Friday, February 25, 2011
Please be guided accordingly. Thanks for visiting our blog. See you this Sunday!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Are you struggling with same sex attraction like me? Do you know somebody who is but doesn't know where to turn for help? Are you or someone you know seem like a little confused of your gender identity?
Write me a short story at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try to be of help. Nobody has to struggle with this alone. All letters will be treated with utmost confidentiality and author's permission is always sought before we publish his/her story in our Courage blog .
Thanks and hope to hear from you all soon.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
At the beginning of Lent, which constitutes an itinerary of more intense spiritual training, the Liturgy sets before us again three penitential practices that are very dear to the biblical and Christian tradition – prayer, almsgiving, fasting – to prepare us to better celebrate Easter and thus experience God’s power that, as we shall hear in the Paschal Vigil, “dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace and humbles earthly pride” (Paschal Præconium). For this year’s Lenten Message, I wish to focus my reflections especially on the value and meaning of fasting. Indeed, Lent recalls the forty days of our Lord’s fasting in the desert, which He undertook before entering into His public ministry. We read in the Gospel: “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry” (Mt 4,1-2). Like Moses, who fasted before receiving the tablets of the Law (cf. Ex 34,28) and Elijah’s fast before meeting the Lord on Mount Horeb (cf. 1 Kings 19,8), Jesus, too, through prayer and fasting, prepared Himself for the mission that lay before Him, marked at the start by a serious battle with the tempter.
We might wonder what value and meaning there is for us Christians in depriving ourselves of something that in itself is good and useful for our bodily sustenance. The Sacred Scriptures and the entire Christian tradition teach that fasting is a great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it. For this reason, the history of salvation is replete with occasions that invite fasting. In the very first pages of Sacred Scripture, the Lord commands man to abstain from partaking of the prohibited fruit: “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die” (Gn 2, 16-17). Commenting on the divine injunction, Saint Basil observes that “fasting was ordained in Paradise,” and “the first commandment in this sense was delivered to Adam.” He thus concludes: “ ‘You shall not eat’ is a law of fasting and abstinence” (cf. Sermo de jejunio: PG 31, 163, 98). Since all of us are weighed down by sin and its consequences, fasting is proposed to us as an instrument to restore friendship with God. Such was the case with Ezra, who, in preparation for the journey from exile back to the Promised Land, calls upon the assembled people to fast so that “we might humble ourselves before our God” (8,21). The Almighty heard their prayer and assured them of His favor and protection. In the same way, the people of Nineveh, responding to Jonah’s call to repentance, proclaimed a fast, as a sign of their sincerity, saying: “Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?” (3,9). In this instance, too, God saw their works and spared them.
In the New Testament, Jesus brings to light the profound motive for fasting, condemning the attitude of the Pharisees, who scrupulously observed the prescriptions of the law, but whose hearts were far from God. True fasting, as the divine Master repeats elsewhere, is rather to do the will of the Heavenly Father, who “sees in secret, and will reward you” (Mt 6,18). He Himself sets the example, answering Satan, at the end of the forty days spent in the desert that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4,4). The true fast is thus directed to eating the “true food,” which is to do the Father’s will (cf. Jn 4,34). If, therefore, Adam disobeyed the Lord’s command “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,” the believer, through fasting, intends to submit himself humbly to God, trusting in His goodness and mercy.
The practice of fasting is very present in the first Christian community (cf. Acts 13,3; 14,22; 27,21; 2 Cor 6,5). The Church Fathers, too, speak of the force of fasting to bridle sin, especially the lusts of the “old Adam,” and open in the heart of the believer a path to God. Moreover, fasting is a practice that is encountered frequently and recommended by the saints of every age. Saint Peter Chrysologus writes: “Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself” (Sermo 43: PL 52, 320. 322).
In our own day, fasting seems to have lost something of its spiritual meaning, and has taken on, in a culture characterized by the search for material well-being, a therapeutic value for the care of one’s body. Fasting certainly bring benefits to physical well-being, but for believers, it is, in the first place, a “therapy” to heal all that prevents them from conformity to the will of God. In the Apostolic Constitution Pænitemini of 1966, the Servant of God Paul VI saw the need to present fasting within the call of every Christian to “no longer live for himself, but for Him who loves him and gave himself for him … he will also have to live for his brethren“ (cf. Ch. I). Lent could be a propitious time to present again the norms contained in the Apostolic Constitution, so that the authentic and perennial significance of this long held practice may be rediscovered, and thus assist us to mortify our egoism and open our heart to love of God and neighbor, the first and greatest Commandment of the new Law and compendium of the entire Gospel (cf. Mt 22, 34-40).
The faithful practice of fasting contributes, moreover, to conferring unity to the whole person, body and soul, helping to avoid sin and grow in intimacy with the Lord. Saint Augustine, who knew all too well his own negative impulses, defining them as “twisted and tangled knottiness” (Confessions, II, 10.18), writes: “I will certainly impose privation, but it is so that he will forgive me, to be pleasing in his eyes, that I may enjoy his delightfulness” (Sermo 400, 3, 3: PL 40, 708). Denying material food, which nourishes our body, nurtures an interior disposition to listen to Christ and be fed by His saving word. Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God.
At the same time, fasting is an aid to open our eyes to the situation in which so many of our brothers and sisters live. In his First Letter, Saint John admonishes: “If anyone has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, yet shuts up his bowels of compassion from him – how does the love of God abide in him?” (3,17). Voluntary fasting enables us to grow in the spirit of the Good Samaritan, who bends low and goes to the help of his suffering brother (cf. Encyclical Deus caritas est, 15). By freely embracing an act of self-denial for the sake of another, we make a statement that our brother or sister in need is not a stranger. It is precisely to keep alive this welcoming and attentive attitude towards our brothers and sisters that I encourage the parishes and every other community to intensify in Lent the custom of private and communal fasts, joined to the reading of the Word of God, prayer and almsgiving. From the beginning, this has been the hallmark of the Christian community, in which special collections were taken up (cf. 2 Cor 8-9; Rm 15, 25-27), the faithful being invited to give to the poor what had been set aside from their fast (Didascalia Ap., V, 20,18). This practice needs to be rediscovered and encouraged again in our day, especially during the liturgical season of Lent.
From what I have said thus far, it seems abundantly clear that fasting represents an important ascetical practice, a spiritual arm to do battle against every possible disordered attachment to ourselves. Freely chosen detachment from the pleasure of food and other material goods helps the disciple of Christ to control the appetites of nature, weakened by original sin, whose negative effects impact the entire human person. Quite opportunely, an ancient hymn of the Lenten liturgy exhorts: “Utamur ergo parcius, / verbis cibis et potibus, / somno, iocis et arctius / perstemus in custodia – Let us use sparingly words, food and drink, sleep and amusements. May we be more alert in the custody of our senses.”
Dear brothers and sisters, it is good to see how the ultimate goal of fasting is to help each one of us, as the Servant of God Pope John Paul II wrote, to make the complete gift of self to God (cf. Encyclical Veritatis splendor, 21). May every family and Christian community use well this time of Lent, therefore, in order to cast aside all that distracts the spirit and grow in whatever nourishes the soul, moving it to love of God and neighbor. I am thinking especially of a greater commitment to prayer, lectio divina, recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and active participation in the Eucharist, especially the Holy Sunday Mass. With this interior disposition, let us enter the penitential spirit of Lent. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Causa nostrae laetitiae, accompany and support us in the effort to free our heart from slavery to sin, making it evermore a “living tabernacle of God.” With these wishes, while assuring every believer and ecclesial community of my prayer for a fruitful Lenten journey, I cordially impart to all of you my Apostolic Blessing.
From the Vatican, 11 December 2008.
Saturday, February 21, 2009
Finally I'm done with my "special project". It's actually a blog for Courage Philippines and I hope you can visit the site at this address:
Please support this blog and add this to your links, although unfortunately I cannot add you because the blog is exclusively for topics dealing with same sex attraction. However, I can drop by your blog once in a while and I can enlist you here in this blog.
If you have a friend, a family member, or a relative who is struggling with homosexuality, please refer them to the above blog site. This site is entirely dedicated for people like me struggling with SSA. In the blog, they can find many resources and information to help them better understand their condition and struggles.
I'm looking forward for all your support. God bless everyone.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
There is no solution to poverty; and anyone who claims to have a solution is just running for a political office. The Catholic Church has a way of handling it but does not have a way of eliminating poverty.
Christ, Himself, said, "The poor you will always have with you." St. Augustine explains that God made the poor man poor, and the rich man rich (though all rich men think they made themselves rich). He made the poor man poor because that's the best way for him to go to heaven -- by bearing his poverty. He made the rich man rich because that' the only way he can go to heaven, by generously giving to the poor. This is clearly shown in the parable of Lazarus and Dives.
The poor man needs only his poverty to save his soul. The rich man needs the poor to be saved. Note that in the mentioned parable the poor did not need the rich to be saved; but the rich needed the poor to be saved. The reason Dives went to hell is because he did not take advantage of the presence of Lazarus and use his riches to save his soul. If poverty is abolished, the rich man has no way by which to save his soul; if he had other ways of being saved, God would not have made him rich.
Now, how should the rich and poor relate to one another?
The Catholic Church has no stand on slavery. During the age of slavery , the Church was silent. However, the Church, as in the case of St. Paul, commanded the slaves to obey and respect their masters while with the same breath telling the masters to love their slaves. With such teachings, soon, the masters gave their beloved and obedient slaves their freedom and the slaves remained faithful and loyal friends of their former masters. That was the end of slavery. It only returned when Europe turned Protestant. Slavery returned with a vengeance.
The Church never condemned riches while praising poverty. She taught the poor to be contented with what they have, never to steal, never to go on strike or attend demonstrations. While with the same breath telling the rich to give generously to the poor, not only once a year, but continuously. The result is, as St. Paul described, the poor were never in want and the rich did not have too much in excess. Now that is a Catholic Society. But who will tell the poor not to go on strike and tell the rich to give more generously? No one. And herein lies the problem. Outside the Christian solution, there is no other solution. It is said that the solutions of the Catholic Church were not tried and found wanting. They were never tried. As it is turning out, we are a Catholic nation with a Protestant, Calvinistic social and economic setup.
The Catholic ethic would never make a nation into an economic giant. Pope Leo XIII had delineated the Catholic option in his Panis Humanus, the just wage. This concept can never make any businessman or nation very rich because a big portion of the profits goes to the poor workers. While the poor are contented because their needs are met.
Nations in Europe, who adopted economic systems close to the Catholic system, are labeled backward, like Spain, Ireland and even Italy; while thoroughly Protestant economies, like Switzerland, the Scandinavians, Germany, Britain and the United States are very progressive. The state of the Philippines being the only Catholic nation in the Far East is similar. She is behind Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong. But Catholic nations are catching up in that they are becoming Protestant in their economic outlook wherein the poor is neglected that profits may grow and business capital increase. When Catholic businessmen become un-Catholic, the poor in turn would become un-Catholic by going on strike.
Our present economic system was pioneered by the anti-Catholic Huguenots in France. The Calvinists actively fostered it. The Catholic nations of Europe rejected it and remained "backward." Calvinism works on the concept of keeping the workers fed enough to work well but poor enough to need the job. It is a form of slavery of the poor by men who have power just because they have wealth. They control the poor by arbitrarily depriving them of their livelihood. They enslave the poor because of their power to deprive the poor of food from their table and a roof over their heads. In a true Catholic state, no citizen is at the mercy of a mere possessor of wealth.
This Calvinistic economic system, wherewith man is used for the accumulation of wealth, is antagonistic to the Catholic Spirit. The Church has nothing against one possessing some machineries or stores for a living; it even respects the rights of man to acquire property. We are taking notice to the way an economy is handled.
It is, therefore, un-Catholic to say to the poor: it is your right to fight the rich merely because they are rich and in order to make yourselves less poor...which is the foundation of all revolutions. You can only say: I have the right to prevent the conditions of my life from becoming inhuman...which is the rationale for strikes. But neither can happen in a Catholic situation. It can happen in all other situations.
The problem in most economies is its origin, the Protestant ethic. The solution can only come from a Catholic ethic. The problem is due to a denial of Catholicism; the solution is an affirmation of Catholicism.
CONCLUSION: When the Catholic Church solved the problem of slavery, the slaves remained slaves and the masters remained masters. But because of Christian charity, the slaves were not treated as slaves but as part of the family and the masters did not behave arrogantly. The same applies with the poor and the rich. In a Christian society, the poor remain poor but are never lacking in their needs; while the rich remain rich, but not so rich because of their charity towards the poor.
But with the disappearance of Catholic ethics even in Catholic countries, slavery is coming back like a tide. It is all over. There is absolutely no charity between rich and poor, in fact, in the whole of society. The world economy is moving towards the re-establishment of a servile state, a new age of paganism...wherein man presumes to solve the problems of life with a non-existent future economic program...a power God never gave mankind.
The Catholic solution repeated so often through history and lastly enunciated by Pope Leo XIII is the only appropriate response to the problem of poverty. Only in a truly Catholic state can man live freely with a measure of joy and free from penury. We must solve this by starting from the beginning. But maybe its too late.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Please bear with me if I haven't updated my blog for days now coz I'm busy on a "very special project" for my ministry. Right now, I am currently revising and renovating an old blog of Courage and I envision it to be a vehicle of hope and change for all people struggling out there with same-sex attraction like me. I want to thank God for inspiring me so much to do His work through this website. At this moment I cannot give you the URL of this blog until approved by our spiritual director, but rest assured I will post it here.
I never thought that my experience in setting up this personal blog of mine has paved the way for me to apply the little knowledge and skills I've learned in creating blogs! God is truly amazing and His ways indeed are way above ours. To all my regular blog visitors, I hope you can add this new website in the future although I cannot promise that I can add you because it is a group blog specifically dealing with issues about homosexuality. I would gladly appreciate though if you can link this future blog to your blog as your way of supporting our cause.
In case you are wondering what Courage is, you can visit this site for the mean time.
God bless you all.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
1. Throw out nonessential numbers. This includes age, weight and height. Let the doctors worry about them. That is why you pay them.
2. Keep only cheerful friends. The grouches pull you down. (keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches!)
3. Keep learning - learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!
4. Enjoy simple thing.
5. Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.
6. The tears happen - Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life is ourself. LIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love - whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health - If it is good, preserve it; if it is unstable, improve it; if it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
11. Lastly, send this to all of your friends and you'll be happy.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Do we notice the beauty that life presents us?
A man sat at a metro station in Washington, DC, and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousands of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule. A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.
A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.
The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on. In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.
No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100 each. This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
One of the possible conclusions from this experience could be: If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the best music ever written, how many other things are we missing?
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
If you are struggling with fears of all sorts like I do and if these fears are hindering you from living a fuller life, here's an inspiring quote from Nadia Comaneci, the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect Olympic 10 score:
"I don't run away from a challenge because I am afraid. Instead, I run toward it because the only way to escape fear is to trample it beneath your feet."
Monday, January 12, 2009
Maskman Episode 20 Part 1
Maskman Episode 20 Part 2
The Maskman series is back on Youtube. Thanks to some European guys! This is one of my favorite episodes where Momoko (Pink Mask) fights it out to the end with the bitchy underground monster. She is fighting for her principles and her students but her heroic deed will prove fatal for the team. This is the best Momoko episode! Love it!
Saturday, January 10, 2009
People ask me, what is the purpose of life?
And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.
One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body-- but not the end of me.
I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act - the dress rehearsal. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.
We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn't going to make sense.
Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you're just coming out of one, or you're getting ready to go into another one.
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.
We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that's not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.
This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.
I used to think that life was hills and valleys - you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don't believe that anymore.
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it's kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.
No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for...
You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:
If you focus on your problems, you're going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.' But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.
We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her-It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.
You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.
Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.
It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don't think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease.
So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?
Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God's purposes (for my life)?
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don't get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn't put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He's more interested in what I am than what I do.
That's why we're called human beings, not human doings.
Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
(Note: This is addressed most especially to fathers addicted to internet porn. I pray that you will gather enough strength to fight this plague menacing you and your family. Pray much to St. Joseph and seek help with other upright Christian men.)
My Dear Wormwood:
For your careful review, I have outlined below our strategies for destroying faith and family life. Destroy this secret message immediately after reading it. This classified material comes from the lowest regions.
The chief way we attack the family is by neutralizing the protector. Once we neutralize the father, then the children are ours whenever and wherever we want them. And want them we do! Those despicable little ones make my black blood boil. Every time I see one of these wretched children, it reminds me of the Enemy's holiness and love of purity. Our plan is to attack their purity so that they will belong to us for all time. Therefore, we need only to neutralize the guardians of these little monsters - and then we can pollute their miserable souls.
Thankfully, my enemies in the modern era are slow to realize the importance of a father in protecting his family. They play into our hands when they think that a father's protective role ended in the bygone era when he defended the family against wild animals and invading savages. This incredible ignorance is utterly delightful! Little do they know that a father's guardianship of his family is more valuable now than at any time in history. Spiritually, they are sound asleep. For a little while they paid heed to the Enemy's warning to Pope Leo XIII about our plans for the modern era. It even looked like we would be defeated when our enemies enlisted the aid of our arch-opponent Michael. Fortunately, most of our little targets have forgotten about the arch-opponent Michael, and our plans proceed apace.
Towards the end of the century, just when our plans for destroying the faith by destroying the family were nearing completion, the Enemy sent that contemptible "pope for the family." (Pope John Paul II) Decades of work were at risk when for the first time in history a pope (Ugh! I hate that word!) wrote a letter directly to families throughout the world. Amazingly, he seemed to know just how to warn families about our subtle (and not so subtle) plans for destroying the family. When things looked as if our work was about to be undone - the most wonderful thing happened! The families of the world didn't even bother to read the contemptible pope's letter. Oh, how wonderful this was. In our lower realm there was rejoicing for months over the nearly complete apathy concerning this teaching.
Now as we begin this new millennium, we must use technology to bring our master plan to completion by utilizing Internet pornography. Already we have spiritually neutralized millions of the Enemy's men with pornography. Over the next few years we can surely make millions more spiritual midgets, who we can then manipulate at will.
With Internet pornography we can finally bring down the guardians of the Christian family. The fools still don't realize that the technological temptations are waging war against their very souls, bringing to completion an over-a-century long campaign to destroy the faith by destroying the family. Since it is working so exceedingly well, I suggest that we continue to use every technological innovation to pump pornography to Christian fathers. Just think of the wonderful new digital temptations we will soon be sending out over broadband!
Remember, every man addicted to pornography is caught in the snares of what the Enemy calls grave sin. With pornography we have crippled their ability to spiritually protect their families. After they are ensnared in pornography, their families (their marriages and their children) are vulnerable to our attacks. Sure, these men still appear fine on the outside as they go to church, but we know that their hearts have been captured by pornography.
And since sons usually follow in the father's footsteps, the sins of the fathers will run down through the generations, and we can rest assured that the future generations will belong to us.
A delightful by-product of pornography addiction is that it is so effective in creating turmoil in marriages. Of course, we have been attempting to destroy marriages as a vital part of our overall plan. A husband's pornography addiction has shown a unique ability to undermine trust and intimacy between spouses. The addiction creates turmoil, heartbreak, and bewilderment in the hearts of those detestable Christian wives.
As far as Sundays in church go, there is only one thing to do. Just make sure things stay as they are - nice and quiet. The last thing we need are homilies about specific sins, like pornography. If a damaging homily is somehow preached, make sure you scramble any attempts to organize support groups to assist men unable to free themselves from our work. Just let the poor devils struggle alone - of course we know that they are not alone in their pornography addiction, don't we?
Finally, we must keep up our guard against the Head of THAT family (St. Joseph). Never forget how the Head of THAT family was used by the Enemy to ruin our dear servant Herod's plans to kill the so-called Holy One (Christ). There are centuries-old rumors from the upper regions that the Head of THAT family will be brought into service at a critical time in history. The last thing we want is a repeat of the first century.
It has taken immense effort, but we have managed to thoroughly confuse modern man (and much of the church) about the meaning of true manhood and masculinity. We need impure men, especially fathers, to continue leading the culture towards our regions. We must therefore keep fathers from contact with the Head of THAT family, so that they don't have any effective models of manly purity and righteousness.
Yet we need to be realistic in our strategies. If we cannot keep men away from the Unmentionable One, then at least we can chip away at some of the truth to keep things manageable for us. Keep their beliefs abstract. Men look up to tangible role models. Just be sure they don't discover the Enemy's perfect model for fathers, or our plans will get derailed. We can never hope to lead fathers devoted to that so-called "Just Man" deeper into the depraved delights of pornography.
Monday, January 5, 2009
Note: I got this article from the ProLife Philippines website. This is in line with my online campaign against pornography. To all bloggers out there I hope you can also blog about your personal experience in dealing with porn or maybe somebody else's story. This can help raise awareness on the danger of online porn.
Pornography and sadistic violence debases sexuality, corrode human relationships, exploit individuals especially women and young people, undermine marriage and family life, foster antisocial behavior and weaken the moral fiber of society itself.
Pornography and Violence in the Communications Media: A Pastoral Response
Pornography is a cancer that permanently damages the minds and lives of people. No one can consider himself or herself immune to its corrupting effects. Dr. Victor Cline, clinical Psychologist and Professor at the University of Utah, has found "a near universal 4-Factor Syndrome" among users of pornography.
First, Cline says, there is an addicting effect. Everybody is vulnerable to this type of addiction, from the most dangerous sex offenders as well as the normal person. People get hooked on milder pornography and feel like coming back for more and still more, as powerful as drugs.
Dr. James L. McGough of the University of California in his research on memory sounded a warning: "If a person is emotionally, including sexually aroused at the time of experiencing or witnessing something, a chemical called epinephrine is released into the bloodstream. It goes to the brain and looks in a very vivid memory of the experience or event. We all have a library of unwanted images mostly sexual. We may hate them, but the epinephrine has locked them in and we cannot get rid of them, no matter how pious, how religious or how strong a conscience we have. Second, according to Cline, there is an escalation effect. The milder porn is no longer enough to satisfy. So, the user wants more explicit, rougher, more deviant kinds of sexual materials for sexual "highs" or "turn-ons". Third, the porn addict undergoes disensitization. With continued exposure, what at first offends becomes acceptable and then craved no matter how gross or deviant. Repeatedly seeing the obscene and offensive material makes it seem normal, rendering individuals morally numb and personally insensitive to the rights and dignity of others. It can be most confusing especially to children, who may not be able to distinguish readily between fantasy and reality, therefore regard this as acceptable behavior, suitable for imitation.
Leading sexual violence researchers Neil Malamuth, Ed Donnerstein, and Dolf Zillman state agree with Cline and state that in general, "exposure to these materials, whether violent or nonviolent, coercive or non-coercive, experimentally increases male aggressive behavior against women, and decreases both male and female sensitivity to rape and the plight of the rape victim. Both males and females, after viewing this material, judge the female rape victim to be less injured, less worthy, and more responsible for her own plight." In the fourth and final step, Dr. Cline states, "My patients begin to act out what they have been viewing. They turn their fantasies into reality." The sight of obscene pictures stimulates the sexual urge. This leads to another sensation, the desire to release the turbulent emotion, at the start, mostly through masturbation. If a sexual partner is available, he "acts out" what he sees in the porn material with his partner. Other tendencies to act out come in the form of compulsive promiscuity, exhibitionism, group sex, voyeurism, frequenting of massage parlors, child molestation, rape, etc.
Pornography proclaims men's control over women, primarily for sexual satisfaction. It reduces women to the level of useful object for men's pleasure and use. Thus, sexual activity is considered as a continuing frenzied search for personal gratification rather than as an expression of enduring love in marriage, therefore undermining a healthy and wholesome family life.
Saturday, January 3, 2009
1. Attend at least one major sporting event: the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the U.S. Open.
2. Throw a huge party and invite every one of your friends.
3. Swim with a dolphin.
5. Have your portrait painted.
6. Learn to speak a foreign language and make sure you use it.
7. Go snorkeling.
8. Watch the launch of the space shuttle.
9. Spend a whole day eating junk food without feeling guilty.
10. Be an extra in a film.
11. Tell someone the story of your life, sparing no details.
12. Go on a cruise with your loved one.
13. Ride a train going to the province.
14. Learn to rollerblade.
15. Own a room with a view.
16. Brew your own beer.
17. Learn how to take a compliment.
18. Buy a round-the-world air ticket and a rucksack, and run away.
19. Grow a beard and leave it for at least a month.
20. Give your mother a dozen red roses and tell her you love her.
21. Join a local TV game show and donate some of your winnings to charity.
22. Put your name down to be a passenger on the first tourist shuttle to the moon.
23. Send a message in a bottle.
24. Ride a camel into the desert.
25. Get to know your neighbors.
26. Plant a tree.
27. Learn not to say yes when you really mean no.
28. Write a fan letter to your all-time favorite hero or heroine.
29. Visit the Senate and the House of Representatives to see how Congress really works.
30. Learn to ballroom dance properly.
31. Eat jellied eels from a stall in London.
32. Be the boss.
33. Fall deeply in love -- helplessly and unconditionally.
34. Ride the Trans-Siberian Express across Asia.
35. Sit on a jury.
36. Write the novel you know you have inside you.
37. Go to Walden Pond and read Thoreau while drifting in a canoe.
38. Stay out all night dancing and go to work the next day without having gone home (just once).
39. Drink beer at Oktoberfest in Munich.
40. Be someone's mentor.
41. Shower in a waterfall.
42. Ask for a raise.
43. Learn to play a musical instrument with some degree of skill.
44. Teach someone illiterate to read.
45. Visit the Great Wall of China.
46. Spend a night in a haunted house -- by yourself.
47. Write down your personal mission statement, follow it, and revise it from time to time.
48. See a lunar eclipse.
49. Spend New Year's in an exotic location.
50. Get passionate about a cause and spend time helping it, instead of just thinking about it.
51. Experience weightlessness.
52. Sing a great song in front of an audience.
53. Ask someone you've only just met to go on a date.
54. Drive across your country from coast to coast.
55. Make a complete and utter fool of yourself.
56. Wet yourself in the rain.
57. Write your will.
58. Sleep under the stars.
59. Take a ride on the highest roller coaster in the country.
60. Learn how to complain effectively -- and do it!
61. Go wild in Rio during Carnival.
62. Spend a whole day reading a great novel.
63. Forgive your parents.
64. Learn to juggle with three balls.
65. Drive a 10-wheeler truck.
66. Find a job you love.
67. Spend Christmas on the beach drinking pina coladas.
68. Overcome your fear of failure.
69. Raft through the Grand Canyon.
70. Donate money and put your name on something: a college scholarship, a bench in the park.
71. Buy your own house and then spend time making it into exactly what you want.
72. Grow a garden.
73. Spend three months getting your body into optimum shape.
74. Drive a convertible with the top down and music blaring.
75. Accept yourself for who you are.
76. Learn to use a microphone and give a speech in public.
77. Scuba dive off Australia's Great Barrier Reef.
78. Go up in a hot-air balloon.
79. Get a front row seat of your favorite concert artist.
80. Kiss someone you've just met on a blind date.
81. Be able to handle: your tax forms, Jehovah's Witnesses, your banker, telephone solicitors.
82. Give to a charity -- anonymously.
83. Send a poor but deserving kid to school.
84. Let someone feed you peeled, seedless grapes.
85. Kiss the Blarney stone and develop the gift of gab.
86. Fart inside an elevator.
87. Take pictures of tourist spots and make a photoalbum of it.
88. Go deep sea fishing and eat your catch.
89. Create your own web site.
90. Visit the Holy Land.
91. Make yourself spend a half-day at a concentration camp and swear never to forget.
92. Run to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
93. Create your Family Tree.
94. Learn archery.
95. Have your favorite pizza delivered to your house and give the pizza delivery man twice the amount of what you ordered.
96. Make your own cookbook recipe.
97. Learn to bartend.
98. Run a marathon.
99. Look into your child's eyes, see yourself, and smile.
100. Reflect on your greatest weakness, and realize how it is your greatest strength.
Suggestions are welcome.
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
I have never felt so hopeful in my life. Tonight, it's going to be very noisy outside and there is the usual media noche at the strike of midnight. Year in and year out it has always been the same - loud firecrackers to ward off the evil spirits, 12 pieces of round fruits for a prosperous year ahead, and other crazy things we do to make our life better for the coming year, and yet the much needed change is seldom seen because deep in our hearts we fail to silence the noise and contemplate. We fail to look inside to see what things needed to be changed.
Make this new year a different one. Make some life-shaking, earth-shattering changes in your life so that when 2009 ends, you have indeed something to celebrate.
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
The pope was delivering his end-of-year address to senior Vatican staff. His words, later released to the media, emphasised his total rejection of gender theory. Pope Benedict XVI warned that gender theory blurs the distinction between male and female and could thus lead to the "self-destruction" of the human race.
Gender theory explores sexual orientation, the roles assigned by society to individuals according to their gender, and how people perceive their biological identity. Gay and transsexual groups, particularly in the United States, promote it as a key to understanding and tolerance, but the pope disagreed. When the Roman Catholic Church defends God's Creation, "it does not only defend the earth, water and the air... but (it) also protects man from his own destruction," the pope said.
"If tropical forests deserve our protection, humankind... deserves it no less," the 81-year-old pontiff said, calling for "an ecology of the human being." It is not "outmoded metaphysics" to urge respect for the "nature of the human being as man and woman," he told scores of prelates gathered in the Vatican's sumptuous Clementine Hall. The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage. It teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are.
Monday, December 22, 2008
A Prayer for Christmas
God give us eyes this Christmas
to see the Christmas Star.
And give us ears to hear the song
Of angels from afar.
And, with our eyes and ears attuned
for a message from above,
Let "Christmas Angels" speak to us
of hope and faith and love.
Hope to light our pathway
when the way ahead is dark.
Hope to sing through stormy days,
with the sweetness of the lark.
Faith to trust in things unseen
and know beyond all seeing.
That it is in our Father's love
we live and have our being.
And love to break down barriers
of coloar, race and creed.
Love to see and understand
and help all those in need.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Because of original sin, man naturally grows in vice rather than in virtue. The first age of man is characterized by thoughtlessness; this grows into love of pleasure and, in old age, develops into love for wealth.
So, John the Baptist came and announced the coming of Christ who would have the unrewarding task of instilling in men "a feeling for their own sins." John did this and paid with his head; Christ followed suit and was crucified.
They were both killed by the Jews, a senseless people, who, though guilty of the worst sins, justified themselves -- this was the cause of their destruction. "They are ignorant of God's righteousness and go about establishing their own righteousness, and have not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God." This was the cause of their evils.
But aren't we like this, too? Thoroughly devoid of "feeling for our sins" (i.e. ignorant of our sins and their gravity), we judge ourselves by our norms and not by the norms of God? So, John and Jesus did nothing else except to bring man to a sense of their own sins.
To be forgiven, we must be sorry for our sins. But how can we be sorry if we do not know the gravity of our sins? And how can we discover the gravity of our sins if we do not even know our sins?
We must have a "feeling for our sins" that we may condemn them. Those sins that we condemn, God will not condemn; but those sins we fail to condemn, God will condemn.
"What must we do?" Repent, reform our lives, deny ourselves. Learn to scorn the things of the earth and aim for the things in heaven. It is not possible to be repentant and to live in luxury.
True repentance is this: to know your sins and the gravity of your sins. Then to forsake your evil ways and show forth good deeds greater than the sins. . .this is the fruit worthy of repentance. So if you have stolen, return what you have stolen AND ALSO give up some of your own to the poor. If you have committed fornication, you must stop it AND ALSO abstain even from your wife for certain appointed times. Have you insulted someone?. . .then learn how to take insults hurled at you AND ALSO do good to those who insult you.
Sin is like a dart that has wounded you. You don't only remove the dart (i.e. cease from sinning); you must also heal the wound by good works. So it is not enough for the drunkard to be sober; he must also fast from food and water for a time to cure his spiritual wounds. You who look lustfully at a woman, now be modest in looking, and also deny yourselves even looking at the beauty of nature to heal the wounds of your soul. It was precisely to heal their spiritual wounds that the first Christians went to the desert.
The first step toward holiness is repentance; and the first step of repentance is to have a "feeling for one's sins," i.e. to know your sins and the gravity of your sins. He who shows forth fruits worthy of repentance, he it is who has made his crooked way straight for the Lord.
St. Augustine: "On the Gospels"