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 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, 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 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 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 Inspiration, Lifestyle, Religion, Spirituality

Dishonest Steward Praised!

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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 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 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 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 Religion, Spirituality

Unidos En Cristo

 

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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 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 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 Religion, Spirituality

Is There More To Life Than This?

lent
Copyright (C) Darrell Young

In life, we all go through experiences that marked deeply in our hearts as if it was just a day or a week ago. There are events, too, that we deemed it didn’t happen to us or that we hope to erase it as soon as it comes to the fore.  In all these, we have to accept that it is either a consequence of an action done by us or apparently inflicted by others.   In each of these episodes, we underwent into a process of “passage.” This passage is the bridge that opens in us grace and revelation.  A passage that brought the peace we longed for or a discovery that leads to healing.  It may also be a passage of conversion, of forgiveness or acceptance of the painful realities that have happened in life’s past triggered by a present situation which needs sincere openness and humility.  Or a passage that simply invites us to let go.

The passage that Jesus will have to go through is similar to what we experienced in life, though, not parallel in gravity and willingness.  No one in the world lived life unmoved, untouched by life’s complexities.  Even Jesus has to enter into the complexities of human nature, the irreconcilable fickleness of the human heart yet grounds himself in the heart of his mission – “to do the Father’s Will”  and his identity – “the Beloved Son of the Father.”  Jesus’ passage as spoken to him by Elijah and Moses will be an occasion of grace and revelation. It is in this “passage” of which was spoken that salvation and forgiveness of sins will be brought forth.  This is the passage that bridges man back to God, the passage that made love tangible and visible; a passage which makes God-with-us to God-within-us.  The process will be tough and rough; it may demand too much from him but in the end, it’s a freedom he would do it over and over again because he knew it will be GRACE and he will never be broken in the process.

Easier said than done, though. But it is in this light that the gospel speaks to us.  Every passage that we go through is always GRACE.  And always, never failing, a REVELATION we have not known, or have feared to enter into.  It is only by submitting ourselves to the painful yet liberating process of life’s passages that we can deepen our faith and trust in God.  It is only in the reality of who we are- perfectly imperfect – that God can come and overshadow us with his GRACE and reveal to us WHO HE IS-  a father who delights in his beloved children.

Our life is filled with challenges. Some of these are tough and they break us.  Yet, there are those that bring bliss and have become sources of strength and inspiration to move on.   Our daily ordinary life’s experiences are not separate entities that have happened to us; rather these are pieces from God’s beautiful design for each one of us.  Embracing each moment of our life is living according to God’s will.  Our passage experiences become meaningful when we put them in the hands of God and allow them to be transfigured by his grace.  Jesus’ transfiguration is an affirmation to us that God is always with us if only we have the eyes to see His presence in our life.  He journeyed with us and walks ahead of us.   Thus, let us be keen to recognize God’ comings, or the passages that we are in, for these are just disguises of grace- God’s indwelling presence.

 

 

 

Second Sunday of Lent Reflection (Luke 9:28-36)

 

 

 

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Day to day Guide: 8-days Ignatian Retreat

 

Day 8    Resurrecting with and Placing our Hopes in the Resurrected Christ

DAY82

Theme: The Resurrection

Grace:My Lord Jesus, I beg for the grace of overwhelming joy and rejoicing, knowing well that through your resurrection you have conquered sin, evil and death itself and that in God’s own time—all shall be well.

Scriptural Readings:

  • Salubong
  • Jn 20: 1-10/ Jn 20: 11-18 (Mary Magdalene)
  • Lk 24: 13-35 (Emmaus Story)
  • Jn 21:1-19 (“Do you love me more than these?”)
  • 1 Peter: 3-9 (Hope in the Resurrected Christ)
  • Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis on Consecrated Life

Points for Prayer and Reflection:

  • Do a contemplation on the Easter story on Mary Magdalene (Imagine the tomb area and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place, Mary Magdalene, the angels, Jesus there)
  • What do you see, hear, touch, feel, taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of this part of our Lord’s resurrection and slowly, in the end, focus on him and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • Do a contemplation on the Easter Story taking the Emmaus story. (Imagine Emmaus and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place and the disciples there with Jesus.)
  • What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of this part of our Lord’s resurrection and slowly, in the end, focus on him and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • Right now, in what areas in your life do you find yourself continually complaining and despairing?
  • Why these areas in particular?
  • What do you think you need to do to shift, from doubt to faith, discouragement to hope, desolation to consolation?
  • Do a contemplation/meditation on the appearance of the Resurrected Christ at the Sea of Tiberias. Enter the Gospel scene prayerfully.
  • What do you see, hear, touch, feel, taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of this part of our Lord’s resurrection and slowly, in the end, focus on him and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • “Love ought to manifest itself in deeds rather than in words.” ((St. Ignatius)
  • “Do you love me?” was the question of Jesus to Peter.
  • How have you manifested lately your love for God in terms of concrete deeds?
  • Meditate on “Hope in the Resurrected Christ” (1 Peter: 3-9)
  • Right now, is there anything you feel worth celebrating in your life?
  • Name and clarify them.
  • When ready, take time to just celebrate these and rejoice with the risen Lord.
  • Apostolic Letter of Pope Francis on Consecrated Life
  • 1. “Where there are religious, there is joy”. We are called to know and show that God is able to fill our hearts to the brim with happiness; that we need not seek our happiness elsewhere; that the authentic fraternity found in our communities increases our joy; and that our total self-giving in service to the Church, to families and young people, to the elderly and the poor, brings us life-long personal fulfilment.
  • Are we joyful, content, fulfilled?
  • “None of us should be dour, discontented and dissatisfied, for “a gloomy disciple is a disciple of gloom.”
  • 2. “I am counting on you “to wake up the world”, since the distinctive sign of consecrated life is prophecy”…
  • “This is the priority that is needed right now: “to be prophets who witness to how Jesus lived on this earth… a religious must never abandon prophecy.”
  • “Prophets know God and they know the men and women who are their brothers and sisters. They are able to discern and denounce the evil of sin and injustice. Because they are free, they are beholden to no one but God, and they have no interest other than God. Prophets tend to be on the side of the poor and the powerless, for they know that God himself is on their side.”
  • Am I a prophet in this present world?

 

  • 3. Men and women religious, like all other consecrated persons, have been called, as I mentioned, “experts in communion”.
  • “to make the Church the home and the school of communion.”
  • Communion is lived first and foremost within the respective communities of each Institute. To this end, I would ask you to think about my frequent comments about criticism, gossip, envy, jealousy, hostility as ways of acting which have no place in our houses.
  • How is my community?
  • 4. “I also expect from you what I have asked all the members of the Church: to come out of yourselves and go forth to the existential peripheries. “Go into all the world”; these were the last words which Jesus spoke to his followers and which he continues to address to us”.
  • 5. I expect that each form of consecrated life will question what it is that God and people today are asking of them.
  • Dialogue with the Lord on all these points above.
  • Thank Him for sharing his gifts of presence to you and to the world, as seen in and through the Easter Story.
  • Thank Him for choosing to trust you, despite you many doubts and failures.
  • Thank Him for bestowing to you his Most Holy Spirit—the spirit of truth and life.
  • Thank Him for you to the religious life, for taking a risk in you.

 

 

(with Fr. florge, sj –facilitator)

image: pastormattblog.com—googleimages)

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Day to day Guide:8-days Ignatian Retreat

Day 7 SUFFERING AND DYING WITH CHRIST

day 72

THEME: Person of Christ, Loving and Obedient unto Death

Grace:My Lord Jesus, I beg for the grace of intense sorrow, with you in sorrow, anguish, with you in anguish, and even tears and deep grief, knowing well the deep affliction you endure for me.

Scriptural readings:

  1. Mt 26: 36-56 (Agony in the Garden)
  2. Lk 22: 39-62 (Agony in the Garden)
  3. Lk 22: 63- 71; Lk 23: 1-25 (Before the Sanhedrin and Pilate)
  4. Mt 26: 57-75; Mt 27: 1-31 (Before the Sanhedrin and Pilate)
  5. Way of the Cross
  6. Jn 19: 17-37 (Crucifixion and Death)
  7. Lk 23:44-56 (Death and Burial)

Points for Prayer and Reflection:

  • Do a contemplation on the Lord’s Agony in the Garden (Imagine the Garden and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene beholding the place and the people there.) What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of the Lord’s Agony in the garden and slowly, in the end, focus on the Lord and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • Enter the heart of our Lord and allow this intense sorrow and distress invade and dominate your heart.
  • The main prayer of the Lord in the garden: “Father, if it is your will, take this cup away from me; yet not my will but your will be done.”
  • Do a contemplation on the Lord’s Trial. (Imagine the Sanhedrin, and Pilate’s praetorium and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place and the people there.)
  • What do you see? Hear? Smell? Taste? Touch?
  • Spend time going into the details of our Lord’s trial and slowly, in the end focus on him and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • Do a station on the cross. Meditate and reflect on all the stations. Try to enter into the mood and feelings of our Lord as he goes through all those stations. What do you see, hear, feel, touch, taste, smell?
  • Which station of the cross speaks a lot to your heart?
  • Do a contemplation on our Lord’s Crucifixion, Death, and Burial. (Imagine, Golgotha or Calvary and the burial place and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place and the people there.
  • What do you see? Hear? Smell? Touch? Taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of our Lord’s crucifixion, death, and burial and slowly, in the end, focus on him and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • The Gospel of John tells us that “near the cross of Jesus there stood his mother (Mary)”
  • Enter the immaculate heart of Mary and just feel much her deep sorrow of pain and agony.
  • Take time to comfort her and even weep with her.
  • As Christians we believe that there can be no Easter Sunday without Good Friday.
  • What have been your own “Good Fridays”?
  • Examine yourself right now, what needs to “die” in you so that Christ and his love may all the more come alive in you?
  • Dialogue with the Lord on all these points above.
  • Thank him for his willingness to empty himself and die on the cross for your sake and for the sake of the world.

 

INSIGHT:

GOD ENTERS OUR CHAOS BECAUSE OF LOVE

 

(with Fr. florge, sj–facilitator)

(suffering with Christ–evangelicaloutpost.com — googleimage)

Posted in Religion, Uncategorized

Temptation and Lent

desert

The term Ashen Triduum was coined by the founder of the Anawim community, Fr. Francis, he wrote Ashen Triduum is “a time after gathering of Ash Wednesday to come aside and withdraw for three days, to interpret how we are going to  proceed for the journey ahead.  The focus of these three days is essentially that of a retreat, a time to be alone with oneself before God, to be silent from within, and to take time for prayer and serious reflection.”  It is in this view that I would like us to draw attention to the Thursday, Friday and Saturday after Ash Wednesday.  The glamorous celebration of Ash Wednesday has an impact in us, it enkindles in us the desire to be reconciled with God, to enflesh sincerely the piety coupled with it and the charity demanded from us.  It is but fitting then, to withdraw awhile and intently look at ourselves from the perspective of our relationship with God so that we will be equipped in our long journey of 40 days in the desert of lent.  This journey will not be easy, it is gruesome, for we, too, will die eventually, as with our Jesus, to our very self.

 

We will find in our very selves deliberate, strong resistances to live out the spirit we have in the onset of lent, as a matter of fact, gradually we deviate and make excuses from it. As we “withdraw awhile” let us reflect a verse from the gospel for the First Sunday of Lent, from St. Luke 4:1-13, to help us be on-guard, like a soldier always ready for battle for our enemy is ready “…to await another opportunity.” (Lk. 4:13) The Lord Jesus having spent 40 days in the desert was tempted by the devil, failing, will come back at an opportune time to entice the Lord.

 

Reflecting on this verse, it led me to the temptations  of Jesus, which will really happen to each one of us in this journey of 40 days, it dawned on me these events in the life of Jesus where the devil was most present- “the another opportunity”.  How are we helped to face our spiritual and physical battle as we tread the path to holiness and wholeness?

 

  1. Jesus in the desert – The devil comes in and through the desert of our life; he comes when no one is around. When you feel alone, insecure, incomplete, down, feeling of emptiness and hopelessness and wanting. Jesus was alone in the desert. He was in want (he was hungry, Lk. 4:3).  The devil uses the situation we are in to subtly allure us in the guise of our false needs, wants and should haves.  It is also in these circumstances of life that our egoistic self comes in, manipulated by the enemy, that we begin to question or even despise God because of, either his seeming absence or apathy in our life.

The gift of wisdom will guide us to see what is of God and what will separate us from Him.

  1. Persecution during his ministry – It is true that in all the endeavors we have especially during this season, it all begun with good intentions. But as the wandering unfolds even the noblest intention will be put to the test, as Jesus was during his public ministry.  The devil uses even the temple officials- the sanhedrins, priests and Pharisees to detest the good deeds He has done.

*It is not without purpose that God strengthens (if we just beg him) our human weakness (during persecutions) with his gift of fortitude.”

  1. Agony in the Garden – When we are decisive and earnest in our loving and following of God, the devil rages desperately. He coils in anger and would deceive us through our weaknesses, limitations, sinfulness, unworthiness, the devil inflicts sorrow and fear in our heart as with the case of Jesus in the agony of the garden (Mk. 14:34) so that we would be overwhelmed and withdrew from our genuine resolution.

 It is to this that we beg for the gift of counsel, which *sharpens our judgement.  By its aid we perceive and choose the course of action that will be most conducive to God’s honor and our own spiritual good.

  1. Scourging at the pillar – Oftentimes, our desire for spiritual renewal and conversion will strip us of the very thing we are attached to, our self. Jesus when scourged, they  tried to strip his dignity -“twisted some thorns into a crown, mocked and slapped his face” (Jn. 19:3)  but failed to do so.  Our faithfulness to our intentions lie not in the “manageable events” that we go through rather in the sagacity of the glory and victory that will be revealed in time.

The gift of understanding will help us perceive the process into which we are into, thus, we beg the Lord to graciously grant us the gift.

  1. Stations of the Cross – In our 40-day sojourn, there will be different aspects of our life that will be asked of us to give up. It may be our need to always defend ourselves or to give up our comfort zones so as to be able to avail oneself to the need of others.  In moments where we come face to face with our own self, let us remember that the Lord must have been tempted all the way to Golgotha, always chided, but the Lord Jesus in his great love for us, continued on.  The devil is the father of all lies, he never was, is and will be concerned of us.

Another gift is the fear of Lord which will be of use during this warfare against the devil’s malicious temptation in our faith.  It is this gift that we hone our trust , love and reverence to God. 

  1. Crucifixion – The presence of the devil must have been so tangible at this point in the experience of Jesus. It must have been so intertwined with how he felt and what he is experiencing, yet, he never gave up, on the account that “Jesus knew that the Father had put everything into his hands…” (Jn. 13:3)   he knew what was his mission.  Our piety during this season must be sincere and true, free from flair, free from frivolousness and hypocrisy.  For the devil will not depart from us and will use our strengths as well as our weaknesses, to his own advantage and our failure.

Seek knowledge not from oneself but the knowledge that comes from God.

      7. “My God, my God why have you abandoned         me?”- Faith, hope and love remain, but the greatest of these, is love. Love is not faithfulness but steadfastness in the midst of darkness, trusting that even “darkness is light itself.”

The practice of the virtue of piety will anchor us in our relationship with God, even in the pit darkness.

 

 

*The Faith Explained [Third Edition]     by Leo J. Trese

 

(en.wikipedia.org2000 × 1333Search by image

The Camel Thorn Tree (Acacia erioloba) in the Namib Desert is nearly leafless in dry periods. — googleimages)

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Day to day Guide:8-days Ignatian Retreat

Day 6 JOURNEYING WITH CHRIST

DAY62

THEME: Person of Christ: God’s Love and Suffering

Grace: My Lord Jesus, I beg for a deep, interior knowledge of your person, your Gospel values and especially your way of loving, so that I can all the more fall in love with you, follow you and learn to love as you love.

Scriptural readings:

  1. Mt 21: 1-17; Lk 19: 28-48; Mk 11:1-9 (Entry into Jerusalem) — the only and true way to save us
  2. Mt 26: 27-30 ( Passover preparation; Institution of the Eucharist) — the saving grace of Peter was his great love for Christ
  3. Lk 22: 7-20 (Passover preparation; Institution of the Eucharist) — at Christmas Jesus becomes – GOD-WITH-US; at Last Supper Jesus becomes -GOD IN US
  4. Jn 13: 1-31 (Washing of the feet)

 

Points for Prayer and Reflection:

  • Do a contemplation on the entry of our Lord in Jerusalem. (Imagine the holy city, and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place and the people there) What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
  • What qualities and values of our Lord touch you, as you behold him entering the city of Jerusalem?
  • After clarifying these qualities and values of our Lord (meek spirited? Detached? Focused? Strong-willed?) Take time to beg for these very same Christic qualities and values.
  • Do a contemplation on the Lord’s Last Supper. (Imagine the Cenacle and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene beholding the place and the disciples there.) ) What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
  • Spend sometime going into the details of the Lord’s Last Supper and slowly in the end focus on him and gaze slowly and lovingly at his face.
  • Enter into the sacred heart of our Lord!
  • Do a contemplation on the Washing of the Feet. (Imagine the cenacle and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene beholding the place and the people there) What do you see, hear, smell, touch, taste?
  • At this time, Jesus keeps talking about love…enter into the heart of Jesus…
  • Then enter into your heart…what is your deepest desire?
  • Let your heart dialogue with the Sacred Heart of Jesus on all these points above.
  • Thank him for his love.

 

 

(with Fr.Florge, sj)

 

(www.thewalkwithchrist.org –googleimages)

Posted in Religion, Uncategorized

ASH WEDNESDAY ESSENTIALS

 

ash

Ash Wednesday ushers us to the season of Lent which concludes at the Mass of the Lord’s Supper on Holy Thursday. Today, we received the ashes in the form of the cross (+) on our forehead which reminds us that we are dust and to dust we shall return.  However, there is more to the ashes which is only a sign of something deeper, mysterious yet fathomable reality of our Catholic faith.

The marking of ashes in our forehead is a centuries-old tradition which the Church uphold until now because of its indispensable truths.  We believe that as our fathers of faith has done so to earn the just mercy of God by putting on sackcloth and ashes on their head, we, too, will earn the mercy of God by submitting ourselves to the process of purification. The Ash Wednesday is marked by a day of prayer, fasting, abstinence, and alms-giving.  Usually on this occasion, we abstain from eating meat and fast from one full meal with two lesser meals during the day, Fr.Joseph Classen puts it clearly that fasting is “simply not eating nearly much as you normally would during the course of the day and not consuming anything (except water) in-between those meals. You should leave the table still a bit hungry.”

Over and above, fasting and abstinence should be coupled with the awareness of the reality of what to fast and what to abstain in our life not just during Ash Wednesday, Fridays of lent and Good Friday.

I have listed out some of the sacred scripture that can, in any way, help us comprehend the deeper meaning of a centuries-old tradition of fasting and abstinence as we live out our duty and obligation as followers of Christ Jesus:

St. Paul’s letter to the Romans 13:11-14, which says “… it is now the hour for you to awake from sleep… the day is at hand. Let us then throw off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light . . . let us conduct ourselves properly as in the day,…”  Prod us to see life beyond the peripheries of our self-centered views.  St. Paul urges us to ruminate every moment of life as the “hour to wake from sleep” and “throw off the works of darkness” within us and “put on the armor of light”.  An examined life will always shed light which inevitably leads to gradual conversion and renewal of one’s fundamental life option. Paul in the same letter continues to identify the manners in which we have to fast and abstain from in order to be able to live honorably as in the “daylight”, “not in orgies and drunkenness, not in promiscuity and licentiousness, not in rivalry and jealousy.  But put on the Lord Jesus and make no provision for the desire of the flesh.”

A good scripture to take note as well is that of the letter of St. James 1:19-25, which underlines the necessity for the virtue of self-control and self-discipline as we go through life with its flaws, limitations, curves and edges.  It says “know this, my dear brother: everyone should be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath…therefore, put away all filth and evil excess.” St. James reminds us that, in our dealing with others we must fast from our quick-tempered manners and habits and fast from self-introspection; abstain from our pride, self-righteousness and self-entitlement attitude so as to see things clearly as Jesus sees it, knows it and understands it.

Ephesians 4:29-31 brings us closer to the heart of fasting and abstinence.  St. Paul boldly warned the faithful in Ephesians that to have a new life in Christ we must “guard against foul talk, all bitterness, fury, anger, shouting and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice.”  Our act of fasting and abstinence must be imbued with the sincere desire for repentance, otherwise it will just be tainted with hypocrisy.

True fasting and abstinence will lead us to grow in our spiritual life.  This sincere self-denial and self-sacrifice will create a space within us; thus, will inevitably lead one to desire for God.  It is this very moment that true encounter between God and the *pray-er will happen, that God can enter into the life of the person.  “It is through the (empty) heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eyes.” As we discover the essentials in our relationship with God, we come to a deeper appreciation to our moral obligation to our brothers and sisters, consequently, alms-giving becomes an act done out of love in, through and for God to neighbors.

 

Dear Lord, grant us the grace to be deeply sincere in our desire to amend our life as we enter into the season of lent.  Amen

 

 

 

*pray-er  – the late fr. Thomas green, sj would call the person who is praying as pray-er (anglicanpastor.com – priest reflection-google images)

 

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Day to day Guide:8-days Ignatian Retreat

Day 5 Contemplating Christ looking at us

Luis_de_Morales_-_Pietà2

Theme: Person of Christ: Ministry of Healing and Reconciling

Grace:

My Lord Jesus, I beg for a deep, interior knowledge of your person, your Gospel values and especially your way of loving, so that I can all the more fall in love with you, follow you and learn to love as you love.

Scriptural readings:

Mk 10: 46-52 (Bartimaeus) – the virtue of perseverance

Jn 4: 4-42 (Samaritan Woman) – God meets us where we are and uses our situation into grace

Jn 8: 1-11 (Adulterous Woman) – the mercy of God

Mt 8: 5-13 (Centurion) – the faith of the centurion which brings life our sense of nothingness

Lk 19- 1-10 (Zacchaeus) – the true wealth

Mt 26:14-25 (Betrayal of Judas)

 

Points for Prayer and Reflection:

  • Do a contemplation on our Lord’s ministry of healing and reconciling.
  • Imagine Galilee ( or Jericho, or Samaria, or Capernaum, depending on the Gospel passage taken) and enter prayerfully into the Gospel scene, beholding the place, the disciples and the person(s) being healed.
  • What do you see? Hear? Smell? Touch? Taste?
  • Spend time going into the details of the healing and reconciling story, and slowly, in the end, focus on the Lord and gaze lovingly at his face.
  • What qualities and values of our Lord touch you, as you behold him healing and reconciling people?
  • After clarifying these qualities and values of our Lord (gentleness, compassionate heart, kind-heartedness, non-judgmental attitude) take time to beg for these very same Christic qualities and values.
  • God is God, healer-reconciler!
  • When were those times in your life when you felt God played the role of “Healer-Reconciler”? What did he heal/reconcile in you?
  • Examine yourself.
  • Right now, what aspects of your life need to be healed and/or reconciled?
  • When ready, come before the Lord and present these aspects for healing and reconciliation. Take time to just feel his healing and reconciling grace.
  • Dialogue with the Lord on all the points above.
  • Thank him for all his work of healing and reconciling in this broken world of ours and in your life.

 

insight from the listener:

  • God never left us; he stands by our side

 

(with fr.florge, sj)

 

(image from luis de morales – google images)

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

Day to Day Guide: 8-days Ignatian Retreat

DAY FOUR   Call and Discipleship

sinner yet called

THEME: My Call, Sinner yet Called

GRACE: Lord Jesus I beg for the grace of steadfastness and devotion to my God knowing well that in my life, in the end, what He truly desires are not my achievements, not my successes but my fidelity

 

  • It is in our weaknesses and limitations, when we cannot do anything anymore where we can truly live out our call to fidelity.
  • One can either curse that Lord in a situation where one is into or an opportunity of grace- where one can be faithful and truly be dedicated to Him who has called and loved him/her.
  • Be faithful to the state of life where you are in.

 

SACRED SCRIPTURE:

  1. Isaiah 49:1-6 (The Lord called me from birth, from my mother’s womb he gave me my name) – God knows you. God has a plan for you, from birth He named you
  2. Matthew 16:13-19 (“Who do you say that I am?” – Peter was a prayerful person so much so that he is able to listen to the Father as he revealed to him the true identity of Jesus. The deeper question now lies to each one of us “WHO IS JESUS TO YOU?” To know God’s will we have to pray
  3. Jonah 1-4 (Jonah’s self-righteousness vs God’s compassion)

 

POINTS FOR PRAYER AND REFLECTION:

  1. Go back to your life-story?
  2. How did you end up responding to the call of God?
  3. What were the key events that led you to respond to your call?
  4. Who were the significant persons instrumental in fostering and clarifying your call?

 

 

Insight from the listener:

  • Whatever situation you are in, know that God chose you and loved you with an everlasting love. He seeks and desires you, even in you darkness.

 

 

 

(fr. Florge, sj facilitator)

Posted in Religion, Spirituality

6 Ways to Celebrate Lent

6 ways to celebrate Lent

blog lent 2

Days from now we shall enter into the threshold of a great mystery in the Catholic faith.  The season of lent will invite us once again to make an offering of ourselves in many ways.  All these sacrifices and offerings that we make year after year are done out of love for God. However, if it had been done so routinely it becomes so boring and outdated. If you want to experience different this year, try considering the following:

  1. Negative criticism and talks.

It is seldom we do not hear persons who never say negative criticisms or comments on another person.  Each one of us has a fair share of guilt.  However, during this season of lent, we do not give up such habit so engrained in us rather we use our weakness as strength.  Therefore, criticize but “say only words that men need to hear, words that will really help them”

  1. Gadgets and Surfing.

We all have this level of attachments to our gadgets and surfing the net.  We spend almost always our time catching up with the upbeat around us. We keep on checking our phones for messages and or the net.  Here’s my piece of advice: NO GADGETS/INTERNET-WEB BROWSING SACRIFICE.   You read it right! Take this time to use these things wisely.  Instead of a non-stop selfie and groupie with friends, why not upload something that is relevant to the season? Or maybe, reflections, insights that you have that may inspire others- who knows? Use your Iphones, Ipad, cellphones etc. as a means to evangelize your contact lists. Be an online evangelizer.

  1. Travel and Tour.

The greatest mistake that one can ever do is to give up traveling and touring during lent.  Why? Should we be forlorn during these days of lent? Take those bags and comfy walking shoes and be up for a pilgrimage. Visits the site where the Holy Father has declared as holy door and or visit any holy places within your local vicinities or abroad.  Pilgrimage is far more delightful and high-spirited than the usual travel because it’s a journey inward than outward.

  1. Stay in the streets.

Lent is no homebuddy thing. Go out into the streets and don’t be afraid to make a mess.  Party in the streets- feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty.  Give clothes to the naked, shelter the homeless ( be a generous host and adopt during this season not only during Christmas) or visit the imprisoned and be their companion or be a source of strength as you visit the sick and help ease the burden of others as you stand by them as they bury their dead.

  1. Eat.

Christ Jesus himself partied because He knew well that it is in mealtime that He is able to reach out to people, he is able to listen and see their needs. EAT. Eat with people you hate and you will discover their own beauties; eat with those whom you dislike you might be surprised they too, have a share of distasteful experiences.  Eat with those whom you erred they long to reach out to you. EAT and BE RECONCILED.

  1. Be loud.

When was the last time you were loud?  This season, be bold and be courageous, be loud-to speak and share your God and your faith experiences not only to those whom you knew but above all to those whom you consider the least among your circles. But as Jesus rightly puts it “no prophet is honored in his native place.” Be Missionaries. Be one of the appointed seventy-two!

 

 

(image from bustedhalo.com-googleimages)

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