"Late have I loved You . . ."

A reader of a previous blog post here entitled "Of Tomato Plants and A Fig Tree" commented that the blog theme reminded him of Saint Augustine, who God did not "cut down" even after a long life of sinful and impure living, but gave him time to repent and lead a holy and productive life. Indeed, Augustine's conversion story is a testimony to the loving mercy of God, Who invites everyone to come to him, and to those who do not accept or ignore the invitation He still gives many chances to do so. Today is the feast of St. Augustine and at the Mass we attended I was reminded of the saint's famous words after his conversion: "Late have I loved You, O Beauty, so ancient, so new. Late have I loved

"Mano Po"

The first time I met Fr. Marz, a young visiting priest in our parish, I greeted him by offering to shake hands but instead he took my hand and placed it on his forehead in the traditional "Mano or Pagmamano" * way found only in Filipino culture. Even if I am probably about twice older I said, "Father, it is I who should do this because you are a priest." Yesterday, before Sunday Mass, a middle-aged parishioner was about to do the "mano po" gesture but instead Fr. Marz took her hand and put it on his forehead. She had a look of surprise on her face. I commented, "You are truly respectful of the elderly, Father." "Not only that really," he replied, "it means I am asking her to pray for me

Of Tomato Plants and  A Fig Tree

This year I decided not to do anymore container gardening which produced a lot of eggplants, tomatoes, gourds and bitter melons in previous years. But when I saw a packet of tomato seeds with a picture of a bunch of big tomatoes, I was encouraged to put them in some pots with soil from last year. The seeds germinated and the plants have grown tall and luxuriantly leafy, but no flowers were coming out that would eventually turn into fruit I have been expecting to see. I replenished the pots with new garden soil and put fertilizer spikes containing the proper fruiting nutrients. After weeks of watering and waiting, I still have not seen signs of the plants producing any tomatoes. I remembere

On This Day O Beautiful Mother

I remember the days in my old hometown when people from about 20 houses in our block would pray the Rosary in our homes each night and then process, with lighted candles and singing of Marian hymns, to transfer a statue of Our Lady of Fatima to another home. Our Block Rosary was well attended. It made us closer to one another and to Mary and her Son. Today, I went to Mass two times. The first was the early morning Mass in our parish church in Oxon Hill and the other the noon Mass at the Basilica named after Mary in Old Town Alexandria. Today is a special day for Catholics. It is the Solemnity of the Assumption into heaven of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the woman our Lord Jesus loved most, and

"Your Face Sounds Familiar"

The Imitator The Model One of the few TV shows I have watched and found entertaining is "Your Face Sounds Familiar," especially the Kids version. It features contestants who try to imitate well-known singers on stage. After much preparation and practice of a song -- voice, body movements and all with the help of mentors, make up artists take over, making the contestant look like the singer -- face, hair, dress and all. After this long and tedious process, the contestant has undergone an incredible transformation of his or her appearance into a close look-alike of the singer to be imitated and the contestant is now ready to sing the song the way the model does. Each contestant's performance