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

Friday, December 23, 2011

It is

Just hours before  the day turn the 24th I just found something. It didn't feel good, "I'm not ok". . There was a sudden strange feeling like loads of ice were poured on me,and I'm trembling up to this very moment. I can not cry.

The truth makes me understand  a lot of things that made me confused over the years, the cause of my tears even to sleep and everything that made this beautiful life "not fine".

I do not know how to react, it is just that  it doesn't feel any good and I think my world stops at this very moment. But I think I just have been blessed, I may not understand well what's happening but I know God has better plans. I'm looking forward to  better days this year has been full of catastrophe, never my ideal yet I choose to hang on and believe that we can always save the best for last as the best is yet to come.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Simbang Gabi '11 --4thday

I was pretty excited this day as this is my official first attendance at Mary Help of Christians Parish in Krungthep Krittha. I got there by 6:40 and was surprised they were having a rosary.  That was already the fourth Joyful Mystery when I came. I was so happy as it's my first time to  have the kind in the Church and after, we had the Simbang gabi mass right away.

Just wow, Father John Tamayo gave the Homily in 20minutes if I got the time right. I love listening to his share and as a Filipino, we can really relate how he speaks from the heart. He shared about the day's gospel on the first reading and the holy gospel. Both speak of Conception. The first reading is on the conception of Samson by a barren woman who Samson became a King later and of John the Baptist by the elderly, barren Elizabeth. Their stories are alike as they were conceived with purpose and God's will aside from the Miracle in it. The stories are 800 years apart as shared by Fr. Tamayo. Both conceptions are important steps in the FULFILLMENT of GOD's PLAN.

He also shared how Zechariah hesitated the news when the angel appeared to him announcing his wife was giving birth. As learnt, they were mature with age and Zechariah was estimated as over sixty that time. We can imagine his concern for his wife, Elizabeth in her age of  bearing a son, it could be challenging and not easy to deal with. But then the lesson is PUTTING OUR TRUST in GOD even though at times we don't understand where are we going and we have less knowledge of what is happening as HE always has a better plan. 

The Euchalette distributed in the church has these words:

"Putting Our Trust in God.

On this fourth day of our Novena we are reminded that, occasionally, God challenges people to trust things. The episode of the disbelief of Zechariah warns us that those who doubt God's words will be left to wittiness, ashamed and speechless, the fulfillment of the divine plan.  On the other hand, those who accept God's plan in full trust and are ready to cooperate become His partners and instruments of His love and power.

Today's liturgy challenges us to choose between being spectators of God's wonders or His enthusiastic collaborators along the highway of salvation history.

In today's liturgy we are also invited to reflect on and pray for the elderly and the childless "titas" in our families. Their happiness depends on how we treat them."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Simbang Gabi '11 --3rd day

I made up my mind I'll be in Mary Help of Christians  Parish for tonight's mass, it's  the Fourth Sunday of Advent.  I have read that the masses will be alternately Thai and English and this day is set to ENG.  My work finished at six I planned to get a cab right straight from Nawamin to get there on time.

I got to the church by half past six. People were outside and father, too was talking with some people near the long table. I was pretty sure they were having dinner. I hurriedly went inside and smelled candles. I know for sure there's a Misang Tagalog every Sunday at five in the afternoon, I was thinking it was just done but judging the church that everything has been kept, I hunched that there would be no more 7pm mass.

I asked then a guy if there was Simbang gabi he shared there's none and the mass that was just finished was it. And tomorrow's mass then will be in ENG. If the announcement was clear that Sundays will cover the Regular Sunday mass I should have known better, it only stated it was an alternate Eng-Thai 7pm mass but no worries, at least I know I can come back tomorrow. I missed this day, let me just share the Homily I got from EWTN on  youtube.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Simbang Gabi '11 --2nd day

There was a change of schedule at work today which made me finish my classes at six instead of half past five. I hurriedly walked out of Tesco to get a bus to ABAC for the mass. The ride was pretty slow as some schools in Navamin area have Saturday classes. The ride took quite  long  and worrying of not making it on time. I then decided  to get  off  in another stop taking my chances of  getting  a motorcycle ride to get to ABAC and to save time definitely.

I was running on my way to the building and even climbing up the stairs with my heels and there, the second reading was just done. I settled then in in front next to my two friends I felt so relieved I could hear the gospel. There was a great feeling that I made it to the Gospel, however as yesterday, the mass didn't have any homily. I figured the mass would still be in half and hour and knew that very moment  it would be as yesterday.

I felt incomplete, I know the homily connects the priest to the churchgoers, in that moment he can relate and the connection between him and the people is felt much it makes the gathering in a more "family" setting. Without it, the mass is similar to a DVD being played  and just watched by the viewers.  That is aside from the fact that the homily expands the message in the Holy Gospel which is a very essential part of the mass.

I couldn't help myself but approached the Fil. who primarily does the assisting in there asking if it was possible for the Priest (not Fil.) to have at least a Homily. He defended the priest doesn't give any homily on weekday mass and he considers the number of people attending the mass. I myself studied in a Catholic school in the past and attended the daily masses, it rarely happened for our priest not to give any homily in the half-an-hour mass.  In a second I thought, we are not having an ordinary mass, Simbang Gabi is a devotional mass in anticipation of Christmas and we never do this everyday, we have this once a year. I think we miss something.

I believe it's enough and thankful, too that I learnt about it on the second day. I understand now better why there are very few people who came for the mass, in fact lesser than yesterday. And I've decided myself not to go back there for the Simbang Gabi anymore.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Simbang Gabi '11 --1st day

It has been a long day for me today. I woke up with a terrible migraine the attack makes me like a vampire in my own term. I'm pretty comfortable with dim lights, I'm not into anything too bright except in clothings and when I have an attack,  I get  a problem dealing with anything illuminated or shining.  I badly needed to cover my curtains with darker fabric to block any light that came in my room earlier. I wish I can describe how inconvenient it is (until this moment)'s just not fun and minutes before going out by the evening for the mass, I really thought of not pushing through wondering if I could make it, thanks God I made it to Annunciation Chapel at Assumption University also known as ABAC.

I was surprised there were very few who came to the very first day in there. I'm aware though that many attend the dawn mass at Holy Redeemer Church in Ruamrudee and the first day is always remarkable. Going back to ABAC, guess there were less than twenty who came. The mass just lasted for half an hour and unfortunately, there wasn't any homily after the gospel.

I decided to drop by Big C after, I thought of taking a walk for  awhile then headed to the street where I can take a ride- a short cut ride to home. And before that, I got myself some tangerines and bananas. I had porridge for dinner, it was cool to eat on the sidewalk. I just realized that it is pretty different to walk past by a sidewalk eatery  than eating in there, the perspective is never alike. If you're in Bangkok, this is common in the evening, wherever part of the city you may go.....and me tonight? In there in Naram known as the night shopping/market road.

Looking forward to hear the homily tomorrow as I'll be in the same chapel.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Immaculate Conception

The Catechism of the Catholic Church


490 To become the mother of the Savior, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriate to such a role." 132 The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full of grace". 133 In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to the announcement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by God's grace. 

491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace" through God, 134 was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma of the Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854: 

The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin. 135 
492 The "splendor of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the first instant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exalted fashion, by reason of the merits of her Son". 136 The Father blessed Mary more than any other created person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her "in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love". 137 
493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia), and celebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature". 138 By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sin her whole life long. 
132 LG 56. 
133 Lk 1:28. 
134 Lk 1:28. 
135 Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus (1854): DS 2803. 
136 LG 53, 56. 
137 Cf. Eph 1:3-4. 
138 LG 56. 

Prayer to the Immaculate Conception (1)

O God, who by the Immaculate Conception

of the Blessed Virgin Mary, did prepare a worthy dwelling place
 for Your Son,

we beseech You that, as by the foreseen death of this, Your Son,

You did preserve Her from all stain, so too You would permit us,

purified through Her intercession, to come unto You.

Through the same Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You

in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God, world without end.



EWTN Global Catholic Television Network: Homily - Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ - The Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary