News:

Bishop urges public to unite against anti-terror bill -

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Pastoral Statement of the Bishops of Metro Manila -

Monday, March 16, 2020

Priest refutes senator: ‘Divorce will never be pro-family’ -

Thursday, September 19, 2019

2 priests, 2 pro-life activists arrested trying to save babies inside New Jersey abortion center -

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Respect and Care for Life 2019 -

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Over 41 million abortions estimated in 2018, making ‘choice’ world’s leading cause of death -

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Everyone must respect the basic human rights of all human beings, pope says -

Friday, December 14, 2018

Parents of ‘miracle’ micro-preemie thankful to bring home healthy girl -

Thursday, November 29, 2018

WATCH: Drag queen admits he’s ‘grooming’ children at story hour events -

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Brazil elects pro-life president, despite pressure to legalize abortion -

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Alfie Evans’ parents to ‘form a relationship’ with hospital, ask supporters to return home: BREAKING -

Friday, April 27, 2018

Couples told: ‘Have courage to fight divorce bill’ -

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

CBCP STATEMENT ON THE DIVORCE BILL -

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Pastoral Statement Against Divorce -

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Cardinal Tagle to lead walk against killings -

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

49 Abortion Clinics Closed in 2017, 77% of All Abortion Clinics Open in 1991 Have Shut Down -

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Bishop condemns killing of priest -

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Church urges repentance over rampant killings -

Monday, November 6, 2017

Our Lady of Fatima will be icon at prayer for healing -

Monday, October 30, 2017

Church urges faithful to join ‘heal the nation’ Edsa procession -

Monday, October 16, 2017

Shine

pedro calungsod-1

A few days from now and this country will be officially recognizing the second Filipino saint, a martyr who is a shining example of courage and love for Christ. To be a saint, one must have a deep internalization of Christ and his life, for the imitation of Christ and his works goes hand in hand with living a holy life. Last Sunday’s Gospel confirms this. The rich man in the gospel would have been a perfect disciple, as he himself admitted that he followed the commandments. However, being a stickler for the rules is not enough. One must have a deep relationship with Christ and be ready to follow in his footsteps. This means accepting one’s crosses, and as much as many of us go through everyday bearing our cross, to embrace it wholeheartedly and to give one’s life for Christ is indeed the path to holiness.

Our two saints, Lorenzo Ruiz and Pedro Calungsod, are the perfect examples of how their ordinary lives became extaordinary because of their love for Christ. This is what we should be aiming for.

Unfortunately, many of our Catholic brethren has lost their fire and therefore fail to be the light of the world that Christ told us Christians we should be.

Just recently, the CBCP confirmed that their surveys showed that more than half of couples are not married in the Church.

From the CBCP News website:

“Commissioned by the Manila archdiocese-run Radio Veritas, the study that was conducted during the second quarter of 2012, showed findings that alarmed even the church leaders.

The survey showed that 57.7 percent of the 2,500 Catholic respondents were found to be unmarried in churches.

Using random sampling, the “Truth Survey” was conducted in 85 archdioceses and dioceses covering the country’s 17 regions for the topic “The Filipino Catholicity. It has a +/-2 percent margin of error.

The result of the nationwide survey results were released Thursday, in line with the church’s celebration of the Year of Faith.

In breakdown, 7.5 percent of the respondents openly admitted that they are not married in churches while another 50.2 percent did not reply.”

That’s a sad, sad reality. So many children with unwed parents. If the parents themselves are not married, how can they impart the beauty and the sanctity of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony?  How can the parents tell their children that marriage is much more thant ‘a piece of paper,’ to repeat a popular sentiment, if they can’t even put their marriage on paper?

And from the Huffington Post:

(Reuters) — Some 98 percent of sexually active Catholic women have used contraceptive methods banned by the church, research published on Wednesday showed.

A new report from the Guttmacher Institute, the nonprofit sexual health research organization, shows that only 2 percent of Catholic women, even those who regularly attend church, rely on natural family planning.

Nearly 70 percent of Catholic women use sterilization, the birth control pill or an IUD, according to the Guttmacher Institute research.

The latest data is from the 2006-2008 National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG).

The findings nearly match previous NSFG data from 2002, which showed that 97 percent of Catholic women were using birth control, and are consistent with a trend tracked over the last decade by Catholics for Choice.

Given that the study was made in America, this reality cannot be far from home altogether. It is very possible that married couples use contraceptive methods – how much more the rest who are not married?

Then of course, you have the Ateneo and La Salle professors who signed a statement of support for the RH bill. Imagine how many hundreds of students have been influenced by these professors who have all but embraced the contraceptive and relativist mentality? It used to be that if you want Catholic education for your children, you have to send them to a Catholic school. Nowadays, you can’t even be sure if what they teach is consistent with the faith. Ironically, the University of Asia and the Pacific, a non-sectarian school, is consistently against the RH Bill. (read their statement at http://www.uap.asia/blog/2011/08/22/uap-student-statement-on-rhbill/)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also quite recently, there were reports of a priest who got caught red-handed (but not with his pants down, fortunately) frequenting a girly bar.

In these times when being a Catholic takes so much courage and almost superhuman effort, our saints are there to remind us that sanctity is possible. All we have to do is to fill our hearts with Christ.

These two men are examples of brave and selfless obedience to Christ and his teachings, especially during times when the situation demanded that they abandon the Lord and what He taught. These two men were not members of the clergy. They were ordinary lay people, as ordinary as you and me. God is fond of making heroes out of zeroes and saints out of sinners. With their supreme sacrifice their tormentors did not extinguish the light of Christ that emanated from their hearts. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5)

It is a common misconception that sanctity is for the select few. On the contrary, one can only reach heaven if he or she has embraced a life of holiness. Christ Himself demands nothing less than sainthood for all of us.

These martyrs gave their lives for Christ because they know that their lives are not theirs, but God’s and His alone.  Perhaps we prolifers and Christians can take a page from these two brave saints who sacrificed their mortal lives in exchange for eternal life with God. We often get riduculed and hated on because of our pro life convictions; perhaps if we focus on the sacrifice of our Lord on the cross, and reflect upon the martyrdom of Pedro Calungsod and Lorenzo Ruiz, we might see a better perspective as to why we fight the good pro life fight.

 They gave their lives because they were ready for the harvest, “and yieldeth the one an hundredfold, and another sixty, and another thirty.” (Mt. 13:23) A heart full of Christ is a heart that is always ready for the harvest. 

 

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3 Responses to “Shine”
  1. Rannie R. Ramos says:

    Regarding the low percentage of Church-wed couples in our country:
    This is why the usual hindrances experienced by couples who intend to marry should be broken down by the Church. Of prime importance is the high cost associated with getting married in Church. I understand that these fees can be justified well, but in favor of removing the associated financial costs to gain the much greater spiritual cost should be considered. The Church must always remember that she is a missionary Church.

    • ajuperez says:

      Thank you for your response.

      I am inclined to believe, however, that the low figures of Church-wed couples isn’t because of the high fees the Church asks. There are other Catholic parishes to choose from too, and all that is necessary is to obtain a letter of permission from the parish priest of the couple to allow them to be married in another parish. Imagine, the couple is willing to spend an exorbitant amount of money for a gown that will only be used once (not including the ones to be used by her entourage), for good and flowing food for the reception afterwards, and for a festive and memorable honeymoon, but who gets the short end when they think they can save some money by skipping the Church service? Is it the Church or the couples themselves?

  2. Greg Gonzales, jr says:

    Suggest that Parishes provide for a Commission to survey their parishioners to identigy unmarried Catholic couples. Some active members of the church organizations are willing to be Ninongs/Ninangs and sponsor their Mass Wedding with the Blessings and Support of the Church.

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