The teaching of the Church on the Most Holy Trinity is clear. The Trinity is a tripod of three persons in one God. They are not three gods but three persons in one God, undivided in unity and equal in majesty. The history of this teaching goes back to the promulgation of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A. D. when Emperor Constantine called an assembly of bishops and leaders of the Church.READ MORE
I remember attending Mass in my community as a young man, with Latin as the main language. You can imagine my confusion singing in Latin while having a limited vocabulary of English as my fourth language. With three native languages in my head, I could hardly follow Latin, but the rhythm and rhymes amused me so much that I could easily mumble everything with the congregation. With some Latin, I felt I belonged to the Church just like the missionaries who promoted it. One Sunday, the Irish priest surprised everyone. He announced at Mass that the choir could sing in their native language and beat the drums. He began to preach to the people in their native language. The reforms he was bringing impressed me. The congregation was more impressed so much so that subsequent Sundays witnessed large crowds in the pews. The Catholics invited others because the renewal considered by the Irish priest recognized their language as part of the language of the Universal Church.READ MORE
104. If God were to offer to do an amazing work to foster faith in the Church and in the world today, what would we ask? We may like to ask for signs and wonders, lightnings and fire, like the pillars of cloud and fire as in the Exodus with Moses. Or we may ask for Eucharistic miracles like bleeding or levitating hosts to deepen our faith in the Eucharist. Perhaps we would simply ask for cultural circumstances to be more favorable to religion.
105. None of this would do any good with respect to faith. Saint John Henry Newman in a sermon entitled “Miracles No Remedy for Unbelief” recalls the Lord’s words that the Israelites “refused to believe in me, despite all the signs I have performed among them” (Numbers 14:11); and that chief priests and pharisees called a council to put Christ to death because he “is performing many signs” (Jn 11:47). Newman’s sobering conclusion is that “nothing is gained by miracles, nothing comes of miracles, as regards our religious views, principles, and habits”. He knows that too often we find our ourselves having gone “year after year with the vain dream of turning to God some future day”. What should we ask from God, then, to strengthen faith?READ MORE
Hiking up to the zenith of Mont Sinai is a daunting task. I began the climb from St. Catherine’s Monastery at the foot of the mountain with other pilgrims from different parts of the world. It was cold and chilly. The monks told us there has not been snow for a long time. Anyway, the snow began to melt, and we were told it was safe to start the climb. Meanwhile, they gave us hot tea to warm us up and we were dressed up in all kinds of protective gear. I wore mine carefully and covered my head allowing only my eyes the honor of directing my sight.READ MORE
C.S. Lewis' Mere Christianity is a must read for all Christians. Lewis was an Oxford University professor who became an atheist and later converted again to Christianity. After his reconversion he decided to write the little treatise on Christianity based on his radio interviews on the common beliefs that Christians share without going into the complications of theology, dogma, or doctrine. Lewis intended with his book, to present the Christian faith in simple forms without offending theologians and leaders of the Christian faith. He wanted those who professed atheism as a way of life, to reconsider conversion just as he did.READ MORE
Every career in life is important. From astronomy to zoology, there is something positive to be developed into a venture that yields a living wage. If what we do gives us contentment and happiness, it is necessary to commit ourselves to making that profession an enviable one. Is the priesthood or religious life considered professions? It is not exactly. The call to priestly and religious life is not exactly a profession; it is a vocation tailored for service in the Church. For this reason, every fourth Sunday of Easter is set aside to pray for vocations. Good Shepherd Sunday is also known as Vocations Sunday to remember those already serving in the priestly or religious life. It is also for all Christians to reflect about their contributions to the human family through their professions and careers.READ MORE
The message of Pope Francis on Easter Sunday stated in part, “The world proposes that we put ourselves forward at all costs, that we compete, that we prevail. But Christians, by the grace of Christ, dead and risen, are the seeds of another humanity, in which we seek to live in service to one another, not to be arrogant, but rather respectful and ready to help.” In his message, the Pope encouraged peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians and prayed for the restoration of normalcy in conflicted areas. He also urged an end to bloodshed in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Ukraine, Nigeria, South Sudan and various parts of Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo. He prayed for the victims of the Kenyan college attack where 145 students were killed.READ MORE
The Code of Canon Law (Can. #747 par. 1) states, “The Church, to which Christ the Lord has entrusted the deposit of faith so that with the assistance of the Holy Spirit it might protect the revealed truth reverently, examine it more closely, and proclaim and expound it faithfully, has the duty and innate right, independent of any human power whatsoever, to preach the gospel to all peoples, also using the means of social communication proper to it.” What this means for the Church is that preaching, teaching, and admonishing the flock are important ways of nurturing the Christian faith.READ MORE
The long journey of Ash Wednesday has ended today with the celebration of Easter. Jesus is risen from the dead, he is no longer in the tomb, he is alive, and he lives forever! We can now sing alleluia for Jesus has overcome death against all the expectations of his executioners. They thought that he would be dead and forgotten, but he proved them wrong by rising from the dead to live forever. Imagine the heavy stone put at the entrance of his tomb to disallow anybody rolling it to steal the body. Yet the stone was rolled back, and nobody could explain how this happened, not even the soldiers guarding the tomb.READ MORE
Today’s celebration joins two observances: the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the suffering and death that followed that. Ordinarily on Sunday, we celebrate and remember the Resurrection of Jesus. But with next Sunday being Easter, the great annual celebration of the Resurrection, this Sunday we prepare to celebrate that resurrection by remembering intensely his Passion and death. Each year, therefore, faithful Catholics will hear the entire account of Jesus’s suffering and death this week and his Resurrection next week. These two celebrations, of the Passion and Resurrection of the Lord, bracket Holy Week. But even if one cannot attend the observances of Holy Week, the Sunday liturgy alone allows us to hear and ponder the entire paschal mystery, which encompasses Jesus’s death and resurrection.READ MORE
The horrendous acts unveiled daily by the media from around the world leave me wondering which century I am living in. To realize that I am living in the 21st century and witnessing what I see and hear makes my bones cringe with fear about man’s grievous inhumanity to man. For long, people have agitated for world peace free of any violence to no avail. It seems that each time one problem is solved, another thousand pop up. Why is man wicked to man, or is it a return to the mentality of the Dark Ages? My answer comes from the realization that a great act of sacrifice was made over two thousand years ago, but the world paid no attention. The crucifixion of Jesus Christ was meant to turn the hearts of men and women to God forever. Unfortunately, it is yet to be seen.READ MORE
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” – John 3:16
This Scripture passage from John’s Gospel is a familiar one. Oftentimes, at large public events such as sports games, we can find someone holding up a sign that says, “John: 3:16.” The reason for this is that this passage offers a simple but clear summary of the entire Gospel.
There are four basic truths that we can take from this Scripture. Let’s look at each of them in a brief way.
First, it’s made clear that the Father in Heaven loves us. We know this, but we will never fully comprehend the depth of this truth. God the Father loves us with a profound and perfect love. It’s a love that is deeper than anything else we could ever experience in life. His love is perfect.READ MORE
During one of his papal sermons at the Vatican, Pope Francis urged Christians to make Christ the number one person in their lives. According to the pontiff, “People need to perceive that for that disciple, Jesus is truly ‘Lord,’ he is truly the center of his life, the whole of his life. It does not matter if, like every human person, he has his limits and even his mistakes – provided he has the humility to recognize them.” These words are inspirational at this period of great expectation before the coming of the messiah. We need such swords to encourage us despite the darkness pervading the world. The Christmas season brings us to the reality of God’s inestimable love for his children, the blood of Abraham, our father in faith. Pope Francis, therefore, is right in preaching Christ as the center point of every believer.READ MORE