To understand reality is not the same as to know about outward events. It is to perceive the essential nature of things. The best-informed man is not necessarily the wisest. Indeed there is a danger that precisely in the multiplicity of his knowledge he will lose sight of what is essential. But on the other hand, knowledge of an apparently trivial detail quite often makes it possible to see into the depth of things. And so the wise man will seek to acquire the best possible knowledge about events, but always without becoming dependent upon this knowledge. To recognize the significant in the factual is wisdom. Dietrich Bonhoeffer:


Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus.---RALPH WALDO EMERSON
Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.---ABRAHAM LINCOLN
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state to another, nothing more. He who has felt the deepest grief is best able to experience supreme happiness. We must have felt what it is to die, that we may appreciate the enjoyments of life.---ALEXANDRE DUMAS
“It is not because the truth is too difficult to see that we make mistakes... we make mistakes because the easiest and most comfortable course for us is to seek insight where it accords with our emotions - especially selfish ones" --- Alexander Solzhenitsyn quotes (Russian novelist, Nobel Prize for Literature (1970), b.1918)
“Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.” ---Kahlil Gibran

Monday, October 31, 2011

My October '11 in a nutshell

Whew, the clock is  ticking fast and this time it's different as when I look back, I feel a bit strange and that there's a feeling of wasted times and moments, it makes me shake my head and stare right straight to wherever I am directed at that very minute I have the thought. My work is at the weekends and the rest of the days are spent at home if not in groceries or malls. Having so much time makes me think of a lot of things and that I should have been doing, where I should be and what  should I have accomplished.  These times refresh the old me of being loaded with lots of things in mind and I mean those  that I  desire and dream of. In a way there's this better sense of how crucial time is and how short life  really is. The stages  I think are quite quick that they have to  be in totally different levels, not all get to every stage neither of the same duration and span perhaps that's just where the uniqueness of this living certainly comes in.

My kids at weekend classes have always been remarkable. From them I get those splashes of memories that are  worth the smile and even up to crying by laughing. The wisdom the little kids have, their wits, their affection, their trust and less hesitations just make everything more colorful. I can recall I have a boyish nine-year-old- girl during break as we do take our snacks together and settle outside the classroom who just told me, "Teacher, you know I'm a girl and I'm a boy. Do you understand?".  I responded in a question, "do you mean you want to be a boy even though you're a girl?" She answered, "teacher, in the morning, I want to be a girl and in the afternoon, I'm a boy." I asked her back,"do you want to be a boy?". She answered again: " I want to be a girl and a boy". I gave her a smile back saying she's a beautiful and smart girl.

Another one that I can't forget also  was when we talked about school rules, as in language classes we had the "we have to", "we don't have to", and "we can't". It was a wrap-up activity I asked each one to tell me something about their respective school rules using the language, and surprisingly, I got these:  "we have to "poo" in the toilet",  "we don't have to kiss in the classroom" , "we can't fart in the classroom" as the highlight. I have no idea where my nine-year-old- kids get these  but they genuinely made us all laugh. Such moments are fun for them while learning, as a teacher it's amazing to get these surprises once in a while as hearing from them something that I personally haven't thought of. Just Hahaha!

On the other hand, this flood disaster has been a bit stressful to the country, worse to those who have lost their loved ones, their homes, businesses and properties in Northern Bangkok. I don't have a property myself and I know how difficult it is to get one, losing something should be harder to deal. It  was  heartbreaking to see the damages the flood has brought and to think these aren't insurance covered which means when one suffers loss of any property then they have to go back to zero if  I'm not wrong. We have  been alerted here in Central Bangkok since end of September and we have been stocking food since then. We  ran out of stocks and then get another set. The most difficult part for me is getting bottled water. I drink water everyday of course and I can approximately  finish five liters of water in three days and by the time I need more, there's no stock available. I witnessed  Tesco Lotus people these past weekends getting  bottled waters for their weekly donation I assumed, for the flood victims. I think too, at this time the evacuees need clean and safe water the most, should be one of the reasons of common empty shelves and people in some way in panic buying. I'm glad though that the groceries   try to get more dry goods  at a time.

It's been over a month since we've had  the flood alert, it hasn't affected my area yet at least. I'm still hopeful that we stay dry in here and that we will have better days to look forward to. I saw the satellite on the water up north those are just HUGE. It's a miracle that it hadn't hit Bangkok that much yet talking about how massive it is and how tiny Chao Phraya and other river outlets for the waters to go to the sea.

Work at the weekend goes on in my branch which again I'm thankful as it's the only source of income for me these times. I've learnt that some of my company's branches decided to close due to the situation.  We had our yearly halloween  fun last Saturday and Sunday, the kids had games and some food as usual.

And today, oh well I thought it's the first day of  November already, I haven't thought of October the 31st until I open my notebook. But I'm sad as I learnt that it's  my favorite English FM station in Bangkok's last day on air. Wave 88.00 has been by morning "mate" this year, it started as my energizer to get me prepared to work. I'll miss the station for sure and the pop music they play.

Finally, I'm not  sure how should I give a rundown exactly except that this month has been both idle and active, the former is in matters of work, the latter is on memories, worries and perhaps issues relating to  the present status quo. It is full of uncertainties still out there -big ones, but I don't want to worry  much and spoil myself to the kind. I just believe that HOPE is healthier and that's what I need better.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Economic VALUES should support family LIFE, Pope Benedict says.

The FAMILY is the basic unit of the society, this fact has never changed at all and if the rest support this truth, this world could have been better. Below is the article  of National Catholic Register on the Pope speaking to the participants  in the annual conference  of the Centisimus Annus Foundation last October 15, 2011. It is indeed Tips of doing business - the RIGHT way.


Pope's Tips for Doing Business

Economic values should support family life, Benedict says.


VATICAN CITY (EWTN News/CNA)—Pope Benedict XVI called for new ways of doing business, in keeping with the dignity of workers and their families, during an Oct. 15 address to promoters of Catholic social doctrine.

“Family and work are privileged places for the construction of the vocation of man, collaborating in the creative work of God today,” he told the Fondazione Centesimus Annus Pro Pontifice, a Vatican-based lay organization that spreads the Church’s social teaching around the world.

Its members met in Rome for a two-day conference on the relationship between family and business.

In his speech to the foundation, the Pope recalled how the Second Vatican Council “spoke of the family in terms of the domestic church, an ‘untouchable sanctuary’ where the person matures in affection, solidarity and spirituality.”

“The economy with its laws must always consider the interests and the protection of this primary cell of society,” the Pope noted.

His comments coincide with important anniversaries in the history of Catholic social teaching. Pope Leo XIII published the first modern encyclical on the topic, Rerum Novarum, 120 years ago in 1891.

Meanwhile, 2011 also marks 30 years since Blessed John Paul II’s family-centered apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio and two decades since he addressed economic questions in the encyclical Centessimus Annus.

Pope Benedict said that although “great changes have taken place in the world” since the days of Leo XIII, the Church “always promotes the human person and the family, in their context in life, even in business.”
He stressed the economy’s need for good families, observing that “it is primarily in the family that we learn the right attitude for living in society,” including the “world of work, economics, business.”

In these fields, he said, values from family life help people to be “led by charity, the logic of generosity, solidarity and responsibility for one another.”

Pope Benedict recognized that the present economic crisis has hit families hard. He highlighted his 2009 encyclical Caritas in Veritate as a guide to building a more humane society and economy, based on “a new harmonious synthesis between family and work.”

“It is not the task of the Church to define the ways to tackle the crisis,” the Pope acknowledged.

But Christians, formed by the Church’s teaching, have a duty “to denounce evil, to testify and to keep alive the values that underpin human dignity and to promote those forms of solidarity that promote the common good,” helping humanity become “more and more the family of God.”

Pope Benedict XVI describes the importance of family values during this tough economic time.


"The Relationship Between Family and Work"

VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 2011 ( Here is a translation of the address Benedict XVI gave Saturday to participants in the annual conference of the Centesimus Annus Foundation.
* * *
Venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am very happy to receive you on the occasion of the annual congress of the Centesimus Annus-Pro Pontifice Foundation, which has gathered you for two days of study on the topic of the relationship between family and work. I thank the president, Dr. Domingo Sugranyes Bickel, for the courteous words he addressed to me, and I greet you all cordially.
As was noted, this year marks the 20th anniversary Blessed John Paul II's encyclical Centesimus Annus, published 100 years after Rerum Novarum, as well as the 30th anniversary of the apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio. This double celebration makes your topic even more timely and opportune. In these 120 years of development of the Social Doctrine of the Church, great changes have taken place in the world, which could not even be imagined at the time of the historic encyclical of Pope Leo XIII. However, though external conditions have changed, the internal patrimony of the social magisterium has not changed. It always promotes the human person and the family, in its context of life and also that of business.
The Second Vatican Council spoke of the family in terms of a domestic Church, an "untouchable shrine" where a person matures in his affections, in solidarity, in spirituality. Economy as well, with its laws, must always consider the interests of this primary cell of society and safeguard it; the word "economy" itself in its etymological origin contains a claim to the importance of the family: oikia and nomos, the law of the home.
In the apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, Blessed John Paul II indicated four duties for the family institution, which I would like to recall briefly: the formation of a community of persons; service to life; participation in society and participation in the Church. All of these are functions at whose base is love, and it is to this that a family is educated and formed. "The love between husband and wife," the venerable Pontiff stated, "and, in a derivatory and broader way, the love between members of the same family-between parents and children, brothers and sisters and relatives and members of the household-is given life and sustenance by an unceasing inner dynamism leading the family to ever deeper and more intense communion, which is the foundation and soul of the community of marriage and the family" (No. 18). In the same way, love is at the base of the service to life, founded on the cooperation that the family gives to the continuity of creation, to the procreation of man made in the image and likeness of God.
And it is first in the family where correct behavior is learned, so as to live in society, also in the world of work, of economy, of business -- which must be guided by caritas, in the logic of gratitude, of solidarity and of responsibility for one another. "The relationships between the members of the family community are inspired and guided by the law of 'free giving," John Paul II wrote. "By respecting and fostering personal dignity in each and every one as the only basis for value, this free giving takes the form of heartfelt acceptance, encounter and dialogue, disinterested availability, generous service and deep solidarity" (No. 43). From this perspective, the family passes from being a mere object to being an active subject capable of recalling the "human face" that the world of economy must have. If this is true for society in general, it assumes even greater importance in the ecclesial community. Also in evangelization, in fact, the family has an important place, as I recalled recently in Ancona: It is not, simply, the recipient of pastoral action, but is its protagonist, called to take part in evangelization in its own original way, putting at the service of the Church herself and of society its own being and action, as ann intimate community of life and love (cf. apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, No. 50). The family and work are privileged places for the fulfillment of the vocation of man, who collaborates in the creative work of God today.
As you noted in your addresses, in the difficult situation we are experiencing, we are unfortunately witnessing a crisis in work and in the economy, which is accompanied by a crisis in the family: the conflicts of couples, generational conflicts, conflicts occasioned between the times of the family and of work, occupational crises, create a complex situation of unease that influences social living itself.
A new harmonious synthesis between the family and work is therefore necessary, and the Social Doctrine of the Church can offer a valuable contribution. In the encyclical Caritas in Veritate I wished to highlight that the family model of the logic of love, of gratitude, and of gift goes together with a universal dimension. Commutative justice -- "give to have" -- and distributive justice -- "give to owe" – are not sufficient in social living. To have true justice it is necessary to arrive at gratuitousness and solidarity. "Solidarity is first and foremost a sense of responsibility on the part of everyone with regard to everyone, and it cannot therefore be merely delegated to the State. While in the past it was possible to argue that justice had to come first and gratuitousness could follow afterwards, as a complement, today it is clear that without gratuitousness, there can be no justice in the first place. (...) Charity in truth, in this case, requires that shape and structure be given to those types of economic initiative which, without rejecting profit, aim at a higher goal than the mere logic of the exchange of equivalents, of profit as an end in itself" (No. 38).
"The market of gratuitousness does not exist, and attitudes of gratuitousness cannot be established by law. Yet both the market and politics need individuals who are open to reciprocal gift" (No. 39). It is not the duty of the Church to define the ways to address the present crisis. However, Christians have the duty to denounce evils, to attest to and to keep alive the values on which the dignity of the person is founded, and to promote those ways of solidarity that foster the common good, so that humanity will become the family of God.
Dear friends, I hope that the reflections that have arisen in your conference will help you to assume ever more actively, your role in the spreading and implementation of the Social Doctrine of the Church, not forgetting that "development needs Christians with their arms raised towards God in prayer, Christians moved by the knowledge that truth-filled love, caritas in veritate, from which authentic development proceeds, is not produced by us, but given to us" (No. 79). With this hope, while I entrust you to the intercession of the Virgin Mary, I impart to you and to your dear ones my wholehearted special Apostolic Blessing.
[Translation by ZENIT]

Friday, October 14, 2011


13/10/2011 18:43:48:

In our prayer, "We should look at how often, in the events of our lives, the Lord has protected us, guided and helped us -- and we should praise Him for what He has done for us." This was just one of the remarks Pope Benedict XVI made to the faithful gathered Wednesday in St Peter's Square for the weekly General Audience.

Commenting on Psalm 126, Benedict XVI recalled the joy that fill those who experience the great things that God does. "We must be more attentive to the good things that the Lord gives us," said Pope Benedict. "We always pay attention to the problems, difficulties and almost do not want to see that there are good things that come from the Lord. This kind of attention," he said becomes GRATITUDE which is very important for us. Gratitude creates a memory of the good that also helps us in the dark times."

"The history of humanity and the history of every person, there are pains, uncertainties and moments of crisis though even in these we are living a history, a story of salvation because in the end, in Jesus, our every exile has ended, every tear is dried in the mystery of His cross, of death transformed into life as the seed that falls to the ground and becomes a shoot."

Thursday, October 13, 2011


I'm inspired to write something about the title due to a  facebook status and the comments that follow it. Forgiveness comes to those who sincerely repent and obey God's commandments. There is forgiveness in acknowledging faults and not doing the same thing again and in times of carelessness and weaknesses which one really feels sorry about.  It affects how we deal with life I think. Some people insist that God is a forgiving God so it's fine to "intentionally" do things that are in the first place oppose to God's will. Why do we do continually these actions that we know displease Him? Worst,  living with them! I believe I don't have the right to judge, I'm just at the point of wonder and question why these things happen.

It is the same as offending someone as one knows he can be forgiven anyway and that very person is incapable of not forgiving.  It's selfishness when we negligently  consider the welfare of  others much as instead of giving them reward and be grateful to their kindness, we do the contrary.

This isn't rare, many times decisions are done at the expense of  others as the other party understands anyway and the other doesn't. For times, those who have "problems"  - "attitude problems" so to speak are better compensated believing it's the best way out of trouble. Turning the situation to those who truly deserve unfairly treated and have been taken advantage of their goodness.

In cases when we have to decide ourselves, I think we better take decisions that we are mainly responsible for, not in the expense of  someone else, again,  more so of their  goodness and kindness. Isn't it  unfair to think that some suffer in grief due to the choices others have made? Much more as those persons have done nothing bad against anyone for them to be inflicted with pains and giving them less than what they are entitled to.

Forgiveness is kindness and understanding. Asking one comes with sincerity and authentic repentance which each person definitely knows what is genuine within. It's not what others see but how God sees the  inner soul and  dedication to His commands.

It's easy to ask forgiveness when one is in that habit, it is opposing pride unless pure and never deceitful. 

Contraceptives Kill People, Harm the Environment, and Bankrupt the Economy

 Tuesday, October 11, 2011 10:34
               Source: National Catholic Register              

Contraception is popularly heralded as a great societal advancement while the Catholic Church’s stance against it has been viewed by many as, at best, counter cultural and, at worst, indicative of a Church whose time has passed.

The truth is, however, that the mainstreaming of contraception may be one of the most calamitous events of the past century. While it’s been shown that the availability of contraception has led to increases in illegitimacy, abortion, broken families, and helped to create an epidemic of single motherhood there are other consequences as well. Contraceptives are responsible for an increase in HIV cases in Africa, harming the environment, and bankrupting the worldwide economy.

1) Contraception Kills.

A story reported just this week from CNA shows that contraceptive use in Africa may increase the risk of acquiring HIV in Africa.

HIV-negative women who use hormonal contraception injections have nearly twice the risk of contracting HIV, while the HIV-negative male partners of infected women also face an increased risk.

The study, led by University of Washington researchers, was published in The Lancet Infections Diseases journal…The study could mean that the promotion of hormonal contraception in Africa has inadvertently fueled the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

You probably didn’t read much of that study in the mainstream media. Nor have you  likely heard that in 2003, a study out of the University of California, found no evidence of condoms working as a primary HIV-prevention measure in Africa. In fact, one         Harvard researcher said that condoms may actually inspire some to riskier sexual behavior and actually promote AIDS.        

So remember all those folks who said that the Pope was responsible for all those deaths in Africa because of the Church’s ban on contraception. Remember the cartoon that ran in The Philadelphia Inquirer which depicted the pope callously telling dying Africans in an AIDS ward: “Blessed are the sick, for they have not used condoms.” Well it’s certainly looking increasingly likely that the Pope was right. And the mass push from international organizations for contraception availability in Africa may actually be helping to increase the horrors of HIV in Africa.

2) Contraception is Harming the Environment.

The Pill is polluting the environment, harming sea life, and may be part responsible for male infertility.

One of the consequences of The Pill is that massive amounts of hormones are…shall we say…released into nature through female urine. To what effect?

WND reports:

EPA-funded scientists at the University of Colorado studied fish in a mountain stream near Boulder, Colo… When they netted 123 trout and other fish downstream from the city’s sewer plant, they found 101 were female, 12 were male, and 10 were strange “intersex” fish with male and female features.
It’s “the first thing that I’ve seen as a scientist that really scared me,” university biologist John Woodling told the Denver Post.

The main culprits were found to be estrogens and other steroid hormones from birth-control pills and patches that ultimately ended up in the creek after being excreted in urine into the city’s sewers.

The EPA has ignored that study and others. The UK’s Environment Agency actually went ahead and labeled the Pill as a pollutant but are also turning their heads away from the disaster.
Environmentalists have remained predictably apathetic about this pollutant. We can all figure out the whys on that one.

3) Contraception Bankrupts Economies.

The mainstreaming of contraception has led to a decrease in births nationwide and in many countries around the world. This decrease in births will likely have catastrophic consequences in Europe, Russia, and China in the very near future with America as well.

In many countries, less and less workers will be forced to bear the burden of the unfunded liability arising from an increasing amount of retirees whose life expectancy is increasing.

Zenit reports that a recently published report called “The Sustainable Demographic Dividend: What Do Marriage & Fertility Have To Do With the Economy?” delivers a warning that unless the birth rate rises, the consequences could be catastrophic with fewer workers supporting a greater number of retirees. This will eventually lead to a sharp decline in the global economy which some believe we’re already feeling the effects of now. Things have gotten so bad in Russia already they’re paying people to have babies. Things are almost as bad in Europe but they’re still ignoring the problem while they allow immigrants to make up the demographic shortfall.

These are only some of the catastrophic effects of contraception. Hopefully, some will look into this and wonder if the ol’ Church may have been on to something all along. And hey, if the Church is right about this, you’ve gotta’ wonder what else it may be right about. Hmmm.