SIGNS AND BEARERS


SIGNS AND BEARERS
Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker
May 1, 2013
Brother Luigi Flores

Today’s feast was instituted by Pope Pius XII who thought that the celebration of Labor Day should be Christianized. After all the Philippines is not the only country that celebrates this day to honor the dignity of human labor.

My parish, Saint Joseph the Worker at Tabunok, Talisay City, Cebu also celebrates its fiesta on the occasion of its 50th founding anniversary. My felicitations go out to Reverend Monsignor Ruben Labajo and the pastoral team: Fathers Alex Apigo, Art Bornia, Dindo Yosores, and Jun Mahinay.

Today’s feast is also celebrated with greater solemnity in the Dioceses of Daet, San Jose (Nueva Ecija), Tagbilaran, Ipil (Zamboanga del Sur), and the Apostolic Vicariates of Taytay and San Jose (Occidental Mindoro).

***

Work was sanctified by God and he made it for man.

Man was not created for work, but work was made for man.

God blessed work and made it holy, that through it we gain what we need for a better life.

In six days God created the world and rested on the seventh day.

So should we.

Sometimes we get too much concentrated on work that we fail to realize that it is already dehumanizing us, that it tends to take out our sanity, that it makes us walking dead.

Take for this instance this manager.

Almost two years back she came to the Philippines to run a department that has just jumpstarted its operations.

She was (I believe she still is) pretty, but her lines have already shown due to unwanted stress.

She loved the job that she already innovated, built and designed processes to put everything in place.

However, in the process, she was not able to gain friends, she lost a lot of sleep, she developed more lines and wrinkles.

She became so grumpy and fickle-minded.

Her work day starts at 9:00 a.m. but she goes home at 2:00 or 3:00 a.m., and she would just sometimes sleep at the pantry to wait for the sunrise.

Too much work? Maybe.

Is she a workaholic? Maybe not. She might just have too much work to finish.

And alas when it took a toll on her, she called it quits.

She wanted her old life back.

Now that she submitted her resignation, she was no longer the workaholic her subordinates knew.

Her face shone again. She found zest and a new lease on life.

Her love life even flourished.

Should work be this vicious?

***

We live in a very competitive world where rank, money, fame, fortune, prestige all matter.

Blessed John Paul the Great, in his encyclical on labor (Laborem Exercens) says that man “is made to be in the visible universe as an image and likeness of God himself, and he is placed in it in order to subdue the earth”.

When we pray to God to “prosper the work of our hands”, as the psalmist sings, we trust that all work should be for our benefit because God only wants the best for us.

Our work should also benefit others. We may benefit ourselves, but if we work only for ourselves, we may never find true satisfaction.

We work to live, and not live to work.

Man’s capacity to work, John Paul says, is one of the characteristics “that distinguishes man from the rest of creatures, whose activity for sustaining their lives cannot be called work”.

Animals hunt to eat, and they eat to survive.

If we follow this characteristic, we will not need to work anymore. We will just take what is not ours. We will do anything to get what we want to sustain us.

However, man has intellect and a capacity to create and generate.

This capacity allows us to use this for our benefit, and for the rest.

If we get paid for work, we answer our needs. If we work, we benefit people who need our services.

At work we encounter the best and the worst experiences.

We may get berated, scolded, but the bottomline for every work should be the benefit of others.

We dignify work by the service we give. We glorify God by helping others.

And the best part of it…

Is that we get paid for it.

May Saint Joseph, patron and model of workers, be our guide that we may be humble in our work, and that we ask God to prosper the work of our hands so we can glorify Him.

God bless us all. Amen.

Election season: Vatican edition


Trust me, these days, you have been hearing about clamors on social media for certain cardinals to be elected Pope in this highly-contested and uncertain conclave brought about by the sudden resignation of now Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. After all it is election season once again in the Vatican after that February 11th surprise announcement. 

Even the lone Filipino elector in the conclave, Manila archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle, has a page or two dedicated to the ‘campaign’ for his papacy, which is inevitable for every cardinal who walks into the Sistine Chapel and swears before God and the Gospels to uphold the secrecy of the election or face damnation as is depicted in the frescoes of Michaelangelo.

Not only Tagle, but even those touted hardliners such as the former secretary of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) and Sri Lankan archbishop Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith or perhaps the American prefect of the Apostolic Signatura, Raymond Cardinal Burke, regarded as friendly with liturgy conservatives and contemporaries. Count even the back-slapping and sports fan Timothy Cardinal Dolan of New York in.

On Facebook, if you befriend people whose interests and stakes lie in watching over the events unfolding in Rome at the onset of Benedict’s sudden departure from the papacy, or those whose interests lie in the Church and in her future after Benedict, you will see that from among them (and even those who just log in to look for beautiful girls or perhaps sell anything God-knows-what), there are those openly campaigning for certain cardinals. In the Philippine setting, you hear about shouts and cheers for Tagle; even a remake of the 80s hit YMCA extolling the Cardinal’s virtues just to show ‘support’ for Tagle, as the composer puts it in his YouTube channel.

I will understand if it is the natural reaction to Filipinos having someone to call their own during the European-dominated conclave. Anyway, the last Filipino cardinal touted as possible papabile was Jaime Cardinal Sin, Tagle’s predecessor and one of the architects of the Edsa People Power revolt that ousted Marcos. That would have happened if John Paul II’s papacy lasted for just 10-15 years as some projected.

However, lest people realize it, openly campaigning for Tagle or any other cardinal for that matter, may never help bolster any of their aspirations to be Pope (should there be any; one cardinal was quoted as saying that ‘those who wish to be Pope are crazy’) nor will it help in the deliberations of cardinals participating in the General Congregations, happening right now as I write this piece.

Please be reminded, that one can never draw a parallelism between the midterm elections in the Philippines and this conclave, which, according to Vaticanologists based in Rome and elsewhere, there are no clear frontrunners. This may be sad news for fans of The Word Exposed, but let’s make it simple: each cardinal is a candidate for the papacy.

However, those same church-loving people who tell us not to campaign loudly for any cardinal to be Pope are the same people who say bad things against some cardinals. As I write now I have only read about people maligning certain because of mismanagement and other allegations, or perhaps about a cardinal’s take on sexual abuse cases in their dioceses.

If these same church-loving people asking the public to stop broadcasting the names of their favorite papabili are the same persons maligning those cardinals, they may be no different from those they are trying to correct. Instead of maligning and therefore disrespecting the priesthood these cardinals possess, they better tell these people to pray instead to the Holy Spirit to guide these cardinals as they ponder and discern for the good of the Church.

Last reminder: if you wish to see your favorite cardinal elected, do not talk about him in social media. Pray for him. That’s the only way to show your cardinal that you love him. After all, the Church will still stand no matter who the Pope will be.

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Tiwala Lang!


Tiwala lang!

Brothers and sisters, let’s face this:

I haven’t met the boy. I haven’t held him, I haven’t hugged him as the rest of the guys at Ave did. I am just amazed at the faith that he has shown all of us here. 

To his grave, Ivan will always carry that sure sign of faith that he has always been living up to. In all our undertakings, he would always say “Tiwala lang”. 

However, I must confess this: The moment Weldann showed the Ave Maria Community Ivan’s hand bruised by apparently the syringes being injected into his veins, I completely lost my faith. 

I already told myself, “Ito na. Mao na ni.” I was already preparing myself for the worst.

I was not able to uphold Ivan’s message of hope: Tiwala lang. 

Luigi, where was your faith? Luigi, where were those things that you’ve been taught? 

Tiwala lang. How will I trust if all I see is a sign of diminishing strength, deteriorating health, abating hope?

But here, Ivan, a young boy, but a very mature soul, only has this to offer: Faith.

Unwavering faith. Couple that with steadfast hope and his unmatched charity. 

All the while I was thinking that perhaps “tiwala lang” would mean “tiwala lang at gagaling din ako”. Sure enough, gumaling siya. His spirituality even grew stronger. Tiwala lang, at akoy tatatag sa aking pananampalataya. 

I must say today that he has taught me to completely trust in the Lord as far as my undertakings are concerned. His illness was a reminder of that fact that the Lord works wonders, even in young adolescents. 

Well, in fact, the Church is never replete with young saints, like Maria Goretti, Pedro Calungsod, Dominic Savio.. and now we have Ivan Banaag of Malabon.

His patience with his suffering has surely expiated his sins, and yes, what sweet bliss as he has already experienced a Purgatory on earth. 

Now, I must tell myself, “Tiwala lang, Luigi”. Trust that the Lord has his way with everything. 

To the parents and the family of Ivan, be consoled with the fact that your boy has now reaped his reward.

Ivan, pray for me tawn bai. I pray that God grant me the patience that you have when you suffered bone marrow cancer. God has shown me another exemplar of humility in you. 

God bless us all. Amen.

Lunch with Benedict


The Catholic world is in shock, and still is.Image

Pope Benedict XVI, in a statement earlier today, said he is resigning the papacy on February 28 at 8:00 p.m. Vatican time (3:00 a.m. of March 1, Philiippine time) due to his age. He is no longer physically capable, he says, of exercising his Petrine ministry.

Benedict XVI says: “In today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. “

Coincidentally, I reflected on this matter at lunch time yesterday six hours before I received news of his resignation. I was walking along General Maxilom Avenue to get to a mall for lunch when I just thought of this possibility. The other day my good friend Ralph Saberon and I talked about the Pope’s age and his ministry.

 

I wonder why I thought of it at that particular moment, and when I received the news as broadcast on my Facebook news feed after my shift yesterday, boom. Prophetic? I do not know, nor do I wish to speculate. My thoughts have no bearing on what the Pope says.

I was almost in tears upon reading the accounts from The Telegraph, BBC, and other news sites. As I saw the news feed on FB, I did not immediately believe. My journalistic training has always taught me to verify, and my verification brought me to disbelief, and shock. I saw the name of Father Federico Lombardi, the Jesuit in charge of the Pope’s communications. That hit it.

Tonight, I talked with another good friend from the media, Ador Mayol of Cebu Daily News and the Philippine Daily Inquirer, about the impeding possibilities of a Filipino ascending Peter’s See. There was no statement from the Filipino cardinal, but Ador says he happened to get CBCP President and Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma’s statement.

 

I would like to hear what Cardinal Tagle has to say, perhaps tomorrow or on Friday when he comes to Cebu for an electoral forum with Dilaab.

 

Quoting Palma, Ador said “Si Blessed Pope John Paul mas weak pa daw tan-awon pero ingon sya nga nothing to be afraid of kay ang Holy Spirit man mag-guide sa simbahan”.

Trusting in this, I am praying that whoever will succeed will be up to the challenge, and that God will give him strength. As far as I am concerned I still love the Church.

We should all be praying for Pope Benedict and his endeavors, and we thank him for guiding the Church in its most crucial moments, especially in this age of moral relativism and modernism. Amen. 

The Word Exposed Advent Recollection


 

Friends, we have it here again: Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle will preach another Advent Recollection at the Loyola Schools Covered Courts at the Ateneo de Manila University on Sunday, December 2.

 

The half-day recollection, where registration is free, will start from 8:30 a.m. up to noon. A Mass shall follow.

Here is the invitation from Cardinal Tagle’s Facebook page maintained by Jesuit Communications:

 

 

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Plagiarism (repost from Jun Tariman’s blog)


This is from an original post by my former mentor in college and now Solar News executive Jun Tariman.

At a time when information over the Internet is so prevalent and easy to find, plagiarism is getting common, and it seems that people think it is evil only when they are caught.

Senator Tito Sotto today said sorry to Robert Kennedy for the plagiarism issue which caught the ire of a lot of netizens; however he quickly quipped that “copying is the highest form of flattery”.

You may follow the link below to find Tariman’s educative post:

Plagiarism
.

Mamalandong Kita!


Pamalandong alang sa Ikakawhaa’g Siyam nga Domingo “Sulod sa Tuig”
Kanonisasyon ni Beato Pedro Calungsod, katekista’ng layko ug martir
Alan Luigi Flores

Mata’g usa kanato aduna’y gipangandoy. Uban kanato nangambisyon og taas nga katungdanan; ang pipila, buot moserbisyo; ang uban, ganahan madato. Sama sa managsuon nga si Santiago ug si Juan, aduna puy uban kanato nga nangandoy sa labing taas nga mga posisyon—bahala na’g matamakan ang isigkaingon basta lang makab-ot ang mga gitinguha.

Kon aduna man gani’y angayan nga ipangandoy ang matag Kristyano, walay lain kundili ang langit. Apan, unsaon man nato pagbaton sa langit? Unsa nga mga paagi ang angayan aron atong masinati ug atong makab-ot ang labing mahinungdanon nga grasya: ang pakighiusa sa Dios.

Atong klarohon nga miingon si Jesus: Kon usa kaninyo buot magdakong tawo, kinahanglan nga mag-alagad siya sa tanan; ug ang buot nga mahimong labaw sa tanan, kinahanglan nga siya magpaulipon sa tanan.”

Ang World Mission Sunday haom nga okasyon sa sulod sa Tuig sa Pagtuo diin kita makapamalandong sa kalunsay sa pag-alagad sa Dios sa atong tagsatagsang mga kinabuhi. Ang mao’ng kalunsay gipakita sa atong katagilungsod nga si Pedro Calungsod, kinsa nga mibiya sa iyang pamilya dinhi sa iyang yutang natawhan sa Kabisay-an, ug mikuyog sa misyon sa walay paglangay uban sa mga Heswita.

Karon sa pagbayaw sa atong katagilungsod ug higala nga si Pedro sa kadungganan sa altar isip hingpit nga balaan, isip santo, makapangutana kita: kini ba’ng tanan nga akong gibuhat ug gilaoman, makadangat ba kini nato sa kinabuhing walay kataposan? 

Naseguro ni Pedro nga nahingpit gayod niya ang iyang gipangandoy nga mahiusa siya sa Dios diha sa bug-os ug tiunay nga pagpangalagad sa tanan. Sa iyang pagpanlimbasog sa matag adlaw nga tanan sa misyon didto sa Marianas, nakita niya nga gugma alang sa Ginoo ang nagpasulabi sa tanan niyang gimbuhaton uban ang iyang matawag nga “bossing”: si Padre Diego Luis de San Vitores, kinsa usab nahimong Beato sa nakalabay nga 27 ka tuig.

Nakab-ot ni Pedro ang langit uban ni Padre Diego kay hangtod sa pag-ula sa ilang kinabuhi samtang ilang gimantala ang pagtuo nga ilang gipuy-an, ilang gihatagan og kinabuhi ang mga pulong ni Jesus: Ang Anak sa Tawo wala moanhi aron alagaran, kondili sa pag-alagad ug paghatag sa iyang kinabuhi aron pagtubos sa daghang mga tawo.”

Natandog ko sa estorya nga gipakita sa Maalaala Mo Kaya sa ABS-CBN diin adunay usa ka magtutudlo nga didto gipadala sa usa ka tunghaan sa mga Aeta sa usa sa mga lalawigan didto sa Luzon. Sa pag-abot niya sa lugar wala niya damha nga ang mga bata didto wala masayod sa ilang mga ngalan ug apelyido, mga adlaw nga natawhan, ug ang ilang edad. Kay wala man g’yod siyay makuha gikan sa mga bata, giingnan niya ang mga bata nga dad-on nila ang ilang mga ginikanan aron aduna siyay kapangutan-an. 

Apan sa pag-abot sa mga ginikanan, wala na pod niya damha nga hasta usab sila, wala masayod sa petsa sa pagkahimugso sa ilang mga anak. Lalim ba kon ang tubag: “natawo siya sa pagbukad sa sampaguita” o dili ba kaha “sa paglawom na sa sapa”? Wala siya kaagwanta ug misuway sa pagluwat sa iyang pwesto apan gitandog siya sa iyang konsyensya ug mibalik siya sa mga Aeta bisan sa pagsupak sa iyang bana ug sa iyang mga anak.

Sama niining sugilanon sa pag-alagad, ang mga kasakit bayloan sa kalipay nga walay sama kon ang tim-os ug tiunay nga tumong ug tuyo sa serbisyo ug misyon makab-ot. Walay sukod ang pagmahal nga gihatag sa Dios alang kanatong iyang katawhan. Siya ang tuburan sa tanang gugma, ug dili mahimo nila ni Pedro ug ni Padre Diego ang pag-alagad sa misyon kon dili tungod ug alang sa gugma nga gihatag sa Dios alang kanato nga iyang mga anak.

Karong adlawa mangamuyo kita sa Ginoo nga unta hatagan kita og igong kadasig ug kusog aron sa kanunay sa walay pagpihig ug walay lipudlipod atong mahatagan og igong pagtagad ang pagpangalagad sa uban.

Sa ngalan sa Amahan, ug sa Anak, ug sa Espiritu Santo. Amen.

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I admit I have to read this story but for now, I hope you guys will enjoy literature at its finest.

DIS CRIS

This is a short story written by Alejandro Roces during his freshman year in Arizona State University. He was well known for his humorous stories and whit in writing. “We Filipinos are Mild Drinkers” is dated back to the 1940s. The war had just ended in the Philippines and life was back to normal, except for a few new friends of course. This is one of my absolute favorites. I hope you guys like it.

ENJOY!

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Ur Dose


For those who want more doses of spiritual nourishment (take note there’s no overdose of spiritual nourishment), I’d like to recommend a blog for us to follow every Sunday.

http://urdose.blogspot.com/

This is a blog by Brother Weldann Panganiban who has also followed our podcasts for the past two Sundays.

Please pray for his ministry to flourish too. Online preachers like us will need a lot of prayers and strength.. and yes, perseverance.

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