Category Archives: Faith & Life

DEVOTION THAT DRAWS MILLIONS, EVEN THUGS – The Traslación of the Black Nazarene

FEATURED IMAGE: Sunstar

– Fr Leonard E Dollentas

Every ninth of January Filipinos fervently pay homage to the Black Nazarene. The entire grounds of the Quirino Grandstand and the streets leading towards Quiapo Church became a sea of millions of people, who climb and jostle one another to get close to the image of the Black Nazarene. They brave the heat and the mammoth throng just to touch the image of the Black Nazarene during the Traslacion. The local authorities reported that some 4 million devotees participated in the 10-day event which started on December 31, 2018, until January 9, 2019.  According to newspaper reports, the attendance has increasingly been growing over the years. This could have been the reason why recently, the route of the procession had been carefully planned and stretched to accommodate the growing crowds.

CHURCH FATHERS (39) – Diodorus of Tarsus

Diodorus of Tarsus, born in Antioch (?-around 394), is considered a minor writer in Christian history. He had a Greek education and was very well versed in literature. He was consecrated Bishop of Tarsus and was a patron of several monasteries. Like many others we have seen before, he was also involved in the battles against several heresies. He was author of several works in a category that today we would define as Apologetics.

BITE-SIZE THEOLOGY (15) – What does “Supernatural Revelation” mean?

– Rev José Mario O Mandía

NATURAL REVELATION

We have seen how we can know God using our reason. God shows  or reveals himself to us through the things he has created, much like a painter communicates his thoughts and feelings through his works of art. Thus the term “natural revelation.” Nonetheless, we cannot know much more because of the limitations of our knowledge. It is possible to know that a painter exists when we see his painting. Through his work, it is also possible to know the painter’s interests or inclinations through his work, but there are still many things that we can know about him as a person if we speak to him directly. This is what “supernatural revelation” means.

HE NEEDED TO PRAY – 14th January 2019, Baptism Of Our Lord Jesus

Luke 3:15-16,21-22

– Fernando Armellini SCJ
Claretian Publications

The Gospel opens with a significant finding, “the people were in expectation.” It is easy to imagine what they are waiting for: the slaves expected freedom, the poor a new condition of life, the exploited laborer hoped for justice, the sick, healing, the humiliated and raped woman, recovery of dignity.

ST THEODOSIUS THE CENOBIARCH – Pioneering the Cenobitic* life

St Theodosius was born at Garissus, incorrectly called Mogarissus, in Cappadocia in 423. He was moved by Abraham’s example in quitting his country and friends, he undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. There he visited the famed St Simeon Stylites who foretold many circumstances of his future life, and gave him his advice and instruction regarding them. Having satisfied his devotion in visiting the holy places in Jerusalem, he began to consider in what manner he should dedicate himself to God. The dangers of living without a guide made him prefer a monastery to a hermitage; and he therefore put himself under the direction of a holy man named Longinus, who soon conceived a warm affection for his disciple.  Thereafter he retired to a cave at the top of a neighboring mountain.

FROM WATER TO WINE – A contemplative journey   

– Teresa Lo

“The last is the best,” remarked my old friend and spiritual supporter at the end of a four-month group exploration on the path of contemplation. 

STRENGTH IN WEAKNESS – A thorn in the flesh

– Aurelio Porfiri

These days I often visit a beautiful church in the center of Rome that few people know. It is the church of San Paolo alla Regola, built on the site which tradition reveres as the one where the Apostle of the Gentiles lived in his two Roman years. In the church there is a small oratory right in the place where Paul’s room would have been.

ONCE UPON A TIME THERE WAS CHRISTIAN ENGLAND

– Aldo Maria Valli

Nearly 40 percent of millenials living in the UK are unable to tell who is the baby in Bethlehem that is born at Christmas. This is what Lifesitenews writes, citing a recent survey. The research, reported by the Christian Post and conducted by OnePoll, revealed that about 38 percent of British citizens between the ages of 21 and 28 do not know the identity of the child in the crib. A similar percentage, about 37 percent, cannot say who Mary and Joseph are and less than 10 percent can say what the gifts are made by the wise men. What’s more, it turns out that many think that Santa Claus has some role in the story of the child born in Bethlehem.

LESSONS FROM THE MAGI (I) – Wise men ask, wise men act

REV. JOSÉ MARIO O. MANDIA

“Wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is he who has been born king of the Jews?’” (Mt 2:1)

The Wise Men knew something important: they knew that they did not know everything. Socrates taught: “The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.” This is why the wise men asked for directions. They practiced the virtue of prudence.

THE FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD – Magi follow star to find Light

Miguel Augusto (*)

With the feast of the Epiphany, the Church celebrates the manifestation of Jesus to the world. “Epiphany,” of Greek origin, means “outward manifestation,” “appearance.” “For the Church which believes and prays, the Wise Men from the East who, guided by the star, made their way to the manger of Bethlehem, are only the beginning of a great procession which winds throughout history. Thus the liturgy reads the Gospel which relates the journey of the Wise Men, together with the magnificent prophetic visions of the sixtieth chapter of the Book of Isaiah and Psalm 71, which depict in bold imagery the pilgrimage of the peoples to Jerusalem. The men from the East embody the world of the peoples, the Church of the Gentiles – the men and women who in every age set out on the way which leads to the Child of Bethlehem, to offer him homage as the Son of God and to bow down before him. The Church calls this feast ‘Epiphany’ – the appearance of the Godhead” (Pope emeritus Benedict XVI).