Happy Father’s Day 2017

It’s been a whirlwind of a year in 2016. And now I’d like to extend this to all Dad’s out there who do what you do to keep your family safe, secure and fed both physically and in spirit. May the God of Love and Mercy bless and keep you all, now and always. God bless all the Fathers and Dads out there in the world, especially to my own Father Alfred, and brothers Frank and Tony.

 

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December 13, 2015 is Ladaute Sunday

Gadaute Sunday

Gadaute Sunday

December 8 is Immaculate Conception of Blessed Virgin Mary

Santa Marian Kamalen 2015

December 6 is the Second Sunday of Advent and Feast of Saint Nicholas

Nicholas-Icon-Meme

November 29, 2015 is First Sunday of Advent

Trinity Sunday

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The fundamental dogma, on which everything in Christianity is based, is that of the Blessed Trinity in whose name all Christians are baptized. The feast of the Blessed Trinity needs to be understood and celebrated as a prolongation of the mysteries of Christ and as the solemn expression of our faith in this triune life of the Divine Persons, to which we have been given access by Baptism and by the Redemption won for us by Christ. Only in heaven shall we properly understand what it means, in union with Christ, to share as sons in the very life of God.

The feast of the Blessed Trinity was introduced in the ninth century and was only inserted in the general calendar of the Church in the fourteenth century by Pope John XXII. But the cultus of the Trinity is, of course, to be found throughout the liturgy. Constantly the Church causes us to praise and adore the thrice-holy God who has so shown His mercy towards us and has given us to share in His life.

Today is the feast of the Visitation which is superseded by the Sunday Liturgy.

Click here for commentary on the readings in the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite.


Trinity Sunday
The dogma of faith which forms the object of the feast is this: There is one God and in this one God there are three Divine Persons; the Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God. Yet there are not three Gods, but one, eternal, incomprehensible God! The Father is not more God than the Son, neither is the Son more God than the Holy Spirit. The Father is the first Divine Person; the Son is the second Divine Person, begotten from the nature of the Father from eternity; the Holy Spirit is the third Divine Person, proceeding from the Father and the Son. No mortal can fully fathom this sublime truth. But I submit humbly and say: Lord, I believe, help my weak faith.

Why is this feast celebrated at this particular time? It may be interpreted as a finale to all the preceding feasts. All three Persons contributed to and shared in the work of redemption. The Father sent His Son to earth, for “God so loved the world as to give His only-begotten Son.” The Father called us to the faith. The Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, became man and died for us. He redeemed us and made us children of God. He ever remains the liturgist par excellence to whom we are united in all sacred functions. After Christ’s ascension the Holy Spirit, however, became our Teacher, our Leader, our Guide, our Consoler. On solemn occasions a thanksgiving Te Deum rises spontaneously from Christian hearts.

The feast of the Most Holy Trinity may well be regarded as the Church’s Te Deum of gratitude over all the blessings of the Christmas and Easter seasons; for this mystery is a synthesis of Christmas, Epiphany, Easter, Ascension and Pentecost. This feast, which falls on the first Sunday after Pentecost, should make us mindful that actually every Sunday is devoted to the honor of the Most Holy Trinity, that every Sunday is sanctified and consecrated to the triune God. Sunday after Sunday we should recall in a spirit of gratitude the gifts which the Blessed Trinity is bestowing upon us. The Father created and predestined us; on the first day of the week He began the work of creation. The Son redeemed us; Sunday is the “Day of the Lord,” the day of His resurrection. The Holy Spirit sanctified us, made us His temple; on Sunday the Holy Spirit descended upon the infant Church. Sunday, therefore, is the day of the Most Holy Trinity.

Excerpted from The Church’s Year of Grace, Pius Parsch

Symbols of the Trinity: Equilateral Triange; Circle of Eternity; Three interwoven Circles; Triangle in Circle; Circle within Triangle; Interwoven Circle and Triangle; Two Triangles interwoven in shape of Star of David; Two Triangles in shape of Star of David interwoven with Circle; Trefoil; Trefoil and Triangle; Trefoil with points; Triquetra; Triquetra and circle; Shield of the Holy Trinity; Three Fishes linked together in shape of a triangle; Cross and Triangle overlapping; Fleur de Lys; St. Patrick’s Shamrock.

From: http://www.catholicculture.org/culture/liturgicalyear/calendar/day.cfm?date=2015-05-31

May 10 is Mother’s Day!

Beautiful portrait of our Holy Mother.

Beautiful portrait of our Holy Mother and baby Jesus with the Angels soothing the baby with celestial music.

Most cultures around the world recognize central figures in their social order to give order to their world and credence to their customs and validate their existence. One such central figure is mom. Yes. That woman, who for most of us has either given birth to us, or has adopted us into their fold, that is woman who has been provided nurturing behaviors so that we can continue on our merry way so that we become independent beings with what little she may have made available to her; she is the one we celebrate.

But there is one issue, however, I’d like to point to. Mother’s around this planet have been, for best or worse, that guiding arm in their child’s rearing–daily. That’s 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. Reading this blog may offer a hint of  nudging you to go and appreciate her just by the sheer numbers of how long she has been your mother. But I offer you this: not just celebrate her this Sunday. I say every day is a Mother’s Day and every day she should be celebrated. Typically folks can relate the notion, despite that not all circumstances are ideal around the world, that we do have mothers amidst us that should not have been mothers to begin. But still, we offer them our prayers. Given this picture of mothers, we should still offer our moms out there some form of gratitude. Even if it’s a prayer or a thought. How about visiting her? That would make a great Mother’s Day. For those of us whose mothers may have passed away, those Mass Intentions work just as well, or perhaps even a visit to her grave to spend a few moments remembering her.

So this Mother’s Day, don’t just make a call if you are long distance, offer her a Holy Mass with intentions for her. If she is in your vicinity, respect her and visit the woman who loves you. Notice I said ‘loves,’ and not ‘loved’ in the past tense. She loves you. Go and make her day. Because in the end, it would make your day and all days from that, a stepping stone to love and celebrate mom not just for a day.

God bless you all this Mother’s Day and Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful mothers out there.

Happy Easter! He is risen, indeed! Alleluiah!

He is Risen

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day

Saint Patrick

Saint Patrick

 

St. Patrick of Ireland is one of the world’s most popular saints.

Apostle of Ireland, born at Kilpatrick, near Dumbarton, in Scotland, in the year 387; died at Saul, Downpatrick, Ireland, 17 March, 461.

Along with St. Nicholas and St. Valentine, the secular world shares our love of these saints. This is also a day when everyone’s Irish.

There are many legends and stories of St. Patrick, but this is his story.

Patrick was born around 385 in Scotland, probably Kilpatrick. His parents were Calpurnius and Conchessa, who were Romans living in Britian in charge of the colonies.

As a boy of fourteen or so, he was captured during a raiding party and taken to Ireland as a slave to herd and tend sheep. Ireland at this time was a land of Druids and pagans. He learned the language and practices of the people who held him.

During his captivity, he turned to God in prayer. He wrote

“The love of God and his fear grew in me more and more, as did the faith, and my soul was rosed, so that, in a single day, I have said as many as a hundred prayers and in the night, nearly the same.” “I prayed in the woods and on the mountain, even before dawn. I felt no hurt from the snow or ice or rain.”

Patrick’s captivity lasted until he was twenty, when he escaped after having a dream from God in which he was told to leave Ireland by going to the coast. There he found some sailors who took him back to Britian, where he reunited with his family.

He had another dream in which the people of Ireland were calling out to him “We beg you, holy youth, to come and walk among us once more.”

He began his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained by St. Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, whom he had studied under for years.

Later, Patrick was ordained a bishop, and was sent to take the Gospel to Ireland. He arrived in Ireland March 25, 433, at Slane. One legend says that he met a chieftain of one of the tribes, who tried to kill Patrick. Patrick converted Dichu (the chieftain) after he was unable to move his arm until he became friendly to Patrick.

Patrick began preaching the Gospel throughout Ireland, converting many. He and his disciples preached and converted thousands and began building churches all over the country. Kings, their families, and entire kingdoms converted to Christianity when hearing Patrick’s message.

Patrick by now had many disciples, among them Beningnus, Auxilius, Iserninus, and Fiaac, (all later canonized as well).

Patrick preached and converted all of Ireland for 40 years. He worked many miracles and wrote of his love for God in Confessions. After years of living in poverty, traveling and enduring much suffering he died March 17, 461.

He died at Saul, where he had built the first church.

Why a shamrock?

Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Trinity, and has been associated with him and the Irish since that time.

In His Footsteps:

Patrick was a humble, pious, gentle man, whose love and total devotion to and trust in God should be a shining example to each of us. He feared nothing, not even death, so complete was his trust in God, and of the importance of his mission.

Taken from: http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=89

Why a study of philosophy is good for you, good for me and good for us.

Years ago when I was studying Philosophy at the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology, the only realization at the time is that my course of action to be enrolled in this school was simply a “means to an end”; that these studies would help me satisfy any effort at finally completing a degree. As days at the DSPT turned into weeks, which turned into semesters, there was finally a point that the “means to an end” did not seem to farewell with my own experience with the study of Philosophy. I was beginning to understand something, even though it was a tiny glimmer. It was a sense as if it was being revealed. This sense of awakening in knowledge, which would grow and take hold of both my ability to reason, and my love for truth, which would slowly become part of my being. That much I believe was me, the rest I give to God’s blessings.

My school’s motto was a Latin phrase “deus providebit,” which translates, “God will provide.” Right off the back this phrase represented to me (and it was my own reflection at the time), a theological implication that God is involved only theologically. But as I grew in my studies, I realize that to relegate theology as the only means to discover God, however innocent, would be a serious privation of the person and the search of truth, and therefore the search for God. How can I come to know, if I don’t understand how these courses will help me see God?

To put in perspective, let’s look at this course of thought, which became very clear to me: “I walked in not knowing, and have graduated knowing that I do not know.” So how is this good?

To answer how it is good, I must anchor what I said to the things which are clearly for me, the argument which best serves the relationship between faith and reason and theology and philosophy. So what then is the purpose of Philosophy? Can it serve to be good or is it ‘a’ good? Perhaps if we visit that last statement, “and have graduated knowing that I do not know,” I will attempt to shed a glimmer of light of why I believe it is so.

The courses at the DSPT in Berkeley were designed to fulfill requirements, that when completed, leads the student to a degree in Philosophy. And having done that, the student (in this case the seminarians of the various religious orders enrolled at DSPT, would share immersion as that of the Dominican Friars, into theological and pastoral studies). This would prepare them in all aspects of their program right into the priesthood. In my case, it led lay students who were not seeking religious vocations, to the same ratio of the Dominican tradition. To some end, I suppose, I too would have been be prepared for the priesthood given this rote. But this is not finally the point of this thought. The point is why Philosophy? And with all the sorts of readings which were expected of its students to complete, the DSPT faculty has for certain supported its curriculum with current scholarship in all the areas of Philosophy one could imagine, i.e., Philosophy of Nature, Aristotelian Logic, Ancient Philosophy, Medieval and Contemporary Philosophy, Ethics, etc., so that education in Philosophy would satisfy the rigor expected of its Dominican Friars leading to theological studies.

Then something happened. At the end of each course there was a way I looked at the world around me, and I realized that I would think about things with interest. For example I became protective of words which would be used to describe something common, when it would otherwise be best used to describe the highest form which, in my training and understanding of the world, is God. Words like “good,” “perfect,” “awesome,” “highest,” and many similar terms, seem only fair to keep away from things which we experience daily. Like food. The use of words to describe finite and material objects such as food or cars appear vulgar. It was as if I took the red pill.

But Philosophy does not end with examining the world around us and of the things which we occupy our thoughts. It also contributes to the way we handle ourselves as well as others. It is exactly in this way which we can discern all that is possible in the discovering of our place in this world and with God. So the question then remains to be answered: Is Philosophy good? For all of us? It seems a legitimate view point is if Philosophy strives to uncover truth which is hidden or unrevealed, and it causes our belief to change how we view or handle one another, and that we hold the dignity of the person above our own needs and desires, then it is good. It must therefore be an objective moral good.

I happened upon the following article and am sharing it here in case folks have not seen it. It touches on the idea of Philosophy handling human tendencies such as that which is iracible and concupiscent.

 

Philosophy as antidote to anger and fear

By Thomas Van

At the Huffington Post, Michael Shammas has written an excellent blog piece calling for a renewal of philosophy education in high schools. American politics is increasingly characterized by fear, anger and bitterness; according to Shammas this is caused at root by “the iron certainty we grant our opinions.”

Why philosophy? Because the study of philosophy, the “love of wisdom,” creates and nurtures thoughtful minds, minds that can — as Aristotle suggests — entertain a thought without accepting it. With a philosophic worldview, a Republican who despises any tax increase or economic stimulus could at least consider the notion of tax hikes or Keynesian economics. A Democrat facing antithetical ideas could do likewise. Thought rather than anger could become the default response to opposing worldviews.

Indeed, philosophy can do a great deal to lessen the anger that is growing like a cancerous tumor in modern America.

In addition, Shammas argues, philosophy helps us to learn virtue and, as Socrates said, makes us realize how little we truly know—which would replace irrational anger and fear with humility and curiosity. Philosophy leads us to ask the ultimate questions about truth, justice, suffering, the afterlife, all of which most people in our society are afraid to consider.

While only faith in Jesus Christ can ultimately save our society, it seems reasonable to believe that the widespread study of philosophy would make our nation’s politics, at least, more rational and discourse-friendly.

Taken from: http://www.catholicculture.org/commentary/the-city-gates.cfm?id=982

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