Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Think about...

Failure has much more to teach
you than success.  Once you have
climbed the hill, there's no place
to go but down; but having 
stumbled on the climb provides
lots of opportunities to advance.
It is what you learn that makes 
for a success.

Monday, February 24, 2014

On Happiness....

HAPPINESS is a daily decision. You
don't find it in the absence of problems.
You find it despite the problems.

Be Happy all the way with the Lord.
Even in the worst of times, never
should our trials make us forget to
count our blessings because
GOD is Good.... All the time!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, February 23, 2014 with Relection

1ST READING - Leviticus 19:1-2, 17-18
The Lord said to Moses, “Speak to the whole Israelite community and tell them: Be holy, for I, the Lord your God, am holy. 17 “You shall not bear hatred for your brother and sister in your heart. Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen, do not incur sin because of him. 18 Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the Lord.”
P S A L M - Psalm 103:1-2, 3-4, 8, 10, 12-13
R: The Lord is kind and merciful.
Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all my being, bless his holy name. 2Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (R) He pardons all your iniquities, he heals all your ills. He redeems your life from destruction, he crowns you with kindness and compassion. (R) Merciful and gracious is the Lord, slow to anger and abounding in kindness. 10 Not according to our sins does he deal with us, nor does he requite us according to our crimes. (R) 12 As far as the east is from the west, so far has he put our transgressions from us. 13 As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him. (R)
2nd READING - 1 Corinthians 3:16-23
16 Brothers and sisters: Do you not know that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for the temple of God, which you are, is holy. 18 Let no one deceive himself. If any one among you considers himself wise in this age, let him become a fool so as to become wise. 19For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in the eyes of God, for it is written: “He catches the wise in their own ruses,” 20 and again: “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are vain.” 21 So let no one boast about human beings, for everything belongs to you, 22 Paul or Apollos or Cephas, or the world or life or death, or the present or the future: all belong to you, 23 and you to Christ, and Christ to God.
Whoever keeps the word of Christ, the love of God is truly perfected in him.
Matthew 5:38-48
38 Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ 39 But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one as well. 40 If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand over your cloak as well. 41 Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go for two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who wants to borrow. 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust.46 For if you love those who love you, what recompense will you have? Do not the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet your brothers only, what is unusual about that? Do not the pagans do the same? 48 So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”


Nanay was a tough woman. A true-blooded disciplinarian. Strict and straightforward. Hers was the only voice we would obey in the house.  I have a half-brother, who is as old as I am and almost looks like me but looks exactly like Tatay. Nanay knew about him but would rather not talk about the issue. My siblings and I would go out with him in secret, lest we catch her ire. He and his mother were Nanay’s enemies. Until she attended the Catholic Life in the Spirit Seminar and joined a local Charismatic community. She mellowed down.

       Then one day, my half-brother decided to pay me a visit in my parish. I was out. Nanay was there. Tatay was there. Tatay introduced them to each other. My half-brother told them about his forthcoming wedding.

       Consequently, Nanay required all my siblings to attend the wedding of our brother (no longer half-brother). She also did. Face to face with the other woman, she initiated an exchange of pleasantries. Later on, at the baptism of my brother’s son, Nanay was the doting mother who entertained the guests and supervised the food. She had learned to love her enemies. When Nanay died, the first floral arrangement came from this brother of mine with the words, “Alaala ng Anak, Manugang at mga Apo.”

       I credit Nanay’s change of heart to the new life in the Spirit she received. But more than this, she discovered the liberating effect of forgiveness. While it is easier and fulfilling to get even, there is untold joy in being able to “love your enemies and pray for your persecutors.” The challenge is to love those for whom we harbor ill feelings and who are most difficult to love, accept and forgive. Doing so makes us true children of the Father.

       A friend once asked me why she always seems to cross paths with a person she hates. The more that she wishes to avoid her, the more she would accidentally meet her. I told her it’s God who makes them meet — for them to make time for forgiveness and for old wounds to be healed.Fr. Erick Y. Santos, OFS
REFLECTION QUESTION: Have you experienced the liberating effect of forgiving another person unconditionally?
Lord Jesus, touch my heart and soften it so that I may learn to forgive.

St. Polycarp, bishop and martyr, pray for us.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Lenten reading acclaimed by Mother Teresa, Fr. Groeschel, & Fr. Hardon


In Gethsemane,
Jesus begged His
disciples to
"watch one hour"
with Him.


This Lent will you finally manage to watch one hour with Jesus, or even grow closer to him in prayer?

If you're uncertain, then consider this remarkable book, written in Jerusalem in the 1920s by a Dominican priest who lived there.

It will make it easy for you to watch not just one hour with Jesus, but many.

"By means of this book," said Mother Teresa of Calcutta, "we enter right into the Heart of Jesus and discover how precious we are to Him and how much He longs for our love in return."  

 The late John Cardinal O'Connor called this book "beautiful, devotional, and insightful."

Fr. Benedict Groeschel proclaimed it
"a powerful aid to meditation"
Dr. Alice von Hildebrand says
"This book should be in the hands
of every single Christian."

 That's because its author, Rev. A.D. Sertillanges (1863-1948), wrote with the care of a scholar, the eye of a cinematographer, and the tenderness of a saint.

In the pages of this book, What Jesus Saw from the Cross, you'll be jostled by crowds as you enter Jerusalem with Jesus, choke on the dust of the narrow streets, breathe the rich smells of the city at festival time, and share the Last Supper with the disciples.  

You'll weep in Gethsemane, witness the kiss of Judas and the lying accusations made before Herod and Pilate. You'll stumble with Jesus through narrow streets, bumped by pack animals and hawkers selling wares to the thrill-seeking crowd, sneering at the Cross Jesus bears.  

You'll weep as soldiers drive home the nails and tremble as darkness covers the earth when Jesus dies.

So intense is Fr. Sertillanges' account of Jesus' last days --- and so faithful to the Gospel --- that generations of Catholics have used What Jesus Saw from the Cross to prepare themselves for Easter.  

 The late Fr. John Hardon said that:
"Father Sertillanges' book immerses us into every detail, every event, and every emotion that accompanies the drama of Christ's suffering and sacrifice on the cross. After reading this book, every Christian will experience the vivid sense of being an eyewitness to the death of His Lord and view the Crucifixion as a personal event that touches his daily life. This is a book for all times, for all places, and for all people, especially our own age."

* * *  

Will your faith grow
this Lent, or will
you settle with
"just getting by?"  

Join Mother Teresa, Cardinal O'Connor, Fr. Benedict Groeschel, Dr. Alice von Hildebrand, and countless other good Catholics who have nourished their faith with What Jesus Saw from the Cross.

by Fr. A.G. Sertillanges
252 pages $18.95
Available in Paperback and Ebook

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This is the book you need for thosetimes in your life when even your most strenuous efforts to follow Christ end in frustration. Christian Self-Masteryexplains why following Him can be so difficult — and how you can start now to make progress even in the most vexing areas of your life.

Author Fr. Basil W. Maturin insists that no matter how hard you’re trying now, you can have a better relationship with God and greater self-mastery — if you follow his simple steps to getting your passions in check and improving your knowledge of your own motives, desires, and fears.

Fr. Maturin emphasizes the crucial role that self-discipline plays in your spiritual life and gives you solid ways you can distinguish it from counterfeits and avoid common mistakes people make when they try to change their habits and live for God.

This extraordinary book will help you in myriad ways to rise above your limitations and truly meet God!

Start on the way to true self-mastery as you learn:

  • Why it’s dangerous for you to try to adopt a large number of spiritual disciplines all at once
  • Two ways to avoid self-deception when you look at yourself (caution: you’ll probably be surprised at who you really are!)
  • Self-discipline: how it will restore your soul to its full power. Three things you must have in order to gain this power
  • The mistake many people make when trying to rid themselves of evil thoughts: are you falling into this trap too?
  • Love: the holy school that will purify and ennoble yours — and help you steer clear of prevalent modern counterfeits
  • And more that will show you the value of self-mastery — and give you solid directions for attaining it!

“Recommended for all!”
Most Rev. Fabian Bruskewitz
Bishop Emeritus of Lincoln

“A thought-provoking guide to bringing all of life into conformity with Christ. Essential for everyone who wants to overcome sin.”
Patrick Madrid

“Wise, clear, specific, fully biblical, and fully Catholic.”
Thomas Howard

“Timeless advice for personal self-discipline and perseverance in the spiritual life. I recommend this classic to all who seek a deeper understanding of themselves and of the Lord.”
Edward Cardinal Egan
Archbishop Emeritus of New York

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

3 Things in Life

3 things in life that never come back when gone:

  1. Time
  2. Words 
  3. Opportunity
3 things in life that should never be lost:
  1. Peace
  2. Hope
  3. Honesty
3 things in life that are most valuable:
  1. Love
  2. Faith
  3. Prayer
3 things that make a person:
  1. Hard work
  2. Sincerity
  3. Commitment
3 things that can destroy a person:
  1. Lust
  2. Pride
  3. Anger
3 things in life that are constant:
  1. Change
  2. Death
  3. God

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

How to keep your Lenten sacrifices

Do you struggle to keep your
Lenten sacrifices year after year?


Do you enter Easter Mass feeling guilty
 that you’ve neglected your Lenten devotions?


Are you committed to
 making this your holiest Lent yet?


Lent is hard, and it's so frustrating when we lose focus and surrender to our weaknesses time and time again.
That’s why all the great saints encouraged meditation as a sure-fire way to place yourself in God’s presence and grow closer to Him.
Through meditation, we take our eyes off ourselves, and we walk faithfully in the hands of God.
There is no better time to begin — or to renew — the habit of meditation than during the Season of Lent.
So if you want to combine the spiritual benefits of a holy Lent with the bountiful harvest that regular meditation brings, then your soul is crying for Meditations for Lent.

Cover Lent
These brief but powerful meditations are collected from the voluminous writings of 17th Century Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet.
Bishop Bossuet is considered to be among the best homilists in the history of the Church, and his great piety and eloquent writings have been cherished by Catholics for hundreds of years.

Jacques-Bénigne_Bossuet_1 copy

Now they're available to you in English, for the very first time!
In these pages, Bishop Bossuet will take you on a stunning inner pilgrimage to an unforgettable encounter with Jesus’ tender love for you as he freely gave His life for you on the Cross.
Each meditation is short, and it is a robust complement to the daily readings at Mass during the Lenten season.
Read Meditations for Lent and you won't arrive at Easter Mass distracted, exhausted, and frazzled, having neglected your sacrifices and your ordinary prayers, too.
Instead, you'll find yourself walking joyfully into church, ready and eager to adore the resurrected King.
And your soul will be what it should be: a fit dwelling place for the Redeemer.

"Bossuet is a hidden treasure of profound spiritual insight, and his meditations will transform your Lenten experience."
Dan Burke
Executive Director, The National Catholic Register

"Classic wisdom in a crisp new translation that will be of great spiritual value to everyone seeking to live the Faith more fully."
Robert Royal
Faith & Reason Institute

"These meditations will help you 'enter by the narrow door' just as Jesus urges us."
Fr. Paul Check
Director of the Courage Apostolate

Cover Lent
Meditations for Lent
Jacques-Benigne Bossuet
List Price: $12.95 - 224 pages

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Without regular reminders of God and a steady routine of prayer and meditation, your inner life shrivels up, your prayers grow listless, sacramental grace becomes inaccessible, and even the Mass feels fruitless. Daily meditation is a proven remedy for dangerous spiritual lethargy.

That's why we've compiled this four-volume Treasury of Catholic Meditations to help you manage your spiritual readings and to achieve the glorious aim of all prayer: union with God!

Written by some of the Church's greatest theologians, these meditations will teach you to be ever attentive to the presence of God in you, to remember that He wants you to be a saint, and that He stands ever ready to help you attain that lofty goal.

Follow these prayers and you'll soon find yourself reaping the rich spiritual harvest that regular meditation brings - a stronger will, an even greater love of God, and a divine peace and joy that no person or circumstance will take from you.

Meditations for Lent will lift you to God and help you enter into the spirit of mortification called for by the Church during the Season of Lent.

Meditations Before Mass  offers practical, straightforward advice that will help you overcome distractions and restlessness during Mass.

Everyday Meditations will help you discern God's voice daily, rest in it, and respond to it according to each day's opportunities and needs.

Meditations for Advent will keep you prayerful amidst the worst distractions of the holiday season.

“Everyday Meditations is the kind of book that, if taken to heart, draws us into the arms of God.”
Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap.
Archbishop of Philadelphia

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James D. Conley, S.T.L.
Bishop of Lincoln


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Monday, February 17, 2014

God Bless You....

"A Blessing becomes a blessing when it is spoken"

Therefore today,

Let's declare that We Are Blessed,
with a loving family, good health, faith, favor, humility, peace, provision, wisdom, fulfillment.

Declare that everything we put our hands to do is going to prosper & succeed.

Declare that any curse & negative vibe is null and void.

Declare that We Are Blessed!

Go forth & continue to be a blessing!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Today's Mass Readings - Sunday, February 16, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Sirach 15:15-20
15 If you choose you can keep the commandments, they will save you; if you trust in God, you too shall live; 16 he has set before you fire and water; to whichever you choose, stretch forth your hand.17 Before man are life and death, good and evil, whichever he chooses shall be given him. 18 Immense is the wisdom of the Lord; he is mighty in power, and all-seeing. 19 The eyes of God are those who fear him; he understands man’s every deed. 20 No one does he command to act unjustly, to none does he give license to sin.
P S A L M - Psalm 119:1-2, 4-5, 17-18, 33-34
R: Blessed are they who follow the law of the Lord.
Blessed are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the lawof the Lord. Blessed are they who observe his decrees, who seek him with all their heart. (R) You have commanded that your precepts be diligently kept. Oh, that I might be firm in the ways of keeping your statutes! (R) 17 Be good to your servant, that I may live and keep your words. 18 Open my eyes, that I may consider the wonders of your law. (R) 33 Instruct me, O Lord, in the way of your statutes, that I may exactly observe them. 34 Give me discernment, that I may observe your law and keep it with all my heart. (R)
2ND READING - 1 Corinthians 2:6-10
Brothers and sisters: We speak a wisdom to those who are mature, but not a wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age who are passing away. Rather, we speak God’s wisdom, mysterious, hidden, which God predetermined before the ages for our glory, and which none of the rulers of this age knew; for if they had known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. But as it is written: “What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart, what God has prepared for those who love him,” 10 this God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit scrutinizes everything, even the depths of God.
Blessed are you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth; you have revealed to little ones the mysteries of the kingdom.
Matthew 5:17-37
17 Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. 18Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 20 I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 21 “You have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘You shall not kill; and whoever kills will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment, and whoever says to his brother, ‘Raqa,’ will be answerable to the Sanhedrin, and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ will be liable to fiery Gehenna. 23Therefore, if you bring your gift to the altar, and there recall that your brother has anything against you, 24 leave your gift there at the altar, go first and be reconciled with your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25 Settle with your opponent quickly while on the way to court. Otherwise your opponent will hand you over to the judge, and the judge will hand you over to the guard, and you will be thrown into prison. 26 Amen, I say to you, you will not be released until you have paid the last penny. 27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body thrown into Gehenna. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one of your members than to have your whole body go into Gehenna. 31 “It was also said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife must give her a bill of divorce.’ 32 But I say to you, whoever divorces his wife — unless the marriage is unlawful — causes her to commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. 33 “Again you have heard that it was said to your ancestors, ‘Do not take a false oath, but make good to the Lord all that you vow.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all; not by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is his footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Do not swear by your head, for you cannot make a single hair white or black. 37 Let your ‘Yes’ mean ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No’ mean ‘No.’ Anything more is from the evil one.


Once I asked the churchgoers who among them has no enemy. A stern-looking lady raised her hand and stood up. I asked, “You don’t have enemies?” Without batting an eyelash she said, “None!” Knowing her to be unfriendly, I added, “But you don’t have friends either!” She responded hesitantly, “Yeah, right.”

       The Lord in the Gospel invites us to take the extra mile in fulfilling the laws. We cannot profess that we love God but remain indifferent to other people. We cannot claim to be good to others but not love and obey God. It’s not enough to follow the law to the letter. God asks for more. Jesus’ standard of morality is uncompromising and consistent. Adulterers are not only those who commit illicit relationships with the spouse of another. Jesus says anyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery in his heart. For Jesus, it’s not enough that one avoids the sins as taught in the commandments; we need to be cautious in falling into similar sins which we most often think are but natural and human.
       Keeping God’s commandments means putting order into one’s life. One becomes consistent in doing what ought to be done and abhoring what should be avoided. Beyond that, we complement obedience to God by going beyond what is expected of us. God challenges us to make a definitive stand. If you’re good, then be better and do more.
       I have accompanied Ai Ai delas Alas twice to the game show, Deal or No Deal. It is a nerve-wracking game show, consuming and mind-blowing. Every number chosen from the attache cases brings out a surprise. But after the Banker decides on the money at stake, one has to bravely choose between dealing or not, giving in or being firm.
       Our Christian faith and life is like the said game show: “Let your yes mean yes and your no mean no. Anything more is from the evil one.” May we always hack a deal successfully with the Lord! Fr. Erick Y. Santos, OFS
REFLECTION QUESTION: How faithful are you to God’s commandments?
Lord Jesus, make me choose and decide on things as You would.

St. Gilbert of Sempringham, pray for us.

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day!

True love doesn't calculate - it spends
lavishly! As GOD loves us unconditionally
thru His Son, we too must love that
way. Our way of loving defines who
we are. Unless we love like CHRIST,
then we can't honestly declare 
ourselves as true CHRISTians.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

UN Attacks Catholic Teaching Under the Pretext of Protecting Children

united nations 2

In their continuing quest to marginalize the influence of the Catholic Church on the culture war issues of abortion and same-sex marriage, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is attempting to resurrect yet again the moral panic surrounding exaggerated claims of clerical sexual abuse. Denouncing the Vatican for adopting policies that “allowed priests to rape and molest tens of thousands of children,” the UN Committee demanded that the Church hand over its archives on sexual abuse of children so that the culprits, as well as those who concealed their crimes, could be held accountable.

Ignoring the fact that the Catholic Church has already handed over the files—and the culprits—the UN Committee took the opportunity to criticize the Holy See for its attitudes toward homosexuality, contraception, and abortion. This was the real reason for the Committee’s diatribe against the now decades-old clerical abuse scandal—a scandal with wildly exaggerated claims and unsubstantiated allegations.

The reality is that counter to inflated statistics of “tens of thousands” of child-victims, and the image of the alliterative “pedophile priest,” nearly all of the cases of sexual abuse by priests involved homosexual liaisons between priests and very young men in their teens or early 20s. While homosexual activities with minors are criminal offenses, and immoral, they are certainly not examples of pedophilia or child molestation.

Undeterred by data, the United Nations Committee ignores the fact that Catholic clergy are not represented in the sexual abuse phenomenon at a rate higher than or even equal to their numbers in the clerical profession as a whole.  In a comprehensive study of more than 20 years of data on clerical abuse, Philip Jenkins, the Distinguished Professor of History at Baylor, and author of Pedophiles and Priests, found no evidence that Catholic or other celibate clergy are any more likely to be involved in misconduct or abuse than clergy of any other denomination.

Jenkins points out that the worst cases have involved non-Catholics—and non-celibate clergy: “One Canadian Anglican diocese was on the verge of bankruptcy as a result of massive lawsuits caused by decades of systematic abuse, yet the Anglican church does not even demand celibacy of its clergy.”

However, there are structural reasons that the Catholic Church has produced a number of nationally—and internationally—reported cases. Unlike a scandal in a Protestant congregation for instance, which would remain strictly localized because of the decentralized nature of that church, a scandal in a local Catholic Church, because of the hierarchy in which it exists, immediately is viewed as a “Vatican” scandal.

But, more important than these structural reasons, there are powerful cultural reasons that have combined to encourage the promotion of a panic over pedophile priests.  This is the real reason that the United Nations Committee continues to try to fan the flames of the moral panic over the pedophile priest.  For more than four decades, progressives have been engaged in a battle with the Catholic hierarchy over issues including abortion, sexual morality and homosexuality. The re-manufactured image of the pedophile priest and his craven bishop who has covered up his despicable deeds points to the need for a “new and improved” Catholic Church. Progressives want a Church that is created in their image—one in which the laity gets to choose its own leaders and decide its own doctrines.

It is likely that the panic will continue—not because there will be more abuse cases, rather, because there are so many with so much to gain by keeping the panic alive.  For feminists lobbying for abortion rights and women’s ordination in the Catholic Church, the image they have created of the pedophile priest points to the need for women to fill those roles and create feminist friendly doctrine on contraception and abortion.  For gay rights activists, intent on denouncing what they view as the Church’s hypocrisy on gay sexuality, maintaining the moral panic surrounding the pedophile priest offers a strong argument that the sexual repression of gay priests has led directly to the molestation of children.  And, for the United Nations Committee re-creating the image of the pedophile priest helps them to make their argument for access to sexuality and full reproductive rights—including abortion—for children and adolescents.

Indeed, the UN Committee which claims to want to “protect children” now demands that the Church “amend Canon 1398 relating to abortion,” and directs the Church to reassess “the serious implications of its position on adolescents’ enjoyment of highest attainable standard of health and overcome all the barriers and taboos surrounding adolescent sexuality.”

In other words, the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child is now lobbying the Catholic Church for the “Right of the Child” to enjoy access to unrestricted sexual behavior. Isn’t this exactly how a small percentage of Catholic clergy got in trouble to begin with?  Every investigation of the clergy abuse scandal—including the John Jay study—revealed that the clergy abuse scandal was primarily about a small number of priests having sexual relations with adolescent boys.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child has no authority to enforce any of its recommendations.  The Church should ignore it.

The views expressed by the authors and editorial staff are not necessarily the views of
Sophia Institute, Holy Spirit College, or the Thomas More College of Liberal Arts.

Anne Hendershott

Monday, February 10, 2014


By: Bobby Quitain

I have one major weakness: I find it difficult to maintain my car.

One time, I heard a clippity-clop while driving along SLEX only to find out that my oil tank was completely dry. At another time, my car stopped and steamed in the middle of the highway because the water tank has dried up. Sometime ago, I barely made it to a gas station as the gas tank flasher blinked mercilessly for nearly 15 minutes while I was stuck in traffic.

What happens to my car also happens to me.

I often run dry. Not with oil, or water, or gas. But with my faith.

When I miss my prayer times in the morning. When I don't guard my thoughts. When I don't read scriptures daily. When I indulge. When I rationalize.

My friend, our faith needs replenishment. Daily. By the hour. By the minute.

Don't miss that prayer time. Don't pass up that meditation time. Don't skip Sunday mass. Don't take a leave from your spiritual support group.

You need to keep your faith tank filled up.

The Bible says:

"men ought always to pray, and not to faint" (Luke 18:1)

The problem I have with maintaining cars is also our problem with maintaining our faith. We wait until the last minute before we fill up our faith tanks.

We pray hard when troubles are at our doorstep.
We confess only when we already fall into a big sin.
We read the Bible only when we already need to decide on a major decision.

Car engines eventually break down when you don't maintain them well. When the gas, oil or water tank always gets dried up, you shorten the life span of your car.

Same thing with your faith life. You need to keep your faith life in good condition, otherwise, you cannot withstand the storms of life when they do come.

This week, try to measure the level of your faith tank. Try to make decisions of how you can fill it up.

Don't wait for life to conk out on you. Fill it up now!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Today's Mass Reading's - Sunday, February 9, 2014 with Reflection

1ST READING - Isaiah 58:7-10
Thus says the Lord: Share your bread with the hungry, shelter the oppressed and the homeless; clothe the naked when you see them, and do not turn your back on your own. Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your wound shall quickly be healed; your vindication shall go before you, and the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard. Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer, you shall cry for help, and he will say: Here I am! If you remove from your midst oppression, false accusation and malicious speech; 10 if you bestow your bread on the hungry and satisfy the afflicted; then light shall rise for you in the darkness, and the gloom shall become for you like midday.
P S A L M - Psalm 112:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
R: The just man is a light in darkness to the upright.
Light shines through the darkness for the upright; he is gracious and merciful and just. Well for the man who is gracious and lends, who conducts his affairs with justice. (R) He shall never be moved; the just one shall be in everlasting remembrance. An evil report he shall not fear; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. (R) 8His heart is steadfast; he shall not fear. Lavishly he gives to the poor; his justice shall endure forever; his horn shall be exalted in glory. (R)
2nd READING - 1 Corinthians 2:1-5
When I came to you, brothers and sisters, proclaiming the mystery of God, I did not come with sublimity of words or of wisdom. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear and much trembling, and my message and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of Spirit and power, so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.
I am the light of the world, says the Lord; whoever follows me will have the light of life.
Matthew 5:13-16
13 Jesus said to his disciples: “You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned? It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. 14You are the light of the world. A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in thehouse. 16 Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”


So goes the famous line from the Kusina Master himself, Chef Boy Logro. He’s a very simple man with humble beginnings. He didn’t reach high school or study in a culinary institution to become the famous chef that he is now. He learned everything through sheer determination, hard work and faith. The gastronomical wonders that he creates are borne out of the gifts that the Lord has given him — gifts that he feels he has to share. His cooking is his life. It’s also his prayer.

       He even built a church for a local parish in Compostela Valley. For someone who knew the needs of the poor and was very poor himself when he was young, he knows how to give. That’s what makes his life even more delicious. Every opportunity to share becomes a “Yum yum yum! Ping ping ping!” experience.

       Today’s Gospel urges us to continue discovering the innate goodness in each of us. We are challenged to give flavor to others. “You are the salt of the earth.” Salt gives the “yum yum yum” flavor to any food we eat. In the same way, every act of kindness, every gesture of charity, every good intention to be of help can make a lot of difference in the lives of others.

       “You are the light of the world.” Every good gift from the Lord should be a shining light to others. It has to be a testimony of God’s love working in us and touching countless lives. The First Reading says it all: “Share your bread to the hungry, shelter the oppressed and homeless; clothe the naked when you see them... Then your light shall break forth like the dawn.”

       Light is naturally spread out. It’s impossible to hide it. Staying connected with the Lord makes us naturally receptive to every form of darkness other people are experiencing and where our own share of light can be of use. We are called to share His light. Salt and light we should be, to add flavor and illumination to an otherwise bland and dark world. Fr. Erick Y. Santos, OFS
REFLECTION QUESTION: Do you make life more “delicious” for other people?
Lord Jesus, may I be able to guide others through the dark alleys of life.

St. Jerome Emiliani, pray for us.

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Friday, February 7, 2014

Padre Pio's intercession brings new miracle

Padre Pio visits a young child in the night.
The next morning she woke
completely healed from congenital heart problems.

Joseph Jette was 22 years old when
a fall off scaffolding left him crippled for life.

Br. Andre Bessette tells him to put down his crutches and walk.

He obeyed, and was instantly cured.

A young man leading the evening's 
entertainment at school had lost his voice.

"I'll lend you mine for the evening," said Don Bosco.

The boy projected his voice beautifully all night,
while Don Bosco went instantly hoarse.

God doesn't need humans to work miracles for Him, but as veteran Catholic author Patricia Treece shows in Nothing Short of a Miracle, it certainly seems his good pleasure to perform great miracles by means of human hands.

For more than a quarter century, Treece — America's most experienced and revered saint-watcher — has gathered numerous fascinating reports of miraculous hearings brought about in our lifetime.

Among them is the complete 2005 cure of Sr. Marie Simon-Pierre's advanced Parkinson's disease after she appealed for healing to the just-deceased Pope John Paul II.  After intense scrutiny, the Vatican declared her healing miraculous, leading to John Paul's beatification and canonization.

Here too are tales of scores of lesser-known healings brought to light by Treece's investigations into little-known official Vatican documents, as well as from her many interviews with living witnesses.

You'll read vivid but sober accounts of the lives of the miracles wrought by some of the greatest healers of all, with details of authenticated healings by Andre Bessette, John Bosco, Mother Cabrini, Fr. Solanus Casey, Padre Pio, Fr. Francis Seelos, Fulton Sheen, Mother Teresa, and so many more!

The hearings documented here are not hasty judgments made by gullible, overwrought believers.  They're instantaneous, complete, and permanent cures for which scientific medicine still has no explanations — cures that also meet the Vatican's stringent seven-part test of authenticity.

In an age in which science claims to have all the answers, this book shows that there is, indeed, a God working in the world — and He is working through His Holy Church and through His holy saints.  

"This book will give you confidence that God continues to make possible the impossible through those who trust in Him."
Fr. Benedict Groeschel

"Here you'll find answers to questions not just about miracles, but about what can happen if you dare to say yes to the Love behind them."
Matthew Kelly

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Understanding Miracles gives you the most comprehensive, careful, and thoughtful discussion of miracles available today. In reading this book, your eyes will be opened as you finally discover what the Church really teaches about miracles and you’ll learn (among many other things):

✓  What a miracle is (there’s a good chance your understanding is wrong)

✓  The particular miracles we are required to accept; and those we are free to doubt

✓  The five kinds of miracles (and why it makes a difference)

✓  The seven marks of every authentic miracle (can you name even two?)

✓  The benefits that miracles always bring (and the “benefits” that lead the Church — and should lead you! — to doubt that an inexplicable event is miraculous)

✓  The Eucharist: it’s a mystery but not strictly-speaking a miracle. Do you know why?

✓  The strict criteria by which the Church evaluates supernatural events; and the painstakingly slow, methodical way in which it deliberately proceeds with such investigations

✓  How supernatural phenomena like magic, sorcery, astrology, telepathy, clairvoyance, levitation, and telekinesis differ from miracles

✓  Rigorous scientific investigation: a true miracle’s best friend

✓  And countless other topics to deepen your knowledge and understanding of miracles, and draw you closer to the Author of them all.

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