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Posts Tagged ‘Closer to God’


I no longer remember how many times I blogged about Good Friday since I started at WordPress.

We used to have our Visita Iglesia on Good Friday. We visit seven churches in other towns and pray the Fourteen Stations of the Cross. In the afternoon, we watch The Seven Last Words. They are inspiring reflections of how Jesus died on the cross. For the second time now, celebrations of Lent and Holy Week are quiet affairs. I miss the procession in our town usually held very early on a Good Friday morning. It is a blessing though that we get to watch everything online.

It is so quiet here now except for the ocassional noise of cars passing by our subdivision. I took the opportunity to update our Catholic page and two Catholic groups of which I am an admin.

I remember a post I wrote nine years ago today. The message was sent by a close friend on a Good Friday.

These are reflections of an old man who donated blood one Good Friday.

“I gave blood, Christ gave His long ago; I gave a pint, He gave it all. My needle was short and sharp, His nails were large and dull. My cot was soft and restful, His cross was rough and hard. My med techs were kind and gentle, the soldiers were cruel and mean. The crowd applauded my sacrifice, those who passed by reviled Him. Mine was type A positive, His was positive for all. Mine, at best, will prolong life for a while, His without doubt will save us for all eternity”.

A blessed Good Friday to all.

BTW, it’s St. Pope John Paul II’s 16th death anniversary today.

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We are on the second day of Holy Week. Busy with attending short recollections online before the Paschal Triduum begins on the night of Holy Thursday and ends on Easter Sunday night.

Holy Week is one of the most important event in the Catholic calendar.The most important feast day by far is the Feast of Pascha (Easter) – the Feast of Feasts. Then the Twelve Great Feasts, which commemorate various significant events in the lives of Jesus Christ and of the Theotokos (Virgin Mary).

Fr. Pao sent me his schedule starting tomorrow – they have the Stations of the Cross, recollection and the Seven Last Words on Friday.

My regret though is not being able to read your posts and commenting too. Monday next week, I won’t be busy anymore. Then I’ll have those backreads on your posts.

Nissa is doing well. Thank you so much for all your prayers and good thoughts for her. She received some gifts from friends. What caught my attention was this small crate of different fruits from three of her high school friends. Love that green avocado on top.

Kiwis, oranges and apples are usually imported but those fresh strawberries usually come from Baguio. Fruits are important when you had Covid.

I miss Nate. I miss those moments when we would play in the garden and pick kalamansi. I wonder when I’ll be able to see them again.

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Àfter ten years.

Yes, the last we had one physically was at the Sto. Domingo Church.

I’ve been an admin of The Filipino Catholic for more than ten years now. Last night,we finally had a gathering (online edition via Zoom), two hours of fun, laughter and prayers. Lovely meeting old and new friends – priceless camaraderie. We are bound by common faith, a genuinely fulfilling belief in our Lord Jesus Christ.

My mentor, Fr. Louie is a Dominican priest assigned at the University of Santo Tomas (my alma mater). We are planning to make this a regular one now. Next would be during Lent.

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We used to have just this group chat. Funny, but in all the months since Interaktib started, we have somehow formed a community of fellow Catholics from all over the country. Some are staying abroad, some are active in their respective parishes. We chat, post some feed backs on the twice-a-week program of Sambuhay Interaktib. Actually, we’re like one big family.

Yesterday, my friend Min formed a page for all of us including the priests and seminarians involved in the production of the program. Min is the one I have written about in my post Solitude. It is a private group and I am helping her with another member as admins.

I have been an admin at our Catholic page The Filipino Catholic for more than ten years now since its inception so it is a little easier to navigate our new page. We are actually growing as one family, sharing the same faith. I am glad I am gaining new friends in the process.

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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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Today we celebrate the Feast Day of  our Lady of the  Holy Rosary.   Every year there used to be a procession of La Naval of the image at Sto. Domingo Church in Quezon City. This year though, only a few participated but they brought out the image for a shorter route because of the  pandemic.

Have I  told you that the first time I’ve seen the image of Mama Mary up close was ten years ago when Fr. Lovell (still a seminarian then) invited me to join the Dominican community to pray the rosary with them when the image  was brought down from her pedestal in preparation for the annual procession? I can’t explain the feeling touching her magnificent and dazzling robe after praying the rosary. It was then a year after my chemotherapy. Back in high school at the university, we were all  required to wear our white gala uniforms and attend the procession every year.

Early this morning, I got this message from Fr. Lovell who is assigned in Iloilo at the moment.

Mapagpalang araw po. AS we celebrate today the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary, I entrust you and your family to the protective and maternal care of our Mother. You will be remembered in the Holy Mass at 10 am to be celebrated at the Chapel of the House of the Most Holy Rosary Iloilo City. Keep safe.

He never forgets to include us in his masses since he was ordained eight years ago. How nice to be always remembered in prayers.

Happy Feast Day to all our Catholic friends. You are also remembered in prayers.

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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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I am always touched watching the flickering candles at the Padre Pio Chapel in Libis. The symbolism of having pure light, penetrating darkness and illuminating one’s path is so uplifting.
St. Padre Pio is one of my favorite saints. I believe he was instrumental in healing me when I was sick eleven years ago. I have always experienced kneeling down with that blank paper in my hands and didn’t know what to write in my petitions but once my pen glides on the paper, it is a spontaneous flow of thanksgiving and asking for special intentions. I am always in awe every time I read those testimonials of people he has touched through their prayers.
HAPPY FEAST DAY PADRE PIO. I am sad I could not visit you today.

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Peace


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Ad Jesum per Mariam! To Jesus through Mary.

Of all the images that I saw of Mama Mary, I love this the most. NUESTRA SEÑORA DE LA LECHE. An image of a mother breastfeeding her child.

I took this in one of the exhibits I attended with a friend  back in 2012. Oh, and my stats at WordPress is again doing a crazy dance since last night. There was a time when I garnered more than 4,300 hits in one day because of my blog on Mama Mary’s birthday. And every time her birthday comes, there is always a spike in my stats.

Let it be known that we don’t worship Mary, we venerate her.

MALIGAYANG KAARAWAN MAHAL  NAMING INA!

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