Deaconal Ordination

Yesterday, I attended a Deaconal Ordination of Sem. Carlo del Rosario in UST Chapel. It was my first time to attend such occasion and maybe some of you might be feeling the same way we did. Since it’s a deaconal ordination, it’s one step closer to Priesthood. Let me tell you my experience.

March 19, 2010
Solemnity of St. Joseph

09:30am

I arrived 5 mins before the celebration starts. I looked for Aisce and Ted since they were the ones I know who will come that day. It was like a semi-reunion with my fellow World Youth Day delegates. The Chapel was filled with priests and deacons and of course the family and friends. Aisce even told me that she wondered if she was in Heaven the moment she entered the Chapel. It was peaceful and joyful moment for everyone.

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Pope’s Lenten Retreat Message

I was googling for a Lenten Retreat schedules and then I saw this interesting article. It was the message of the Pope at the End of their Lenten Retreat. He was thankful for Fr. Enrico Dal Covolo who is a Salesian priest.

It always makes me smile when I’m reading something about Salesians as well as Thomasians. It felt like family.

Anyway, here’s the Pope’s message. It was inspiring! :)

Pontiff’s Address at End of Lenten Retreat

“Only in the ‘We’ of the Church Can We Truly Hear the Word”

VATICAN CITY, FEB. 28, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Here is a translation of the words Benedict XVI spoke this Saturday to those present in the Redemptoris Mater Chapel in the Vatican at the conclusion of the Retreat preached by Salesian Father Enrico Dal Covolo to the Pope and the Roman curia.

Dear Brothers,

Dear Father Enrico,

In the name of all of us present here I would like to say thank you with my whole heart to you, Father Enrico, for this retreat, for the impassioned and very personal way in which you guided our path toward Christ, on path of renewal of our priesthood.

You chose as your starting point, as an always present background, as destination — we saw it just now — Solomon’s prayer for “a heart that hears.” In truth, it seems to me that here the whole Christian vision of man is recapitulated. Man is not perfect in himself, man has need of relation — he is a being in relation. It is not his “cogito” that can “cogitare” the whole of reality. He needs to listen, to listen to the other, above all the Other — with a capital “O” — who is God. Only in this way does he know himself, only in this way does he become himself.

From my place here I always saw the Mother of the Redeemer, the “Sedes Sapietiae,” the living seat of wisdom, with Wisdom incarnate in her womb. And as we saw, St. Luke presents Mary precisely as a woman who listens from the heart, who is immersed in the Word of God, who listens to the Word, who meditates (“synballein”) on it, composes and treasures it, who carries it in her heart. The Fathers of the Church say that in the moment of the conception of the eternal Word in the womb of the Virgin the Holy Spirit entered into Mary through her ear. In listening she conceived the eternal Word, she gave her flesh to this Word. And thus she tells what it means to have a heart that listens.

Mary is surrounded here by the fathers and the mothers of the Church, by the communion of saints. And so we see and we have understood during these days that we cannot truly hear the Word in the isolated “I” but only in the “we” of the Church, in the “we” of the communion of saints.

And you, dear Father Enrico, have shown us, have provided a voice for five exemplary figures of the priesthood, beginning with Ignatius of Antioch and continuing to the dear and venerable Pope John Paul II. Thus we have truly again perceived what it means to be a priest, to become priests more and more.

You have also stressed that consecration is for mission, it is destined to become mission. During these days we have penetrated our consecration more deeply with God’s help. Thus, with new courage, we would like now to take up our mission. May the Lord help us. Thank you for your help, Father Enrico.

[Translation by ZENIT]

By the way, I am a subscriber of Zenit since we got back from the 20th World Youth Day. However, I don’t read it everyday and when I read this article I regret that I don’t read their newsletters. I’ll try to read those from time to time. It will definitely help my spiritual life.

Prosper Series Lesson 3: Grow

Last Sunday’s Prosper Series lesson was to Grow. To be able to be rich and wealthy, you should grow your inner wealth before you can grow your outer wealth. It is like a tree, if you see a strong sturdy tree you know definitely that the roots of it are stable and continuously growing making it firm.

He also said that we should focus on our Anointing, meaning our core gift. We can’t do something out of our circle of anointing. However, we can do something only if we plant a seed on it. For example, if you’re a dancer you can’t dream on becoming a Broadway singer. It is because your core gift is being a dancer. But good news, since God is an awesome God, we have the chance to be a good singer if we want provided that we start planting a seed on becoming a Broadway singer. Attend classes, develop your skills, etc. Eventually you’ll be a good singer too.

As for me, I think my core gift is being a multimedia inclined person. Maybe in music too. I’ve been planting seeds in many pots but unfortunately I don’t water them regularly. Maybe some of them died already but I might be lucky if some of them just needs some watering and a little bit of sunshine. I just need to get back on them one by one and see where my core gift really is.

Do you know your core gift?

An Essay about the Philippines

A few months ago, I was searching on immigration services of Australia since I’m thinking of migrating there in the future. While reading some forums and articles about migration and stuff, I found this essay about the Philippines. It was written by a Korean student who somehow cared about the Filipinos. Honestly, I was surprised when I read this. Is it just his honest opinion or does he really care about the Filipinos? I also learned new things about the Philippines reading this article.  Read on!

MY SHORT ESSAY ABOUT THE PHILIPPINES
By: Jaeyoun Kim

Filipinos always complain about the corruption in the Philippines . Do you really think the corruption is the problem? I do not think so. I strongly believe that the problem is the lack of love for the Philippines .

Let me first talk about my country, Korea . It might help you understand my point. After the Korean War, South Korea was one of the poorest countries in the world. Koreans had to start from scratch because entire country was destroyed after the Korean War, and we had no natural resources. Koreans used to talk about the Philippines, for Filipinos were very rich in Asia .

We envy Filipinos. Koreans really wanted to be well off like Filipinos. Many Koreans died of famine.My father & brother also died because of famine. Korean government was very corrupt and is still very corrupt beyond your imagination, but Korea was able to develop dramatically because Koreans really did their best for the common good with their heart burning with patriotism. Koreans did not work just for themselves but also for their neighborhood and country. Education inspired young men with the spirit of patriotism.

40 years ago, President Park took over the government to reform Korea . He tried to borrow money from other countries, but it was not possible to get a loan and attract a foreign investment because the economic situation of South Korea was so bad. Korea had only three factories. So, President Park sent many mine workers and nurses to Germany so that they could send money to Korea to build a factory. They had to go through horrible experience.

In 1964, President Park visited Germany to borrow money. Hundred of Koreans in Germany came to the airport to welcome him and cried there as they saw the President Park . They asked to him, “President, when can we be well off?” That was the only question everyone asked to him. President Park cried with them and promised them that Korea would be well off if everyone works hard for Korea, and the President of Germany got the strong impression on them and lent money to Korea . So, President Park was able to build many factories in Korea . He always asked Koreans to love their country from their heart. Many Korean scientists and engineers in the USA came back to Korea to help developing country because they wanted their country to be well off. Though they received very small salary, they did their best for Korea . They always hoped that their children would live in well off country.

My parents always brought me to the places where poor and physically handicapped people live. They wanted me to understand their life and help them. I also worked for Catholic Church when I was in the army. The only thing I learned from Catholic Church was that we have to love our neighborhood. And, I have loved my neighborhood. Have you cried for the Philippines ?

I have cried for my country several times. I also cried for the Philippines because of so many poor people. I have been to the New Bilibid prison. What made me sad in the prison were the prisoners who do not have any love for their country. They go to mass and work for Church. They pray everyday.
However, they do not love the Philippines . I talked to two prisoners at the maximum-security compound, and both of them said that they would leave the Philippines right after they are released from the prison. They said that they would start a new life in other countries and never come back to the Philippines .

Many Koreans have a great love for Korea so that we were able to share our wealth with our neighborhood. The owners of factory and company were distributed their profit to their employees fairly so that employees could buy what they needed and saved money for the future and their children.

When I was in Korea , I had a very strong faith and wanted to be a priest. However, when I came to the Philippines , I completely lost my faith. I was very confused when I saw many unbelievable situations in the Philippines . Street kids always make me sad, and I see them everyday. The Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia , but there are too many poor people here.
People go to church every Sunday to pray, but nothing has been changed.

My parents came to the Philippines last week and saw this situation. They told me that Korea was much poorer than the present Philippines when they were young. They are so sorry that there are so many beggars and street kids.

When we went to Pasangjan, I forced my parents to take a boat because it would fun. However, they were not happy after taking a boat. They said that they would not take the boat again because they were sympathized the boatmen, for the boatmen were very poor and had a small frame. Most of people just took a boat and enjoyed it. But, my parents did not enjoy it because of love for them.

My mother who has been working for Catholic Church since I was very young told me that if we just go to mass without changing ourselves, we are not Catholic indeed. Faith should come with action.

She added that I have to love Filipinos and do good things for them because all of us are same and have received a great love from God. I want Filipinos to love their neighborhood and country as much as they love God so that the Philippines will be well off.

I am sure that love is the keyword, which Filipinos should remember. We cannot change the sinful structure at once. It should start from person. Love must start in everybody, in a small scale and have to grow. A lot of things happen if we open up to love. Let’s put away our prejudices and look at our worries with our new eyes.

I discover that every person is worthy to beloved. Trust in love, because it makes changes possible. Love changes you and me. It changes people, contexts and relationships. It changes the world. Please love your neighborhood and country.

Jesus Christ said that whatever we do to others we do to Him. In the Philippines , there is God for people who are abused and abandoned. There is God who is crying for love.

If you have a child, teach them how to love the Philippines . Teach them why they have to love their neighborhood and country. You already know that God also will be very happy if you love others.

That’s all I really want to ask you Filipinos.

My question to you: Do you love the Philippines?

7 Days of Prayer and Fasting

Last Sunday, together with the 2nd lesson on Prosper Series we were given a booklet 7 Days of Prayer and Fasting. Bo invited everyone to fast even for 7 days. This first week of March, hundreds of people who attended the Feast fasted and prayed together.

As for me, my fasting is only to eat ONE MEAL a day. No snacks or candies. Just one meal. At first it’s hard since I always eat snacks and candies from time to time. Eating one meal makes you dizzy at first but eventually your stomach will adapt to it and I guess your stomach will be smaller compared before. During the 7 days, I always get tempted to eat a small portion of sandwich or so but fortunately I had control over it. From Monday to this day, I only eat either Lunch or Breakfast. I must say that if you do this kind of fasting, Lunch is the better option, but others would say Breakfast. Whatever it is, still you have to eat just one meal.

Everyday, before going to bed. I read the passage or reflection for the day. There were questions about faith and your action to the Lord’s teaching. Your personal reflection and prayer for the day is also written on the space provided. For me, it’s a good way to evaluate yourself. A way to know what you become after these years, what is lacking in your life, the things you should be grateful for, issues you have in the past that you haven’t resolve yet, and many more. I believe that this practice doesn’t need to be done only during the Lenten Season. You can do it everyday so that you’ll feel more closer to God and you’ll get to know yourself better. To know yourself means loving yourself more. It will be a nice feeling and you’ll feel at peace with yourself.

I don’t know if I can religiously do it everyday but I’ll try to. I hope many of us will do the same. There’s nothing wrong with it and besides with all the things happening in the world today, the earthquakes, the drought, etc. we all need to pray! God bless us all.

Prosper Series Lesson 2: Serve

The next lesson for the Prosper Series in to SERVE.

So we now learned that we should believe first then we have to serve. Bo said that the first lesson is the most important one, and the next 5 lessons will be the attitude of oneself. You can’t be successful if you don’t truly believe that you will.

After your burning desire to be rich and believing that one day you’ll be a millionaire, you must learn how to SERVE. Service can be in many form but whatever form of service you do, make sure that you’re doing it for the Lord. Bo said that there are two ways of prosperity, one is the sad prosperity and the other one is the happy prosperity. How do you want to prosper? I for sure wants a happy prosperity. What’s the difference of the two? When you become rich by stealing from other people, that will lead you to sad prosperity. But if you want a happy prosperity, you’ll get it through service. It is by serving that you’ll get rewarded. Sometime at once but sometimes it has to wait.

If you want to know how to increase your service, he said that there are only three ways: Increase the (1) Scale, (2) Satisfaction, and (3) Spirit of your service. So from now on, you need to make an extra effort to increase your service. Start now so that you can prosper soon.

We were again given a card for our faith declaration. You need to declare what are you going to do/service you’ll make the time you get to earn the amount you’ve written on the first lesson. You will again put the one you wrote in the previous lesson to help you remember it all the time.

I’m having fun learning how to prosper. Plus, I was with Andrew! I hope we can finish the series together. Thanks Bo!

For more details on how to prosper, visit Bo Sanchez’ blog at http://bosanchez.ph/do-you-want-to-prosper-serve.

Movie 2010: Hannah Montana the Movie

I always love to watch Disney Movies, you can even ask my close friends and they’ll definitely won’t deny it. It’s just nice to see movies that has its unique lessons every time.

I really don’t know Hannah Montana. We don’t have a cable that’s why I haven’t seen her tv show in Disney channel. I got to hear about her because of entertainment and the news about her. She’s a celebrity! :p

I personally like the song “The Climb“, and I was even surprised when I learned that it’s Miley Cyrus’ singing that song. It tells us the truth about life. I don’t know, it’s a good encouragement song I guess.  The movie talks about someone who is having the best of both worlds and sometimes, sacrifices are made just to protect her image. It’s kinda funny ‘coz we’re just talking about “pleasing others” a while ago and then the message of God in Facebook then now the movie tells something like that.

As we all know, we really can’t please others. I know someone who was a “Yes” man, meaning she says yes to everyone without thinking of the consequences of her actions. She just wants to please everybody and then sacrificing her own happiness or even for her friends or family’s sake. Then after some time, she realizes that she needs to learn to reject some of them. She’s a work in progress but I’m proud to say that she have improved a lot. :)

Anyways, I liked the movie though I don’t like Miley that much. Well, at least she portrayed her role well. Pretty well I guess. I like the family support, her bestfriend and everyone in town. It always makes me smile seeing close families singing, eating, dancing and enjoying each one’s company. At this generation, it’s very rare to see families like that. It’s a gift if you have one, you’re very lucky.

I cried when Miley sang the song she wrote for her dad, when her dad sacrificed his love for the girl. It was touching. I hope every family does that. I hope someday my family will be that close. I just want to let this out. Sorry. Hehe. :p

I recommend you to see this movie. It’s a good one with moral lesson! Keep it up Disney films! You’re doing a great job. :)

One Step at a Time

I’ve been going thru an emotional stress these past few months. I’ve stopped writing coz I don’t know how to express myself into writing when I’m down and depressed. My friend told me that I used to blog whenever I’m happy and inspired but never when I’m down. I reflected on it and thought that maybe I just don’t want to drag anyone with my life’s piece of shit that’s why I don’t bother to write about it. However, they told me that it could be one of the ways I can cope up with whatever I’m going thru right now. So here, I’ll try my best to express myself.

As I was learning the art of letting go, I found something that caught my attention. It was a card given to me by someone so dear to me 8yrs ago. On the card, it says:

One Step at a Time Is the Best Way to Go

When going through life and traveling in the direction of your dreams, the best way to get ahead is the simplest way: Take it one step at a time. Don’t look over your shoulder; if you do, You’ll feel the weight of all your yesterdays upon you. And don’t worry about what lies ahead. By the time you get to the bend in the road, or crest of the hill, you’re going to be better and stronger than you ever were before. Just go a step at a time, One day at a time. And you’ll find a rich, thankful life you never thought you could afford.
By: Adrian Rogers

As I was reading the card, there was a part where he shared something about his realizations in life. It was so inspiring that I want to share it to those who are feeling down and to those who just simply need some inspiration to continue their journey. Read on!

Sometimes, when I look back and think of all the could-have-beens in my life, I often wonder! Did I make the right choice? Did I miss a road sigh? Am I on the right track? CROSSROADS, they happen all the time. Saying goodbye to some, choosing only one. Letting go, holding on… settling for now, but facing what must come. Yes, in life we all reach a crossroad sometime. We make painful decisions and take some risks as we pursue our dreams. But one should not stay at the crossroads too long. For even the birds have to leave their nests some time and learn how to fly. Life’s road is long and rough and there are stretches when one has to do it alone. And should you meet the cross on the road, be consoled. Yes, more often than not, the road less traveled will surely bring you home. Face the light as well as the shadow that falls behind you. Turn your back and the shadow stays in front of you. Indeed, truth hurts, but it will surely set you free. The bitter pangs of parting will give birth to another moment called GROWING! So grow on… until it’s for you to move on… and face the crossroads again, knowing that God loves you and is in control of everything!

That says it all. Need I say more? Very inspiring! Even though it hurts to think that he’s the same person why I’m going through all this pain right now. It still gives me hope that someday, I’ll get over this and I’ll be a stronger person than before. There’s no easy way out. I have to undergo this process for me to be able to live the life that God wants me to have. There’s a reason for all of this. I may not know it right now but someday, everything will be clear. Everything will be all right. As the song goes, “There’s a rainbow always after the rain”. But for now, all I can do is to be strong. And of course, to have faith! Besides, I’ve got lots of friends who’ll be there for me ‘til the end.

A good read

How do you manage to stay awake steadily feeling nothing but the void monotony that has become your life?

How do you justify the feeling of being ordinary when you know you are destined for greater things?

How do you answer the call to be more than what others think of you?

How do you move forward from your current plane of existance dutifully fulfilling your earthly obligations and gradually satisfying the primordial urges boiling deep inside your innermost crevices?

How can you measure a life full of sadness and joy, deception and truth, loss and love?

To live a life that has been entirely you takes an eternity to accomplish. Our lives are by-products of the society we dwell in either by chance or choice. We oftentimes neglect the truth or sometimes create our own brand.