Dominus Est!


The Church in the Philippines has another reason to rejoice.

After the canonization of Saint Pedro Calungsod, the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI in his weekly General Audience came as a surprise when he revealed that there will be six new Cardinals for the Church, all of whom are not from Europe.

One of the six is Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Tagle, lovingly called “Chito” by those who have worked with him.

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While we see that this is a gift for the Philippine Church at large, Tagle’s appointment as Cardinal came sooner than expected.

Manila Archbishop-Emeritus Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales was given the red hat in 2006, three years after his election as archbishop. Cebu Archbishop-Emeritus Ricardo Cardinal Vidal received his in 1985, two years after he was installed.

Tagle, only installed as Manila archbishop in December of last year, became cardinal in less than 12 months.

The good archbishop’s affiliation with Benedict is very apparent. When the former received his pallium, that thin garment with six crosses worn by metropolitan archbishops in Masses within their archdioceses, the two spoke for the longest time. My friends from the Ave Maria online community also noticed this as we were running our coverage for the reception of the pallium months ago.

Tagle, still a priest by then, and the erstwhile-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger worked together in the International Theological Commission, that body of the world’s brightest theologians who meet a week in a year to discuss the most pressing questions regarding the Catholic faith.

I will not be surprised though if he will be named to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the rod of Catholic doctrine in the Vatican, and with Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas named to Manila.

Granting that Tagle has been named Cardinal, fears have sparked regarding the Pope’s health. This appointment of new cardinals is the second this year. Last February, four Italians have been raised to the cardinalate, raising their number of cardinal-electors to 30. With this development, how wide are Tagle’s chances in ascending to the See of Peter in the event of a conclave?

Nothing is impossible. In fact, John Allen, a journalist for the US-based National Catholic Reporter, said that Tagle may be a papabile. Allen goes on to cite instances in Tagle’s life as bishop of Imus, where he rode the bus to work and took the pedicab to celebrate Mass for a barrio having its fiesta.

He might be another silent contender in the papacy (Jaime Cardinal Sin was also seen as a Papal contender due to his role in the 1986 Edsa Revolution). We’ve already seen John Paul II as pope from 1978-2005. No one ever expected him to be elected; yet, the Holy Spirit rained down on the Cardinals and inspired them to choose the now-beatified pope.

In this Year of Faith, while we still hover over these questions in the days to come, we could not but say “Dominus est.” It is the Lord.

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Finally!


Today is World Communications Sunday. Amidst the noise and the haste of today, we are invited by Pope Benedict XVI to listen to that sound of silence where God speaks.

Since today we rejoice in the gift of communication, I also decided to start a podcast of Sunday Reflections. 

Jason Baguia, a reporter/columnist of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and a good friend, suggested that I launch this podcast today because of the occasion today. Thanks to him, I found an apt opportunity to post this podcast.

Medyo bati pa man ang atong quality kay lagi, bag-o pa.. I hope I can improve pa..
Thanks be to God for the gift of communication, the gift of this means to spread the Good News pa gyod to everyone..
The link to the podcast is below.
http://soundcloud.com/latigorapido/ascension-sunday

Why Forty?


The significance of the number 40 in Biblical literature is actually obvious in the Old and the New Testament.

For 40 years, Moses and the Israelites journeyed to the Promised Land.

The Babylonian exile lasted for about 40 years.

Jesus was tempted for 40 days in the desert.

But this actually makes me wonder, is this literally 40? 40 years ba gyod ni siya?

We should note that the Bible should be read contextually, not at all time literally. Maglibog ra mo.

Now the purpose of making that point is that we never actually know how many days the Lord was actually led by the Spirit to the desert to be tempted by the devil. The number 40 is a symbolic number; meaning, it connotes a long time. Taas-taas gyod ni nga panahon.

Since today is the First Sunday of Lent, and since we read today in our Gospel about the temptation of Jesus, we will try to connect this one to our celebration of Lent.

How are the forty days of Lent counted?

Lent begins with Ash Wednesday, the date of which is also dependent on the date of Easter Sunday.

The forty days of Lent are actually the weekdays from Ash Wednesday up until Holy Saturday. The Sundays of Lent are not counted as Sundays are always considered mini-Easters. A weekday in the Church also counts Saturdays.

Now try counting the number of days from February 22 up to April 7, the last day of Lent. Exclude the Sundays in the counting.

This Lent, like Jesus Christ, we are faced with a lot of things. Attachments, temptations, everything this world offers.

My confessor told me today that while this may sound contradictory, we may have to be proud–proud of God, and at the same time, be cowards–cowards toward the things of the world which are often presented as lovely and blissful.

True bliss, happiness and joy will only be felt if we actually defeat the temptations with the help of God. One just has to note though that being tempted is not the sin; rather, what is not good is when we succumb to it. However weak we may be, we are always strengthened in the hope that we will be able to fight temptation. Jesus today gives us an example of how it is to defeat those things: by reforming our lives and believing in the Gospel (Mk. 1:15).
Mail me: alanluigiflores@gmail.com

 

Spectacles of History


Tuod man, the impeachment of Chief Justice Renato Corona has come underway for two days already. For those actually interested to see some kind of a spectacle in Philippine history, the coverage of several news stations and sometimes mainstream stations starts at 1:00 p.m, an hour before the actual schedule of the trial at the Senate.

This is history as Corona is actually the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who faces trial in the Senate for culpable violation of the Constitution, and betrayal of public trust. Eight articles of impeachment have been transmitted to the Senate and these will form the bases of the trial.

This is worth watching because the results may spell a lot of difference in what President Aquino calls the daang matuwid, a big step in Aquino’s game plan of going after former president Gloria Arroyo who appointed Corona as chief justice just right after the 2010 elections.

This will definitely go the stretch as Corona wants to cling on to his post to death, something he affirmed today at a gathering in the Supreme Court yesterday with banners screaming “Uphold the Rule of Law, not the Rule of Yellow,” in an apparent attack against President Aquino. That should cost the Senate millions of pesos which could have been spent for other important legislation.

As they say, let’s see the scattered. 

***

I have already bought a new Ordo for the liturgical year 2012. Though it is considered late already since the liturgical year of the catholic Church has stared last November 27 or the First Sunday of Advent, I still consider it a lovely gift for me as I bought it with my own money. The last time I bought one was in 2009 when I still had to rely on my mother’s salary to be able to buy it for more than a hundred pesos.

This should be a great help to me in my activities concerning spiritual life. This can also be a guide when I give out my small talks to the lectors of Don Bosco Lawaan whenever I get the chance to see them before work, or after work (depending on my schedule; remember a call center agent like me can never tell what his schedule will be within two weeks primarily because he/she has shifting schedules, and it is a part of his/her job to just endure that one, even if it means waking up at night and sleeping at midday until mid-afternoon).

***

As you read this, please pray for me as we end transition on Saturday midnight, and this will greatly affect my employment status in one of those contact centers in Cebu.

***

Finally, before deciding to write this post, I had a chance to speak with Rachell Lisondra, a friend from the same university where I obtained my degree in Mass Communication. I hope she is doing well now as she promised to drop by and read this post.

Until next time.

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