Sunday, December 25, 2011

The Secret of Mary:The Way to Divine Union - By Saint Louis DeMontfort

One must will to become the total possession and property of the Blessed Virgin Mary. This requires us to adopt the soul of Mary as the spiritual chapel for the prayers and offerings of our own soul.

The secret requires that, for the rest of our lives, we perform all of our actions as slaves of love for Mary and that we trust her entirely for everything. The chief difficulty is to enter into the spirit of this devotion, which requires adopting an interior dependence on Mary. I have met many people who, with admirable zeal, have set about exteriorly practicing this holy devotion to Jesus through Mary, but I have met only a few who have actually understood the true secret of its interior spirit of total dependence, and fewer still who have persevered in it.

Read the Secret of Mary here

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Angels and the Scums of the Earth

By Daxx Bondoc

We modern people look at the shepherds whom visited Christ with certain "cuteness". Most of the images and statues of them are sentimentalized. But shepherds at the time of Jesus were looked at as "low lives". They were people who cannot keep a regular job.

I like how one priest said that the shepherds were considered the "scums of the earth" during Jesus' time. Yet, they were the first to hear the GOSPEL, the Good News. The scums of the earth were the first choice of the Father to be blessed by the announcement of the birth of the King of Kings!

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, 'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.' Luke 2:8-12

What an upside down and odd God we have!

Here we see that God operates differently from us. Most of us invite the most famous, influential or powerful people we know to our child’s party. While we show off, God humbles Himself.

The proclamation of the angels to the shepherds shows us that God's way is so far above our ways! Thank God for that!
The shepherds should give us hope! Even if we are considered by the world as misfits, outcast and scums of the earth, we are God's chosen ones. And no matter how much we debase and down cast ourselves, God still want to proclaim the Good News to us.

He still continues to send His angels to proclaiming to us that no matter what we have done that He has sent His Son to save us!

Listen to that still small voice in your heart. It might be the angels inviting you to open your heart to the coming of your Savior, Jesus.

Emmanuel, "God [is] with us"

Mother Angelica Live CHRISTMAS

What Happened to the Angels?

Fr. Barron comments on Christmas

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Our Finest Moment

The world considers that our finest moment is when we are rich, famous or powerful. We consider our life’s highlight is when we shall be on a thrown and wearing a crown. And not when we are hanging on cross with thorns around our head.

When we hear in the phrases, “This is my time. This is my moment. This is my hour.” we often think of something glorious… in a worldly way. Movies often picture this by some kind of a victory, a winning basketball shot on the buzzer, a long football pass that leads to a touchdown as the clock runs out, etc…

But Jesus’ “hour” was different. Throughout the Gospel, we hear about the “Hour” of Jesus. Unlike in the ads and the movies, Jesus’ moment, His “hour” was anything but glorious by worldly standards. His hour was when He was lifted up in the cross. And it did not look magnificent in the eyes of those who were there. They actually considered it as a defeat, even his disciples did. But it was Christ’s finest moment, for though His crucifixion He paid the price of our salvation. In his disfigured bloody body, He defeated sin and Satan. And there was nothing pretty about it.

A soldier's finest moment is not when he receives a medal of honor. But it is when he is in the battle field. Where he has to overcome his fears amidst flying bullets. He is at his best when he practices courage and self-sacrifice amidst life threatening situations. And one thing he is not at that moment, happy. Emotional happiness comes after he survives all of it. But until then, he just tries to be brave, hang in there and keep going. Only in the battlefield can a soldier know how much courage and self-sacrifice he really has. No soldier gets a medal of valor sitting around the camp.

Our finest moments maybe our worst moments. When everything is falling apart and we still choose to be faithful to God. When we are filled with pain and suffering and yet continue to choose to love others. Our finest moment might not actually feel emotionally good. It is in these “hours of darkness” that God gives us the opportunity to practice a deeper level of faith and love.

Stars shines in the darkness. We shall never know how much we shall shine until we are thrown in the dark. In the darkness, God gives us not only the opportunity to shine, but He gives us the light as well, Himself.

So in joy or sorrow, in sickness or in health, in wealth or poverty let us love God and our neighbor. And every moment will be our finest moment.

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Monday, November 21, 2011


I.Conformity to the Will of God.
For the attainment of perfect conformity to the will of God.

1st. At the beginning of each day, and of meditation, Mass, and Communion, declare to God that you desire to belong to Him entirely, and that you will devote yourself wholly to acquiring the spirit of prayer and of the interior life.

2nd. Make it your chief study to conform yourself to the will of God even in the smallest things, saying in the midst of the most annoying contradictions and with the most alarming prospects for the future: “My God, I desire with all my heart to do Your holy will, I submit in all things and absolutely to Your good pleasure for time and eternity; and I wish to do this, Oh my God, for two reasons; first: because You are my Sovereign Lord and it is but just that Your will should be accomplished; secondly: because I am convinced by faith, and by experience that Your will is in all things as good and beneficent as it is just and adorable, while my own desires are always blind and corrupt; blind, because I know not what I ought to desire or to avoid; corrupt, because I nearly always long for what would do me harm. Therefore, from henceforth, I renounce my own will to follow Yours in all things; dispose of me, Oh my God, according to Your good will and pleasure.”

3rd. This continual practice of submission will preserve that interior peace which is the foundation of the spiritual life, and will prevent you from worrying about your faults and failings. You will put up with them instead, with a humble and quiet submission which is more likely to cure them than an uneasy distress, only calculated to weaken and discourage you.

4th. Think no more about the past but only of the present and future. Do not trouble about your confessions, but accuse yourself simply of those faults you can remember after seven or eight minutes examen. It is a good thing to add to the accusation a more serious sin of your past life. This will cause you to make a more fervent act of contrition and dispose you to receive more abundantly the grace of the Sacrament. You should not make too many efforts to get rid of the obstacles which make frequent confession disagreeable to you.

5th. To escape the distress caused by regret for the past or fear about the future, this is the rule to follow: leave the past to the infinite mercy of God, the future to His good Providence, give the present wholly to His love by being faithful to His grace.

6th. When God in His goodness sends you some disappointment, one of those trials that used to annoy you so much; before all thank Him for it as for a great favour all the more useful for the great work of your perfection in that it completely overturns the work of the moment.

7th. Try, in spite of interior dislike, to show a kind face to troublesome people, or to those who come to chatter about their troubles; leave at once prayer, reading, choir office, in fact anything, to go where Providence calls you; and do what is asked of you quietly, peacefully, without hurry, and without vexation.

8th. Should you fail in any of these points, make immediately an act of interior humility—not that sort of humility full of uneasiness and irritation against which St. Francis of Sales said so much, but a humility that is gentle, peaceful, and sweet. This is a matter essential for overcoming your self-will, and to prevent you becoming a slave to your exterior or interior devotion.

9th. We must understand that we can never acquire true conformity to the will of God until we are perfectly resolved to serve Him according to His will and pleasure and not to please ourselves. In everything look to God, and you will find Him everywhere, but more especially where you have most completely renounced yourself. When you are thoroughly convinced that of yourself you are
incapable of doing any good, you will give up making resolutions but will humbly confess to God: “My God, I acknowledge after many trials that all my resolutions are useless. Doubtless I have hitherto depended too much on myself, but You have abased me. You alone can do all things; make me then, do such and such a thing, and give me, when necessary, the recollection, energy and strength of will that I require. Without this, I know from my former sad experiences, I shall never
do anything.”

10th. To this humble prayer add the practice of begging pardon at once or as soon as possible of all those who witnessed any of your little impetuosities or outbursts of temper. It is most important for you to practise these counsels for two reasons: first, because God desires to do everything in you Himself; secondly, on account of a secret presumption, which, even in the midst of so many miseries, prevents you referring everything to God, until you have experienced a thousand times how absolutely incapable you are of performing any good. When you become thoroughly convinced of this truth you will exclaim almost without reflexion, when you act rightly, “Oh my God it is You who do this in me by your grace.” And when You do wrong: “This is just like me! I see myself as I am.” Then will God be glorified in all your actions, because He will be proved to be the sole author of all that is good. This is your path; all the misery and humiliation you must take on yourself, and render to God the glory and thanks that are His due. All the glory to Him, but all the profit to you. You would be very foolish not to accept with gratitude a share so just and so advantageous.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Dark Night of the Soul (Free PDF)

A sequel and continuation of Ascent of Mount Carmel, the Dark Night of the Soul is a spiritually moving and mystical book. In it, St. John of the Cross continues his description of the soul's journey--the "dark night"--to the "divine union of the love of God." A poet at heart, St. John describes the journey and the union with beautifully rich and deeply symbolic language. However, St. John does not simply describe the journey; he seems at times to be offering encouragement and comfort directly to readers as they too struggle with the excruciating dark night. Offering hope to the downtrodden and discouraged, the Dark Night of the Soul is one of the most difficult books a person can read, but its difficulty is surpassed by its reward. One of the most profound works of Christian mysticism, this book is highly recommended for those seeking union with God.

Click here to download Dark Night of the Soul (Free PDF)

Practice of the Presence of God (Free PDF)

Brother Lawrence is one of the most admired and imitated sons of the Catholic church. He worked for a time as a soldier before entering the Discalced Carmelite Prior in Paris. Lawrence was uneducated, and so had to enter the monastery as a layman. He worked in the kitchens and as a cobbler there for the remainder of his life. Lawrence is known for his devotion and ability to bring God into every aspect of his life. His classic Christian work, Practice of the Presence of God, details how to gain that constant and comforting connection to God. Readers have treasured this short and easy book for centuries because of Lawrence's honest advice and his obvious passion for spiritual matters. He rejoiced in everyday tasks, prayed constantly, and was known around the monastery for his kindness and willingness to help others. Practice of the Presence of God is a creative Christian work that is required reading according to many believers. Readers will come away with great peace and joy, and a better understanding of what it means to constantly be in God's presence.

Click here to download Practice of the Presence of God (Free PDF)

Abandonment to Divine Providence (Free PDF).

The “Treatise” comprises two different aspects of Abandonment to Divine Providence; one as a virtue, common and necessary to all Christians, the other as a state, proper to souls who have made a special practice of abandonment to the holy will of God.

Click here to download Abandonment to Divine Providence (Free PDF).

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Is God’s Justice All About Punishment?

God’s justice is a scary thing for many. When we think about Divine Justice, we typically think of punishment. But is there more to Divine Justice than “getting it”?

The word "justice" comes from the Latin word jus, which means "right". So we can say that justice is giving God and our neighbor their right, their due. Man is due to give God and his neighbor his love. And God has dued us to be with Him in heaven.

I also like to think that Divine Justice is God’s desire to set things right. To make us right, perfect and holy.

But man can accept justices in two ways.

Let us take a drug addict as an example. His addiction has ruined his life. The “just” thing to do, the right thing to do is get him rehabilitated. For an addict, he can take the rehabilitation as an aid or as a punishment. It is the same rehabilitation but how an addict sees it can differ.

If the addict loves his drugs more than himself, more than life itself, rehabilitation is a punishment because he will but cut off from his drugs. To him, the drugs is his life. To cut him from it, is to cut his life. So to him, rehabilitaion is painful. And chances are, he will reject it.

But if an addict really want to be well again, he welcomes the rehabilitation even if it would be a painful process. He knows that the rehabilitation will bring him back to a healthy and happy human being.

I believeDivine Justice is the same thing. Divine Justice wants to give us what is right by setting us right. Divine Justice wants to give us our due, which is Eternal Life.

Divine Justice may cause pain, like a misaligned bone being set right. The alignment process may be painful, but it is all done that we may be fully functioning. Sin has misaligned not only our bodies but our souls. And for God to leave us as we are is neither just nor merciful.

God’s justice and mercy cannot contradict each other for there is no contradiction in God. His Justice and Mercy are both faces of His Love. Both desire that we be with Him in all eternity.

We should never fear God’s Justice for it is good for us. Everything that comes from God is good and loving. Only those who loves evil find God’s goodness appalling, threathening and painful.

For those who love God, His Justices is merciful.

For those who loves evil, His Justice is punishment.

Whice are you?

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Monday, November 7, 2011

Realizing the Best Version of You

The seed of greatness is planted in our hearts. Everybody wants to be their best. The problem is that most of us have given up on it. We have accepted mediocrity.

Many have tried bringing out the best in them. They have tried putting letters after their name (Phd, C.E.O., etc…). Some tried power, fame and fashion. But all these superficialities have not brought out the best in them. They might be powerful, famous or rich, but they are not really the best model of humanity.

So how do we bring out the best in us?

Jesus told them, “Fill the jars with water.” So they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it. And when the headwaiter tasted the water that had become wine, without knowing where it came from (although the servers who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom and said to him, “Everyone serves good wine first, and then when people have drunk freely, an inferior one; but you have kept the good wine until now.” (John 2: 7-11)

When the water in the jars encountered Jesus, it became a new creation. The bland water (used for washing of feet) became the best of wine. Until Jesus came, the “good wine” was kept. Until Jesus came, everyone was satisfied with mediocrity.
When the Spirit of God hovered over the water, it blushed! It blushed so much that it turned red, red as wine. Every time we let the Spirit of God hover us miracles happen. Like when He overshadowed the Virgin Mary. Every time a new creation is made, the Spirit is there.

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. (Gen 1:2)

Only in Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit can we be a new creation. God’s best creation.

So whoever is in Christ is a new creation: the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come. (2 Cor 5:17 )

Until you encountered Christ, the best of you is still kept. Until you let the Holy Spirit breathe life in you, you will be bland as the water in the jars.

So how do we encounter Jesus and the Holy Spirit?

You can encounter them in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass together with the Father.

Let Jesus bring out the best of you.

He really wants to.

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Thursday, November 3, 2011

What is God’s Will for Me?

Many wonder what is God’s Will to one’s life is. Some take it lightly, some take it seriously and others take it frustratingly. Discerning God’s specific Will for us is not as easy as we like it to be. It takes time and a lot of prayer. Often there is a preparation stage before we find it.

So what about for those who are still in search of it? What are we suppose to do now?

We do God’s Will.

Many of us get fussed up or stuck finding the specific Will of God for our lives that we forget to do his general Will. The Will He revealed in the Scriptures and the Church. The will He revealed in Jesus. And that Will is to love God with all our being and our neighbor.

Before we get hung up finding God’s specific will in our lives, we must first strengthen our foundation. There is no use finding that God called you to be husband and a father when you are going to end up being a bad one. Before you become a good husband and father, you must first be a good Christian. Being a good Christian is the foundation of our vocation. Our relationship with God is the foundation for our relationship to others and to the world.

Until we are able to fulfill God’s general Will for us, finding our specific vocation will be very hard. In the heart of our vocation is the love of God and neighbor. The more we love the more we become like God, the more we think like Him. The more we think like Him, the more we shall understand what He wants of us.

We must put on the mind of Christ.

One of the famous quotes of St Augustine, which is also the most misinterpreted, is “Love and do what you will.” What St. Augustine is saying is that once we live in (Biblical) love, our will and God’s Will will be in harmony. And whatever we do would be part of His will since now we are sharing the same will.

So instead of getting frustrated of not knowing what God’s specific plan in your life, do the basics. His basic will. The “Will” you will find in the Bible and in the Church.

Repent. Pray. Go to Mass. Preach the Word of God. Feed the hungry. Comfort the afflicted.

Once we are good in the basics, we are now ready for the next stage.

Once our foundation is strong, then God can start building up our lives.

At the end of the day, no matter what your vocation is. It is always certain that God’s will is to

"Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And Love your neighbor as yourself.” - Matthew 22:38-39

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

We Are More than Social Workers, We Are Catholics

“We are not social workers. We may be doing social work in the eyes of some people, but we must be contemplatives in the heart of the world.” This is what Mother Teresa keeps reminding the world who she and her sisters was.

Don’t get me wrong, social workers do a lot of good in the world. And God bless them. But as Catholics, we are called beyond social work. Salvation of souls comes first before “social justice” for us Christians. To reverse the priority is to fail to do both. What use is it to save the body when the soul is going to be damned in the end?

“For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” Mark 8:36

Sadly, there are a lot of Catholics that have set the Gospel aside and made “social justice” their new gospel. The more they divorce their “social justice” from the Gospel, the less and less it becomes social and just. In the end, the end justifies the means. They say that to be socially just, let us cut down the population of the world so there would “supposedly” be more resources for all (meaning them). If killing the unborn would meet that end, then that is the socially just thing to do. Another way is to pump contraception to the poor. It might be harmful for their health and mostly their soul, but who cares! It is for the good of society. It is just. Right?

When Catholics stop being Christians and just social workers, the world will be doomed and damned. Christ came to liberate us from sin first, liberation from poverty just a consequence of that. Poverty will never be remedied by some economic program… as long as sinners are running the program. Poverty will be eradicated when we start loving each other. And the will only happen when we convert our hearts to Christ.

Jesus Himself denied this temptation of to be just a social reformer.

The tempter came to him and said, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."

Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'" - (Mat 4:3-4)

From Bishop Fulton Sheen’s Life of Christ

Our Lord was not denying that men must be fed, or that social justice much be preached; but He was asserting that these things are not first. He was, in effect, saying to Satan, “You tempt Me to a religion which would relieve want; You want me to be a baker, instead of a Savior; to be a social reformer, instead of a Redeemer. You are tempting Me away from My Cross, suggesting that I be a cheap leader of people, filling their bellies instead of their souls. You would have me begin with security instead of ending with it; you would have Me bring outer abundance instead of inner holiness. You and your materialist followers say, ‘Man lives by bread alone,’ but I say to you, “not by bread alone.’ Bread there must be, but remember even bread gets all its power to nourish mankind from Me. Bread without me can harm man; and there is no real security apart from the Word of God. If I give bread alone, then man is no more than an animal, and dogs might as well come first to My banquet. Those who believe in Me must hold to that faith, even when they are starved and weak; even when they are imprisoned and scourged.

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Do It Anyway

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.

This version is credited to Mother Teresa (The version found written on the wall in Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta)

God Gives What You Are Able to Receive

Ever wonder why some of our prayers takes a long time before it get answered? Or even never answered at all?

Most of our prayers are filled with petitions. God grant us this, God grant us that and so on. And we almost always assume that our petitions are good to us or to the person we are praying for. We only see what is favorable in our petitions. And we seldom think of what other consequences could happen if our prayers or petitions get answered. We often have the idea we know better.

But do we?

Each prayer answered is a blessing from God. Each blessing from God comes with a responsibility. The responsibility to use that blessing for love’s sake. To give an irresponsible person a blessing is to waste the blessing.

We shall receive what are capable of receiving. Imagine your son asking for a car. Sounds fair enough right? But you son is only 12 years old. Even though the car is good in itself, the capacity of your son to drive that car is not yet ready. To give him the car is not only foolishly irresponsible, but life threatening. Until your son reaches a certain age of maturity, he is not capable of handling it.

So how do we prepare ourselves for our prayers and petitions?

We need to be holy like Jesus is holy.

The more we become holy and virtuous, the more we able to handle God’s blessings. The more we become holy, the more we can understand what the blessing is all about. And God’s blessings are not only for us. God blesses us to bless others.

If you feel that your prayers are not getting answered, maybe you are praying for the wrong things. Or maybe you are not yet ready to have it. Until then, all you can do is to prepare yourself. Expand your heart, your soul that it would be able to handle what you are praying for.

There is no reason for God to withhold something that is for your own good.

We only get what we can handle.

And Thank God for that!

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Monday, October 17, 2011

Does Our Fears Block God’s Blessings?

One of the common motives for praying to God is fear. We pray for health because we fear sickness. We pray for prosperity for we fear poverty. We pray for companionship because we fear loneliness. Whether we know it or not, most of our prayers have an element of fear in them.

I believe that there is a good sense of fear. Like the fear of a flying bullet. Some fears help us preserve our life.

But when fear takes over and makes self-preservation an obsession, fear now direct our lives.

Would you trust a person ruled by fear? Would you invest your money to a fearful businessman whose only goal is to preserve your money and not make it grow? Would you trust a fearful manager to run your business who is always afraid of making mistakes that he could not make decisions? Or would a soldier trust a coward to look over his back in the battlefield?


Could it be possible that God withhold his blessings to us because of our chronic fearfulness?

Then the one who had received the one talent came forward and said, ‘Master, I knew you were a demanding person, harvesting where you did not plant and gathering where you did not scatter;so out of fear I went off and buried your talent in the ground. Here it is back.’

His master said to him in reply, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I did not plant and gather where I did not scatter?Should you not then have put my money in the bank so that I could have got it back with interest on my return? Now then! Take the talent from him and give it to the one with ten. (Mat 25: 24-28)

The problem of being filled with fear is that we become crippled in life. Because of fear, we burry our talents and ourselves thinking that would protect us. The problem with being buried is that you cannot really do anything, not even move. Buried people are dead people.

Christianity is not for the coward. Being a Christian is a risky business. Just look where Jesus ended up. Hanging on the cross.

Life is not for the coward as well. Life demands risk. To live is to love. And loving someone is always a risk.

If God granted you your prayers, what would you do with it?

If God granted you the partner you have been praying for, would you love her? Or would you cage her because of the fear of losing her? Would she make you a loving and joyful person? Or would she make you a miserable obsessive and jealous person?

Until one learn what it means what really means to love and learn to let go of his fear of loneliness, the gift of a partner might just end up as a curse, for you and most especially for her.

If God granted your prayers for wealth, would it make you giving or greedy? Would that wealth be shared to the poor, or be locked up?

Fear is like a black hole. It sucks everything inside oneself. You are always looking out for yourself that you forget to look at others. We become obsessed with having a (false) sense of security is that we forget to live. Most especially we forget to love.

Until we overcome this kind of unhealthy fear in ourselves, we are unfit stewards of God’s Providence.


Because we stop being stewards and become thieves. We grab for ourselves what God has entrusted to us to give away.

Until we learn to deal with our fears, we will always be stuck. Buried.

And Providence might be delayed or worst, denied.

So let a bigger faith overcome our big fears.

Let us remember that there is a perfect loving God who loves us.

“There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”- 1 John 4:18

Our fears may be many and enormous.

But God’s love is bigger.

Infinitely bigger.

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Monday, October 10, 2011

Is Fear Ruling Your Life?

Fear can shape our lives. Many of our motivations are based on fear. Men have sacrificed their integrity for the fear of poverty. Those who fear oppression have become bullies.

We live in uncertain times in an uncertain world. Wars, disasters and for many the worst of them all, economic breakdown, is a present reality. Many of us feel insecure and unsecured.

But fear is not a good motivation in life. It might be, every now and then, for self-preservation but not as a rule.

One problem with fear is that it brings out our worst memories and emotions. It prevents us from thinking clearly. It leads us to protect ourselves so much that we have forgotten to go out and live. Fear is a prison where the lock is from the inside.

One way of dealing with fear is to deny it. “I am not afraid.” (But you know you are.) Self-denial can only last until you cannot deny the reality of it anymore. And it does not really deal with the root of the problem it just pretends that the root is not there.

Another way of dealing with it is controlling your environment to avoid a fearful situation. If you are afraid of poverty, be rich. If you are afraid of suffering, do whatever you can to live a comfortable life. This could work, if you have the resources to pull it off.

But what about the rest of the world who is struggling to survive?

How about those who can’t deny their present reality and don’t have the current resources to get themselves out of their fearful situation?

Will fear be king?

To those who does not trust God, Yes.

Those who does, No.

Those who trust God know that we can do all things in Christ who strengthens us. Now surviving our problems might not be a walk in the park, it might be more of a road to Calvary, but Jesus does carry the cross with us. He will also be there to resurrection us. Jesus has the final word in our problems. And there is always victory in Him.

“These things I have spoken to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you shall have distress: but have confidence, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Christ can conquer our problems, if we let Him. But we must remember that our problem was “conquered”, that there was first a battle. Victory only comes after a war.

God did not promise us that He will prevent any problems from happening to us. But He did promise that we would survive them.

The Bible is filled with “do-not-be-afraids”, because God knows we are. And He also continually reminds us that we shouldn’t.

"Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid." - Hebrews 13:5-6

Even if our worst fears happen to us, in Jesus we overcome them.

Christ has defeated death, could he not defeat our fears?

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Friday, September 30, 2011

Is God’s Grace is Enough for Us to Survive Our Crosses?

Having faith in God does not always mean being exempted from suffering. Though we “claim” victory in the Name of Christ, victory does not always come painlessly. Even Christ’s victory came through pain and suffering. Before the Resurrection, He was first tortured by the Romans.

So are we doomed?


Shall we experience pain and suffering in this life?

Most probably.

Accepting Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior will not exempt you from the cross. It is actually the opposite. “Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Mt 16:24)

If Jesus is truly our Lord, then we servants are no greater than Him. And He hangs on a cross.

When God said “My grace is sufficient for you,” He promises us the grace to survive whatever pain, suffering or trials we are experiencing. He does not promise to take the pain away, but the strength to survive it. St Paul knew this:

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

Sin introduced suffering. And ever since then it has been a part of the human experience. Yet suffering, an evil in itself, can be used by God. He used it to save us. Through his Passion, salvation came. Suffering did not have the last word, the Word made flesh had the last Word, Jesus.

No matter how dark and painful our situation is right now, light awaits at the end of the tunnel. And this light is Christ Himself.

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness hasn't overcome it." (Jn 1:5)

In Jesus we shall find the strength to carry it through. In Him we shall find the strength we do not posses but need. “I can do all these things in him who strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13)

His grace is enough.

Our shoulders will always feel the weight of the cross. But do not forget who is carrying it with you.


Written by Daxx Bondoc

Thursday, September 29, 2011

St Vincent de Paul

Feastday: September 27
Patron of charitable societies

St. Vincent was born of poor parents in the village of Pouy in Gascony, France, about 1580. He enjoyed his first schooling under the Franciscan Fathers at Acqs. Such had been his progress in four years that a gentleman chose him as subpreceptor to his children, and he was thus enabled to continue his studies without being a burden to his parents. In 1596, he went to the University of Toulouse for theological studies, and there he was ordained priest in 1600.

In 1605, on a voyage by sea from Marseilles to Narbonne, he fell into the hands of African pirates and was carried as a slave to Tunis. His captivity lasted about two years, until Divine Providence enabled him to effect his escape. After a brief visit to Rome he returned to France, where he became preceptor in the family of Emmanuel de Gondy, Count of Goigny, and General of the galleys of France. In 1617, he began to preach missions, and in 1625, he lay the foundations of a congregation which afterward became the Congregation of the Mission or Lazarists, so named on account of the Prioryof St. Lazarus, which the Fathers began to occupy in 1633.

It would be impossible to enumerate all the works of this servant of God. Charity was his predominant virtue. It extended to all classes of persons, from forsaken childhood to old age. The Sisters of Charity also owe the foundation of their congregation to St. Vincent. In the midst of the most distracting occupations his soul was always intimately united with God. Though honored by the great ones of the world, he remained deeply rooted in humility. The Apostle of Charity, the immortal Vincent de Paul, breathed his last in Paris at the age of eighty. His feast day is September 27th. He is the patron of charitable societies.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

‘It’s OK to kill a baby in the womb, when..?’ 180 movie shows pro-abortion to pro-life conversions

The Crusades

Pope notes numbers of faithful declining, asks: ‘Should the Church not change?’


FREIBURG, September 27, 2011 ( - In a talk at the Freiburg Concert Hall in Germany regarding the decline of religious practice, Pope Benedict VI warned against the worldly character of many Western Catholic charities. The Pope’s comments appear related in part to revelations in recent years of Western bishops’conference development agencies financially supporting pro-abortion and in many other ways anti-Catholic “social justice” organizations.

“For some decades now we have been experiencing a decline in religious practice and we have been seeing substantial numbers of the baptized drifting away from church life. This prompts the question: should the Church not change?” began Pope Benedict XVI on Sunday, in one of his final addresses during his trip to his native Germany. “Must [the Church] not adapt her offices and structures to the present day, in order to reach the searching and doubting people of today?”, he continued in what is being touted as one of the most significant addresses during his journey.

Change it must, said the Pope, but not in the direction of the world but precisely the opposite.

The Pope spoke of a negative “tendency” in which the Church “becomes self-satisfied, settles down in this world, becomes self-sufficient and adapts herself to the standards of the world.” He said however, “In order to accomplish her true task adequately, the Church must constantly renew the effort to detach herself from her tendency towards worldliness and once again to become open towards God.”

Benedict XVI pointed to secular persecution of the Church as having a liberating and purifying effect. “Secularizing trends - whether by expropriation of Church goods, or elimination of privileges or the like - have always meant a profound liberation of the Church from forms of worldliness,” he said.

“Once liberated from material and political burdens and privileges, the Church can reach out more effectively and in a truly Christian way to the whole world,” he said.

The Pope drew a connection in this context to the work of Catholic charities which have been under scrutiny in Western nations for their worldly character. Pope Benedict noted “the Church’s charitable activity also needs to be constantly exposed to the demands of due detachment from worldliness, if it is not to wither away at the roots in the face of increasing erosion of its ecclesial character.”

“[I]t is time once again to discover the right form of detachment from the world, to move resolutely away from the Church’s worldliness,” said the Pope.

See Benedict’s complete talk here

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Prayer of St Francis

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen


From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honoured, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being preferred, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of comfort and ease, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being criticized, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being passed over, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.

From the fear of being lonely, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being hurt, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering, deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, strengthen me with your Spirit.
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, teach me your ways.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart,
help me put my self importance aside
to learn the kind of cooperation with others
that makes possible the presence of your Abba's household.

Adapted from a prayer by Rafael, Cardinal Merry Del Val,
from the prayer book, For Jesuits, 1963, Loyola University Press.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

What is the Problem with Repenting “Before” You Die?

Do you plan repenting before you die? And in the meantime, have fun (fun meaning sinning like there is no tomorrow).

There is a bad philosophy that plagues people these days, especially the young. The philosophy is “Experience life. And straighten up when I get old and gray.” As if youth should be wasted on selfish pursuit of carnal pleasures and ego satisfaction.

The first problem of delaying our repentance for our sins is that we don’t really know how long we will live. If you plan to repent when you get old, the presumption is that you will have the opportunity to get old. And that is a presumption.

The second problem is that we don’t know the gravity of our sins. We keep holding on them as if our dear life depended on them, when it is exactly the opposite. Sin leads to death, and that you can depend on.

You need only one unrepented sin to get yourself to hell. Yes, you get yourself there and not thrown into. Hell is a choice. It is a choice to reject God and all His goodness (which takes the form of theology and morality in this side of the world). To reject one of God’s laws is to reject Him for His laws come from His very being. All souls in heaven believe 100% in the Truth. They have subjected themselves “totally” to God and His Laws. There are no closet rebels in heaven or half-hearted followers. 99% don’t cut it. It is either you are a saint in heaven or a damn in hell.

You cannot be pro-abortion or pro-contraception and enter heaven. Because when you face God, you will know that they are evil. And evil cannot exist in heaven, even the thought or the support of it. So you will have the choice to accept the Truth of its evilness or reject it. Those who accept the Truth shall enter heaven. Those who reject it, well they will go to the only place where abortion and contraception is accepted and celebrated… hell.

The last problem is that those who plan to delay their repentance don’t really understand what repentance is. If they did, they would have not delayed it. Repentance is not a get-out-of-jail-card you are going to use to escape the fires of Hell. Repentance is not a technicality you can use against God so you can weasel you way into heaven. Repentance is not a tool for your selfish end. Repentance is more about God than you. Repentance is being sorry for your sins with all sincerity. Which means you actually know the gravity of your sins. And how much it has hurt God.

You can’t say you love God and be unrepentant. It is like saying you love your spouse but keep beating her.

Salvation is a gift. And a gift that can be accepted or rejected. You need repentance to accept the gift of salvation. If you are unrepentant of you sins, then from what would God save you?

True repentance is a grace of God. Pray for it before it is too late.

"But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, 'God, have mercy on me, a sinner.' "I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." – Luke 18:13-14

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Holy Communion in the hand

Cardinal Arinze: Communion on the Tongue and Kneeling is the Church Norm
[90.] “The faithful should receive Communion kneeling or standing, as the Conference of Bishops will have determined”, with its acts having received the recognitio of the Apostolic See. “However, if they receive Communion standing, it is recommended that they give due reverence before the reception of the Sacrament, as set forth in the same norms”.[176]

[91.] In distributing Holy Communion it is to be remembered that “sacred ministers may not deny the sacraments to those who seek them in a reasonable manner, are rightly disposed, and are not prohibited by law from receiving them”.[177] Hence any baptized Catholic who is not prevented by law must be admitted to Holy Communion. Therefore, it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling or standing.

[92.] Although each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue, at his choice,[178] if any communicant should wish to receive the Sacrament in the hand, in areas where the Bishops’ Conference with the recognitio of the Apostolic See has given permission, the sacred host is to be administered to him or her. However, special care should be taken to ensure that the host is consumed by the communicant in the presence of the minister, so that no one goes away carrying the Eucharistic species in his hand. If there is a risk of profanation, then Holy Communion should not be given in the hand to the faithful.[179]

~ Excerpt from: Redemptionis Sacramentum
On certain matters to be observed or to be avoided
regarding the Most Holy Eucharist ~

Standing or Kneeling?

Has liturgical dance been approved for Masses by the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments?

(The question and answer session followed Cardinal Arinze's talk on the meaning of the Eucharist. The cardinal, who has headed the Vatican Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments)

Has liturgical dance been approved for Masses by your office?

There has never been a document from our Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments saying that dance is approved in the Mass.
The question of dance is difficult and delicate. However, it is good to know that the tradition of the Latin Church has not known the dance. It is something that people are introducing in the last ten years -- or twenty years. It was not always so. Now it is spreading like wildfire, one can say, in all the continents -- some more than others. In my own continent, Africa, it is spreading. In Asia, it is spreading.

Now, some priests and lay people think that Mass is never complete without dance. The difficulty is this: we come to Mass primarily to adore God -- what we call the vertical dimension. We do not come to Mass to entertain one another. That's not the purpose of Mass. The parish hall is for that.

So all those that want to entertain us -- after Mass, let us go to the parish hall and then you can dance. And then we clap. But when we come to Mass we don't come to clap. We don't come to watch people, to admire people. We want to adore God, to thank Him, to ask Him pardon for our sins, and to ask Him for what we need.
Don't misunderstand me, because when I said this at one place somebody said to me: "you are an African bishop. You Africans are always dancing. Why do you say we don't dance?"

A moment -- we Africans are not always dancing! [laughter]

Moreover, there is a difference between those who come in procession at Offertory; they bring their gifts, with joy. There is a movement of the body right and left. They bring their gifts to God. That is good, really. And some of the choir, they sing. They have a little bit of movement. Nobody is going to condemn that. And when you are going out again, a little movement, it's all right.

But when you introduce wholesale, say, a ballerina, then I want to ask you what is it all about. What exactly are you arranging? When the people finish dancing in the Mass and then when the dance group finishes and people clap -- don't you see what it means? It means we have enjoyed it. We come for enjoyment. Repeat. So, there is something wrong. Whenever the people clap -- there is something wrong -- immediately. When they clap -- a dance is done and they clap.

It is possible that there could be a dance that is so exquisite that it raises people's minds to God, and they are praying and adoring God and when the dance is finished they are still wrapped up in prayer. But is that the type of dance you have seen? You see. It is not easy.

Most dances that are staged during Mass should have been done in the parish hall. And some of them are not even suitable for the parish hall.

I saw in one place -- I will not tell you where -- where they staged a dance during Mass, and that dance was offensive. It broke the rules of moral theology and modesty. Those who arranged it -- they should have had their heads washed with a bucket of holy water! [laughter]

Why make the people of God suffer so much? Haven't we enough problems already? Only Sunday, one hour, they come to adore God. And you bring a dance! Are you so poor you have nothing else to bring us? Shame on you! That's how I feel about it.

Somebody can say, "but the pope visited this county and the people danced". A moment: Did the pope arrange it? Poor Holy Father -- he comes, the people arranged. He does not know what they arranged. And somebody introduces something funny -- is the pope responsible for that? Does that mean it is now approved? Did they put in on the table of the Congregation for Divine Worship? We would throw it out! If people want to dance, they know where to go.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Are You Running Away From Your Greatness Like Jonah?

When you run away from the challenges of life you might be running away from your greatness as well. The very challenges you are trying to escape might be the very means of your greatness.

Let us look at Jonah’s example.

God said to Jonah, "Set out for the great city of Nineveh, and preach against it; their wickedness has come up before me."

But what did Jonah do?

“But Jonah made ready to flee to Tarshish away from the LORD. He went down to Joppa, found a ship going to Tarshish, paid the fare, and went aboard to journey with them to Tarshish, away from the LORD”

In short Jonah went to the opposite way. Pronto!

Now let us put Jonah in our time and setting so we can better understand how he might have felt. Imagine God suddenly said to you, “Go the malls and preach against materialism and worldliness.” Just thinking of doing that might send shivers under your skin. Just imagine you shouting at the mall, “Stop being materialistic!” Most probably people would think you are nuts and call security to throw you out.

Jonah might have felt the same. He might have thought what would happen to his reputation or to himself if he does what God called him to do.

So what happened to Jonah?

He got into a lot of trouble. The height of it was when the boat he was sailing in was being tossed by waves.

Now here is the turning point of the story. Jonah said, "Pick me up and throw me into the sea, that it may quiet down for you; since I know it is because of me that this violent storm has come upon you."

So what did Jonah do? He forgot himself.

After he made this crucial decision of being selfless and putting others first, God placed Jonah in the road of his personal greatness. A whale swallowed him up for three days and spew Jonah out on the shore. Jonah then proceeded to Nineveh as the God wanted. There he preached repentance. He preached so greatly than men and beast covered themselves with sackcloth and call loudly to God.

Now Jonah is remembered all throughout history as one of the great prophets of the Old Testament.

Sometimes we are like Jonah, running away from what God wants us to do. And like Jonah the more we run away from God’s will the more we get into trouble. And in turn we are tossed around by the tides and storms of life.

If we value our reputation than our faithfulness to God, we will be missing out our greatness. For our greatness lies in God and in His will for our lives.
So how do you find our greatness?

Do what Jonah did. He forgot himself and put God first. He then proceeded to what God wanted him to do, even if he was afraid, even if it would cost him much.

So do not run away from the challenges of life and of being God’s faithful disciple.

For those very challenges is where you will find your greatness.

Just like Jonah.

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's All or Nothing

All of us are looking for some kind of fulfillment to bring us peace. We need it to justify our existence. And we invest ourselves in to whatever we believe that would fulfill us.

What really fulfills us is God.

“You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” – St Augustine.

Jesus is our fulfillment. It is either you accept that or reject it. But the fact will not change. You need Him!

Only Jesus can satisfy our hunger for fulfillment, meaning and purpose. To reject Him will not take away that hunger, that longing. It will only be directed to something else.

The Catechism teaches us that we are religious beings by nature. It means that we will seek fulfillment, meaning and purpose religiously. We are all fanatics, only the object of our fanaticism changes. We have seen how people have religiously sought money, power, fame and sex. They have devoted all their waking hours pursuing it. They have offered their life to them. They are their gods.

We will always be fans of something or someone. So are you a Jesus fan or your own?

Choosing our god will direct our way of life. And it a direction towards Heaven or Hell.

All that God has created is good and is good for us. But once this “good” becomes god, it will now be the instrument of our destruction. Evil is always a distortion of good, evil cannot create. Satan can only distort what God has created.

Sex is good, but being a rapist isn’t. Money is good, but being a thief isn’t. Power is good, but being a tyrant isn’t.

Without God, all these goods become gods and get distorted in the process. For only God can tell us how these goods are to be used.

Fulfillment is one of our basic needs in life and for sanity. And you cannot escape that need.

To have everything and have not Jesus is to have nothing. For in the end all will be lost.

To have nothing and have Jesus is to have everything. He is God and everything is contained in Him.

By Daxx Bondoc

Thursday, August 11, 2011

I Wanna be Free, I Wanna be Me

There are a lot of people who have the “I-wanna-be-free-I-wanna-be-me” mentality. Their ultimate goal in life is “to be themselves”, whatever that means.

This is can be very problematic in our “fallen” world.

There are two big problems in this mentality. First is the word “free”. What most of us consider freedom is actually abuse of freedom. Modern man’s idea of freedom is doing anything you want. That is not freedom that is license. Freedom has boundaries. You are not free to murder or steal.

Many people like to use the word “freedom” so they can be free to be selfish. They like to do whatever fancies them, at all cost. Like a father or a mother who wants to be “free” from his/her family. So they leave their families to pursue their personal happiness. That is not freedom that is abandonment.

Another problematic part of that mentality is the “me”. Modern man in general has no clue who he is. He is fashioned by his environment, especially by the media. It is the same media who educates the masses that being a fallen human being is normal. And to strive to be the human God created us to be is psychologically problematic.

Our idea of “me” will be probably egoistic. Our “me-attitude” can be sum up to “It is all about me and to hell with the rest.”

Our idea of our humanity is very selfish. It is all about getting what we want.

But that is not who we are.

We were created to love. To forget ourselves in love. God created us to have a “We” attitude and not a “Me” attitude. Selfishness is the total opposite of our humanity.

It is same with freedom. God gave us freedom not to be selfish, but to love. Only free people can love. A selfish person is not free to love because he cannot love anyone else but himself. It takes great freedom to love, for most of us are slaves of our fears and selfishness.

“Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought.” -Pope John Paul II

Jesus was the freest man who ever lived, for He was God. But Jesus spent His life doing the Father’s will and not His own.

“Yet not my will, but yours be done.” Luke 22:42

If we want to be really “free” and to be really “me”, we must start defining freedom and ourselves by God’s standards and not of the world’s.

So how do we do it?

We must love God with all our being, and love our neighbor as ourselves.

The ultimate act of freedom is to love.

The fulfillment of our humanity is love as well.

So be free to give your “me” to love.

By Daxx Bondoc

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Is Holiness the Enemy of Happiness?

The word “holiness” these days is often imagined as something rigid, cold and joyless. They think holy people are “killjoys”. Or so they think.

People who have these concepts of holiness don’t really understand what holiness really is. They imagine a holy person as a rigid, ascetic lifeless monk, like a zombie. But they cannot be further from the truth. Holy people are not just happy, they are joyful. And joy is much deeper than happiness.

A sick person is not a happy, he is miserable. A healthy person is a happy fellow. We sinners are sick with sin. Being holy only means living a healthy spiritual life. If both are body and soul is healthy, then we are happy. It is really that simple…

But hard to live.

Spiritual health, like physical health demands effort, especially if we have lived very unhealthy or sinful lives for years. The start of a workout program is always dragging. There is always a lot of resistance on our part. But once we get into the flow, it becomes easier. The more we become healthy the more we become strong and free (sick people are always confined in their beds).

It is the same in the program of holiness. It really takes a lot of effort in the beginning. We have been attached to our sins for so long that it has become a part of us, like fats. But the more we strive to be holy, the easier it gets. And one day it will be second nature to us (which is actually our first nature, God created us totally holy before “the fall).

Being holy means to be who God created us to be. Our natural state is of pure holiness. But sin has stained that.

To be holy is to be fully alive. To be holy is to animate all our God given gifts and potentials. To be holy is to be totally human again. The saints are our example. The saints are the greatest accomplishers in history. They were also people of joy. There are no unhappy saints.

When Jesus said “Be holy as your Heavenly Father is holy”, He was not just commanding us, but also reminding us who we really are. We were made for holiness and there lies our happiness.

The great thing about pursuing holiness is that we are not alone in our efforts. God’s grace is sufficient and abundant in helping us be fully human once again. God wants us to be holy more than we want to. God wants us to be happy more than we want to.

"My grace is sufficient for you…" (2 Corinthians 12:9) “and running over, will be poured into your lap.” (Luke 6:38)

So how does holiness look like?

Look at Jesus. Jesus is our guide to holiness. He is also the program. To be holy is to live like Jesus and live in Him.

So be holy.

Be happy.

By Daxx Bondoc

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why Live Simply?

Do you have more stuff than you need?

It is funny how one generation to the next, the standards of living are getting higher and higher. What our grandparents would consider luxury, we consider as a basic need. I believe that is why we have so much ungratefulness going around. Everybody feels deprived!

Most of what we consider needs are actually are just wants.

Living simply helps us to be sober. We need learn to control our desires and live only what we actually need. In doing so, we are able to enjoy life more. The less time we spend pursuing stuffs, the more time we have to slow down and experience life.

Living simply, simply means getting our priorities right. We give priority to what is really important, like friends, family and God and not stuffs. Stuffs are just means for us to love better and not as an ultimate goal itself.

To be caught up in this materialistic culture is to be caught up in a life of shallowness and emptiness. You can never fill your heart with stuffs, only love can fill it.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Matthew 6:33

We also want to live simply so others may live. Living simply gives us an opportunity to give more to those who are in need. Our lives become bigger than we are.

We are stewards of what we have and not owners. God created it and He owns it. We have an obligation to share to others what we have after our needs are met.

Why live simply?

Because you really want to live.

By Daxx Bondoc

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Greater the Struggle, the Deeper Faith

The darker the night the stars shine more brightly.

Life’s hardship can be overwhelming. Our fears, anxiety and emotions can overpower us. They can devastate us and bring us down to our knees.

Adversities reveal to us who we really are. It shakes all that is superficial and leaves what is real. Strength can only be confirmed when it is tested. The strength of a tree and its roots can only be tested amidst the winds of a storm. The strength of ship can only be known if it survives the tempest of the sea. And the strength of a building if it still stands after a major earthquake. All that is weak shall fall.

Hardships reveal to us how weak we are. Our imagined self-confidence and faith will not stand the blows of life. Anything that is not deeply rooted in reality will wither and die.

How do we survive life’s adversities? Will we be overcome by the darkness?

That is up to us. If we choose to quit, then it is “the end.”

But for those who want to move on, grace is available. There is a light that no darkness can overcome. It is the Son-light. The light of the Son of God, Jesus.

Many of us are living in the illusion that we have great faith and confidence, specially when things are going well around us. But it is a whole different matter when things go downhill. It is really hard to feel good when you are just desperately keeping your head afloat.

It is in these dark times where God offers us a deeper kind of faith. It is in these times thate we can really put our trust in the Lord. Deep faith lives in the darkness. It is trusting God when all evidences says not to. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." – John 20:29.

If our faith is born in adversities, it is a faith that is tried and tested. It is a faith that is real, and not just something our imagination made up. It is a faith that trusts God stubbornly.

With this faith we can say:

“What will separate us from the love of Christ? Will anguish, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or the sword? No, in all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us.” – Romans 8:35-37

Deep faith can only be found in Jesus. Faith is a grace, a gift of God. It is something we decide to ask and receive or ignore and deny.

So if you feel you are being crushed or overwhelmed by life’s trials, call out for Jesus. Ask Him for the grace of real faith that is firmly rooted in the Rock, who is Christ Himself. And He will give it generously.

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” – Matthew 7:24

Jesus, I place all my trust in you.

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Friday, July 22, 2011

Has All Your Hurrying Led You Somewhere?

We live in the society who is on “the go”. We are always hurrying somewhere and rushing something. The last thing you can say about our society is lazy.

But I am saying it.

We are a lazy society!


We work more than 8 hours a day, even on weekends. We have sacrificed our families for the sake of work. How could we be lazy?

We are lazy. We are lazy in the important things in life. We are busybodies on things that are fleeting and unsubstantial. We are “on the go” and going nowhere.

Our being busy is just an excuse for our laziness for the things that matter. Like loving God and our neighbor. We create an atmosphere where we can excuse ourselves not to help our needy brothers and sisters. We are even too busy that we have no time to pray.

Yet we always have time to “chill out” or “unwind”. We say we deserve it, and maybe we do. But it is amazing how much down time we can afford. Yet when it comes to visiting an orphanage or a shelter, we are simply just too busy for it. “I need that time to rest.” is our excuse. But when it comes to going out, even sleep deprivation cannot hinder us.

Our Holy Mother Mary teaches us about the right hurrying.

"In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah" to help her pregnant cousin Elizabeth. Even though Mary herself was pregnant, she endured the long hours of travel and harsh landscape just to help her cousin who was in need. She set aside her own inconvenience for the sake charity.

And she went in “haste”. Mary did not procrastinate nor made excuses, which she could have since she was pregnant. But she did not. We are so unlike our Mother. We find a bit of traveling already an excuse not help. It took days for Mary to reach Elizabeth. And she was riding a donkey! And we find a bit of commuting bothersome.

Mary is the model of service. Her service does not delay. Her service goes out to the needy and does not wait for the needy to come to her.

True love hurries towards the beloved.

Love is not passive, but active.

Love does not sit lazily at home. Love goes out seeking those who are unloved and unwanted.

Let us be like our Mother Mary, who is always in “haste” in loving us.

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Thursday, July 21, 2011

How to Have a Life Filled to the Brim

Living an empty life is one of the most miserable experiences. We can all drown ourselves with distractions, but when the music fades and you are left to yourself, there is no running away from our own emptiness.

The world, especially the media, has taught us to pursue everything else, except real abiding fulfillment. To them getting emotionally high and pleasuring your senses is more important than real joy and peace. Now, we have emotionally unstable people who are addicted to pleasure. And they are all miserable.

So how do get the real deal?

How do we have a full and filled life?

Listen to our Holy Mother Mary!

Our Mother, who is full of grace, can teach us a thing or two how to have a life that is full.

And this is her words to us.

“Do whatever He (Jesus) tells you.” – John 2:5

Our Mother points us to her Son, the source of all fulfillments in this life and especially in the next.

In the Wedding at Cana, Jesus turned water into wine.

Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. When he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” – John 2: 6-10

The key to a fulfilling life is full faith and full obedience to Christ.

When Jesus asked the servants to fill the jars with water, the water Jesus was pointing to was the water used for washing of feet. Just imagine what the servants must have thought. Putting this water to jars meant for drinking. And Jesus asked them to fill it to the brim.

And if that is not disturbing enough, Jesus asked the servants to give this water to their master. Just imagine the servants’ fear. They could lose their jobs because of Jesus.

But they believed and obeyed Jesus. And so a miracle happened.

If we want our boring life turned into a life of intoxicating joy and peace, Jesus can make that miracle happen. But He needs a faith that is filled to the brim. He wants our full obedience, even if He asks us to do something beyond our understanding. Even if it means risking ourselves. Just like what the servants did.

God’s grace is overflowing. But we can only receive what we accept. Give God a half filled jar, you get half filled fulfillment.

God is not stingy… we are.

True fulfillment comes from Christ alone, for He is our fulfillment. A fulfilled life comes from living in Christ and like Christ. And that is a life of faith and obedience to the Father.

To have Jesus is to be filled.

To live like Jesus is to find fullness.

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Studies Find Contraception Makes Women Obese and Newborns Too Thin

The 7 Highly Effective Habits of Hobbits (Part 7: Self-sacrifice)

Hobbit Habit #7: Self-sacrifice

One of the great things about Lord of the Rings is that is not your typical fairy tale. The typical fairy tale is often about a quest on getting something, like Prometheus stealing fire from Zeus, Jason and his Argonauts questing for the Golden Fleece and Jack carrying away with the Golden Goose. But the Lord of the Rings is the opposite. It is about a quest to destroy something, the Ring. While the other fairy tale is about the grabbing an item of power, Lord of the Rings is about letting it go.

One of the main themes of Lord of the Rings is about “letting go”… letting go of the self that is.

All the member of the Fellowship was ready to let go of their very lives for the greater good. They were ready to lose their lives for the mission. Near the end of the epic we hear this from the Fellowship:

Aragorn: Not for ourselves. But we can give Frodo his chance if we keep Sauron's Eye fixed upon us. Keep him blind to all else that moves.

Legolas: A diversion.

Gimli: Certainty of death, small chance of success... What are we waiting for?

Together with Aragorn and Gandalf, Frodo is one of the Christ figures of the epic. Aragorn represent Christ the King, Gandalf the Prophet and Frodo the Priest. Frodo is the priest figure because he was the one who was going to sacrifice his life for the sake of the many.

“But I was like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter.”Jeremiah 11:19

Frodo went straight to Mount Doom, ready to be slaughtered by the Orcs, just to destroy the Ring. He knew that he could die if he took on the mission. But still, he did. It was his selfless act that saved Middle Earth.

This is how Jesus saved us. He too came into this world, not to gain worldly power, but to destroy sin. He conquered sin not by a sword, but being pierced by one. Jesus conquered the world by his self-sacrificing love. Like Frodo who went to depths of Mount Doom to destroy the ring, Jesus too went to the depths of sin and God forsakenness, and from there He let love explode and thus defeating sin.

And since then, sin lost its sting.

Self-sacrifice is one of the most powerful things that could change the world and defeat the “enemy”. “There is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends.” says Jesus. And of all the virtues, love is the greatest says St Paul.

One cannot be a Christian without self-sacrifice. For one cannot be a Christian without love.

Our Lord and our God sacrificed Himself for us.

Is the servant better than the Master?

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Monday, July 11, 2011

The 7 Highly Effective Habits of Hobbits (Part 6: Humility)

Hobbit Habit #6: Humility

Of all the powerful characters in the Lord of the Rings, it was to an unlikely little Hobbit that the Ring was entrusted. You might wonder why Tolkien, the author, would make an almost helpless chap be the Ring Bearer. Frodo was one of the least in regards to strength and speed in the Fellowship. But he was the one chosen to carry the burden of saving Middle Earth.

So why did the whole epic relied on a Hobbit to save the day?

Because only a Hobbit can carry the Ring.

One of the Rings power was to tempt the bearer of power. Man has been proven unable to resist such temptation when Isildur decided to keep the Ring to himself. And being killed because of it. Even the elves were not immune to the temptation of the Ring. Galadriel experienced this when she try to receive the Ring from Frodo.

So who could carry the Ring?

The one who has no desire for power.

A hobbit was the only one who can withstand the temptation of the Ring, long enough to be destroyed that is. Frodo did not desire the power men, dwarves and elves seek. He only wanted to save Middle Earth for the sake of the Shire. He just wanted to keep his home safe and to go home.

The Bible is filled with passage condemning man’s pride. The proud never survives the Bible. The people of Sodom and Gomorra experienced this first hand and all those who followed in their footsteps of claiming the power of God.

“He has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things But has sent the rich away empty.” Luke 1: 51-53

Blessed are the poor in spirit (humble), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. The proud on the other hand is not blessed because they don’t want no “bleeding charity” from God. What they wants is to “take over” heaven. They want to kick God out of the throne and sit on it themselves. This might sound too arrogant, but we are all guilty of it in some way. Every time we decide to create our own morality, to be the judge what is good and evil, to control the universe, to be the captains of our lives and everything that denies what is due to God alone, is pride.

And there are no proud people in heaven. Proud people do not like another person lording over them. So there is only one place for proud people after death. Hell.

St. Teresa of Avila says “Humility is truth.” What does she mean? To be humble is to know and accept the Truth. And the truth is that we are all sinners who have fallen short of the glory of God, as St Paul puts it. A humble person knows that God is everything, and apart from God, he is nothing. A humble person give God His due… everything.

Humility comes from the word “humus” meaning soil. A humble person is “grounded”, grounded in reality that is. And the reality is that man is not God. Man does not control the universe. He does not sustain his life. God does all of those. And all the good that has comes from him, comes from God. “And Jesus said to him: Why dost thou call me good? None is good but God alone.” Luke 18:19

Humility is one of the few things Satan has no defense against, for he has none of it.

A humble man is always in favor with God.

“Humiliation followeth the proud: and glory shall uphold the humble of spirit.” Proverbs 29:23

So be humble, for our Master is.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, make my heart like yours.

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Contraception Linked to Massive Rise in Abortion Rate

Real Joy Vs Shallow Happiness

We live in a time where “personal happiness” is the ultimate good. It has stepped over all other goods, even Good Himself, God. And the media is doing a really good job promoting this new god.

There is nothing wrong about personal happiness, it its right context. God commands us to be a cheerful giver, so we know He is not a kill joy. But when personal happiness becomes king, here is where the problem starts.

When our personal happiness goes before love and before God, it now becomes “personal selfishness”. People have sacrificed everything and even everyone for the sake of finding personal happiness (even though he himself does not know what it is).

The personal happiness gospel is often promoted by T.V shows and movies. We watch an unhappy woman leaving everything behind to eat, pray and love. So she ate. She prayed. She loved.

But did she?

I will not go to the eating part, nothing to explain there.

But did she really prayed? One aspect of prayer is losing oneself. For Christians, praying is more about God than ourselves. But her prayers were self-centered. She was not reaching up to God. She was grasping herself, hoping to find herself.

Did she really loved? Love as St Thomas Aquinas puts it is “to will the good of the other as other”. How about her definition? She wanted to love the man on her own terms, and she wanted the man to love her on her own terms. There was no “other” on the equation. Just her.

These kinds of movie and show reinforce our selfishness, all under the banner of “personal happiness”. A mother leaves her family to “find herself”. A father goes off with another woman because she “gives him what he is looking for”. Children abandon their parents to “explore the world”. Mother’s murder their own unborn child so that her “life won’t be disturbed”.

So what happen to these people who have gone off to leave everyone behind to find themselves?

They find the same self they supposedly left behind. Just more selfish.

The paradox of personal happiness is that it can only happen when you forget yourself in love. It is in loving Jesus first, Others second and Yourself last, that you will find J-O-Y.

There is no joy apart from love. And real love is always joyful.

Love (God) created us for love. Love is the air we breathe. And love is not selfish.

If you want to find personal happiness, then don’t take it personal. Be a person for all. Then, true happiness, real joy will happen behind your back.

“For he that will save his life, shall lose it: and he that shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.” Matthew 16:25

Written by Daxx Bondoc

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Discovering God’s Love in Pain and Adversity

Most of us like to box God’s love.

Many of us have a check list on how God should love us. The check goes like, if God loves me then He should make me rich, famous, powerful, give me what I want and the list goes selfishly on. If God loves us in a way that is not in the “The-Way-God-Should-Love-Me” checklist, we feel that God as abandon us.

When God asked Moses to take the Israelites out of Egypt, the Israelites was ecstatic. They have a preconceive notion on how things will work out. They thought that the path to the Promise Land was all sunshine. But it was not so. And so they complained. And complained some more.

What Israelites failed to understand that their time in the desert was something necessary if they want to reach the Promise Land. The Promise Land was God’s land and there are no other gods permitted on it. Because of the years they stayed in Egypt, the Israelites have absorbed the idolatry and pagan ways of the Egyptians. And they needed to be cleansed off it before they step into the Promise Land. So for 40 years in the desert, God cleansed the Israelites. And it was a painful cleansing for the Israelites was not as cooperative as they should have.

God takes us to our own desert. Not because He enjoys seeing us suffer, but because we need to be cleansed. We need to be cleansed of the idolatry of our own ego and greed. We need to be cleansed of our pagan ways, the ways of the world. Most of all we need to be cleansed of our sins. Sometimes taking us to the desert is the only way it can be done. For in the desert, we are free from distraction and superficialities. In the desert we are confronted by our very survival. There, we cannot run away from our demons. And like Jesus, in the desert, God shall help us defeat our demons.

Sometimes, God’s love comes to us in what seems to be pain and suffering. But that pain and suffering are sometimes needed to save us. A cancer patient needs to go through a painful operation to get the cancer out of his body. He needs to endure the pain so that he might be cleansed of the cancer cells. We sinners have something worst than cancer, we have sin in our being. Cancer kills the body, Sin kills the soul. The Divine Operation sometimes uses pain and suffering to bring our souls back to health.

Jesus can give us His crown of gold or His crown of thorns to us. Both of them come from His loving hands.

We should stop selfishly defining how God should love us. We should learn to see God and His love outside of the box. The box is a very small and dark place to live in.

There is no box can contain God’s love.

Let us let God love us the way He does and not the way we want to.

God loves us more than our tiny boxes can imagine.

Written by Daxx Bondoc