S e n t i r e C u m E c c l e s i a

"To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What seems to me to be white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, His Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls..." - Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius [365]

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The Feast of the Generous Saint

Today, The Jesuits the world over are celebrating the Solemnity of St. Ignatius of Loyola, Founder and first Superior General of the Society of Jesus. It was believe that he was born in the year 1491. He died on the 31st of July, 1556. St. Ignatius labored much for God and for the Church. He founded the Society of Jesus mainly to do things and tasks for the greater glory of God. He was canonized by Pope Gregory XV on March 12, 1622. He was eventually declared the Patron of all spiritual exercises by Pope Pius XI.

This year is very special to the Jesuits since we remember the 450th death anniversary of St. Ignatius. The icon on the left is actually a tarp designed the the Jesit Vocations Promotions - Philippines. You may click it to have it enlarged. Below is the most famous prayer composed by St. Ignatius, hich in a way sums up his spirituality. Everthings is grace... take and receive them Lord, since you have bestowed them so generously, I offer them all back to you... Ad Majorem, Dei Gloriam!

Sume et Suscipe

Take, O Lord, and receive all my liberty,
my memory, my understanding, and all my will,
all I have and possess; you have given it me; to you, Lord, I return it;
all is yours, dispose of it entirely according to your will.
Give me your love and grace,
because that is enough for me.... Amen.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Sinner...yet...made a SAINT!

Today, the universal Church celebrates the memory of St. Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene's life is a perfect illustration of the immensity of God. She, who was despised by Society as very sinful for being a harlot, yet in the end, was made by Christ the messenger of His Resurrection to the apostles. Below is the lyrics of a song composed by Jesuit priest Manoling Francisco summing up the resurrection experience of Mary Magdalene.

In My Heart


In my heart I know my Savior lives
I can hear Him calling tenderly my name
Over sin and death He has prevailed
In His glory, in His new life we partake

I know He lives as He has promised
For me He's risen that from fear I may be free
Not even death can separate me
From Him whose love and might remain in me (REFRAIN)

For I have seen and touched Him risen
To all the world will I proclaim His majesty
With joy I sing to tell His story
That in our hearts may live His memory (REFRAIN)

And all the earth shall bow before Him
His blessed name all will adore on bended knee
His truth shall reign, so shall His justice
In Christ, my Savior, let all glory be (REFRAIN)

In my heart I know my Savior lives
In His glory, in His new life we partake

We pray then, that like Mary Magdalene, our experience of God's goodness will spur us on to change for the better and be messengers of God's goodness ourselves.

Come... and Rest

We hear Jesus in this Sunda's Gospel telling His disciples to rest and recharge for the ministry. Surely, the apostles were tired from all the labors that they did with Jesus for the Kingdom. And Jesus was very aware of that. Hence, He invites His disciples to rest and to pray, for them to be energized and be ready for the mission that lies ahead of them.

I believe that Jesus extends the same invitation to all of us this Sunday. Jesus knows very well all our concerns and worries, and he knows how burdened and weary we all are facing up to all the challenges that life hurls at us. And the invitation is simply to rest and pray -- to recharge and re-energize from the fount of all life, Jesus Himself.

So as we begin another week ahead of us, let us try to be conscious of the gentle invitation of Jesus to rest and pray. That at the end of our day, we make sure that we are refreshed and revitalized by Him who is the source of our life. Amen.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Go and Share!

We hear in today's Gospel account Jesus sending out the disciples into mission. He instructs them to bring nothing, but their presence and the Good News of God's reign.

I believe Jesus presents to us an alternative lifestyle, that of simplicity. I feel that Jesus gave these instructions, or rather invitation, of living simply -- to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts -- in the context of mission, to remind us that these things are not the "basics" of life! What's more important is that we participate in His mission of building up the Kingdom of God in our midst rather than immerse ourselves in the hedonistic luxuries of life.

It may be helpful to ask ourselves this question: "Am I truly ready to embrace the life of Jesus and live His kind of life, as a Christian?" Something to muse upon as we begin another week.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

To young men in search of something MORE...

Think about it...
Who knows, in the silence of your heart the Lord is gently inviting you to search and go for the real "MORE" in your life!

God bless the Vocations Promotions endeavor of the Society of Jesus.

A Prophet is without honor in his own village...

We hear in today's Gospel passage that Jesus was in a way despised and treated with contempt by His fellow countrymen. This led to Jesus' jolting remark that a prophet is without honor only in his own village. For Filipinos, this is something unusual for we take pride in our "katagilungsod" when he or she excels in whatever field. But even for us Filipinos, we take contempt also in people who we do not like, most especially if we know them. We know very well their weaknesses, their "kapalpakan" in life, their very roots, their very persons. And sometimes it is hard to "believe" in them. I guess, the challenge of the Gospel lies here -- to believe in people and in situations that seem very ordinary to us, yet, if we allow them to unravel before our very eyes, present to us the wisdon of God.

The very reason why the townsfolks of Jesus never experienced the power and the marvelous deeds of God is simply because they find Jesus very ordinary and not worth believing. Jesus is for them the "man next door" who, in their perception, can never be the Son of God. Hence, they failed to recognize the Great One in their midst.

The Lord manifests His very self to us in the ordinary. And the invitation for us is to seek God in the ordinary people we meet on the streets, even in the most banal of all events during the day. God's wisdom lies in the humility of the heart. It is only in humility that we can ever recognize the Great One among our midst. And we beg the Lord for this grace.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

"Tal'itha cu'mi"

Jesus in today's Liturgy told Jairus and his family not to worry for their daughter was not dead but just asleep. When Jesus saw the child lying on her bed, He addressed her: "Tal'itha cu'mi," which means get up. And the child immediately arose from her deep "slumber" and responded to Jesus' words of invitation -- the invitation towards life.

Many times in our lives we are bogged down by many worries and innumerable concerns. But Jesus, in today's Liturgy reminds us never to live in the shadows of these concerns but to transcend, to arise and live life to the fullest. So as we celebrate the Eucharist this day, the Lord's Day, let us remember to put to heart and deeds the very words of Jesus: "Tal'itha cu'mi." Jesus, I believe, did not only address this to the little girl but to every one of us, who in one way or the other, are weighed down by life's concerns and burdens. Let us remember, Jesus has given us life to the fullest by the blood of His cross.