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, September 30, 2006

The Little Flower

October 1st has been a day in the Universal Church when St. Therese of the Child Jesus (1873 - 1897), also known as the "Little Flower," is celebrated. This Frenchwoman turned Carmelite nun turned saint has never been extraordinary in the ways of the world. If there is any saint canonized by the Church for "nothingness," it is Therese.
St. Therese was canonized on 17th May 1925 by Pope Pius XI. During the ceremony, the pontiff explained that St. Therese was not canonized because of any apparent great deed. Rather, Sister Therese was canonized because "she did ordinary things extraordinarily well." Meaning, in whatever simple and petty task that she embarks on -- whether washing the dishes, scrubbing the floor, etc... -- she puts her whole heart into it and offers it as a sacrifice of praise.
I believe we need the example of St. Therese in our world so filled with complacency and "Bahala na" attitude. Let us beg the Lord then that we may follow the example of St. Therese, to place our whole heart in whatever endeavor we may undertake, all for the greater glory of God. Amen.

May St. Therese continue to pray for our priests and for more vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Blessed are the Child-like!

We hear in today's Gospel the words of Jesus affirming the childlike. In the other Gospels, we hear Jesus saying that blessed are the childlike for they will enter the Kingdom of heaven. Unless we become like little children, we shall not enter the Kingdom of God.
To be childlike to put all our trust and confidence in God. The kid never doubts the love of his or her parents. The kid os always assured of the affection and concern of his or her parents. Jesus is encouraging his listeners to be likewise. To put one's total faith and confidence in the God who loves and who continues to love. To be assured of the presence of the God who is always with us. In short, to put ourselves under the arms of our loving God.
Perhaps it may be helpful to ask ourselves how childlike we are. Do we trust in the unfading love of God in our lives? Or do we always allow oursleves to be tossed and turned by the concerns and worries of daily life that we lose sight of the essential reality at work in our lives? Let us beg for the grace then to be truly childlike; that we may approach God in the light of confidence and assurance. Amen.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Who do you say that "I" Am?!

We hear Jesus in the Gospel passage for this Sunday asking his disciples who the people think he was. They just had a busy day of preaching, exorcising demons, and healing the sick. Jesus would just want to know if the people knew who their "preacher," "healer," and "exorcist" was. To our amazement, the disciples' responded that the people did not know him. And asking them, "Who do you say that I am?!" Jesus was checking if indeed his disciples know him after having spent time with him. And among the disciples, it was Peter who blurted out first "You are the messiah, the Son of the Living God!"
Many times in our lives we come to a point of not really knowing our friends as to who they really are. We can only know our friends deeply if we spend much time with them, sharing with them our pains and gains, our sorrows, anguish, as well as our successes and fulfillments in life. Likewise, we have been Christians our whole lifetimes (for some of us). But do we really know this Jesus Christ, after whom we are called Christians?
Perhaps today the Lord is inviting us to get to know him more. So let us beg for the grace of intimate knowledge: Lord Jesus, grant me the grace that I may truly know you more intimately, so that I can love you more dearly and follow you more closely. Amen.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Remembering 9/11

We remember the horrible event that marked our history five years ago. terrorists blew the WTC twin towers up, and hundreds of lives were lost. We pray therefore that nothing like this will ever happen to humanity, and we pray for the repose of the souls of those who perished:

Father all-powerful and ever-living God,
we do well always and everywhere to give you thanks through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In Him who rose from the dead, our hope of resurrection dawned.
The sadness of death gives way
to the bright promise of immortality.
Lord, for your people, life is changed, not ended.
When the body of our earthly dwelling lies in death
we gain an everlasting dwelling place in heaven...
(from the Mass preface of Christian death)