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Archive for the ‘Catholic Faith’ Category


Repent, and believe in the Gospel”. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”

It’s the beginning of Lent.

Today we celebrate Ash Wednesday.

I attended the 6:30 am mass this morning. So many lay ministers around to put ashes on the forehead of the mass goers. Ash Wednesday is a Christian holiday of prayer and fasting. It signifies that we ought to repent for our sins during the Lenten fast. Aside from the Advent and Christmas seasons, the observance of Lent is one thing that I also look forward to every year. It’s a beautiful tradition that we Catholics observe. This culminates on Easter Sunday. The priest reminded us that every person between the age of 18 and 59 (beginning of 60th year) must fast on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday. Senior citizens like me are exempted but if we are well and fit enough to observe it, so much the better.

I recently checked my dashboard after a few days of being absent from this blog. Gosh, it’s a good thing Akismet protects us from those spam comments which are usually from porn sites. Imagine, since I started blogging, there were 56,079 spam comments that I deleted from my blog posts. It is clearly annoying.

Thank you so much to all my new followers. Sorry, I haven’t visited your blogs yet but I will one of these days.

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I posted this reflection back in February 6, 2011. Those were the times when “like” was not yet a feature of the WordPress app. Now you can convert it to emoticons and you can also use other emojis provided by the¬† WordPress editor. There are no limits ūüôā

These are the same gospel¬† readings today.¬† And here’s a short reflection that I made back then.

Salt and light are the metaphors used by Jesus in today‚Äôs Gospel.¬†¬† I love how the two words are intertwined ‚Äď the earth is dark because of our sins and our lives¬† seem bland because there is no salt in it.¬† We are included in the mission that Jesus gives us, to proclaim and to announce His Kingship everywhere and to invite people to enter into His Kingdom.¬† Being a Christian is not just through words, we must make good use of ourselves, our talents, we give taste to whatever we do in life. Christian life is how you relate to people.¬† Only when we follow Christ‚Äôs teaching and examples that we will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Going back to this morning’s mass, I sat in a pew different from the one I usually sit on. And during the homily, I noticed these carvings¬† like: “CALL ME at this number_______ and something¬† like : I need a GF with another cell phone number _____. I smiled and thought, maybe, those who have written these words badly need friends. But why would they destroy¬† the pristine¬† varnish/coat of the pew to get noticed? I¬† remember those days when I was still in college, students would leave chain letters near the church fonts or at those seats in the library where I used to work.¬† I never believed in chain mails/letters even if they contain some religious one that you have to pray for to obtain favors. Faith and worship are not conditional. Either you believe or you don’t.

I bought a few groceries at SaveMore on my way home from church. There is a glaring absence of morning shoppers unlike when¬† the 2019nCoV was still unheard of.¬† Maybe like me, they are wary too. Everyday,¬† we get¬† updated of deaths and¬† individuals showing signs of the virus.¬† You’ve got to have these at home – alcohol (bought a few bottles), rolls of tissue paper and¬† hand sanitizer. Good thing there is no panic buying here except for finding unavailable face masks for the people’s daily use.¬† As I have said before in my previous blogs, I often wear face masks (either washable cloths or the disposable ones) when I go out. That started when I got sick more than ten yeas ago. Chemotherapy affects the immune system. It weakens it. And I am afraid of the pollution brought about¬† by vehicles and motorcycles on the road.

Have a blessed Sunday all.

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Candlemas¬†(also spelled¬†Candlemass), is¬† also known as the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ and the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It is a Christian Holy Day commemorating the presentation of Jesus at the Temple. It is based upon the account of the presentation of Jesus in Luke 2:22‚Äď40 which is the gospel today.

We had a short procession after the blessing of candles outside the church.  We had to light at least one candle while going inside the church. It was a lovely celebration with our good friend Fr. Aly officiating.  All my candles at home were previously blessed and we usually use them at the altar during prayers at home.   It is better to light a candle than to stumble in the dark.

Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Blaise. Blaise is venerated as a saint in the Roman Catholic church. A doctor, he is a patron saint of those sufferers from throat diseases. I told Nissa to hear mass too so her throat would be blessed.

I love these Catholic rituals that we observe throughout the year.  They strengthen my faith and beliefs.

 

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They say that the devotion to the Sto Ni√Īo in the Philippines is as old as the history of Christianity in the country. Today we celebrate the Feast of Sto Ni√Īo, the child Jesus. ‚ÄúPit Se√Īor‚ÄĚ is the short form of ‚ÄúSangpit sa Se√Īor,‚ÄĚ a phrase in Cebuano that means, ‚Äúto call, ask, and plead to the king.‚ÄĚ We celebrate the¬† Feast of¬† Sto. Ni√Īo every 3rd Sunday of January, the Holy See has granted us special permission to celebrate it, a unique devotion among¬† us Filipinos.¬† It is a festive celebration which recalls our conversion to Christianity.

There are so many celebrations in the Philippines during the Feast. We have the Sinulog Festival in Cebu, the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo, the Ati-Atihan in Kalibo, Aklan, the street dances in Tondo, Manila and many other places where the Sto Ni√Īo is their patron saint.¬† These are famous celebration usually seen by tourists from other countries as well. We venerate the image of the child Jesus. Sto Ni√Īo is a Roman Catholic title of the child Jesus.

Given the humility of a child, the frank¬† and straight to the point way¬† they say what they think, the honesty written in a child’s face, the loving and lovable way they accept things without question, these are the lovely traits we often envy. Sometimes we wish we were little kids again.

Viva Pit Se√Īor!

 

 

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Yes, 2020 is a leap year.

A¬†leap year¬†is a¬†year¬†in which an extra¬†day¬†is added to the Gregorian calendar, which is used by most of the world. While an ordinary¬†year¬†has 365 days, a¬†leap year¬†has 366 days. … A¬†leap year¬†comes once every four¬†years. Because of this, a¬†leap year¬†can always be evenly divided by four.

Today we also celebrate the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. There is nothing like attending an early morning mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of Light with our good friend Fr. Aly Barcinal presiding. And there is nothing like starting the year right with thanksgiving and prayers.

I am going back to sleep. I just want to post my very first blog this year. Last night was like a war zone in our place. I love the pyrotechnics though. Those makers certainly improve their craft every year. When it stays in the air for more than a minute, when you see different colors and designs in the night sky, it is really a lovely sight to behold. Some of my neighbors took videos on their cellphones. Compared to last year (2019), the display was short lived. And the firecrackers I think only took thirty minutes when 12 am was about to strike.

Again, a Blessed and Happy New Year to all my friends here on WordPress.  New hope, new dreams, new beginnings.

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Dear Lord, for all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, amen!

It’s the last few hours of 2019¬† and we will be welcoming another year in our midst. We may look at the fading leaves of 2019 as something we will always remember or something we may want to forget. No matter how it has been for all of us, it has taught us lessons in life. We may choose to ignore them¬† and start all over again.

I could now hear the occasional boom and bang of firecrackers.¬† Though there are only allowed firecrackers and pyrotechnic devices, some people are bold enough to use those classified as illegal. Every year, there is an increase of patients being brought to nearby hospitals because of firecracker accidents.¬† Our dog Noki is scared of fireworks. He cowers in fear when¬† they light the sky and noise is too loud. Josef gave him a bath last night so he could stay under the dining table¬† before new year comes. He usually stays at our garage or at the dirty kitchen, a guard dog.¬† This is Oreo’s second year with us and I am quite surprised that he is not afraid of the noise, he just barks.

All is set for 2020. Forget the New Year’s resolutions. Several years ago, I used to make a list but come February, they are usually ignored. I haven’t made any resolution¬† the past several years.¬† All I ask first and foremost is good health for the whole family, peace of mind, enlivened Faith, and being able to face everything that life brings – with courage. Happiness comes naturally when you have all these.

Let’s walk through 2020 with optimism, smiles on our faces¬† and hope for better and blessed days ahead.¬† See you all next year.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

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This photo is for my friend Elizabeth who is curious about my rosary collection. I took a photo of them early this morning. I forgot to include the other two in my bags which I use when I go to mass.

I made the rose quartz rosary for myself and the St. Therese beads made of Hematite crystals. The two wooden ones are from my two priest friends, one from Rome and one from Jerusalem. The rose rosary is a gift from a friend, she gifted it to me when we had the grotto blessed nine years ago. The orange rose rosary is from Siena, another friend gave it to me. The two white pearls are from the Vatican, one was given by Fr. Lovell. The bracelet and ring rosaries were given by another friend who lives in Rome.  Lately a nun friend gave me another rosary from Jerusalem.

Before Nissa got married eight years ago, the three of us including Josef made rosaries as gifts for friends then Nissa made lots using Swarovski crystals as souvenirs for her secondary sponsors during her wedding. She even made the cord using different beads, she is so good at it. When one of her friends got married, she made a crystal jade cord for her and a matching necklace made of the same material. When her in-laws had their 50th wedding anniversary, she also made one.

Josef is fond of making bigger beads sometimes using wood, those you could display as accent on your bedroom wall.¬† Those were the days when the three of us were into crafting. We still have lots of materials left here but I got lazy to do more. I always get distracted finding new books to read. One of these days, I’ll make some to give to visiting friends.

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