Pueyo, Antonio P.
215 Articles at Lifeissues.net

Fr. Tony Pueyo, ordained in 1976, is a priest of the Archdiocese of Cotabato, Philippines. He is presently assigned as President of Notre Dame of Tacurong College. His former assignments were as seminary rector, parish priest, college president, and Vicar-General.

Articles

Forgiveness

Lent is a penitential season. In some way, if we search our heart we would find there that there are aspects of our life where we do not live as we ought. There are many ways of descibing sin. St. Paul speaks of it as missing the mark. The more common understanding is breaking the commandment. Many of the prophets speak of unfaithfulness or breaking the relationship with God. St. Thomas Aquinas describes it as an idolatry, “aversio a Deo, conversio ad creaturam.”

Date posted: 2010-03-18

The Joy of Reconciliation

A few years ago, I was invited to a reconciliation meal. It was a case of neighbors who became alienated from each other because of the circumstances of war. Although they had lived together peacefully for many years, a situation came where an armed rebel group sought shelter overnight in a neighbor’s house. The other party belonged to local unit of an armed self-defense group. In the early dawn when both sides noticed the other’s presence, fighting broke out. People were killed on both sides.

Date posted: 2010-03-18

Sin and Punishment

Why do the innocents suffer and why do the guilty remain unpunished? Those who prosper are not necessarily sinless. Those who suffer are not necessarily sinful. Somebody gave the observation that behind many great fortunes is a hidden crime. There are also those who suffer misfortunes because they are virtuous people. The righteous get persecuted.

Date posted: 2010-03-03

Christmas Retold

Christmas is a feast for the senses. Visually, we associate Christmas with lights, glitters, and bright colors. We hear Christmas carols even as early as October. The parties provide us with gustatory and olfactory delights. We feel the cold air against our skin. Christmas evokes vivid memories. For the more creative, this season is an opportunity to exercise the imagination in search of artistic designs. It is the season for painters, musicians, actors, choreographers, architects, and all other purveyors of artistic expression.

Date posted: 2009-12-23

What Should We Do?

This advent season, we pray like the early disciples, “Maranatha, come Lord. Reign over us. Let your Kingdom come.” Times may be hard but we rejoice in the Lord.

Date posted: 2009-12-13

A New Exodus

Advent is the time to go home - literally and figuratively. For many Filipinos who are living away from home, this is a time for family reunions. This is the time to renew familial bonds. This is a time of reconciliation and forgiveness. This is also the time to go back to the “home of the Father.” God is waiting for us. God is a forgiving God and it gives Him joy to see us back in the family.

Date posted: 2009-12-02

The Time of Waiting

As we enter the season of Advent we pray that indeed justice will reign in this land. We pray that a culture of violence and impunity will be replaced by a culture of peace. We pray that those who experience an environment of fear will, as Jeremiah pronounced, “experience salvation and will live in safety.”

Date posted: 2009-11-26

The Kingdom, the Power, and the Glory

The political heat is on in this country. Would-be-kings and kingmakers are getting busy with plans to gain their version of the kingdom, the power, and the glory. We citizens and electorates have to contend with earthly realities and struggles. As we try to exercise judicious decisions may we not lose sight of Jesus' own vision of the kingdom -- that which is good news to the poor.

Date posted: 2009-11-26

The Harvest

Whether this world will end with a great deluge or a great fire we do not know. Scientific theories abound and they make their way into the creative imagination of movie producers and writers. Predictions have been made as to the exact day or hour. Since the invention of the nuclear bomb, we have come to the awareness that such cataclysm is within our human powers. We are capable of destroying this world many times over. The issue of global warming is not just a theory. Now we see clear signs that it is indeed happening.

Date posted: 2009-11-12

Generosity

If the poor can give out of their meager resources, so much more should the wealthier ones share what they can. Giving is making sacrifices. Only the giver really knows how much sacrifice he is making. And God, who sees the heart.

Date posted: 2009-11-04

The Best is Yet to Come

Heaven does not only refer to the hereafter. Heaven is a state of being. Even now and in this world, we can somehow be connected to this dimension of existence. When we are able to love, forgive, accept, and share with others, then heaven is present

Date posted: 2009-11-02

What Really Matters

We do not need calamities and catastrophes to motivate us to put our sense of values in order. We can ask ourselves now about what really matters in our life. Like Bartimaeus, we can pray for that which we really need and is really important.

Date posted: 2009-10-22

Leper-Saint

“Servire, non serviri,” to serve not to be served. This theme runs through all the readings this Sunday. As we celebrate World Mission Sunday, let us be inspired by the story of that great missionary who was proclaimed a saint by Pope Benedict last Sunday, Fr. Damien the leper. His life and his work illustrate what is meant by missionary service.

Date posted: 2009-10-17

An Adventurous Life

Life is an adventure. There are times of crises and times of stability. There are ups and downs. Growth comes with every critical period. We learn to walk, talk, and socialize. From dependence we learn to be independent and interdependent. Hopefully, as the years go by, we grow to be more mature and we move from self-absorption to self-sacrifice.

Date posted: 2009-10-07

Man and Woman

As one wise man said, “Eve is not taken from Adam’s feet that he may abuse her, nor is she taken from Adam’s head that she may rule over him, rather she is taken from Adam’s side that they may be partners in life.”


Date posted: 2009-10-02

Grain, Garment, Gold

Using the semitic forceful rhetorical device of hyperbole to bring home His point, His words are unforgettable. If anyone causes these little ones to sin, better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God maimed than to go to hell (Gehenna) complete.

Date posted: 2009-09-25

From First to Last

A class of high school seniors were talking about their desired careers. Each one expressed his desire to be a doctor, a teacher, an engineer, a priest, a politician, a soldier, and so on. Each one also justified his choice of profession “in order to serve the people.” The teacher then turned to a little boy in Grade One who was listening, “And what would you want to be?” The boy right away shouted, “ I want to be the People because everybody wants to serve me.&rdquo

Date posted: 2009-09-17

Who is Jesus?

We learn to trust a person who demonstrates trustworthiness. Friendships, professional relationships, and intimate affective bonds grow and develop according to the level of our trust and knowledge of the other.

Date posted: 2009-09-12

Having a Voice

We thank God that we have a voice, that we have a contribution to make. We can make a difference in this world. In some way we can make our voice be heard, even if we are not too loud. The crying voice of a child, the soothing voice of a mother and the gentle voice of a teacher can make a difference.

Date posted: 2009-09-04

Doers of the Word

This familiarization with the ways of God by studying and praying over the Word of God in the company of a like-minded community of friends may bridge the gap between understanding and action. From hearers of the Word, we become doers of the Word.


Date posted: 2009-09-04

A Time to Choose

Choosing Jesus and living according to His way is more than just waiting for a future heaven to come. It is to make heaven present at the now moment. Christian living becomes more challenging and exciting if we see life as bringing some bit of heaven on earth.

Date posted: 2009-08-21

The Heavenly Banquet

It is in the Eucharist that people of diverse social backgrounds, economic status, and political persuasions come in fellowship. It is where both sinners and saints kneel in worship. As St. Paul warns, there is no place for discrimination in the eucharistic celebration. Hopefully. to experience the Eucharist is to experience a bit of heaven.

Date posted: 2009-08-07

Our Daily Bread

Those who partake of the bread of life that makes them generous, compassionate, and loving are the people who can respond to the hungry’s cry, “Give us this day our daily bread.”

Date posted: 2009-07-30

Bread and Bullets

There are strange sights on the highway that I often travel. One is likely to meet tanks and armored vehicles full of armed men. One also meets trucks with food intended for evacuees. Some vehicles bring bullets, others deliver bread.


Date posted: 2009-07-26

Wanted: Leaders who Care

We are in search of leaders who care. We identify with the hopes of Israel to whom Jeremiah prophesied, “I will appoint shepherds who will take care of them. No longer will they fear or be terrified. No one will be lost” (Jer. 23:4). In the dark periods of their history, the people of Israel had their share of inept and corrupt kings. It was the prophets who kept their hope alive for deliverance by the coming of a messiah. Contrary to expectations of a military conqueror, the messiah came as a humble servant.

Date posted: 2009-07-18

The Courage of Faith

Just last Sunday, people who were at mass in our Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception were shocked by a loud explosion right at the middle of the homily of our own Archbishop Orlando Quevedo, OMI. A bomb was exploded in a stall across the road facing the cathedral doors. Five were killed, including worshipers, and more than a score were wounded.

Date posted: 2009-07-09

The Prophet

St. Paul himself experienced personal difficulties in preaching God’s word. Inhis letters he mentioned being beaten, imprisoned, shipwrecked, and robbed in the course of his journeys. Beside these externally-imposed hardships, he had to deal with a personal weakness which he described as a “thorn in the flesh”.

Date posted: 2009-07-03

Channels of Wellness

There is the amusing story of a man who was suffering from a disease of the legs so that he could not walk. Some relatives insisted on his being treated by a doctor. Other relatives wanted the local “herbolario” or medicine man. To keep the peace, the man decided that the doctor treat one leg and the indigenous healer treat the other leg. What leg got healed first is your end of the story.

Date posted: 2009-06-26

A Mysterious Life

There is another approach to understanding the mystery, that is beyond the seeking for rational explanations. It is the way of “entering the mystery” or “living the mystery”. One may not understand it fully, but one engages himself in the consequences of believing the mystery. God is a mystery, but when I believe, then I live in a manner wherein God makes a difference in my life.

Date posted: 2009-06-04

A New Age

The Spirit works with human beings who are willing to be guided by this powerful “breath of life”. The Spirit of the Lord seeks partners in this great work of renewing the face of the earth. A partner of the Spirit is one who opens up his mind, heart, and soul to receive the gift that the Spirit gives. He then uses that gift in the service of the church and the world.

Date posted: 2009-05-28

I Count on You

We are proud of the Filipino boxer, Manny Paquiao. The President of the Philippines has appointed him ambassador of peace after his latest boxing victory. The Christian disciple is also an ambassador. Your appointment as ambassador comes from a higher source. It is Christ who appoints you. Live in a manner worthy of your call.

Date posted: 2009-05-25

A Higher Kind of Love

Jesus is more than just a heroic figure to emulate and an image to inspire us. Jesus continues to be a living presence in the world and in His community of friends. The Holy Spirit came down on the household of Cornelius and amazed the disciples that “the Holy Spirit should be poured out on pagans too.” So will the Spirit of Jesus amaze us and urge us to ge beyond what we think we are capable of, even to the point of heroic love.

Date posted: 2009-05-15

The Forgiveness of Sins

It is about time that we ask ourselves how we have contributed to the environment of sin. Sin in the form of greed, lust, deceit, pride, resentment, envy, gluttony, and laziness is becoming a way of life. Personal sin becomes structural sin.

Date posted: 2009-04-23

Meeting the Risen Lord

Peter jumped into the water and swam to Jesus on the shore. His attitude is like that of a child who gets excited at seeing his mother coming home. There is no hesitation or conditions. Only one thing matters – the beloved is here. We can compare Peter’s attitude to that of Thomas. Thomas doubted and he presented conditions, “Unless I see the marks of the nails in his hands and put my finger into the nailmarks, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe” (Jn. 20:26).

Date posted: 2009-04-16

Dying to Live

The way of Jesus goes beyond self-fulfilment. It is the way of self-transcendence. It is not about self-preoccupation. It is about self-donation. Jesus affirms the need for loving one’s self but it does not stop there. One has to love one’s neighbor as he loves himself, even to the point of giving up one’s life, “Those who love their life destroy it, and those who despise their life in this world keep it for everlasting life” (Jn. 12:25). Self-discovery and self-affirmation are only preludes to self-donation.

Date posted: 2009-03-26

The Serpent and the Cross

The suffering that diminishes us may be the same suffering that can magnify us. As examples we may cite the various letters from prison that became sources of strength and inspiration. Our great national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal wrote the beautiful poem “Mi Ultimo Adios” while waiting for his execution. Who can forget its opening lines, “Adios Patria adorada, region del sol querida”? From his experiences of Hitler’s concentration camp, Dr. Viktor Frankl came up with logotheraphy and his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning.” The theologian Bonhoeffer who resisted Hitler wrote his “Letters from Prison”. St. Paul himself wrote some of his letters from prison (Col. 4:7-10).

Date posted: 2009-03-19

What Are Temples For?

All our activities are to be done in the light of the first commandment (first reading), “You shall have no gods, except me” (Ex. 20:3). All other commandments follow from this. I venture to say that what made Jesus angry was the worship of money in God’s own house. Such worship of money is related to the present modern temptations of materialism, sensualism, and consumerism. These are the worship of things, pleasures, and commodities. This idolatry angers God.

Date posted: 2009-03-13

Off to a Holy Place

The season of Lent is a good time to create a holy space where a meeting with God can take place. It may mean literally going off to a mountain for a retreat or a recollection. The teachers of the spiritual life in the early years of Christianity, otherwise called the Church Fathers, preferred to go to the desert. There in silence and isolation they sought to overcome the forces of sin in themselves and even literally fought off the devil.

Date posted: 2009-03-05

Repentance

We are bound to repeat history if we have not learned our lessons from it. How can there be social renewal if we deny the need for it? When there is no admission of wrongdoing, then there can be no repentance. How can we be sorry for sins which we do not admit we have ever committed?

Date posted: 2009-02-26

He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother

There are instances where a person feels so helpless, he is no longer able by himself to deal with a physical ailment, control a destructive habit (drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling), or cope with a debilitating social situation (loss of a job). During these times of hopelessness and darkness, we need friends to lift us up. The faith of these friends can also enkindle our own faith.

Date posted: 2009-02-20

From the Margins to the Center

Beside leprosy, there are other diseases today that leads to marginalization. The great freedom fighter Nelson Mandela of South Africa is not just an advocate of freedom and racial equality. He also advocates support for the victims of AIDS. This new form of leprosy is taking its toll on so many people around the world. He tells the story of visiting an AIDS patient. Many people accompanied him to the door of the house. After he talked to the patient and went out of the house, all the people fled away from him!

Date posted: 2009-02-12

How’s Your Day?

Both Freud and Jung describe a meaningful life as having the essentials of love and work. When we live our lives in love and service, then life ceases to be a drudgery. Each day becomes an adventure.


Date posted: 2009-02-05

The Exorcist

The conflict between good and evil today, is not as dramatic as demonic possessions. The modern forces of evil do not show themselves as frightening faces or as contorted bodies. As one movie title indicates, the devil today may wear Prada or any designer brand. He may be sending messages through the internet. He may be courteous, polite, well-educated and sophisticated.

Date posted: 2009-01-29

In the Footsteps of St. Paul

Why should anyone preach at all? I see two important reasons, first, because the Lord commanded it, and second, because something good ought to be shared.

Date posted: 2009-01-22

The Child as a Gift

The United Nations as early as 1959, came up with the Declararation of the Rights of the Child. Philippine laws have been promulgated to guard children. We should support advocacies for the protection of children. Like Jesus in today’s Gospel, let us embrace the children and bless them.

Date posted: 2009-01-19

No Special Treatment

If God humbled Himself by coming among us as a man, so should we learn to be humble. The natural inclination is to insist on our own importance and to seek special privileges for ourselves. We want to be exempted from falling in line, from normal procedures, and even from traffic rules.

Date posted: 2009-01-08

Ut Unum Sint

The work of reconciliation of peoples is shown in the counselling and reconciliation of broken families. It is manifested in organizing communities and facilitating communal actions. It shows itself in advocacies for peace and inter-cultural dialogue. It is promoting ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue. It is engaging in a dialogue of life with people who may be different from us.

Date posted: 2009-01-02

Post-modern Family Stories

Thanks be to God, she was able to get a seat on the dawn flight. She had worked for two years in the big city. She has left her daughter to the care of grandparents. This Christmas she was granted a longer vacation. With her luggage is a big floppy doll. A week with her two-year old daughter and off she goes to work again. She is a single parent.

Date posted: 2008-12-26

Dominus Vobiscum

This greeting affirms the mystery of the Incarnation that we celebrate every Chirstmas. The greeting expresses our belief that Jesus' birth made a difference. God at one time physically joined the human condition and showed us what it meant to be truly human. Following the way of Jesus in His humanity also reveals to us the way to divinity.


Date posted: 2008-12-18

Being Joyful

St. Francis of Assisi was short on material things but he was rich in joy. He has discovered true wealth. Happiness is to welcome God. It is to allow Jesus to fill in what is lacking in our life. It is to acknowledge Him as Savior.

Date posted: 2008-12-12

Tempus Fugit

Even as we struggle wiith the symptoms of aging, there comes a point when we just have to accept graciously the greys, lines, and aches of sunset years. There is beauty in old age. I remember a writer's comment when two famous personalities died one after the other. They were the two most beautiful people of their time - Princess Diana and Mother Teresa.


Date posted: 2008-12-05

Vigilance

Advent is celebration of the past, the present and the future. We bring to mind the first coming of Jesus as Word-made-flesh. We also open ourselves to the Spirit of Jesus who animates us everyday. And we look forward with joy to the coming of Jesus in the final days.

Date posted: 2008-11-28

Nature and Nurture

What we are is a product of both nature and nurture. We have been born with some physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual endowments. We were nurtured and were influenced by certain cultural environments. Yet, ultimately we are responsible for ourselves and we are accountable for what we become. We do not blame our genes, nor our parents, our teachers, or environment.


Date posted: 2008-11-13

Church and Churches

Wherever communities of believers gather, eventually there is a longing to build a church. After more than thirty years of priestly ministry, I can point to beautiful chapels and churchers where once I said mass on makeshift altars. I remember a missionary priest who said mass in a barrio and at the homily said, “I look down, I see the ground. I look around, I see the trees. I look up, I see the sky. Where is your church?”

Date posted: 2008-11-06

Loving in Difficult Times

Clearly tough times do not only demand toughness. Tough times demand tenderness and compassion. There are the times to demonstrate love. Love here is understood not just as a feeling or a sentiment but as acting for the good of the other. An enemy of love during these times is opportunism. Opportunism is taking advantage of the misery of others

Date posted: 2008-10-22

Missionary Blessings

When we consider recent church documents on missionary activity, we see there the interplay between proclamation and dialogue. The missionary, by his presence and word proclaims the good news about life in Jesus. This news may be perceived as strange and threatening. On the other hand, the missionary attempts to integrate this thread of good news into the fabric of life of the community, in a way that respects their culture.

Date posted: 2008-10-16

RSVP

The invitation has been sent out. It has an RSVP. The King is waiting for your response. You do not have to mail it, or phone it in, or send a text message. All you need to do is get down on your knees and say, “Yes, Lord, I come to do your will.”

Date posted: 2008-10-09

Noble Thoughts and Dark Impulses

We are daily confronted with choices. We can choose the light or the darkness. We can choose noble thoughts and follow them or we can allow our dark impulses to govern us. By some quirk of human nature, our own curiosity leads us to the dark. People who have experimented venturing into the dark side found it an uphill journey to go back to the light. Ask the young men and women who are trying to get out of the grips of drug addiction. Ask the alcoholic who is trying to recover from his habit. Ask the curious seeker who tried witchcraft.

Date posted: 2008-10-03

Pleasing the Beloved

Most people want to do what is good. Most of us who profess to be disciples of Christ want to follow the way of the Master. The problem is that our actions cannot quiet catch up with our good intentions. We do not lack words but we are short on deeds. As one Filipino rap line goes, “Gusto kong bumait, hindi ko magawa” - I want to be good but I cannot do it. What then is the secret that bridges intentions and actions, words and deeds?

Date posted: 2008-09-24

Beyond Limits

We who live in this part of Mindanao have gone through tough times. We have been through the wars of the early 1970's. We have lived through the earthquake and tsunami of 1976 that leveled the city and washed away coastal villages. We have survived the droughts of El Nino in the 80's and 90's . We have enjoyed sporadic peace in the past thirty years. Just recently we have experienced massive floods as incessant rains brought water from five provinces to the Maguindanao river basin. We have survived.

Date posted: 2008-09-18

Wearing the Cross

The Cross is another paradox of the Christian faith. Victory through defeat. Exaltation through humiliation. Life through death. It is in line with other Christian paradoxes: Jesus as Man-God, Mary as Virgin-Mother, Peter as servant-leader, the first being the last, the disciple as sinner-saint, earthen vessels containing a priceless treasure. All these paradoxes are at first glance “foolish and scandalous”.

Date posted: 2008-09-11

Minding Others

If a person doesn't care for the welfare of the community, his attitude will be expressed by, 'Never mind' or 'Forget it'. Not caring is a form of forgetfulness. To care for somebody is to put him or her in your mind. It is to mind others.

Date posted: 2008-09-08

Fire from Within

As any good coach knows, an athlete must have talent and natural abilities. But that is not enough. There must be discipline and fire from within. It is the inner dynamism that makes a winner.

Date posted: 2008-09-01

Authority that Serves

Power has its own dynamics and if one is not careful, power could indeed corrupt. As somebody said, "It is hard to be humble when you are as famous as I am." A person in power should be constantly aware of temptations to corruption. There is some sense to the Roman practice of appointing a servant to whisper to the emperor during his triumphant parade, "This too will pass."

Date posted: 2008-08-22

Come In

These past three weeks have awakened us to the fact that we are far from being a united people. Our divisions have once more led to open armed conflict in the southern part of the Philippines. People have died, lost their homes, and are displaced. Old animosities and prejudices are once more kindled. Armed rebel groups and government troops are engaged in battles. We again retreat behind the walls of our tribe, religion, and nation.


Date posted: 2008-08-14

Food

Those familiar with disaster management procedures know that in the first few days what matters is food and clean water. People who have evacuated due to war, earthquake, fire or flood left their homes in a hurry, hardly bringing anything with them. They make do with makeshift shelters or evacuation centers to house themselves. Their immediate and short term concern would be survival.

Date posted: 2008-07-31

Pearl of Great Price

Each person must discover for herself what really is worth pursuing in life. The tragedy would be when one possesses the pearl and finds out it is not the real thing.

Date posted: 2008-07-24

God of the Second Chance

Why do bad things happen to good people? When there are calamities such as floods and earthquakes, we wonder why the good suffer with the bad. Couldn’t God be more selective and punish only the evil ones? Or, as the parable in today’s Gospel tells us, why are the weeds allowed to grow with the wheat?

Date posted: 2008-07-17

Getting to Know God

To get into the mystery of the Trinity is not just a matter of arriving at an intellectual clarity. Ultimately, it is to make an affirmation that God is so great that He defies intellectual understanding about being Three-in-One.

Date posted: 2008-05-15

Charismatic

How do you express your devotion to the Holy Spirit?

Date posted: 2008-05-08

Beyond Space and Time

The Ascension event reminds us that our destiny is beyond space and time. Like the Lord Jesus we will be with the Father.

Date posted: 2008-04-30

Doing Good

The Lord understands our weakness and so He sent us the Holy Spirit as our Helper. Consider the Spirit as a good teacher. The student has to open himself up to the guiding hand of the teacher. If the student refuses to come to class or practice the exercises, the teacher cannot help him discover and hone his hidden talents and potentials. A good teacher can do wonders with an intellectually challenged student who is interested to learn. It is impossible to teach a student who does not want to learn.

Date posted: 2008-04-23

Hopeful in Trouble

Building bridges over troubled waters is not a solitary task. It is the task of united communities.

Date posted: 2008-04-18

Creation, Fall and Redemption

The journey of redemption passes through the road of Calvary. It is not an easy journey. It is the Way of the Cross.

Date posted: 2008-02-24

Thirsty

The best kind of water is not spring water or bottled water, mineral water or distilled water. The best water is what you drink when you are really thirsty. Every athlete, laborer, or traveler experiences this.

Date posted: 2008-02-24

A Moment to Remember

Recall your peak moments. Were there times you felt very close to God?

Date posted: 2008-02-14

The Power of the Powerless

He who first spoke the Beatitudes and gave up His life to show us that power comes from the powerless - the Savior on the Cross.

Date posted: 2008-02-01

Public Life

We are accountable to the public and its social expectations, but more than that, we are accountable to God. We know ourselves better than the public knows us, but most of all God knows the depths of our hearts.

Date posted: 2008-01-24

State of the Person Address

What answers do we look for? The main question is, "Who am I?" The next question that engages us is, "What kind of person am I becoming?" From a Christian perspective, these questions confront the issue of our Christian identity and vocation.


Date posted: 2008-01-19

We Were Once Children

So what is it in childhood that pleases God? It was a time for just being. It was a time of engaging life in an immediate manner. Today is good and tomorrow is another good day. Before we learned to be cunning or pragmatic or calculating, we were innocent children. Our powers of imagining, reasoning, and willing worked hand in hand with our sense of joy, friendship, play, duty, fairness, and reverence for God.

Date posted: 2008-01-18

Affirmed in Love

We are able to work and to serve effectively and in a much inspired manner if we know that we are loved and we are doing what we are doing because of people we love. Affirmed in love we are able to proceed with our mission in an enthusiastic and life-giving manner

Date posted: 2008-01-10

The Light Shines for All

Perhaps we are waiting for a goodly maiden to kiss the frog and the beast. We are in the dark until somebody tells us and shows us the evidence that we are not paupers but kings. The time is here and now. Christ is the revelation of God. He manifests God's plan for all peoples and all ages. He is the first-born and we are co-heirs.


Date posted: 2008-01-05

The Family in a Time of Change

This Sunday, let parents be reminded of their responsibilities toward their children. Let sons and daughters honor and respect their parents. Let our families reflect the love, unity and mission of the Holy Family - even amidst changing times.

Date posted: 2007-12-28

Son of David and Son of God

Express your appreciation to a person who has touched your life.

Date posted: 2007-12-21

Joyful Harmony

Ask not what others can do for you, ask rather what you can do for others.


Date posted: 2007-12-21

The Dawn of Salvation

The Prophet Isaiah had a vision of a future time of peace when swords will be turned into plowshares and spears into pruning hooks (Isaiah 2:1-5). I read a modern version of this in the newspapers. In one country, an award for community development in the form of a plaque was made from melted AK-47 gun barrels.

Date posted: 2007-12-21

Patient Endurance

That the world is in danger and that human survival is threatened is no longer a subject of debate. We are also made more and more aware that we are our own greatest enemy. We have to heed the warning of the common caricature of the modern prophet standing by the roadside with the sign, "The end is near. Repent." We do need to repent, not just as individuals for our individual sins but also corporately.


Date posted: 2007-12-20

Connecting with the Supernatural

Our sense of the other-worldly puts too much emphasis on the dark side, such as witches, ghosts and evil spiritual forces. It would be much healthier if our sense of the other-worldly or the supernatural puts us in touch with the forces of love and goodness. Instead of connecting with evil spirits, it would be better to connect with good spirits or the source of all goodness, God Himself.



Date posted: 2007-12-11

Tall in God's Eyes

We have here a changed and reversed situation. The tax collector voluntarily gave away his wealth. He taxed himself. The short man became tall in God’s eyes. The outcast was welcomed into the community, “Salvation has come to this house today, for this man, also is a descendant of Abraham” (v.9). This story is a paradigm of the process of discipleship: seeking, meeting, undergoing conversion, and following.

Date posted: 2007-12-11

Prayer that Pierces the Clouds

There are many occasions that bring us to prayer. There are many ways of praying. There is however one common denominator of prayer that is pleasing to God. We approach God humbly and lovingly.

Date posted: 2007-12-11

A Grateful Heart

A missionary who just arrived from her assignment outside the country was telling me about differences in culture. The missionary was bringing with her certain cultural expectations from her own culture. In the culture where she was transplanted, she felt disappointed at first that people did not say "Thank you". Later on she realized that they had another way of expressing their gratefulness. In one instance when she gave something that she knew was badly needed by her neighbor, the man just turned around after getting it and did not say a word. The next morning however, the same man was working in her garden. It was his way of saying thank you.

Date posted: 2007-10-11

Maturing in the Faith

One of the saints who carried in his body the marks of the wounds (stigmata) of Jesus was St. Francis of Assisi. He was also known to be the saint of joy. Even as he bore the wounds of the Lord, he proclaimed the love of God for all His creatures, including the birds, the bees, and the beasts.

Date posted: 2007-10-04

The Poor Man at the Gate

With so much suffering, poverty, and misery around us there are times when we become numb to suffering. Even donor fatigue can set in among those who try to help.

Date posted: 2007-09-28

God or Money?

'No man can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and money.' Making money takes second place to pleasing God. If the means by which we acquire wealth is displeasing to God, then we are making money more important than God. We have to acquire wealth through moral and legal means, not through cheating or oppressing others.

Date posted: 2007-09-19

A Proactive God

This is the Good News. God desires me. God seeks me. God wants me. I am very important to God. A common feeling that prevails among those who in some way or other have not lived up to the best in themselves is that of self-pity or lack of self-worth. I am no good. I have failed my parents and family. I have failed myself. I have failed God. God has another way of seeing things. He restores our dignity to us. God sees the best in us.

Date posted: 2007-09-15

Choices We Make

A painter who was looking for a model of a young man who is Christ-like, one who exudes life in a state of grace. He found his model and he painted him. A few years later, he was searching for another model. He was looking for a man who shows the face of a sinner and is damned in hell. Going through the crime-laden section of the city streets he finally found a man who was willing to pose for a fee. When the painting was done, the man turned to the painter with tears in his eyes and told him. 'I was the young man you painted years ago.'


Date posted: 2007-09-05

Easy Salvation?

It is a banquet of interesting people. I see a mother who raised her five children alone. There is also the vendor who spread cheers as he sold his wares. There is a man who quietly sponsored some scholars through college. There is one talkative person who can't seem to talk of anything else but the Lord's goodness. One person endured his illness without much complaint. I also see a well-known activist who disappeared without a trace. He always talks of justice for the poor with the politician who was shot dead for fighting tyranny. A fascinating band of brothers and sisters.

Date posted: 2007-08-23

Fire Upon the Earth

In this time of floods, I remember a fellow priest and my former student, Fr. Cha Colendres. At the height of a typhoon, a flood was rushing through his parish. He led rescue operations to evacuate people who lived along the river. The flood waters with its debris of logs caught him and carried him away.


Date posted: 2007-08-16

Being and Having

There is more to life than the accumulation of possessions. What we have accumulated, we have to leave behind. No matter how wide one's lands are, at the end he would lie down on a narrow piece of soil. We cannot bring along even a single nail from our coffin. If ever we have accumulated knowledge it is best left behind as wisdom for those whom we have counseled and mentored.


Date posted: 2007-08-02

Bargaining with God

As spiritual writers have told us, the test of love is not so much in the depth of our feelings but in seeking the good of the beloved. It is also shown by our devotion and communication. It is shown by spending time with the one we love - in conversation or comfortable silence.

Date posted: 2007-07-29

Giving Time, Making Space

As the philosopher says, In medio stat virtus. Virtue stands in the middle. The Christian disciple is one who acts and listens. He is a contemplative in action. There is a Martha and Mary in each of us.

Date posted: 2007-07-20

Being a Neighbor

In a busy world, we are intent on doing our tasks, meeting deadlines, and minding our particular businesses. Like the priest and the Levite we have to attend to our "temple duties". Sometimes, we feel that it takes a lot of trouble to stop by and talk, much more, care for a person.


Date posted: 2007-07-12

House Calls

Suppose a scientist discovers the medicine that can cure an illness that is killing millions of people, then he has to tell the world about it. Do we consider the message about the Kingdom so important that we like to share it with others and that we do not want to dilly-dally about it?


Date posted: 2007-07-08

Requirements of Discipleship

There is an indicator to know if we are truly following in the footsteps of the Lord. Is it costing us anything at all? If it does not cost us anything, perhaps we are not really following in His footsteps.


Date posted: 2007-06-28

Are You Man Enough?

Both David and the woman of the Gospel were great sinners. They desired other men and women. They showed the shadow side of masculinity and femininity. They were man and woman enough to rise above the shadows.


Date posted: 2007-06-14

Flesh and Blood

The saints realize that every person is a child of God. Beneath the sweat and blood and the flesh and tears lies hidden the spark of divinity.

Date posted: 2007-06-11

Spirit of Unity

These two movements for world unity and cultural identity do not have to be necessarily in conflict with each other. People can be different and be united. We can understand one another even as we speak different languages. There can be unity in purpose. We can work towards common goals of peace, development, justice, and . ecological sustainability.


Date posted: 2007-05-24

Clothed with Power

The power that comes from the Lord has many manifestations. It could even manifest itself in some paranormal way, but that is not the important thing. It is a gift that is given to give glory to God and to benefit the community


Date posted: 2007-05-18

Shepherds, Leaders, and Managers

A shepherd is a protector of the flock, "I give them eternal life and they shall never die. No one can snatch them away from me" (Jn. 10:28). A shepherd is also a leader, "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me"(v. 27). A shepherd is a good manager. He administers the day to day affairs that sustain the flock. He brings the flock to good pasture and clean water.

Date posted: 2007-04-27

Do You Love Me?

Peter did not leave us beautiful poetry. He left us the testimony of a man in love with the Lord. He offered his life.

Date posted: 2007-04-20

Seeking Proofs

How can we experience the Risen Lord? Will He appear to us like He did to the two disciples at Emmaus? Will He pass through close doors and show us His hands and side? Will we see the Lord in a vision like St. Faustina who saw the Lord as Divine Mercy?

Date posted: 2007-04-12

Kenosis

Some choices are simple matters and will not need much in-depth moral reflection such as what shall I wear or what shall I have for lunch? Other choices however have important consequences not only for us individually but also for the society where we belong. There is a moral dimension to politics.

Date posted: 2007-03-29

Nor Do I Condemn You

Our concepts of crime and punishment have gone a long way since the time of Our Lord. Adulterers are no longer given the death penalty. Petty thieves are no longer hanged nor have their fingers cut off. In the modern halls of lawmaking there are always debates about the punitive and reformatory aspects of laws. Jesus was way ahead of His times.

Date posted: 2007-03-20

Forgiven

The older brother's attitude was very human. We count and we take measures. We note who is deserving and who is not deserving. We give merits and demerits. These are all normal human activities. We fill in evaluations, performance ratings, and promotional reports. We know who is where in the hierarchical ladder. This is the human way.

Date posted: 2007-03-18

A Chance to Change

We have to reclaim our sense of sin. Sometimes we lose our sense of sin together with the loss of our childhood concepts of sin. As we grow more mature, our sense of sin should also develop.

Date posted: 2007-03-10

Promises to Keep

The cross and the resurrection are intertwined. With suffering comes glory.

Date posted: 2007-03-02

Ashes and Temptations

It is because we are frail and prone to give in to temptation that the celebration of Lent makes sense. We admit our frailty and sinfulness. We acknowledge our need for salvation. We also take the effort to open ourselves to the workings of God so that with His grace we may be stronger to resist temptations.

Date posted: 2007-02-23

Forgiveness is Willing the Good

If we wait for feelings of love in the sense of liking our enemies, we will be waiting a long time. We will not be able to love them at all. Loving the enemy is not a matter of feeling, It is a matter of willing. We do not will any harm to happen to another person.

Date posted: 2007-02-16

Are You Happy?

The greater kind of happiness is due to love. Most blessed are those who are willing to lose comfort, status, wealth, and even life so that others may live. This is what the Kingdom of God is all about.


Date posted: 2007-02-11

Unworthy Ambassadors

God does not call perfect people, rather He perfects those whom He calls. The calling comes first. He who is called grows in friendship with God. He grows in holiness. What is necessary is the readiness to answer the call.

Date posted: 2007-02-02

Love Is Inclusive

There was a song that became a favorite among children and teenagers recently. Its opening line says, "In or out, am I in or out?" The song speaks of being in or out of someone's affectionst. Being in or out is not just a teen-ager's preoccupation. Even adults are preoccupied with belonging or not belonging.

Date posted: 2007-01-28

Jesus’ Vision-Mission Statement

Are we clear about who we are, what we are here for, and what we intend to do?

Date posted: 2007-01-19

Mother and Child

Take out the decorations. Take out the lights. But let Jesus and Mary remain in our hearts. Let the image of mother and Child be a constant reminder for us of the possibility and reality of love and affection between God and humanity.

Date posted: 2007-01-12

Christmas the Whole Year Round

Christ is being born in the minds and hearts of children who visit the Christmas crib. He is being born in the hearts of young adults, who this Christmas might be touched by the Spirit to rediscover their religious faith. Christ is being born as older people retell the Christmas story to the younger ones.


Date posted: 2006-12-26

Comforting Presence

Many of us are busy people. It seems that the more technology has made travel faster and easier, the less time we have to visit one another. The more sophisticated means of communications are invented, the less meaningful conversations we have.

Date posted: 2006-12-22

Hope in Adversity

There is a big difference between a person who has hope and a person who has lost hope. In his book Man's Search for Meaning, Dr. Viktor Frankl describes these two kinds of people among the prisoners in Hitler's concentration camps.


Date posted: 2006-12-08

Be Vigilant

If we do not want to meet anybody, it is because we are unprepared, ashamed, afraid, or feel unworthy. The Good News is that the Lord is eager to meet us and wants to come among us, even the way we are now. If the Lord is eager to meet us, even as we are, we naturally would like to make ourselves and our homes more presentable to Him.

Date posted: 2006-12-01

Kingly Ambitions

Blessed Charles the Foucauld who spent his ministry among poor desert people chose to follow Jesus because no one else could be lower. Jesus chose the lowest place and nobody could take it away from him.

Date posted: 2006-11-23

Seeds of the Future

In August 1976, I thought the end of the world has come with the great earthquake and the accompanying tsunami that killed thousands in our area of the country. It was midnight when we awoke to a loud rushing sound that accompanied the quake. The moon was red as we ran out of our rooms and clung to the big pine trees for protection.

Date posted: 2006-11-17

Giving Till It Hurts

Nature shows us the way. A well that is unused becomes stagnant. A well from which water is often drawn remains fresh.

Date posted: 2006-11-09

Only Love

There are stories told about St. John the Evangelist who was said to have spent his last years as an old man in the island of Patmos. He was asked, " Why do you keep writing and talking about love?" His answer was, "Is there anything else more important?" Indeed, "Ubi caritas, ibi Deus." Where there is love there is God for God is love (1John 4: 7ff.)

Date posted: 2006-11-04

Jumping at the Opportunity

Bartimaeus was telling his grandchildren about that miracle by the road and how he became a disciple. It made such a joyful difference in his life. On the other hand, the rich young man who was a good man has become a respected elder in his community, with loving children and grandchildren. But every time he tells the story about meeting Jesus on the road, he shakes his head and says, " I could have joined the band of disciples."


Date posted: 2006-10-26

On Mission to Serve

One way to arrive in a village is from the top using a helicopter. This disturbs the serenity of rural life. Everybody who is asleep is awakened. The vehicle stirs up a lot of dust and creates a lot of noise. Everyone goes running over to see the strange vehicle and whoever it is ferrying. What a triumphant arrival. On the other hand one can quietly arrive walking or on the back of water buffalo.

Date posted: 2006-10-20

Are You Rich?

The Gospel this Sunday makes us examine where our priorities lie. What do we really value in life? Do we value the Jesus to the extent that what we consider as our wealth takes second place? Let the Lord Jesus be No. 1.

Date posted: 2006-10-13

The Wedding Dance

There are instances in a dance when the partners are seen in their uniqueness and their individuality. There are also moments when they express themselves as one, no longer individual dancers but partners in the dance. If the dancers perform excellently, we don’t even see the dancers anymore. Rather we see the dance.

Date posted: 2006-10-06

The Name

In order not to pronounce the name of God in vain, the Israelites substitute other appellations for the sacred name such as the Lord or the Most High. We have to recover the sacredness of the name of divinity. In cultures where vulgarity is employed as cheap substitute for linguistic propriety, it is a form of counter-cultural witness to honor and protect the name of the Lord.

Date posted: 2006-09-29

Ambitions

The line that divides noble ambitions from selfish ambitions is very thin. One has to really be very honest and be aware of desires and innermost workings of his heart.

Date posted: 2006-09-21

Personal Faith

A cross-less Christianity is a feel-good Christianity. It is a Christianity of convenience. It is a domesticated Christianity devoid of the radical consequences of discipleship


Date posted: 2006-09-14

Healing Touch

Your hands are Jesus’ hands in this time and place. Extend His healing touch.

Date posted: 2006-09-08

Congruence

Jesus uses one word to describe those who lack congruence in what they say and do. He calls them hypocrites. A hypocrite is a fraud, an impostor, a pretender. He says one thing and does another.

Date posted: 2006-08-31

Choices

With a variety of products, careers and lifestyles to choose from, it is no wonder that people today find it difficult to make long-time commitments.


Date posted: 2006-08-17

Bread of Life

Next time we receive the Eucharist, let us remember that this is not mere bread. This is the bread of life. This is the flesh of Christ. We who partake of it make Christ present once more in a very concrete way in the world. We too become the bread of life.

Date posted: 2006-08-09

A Moment of Revelation

Recall your peak moments. Were there times you felt very close to God?

Date posted: 2006-08-05

Leftovers

Perhaps the contemporary tendency of some people towards selfish living is based on the lack of experience of community life.


Date posted: 2006-07-29

Quiet Moments

How many of us long for quiet moments? A busy mother enjoys a bit of quiet when the children have left for school and she has some time for herself. A teenager seeks refuge in her own room. A working father's quiet moment may be napping on the sofa on a lazy Sunday afternoon. I know some people who drop by the Eucharistic chapel daily and spend some quiet time before the Blessed Sacrament.

Date posted: 2006-07-23

Simplify

It helps the missionary to travel lightly, to simplify his lifestyle, and to check his priorities in the light of the mission to bring to people a touch of the Divine

Date posted: 2006-07-11

Truthteller

Even if the truth hurts, it has to be told. Somebody has to tell the truth. This is the role of prophets. The prophets are truthtellers.

Date posted: 2006-07-07

Easing Suffering

At the risk of being misunderstood, a believer in Jesus cannot be anything else but one who does something to ease suffering. It is an essential part of his life in obedience to and in friendship with Jesus.

Date posted: 2006-06-29

Fate and Will

Over what situations in your life can you exercise your natural powers as well as invoke God’s supernatural power?

Date posted: 2006-06-22

A New Sacrifice

The lack of emphasis on the sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist might be part of a whole culture to avoid the word “sacrifice”. It seems in an indulgent contemporary culture, we become allergic to making sacrifices.

Date posted: 2006-06-16

Signed by the Trinity

nce we claim our birthright, we also have to live by our obligations us children of God. We cannot claim to be God's children and act like we belong to the devil.

Date posted: 2006-06-08

Wind, Fire, and Dove

A good sailor or a good farmer has a delicate sense of where the wind blows. The Christian disciple must also be sensitive to where the Spirit blows and be able to read the signs of the times and the challenges they bring.

Date posted: 2006-06-01

Something to Proclaim

How can we be effective communicators of the good news? I propose that we pay attention to the following elements: a)the message must be worth sending, b)the communicator-sender must be convinced and enthusiastic about the message, c)the medium must be appropriate and effective, d) the receivers must be clearly identified, e)the time, place, and situation must be taken into account.

Date posted: 2006-05-24

Deus Caritas Est

hose who experienced love in its instinctive state of eros may feel a need to go farther forward to that state called caritas-agape.

Date posted: 2006-05-19

Remaining in God's Love

Either God exists or does not exist. If God exists, we certainly have to abide by His commandments. If God does not exist, then everything is permissible. Some post-moderns prefer to set aside the reality of God so that they can make their own rules.

Date posted: 2006-05-08

Wanted, Good Shepherds

The early stages of life and the adolescent stage may be a time of self-seeking and self-discovery. However as one matures, more and more one's concern should be the welfare of others.

Date posted: 2006-05-03

Glorified

We will not be leaving our bodies behind. We will not be leaving this earth behind. Instead our bodies will be transformed and glorified. This world will also be transformed and glorified. In fancy theological terms, we can call this the eschatology of continuity.

Date posted: 2006-04-27

No Grudges

When I contemplate the image of the Divine Mercy, I get the feeling that Jesus is looking into the deep recesses of my heart and despite what He sees there, He forgives and He accepts me.

Date posted: 2006-04-20

Laetare, Rejoice!

Despite all the darkness in the world, evil does not have the last word. - Pope Benedict VI

Date posted: 2006-04-15

Holy Week

When the Bible speaks about what is holy, it refers to what is consecrated. It means that a place, a person, a thing, a time, or an event is made separate for God's purpose.

Date posted: 2006-04-05

Mortification

Lent is a special time for mortification and asceticism. We can begin such practices by focusing on the windows of the soul. These are our five senses.


Date posted: 2006-03-31

A Merciful God

Our image of God may have been formed by our experiences with people who influenced us in our growing years.

Date posted: 2006-03-22

Cleansing the Temple

What makes us lose our cool? We may fly off the handle when we are personally hurt, when somebody we love is being hurt, or something we care deeply about is not respected.

Date posted: 2006-03-15

You are my Beloved

At a time when "being real" is portrayed in songs, television shows, and movies as being rude, bad-mannered, vulgar, and mean it may take some extra effort to show the better real self - the decent, civil, charitable, and kind.


Date posted: 2006-03-09

Repent

Sin is real. We only have to look at the sufferings and misery we cause one another. How can one deny the reality of sin in the face of bodies mangled by war? How can one deny sin when thousands of children end up in pornography and other forms of sex trade?

Date posted: 2006-03-01

Change and Resistance

If persons are resistant to change in ordinary matters, such as new procedures and new technologies, how much more are people resistant to change in personal attitudes, in values, in beliefs and convictions.

Date posted: 2006-02-22

Interdependence

Don't we all wish we have friends like these? These are people who take the cudgels for us when we are down and out. They do not give up on us.

Date posted: 2006-02-15

A Valentine Story

It was like any other wedding except that the bride and groom were both lepers, so were most of the guests at the table. The couple were both young when they met at the Sanitarium. They have fallen in love with each other. The disease may have afflicted their skin but not their hearts.

Date posted: 2006-02-09

Healing - Charity in Action

One of our priest-doctor's favorite story was about his arrival in his first parish. His first sick call was not to administer the sacrament of anointing of the sick. It was to deliver a baby!

Date posted: 2006-02-02

Whose Authority?

his post-modern period is characterized by a multiplicity of choices, where the criterion between a good choice and a b ad choice is blurred. For Jesus, the criterion is clear: Is it pleasing to God? (Jn.:29).

Date posted: 2006-01-25

Thy Kingdom Come

The kingdom of God may be described as " the leaven of today in the dough of the bread of tomorrow." It is "not yet" but "already". The kingdom of God is a gift from God and at the same time a project we help build.

Date posted: 2006-01-17

Come and See

Recall a first meeting with a person who made a positive difference in your life. To be in the presence of such a person lift us out of the ordinary. We start believing we can be better, we can do more, we are important, we are good, we are loved.

Date posted: 2006-01-12

Faith and Reason

Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth. Give testimony about your Catholic faith. Share it with others.

Date posted: 2006-01-12

Searching and Finding

What are we searching for? Are we in search of God? Do we undertake the hard journey to find what we are searching for? Like a small fish, we look for the big ocean when all the while we are swimming in it.

Date posted: 2006-01-06

Mary, Bearer of Peace

Mary was not just satisfied with her own peace of heart. Mary took the effort to bring the peace of God to others.

Date posted: 2005-12-29

Bring Jesus Home

God is love and this love is shown in Jesus. Perhaps this message penetrates the simple consciousness of the child and so they would like to bring Jesus home. We adults have to deal with the practical consequences of this demand, not in its litera sense, but in the sense of being a witness and disciple of Jesus. What happens if we bring Jesus with us?

Date posted: 2005-12-22

Listen

A mother and daughter were having some kind of argument and the mother said, "Listen to me." The daughter answered, "I am listening , mom." The mother told her daughter, "No, you're not. Turn around and look at me." And the daughter said, "I listen with my ears, mom."

Date posted: 2005-12-13

Rejoice!

Christian joy is not based on things that are passing. It is being secure in God. Christian joy is based on the conviction that God is around and ultimately in charge.


Date posted: 2005-12-06

Come In, Lord

When we say that we accept Jesus into our life and no change is happening, then perhaps we have not really allowed Him to come in yet. Perhaps He is just at the door.

Date posted: 2005-11-29

Advent, A Beginning

God so loved the world that He joined us in time by sending us His Son. By giving us His time and living with us in time, Jesus showed us the Godly way of spending time.

Date posted: 2005-11-26

Jugement Day

A wise man said, "The rains feed the river, the river feeds the trees along its banks, the trees produce fruits and feed people. Whom do people feed?"

Date posted: 2005-11-16

Accounting Time

The affairs of the Kingdom are more important than one's comfort. A faithful disciple and steward gets involved in God's affairs. This entails inconveniences and risk-taking.

Date posted: 2005-11-11

The End

Once a priest asked his catechism class, “How does one go to heaven? “ A little girl raised her hand and said, “One has to die.”

Date posted: 2005-11-03

Serviam

Humility is a virtue of those who know their strengths and who realize their value and their dignity as persons. It is to shift the focus from self to the other. In this sense, humility is related to civility and courtesy.

Date posted: 2005-10-27

Doing Love

Love is a willed act. Like any act we have to learn, it might be difficult in the beginning, just as a baby finds it difficult to walk at first. But when one does it often enough it becomes a habit. It becomes easier to love. To love somebody who is lovable is easy to do, just like it is easy for a child to eat candies. To love somebody who is unlovable, or an enemy, is difficult. It is like the child who finds it hard to eat vegetables. One therefore has to learn how to love.

Date posted: 2005-10-21

Divided Loyalties

When a culture of corruption is affecting peopleís lives, whose job is it to speak up and give moral guidance?

Date posted: 2005-10-11

God First

God takes precedence over anybody and anything else. Peter and the apostles acclaimed, “We must obey God rather than men (Acts 5:29). In the same vein, St. Thomas More affirmed that although he was the king’s servant and friend, he was God’s servant first.

Date posted: 2005-10-05

What fruits shall we show the Lord?

I once observed a wood carver. He carved designs into chairs, tables, and cabinets. He was fully concentrated as he worked. He worked on each piece of furniture as if it was the only furniture he would carve. Each of his work was a piece of art and appreciated by the buyers. Not only was he trying to please the buyers. He wanted to please himself . He was exercising stewardship over his talent.

Date posted: 2005-09-28

Praxis

Making word and action fit is a habit to be learned. There are different kinds of people: those who say little and do little (lazy ones), those who say little and do much (the doers), those who say much and do little (the talkers) and those who do much communicating and doing (the leaders). We are defined by our actions, according to Pope John Paul II who, as a philosopher, wrote a book entitled "The Acting Person."

Date posted: 2005-09-21

Outrageous!

These days some people seek recognition through outrageous behavior, whether it be in terms of clothes, hair style, or life style. If one has to act outrageously, let it be beyond these. Be outrageously compassionate and loving like God.

Date posted: 2005-09-14

Forgiven and Forgiving

Forgiveness is not easy, whether one is asking for it or one is giving it. To admit wrongdoing is not easy. We would rather gloss over our sins. Or we deny them and blame somebody else. This dates back to the time of Adam and Eve when upon discovery of his sin, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the snake (Gen. 3:11-13) .

Date posted: 2005-09-07

Praying Community

One of our deeper human needs is to belong. We want to feel accepted and welcomed by a close-knit group. In rural societies this need is filled in naturally by family, relatives, and neighbors. Relationships are defined by blood affiliations and extended by various forms of affinities. In rural communities people know most everybody in the village. In the village where I grew up people would know one another by their nicknames or by a particular trait (Pedro who owns the white buffalo). In this kind of setting, gathering people into praying communities is not so difficult. One can at least start with the natural closeness of people who usually are already members of a chapel group.

Date posted: 2005-09-01

Pains and Gains

I am a teacher. Sometimes, students with failing grades come to me and ask for some consideration. As they present their case, varied reasons are given. Mostly, their parents will be angry, or will not allow them to go to school any longer. Eventually the question is asked, "What will I do in order to pass this subject?" My standard answer is "Study."

Date posted: 2005-08-25

Public Opinion and Leadership

If perception is more important than reality, then looking busy is more important than doing actual work. Appearing intelligent is more important than being capable of engaging in intelligent discussion. Looking holy is more important than being holy.

Date posted: 2005-08-17

Speaking Up

The story of the Canaanite woman is a story of purposefulness, tenacity, and sacrifice. These are the dynamics of active involvement for the sake of the Kingdom of God. First, we must have a cause (a Kingdom value such as life, freedom, human rights, dignity, equality, justice) to promote.

Date posted: 2005-08-11

Walk on Water

Whatever Peter’s motive, he did embark on a great adventure by leaving the safety of the boat and walking on the water. Peter was doing fine, focusing on the Lord – until he focused on the strong wind and the turbulent waters. Then he lost heart.

Date posted: 2005-08-04

Hunger

Who can perform the miracle of the bread today? We do not have the extraordinary power of multiplying bread to feed five thousand people. We do have the power to multiply our efforts so that the hungry will be fed.

Date posted: 2005-07-28

Found Your Treasure?

When we feel so excited and joyful and so full of life, it is because we have become involved in something of great value for us. As Our Lord Jesus said, "For where your treasure is, there your heart is" (Lk. 12:34).

Date posted: 2005-07-22

Living with the Weeds

Even in one's personal being, one feels this struggle between the weeds and the wheat. St. Paul describes this very well." For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do" (Rom. 7:19). Everyone has a shadow side.

Date posted: 2005-07-12

Seeds of Hope

I place my hopes in SSS. I do not refer to the Social Security System, although this too works on hope. The Triple S that I hope in consists of the seed, the sower, and the soil. There will always be people who will carry the torch and spread its light. The hero , the martyr, the peacemaker, the truth-teller will never be alone. They may feel they are fighting a lonely battle, but eventually from these little efforts, a critical mass forms.

Date posted: 2005-07-07

My Yoke is Easy

Jesus invites us to a new attitude regarding work, "Take my yoke upon you and learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart; and you will find rest." This sentence relates work (yoke), attitude (gentleness of heart) and rest. Jesus describes his yoke as easy his burden as light.


Date posted: 2005-07-01

Cafeteria Faith

In the practice of "cafeteria Catholicism" one chooses the doctrines or teachings he likes and disregards the others he does not like. One chooses those which may be convenient for him or which agree with his feelings, opinions, or understanding. He does not buy the whole package. It is like ordering coffee without the sugar or salad without the mayonnaise. This kind of attitude may work well when it comes to choosing what to eat but it becomes absurd when transferred to the realm of practicing one's faith.

Date posted: 2005-06-20

Feed Your Soul

In the depths of our being, our longings are for eternity. We make promises to love forever. Our desires seem to be insatiable. Our thoughts have no boundaries. In these tendencies to look beyond time and the here and now, we see the road signs to eternity. Something in us makes us long for eternity. It is our soul. Its home is in the heart of God. As St. Augustine said, "You have made us for yourself O Lord and our hearts are restless until they rest in you."

Date posted: 2005-06-14

Affirmation

Good teachers, coaches, and leaders know the effectiveness of affirmation and positive expectations. When one expects people to perform well and communicates this expectation to them, they generally perform well.

Date posted: 2005-06-06

In the Company of Sinners

He is back on the streets that he left more than twenty years ago. He walks in the shadows and talks to friends he has known in what seems to be another lifetime. He talks to the present street children, both boys and girls. They are surviving by whatever means necessary, sometimes selling their bodies. Some are not yet in their teens but in their weary eyes one can see that they have become familiar with the ways of the world.

Date posted: 2005-06-01

The Body of Christ

If the Christian position is somewhere between gnosticism and hedonism, how then should we regard the body? St. Paul writes that the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6:19). Therefore, he advises "Glorify God in your body" (v.20). The Christian does not despise the body nor worship the body. Just like anything else in the world that God created good, we regard the body as a gift to be used for the glory of God.

Date posted: 2005-05-25

Trinitarian Life as Communion and Mission

Living this Trinitarian communion and witnessing to this life of love is not always easy. As one missionary observed, "There are two difficult situations in a mission. First, when one has to live alone in his mission area, and second, when he has to live with others."

Date posted: 2005-05-17

Power of Love

To paraphrase St. Paul, we may have tapped the power of the wind, the power of water, the power of the various elements and minerals within the earth and under the seas, but if we do not have love, we are nothing.

Date posted: 2005-05-12

Mission Possible

This is mission possible: to proclaim justice, to defend life in all its stages, to work for peace, to build communities, to care for the defenseless, to advocate for an ecologically sound planet, to proclaim the good news about life in Jesus Christ and membership in God's family.

Date posted: 2005-05-05

Friends Forever

Since friendship is mutual what can we do from our side? What gift can one give to Somebody who literally has everything?

Date posted: 2005-04-28

Troubled?

There are times when we wish for a less troubled life. In spite of all its conveniences, modern living has brought about a faster pace and more anxious way of life. The cellular phone, for example, makes life more complicated.

Date posted: 2005-04-19

That They May Have Life, the Art of Shepherding

The art of shepherding as modeled for us by Pope John Paul II, is an art that can be learned by any person who is in a shepherding position. One may be a parent, a boss of a company, a teacher, or a pastor, but the principles are the same. One has to think first of the well-being, growth, and life of those under his care. One also needs to be courageous in order to protect and defend them.

Date posted: 2005-04-13

Stay with Us, Lord

When we are hesitant to invite the Lord in, it is usually because we look at our own shortcomings, or lack of preparedness. We focus on ourselves. Let us rather focus on the Lord. What he wants to hear is. "Stay with us." Once we utter those words, miracles come into our life in ways we do not foresee; the water is turned into wine, the sinner is forgiven, the sick is healed, the dead is raised to life, and our eye s are opened.

Date posted: 2005-04-06

Divine Mercy

"Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy" (Mt. 5:7). Mercy is not just a sentiment called pity. Mercy is active love. Being merciful is recognizing the needs of the other as a person and acting accordingly. I could be the person in a similar situation. I could be the one in need of comfort, healing, forgiveness, support, or a listening heart. We have to cultivate a certain sensitivity to situations where we can manifest God's mercy. The temptation is to isolate ourselves psychologically so that we would not be bothered by others.

Date posted: 2005-04-06

Life and the Cross

There is the constant temptation to be swallowed up by a prevailing culture that may run contrary to the Gospel. When one takes an unpopular stand such as the protection of the life of the unborn or living a simple lifestyle, then he may become the object of jokes, scorn, avoidance, or even outright persecution.

Date posted: 2005-03-18