Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Christmas isn't about giving and receiving gifts. It's not about wearing new clothes. It's not about the lights and expensive decorations. It's not about the delicious food and wines.

It's about Jesus.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Memories

When I was a child, I was excited not for Christmas but for the gifts I were to receive on the 25th. I remember the toys and the children's books, the new clothes and the fun we had. I remember the Christmas cassette tapes which we played over and over until the player no longer operated. I remember the scent of newly printed money(and I bet you also love sniffing at those bills!) and the thrill of unwrapping the gifts. I love sniffing at the gift wrappers too.

I remember the travels our family had made during the season of Christmas for the past years. I remember having terrible rashes at my feet during one of those trips. If I scratch them, it would hurt and if I don't, it would itch (imagine my dilemma!). I also remember going to my father's office. We would play with Microsoft PowerPoint. We made silly presentations and even printed some. That was in the late nineties, and the technology wasn't as sophisticated as now. That office had the noisy laser printers then.

Now we seldom travel during Christmas. We're just staying home, celebrating Christmas as a family. I don't receive a lot of gifts since I've grown up (no, I'm not asking for presents!). I no longer receive the toys and the children's books which I used to long for. My Christmas has become simpler, and I pray it would be as simple as the manger where Jesus was laid.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

My Prayer For Today (And Probably For 2011)

Psalm 143: 1-11
Lord, listen to my prayer;
turn your ear to my appeal.

You are faithful, you are just; give answer.
Do not call your servant to judgment
for no one is just in your sight.
The enemy pursues my soul;
he has crushed my life to the ground;

he has made me dwell in darkness
like the dead, long forgotten.
Therefore my spirit fails;
My heart is numb within me.
I remember the days that are past:

I ponder all your works.
I muse on what your hand has wrought
and to you I stretch out my hands.
Like a parched land my soul thirsts for you.
Lord, make haste and answer;
for my spirit fails within me.
Do not hide your face
lest I become like those in the grave.
In the morning let me know your love
for I put my trust in you.
Make me know the way I should walk:
to you I lift up my soul.
Rescue me, Lord, from my enemies;
I have fled to you for refuge.
Teach me to do your will
for you, O Lord, are my God.
Let your good spirit guide me
in ways that are level and smooth.
For your name’s sake, Lord, save my life;
in your justice save my soul from distress.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Hurrah for the Crown!

I made for the first time a Knot Franciscan Crown Rosary. I made it for two hours.

My hands are painful and tired right now, and the Rosary is very imperfect but I am happy that I am able to finish this one.You see, I have some unfinished rosaries because the cord is too short, or because I'm too lazy to continue.

I haven't tried using twine cords; I've been using cord ribbons since April. My twine cords haven't arrived yet. I am waiting for them before the year ends.

Now I have to learn how to pray it.

My previous post about my first Knot Rosary

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Crucifixion

This song may not be appropriate for Advent, but Danielle Rose speaks about the love of our Blessed Mother to her Son. Simply touching.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Break, Nuns and Blessings

Tomorrow will be the start of my Christmas break, yet I do not know if I will be able to finish the assigned school jobs. Oh.

Solemn Profession of a Handmaid of the Precious Blood
Another News from the Handmaids

The Handmaids of the Precious Blood, who are very close to my heart, were founded by Fr. Gerald Fitzgerald in 1947. Their community is 'dedicated to Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration for the sanctification of priests and the needs of the whole world'. Their web address describes their vocation: Nuns for Priests. Please visit their website for more information.

It's beautiful to know that there are people who pray for our beloved priests, and it would be really great if you would join them in their apostolate. For more information about their "external apostolate", click here.

Going back to my Christmas break, I came up with a To-do list:

  1. Watch the Into Great Silence again (without sleeping!). I'm going to arm myself with tons of coffee!
  2. Continue reading The Ancrene Riwle, and finish the other books I currently read so that I can proceed to The Interior Castle. The poor book has been in my shelf for many weeks.
  3. Travel to a far place (not kidding!)
  4. Spend more time at the Phatmass Chat. I was in a hurry this morning and I left the chat too soon. How it breaks my heart (yikes!)
  5. Rest!
As for My Christmas Wish, the Good Lord has been providing for my spiritual needs and I am so grateful. Although I do not have a "formal" spiritual director, the Blue Hermit is journeying with me. He's my spiritual grandfather, father and brother. I just want to thank him here for his love and support. Without him, my soul could have fled somewhere! Brother Dismas is God's gift to me. O Brother, I just can't thank you enough!

So now I am asking you to help Br. Dismas continue his ministry to the people in Gambia. Please click here for more details. You may also buy his "Rustic Rosaries" (for my friends here in the Philippines, I could show you a sample.)

Tomorrow will be another day. Common sense tells us so. :)

May God bless you!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Prayers Please

Please pray for Mother Mary Francesca O.SS.R. The link is here. The same link will give you the blog site of the Australian Redemptoristine nuns. They give updates on Mother's health.

God bless you!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception!

Still I am used to write the Spanish "Concepcion."

The priest this morning Mass reminded us of Our Lady of Lourdes and Saint Bernadette.

I had a book about St. Bernadette before, and I would always stare at her picture (like the one above). She looks like she's praying to the Blessed Mother. How blessed are her eyes! I'm praying and hoping that I'll have the chance to go to Lourdes. If anyone of you is willing to bring me to Lourdes, please don't hesitate to contact me :p!

Going back to Our Lady, I'll be making my Total Consecration to Jesus Through Mary on December 12, feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. I almost had 5 attempts of making the preparation but I found it very hard. I would put in my calendar, then I won't be able to do it, or, like the first time, I won't finish the preparation.

But the Lord gave me the strength last month and I am so happy that I'll be finishing the preparation and make the consecration on Sunday! Please join me in prayer. God bless you!

Me and my old stretcher.

Monday, December 6, 2010

My Christmas Wishlist

1. A silent retreat, preferably for eight days.
2. A spiritual director - URGENT!
3. A religious community.

..and these are a few of my favorite things! When I'm feeling sad, I simply remember my favorite things and then I don't feel so bad!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sunday Rest

Sundays are my rest days. Although I still do my school works on this day, I could still find time for me to sit back, relax and 'reorganize' myself. I could read the books I love (and need) to read, and I could sleep more. Sundays are the best!

This morning I "chatted"  my Phatmass phamily. It was my first time to chat with them since I seem to be the only phatmasser who live on the eastern section of the globe, and that means I am a hermit when I go to the chat room. Now I got the "Phatmass" fever, and it's true: Phatmass is addicting. Beware!

This evening, I started reading The Ancren Riwle. This is the only "free" internet copy I found in Google books. Now I wonder why other Internet copies of The Ancren Riwle are not available for full viewing. So far, I am enjoying the literature.

Now it's night and I have to sleep now. This week will be a busy one.

God bless you!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

An Afternoon with the Little Brothers

If I were in this picture, I would be that man at left!
I spent the afternoon with the Little Brothers of Jesus yesterday. It was the 94th death anniversary of Blessed Charles de Foucauld.

I wasn't able to be with the Brothers at the Mass, but anyway, I joined them in their Evening Prayers + Adoration. It was so wonderful. It was my first time to pray with them actually.

Although I could hear the neighbors talk and feel the cats walk nearby, I wasn't really distracted by them. We prayed the Evening Prayers (or Vespers) in Filipino, and it was so inspiring. I appreciated my native tongue more. I realized that it is really beautiful to pray the Hours with a community. I was able to focus well on the Psalms when we were reciting them together. I felt so united with them. I felt we are one in prayer.

Brother Patricio, LBJ brought me to the village's greenhouse and to the Brothers' farm. My, FarmVille became so real! I was so amused to see the greenhouses, the gentle sprinklers for the seedlings (Brother told me that those sprinklers send out smoke-like water, probably just like a cloud, so the seedlings won't get hurt), and the irrigation system (I don't know if that's how we should call it). I became so interested in farming. Brother Patring harvested some peanuts too. He took the whole plant out of the soil, and that was so amazing! There were other crops, like tomatoes and corn. I cannot remember the names of other vegetables, but there were plenty of them. 

Farming is a very contemplative work and I understand now why monks prefer this work. The farm is so conducive to prayer. Also, I learned that farming requires not just bodily strength, but also knowledge about the work. Farming isn't just about planting. It is a real science. Br. Patring would point a crop and say it is sick. Well, yes, the leaves of the cucumber plant has big spots on them. When he was harvesting the peanuts, I noticed that the leaves were somehow dry. Brother said it's a sign that the peanuts are ready to be harvested. I also noticed that the distance between plants are the same... and I realized mathematics would follow me even at the farm!

At supper we didn't eat any luxurious food. Rather, we had dried fish and beef soup, of course with rice, at the table. Their simplicity and poverty just hit me. The house, the environment, the chapel, their work... everything is just so simple. I was so ashamed of myself. I was living so comfortably and taking my life so granted- complaining about the food I eat, complaining about little discomforts. I realized that when we live simply, we'll be able to appreciate life more. We'll appreciate Jesus more as we learn to surrender to Him everything. We'll appreciate Jesus more because He is Life, because we have nothing but Him. Simplicity of life detaches us from the world.

My heart was filled with gratitude as I went home. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I want to rest for a day. I just want to be free from all my duties just for a day so that I could rest.

I want to get away from the news in the television, from the empty chats and silly boastings! I want to get away from the noise and hurries.I just want to be in silence and simplicity.

I just want to enjoy profound silence. I just want to enjoy the singing of the birds, the dancing of the leaves and the embrace of the gentle breeze! I just want to breathe!

I just want to do all these things because I want to be happy. I want to organize my life, to forget all the pains, and to find myself.

I just want to be what I want to be.

NEW Look

It's been a month since I last updated this blog. I have so much to put here, but I don't have the time. Anyway, I decided to change the look of my blog, and I added new pages as well. To my followers and readers, thank you for visiting this simple blogsite. May God bless you!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ghost Pictures

I don't believe in ghost pictures. But when I was a child, they used to scare me to death!

I remember when I was in first grade, we had lessons about computer. So obviously we had computers during classes. When we were asked to do something, we try to finish it right away so that we could view the GhostPic slideshow.

My, I couldn't sleep the first time I viewed that slideshow. I woke up in the middle of the night, and I just can't move because of fear! I felt someone like the black lady in the slideshow was behind me. Then I became afraid of dark corners, thinking ghosts would pop out. I was so afraid to look at our blank television screen. I was afraid I would see the devil in the picture.

More than a decade later, I laugh at these silly ghosts moments.

But I don't think we should laugh at the fruits of these ghost pictures.

Kids are very curious and want to prove something. Seeing at these ghost pictures, they would love to take their very own.

Then they resort to channeling. Then to Ouija boards and other forms of divination.

How did I know?

When I was in third grade, a classmate taught us a form of channeling done by her brother. If I remember it right, we would think of a dead person, pray a Hail Mary (I'm sorry dearest Mother!) then ask a question, and listen to the response. Then we did this in groups, and how excited we are to get answers! One classmate learned that we were doing this thing, and reported to our class adviser. How I hated him! But now I thank him for saving us from this practice. Well actually I carried this practice before I entered high school.

When I was in sixth grade, our classmates taught us another form of divination. You'll make 16 cards, number them from 1 to 13. The remaining cards would contain "YES", "NO", or "MAYBE". We'll ask a question answerable by yes or no. I won't give the details because it would be tiring, and kids may do this after reading this entry.

Other kids did Ouija boards, cards, even with coins and ballpens just to "make contact" with these sort of spirits.

It's alarming, isn't it? We must do something to save our kids from such demonic practices. I am afraid they would grow up still doing such practices, and even pass these to their children. I am sure kids still do those channeling things, and what makes it more alarming is that there are lots of New Age resources available now. Some are even cheap and some are just a click away. Some are in form of novels, some are in movies. Some are in newspapers, some are on billboards.

Surely we need to pray a lot and arm ourselves with knowledge. There are also lots of resources that would help us know the why's. Catholic Answers is there.

If you are from the Philippines, I recommend the book "Exorcism" by Father Jocis Syquia. It's not just about how exorcisms are done, but it gives a lot of solid Catholic teachings, telling us what's wrong with new age.

So, now we pray:

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our defense against the wickedness and snares
of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray,
and do thou,
O Prince of the Heavenly Host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell satan,
and all the evil spirits,
who prowl about the world
seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

I thank God for saving me from "juvenile" New Age practices. Please, Lord, do the same to other kids. Amen.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


It's October 21, almost 1 month after I posted my last entry about the anchorites. This week has been a rainy week.

October is very special to me. It's a very unique month for me. It's the month of Saints Therese, Francis, Bruno, Faustina, Mary Soledad, Teresa, Margaret Mary Alacoque, Luke, Paul of the Cross, Simon and Jude. These are some of the saints I really admire, and out of the goodness of God, He placed their feast days on a single month!

But this October has been so sad. It's all over the internet. But I am sure God will do something good out of our tears and pains. God will do some exciting things for sure, and I am really waiting for them!

Obedience is the greatest sacrifice, the greatest prayer a soul can offer to his Creator.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Inner Anchorite

If you could see the picture, it's called an "anchorhold". It's a small room or cell attached (or anchored) to a church. It has a window so that the one inside the room can hear Mass, receive communion, make Eucharistic adoration, etc., and another window where he can receive visitors.

The person inside the anchorhold is called an anchorite or an anchoress. His life is built upon prayer and fasting. I do think theirs is a hard life. Anchorites/anchoresses are locked inside, sometimes the door is too heavy to be opened, sometimes there is no door at all.

Their life is harsh and dull - this is according to the "worldly perspective." But with the eyes of faith, one can see a tremendous amount of treasure, and it's called love.
The anchorite entered out of love. He didn't enter the anchorhold simply to hide. He entered for a purpose. He is locked out of love for God. The anchorite then realizes the dream of the Psalmist: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of his life, to enjoy the sweetness of the Lord (Ps 27:4). Although physically caged, he is really flying with the wings of dove. He has made a new home in the desert (Ps 55: 6-7).

The anchorite has carried all the people in his heart. He is locked to intercede for them, just like Jesus. The anchorite imitates Jesus in great details. Blessed Charles de Foucauld said, "Imitation is the daughter, sister and mother of love." Thus, the anchorite dies to himself and lives solely for God.

These days, anchorites are very rare. But that doesn't mean the anchoritic spirit has died. In fact, Jesus is inviting all of us to be inner anchorites. Yes, all of us.

We anchor ourselves to that thing which makes us truly alive - His Heart. Yes, His Heart is the Church where we attach our anchorholds. And we are attached forever. There we gaze upon him day and night. And as we attend to our daily duties, at our work, study or household chores, we remain in our anchorholds. No one could convince us to go out; there are no door for we have resolved to remain in Jesus. The world couldn't see the enclosure, but the eyes of faith could see the radiant joy on our face. This is the fruit of being an inner anchorite: joy.

I can't help but think that heaven is like a huge Church and myriads of anchorholds are attached to It. There we gaze upon our Heavenly King - our Creator, our Father, our Beloved, our All - face to face! This time, joy is ineffable. Only those who have been in heaven could explain such joy. Amen.

May God bless you!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The View From The Back

The 7th National Pilgrimage..

... and my back ached before retiring that night! I belong to the "standing crowd" and it was a mortification!

The pictures are not good (I'm really far from being a pro). I hate it when the lamp blocks my view of the Blessed Mother.

President Noynoy wasn't there, although outside the monastery, there were banners of our congressman welcoming President Noynoy. I think the crowd was expecting him to come and lead them to pray.

So here are some of the pictures:

On the way to the pilgrimage site
 Missionary Catechists of St. Therese (for those who are asking)

On their way home

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Christmas is Coming!

I would just like to share this song from Danielle Rose, Star of Bethlehem. It's from the album "Mysteries" which takes the Holy Rosary as its inspiration. I am hoping to have a copy of the album but I don't know how.

Danielle Rose is updating her website. Click here to check it out.  Don't forget to read her bio! The site's design looks great and refreshing. 

God bless you!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

It's Been Quite Some Time

St Teresa of Avila
Like (almost) everybody, I didn't realize it's been weeks since I posted my last blog entry. I wasn't really busy. In fact I am always in front of the computer, surfing the Internet for at least two hours. That's more than enough! Anyway I am trying to lessen my "Internet time" and stick to my books.

In my last post I mentioned I"ll post a review about Into Great Silence, but I think I couldn't do it; I won't give the film justice if ever I do that. Anyway, I'll be watching the film again on Friday, and this time I'll focus more. To be honest, I feel like sleeping when there's no monk in the scene (like the "changing seasons" part)! But I am very attentive in watching the African novice praying and working in his cell! That's simply inspiring. I heard that the novice already left the Order. God's will is being done.

I am reading a biography of Saint Teresa of Avila and I find it inspiring and amusing. When she was young, she and her older brother would try to build hermitages in their yard. That was so prophetic! The biography says, their hermitages would always crumble down after building them out of rocks. Now, look at the Discalced Carmelite order! It's one of the famous Orders (though I suppose they would be happy if I remove the word "famous."). She would also play the "convent game" - she and her playmates would pretend they were nuns. I wonder if they wore home-made habits.
Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace (from

On September 12, 2010, the 7th National Pilgrimage to Lipa would be held. How I remember the first time we attended the Pilgrimage! That was five years ago (the 2nd National Pilgrimage). Thanks be to God for placing the main event on a Sunday, and He even allowed us to be free from our textbooks on Friday! We would really try to attend the events.

I remember going to the Mass the night before the 4th National Pilgrimage. It was celebrated by Fr. Jerry Orbos, SVD. He delivered the longest homily I ever heard BUT I enjoyed it! I felt I was in a recollection.

May God bless you! Tomorrow's the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Mother. Make sure you attend the Mass tomorrow, and pray the Rosary!

Blessed be God.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Stat Crux

I have watched the documentary "Into Great Silence" last Friday evening, and when Saturday came, I became very Carthusian.

Not that I started waking up at 2am to pray, nor that I made myself a hermitage with the cubiculum at the second floor and the work area below.

Actually, I don't know how to write how, and I don't know either how a very simple yet striking film touched my innermost being. I started to value silence and solitude more. I admired their beauty. I was silenced. Solitude became sweet. Prayer became my earnest desire. The film is a virtual 3-hour recollection. It is simply amazing.

One realization I had: it is really through the grace of God that a man perseveres as a Carthusian hermit-monk. It is not a matter of one's physical strength, or mental abilities. It's all about the grace of God. If God calls you, He will give you all the graces necessary for you to stay. But man needs to cooperate; he must receive the graces. He must give his fiat.

I read the copy of the Carthusian Statutes. I printed a copy (please tell me if it's illegal, I'm ready to burn my copy if it is) after joining the International Fellowship of St Bruno almost two years ago. The first time I read it, I didn't understand it. I was like a preschooler trying to understand the Summa Theologica. So the copy stayed at my shelf until I took it out again last Monday. Now I am slowly understanding what I am reading. I am not done reading yet, I am slowly chewing every word of the Statutes.

Did I say "I understand?" I know I will never fully understand. It is only through experiencing the Carthusian life that one will fully understand the Carthusian spirituality (though I read that there's no really Carthusian spirituality), the Statutes and life. St Bruno said, "Only those who have experienced the solitude and silence of the wilderness can tell what benefit and divine joy they bring to those who love them". But we could try to acquire even a little part of that understanding, couldn't we?

I hope I'll have the opportunity to go to Transfiguration or Parkminster. The possibility is bleak I know, but after all it is not bad to hope! But really I am praying for that opportunity.

So this is not yet the review of the documentary. I have to watch it again. I want to see the details, even the minutest of them. I want to hear their silence again, and again, and again. Maybe in few days I'll publish my review.

By the way, I love the scene with the cats.

God bless you!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Into Great Silence Soon

I expect to be very Carthusian this weekend.

I'll be receiving by Friday a copy of the documentary "Into Great Silence." My mother bought it, along with spools of nylon cords for twine rosaries. Now I am really excited for Friday to come! Our grandfather will come here from the United States on that day as well, carrying some pasalubongs (presents usually given by one arriving from a trip). Among those pasalubongs are my twine cords and the documentary. I will be very happy on Friday for sure, although some may exercise extra caution on that day since it's Friday the 13th. I don't believe in superstitions, and we're not supposed to believe in them either.

Into Great Silence is a film about the Carthusian monks. I've heard that it has no commentaries, no artificial lights, no music (except the chants I think). There would be few sounds like the bells. Probably some people will find it very boring, but I know I would be very inspired by their "silent witnessing." I've watched on some videos about the Carthusian monks, and I find them very inspiring. But I would like to know how the monks live the eremitic life. What do they do in their cells?

And this Friday I'll borrow from the school library the book by Guigo II called The Ladder of Monks and Twelve Meditations. Guigo II was a Carthusian Monk and the prior of the Grand Chartreuse in the 12th century.

I'm starting to become Carthusian now. I"ll be posting about the film after I have watched it.

God bless you!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Blessed Joseph Cassant, OCSO

I learned his story through a book by a Trappist monk, and Blessed Joseph is a model for me to believe in the impossible, for with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37)
I got the following from the Vatican website (emphasis is mine). I hope you'll take time reading it (at least the bold parts) and may you be led to lead a simpler and submissive life.

Joseph-Marie Cassant was born on the 6th of March, 1878, at Casseneuil, Lot-et-Garonne, in the diocese of Agen, France, into a family of orchard-keepers. The second child born to the family, he had an elder brother already nine years of age. He was a lodger at the boarding school of the La Salle Brothers in Casseneuil itself, and it was there that his poor memory began to cause him difficulty in studying.
He received a solid Christian education at home and at school, and little by little the deep desire to become a priest grew within him. Father Filhol, the parish priest, thought well enough of the boy to help him with his studies, but his weak memory kept him from entering the minor seminary. When it became clear that he was drawn towards silence, recollection and prayer, Fr. Filhol suggested that he would think of the Trappists, and the young sixteen-year-old unhesitatingly agreed. After a trial period, Joseph entered the Cistercian Abbey of Sainte-Marie du Désert, in the diocese of Toulouse, France, on December 5, 1894 .
The Novice Master at the time was Fr. André Mallet, a man skilled at understanding the needs of souls and responding in love. From their very first meeting he showed this when he said to the young man, "Only trust and I will help you to love Jesus!" Nor were the other monks of the monastery slow to appreciate the newcomer: he neither argued nor grumbled but was ever happy, ever smiling.

The young monk would often meditate upon Jesus in his Passion and on the Cross, and so became deeply imbued with love for Christ. The "way of Jesus' heart" which Fr. André taught him is an unceasing call to live the present moment with patience, hope and love. Brother Joseph-Marie was well aware of his lacks and weaknesses, and so was led to depend more and more on Jesus, his strength. He had no interest in half measures but wished to give himself completely to Christ. His personal motto bears witness to this: "All for Jesus, all through Mary". On Ascension Thursday, 24th May 1900, he was admitted to final vows.

Then came his preparation for the priesthood. This he viewed primarily in relation to the Eucharist, which was truly to him the living presence of Jesus among us. The Eucharist is the Savior himself, wholly giving himself to men; his Heart is pierced on the Cross and then tenderly gathers in all those who trust in him. There were times during his theological studies when, because of his great sensitivity, he suffered much from the lack of understanding of the monk teaching the course. But, as in all his contradictions, he relied upon Christ present in the Eucharist as his "only good upon this earth" and confided his suffering to Fr. André who would cheer him up and help him better to understand. In the end, he did well enough to pass his examinations and had the great joy of being ordained a priest on October 12, 1902.

At that point it became clear that he had contracted tuberculosis and that the disease was already well advanced. The young priest spoke of his pains only when it was impossible to hide them further. How could he complain, he who meditated so lovingly on the Lord's Way of the Cross? In spite of a seven weeks' stay with his family which he undertook at his abbot's request, his health continued to deteriorate. He then returned to the monastery, where he was soon sent to stay in the infirmary. Here was one more opportunity to offer up his sufferings for Christ and the Church: his physical pain became more and more unbearable, and was even worsened by the infirmarian's neglect. Fr. André continued to accompany him and became more than ever his constant aid and support. He had said, "When I can no longer say Mass, Jesus can take me from this world." Early in the morning of the 17th of June 1903, Father Joseph-Marie received communion and left this world to be with Christ Jesus for ever.

On the 9th of June 1984, the Holy Father, John Paul II, acknowledged his heroic virtues.
The sheer ordinariness of his life has been noted by some: 16 quiet years at Casseneuil and 9 years of monastic enclosure spent in doing the simplest of things: prayer, studies, work. They are indeed simple things, but lived in an extraordinary way. They were the slightest of deeds, but performed with limitless generosity. Christ imbued his mind, clear as the water that leaps from a spring, with the conviction that God alone is our true and highest happiness and that his kingdom is like a hidden treasure or a pearl of great price.

The message of Fr. Joseph-Marie has great meaning for us today. In a world filled with distrust and often with despair but thirsting for love and kindness, his life can provide an answer, and in a special way to today's young who seek meaning in their lives. Joseph-Marie was a youth without any standing or worth in the eyes of men. He owed the success of his life to a meeting with Jesus that redefined his very existence. He showed himself a follower of the Lord in the midst of a community of brothers, with the guidance of a spiritual father, who was to him a witness of Christ as well as one who knew to receive and to understand him.

For the meek and humble he is a superb example. Watching Joseph-Marie, we learn how to live each day for Christ with love, zeal and fidelity, accepting at the same time the help of an experienced brother or sister who can lead us in the footsteps of Jesus.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Circular on Clarification Letter Regarding the Promotion of Devotion to God the Father

On two occasions the Episcopal Commission in Liturgy discussed the movement to promote devotion to God the Father.  The Commission is unanimous in commending the promoters for their zeal.

However, the Commission does not agree that there should be a liturgical feast in honor of God the Father.  Needless to say the day chosen by the group, which is the group, which is the Feast of the Transfiguration, is not consonant with the Liturgical norms.

continue reading here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Holy Darkness

Friday is here again, and I didn't realize it until I looked at the calendar. I see this as a sign that I am enjoying what I am doing.

I am still in "solitude among people" but it has taken a new, entirely different meaning to me right now. One former classmate told me, "You're always alone!" 

Well I said, I am enjoying my solitude.

Then I paused for a while, and realized that maybe most of the time I am in solitude, but I am never alone. Yes, I am right, solitude has taken a new meaning to me. It's not dark in here anymore!

I have made a good bunch of friends this week, although I don't see them most of the day because of differences in schedule. My heart was just filled with happiness the moment I became aware that they are really my friends. I think you know how it feels when you just can't stop smiling.

I am not alone, knowing that my friends are just scattered around the campus.

But I just can't get along with some people who always wear their good frowning face. What have I done? To be honest, they cast darkness on my joy-filled heart. I hate it when my good mood is destroyed. I would just like to frown on them too. I just want to show them my disappointment.

Then I read The Imitation of Christ, and it was very fitting: You must be as ready to suffer as to rejoice (Book 3, Chapter 17). Then, I remember Mt 5:39 "Turn the other cheek" and immediately I received the "mandate" to be obedient to death, even if that death means death on the cross (Philippians 2:8). Lord, I will not disobey.

I am not alone. I might be in solitude most of the time, but that's a different thing. It's being alone with the Alone.

I am always at home, and alone with the Alone.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Little Mandate

I found the Little Mandate from the book Poustinia which I borrowed from a religious (consecrated) brother. I printed a copy of the Little Mandate and I posted it near the table where I do my school assignments, journaling and spiritual reading. It serves as a guide for me in living the life of Jesus wherever I am. I invite you to read the following with your heart and ask the Lord in your prayers how you could apply these in your life.

The Little Mandate by the Servant of God Catherine Doherty:
Arise — go! Sell all you possess. Give it directly, personally to the poor.
Take up My cross (their cross) and follow Me, going to the poor, being poor, being one with them, one with Me.
Little — be always little! Be simple, poor, childlike.
Preach the Gospel with your life — without compromise! Listen to the Spirit. He will lead you.
Do little things exceedingly well for love of Me.
Love... love... love, never counting the cost.
Go into the marketplace and stay with Me. Pray, fast. Pray always, fast.
Be hidden. Be a light to your neighbour’s feet. Go without fear into the depth of men’s hearts. I shall be with you.
Pray always. I will be your rest.

Friday, June 25, 2010

In My Solitude

Solitude among people.

I've been going to my new school for two weeks, and I've been, somewhat, a "solitary student" unlike in PUP.

Well this afternoon, someone played a trick on me at the elevator. I was going inside when someone pushed the close button. Very irritating, but I tried to keep my cool. I smiled, as if I find it very funny. But of course it's not. I was wearing my Totally Catholic T-shirt (a gift from fellow Lay Companion)  and I thought I wouldn't be true Catholic if I let anger control me.

Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun set on your anger. -Ephesians 4:26
This is what I can share now. May the Lord grant your heart's desire!

Listen to John Michael Talbot and enjoy the weekend! God bless you!

Friday, June 11, 2010

God Forbid

Today is the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and I am sure you know that.

Living near the Chapel of the Sacred Heart of the Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart is such a blessing.

While on my way home after getting my papers from PUP, I saw beautiful decorations at the chapel. Mama and I saw seminarians in white at the chapel yesterday. The devotion to the Sacred Heart , which is very popular in our country, is indeed a very beautiful devotion. It reminds us that Jesus has a heart. Jesus is loving. He is merciful, He is gentle.

I remember my teacher in highschool Geometry. She taught her students a prayer to the Sacred Heart. I also remember a tradition in our elementary school. We stop the discussions, examinations, etc, to pray the Three O'Clock prayer (somehow I can see a connection between the Divine Mercy and Sacred Heart of Jesus) . These were not in Catholic schools, but the people are very faithful Catholics.

As I was remembering those prayerful moments with my classmates, a nightmare crept into my mind: what if someone ordered that practicing our Faith publicly be stopped? Maybe that someone thought it violates their right to practice no religion? What if that someone thought, "Atheism and agnosticism is very trendy. Let go with the flow!" and since they have the power to dictate, they'll put it in pre-school curriculum?

With their coloring books, kindergarten kids will also have to study why "there is no God." And to make it complete, universities will offer a degree in agnosticism and atheism.

Probably I'm just being too pessimistic. But the world is becoming more evil. I don't know. With the campaign to make the world a better place, they really aiming for it's destruction

Sid libera nos a malo. Amen.


Tuesday, June 8, 2010


As the world throws itself deeper into the darkness of the evil, let us fill our hearts with hope.

Let our hearts shine in people's sight (Mt 5:16) that they may be led to Jesus, the Light of the world (Jn8:12).