Sunday, November 30, 2008

Advent: A Spiritual Season

His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI calls the season of advent a spiritual season: "The word that sums up this particular state in which we await something that is supposed to manifest itself but which we also already have a glimpse and foretaste of, is "hope." Advent is the spiritual season of hope par excellence, and in this season the whole Church is called to be hope, for itself and for the world. The whole spiritual organism of the mystical body assumes, as it were, the "color" of hope. The whole people of God begins the journey, drawn by this mystery: that our God is "the God who comes" and who calls us to come to meet him. In what way? Above all in that universal form of hope and expectation that is prayer, which finds its eminent expression in the Psalms, human words by which God himself has placed and continually places the invocation of his coming on the lips and hearts of believers."[Emphasis supplied] ...for more on this continue reading at English.

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Pros and Cons of Inter-faith Dialogue

"Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, spoke of the benefits and the necessity of dialogue at the opening of the academic year of the Pontifical Theological Faculty of Southern Italy, reported L'Osservatore Romano today. 'Falling into syncretism' is the risk the cardinal warned against, though he said this danger is relative if believers use their reason to go deeper in their faith and can thus defend it. In that case, the risk becomes a grace, because 'it puts believers in a permanent state of spiritual vigilance and obliges them to be consistent and to witness.' The Vatican official acknowledged that interreligious dialogue can be particularly challenging for Christians because 'it presents the problem of how to reconcile our faith in Christ as sole mediator with appreciation for the positive values we find in other religions.' " For more on this Read

Reflection for the First Sunday of Advent

Once again as we approach the beginning of advent, May our Lord fill our hearts with joyful expectation and heart full of repentance. Knowing that mortal sinners that we are, we are not worthy of the grace of God. This feeling of repentance is a repentance that is filled with hope, because we know that Sunshine follows the night of mourning. May this season of advent make us ever humble to obey the will of God in everything and to shun human pride, avarice, and vainglory. Amen.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Visit to Uppsala Domkyrkan (Cathedral) [Third Part]

In a side chapel formerly the Chapel of the Virgin Mary, lies the remains of King Gustav Vasa of Sweden. A very important figure in the History of Sweden and in the History of the Church of Sweden

In another side chapel the image of the Pantocrator is venerated.

An exquisite tapestry in one of the side chapel, depicting the lives of Sweden's Kings and their devotion to the national Church

A beautiful, fully detailed carvings of the lives of Jesus and Mary

The Pulpit

At the center of the nave is the movable altar, with two lighted candles, with the Chalice covered by the veil. This Cathedral is also the National Shrine of the Church of Sweden consecrated in 1435.


One of the side chapels on the left side of the nave. The altar is attached to the reredos. The reredo is of intricate carvings

The nave of the cathedral. This Church also contains the remains of Swedish Kings, religious dignitaries and other Persons of great achievements and national significance.

The High Altar

The Nave and the pews

Visit to Uppsala Domkyrkan (Cathedral) [Second part]

Near the Cathedral

The rear view of the Cathedral

Rear view of the Cathedral

Karl Gustav's Monument

The High Altar

The Cathedral as seen from a side street.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Visit to Uppsala Domkyrkan (Cathedral) [First Part]

The Uppsala Cathedral Cathedral as Seen from the Window of the Hotel where I am Staying

A cold and freezing morning in Uppsala, Sweden. This is the picture of the Cathedral as seen from my hotel room. A wonderful thing to behold. This Cathedral is one of the largest and and oldest in the Scandinavian region. This is actually the Church where the Kings and Queens of Sweden where crowned during earlier times.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Christ the King Patio of St. John the Baptist Parish of Tabaco City, Albay, Philippines

The Shrine and altar of Christ the King, Undergoing Renovation,

the painter's canopy overshadows the full view of the reredos

It’s heartening to see the Patio of our Great Church undergoing refurbishing. St. John the Baptist Parish Church is the Church of my childhood. I call it “church of my childhood” because this is the church where I was raised as a child. This is where my great grandparents, grandparents and my parents were baptized, confirmed, married, and some where requiem masses were said. This is also the church where I received my baptism and confirmation. I missed so many aspects and artifacts of this church. The high altar is gone, the communion rail is gone too, the antique statues are no longer displayed but someway somehow the faith has survived. But I am glad that our current pastor has undertaken this project of refurbishing the patio. Patios are important because this is where processions and Easter liturgies are performed. On November 23, 2008 at 4:00 p.m., that is tomorrow, even the if the refurbishing has not been completed our Pastor Monsignor Ramon Trongqued has announced that there will be a Eucharistic procession and an outdoor Mass at 4:00 p.m.. This Church and Patio reminds me of the many devotions we have undertaken as children. The via crucis, the processions in honor of the saints, the Easter dawn celebrations. After some years of neglect, the patio is now rehabilitated. Once again it will be a testament to the faith of the people of this City and it will be a sign to beckon the unbeliever to seek Christ, learn from Him and take His yoke. For His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

The Old Building of the Catholic Central School, just beside the Church

As a student I was a voracious reader. This is the Library of the Catholic Central School, now St. Louise de Marrilac School operated by the Daughters of Charity [of St. Vincent de Paul]. I fondly remember this old but beautiful building. I use to frequent this library during my free time. It was here where I found copies of the Baltimore Catechism. Even if these were not our textbooks (that was in the early 80s when the religious educators were experimenting with the so called “new approaches” in teaching Catechism, that the Baltimore catechism were considered obsolete by some),being a voracious reader, I devoured these books. In the quietness and ambiance of the library, I learned the sound and rudiments of the faith. I thank our kind librarian for being so nice to me and gave me liberty to read and borrow those books.

The Church and Belfry

The Patio of Christ the King, Parish of St. John the Baptist, Tabaco City. This Baroque stone Church was built by the Secular Clergy more than a century ago. This structure was recognized by the National Commission on the Culture and the Arts as one of the 25 Baroque Churches in the Philippines considered to be a national treasure. Its Spanish-Mexican Architecture has unique markings of masons who built this stone-lime church.

Christ the King Patio, the reredos and the Church seen in the background

The Reredo - Altar

A closer look at the out door altar

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Observance of Traditional Calendar is Intrinsic to the Celebration of the Traditional Latin Mass

The Office of the Ecclesia Dei Commission has made a ruling that Traditionalist Catholics can use the Traditional Calendar Feasts. This is in contradiction to the earlier statement made by the Bishops Conference of England and Wales. Here is an excerpt from the Catholic Herald, as reported by Anna Arco in an article entitled; “Vatican Allows Traditionalists to keep Holidays”. Here is the excerpt -

“The Vatican has told traditionalists they have the right to celebrate major feast days according to the older calendar even where they have been transferred to the Sunday by the bishops.This appears to contradict a statement made by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales earlier this year. Responding to a dubium (query) by the Latin Mass Society, the Ecclesia Dei Commission, which deals with the implementation of the Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum, said the older calendar is legitimate. Unlike the new calendar, in which the feast moves to the Sunday if the bishops' conference transfers it, the rubrics for the 1962 calendar allow for the obligation to be transferred to the Sunday without moving the feast.”….

For more on this report you can visit the The Catholic Herald.

Personal Comment: It is my personal opinion that the observance of the Traditional Roman Calendar (1962 edition) is intrinsic to the celebration of the TLM. There is a temptation among some to use or mix the readings and feasts of the Novus Ordo with the TLM. Sometimes Priests who were so used to the Novus Ordo Mass could not help but mixed their sermons with references to the readings from the Calendar used in the Novus Ordo. I think that the readings and feasts in the New Calendar should not be mixed up with the TLM. These two forms of the Roman Rite have distinct theological emphasis and the calendar is a part of that mosaic. Mixing it with the Novus Ordo will undermine the integrity and wholeness of the rite.