Quotations:

I am with you always until the end of this world - Jesus (Matthew 28:20).

Preach the Word in season and out of season reproving, rebuking or advising always with patience and providing instructions (2 Timothy 4:2).

Do not fear, Mary, for God has looked kindly on you (Luke 1:30).

Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly. - G. K. Chesterton

Saturday, March 29, 2008

What feeds your mind? by: Marino J. Dasmarinas

This is the one million dollar question: What feeds your mind? Is it your worries? Is it your desire for money? There are a lot of things that feeds our mind and we may not know it that some of these are actually depreciating us.

Worry no more, the Bible tells us: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34)
Is it your desire for money? The Bible has this to say: “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs. (1st Timothy 6:10)
Feed your mind with God and you will not go wrong; this is what the Bible tells us: “Seek first the kingdom of God and all these things will be added unto you." (Matthew. 6:33).

Pray, Read the Bible specially the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John (this is where you will intimately know who really Jesus is) and meditate on its words. Attend Mass or your Church service (if you’re not a Catholic). When you feed your mind with God you’ll have peace in your heart and you’ll feel Jesus presence in your life every step of the way.

What are you feeding your mind right now?

Monday, March 24, 2008

How did the word CATHOLIC came into being?

The original existing reference to the “Catholic Church” occurred in a letter written by St. Ignatius of Antioch.

In his Letter to the Smyrnaeans written in 107 AD the following statement was written: “Wherever the bishop is, let the people be there; just as wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” This declaration is interesting for numerous reasons. One reason is that the name “Catholic” used to designate Jesus’ Church was apparently not new. St. Ignatius felt no need to clarify or defend the name. This points to an earlier year for the beginning of the name Catholic. It is not a stretch to conceive the beginning of the name “Catholic” to the first century. Another reason that this statement is remarkable is that the man that first wrote that the Church was called “Catholic” was from Antioch. It was also in Antioch that the followers of Jesus were first called “Christians” (Acts 11:26). One other reason that this statement from St. Ignatius is interesting is that Jesus and the Catholic Church are united as one. “Wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church.” In other words, Jesus is always found with the Catholic Church. This fulfills the words of our Lord, “Behold, I am with you always even until the end of the world!” (Matthew 28:20).

Friday, March 21, 2008

My Reflections for March 21, Good Friday John 18:1-19:42 (The Crucifixion of Jesus)

My Reflections:Today is Good Friday; we remember the passion of Jesus; his crucifixion and death at Calvary. We may be asking ourselves why is this called Good Friday? Why is a day overflowing with so much suffering, pain and death by Jesus called good? Why is a day full of brutality and betrayal by his persecutors and followers called Good Friday?

There are three reasons:
1. An ancient implication of "Good" is something similar to "Holy." therefore, it used to indicate "Holy Friday."

2. It was acknowledged that the evils during that day lead to the greatest good, the salvation of mankind. so, despite the bad, the day was truly good.

3. An old meaning of good is God, similar as "good-bye" means "God be with you." Thus, it used to mean "God's Friday."

The gospel is very long but full of meaning. To my mind this is the most important gospel reading in the entire Bible because this gospel is the zenith of Jesus' three years public ministry.

In the gospel Jesus was betrayed by Judas, (John 18:5) for what? For money (30 pieces of silver coins).

Jesus was also denied by Peter three times, (John 18:17, 25, 27) because on that very difficult moment Peter doesn’t want to be identified with Jesus.

We may ask ourselves these very piercing questions:
1. Like Judas do we not also betray Jesus by our greed for money, power, and popularity?

2. Like Peter do we not also deny Jesus when we are faced with situation to stand-up for our faith, to stand-up for the abused, for the poor and oppressed.

In the latter part of the gospel Jesus said: “I thirst” (John 19:28). I THIRST FOR YOU NOT TO DENY ME... NOT TO BETRAY ME...


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

My Reflections for the fifth Sunday of Lent (John 11:3-7,17,20-27,33-45) March 9, Jesus, Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus

My reflections:
Our relationship with our friends has different degrees; there are friends whom we can freely unburden whatever emotions we have. There are those whom we are wary of sharing our deepest secrets for fear of betrayal and scorn. This is also true on how we give our love to our friends. There is superficial love and there’s sacrificial or agape love towards our friends.

In the gospel we clearly see the deep friendship and love amongst Jesus and sisters Mary and Martha together with their brother Lazarus. When Lazarus got sick both sisters went to see Jesus and told him: "Master, the one you love is ill." ( Jn 11:3). On Jn 11:5 it says “Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus.” On Jn 11:20 it says: “When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went to meet him.” Then when Jesus was already in their house Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. Jn. 11:21.

When Jesus saw where Lazarus was buried he wept. Jn. 11:35.

What does these following Bible passages tell us? It simply tells us that Jesus can also be our friend; he is a friend that is not bounded by time and space, he is an ever present friend; we must be aware of his presence in our lives. He is a friend that is always there ready to listen, ready to help us lighten our load. We just need to be open to him.

On Matthew 11:28 Jesus tells us: "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit: Isaiah 11:2

The Seven gifts of the Holy Spirit
There are seven gifts of the Holy Spirit as quoted in Isaiah 11:2 the first is Wisdom second is Understanding, third is Counsel, and fourth is Fortitude fifth is Knowledge sixth is Piety and the seventh is Fear of the Lord.

The Gift of Wisdom
The gift of wisdom points those who have it to see things from God’s perspective. Wisdom is completeness of knowledge. Wisdom inspires us through meditative reflection on what we believe. The gift of wisdom supports the virtue of faith and shields us against foolishness.

The gift of Understanding
The gift of understanding gives to the mind of those who have it a charm for understanding Jesus’ public disclosure without any difficulty. It helps those who have it penetrate to the heart of discovered fact even when they do not fully understand its entirety.

The gift of Counsel
The gift of counsel perfects in those who have it the virtue of carefulness. It enables an individual to judge without delay and correctly, as by intuition, what should be done in difficult situations through the gift of counsel the Holy Spirit speaks to the heart and shows those who have it what to do. Jesus gave His followers a gift like counsel when He told them, Mt 10:19 “When they deliver you up, do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”

The gift of Fortitude
The gift of fortitude brings to those who have it a determined spirit of resolution, decisiveness of mind, and indomitable will to persevere with a profound faith in God’s providence that overcomes all obstacles. It brings courage to persevere despite trials, sickness, maltreatment or external failure. A Catholic who becomes steadfast in his faith will be condemned by the world, but the gift of fortitude will sustain him.

The gift of Knowledge
The gift of knowledge enables those who have it to make wise judgment and opinion. He can see God’s providence in everything that happens to his life and he is able to wisely discern the good and bad side of it.

The gift of Piety
The gift of Piety creates an instinctive love for God and fidelity to those who are consecrated to God. Piety arises from the Holy Spirit’s supernatural communication, rather than from effort or acquired habit.Piety is the gift wherein, at the Holy Spirit's initiation, we give worship and duty to God as our Father."

The gift of Fear of the Lord
The gift of fear of the Lord confirms profound respect for God’s splendor and self-sacrificing love for God. It protects us from sin through fear of offending God. I just want to make it clear that this gift has nothing to do with fear of punishment. We express fear of the Lord in a perfect act of contrition/repentance.

N.B. If we will look through Isaiah 11:2 there are only six gift of the Holy Spirit. It doesn’t include the gift of Piety. However the foundation of the established names of the gifts of the Holy Spirit which is the Septuagint and the Vulgate read "piety" for fear of the LORD when it first came out, therefore listing seven gifts.