Monday, December 2, 2013

Marian Advent Seminar 2013



December 8, 2013 (Sunday)

UST Tan Yan Kee Student Center AV Room (4F) behind the Miguel Benavides Library near Dapitan Gate

8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


Talks

"Visitation/Magnificat"
Rev. Fr. Carmelo Esteban, S.M.M.


"Mary in the Season of Advent"
Rev. Fr. Louie Niez, A.M.


"Mary, Mother of God"
Rev. Fr. Aloy Alino


Holy Mass
Rev. Fr. Chito Vicente


Seminar Fee - P 150

In partnership with Radio Veritas (846 AM). For more information, please contact The Missionaries of Mary, Tel. 743-8729


Note:  This year's Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception falls on the Second Sunday of Advent. Because of the precedence of the Second Sunday of Advent, the liturgical celebration for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception will be moved to Dec. 9, 2013, Monday. Please note that the faithful who will go to Mass on December 8 already fulfills his/her holy day of obligation for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception although everyone is still encouraged to attend the said feast.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Courage to Do What Herod Didn't Do


In this interview, a man struggling with same-sex attraction narrates how he left the gay lifestyle for the Church. This man is indeed a living proof that there is a way out. If you find yourself in a similar situation I hope this will inspire you to find the courage to do the right thing. For more articles like this please visit the Catholic Answers website.


Fr. Serpa: Due to current sensibilities in our culture, as a priest and apologist, I don’t know of any more difficult subject to deal with than that of same-sex attraction (SSA). You have been there and have returned to the Church—on the Church’s terms. This is a great example of faith; moreover, it is a testimony to the sanity of such a move. I am convinced that when a person begins with himself in trying to understand life, he eventually begins to question God and to pass judgment on him. "If God is so loving, then why does he allow so much suffering? Why didn’t he just make me straight?" But in reality, if God came first, he ought to come first. When we begin with him, the reasoning takes quite a different direction. We don’t measure him by our expectations; we measure ourselves by his. Unfortunately, however, most people in our culture begin with the self—or rather, the Self. Jason, you were living a very secular life. What was it that got through to you?

Jason: Father, you really said it: The key for me, in a broad sense, was changing my way of thinking. I focused on reconciling myself to what God wants for me, rather than trying to reconcile my notion of God with how I saw myself. That change of perspective is not easy at all. The sense of self is very powerful and extraordinarily difficult to overcome, especially once it has been given a chance to grow roots. That results in a sense of hopelessness and impossibility. This, I am sure, is what drives a lot of people with SSA away from the Church. Because of their focus on the self, they [falsely] see only two possibilities—either live a life of mortal sin or live a life of pure misery. A lot of people in my position feel like religion presents them with a choice between death by damnation or death by desolation. What I would say to someone in that position is: Start by coming to God and his Church and take it from there. The Church helps me see that the sense of hopelessness originates from a mis-orientation of thoughts. The truth is that doing things that please God does not result in a life of desolation.

By focusing on what God would want me to do today, I don’t worry nearly as much about what I’m not doing at any particular moment. I still struggle immensely; in many respects it feels like I’m trying to ignore the signal from one of my two eyes. But that’s what mercy, forgiveness, and confession are for. In a sense, it is like learning how to empathize with God, if such a thing were possible. As for particular things that "worked" for me to help start me down this path, a good part of it was the good fortune of having been raised Catholic (at least until I was 14 or so), which instilled in me a core faith in God and the desire to search for him, as well as a place to look, even if I was unsure of the answers. I honestly cannot remember how I stumbled upon Catholic Answers, but I’ve learned more about the Church by listening to the radio show than I learned in all my years of Catholic school. For example, I had never heard of adoration until I found Catholic Answers—I’d never even heard the word before. That’s just one example. There are many people out there like me who have had 10 or more years of Catholic education and don’t know what a novena is, or what happened at Lourdes or Fatima, or more importantly the role and significance of confession. That is probably the most helpful thing that Catholic Answers has given me—information about the Church and answers to questions about all the different ways that God and the Church are there to help me down my particular road. And, of course, it also helped to hear from other people like me who’ve walked this same road and know how incredibly hard it is.

Fr. Serpa: By focusing on doing what is pleasing to God and what he would want you to do today, you say that you don’t worry so much about what you are not doing at any particular moment. By that I assume you mean the pleasures of your former lifestyle. I’m sure there are many people still in that lifestyle who find the very thought of giving it up to be overwhelming. Just breaking off an intimate relationship, especially a lengthy one, with someone who doesn’t understand your motivation has to be rather daunting. How did you go about it?

Jason: It was a matter of trusting God and taking the plunge. That is what I ultimately did, though the thought of breaking off our relationship was so overwhelming and so scary that it took me over two years to do it. I was so resistant to telling [my companion] in 2005 (when I had first started to come back to the Church) that I stuffed the thought in the back of my mind and pulled away from the Church. In the summer of 2007, I felt God calling me back to the Church and started attending Mass again. By late summer I knew that I had to do something to stop what I was doing, but I had absolutely no idea how to go about it other than just to tell him. You are right in saying that the thought of doing this was very overwhelming—we’d been together for over seven years and our lives were about as intertwined as they could possibly be. Instead of stuffing the thought away again, I started praying more. I began attending Mass daily. I started spending time in adoration, which I’d never done before. I prayed the rosary before each Mass and again before I went to bed at night. Each time I asked God to lead me instead of asking him to signal to me that what I was doing was okay. A few weeks later, at one of the daily Masses, the Gospel reading was from Mark 6, where Mark says that Herod was distressed and upset that he’d promised to have John the Baptist killed, because he knew John to be righteous and holy. My head became filled with words telling me to have the courage to do what Herod didn’t do. I believe that was an answer to my prayers, and it gave me the courage that night to tell him that our relationship had to change. When I finally did tell him, I also tried to explain to him exactly why I was doing it and why it was important to me. He’d seen me going to Mass frequently over the previous weeks, and told me that he’d "expected" something like this eventually. Even so, he spent the next several months in a terrible, depressed, angry state. I’m not sure how much there is in my story for others to model, though I would heartily recommend the daily Mass, rosaries, and adoration, which I continue to do and which have helped me to stay on a good path since then. It really is just learning to trust that God knows what’s best for your life, and letting go of your own notions that you know what’s best. That’s the core of the message I received from the Mark Gospel. I’ve also found that the more time I spend in prayer, the less time I end up with my thoughts drifting to places they shouldn’t be.

Fr. Serpa: How did you get into that lifestyle to begin with? Were you young when you learned that you had such attractions? Did you feel conflicted about your faith?

Jason: I have no idea why, but I remember having these attractions from a very young age. I also remember having some attraction to the opposite sex, though, at least when I was a younger teenager. I don’t remember feeling conflicted about the same-sex attractions, though, at least not when I was younger. I grew up in an "anything goes" household that, for the most part, has since lapsed entirely from the Church. I attended Catholic schools from kindergarten through the eighth grade, plus one year of CCD after that, but do not remember once hearing anything mentioned about sexual sin, much less this particular one. I did feel a bit conflicted eventually about my thoughts—mostly from a social standpoint and a fear of alienating friends, but I never acted on my same-sex attractions during my teens, so it never really came to the forefront. I never acted on the opposite-sex attractions either. What ultimately "flipped the switch" for me was a combination of two things: (1) moving away to Ohio for law school and being completely alone for the first time; and (2) my discovery of the Internet, as ashamed as I am to admit that. Both happened in 1995. I didn’t know a soul in Ohio, and had never had so much time to myself before, nor had I ever explored the Internet before. I stumbled on the AOL chat rooms (before moving to Ohio I never knew there were such things), and that led to talking to the same people over and over again, which led to becoming friends, which finally led to meeting them, and you can probably imagine the rest. The whole process took a while, though; I did not succumb completely until my second year of law school, in late 1996.

A lot of damage can be done when a college student with little-to-no spiritual guidance and some degree of same-sex attraction discovers the Internet. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t wish I could go back and do things differently.

I did indeed think of God during those years, but fleetingly. Holidays such as Christmas and Easter had been simply family gatherings, even when I was younger. I did not think about death very much at all; I was the typical 20-something who thought he could live forever.

Fr. Serpa: How did you feel about the Church? Was it something vague from the past? Did it seem irrelevant because it seemed so out of step? Did you feel any hostility because perhaps you felt devalued by it?

Jason: During those years I did not think of the Church much, though I did think of God in a more generic sense. I did see the Church as being irrelevant, but I thought all churches were that way, and believed that many of them were condemning us as hopeless cases. Most people with same-sex attractions believe that churches think of them as hopeless, so they believe it.

I don’t remember feeling any particular hostility towards the Church during my years of absence, but I do know many who do.

Fr. Serpa: When did you conclude that you needed to get out of the lifestyle?

Jason: It was only after coming back to the faith and accepting that the lifestyle was not something that God wanted me to continue. That was in August of 2007.

Fr. Serpa: Is it widely known that you have given up the lifestyle because you’ve fully embraced the Catholic faith? How much hostility have you encountered from your friends in that lifestyle?

Jason: It’s known among my family and friends, yes. My family, most of whom are either Catholic or in other religious traditions, have been very supportive. Actually, I’ve encountered the most hostility from my non-homosexual, non-religious friends, who seem to be aghast that I should cast something aside that they see as part of my nature. They’ve been by far the most vocal in questioning the wisdom of my decision and urging me to reconsider. I must say that I did not see that coming at all. I never did hang out much with the "homosexual crowd," so to speak, so I cannot really speak about how that crowd has reacted. I don’t really know.

Fr. Serpa: What was most difficult for you in ending the relationship and how has that been assuaged?

Jason: The most difficult thing was that for practical and financial reasons we had to keep living under the same roof. He took it very hard. It’s not a situation I would recommend to anyone else, and I would have avoided it if at all possible, but unfortunately that wasn’t possible given our circumstances. It was sort of like Luke 12:51-52 in action.

It’s been assuaged by the passage of time, though not completely, and by physical separation.

Fr. Serpa: You came to the conclusion that the lifestyle was not something that God wanted you to continue. You also mentioned the passage from Mark regarding Herod putting the Baptist to death. But what was it in the Church’s teaching that convinced you?

Jason: Well, there were two things I remember. First, I remember looking for and reading about homosexuality in the Catechism. Second, if I remember right, at about this same time, there was a radio show Catholic Answers did with Dr. Joseph Nicolosi. It was difficult to listen to that entire hour without understanding the nature of the Church’s teaching on same-sex relations. It’s a good example of how the radio show helped me through this journey.

Fr. Serpa: You have learned that there is life after ending such a relationship. So what do you have now? You mentioned the effort that you put forth to keep yourself focused on Christ. But what do you consider the benefits of such a life-altering move?

Jason: The greatest benefit is the sense of having awakened from a long sleep. It is as if I was sleeping for 11 years or so, that my eyes were closed and my growth stunted. I don’t want to sound boastful or anything, but now that I’ve moved past this issue, I can see myself becoming more Christ-like in all of my daily activities—doing my work, interacting with co-workers, friends and family members. I’m still far from perfect, and still a sinner in constant need of Christ’s love and mercy, but I can sense myself growing again. That’s easily the best benefit of my turnaround last year.

Fr. Serpa: What would you say to anyone who is where you were when you began to consider that maybe the Church had something to teach you?

Jason: I would ask the person to be willing to open his ears and listen to what God and the Church have to say about all things—not just about this narrow issue—and that there honestly and truly is comfort to be found by doing that. Just crack the door open a bit and listen. Gay people are told far too often by far too many people from many faith traditions that there is no place at all for them in God’s kingdom. They are also told by far too many people that there is nothing they can do about their condition. The accumulation of these messages leads almost all of them to shut out God entirely: Why bother going to a place where I’m not wanted and where I can’t move myself into a position where I would be wanted? That’s would I would tell them: You are welcome in God’s kingdom; anything is possible with God. Just open your mind, your heart, your ears, and listen.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Voice of Joy



Dear Friends,

I would like to share this magnificent piece of sacred music which you can give your loved ones as a gift this Holiday Season. I invite you to watch Friar Alessandro as he sings Adeste Fideles.





More about Friar Alessandro...

The Franciscan Friar is a sanctuary guide in Assisi, Italy where he was born. His hope as the first Franciscan Friar to be signed to a major record label is that his voice will have the ability to foster a stronger Catholic presence in contemporary art & music.

His enthusiasm for music since childhood influenced him to study organ, musical composition, and operatic singing at institutions and conservatories throughout Italy. However, his success in music felt incomplete in the absence of a driven religious life. So at the age of twenty-one, he entered as a postulant in the Order of the Friars Minor of Umbria and would take his final vows some ten years later. It was in fact the desire to join the Order which pushed him to complete his qualification at the musical conservatory as it was considered a touchstone for the seriousness of his commitment. At present he lives at the Porziuncola Friary in Santa Maria degli Angeli, Assisi, where he welcomes pilgrims to the Basilica.  

Stay up to date by checking out his Facebook.

For everything else, you can visit his website at FriarAlessandro.com

Friday, November 8, 2013

Run, Bike, Live! For a Pro-Life Nation!



Forwarded invitation

Please come and join us!

Pro-Life Philippines Foundation / E-ventologist Co. are inviting everyone to join a Fun Run and Bike Fun Ride event entitled “Run-Bike-LIVE — for a Pro-Life Nation” on December 8, 2013, Sunday from 5:00-9:00 AM at the Marikina Riverbanks.

The aim of the event is to promote, strengthen and defend our cherished values of life, family and marriage by bringing together Filipinos of all ages and from all backgrounds – young and old, men and women, from the laity, religious and the clergy — to run or bike – all united in our common vision for a “Pro-Life Nation”.

Invite family, friends, colleagues, parishes, communities, groups, schools to Run-Bike-LIVE for a Pro-Life Nation on Dec 8, 2013 at the Marikina Riverbanks.


Contact:

Secretariat of the Pro-Life Philippines Foundation, Inc.
E-mail: life@prolife.org.ph; eventologist@ymail.com
Telephone Number: 733-7027
Fax: 734-9425
Cell: 09172753818

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sex Education and The Media Pro-Life Seminar Series



We invite everyone to attend this Pro-Life seminar series this November. Main speaker is our very own Bro. Rolando Delos Reyes.


Forwarded invitation

You are cordially invited to attend

THE PRO-LIFE SEMINAR SERIES THIS NOVEMBER 2013

“SEX EDUCATION AND THE MEDIA:WHY PARENTS AND EDUCATORS NEED TO BE VIGILANT”


Pro-Life Philippines Foundation Inc. invites teachers, counselors, parents, catechists, and those working closely with the youth to a half-day seminar entitled “Sex Education and the Media: Why Parents and Educators Need to be Vigilant” as part of the Pro-Life Lecture Series this year, to be held on:

Date: November 16, 2013, Saturday

Time: 8:00 am – 12:00 noon

Venue: St. Joseph Retreat House Conference Room , Our Lady of Loreto Church, Manzanas St, Sampaloc, Manila (walking distance from LRT-2 Legarda Station)

The Speaker, MR. ROLANDO DELOS REYES of Courage Philippines, exposes the trends in Mass Media today that contribute to the subtle and gradual re-framing of our ideas and beliefs away from our Christian faith and our values as Filipinos, and gives us tips on how to fight this liberal agenda that will ultimately destroy the Filipino Family and our youth.

A registration fee of P 350.00 includes one snack, one seminar kit, and a certificate of participation signed by the organizers.

For more info and reservations, please call Ellen at 733-7027 or via fax 734-9425 or send a text through our mobile number 0919-2337783 or an email at life@prolife.org.ph / prolifephil@gmail.com

Please visit this LINK to download the registration form.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Courage Endorsement Letter




We at Courage Philippines are happy to inform everyone that we have finally obtained a formal recommendation letter from Bishop Gabriel Reyes, Chairman of CBCP Episcopal Commission on Family & Life endorsing our group to parishes and dioceses nationwide. For quite some time now our group has largely been confined to the Metro Manila area since 1995. It has always been our dream to reach out to our brothers and sisters in the provinces and far-flung areas of the country, and so if you feel you're being called to establish a Courage chapter in your locality please contact us through Bro. Rollie at courageph@gmail.com or call/text him at 09285066974 or 09178427434.

Thank you.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

March of Saints - A Christ-Centered Alternative to Halloween


For all you know Halloween is just around the corner and instead of the usual diet of scaring each other with ghosts, ghouls, and goblins, maybe it's about time we give honor where it is due - the Saints. I really hope to see this kind of festivity in parishes and churches everywhere. Watch the video below or visit the website of PWHS (Prayer Warriors of the Holy Souls) for info.

Forwarded info.

Dear PWHS Members and Friends:

Greetings!

We are writing you in anticipation of the coming Feast of All Saints and its eve on October 31, which the Church regards as a time for honoring the saints. There is a growing concern among Christians, in general, that the modern celebration of Halloween threatens to take over the proper observance of All Saints. Halloween’s powerful commercial appeal has largely succeeded in trivializing and even glamorizing evil, the occult, and superstitious and pagan practices and beliefs that are incompatible with the Christian faith.

There is an urgent need to reclaim the sacredness of All Saints by creating a counterculture that will serve as a Christ-centered alternative to Halloween for the benefit of present and future generations. PWHS is, therefore, actively promoting THE MARCH OF SAINTS – a tradition that has the potential to draw people’s attention away from glamorized symbols and personifications of evil and direct their focus on the heroic lives of the saints and their victory over evil by the grace of God

Forms of this tradition have already gained a foothold in various countries. On All Saints Day and on the days before and after All Saints, Christian churches and schools in various parts of the world hold festive marches or parades to honor their favorite saints. In the Philippines, some parishes and lay organizations have already started holding their own marches and parades in honor of the saints. Children dressed in costumes, depicting their favorite saint, parade around their parishes and communities to the beat and music of a marching band.

We hope you can help disseminate THE MARCH OF SAINTS, in your parish and other areas of influence, to firmly establish this tradition all over the world. Please visit our website at www.pwhs.ph for more info.

In case you happen to have the March of Saints in your parish or area, please document the event with photos and captions and send to us. We may publish it in our newsletter Fore and Aft.

Thank you and may God bless us all in this endeavor!



Chita G. Monfort
Executive Director

PRAYER WARRIORS OF THE HOLY SOULS (PWHS)
Member, Council of the Laity of the Philippines (LAIKO)

PWHS is an Apostolate of the Monfort Foundation, Inc.
A certified donee institution of the Philippine Council for NGO Certification (PCNC)

Visit us at: http://www.pwhs.ph/



Monday, September 30, 2013

Love and Acceptance Healed Me


This is the inspiring testimonial of a fellow Courage brother, Dr. Ryan Capitulo, on his amazing healing journey.  He now actively serves in the Feast, a weekly prayer gathering of the Light of Jesus Community founded by Bro. Bo Sanchez.


 I am an obstetrician gynecologist, and I was a practicing homosexual.

In 2004, I felt that God was calling me to have an intimate relationship with Him. I tried to look for a spiritual community that I could join, where I could be accepted as I was.

Then I saw a book of Bro. Bo Sanchez in National Book Store. In the book were the telephone numbers of the Light of Jesus Family. I dialed a number and learned that the Light of Jesus had a group for single men called Joshua and for single women called Esther. I asked if I could join Esther. There was a long silence at the other end of the line. I took it from there that I should join Joshua.

Joshua was a huge blessing. There, I was introduced to Ephesians 5:3: But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people.

Those words inspired me to abandon "improper" acts so that I may be what God purposed me to be: pure and holy.

I desired to be sober. Sobriety is the freedom from self-gratification.

I consulted a priest who, at the same time, is a clinical psychologist. He helped me go through psychoanalysis and therapy. I struggled to be sober. But after six months, I engaged in those improper acts again.

My efforts to change my ways all seemed futile. I was already losing hope until I heard about Courage Philippines - an apostolate of the Catholic Church that supports men and women who struggle with same-sex attraction (SSA).

 In one of the Courage sessions, I shared my failures in attaining sobriety, and no one judged me. They accepted me and, through them, I felt God's acceptance, His love, mercy, forgiveness, and embrace.

After our meeting, I became sober for a week, 2 weeks, and many weeks. Today, I have been sober for 7 years, 7 months, and 14 days, and counting.

 In my struggle with homosexuality, only the power of God's love - unconditional, unfailing, undying - has healed and saved me.


(Note:  Although Courage is an anonymous group, Doc Ryan has agreed to publish his real name.)
 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Catholic Social Media Summit ver 2.0




Do you want to be an Online Missionary of God (OMG)? Do you have the burning desire or calling to be an online evangelist but do not know where to start? Then you should attend the Catholic Social Media Summit 2 that will happen on Nov. 23-24, 2013 at Colegio de San Juan de Letran in Manila.

The 1st Catholic Social Media Summit which was held last year was successful in stirring up interest among the religious and lay people to make a concerted effort to promote the 'New Evangelization' using the new media. This year the organizers of the summit aim to engage the young people to use social media as a platform and catalyst for change in our society.


Why Be an Online Missionary?

It's an established fact that we as a people are more connected than ever, thanks to the power of social media like Facebook and Twitter. Not all of us can become 'missionaries to distant fields' yet we as baptized Christians are called to share in the mission of the Church to spread the Good News to the ends of the Earth. And one way to do that in our modern times is to harness the power of the internet. Our dear Holy Father no less has a Twitter account.

I will take our blog as an example. Since being around for almost four years, thousands of people from all over the world have found their way to our site by searching topics on Google without me actively promoting this site. When visitors arrive at our blogspot they then can find more links and articles related to our ministry hence the blog becomes a tool for evangelizing them.

Consider also the fact that you can reach anyone anywhere with an internet connection at any given time and really there is no limit to the number of people you can 'catch' so to speak. Talk about casting your nets into the world wide web. We need to meet where the people are and guess where they are most of the time?

Here's a bonus for us - some of the members in our community have found Courage Philippines through this blog. Praise God!

To find out more about Catholic Social Media Summit ver 2.0, just click on the photo above or visit  www.catholicsocialmediasummit.com

Go and make disciples of all netizens!



"The Church would feel guilty before the Lord if it failed to use the media for evangelization." 

- Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi (1975), n. 45.


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Lonely No More

A peek from Bro. N's journal:
I learned a beautiful lesson reflecting from my experience today. 
I was in my room laughing incessantly from a television series that I just finished watching for the past hour, when all of a sudden I was overwhelmed  by a strong emotion  - one that is not all too unfamiliar. 
I felt terribly lonely. That awful hurting emotion that you are all on your own accompanied by a striking fear of being abandoned. It came from deep beneath the surface I'm well aware. And it's getting more frequent since the healing conference I attended the weekend before which dealt with sexual and relational brokenness. The spontaneous flashbacks - scenes and feelings that you have kept bottled up for so long. 
I was quickly moved to tears. 
It took me a while to go beyond the hesitant anxiety of causing concern, but eventually I gained the strength to text three brothers from our Courage group to pray for me. I am relieved by their words dealing with such a spontaneous reaction. They assured me that asking for help was the right thing to do. The feeling lingered still after my ordeal. But I was consoled psychologically that there's someone present (though not necessarily physically present) when I get the feeling that I'm about to fall. 
Suddenly I realized that I'm no longer lonely after all. And I thank God for it.


Gay, Catholic and Doing Fine


(Editor’s note: Here's a repost from a veritable site, chastityproject.com. It was written by Steve Gershom - a pseudonym - who runs the blog stevegershom.com.)
I have heard a lot about how mean the Church is, and how bigoted, because she opposes gay marriage. How badly she misunderstands gay people, and how hostile she is towards us. My gut reaction to such things is: Are you freaking kidding me? Are we even talking about the same church?
When I go to Confession, I sometimes mention the fact that I’m gay, to give the priest some context. (And to spare him some confusion: Did you say ‘locker room’? What were you doing in the women’s…oh.) I’ve always gotten one of two responses: either compassion, encouragement, and admiration, because the celibate life is difficult and profoundly counter-cultural; or nothing at all, not even a ripple, as if I had confessed eating too much on Thanksgiving.
Of the two responses, my ego prefers the first — who doesn’t like thinking of themselves as some kind of hero? — but the second might make more sense. Being gay doesn’t mean I’m special or extraordinary. It just means that my life is not always easy. (Surprise!) And as my friend J. said when I told him recently about my homosexuality, “I guess if it wasn’t that, it would have been something else.” Meaning that nobody lives without a burden of one kind or another. As Rabbi Abraham Heschel said: “The man who has not suffered, what can he possibly know, anyway?”
Where are all these bigoted Catholics I keep hearing about? When I told my family a year ago, not one of them responded with anything but love and understanding. Nobody acted like I had a disease. Nobody started treating me differently or looking at me funny. The same is true of every one of the Catholic friends that I’ve told. They love me for who I am.
Actually, the only time I get shock or disgust or disbelief, the only time I’ve noticed people treating me differently after I tell them, is when I tell someone who supports the gay lifestyle. Celibacy?? You must be some kind of freak.
Hooray for tolerance of different viewpoints. I’m grateful to gay activists for some things — making people people more aware of the prevalence of homosexuality, making homophobia less socially acceptable — but they also make it more difficult for me to be understood, to be accepted for who I am and what I believe. If I want open-mindedness, acceptance, and understanding, I look to Catholics.
Is it hard to be gay and Catholic? Yes, because like everybody, I sometimes want things that are not good for me. The Church doesn’t let me have those things, not because she’s mean, but because she’s a good mother. If my son or daughter wanted to eat sand I’d tell them: that’s not what eating is for; it won’t nourish you; it will hurt you. Maybe my daughter has some kind of condition that makes her like sand better than food, but I still wouldn’t let her eat it. Actually, if she was young or stubborn enough, I might not be able to reason with her — I might just have to make a rule against eating sand. Even if she thought I was mean.
So the Church doesn’t oppose gay marriage because it’s wrong; she opposes it because it’s impossible, just as impossible as living on sand. The Church believes, and I believe, in a universe that means something, and in a God who made the universe — made men and women, designed sex and marriage from the ground up. In that universe, gay marriage doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t fit with the rest of the picture, and we’re not about to throw out the rest of the picture.
If you don’t believe in these things, if you believe that men and women and sex and marriage are pretty much whatever we say they are, then okay: we don’t have much left to talk about. That’s not the world I live in.
So, yes, it’s hard to be gay and Catholic — it’s hard to be anything and Catholic — because I don’t always get to do what I want. Show me a religion where you always get to do what you want and I’ll show you a pretty shabby, lazy religion. Something not worth living or dying for, or even getting up in the morning for. That might be the kind of world John Lennon wanted, but John Lennon was kind of an idiot.
Would I trade in my Catholicism for a worldview where I get to marry a man? Would I trade in the Eucharist and the Mass and the rest of it? Being a Catholic means believing in a God who literally waits in the chapel for me, hoping I’ll stop by just for ten minutes so he can pour out love and healing on my heart. Which is worth more — all this, or getting to have sex with who I want? I wish everybody, straight or gay, had as beautiful a life as I have.
I know this isn’t a satisfactory answer. I don’t think any words could be. I try to make my life a satisfactory answer, to this question and to others: What are people for? What is love, and what does it look like? How do we get past our own selfishness so we can love God and our neighbors and ourselves?
It’s a work in progress.

Monday, September 9, 2013

10 Reasons Why Homosexual "Marriage" Must Be Opposed


(Source:  America Needs Fatima)



1. It Is Not Marriage

Calling something marriage does not make it marriage. Marriage has always been a covenant between a man and a woman which is by its nature ordered toward the procreation and education of children and the unity and well-being of the spouses.

The promoters of same-sex “marriage” propose something entirely different. They propose the union between two men or two women. This denies the self-evident biological, physiological, and psychological differences between men and women which find their complementarity in marriage. It also denies the specific primary purpose of marriage: the perpetuation of the human race and the raising of children.

Two entirely different things cannot be considered the same thing.


2. It Violates Natural Law

Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It is a relationship rooted in human nature and thus governed by natural law.

Natural law’s most elementary precept is that “good is to be done and pursued, and evil is to be avoided.” By his natural reason, man can perceive what is morally good or bad for him. Thus, he can know the end or purpose of each of his acts and how it is morally wrong to transform the means that help him accomplish an act into the act’s purpose.

Any situation which institutionalizes the circumvention of the purpose of the sexual act violates natural law and the objective norm of morality.

Being rooted in human nature, natural law is universal and immutable. It applies to the entire human race, equally. It commands and forbids consistently, everywhere and always. Saint Paul taught in the Epistle to the Romans that the natural law is inscribed on the heart of every man. (Rom. 2:14-15)


3. It Always Denies a Child Either a Father or a Mother

It is in the child’s best interests that he be raised under the influence of his natural father and mother. This rule is confirmed by the evident difficulties faced by the many children who are orphans or are raised by a single parent, a relative, or a foster parent.

The unfortunate situation of these children will be the norm for all children of a same-sex “marriage.” A child of a same-sex “marriage” will always be deprived of either his natural mother or father. He will necessarily be raised by one party who has no blood relationship with him. He will always be deprived of either a mother or a father role model.

Same-sex “marriage” ignores a child’s best interests.


4. It Validates and Promotes the Homosexual Lifestyle

In the name of the “family,” same-sex “marriage” serves to validate not only such unions but the whole homosexual lifestyle in all its bisexual and transgender variants.

Civil laws are structuring principles of man's life in society. As such, they play a very important and sometimes decisive role in influencing patterns of thought and behavior. They externally shape the life of society, but also profoundly modify everyone’s perception and evaluation of forms of behavior.

Legal recognition of same-sex “marriage” would necessarily obscure certain basic moral values, devalue traditional marriage, and weaken public morality.


5. It Turns a Moral Wrong into a Civil Right

Homosexual activists argue that same-sex “marriage” is a civil rights issue similar to the struggle for racial equality in the 1960s.

This is false.

First of all, sexual behavior and race are essentially different realities. A man and a woman wanting to marry may be different in their characteristics: one may be black, the other white; one rich, the other poor; or one tall, the other short. None of these differences are insurmountable obstacles to marriage. The two individuals are still man and woman, and thus the requirements of nature are respected.

Same-sex “marriage” opposes nature. Two individuals of the same sex, regardless of their race, wealth, stature, erudition or fame, will never be able to marry because of an insurmountable biological impossibility.

Secondly, inherited and unchangeable racial traits cannot be compared with non-genetic and changeable behavior. There is simply no analogy between the interracial marriage of a man and a woman and the “marriage” between two individuals of the same sex.


6. It Does Not Create a Family but a Naturally Sterile Union

Traditional marriage is usually so fecund that those who would frustrate its end must do violence to nature to prevent the birth of children by using contraception. It naturally tends to create families.

On the contrary, same-sex “marriage” is intrinsically sterile. If the “spouses” want a child, they must circumvent nature by costly and artificial means or employ surrogates. The natural tendency of such a union is not to create families. Therefore, we cannot call a same-sex union marriage and give it the benefits of true marriage.


7. It Defeats the State’s Purpose of Benefiting Marriage

One of the main reasons why the State bestows numerous benefits on marriage is that by its very nature and design, marriage provides the normal conditions for a stable, affectionate, and moral atmosphere that is beneficial to the upbringing of children—all fruit of the mutual affection of the parents. This aids in perpetuating the nation and strengthening society, an evident interest of the State.

Homosexual “marriage” does not provide such conditions. Its primary purpose, objectively speaking, is the personal gratification of two individuals whose union is sterile by nature. It is not entitled, therefore, to the protection the State extends to true marriage.


8. It Imposes Its Acceptance on All Society

By legalizing same-sex “marriage,” the State becomes its official and active promoter. The State calls on public officials to officiate at the new civil ceremony, orders public schools to teach its acceptability to children, and punishes any state employee who expresses disapproval.

In the private sphere, objecting parents will see their children exposed more than ever to this new “morality,” businesses offering wedding services will be forced to provide them for same-sex unions, and rental property owners will have to agree to accept same-sex couples as tenants.

In every situation where marriage affects society, the State will expect Christians and all people of good will to betray their consciences by condoning, through silence or act, an attack on the natural order and Christian morality.


9. It Is the Cutting Edge of the Sexual Revolution

In the 1960s, society was pressured to accept all kinds of immoral sexual relationships between men and women. Today we are seeing a new sexual revolution where society is being asked to accept sodomy and same-sex “marriage.”

If homosexual “marriage” is universally accepted as the present step in sexual “freedom,” what logical arguments can be used to stop the next steps of incest, pedophilia, bestiality, and other forms of unnatural behavior? Indeed, radical elements of certain “avant garde” subcultures are already advocating such aberrations.

The railroading of same-sex “marriage” on the American people makes increasingly clear what homosexual activist Paul Varnell wrote in the Chicago Free Press:

The gay movement, whether we acknowledge it or not, is not a civil rights movement, not even a sexual liberation movement, but a moral revolution aimed at changing people's view of homosexuality.


10. It Offends God

This is the most important reason. Whenever one violates the natural moral order established by God, one sins and offends God. Same-sex “marriage” does just this. Accordingly, anyone who professes to love God must be opposed to it.

Marriage is not the creature of any State. Rather, it was established by God in Paradise for our first parents, Adam and Eve. As we read in the Book of Genesis: “God created man in His image; in the Divine image he created him; male and female He created them. God blessed them, saying: ‘Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it.’” (Gen. 1:28-29)

The same was taught by Our Savior Jesus Christ: “From the beginning of the creation, God made them male and female. For this cause a man shall leave his father and mother; and shall cleave to his wife.” (Mark 10:6-7).

Genesis also teaches how God punished Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality: “The Lord rained down sulphurous fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah. He overthrew those cities and the whole Plain, together with the inhabitants of the cities and the produce of the soil.” (Gen. 19:24-25)


Taking a Principled not a Personal Stand

In writing this statement, we have no intention to defame or disparage anyone. We are not moved by personal hatred against any individual. In intellectually opposing individuals or organizations promoting the homosexual agenda, our only intent is the defense of traditional marriage, the family, and the precious remnants of Christian civilization.

As practicing Catholics, we are filled with compassion and pray for those who struggle against unrelenting and violent temptation to homosexual sin. We pray for those who fall into homosexual sin out of human weakness, that God may assist them with His grace.

We are conscious of the enormous difference between these individuals who struggle with their weakness and strive to overcome it and others who transform their sin into a reason for pride and try to impose their lifestyle on society as a whole, in flagrant opposition to traditional Christian morality and natural law. However, we pray for these too.

We pray also for the judges, legislators and government officials who in one way or another take steps that favor homosexuality and same-sex “marriage.” We do not judge their intentions, interior dispositions, or personal motivations.

We reject and condemn any violence. We simply exercise our liberty as children of God (Rom. 8:21) and our constitutional rights to free speech and the candid, unapologetic and unashamed public display of our Catholic faith. We oppose arguments with arguments. To the arguments in favor of homosexuality and same-sex “marriage” we respond with arguments based on right reason, natural law and Divine Revelation.

In a polemical statement like this, it is possible that one or another formulation may be perceived as excessive or ironic. Such is not our intention.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Defensores Fidei Apologetics Seminar 2013



This Year of Faith, we are given the opportunity to deepen our knowledge of the Catholic Faith through a series of apologetics seminar given by Defensores Fidei. The talks are scheduled every Saturday morning in Greehnills, San Juan (please refer to above poster for exact venue). This is your chance to meet and interact with highly competent Catholic apologists, priests and speakers for FREE.

For inquiries, please call Totus Bookstore at 723-4326 and +639178260047.

Be defenders of the faith!

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Book of Truth


With all the bad things that are going on around us such as the unprecedented rise in natural calamities, strife, wars, etc., have you ever wondered if we are indeed living in the end times? If yes, what are you doing to prepare yourself spiritually?

If you believe in the Second Coming of Christ, I urge you to visit this website:

www.thewarningsecondcoming.com

The messages contained there are a series of divine revelations from the Holy Trinity and Our Lady given to a visionary known by the name Maria Divine Mercy and I have read some of these myself. They are mostly prophecies, teachings, and warnings of events that will come about in the lead up to the Second Coming. It is important to note that according to theologians these messages reinforce Catholic teachings which I personally believe as well. These messages are being revealed to the world for our own good and that God wishes to save everyone by warning us of what lies ahead so that we are not caught unprepared when the time comes.

In the Gospel, Our Lord has constantly preached about the value of always being prepared at all times. The Parable of the Ten Virgins and the Parable of the Faithful Servant best exemplify this. Christ teaches us to be prepared because we neither know the day nor the hour and that He Himself said that He will come in an hour that we least expect Him. In summary, these divine messages should spur all of us to repentance and conversion, a rekindling of our faith and prayer life, and trust and hope in God's mercy which are really the best means to prepare ourselves.

Whether these things are officially approved by the Church or not, Catholics are not morally obliged to espouse the messages emanating from private revelation; however, in light of faith and the written Word of God, we can easily discern whether or not revelations such as these are of divine origin or not.

You can also like their Facebook page in order to receive the messages directly on your wall. I suggest that you say a short prayer to the Holy Spirit to enlighten you and guide you before reading the contents of the website. In that way, you can fully understand and appreciate the messages being conveyed. 

www.facebook.com/JesusToMankind

Share this to everyone you know. I have done my small part. I hope and pray that through this many people will come to experience the depth of God's mercy and love for each one of us, that indeed He will never leave us nor forsake us in these very difficult times that we live in.



(P.S.  These end-time messages given to Maria Divine Mercy are not without controversies. To fairly represent both sides, I am posting below two reviews - one in favor and the other against these messages.


I will leave it up to you, the reader, to discern the truth. Please pray to the Holy Spirit for enlightenment and true discernment.)


Review in favor - http://www.all-about-the-virgin-mary.com/response-to-mark-miravalle.html


Review against http://www.ncregister.com/blog/jimmy-akin/9-things-you-need-to-know-about-maria-divine-mercy



"Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes; truly, I say to you, he will gird himself and have them sit at table, and he will come and serve them. If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them so, blessed are those servants! But know this, that if the householder had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. You also must be ready; for the Son of man is coming at an unexpected hour." - Luke 12:37-40


Friday, August 16, 2013

Chris Tiu on Chastity and True Love





Nowadays it is extremely rare to find a local celebrity who can talk about things such as chastity and true love that is why I admire Chris Tiu a lot. You won't find this guy endorsing products such as cigars or alcohol or posing half naked on giant billboards along EDSA wearing some skimpy underwear...ever. If you want to know more about the virtue of chastity and true love, I encourage you to attend Real Love Revolution 2013. You can find the details here. Live pure!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

'Real Life' My Husband's Lover


Guest post by Bro. A.  This is perhaps the closest you can get to a real-life MHL-type story.


My Husband’s Lover is a strange story, but it is a story that is familiar to me.

She was a pretty woman from the province newly married to a man she found in the city. She was pretty -- no, beautiful. A long line of suitors must have hounded her in her youth. The couple had a child, a son.

One day, what would she find inside her bedroom, but her husband and another man in an X-rated position, one that left nothing to doubt as to the two men’s sexuality/sex orientation/sexual preference? Shocked by the graphic scene, the woman left the marriage. The family would not hear of the husband for a long, long time.

After several years, the woman found another love, an old, gaunt but still good-looking mestizo who was well-traveled and talked smoothly. She was smitten. This time, she was sure he was a he. They lived happily ever after, we could say, shacking up in one corner of the city. They had a daughter. With this complex arrangement, the family fell into hard times but survived by dint of hard work.

When the old man got sick, he fell down hard and fast, leaving his family with almost nothing. By this time, the children were all grownup fending for themselves. One has left home, while the other stayed, with his own family in tow.

One day, who would reappear at the scene but the husband, who was seriously ill? He had no one and nothing but the shirt on his back. Where he came from no one knew, no one bothered to know. He desired to be taken in again, just like the old times. With much trepidation, his ex-wife decided to accept him in her humble abode, but on one condition: he would not talk to her nor she would take care of him. She had her son, his son, do the part she’d rather not do.

The son, to his credit, took good care of his dad, even though he was abandoned almost at birth. Where he got the grace to forgive no one knows up to this day, no one bothered to know. Soon the old man deteriorated until he got fatally ill from a major stroke. He would die a lonely death, although he was not entirely alone. He was with his son and his family.

His former wife could only look on, without any emotion. She was doing it only for the sake of her son, only for charity. But it would not be too soon before she exited this life as well. One day, she suddenly was struck down by the same illness. The two major players are now all gone, virtually ending the story in silence.

As to the husband’s lover, no one knew him, no one knows who and where he is right now, no one bothered to know.

But the child of the original husband and wife remains, with his wife, his five children, and ten grandchildren. Life has to go on.

My Husband’s Lover-type of stories are stories you will never hear the protagonist and other main characters to tell. They are stories mostly filtered through second-hand sources. It is because they are stories of trauma, and tremendous pain, or the most unspeakable shame possible. You just don’t publish these stories for mass consumption. You don’t tell the story with a megaphone, during primetime, when innocent viewers can get easily confused. You prefer more proper venues.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Philippine Conference On New Evangelization



A conference on the New Evangelization will be held from October 16-18, 2013 at the University of Santo Tomas. You can find all the details of this event on their website including online registration. Don't forget to like their Facebook account to stay updated. Register ASAP and avail of their early bird promo.


The changed social, cultural, economic, civil and religious scenarios call us to something new: to live our communitarian experience of faith in a renewed way and to proclaim it through an evangelization that is “new in its ardor, in its methods, in its expressions”, as John Paul II said (Discourse to the XIX Assembly of CELAM, Port-au-Prince, 9 March 1983, n. 3).

This is the call of the Church through the XIII Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on the New Evangelization for the Transmission of Faith.

Twenty-two years ago, the Second Plenary Council of the Philippines (PCP II) envisioned a renewed integral evangelization in the Church in the Philippines. Today, this Church in South East Asia, in particular the Archdiocese of Manila, joins the journey of the universal Church towards new evangelization. This Philippine Conference on the New Evangelization (PCNE) is a milestone in the Church’s journey and a concrete response to her call as well as a reawakening to PCP II’s vision of renewed integral evangelization.

The Synod Fathers recognize that in heeding the call for new evangelization, “we cannot remain indifferent to the process of secularization.” Moreover, “ the proclamation of the good news in different contexts of the world – marked by the processes of globalization and secularism – places different challenges before the Church: at times in an outright religious persecution, at other times in a widespread indifference, interference, restriction or harassment.”

Today, we Filipino Catholics find our country and the Church not far from the contexts described by the Synod Fathers as PCP II already observed. Urbanization, globalization and communication technologies are bringing changes in Philippine society. We are still challenged by pluralism, burdened by much graft and corruption in politics and governance, saddled in economics with “inequalities of the grossest kind” and widespread poverty resulting in the poor becoming poorer and the rich becoming richer, and confronted with increasing imbalances in the educational sector. We cannot ignore the emergent powerful culture developed by developments in information technologies, new media and social networking that influence our way of thinking, feeling and relating with others.

However, one with the Synod Fathers’ optimism and trust in the Lord, we still strive to preserve the culture and faith of our ancestors; many of us still anchor ourselves on basic faith and trust in God’s mercy. Our religiosity is even more heightened among overseas workers who have migrated in Europe and America.

Thus, for us Filipino Catholics, the call for new evangelization is both “entering into the long path of proclaiming the Gospel with the apostolic courage of Paul who would go so far as to say ‘Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!’ (1 Corinthians 9:16)” and making the spirit of PCP II come alive and rekindle this in the hearts of the clergy, those in the consecrated life and the lay faithful to move forward.

The Synod Fathers declared: “We need not invent new strategies as if the Gospel were a product to be placed in the market of religions. We need to rediscover the ways in which Jesus approached persons and called them, in order to put these approaches into practice in today’s circumstances.” Applying this basic approach in new evangelization, three events in the life of Jesus serve as inspiration and framework in organizing the PCNE. These three events point to the phases of the conference.


Phase One: "Come and See" - A Personal Encounter with Jesus: The Beginning of All Evangelization

Phase Two: "Stay With Us" - We Encounter Jesus in The Church Through The Word and The Eucharist

Phase Three: "Duc In Altum" - Go and Preach The Gospel to The Whole Creation (Mission and Spirituality)


(Reposted from the PCNE website)



"Behold, I make all things new." - Rev 21:5

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jesus is THE End



This is a guest post by a fellow Courage brother. In our SSA journey, let us not forget that the ultimate goal is complete union with Christ. All else are secondary. To have Christ is to live.


Jesus is the END.

Some people with SSA think turning straight is the end, and that Jesus is just a means to that end. But they're missing the point...BIG TIME!

Just ask the straight guys who've found Jesus. These guys have never had to struggle a single day with the BIG SSA, and then they find Jesus, and they experience a JOY like they've never had till they realized JESUS IS the END...that everything else is just "icing on the cake".

And what do guys with SSA have to look forward to when they find true JOY in Jesus?

"But I'm still stuck with my SSA...why do I have to end up with the short end of the stick...that's the story of my life...why do straight guys have it all?"

WRONG!

When you have Jesus, whether you are straight or have SSA, you have the ONE THING that your soul has always longed for and needs, or rather that ONE PERSON, and He is Jesus.

In Jesus we can only be pure in heart.

Jesus is the Alpha and the Omega.

Jesus is our End.

To have Jesus in this lifetime is our redemption.

To have Jesus for all eternity is our ultimate prize and reward.

May God have mercy on us who have used our sweet Jesus as a means to a lesser end.

Jesus IS our END.

He has already given His life for you and me.

Let us say YES to Him today and every other moment that we live.
Let us give our lives completely to Jesus so He lives in us and we in Him.
Let us surrender all to Him including our sexuality.
Let us live our lives fully for Christ.
Let us live joyfully because we have Christ within us and we belong to Him.
Let us share Christ and the joy we have found in Him to the whole world through the witness of our lives, through daily prayers, through loving service of our neighbor.

Jesus is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.
In Him alone we find our purpose and direction.
In Him alone are all the answers.
In Him alone are we fully alive.

In Christ there is selflessness.
In Christ there is healing.
In Christ there is peace.
In Christ there is faith, hope and charity.
In Christ we want for nothing.

Christ Jesus is Lord.
He is the beginning and the END.
Hallelujah!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Real Love Revolution 2013: A Pro-Life/Chastity Conference


Renowned chastity speaker Jason Evert is back and this time his wife Crystalina will be joining him! He will be conducting talks on chastity and pro-life issues in Cebu and Manila so reserve your tickets now.


For the past 2 years, CATALYST, a student organization of the University of Asia and the Pacific, has been organizing pro-life and chastity conferences for the youth participated in by more than 23,000 young people. The first one was held in SMX Convention Center in February 2011 with 8,000 participants, and another one in World Trade Center in September 2012 with 15,000 participants. This year, we are bringing back to Manila Jason Evert, world-renowned speaker on chastity and modesty. With his wife, Crystalina Evert, Jason will return to the Philippines for another extraordinary event that promises to be a memorable experience.


Jason and Crystalina Evert

The first speaker is Jason Evert, a world-renowned speaker on chastity. Through his highly popular chastity seminar called “Romance Without Regret”, Jason has spoken internationally to more than one million people. He is also a best-selling author of a dozen of books, including Theology of the Body for Teens and Pure Love and Pure Manhood. He earned his master’s degree in theology, as well as undergraduate degrees in counseling and theology, from the Franciscan University of Steubenville.

The second speaker is Crystalina Evert, founder of Women Made New and the author of three books: Pure Womanhood, How to Find Your Soulmate Without Losing Your Soul, and Theology of the Body for Teens.

8,000 People at the Philippine International Convention Center

On September 7, 2013 (Saturday), more than 8,000 people from different walks of life are expected to attend the “Real Love Revolution 2013” at the Philippine International Convention Center (Pasay City). There will be two sessions: one in the morning from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM and one in the afternoon from 2:00 PM to 5:30 PM. The second one will start with a Holy Mass. They will also address the various issues in Philippine society today such as the RH Law, contraception, divorce, pre-marital sex, and teenage pregnancy.

For more information, discounts or bulk orders you may contact (02) 701-4181 or (0922) 860 3200.

Website: www.positiveagent.org
FB: www.facebook.com/catalyst.uap
Twitter: www.twitter.com/CATALYST_uap
E-mail: catalystorganization@gmail.com





To our fellow kababayans in Cebu, Jason and Crystalina will also give a talk on September 6, 2013 at Waterfront Cebu City Hotel. For inquiries and reservations, call or text Ms. Klyde Llena at (032) 514-6707/(032) 514-7227; Globe 09063524909; Sun 09222138200.

8:00 a.m. - High School Youth

1:00 p.m. - University & College Youth

6:00 p.m. - Parents, Educators & Young Professionals

Saturday, July 20, 2013

When God Ran




Sharing God's unconditional love through this heartwarming video. Be blessed.


Sunday, July 14, 2013

Wild at Heart - Book Review



Wild at Heart – Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul by John Eldredge takes you to a journey and rediscovery of a man's heart. The book invites every man to look deeper into himself to gain a better understanding of why he longs for battles, adventures, and a Beauty far from what the society demands from him in the form of "shoulds" and "ought to's".

For purposes of presenting the core ideas contained in the book without revealing too much of it, I'm going to outline key themes with some short descriptions and quotes from the author. These themes relate in particular to the deepest longings of the masculine soul.


A Battle to Fight

Every man is called to have a warrior heart. There is a Great Battle going on around us and we men are called to be warriors and blood brothers – up to the challenge of overcoming and defeating the multitude of enemies that seek to destroy us.

John Eldredge quotes, "A man must have a battle to fight, a great mission to his life that involves and yet transcends even home and family. He must have a cause to which he is devoted even unto death, for this is written into the fabric of his being."


A Beauty to Rescue

Every woman looks for her knight in shining armor and every man wants to be a hero to the Beauty. Men need to know and understand how to treat a woman well by seeking to understand the longings of the feminine soul. According to Eldredge, every woman yearns to be fought for, to be wanted, to be swept off her feet. A man needs to be the valiant warrior who is ever ready to defend her and pursue her because she counts on him to be her hero.


An Adventure to Live

Deep inside every man's heart is the desire to set out and conquer, to explore, and to head into the unknown, but many of us men have sublimated these desires in exchange for control and security. In effect, we stifle our spirit and miss out on the adventures that really make us feel truly alive. John Eldredge says it best and I quote:

"Adventure, with all its requisite danger and wildness, is a deeply spiritual longing written into the soul of man. The masculine heart needs a place where nothing is prefabricated, modular, nonfat, zip lock, franchised, on-line, microwavable. Where there are no deadlines, cell phones, or committee meetings. Where there is room for the soul. Where, finally, the geography around us corresponds to the geography of our heart."


Final Word

Wild at Heart is not for the faint hearted. This book will challenge you to "saddle up" and "step up to the plate" in your true calling as a man made in the image of the "Wild One". This is not your 12-step guide to becoming a better man, but more of a road map towards an unchartered territory. The author did a good job of incorporating real-world experiences of men and anchoring it on a solid biblical foundation of godly masculinity.

There is more to Wild at Heart than the themes I've already mentioned above – a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue, and an adventure to live – he also touched on other subjects such as our woundings, true identity, fatherhood, initiation, and the 'question that haunts every man' that will help you to further know yourself and become the man God has intended you to be.

I highly recommend this book to all men who feel that there is more to their life than going through the daily grind and after reading it you are now better equipped to fight your battles, live your adventures, and find the 'beauty'.



Inside the Book


Chapter I - Wild at Heart

Chapter II - The Wild One Whose Image We Bear

Chapter III - The Question That Haunts Every Man

Chapter IV - The Wound

Chapter V - The Battle for a Man's Heart

Chapter VI - The Father's Voice

Chapter VII - Healing the Wound

Chapter VIII - A Battle to Fight: The Enemy

Chapter IX - A Battle to Fight: The Strategy

Chapter X - A Beauty to Rescue

Chapter XI - An Adventure to Live

Chapter XII - Writing the Next Chapter


About the Author

John Eldredge is the founder and director of Ransomed Heart Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colorado, a fellowship devoted to helping people discover the heart of God. John is the author of numerous books, including Epic, Waking the Dead, The Journey of Desire, and co-author of Captivating and The Sacred Romance. John lives in Colorado with his wife Stasi, and their three sons, Samuel, Blaine, and Luke. He loves living in the Rocky Mountains so he can pursue his other passions, including fly-fishing, mountain climbing, and exploring the waters of the West in his canoe.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Change Is Possible




Interview with Bro. Alfie of Ichthus Community by local news TV program State of the Nation with Ms. Jessica Soho.

Just a quick comment on the video. Change is very much possible for the homosexual by the grace of God. If you want to find out more about reparative therapy, visit the NARTH website and not the American Psychological Association because the latter is not 'truth based' but 'ideology driven'. You don't believe me? Read this article.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Reparational Prayer Request for Gay Pride Month



The month of June is celebrated worldwide as gay pride month. Our friend from Toronto, Canada is asking everyone to sign up for an hour of prayer in the Blessed Sacrament to pray for these intentions. Please visit the weblinks below for more information. Thank you.



Dear Courage Manila,

Greetings again in the Lord!

I'm writing to ask for your support for our campaign of reparational prayer during Toronto's Pride Week, now underway. Our city is in great spiritual need, and this year's festival is the dress rehearsal before it hosts World Pride 2014.

In this our second annual campaign, Charity, Clarity, Chastity invites people to sign up for an hour of prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, to pray for those three intentions.

Would you please be so kind as to share this link on your blog.
http://www.signupgenius.com/go/4090C4DA8AA28A57-charity

Participation from the Philippines would be most helpful in covering some of the slots in the schedule that are harder for Canadians to fill because for us they are in the middle of the night. And regrettably, much debauchery overnight can be expected this weekend. So too can much desolation be expected.

Of course we would be glad to reciprocate in prayer for you, as for example we did in connection with your country's "reproductive health" bill.

Thanks and God bless,

Alan

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sa Panahon ng Paghilom: Healing From Hurtful Relationships


Living Waters Philippines is inviting everyone to attend a full-day healing conference on August 24, 2013, Saturday.  This will be a great gathering of all Christian believers under the one cross of Christ who is our Divine Healer.  Main speaker will be Andrew Comiskey, founder of the healing ministry Living Waters and a recent convert to Catholicism. He will be coming all the way from Canada to conduct this conference.

"Sa Panahon ng Paghilom" is a full-day healing conference.  The conference will address the effects of our hurtful experiences and broken relationships in the way we look at ourselves and relate with others. It will show people how to access the hope and healing found in the love of God.

This gathering will also provide attendees with practical tools on how to effectively reach out and minister healing to their hurting loved ones.

Date:  24 August 2013, Saturday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Venue:  Meralco Multi-Purpose Hall, Meralco Compound (Gate 2), Ortigas Center, Pasig City

Cost:  P500 (Metro Manila), P300 (Provincial)

Registration:  (02) 910-0777; 09272845037; 09162112864 (Look for Juliet or Vicky)

Website:  www.livingwatersphilippines.org


Keynote Speaker:  Andrew Comiskey

A sought-after speaker and prolific author, Andy Comiskey is the Founder of Living Waters Ministry and current Director of Desert Streams Ministries. Witnessing first-hand the healing power of Jesus in his sexual struggles and broken relationships, Andy points people to the healing found in the Cross of Jesus and equips others to do the same. His new book Naked Surrender: Coming Home To Our True Sexuality is soon to be released in the Philippines. Andy and his wife Annette live in Kansas City, Missouri.
                         

Monday, June 24, 2013

A Complaint Against GMA-7's My Husband's Lover





Bro. Rollie, our group leader in Courage Philippines, just recently filed a letter of complaint addressed to the MTRCB against the airing of GMA-7's latest 'telenovela' My Husband's Lover because of its strong pro-gay message. He has also been fighting it out on MHL FB page with Suzette Doctolero herself, but sadly he was being severely criticized in that FB group discussion because of his dissenting comments against the airing of MHL and for promoting the truth about same-sex attraction.

I've read that this 'bekiserye' is popular not only among the gay crowd but even with the non-gay crowd, which is quite an interesting phenomenon. There are so many things going for MHL. It is the first of its kind to be shown on Philippine TV which undoubtedly contributes much to its popularity. You've got top-rate actors and actresses portraying their respective roles excellently. Not to mention all the hype and publicity that the media has created for its leading characters Tom Rodriguez (Vincent) and Dennis Trillo (Eric), tagging them with the monicker TomDen, one of the country's "hottest loveteam" at the moment. And of course, Kuh's rendition of its theme song 'One More Try' really adds to all that drama as well.  That's showbusiness what do you expect?

On the flip side, there is really nothing much to expect from MHL. The story of a married man who falls in love with another man has been tackled over and over again in most gay indie films. The character of Vincent's father, who is a retired homophobic military general is so stereotypical. You can almost predict where all this will lead to - the rekindling of old flame, infidelity, suspicion, discovery of the affair, and the ensuing family conflict and drama. Who will Vincent choose in the end - his wife or his lover? Sounds familiar? You bet.


-oOo-

Dear MTRCB Board,

I am a concerned citizen, and I would like to write about my disturbed spirit over GMA7's television show "My Husband's Lover" being aired every night as part of their Telebabad series of soap operas.

I am concerned that this show is guided by the gay agenda that deems to desensitize our viewing public with the following ideas about homosexuality:

* Homosexuality is a gift of nature.

* Homosexual behavior cannot be controlled.

* Homosexuals are preoccupied seeking romantic sexual relationships with the same-sex.

* The Church is homophobic and propagate a culture of hate against homosexual persons.

* Homosexuals who are accepted for what they are AND for what they do live happy lives.

* Once a homosexual, always a homosexual.

I am a person with same-sex attractions, and I see these ideas as perversions of the truth about homosexuality, as I counter these lies with the following truths:

* A homosexual is a person with same-sex attractions.

* There is a difference between homosexual attraction and homosexual behavior.

* Homosexuality is not all of genetics but more of environment.

* Homosexuals have choices.

* Change is difficult but possible for the homosexual.

* There are groups available to help homosexuals who decide to change.

* God, through the Church, loves the homosexual person.

=====================================
The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that homosexuals “…must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided.”

- Cardinal Ratzinger’s (now Pope Benedict XVI) Letter to the Bishops On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons (1986)
=====================================

I am concerned because I have been engaging in dialogue with the writers of this show on their facebook account, but it seems that they are adamant in presenting their own beliefs about family life and individual human rights (gay rights). With this, it is most likely that they will transmit their own beliefs and values through this show upon our innocently watching viewing public.

I have reminded them of their responsibility as media persons to inculcate authentic Filipino values to our public, but they just scoffed at me and attacked me personally.

I would like to ask your good office to put this show under strict monitoring, for though this show is rated Strict Parental Guidance, we are after the fair treatment of this show on such a sensitive topic such as homosexuality.

Homosexual persons should be treated with respect and compassion, but the promotion of the homosexual lifestyle (having sex with persons of the same sex) as a good thing is a disservice to the general viewing public. Please note that I have viewed the latest data from DOH (March 2013) on HIV cases and homosexual acts is listed as the number one factor of transmitting this disease. This fact along with my own (and others like me) personal journey out of homosexuality begs to disagree.

We owe it to our people to show programs that will lead them to a better understanding of reality, but still inculcating authentic Filipino values about family and marriage.

I hope that my request of strict monitoring of this show would be considered.

Thank you so much and God bless you!

Rolando C. delos Reyes II

-oOo-

Addendum:  To those who want to express their disgust with GMA7's My Husband's Lover which has the subtle message of promoting homosexuality among our young people - please sign the petition below:

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/we-stand-for-filipino-morality/