Two Priests . . . Responding to the Call to Holiness
I did not know there is such a priest ordained as a “simplex priest” until I read about Father Solanus Casey, a Capuchin Franciscan who was beatified in Detroit, Michigan last November 18. Because of his academic struggles in theology, his superiors thought he was not qualified to hear confessions and to preach, both priestly faculties, but they had him ordained priest anyway but did not give him these two faculties. His assignment all his life, which he accepted humbly, was
Viva Cristo Rey!
In my childhood, an image of Cristo Rey, sitting on a throne regal and majestic, occupied central place in our old ancestral house. It is encased in a glass-covered cove to protect it from dust. Flowers surrounded it. When the house was demolished and a new one built, my parents also had the same Cristo Rey enthroned by our parish priest at a prominent spot where it was the first thing visitors saw upon entering. My parents knew the image of Cristo Rey is just an image, a st
It took me quite some time to get parking at the Tanger outlet where shoppers swarmed, eager to get big bargains and "save" money. It's Black Friday. At other outlets, malls and big stores since last night you see a lot of people in their winter coats and jackets carrying bags and bags of goodies: clothes, shoes, toys, electronic gadgets and other nice stuff. They all have a happy look on their faces as they come out of shops, some with their little kids. Black Friday, li
"Take Up Your Pillow . . . "
(A Reflection for Thanksgiving) There was no altar server at our Mass for Thanksgiving Day at St. Columba this morning, and when I saw Roland Escalante, an active parishioner, holding the processional cross, I said (half jokingly), " Jun, take up your cross and follow Jesus." "Yes, and He did not say, 'Take up your pillow and come follow Me.'" was his quick reply. That was an unexpected Thanksgiving grace for me. I never heard the truth of Our Lord's words expressed that wa
Sun Tzu of China and Paul of Tarsus -- The Art of War
The last time I heard about Sun Tzu and his book “The Art of War” was from a presentation given by my brilliant classmate in Philosophy (Sabino Vengco, now a Monsignor and prominent philosophy and theology teacher in universities and seminaries in the Philippines) in one of our classes more than 55 years ago. Why he chose that topic for a Metaphysics class baffled me even at that time since I thought it was too far removed from the Philosophy of Being as it was about military
More on My Bean Plants
My bataw plants are finally gone. They were fighting for their lives when the cold weather set in three weeks ago. Yesterday they succumbed to the freezing temperature and wilted. Now I can not look forward anymore to steamed bataw in vinegar and fish sauce for dinner. What is left for me is to pull the dead plants out from the plastic pots I had planted them in and untangle them from the bamboo trellises I made for them and just put them in the compost pit. If and when I dec
"My Last Thoughts Were of You"
I had a bad dream last night. It was more than a bad dream, a nightmare. My wife heard me shouting and she woke me up. I told her about the dream, a terrifying one, and she asked me: "Did you pray before you went to bed and fell asleep?" I knew she would ask me that. I was so tired that day and I fell fast asleep without my usual examen and night prayers. It is of course not a valid excuse for omitting something very important. (What a shame!) Father Jerry Orbos, SVD, a wel
"Memento Mori" Revisited
[These are excerpts from my homily last Sunday, Nov 12, 2017, the 32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time] As mortal beings, there is one thing we can be sure of: We will all face sometime the close of our earthly life. The world as we know it now and everything in it for us individually will come to an end, but it will continue with others after we are gone, until their own time comes. There is a legend that in ancient Rome when a Roman general returned home after winning a great batt
My Bean Plants and St. Augustine
I have been looking at my hyacinth bean ("bataw") vines each morning to look for buds that will turn into flowers and produce fruit. But then the past two weeks the cold temperature was not kind to the plants. The growth was slow and the foliage was not thick despite my fertilizing and watering them. I am not sure if I will ever see pods that I can harvest before the end of fall. I then realized that I did not plant my bataw seeds early enough when there was abundant summer s
There is no more insidious enemy that lives inside your house than termites. They enter and live there quietly and unobtrusively until one day you notice tell-tale signs of their presence: little clay tunnels on the baseboard, and to your horror you find swarms of little crawling creatures that have eaten into the wooden parts and damaged your home. And if you do not do anything about it, your home could eventually weaken and collapse. The pest control industry is very much a