Sunday, May 29, 2011

Philippines: Last Nation Standing

"A new intolerance is spreading...When for example, in the name of non-descrimination, people try to force the Catholic Church to change her position on homosexuality or the ordination of women (or divorce), then that means that SHE IS NO LONGER ALLOWED TO LIVE OUT HER OWN IDENTITY AND THAT, INSTEAD, AN ABSTRACT, NEGATIVE RELIGION IS BEING MADE INTO A TYRANNICAL STANDARD THAT EVERYONE MUST FOLLOW." (Benedict XVI, Light of the World: A Conversation With Peter Seewald, 52.)

May God preserve the Philippines from a Divorce Law!

Follow the link:
PHL now only nation in the world without divorce; Malta gives in - World - GMA News Online - Latest Philippine News

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Benedict XVI on Liturgical Creativity

" (Liturgy) is not about our doing something, about our demonstrating our creativity, in other words, about displaying everything we can do. Liturgy is precisely not a show, a piece of theater, a spectacle. Rather it gets its life from the Other. This has to become evident, too. This is why the fact that the ecclesial form has been given in advance is so important. It can be reformed in matters of detail, but it cannot be reinvented every time by the community. It is not a question, as I said, of self-production. The point is to go out of and beyond ourselves, to give ourselves to be touched by Him."

Benedict XVI, Light of the World: A Conversation with Peter Seewald, 156.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

On Emmaus

At the end of that Easter day, the two disciples reached Emmaus without realizing that the Lord Jesus has been walking with them all along. They were forlorn because of the strange events that took place in Jerusalem: the Crucifixion of Jesus and stories of his missing body. They were sad because they were slow to believe that all these happened in order to fulfill what the Scriptures say about the need for the Christ to suffer and die in order to enter into his glory. Although they did not recognize their risen Lord, “they felt their hearts burning within them (cf. v. 32) as he spoke to them and ‘explained’ the Scriptures. The light of the Word unlocked the hardness of their hearts and ‘opened their eyes’ (cf. v. 31). Amid the shadows of the passing day and the darkness that clouded their spirit, the Wayfarer brought a ray of light which rekindled their hope and led their hearts to yearn for the fullness of light. ‘Stay with us’, they pleaded. And he agreed. Soon afterwards, Jesus' face would disappear, yet the Master would ‘stay’ with them, hidden in the ‘breaking of the bread’ which had opened their eyes to recognize him.” (John Paul II, Mane Nobiscum Domine, 1.)

Like the disciples, we find ourselves forlorn. Our bitter disappointments and problems hinder us from recognizing Him who walks along our way. We imagine ourselves to be abandoned and so we despair. But it is a great mistake to think that the Lord has abandoned us. “Amid our questions and difficulties, and even our bitter disappointments, the divine Wayfarer continues to walk at our side, opening to us the Scriptures and leading us to a deeper understanding of the mysteries of God. When we meet him fully, we will pass from the light of the Word to the light streaming from the ‘Bread of life’, the supreme fulfillment of his promise to ‘be with us always, to the end of the age’ (cf. Mt 28:20).” (Mane Nobiscum Domine, 2.)

The Risen Lord meets us along the road of life. Whenever the Scriptures are read to us, the Lord Jesus speaks with us. Whenever the Eucharist is broken for us, he gives himself to us as food and drink so that we may abide in him and he in us. If only we recognize and receive often his real presence in the Eucharist, we will surely find comfort and strength in him who stays with us, hidden in the breaking of bread.

Padre Pio suffered for 50 years the pain of Christ as he bore on his own flesh the wounds of the Savior. His pain was not only physical. It was likewise spiritual as in his soul he experienced the desolation of Christ on the Cross. He suffered for 50 long years and he found constant consolation in the Eucharist. Let us conclude our meditation with his prayer to Jesus:

Prayer of Padre Pio

Stay with me, Lord, for it is necessary to have You present so that I do not forget You. You know how easily I abandon You.

Stay with me, Lord, because I am weak and I need Your strength, that I may not fall so often.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my life, and without You, I am without fervor.

Stay with me, Lord, for You are my light, and without You, I am in darkness.

Stay with me, Lord, to show me Your will.

Stay with me, Lord, so that I hear Your voice and follow You.

Stay with me, Lord, for I desire to love You very much, and always be in Your company.

Stay with me, Lord, if You wish me to be faithful to You.

Stay with me, Lord, for as poor as my soul is, I wish it to be a place of consolation for You, a nest of Love.

Stay with me, Jesus, for it is getting late and the day is coming to a close, and life passes, death, judgement, eternity approaches. It is necessary to renew my strength, so that I will not stop along the way and for that, I need You. It is getting late and death approaches. I fear the darkness, the temptations, the dryness, the cross, the sorrows. O how I need You, my Jesus, in this night of exile!

Stay with me tonight, Jesus, in life with all its dangers, I need You.

Let me recognize You as Your disciples did at the breaking of bread, so that the Eucharistic Communion be the light which disperses the darkness, the force which sustains me, the unique joy of my heart.

Stay with me, Lord, because at the hour of my death, I want to remain united to You, if not by Communion, at least by grace and love.

Stay with me, Jesus, I do not ask for divine consolation, because I do not merit it, but, the gift of Your Presence, oh yes, I ask this of You!

Stay with me, Lord, for it is You alone I look for Your Love, Your Grace, Your Will, Your Heart, Your Spirit, because I love You and ask no other reward but to love You more and more.
With a firm love, I will love You with all my heart while on earth and continue to love You perfectly during all eternity.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

John Paul II and the Divine Mercy Devotion

Divine Mercy Sunday this year is not an ordinary one because it will be blessed by the beatification of John Paul II. This well loved pope is very much a part of the Divine Mercy devotion. When he was the Archbishop of Krakow, he lifted the ban from the Diary of Sr. Faustina Kowalska. As Pope, he canonized Sr. Faustina and also established the Sunday after Easter as Divine Mercy Sunday and graced this day with indulgences. Thus, it did not surprise us that the Lord called his faithful servant to his rest on the evening of April 2, 2005, which was the vigil of Divine Mercy Sunday.

That the Lord should want the Feast of Mercy to be celebrated on the Sunday after Easter already shows us that the Paschal Mystery of the Lord is to be appreciated with the theme of Mercy. On this day, the Lord Jesus invites St. Thomas to probe his wounded hands with his fingers and his side with his hand: “Doubt no longer but believe.” The Sacred Wounds of the Lord remind us of the Cross – that cruel instrument of torture and death which was transformed into an instrument of salvation. Pope John Paul wrote in Dives in Misericordia: “Even in the glorification of the Son of God, the Cross remains, that Cross which…speaks and never ceases to speak of God the Father, who is absolutely faithful in his eternal love for man…Believing in the crucified Son means ‘seeing the Father’, (it) means believing that love is present in the world and that this love is more powerful than any kind of evil in which individuals, humanity, or the world are involved. Believing in this love means believing in mercy. For mercy is an indispensable dimension of love; it is as it were love’s second name…” (Dives in Misericordia, 7) “In the eschatological fulfillment mercy will be revealed as love, while in the temporal phase, in human history, which is at the same time the history of sin and death, love must be revealed above all as mercy and must also be actualized in mercy…It is in the Cross that the revelation of merciful love attains its culmination.” (Ibid.)

“In his resurrection, Christ has revealed the God of merciful love, precisely because he accepted the Cross as the way to the Resurrection. And it is for this reason that – when we recall the Cross of Christ, his Passion and death – our faith and hope are centered on the Risen One; on that Christ who ‘on the evening of that day, the first day of the week,…stood among them’ in the Upper Room, ‘breathes on them and said to them: Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’ Here is the Son of God, who in his Resurrection experienced in a radical way mercy shown to himself – that is to say the love of the Father which is more powerful than death. And it is also the same Christ, the Son of God…who reveals himself as the inexhaustible source of mercy, of that same love …that is more powerful than sin. The Paschal Christ is the definitive incarnation of mercy, its living sign in salvation history and in eschatology. In the same spirit, the liturgy of Eastertide places on our lips the words of the Psalm: Misericordias Domini in aeternum cantabo.” (Ibid.)