries. However, for me, it was more of a complex sight of beholding.  A sight beholding the virtue of politeness and kindness. A sight beholding gratefulness.  A sight beholding a person affirmed.

Education not coupled with virtues is nothing but a clanging cymbals. Learning is more than just knowledge, rather it is a life of witnessing, of enfleshing the things you learned.

Learning is beyond books we read, beyond words we hear.

Let us learn from simple events that comes to us.!

 

 

(image-googleweb search)

Posted in Church Events, Religion, Spirituality

Jubilee for Catechists

jubilee for catechists

Vacariate of Taytay, La Inmaculada Concepcion Parish, Culion, Palawan, Philippines

On September 25, 2016, Pope Francis will celebrate with catechists around the world the Jubilee for Catechists, an event held by the Pontifical Council for the promotion of the New Evangelization.

3 – DAY   CELEBRATION FOR THE JUBILEE FOR CATECHISTS

 Friday, September 23, 2016

  7:30 am                    –                    Opening Liturgy

Introduction to the Jubilee

8:30 – 11:30              –                       Jubilee for Catechists: Announcing the Mercy of God

1:30 – 5:00 pm         –                       Faith Development of Children and Youth

5:15                             –                       Celebration of the Holy Mass

6:30                            –                       Taizĕ

Saturday, September 24, 2016

7:30 am                    –                       Celebration of the Holy Mass

8:30 – 9:30               –                       Eucharistic Adoration

The Sacrament of Reconciliation

10:00 – 12:00           –                       Spiritual Pilgrimage through the Holy Door

Corporal Works of Mercy

2:00 – 5:00 pm        –                       The possibility to follow “In the footsteps of the                                                                                   Saints and Blessed of Catechesis”.

5:30                            –                       Rosary with the Sick (Yangco)

Sunday, September 25, 2016

7:30 am                     –                       Celebration of the Holy Mass

Liturgy of Recommitment and Blessing of the Catechists

Testimonials

Acknowledgement

***Month-long praying after post-communion: Prayer for Catechists

 

 

 

 

lifted from CCCB Jubilee for Catechists Resources; Concan Inc., 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Inspiration, Lifestyle

Curious Nuts

via Daily Prompt: Youth

youth.jpg

In the eyes of a youth…

I recently accepted the invitation to be one of the Parish Youth Ministry heads along with other colleagues in the Parish. Aimed at reviving the spark among the Youth, three of them traveled from one school to another, from one destino to another via land or sea, with all the necessities carried in their backpacks.  While i remain in the poblacion for my catechetical work.

Every saturday, we individually gather the youth ages 13-18 for orientation, getting to know the program of the parish, encouraging them to participate in the different organization in the PYM and some volunteer work.

Only a day earlier, I commented to my colleague on the weather, how i am much in doubt of their attendance for the evening activity.  To my surprise they came, one by one, some in threes, others in group, despite the heavy down pour of rain and strong wind.  I had to admit i underestimated them.

There is a kind of deep awe of knowing that they can be fully driven once informed.

A realization occurred to me: understanding what they can give will open up to what they are capable to receive which means opening the doors for them and giving them the place in which you want them to stay –  a freeing idea, indeed!

Everywhere is home.

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

August 22

 

The Queenship of Mary is celebrated because of her divine maternity.  She had found favor with God and has received in her womb the Son of the most high.  what makes Mary’s queenship different from other queens is her great “yes” to the message of the angel Gabriel which had made the salvific mission of Christ possible.

She is queen because, after she is assumed into heaven, she shares the kingship of Jesus.  But even if she has been assumed into heaven-body and soul- she still looks down upon humanity.  She continues to be the intercessor of those who still journey in the valley of tears.

Luke 1:26-38coronation.jpg

©K+WORD (Bible Diary for the Youth)

Posted in Politics / Commentary, Spirituality

Ordinary Lovers

tree3.jpg

There have been many interpretations on the scriptural reading from Mt.22:34-40 . Scholars defined, more or less the how and what of the passage.  However, there is always a fresh view everytime the Word of God is proclaimed.  There is always something to munch.  And as always? Full. Lacking in nothing.

Love of God.

Mt. 22:37, tells us to love God with all our heart, soul, mind, will and strength.  Easier said, often forgotten.  Oh no! Not that we forget God.  It’s not about loving or not loving God. It’s more of the in-between.  We so love God, that we really don’t mind at all.  We always fall into the trap of “I love God.” and we continue to exist in the greater scheme of things. Basking in our own world of loving God.

How do we really know we love God?

I came across a picture from one of Google’s web search images, it says “My ♥ belongs to Jesus.” I downloaded it.  Over the days past, thoughts on the passage would once in a while rushed through me.  Immediately, the idea that one’s heart belongs to Jesus is analogous to religious men and women.  Everytime this thought knocks my door, I just picked up from where I left.

Last friday my view changed.  It came like a sharp edged sword, penetrating the whole of my being.  “My ♥ belongs to Jesus” as i once thought of is not analogous to religious men and women. While I was still integrating what the experience means to me, a simple thought stand out.  Whether one is a priest,  nun,  married person, single, widow, complicated in status our heart belongs to Jesus. There is a kind of deep felt understand of knowing that one’s heart belongs to Jesus. It can be likened to the universal call to holiness, so hearing these words, i began to wonder how there might be a still more perfect way to love God in ordinary way.

There are more other ways of interpreting the passage, mine is as simple as this. What’s yours?  We need to remember that the call to love God is as old as creation.  Our ordinary experiences of God’s presence in our life have their own value whether we appreciate or recognize it or not.  Yet, it belongs to you.

You don’t have to be someone you are not just to be able to say “My ♥ belongs to Jesus.” St. Augustine puts it rightly, “my heart is restless until it rests in you.” Only then can we truly love.  It is only when our heart has found its true home can we welcome strangers and selflessly serve them, seeing in them the face of Christ.

” My ♥ belongs to Jesus” is the basic tenet of our life.

 

image: google image search

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Old Wine Tastes Great

wine

Whenever I come home for a short homevisit, my father gathers the family to pray the holy rosary at 9pm.

My parents are not that so-called very strict religious, my grandparents most probably do, but not them. They live out their faith simply but i believe profound and sincere.
We hear mass on Sundays as a family. We pray the rosary at past six in the evening. And begs, as we kneel before them ( parents and elderly at home), the night blessings as a custom in my paternal grandparents.
Growing up back in my early teens at ’90s,it did not dawn on me, how great this family tradition was. I was growing up and “doing” this kind of things except for the night’s blessing, was a bit tiring, at some other nights less fervent and sincere at prayer. But i have always appreciated the support and.encouragement my parents would give when i am being asked to join the church’s activities specially the “barangay” a Marian activity during the Month of May where the Blessed Virgin is being transferred from one house to another everynight. I love doing this!
Reflecting on my childhood years, I guess this is how my parents introduced me to love Mary. Not on a adult-imposing ways but child-like-ways: enjoy, learn, love.
My parents will not insist us to pray when “we dont want to.” They leave space for us children to be children once in a while. Prayer was not impose but gently taught.

As we prayed the rosary today, i got so struck. I felt so blessed. I felt awed when my 7 years old niece led the 5th mystery of the rosary and how she sincerely and seriously responded “Lord, have mercy and Pray for us” during the Litany of the Virgin Mary.

Filled with gratitude to God, that i could only gaze at my parents and offer them back to Him. It was this moment that i deeply appreciate my parents way of rearing us up in faith. SIMPLE. PROFOUND. ENJOY. LOVE.

well, I guess, im chronologically advancing in age as i can fully and.truly appreciate an old and well-known saying that expresses a general truth, “old wine tastes great.”

 

 

(image: googleimages)

Posted in Uncategorized

Shaped.

Our life has been shaped by the hustles and busyness of our many concerns with our life, ministries/apostolate. Many at times, we have forgotten what really matters in life.  Most often, we drag ourselves to death to be able to accomplish or achieve a dream or ambition we so longed for, or a plan/project we hoped for but, in the end, only to realize in the greater scheme of our life it is useless, worthless, or to say the least, did not even help us to become a better person God has intended us to be.

This is one of the many reasons why at a certain crossings in our lives we feel empty.  After all the stupendous labours and works we end up experiencing that dead-end feelings. Life becomes “is this all that I can do or is this all that matters” We become lost in our own world.  It seems our life-compass has gone, I could imagine, from left to right swinging speedily. We begin to raise questions such as: where am I going? What choices should I take? Life from where I am now is meaningless, where is my joy? Where is my place on earth? etc..

It may take a while to have a felt-knowledge (with the grace of God) experience to be able to surrender to the great mystery of God’s love.  It takes a lot of humility and poverty to come before the Lord Jesus and just bask in His love for us- for you.  It demands nothing but our openness to accept the truth that the Lord Jesus came to be one with us, came for you and not for the things that you can do for him.

It is in this light that I would like to  share with you one of the notes I have in my retreat.  Whether you are a religious, a priest or married or single, the 10 Principles For Life Pattern outlined below will surely speak to you personally as it did to me.

PRINCIPLES FOR LIFE PATTERN (OF A RELIGIOUS)

( Adapted from W. Breuning and K. Hemmerle’s “Ten Principles for a Priest’s Life Pattern”)

  1. How I live as a religious, *(priest or married or single person) is more important than what I do as a religious, priest or married or single person
  2. What Christ does through me is more important than what I do by myself
  3. It is more important for me to live in union with my religious community *(family/workplace/parish works/company) than to be alone and absorbed in my work
  4. It is more important to work united with my fellow workers than to do the maximum number of jobs all by myself
  5. It is more important to concentrate on a few points and to influence others than to be hurried and incomplete in everything
  6. Joint action is more important than isolate action, no matter how perfect. Thus cooperation in work is more important than work, “communion” more important than action
  7. The cross is more important than efficiency; it is more fruitful
  8. The love I put into my work, however big or little, is more important than the quantity and result of my work.
  9. Openness to the whole (religious community, parish, diocese, universal Church, *workplace or ministry) is more important than a particular interest, no matter how important that may be.
  10. To be rooted in prayer and holiness is more important than to be successful and efficient in apostolic and ministerial life.

 

Principles for Life Pattern of a Religious – notes from Fr. Rod Salazar, SVD

     *not included in the original notes

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

The In-between of Life Matters

The Dash Poem

(by Linda Ellis)

I read of a man who stood to speak

At the funeral of a friend.

He referred to the dates on her tombstone

From the beginning to the end.

He noted that first came the date of her birth

And spoke of the following date with tears,

But he said what mattered most of all

Was the dash between those years.

For that dash represents all the time

That she spent alive on earth

And now only those who loved her

Know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own,

The cars, the house, the cash,

What matters is how we live and love

And how we spend out dash.

So think about this long and hard;

Are there things you’d like to change?

For you never know how much time is left

That can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough

To consider what’s  true and real

And always try to understand

The way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger

And show appreciation more

And love the people in our lives

Like we’ve never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect

And more often wear a smile,

Remembering that this special dash

Might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read

With your life’s actions to rehash

Would you be proud of the things they say

About how you spent your dash?

 

I dedicate this space for Fr. Rod Salazar, SVD who had been my spiritual guide during my 8 days retreat. And for bringing to front the ancient call to holiness. Thanks too, for this heart-warming poem.

Somewhere are places where we have really been: dear spaces of our deeds and faces- scenes we  remember as unchanging because there we changed. (W.H Auden, In Transit)

There is Only Time for Loving

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Unidos En Cristo

 

uc

Wednesday, Second Week of Easter

Holy Mass Collect

As we recall year by year the mysteries by which, through the restoration of its original dignity, human nature has received the hope of rising again, we earnestly beseech your mercy, Lord, that what we celebrate in faith we may possess in unending love.  Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen

I have always been enthused in celebrating Easter.  This year, the enthusiasm seems to have lost its place in my anticipating attitude of celebration.  The problem lies with me, it has been so yearly, so common, so ordinary that I lost the taste of Easter.  The Glorious Morning in our Easter serenade becomes so distant and unappealing.

The Resurrection of Jesus tells us about INTIMACY.   The Resurrection narratives show us how many of his disciples recognized Him because of heir personal relationship with the Lord Jesus.  It is this INTIMACY with the Lord Jesus that (they) St. John the beloved was able to say “It is the Lord,” which led Mary of Magdalen say “Rabbouni” or the Two disciples on the road to Emmaus confirmed each other’s feelings “Were not our hearts burning when He spoke to us ”  Jesus, too, knew that his intimacy with the Father enabled him to recognize the Will of the Father, gave him the grace to become aware that “the Father has put everything into his hand” thus, was able to surrender and submit to the folly of man.

It is only when we are intimate in our relationship with Jesus that we can fully be One with Him.  Our intimacy with Him will leads us to familiarity with His ways, thoughts and actions, thus, enabling us to recognize the Lord Jesus in our life – His APPEARANCES to each one of us.

We can only celebrate Easter with joy and enthusiasm if we are ONE with Him.  The Resurrection event becomes not just the event of the past but a Memorial of the Person of Jesus.

 

(image- google images – crossexamined.org)

 

Posted in Lifestyle, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Vocation

Are You Poor?

MAGNIFICAT

(PV 2011 / inspired from Luke 1:46-55)            Music by: Sr. Teresita Estrellita Orlino, SPC

  1. I will sing with all my heart and praise the Lord. My soul delights and magnifies my Savior, for He is pure and unbounded in His    I am blessed for God has done great things for me
  2. In His greatness He has shown His mighty arm, He has confused the proud in their inmost thoughts and has cast down the powerful from their thrones but with me has found favor to raise the poor.
  3. All good things He has given to the hungry He sent away the rich-poor, humbled, empty. But has confirmed His meek servant Israel and the favor I found made love manifest
  4. Glory be to the Father and to the Son. Glory be to the Spirit, the Paraclete.  May my heart’s magnificat forever sing, to thy praise I live the Gospel and proclaim

 

CHORUS

I am your handmaid, Lord.  Let it be done to me according to your word.  Who am i? What have I to merit my God’s love?

 

As we commemorate the feast of Annunciation, may i share with you our song during our Perpetual Vows in 2011 inspired from the gospel of St. Luke “The Magnificat”

The gift of vocation to the religious life or priesthood is God’s gift.  It is a sheer gift, a grace.  But, this gift  entails responsibility and mission. It is never for oneself but for others, it is service rather than self-preservation.

Religious Life is not a life apart from the wider Catholic community but a participation in its common life.  Yet, they belong to the Lord to whom they have voluntarily consecrated themselves in love and freedom.

The experience of God’s love is the ultimate norm and basis of Religious Life.  It is He who loved first.

May you find in Mary, the Mother of God the perfect example of poverty of spirit.

A Blessed Feast of the Annunciation

Posted in Lifestyle, Uncategorized, Vocation

Your Holiness

pope 23

A mother (widow) raises 10 children, all become priests or nuns except one, who became a Bishop! This is a picture of all the siblings with Pope John XXIII Beautiful! The Scheerer family – 1 Bishop, 6 Priests, 3 Dominican Nuns.

 

In a milieu where vocations are stifled by worldly cares. Photo such as this, reminds us that vocations start in the family.

The family is the seedbed of vocations, who germinates love for God and a life of service for and with God through one’s neighbor.

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Politics / Commentary, Uncategorized

5 Cs in Voting

5 Cs in voting

ballotboxOver the past decade, the Catholic bishops have made three calls to voters: to form circles of discernment, to engage in principled partisan politics, and to exercise their right and duty to vote for candidates who work for the common good.

Forming circles of discernment, in basic ecclesial communities or any other grouping, is one way to ensure that the individual can listen to other perspectives and arrive at a more balanced and collective decision regarding pressing issues and choice of candidates.

Engaging in principled partisan politics means that Christian voters should first clarify their own principles in the light of Gospel values. Then they can enter the process of discernment and form their choices of individuals as well as of political parties.

What then is the common good? The social teaching of the Church describes it as “the sum total of social conditions which allow people, either as groups or as individuals, to reach their fulfillment more fully and more easily” (Vatican II, GS 26). Indeed, this constitutes the first of five principles enunciated by the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (No. 351) for the participation of Catholics in political life:

“a) that the basic standard for participation be the pursuit of the common good;

“b) that participation be characterized by a defense and promotion of justice;

“c) that participation be inspired and guided by the spirit of service;

“d) that it be imbued with a love of preference for the poor; and

“e) that empowering people be arrived at both as a process and as a goal of political activity.”

Candidates for public office need to be evaluated according to some objective criteria since their decisions and actions, if elected, can have far-reaching effects for or against the common good of the community. Indeed, Pope Francis himself has pointed out that “politics, though often denigrated, remains a lofty vocation and one of the highest forms of charity, inasmuch as it seeks the common good.” (italics added)

How then can we discern if a national or local candidate can and will work for the common good? Within their circle of discernment, voters can adopt an evaluation process based on five Cs that can give us a more balanced understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each candidate.

The first C is conscience. Is the candidate a person of moral integrity? Is he or she God-fearing and maka-Dios?  Does he have a moral compass? Does she follow the dictates of her conscience that tell her what is morally right and morally wrong? Does he respect human rights and the dignity of every person, including crime suspects, indigenous people, and rebel groups? Is she transparent and accountable in public transactions? Are there charges of corruption against the candidate? Of vote-buying and other election crimes?

Integrity comes from the root word meaning “whole,” whereas corruption denotes cor-rumpere or a fragmented heart. Pope Francis has observed that “corruption is a sinful hardening of the heart that replaces God with the illusions that money is a form of power.”

The second C is competence. What is the candidate’s educational background? How is his health situation (physical, mental, etc.)? What is her record of service—both in the government or in private life? Does the candidate have enough years of experience for the office being sought?

In the same way that we ride a plane with the assurance that the pilot is adequately trained and experienced, so also we have to scrutinize the competence of those who offer to pilot the ship of state or our local community.

Competence or capability should not be based on popularity alone, or on name recall. We do not go to medical doctors simply because of their names or titles. We make sure that they have the needed credentials for their profession. How much more do we need to scrutinize candidates who purport to heal not only individuals but also the social ills of society?

The third C is compassion. Does the candidate show an option for the poor and marginalized? Is he makatao? Is she willing to work for social justice to address the social problems of mass poverty and inequality—e.g., by pushing for asset reforms? Does he protect the rights of minority communities—particularly indigenous people, Muslims, and other marginalized sectors? Does she work for the empowerment of the poor, instead of just giving doles? Finally, is the candidate seen as elitist or prorich and propowerful?

The fourth C is companionship. Who are the candidate’s supporters and advisers? Are they persons of integrity with a sound reputation? Does the candidate belong to a political party? What is its platform for governance? Are these simply promises or a concrete program of government?

election

Does the candidate belong to a political dynasty, or is he or she beholden to traditional politicians (trapo)? Research findings have pointed out a disturbing correlation between the presence of political dynasties and poverty incidence, violence and corruption. The Philippine Constitution has also indicated the need to control political dynasties.

The fifth C in evaluating candidates is commitment.  Does the candidate manifest sincerity, decisiveness, and political will in his or her leadership style? Questions of loyalty to country in terms of citizenship and residency requirements have to be addressed. Where was the candidate during the martial law years and what was his or her stand then and now? Is she makabayan? What is his stand on key issues today, such as protection of the environment, peace-building, and antipoverty programs?

These are the five Cs—conscience, competence, compassion, companionship, and commitment—that can give us a more realistic profile of each candidate. The candidate can be rated for each C along a scale from “very poor” to “very good.” On their part, each candidate will likely highlight only his or her strong points in some of the five Cs. Yet, for voters, it is imperative to weigh all the five Cs in a candidate’s profile to arrive at a more balanced view of who to elect into office.

For the PPCRV (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting), this is the meaning of One Good Vote—by the individual and for ever-widening circles of discernment.

Antonio J. Ledesma, SJ, is the archbishop of Cagayan de Oro.

Read more: http://opinion.inquirer.net/94095/5-cs-in-voting#ixzz44g6nflHv
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Posted in Religion, Spirituality

UNPOPULAR EASTER

tomb

What is Easter?

It is when…

 a hurting  person forgives,                                                                                                                      a betrayed friend gives a second chance to the betrayer,                                                                    a spouse remains faithful and trusts his/her erring partner,                                                            a parent gets up for work even if he/she is not feeling well,                                                              a student saves his/her allowance to secretly help his/her parents                                                a person stands fro what is right amidst criticisms,                                                                            a person makes unpopular decisions despite opposition,                                                                  a person remains honest, fair and just even if others are not,                                                          a priest loves everybody even if others are not true and trustworthy,                                            a person remains hopeful even if the present is too dark and uncertain.

for me, this is what I call EASTER!

It is when a person sees beauty in any “ugly” circumstance.  It is when a person feels what is not articulated.  It is when a person loves the unlovable.  It is when a person prays even if GOD is seemingly absent

This is Easter!

by: Fr. Jack Tangan, OCD

(image: googleimages – theconfessingbaptist.com)

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

HOLY THURSDAY: FULLY AWARE

TOPSHOTS This handout picture released b

HOLY THURSDAY, CHRISM, LAST SUPPER

 

“….Jesus knew that his hour had come to pass from this world to the Father.  He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end. .. So, during supper, fully aware that the Father had put everything into his power…”

 

It is said that, “blind obedience” is far better than “informed obedience.”  Blind obedience takes on the leap of faith as there are no ways by which one can determine the possibilities of what lies ahead.  However, informed obedience lead one to walk in faith as the possibilities of the future are laid in front of the person.

Jesus, fully aware that his hour is coming, embraced with willingness and love the Father’s will and its consequences.  He love the Father dearly and He loved his own in the world and he loved them to the end.

As we follow Christ in his last twenty-six hours, may we spend time with him, accompanying him in his moments of distress, grief, sorrow, struggle, surrender and death.

Listen as Jesus confides to you “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.”

Can you spend an hour with him?

agony

 

 

 

 

(image-google search- pope francis ; agony in the garden by grace carol bomer)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Wednesday Flexes

wedsn

 

Wednesday of the Holy Week

Ant. 2 of Evening Prayer (Vespers)

“He took all our sins upon himself and asked forgiveness for our offenses”

 

Ephesians 4:32-5:2

Be friends with one another, and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.  Try, then, to imitate God, as children of his that he loves, and follow Christ by loving as he loved you, giving himself up in our place as a fragrant offering and a sacrifice to God.

 

Oh Lord our God, grant us the grace to open our hearts to the mystery of your sacred passion, death and resurrection as we enter into the heart of the Easter Triduum.  Change our stony hearts into a heart of flesh. Transform us into the very person of Christ your Son.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

On Holy Tuesday

tuesda

Prayer

Father, may we receive your forgiveness and mercy as we celebrate the passion and death of the Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Lifestyle, Vocation

Joie de Vivre

wheelchair

I keep on mulling the event that happened over dinner the other night.  I cannot find the words that would capture the depth and breadth of my “heaven on earth” moment.

My present community is composed of elderly Sisters, age ranges from 70 to 99 years old.  I am just in my early adult life and still far from the way they have lived and served God.

At dinnertime, still undecided which food to take, a ninety six year old Sister joined me at the service table, aware of her health diet, I mumbled over what she took, “are vegetables good for her?” trusting she does, I left her. As she picks the fish, I doubted her judgment over the viand so I called the attention of the caregivers, after being informed that her viand is on her table I literally shouted; she is hard of hearing though, “Sister, your viand is on top of the dinner table.” Sheepishly, she replied “Oh!” with a grin on her face. Some of the Sisters noticed too and one even bellowed, “She cannot eat chicken, please!” and everyone had all their attention on her.  Thanks to the meat (pork) she eats three times a day, she is perfectly well.

I went back to my seat feeling awed and in deep joy, each one taking care and being concerned with one another. It is as if the entirety of Community Life was flashed in front of me, summed up in one word CARE.  But I can only care if I go out of myself and see my neighbor in need, not because they need it but, I want to care. I want to love.

I am a Religious.  We live in community.  We value commonality or common life, a distinctive character of Religious Life, of which it makes our life colorful indeed!  We live in common; common prayers, common mealtimes, common recreation, common rising time and lights off.  Everything is in common even the habit (dress) that we wear. All the things that we received are put in common so as no one in the community is in want.

After fifteen years, I am beginning to get the nerve of the life I embraced (experience will tell you so!) Community Life is the most challenging part in the life of a Religious and it goes with the Vows as well (poverty, chastity and obedience.) I am living with 55 Elderly Sisters. We are all gifted with different, unique characters and behavioral patterns, endowed with formed habits and values, virtues and historical backgrounds coupled with joys and pains, and of course some with unresolved issues.  Yet, we exist, we live and we flourish because we CARE.  Our Community Life is lived in CARE following the example of Jesus as the Good Samaritan to his neighbor whom he CARED.

Maybe, just maybe, if we take time to CARE for one another seriously-in our local community, family members specially the estranged, hurting, who feels unwelcomed, the pessimists, the indifferent and aloof, if only we take time to enter into their world we would realize how wounded WE ARE and how WE CONTINUE to wound the other.  We project what we have and we loathe what we see.  If only we have fully grasped the totality of our life, we would come to terms with the reality that we all live in one BIG COMMUNITY, living a common life.

It is a journey onwards with a neighbor towards the eternal community with the Father in heaven.

 

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Photo Musing

holy week

Browsing my social network  newsfeed, a sister of mine in the congregation posted this photo in her account.  I got so struck! Wow, three days from now, we will enter into the threshold of the mystery of our Catholic Faith! Time flies so fast.

I have so much in my mind with this photo but, unable to write! Nevertheless, let me share a thought that prods as I mused on this photo:

  • Can we individually reclaim the true essence of Holy Week in a self-serving and preserving world? Can we? Can you? Can I?

You might have something in your mind, after all readers are great sources of reflections and insights.

A blessed Holy Week ahead!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Lifestyle, Vocation

La Vie Est Belle

 

Twelve years since its foundation in Taytay, Rizal on 2004, the SPC Vigil House has gone beyond its conception.  From a simple house for the aged and retired SPC Religious Sisters to becoming one of the most “sought” after model structures in reference to “house for aged religious”.  Different religious communities and lay organizations have visited and surveyed its building structure, maintenance and operation.  Undeniably, the SPC Vigil House has become a beacon of care and love for aging religious who have served their respective congregations with much dedication and fidelity.

Considered as a haven for the Sisters in their old age, the Vigil House, as fondly called, has become a sanctuary for lay people who would come to join the Sisters in their prayers, Holy Mass, Eucharistic Exposition, liturgical rituals, devotions and novenas or those who frequent the place for solitude and prayer. True to its charism of Charity, their very presence impels people to seek God deeply.  Suffice it to say, the SPC Vigil House is the bush burning but not consumed in the heart of a city which awakens the inner longing of each soul drawn to deepen their faith and relationship with God.

Weakness and aging have not hindered the Sisters from ministering to the needs of their brethren. Aware of their limitations, they become more genuine and practical in their ministerial approach.  Where active members of the Congregation are concerned with “working in the world but not becoming of the world”, non-working members are preoccupied with spiritual affairs.  They have recognized that authentic presence and witness is the greatest and most challenging ministry, but, the most trustworthy and fulfilling means of conveying the message. True enough, it is only in weakness and suffering that one can truly be a beacon of hope, love and faith in a society where vulnerability is nothing but futility.  It is one’s experience of senescence that enables the ability to practise the true meaning of poverty, chastity and obedience, faith and hope, precisely the very things that they share to the people who come to the SPC Vigil House to be invigorated in their faith life.

“La vie est belle.”  Life is beautiful knowing that these Sisters who are in their prime have mirrored how life should be lived and what life is all about.  It is not about the degree attained or the school attended.  It is more than the position one’s held or the ministry you worked in.  It is not even intelligence or practicality that gauges the success or the building that you built or the number of communities which you were assigned. Rather, life is beautiful for these Sisters because of the relationship that deepens through the years of falling and rising. The flickering sparks of courage and trust amidst life’s challenges made them realize that being put together brings out hope and surrender.  “La vie est belle!” When deformities become reality and sickness becomes inevitable comrades, God becomes an intimate companion.

If the book of life of the SPC Congregation be destroyed, lost or burned, all they need is to look to these Sisters whose life is a “living book of life.”  The life of these Sisters embodies the spirit of the Congregation.

 

Posted in Spirituality

Moses In Our Midst

Holding-Hands

The LORD said to Moses,
“I see how stiff-necked this people is.
Let me alone, then,
that my wrath may blaze up against them to consume them.
Then I will make of you a great nation.”

But Moses IMPLORED the LORD, his God, saying,
“Why, O LORD, should your wrath blaze up against your own people,
whom you brought out of the land of Egypt
with such great power and with so strong a hand?
Why should the Egyptians say,
‘With evil intent he brought them out,
that he might kill them in the mountains
and exterminate them from the face of the earth’?
Let your blazing wrath die down;
relent in punishing your people.
Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Israel,
and how you swore to them by your own self, saying,
‘I will make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky;
and all this land that I promised,
I will give your descendants as their perpetual heritage.’”

So the LORD relented in the punishment
he had threatened to inflict on his people.

(Exodus 32:7-14)

The first reading today got a better hold of me.  It did not only make me realize how powerful intercessions are but how weak God is when a sincere and humble man prays on behalf of his brethren.

Today’s reading is all about INTERCEDING FOR OTHERS.  We are called to live as one community.  The illness of one is an ache to all, the pain of another person in my community is my pain as well.  The hopes and aspirations of my neighbor is my hopes and aspirations for him/her as well.  My dreams are the dreams of my community for me too.

We all are one.  We are all bonded by one  prayer.  The intercessory prayers make us aware of the neighbor within us and around us.  The neighbor becomes not only the person we know (in the circles of our family, friends, workplace, etc) but those specially we haven’t met and known like  the continuing war in Arab countries – our neighbors are the victims of war and violence, and even the perpetrators- those who are sick, depressed, lonely, lost and the needy and many more ( you can add your lists!) Basically, it’s all about IMPLORING (interceding) for others for their benefits.

Which brings me to my own personal experience of a dear Ading (friend) who never fails to keep me always in prayers, always interceding. The Moses in my midst. We have such a beautiful relationship. Each interceding for one another not only in moments of joy but moreso during pains, confusions and even “sacred spaces”- the kind when you don’t want to share and just keep quite ’til hurt can’t hurt you anymore.

Can you name the Moses(es) in your midst?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Spirituality

BATHING BENEFITS AT LENT

running water

BATHING BENEFITS AT LENT

 “… in the greatness of your compassion wipe out my offense. Thoroughly wash me from my guilt and of my sin cleanse me.” Ps. 51

As I read the Responsorial Psalm for Saturday (March 5) I was struck by this passage.  Immediately the image of running water flashed into my mind.  I was transported to a state where I was bathing. I could feel the warmth of the water rushing all over me, leaving me refreshed and cleansed. I am new again.

Looking back on my Lenten journey as I prepare myself for the celebration of the Paschal Mystery which will commence two weeks from now, I appreciate how this holy season of Lent brings us new life in Christ. Outwardly, Lent has been compared to a journey in the deserts, whose aridity is seen as a time for repentance and an opportunity for purification and conversion.  Looking deeper, we will discover that this holy season carries a well that never runs dry, an oasis of water to cleanse us and make us new person in and for Christ.

Running water such a beautiful image of God washing me as I continue my forty days sojourn in the desert of Lent.  My struggle to be faithful to observe my Lenten practices and sacrifices (which includes my constant failure), allows me to enter the process of cleansing.  It is not our faithfulness in fulfilling our Lenten practices and sacrifices that cleanse us but what happens inside us that makes us clean.  This process which is primarily a tug-of-war inside us a return to rejection with indifference or kindness, to serve or just to stay in my comfort zone, to keep loving instead or becoming bitter, to choose joy instead of hate, is the running water that wipes out our offenses, that thoroughly washes us from guilt and cleanses us from our sins.  God sees the heart, the deeper longing of the human heart.  God delights in the small steps that we take.

As we immerse ourselves deeply in the heart of this holy season, we cannot but thank God for His generous mercy pouring forth into us particularly during this Lent, which coincide with the celebration of the Year of Mercy.

Lent is the running water that cleanses each one of us from the layers of guilt and sin we all have and mercy is God’s blanket that wraps us, wiping, and removing every guilt and sins we have.  This season is holy indeed!

Enjoy the rest of the weeks in our Lenten bath before Easter!

 

 

(image- googleimages search)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Social Concerns / Commentary

MANNY vs LGBT: On Why We Should Think

j writes

Lately, the newspapers had been plagued by commentaries from students to showbiz personalities and even political aspirants about the statement uttered by boxing icon and political candidate Manny Pacquiao on homosexuals as worse than animals. His courageous statement drew ire from the LGBT community.  The Ladlad partylist aired their sentiments by calling the public to withdraw their support for him.

I noticed that people were reacting differently, from name calling to despisement to judgment. We love to judge.  It is our second nature. But the problem is not that we judge out rightly, rather we judge vaguely.

The story of the woman caught in adultery in John 8 comes to my mind.  In this compelling gospel story, the Pharisees full of self-righteousness brought the woman caught in adultery into the public square of the temple where Jesus was teaching and was made to stand in full view of everybody (I could just imagine how she was dragged and pulled in shame.)She was accused of being caught in adultery! She is to be stoned to death as the law of Moses prescribed. Jesus, unfussed, bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger.  The Pharisees kept on prodding Jesus.  So Jesus replied “if there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one the Pharisees left.

The heart of the story was at the end when Jesus said “woman, has no one condemned you? Neither do I condemn you, go, and don’t sin any more.” If we look intently into our heart, we will see ourselves fitting in the shoes of the Pharisees.  The irony is that we also see all those fingers pointing at us, ready to stone us to death.  In other words, as many as we see fingers pointing at us, as many times we point to others as well, ready to stone them to death.  We all have sinned.  We accused others.  We have been accused. We have been wronged.  We have wronged others.  And the vicious cycle goes on and on.  It creates nothing but only wounded persons. But, if we humbly surrender our heart to the Lord we would hear Jesus telling us “has no one condemned you? Neither will I condemn you, go  and don’t sin any more.”

Proving who is right and who is not, who is sinful and righteous, does nothing to help the person to walk in the light of Christ.  We have to understand that there is no line that separates the righteous from the wicked.  Each one of us is equally sinful and equally good for we all are made according to the image and likeness of God.  The sun shines on both the good and the wicked. Our struggle to respond to the call to holiness and wholeness is a communal effort.  Our collective effort to uproot a secularized mentality must stem from within. Our battle is not amongst us but the evil that prowls around.

Instead of subjecting one another to a demeaning behavior, let us rise above these arguments and address our supplications to God who sees, hears and knows the misery of his children.   The presence of evil cannot be fought by human effort alone, it must be accompanied by authentic prayer, fasting and penance.   This is what the season of lent is teaching us to look within ourselves: to repent and be converted; to die from the old self and put on the new self with Christ; to leave the darkness of our sins and walk in the light of Christ; to be freed from the slavery of the flesh to be a free child of God.  May we come to realize that we are the body of Christ.  We are many and different yet each one belongs to the body of Christ, we are as St Paul says “a single unit.” If one part of the body is erring, the whole body is affected. If a part of the body is in pain, all parts are hurt with it.

 

 

 

Image: captain’s blog –  ww.chadestes.com — googleimages)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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