Last Saturday, October 10, umattend ako sa isang formation for aspiring Lectors. Sa pakikinig ko sa mga speakers doon, mayroon isang sinabi and speaker na hanggang pag-uwi ay hindi nawala sa isip ko. Sabi niya, “You will never be healed, unless you acknowledge your wounds.” Kung sa literal na kahulugan natin titignan, ang isang sugat ay hindi magagamot hanggat hindi mo sinasabing may sugat ka. Katulad sa ating mga kasalanan. Ang ating mga kasalanan ay hindi mapapatawad hanggat hindi natin inaaming tayo ay nagkakasala. Kasabay nang pag-amin natin na tayo ay nagkakasala, ay ang paghingi ng tawad. Kapag iniisip ko siya, totoo nga, na ang pagtanggap at pag-amin ay isang bagay na makapagpapabago sa atin. Marami sa atin ang hirap tanggapin na tayo ay hindi perpekto, na tayo ay nagkakamali. Pero once na matuto tayong tanggapin sa sarili natin ang lahat ng mga bagay na mali sa atin, napaka dali para sa atin ang magbago. Napakadali dahil ikaw mismo, mare-recognize na mali yun at dapat mong baguhin. Naguumpisa ang pagbabago sa pagtanggap. Pagtanggap na lahat ng bagay, lahat ng mga pangyayari ay may dahilan at walang taong perpekto.  Kapag natanggap na natin ito, tayo ay makakagawa ng hakbang para maalis o para mabago ang mali sa atin.

 

“Speak to them with our hands before we speak to them with our lips,’’ St. Peter Clavier,SJ.

In Pope Francis encyclical on  environment “Laudato Si, mi Senior’’ (Praise be to You,my Lord), he spoke about the need for the global community to assess and reflect  on political and socio-economic policies , business practices, and lifestyles towards changes needed to care for the earth, our common home, to uplift the poor, and glorify  God our creator by caring for his creation.

Cardinal Tagle, Archbishop of Manila and newly elected president of Caritas International said the Laudato Si encyclical  stress the need for a rediscovery of the role of human beings as stewards and not as  pseudo-owners of the earth.

The encyclical according to Tagle  stressed a contemplative view of creation and  God’s plan in creation is  for  the goods of the earth to be shared by all.

This brings to our mind  the message of an international conference and exhibit in mining  held this week (September 15-17, 2015) : “Building from the ground up: The role of mining in global development.’‘

The event was  hosted by the Chamber of Mines of the Philippines headed by  Chairman Artemio F. Disini and its President  Benjamin Philip Romualdez.

Let me quote the two business leaders :

Disini: “To become an industrialized country , the Philippines needs to grow its minerals industry.

If we envision the ranks of Australia, Canada, China and the United States, our leaders must properly   harness and transform the country’s mineral potential into products with greater value-added. The MGB estimates the country’s metallic and non-metallic mineral reserves at Php73.47 trillion. If extracted today. However, if left on the ground, the actual contribution of these minerals to the economy is ZERO. The Philippines will remain to be a poor man sitting on a pot of gold. Last year we called for the drafting of a national industrialization program. Going beyond extraction into processing of mineral products will increase our production base and expand opportunities.’’

Romualdez: “f the local mining industry is to maintain an upward growth trajectory, it must be fueled by regulatory consistency, as well as rational environment and fiscal regime. Government must promote  minerals development  as an economic driver and encourage investments in the sector. Government must  take  deliberate and decisive action  in order to align LGU (local government units) direction with national policies and laws. Stability and consistency in policies, laws and regulations are crucial  to attracting  and keeping investments intact and flowing.’’

The two mining executives are calling for  consistent investment policies and equitable mining revenue sharing in terms of royalty tax , corporate taxes and all other business taxes. The  Philippine government imposes currently a 2 to 5 percent royalty  gross tax on all proceeds from  minerals extracted in the country. Congress is currently consolidating a new version of a mining revenue sharing scheme submitted by the Mining Industry Coordinating Council (MICC) and other mining revenue bills submitted in the House.

In retrospect, the government would want an increase in the share in mining revenues . On the other hand, the mining industry is calling for consistent investment and rational fiscal (tax) policies and regulations  to stay competitive. Industry leaders said the Philippines lost a $20 billion from 2010-2015 in potential investments because of inconsistent government policies.

Figures show mining investments made a nosedive of 47 percent, from $1.31 billion in 2013  to $693 million in 2014.

The Church on the other hand is calling for inclusive growth that includes all sectors particularly the poor and the marginalized  in all areas of business and socio-economic development  programs of the country.

Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) in his message during the “Summit for Change’’ held last July at Club Filipino is calling for government to regulate the market so that it serves not just  its owners and stockholders but  the common good.

Human safety, environment protection and  sustainability, not just personal interests and corporate profits must be in the  agenda list of everyone, rich and poor. The common people, we, not just  leaders in government and business must share in the responsibility.  The CBCP is calling for a community-based environment protection program to ensure a bottoms-up-top–to bottom implementation of  saving mother earth and protecting the sanctity and dignity of human life.

Let us emulate St. Peter Clavier. Actions speak better than words

As far as I can remember, my family went to church religiously; all of us were really committed believers.  But we didn’t go to church primarily to meet people with whom you could connect; anyway, it didn’t hurt to go, and it made us feel good.

Somehow, I had wished I became involved in the church where youth leaders challenged us to help make a difference in the world.  This appealed to me.  As a teen I could become active in helping touch lives for God; however, I discovered that most people in that church were against a variety of things – drinking, dating, watching movies, and, of course having sex outside of marriage.  I was with somewhat of a troubled conscience that my sisters and I would occasionally go to a Saturday matinee at the Gaiety Theater in Ermita to watch James Dean or Elvis Presley movies.  The romantic films, however, were considered “worldly,” which we steered clear of.

Then television came to Manila where I grew up  in (yes, I realize that for me to admit that I was born before you had hundreds of channels available on TV dates me), and our family bought a small black and white Sharp TV with rabbit-ears antenna.  I also sensed that the standard of accepted behavior was challenged!  If you watched something on TV at home, it was OK; however, if you watched the same thing in a theater, it was disdained!  This made no sense to me.  What defines wholesome?  It is not where you watched something but what you watch that determines whether or not it is simply entertaining, uplifting, and builds you up, or it crosses the line and stirs impure thoughts.

What were the redlines of fortress style of parenting, then, they generally did?  First and foremost, members of family must participate in all events.  They strictly forbid the use of alcohol and other questionable substances; prohibited dating, drinking or excessive use of social media.  They monitor the kind of movies their children are allowed to watch.  Children were encouraged respect for authority and elders.  Most of all, everybody have to practice honesty and dignity and go to church together as a family.

Today, every parent who loves his child(ren) should set redlines clearly designated what is acceptable and what is unacceptable.  However, when a parent’s concept of right and wrong is not based on an understanding of God’s purpose and will, redlines become defined by our culture rather than God’s will.  What makes the different comes from the Scripture.

Parents ought to be convinced that God’s Word is as relevant to our lives today as it was when holy men of God wrote the Scriptures centuries ago.  This style of parenting is defined more by the atmosphere at home.

Parents, listen to your children, evaluate what they say and provide a forum of discussion, striving to help your children see the cause and effect of every discussion that is made.

Knowing what the boundaries are – whether they are yours or God’s – brings security.  Kids know when they are within the framework of acceptable behavior and when they have gone beyond what is acceptable.

Wise is the parent who loves enough and cares enough and strong enough to say, “I love you too much to let you do anything just because you want to,” and quietly draws a line saying, “This is as far as you can go!”

Eventually your child will grow up and say, “Thanks, Mom.  Thanks, Dad.  I’m glad you cared enough to draw a line.”

 

 

A joyful feast day, every 8th of September we commemorate the birth of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a descendant of Abraham, born of the tribe of Juddha and of David’s seed.

 

The Catholic Church has been celebrating the birth of Mary since the sixth century. This year,in like fashion, the Family Rosary Crusade  Chapter of the St. Andrew the Apostle Parish (SAAP) successfully organized the celebration of this blessed day, the birth of Mary, the mother of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In her honor,  a three-day Triduum Novena was held on September 5-8 2015. On her feast day itself, a Tuesday, a dawn(5:30am) procession of Mama Mary on a beautiful carosa was held around the sub-parishes of SAAP.

Her entrance to the church after the procession was very touching and festive amid the continuous singing of “Ave Ave Ave Maria” and Happy Birthday Mama Mary just before the 6:30am mass presided by Fr. Allan Dichoso.

Our Pastor Msgr. Dennis Odiver scheduled masses at 6:30am,11am, 12:15pm, 5pm and 6:30pm to give all parishoners the  chance to attend mass in Mary’s honor. The FRC distributed assorted cup cakes and pastries after every mass to all the mass goers.

Mary is indeed a great woman, the greatest of all women. Her birthday gives us the oppurtunity to reflect on the greatness of her faith. As we rejoice on Mary's humility and obedience, we also rejoice to be made sharers in the gift of bringing forth the life of Jesus Christ in the world. Even as we imitate her humble and obedient faith, we see in Mary the fullness of grace. She embodies all that God taught the human race.  She is the CANTICLE OF ZECHARIAH ---

Your birth,oh Virgin Mother of God,  proclaims joy to the whole world. For from you arose the glorious Sun of Justice, Christ our God.  He freed us from the age-old curse and filled us with holiness; He destroyed death and gave us eternal life.GOD BLESS YOU, MAMA MARY LOVES YOU!

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