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Archive for the ‘Catholic life’ Category


Lazy, lazy afternoon! For the first time in so many days, I spent at least two hours in bed having a siesta. The afternoon was cold but it didn’t rain.

I opened the computer just to post the Bible readings for next week at our Catholic page in Facebook. Then I received this message from Fr. Pao, he is one of those anchors of Interaktib. The name of the program is Catholic Sync and they were in its first episode this morning. Catholic Sync is devoted to religious education and catechism.  Fr. Pao was  the speaker. He was introduced by  a brother at St. Paul . I was surprised when the latter said that Fr. Pao graduated Summa Cum Laude in his Theological studies. I told him he should be proud of it coz I  know how a parent feels having a child garnering  Latin honors.  He said Nissa must be a literati too. I told him in passing that she is a bookworm and very strict with grammar.

I finally finished the book I  Will Always Write Back last night. Beautiful, beautiful story. And there were real pictures of the authors which make the book more real.  Memoirs have always been fascinating reads  for me.

I set aside some books on my TBR list to read Sommersgate House by Kristen Ashley. Ghosts and reincarnation? Must be  intriguing.

And it’s a lazy evening, perfect time to have that hot cup of rice coffee.

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Today, 103 years ago, Our Lady appeared before three shepherd children at Fatima in Portugal. Here’s a picture I took of the image of Our Lady of Fatima nine years ago in Binakayan, Kawit, Cavite. Proud of this shot, just reduced its size to save on space.

Here’s another photo that one of our volunteers took  early this morning during the Marian procession at  our village, an image of our Blessed Lady.

Another image of Our Lady of Fatima

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I am getting quite lazy again. I was supposed to do a little gardening this afternoon  but around this time, it is still so hot outside.

Since Oreo isn’t here, the  house is so quiet. Josef and Jovy have an outing at Baler, Aurora province with their officemates. Baler  is one of Luzon’s hidden gems. Located 231 kilometers (143.5 mi) north-east of Manila, it is farther than our town in Pangasinan for about one to two hours from here. It is a surfer’s paradise because the town’s coast faces the Pacific Ocean. I asked Josef early this morning if Oreo has gone swimming yesterday. He said Oreo loves the water. They bought him  his own life jacket. Imagine a little dog complete with accessories too like that and sunglasses. They are made for small pets like him. This doggie is pampered.  He has his own “baon”,  provisions like Pedigree DentaStix, doggie biscuits, diaper and vitamins.

My goodness, I still love afternoon siesta, I thought when I woke up it is already morning. How lazy could one be? It is Sunday after all.

There are so many changes instituted by the church because of this corona virus. We have to take communions by the hands now, some holy water fonts are empty because they want to prevent contamination, holding hands while saying the Lord’s Prayer is now a no,no, no kissing during Peace greetings. Even the celebration on the Lenten rituals has changed.  Veneration of the cross will now be done by genuflecting.  The Kumpisalang Bayan (a night set aside for annual confessions) is now scrapped. They have it every day instead using the confessional box. Before, you can confess face to face.  It is no longer allowed.

I’ve gotten hold of one more novel. It’s entitled The Golden Son by Shilpi  Somaya Gowda. Getting to know more about rural India.  Love it. It’s my 30th read this year at Goodreads. Seventy more books to go 🙂

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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 🙂

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’s Gospel.   I love how the two words are intertwined – 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’s 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 2:22–40 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 Niño in the Philippines is as old as the history of Christianity in the country. Today we celebrate the Feast of Sto Niño, the child Jesus. “Pit Señor” is the short form of “Sangpit sa Señor,” a phrase in Cebuano that means, “to call, ask, and plead to the king.” We celebrate the  Feast of  Sto. Niño 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 Niño 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 Niño 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 Señor!

 

 

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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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Just received a package a while ago from my Franciscan friend Sr. Thea who stayed in the Holy Land for three months. She sent me all these – key chains from Assisi, France and the Holy Land and also a Divine zeal key chain from Myanmar.

I love the rosary best. She said it is blessed by touching the big rock on which Jesus prayed in Gethsemane. The center medal at the back of the image of the Blessed Mother is soil from the Holy Land.

Don’t ask me how I was able to post this photo. It was just by trial and error. I took it using my tab’s camera.

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