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]

Wednesday, October 31, 2007


Every Sunday and Solemnities or Feasts, we profess the Apostle's Creed. And part of the creed states that "We believe in the Communion of Saints." This is what we celebrate this day, November 1st, the Solemnity of All Saints.

St. Paul states in his letter to the Romans that we may be suffering in this life. Indeed, this life is full of trials and tribulations. But St. Paul assures the Christians of Rome that in the life to come, we shall rise with the Risen Christ in glory. We believe that the Saints, who were like us once upon a time -- fully human, fully frail, are now enjoying the beatific vision in heaven.

We pray then that as we celebrate this Solemnity, the Lord will grant us the grace of hope and perseverance. That we may bear all the trials and tribulations we have around us in the hope that one day, all these will cease; one day, we shall be like Him in glory, fully united with God and fully united with the Saints. Amen.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Be Humble

The Gospel passage for this Sunday's Liturgy, I must admit, is one of my favorite accounts in the Gospels. Jesus speaks of two men who went to the temple. The first was a self-righteous, feeling holy, presumptuous person -- the Pharisee. He gives God an 'accounting' of sorts: "I did this... I did that... I didn't do this... I didn't do that" to the point of developing a very unhealthy life position, which according to Eric Berne is the "I am OK, You're Not OK" life stance. In a manner, this guy approaches the Throne of God in the spirit of pride and self-righteousness. But the other guy is the 'low self-esteem,' contrite, humbled man -- the Publican. But the twist in Jesus' account is that the second guy went home favored by God!

Dear friends we are once again reminded that the disposition we need to have when we face the Altar of the Lord is that of humility and powerlessness. But most of the time we approach God's Table in the light of self-righteousness -- I am good because... I did this... I didn't do that... But Jesus reminds us that in the end, one thing is necessary -- to acknowledge one's nothingness in the midst of God's greatness.

Let us ask the Lord then for this grace of humility and contriteness; that we truly acknowledge our nothingness before the Great God, for all that we have and have done, are from Him. Amen.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Gratitude is the Memory of the Heart

I remember many years ago, a Good Shepherd Sister (RGS) gave me a stampita bearing one of the famous lines from their Mother Foundress, St. Mary Euphrasia. It goes "Gratitude is the memory of the heart."

I recall this phrase from St. Mary Euphrasia the moment I read the Gospel for this Sunday's Liturgy. The Gospel speaks about gratitude: ten lepers were made whole but only one came back to give thanks.

Many instances in our lives we were like the nine other lepers. Many times we approached the altar of God presenting our many needs and desires. But the moment the Lord answered our prayers, most often than not we forgot to give thanks. Dear friends I believe this Gospel passage presents to us a reality that we too often overlook. We have many answered prayers but... how many times have we expressed our thanks to God, the source of all our blessings?

Maybe this Sunday is a propitious occasion for us to reflect on our countless blessings and, seize the opportunity to give thanks.