Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Ground Work Laid Down for the Talks Between the Society of St. Pius X and the Holy See

TheDialogue between the SSPX and the Holy See begin October 26, 2009. The talks were held at the headquarters of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Ecclesia Dei. It was reported that the meeting was cordial and that the themes and points for discussion where laid down.

Let us pray hard so that once and for all that this wall of separation will be turn down. May this talks bring to light the teachings of Christ more clearly. God makes all things work for good and especially for those that love Him.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pope Extends Generosity of Communion to Traditional Anglicans Wishing Communion with the Catholic Church

"We are profoundly moved by the generosity of the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. He offers in this Apostolic Constitution the means for “former Anglicans to enter into the fullness of communion with the Catholic Church”. He hopes that we can “find in this canonical structure the opportunity to preserve those Anglican traditions precious to us and consistent with the Catholic faith”. He then warmly states “we are happy that these men and women bring with them their particular contributions to our common life of faith”.
- Statement from the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion (Read more from Rorate Coeli

Glory to God in the Highest.

Archbishop Burke Celebrates the Mass of All Ages at the Colonade, St. Peter's Basilica

"There has been almost no coverage anywhere in the mainstream press about an extraordinary event that occurred yesterday morning in St. Peter's Basilica -- the celebration by Archbishop Raymond Burke, head of the Apostolic Signature, of the first High Mass according to the old Latin rite in St. Peter’s Basilica in 40 years, since 1969. And because of that lack of press coverage, the old Mass, that "mysterious tapestry of texts and actions," as Cardinal Ratzinger once termed it -- sometimes illogical, sometimes jumbled, but nevertheless always wonderful -- returned to St. Peter’s Basilica after 40 years without any special notice at all, almost, as it were, silently, almost like "a thief in the night."" (October 19, 2009 zenit.org)

From You Tube

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Climate Change: Rainy Days are Here

This morning we were waken up by heavy rains, gloomy skies with thunders rolling. As I was on my way to work, I learned that the highway leading to Legazpi City was blocked by boulders and mud from Mount Mayon Volcano. The road was impassable and we were advised to stay home. On my way home I passed by our Parish Church and even if I was not able to report for work this did not dampen my mood. I took this as a positive event, a time to rest and to regain my concentration. I was inspired once again to take photo of this church. This is where I wsa baptized and confirmed. My childhood years revolved around this church and whatever love I have for the Church was shaped by my experience in this church.

Feast of God the Father?

I came across an interesting piece of news from the website of the Catholic Bishop's Conference of the Philippines and I quote: "Davao Archbishop Fernando Capalla has reiterated the objection made by the Episcopal Commission on the Liturgy of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (ECL-CBCP) to the proposal of a group to have a liturgical feast in honor of God the Father, saying there is no convincing biblical and theological reason for such a devotion and feast." CBCP News (Emphasis supplied).

Personally I agree with the Archbishop because every celebration of the Eucharist or Mass and the sacraments are all God-centered. So why should there be a separate liturgical feast? The worship of God should not be downgraded to the level of liturgical feasts celebrated in honor of a saint. God is the center of every thing. In fact every form of devotion be they novenas, rosary, way of the cross should lead us to the summit of our worship which is the HOLY MASS. I remember one of the books I have read about Mother Angelica where she said that these novenas are like vitamin pills that give us energy to go on. But they are not the center but only a means to an end. I would opine that there are two main criteria to judge whether a certain devotion is fruitful, (1) Results in the sanctification and charity of the devotees, and (2) Deep love and devotion for the Holy Mass. If a certain devotional formulas drives us away from the Mass then it is not a genuine devotion. In our country we people who give to much emphasis on novenas but neglects the main focus which is to know Christ and to pattern our lives to His. Hence I agree with the good archbishop that there is indeed no theological nor biblical reasons to have a feast in honor of God the Father because every Mass and every act of worship and devotion should be a feast for God.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our lady of Salvation: Patroness of the Diocese of Legazpi

Mary, Our Lady of Salvation

Today was a pleasant afternoon for all of us. After doing our field work with my Masters students we visited the Shrine of Our Lady of Salvation, the patroness of the Diocese of Legazpi. The shrine of Our Lady is located in the village of Joroan around 38 kilometers from the city of Legazpi. Thousands of pilgrims visit this shrine. These morning hundreds of high school students participated in the annual youth pilgrimage to the shrine.

Here are some photos. No one will ever fail to notice the breath taking view as one ascend the mountains on the way to the Shrine.

The Image of the Sacred Heart

The Image of the Immaculate Heart
The Shrine-Church, Notice the centrality of the Blessed Sacrament.

The Altar appears to be somewhat Benedictine in arrangement with seven votive candes, this morning the Bishop officiated a pontifical Mass. The cross was however situated on the side rather than on the center.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Of Pro Abortion Catholic Politicians and The Eucharist

"When the Church states that to take part in or request an abortion, to take an active role in one way or the other, the person incurs automatically excommunication. This means that politicians should become aware and they should be helped to become aware of the gravity of their conduct. When they approve laws against life, in favour of abortion or euthanasia, priest and bishops should say this. I don't know if there's going to be a document on the politicians who are in favour of abortion, but the politicians have to be conscious of the teachings of the Church that I have just pointed out" (Interview with Cardinal Canizares Llovera by LifeSiteNews.com )

There are times when people who approved of abortion reason out casually that receiving that Eucharist is like a social function where one cannot be excluded and to do so would be tantamount to discrimination. This is where modern politicians get it wrong. The Eucharist is not a mere social event where everyone is accepted. It is the highest expression of communion - oneness and unity of faith. The faith that saves us. This is the reason why anyone who accepts communion must be in a state of grace and in agreement with the teachings of Christ and His Church. Interpretation of Christ's teaching is not a private matter but it is the Church designated by Christ to teach. Communion is a pledge of salvation. The gravity of this matter was expressed by St. Paul when he ascribes condemnation to the person who receives the Body of Christ unworthily. For indeed it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God says the Scriptures. Bishops must be vigilant on this and not allow political accommodation to prevail. A coward attitude should not be masquerade as pastoral prudence. Often negligence and fear hides itself in the terms of "pastoral care". Our pastors should imitate St. John the Baptist who without fear reproves Herod for his adulterous relationship. Let us pray for our priests.

The Tyrrany of Secular Culture

This is indeed a chilling news - that if Christians would not act on the legal front, we will find ourselves marginalize and back to the catacombs.

"Shirley Chaplin, a Christian nurse from Exeter, has been forced to accept a transfer from her current position after disciplinary action for wearing a cross necklace to work......Recently, her boss at The Royal Devon and Exeter Trust Hospital told her to take the cross off, and she refused, stating that it is an expression of her Christian faith. Chaplin was threatened with disciplinary action for allegedly violating the uniform policy, and wearing something that is a potential "health risk" to her and her patients." (zenit.org September 24, 2009)

This is a current reality and trend in the Secular West, but we should be thankful that here in the Philippines, people are still attached to their religious faith that even government offices and establishments are adorned with religious symbols. But since our country has the penchant for imitating the west there will also come a time when we will adopt these culture. Let's pray that this trend will not overcome our faith and freedom of expression. How important it is for our priests and bishops to be vigilant, to feed the sheep and to emphasize the importance of the Church.

Friday, October 2, 2009

A Visit to Hualien, Taiwan, ROC

Last September 8, 2009 I had the privilege of visiting Hualien, Taiwan to participate in the APPRA Conference. I took a chance to enjoy the place even if the time was limited. I have been wanting to post these pictures earlier but because of the business of time, I have to procrastinate. But here it is...

There is a night market in Hualien. I think that Chinese cities are famous for their night markets. The photos below shows the various Chinese cuisine which is sure to delight the appetite. Here eating is for pleasure rather than feeding on hunger.

A display of semi-precious stones, like agate, jade etc....

I cant identify these food. I would guess these are cherries ???

The photo below shows the students' residence halls. In the background are the tall and imposing mountains of Central Taiwan. I took this photo form the hotel window.

The Train Station in Hualien.

The Campus of the National Dong Hua University.

The Taroko gorge.

Joel Baylon, D.D. as the New Bishop of Legazpi

The Vatican announced at 6:00 PM Thursday (Manila Time) the appointment of Masbate Bishop Joel Baylon as new bishop of the Diocese of Legazpi in Albay province.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Leave the Church Doors Open

"Cardinal Schönborn urged, "Do everything possible, and the impossible, to allow the faithful and persons seeking God -- whom God awaits -- to have access to Jesus in the Eucharist: Don't close the doors of your churches, please!" He observed that there are many people who no longer go to Mass, but will still step inside a church if it is open. They may come to light a candle, he noted, or a grandmother might visit with her grandchildren to show small signs of devotion. For these, the prelate exhorted, "Let us leave our churches open!" (a Zenith.org report, October 1, 2009)

This is a very interesting comment from the Cardinal Archbishop of Austria. I remember during my childhood way back in the 70s churches were most of the time open. There would be a group of people or individuals praying here and there. Those flickering votive candles remind me that this is the house of God and that our little prayers are like flickering candles that stands before the throne of God. In our finiteness we transcend the infiniteness of God. We feel the love of God and the warmth of His presence. The quiet atmosphere in the church foster solitude and commune with God. A solace and refuge from the storms of life. How sad that even as some churches remain close, many of our priests are hardly visible in the Church. I do not why our priests cannot spend sometime inside the church. Just praying or meeting people as they come. Lets pray for our priests so that they may have the devotion and dedication of St. John Baptist Mary Vianney, the simple cure of Ars.

Bracing for Another Super Typhoon

As the country prepares for another super typhoon, let us pray and seek the Mercy of God to spare this poor country from devastation.

"Eternal Father I offer you the body, blood, soul and divinity of your only beloved Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."