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

Monday, August 4, 2008

Job 38

[1] Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind:
[2] "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
[3] Gird up your loins like a man,I will question you, and you shall declare to me.
[4] "Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?Tell me, if you have understanding.[5] Who determined its measurements -- surely you know!Or who stretched the line upon it?
[6] On what were its bases sunk,or who laid its cornerstone,
[7] when the morning stars sang together,and all the sons of God shouted for joy?
[8] "Or who shut in the sea with doors,when it burst forth from the womb;
[9] when I made clouds its garment,and thick darkness its swaddling band,
[10] and prescribed bounds for it,and set bars and doors,
[11] and said, `Thus far shall you come, and no farther,and here shall your proud waves be stayed'?
[12] "Have you commanded the morning since your days began,and caused the dawn to know its place,
[13] that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth,and the wicked be shaken out of it?
[14] It is changed like clay under the seal,and it is dyed like a garment.
[15] From the wicked their light is withheld,and their uplifted arm is broken.
[16] "Have you entered into the springs of the sea,or walked in the recesses of the deep?
[17] Have the gates of death been revealed to you,or have you seen the gates of deep darkness?[18] Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth?Declare, if you know all this.
[19] "Where is the way to the dwelling of light,and where is the place of darkness,
[20] that you may take it to its territoryand that you may discern the paths to its home?
[21] You know, for you were born then,and the number of your days is great!
[22] "Have you entered the storehouses of the snow,or have you seen the storehouses of the hail,[23] which I have reserved for the time of trouble,for the day of battle and war?
[24] What is the way to the place where the light is distributed,or where the east wind is scattered upon the earth?
[25] "Who has cleft a channel for the torrents of rain,and a way for the thunderbolt,
[26] to bring rain on a land where no man is,on the desert in which there is no man;
[27] to satisfy the waste and desolate land,and to make the ground put forth grass?
[28] "Has the rain a father,or who has begotten the drops of dew?
[29] From whose womb did the ice come forth,and who has given birth to the hoarfrost of heaven?
[30] The waters become hard like stone,and the face of the deep is frozen.
[31] "Can you bind the chains of the Plei'ades,or loose the cords of Orion?
[32] Can you lead forth the Maz'zaroth in their season,or can you guide the Bear with its children?
[33] Do you know the ordinances of the heavens?Can you establish their rule on the earth?
[34] "Can you lift up your voice to the clouds,that a flood of waters may cover you?
[35] Can you send forth lightnings, that they may goand say to you, `Here we are'?
[36] Who has put wisdom in the clouds,or given understanding to the mists?
[37] Who can number the clouds by wisdom?Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
[38] when the dust runs into a massand the clods cleave fast together?
[39] "Can you hunt the prey for the lion,or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
[40] when they crouch in their dens,or lie in wait in their covert?
[41] Who provides for the raven its prey,when its young ones cry to God,and wander about for lack of food?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

God is Love

God is Love
218 In the course of its history, Israel was able to discover that God had only one reason to reveal himself to them, a single motive for choosing them from among all peoples as his special possession: his sheer gratuitous love.38 And thanks to the prophets Israel understood that it was again out of love that God never stopped saving them and pardoning their unfaithfulness and sins.39
219 God's love for Israel is compared to a father's love for his son. His love for his people is stronger than a mother's for her children. God loves his people more than a bridegroom his beloved; his love will be victorious over even the worst infidelities and will extend to his most precious gift: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son."40
220 God's love is "everlasting":41 "For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you."42 Through Jeremiah, God declares to his people, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."43
221 But St. John goes even further when he affirms that "God is love":44 God's very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret:45 God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange.

God is Truth

God is Truth
215 "The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever."30 "And now, O LORD God, you are God, and your words are true";31 this is why God's promises always come true.32 God is Truth itself, whose words cannot deceive. This is why one can abandon oneself in full trust to the truth and faithfulness of his word in all things. The beginning of sin and of man's fall was due to a lie of the tempter who induced doubt of God's word, kindness and faithfulness.
216 God's truth is his wisdom, which commands the whole created order and governs the world.33 God, who alone made heaven and earth, can alone impart true knowledge of every created thing in relation to himself.34
217 God is also truthful when he reveals himself - the teaching that comes from God is "true instruction".35 When he sends his Son into the world it will be "to bear witness to the truth":36 "We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true."37


214 God, "HE WHO IS", revealed himself to Israel as the one "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness".27 These two terms express summarily the riches of the divine name. In all his works God displays, not only his kindness, goodness, grace and steadfast love, but also his trustworthiness, constancy, faithfulness and truth. "I give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness."28 He is the Truth, for "God is light and in him there is no darkness"; "God is love", as the apostle John teaches.29

Friday, July 25, 2008

Creatures in the image of God

108. The fundamental message of Sacred Scripture proclaims that the human person is a creature of God (cf. Ps 139:14-18), and sees in his being in the image of God the element that characterizes and distinguishes him: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). God places the human creature at the centre and summit of the created order. Man (in Hebrew, “adam”) is formed from the earth (“adamah”) and God blows into his nostrils the breath of life (cf. Gen 2:7). Therefore, “being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. Further, he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead”[204].

-Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Creation: A Work of Love

God is such a superabundance of love that he wanted to share his love with others, so he chose to create the visible world. All of creation reflects imperfectly the infinite perfections of God. But man in particular, God chose to give a special participation in his being, a special likeness to himself.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27) As an individual, man is like God in the rationality of his soul, including his will and his intelligence. God also inscribed on man's heart a participation in his divine Wisdom, known as the natural law, so that he would have a knowledge of the proper ordering of all creation, including himself, to its ultimate End. Communally man bears the image of God in his ability to love another-- not only the love of the male for the female and of the female for the male, but also to love others in general. Perhaps the greatest of all of God's gifts to man was a share of his own divine life so that man would have the ability to do what only God is capable of doing: loving God with the infinite love of God.

God set man over the world over it to rule it and to participate, though in a limited way, in God's own creativity by ordering the world through his work:
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it (Gen 2:15)
God made the world good (cf. Gen 1:31). Unfortunately, man freely chose to disobey the commandment of God. Man chose himself over God and thus sin entered the world (cf. Gen 3). Sin, which is a rupture of man's relationship with God, takes from man the filial image of God that enabled him to love God and to share in God's eternal happiness. Sin separated man from God. It also brought with it disunity within man himself: man's body rebelled against his soul, so that he was now subject to death, and his soul could no longer exercise perfect dominion over his passions.

The most dominant of his passions was now the desire for sexual union. In the beginning there was no shame: Adam and Eve felt no need to cover themselves (cf. Gen 2:25). After sin, however, the image of God within man, male and female, was obscured, so that he could no longer sense the expression of personal communion of which the body was meant to be the substratum. Sexual differences, instead of expressing the nuptial meaning of the body-- to male and female as gift for each other-- became a source of confrontation and distrust because of the inability of the soul to govern the body (cf. John Paul II. Blessed Are the Pure of Heart, Boston: St. Paul Books and Media, 1983.)

Even now after the fall, spousal love guarded against lust retains the interior freedom of the gift. Spousal love contributes much to man's fulfillment, but it is only a poem of the overwhelming majesty of the love that God has for man, and that God enables man to have for God:
You have made our hearts for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. (Augustine, Confessions, I, 1)

We are not made merely for human love, but to love God himself! Only the infinite love of God can fully satisfy man's heart.
God wishes good for his creatures, who can only be happy by loving him. So when the fullness of time had come, the Author of all creation showed the depth of his love by entering into the story.

-Augustine Club

The Most Holy Trinity: a Union of Love

It is said that a people's values can be seen in the god they worship. For Christians, ``God is love'' (1 Jn 4:8). But a God who is love seems like a philosophical impossibility. How can one God, who is perfect, lacking nothing in himself and possessed of no dependence on creatures, be love when love necessitates a relation to another?
The resolution of this paradox God himself has revealed to us: God is perfect unity, but a unity of three Divine Persons-- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-- who are each equally divine. The Father, Son, and Spirit exist from all eternity. None precedes the other in time, but each are related to the others by a relationship that orders them with respect to the others.
The ever-living, all-knowing, almighty God the Father exists from all eternity and is the source of all perfection created and uncreated. The self-conception and self-expression of the perfect Being is so complete that it is another person: God the Son, the image of the invisible Father, ``the only-begotten Son of God, begotten from the Father before all the ages, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father, through whom all things came to be'' (Nicene-Constantipolitan Creed). The love between the Father and the Son is so perfect that it too is another person: the Holy Spirit ``the holy, the lordly and life-giving one, proceeding forth from the Father [and the Son], co-worshipped and co-glorified with Father and Son'' (ibid.).
But if the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son, how can God as a whole be called Love? Each person shares equally in the divine nature, so that each person shares equally in the perfections of the others. The only distinction between the persons of the Trinity is their mutual relations. None of the persons exists in respect to himself alone, but each exists relatively to the other two:
...the ``three persons'' who exist in God are the reality of word and love in their attachment to each other. They are not substances, personalities in the modern sense, but the relatedness whose pure actuality... does not impair unity of the highest being but fills it out. St Augustine once enshrined this idea in the following formula: ``He is not called Father with reference to himself but only in relation to the Son; seen by himself he is simply God.'' Here the decisive point comes beautifully to light. ``Father'' is purely a concept of relationship. Only in being-for the other is he Father; in his own being-in-himself he is simply God. Person is the pure relation of being related, nothing else. Relationship is not something extra added to the person, as it is with us; it only exists at all as relatedness.
....the First Person [the Father] does not beget the Son in the sense of the act of begetting coming on top of the finished Person; it is the act of begetting, of giving oneself, of streaming forth. It is identical with the act of giving. (Joseph Ratzinger Introduction to Christianity, pp. 131-132; cf. Augustine, Enarationes in Psalmos 68; De Trinitate VII, 1, 2.) Each of the persons of the Trinity lives completely for the others; each is a complete gift of self to the others. The complete self-giving not only constitutes the individual persons of the Trinity, but also their inseparable oneness.
Thus, for Christians the very basis of all reality is the loving communion of persons that is the Holy Trinity.

- Augustine

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Adam the priest-king, the sanctuary, and the sacrifice

Gen 2:16 And he commanded him, saying: Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat:
Gen 2:17 But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.

Adam the Priest and Eden the Sanctuary

Gen 2:10 And a river went out of the place of pleasure to water paradise, which from thence is divided into four heads.
Gen 2:11 The name of the one is Phison: that is it which compasseth all the land of Hevilath, where gold groweth.
Gen 2:12 And the gold of that land is very good: there is found bdellium, and the onyx stone.
Gen 2:13 And the name of the second river is Gehon: the same is it that compasseth all the land of Ethiopia.
Gen 2:14 And the name of the third river is Tigris: the same passeth along by the Assyrians. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
Gen 2:15 And the Lord God took man, and put him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it, and to keep it.

The Universe, a Temple: Holy of Holies, the Sanctuary and Adam the Priest

Gen 2:8 And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning: wherein he placed man whom he had formed.
Gen 2:9 And the Lord God brought forth of the ground all manner of trees, fair to behold, and pleasant to eat of: the tree of life also in the midst of paradise: and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The Universe: a Temple - Worshippers

Gen 2:4 These are the generations of the heaven and the earth, when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the heaven and the earth:
Gen 2:5 And every plant of the field before it sprung up in the earth, and every herb of the ground before it grew: for the Lord God had not rained upon the earth; and there was not a man to till the earth.
Gen 2:6 But a spring rose out of the earth, watering all the surface of the earth.
Gen 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

7th day Covenant making complete: The Universe: A Temple

Gen 2:1 So the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the furniture of them.
Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.
Gen 2:3 And he blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Creation ordered by the word of God -6 : crowning of man: King, Family communion in the image of God

Gen 1:27 And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.
Gen 1:29 And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat:
Gen 1:30 And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done.
Gen 1:31 And God saw all the things that he had made, and they were very good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day.

Creation ordered by the Word of God -6 : rulers of rulers: man

Gen 1:26 And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.

Creation ordered by the Word of God - 6 : rulers of land

Gen 1:24 And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature in its kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth, according to their kinds. And it was so done.
Gen 1:25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and cattle, and every thing that creepeth on the earth after its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Creation ordered by the Word of God - 5 : rulers of Space

Gen 1:20 God also said: let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven.
Gen 1:21 And God created the great whales, and every living and moving creature, which the waaters brought forth, according to their kinds, and every winged fowl according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:22 And he blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the waters of the sea: and let the birds be multiplied upon the earth.
Gen 1:23 And the evening and morning were the fifth day.

Creation ordered by the Word of God - 4 : rulers of Time

Gen 1:14 And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:
Gen 1:15 To shine in the firmament of heaven, and to give light upon the earth, and it was so done.
Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights: a greater light to rule the day; and a lesser light to rule the night: and The stars.
Gen 1:17 And he set them in the firmament of heaven to shine upon the earth.
Gen 1:18 And to rule the day and the night, and to divide the light and the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:19 And the evening and morning were the fourth day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Creation ordered by the Word - 3 : Solid land and plants lifeforms

Gen 1:10 And God called the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:11 And he said: let the earth bring forth green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was so done.
Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit, having seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Creation ordered by the Word of God - 2: Space

Gen 1:6 And God said: Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Gen 1:7 And god made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament, and it was so.
Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament, Heaven; and the evening and morning were the second day.

Creation ordered by the Word of God - 1: Time

Gen 1:3 And God said: Be light made. And light was made.
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light that it was good; and he divided the light from the darkness.
Gen 1:5 And he called the light Day, and the darkness Night; and there was evening and morning one day.

Creation Ordered by the Word of God

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God: and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made.


Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created heaven, and earth.
Gen 1:2 And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Going small and quiet

I am readjusting my blog. The new designation is inspired by the great work of Dr. Scott Hahn on covenant theology. Thanks to his recordings I have a new perspective on the world and on life. I have a better understanding of God, Man, Salvation, Life, Love, etc. And recently I think I found a way I can deepen this understanding. I am going to use this blog to organize my thoughts on this subject. There is no better way to illustrate the building of a civilization of love than to live it personally. With this blog I will now be sharing quotes which I am going to label systematically with covenant related words. It is a way of organizing thoughts in an ordered way. I will be quoting from Holy Scriptures, the CCC, the CSDC, and some great works of saints.
I will also be quoting some secular source once in a while whenever the particular quote fits into the covenant picture.

Actually everything should be able to fit in because the world as we see it is governed by a covenant relationship. For example, the whole book of Revelation shows how everything in the world is in relation to the New Covenant (the Lamb of the New Covenant). So anything whether good or bad fit somewhere in the picture. This is going to be very exciting and enriching to me as I try to organize and match quotes with proper labels. I hope that it will help me grow in Faith. I also hope that any visitor will get a better idea of why the Church teaches what it teaches, a better organic understanding of life.

So I will be writing less if not nothing. I will only be quoting and labelling. This is good for me because I am a quiet type of person. It will also get me to read more and more which is something I really need to do:)

Last, I would like to make a small comment on closing of the WYD. It was great, the next one is in Madrid, Spain. I should be able to attend this one for so many reason that I can't begin to enumerate. For now, I pray that the fruits from Sydney endure in all of us forever.

God bless

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"WYD pilgrims most well-behaved young people ever seen" is apparently an Australian popular and secular news web site. Generally all media of the concerned country do some extensive coverage of the WYD, it is doing a great job covering this one in Sydney. Here is one of the interesting articles about the remarkable well behaved catholic youth in the street of Sydney:

CATHOLIC World Youth Day pilgrims are one of the most well-behaved groups of young people police have seen.
"I've never seen a crowd like this, it's even better than an Olympic crowd," New South Wales police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said today.
"Hundreds of thousands of young people moving through the city not affected by drugs and alcohol has been such a wonderful experience.
"It just shows what can happen when you have people who aren't affected by alcohol."
Mr Scipione said he hoped local young people would follow the example set by the "joyous" Catholic pilgrims.
"There are many lessons to come out of World Youth Day, and if that's one of them then we'll be very pleased."

-Click the link for more.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Virtually in Sydney

Having failed to make it in Sydney for the WYD 2008, it looks that all arrangements were made for people like me to be there virtually.

I can watch events live on Salt+Light or EWTN, or watch recorded events on video on a site specifically created for this purpose:

To those who are joining...enjoy and God bless


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Power of lies and gift of the Church

In the Bible we read that the reward of sin is death. In fact from the beginning of that book, we see that every sin goes with a curse. This is a fact that if we pay attention we can see in every aspect of life. I remember reading these sermons about Jesus healing people. I noticed that even when he healed people from physical illness, often he will tell them to go and to 'sin no more'. Which means that their physical condition had something to do with sins they committed. But it is not only about our physical conditions, our spiritual ones as well. In some of those sermons it is well explained how the stories of blind men healed by Jesus and the Pharisees were not just about physical blindness but spiritual as well. It is a awful experience to realise how I used to be blind in a particular aspect and what a blessing that 'now I see'...

We see problem in the world, in the Church, in our lives and sometimes we wonder why??? The fact is we can almost trace the reason of some problems to some original sins, either ours, or our fathers,...our societies...

I was reading this testimony about a woman turning from pro-choice atheist to pro-life catholic. She does a good description of our society's world-view and how her conversion was when she slowly discovered truth. She says: "I realized in that moment that perfectly good, well-meaning people—people like me—can support gravely evil things because of the power of lies. "

This woman gives an idea of how current issues about life and sexuality are taken at a terribly wrong angle, how the Church is so unfortunately wrongly understood. She does a good job of describing the structure of those lies. I am sad about what is happening in the Anglican Communion. I feel like, how can the Church teachings on all these issues be explained clearly? What a grace to be in the Church, and not just to follow authority but to understand the logic of the teachings. It makes me wonder where we are as the Church. How can people be in so much darkness while in the same world we have the splendor of truth! How am I helping out? what should I do? This is really serious business, we are holding the truth to ourselves while so many people believe lies right in our faces and are seriously hurting.

I think we should be as creative as possible in sharing and living the truth we have been given. I myself feel many times that I have converted, they are so many things I had wrong that I came to see clearly as I dig deeper in the Church teachings. We must do something. We shouldn't really stay calm as people consider the Church their enemies while she is their doctor. Can you imagine how it feels when you discover that the one you thought to be your enemies turned out to be your hope of salvation. Saul was persecuting the Church, when Jesus arrested him, he did not say why are you persecuting my Church, he said why are you persecuting me?

Soul turned Paul look at the Church with such a great awe and fear. We can measure how seriously Paul took this by looking at his works in the Church after his conversion. The Church that Jesus identifies with himself has his power. He gave her all his powers to lead, free, and heal man. The Lord Jesus is in the Church as he was in his physical body, the same power of the same Holy Spirit.

We have many problems because of curses that are upon us because of our sins. We need the Catholic Church for our healing and recovery.

God bless

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rebroadcast of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress

If you missed parts of the Congress last month it is being rebroadcasted daily for few days on Salt+Light TV. I just watched the beautiful Byzantine liturgy, and got an idea to share this reminder here in case someone might be interested. Great opportunity to learn more about our Faith.

God bless

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My new desktop background

I though I would share my new great desktop background image(s):)

The 'back/blank' area is the live S+L, it is probably black because it could not catch a moving image... To watch full screen I just double click in the small (now black) screen!

The little green screen is a holy reminder of psalm 138

Happy Feast of Saints Peter and Paul.
Happy beginning of the Pauline year to all.

God bless

Salt + Live now live on internet!

For few days now, I have a quite different desktop background. Half of my desktop is now occupied by a screen of live S+L. So as long as my computer is running, I can be watching or listening to S+L. It just look so great.

S+L also reminded me that I am bilingual...and something about my being canadian as it keeps switching from one language to an other. English, French, Italian,and Chinese...this is so Canadian and this is so Catholic :)

This is really wonderful, I just realise that I can slowly learn a language just by getting familiar to listening to it. For few days of watching, I am catching some key latin words already. And I am also feeling that I just got a special way of keeping up with french. Now I don't really need to switch from channel to channel to get french on tv.

Plus, this way of broadcasting is somehow revealing the universality of the church. As I watch I see both the unity and diversity of the Church at the same time. With think like the liturgy and other tradition I see one language of the Church. And by some cultural differance of the people I see diversity.

Wow, I didn't know I was going to write so much:) Well, I have also to add some more. Like mentioning the fact that this station is so youthful that one feel the livelyness of the Church. As JP the great used to say, the Church is young.

Now what else was I going to say last? yeah, that i got to volunteer for S+L. Since we don't have it on standard channels here in BC, not even in our tv providers listing yet, we can only watch it online. So I will be helping promoting on my parish, and hopefully one day after many of us give enough pressure on our provider, it will also be available in regular channel listings.

Pray help the wide spread of the good news. And try it out yourself.

God bless

Thursday, June 19, 2008

WYD Social Network launched in Sydney.

"Christus vincit! Christus regnat! Christus imperat! "

WYD 2002 left Canada with a new catholic television, Salt+Light.
WYD 2005 must have come with new great initiatives, one of them being the schoenstattyouth web site.
WYD 2008 brings XT3 already even before the official start date of WYD which is on July 15.

XT3 stands for 'Christ in the Third Millenium'. And it is a social network for WYD2008 and beyond as it states on its website. Here are descriptive videos.

God bless

Friday, June 6, 2008

'Ecological 10 Commandments' around the corner ?

Mexican media predict release of "Ecological 10 Commandments"

Mexico City,
Jun. 6, 2008 ( - Bishop Giampaolo Crepaldi, the secretary of the
Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, will present a talk on Catholic social
teaching and the environment in Milan next week.
The scheduled talk by
Bishop Crepaldi will argue that Christians must recognize creation as a gift
from God, to be respected and preserve, knowledgable sources predict. At the
same time, the Vatican official will make it clear that concern for the
environment should not supersede respect for the dignity of the human person.
In Mexico, media reports looking forward to the speech by Bishop Crepaldi
have already predicted that the talk will present the "Ecological Ten
Commandments." That speculation was apparently prompted by a March interview in
L'Osservatore Romano with Archbishop Gianfranco Girotti, the regent of the
Apostolic Penitentiary, who spoke to the Vatican newspaper about "new forms of
social sin" including environmental degradation. Archbishop Girotti's list of
modern transgressions provoked a spate of reports suggesting, absurdly, that the
Church was revising the Ten Commandments.

A Zenit article adds:

The secretary told Vatican Radio today that the document is an attempt "to
explain in 10 points the most important aspects of the chapter on the
environment in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church."

He added that is an effort to enlighten Christian communities, groups and movements on "the very rich social magisterium of the Church on the specific question of the environment and its protection."

I added the link in the quote. I would recommend to anyone to keep it around and take a look in it when time is available. If you ever wondered where the Church gets its interesting ideas on issues like war, sex, abortion, eutanasia, freedom of speech/expression/religion, etc, that's the perfect document for you. It helps a lot to make sens of who we are in society and give a more understanding of the Christian worldview of society explaining more clearly many points of the Bible like in Genesis man creation story, Babel, etc....

I would like to remind that, few months ago, the Church released a set of 'Ten commandments for Drivers'. For more see the Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road by the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care and Itinerant People.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Happy Feast of the Sacred Heart to everyone!
Or I hope everyone had a great one!

Ever since I was a child there was the well known picture of the Sacred Heart around. But I never really stopped and think about it until recently.

Have you ever stopped and looked closer?

We see the fire he has come to set on earth.
We see the thorns and blood of his suffering...

I think it was this 'hurting' aspect which had caused me unconsciously for a long time not to set my eyes on it for a long time. The picture looked odd.

Yet we feel it often or causes others to feel it without realising it. How many time we hear or see people 'hurt'. I find that it can help us to realise that every hurt is represented by at least one of those thorns. Didn't Jesus say that whatever we do to one of our neighbor we do it to him?

It also help to remember this picture when we are hurt ourselves. And suffer in communion with the Lord.

I find that whenever I unite my heart with Jesus I share in the real Reality. The reality of God's love for us. Remembering that our heart is a sacred Temple where the Lord reside. And that he is in us since we received him in the Holy Eucharist. Is good to remember that whenever they have been a Eucharistic miracle when the Lord shows his flesh to his people, he often show a 'beating heart' or a tissue of flesh of a human heart.

So if you lower your head into your heart, and see yourself as in a little Temple, you are not imagining things. It is real. That's how we are fully the Temple of the Holy Spirit, the Temple of God. Tabernacles of the living God. As we stay in grace, we share the heart of Jesus, so we can share in that sacred fire of love which endure all things, believe all things, last forever...

Someone asked about the meaning on this site of 'civilization of love'. I would say that it is the civilization that springs from this fire that the Lord has come to set on Earth. A fire which has been burning on Earth for 2000+ years and is still being spread around the globe. But we often quench it when we sin.

Let's us love one another, and pray for one another that "we may keep his commandments and so be able to abide in his love" in his heart.

God bless

Monday, May 19, 2008

Feast of the Most Holy Trinity: God is love.

I can't believe it has been more than a month since my last post!
Many things distracted me which includes participating in some interfaith forums. It can be good for evangelising but it is not that good when one start to forget home. So I am trying to take a break for them. My friends knows that I take this kinds of break often, well, this is an other one:)

Few days ago, Christians from other denominations were discussing the Holy Trinity. As you are aware of this, many have different views which include a view that Jesus is the Holy Spirit :(.... All this started in a topic which was about trying to prove that our Holy Mother Mary is not the Mother of God.
I think I have to ask prayers for our Faith, for us, and for the separate brothers.
Below is a copy of my contribution. For me as I indicated at the beginning this blog, my basis of understanding the mystery of the Holy Trinity is the basic idea that God is love.

Few hours ago it was the feast of the Most Holy Trinity. Hope every one got relevant blessings

[8] He who does not love does not know God; for God is love.

A deep meditation on this fundamental christian belief lead us to see that God is not lonely. And for a Christian Jesus has revealed that God is not lonely but a unity of three divine persons.
And men have been themselves called into this unity in Christ by following his commandment of love.

Love is incompatible with loneliness. A non-Christian may say, that well, that's why God he does not be lonely. But this is a false notion of God. Because God is completely satisfied with himself. So he did not create out of necessity, but out of love.

Jesus revealed to us the deeper mystery when he invited us in the household of God.
Paul put it beautifully:

[19] So then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God,
[15] if I am delayed, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and bulwark of the truth.

We enter the Church through baptism and the formula of valid baptism as indicated by the Lord Jesus is:
"in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit".

To me this look like a person inviting you into his house, and introducing you to his family. And telling us (as we are adopted children) how from now on, as long as we live in this household we have to live according to their lifestyle.

John 14:
15] "If you love me, you will keep my commandments. [16] And I will pray the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, to be with you for ever, [17] even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him; you know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you. [18] "I will not leave you desolate; I will come to you. [19] Yet a little while, and the world will see me no more, but you will see me; because I live, you will live also. [20] In that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. [21] He who has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me; and he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." [22] Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, "Lord, how is it that you will manifest yourself to us, and not to the world?" [23] Jesus answered him, "If a man loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.

The only distinction between the persons of the Trinity is their mutual relations. None of the persons exists in respect to himself alone, but each exists relatively to the other two:
...the ``three persons'' who exist in God are the reality of word and love in their attachment to each other. They are not substances, personalities in the modern sense, but the relatedness whose pure actuality... does not impair unity of the highest being but fills it out. St Augustine once enshrined this idea in the following formula: ``He is not called Father with reference to himself but only in relation to the Son; seen by himself he is simply God.'' Here the decisive point comes beautifully to light. ``Father'' is purely a concept of relationship. Only in being-for the other is he Father; in his own being-in-himself he is simply God. Person is the pure relation of being related, nothing else. Relationship is not something extra added to the person, as it is with us; it only exists at all as relatedness.
....the First Person [the Father] does not beget the Son in the sense of the act of begetting coming on top of the finished Person; it is the act of begetting, of giving oneself, of streaming forth. It is identical with the act of giving. (Joseph Ratzinger Introduction to Christianity, pp. 131-132; cf. Augustine, Enarationes in Psalmos 68; De Trinitate VII, 1, 2.)
Each of the persons of the Trinity lives completely for the others; each is a complete gift of self to the others. The complete self-giving not only constitutes the individual persons of the Trinity, but also their inseparable oneness.
Thus, for Christians the very basis of all reality is the loving communion of persons that is the Holy Trinity.

This is the how I understand the oneness in the Trinity, and also the oneness that Jesus prayed for. By living as Jesus commanded us, we achieve, we also, the oneness the Lord prayed for. If we live the way of of the Trinity, the way Jesus commanded us to live:

[12]"This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. [13] Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.
[16] By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

An article on Catholic News Agency is reporting a new lay apostolate website which have just brough home 3000 people in three weeks. This was achieved by runing two commercials on a local television network. The commercial would then direct people to their website were all information needed can be found. See below a quote from the article. I watched the commercials on the site and they are great. Please share the good news:)

After the first commercial campaign, not only did the diocese report a marked increase in Mass attendance, but over “31,000 unique visitors came to the website from Phoenix and other US cities plus 60 foreign countries, with questions, to look up Mass times, to read information on marriage issues, to watch testimonies or to order Matthew Kelly’s book, ‘Rediscovering Catholicism.’”
The commercials aired on television are produced by Before airing the ads, two of the clips, “Epic”, and “Movie,” were shown to a focus group that consisted of former and practicing Catholics, non Catholic Christians, as well as those without any faith.
The feedback received from the group was outstanding. Seventy-eight of the 100 participants had positive responses to the ads. In another assessment, the organization found that before watching the videos, 90% of the participants had negative impressions of the Catholic Church. After viewing ads one time, 54% had a much more favorable impression. Hearts and minds were changed after viewing these creative and inspired ads.
The first commercial, “Epic” portrays the history, beauty, and spirituality of the Church that Jesus started 2,000 years ago. Peterson mentioned that “many people don’t realize the history of the Church. They don’t realize that Peter – the Apostle from the Bible – was the first Pope. They don’t realize the vast accomplishments that the Church has made over the centuries.”
“Epic” also effectively represents the universality of the Church. The clip shows a Mexican fiesta, an African Mass, a Tongan baptism, aid workers serving in a Vietnamese jungle, among other scenes.
The reaction to the video has been overwhelmingly positive. Viewers commented, “After seeing ‘Epic’, it made me proud to be Catholic.” Priests have noted that the video made them feel “re-invigorated about their vocation.” The video also has touched former Catholics who have said that the video showed the truth about the Church – “truth that they haven’t seen in decades.”
The second commercial, “Movie” has a different effect. Peterson described the ad as mirroring the Book of Revelation which states that we will give an account of our lives at the end of time.
“Most people are brought to tears when they watch “Movie,” said Peterson. It shows that though Jesus’ divine mercy, “no matter what we’ve done, we can accept the mercy of Jesus who will help us create the perfect ending to each of our lives.”
Not only have people enjoyed the video clips, but they have also succeeded in bringing people back to the Church. One woman, Angela, said that she became an agnostic 20 years ago. After watching the video she commented, “How is it that after seeing the commercial one time, I go to the website, look up my local church and go home?”
The commercials encourage people to visit the site which contains information for three groups of people: Those who “used to be Catholic”, those who “are not Catholic” and those who “are practicing Catholics.”

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Church is mourning

I though I was going to post something about Chiarra Lubich last time, but I was not able to. Here it is posted on the schoenstatt official website.
Now, you may have heard that today was her funearal. EWTN was supposed to brodcast her funeral Mass. I don't know if I missed it, or if it is yet to come. But you can still watch it here.

I knew the focolared movement when I was in Africa at about the same time I joined schoenstatt. I didn't join it but it was great to be with focolare people.

My condoleances to all focolare and focolarini. She was a great Mother to all of us.

The Church is also mourning the archibishop of Irac who was kidnaped and was found recently dead.

May eternal light shine upon them.

Friday, March 14, 2008

"My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work” (Jn 4:34)

I have been busy and distracted and lazy these last months. So I think I need all the prayers I can get. The word of life below was late too as it was last time. And today I am even a little sad. This one is the last one form Chiarra Lubich. She have just passed away. The Church is morning, the movement is mourning, and everyone who knew her. Next I will post a schoenstatt newsletter which informed me of her passing. May her soul rest in peace and eternal light shine on her. He wished all of us a good Easter, now she will celebrate hers in Heaven.

"My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work” (Jn 4:34)

march 2008

These wonderful words of Jesus can be repeated, in a sense, by every Christian and, if put into practice, they are capable of leading him or her far ahead in the Holy Journey of life.
Jesus, seated at Jacob’s well in Samaria, was concluding his conversation with the Samaritan woman. The disciples, having returned from the near-by city where they had gone for supplies, were surprised to find the Master speaking with a woman, but none of them asked him why. When the Samaritan woman left, they urged him to eat. Jesus intuited their thoughts and explained the reason behind his actions: "I have food to eat of which you do not know."
The disciples didn’t understand: they were thinking of material food and they asked one another if someone had brought food to the Master during their absence. So then Jesus said openly:

"My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.”

We need food every day to keep us alive. Jesus does not deny this. In fact, he is speaking here of food, something natural and necessary, but he does so in order to affirm the existence and need for another kind of food, a food that is more important and that he cannot do without.
Jesus came down from heaven in order “to do the will of the one who sent [him] and to finish his work.” He did not have thoughts or an agenda of his own, but only those of his Father. The words he spoke and works he did were those of the Father; he didn’t do his own will but that “of the one who sent” him. This was the life of Jesus. Doing this satisfied his hunger; doing this nourished him.
Complete adherence to the Father’s will was characteristic of his whole life, right up to his death on the cross, where he truly finished the work that the Father had entrusted to him.

"My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.”

Jesus considered doing the will of the Father as his food, because by carrying it out, “assimilating it,” “eating it,” identifying with it, he received Life.
And what was the will of the Father, his work, that Jesus had to finish?
It was to give salvation to all people, to give them the Life that does not die.
Shortly before, Jesus had communicated a seed of this Life to the Samaritan woman through his conversation with her and through his love. In fact, the disciples soon saw this Life spring forth and go out to others because the richness the Samaritan woman had discovered and received she communicated to other Samaritans: “Come see a man who told me everything I have done. Could he possibly be the Messiah?" (Jn 4:29).
In speaking to the Samaritan woman, Jesus revealed the plan of God who is Father: that all people receive the gift of his life. This is the work that Jesus urgently wanted to finish, in order to entrust it then to his disciples, to the Church.

"My food is to do the will of the one who sent me and to finish his work.”

Can we also live this sentence of the Gospel which is so typical of Jesus that it reflects his being, his mission, his zeal in an altogether special way?
Certainly! We also will have to live out our being sons and daughters of the Father through the Life that Christ shared with us, and in this way nourish our lives by doing his will.
We can do so by carrying out moment by moment what he wants from us, accomplishing it in a perfect way, as if we had nothing else to do. In fact, God wants nothing else.
Let us feed on what God wants from us moment after moment and we will experience that it satisfies us: it gives us peace, joy, happiness, it gives us—it’s no exaggeration to say—a foretaste of heaven.
In this way, even we can cooperate with Jesus, day by day, in finishing the work of the Father.
It will be the best way to live Easter.

Chiara Lubich

Monday, February 11, 2008

Word of life February 2008

“Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven” (Mt 5:19).

February 2008
Jesus, surrounded by crowds of people, went up the mountain to give his famous sermon. His first words, “Blessed are the poor in spirit ... Blessed are the meek,” already signaled the novelty of the message he had come to bring. They are words of life, words of light and hope that Jesus entrusted to his disciples to enlighten them and give their lives zest and meaning. Transformed by this great message, they were invited to transmit to others the teachings they received and to put them into life.

“Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Today our society, more than ever before, needs to know the words of the Gospel and let itself to be transformed by them. Jesus must be able to repeat once again: do not become angry with your neighbors; forgive, and you will be forgiven; tell the truth, to the point of having no need to take an oath; love your enemies; recognize that we have only one Father and are all brothers and sisters; do to others as you would have them do to you. This is the sense of some of the many words from the Sermon on the Mount. If they were lived out, it would be enough to change the world.
Jesus invites us to proclaim his Gospel. But before we “teach” his words, he asks us to “obey” them. In order to be credible, we should become experts in the Gospel, a living Gospel. Only then will we be able to witness to it with our lives and teach it with our words.

“Whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

How can we live these words? The best way is to allow Jesus himself to teach us, drawing him to us and among us through our reciprocal love. He will suggest the right words to use when approaching people; he will show us how to open passageways into our neighbor’s heart, so that we can witness to him wherever we are, even in the most difficult environments and in the most complicated situations. We will see the world change: that small part of the world where we live will be so transformed that we will find harmony, understanding and peace. What is important is to maintain his presence among us through our mutual love, to be docile in listening to his voice—the voice of our conscience that always speaks to us if we know how to silence other voices.
He will teach us to obey even the smallest laws with joy and creativity, so as to polish our life of unity to perfection. May it be said of us one day as it was of the first Christians: “Look how they love one another and how they are ready to die for one another.” As our relationships are renewed by love, the Gospel will be seen as capable of generating a new society.
We cannot keep the gift we received for ourselves. We are called to repeat with Paul: “Woe to me if I do not preach [the Gospel]!” (1 Cor 9:16). If we let ourselves be guided by our inner voice, we will discover ever-new possibilities to communicate, speak, write and dialogue. May the Gospel shine forth again, through us personally, in our homes, cities and nations. New life will flourish in us; joy will expand in our hearts; the risen Lord will shine forth with greater beauty; and he will consider us among the “greatest in the kingdom.”
The life of Ginetta Calliari demonstrates this in an outstanding way. When she arrived in Brazil in 1959 with the first group of focolarini, she was shocked at seeing the results of the country’s deep inequalities. She was determined to put reciprocal love before all else and the words of Jesus into practice. She said, “He will open the way for us.” As time passed, a community came to life and grew, a community that now numbers hundreds of thousands of people of every social class and age, inhabitants of the shanty towns and members of the well-to-do classes, people who put themselves at the service of those most in need. They have become a small and united people who continue to show that the Gospel message is true. This is the dowry that Ginetta brought with her when she left for heaven.
Chiara Lubich
(1) Tertullian, Apology, 39:7

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thes 5:17)

The world of life from the focolare movement this month reminds us to pray without ceasing. A great reminder for the beginning of the year. I am not doing that well in organizing myself as my resolution requires this year. Otherwise I would be blogging more frequently. And the class I have just started today is not going to make thing easy. Programming... I like and dislike programing. I like it because it is fun when the program works, I hate it because it can take all your time and then the program wouldn't work; very very frustrating. But I have to pray seriously about all this. What I will learn in this course could be very well the heart of both my career and my vocation. If my intuition/dream is right something wonderful could come out of it. Well, let's pray for God's will to be done.


“Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thes 5:17)

January 2008

This year the “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” celebrates its
centennial. The “Octave of Prayer for Christian Unity” was first celebrated from
January 18-25 in 1908. Sixty years later, in 1968, the Week of Prayer for
Christian Unity was jointly prepared by the Commission on Faith and Order of the
World Council of Churches and by the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity
of the Catholic Church. From that time on, it has become common practice for
them to meet together annually to compile the pamphlet using material with
suggestions for the celebration of the Week of Prayer prepared by Christians
from different Churches in a particular country. The words of Scripture chosen
this year by a large ecumenical group in the United States are taken from the
first letter of St. Paul to the Thessalonians, in Greece. They were a small
young community, and Paul felt that the unity among them had to become more and more solid. That was why he urged them: “Be at peace among yourselves. … be
patient with all. See that no one returns evil for evil; rather, always seek
what is good both for each other and for all. … Pray without ceasing..”He wanted to stress that the life of unity of the Christian community is possible
only through a life of prayer. Jesus himself prayed to the Father for the unity
of his disciples: “that they may all be one” (Jn 17:21).

“Pray without ceasing”

Why should we “pray without ceasing”? Because prayer is essential to being
human. We were created in the image of God, as a “you” of God, capable of
establishing a relationship of communion with him. Friendship with him,
spontaneous conversation with him, conversation that is simple and true – this
is prayer. It is part of our very being, allowing us to become authentic persons
with the full dignity of sons and daughters of God. Created as a “you” of God,
we can live in constant rapport with him, with our hearts filled with love by
the Holy Spirit and with the trust that one has towards one’s own father. This
is a trust that draws us to speak with God often, to tell him openly about
ourselves, our thoughts, our plans. This is a trust that makes us yearn for
those moments we dedicate to prayer – moments set aside in days filled with
other duties at work and in the family – in order to enter into a profound
connection with the One who we know loves us. We need to “pray without ceasing”
not only for our own needs, but also for our contributions to building up the
Body of Christ, and our contributions to building the full and visible communion
of the Church of Christ. We can understand something of this mystery if we think
of a series of communicating vessels. When we pour water into one of them, the
liquid level in all the others is raised as well. The same thing happens when we
pray and raise our souls to God to adore and thank him. When one of us is
elevated in prayer, the others are elevated as well.

“Pray without ceasing”

How can we “pray without ceasing,” especially when we are in the whirlpool of daily
living? To “pray without ceasing” does not mean multiplying our prayers. Rather,
it means directing our hearts and lives towards God, living out God’s will for
us, whether it be studying, working, suffering, resting or even dying for him.
We will reach the point where we will no longer be able to live our daily lives
without doing everything in agreement with him. In this way our actions will be
transformed into sacred actions and the whole day will become a prayer.It may be
helpful to offer to God everything we do by saying, “For you, Jesus,” and, in
moments of difficulties, “What really matters? To love you is what matters.” In
this way each thing we do is transformed into an act of love.And thus prayer
will be unceasing because love will be unceasing. Chiara Lubich

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone.

I have just come from Holy Mass. At the end of the Mass we sang the beautiful song "Let there be peace on Earth, and let it began with me..."
One of the way to be at peace is to be better organized, this is my resolution this year. I always saw it as easy matter but it is not that easy. Well, for me I really need to make myself into a serious habit of setting priorities and sticking to them in everyday activities. A question of improving my time-management skills. But I will need great strength of the spirit. So that means lots of prayers.

On the missionary side of the christian life this have an enormous advantage. It involves listening carefully to God and serving faithfully, and of course producing many fruits for the Kingdom.

Here is a popular story about time management.

Happy New Year everyone and may the Peace of the Lord be with all of us always.