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

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.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Assumption of Our Lady

I interrupt my 'break' to get my blog to celebrate the Assumption of Our Lady:)

The pope gave a great homily today about how Mary is closer to us than ever, now that she is one and in heaven with her divine son.

Nous te saluons,
Ô toi Notre Dame,
Marie,vierge sainte que drape le soleil.
Couronnée d'étoiles, la lune est sous tes pas.
En toi nous est donnée
L'aurore du salut
1. Marie Eve nouvelle et joie de ton Seigneur
Tu as donné naissance à Jésus le Sauveur.
Par toi nous sont ouvertes les portes du jardin
Guide-nous en chemin, Etoile du Matin

2. Tu es restée fidèle, mère au pied de la croix.
Soutiens notre espérance et garde notre foi.
Du côté de ton fils, tu as puisé pour nous
L'eau et le sang versés qui sauvent du péché.

3. Quelle fut la joie d'Eve lorsque tu es montée,
Plus haut que tous les anges, plus haut que les nuées,
Et quelle est notre joie, douce Vierge Marie
De contempler en Toi la promesse de vie.

4. Ô Vierge immaculée, préservée du péché,
En ton âme, en ton corps, tu entres dans les cieux.
Emportée dans la gloire, Sainte reine des cieux,
Tu nous accueilleras un jour auprès de Dieu.

Monday, August 6, 2007

Please pray for Schoenstatt here in Canada

Last time I forgot to ask for your prayers for Schoenstatt here in Canada.

In Vancouver, we are currently going through some legal actions in order to introduce the Schoenstatt movement in canadian parishes. Please pray for us, for those who have already been introduced to Schoenstatt, and for those who will be. Pray that our Mother be victorious. That Christ increase in us and that we decrease!

Child of God, what have you done up to now to help the souls around you? You
cannot be content with that passiveness, with that idleness of yours. He wants
to reach others through your example, through your words, through your
friendship, through your service.
– St. Josemaria Escriva, The Forge, #880

Friday, August 3, 2007

I am going for a break

One Bread, One Body - Reflection for August 3, 2007


"They were filled with amazement." –Matthew 13:54

We want God to help us, bless us, and be there when we need Him. However, He wants us to help Him, bless Him, and be there when He needs us. We want to tell God what to do, but He wants to tell us what to do and take over our lives. That's much more than we had in mind.

Like the people of Nazareth, we find Jesus "altogether too much" for us (Mt 13:57). If only Jesus would stay in His place, come when He's called, speak only when spoken to, and visit occasionally...

Click here to continue reading this reflection


With this reflection, I am going to take a break for few weeks from blogging on this blog. I am going to constantrate more on my interior castle, see if I can clean up more rooms, learn how to fly higher, how to eliminate more clouds and see if I can the sun more clearly.

And to you dear reader, if you haven't done it yet, click on more of those links on the side, read, and fly higher... :)

I wish you happy meditations. See you in may be three weeks.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

“Let us… persevere in running the race that lies before us while keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus” (Heb 12:1-2).

Word of life for the month of August 2007 by the Focolare movement

Fabio Ciardi and Gabriella Fallacara

The life of Christians, to whom the
letter to the Hebrews is addressed, is often marked by trials and sufferings. At
times we are tempted to become discouraged and say, “Why not choose an easier
way? Why not give up?” The author of this writing invites us, instead, to
continue on the road we have undertaken: it is difficult and costly, but it is
the way of the Gospel and that way leads to fullness of life. In fact, he urges
Christians to run and to stay on course even when they feel the weight of
suffering. We who decide to follow Jesus must do as every athlete does—in order
to reach the goal, we need to have perseverance, that is, stamina, the capacity
to stay the course, which comes from the conviction that God is with us and from
our determination to make it. Above all, we are asked to keep our eyes focused
on Jesus, who forged the way for us and is our guide. Jesus on the cross,
especially when he felt abandoned by the Father, is the model of courage, of
perseverance, of endurance: he remained steadfast when he was tested and he even
abandoned himself into the hands of that God whom he felt had abandoned him (see
Lk 23:46; Mk 15:34).

Continue with the
rest of the message...


Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Love on with Christopher West

I had not heard his talks or read his books, but it looks like he is making Theology of the Body and Deus Caritas Est much more easier to understand. His videos were July 30th videos of the day on Catholic Tube. By following the links, I discovered his web site with his talks and books:
Theology of the Body Explained and The Love That Satisfies.

As one of the video says, Theology of the Body was a time bomb! Beside exploding into books and talks, there is even a Theology of the Body Institute (TOBI)! They are right, it is a "Shepherd Gift"!

"The Love That Satisfies" is a reflection on Eros and Agape apparently based on our current Shepherd's "Deus Caritas Est (God is Love)" !

Pray that we may make use of all these treasures and build a civilisation of love.

At the end of the short video, more related videos are provided thanks to the new youtube features.