30 Jun 2011

O Canada

Today is Canada Day. On July 1 2011 Canada celebrates its 144th birthday. One hundred and forty-four must be a significant number, because this year we are honoured with a visit from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who are celebrating with us.

O Canada. We have the reputation beyond our shores of being polite, perhaps rather simple, peace-loving, and having cute, folksy accents. Some of those things used to be true, but while our country was founded on wholesome Christian values, our political and social climate has shifted in the last half century.

Fortunately we claim St. Joseph as our patron and if anyone can bring about conversion and restoration to this country, it is the foster father of our Lord. This year, our birthday coincides with the great Feast of the Sacred Heart. I believe that Jesus and His earthly father are united in their loving concern for this nation and its people. I earnestly beseech God's mercy on our government leaders. I ask for His guiding hand on all teachers, doctors, lawyers, parents, commentators, artists, labourers, clergy - that they may rebuild a Christian nation, reclaim our Christian culture.

O Canada!

Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

The Sacred Heart and the Venerable Matt Talbot

 Today is the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

The video above, produced by the Apostleship of Prayer, tells us something of the struggle of the Venerable Matt Talbot (2 May 1856 – 7 June 1925) with alcoholism. It mentions the fact that he didn't have the benefit of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), which hadn't yet come on the scene. But it doesn't mention that he was one of the earliest members of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart.

The Pioneer Association, or PTAA, describes its mission and vision as follows: 
Our mission is to address the problems in society caused by excess alcohol consumption and drug usage. We do this through:
  • Faith and prayer
  • Self denial
  • Example
  • Activities based on presenting alternatives to individuals, particularly the young
  • Advocacy
Our vision - based on the love in the Heart of Christ, as expressed in The Gospels - is to help to build a society where people live to their full potential and alcohol can be enjoyed in moderation avoiding the ills that arise in society from excess in its use.

For most of its history - the movement was founded in 1898 in Dublin by Fr James Cullen SJ - members voluntarily abstained from alcohol. But illegal drugs have become such a huge problem in Ireland in recent decades, spawning crime in a way that alcohol never did, that The Pioneers have included them too in their mission.


The Heroic Offering (prayed by members daily)

For thy greater Glory and consolation, O most Sacred Heart of Jesus, for Thy sake, to give good example, to practice self-denial, to make reparation to Thee for the sins of intemperance and for the conversion of excessive drinkers, I will abstain for life from all intoxicating drinks, Amen.

Prayer for Drug Users

We commend to you, O Sacred Heart of Jesus, all whose lives have been broken through the misuse of drugs. We ask you, Lord, to protect them from harm and restore them to health, so that they can live out the years you have given them in serenity and joy. Praise to the Heart of Jesus, our King and our God!

Juvenile Pioneer Offering

O Sacred Heart of Jesus, through the most pure Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works and sufferings in union with your own for the grace to keep my pledge faithfully. Sweet Heart of Jesus, be  my love always! Sweet Heart of Mary, be my salvation!

Young Pioneer Prayer

Lord, for your sake, for the recovery of problem drinkers and victim of substance abuse, to make amends to your Sacred Heart for the intemperance in all our lives, I promise not to take alcoholic drink until I am at least 18, and to keep off drugs for life.

The heading to the video says ‘Matthew Talbot’, though he’s referred to throughout the video itself as ‘Matt Talbot’. He was baptized ‘Matthew’ but is known to Dubliners and many others as ‘Matt’, just as fellow-Dubliner Francis Michael Duff, Servant of God and founder of the Legion of Mary, a younger contemporary of Matt Talbot, is universally known as ‘Frank’.

On Sunday 3 July the annual Mass for the beatification of the Venerable Matt Talbot will be held in the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, Sean McDermott St, at 3pm. His remains are in a shrine there. The church, not yet built when Matt was alive, is in the heart of the area of Dublin where he lived.

The Pioneer Pilgrimage to Knock in Honour of Matt Talbot will take place on Sunday 17 July.

Statue of Talbot near Dublin's Matt Talbot Bridge, February 2011

The only extant writing by Matt in existence is a note in the archives of the Society of St Columban (Columban Fathers), of which I am a member, with a donation he sent in the very early days of our existence. His wages were small and he gave most of his little money away.

  Official Prayer for the Canonization of Matt Talbot

Lord, in your servant, Matt Talbot you have given us a wonderful example of triumph over addiction, of devotion to duty, and of lifelong reverence of the Holy Sacrament. May his life of prayer and penance give us courage to take up our crosses and follow in the footsteps of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Father, if it be your will that your beloved servant should be glorified by your Church, make known by your heavenly favours the power he enjoys in your sight. We ask this through the same Jesus Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Pope's Prayer for 60th Anniversary

"Thank You For the Grace of the Priestly Ministry"
VATICAN CITY, JUNE 29, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the prayer Benedict XVI wrote for the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination, which he celebrated today.
* * *
We thank you because you have opened your Heart for us;
Because in your Death and Resurrection
You have become source of life.
Make us living persons,
Living from your source,
And give us the power to be sources ourselves,
Able to give to this, our time
The water of life.
We thank you
For the grace of the priestly ministry.
Lord, bless us
And bless all men of this time
Who are thirsty and in search

-Benedictus PP XVI

'A Heavenly Farewell'

Holly's post yesterday, Today is a big day for Pope Benedict XVI, prompted me to post the video above.

Father Aedan McGrath, featured in the video, loved gadgets and would have been thrilled to know that on the 60th anniversary of the bird's trilling during the ordination of Fr Joseph Ratzinger he, now Pope Benedict XVI, 'tweeted'. I'm still not sure what tweeting is all about and what part it has to play in genuine communication but I'm delighted that the Holy Father sees the importance of using modern forms of communication to spread the Gospel.

There is nothing superstitious about seeing incidents such as the bird trilling at the Pope's ordination as a blessing from God. There are many stories from the lives of great Irish monastic saints such as St Columban(us), St Columcille (Columba) and many more that show how all of God's creatures have their part to play in praising him. And we mustn't forget St Francis. St Martin de Porres had the gift of healing people, especially the poor, and their animals.

For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God; for the creation was subjected to futility, not of its own will but by the will of him who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and obtain the glorious liberty of the children of God. We know that the whole creation has been groaning in travail together until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies (Romans 8:19-23).

Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at thy altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God (Ps 84[83:3).

29 Jun 2011

Today is a big day for Pope Benedict XVI.

“The most important moment of my life,” he recalls—sixty years ago, 29 June 1951, Joseph Ratzinger was ordained a priest.
“We were more than forty candidates, who, at the solemn call on that radiant summer day, which I remember as the high point of my life, responded Adsum, Here I am. We should not be superstitious; but, at that moment when the elderly archbishop laid his hands on me, a little bird—perhaps a lark—flew up from the high altar in the cathedral and trilled a little joyful song. And I could not but see in this a reassurance from on high, as if I heard the words ‘This is good, you are on the right way.’”
I know you’ll join me in offering Pope Benedict XVI our best wishes on the 60th anniversary of his priestly ordination.  Here are a few tidbits about Pope Benedict XVI you may not know.  Did you also know about the Pope's historic Tweet?  Sixty years later and now it's the Pope who's doing the tweeting...

Source: The VA.NEWS



Our Deanery Corpus Christi ...

A Columban ordination on the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul

A Columban ordination on the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul

Saints Peter and Paul, El Greco, painted 1605-08

Earlier today I attended the ordination of Columban Fr Rodolfo Christopher Kaamiño IV in Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Ozamiz City. The ordaining prelate was Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado CM of the Archdiocese of Ozamiz. As a deacon Father Chris was working in Malate Parish, Manila, which the Columbans have been taking care of since we came to the Philippines in 1929. He will continue to work there as a priest for some months before receiving an overseas assignment. He spent two years in Taiwan as a seminarian on his First Mission Assignment.

Among the five Irish Columbans in Malate killed by the Japanese in February 1945 during the Battle of Manila, when around 100,000 died, mostly civilians, was Fr Peter Fallon, the first Columban parish priest of what then was the town of Misamis, now Ozamiz City, when we came to Mindanao in 1948. The first bishop of the Prelature of Ozamiz, set up in 1951, was Columban Bishop Patrick Cronin, later Archbishop of Cagayan de Oro.

Photos from website of Cathedral Parish

Among the many priests who concelebrated was Columban Fr Desmond Morrison from Derry, Northern Ireland, an engineer by profession, who designed the Cathedral, built in the late 1950s or early 1960s. (Right now I can't find the exact date).

Today, the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul, is also the 93rd anniversary of the canonical establishment of the Missionary Society of St Columban in the Diocese of Galway, Ireland. It late became a society of pontifical right, meaning it wasn't under the jurisdiction of an individual bishop.

In the January-February 2011 issue of Misyon I published an article by Father Chris on his experience in Taiwan as a seminarian, ‘Come after me and I will make you fishers of men’ (Mark 1:17). He describes directly and with humour what he was doing. I tried to find a more 'polite' way of describing this, but couldn't. I'll let the newly ordained priest speak for himself and I know that you'll keep him in your prayers.

‘Come after me and I will make you fishers of men’ (Mark 1:17)

By Rodolfo Christopher Kaamiño IV

The author, from Ozamiz City, was ordained deacon in Malate Church, Manila, on 12 December and priest in Ozamiz Cathedral 29 June 2011. He writes here about his experience as a Columban seminarian on First Mission Assignment in Taiwan.

Father Rodolfo Christopher Kaamiño IV

Friends ask me what I’m doing here in Taiwan. Half-jokingly, ‘Washing asses’ is my frequent reply, and they laugh, thinking I might be joking or that I mean something else. Here is somebody who has studied for four years in graduate school in the USA now washing other people’s asses. It led me to wonder what’s ‘wrong’ with this, probably because it’s a ‘dirty’ job, or because it’s not a ‘classy job’, a ‘sophisticated profession’ such as engineering or accountancy. A friend asked me why I’m doing this. I told him I don’t do it on my own, or else I would have quit a long time ago. I have some help from above.

After being in Taiwan for almost two years, I felt I was an ‘amateur in every field and professional in none’. Probably that's what being a missionary is all about. Being in the ministry for several months now, I feel that I don’t have to be a professional or a rocket scientist to be a minister. I arrived here with ‘professional ideas and concepts’ about mission and ministry learned in school. In ministry here at AiJia these don’t matter much. Mentally challenged adults don’t necessarily need a professional. They need a human companion, somebody who can ‘waste’ time with them.

The ministry at AiJia, of course, also requires professional nursing and care-giving and I learned both on the job. Probably it was my willingness and openness that enabled me to also take on those roles. It wasn’t easy. Being an adult, I don’t want to be told what to do. Yet being a ‘tongue-tied’ foreigner, I depended much on others in the ministry. In AiJia a professional nurse, caregiver or social worker may efficiently take care of the physical needs of mentally challenged adults but not necessarily of their human needs. It has been my continuous struggle in the ministry to provide the people here with professional care and at the same time to be a human companion to them.

Most of the first followers of Jesus knew only of one trade, and that was to fish. These disciples could have remained professional fishermen and serve the hunger of the people by providing them with fish. But Jesus invited them to a whole new level of fishing, to ‘fish’ for people, a whole new field beyond their professional expertise. It required less of their professional skills but more of their hearts and minds. A tall order, but they were willing and trusting. Despite their being slow to understand, Jesus patiently journeyed with them as they continued ‘fishing’ for people.

Like the first disciples, I too am slow to understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. Yet I continue this journey in trust and with help from above. We missionaries try to put some flesh on God’s love in this world. Each does it in different ways depending upon the different gifts each has been given. One can be a professional when the situation calls for such. But most of the time, people need a human companion, somebody who is willing to go the extra mile with them.

You can find the Father Chris on Facebook.

Suddenly, Two Teens in the House

By Allison Salerno 

The creature emerging from our nearly 12-year-old younger son is something we already are raising: a teenager. Living as a peri-menopausal woman with two instead of one moody boy in a family, however, is different than coping with one. Already this morning they were bickering before breakfast over who had to walk the dog. Later, a hungry 14-year-old walked by and grabbed waffles off the breakfast plate of the 11-year-old, who is hungry All. The. Time. ("Mom, you've been telling me for years I am about to have a growth spurt"). And it wasn't even 9 a.m.

As any parent knows, every child is different. The teen years of our first, a reflective, artistic soul, are going to be much different, I imagine, than that of our family's lone extrovert, who always has had a posse of pals and "met" the principal on his first day of middle school. (The details are dim but something about storming the cafeteria doors when the students were asked to leave in a line) 

28 Jun 2011

On Floods And The Freedom To Love

(This was originally posted on the website of one of our country's leading newspapers, the Philippine Star. Feel free to follow my posts there every Tuesday, Philippine time. Or you can also follow my blogs: www.trulyrichmom.com and www.teachermamatina.blogspot.com. Thank you and God bless you all!)

Couples for Christ, our Catholic community, just celebrated its 30th anniversary.
CFC’s Main Anniversary Celebration was held at Rizal Park last Sunday, June 26.

It was a very busy week for a lot of us, myself included. I was tasked to be part of the Documentation Team, heading the CFC Writers’ Guild. It was a fun but tiring job, and I missed my two kids a lot during the entire week, as we had to go home late many nights.

Typhoon Falcon came and threatened a lot of our activities, but thank GOD for answering our prayers! People still came to the conferences and were blessed by the messages.

One such conference that we thought would be greatly affected by the heavy rains and flooding brought about by Falcon was the Freedom to Love Conference with Christopher West. Christopher came to the Philippines as CFC’s special guest and main speaker on the Theology of the Body for 2 conferences: the Church Integration Congress and the Freedom to Love Conference.
Christopher West

The Freedom to Love Conference was held on Saturday, when Typhoon Falcon had already been raging for several days. As early as Friday evening, many parts of Metro Manila were already flooded, including our own village. Some roads were impassable, and a lot of people got stranded, like my husband and I, who couldn’t get into the village because the roads going in were flooded. (I was a nervous WRECK as we couldn’t get to our little ones, who were at my parents’ place.)

We ended up getting into the village on Saturday morning riding at the back of a kind stranger’s truck, after spending Friday night trying to wait for the water at the village gate to subside (we ended up staying at a nearby motel in the early morning, since hubby was SUPER tired and had not slept for more than 24 hours straight because of his work assignment [he headed the logistics team for the events starting Tuesday evening until Friday evening] for the anniversary celebrations). I was so happy to be reunited with our children! Thank God my Kuya (older brother) was there with them; he had been allowed to leave work early to be with his kids, who were also at my parents’ house.
The view from the truck

Since the roads going in and out of the village were still flooded, hubby and I could not leave to go to the Freedom to Love Conference, which was held at the ULTRA. We also didn’t want to leave our kids while the water had not subsided. We informed our co-workers and resigned ourselves to the fact that we would be missing out on the conference, which was one we had been really looking forward to attending.

But the wonder of technology is truly amazing! Christopher West’s team, bless their souls, agreed to let CFC broadcast the conference via live streaming (no recording though)! It was the only event in the week-long celebrations that supposedly was not allowed to have live streaming. So thanks to modern technology, we were able to catch the conference online, in the comfort of our own home!

How blessed we were to learn more about Blessed John Paul II’s Theology of the Body! Through the live streaming and live updates on CFC’s Facebook page, we were able to hear about God’s true purpose for man and woman, and why each of us, no matter what state of life we are in (consecrated celibate, married, single), are called to live out the Theology of the Body.

Here are just some of the striking and inspiring statements taken from the Freedom to Love Conference with Christopher West:

God’s plan is for us to be with Him forever.

The only way we know who God really is, is if God shows himself to us, and this has happened. "The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us."

Our bodies are good. We cover our bodies because we feel an instinctive need to protect its goodness from those who can cheapen it.

God knocks on the doors of our hearts to pierce them with love, but He always asks for our permission.

The exercise of freedom is not the right to do nothing. Freedom exists for the sake of love, for no other reason than to be in the ability to have the power to love.

Why does God give us the ability to sin? So that we can have chance to love him. He does not want machines or robots. If we do not have the capability to disobey, our obedience means NOTHING.

God is pro-choice but some choices are always wrong.

License says do what feels good; it is the freedom to indulge your passion.

Freedom does what is good; it is the freedom from the compulsion to indulge.

What the culture calls sexual freedom is actually sexual addiction. 

‎Love means I want to give my life to you totally, freely, faithfully, fruitfully.

The beauty of being one with Him in heaven brings us to dance.

The entire Christian life is marked by the spousal life of Christ and the Church.

Whatever our vocation, no one can escape the vocation to love. No one can escape the interior battle that IS REQUIRED TO LEARN HOW TO LOVE.

Do not be afraid to admit that you are a great sinner. All we have to do is to take it to Jesus.

The world tells us what love is and 99% of the time is false. What is being sold to us is actually lust.

Lust wants the pleasure of sex but not the commitment of having children. The RH bill is based on lust. To overcome this we must learn to suffer for the truth. Redemptor Humanis is the true RH BILL – redemption of man.

The love of man and woman is meant to make the most beautiful music in the universe.

The Theology of the Body is what it means to be educated in being a man and woman.

I could go on and on, but I won’t. (You can read more of Christopher’s statements on CFC’s Facebook page, just scroll down to the posts on Saturday, June 25.)

Needless to say, hubby and I are SUPER inspired and encouraged by the message of the Theology of the Body. I personally feel as if God is trying to tell me something here. I am still trying to figure out what it is – in the meantime, I’ll keep my heart and ears open, Lord!
Hubby and I with Christopher West. Please don’t mind my goofy grin! Hahaha!

Can I just say that Christopher West is SOOO nice?! And SUPER passionate! I love the way he speaks, with total conviction! I am SO star-struck. Haha. I was blessed to do an interview with him, and I am just amazed at how enthusiastically he answered all our questions, despite his being exhausted. PLUS, he and his wife homeschool their 5 kids! Awesome!

If YOU feel like you want to know more about the Theology of the Body too, join us in discovering more about it. This is a NEW teaching and ideology, probably an alien one, for many of us, and we in CFC have also just begun to learn about it. But we hope and pray that more and more people will be blessed by its message, and we believe that Christopher West and his team coming to the Philippines is really part of God’s plan for the family, especially the Filipino family. Feel free to send me an e-mail at teachermamatina@gmail.com.

Life on the Home Front: a plug!

If you have time, please pop on over to my kitchen, on my Life on the Home Front blog :)

I haven't had much time to update it lately, and my readership has gone down, but today I posted some tempting pictures of Cakes and Tea which I'd love to share with you. I also have a series of posts on Proverbs 31 and Saint Zita. I shall attempt to blog there more regularly from now on...

Here's a sneak preview to entice you...


Tout pour Jésus

There are days, like this Sunday, when caring for my Mum feels utterly overwhelming. While she is becoming more independent at home, there are still things she can't do for herself, like hanging the washing out, shopping, cleaning or going out. On Sunday I did all of these, and took her out for a coffee in a wheelchair. Not easy, as I am quite weak, physically, and she's very overweight!

It all feels too much sometimes, and I struggle with personal tasks such as emptying the commode. Such things never used to bother me, and I was a geriatric nurse for years and coped with all kinds of bodily fluids! But the last few years I have become incredibly squeamish and have no tolerance for bad smells at all, not even BO! But in the midst of all this doing today, I remembered a passage from my favourite book The Nun's Story, and having just read it this last week, it was fresh in my mind...

All for Jesus, Sister William had said in the ward pulling on the rubber gloves. Say it, my dear students, every time you are called upon for what seems an impossible task. Then you can do anything with serenity. Say it for the bed pans you carry, for the old incontinents you bathe, for those sputum cups of the tubercular. Tout pour Jésus, she said briskly, as she bent to change the dressing foul with corruption.
I put this into practise in everything I did. It was no co-incidience that it was a Sunday ~ the Lord's Day!: Tout pour Jésus, and you know what, it made such a difference! It turned chores into blessings in a strange way I can't explain, and it got me through and beyond the utter overwhelmingness of it all. I still struggle with the caring, having not been cared for by my Mum in the past in the way I needed, but I'm getting there slowly, one day at a time.

Posted Image

Linked up with:

27 Jun 2011

What dreams may come

I’ve been thinking about dreams. Not the ‘lay your head and close your eyes’ kind; rather the ‘what do you want to be when you grow up’ kind. It’s good to keep in touch with the little person you were who wasn’t afraid to dream big, brave dreams. The heart of who you are now grew from the seeds that dreamer planted long ago.

A friend recently asked me what my dreams were, and I was appalled to not have an answer. I couldn’t think of a single thing I wanted to do. What had become of wanting or hoping for things, no matter how wild and implausible? There used to be many things I wanted to have a go at: archaeology, hot air ballooning, doo-wop girl, acting, Spanish, travel to Russia, developing elegant penmanship.... It was a long and varied list of things possible, and unlikely; long desired, and impromptu.

Then what happened? Life took on a day-follows-day quality and my focus became survival. I chose the path of simplicity and abandonment – both qualities of which are true, good, and beautiful – but also empty because I had left behind what makes me, me – namely my dreams.

Dreams are what fuel our fire; motivate and energize us; distinguish us from every other beating heart out there; and ultimately draw us to God. We are designed to dream, to yearn, to reach, and to strive. It doesn’t matter a button if we accomplish any of them, only that we have them.

Since that conversation with my friend, I’ve been poking around in my heart, looking for the box I buried my dreams in. Just as we grow and change, however, so do dreams grow and change. I realized those in the box were old and dusty, and belonged to a different person. I needed to discover what are my dreams of today.

Here’s what I found:

They are more mellow, and more attainable than the old ones.

They focus more on growth and virtue than accomplishment and experience.

I feel more inclined to pursue them, rather than keep them in a list.

Having acknowledged them brought a measure of peace and contentment.

Can you dream a dream?

Joy Supply

As a child, did you ever sing the song, "I've got that joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart... Down in my heart to stay?" That little song that packs a powerful message.

If you've got joy down in your heart, you can accomplish anything, go through any circumstance and do it all with a smile. The Word tells us that the joy of the Lord is our strength. The devil knows that, so he is going to try to zap our joy every chance he gets. If he can steal our joy, he can steal our strength. If he can steal our strength, he can infuse us with hopelessness and depression. By the time he is done. we'll be so far down in a hole that we won't even be able to see out. So don't go there. Keep your joy supply full. 

Listen to uplifting music while driving in your car. Take a few minutes at lunch to read the Psalms and Proverbs. Make sure you're getting enough sleep; take time to exercise; and take your vitamins (I sound like a mother, don't I?) so that you don't give the devil any entrance. Say: I've got the joy of the Lord down in my heart," and then act like it everyday!

Thank you Lord for your eternal joy supply - Amen.

Thin Places

Words often seem so inadequate when talking about God but once in awhile a word or phrase comes along that just grabs our hearts and we know instantly what it means. A “thin place” is just such a phrase for ... Read more ...

Can Anger be Our Friend?

"Passions are morally good when they contribute to a good action, evil in the opposite case."
                                         Catechism of the Catholic Church  # 1768

All human beings get angry, it is part and parcel of being human. Anger, in itself, is not a sin, it is simply an emotion. Unfortunately, because of our fallen nature it often leads us into sin. We have all heard the expressions: blowing our tops, flying off the handle, or hot under the collar. Anger becomes sinful when we dwell on it and get carried away by it; we fail to bridle our tongue and scream ugly things, yell at our children and act in an unloving manner. Road rage, revenge, and murder....these are all things that begin with anger.

Does anger always have to lead to sin? Of course not. Anger can propel us into positive action, also. It can stir us into taking steps to correct an evil and with God's grace can even be turned into a great zeal for justice. Look at Saint Paul. There are situations where we must, as Christians, use our voices, especially when something or someone is causing physical or spiritual harm to others. This is where anger can turn into a powerful force for good in our lives; when it lifts us from apathy and moves us toward justice. By the grace of God, anger can be a useful tool for positive change. Tempered (lol) with love, it can stir us into speaking up firmly in the face of injustice.

" We ought to speak, shout out against injustices, with confidence and without fear. We proclaim the principles of the Church, the reign of love, without forgetting that it is also a reign of justice."
                                                        Blessed Miguel Pro, S.J.

What can we do?

Lots of non Catholics think that our Church devalues women because our Priests and bishops have to be men, this of course is not the case at all. As we catholic women know our place is right at the centre of the church, prayer aid to the parish in all forms and the family are vital roles and what we can do ,no one else can.

God made men and women we are different and equality doesn't mean identical. I cannot be a Priest , but I can pray for them, I cannot be a Bishop, but I can pray for them. They cannot be what I am ,a mother and grandmother, but we all are vital and important. Let us be happy in our places in Gods plan ,not agitate uselessly for what we cannot change. I can wear trousers but they don't make me a man!

As part of the role I promote the Rosary for the Bishop and recommend it to all fellow ACWB readers and contributors, sign up its easy and the email reminders keep you on track!!


"Heaven knows that our good Bishops are under fire for standing up for our Catholic Faith nowadays. What can we do about it? Support them with our prayers!
Rosary for the Bishop is a campaign that aims to support Catholic Bishops through prayer of the Rosary. Please take a few minutes to join in praying for your Bishop."

26 Jun 2011

"Without the Eucharist, the Church Simply Does Not Exist."

Pope Benedict calls Eucharist ‘antidote’ to modern ills
June 26, 2011 3:05 PMVatican City, Jun 26, 2011 / 02:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The Eucharist is the medicine which can heal our individualist society, Pope Benedict XVI said in his midday Angelus address on Corpus Christi Sunday.
“In an increasingly individualistic culture in which Western societies are immersed - and which is tending to spread throughout the world - the Eucharist is a kind of ‘antidote’ which operates in the minds and hearts of believers and is continually sowing in them the logic of communion, of service, of sharing - in other words, the logic of the Gospel,” said Pope Benedict to pilgrims in St. Peters Square on June 26.

Catholics believe that the bread and wine offered by Christ at the Last Supper literally became his body and blood - and that this same miracle is repeated by priests at every Mass since. Hence the name of today’s festivity – ‘Corpus Christi’ Sunday or ‘Body of Christ’ Sunday.

“From the Eucharist,” observed the Pope, “the Risen Christ is truly present among his disciples and working with the power of the Holy Spirit. And in the following generations through the centuries, the Church, despite the limitations and human errors, has continued to be a force for communion throughout the world.”

The Catechism of the Catholic Church describes the Eucharist as the “source and summit” of Christian life. As the Pope bluntly put it today, “without the Eucharist, the Church simply does not exist.”

The Pope noted this belief in the centrality of the Eucharist has manifested itself throughout the history of the Church, beginning with the earliest Christian communities in Jerusalem who shared all possessions in common.

“From what came all this? From the Eucharist that is the Risen Christ, truly present among his disciples and working with the power of the Holy Spirit.”

He then drew upon the example of the fourth century Abitene martyrs from North Africa who chose to die rather than deprive themselves of Sunday Mass in the face of Roman persecution. They proclaimed “Sine Dominico non possumus’ - without the ‘Dominicum’ - without the Sunday Eucharist, we cannot live.”

Pope Benedict concluded by urging all pilgrims to turn to the Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus, who was described by Pope John Paul II as the “Woman of the Eucharist.”

“At her school, our lives become fully ‘Eucharistic’, open to God and others, capable of transforming evil into good with the power of love, striving to promote unity, fellowship, brotherhood.”

25 Jun 2011

A Love Deeper than Any of Us Can Imagine

Morning came too early for me; I had stayed up very late at a neighborhood block party and had to rise with the rest of my family as we scattered in different directions - my husband to lector at an early Mass, and our 10-year-old son to a Little League baseball playoff game. That left G. and me at home, where I attempted to supervise his remaining homework before the 11 a.m. Mass, where he was an altar server.

This was a morning of poor parenting; my frustration with his disorganization devolved into my raising my voice, speaking to him harshly, and then  dissolving into tears of regret and exhaustion. Mass and the Penitential Rite ("I confess to almighty God, and to you, my brothers and sisters, that I have sinned through my own fault...") could not come soon enough.

All for Mary - Preparing Ourselves Before Holy Communion

Picture source.

While adoring our exposed Lord this morning in the Chapel, it became clear to me that even though I have consecrated myself to His blessed Mother, I have failed in my promise to give my all to Jesus through Mary. I recognize that all the worries and anxieties that assault my peace of mind is a direct result of this failure to put my complete trust in Jesus and Mary.

I think that is why St. Louis de Montfort recommended that we renew our consecration with the proper preparation, once a year and especially during the anniversary of the date we originally consecrated ourselves.

The following is from his True Devotion to Mary.

"1. You must humble yourself most profoundly before God.

2. You must renounce your corrupt interior and your dispositions, however good your self-love may make them look.

3. You must renew your consecration by saying: I am all thine, my dear Mistress, with all that I have."

4. You must implore that good Mother to lend you her heart, that you may receive her son there with the same dispositions as her own. You will explain to her that it touches her Son's glory to be put into a heart so sullied and so inconstant as yours, which would not fail either to lessen His glory or to destroy it. But if she will come and dwell with you, in order to receive her her Son, she can do so by the dominion which she has over all hearts; and her Son will be well received by her without stain, without danger of being outraged or unnoticed. 'God is in the midst thereof, it shall not be moved.' (Ps. 45:6). You will tell her confidently that all you have given her of your good is little enough to honor her; but that by Holy Communion you wish to make her the same present as the Eternal Father gave her, and that you will honor her more that than if you gave her all the goods in the world; and finally, that Jesus, who loves her in a most special manner, still desires to take His pleasure and repose in her, even in your soul, though it be far filthier and poorer than the stable where He did not hesitate to come, simply because she was there. You will ask her for her heart, by these tender words: 'I take thee for my all. Give me thy heart, O Mary."

For those of you who would like to consecrate yourselves to Mary or who would like to renew your consecration, please be sure to visit Total Consecration. Or you can order True Devotion to Mary from Tan Books.

24 Jun 2011

Wait Is a Four-Letter Word

Download the pdf file
Here’s a crazy topic to be discussing, but I was so perplexed, I thought I’d throw is out and see what you think.  I’m a bit a news hound, I love a good news story, and I feel like the art of great journalism is fast becoming a thing of the past!  I’m constantly scouring the Internet for relevant, well-written articles, especially those of the Catholic nature.  When … lo and behold, I came across a reference to the L’Osservatore Romano—the Vatican’s daily newspaper.  Oohing and aahing, I ran for my computer to become a subscriber.  Yes, I read about this in a hardback book, imagine that!  Unfortunately, my source refers to L’Osservatore Romano as the world’s dullest newspaper.  I ignored the lack of a ringing endorsement, hopping on the Vatican website in anticipation of viewing a copy within minutes.  Not so fast.  

I was first redirected by a notice to subscribers: We would like to inform all our subscribers in the United States and Canada that The Cathedral Foundation of Baltimore, Maryland, has been entrusted with printing, managing and mailing the weekly English edition of L'Osservatore Romano for the U.S. and Canada.

Off I went, locating the page that would bring me to my ultimate prize—the Vatican news by way of the Vatican itself.  Upon viewing my options, however, I see that my only choice is to have a hard copy mailed to me via snail mail for $149.  This must be a mistake, I was sure.  No electronic version available, it’s unfathomable.  So, I picked up the phone and buzzed The Cathedral Foundation of Baltimore. 

Ring, ring …

Operator: Cathedral Foundation of Baltimore
Me: (a cheerful) Hello

Operator: (a cheerful) Hello
Me: How are you today?

Operator: (in a wary voice) Fine. (apparently, not sure)
Me: (happy and excited) I’m calling about a subscription to the Vatican Newspaper.

Operator: Ummhumm…
Me: (hopeful anticipation) Can you tell me if there is an option to get the paper electronically?

Operator: No
Me: Is it something that’s being considered?  I imagine there are many people who would be interested if it were, don’t you think?

Operator: (sarcastically) That would be up to the Vatican.
Me: Well … could you put me through? 

One ringy dingy...

Okay, I made that last part up.  I didn’t really ask to be connected to the Vatican, although the thought crossed my mind, the operator didn’t really sound like she was in the mood for any shenanigans. I wasn’t going to get anywhere anyway.  I pictured the operator to be like Lily Tomlin at one of those old-fashioned operator switchboards unplugging my cord, and glad to be rid of me ... snort ... snort.

This leaves me in a quandary, though.  Do I subscribe to the paper copy that will be delivered once a week?  Do I turn a blind eye to the costs ( pollution, trees) to getting it here? Or am I just mad because like so many things … I WANT IT NOW?

~Oh Lord, give me patience and give it to me now~

Lord, teach me to be patient—with life, with people,and with myself. I sometimes try to hurry things along too much, and I push for answers before the time is right. Teach me to trust Your sense of timing rather than my own and to surrender my will to Your greater and wiser plan. Help me let life unfold slowly, like the small rosebud whose petals unravel bit by bit, and remind me that in hurrying the bloom along, I destroy the bud and much of the beauty therein.

Instead, let me wait for all to unfold in its own time. Each moment and state of growth contains a loveliness. Teach me to slow down enough to appreciate life and all it holds. Amen.

Prayer Source: Unknown 
Linking up with: 
Sunday Snippets

Redemptive bellyaching

It is very easy for me to enter the state of Woe Is Me. In fact, I spend so much time there, I'm sure it's an actual place with a zip code. I could have my bills and junk mail delivered there.

In my own mind, my problems seem to be much harder than anyone else's. The list of injustices and slights against me is long and repetitive enough to bore even me -- yet another unfairness, because my troubles aren't as interesting as what other people experience.

So, after a rather difficult week, and then weekend plans derailed by a cold, I woke up this morning to learn that there was no water. I took it personally and immediately packed my bags for WIM. I'm telling you, the border guards know me on sight I've been there so often.

Recounting my troubles becomes a comforting reassurance that I have every right to feel as abused/misused/refused as I want to. I settle into the woeful wallow right there in Woe Is Me and prepare myself for a good old pity party. I survey the landscape of complaints laid out before me, and count each one to make sure none have gone missing.

I exaggerate here for dramatic effect of course, but certainly there are times when I do dwell on my woes and treat them more tenderly than I should. However, sooner or later(sometimes more later than I would like) I remember that there are people enduring real trials and tribulations while I fanny about with the press releases (catch the quote?) and I offer my challenges for those people.

That's how God works. In the Divine Economy it is called redemptive suffering - the sacrifice of one person's suffering endured for the sake of another person's good. It's like a parent making sacrifices for their child to go to school, or giving up your seat to an elderly man on the bus, but with spiritual goods and services.

To joyfully and freely offer your own pain and suffering for another person's good is a heroic and difficult thing to do. Until I am fully able to do so and leave Woe Is Me behind, I offer my bellyaching - the whimpering and snivelling I do - and trust that God can use even that to help you when you stumble on the rocky path.

23 Jun 2011

Whoever acts on these words of mine!

Whoever acts on these words of mine!
Reading the gospel today I see the inspiration for the fairy tale the “Big Bad Wolf” published in 1843, the tale of the three pigs who huffed and puffed!  
The gospel is a real goodie! It contains a wonderful few words from Jesus, words not to be missed!
There is a practical reality of listening to and acting upon the words of Christ and this is demonstrated quite beautifully. The listener is left in no doubt about the importance of hearing Jesus’ words and putting them into practice.
We all need to reside somewhere, a shelter, a place to base our lives, a sanctuary, a place to call our own, the Englishman’s home is his castle! The home is important whatever way we look at it. If my home is built on sand, the foundations will not keep the house in one piece, a downfall of rain and my home is gone!! So simple and so practical too, this for me is the essence of a good spiritual life simple and practical!
Jesus tells us the importance of making a foundation when it comes to sustaining faith It is no good saying I love Jesus dearly but I love bickering just as much! Not much point in saying I accept forgiveness for my weakness from the sacramental encounter with Christ and then stubbornly refuse to forgive those who trespass against me! There is little gain in sitting in my Sunday best in church each Sunday and the rest of the week persecuting my neighbour! Simple, we cry, I get it! But good to be reminded of it and I think that is the beauty of the scriptures A little gentle reminder to me to say: Am I taking care of the foundations of my faith: Prayer, trust, Mass, confession, charity, love, hope joy, peace, neighbourliness, gentleness, patience, reverence, modesty, humility? There are a lot of foundations! One or other may slip and bring the house down! Stormy weather in life’s journey could loosen the foundations, so it is good to concentrate on them now and again. How are your foundations?
What cements the Word of God in the Mass today is the bit of advice from Jesus that says; don’t just listen to God’s Word but act on it! In other words receive it, allow it to make an impact on you, enable it to penetrate to the very foundations our faith is built on and allow it to repair and tweek the cracks and strains we find.
When troubles come and boy oh boy do they come! When doubts come to the surface, when we look at the media laying before us the weakness and the sins of "holy" trusted men and in some cases the vile crimes of those in positions of trust, as it has done recently it feels as if the house we have built in faith is shifting on its foundations, it is shaking, we are shaking with fear, anger, indignation, disbelief.... in these moments we dig deep we check the foundations, we see that our Faith is built on the rock of faith in Christ a sustaining and encouraging rock in bad times and good.
Take care of the foundations, act on the Words of God!

'I am the living bread . . .' Sunday Reflections. Corpus Christi, 26 June 2011


El Greco, Altarpiece, 1597-99

Readings (New American Bible, used in the Philippines and the USA)

Gospel John 6:51-58 (Jerusalem Bible, used in Australia, England & Wales, Ireland, Scotland)

Jesus said to the Jews:

‘I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.
Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;
and the bread that I shall give is my flesh,
for the life of the world.’
Then the Jews started arguing with one another: ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they said. Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood,
you will not have life in you.
Anyone who does eat my flesh and drink my blood
has eternal life,
and I shall raise him up on the last day.
For my flesh is real food
and my blood is real drink.
He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood
lives in me
and I live in him.
As I, who am sent by the living Father,
myself draw life from the Father,
so whoever eats me will draw life from me.
This is the bread come down from heaven;
not like the bread our ancestors ate:
they are dead,
but anyone who eats this bread will live for ever.’

Soiscéal Eoin 6:51-58 (Gaeilge, Irish)

San am sin dúirt Íosa leis na sluaite:

Is mise an t-arán beo
a tháinig anuas ó neamh.
Má itheann duine an t-arán seo
mairfidh sé go deo, agus an t-arán a thabharfaidh mé uaim
is é m’fheoil é [a thabharfar] ar son bheatha an domhain.”
Bhí na Giúdaigh ansin ag aighneas le chéile á rá: “Conas is féidir don duine seo a fheoil
a thabhairt dúinn le hithe?”

Dúirt Íosa leo:

“Amen, Amen, a deirim libh,
mura n-íosfaidh sibh feoil Mhac an Duine,
agus a chuid fola a ól,
ní bheidh beatha agaibh ionaibh.
An té a itheann m’fheoil
agus a olann m’fhuil,
tá an bheatha shíoraí aige,
agus tógfaidh mé suas é an lá deireanach.
Is bia go fíor mo chuid feola
agus is deoch go fíor mo chuid fola.
An té a itheann m’fheoil agus a ólann m’fhuil
cónaíonn sé ionamsa agus cónaímse ann.
Amhail mar a chuir an tAthair beo mise uaidh,
agus mar is beo mise tríd an Athair,
mar an gcéanna, an té a itheann mise,
mairfidh sé tríom.
Is é seo an t-arán a tháinig anuas ó neamh.
Ní ionann is an manna ar ith bhur n-aithreacha é
agus go bhfuil siad marbh;
an té a itheann an t-arán seo,
mairfidh sé go deo.”


May I ask your prayers for myself and the four Columban seminarians to whom I am giving a retreat in Manila at the moment, 22-27 June, Tavite and Pat from Fiji and Adonis and Reggie from the Philippines.

Early in 1994 when I was parish priest in Lianga, Surigao del Sur, on the east coast of Mindanao, one of the volunteer catechists came and told me that her father was asking for 'the Bread of Life'. I learned that he had three families - he had been widowed twice - and children of this three wives, along with some of his grandchildren were in the house when I went to bring him the last sacraments.

He was fully alert and after I heard his confession he participated joyfully in the celebration of the sacrament of the sick and when he received Holy Communion. At the end of the ceremony I asked the members of his family who were nearest to him to place their hands on him. My idea was that they would pray for him individually. However, the dying man did something far more beautiful. He took one of his grandchildren, a babe in arms, and embraced the child. He then embraced each member of the family in turn.

It is not the practice in the Philippines to offer the priest something to eat when he makes a sick call but on this occasion the family had prepared a snack. There was such a palpable joy in the house that I felt it right and proper to eat.

The following morning the catechist came to tell me that her father had died.

This man understood the meaning of today's gospel and of today's feast, called now in English the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, though Corpus Christi is still the most common name. I think that all predominantly English-speaking countries have now transferred the feast from Thursday to the following Sunday.

Pope Urban IV asked St Thomas Aquinas to compose the sequence sung at Mass today, Lauda Sion Salvatorem. The hymn gives very clearly the teaching of the Church on the Eucharist. Here is one example:

Dogma datur Christiánis,
Quod in carnem transit panis,
Et vinum in sánguinem.
Hear, what holy Church maintaineth,
That the bread its substance changeth
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood.

I shudder when I hear people tell me that they received 'the wine' when Holy Communion is given under both kinds. I shudder even more when I hear priests refer to the Precious Blood as 'the wine'. As often as I can I remind people at Mass what the Catechism of the Catholic Church, No 1333 teaches: At the heart of the Eucharistic celebration are the bread and wine that, by the words of Christ and the invocation of the Holy Spirit, become Christ's Body and Blood.

The Body and Blood of Christ that we receive are the sustenance we need as individuals and as Church to follow Jesus faithfully and, if necessary, to shed our own blood so that others might know the Risen Lord. Fr Ragheed Ganni, martyred on 3 June 2007 just after he had celebrated Mass in Mosul, said not long before his death, Without Sunday, without the Eucharist the Christians in Iraq cannot survive.

Nor can Christians or the Church anywhere else.

Lauda Sion Salvatorem, St Thomas Aquinas, c1264 at the request of Pope Urban IV

Latin text English translation

Lauda Sion Salvatórem
Lauda ducem et pastórem
in hymnis et cánticis.
Sion, lift up thy voice and sing:
Praise thy Savior and thy King,
Praise with hymns thy shepherd true

Quantum potes, tantum aude:
Quia major omni laude,
Nec laudáre súfficis.
All thou canst, do thou endeavour:
Yet thy praise can equal never
Such as merits thy great King.

Laudis thema speciális,
Panis vivus et vitális,
Hódie propónitur.
See today before us laid
The living and life-giving Bread,
Theme for praise and joy profound.

Quem in sacræ mensa cœnæ,
Turbæ fratrum duodénæ
Datum non ambígitur.
The same which at the sacred board
Was, by our incarnate Lord,
Giv'n to His Apostles round.

Sit laus plena, sit sonóra,
Sit jucúnda, sit decóra
Mentis jubilátio.
Let the praise be loud and high:
Sweet and tranquil be the joy
Felt today in every breast.

Dies enim solémnis ágitur,
In qua mensæ prima recólitur
Hujus institútio.
On this festival divine
Which records the origin
Of the glorious Eucharist.

In hac mensa novi Regis,
Novum Pascha novæ legis,
Phase vetus términat.
On this table of the King,
Our new Paschal offering
Brings to end the olden rite.

Vetustátem nóvitas,
Umbram fugat véritas,
Noctem lux elíminat.
Here, for empty shadows fled,
Is reality instead,
Here, instead of darkness, light.

Quod in cœna Christus gessit,
Faciéndum hoc expréssit
In sui memóriam.
His own act, at supper seated
Christ ordain'd to be repeated
In His memory divine;

Docti sacris institútis,
Panem, vinum, in salútis
Consecrámus hóstiam.
Wherefore now, with adoration,
We, the host of our salvation,
Consecrate from bread and wine

Dogma datur Christiánis,
Quod in carnem transit panis,
Et vinum in sánguinem.
Hear, what holy Church maintaineth,
That the bread its substance changeth
Into Flesh, the wine to Blood

Quod non capis, quod non vides,
Animósa firmat fides,
Præter rerum ordinem.
Doth it pass thy comprehending?
Faith, the law of sight transcending
Leaps to things not understood.

Sub divérsis speciébus,
Signis tantum, et non rebus,
Latent res exímiæ.
Here beneath these signs are hidden
Priceless things, to sense forbidden,
Signs, not things, are all we see

Caro cibus, sanguis potus:
Manet tamen Christus totus,
Sub utráque spécie.
Flesh from bread, and Blood from wine,
Yet is Christ in either sign,
All entire, confessed to be.

A suménte non concísus,
Non confráctus, non divísus:
Integer accípitur.
They, who of Him here partake,
Sever not, nor rend, nor break:
But, entire, their Lord receive.

Sumit unus, sumunt mille:
Quantum isti, tantum ille:
Nec sumptus consúmitur.
Whether one or thousands eat:
All receive the self-same meat:
Nor the less for others leave.

Sumunt boni, sumunt mali:
Sorte tamen inæquáli,
Vitæ vel intéritus.
Both the wicked and the good
Eat of this celestial Food:
But with ends how opposite!

Mors est malis, vita bonis:
Vide paris sumptiónis
Quam sit dispar éxitus.
Here 't is life: and there 't is death:
The same, yet issuing to each
In a difference infinite

Fracto demum Sacraménto,
Ne vacílles, sed memento,
Tantum esse sub fragménto,
Nor a single doubt retain,
When they break the Host in twain,
But that in each part remains

Quantum toto tégitur.
Nulla rei fit scissúra:
Signi tantum fit fractúra:
What was in the whole before.
Since the simple sign alone
Suffers change in state or form:

Qua nec status nec statúra
Signáti minúitur.
Ecce panis Angelórum,
The signified remaining one
And the same for evermore.
Lo! bread of the Angels broken,

Factus cibus viatórum:
Vere panis fíliórum,
Non mittendus cánibus.
For us pilgrims food, and token
Of the promise by Christ spoken,
Children’s meat, to dogs denied.

In figúris præsignátur,
Cum Isaac immolátur:
Agnus paschæ deputátur
Shewn in Isaac's dedication,
In the manna's preparation:
In the Paschal immolation

Datur manna pátribus.
Bone pastor, panis vere,
Jesu, nostri miserére:
In old types pre-signified.
Jesu, shepherd of the sheep:
Thou thy flock in safety keep,

Tu nos pasce, nos tuére:
Tu nos bona fac vidére
In terra vivéntium.
Living bread, thy life supply:
Strengthen us, or else we die,
Fill us with celestial grace.

Tu, qui cuncta scis et vales:
Qui nos pascis hic mortales:
Tuos ibi commensáles,
Thou, who feedest us below:
Source of all we have or know:
Grant that with Thy Saints above,

Cohærédes et sodales,
Fac sanctórum cívium.
Amen. Allelúja.
Sitting at the feast of love,
We may see Thee face to face.
Amen. Alleluia.

Yo Soy el Pan de Vida, I am the Bread of Life Words: Suzanne Toolan, Music: John Michael Talbot
Most of us are familiar with this modern hymn, based on today's gospel. The video is of a Spanish version.

Augustine is not an Excuse

Da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo.  -St.Augustine A few weeks back, the incorrigible Milo Yiannopolus posted  his side ...