Gout Attacks

When I woke up this morning, I felt some pain on my right big toe. I knew it was the start of another gout attack and so I asked myself what I had eaten that triggered it. Sure enough, it was the forbidden baked beans that I ate in the buffet restaurant yesterday at lunch. I made the decision to put some in my plate thinking it would not harm. Besides, it looked delicious. My excuse: eating in moderation. First time I am eating it in years and it's only a couple of spoonfuls. It was a risk I took. And it had consequences. So much pain . . . for a little fleeting pleasure. I never learn. The discipline often breaks down. How many times do we take risks in our lives? Ordinary day-to-day ri

Sorry, Folks, But You Are Not God

At RCIA* last Saturday, our presenter, Mike M, talked about the Ten Commandments. He discussed how Moses received the Ten Commandments from God on Mount Sinai and gave them to the Israelites written on two tablets of stone. Mike also explained each one of them briefly. It just made me realize more how much the Commandments have been met with breach more than the observance. Since the creation of man, people have been living either in accord with God's Commandments, or in violation of them, either intentionally or because of ignorance or human weakness. God is aware of man falling and failing. He saw it from the time He created them. That's why He sent a Savior. There is always an opportunity

It's Not Simply Piety

The private high school I went to in my native country over fifty years ago was non-sectarian, but we were encouraged to practice our faith as Catholics, which most faculty members and students there were. In my high school we had a publication "The Silver Star." In one issue a student writer had an article which concluded with the words: " . . . and the pious went to Mass." During those times society and the world were not complicated. Conflict and division were rare and hardly noticeable. We were at peace. Unlike now . . . at these times. Which set me thinking: What is most important in life? . . . even more than this world? Is it not eternal life? Are we not supposed to have this as the

"Who Am I To You?"

(A Homily) The gospel reading for this Sunday describes the scene when Jesus was correctly identified by Peter as the long-awaited Messiah, and where He reveals His mission to suffer and die for the salvation of mankind. It also recounts Jesus describing what it entails to be a true follower of His. I would like to invite you to picture this scenario – You are there with Christ and His disciples. You have been walking with Him and listening to His preaching. And then you hear the question addressed to you: “Who do you say that I am?” What would you have answered? You probably would have given a wrong answer like the other apostles did. But then let us change the scenario and imagine Christ

In These Dark and Tumultuous Times . . .

In these dark and perilous times, made darker by the scandal involving some unfaithful clergy, a sermon from a holy priest and great saint, Saint John Marie Vianney, who lived more than 230 years ago, comes like a ray of light piercing the darkness. We need all our priests and bishops without exception to be faithful to their vocation and be holy so they can be examples to us of how to live holy lives . . . in this dark and perilous world where forces of good and evil are at war more intensely than ever. Here is a sermon of St. John Vianney. It may help us navigate the dark and perilous waters in our own voyage to the shores of eternal life: "If people would do for God what they do for the

Happy Birthday, Mother Mary!

Today is the birthday of our Blessed Mother. Today I post an edited version of a blog I wrote in May 2017. At the end of this post I added a video of Father Corapi on why we honor and love Mama Mary. This says it all: "If Mary is good enough for Jesus, she is good enough for me." Mary brings us to Jesus! I have 2 friends whose names are both "John M." Both are in their early 80s. And both of them had something to do with a Lady, but in distinctly opposite ways. John M #1 is a retired piano teacher and viola player who lived alone. I first met him when he and I participated in a violin concert together with much younger students of Kaye B. many years back. When he became home bound, I br

The Question to Ask

We were in our family room one evening to spend a couple of hours to relax by watching a movie. There were many TV On-Demand options: drama, comedy, romance, musical, mystery, thriller, etc. I had already chosen one and I asked: "Do you like this one?" My daughter replied with another question: "Is that good for the soul?" I was not sure so I kept browsing. We were in a buffet restaurant for lunch and among the appetizing dishes available were crabs, shrimps, roast beef and king crab legs. "Are they good for my body?" I asked myself. I knew the answer. For I am prone to gout attacks. Whatever state of life ours may be, everyday all of us are faced with many choices or decisions, big and s

Our Ultimate Goal

A recent EWTN interview of a woman who was a victim of sex abuse by a priest when she was 15 years old ended with a testimony of her faith: "Our ultimate goal is to get to heaven . . . and my husband and I want to encourage our children to have the same goal when they are grown. . ." Maybe she did not realize how her words affected her hearers. To me, hearing that statement from someone who has suffered unjustly but is unmoved in her faith confirms the importance of proclaiming the Faith as our Lord wants us to do. (Mt 28:19) To those who have the same cherished value, the truth of those words sinks deeper into one's consciousness and enhances the resolve to live by it. She may not have so i