Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Guarantee of Truth

Christ's promise to St. Peter was a guarantee of the truth. Now this is important because the devil being "a murderer and the father of lies" (Jn. 8:44) keeps on campaigning to bring as many as he could to eternal fire and perdition in Hell. That promise written in Mt. 16:18 runs like this: "You are Peter and on this rock I will build my Church. And the gates of the underworld can never hold out against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven: Whatever you bind on earth shall be considered bound in heaven; whatever you loose on earth shall be considered loosed in heaven" (Mt. 16:18-19).

The original name of Peter was Simon, then was changed by Jesus to Peter, which means "rock" since as the first Pope he was to lead the Church. Till the present there have been already more than 250 popes. You can even read in the Guinness book of records, year 2001 that the Roman Catholic Church is the biggest religious denomination united under one head, the Pope, presently Pope Benedict XVI. It has continued throughout the centuries, inspite of enemies from within and without. The amazing thing is that none of its members are Catholics by force but are members of the Catholic fold in their free search and quest for truth. You can check for yourself, down through history and amid so many trials and difficulties, how the Lord has supported His Church by so many attestations of miraculous events and cures that serve to prove the truth of its existence as God's Church. This fact is narrated in the Bible when the Lord shows His approval by accompanying His closest servvants with extraordinary signs from heaven. "These signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents (with their hands), and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. So then the Lord Jesus, after he spoke to them, was taken up into heaven and took his seat at the right hand of God. But they went forth and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the word through accompanying signs' (Mk. 16:17-20).

Our main purpose in the search for the guarantee of truth is for the sake of reaching our final and true goal: heaven. Our enemy, the devil, and his agents (humans and co-devils) continue their campaign of lies with the purpose of bringing as many to the eternal fires and punishment of hell. Since our main objective is always to reach our goal of happiness with God, let's do what we can to avoid the deceptive lies of the devil and help one another, by God's grace and mercy to reach our true goal: heaven with the Triune God, Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, together with our Blessed Mother the Virgin Mary and all the angels and saints. Those to be admitted to the kingdom of heaven according to the book of Revelation 21:29 "Nothing unclean may come into it: no one who does what is loathsome or false, but only those who are listed in the Lamb's book of life" (Rev. 21:29).

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

RH Bill Controversies

Because of an overpopulation myth, several legislators intend to push the anti-life RH Bill. I would say it is anti-life because it intends to stifle life or potential life via abortion and abortifacients or contraceptives. A noted Catholic layman of Davao City, Mr. Al Barretto, member of a Catholic group Samahang Laiko ng Pilipinas, proves precisely the contrary to that over-emphasized overpopulation aspect. His authoritrative sources come from the web page

We must therefore act from reason and reality, not just be influenced by money offers or other lucrative sources. The article of Mr. Al Barretto shows, from statistics, that the ten richest nations in the world are actually densely populated, while the ten poorest nations are sparsely populated. He concluded his research saying: "Life is sacred. It should not be subjugated to economic goals." Of course, you develop and educate people and they are the assets for a new world. St. Jean Baptiste de la Salle had said: "Education is the equalizer."

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Path to Sanctity

Jesus and the saints assure us that the path to salvation and sanctity is a call and possibility for each and every human person. But this needs our cooperation. The great St. Augustine had said: "Deus qui creavit te sine te, non potest te salvare sine te." (translate: God who created you without you, cannot save you without you). That means our cooperation.

God does not make it impossible since it is yours for the asking,seeking or knocking at the door of His heart,in all sincerity and faith. In the Gospels when He cured or forgave people He would say: "Your faith has been your salvation or your faith has restored you to health" (see Mt. 9:22; Mk. 5:34;Lk. 7: 50). That cooperation of ours means asking or petitioning, as the Lord's prayer clearly expresses. Loud and clear are the words of Jesus: "the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one one who knocks will always have the door opened to him" (Mt.7:7).

This means of course seeking the Lord in all diligence and sincerity. "When you seek me you shall find me, when you seek me with all your heart" (Jr. 29: 13). Those saintly people all showed some spirit of sacrifice and sincerity in their humble faith and quest for God. If you fall into disgrace, sin and perdition you might have only yourself to blame for not believing in God's own words who in all truth taught the people:"If you, who are evil, know how to give your children what is good, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him!" (Mt. 7:11).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Children's Laughter

(Towards deeper analysis of violence)

We miss children's laughter when violence and confusion and evacuation reign all around. That's what the song refers to in: One More Gift. "If there's one more gift I'd ask of you, Lord, it would be peace here on earth, as gentle as your children's laughter all around, all around. Your people have grown weary from living in confusion; when will we realize that neither heaven is at peace when we live not in peace."

We keep on blaming others for all these displacements, anguish and distress. Yet the main fault is within us. A Spanish proverb says: "Tu enemigo peor eres tu" (You are your own worse enemy). Jesus also wants to drive home such point when He says: "Why do you observe the splinter in your brother's eye and never notice the plank in your own? How dare you say to your brother, 'Let me take the splinter out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own? Hypocrite! Take the plank out of your own eye first, and then you will see clearly enough to take the splinter out of your brother's eye" (Mt. 7:3).

We know that Jesus, as king of peace, is our example of love. He has taught us that what makes a man unclean is not what enters through the mouth, but rather what comes out of the mouth. The things that come out of the mouth come from the heart. Those evil intentions are what make a man unclean, which are murder, adultery, impurity, fornication, theft, perjury, slander" (cf. Mt. 15:15). As we see the acts of violence happening in the world of today, let's ask ourselves, Why? Why the ambition for power that kills people. It must come from the devil and his false teachings. Jesus tells us that: "The devil is a murderer and the father of lies" (cf. Jn. 8:44). Those savage acts of rape and impurity and murder also are the fruits of immodesty in pornographic media of the internet and indecent or lustful shows that incite to lewd feelings and violent acts. Immodest dress is part to blame.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


(here and now)

After all the fumbling and blunders in life, people begin to think of the needed change. That's what we may call a conversion, that comes by God's grace and our cooperation. As St. Augustine once said: "God who created you without your intervention cannot save you without your cooperation." That's because salvation by God's grace respects man's free nature.

You must therefore begin your conversion here and now. The infallible word of God says so: "Man does not live on bread alone but by the words that come from the mouth of God" (Mt. 4:4). Even the little you can do here and now is vital and important since "the man that can be trusted in little can also be trusted in greater things" (Lk. 16:9). The Chinese sages used to say that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.

Don't postpone or procrastinate. Begin the step here and now, however little it might be. God is pleased with humility that appreciates doing even little acts of love. "Seek Yahweh while he is still to be found, call to him while he is still near" (Is. 55:6). Do it, here and now. People successful in the world of business also make their proposals and plans in similar wise. We should also do so in our battles for God's kingdom.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Erosion of Vocations

In the diagnostic of loss of vocations to priestly or religious life, we must realize how the temptations of the world, the devil and the flesh (or inner pride) work. As in the natural elements mostly the erosion takes time and is unnoticed. That's part of the strategy of the devil, to come in unnoticed. He always paints evil under the guise of good to deceive people.

That's why, even in the matter of obedience which is the foundation of religious life, as St. John of the Cross puts it, one must be cautious always to do things within the bounds of obedience. And since obedience ultimately is directed to God, one's obedience must be irrespective of the human characteristics of the authority in the compliance of orders. Otherwise it becomes a purely human obedience, not an obedience of faith to the invisible God, the very source of merit and victory.

In that feeling of freedom and pride of disobedience, you are just doing harm to yourself. Once you find yourself reaching a point of no return after those little infidelities, you realize the truth of the prophet Samuel's reproof to King Saul who was rejected by God for not following instructions, rather he took what was precious in the war booty under the pretense of reserving them for temple offerings. The prophet's words: "Is the pleasure of Yahweh in holocausts and sacrifices or in obedience to the voice of Yahweh? Yes, obedience is better than sacrifice, submissiveness better than the fat of rams" (1 Sam. 15:22).

Even the little acts of dishonesty in finances can cause erosion in a vocation since the little is always interconnected to the whole, as a part to the whole. Such as for example dishonesty in handling money that is not yours or not paying rightful debts. Jesus' own words attest to this. "And so I tell you: use money, tainted as it is, to win you friends, and thus make sure that when it fails you, they will welcome you into the tents of eternity. The man who can be trusted in little things can be trusted in great; the man who is dishonest in little things will be dishonest in great. If then you cannot be trusted with money, that tainted thing, who will trust you with genuine riches? And if you cannot be trusted with what is not yours, who will give you what is your very own?" (Lk. 16:4-12). Wealth is external to man, the spiritual gifts are an intimate possession of man.

To end, let's not forget history: the fall of Lucifer and his angels from heaven now become Satan and his tempting devils, the fall of our first parents Adam and Eve, and the many who lost their vocation and even became leaders of deviating movements. Let's pray for them and thank God for His gracces on His faithful and humble people who continue to follow His ways of love and forgiveness.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Legislators' Campaign

As the elections are approaching, we know this is the time future candidates are positioning and campaigning to prove to the people they are worthy candidates. Several happen to be legislators. Of course we expect them to be truthful in their proposed and projected platforms. Not make lying promises just for the sake of winning the elections. God knows all secrets.

Naturally the crucial issue is whether one is pro or against life, specifically in the case of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill, at present hotly debated on. That's the ticklish subject at hand, which we should study deeper. They argue that the Church is not right in opposing contraceptives and abortion. The Church's conviction has consistently stood versus contraceptive devices and abortion, arguing that the act of love between the sexes has always to be open to the transmission of new life and is legitimate only within the marriage bond.

If the Church is wrong, let the opponents of the Church prove that the right to life is not being violated here in the present controversial bill. . Whether actual or potential life be involved, we know the aim of the contraceptive devices is to cut down on new births. That's tantamount to being against life. It's sad to observe some aspiring legislators seem so arrogant in their stand for the RH Bill as if they were so sure of their stand and just ignore the Church's position.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Two Aspects, Two Realities

(Christ the King)

We celebrated the Feast of Christ the King. In the gospel episode of the day, Jn. 18:33-37, we see the different aspects of fear and strength, cowardice and bravery, justice and injustice. Pilate, the powerful Roman governor of Judea , knew of Jesus’ innocence but he feared the leaders of the Jews and was so concerned of his position before the emperor. So afraid of the pressure of the Jews who were asking for Jesus’ death by crucifixion, he gave in to the unjust condemnation of Jesus. The verdict of history came. After Jesus rose three days after He died, He now is Christ the King.

The way of Pontius Pilate and those who follow his ways of injustice are remembered in ignominy and shame, but the ways of Jesus and His followers are put on the pedestal of glory. The kingship of Jesus is one of love, mercy, humility, forgiveness, and triumph but the ways of those who condemned Jesus and their followers end in disappointment since God has made Jesus, King of kings andLord of lords. His kingdom is a kingdom of justice, peace, mercy, love and forgiveness. The truth and reality Jesus promises is eternal life. He had said: “My kingdom is not of this world” (Jn. 18:38). This world is passing but an eternal kingdom awaits those who follow theway of the cross of Jesus Christ. “What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his soul in the process?” (Mt. 16:26).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jewish Ingenuity

There is some truth to the fact the Jewish race somehow wields control over the money in the world. In New York Jews administer the biggest banks.

It’s not surprising. Such wisdom came from our ancestors coming from Abraham. More specifically, the Patriarch Joseph who in his younger years was termed Joseph the dreamer, advised the Egyptians during the great famine in the world. That advice is read in Gen. 41:35 that of all the harvest at the time of plenty they should save a fifth part in preparation for the famine and drought to come. Thus that saving habit saved the Israelites, the Egyptians and the rest of the world at that time who came to Egypt to buy grain and food to live. We too can learn that saving habit amid the temptations to go on a shopping spree heedless of future needs.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Inverted Values

Values of things and realities are there. But there’s something wrong when they are inverted. That’s when priorities become misplaced.

For example, when you put money above the common good of people or humanity you will reap lots of problems in catastrophe or disaster due to environmental devastation, etc. That will cause more anguish in people’s lives. God shows us the right sense of values when in His Son Jesus Christ He said: “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His justice and all other things shall be given you as well. Do not worry about tomorrow: tomorrow will take care of itself. Each day has enough troubles of its own” (Mt. 6:33-34).

One business analyst, Robert Townsend, had known by experience that very point when he adverts in his popular book Up the Organization: “Money, like prestige, if sought directly, is almost never gained. It must come as a byproduct of a worthwhile objective or result which is sought and achieved for its own sake.” We reap the dire results of values inverted in the sufferings of our people. We must correct such mistake before it’s too late. We may be lured by the money attraction that has ever been the illusion behind corruption. In all sectors of high or low social standings, as we all can see, there’s ever that danger of values inverted. One blatant example, lots of money involved in the sale and production of abortifacient pills and the making of pornography but in the process the basic right to life, the life of the unborn is violated, and the resulting sexual license brings about the weakening or the break-up of family

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

RH Bill Supporters?

Legislators supporting or sponsoring the RH bill might not know the deep implications. It’s not pro-life in the sense that parts of its components favor contraceptives and abortion. Surely that would not be pro-life. Consider too that most contraceptives are abortifacient, i.e. will tend to terminate the life of the fetus. Just open your eyes and see what’s clearly happening in nations or societies where contraceptives are rampant. It’s an ageing population where mostly could be seen the elderly going around. That’s the fact and you don’t argue against facts.

That’s the reason why the Magisterium or teaching office of the Catholic Church has stood for life and the sexual act in a legitimate marriage must always be open to transmit new life or new births to society by its very nature. Therefore, we ought not support those legislators trying to kill new life and the very future of our nation. People are our main assets.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Blessed are the Pure of Heart (Mt. 5:8)

Amid the temptations of our world today, the worldliness, the pornographic propaganda in the internet, film and other media sources, we know of so many dangers to purity of heart, to the preservation of pristine virginity. In all these, God calls us to conversion, to a higher dimension of the world we see around us. Yes, God is offering us His insistent call to conversion, as we look to the eminentlives of the Saints that, by God’s grace, a fruit of prayer, God’s word, and the Sacraments, rose from the mire of sin and worldliness to the pedestal of true love and justice. Look to the example of the repentant St. Peter, the first pope, St. Mary Magdalene to whom the Risen Lord made His first appearances, a St. Augustine whose deep theological and philosophical insights have pervaded through centuries.

Purity of heart means a new supernatural dimension to life, based on God’s word. That’s the basis because “man lives by the words that come from the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4). That conversion and higher dimension regarding sexual relationships is clearly defined by the Catholic Church, as expressed in an address by John Paul II to the bishops of the United States of America :

“With the frankness of the Gospel, the compassion of Pastors and with the charity of Christ, you have dealt with the question of the indissolubility of marriage, correctly stating: ‘The Covenant between a man and a woman united in Christian marriage is as indissoluble and irrevocable as is the love of God for his people and the love of Christ for his Church.’

Exalting the beauty of marriage, you have rightly taken a position against both the theory of contraception and contraceptive practice, as did the encyclical letter Humanae Vitae. I myself, today, with the same conviction as Paul VI, ratify the teaching of that encyclical issued by my Predecessor ‘in virtue of the mandate confided us by Christ.’

Describing the sexual union between husband and wife as a special expression of their covenant of love, you have correctly said: ‘The sexual relationship is a human and moral good only within the sphere of marriage: outside marriage it is immoral.’

As men who speak with words of truth and the power of God’ (2 Cor. 6,7), as authentic teachers of the law of God and as compassionate pastors, you have correctly said: ‘Homosexual practice (which is to be distinguished from homosexual orientation) is morally deceitful.

“…Both the Church’s teaching, according to its constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have stated without any hesitation that masturbation is a practice grievously and intrinsically disordered” (Declaration of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith concerning certain questions of sexual ethics, 12-29-75, no. 9).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Evading Temptations

The devil generally tempts us through our inner pride and weak tendencies. Yet the idea of escaping from the devil's stratagems comes from Jesus' own words: "Pray not to be put to the test" (Lk. 22:40, 46). I believe that he meant that we should not be overcome by the trials of life, either from the temptations of the devil, the world and our own fleshly weakness or inner pride. The devil usually paints evil under the guise of good. You are in the midst of the world with all the fleeting allurements, trials and temptations..."In the world but not of the world" (Jn. 17:15).

A sure escape therefore is what Jesus strongly suggests: "Pray." St. Alphonsus de Liguori used to say: "Who prays is saved." So many powerful prayers there are, like the rosary of the Virgin Mary, the chaplet of Divine Mercy, etc. I just want to mention the chaplet referred to by St. Faustina in her book: Diary of Divine Mercy in My Soul" (words of Jesus to her soul). "Say unceasingly the chaplet that I have taught you. Whoever will recite it will receive great mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as their last hope of salvation. Even if there were a sinner most hardened, if he were to recite this chaplet only once, he would receive grace from My infinite mercy. I desire that the whole world know my infinite mercy. I desire to grant unimaginable graces to those souls who trust in My mercy." (paragraph 687). "Write that when they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior" (paragraph 1541).

While I mention vocal prayers as important, certainly this has to be accompanied by mental prayer or meditation which is a normal counterpart of standard prayer, as mind or soul and body go together. So in the book of Sirach 7:40 (or Ecclesiasticus) you read: "In everything you do, remember your end, and you will never sin." That concise English proverb carries deep meaning: "Prayer will make us leave off sinning or sinning will make us leave off prayer." In that same pragraph 1541 of St. Faustina's book on Divine Mercy, the Savior assures her of God's mercy for repentant sinners: "These souls have a right of priority to My compassionate Heart, they have first access to my mercy. I delight particularly in a soul which has placed its trust in My goodness." The Holy Bible confirms this in the 3 parables of God's mercy (the lost sheep, the lost drachma, and the prodigal son) which you read in Luke, chapter 15. God's merciful heart ever awaits you!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tolerance Policy

Different religions in the world all claim to have the truth. So instead of violent confrontations or squabbles, why not let there reign harmony and tolerance. Give truth a chance to prove itself through life and word of the members. Putting force, pressure and violence tends to overshadow the truth and people’s freedom to seek for clarity.

When you put pressure you engender dissatisfaction and opposition. After all, responsible people know the importance of the quest for truth and final destiny. We all can see how short-lived is this life. It’s important then to respect the freedom of every person since we know there is truth in what Jesus said: “The one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him” (Mt. 7:7). Don’t we have that familiar saying: Research will find a way?

Monday, November 9, 2009


In our day we hear of accounts of kidnappings and requests for ransom. Is this a moral way of solving human problems? You do not right a wrong with another wrong. And what about the distress and anguish of victims and their relatives?

God's law tells us: "Do unto others what you want others do unto you" (Mt. 7:12). That also includes not doing to others what we do not want done to us. We must remember that God is also one who avenges us for our evil deeds. So it is written in God's word: "Never repay evil with evil but let everyone see that you are interested only in the highest ideals. Do all you can to live at peace with everyone. Never try to get revenge; leave that, my friends, to God's anger. As scripture says: Vengeance is mine -- I will pay them back, the Lord promises. But there is more: If your enemy is hungry, you should give him food, and if he is thirsty, let him drink. Thus you heap red-hot coals on his head. (cf. Deut. 32:35; Ps. 21:21-22+).

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

No Imposing

While fishing, we do not force the bait into the fish’s mouth. The best way to sell something is letting people know by themselves how good a product or merchandise is. They can know if they are sincere enough. As Shakespeare in Hamlet once narrated: “to thine own self be true and it will follow as day follows night you will be true to every man”(Hamlet, Act i, sc. 3.)

The same with selling religious, political and legal matters. People can find for themselves which is true, effective and salutary for the whole person, body and soul. The fact that we are supposed to search for what is right and good is tantamount to say – ignorance of the law excuses no one. Whether or not people say all religions are the same, we must be sure of our eternal destiny by not relying on just anybody’s opinion but in all justice and sincerity seek for what can bring us to our eternal destiny. With all the confusion and deception in the world we have to seek for the reality of things, that is, the truth and nothing but the truth.

Find out for yourself how true is that Person who said: “I am the Way, the Truth and the life” (Jn. 14:6). Because He is the Savior of the world.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Gospel of Peace

The ancients have the saying: Ideae regunt mundum (translated: It is ideas that rule the world). Naturally erroneous and false ideas lead to wrong actions and motivations. What are the ideas that lead to the common good, especially the peace that we all long after? We know that without peace we could not educate our people or educate the young future generations, or even provide the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter, not to mention the basic rights of life and liberty.

Why, for example, the teachings and the life of Jesus Christ are called "gospel of peace" or "good news of peace" (Eph. 6:15). It is because it talks about love for one's enemies (cf. Mt. 5:18-45), forgiveness, detachment from the goods of the earth. "None of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his possessions" (Lk. 14:33). "What will a man gain if he wins the whole world and ruins his life? Or what has a man to offer in exchange for his life?" (Mt. 16:26). The common prayer of the Our Father underscores the virtue of forgiveness. Since love is the essence of Christianity, St. Paul summarizes it as: "Love is humble, love is patient, love is forgiving. I may have the eloquence of man or angels, or have the gift of prophecy or a faith that can move mountains, give away all that I possess or even let them take my body to burn it but without love I am nothing at all and will do me no good whatever" (cf. 1 Cor. 13:1-13).

Let us delve into the realm of right emotions and ideas and analyze what are those that outlast to bring us the needed peace. We can also remind people that things were made for man, not to be enslaved to things or to fight over things transitory. The gospel of peace is supposed to be shared to all peoples as well as all that is "true, good, pure, honest and noble," then will the God of peace be with us. (cf. Phil. 4:8).

Friday, October 30, 2009

What To Believe

(Character matters)

It’s a usual problem in our world today. Whom to believe? People generally seem to claim to have or tell the truth. Who in our world are we to believe in?

Now this is also connected with character. If he or she is one who usually tells the truth, says what he or she means, and means what he or she says, then there is probability of that person telling the truth, more specially if we have observed that person’s sincerity in seeking for the truth of things or events. Yea, it’s part of that person’s character.

I know St. Teresa once said that in this scheming world we do not have to believe just anybody but rather only those who put their faith into action and actually live the gospel of Jesus. That’s why Jesus criticized so much the Pharisees and lawgivers who were diligent in proclaiming God’s laws and decrees but negligent in putting them into practice. (cf. Mt. 23:1-12). Jesus criticized their greed for money and worldliness (see the whole chapter of Mt. 23).

St. Teresa had also said something which may make our words more trustworthy, if we keep them: “Never affirm anything unless you are sure it is true.” Many in our society just keep on talking as if they knew all but much of what they say is unfounded. For example, the RH bill supporters argue the tiny fetus has no human soul. Then with the world’s vacant spaces they assert our world is over-populated. Decide for yourself who is telling the truth. Is it the Church asking for respect for life or the materialist anti-lifers who think of compensation, money, pleasure, and comforts? There is no gainsaying the fact of man’s weakness in the face of temptation and from the Catholic catechism we know the source of grace to be prayer and the sacraments. St. Paul was humble enough to admit that when he said: “By the grace of God, I am what I am” (1 Cor. 15:10).

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Obedience Problems?

If it's part of the ten commandments that we respect authority, beginning with our parents, it is because that's for our own protection. God's word says it so: "You must obey all governing authorities. Since all government comes from God, the civil authorities were appointed by God, and so anyone who resists authority is rebelling against God's decision, and such an act is bound to be punished" (Rom. 13:1-3).

Look back in history. The rebellious angels were cast away from heaven and now they tempt man to do the same. Our first parents, Adam and Eve, violated God's command and were expelled from Paradise. It's the same tune of their temptations. That's why the battle-cry of St. Michael who fought in God's name against the rebellious angels is within his own name, which in Hebrew means "who is like unto God."

Obedience therefore shows our faithfulness to God for it is God who is the reason for our obedience. The great master in prayer and mystical theology, St. John of the Cross, a Carmelite, wrote in his Cautions against falling into the devil's snares. He says the devil usually portrays evil under the guise of good so as to tempt people. Obedience, according to St. John of the Cross, is a protection of our virtue. Thus, he advises not to go outside the line of obedience by doing whatever may seem a great success or charitable action. Even making the human defects or qualities of a superior or authority a condition for obedience is not appropriate, lest it become purely a human obedience, not an obedience to the invisible God to whom we owe all our loyalty. The devil tends to attract with the feeling of power and freedom telling us we can then be like gods. That is how he deceived Adam and Even to disobey God and thus were expelled from Paradise and lost all other privileges (cf. Gen. 3:1-24).

If the Lord asks our obedience and humility, it is for our own good and protection. God's only begotten Son shows this in His prayer at the Gethsemane garden. Thus He prayed: "Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me. Nevertheless, let your will be done, not mine" (Lk. 22:42). The things Jesus did out of obedience turned out to be the very essence of success and victory, in spite of apparent failure and frustration. That's why in the long history of the Church, priests and religious persons recognize that of all the promises or vows made, the vow or promise of obedience is the pre-eminent one. Those who sacrifice lives for obedience to God are cause for victory of the Church. As the writers of Church history attest: the blood of martyrs is the seed of Christianity.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Telling the Truth

Is the Church telling the truth or those politicians, lured by the money behind, who want to push for the RH bill? Most of the contraceptives are abortifacient, that is, can destroy life. Maybe they just don’t know. As Jesus says: “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do” (Lk. 23:34). But that does not mean they are excused from searching for the truth. Can they prove that what the Church teaches on the matter is a lie?

The subject of overpopulation does not mean a license to exterminate life by means of contraceptives or abortion. You are not supposed to heedlessly do an action when you doubt you may be violating a basic right such as respect for human life, since some argue there is no humanity in a small fetus. Why will it turn out a human being if the initial seed or fetus is not of human form? We better deliberate well since aborting human life is among the sins calling to God for vengeance.

It’s not worth enjoying sexual excesses with aid of contraceptives, if that may bring about the loss of eternal bliss. “What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and destroy himself in the process?” (Mt. 16:26).

The Deepening Process

If our spirituality is that superficial, it means we have overlooked certain aspects. Because a thing is said to be good when it possesses the normal characteristics, bad when an element is lacking.

In this respect, it's no use pointing accusing fingers at others, which will not solve the problems. What has been lacking in the conscience education of our people, or what wrong ideas have been disseminated therein?

Maybe we just need to remind about certain principles that are found in God's unerring word. For example, the following....."Do unto others what you want others do unto you" (Mt. 7:12). God's word asks us to do our good deeds, not for show or to gain human admiration if we are to gain the reward of our Father in heaven who sees everything and knows all things (cf. Mt. 6:1-34). In this same chapter, God assures us He will provide for our needs, so long as we trust in Him firmly and seek to do His will. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and live His righteousness and all other things shall be provided for. Does He not provide for the birds, the plants, the much more for you, o people of little faith?" (cf. Mt. 6:25-34).

Yes, people have to deepen their faith and trust in God who takes care of those who trust in Him. To deepen means to make an effort of faith and trust even amidst the various trials of this transitory life. Have they ever been disappointed, who trust in God and His beloved Son Jesus Christ, Our Savior who came down to earth to be near us, His people? He had said: "I myself will shepherd My people...." (Ezk. 34:11-16).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Freedom of Religion - Freedom of Conscience

We may be right but we don’t have the right to force others. Because we could also be wrong. No one is infallible but God alone, and those authorized to speak legitimately in God’s name. Our society would be more peaceful if we do away with such prejudices and respect one another. Each one, after all, is obliged and answerable to search for what is true and good. And, if he or she is not true to himself or herself, they will answer for that on God’s judgment day. What’s wrong in a society is that some impose their way of thinking or believing with the use of violence. God’s rule and law is: Do unto others what you want others do unto you. Such is the substance of the Law and the message of the Prophets (cf. Mt. 7:12)

What is important is to have that freedom to proclaim the truth freely without compulsion. After all, the truth will prove itself. As one common expression did say – “the truth will out”.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Misunderstood Stand

Why the Church does not side with abortion and contraceptives is based on her stance for life. And isn't that the prime right of man? Besides, the contraceptive mentality is one that promotes immoral promiscuity among people, just because the normal fruit of sexual relations is being obstructed, that is, conception of new life being stifled via abortifacients such as the pills.

Well, we have to look at the clear consequences. Open your eyes: Where most people use contraceptives, divorce abound; also immorality is on the rise. Just look around, judge for yourself. In certain localities it's the gray haired or old people that increase in number.

They talk of overpopulation, poverty, etc. but these are all fallacies that people put forward for their hidden agenda and vested interest. "The love of money is the root of all evils and there are some who, pursuing it, have wandered away from the faith, and so given their souls any number of fatal wounds" (1 Tim. 6:10). Let's not forget that annihilating life is among the four sins crying to heaven for vengeance.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Aftermath of the Storm

The September 26-27, 2009 tragedy of the storm in Manila and vicinity where more than 200 lives were lost is an awakening salvo for us. Time to have recourse to God and heed His laws. Money cannot pay for the value of a human life.

Also we have to do what we can on our part. After all we can learn from past mistakes. First of all, the infrastructure has to be investigated and evaluated. There's something wrong when flood waters reach the second floor of houses or the rooftop of cars and bungalows. Where has the drainage been blocked or clogged up? For the sake of the lives of our people, let's forget selfish interests and quarrels and concentrate on creating, not just a decorative infrastructure, but one that really protects the lives of our people in any possible eventualities of catastrophe, storm or floods. We must think two steps ahead for the good of man. And consider and evaluate too how environmental devastations (whether by mining or logging) may have had a part in this catastrophe.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

God is a God of Truth and Love

All the troubles and confusions of our day stem from man’s diverting from the ways of the Lord, which are the ways of truth and love. And that perennial problem is there when our first parents were deceived by the devil and were expelled from Paradise . The tactic of the devil, who is a liar and a murderer (Jn. 8:44) is always to present evil under the guise of good. In the first pages of the Bible, that is in chapter 3 of Genesis, is the narration of man’s fall. We have to watch out for those deceptive tactics, especially by aligning ourselves to the truth, that is by being true to God, to ourselves (don’t pretend to be what you are not) and to our neighbor. Even in language, be truthful. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Since a final arbiter is God’s truthful word, listen to the Almighty as He tells us to be sincere: “You will find me, yes, when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).

Do Not Vote For ....?

What's the sentiment of the people? Are we to vote for RH Bill supporters? No! Why? The position of the Church as outlined in Humanae Vitae Encyclical of Pope Paul VI (1968) expresses itself against abortion and contraceptives as being against life and promoting the Culture of Death. Just open your eyes and see the graying of many nations (more older people especially in the more materially advanced nations and less young people). That's the phenomenon. And there are more and more abortions and most contraceptives are abortifacients, that is, deleterious to the human fetus. Where they practice abortions, divorce statistics tend to rise. So don't be blind, check the facts sincerely, seek the truth.

It's not worth voting for such types of legislators (Senators or Congress people or leaders of our country) who only care for money, not the rights of the people, of which the first is: human life. Did not Jesus say: What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but destroys himself (life and soul) in the process? (Mt. 16:26). Willful murder (including abortion) is one of the four sins crying to heaven for vengeance ( the other three are sodomy or unnatural sex, oppression of the poor and defrauding laborers of their wages).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Priority to Divine Mercy

The popularity of the Divine Mercy devotion is due to the fact of man’s sinfulness and our urgent need of obtaining God’s merciful action. This devotion has so much been strengthened by the writings of St. Faustina as compiled in her book: The Diary of Divine Mercy in my Soul.

The fact, we have to admit, is that first of all we are all sinners in need of God’s Mercy. It’s only the proud who may dare to say “I have no sin.” Yet we know from looking all around our world the evidence of man’s weakness, sinfulness and corruption. It’s only a hypocrite who pretends to be without fault or weakness.

Thus in paragraph 1541 of St. Faustina’s book we read the words of Jesus to her: “My daughter, encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you. It pleases Me to grant everything they ask of Me by saying the chaplet. When hardened sinners say it, I will fill their souls with peace, and the hour of their death will be a happy one. Write this for the benefit of distressed souls: When a soul sees and realizes the gravity of its sins, when the whole abyss of the misery into which it immersed itself is displayed before its eyes, let it not despair, but with trust let it throw itself into the arms of My mercy, as a child into the arms of its beloved mother. These souls have a right of priority to My compassionate Heart, they have first access to My mercy.

Tell them that no soul that has called upon My mercy has been disappointed or put to shame. I delight particularly in a soul which has placed its trust in My goodness. Write that when they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the just Judge but as the merciful Savior.”