Senior

They are our modern hero.

Though they are in the twilight years of their life, they serve God even more.

I admire their tenacity and zeal to love others selflessly.

They are our hopemakers in our troubled world today by doubts, worries, divisions and anxieties.

I met the hardworking servant leaders of the Diocese of Imus and they inspire me to love God more.

I hope the young people can learn a thing or two from them. They are worth emulating for their humility.

Catechists

A dear friend Sis. Lalie Jimenez inspired me to know more about this mission work. The Diocese of Imus catechists in action. To catechise means to teach: more specifically, to teach by word of mouth. Prior to Parish level were nuns. However, increasingly the role of the Parish Catechist has been undertaken by Catholic Laity. Catechists are often deployed to teach Candidates who are preparing for the Sacraments of Reconciliation, First Holy Communion, Confirmation and the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults. Catechists have always been of particular importance in large geographical parishes, such as in Africa, where Priests have historically only been able to visit different parts of their Parish periodically. In the Priest’s absence the Parish Catechist takes on the role of being the main teacher of the faith in that Parish. As such they are afforded a particular place of honor within the parish community where they work.

Cardinal Richard J. Cushing in his “Catholic Family Prayer Book” shared seven characteristics needed in order to be a good catechist, gleaned from catechists themselves:

Be hospitable
Hospitality is critically important today. Many children, youths and adults feel unappreciated. Often, they do not verbalize such feelings of low self-esteem. Society’s functional priorities often overshadow the personal love that people need. A catechist’s words and attitude need to indicate that all the catechized are important and welcome in the Church. This goes a long way to open people to God’s word and sacraments.

What can you do to make your class feel welcome and comfortable?

Center teaching on faith
A catechist’s faith is the basis for his or her love of God and one another. It invites them to share God’s word with children, adolescents and adults. Catechists give witness to their faith in action through solid preparation and concern for the catechized. Faith often requires us to sacrifice our time to get certified as a catechist, to visit a homebound person or to volunteer in a senior citizens home. Such a lifestyle of offering oneself to those in need demands a regular prayer life.

Catechesis can never become a routine task. It requires an ongoing infusion of energy derived from communication with people of faith, prayer, the sacraments, Scripture reflections and good reading.

In what ways are you growing in your faith?

Care for the catechized
We are called to catechize in the spirit of Jesus. He showed special concern to the man born blind and the woman caught in adultery. Like Christ, catechists also minister to those people that society overlooks. These include children, adults with special needs and the elderly.

People with special needs offer rich graces to a catechist and catechetical community. The elderly are often very close to God. Many have served the Church over the years. They, too, need continuing catechetical ministry at the time their eternal reward approaches. In developing catechesis for people with various needs, catechists should not neglect children and youth. In today’s society, they need special attention. Catechists must give high priority to young people, focusing on where they are right now, not on whom or what they may become later on.

In what ways are you showing your class that you care for each of them?

Catechize with joy and a smile
Recognizing our importance begins by knowing that we are children and friends of God. It also demands that we know our limitations as human beings. This realization encourages us to have a sense of humor and to laugh often.

Smiling and laughing are good symbols for catechesis. Catechists help people smile when they share Jesus’ joyful message. Smiles and laughter touch us deeply and invite us to respond positively, even in difficult situations. Our smile may be the only one that a person experiences all day. Even when tired, we can smile. A smile, not a tired body, is the window to the soul. Catechists offer a fine gift when they smile.

What happens to your overall mood and outlook when you smile?

Live as a prophet of hope
A hope-filled person radiates hope to others. The prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah gave the Jewish people hope for a better tomorrow during troubled times. Their words repeatedly called people to repent and focus again on God’s covenant of love. Jesus culminated their ministry through his death and resurrection.

In hard times of pain, anger, uncertainty and confusion, we need more prophets of hope as catechists and catechetical leaders. Such ministers offer hope to searching or troubled children, youth and adults. Seeing their role as being prophets of hope offers catechists a positive perspective from which to enthusiastically embrace their ministry.

How might you reflect Christian hope to those you teach?

Practice catechesis in this time and place
Some people are always looking for the ideal situation. Many never find it. Why we are born into a particular family and cultural circumstance and why we are called to minister in today’s world and Church is God’s choice, not ours.

Some catechists find themselves in less-than-desirable situations. We may feel unsupported by parish leaders, have inadequate preparation or resources, live in difficult family or work situations and experience pressure from students and parents. God calls us to minister when and where we are, not in some idealized time and place. If circumstances are beyond our control, we may have to make the most of them, remembering that God may be asking us to take up our cross. At the same time, we must take care of ourselves. In finding this balance, we give glory to God as we minister to our family and those we catechize.

Have you ever made a less-than-desirable situation better by praying and presenting a positive presence?

Be well-prepared
All catechists need adequate preparation, knowledge of the basics of the faith, the skills to communicate Church teaching and good resource materials. As a general norm, catechists need to be certified. Diocesan formation requirements for catechists, an understanding of the Catholic approach to the Bible, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, good religion textbooks and other supplementary works enhance the catechist’s ability to catechize.

Professionally trained catechetical leaders recognize the central role that well-prepared catechists play in sharing Jesus’ Good News. All catechists need formal preparation through attendance at adult faith formation or other religious education classes, institutes and workshops. They are also called to pray, read, focus on Scripture and prepare adequately before teaching so that they know the lesson of the day and are able to communicate it effectively. Of course, a faithful well-prepared catechist is better than any textbook!

What effect does it have on a class of students if a catechist is well-prepared?

Prayer for teachers
Heavenly Father, who promised that all those who instruct others in the way of holiness will shine as stars for all eternity, fill our hearts and minds with true knowledge and the art of teaching. Give us patience and understanding, justice and prudence, humility and fear of the Lord. Grant us wisdom and charity so that, with a pure and holy love of God, we ourselves may enjoy all these gifts and impart them to our students.

Teach our children to be obedient to your laws and open to your inspiration. Let them be instruments of your peace in their homes, in our land and in the family of nations as becomes children of the sons of God in the mystical body of Christ.

May the blessings of your sevenfold gifts be in all who teach and in all who learn through the Holy Spirit, who is love of the Father and the Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ — the Divine Teacher.

Joy

On the eve of our 5th church wedding anniversary, Sis. Jude and I would like to thank you for your love and prayers in our journey.

Amidst difficulties, hiccups and challenges; there were so many blessings.

Bishop Camilo Balin once said that adversities and trials means becoming more closer to God.

Take courage!

Indeed, courage it is!

My wife is in Riyadh now, I would like to ask for your prayers for the security and protection of everyone in KSA.

Grief

A selfie on the location of my new mission area in the coming days. The beautiful Our Lady of Remedies Church in Malate. In today’s Gospel, Jesus too was preparing His disciples for an awesome phenomenon they were about to witness – the Ascension. He knew that when He ascended to heaven, life as they knew it with Him in their presence would all of a sudden go dark with no apparent explanation. He reassured them: “You will grieve, but your grief will become joy” (Jn 16:20). The Son was hidden for a time, but the darkness gave way to light.

I had a chance to visit today Our Lady of Remedies in Malate, Manila for a thanksgiving mass and also to meet Bro. Edward Centeno for our weekly Light Group (LG) meeting.

Adorned in pristine white orchids, the church was a sight to behold- there was a wedding before the 6pm mass. The priest reminded the couple to have a heart of gratitude. Marriage life is a marathon and never a sprint. Enjoy the journey!

Fr. Michael Martin shared this meaningful verse:

“Amen, amen, I say to you, you will weep and mourn, while the world rejoices; you will grieve, but your grief will become joy.” John 16:20

Grief, mourning and even weeping is a part of life. Children will often weep at the slightest difficulty, but all of us face grief and sorrow throughout life.

In this passage above, Jesus informs His Apostles that sorrow and grief will be a part of their lives. This is a very sober but realistic statement on the part of our Lord. It’s an act of love, on His part, to be up front with His Apostles about the coming hardships they will face.

The good news is that Jesus follows this statement with the hopeful news that their “grief will become joy.” This is the most important part of what Jesus says.

The same is true in our lives. Jesus does not promise us that our lives will be free from hardship and pain. He does not tell us that following Him means that all will be easy in life. Instead, He wants us to know that we will follow in His footsteps if we choose to follow Him.

He suffered, was mistreated and ultimately killed. And this would be tragic if He did not ultimately rise from the dead, ascend into Heaven and transform all prior grief and pain into the very means of the salvation of the world.

If we follow in His footsteps, we need to see every bit of grief in our lives as potentially a means of grace for many.

If we can face the hardships of life with faith and hope, nothing will ultimately keep us down and everything will be able to be used for God’s glory and will result in great joy.

This verse spoke to me a lot. Do not despair when suffering is placed before you. Surrender all things to our Lord and let Him transform it into the joy that He promises in the end.

Lord, I surrender to You all suffering in my life. My grief, hardships, sorrow and confusion I place in Your hands. I trust that You are all-powerful and desire to transform all things into a means of Your glory. Give me hope in times of despair and trust when life is hard. Jesus, I trust in You.

Grace

I was browsing Facebook when I saw this beautiful reminder about life and God’s grace.

It made me pause for a few moments and reflect on where my healing journey is heading to.

There are so many things that I am thankful for.

Please feel free to share it as well.

Graces

We can all extend grace to others; but when the word grace is used in connection with God, it takes on a more powerful meaning. Photo credits to the owners.

Happy reading!

✍✍ *FOOD FOR THOUGHT* 📝📝

“`1. 👉No matter how beautiful and handsome you are just remember Baboons and Gorillas also attract tourists .
✌Stop Boasting✌

2.👉No matter how big and strong you are, you will not carry yourself to your Grave .
✌Be Humble✌

3.👉No matter how tall you are, you can never see tomorrow.
✌Be Patient✌

4.👉No matter how Light Skinned you are, you will always need light in Darkness ✌Take Caution ✌

5.👉No matter how Rich and many Cars you have, you will always Walk to Bed
✌Be Contented✌

Take Life Easy, Life is short.

WHAT A LIFE WE LIVE!

Have you taken note of the CO-INCIDENCE OF LIFE:

1. CHURCH has 6 letters so does MOSQUE.

2. BIBLE has 5 letters so does QURAN.

3. LIFE has 4 letters so does DEAD.

4. HATE has 4 letters, so does LOVE.

5. ENEMIES has 7 letters, so does FRIENDS.

6. LYING has 5 letters, so does TRUTH.

7. HURT has 4 letters, so does HEAL.

8. NEGATIVE has 8 letters, so does POSITIVE.

9. FAILURE has 7 letters, so does SUCCESS.

10. BELOW has 5 letters, so does ABOVE.

11. CRY has 3 letters so does JOY.

12. ANGER has 5 letters, so does HAPPY.

13. RIGHT has 5 letters, so does WRONG.

14. RICH has 4 letters, so does POOR.

15. FAIL has 4 letters, so does PASS.

16. KNOWLEDGE has 9 letters, so does IGNORANCE.

Are they all by Coincidence? We should choose wisely, this means LIFE is like a double-edged sword.

If you think it is your alarm clock that woke you up this morning, try putting it beside a dead body and you will realise that it is the grace of God that woke you up.

If you are grateful to God, forward this to all your friends to inform them that it is JUST BY THE GRACE OF GOD that we are alive.

Midnight Sun

What if you have a rare genetic condition, a life-threatening sensitivity to sunlight since childhood?

Does life ends?

Are you going to surrender?

My wife adores the movie, “A Walk to Remember” and she will surely loves this as well.

Pabebe teen mode on.

“Midnight Sun” is a romantic tearjerker about 17-year-old Katie Price (Bella Thorne). One night, her dreams come true when she’s noticed and asked out by her longtime crush Charlie (Patrick Schwarzenegger), whom she’s secretly watched from her bedroom window for years.

Midnight Sun

A 17-year-old girl suffers from a condition that prevents her from being out in the sunlight.

Ready your Kleenex and your feels, as we give you all the reasons why ‘Midnight Sun’ will be your next favorite romantic film:

1. The 2018 film is based on a timeless love story of a 2006 Japanese film ‘Song to the Sun’ (Taiyo no Uta).
In the Japanese film, the lead character is also a teenage girl who loves to sing but has a rare skin condition that makes exposure to sunlight life-threatening. The teen romantic film was such a moving experience that it has also been adapted into a Japanese television drama in 2006, and also became a manga (Japanese comics).

2. It depicts a real and difficult journey of a rare disease and its heartbreaking consequences, but it’s also a story of love and compassion.
In Midnight Sun, Katie suffers from a rare genetic condition called xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), an illness with no known cure. Exposure to sunlight is potentially fatal, so she lives her life indoors during the day, only getting to live the world outside when it is safe after sundown. Life in isolation especially as a teen is nothing you would wish on anyone, and the film depicts its harsh realities. Actress Bella Thorne has expressed that one of the reasons she wanted to take the role of Katie is to make more people aware of this rare disease and hopefully it leads to more research for a cure.

3. It’s a story about one’s first love and heartbreak.
Do you remember the first time you fell in love? There’s nothing quite like it, and the story of young love will always be relatable no matter how old you are. Katie has had a crush on Charlie since she was a little girl, pining away from her tinted windows since she is not allowed to go outside. But one night, she decides to play her guitar and sing at a train station, and as fate would have it, Charlie is there and they finally meet. This isn’t all rainbows and butterflies — the film strips away cute when needed and gives you the pains of high school heartbreak, when a sudden summer romance is now also about coping with illness.

4. You’ll root for this new love team — they are just adorable.
In Midnight Sun, the teen pair is portrayed by 20 year old Bella Thorne and 24 year old Patrick Schwarzenegger. As Katie and Charlie, the two meet one evening and begin their adventures and romance during the moonlight, and then facing the inevitable question — can Katie can life a normal life? While Thorne is no stranger to the limelight, having many film and television series under her belt, this film is Schwarzenegger’s (yup, Arnold’s son) very first leading role in the big screen. And basing on countless tweets about how these two have melted hearts and left audiences all cried out — the pair definitely make the perfect on-screen couple, and it won’t be a surprise if they’ll have more film together in the future.

5. You’ll fall in love with the original music.
What’s a great teen romance without an equally kilig soundtrack to set all the feels right? ‘Midnight Sun’ also revolves around Katie’s love for music — her guitar and singing — and for the film, Bella Thorne lends her voice for five songs. The soundtrack is now available to stream online. ‘Burn So Bright’ is a bright upbeat song that shows off the actress’ pop-like pipes, while ‘Reaching’ is a slow, melancholy track with nothing but a guitar and Thorne’s sweet voice. Hold on to your hearts and listen to the soundtrack below.

Source: ClickTheCity.com

Pen

Who writes your life story?

Today, Good Shepherd Sunday the message of Bro. Audee Villaraza, The Feast Bay Area AM Session Builder was on Joseph in the bible.

He said, “Don’t be so focused on what God has taken from you that you can’t see or believe that God will do something through you and He will turn it into good.”

Those words hit me hard.

When confronted with suffering that won’t go away or with even a minor problem; when every day feels like an insurmountable struggle, and the details of the present are all-consuming, it’s impossible to imagine anything else is happening.

Pen

God sees how it’s all going to work out in the end. He has a plan and we are all a part of it. And when God writes The End, the story will be a masterpiece that will leave us in awe and bring Him glory.

Few years ago, I was in an excruciating part of my story. It felt like an unending nightmare. In fact, it was probably the hardest year of my life.

How could anything good ever come out of unimaginable pain?

I prayed, trusted and waited for the Lord to change my situation, yet nothing had changed.

It wasn’t the plan I wanted for my life. Or for my wife and for my family. I felt helpless and hopeless. I couldn’t see God working in any of it.

Somewhere, in the middle of all the pain, God became real to me again.

Those desperate years when the Lord was silent, he was not absent. He had been there all along.

He gave me strength and courage to face life one day at a time.

I am still a work in progress. I don’t know how things are going to turn out.

But we can trust that God is in the story. And he is orchestrating the tiniest detail. We may not understand why, but we can be certain that God has a glorious purpose to the pain we are enduring.

I’m still in the middle of my story. While none of us know the joys and trials we have yet to encounter, we do know that Jesus will be with us through them.

Who is writing your life story today?

In my life right now, I am embarking on a new chapter of my life. I am venturing this year to a new challenge soon. It’s scary. It frightens me and I often worry what the future holds.

What joys will I experience and what sorrows will I endure?

But when I do this, when I worry and fret what the next chapter holds, I get in the way of the One who is supposed to be writing my story for me.

So often we try to control the pen. We try to direct our own lives.

We need to give God control of our lives – to let Him write out our life stories.

He knows what lies ahead of us.

Through the whole story, the Author (our God) is with us. He isn’t just watching our story unfold; he is guiding it, moving it along. He is intimately a part of it.

Hulk

Are you like the Incredible Hulk?

I saw this Marvel Comics life-size statue of our favorite green superhero, the Incredible Hulk at SM MOA Arena during the Holy Week Retreat 2018 “Deeper”.

Anger was expressively shown in his face with a glaring or hooded look straight to your eyes.

Eyebrows lowered and formed a ‘V’ over the nose. Wrinkles seen on the nose due to flared nostrils. Lips appeared thinner than their normal size. Exposed teeth allows Hulk to threaten his source of anger and often precedes shouting or screaming, an extreme sign of anger.

Hulk Anger

Research scientist Bruce Banner has a problem. He has a forgotten and painful past, which comes to light during an experiment gone awry. During an accidental explosion, Bruce’s heroic impulse saves a life, but exposes his body to a deadly dose of gamma radiation. Remarkable, he survives, but he begins to feel something different within him. It’s a massive creature known as the Hulk, which begins to make sporadic appearances when Banner gets angry. The unleashed Hulk cut a path of destruction that terrified the public and engaged the military against him. But, how can the Hulk be stopped? As Bruce Banner says, “I don’t know who I am. I don’t know what I’m becoming. But I know one thing for sure – you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.”

Anger is a difficult emotion to control. When you are livid with rage, you lose your ability to reason and turn into a monster. You shout, you rage, you smash things and cause destruction.

This statue of Incredible Hulk, the poster boy for anger and destruction, taught me a lot about losing my temper.

The Incredible Hulk debuted in 1962. His alter-ego, Dr. Bruce Banner, was a nuclear physicist working on an atomic bomb, when he accidentally received a huge blast of gamma rays. The rays split Banner into two personalities: one, the mild-mannered scientist he had always been and The Hulk — a walking natural disaster — upon an unprepared world.

Although Banner’s brains are to be prized, the real message is: no matter how smart you think you are, control your emotions or face social rejection.

The Hulk was the embodiment of all of Banner’s repressed emotions. But it was mainly anger that drove the Hulk. The angrier the Hulk became, the stronger he got. Due to the Hulk’s superhuman strength and lack of self-control, he caused untold damage and destruction wherever he went. Naturally, most people feared and viewed the Hulk as a monster.

What then are the dangers of letting anger control you?

Anger Causes You to Say Hurtful Words
The Hulk had very little self-control over the things he said or did. In the midst of anger, it is hard to control the things you say. But when you are angry, you may not even want to do so. Instead, you want to give vent to your anger and frustrations to feel better. Under such conditions, you could say many hurtful things that you would not have said otherwise. Words spoken in anger could cause irreversible harm to a relationship. By then it is too late for regrets. You cannot take back what you say.

Anger Causes Destructive Behavior
You cannot speak of the Hulk without thinking of the destruction he left in his wake. The damage he caused cost billions of dollars. Words alone may not be enough. When you are livid with anger, you could engage in hurtful and destructive behaviour as well. You could do spiteful things just to even the score. While you may not necessarily destroy things like the Hulk, you could hurt people unwittingly on a mental or emotional level.

Anger Makes You a Burden to Others
It comes as no surprise that the Hulk was a danger and a burden to others. Losing your temper is disruptive to the environment around you. It creates a scene that brings everything around you to a halt. When you lose control of your temper, you force people to drop what they are doing to deal with you. Depending on the situation, they may have to accommodate you or put you in your place. This can make you a burden to others and cause them to feel tensed if you lose your temper on a constant basis.

Anger Causes You to Alienate People
One of the challenges that the Hulk faced was his alienation of friends and allies. When you get mad at others, you are bound to do and say things that will have negative consequences. You cannot expect to lose your temper without paying a price for it. After all, you might alienate others in your rage. This could lead to tension in your relationships in the short run. If the damage is deep enough, you could end up turning a friend into an enemy. Repeatedly losing your temper will cause people to dislike you. Although they may not openly admit it, they may be unwilling to lift a finger to help you if you need it.

Anger Turns You Into an Unthinking Monster
When people think of the Hulk, they remember the dumb, angry monster who caused widespread damage and destruction. He was a danger to friend and foe alike because he could not control his temper. This is what anger does when it consumes you. Your rage, which may prove too much for you to handle, clouds your reason and judgment. In the throes of your anger, you could across as an unthinking brute to those around you.

Take Action
As long as you live in this world, you are bound to get angry at one point or another. Anything can set you off. Even so, it is important not to let your anger get the better of you. Cutting loose and lashing out when you are angry may help you to relieve your rage and make you feel good. But there is a price to pay. The things you say and do in your anger may have grave consequences for you. You should try to avoid losing your temper and turning into a monster.

Puso

How do you pray?

Bro. Alvin Barcelona, The Feast Bay Area District Builder shared during the ‘Deeper’ Holy Week Retreat 2018 the importance of praying from the heart.

To have a relationship with God, we have to keep in constant communication with Him through prayer.

Remember, when you pray, let your prayers spring from the heart. There is no need to scour for words. Words flow naturally when you pray from the heart.

Puso Pray from the Heart

The best way to begin anything is with honesty, so you might want to say something such as, “OK. Here I am, God. I don’t know what to say. I don’t know what to do. I’m scared. Teach me. Guide me and protect me, and lead me to You.” Remembering that Christ told us to pray constantly (Luke 18:1), so that the lovely garden of the Spirit He planted in you at baptism receives careful cultivation and does not go to weeds, do not be afraid to repeat your improvised prayers constantly. Moreover, maintain a constant awareness of God’s presence by talking to God about everything you do, telling Him of your difficulties and frustrations, asking for His guidance, and doing everything for love of Him.

When feelings of loving devotion arise from the heart, it will nourish your soul.

Fr. David J. Dohogne shared that as Catholics, we are well aware of the importance and necessity of daily prayer in order to maintain a strong and healthy relationship with the Lord.

The Church reminds us that there are different types of prayer which we offer to God.

These are namely prayer of praise (thanking and glorifying God), prayer of petition (seeking something from God), prayer of contrition (seeking forgiveness from God), and prayer of intercession (seeking God’s blessings on behalf of another person).

A healthy “balanced” prayer life would include each of these types of prayer.

Be excited about your daily times of prayer! Following the example of Jesus and through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, may the words of our prayers be real, sincere, and truly come from the heart and not just from our lips!

Bro. Alvin shared during the retreat that all thoughts and feelings are valid material for prayer.

Simply put: When you go to pray, lift up what’s inside of you at that moment. If you are bored, lift up that boredom; if you are angry, lift up your anger; if you are tired, lift up that tiredness; if you feel selfish, don’t be afraid to let God see that.

Jesus said that we must become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven. One of the qualities in children to which this refers is precisely their honesty in showing their feelings.

Children don’t hide their sulks, pouts, and tantrums. A good mother handles these rather easily, often with a smile. God is up to the task.

If we do that, it makes it easier for us to “pray always”, as scripture asks. What does this mean?

Obviously it doesn’t mean that we should always be at formal prayer, that we should strive to be full-time contemplatives, or even that we should seize every possible occasion we can to pray formally.

To “pray always” invites us rather to live our lives against a certain horizon. It doesn’t necessarily mean to stop work and go to formal prayer, important though that is at times.

The point is rather that we need to do everything within the context of a certain awareness, like a married man who goes on a business trip and who, in the midst of a demanding schedule of meetings and social engagements, is somehow always anchored in a certain consciousness that he has a spouse and children at home.

Despite distance and various preoccupations, he knows that he is “married always”. That awareness, more than the occasional explicit phone call home, is what keeps him anchored in his most important relationship.

Our relationship with God is the same. We need to “pray always” by doing everything out of that kind of awareness.

Let us offer everthing to Him and pray from the heart.