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Archive for the ‘Faith’ Category


Culled from the net

This was the photo they selected during his beatification.

I am sure some of you have heard of Carlo Acutis. 

“Blessed Carlo Acutis (3 May 1991 – 12 October 2006) was an Italian Catholic computer programmer. He was best known for documenting Eucharistic miracles around the world and cataloguing them all onto a website that he created in the months before his death from leukemia. He was noted for his cheerfulness and his computer skills as well as for his deep devotion to the Eucharist which became a core theme of his life.“- from Wikipedia

I only heard of him a  day after his scheduled beatification. Last night on live feed, I witnessed his beatification at 10:30 am (Italy time but was last night here in our country). He was beatified at the Basilica of Saint Francis in Assisi, Italy.  Even though the mass was in Italian, I cried while watching it.  He is the first millennial declared as blessed.  He  was born in London on May 3, 1991  and died  last October 12, 2008. He contracted leukemia and offered his pain both for St. Benedict XVI and for the Universal Church. 

Here’s two of his lovely and meaningful quotes:

“I offer all the suffering I will have to suffer for the Lord, for the Pope, and the Church”. 

“the more Eucharist we receive, the more we will become like Jesus, so that on this earth we will have a foretaste of heaven”.

Here’ s the miracle attributed to Carlo Acutis’ prayers:  (from the catholictelegraph.com)

The beatification of Carlo Acutis took place Oct. 10 after a miracle attributed to his prayers and the grace of God. In Brazil, a boy named Mattheus was healed from a serious birth defect called an annular pancreas after he and his mother asked Acutis to pray for his healing.

Mattheus was born in 2009 with a serious condition that caused him difficulty eating and serious abdominal pain. He was unable to keep any food in his stomach, and vomited constantly.

By the time Mattheus was nearly four years old, he weighed only 20 pounds, and lived on a vitamin and protein shake, one of the few things his body could tolerate. He was not expected to live long.

His mother, Luciana Vianna, had spent years praying for his healing.

At the same time, a priest friend of the family, Fr. Marcelo Tenorio, learned online about the life of Carlo Acutis, and began praying for his beatification. In 2013 he obtained a relic from Carlo’s mother, and he invited Catholics to a Mass and prayer service in his parish, encouraging them to ask Acutis’ intercession for whatever healing they might need.

Mattheus’ mother heard about the prayer service. She decided she would ask Acutis to intercede for her son. In fact, in the days before the prayer service, Vianna made a novena for Acutis’ intercession, and explained to her son that they could ask Acutis to pray for his healing.

On the day of the prayer service, she took Mattheus and other family members to the parish.

Fr. Nicola Gori, the priest responsible for promoting Acutis’ sainthood cause, told Italian media what happened next:

“On October 12, 2013, seven years after Carlo’s death, a child, affected by a congenital malformation (annular pancreas), when it was his turn to touch the picture of the future blessed, expressed a singular wish, like a prayer: ‘I wish I could stop vomiting so much.’ Healing began immediately, to the point that the physiology of the organ in question changed,” Fr. Gori said.

On the way home from the Mass, Mattheus told his mother that he was already cured. At home, he asked for French fries, rice, beans, and steak – the favorite foods of his brothers.

He ate everything on his plate. He didn’t vomit. He ate normally the next day, and the next. Vianna took Mattheus to physicians, who were mystified by Mattheus’ healing.

Mattheus’ mother told Brazilian media she sees in the miracle an opportunity to evangelize.

“Before, I didn’t even use my cell phone, I was averse to technology. Carlo changed my way of thinking, he was known for talking about Jesus on the Internet, and I realized that my testimony would be a way to evangelize and give hope to other families. Today I understand that everything new can be good, if we use it for good, ” she told reporters.

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Be a wheat among the weeds. Seeds grown in good grounds produce a good harvest.

One time, I attended an early morning mass in our Parish. It was a Sunday and the church was full. Besides me was a child  maybe about five years old.  When it came to the part of the mass  that we had to greet each other “Peace be with you”, she shyly turned to me, smiled, bowed her head and  said  “peace be with you”.  I was so touched with her gestures. Not all children who attend Sunday masses are attentive enough to follow the sequence of the mass.  Hallelujah!

When Nissa had her thyroid operation last September, I was  with her for four days at the hospital and before we went to sleep, we shared these stories about life and the daily happenings in our lives. I remember her telling me about Nate. Every after the end of the mass, the priest usually gives blessings to the parishioners especially little children. When Nate approached the priest he asked him to bless and to please say a prayer for his mom for her successful operation the following week. That started their friendship. Nate made it a point to see Fr. Regie since then.  The latter is the present Rector of the Manila Cathedral.  I attend his masses online almost everyday with Fr. Kali. They have inspiring  and lovely homilies. So many lessons learned in the process.

Last February,  the last time Nate came with  Obet and Nissa to spend the day with us, we invited our good friend Fr. Aly to have lunch with us here at home. He has been our friend since we had our house blessing twenty five years ago.  He even officiated Nissa and Obet’s wedding back in 2011. Nate was not shy in front of religious people. Seemed as if he had also known Fr. Aly for a long time but it was only the first time they met each other.

Nate is not shy among strangers because he talks a lot. This is one of his photos taken at the Manila Cathedral last December.

Have a blessed Sunday everyone.  May the coming week be a happy one for us. Amidst this pandemic, let us not lose  our faith and let us always hope for the best.

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I just watched  an early morning mass online at Sambuhay  presided by a friend Fr. Pao. His homily was so inspiring and meaningful. It also made me realize certain things that in “normal circumstance”  we take for granted.

A bottle of alcohol is just what we need at a time but then there are unscrupulous individuals who raided supermarkets and hoarded on several bottles. This is just like what you see in other countries where tissue paper is always out of stock.  I just bought four bottles.  Now  customers are limited to two bottles each per purchase.  Of course, it is human nature to at least have a few more groceries in times of crisis like this. As they say in Tagalog, “bawal magutom”. And while those who can afford to stockpile on groceries have their several carts full of goods, you can see along the roadside a few poor families sharing a meager meal out of sardines and  rice.  They can’t even afford to have a proper home to return to.  Sad, isn’t it?

One of our public hospitals here is asking for donations of PPE – face masks,  bottles of alcohol, disinfectants, disposable gloves that the nurses and doctors can use. The private sector is responding to our Vice-President Leni’s call  to help. You can donate and they will buy medical supplies for our medical personnel that they can use in their daily battle with the virus. They are also in need of food rationing for our medical personnel. I wonder what this government is doing. Their response is a resounding community quarantine but there is no mention if this month-long quarantine  is supported by economic plans, mandatory testing for those who leave the city and international travel bans. It should have been done months ago but they were too proud to say that we can contain this pandemic. To think we don’t even have enough testing kits that the Dept. of Health can use and distribute to hospitals. It’s a good thing though that our local governments are doing their best in their respective areas to help their constituents. This may not be just a one month  catastrophe. It may take more than a year before they could find a cure.

I could not concentrate finishing a book at the moment. I’d rather contact my friends thru  FB messenger to exchange news. A few days ago, a friend from Italy called me up in the middle of the night telling  me  their ordeal  about the total lockdown.  I asked Nissa if Nate still has to go to school after this month-long quarantine. She said that the school year is done.  Lugi ang estudyante.  They were supposed  to still have their finals this week.  Jovy and Josef showed me their Certificate of Employment issued by JP Morgan earlier. Nissa said she also got hers last week.  They need at least three identifications that their being outside is valid – one government ID, their company IDs and the COE. Yes, it has come to this.

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Made some memes when I still had my old camera. I have a whole album at FB. I miss my Canon Ixus.

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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,

I trust and believe You will see me through the many decisions and problems I will encounter.

Amen.

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It’s another blessed Sunday!

I thank God each new day I wake up, whatever time that may be – 3 a.m. or a little later. Then I ask Him to “arm” me with grace for whatever lies ahead… the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. Taking the bitter with the sweet.

It might not be a bed of roses for us but we still dream.

How are you this Sunday morning my friends?

 

 

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Nissa finally got the result of the final biopsy when she visited her surgical oncologist this afternoon.

It’s stage one thyroid cancer. She will have to undergo one session of radiotherapy and has to go back to her endocrinologist for further assessment.

Feeling sad about this but I know she will get well completely.  She will report back to work on  Monday.

God is good and God is great!

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Spent a few minutes deleting spam comments. Come to think of it, most of them are porn sites being promoted by these  spammers.

Just to update you on things. Nissa finally found a surgical oncologist  who was referred by her endocrinologist.  He is Dr. Gerald Alcid, chairman of the Surgery program of the Univ. of Santo Tomas Hospital.  She said the doctor is so kind and she is complacent with how he  explained everything. She could go back to work a week after surgery. The doctor even told her that thyroid cancer is the most treatable cancer of all and assured Nissa that thyroidectomy is a safe procedure. She decided to have that surgical operation after all.  I remember my own surgical oncologist ten years ago, he is also a graduate of UST. The university produces the best medical professionals in our country.  Thank God for those kind  doctors who put the welfare of their patients first.

Hoping for the best with God’s help.

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You might wonder how our family has been since my brother was diagnosed with rectal cancer which has metastasised in his liver.

Allow me first to thank you all for  your prayers and words of comfort. It is helping us a lot that there are friends who also hope for a longer life for my brother.

Since he left the hospital, I call them everyday. He needs that moral support that we can give even in our small way. He has let go and let God do the rest for his healing. He decided not to undergo that much dreaded operation and even chemotherapy later on. Just to give you an idea, we are four siblings in all and my eldest brother underwent surgical operation with chemotherapy when he was diagnosed with the same ailment back in 2003. I had mine in July 2009 with six cycles of chemotherapy. I had doubts that this must be hereditary. There might be something in our genes  causing the three of us to have the same ailment. I remember what my medical oncologist said though years ago that genes/heredity  comprises only 10%  when you are diagnosed with colon cancer.

I was listening to my favorite  radio program the other week when they had this one-hour segment called Kaibigan sa Kalusugan  and their topic was about cancer and initial cure. They are a group of doctors who believe in alternative medicine. I left a message in their program which was also broadcasted on their Facebook page. One of their personnel texted me and gave me the details of their clinic near our place here in Manila. I texted back that my brother is in the province and Manila is too far for travel. They have a clinic in Pampanga  (more than seventy km. from our  place in the province)  so last Monday, my brother,  sis-in-law and a cousin who temporarily drives for them went for consultation. I googled their way of treating patients with different illnesses and I was impressed. Even my brother was all praises for them. They are doctors too. I was even more in awe when I read that they are known worldwide and that the medicines they prescribe to their patients are BFAD (Bureau of Food and Drugs) approved here in the Philippines.  My brother was prescribed three medications and they have to come back on Monday and bring new laboratory tests that they have requested. They even told him to continue with his previous medications prescribed by his doctors at the hospital.

This is a leap of faith. Hoping  for a better health for my brother. I always remember that God does not give us crosses that we can’t bear. He will always be there guiding our paths. Going through such challenges is quite heavy both for my brother and the family but we remain faithful and hopeful  to God’s wisdom and mercy.  There is a place where He wants us to be and we are truly grateful for that.

May God bless us all. 

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