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Archive for the ‘Catholic traditions’ Category


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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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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Last night was the start of our yearly Simbang Gabi or Dawn mass.  Back in the days, it used to be called Rooster Mass because  4am or 5am were usually when the rooster in your neighborhood crows.  Simbang Gabi is a beautiful nine-day novena masses in Thanksgiving for all the blessing one received in the year. It’s traditional for us Filipino Catholics. I think it is only in the Philippines where you could find this. Times has changed, nowadays these Simbang Gabi are celebrated early, usually the night before the next day to give way for those who want to attend the novena after office.  They are also brought to some malls where they are celebrated at noon and most offices also hold these masses during lunch break.

I was overjoyed seeing the Pope opening the Simbang Gabi tradition. The mass readings were read in Tagalog  but there was a translator in English. Even the songs were sung in Tagalog  by the Filipino community. I’d like to think we are special because they have adapted one of the lovely traditions in our Catholic life.

Although our country is now in the brink of…..how do you put it….the ship is sinking fast because of these non-performing powers that be in our government, I still have high hopes that this will end eventually and we will rise up again. It may just take one brave soul to start it, right now though, we are at the mercy of one man who holds everything from the Supreme Court to the Legislative Branch to our National Police down to the barangay level. I need not elaborate, perhaps you also read them online.

I digress.

We were talking about Simbang Gabi, right? There are many churches now and several congregations too that televise the celebration of the nine-day novena masses. They end the day before Christmas day.

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Today is the first Sunday of Advent. Have to hear mass early, the church is about a ten-minute walk from the house. I love the rituals and prayers while they were lighting the Advent Wreath Candle. It was just so solemn and beautiful.

Happy Sunday friends. Wish you well.

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Wow, I am quite sad that a certain follower and who I have followed lately is attacking the Catholic religion. I’ve been blogging for more than ten years now and it is only now that there is this personal attack through his comments on a comment I made earlier. He claims to be a Christian but is full of hate about the Catholic church. He even said that we worship Mary  and the saints which is nowhere said in the Bible. I told him, we venerate Mary, not worship her.

I don’t want to argue when it comes to religion. We stay where we are comfortable and everyone should respect that. Personal attack is a no, no for me. Imagine, he is telling everyone to stay away from the Catholic church, what a shame.

I unfollowed him and removed  him from my list of followers.I blocked him for good. I don’t feel at ease having someone so opinionated like him.

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I promised myself I won’t start the week in front of my PC and I didn’t. Know what? Our service provider Globe did it for me. We didn’t have internet connection yesterday. It was quiet around the house with only the radio on playing some old songs.

Today is Holy Tuesday. Most shows on television are about the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The best times to watch and reflect. Holy Week is that time of the year where we need more of these – reflections and spiritual readings.

I started on The First Phone Call From Heaven.  I guess this is not one of the best books by Mitch Albom. Except for his two latest books, I read all starting from Tuesdays With Morrie which I like the best. Like the rest of his books, this is an inspirational one. A glimpse of how we perceive what life is like in Heaven.

Gotta start The Seven Storey Mountain in a while, a book by Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk. Accordingly, is one of the most influential religious works of the twentieth century. I encountered his works the first time when I was in college working as a student librarian at  the Humanities Section of the UST Library.  And this book used to be on my wish list but a friend gave me a copy when she went home for vacation a month ago. I completed posting the whole Bible readings for the month of April  at our Catholic page on Facebook.

It’s a nice start for the Holy Week. Holy Thursday and Good Friday are official holidays here.

 

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Remembering Christmas past.

This would be the first time that we won’t be complete on the 24th which is Christmas Eve. Josef still has to report to  work on the 24th but it is a special holiday here.  Nissa, Obet and Nate are coming over though but they won’t spend the night here because Christmas day happens to be Tuesday and they will spend  it with my son-in-law’s family. The following day is a regular work day.

In the past we would be busy preparing for Noche Buena  right after the evening mass and wait for 12 am  (Christmas day) to partake of the food on the table and open the gifts afterwards. We would always sleep late and wake up early again to attend Christmas Day mass.

I was looking at some of the photos I uploaded at  Photobucket and found  some Christmas photos.

We didn’t put up this Christmas tree this year because we have Oreo now.  He would play with anything he could reach and those Christmas balls would be added attraction to him. It’s a seven-foot tree. I don’t miss it much though because it is a little hard to dismantle it afterwards and clean all those decor before returning them back to their boxes. It is always exciting of course to put up a tree. Sadly,  we have never experienced having a real tree because we simply don’t have them here.  Even stores except for S & R and probably Landers now don’t sell real pines.  Next year, I’d like to decorate a small  one that would fit a side table.

And I’m in a quandary to take out or even display the gifts for the family this early. Oreo might play with them too. He played with my indoor plants last night 😦

This morning, I went to the wet market to buy some fresh ingredients for my pasta. I was thrilled when two of my sukis gave me a pretty small utility bag and a big bottle of patis (fish sauce). Such generous gestures. I receive gifts from them both every year.

Christmas clock says it’s two days, fifteen hours to go before Christmas.

 

 

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