Showing posts from September, 2012

Pope Benedict on St Thérèse of Lisieux

Thanks to  Irmo Francis Valeza SJ  for the link to the video on his Facebook. The original is on  Rome Reports . Today is the tenth anniversary of my starting as editor of  Misyon , the magazine of the Columbans in the Philippines. I was very happy to start on the feast day of St Thérèse of Lisieux, whom I 're-discovered' about twenty years ago. I had read  Story of a Soul  as a young seminarian - my dentist from childhood, the late Dr Éadbhard O’Brien-Moran, gave me a copy when I was entering the Columbans in 1961 - but didn't find it particularly appealing, maybe because of the style of writing. Continue here .

The Unauthorized Exorcist: A Reflection for the 26th Sunday of Ordinary Time • Mark 9:38-42

John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us.” But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward. “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea. Several years ago the Catholic Digest printed the following parable: Once there was an ecumenical crusade that was being held in a large city. Every imaginable denomination was in attendance for this unprecedented spiritual event. During one very well attended meeting a secretary suddenly rushed in shouting, “The building is on fire! The building is one

'He that is not against us is for us.' Sunday Reflections, 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

St John the Evangelist , El Greco, painted 1610-14 ( Web Gallery of Art ) Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa) Gospel Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition) John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we forbade him, because he was not following us." But Jesus said, "Do not forbid him; for no one who does a mighty work in my name will be able soon after to speak evil of me. For he that is not against us is for us. For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ, will by no means lose his reward. Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into t

Happy Birthday, Lala, VERY IMPORTANT PERSON!

I first wrote the post below for the short-lived Negros Times in October 2008. I have re-posted it a number of times because Lala's story is one that should be told over and over again. This evening she will be celebrating her 33rd birthday with a quiet dinner at  Punla, Ang Arko , the only  L'Arche community  in the Philippines, in Cainta, Rizal, part of the metropolitan sprawl of Manila. Lala, with Jordan Let us show our service to the poor, then, with renewed ardour in our hearts, seeking out above all any abandoned people, since they are given to us as lords and patrons.(St Vincent de Paul, used in the Office of Readings for his feast day, today.) Both Lala and Queen Elizabeth II have have two birthdays, the real one and the official one. Lala’s official birthday is 27 September and she turns 33 today. Queen Elizabeth’s official birthday is celebrated in 53 Commonwealth countries, but not on the same date. Only the Falkland Islands observes her official birthd

Give Thanks

As a nursing student, I spend many hours a week in class and doing homework. I often find myself getting frustrated, whether it is an inability to remember something or not understanding how something works or just not being able to memorize is. However, I make it through everyday and see God all throughout each day by giving thanks. I encourage you to start listing things you are thankful for as you go about each day. Here's some of mine: Beautiful weather Comfy clothes Chocolate Perfectly warmed coffee The smell if coffee Professors who teach without PowerPoint A caring friend Pilates Smiling at a stranger Rain The rosary Sleep

The New Evangelization, part 4b: Part IV: Culture of Witness

This part of the USCCB's document, "Disciples Called to be Witness, the new Evangelization, covers how and when we can evangelize without too much effort.    Through conversion and the methodologies of:  discipleship, a commitment to the Christian life, parish life, the liturgical life of the Church: popular devotions and piety, the Christian family, catechist and teachers of the faith, and religious experience we bring the Church to the world by our examples in these areas.  Last time I discussed conversion and promised a discussion on methologies of evangelization which will make it clearer how we all can be new evangelizers. Through discipleship we serve as witnesses for Christ and His teachings.  Witnessing is a farther reaching act of teaching that traditional teaching.  When someone shares their own personal experiences about life it drives home to those how it looks and feels in real time not just from a book.  This makes total sense, too, as a new mothe

Girls Just Want to Have Fun!

A gorgeous jacket caught my eye as I was flipping through an issue of a fashion magazine, trying to find the “perfect” haircut—you know, just cute enough to say I am still “fashionable” yet not too cute as to say “I’m 54 years-old trying to look 30.” The jacket was what I would call “car length.” It was covered in an animal print. I loved it! At that point, having lost my focus on trying to find a picture of a perfect haircut to take to my stylist, I intently surveyed the different animal print products—from handbags to pants to shoes—each seeming a bit wild and yet quite appealing. Of course at my age I couldn’t fathom donning a full-on animal print ensemble—or maybe I was never at the correct age to wear such an outfit—but there was still something attractive about an animal print accessory, and most especially that coat! It just seemed “fun.” Sometimes, as Christian women, we forget that we are called to have fun. In our day-to-day living in which we embrace our

Contemplating Teens and Tchiakovsky

Contemplating Teens and Tchaikovsky Helping teens navigate adolescence is not for the faint of heart. I teach teens. My husband and I are raising one, and soon, two, teens. The adolescent years are as tumultuous, as full of questioning and confusion, as the toddler years. Sometimes, I find out things I would rather not know. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that the Mystery is imbedded in all reality and that all of us, even teens who make poor decisions, are redeemable miracles. Keep Reading...

'Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me.' Sunday Reflections, 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Christ Blessing the Children , Nicolas Maes, painted 1652-53 [from  Web Gallery of Art ] I am posting this early as I will be giving a retreat to Missionaries of Charity in Tagaytay City, south of Manila, from tomorrow, 17 September, until 25 September. I won't be online there. I would appreciate your prayers for the retreatants and for myself. Thank you. Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)  Gospel  Mark 9:30-37   (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition) Jesus and his disciples went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he would not have any one know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, "The Son of man will be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he will rise." But they did not understand the saying, and

In the Midst of Sorrow: To Grandma on her 1st Death Anniversary

It's already a year since my grandmother passed away...  I remember how she used to tell me that her favorite devotion was to Our Lady of Sorrows.   She felt that her life had been filled with sufferings and that only her own death can spare her from it.   Our Lady of Sorrows I wish I can tell her now that her sufferings are nothing compared to the love that Jesus can give - if only she will open her heart to accept it.  Read more:  In The Midst of Sorrow: To Grandma on her 1st Death Anniversary   by Samantha Catabas Manuel on  Coffee Moments with Sam  

'You are the Christ.' Sunday Reflections, 24th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

Saint Peter , El Greco, painted 1610-13 [ Web Gallery of Art ] Readings (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)  Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)   Gospel  Mark 8:27-35   (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition) And Jesus went on with his disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, "Who do men say that I am?" And they told him, "John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others one of the prophets." And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter answered him, "You are the Christ." And he charged them to tell no one about him. And he began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he said this plainly. And Peter took him, and

The Call to Holiness

 What are you willing to give your life for? Not, what are you willing to die for... ....but what do you really live for? Reflections on 9/11.   Read More Here

Death of Sr Mary Pilar L. Verzosa RGS, founder of Pro-Life, Philippines

Sr Mary Pilar Lahoz Verzosa RGS  (24 September 1944 - 9 September 2012) Sister Pilar died yesterday morning. She  suffered an aneurysm  last Thursday afternoon while giving a seminar at De La Salle University – Dasmariñas, Cavite. She was the founder of  Pro-Life Philippines . May she rest in peace. Please remember her in your prayers. Sister Mary Pilar   L. Verzosa RGS was one of the great Filipinos of our time. She founded  Pro-Life Philippines  and was tireless in her work for women and girls who found themselves in difficult situations. The Religious of the Good Shepherd for many years in the Philippines have provided home for unmarried women who find themselves pregnant. You can get a good idea of what Sister Pilar committed her life to  here . Last February Sister Pilar was  one of the recipients of the Mystery of Life Award  from the Archdiocese of Seoul. I met her a number of times and, on occasion, exchanged emails with her. I went to see her in Manila a co

Reflections of 9/11 Spouse

When a passenger plane carrying 87 people from Boston was deliberately flown by five al-Quaeda hijackers into Tower One of the World Trade Center at 8:46 a.m. September 11, 2001, my husband was standing his desk on the 68th floor. He was knocked to the floor by the impact. Right now as I type this, he's sitting next to me on the family sofa.  Keep Reading Here...

The Five Friends A Woman Needs

Recently God brought into my life a woman who I now call “friend.” I spent some time with her recently where we enjoyed a cup of tea and chatting. As I left I was buoyed by our visit. It got me to thinking how perfectly she fit into my life and reflect on the question: What sort of friends does a woman “need” in her life? I know lots of women: the mothers of all the friends of my sons; women with whom I’ve worked and those with whom I’ve worshipped. There are women neighbors and there are women relatives. I’ve been blessed by meeting women at speaking engagements who have touched my heart. But friends? I have but a few. I remember once being told that at the end of your life, if you can count on one hand your true friends, you will have been very lucky. I guess that was the secular way of saying you have been very blessed. At 54 years old, I see that I have been very blessed. If we’ve got one hand to work off of, I believe these are the five friends each woman needs:

'He even makes the deaf hear.' Sunday Reflections, 23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B

The Lord's Prayer in Filipino Sign Language Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA) Readings (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)  Gospel  Mark 7:31-37   (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition) Then Jesus returned from the region of Tyre, and went through Sidon to the Sea of Galilee, through the region of the Decapolis. And they brought to him a man who was deaf and had an impediment in his speech; and they besought him to lay his hand upon him. And taking him aside from the multitude privately, he put his fingers into his ears, and he spat and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and said to him, "Ephphatha," that is, "Be opened." And his ears were opened, his tongue was released, and he spoke plainly. And he charged them to tell no one; but the more he charged them, the more zealously they proclaimed it. And they were asto

Little Johnny Funny

Little Johnny did not know that his family was poor. One day he came to school wearing just one shoe. The teacher asked, "Johnny, did you lose a shoe?" "No ma'am," he said, "I found one." [forwarded by Al Keeney] today'sTHOT============================ Did you hear about the two air-heads who froze to death in a drive-in movie? They went to see "Closed for the Winter." ======================================= PASS IT ON! Yeah, you can send this Funny to anybody you want. And, if you're REAL nice, you'll tell them where you got it! ===============================

Back to School: God's Mercy and My Anxiety

It's easy to let ourselves become anxious. But  when we consider our lives in the light of God's  overwhelming love and mercy for us, anxiety  has a way of dissipating. Keep reading...

A Summer Review

Well the ACWB blogg is ticking along nicely, I think we are a varied and various bunch. We seem to cover a wide range of the Catholic Church and treat each others posts with respect and enjoyment, not all of us agree on everything, but we all agree with Pope Benedict so that's all right! I will be taking a holiday now and Jackie is minding the store for a while. I'm hoping for a very relaxing and peaceful break and will try and take some suitable photos to share. My prayers and love to all. Marion

Pro-lifers cannot win the debate by bargaining over the lives of the unborn |

Francis Phillips writes: Pro-lifers cannot win the debate by bargaining over the lives of the unborn |

Jean Vanier on hospitality

While posting the link  Misyononline  link  for today's  Sunday Reflections  on Facebook I saw there a link to a new video by Jean Vanier, founder of  L'Arche  and co-founder with Marie-Hélène Mathieu of  Faith and Light . He is speaking to a young fellow-Canadian, Maya Pot, a fifth-grader, about hospitality, which I had also focused on in Sunday Reflections, where a Filipino seminarian told me about the experience of hospitality that he had when he went to visit some workers from Kerala, India, living in an overcrowded labour camp in Dubai. Marie-Hél è ne Mathieu I've since discovered that Jean speaks to Maya in a number of short videos on hospitality, each directed to a different group. The one above is for parents. He speaks to teachers (below), to senior elementary students  here , to junior elementary students  here  and to secondary students  here . Full post here .

Tradition and traditions. Sunday Reflections, 22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B.

A silver cup  for  netilat yadayim , the Jewish ritual washing of hands Readings   (New American Bible: Philippines, USA)  Readings   (Jerusalem Bible: Australia, England & Wales, India [optional], Ireland, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa)  Gospel  Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23   (Revised Standard Version – Catholic Edition) Now when the Pharisees gathered together to him, with some of the scribes, who had come from Jerusalem, they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they wash their hands, observing the tradition of the elders; and when they come from the market place, they do not eat unless they purify themselves; and there are many other traditions which they observe, the washing of cups and pots and vessels of bronze.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, "Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with hands defil