"The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor"

At my work station, there is a face that constantly looks at me from a wall across my desk. It is that of St. Vincent de Paul, founder of the congregation of priests and brothers, the Congregation of the Mission, and of the Daughters of Charity, with St. Louise de Marillac. The school where I work is run by the Daughters and named after the first native born American saint, Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, who founded the Sisters in the U.S. The Church through the centuries has been blessed with religious orders which were founded by men and women who wanted to proclaim and witness to the Lord's Gospel through their various specific charisms. The Jesuits, the Benedictines, the Dominicans, the F

More Than Like Butterflies

I did not know that butterflies have a life span of only 2 to 4 weeks until I watched on youtube a reflection of Jesuit priest Fr. Nono Alfonso on "Kape't Pandasal" (Coffee and Bread). He said that these beautiful insects fulfill their "mission" fully within that brief period of their existence, and that we too should be able to fulfill our own mission in life within the short lifetime given to us by God. Butterflies are indeed beautiful creatures. There are many varieties of butterflies, their wings differently designed with a combination of colors pleasing to the eyes. No wonder butterflies are collector's items. And to think that they came from larvae or caterpillars, not so beautiful c

Attire for a Wedding Feast

A Homily for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year A Readings: Isaiah 25:6-10 , Matthew 22:1-14 The theme of the readings for this Sunday, especially the first and the Gospel, is the generosity of God to all of us – all nations and peoples -- by inviting and offering us, even if we do not deserve it, salvation and grace, which is union with Him in His heavenly kingdom. In the first reading, the prophet Isaiah uses as imagery of heaven a huge banquet on the Lord’s mountain where there is rich food and choicest wine, where the people of God will gather and where death and suffering and tears will not be present anymore. This prefigures the Holy Eucharist, which Jesus instituted before he die

Reflections on a Harvest of Persimmons

This year my sole persimmon tree in my backyard bore more fruits than I expected. In previous years the voles and squirrels feasted on the young fruits and left nothing for me. Today I harvested 8 big ripe fruits. I have counted over 25 more still ripening on the tree. We cannot eat them all. And so there are lots of fruits to share. Next year I hope there will be a lot more. The prolificness of my persimmon tree made me realize even more that God gives us generously from His bounty, more than what we need, and so whatever He gives is not meant for us alone. They are meant to be shared with others who do not have enough or do not have any at all. The Church calls it stewardship. We are s

"Sitaw, Bataw, Patani"

(My potted bataw from seeds given by my cousin Merly) Finding God in All Things When I was in grade school one of my favorite subjects was Gardening. All the boys in my class were each assigned 3 x 6 feet plots behind the school. We tilled the ground with small picks and hoes, pulverized the soil and carefully shaped them into raised plots, then planted seeds, and watered them daily. We eagerly awaited the seeds to sprout from the ground into seedlings, cultivated the soil around each plant to aerate the roots, and waited for them to flower and bear fruit. We enjoyed harvesting them and proudly sharing them with friends, and of course, making them part of our meals. Growing plants and vegeta

Is "Political Correctness" Correct?

The term "political correctness" has in recent years appeared in the vocabulary in today's secular culture. It has become enshrined in the altar of "do's" and "don'ts" of human interaction as very well reported in the digital media. What is "political correctness" anyway? One site defines it as "the avoidance, often considered as taken to extremes, of forms of expression or action that are perceived to exclude, marginalize, or insult groups of people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against." Another refers to it as "A way that we speak in America so we don't offend whining pussies." The least common denominator of "political correctness" is the avoidance of any speech or act