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