The Building of a Civilization of Love

The third area of commitment that comes with love is that of daily life with its multiple relationships. I am particularly referring to family, studies, work and free time. Dear young friends, cultivate your talents, not only to obtain a social position, but also to help others to “grow”. Develop your capacities, not only in order to become more “competitive” and “productive”, but to be “witnesses of charity”. In addition to your professional training, also make an effort to acquire religious knowledge that will help you to carry out your mission in a responsible way. In particular, I invite you to carefully study the social doctrine of the Church so that its principles may inspire and guide your action in the world. May the Holy Spirit make you creative in charity, persevering in your commitments, and brave in your initiatives, so that you will be able to offer your contribution to the building up of the “civilisation of love”. The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!

- Pope Benedict XVI, WYD 2007 MESSAGE, Growing in love each day

3:12. Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.
3:13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and stretching forth myself to those that are before,
3:14. I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.

-St. Paul to Philippians

Sunday, December 23, 2007

"Let there be Light"

Christmas is already here!!!
The season of love. A time to thing really seriously about others, family and friends. A time to be together. I am still not really ready as I should. I am not even feeling ready to blog even thought I want to very much. And I think I have time since I am not working next week. But again I have many things to do with some friends and phone calls to make all over.

Well, I have been meditating on different ways people are preparing for Christmas. One thing which was very interesting was listening to different local stations at work. It is amazing how we have lost the sense of Christmas. I am really blessed to have found a good christian radio to listen to for the past few months and especially this Christmas season. The following videos are illustrations of the songs that were mostly prayed on different stations (I picked three here: Praise106.5, 103.5QMFM, and The Beat 94.5). This stations are really like a two extremes and the middle one in function of what is more religious or more secular.

The song were sung mostly on Friday on the corresponding station. I should indicate that I have arranged the stations from less popular to most popular

Praise 106.5FM.

This is my favorite

Great song and interesting illustration made by someone on youtube.

103.5QM FM (2)

You may not believe it but the following song prayed about five times before noon (that is in five hours: 0700-1200) on The Beat 94.5 FM, I really wondered what going on in the minds and hearts who are asking for it at this Christmas time.

The Child that is born for us is the Light of the world. He teaches us to forgives always, because our Father forgive us always. No one should feel that it is too late to forgive or to be forgiven or to apologize. How far have we gone from Christ!!!

As you came down you have notice that many people seem to be having a depressed Christmas. Too sad. We seem to be at the point of worshiping the creature instead of the Creator. And when our god crash us down we go depressed. Let's focus our attention on the child of God. The real object of our admiration and adoration. The one we should worship and look at for forgiveness and peace in our hearts. The Light that came to us to shine in our darkness, and let's try to make this season a season of love. Joseph and Mary had all reason to be depressed considering that everyone had turned them away to the point of having no other option than the manger. But still they had great reason to rejoice. They had nothing but they had God with him. And all angels, stars and other creatures were around to celebrate. Let's pray for each other so that the command of God may be done in our hearts. That the Light of the world may come in us, incarnate in our heart and pierce all darkness.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"Mary did you know?!"

Wow, quite a long time since the last time I posted here!
I have been busy and lazy... but today I thought I would post in honour of our Lord and his Mother as we are between the feast of Christ the King and the Advent.

I like this video. It contains such powerful words of the Incarnation mysteries. Let's enter into a deep meditation as we think about each word in the song.

The little baby is the great 'I Am'!
I have been thinking of a post about how God is powerful in is apparent weakness... I guess that's what I will talk about in the next post.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Schoenstatt Vancouver is mourning!

Schoenstatt Vancouver is mourning!

Few weeks ago, I asked for prayers for a Srilankan lady who is a member of Schoenstatt. Her son is the coordinator of Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign here in Vancouver. She had been hospitalized for about two months and passed away yesterday. We believe it to be a particular blessing since yesterday is Friday and a special day for the Church and all souls. I was at the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament yesterday and we had a Mass afterwards. The priest made a special prayer in a way that I thought he was particularly praying for her. All these are signs from our MTA to console us and tell us that she was with her. It is a great consolation since both the children (my friend here in Vancouver and his sister in Wisconsin are new immigrants) of the diseased are abroad and could not make it to Srilanka because of Green Card and Visa problems.

So thanks to all who prayed. We know that God always answers our prayers. He just doesn't always give us the expected answer. But He give the best for us. And we are thankful for the consolations received.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Happy Covenant Day to Schoenstatters

Today Schoenstatt celebrates Covenant Day. Many schoenstatters remembers their covenant of love in a special way. I have been reading the CCC recently and meditating on some readings: I/we believe, the ten commandments, and others. I was a little troubled to found out how little I knew about the commandments and the Profession of Faith. But when I am reading it I have at the same time a happy feeling of doing something great for my soul/spiritual life. I had neglected it for a long time simply because I thought it was for converts, you know people who never read it (thought is was not much different form the kids one) before.

I remember how I hated to have low marks in my quiz and exams at school. When I was studying I used to tremble at the idea of not having studied enough. I think our Mother used to give me some hint about spiritual readings as well. This is what the fear of the Lord is also about. Fear of failing the quiz of daily life and the great exam of our lives. I used to console myself by the fact that I was occasionally listening to EWTN, reading some spiritual writings. But reading the Catechism is really instructing to oneself. If feels like studying for ones life.

The CCC is the basic, in fact I think before reading the Bible one should read the Catechism of the Catholic Church. This would really avoid so many mistakes people makes in interpreting the Bible. The CCC is so well and simply organized that we see the entire Christian Faith as simple as the Creed and the two great commandments. Everything to me now seem to be in there well explained in great details and at everyone satisfaction.

Well, I am sure from today the new 'schoenstatt year' will be different. My contribution to the capital of grace will have a new perfume thanks to our MTA. Here in Vancouver our work schedules are creating conflict at the point of almost preventing us to celebrate this precious day for us. So all schoenstatters united in the covenant pray for us. And to all my schoenstatt brothers and sisters. Happy Covenant Day!

Thanks for those who prayed for the last intentions I posted. Half the people we prayed for are doing fine. The schoenstatter grandma's conditions remain unchanged, and I haven't had about the little boy yet.

In all cases. Blessed be the Lord! We know he has everything under his loving care; not a hair of our head falls down without his permission. And he would never allow any bad thing to happen unless he can get a greater good out of it.

Under and with our Mother Thrice Admirable in the covenant of love let BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD.

I have been very busy lately...I looks like I will be posting less for a while...

Edited Oct 21 2007-

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Canadian Thanksgiving!

There are millions of things to be thankful for. Family, friends, peaceful country, health, education, but most importantly my Catholic Faith. We had a wonderful homily this evening with a new priest. I wish I could have a copy of it. He reminded us how precious we are to God. He taught about me, what a great idea I was to him, then he called me to existence. I am a wonder, his precious masterpiece. He would give anything for me. And he never cease to show it to me. So I have to be thankful for being created, for him sending to me people to guide me to him, in his truth and communion. For dying for me. For giving us his Holy Spirit and his Holy Church, and for giving us his Blessed Mother. For being always with us in the tabernacle and in our neighbor. For people who always remind me of his love for me. For my guardian angel, and the communion of saints.

Here is an other great youtube video for El Shaddai!

Thanks to all who have been good to me. Sorry to what may be between us. I pray and ask that you pray that my heart be ever transformed by the fire of the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth and of Life for the great glory of God. May we all celebrate God's goodness, and be ever thankful that we were made in his image to radiate his glory to one an other. Our hearts that's the greatest gift we can offer in thanksgiving!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Something Beautiful

A song for the weekend!
For Thanksgiving to our heavenly Father. Actually I think I will get an other one may be tomorrow...
I think Newsboys are getting me a little intoxicated :D
So turn ON you woofer or treble or bass or both or whatever and let you whole might say THANKS for the beautiful gifts of God, of love, of life...

For the very close relationship between love and life, I am posting some documents from the Gospel of life of our beloved JPII, so read on after the music:)

I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made" (Ps 139:14): celebrating the Gospel of life

83. Because we have been sent into the world as a "people for life", our proclamation must also become a genuine celebration of the Gospel of life. This celebration, with the evocative power of its gestures, symbols and rites, should become a precious and significant setting in which the beauty and grandeur of this Gospel is handed on.
For this to happen, we need first of all to foster, in ourselves and in others, a contemplative outlook. 107 Such an outlook arises from faith in the God of life, who has created every individual as a "wonder" (cf. Ps 139:14). It is the outlook of those who see life in its deeper meaning, who grasp its utter gratuitousness, its beauty and its invitation to freedom and responsibility. It is the outlook of those who do not presume to take possession of reality but instead accept it as a gift, discovering in all things the reflection of the Creator and seeing in every person his living image (cf. Gen 1:27; Ps 8:5). This outlook does not give in to discouragement when confronted by those who are sick, suffering, outcast or at death's door. Instead, in all these situations it feels challenged to find meaning, and precisely in these circumstances it is open to perceiving in the face of every person a call to encounter, dialogue and solidarity.
It is time for all of us to adopt this outlook, and with deep religious awe to rediscover the ability to revere and honour every person, as Paul VI invited us to do in one of his first Christmas messages. 108 Inspired by this contemplative outlook, the new people of the redeemed cannot but respond with songs of joy, praise and thanksgiving for the priceless gift of life, for the mystery of every individual's call to share through Christ in the life of grace and in an existence of unending communion with God our Creator and Father.

84. To celebrate the Gospel of life means to celebrate the God of life, the God who gives life: "We must celebrate Eternal Life, from which every other life proceeds. From this, in proportion to its capacities, every being which in any way participates in life, receives life. This Divine Life, which is above every other life, gives and preserves life. Every life and every living movement proceed from this Life which transcends all life and every principle of life. It is to this that souls owe their incorruptibility; and because of this all animals and plants live, which receive only the faintest glimmer of life. To men, beings made of spirit and matter, Life grants life. Even if we should abandon Life, because of its overflowing love for man, it converts us and calls us back to itself. Not only this: it promises to bring us, soul and body, to perfect life, to immortality. It is too little to say that this Life is alive: it is the Principle of life, the Cause and sole Wellspring of life. Every living thing must contemplate it and give it praise: it is Life which overflows with life".109
Like the Psalmist, we too, in our daily prayer as individuals and as a community, praise and bless God our Father, who knitted us together in our mother's womb, and saw and loved us while we were still without form (cf. Ps 139:13, 15-16). We exclaim with overwhelming joy: "I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works. You know me through and through" (Ps 139:14). Indeed, "despite its hardships, its hidden mysteries, its suffering and its inevitable frailty, this mortal life is a most beautiful thing, a marvel ever new and moving, an event worthy of being exalted in joy and glory".110 Moreover, man and his life appear to us not only as one of the greatest marvels of creation: for God has granted to man a dignity which is near to divine (Ps 8:5-6). In every child which is born and in every person who lives or dies we see the image of God's glory. We celebrate this glory in every human being, a sign of the living God, an icon of Jesus Christ.
We are called to express wonder and gratitude for the gift of life and to welcome, savour and share the Gospel of life not only in our personal and community prayer, but above all in the celebrations of the liturgical year. Particularly important in this regard are the Sacraments, the efficacious signs of the presence and saving action of the Lord Jesus in Christian life. The Sacraments make us sharers in divine life, and provide the spiritual strength necessary to experience life, suffering and death in their fullest meaning. Thanks to a genuine rediscovery and a better appreciation of the significance of these rites, our liturgical celebrations, especially celebrations of the Sacraments, will be ever more capable of expressing the full truth about birth, life, suffering and death, and will help us to live these moments as a participation in the Paschal Mystery of the Crucified and Risen Christ.

85. In celebrating the Gospel of life we also need toappreciate and make good use of the wealth of gestures and symbols present in the traditions and customs of different cultures and peoples. There are special times and ways in which the peoples of different nations and cultures express joy for a newborn life, respect for and protection of individual human lives, care for the suffering or needy, closeness to the elderly and the dying, participation in the sorrow of those who mourn, and hope and desire for immortality.
In view of this and following the suggestion made by the Cardinals in the Consistory of 1991, I propose that a Day for Life be celebrated each year in every country, as already established by some Episcopal Conferences. The celebration of this Day should be planned and carried out with the active participation of all sectors of the local Church. Its primary purpose should be to foster in individual consciences, in families, in the Church and in civil society a recognition of the meaning and value of human life at every stage and in every condition. Particular attention should be drawn to the seriousness of abortion and euthanasia, without neglecting other aspects of life which from time to time deserve to be given careful consideration, as occasion and circumstances demand.

86. As part of the spiritual worship acceptable to God (cf. Rom 12:1), the Gospel of life is to be celebrated above all in daily living, which should be filled with self-giving love for others. In this way, our lives will become a genuine and respon- sible acceptance of the gift of life and a heartfelt song of praise and gratitude to God who has given us this gift. This is already happening in the many different acts of selfless generosity, often humble and hidden, carried out by men and women, children and adults, the young and the old, the healthy and the sick.
It is in this context, so humanly rich and filled with love, that heroic actions too are born. These are the most solemn celebration of the Gospel of life, for they proclaim it by the total gift of self. They are the radiant manifestation of the highest degree of love, which is to give one's life for the person loved (cf. Jn 15:13). They are a sharing in the mystery of the Cross, in which Jesus reveals the value of every person, and how life attains its fullness in the sincere gift of self. Over and above such outstanding moments, there is an everyday heroism, made up of gestures of sharing, big or small, which build up an authentic culture of life. A particularly praiseworthy example of such gestures is the donation of organs, performed in an ethically acceptable manner, with a view to offering a chance of health and even of life itself to the sick who sometimes have no other hope.
Part of this daily heroism is also the silent but effective and eloquent witness of all those "brave mothers who devote themselves to their own fam- ily without reserve, who suffer in giving birth to their children and who are ready to make any effort, to face any sacrifice, in order to pass on to them the best of themselves".111 In living out their mission "these heroic women do not always find support in the world around them. On the contrary, the cultural models frequently promoted and broadcast by the media do not encourage motherhood. In the name of progress and modernity the values of fidelity, chastity, sacrifice, to which a host of Christian wives and mothers have borne and continue to bear outstanding witness, are presented as obsolete ... We thank you, heroic mothers, for your invincible love! We thank you for your intrepid trust in God and in his love. We thank you for the sacrifice of your life ... In the Paschal Mystery, Christ restores to you the gift you gave him. Indeed, he has the power to give you back the life you gave him as an offering".112

"Walk as children of light" (Eph 5:8): bringing about a transformation of culture

- A reminder from the Gosple of Life. Nice weekend for everyone!

Walk as children of light" (Eph 5:8): bringing about a transformation of culture

95. "Walk as children of light ... and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness" (Eph 5:8, 10-11). In our present social context, marked by a dramatic struggle between the "culture of life" and the "culture of death", there is need to develop a deep critical sense, capable of discerning true values and authentic needs.
What is urgently called for is a general mobilization of consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life. All together, we must build a new culture of life: new, because it will be able to confront and solve today's unprecedented problems affecting human life; new, because it will be adopted with deeper and more dynamic conviction by all Christians; new, because it will be capable of bringing about a serious and courageous cultural dialogue among all parties. While the urgent need for such a cultural transformation is linked to the present historical situation, it is also rooted in the Church's mission of evangelization. The purpose of the Gospel, in fact, is "to transform humanity from within and to make it new".123 Like the yeast which leavens the whole measure of dough (cf. Mt 13:33), the Gospel is meant to permeate all cultures and give them life from within, 124 so that they may express the full truth about the human person and about human life.
We need to begin with the renewal of a culture of life within Christian communities themselves. Too often it happens that believers, even those who take an active part in the life of the Church, end up by separating their Christian faith from its ethical requirements concerning life, and thus fall into moral subjectivism and certain objectionable ways of acting. With great openness and courage, we need to question how widespread is the culture of life today among individual Christians, families, groups and communities in our Dioceses. With equal clarity and determination we must identify the steps we are called to take in order to serve life in all its truth. At the same time, we need to promote a serious and in-depth exchange about basic issues of human life with everyone, including non-believers, in intellectual circles, in the various professional spheres and at the level of people's everyday life.

96. The first and fundamental step towards this cultural transformation consists in forming consciences with regard to the incomparable and inviolable worth of every human life. It is of the greatest importance to re-establish the essential connection between life and freedom. These are inseparable goods: where one is violated, the other also ends up being violated. There is no true freedom where life is not welcomed and loved; and there is no fullness of life except in freedom. Both realities have something inherent and specific which links them inextricably: the vocation to love. Love, as a sincere gift of self, 125 is what gives the life and freedom of the person their truest meaning.
No less critical in the formation of conscience is the recovery of the necessary link between freedom and truth. As I have frequently stated, when freedom is detached from objective truth it becomes impossible to establish personal rights on a firm rational basis; and the ground is laid for society to be at the mercy of the unrestrained will of individuals or the oppressive totalitarianism of public authority. 126
It is therefore essential that man should acknowledge his inherent condition as a creature to whom God has granted being and life as a gift and a duty. Only by admitting his innate dependence can man live and use his freedom to the full, and at the same time respect the life and freedom of every other person. Here especially one sees that "at the heart of every culture lies the attitude man takes to the greatest mystery: the mystery of God".127 Where God is denied and people live as though he did not exist, or his commandments are not taken into account, the dignity of the human person and the inviolability of human life also end up being rejected or compromised.

97. Closely connected with the formation of conscience is the work of education, which helps individuals to be ever more human, leads them ever more fully to the truth, instils in them growing respect for life, and trains them in right interpersonal relationships.
In particular, there is a need for education about the value of life from its very origins. It is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not help the young to accept and experience sexuality and love and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their close interconnection. Sexuality, which enriches the whole person, "manifests its inmost meaning in leading the person to the gift of self in love".128 The trivialization of sexuality is among the principal factors which have led to contempt for new life. Only a true love is able to protect life. There can be no avoiding the duty to offer, especially to adolescents and young adults, an authentic education in sexuality and in love, an education which involves training in chastity as a virtue which fosters personal maturity and makes one capable of respecting the "spousal" meaning of the body.
The work of educating in the service of life involves the training of married couples in responsible procreation. In its true meaning, responsible procreation requires couples to be obedient to the Lord's call and to act as faithful interpreters of his plan. This happens when the family is generously open to new lives, and when couples maintain an attitude of openness and service to life, even if, for serious reasons and in respect for the moral law, they choose to avoid a new birth for the time being or indefinitely. The moral law obliges them in every case to control the impulse of instinct and passion, and to respect the biological laws inscribed in their person. It is precisely this respect which makes legitimate, at the service of responsible procreation, the use of natural methods of regulating fertility. From the scientific point of view, these methods are becoming more and more accurate and make it possible in practice to make choices in harmony with moral values. An honest appraisal of their effectiveness should dispel certain prejudices which are still widely held, and should convince married couples, as well as health-care and social workers, of the importance of proper training in this area. The Church is grateful to those who, with personal sacrifice and often unacknowledged dedication, devote themselves to the study and spread of these methods, as well to the promotion of education in the moral values which they presuppose.
The work of education cannot avoid a consideration of suffering and death. These are a part of human existence, and it is futile, not to say misleading, to try to hide them or ignore them. On the contrary, people must be helped to understand their profound mystery in all its harsh reality. Even pain and suffering have meaning and value when they are experienced in close connection with love received and given. In this regard, I have called for the yearly celebration of the World Day of the Sick, emphasizing "the salvific nature of the offering up of suffering which, experienced in communion with Christ, belongs to the very essence of the Redemption".129 Death itself is anything but an event without hope. It is the door which opens wide on eternity and, for those who live in Christ, an experience of participation in the mystery of his Death and Resurrection.

98. In a word, we can say that the cultural change which we are calling for demands from everyone the courage to adopt a new life-style, consisting in making practical choices-at the personal, family, social and international level-on the basis of a correct scale of values: the primacy of being over having, 130 of the person over things. 131 This renewed life-style involves a passing from indifference to concern for others, from rejection to acceptance of them. Other people are not rivals from whom we must defend ourselves, but brothers and sisters to be supported. They are to be loved for their own sakes, and they enrich us by their very presence.
In this mobilization for a new culture of life no one must feel excluded: everyone has an important role to play. Together with the family, teachers and educators have a particularly valuable contribution to make. Much will depend on them if young people, trained in true freedom, are to be able to preserve for themselves and make known to others new, authentic ideals of life, and if they are to grow in respect for and service to every other person, in the family and in society.
Intellectuals can also do much to build a new culture of human life. A special task falls to Catholic intellectuals, who are called to be present and active in the leading centres where culture is formed, in schools and universities, in places of scientific and technological research, of artistic creativity and of the study of man. Allowing their talents and activity to be nourished by the living force of the Gospel, they ought to place themselves at the service of a new culture of life by offering serious and well documented contributions, capable of commanding general respect and interest by reason of their merit. It was precisely for this purpose that I established the Pontifical Acad- emy for Life, assigning it the task of "studying and providing information and training about the principal problems of law and biomedicine pertaining to the promotion of life, especially in the direct relationship they have with Christian morality and the directives of the Church's Magisterium".132 A specific contribution will also have to come from Universities, particularly from Catholic Universities, and from Centres, Institutes and Committees of Bioethics.
An important and serious responsibility belongs to those involved in the mass media, who are called to ensure that the messages which they so effectively transmit will support the culture of life. They need to present noble models of life and make room for instances of people's positive and sometimes heroic love for others. With great respect they should also present the positive values of sexuality and human love, and not insist on what defiles and cheapens human dignity. In their interpretation of things, they should refrain from emphasizing anything that suggests or fosters feelings or attitudes of indifference, contempt or rejection in relation to life. With scrupulous concern for factual truth, they are called to combine freedom of information with respect for every person and a profound sense of humanity.

99. In transforming culture so that it supports life, women occupy a place, in thought and action, which is unique and decisive. It depends on them to promote a "new feminism" which rejects the temptation of imitating models of "male domination", in order to acknowledge and affirm the true genius of women in every aspect of the life of society, and overcome all discrimination, violence and exploitation.
Making my own the words of the concluding message of the Second Vatican Council, I address to women this urgent appeal: "Reconcile people with life".133 You are called to bear witness to the meaning of genuine love, of that gift of self and of that acceptance of others which are present in a special way in the relationship of husband and wife, but which ought also to be at the heart of every other interpersonal relationship. The experience of motherhood makes you acutely aware of the other person and, at the same time, confers on you a particular task: "Motherhood involves a special communion with the mystery of life, as it develops in the woman's womb ... This unique contact with the new human being developing within her gives rise to an attitude towards human beings not only towards her own child, but every human being, which profoundly marks the woman's personality".134 A mother welcomes and carries in herself another human being, enabling it to grow inside her, giving it room, respecting it in its otherness. Women first learn and then teach others that human relations are authentic if they are open to accepting the other person: a person who is recognized and loved because of the dignity which comes from being a person and not from other considerations, such as usefulness, strength, intelligence, beauty or health. This is the fundamental contribution which the Church and humanity expect from women. And it is the indispensable prerequisite for an authentic cultural change.
I would now like to say a special word to women who have had an abortion. The Church is aware of the many factors which may have influenced your decision, and she does not doubt that in many cases it was a painful and even shattering decision. The wound in your heart may not yet have healed. Certainly what happened was and remains terribly wrong. But do not give in to discouragement and do not lose hope. Try rather to understand what happened and face it honestly. If you have not already done so, give yourselves over with humility and trust to repentance. The Father of mercies is ready to give you his forgiveness and his peace in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. You will come to understand that nothing is definitively lost and you will also be able to ask forgiveness from your child, who is now living in the Lord. With the friendly and expert help and advice of other people, and as a result of your own painful experience, you can be among the most eloquent defenders of everyone's right to life. Through your commitment to life, whether by accepting the birth of other children or by welcoming and caring for those most in need of someone to be close to them, you will become promoters of a new way of looking at human life.

100. In this great endeavour to create a new culture of life we are inspired and sustained by the confidence that comes from knowing that the Gospel of life, like the Kingdom of God itself, is growing and producing abundant fruit (cf. Mk 4:26-29). There is certainly an enormous disparity between the powerful resources available to the forces promoting the "culture of death" and the means at the disposal of those working for a "culture of life and love". But we know that we can rely on the help of God, for whom nothing is impossible (cf. Mt 19:26).
Filled with this certainty, and moved by profound concern for the destiny of every man and woman, I repeat what I said to those families who carry out their challenging mission amid so many difficulties: 135 a great prayer for life is urgently needed, a prayer which will rise up throughout the world. Through special initiatives and in daily prayer, may an impassioned plea rise to God, the Creator and lover of life, from every Christian community, from every group and association, from every family and from the heart of every believer. Jesus himself has shown us by his own example that prayer and fasting are the first and most effective weapons against the forces of evil (cf. Mt 4:1-11). As he taught his disciples, some demons cannot be driven out except in this way (cf. Mk 9:29). Let us therefore discover anew the humility and the courage to pray and fast so that power from on high will break down the walls of lies and deceit: the walls which conceal from the sight of so many of our brothers and sisters the evil of practices and laws which are hostile to life. May this same power turn their hearts to resolutions and goals inspired by the civilization of life and love.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Prayer requests

Please pray for :
  1. A parent (mom) of a Vancouver shoenstatter from Srilanka. She is very ill and may very possibly pass on to the Father.
  2. A family, friends of mine, fasting and praying for a parent to come back home and for family to be reconciled.
  3. A boy Kushagr, very ill in ICU. Diagnozed with pneumonia
  4. An old lady dying of cancer in England. She is a mom of a pagan friend. They seem to believe in 'positive energy, etc...' but they need prayers. May be God can show himself to them in this hard times of theirs. They are nice people.
  5. An other mom of a friend. "Her brain is having a strange problem. Hallucinations and confusion. "

Thanks for the prayers.

“Proclaim the word…”

Word of life of this month from the focolare movement. Click on the link to read the full document.

“Proclaim the word…”

How should we live this Word of Life and proclaim the gospel even during brief
encounters? How can we share it with everyone?We can do this by loving each
person, without exception.If we are real Christians, living what the Gospel
teaches, our words will not be empty rhetoric.Our proclamation will be even more
clear if we know how to bear witness to the heart of the Gospel—unity among
us—knowing that “this is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you
have love for one another" (Jn 13:33).This is the uniform that ordinary
Christians, men and women, married and single, adults and children, the sick and
the healthy, can wear always and wherever they are, in order to give witness
with their lives to the One they believe in, to the One they want to love.

By Chiara Lubich

More on InterFaith dialogue

I used to be obsessed to reading the news from my country. I think I had arrived at the point when I knew enough of any politician and political party to be a sort of political advisor for citizen while voting. As about my Faith, I though I knew just enough to keep me sane. But I come to realize that I can't really know enough. One realize this fact when confronted with different situation in life when more and more faith need to be applied. We can't really say 'I believe' if our lives are not a reflection of what we believe. May be we should let our lives speak the credo for us. As a catholic I realize I have to seat down and read not only the Bible regularly but also the Catechism, the Social Doctrine of the Church, Encyclicals,... In few words I should be able feel that I 'live by Faith'. It is a shame how we can say that we are Christians while we don't even know what a christian really is. If we don't know our Faith, we can't even begin to understand other Faiths. Interreligious dialogues aim at bringing peace in the world. We can help them by living our Faith. Living our own Faith is the first step toward peace in the world.

Around the world:
- The Pope opened an interreligious meeting. Theme: "Toward a World Without Violence: Religions and Cultures in Dialogue."
- "Faith Needs Reason, But Also Love, Says Expert". An interesting article. Few quotes:
  1. "Nihilism and fundamentalism agree in their scorn for God and man: the former because it denies the truth, the latter because it wants to impose the truth."
  2. "You will not be brothers until you love each other."
  3. "there are no fanatical religions only fanatical people."

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Vatican greets Muslims for the occasion of end of Ramadhan

I have just come from a visit from my Muslim friends. They are very devoted to their faith and are wonderful people. We don't see Muslims like them often. At least not on television. It is always interesting when we discuss religion. We both discover something new we didn't know about each other's religion. For example, they didn't know until recently that catholic have daily prayers. Or that catholic women 'should' cover their head. The most recent discussion was particularly unique. That's because it discussed the authenticity of the Bible and their Injil. Muslims think that our Bible is incomplete. They believe that the four gospel are just story books, but they don't present the 'full' message of Christ which they believe they have in their Injil. I had to explain to them the question of authorship of the Gospel. The disciples. And the authority of Peter. It was a quite interesting discussion. In humility we both accept that we are learners, and we pray that God lead us to all truth. We always remind each other that the most important thing is love.

It is a good thing that the Vatican considered addressing the Muslim world to invite them for dialogue. Some people think that such dialogue can be harmful, but not if each part is really orthodox in their belief. I have experienced that dialogue with people of different faith always brought both of us to humility. Every time we reach a point where we got stuck, we always go to the last judgement. We both know that the last judgment we will not be asked whether or not we had the right formula of faith. But whether our heart is a good state. We will be asked about how we have loved. So at the end it is always a sort of examination of conscience. Do we love better than them? This is a question a person can only respond to.

These are some important points made by Cardinal Jean Louis Tauran as per CWNews (For the full text, click Here.):

In his message, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran says that all believers, regardless of their
faith, should share in "work in favor of peace, by showing respect for the
convictions of individuals and communities everywhere through freedom of
religious practice. " Enlarging on that theme, he calls for "doing everything
one can to reject, denounce and refuse every recourse to violence which can
never be motivated by religion, since it wounds the very image of God in man."

Cardinal Tauran's message makes a special point of condemning
terrorism, "which strikes blindly and claims countless innocent victims, is
incapable of resolving conflicts and leads only to a deadly chain of destructive
hatred, to the detriment of mankind and of societies."

The French
cardinal argues that dialogue between Christians and Muslims is "the tool which
can help us to escape from the endless spiral of conflict and multiple tensions
which mark our societies."

Monday, September 24, 2007


Today we meditate on the Joyful mysteries. Today's reading also reminds us that we have to 'shine'. There is really no reason why we can't shine. If we are winning on Christ's side, then it is clear why we can shine. If we are loosing against Christ, that is, if in our pride we feel defeated by Truth, we can still shine. Because we are defeated by a great King. An anonymous wise man said: " the greatest victory one can ever achieve is to make your enemy into your friend."
It is a blessing to loose against Christ. One more reason to celebrate. So everybody in Christ's empire are joyful.

1 John 3:2
Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is.

Present sorrow and suffering is the way to glory, the way to the kingdom.
– St. Bernard

Angel' is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek the name of their nature, it is 'spirit'; if you seek the name of their office, it is 'angel': from what they are, 'spirit', from what they do, 'angel.'
-- St. Augustine

The Apostle wrote that "there is no more Gentile and Jew, no more circumcised and uncircumcised; no one is barbarian or Scythian, no one is a slave or a free man; there is nothing but Christ in any of us."Those words are as valid today as they were then. Before the Lord there is no difference of nation, race, class, state... Each one of us has been born in Christ to be a new creature, a son of God. We are all brothers, and we have to behave fraternally towards one another.
– St. Josemaria Escriva, Furrow, #317

Saturday, September 22, 2007


~ Today's Mass Readings and Reflections

~ Today's quote from
Colossians 1:15-16He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all
creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible
and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities--all things
were created through him and for him.

~ Reflections of saints

I am a Christian, and I shall die for God, and for him I would give many
thousands of lives if I had them.
– St. Lawrence Ruiz

Eating and drinking don't make friendships - such friendship even robbers
and murdereds have. But if we are friends, if we truly care for one another,
let's help one another spritually....Let's hinder those things that lead our
friends away to hell.
-- St. John Chrysostom

Friday, September 21, 2007

Feast of St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist

~ Today Mass Readings and suggested Reflections

~ Verse of the day
Ephesians 2:4-7But God, being rich in mercy, because of the
great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses,
made us alive together with Christ--by grace you have been saved-- and raised us
up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so
that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in
kindness toward us in Christ Jesus

~ Quote from the saint of the day
Our Lord summoned Matthew by speaking to him in words. By an invisible, interior
impulse flooding his mind with the light of grace, he instructed him to walk in
his footsteps. In this way Matthew could understand that Christ, who was
summoning him away from earthly possessions, had incorruptible treasures of
heaven in his gift.
– St. Bede the Venerable

~ From EWTN Inspirational Daily Quotes
Alas, what about you poor children! Being your spiritual father, I give you
this advice: When you see your parents, who miss religious services, who work on
Sunday, who eat meat on forbidden days, who do not go to the Sacraments anymore,
who do not improve their minds on religious matters--do the very opposite before
them, so that your good example may save them, and if you are wise and good
enough to do this, you will have gained everything. That is what I most desire
for you.
-- St. John Vianney

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Daily Meditations 0

I think it will be a good exercise to post together (hopefully everyday) some daily readings in tune with the liturgical calendar.

Today we had:

~ Mass Readings and Reflection

~ Scripture Verse of the Day

Romans 8:38-39 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers,
nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor
anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God
in Christ Jesus our Lord.

~ Saint of the Day

We have received baptism, entrance into the Church, and the honor of being
called Christians. Yet what good will this do us if we are Christians in name
only and not in fact?

– St. Andrew Kim Taegon

~ EWTN inspirational daily quotes

In the spiritual life he who does not advance goes backward. It happens as with
a boat which always must go ahead. If it stands still the wind blows it back.
Fix the time, the length of your meditation, and do not rise from your place
until you have finished even at the cost of being crucified.

- Padre Pio

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Paralytic (Luke 5) and the Communion of Saints

1 John 4:7-8 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

That is today's 'quote of the day' on But this day has been even more special to me. I experienced the communion of saints in a very particular way.

Yesterday, as I was praying that rosary of the Seven Sorrows. I realize more of the mysteries of the human heart. Somehow the Lord explained to me how graces are gained by a meditation on the suffering of Mary. If we love Jesus we have to be concerned with his mother as well. When a person like me review how much she has been good to me. I can't just seat and remain indifferent. I have a very long and rich experience with Our Lady. Before I personally consecrate myself to her in many ways, I think my father consecrated me to her when I was born. I know he did it to my little sisters. Plus, he always put on our neck a miraculous medal specially when we were in danger (like during the Rwandan Genocide). But I personally experienced her direct influence on me when she saved me from a very near death. Both times my family thought I was surely dead, but I implored her help and she came for me. In addition to that she called me in her wonderful Schoenstatt family: a grace I don't know how I can describe. Despite all this and many more, I never really understood the mystery of her 'sacred heart' until yesterday when I was meditating on her sorrows. She pondered everything in her heart. She looked at the world from her heart. I realize more and more that life is more 'full' and purposeful when we look at other people's heart. We can notice their needs and related better to them. Titles like 'Queen of Peace' are connected to the human heart. Peace of heart: not worries, no regrets, peace of being forgiven, reconciliation, hope, more faith and confidence, etc.

What does all this have to do with today? Well, I decided to keep meditating on the sorrows and her relationship with me. Today, as I was going to work, I reached into the pocket of my coat and discovered a small prayer to St. Peter. I decided to pray it about five times. Then I prayed Hail Mary's in honor of the Seven Sorrows. After a while, I realise that I need help in praying to her. Just as I need her help to pray to Jesus, I realize I need somebody help to pray to her. So I kind scanned my mind looking for a saint to do the job. Blessed Pio showed up (EWTN was talking about him recently), and later I got St. John Vianney. Later, I remembered my guardian Angel. So I spent the day with these three guys. Asking one after an other to pray for me and with me.

At the end of the day. By an act of obedience and surrender to the will of God (I had something else in mind), I found my self watching Mother Angelica again. This time she is talking about the paralytic. Few months ago, I used to see myself paralyzed in my dreams frequently. Later, I realized that, before, I had asked God to help me to see how my spiritual state was like. In almost all those dreams, I had had to call 'Jesus' before I could become 'normal'. Jesus didn't show himself or speak loudly "get up and walk..." but I came to understand that God had been speaking to me through my dreams. I have other cases which proved later that they were special announcements.

When Mother Angelica started talking about the paralytic, I remembered a 'Healing Novena we are finishing with the Sr. Patricia (and other Franciscans praying for many people around the world...). But then I had a strong, sad feeling: " What if this is what my dreams were about !!!" Before I started wondering whether some 'men' took/are taking me to the Lord, Mother Angelica confirmed my suspicions with a small anecdote: " ...our protestant brothers have clever ways... I see many clever signs in front of their of them says: DON'T WAIT UNTIL SIX STRONG MAN CARRY YOU TO CHURCH... " Mother Angelica had immediately mentioned that we are very often spiritually paralyzed. You can tell like "when you confess the same sin over and over again..."

Well, I don't' generally miss weekly Mass, but I must be spiritual paralytic for a reason. Bad confessions would be the most likely reason. Going to confession often doesn't necessary mean spiritual health. It is really most important to do a good and deep examination of conscience. A simple scan may not show any sin. And we may think we are okay. But over many years, we may turn out to be spiritually paralyzed without realizing it. In my case it will requires some 'strong men' to realize it. Just look at these men who carried me to Jesus :):

  1. Blessed Padre Pio: famous for being a good confessor with capacity to read people conscience and minds...
  2. St. John Vianney of Ars: famous confessor who gave confessions for about 20+ every day
  3. My guardian Angel: well....
  4. St. Peter: power to bind and loose...
  5. The Blessed Mother
  6. My Schoenstatt friends who carry me always to the Shrine and many other saint-friends of mine...

Six strong men huh :)!!!

This is how wonderful is the communion of saints. The paralytic was healed because his friends (or people who know him) brought him to Jesus. It is even said that his physical paralyzes might have been related to his sins. Jesus healed his sins first, and then his physical illness next.

Well, I want to finish with a note of thanks for all those who pray for me. No matter how healthy we may feel, if we ask God, he can show us more areas where we need help. And we can be surprised that while we thought we were serving God we were also hurting him without knowing it. Then we can have the Lord's Peace. That's probably where the rosary of the Seven Sorrows is so powerful: a more powerful antivirus. Our Lady always promises us more peace, less time in purgatory, and other wonderful things. Protestants and and even catholics see this as nonsense... isn't this a result of some paralysis? We need all to participate in this wonderful communion of saints. Carrying each other in our hearts to the Lord. We never know what the next miracle will be.

Last, one of the Church Fathers reminds us of one word the Lord said to one of the paralytics he healed: "sin no more lest some worse thing happen unto you." This article was supposed to appear yesterday, but didn't because of some editing (which are still not over...). It looks like my publishing is getting worse...I need to review my schedule.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Feast of Our Lady Of Sorrows

One of the reasons I started this blog was so I can collect most basic useful information about life for me and those who visit this blog. It occured to me that the Church is alive and that it is working seriously for a clear and noble purpose than the average person realize. The Church is building a civilization of love. People in the Church are working in millions of ways to make the Father's Kingdom come. I figure I could participate by making their noble actions known to me and those about me.

Today (pacific time - sorry I was too late in posting this post)is the Feast Our Lady of Sorrows. Someone made a YouTube video about a rosary of the Seven Sorrows. Here it is. This is just the first part, the other parts will show up in small windows after the movie is over.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross

Today I thought about the fact that Jesus suffered so that we may be happy, joyful, that we may have life abundantly. So today I think we should celebrate God's Mercy. Sr. Patricia Proctor likes to say that we should celebrate God's mercy. We should not be like the 'big brother' who seem to have had a bad rest of the day when everybody else was rejoicing celebrating reconciliation. Well, she has a blog about this and if you subscribe to her Joy Notes you can get them every day freely.

Again about this day, 'Civilization of Love' has good posts relevant for today. I also read 'A Beggar for Love', where I found good quotes from the message of the Pope to the youth in Lorreto (in the meeting they had earlier this moth). Here are some of them to remind us that we are on the Winner's side. We should not be afraid...

Let me tell you again this evening: if you stay united with Christ, each one of
you will be able to do great things. This is why, dear friends, you must not be
afraid to dream with your eyes open of important projects of good and you must
not let yourselves be discouraged by difficulties. Christ has confidence in you
and wants you to be able to realize all your most noble and lofty dreams of
genuine happiness. Nothing is impossible for those who trust in God and entrust
themselves to him.
Prayer Vigil with Young People, 1 September 2007

With love and conviction, I repeat to you young people present here, and through you to your
peers throughout the world: Do not be afraid, Christ can fill your heart's
deepest aspirations! Are there dreams that cannot come true when it is God's
Spirit who inspires and nourishes them in your heart? Can anything block our
enthusiasm when we are united with Christ? Nothing and no one, the Apostle Paul
would say, will ever separate us from God's love, in Christ Jesus Our Lord (cf.
Rom 8: 35-39).
Prayer Vigil with Young People, 1 September 2007

The price of Divine Love is not to be appreciated; for it suffices to obtain the Kingdom of Heaven, and the love of Him who has loved us so much merits the highest degree of our love.
-- St. Francis of Assisi.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Eucharistic Kingdom

(Edited Sept 14)

Today we are remembering 9/11! The world and especially America experienced the evil in a very unique way. It is said that many people returned to God in those days. People generally remember that God exists when they recognize the reality of the Evil One. Other people ask why would a good God allow such a thing to happen. Saints would tell us that He only allow it when He can bring a greater good out of it. Now, every 9/11 people remember..., they ask question about good and evil, why would people cultivate such a hatred?, how about God?

Even though sometimes we don't understand everything involved, Christians know that every things work for good for those who love God. God is all good and everything that happens it is for good. The greatest evil that ever happened was the Crucifixion of God's own Son Jesus Christ. If God is more loving, more perfect and perfectionist than we are, how can he make sens of what happened to his Son? How can He allow it to happen? Where is the power of God? How does He used it and in what direction?

Man makes war to protect himself, he is willing to 'kill and crucify' in order to save his temporal life and his temporal possessions. But Jesus has taught us a different way of making war against the evil one. His general commandment was "Love one an other as I have loved you". He loved us by taking risks one after an other. He came into the world as a fragile baby at our mercy, we sent him to exile, we persecuted him, and we eventually killed him. But He who is Truth can not stay in the dead, Truth is always victorious, He rose from the dead and He is alive with the Father.

He is the Way. He showed us the way to make true war against evil. We need to go to the School of the Eucharist (this link is a rap song by Fr. Stan Fortuna...see video...quite interesting:) )in order to know how to built a 'civilization of love' and bring peace in the World.

"You have to make your life essentially, totally eucharistic."
St. Josemaria Escriva, The Forge, #826

This picture caught my attention few months ago. I made it my desktop picture. It helps me to meditate on the mysteries of the Cross, the Eucharist, and the Sacred Heart and our human heart. This is our King and this is how He conquers. It reminds me of the importance of the Crucifix in the Church or in our homes. It pains me when I realize where/when/how I failed, but it is also comforting because it shows the great Mercy of God. It reminds me be merciful to others, to make efforts to do God's will in all things everyday. Eucharistic life is about everyday sanctity. EWTN has an interesting show about this: Eucharistic Journey.

By looking at it I realize what true love is. How true love conquers. It reminds me that Eucharist I receive is the heart of Jesus. It reminds me to check my heart to see if I can feel any fire. The fire that Jesus brought into the world. The fire that Christians are supposed to spread around the world. Of course this is only possible when one is in a state of grace.

When Peter attempted to defend Jesus with a sword, Jesus stopped him. Pope John Paul II has asked forgiveness for sins of the crusaders. True love conquers by the cross; by sacrifice. I like to call our great saints Generals of God. They have conquered by offering their lives as sacrifices for their brothers and sisters. They did not do it their ways, but the way of Jesus. They conquered like Jesus and in Jesus. Now many Holy Orders are like armies aligned behind the Cross of Christ. It is in those Holy Orders or Movements that we are at/become our best in being Christians.

In those spiritual organization we learn more about Reality. We grow to know what real evil is. There is a very very interesting topic on CAF about spiritual warfare. Some times we seem not to be aware of the fact that we are constantly at war.

The Eucharistic Kingdom is built on self-sacrifices. It is not at all easy to sacrifice ourselves. We need to pray unceasingly in order to be able to 'believe' and to follow Jesus until the end. We need the help of each other, the help of the Church and of Angels.

Too many times we wonder why things go wrong, why even simple things seem harder to be done. We have to remember the disciples falling asleep failing to pray with Jesus at the critical point of his life.

I think demons put all their weight in preventing even a simple act from being done if it is to be done with love and in the name of Christ. He knows that that simple act can turn out to be the mustard seed. Think of how much resistance Jesus accountered. Think of his experience in the Garden of sorrow. But we know that He has conquered the world, this should be the reason for our joy, our courage, and our hope.

With the help of our allies (angels, saints,...) we should engage in a proper holy war against the right enemy: the one who is the Liar, the Murderer, and the Accuser from the Beginning!

Christ is the victor, Christ is King,Christ is the ruler of the world.
May good times come,
May the peace of Christ come,
May the kingdom of Christ come.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Alleluia He reigns!

British Columbia is naturally beautiful but today Vancouver is just looking great. It is sunny, the sky is clear, and it is not hot. Nature is declaring the glory of God. And people seem to be joining in the song. I hope it is the same wherever you are!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Our Lady's Birthday

Today the Church celebrates the Blessed Mother's Bday. She is so wonderful to the Church, to the World, to each one of us. What Present are we giving her? what flower do we give to her?

Everyone in the World, especially every christian should give her least for her big eternal 'YES'. Every christian should say together with the Church: 'I love you Mom!'. St. Gemma used to do contests with her guardian angel to see who say 'I love you' to Jesus most lovingly. May be we can enter our hearts and search for all the ways/reasons we should celebrate our Mother's day.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

You are not lost!

You have surely noticed recent changes on this blog ....
I am evaluating different templates for this blog, so It may look different again tomorrow. Sorry for the changes. I make this blog generally for a youth audience so I am trying to make it look youthful. If you have any suggestions please feel free to give them. Thanks

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

"God doesn't require us to succeed; he only requires that you try" Bl. Teresa of Calcutta

Today is the Feast Day of Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

The MESSAGE OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI TO THE YOUTH OF THE WORLD ON THE OCCASION OF THE 22ND WORLD YOUTH DAY, 2007) reminds us about the christian love. I picked the following two paragraphs for today:

Growing in love each day

The third area of commitment that comes with love is that of daily life with its multiple relationships. I am particularly referring to family, studies, work and free time. Dear young friends, cultivate your talents, not only to obtain a social position, but also to help others to “grow”. Develop your capacities, not only in order to become more “competitive” and “productive”, but to be “witnesses of charity”. In addition to your professional training, also make an effort to acquire religious knowledge that will help you to carry out your mission in a responsible way. In particular, I invite you to carefully study the social doctrine of the Church so that its principles may inspire and guide your action in the world. May the Holy Spirit make you creative in charity, persevering in your commitments, and brave in your initiatives, so that you will be able to offer your contribution to the building up of the “civilisation of love”. The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!

“Dare to love” by following the example of the saints

My dear young friends, I want to invite you to “dare to love”. Do not desire anything less for your life than a love that is strong and beautiful and that is capable of making the whole of your existence a joyful undertaking of giving yourselves as a gift to God and your brothers and sisters, in imitation of the One who vanquished hatred and death forever through love (cf Rev 5:13). Love is the only force capable of changing the heart of the human person and of all humanity, by making fruitful the relations between men and women, between rich and poor, between cultures and civilisations. This is shown to us in the lives of the saints. They are true friends of God who channel and reflect this very first love. Try to know them better, entrust yourselves to their intercession, and strive to live as they did. I shall just mention Mother Teresa. In order to respond instantly to the cry of Jesus, “I thirst”, a cry that had touched her deeply, she began to take in the people who were dying on the streets of Calcutta in India. From that time onward, the only desire of her life was to quench the thirst of love felt by Jesus, not with words, but with concrete action by recognising his disfigured countenance thirsting for love in the faces of the poorest of the poor. Blessed Teresa put the teachings of the Lord into practice: “Just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40). The message of this humble witness of divine love has spread around the whole world. -

Sometime I look at this blog and wonder what God think about it. I am the worst 'lover'! Just think about it: If you are my friend and you are reading this, you can remember that you are the one who made the first move to our friendship. I thought about this and wonder how it came to be that I rarely [updated ... :)... friends reacted and proved me wrong :)] 'dare' to love (in clear act) first, it seems that I have always been timid. But after I lost my family in a massacre by people who were 'close friends' I think I went insane without realising it. I have forgiven them and I love everybody without any distinction. However, despite high esteem people seem to hold in me, I have a very low self-esteem. I don't seem to trust that I can give myself to others (without being asked to) and be useful. But ever since I started this deep dive into Catholicism, I realize every day that this 'passive love' is not a christian love at all. Christian love is active and provocative. We have to try. As Mother Teresa said: "God does not require us to succeed but to try".

Let's pray for each other so that this love does not remain in words, but be put to action as the Holy Father suggests.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

"You are important to God..." B16 in Lorreto

I have been watching Salt + Light TV online and I am enjoying it!
In Zoom the Holy Father reminded young people that they are important to God and gave them other blessings.

Yesterday I was watching it at a friend's house when a girl surprised us with a bold statement "Sex is a prayer". Well, we somehow knew that, but that formulation is like when a new/updated model of a certain weapon is produced. Actually sex is always a prayer, the difference is about which god it is addressed to. I think that we are always worshiping in whatever we do, some of us know it others don't, plus sometime we don't even know what god we are worshiping. In Deus Caritas Est (God is Love), the Holy Father explained the “Eros” and “Agape” – difference and unity. He later proceeded through the encyclical explaining how God's love cover everything and how we should worship him in what we do.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

“Pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience..."

Today I rearranged the links on the right side for a better classification. Some people don't like the way the Church is organized, they feel a sens of dictatorship and authority which should not exist for an organization which is meant to teach how to love. But one thing we forgot very often is that 'love' is a decision, therefore true love is a response to a commandment to love. Jesus illustrated it when he said: John 13:34. A new commandment I give unto you: That you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. The words of the last judgement also remind us of our duties to others. However, we can very easily forget that we ought to love as He loved us. Learning and obeying the Will of the Father. He did not negotiate with the Father, He obeyed until the end and in all things.

So we should not be surprised that his Kingdom is an absolute monarchy. In our Faith we should not pick what is convenient to our temporal opinions, but accept the fullness of eternal Truth. We have to be in full communion with the Church if we want to be in full communion with Christ; If we listen to the successors of apostles we also listen to Him, if we reject them we also reject Him. Love seems to be something so simple. We don't realize that so easily but Jesus had to invite us into an attitude of a soldier in order to make us understand how serious the matter is. Not that love is complicated by nature, but because of our powerful enemy, life became so complicated. St. Paul reminds us of this military attitude through his writings. But an Army of love is a different kind of army and the battle a different kind of battle.

St. Josemaria Escriva says that Jesus summarized his teachings in a last sermon which he gave on the podium of the Cross. He illustrated the way a Christian is supposed to love. I liked the picture. It illustrates how God's love conquers the World. From a heart burning with love on the Cross Mary was consecrated Our Mother and the Church was born. It was also by sharing in this Eucharistic heart through centuries that men and women have become generals in the great armies of God. Some of us are part of their holy orders and movements and try to follow their steps toward the house of perfect love: the House of the Father.

But we are not always the Christians we are called to be. In the Word of Life for this month, Chira Lubich, founder of the Focolare Movement gives us an advice:

“Pursue righteousness, devotion, faith, love, patience and

The experience lived out by the initial group of young women who
gave life to the Focolare Movement in Trent, back in 1944, provides us with an
insight into how we can live this Word of Life, especially the part about “love,
patience, and gentleness.”It was not always easy to live the radicality of love,
especially at the beginning. Even among ourselves, in our relationships with
each other, sometimes some dust would settle in and our unity would become less
strong. This happened, for example, when we looked at the defects and faults of
the others and we judged them, for then the current of love among us turned
cold. In order to remedy this situation, one day we thought of making a
pact together and we called it “the pact of mercy.” Every morning we made a
decision to look at all the neighbors that we would meet that day—in the
focolare, at school, at work, and other places—as if they were new, totally new,
no longer remembering their defects at all and covering everything with love.
This meant approaching each person with this total amnesty in our hearts, with
this universal forgiveness. It was a demanding commitment and all of us
took it on together. It helped us to be—as far as possible—the first to love
always, to live in imitation of our merciful God, who forgives and forgets.
by Chiara Lubich

Friday, August 31, 2007

"Mother Teresa Dark Night of the Soul"

That's a document by Dinesh D'Souza. Apparently atheists seem to think that they have a new card against believers. D'Souza reminds us that what happened to Mother Teresa is normal to Christians, and especially to saints.

But Mother Teresa's heart-wrenching self-examination is entirely familiar to
thoughtful Christians. For instance, her insistent theme that she is being
forsaken by God recalls Christ's plaintive cry on the cross, "Why have You
forsaken me?" From Augustine to Luther to John of the Cross, there is a
whole body of Christian literature that sounds exactly like Mother Teresa.
In John's Dark Night of the Soul, for instance, the initial exhilaration of
conversion is followed by a "dark night of the senses" that is "bitter and
terrible to taste." Even so, this suffering is nothing compared to what
follows, the "dark night of the soul" in which "the soul feels itself to be
perishing and melting away, in the presence and sight of its miseries, in a
cruel spiritual death, even as if it had been swallowed by a beast and felt
itself being devoured." John interprets these travails as the purification
of the sinful part of man, so that he is ready for the holy eternal embrace of

Bl. Teresa Of Calcutta pray for us.

Salt + Light TV

That's the Canadian Catholic TV Network - Salt + Light. Unfortunately, we don't have it on cable. But the good thing is we can watch separate shows on Internet. It is one of many fruits of WYD2002 in Toronto. You can tell by its name. And it seems to have more young journalists!
Here is one of the show(In Your Faith).

"Tales from the confessional"

Two days ago I discovered the Franciscan E-cards web site. A great site for free christian e-cards, I don't know how I had not discovered it earlier. All my friends knows that I like to send e-cards. I looked around, and it seems perfect, so I decided to subscribe for their 'JoyNotes' and I have received the first ones already. They seem perfect to read and fwd to friends.

The JoyNotes first part talk about Confession. For some time now, I have been thinking about penances priests give me. I once read a good story of a woman who was confessing 'talking too much' (medisance in French - don't know the word in English). The priest asked her to go to the market, buy a freshly killed chicken, go around cutting off all wings, and go back the same way picking the wings up, collect them and report to the confessor. She almost collapsed when she heard the last part of penance - with a bold chicken in her hands-, but she learned her lesson: - How difficult if not impossible to get back some bad words we say about others-

Sometimes I am surprised when the priest asks me to say just one Our Father and/or one Hail Mary. For a long time I seem to hear a voice asking to me to get a spiritual director. For scrupulous people like me, I think it is mandatory. On one side I think he should give me something to challenge me like the woman, or may be I don't understand the power of the Our Father or the Hail Mary.

Well, I am not the only one; there is an interesting topic in CAF about this: Tales from the confessional.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

One Bread One Body

Just like our bodies, our souls seem to need some sort of daily bread. Devotees of any religion have different kinds of spiritual maintenance. But sometimes it is amazingly similar. While Christians constantly meditate on the Bible, Muslims on the Coran, etc, astrology readings seem to be a new kind of spiritual food for some 'no-religious' spirituality.

Today we see astrology readings in almost all news papers. Since when did they become standard? An alien would think that they come from some common 'spiritual' institution to which every body belong to. It is said that they are from the New Age Movement. I once read that this movement is not an organization as such, however it is amazing how it manages to convince everybody about its ideas. Astrology readings are all clear signs of spiritual hunger in our society. We all need something to rely on in order to spend the day with some hope and reason for joy.

I think I unconsciously manufactured my own superstitious beliefs for sometime out of a misunderstanding of how Divine Providence works. I would think that God time is when all things matches perfectly right. That Love rides on a perfectly smooth, gentle kind of curve. So part of my life existed in this 'waiting' mode until I learned what it means that God's name is I AM. Actually what had happened is: I had contaminated a virus called Pride. The terrible virus which attacked the 'First Intellectual': (Lucifer turned Satan) and made him heavy for Heaven.

Pride makes us think that we are in control of situations, events, even our lives. All we need is to input some information in our brain and we can almost predict what we will be tomorrow. It can attack any person who think they know 'enough' or much. Despite learning all this earlier, and knowing that the only way to defeat it is through love, I contaminated it. Why? I neglected constant prayer. I always talk about prayer on this forum because this failure hurt me so much. I naturally hate to fail in anything. So every time I fail I tried to make sure it does not happen again. Prayer is our only weapon against evil forces. It was by prayer full of love that St. Michael defeated demons.

In our society we seem to be slaves to the intellect. The only way we can explain how people accept astrology readings is because they think those things have something scientific therefore logical in/with them. It is all about the "intellect". And people are willing to be bound to some 'hard' statement even if it tells you that today you are guaranteed to have a bad day! It is sad that some people actually pay for their readings.

The good news for Christians is that we are freed from those cosmic laws and forces. Instead of being to some laws of nature, those laws obey us if we are in Christ. Saints have an habit of constantly overriding the laws of nature just like Jesus-Christ. Simple Christians who don't read astrology or who don't go by what everybody thinks, also, in those small ways they override common laws.

I have been reflection on daily Mass readings proposed by the Church and it is amazing on how liberating and confirming they are. While astrology tells you (which is mostly lies by the way) how your day will be, the Holy Spirit through the Church tells you how you will make your day. Year after year, we are fine tuned to the life of Christ from his birth to his resurrection.

As Jesus said, we should not worry about tomorrow because tomorrow will take care of itself. We should worry about the Kingdom and its righteousness, we should worry about NOW and act NOW.

This way of living can free us from superstition and making crazy engagements like Herod in today's Readings. Pride made Herod make such a promise, and soon after the same pride prevented him from doing the right thing because he was concerned about his future. How he would be seen as a King who changed his word. But who said that kings shouldn't change their word at least for the sake of Righteousness and Justice?

Humility and allegiance to Christ and his Church allow us to have our true daily bread. Everyday we are assured of blessings and the Joy of Christ. In Him we have our being. And as St. Augustine said, as long as we truly love, we can do what we want. We are free.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Power of testimonies

Today is the Memorial of the great saint and doctor of the Church St. Augustine. He is most known for his 'Confessions'. I have not yet read much of his writings. I tried to start "The City of God" but I have only ready few paragraphs so far.

Testimonies are great tools of conversions. The Confessions of St. Augustine are responsible for countless conversions. Not only we can convert others by our testimony but we continuasly convert ourselves. I know that my blogging is not perfect, but I know that it can provide useful information to a person in a particular stage/state of search of truth. Plus, it keeps me in touch with God and his people. So, I am myself continually converting myself as I think about what I write, or read my friends' blogs and all related sites.

Testimonies can be a great remedies for past sins. But they are not only about sins. They are also about truth of faithful life. They expose the Devil and his lies. So many times in life we go by assumptions. We assume what others think, the reasons they do what they do, etc. But a simple communication sometimes can bring light of truth. Humility is a must in any true testimony; St. Augustine writtings are so great because they were clearly written with great humility. I remember the first pages on his comments on Genesis, I witnessed his humility as he explains how hard it is to know what 'day' and 'night' means in that first book of the Bible.

Testimonies also get us together. They show us how life experiences can be similar. We undestand each other better, and become more and more One Body. It can be terrifying to testify. Specially when we don't pray unceasingly as the Lord commands us to do. The devil trouble us in millions of ways to prevent us from testifying for Christ and his Truth. We can only overcome by the power of prayer.

As the Gospel tells us, in God there is peace which is beyond all understanding. This peace protects us from sin, and keep us faithfull. Being faithfull is itself a testimony. Somehow a faithfull christian is always testifying.

It is also great that in the Church we can pray for each other and even pray together. Isn't it wonderful to know that we celebrate the same Mass around the World everyday. Sharing the Journey and becoming more and more One Body everyday. Sharing joy with those who are happy, and sorrow with those who are struggling, trying everyday to stay in the One heart of the Family of God.

In this spirit, I have just discovered an other blog with a similar name as this one: Civilization of Love:). It belong to the same Katerina who made the famous "Why Am I Catholic" YouTube video. This blog expresses the journey to God with a special focus on the 'little ways'. And it has a great prayer of St. Augustine for today.

It is great to see more people on this journey. You are probably already familiar with Lisa's blog (expression of a perfect Schoenstatt spirit), and others also linked to this blog. More testimonies to support each other in this great eternal battle. With great humility, testifying can free us from being like the pharisies who swallow the camel.