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, November 25, 2006

Viva Kristo Rey!

The Holy Gospel according to St. John (Jn 18:33-37)

Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus, and said to him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus answered, "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?" Pilate answered, "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me; what have you done?" Jesus answered, "My kingship is not of this world; if my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews; but my kingship is not from the world." Pilate said to him, "So you are a king?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice."

We celebrate today the Solemnity of Christ the King of the Universe. And in today's liturgy, we hear Jesus telling Pilate that He indeed is a king, yet His Kingdom is not in and of this world. Jesus' Kingdom is in the hearts of men -- feeble, weak, yet loved by the God who is eternal. Perhaps it might be helpful if we ask ourselves whether the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus is already in our hearts. This is the challenge of the celebration of Kristo Rey.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What remains Constant?!

My Philosophy teacher asked me if there is anything constant in this world. And he stressed out that only change remains constant. And turning his glance at us Jesuits he further asked "What remains constant?" Putting it in my contex, "Is the JR Orbeta who professed perpetual vows last 31 May 2005 the same JR Orbeta now?" The question remained in my mind.
Definitely not! I have gained a few pounds more now since then, my white (or gray) hairs increased, etc... so I am not the same JR Orbeta who professed perpetual vows last 2005. And the question persists, what then remains constant?!
I have the opportunity of thinking this over for a few days during our annual triduum for the devotional renovation of vows. And I believe I have received the grace and the answer. What remains constant?! Simple. It is Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ remains constant, and so does His love and compassion. Yes, I may change, but Jesus will definitely not change. Why?! The Prophet Jeremiah had the answer: because... "I have loved you with an everlasting love." (Jer 31:3).
This scripture text will forever ignite the passion to love my God in and thorugh His Church all the days of my life. For I am assured that even if I do change, my God will never change! And that's my greatest consolation and my inspiration to remain faithful to my vows.

Friday, November 10, 2006

The Widow's Mite

The Gospel According to St. Mark (Ch. 12: 41-44)

Jesus he sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living."

The Gospel invites us to reflect on how detached we are to our possesions. Jesus used the widow as the perfect example of detachment -- all that she had were her two copper coins. But even then, she wholeheartedly offered them all to God. A very moving picture for us to end the liturgical year. In a couple of weeks we will begin the new liturgical year and we are being invited to reflect how willing are we to offer EVERYTHING to God. A thought worth reflecting about...

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Dedication of St. John Lateran

We celebrate today the dedication of the Basilica of St. John Lateran. It is one of the major basilicas in Rome. It is also considered the "Mother Church" of the whole Christendom since as the Bishop of Rome, the Lateran is the pope's Cathedral.

The Facade of the Basilica

I feel that the celebration is very important for us Catholics. Even if we are miles away from Rome and from the actual Basilica, our very celebration speaks so well of our union with the Pope, our union with the Church. This feast invites us then to be truly faithful to Christ and to His Church. Hence, the new name of this blog.

May our celebration then of this wonderful feast remind us of our identity as Catholics, and of the challenge posed on us to be Christ's witnesses in the world, to be truly His "CHURCH!"

The "Cathedra" inside the Basilica

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


November 2 has been the traditional day for Catholics to honor and pray for our beloved departed. Our faith tells us that death is not the end of life, but a beginning, a transition to the "next life" which is fuller and more glorious. After having rejoiced yesterday for the gift of all the Saints, on whom we have a special link as baptized Christians, we pray today for our departed brethren who are in the purifying suffering in purgatory awaiting the day when they will join the company of the saints in heaven. May this celebration remind us then of the transitoriness of human life, and that we have to make use of all of God's gifts while here on earth, for we may never pass this way again.
So as we visit our departed brothers and sisters in the cemetery, let us pray for them that God may have mercy on them for all their shortcomings, and that He may reward them for the goodness they have shown here on earth. And with the Universal Church we pray:

Merciful Father,
hear our prayers and console us.
As we renew our faith in your Son,
whom you raised form the dead,
strengthen our hope that all our departed brothers and sisters
will share in His resurrection,
He who lives and reigns with you and with the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever. Amen.