Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Building Up a True Christian Family

This is the title of the talk we had last Sunday and we were blessed to have a wonderful speaker in the name of Mr. Biboy Morales, a close friend of Bro. Rollie, loving husband and father of two. He spoke about family life and his struggles in raising his own family especially that he has a son with Down's syndrome. I see in this man his eagerness to be the best husband and father that he could be. It was not so much of the talk that he gave that inspired me, but rather how he as a young Christian father is leading his family in how to live an authentic Christian family life. May God continue to bless, provide, and protect his family always.

God's Design for the Family

There is a war on the family today. Forces which are behind the war on the family include: 1) Concepts assumed on TV (sex without love, rebellion against authority, divorce and remarriage); 2) The cult of playboy; 3) The women's liberation movement; 4) The homosexual revolution; 5) Questionable medical advances (genetic engineering, artificial insemination, cloning, surrogate motherhood)

The "family" (in its true biblical sense) is "a unit comprised of persons who are related by blood, by marriage, or by adoption -- with a male father and a female mother who have made a binding commitment for life." This rules out saying that a fellow and a girl temporarily living together until one partner tires of the other is a "family." It does not allow two lesbian females who adopt children and live together under the same roof to be called a "family." From God's point of view (as revealed in His Word), a good family unit consists of a dynamic leader for a father, a self-sacrificing mother, and cooperative children who respect their parents.

Marriage is not a custom that gradually came to be accepted during early human history. The family as an institution was originated by God at the time of the beginning of the human race. Marriage is a God-appointed relationship. Genesis 2:24 is a key passage that describes the divine origin of marriage. God says, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh." Notice some conclusions drawn from Genesis 2:24.

1) A lifetime binding commitment -- "cleave" is a word that speaks of a strong binding glue like the epoxy glues that cannot be broken.

2) Establishes a separate unit -- "leave" means "to abandon the former relationship" not in the sense of dishonor but in the sense of establishing a new entity.

3) No homosexual marriages -- the passage is given in the context of a man and a woman (Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve).

The Importance of Strong Family Bonds

As a potter molds clay to form a beautiful creation, so does the strong bond of family and good values. Family bonds are a link to our beginning and a guide to our future. Early influences are fundamental to our individual development.

We all want to "belong" and feel accepted. A sense of belonging is derived from the strong bond of family. Family is where our roots take hold and from there we grow. We are molded within a unit, which prepares us for what we will experience in the world and how we react to those experiences. Values are taught at an early age and are carried with us throughout our life.

A close family bond is like a safe harbor where we find refuge. From trusting that someone will pick us up when we fall, as a toddler, to someone being there for us as we experience the storms in life - family bonds help to instill trust and hope in the world around us and belief in ourselves. Rituals of bedtime stories, hugs, holidays and daily meals shared together, provide a sense of warmth, structure and safety. These rituals and traditions, not only create memories and leave a family legacy, but create our first path in life - one that is positive.

Our very spirit can either blossom or wither within the family unit. When we don't have the security and influence of strong family bonds early in life, the ground work is laid for an emptiness, that is often sought to be filled, through destructive venues. If one isn't loved as a child, they may later seek love and acceptance in a way that brings them harm. There is a deep yearning to fill that hollowness, residing in the heart and soul, from never knowing what it's like to be loved, accepted and appreciated for "being".

There can be long-term effects from living in a detached or dysfunctional family. The cycle is often repeated through generations. Children often grow up believing this dysfunctional unit is normal and they may gravitate toward people and situations that mimic the dysfunction they were accustomed to. A healthy relationship won't be easily recognized because it's foreign to someone who hasn't lived within a close and loving family. Often drug and alcohol abuse or domestic violence is repeated, whether by a learned behavior or an escape from behavior that was poured upon an innocent child.

A child may have poor self-image, isolating themselves from peers at school or holding anger and pain inside. This not only affects the emotional well-being, but also physical well-being. The poor self-image may be with them throughout life, causing an inability to make positive choices or be close to others. It's hard to succeed in life when the core of your being has never been nurtured. Healthy development begins before we are born by the choice parents make for the path their children will follow.

Strengthening the Family

An action formula for strengthening your family can be summarized in these five steps:

1. Develop the art of expressing sincere appreciation to your spouse and children. Concentrate on their individual strengths.

William James, one of the greatest psychologists America has ever produced, once wrote a book about human needs. Some years later, he commented that he failed to include the most important need of all - the need to be appreciated. We like to be around people who show us appreciation. Yet, how often we fail to express appreciation to our spouses and children. One study showed that only 20 percent of a family's time was spent in having fun or saying nice things to each other. To change this, a family must begin to look for each other's strengths. Try not to miss an opportunity to give each other a sincere compliment. It is important to let others know, "You are important to me I care about you . . . You have many contributions to offer to the world".

An outstanding example of the expression of appreciation is found in the Apostle Paul's letter to the Thessalonians. The first chapter of I Thessalonians is a hymn of praise and thanksgiving for the faith, love and. steadfastness of the Thessalonians. Paul certainly expressed his appreciation for these members of the family of God.

2. Arrange to spend more time with your family. Plan more family activities that all find enjoyable. Learn to say "no" to outside demands which aren't really that important anyway.

An outstanding characteristic of strong families is the great amount of time they spend together. They work and play together. They enjoy being together, even if they are not doing anything in particular. Life today has become very much a "rat race". Family living can be improved by not allowing our lives to become overly fragmented. Strong families intentionally cut down on the number of outside activities and involvement's in order to minimize fragmentation of their family life. When you find yourself becoming so busy that you are not spending time with your family, it is time to look at what you're doing that's taking you away from your family. You may find that some of those involvement's are not so important after all. Try to keep your family "number one" in terms of how you spend your time.

3. Open the communication channels. Take time to talk with each other often and be a good listener.

Strong families spend a lot of time in family discussion and in talking out problems as they come up. There are quarrels in every family, but by getting things out in the open and talking about them, the problem can usually be identified and the best alternative for resolving the conflict can be chosen. Successful marriage and family relationships are characterized by positive, open channels of communication. It is not just communication per se which contributes to the strength of a family, but communication of a positive nature, marked by a frequent expression of appreciation toward each other.

4. Explore ways that spiritual strength might be added to your family life. Participating in church activities as a family, reading religious materials and family devotionals are only a few of the ways this might be accomplished.

In addition to attending church as a family, the members pray together and read the Bible and other inspirational books together. The role that religion plays in strengthening families is much more than simply participating in religious activities. It is the knowledge that God is with you every day and is directing your life. Knowing God cares, is the greatest friend you have, and has a purpose for your life is a great comfort. The awareness of God's love makes the family more tolerant and forgiving.

5. Build a high degree of commitment toward your family. Make family life your number one priority. Invest your time and energy into the relationships with your spouse and children. The result can, and will be a stronger, more fulfilling family life.

Christianity emphasizes values such as commitment, respect, and responsibilities for the needs and welfare of others. These values contribute to good interpersonal and family relationships.

A strong family is committed to helping and making each other happy. Their actions are geared toward promoting each other's welfare. Time and energy are invested in the family. Individual goals are frequently sacrificed for the welfare of the family.


The Interactive Bible
Kathy D
Brethren Revival Fellowship

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Weekly News (Fourth Week of June)

1. Pope Urges Faithful to Fall in Love With Eucharist

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 23, 2010 ( Echoing one of his predecessors, Benedict XVI says all faithful children of the Church should be disciples of St. Thomas Aquinas. [Read More]

2. US Bishops Clarify Abortion "for" Mother's Health

WASHINGTON, D.C., JUNE 25, 2010 ( Direct abortion is never morally permissible, but there are some medical procedures that are legitimate to protect the life of a pregnant mother, even if they might result in the death of her child. [Read More]

3. Luistro Vows Thorough Review of Sex Education Program

MANILA, June 25, 2010—Incoming Education Secretary Bro. Armin Luistro said he will conduct a comprehensive review of the sex education program as soon as he assumes his post. [Read More]

4. ‘Friendly Atheist’ Blogger Seeks Students to Spy on AFTAH Academy [Read More]

5. Clinic Stats: 86% of all STD’s among 45+ Found in Swingers and Gay Men

June 25, 2010 ( - Swingers - straight couples who regularly swap sexual partners at organized gatherings and clubs and indulge in group sex - have rates of sexually transmitted infections comparable with those of recognized high risk groups such as gay men, reveals research published ahead of print in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections. [Read More]

6. Parents Outraged at Planned Parenthood Class Teaching Sexual Positions

SHENANDOAH, Iowa, June 24, 2010 ( - Parents in Southwest Iowa have reacted in horror after learning that Planned Parenthood's co-ed sex education course not only used pornographic teaching materials but also taught children sexual positions. [Read More]

7. Boston's "Gay Pride Week" Activities Unbelievably Depraved

It was worse and more depraved than even we anticipated. [Read More]

8. 'Freedom From Porn'? Apple and Microsoft Chart a Porn-Free Future for Smartphones

Technology pundits like to point out that “porn drives new media technologies.” Like much common wisdom, many accept this without evidence. And, like much common wisdom, it is flatly untrue. [Read More]

9. Dads, Be Like St. Joseph [Read More]

10. What the Church Teaches About Homosexuality

Homosexuality is surely one of the "hot-button" or "red-flag" issues in Church and society today. Gay-rights advocates and activists are pushing a strong political agenda from the left—job benefits for domestic partners, civil recognition for gay marriages, the right to bear one’s own children via reproductive technologies, equal access to adoption, anti-discrimination statutes, etc. [Read Full Article]

Thursday, June 24, 2010


I just bought a book on exorcism last week for P300. It is entitled Exorcism: Encounters with the Paranormal and the Occult (second edition) written by Fr. Jose Francisco C. Syquia, Director of Archdiocese of Manila Office of Exorcism (see photo above). This is related to my previous post on spiritual warfare entitled, Deliver Us From Evil.

Topics/Contents of the Book

I. The Church and the Devil

II. The Parapsychological Dimension

III. Catholicism and Philippine Folk Religiosity

IV. The Secrets of the New Age Movement: Notebook 1

V. The Secrets of the New Age Movement: Notebook 2

VI. Foundations

VII. Ministering to Those Under Extraordinary Demonic Assault

VIII. Confrontation between God and the Devil

IX. The Catholic in the Midst of Love and War

X. The Scars of Battle

XI. The Defensive Armor and Offensive Weapons

XII. The Exorcist

XIII. Haunted Houses: Notebook 1

XIV. Haunted Houses: Notebook 2

Conclusion: Only Jesus and Always Jesus

Appendix A: More on Philippine Folk Religiosity

Appendix B: Personal Spiritual Warfare

Appendix C: A Concise Handbook on Exorcism and Deliverance

Appendix D: A Pastoral Approach to Infested Homes

Appendix E: How to Handle an Emergency Case of Grave Oppression and Possession

Appendix F: Rules from the Roman Ritual of Exorcism

Appendix G: Manual of Prayers

What Others Say About the Book:

"I opened the book out of curiosity. Reading it enriched me theologically and widened my pastoral outlook. I encourage my fellow pastors of souls to read this book." - Most Rev. Socrates Villegas, D.D., Bishop of Balanga

"Speaking from personal experience of haunted houses, demon possession, ghosts, and true-to-life, scientifically unexplainable paranormal activity, Fr. Jocis will show you the incomparable power of God over spirits. In the end, his mind-blowing stories will not make you fear the devil as much as they will make you love God more." - Bo Sanchez, Catholic Lay Preacher and Bestselling Author

"For those who take their interior life seriously and desire to fully advance their prayer life, the experience of battling with the common enemies which are the world, the flesh, and the devil is ordinary, daily fare. Your book helps in shedding light on the nature of this spiritual warfare." - Sr. Mary Bernard Cam, OCD, Mother Prioress Carmelite Monastery of St. Therese

My Experiences of the Paranormal

Growing up I have had my share of the paranormal. I still remember being brought to an "albularyo" many times as a kid when doctors couldn't pinpoint the source of my physical maladies or whenever I experience some unexplainable sickness. This "albularyo" handles cases such as those who are "nakulam", "nabarang", "na-dwende", "na-engkanto" and "nasapian". He uses another person as a medium where he can communicate directly to the spirits. I also used to wear some sort of "anting-anting" called "dignum" before to protect me from these evil attacks.

Not only did I get exposed to the occult, I also got drawn to some forms of New Age practices out of ignorance most notably horoscopes, Silva mind control program, feng shui, lucky charms and prosperity bracelets, crystals, and even a book on how to make "gayumas"! I also remember reading some New Age literature and novels such as the vampire chronicles of Anne Rice (Thank God she is now a Catholic convert), Harry Potter books, and writings of Jimmy Licauco (a well-known parapsychologist). My main motivation for engaging in these activities was basically to find a short-cut in achieving prosperity and happiness in life, believing somehow that through some unknown mysterious forces in the universe that I can manipulate I would be able to attract it by wearing this or that, rearranging the furnitures at home so that everything is aligned and in harmony with the cosmic energy that make up for a balanced "chi", or descending to the "alpha" state of mind in order for my visualizations to become a reality in the physical plane.

But of course the Lord is continuously renewing me and I have given up subscribing to all these New Age nonsense. As difficult as it can be at times, I now place my entire trust and confidence in God's providence. No more baguas, beckoning cat, frog figurine with a golden coin, wind chimes, lucky charms and bracelets, etc.

Against the First Commandment

The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states the following precepts with regards to divination and magic (CCC 2115-2117):

God can reveal the future to his prophets or to other saints. Still, a sound Christian attitude consists in putting oneself confidently into the hands of Providence for whatever concerns the future, and giving up all unhealthy curiosity about it. Improvidence, however, can constitute a lack of responsibility.

All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future, consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

All practices of magic or sorcery, by which one attempts to tame occult powers, so as to place them at one's service and have a supernatural power over others - even if this were for the sake of restoring their health - are gravely contrary to the virtue of religion. These practices are even more to be condemned when accompanied by the intention of harming someone, or when they have recourse to the intervention of demons. Wearing charms is also reprehensible. Spiritism often implies divination or magical practices; the Church for her part warns the faithful against it. Recourse to so-called traditional cures does not justify either the invocation of evil powers or the exploitation of another's credulity.

In Fr. Syquia's book, he enumerated the following practices as belonging to the occult or the New Age. Check out if you are into these things or not: - angel guides, angelic channeling astral projection, astrology, aura work, automatic handwriting, amulets, channeling, crystal healing, crystal divination, crystal balls, dousing, fortune-telling, out-of-body work, past-life regression therapy, psychic development, psychic healing, rebirthing, shamanism, Silva mind control, soul travel, Ouija board, spellcraft, spirit of the glass, spirit guides, spiritualism, spiritism, transcendental meditation, seances, tarot cards, trance-mediums, trance work, and Wicca (witchcraft).

Fr. Jocis Syquia's book is available in all National Bookstore branches.

"For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths." - 2 Timothy 4:3-4

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Realistic Approach to Attractions

This is an article by one of my all-time favorite writers on SSA, Alan Medinger.

It took me 22 years, but I was finally able to come up with a definition of homosexuality that I believe is both succinct and irrefutable. Here it is:

Homosexuality is the condition wherein a person's primary or exclusive sexual and/or romantic attractions are to people of the same sex rather than to people of the opposite sex.

Simple definitions are often the most difficult to come up with, and such was the case here. When we think of homosexuality we think of gender identity confusion, emotional dependency, sexual addiction, and on and on. But these things are not homosexuality. They are present in other people and they are not present in all same-sex attracted people. They are problems that are common to many same-sex attracted people, but they are not homosexuality.

Attractions are what homosexuality is all about and they are the problem. So we can say with some accuracy that if you change your attractions, the homosexual problem is gone. Attractions are the fundamental issue.

This is going to be a "fundamental" article, Homosexuality 101 so to speak. We are going to go to the heart of homosexuality by looking at attractions, and in so doing I hope to offer some valuable clues as to how you can deal with attractions in ways that foster the freedom for which you long.

An absolute foundational truth about attractions is that being attracted is not a sin, and we need to recognize this truth constantly. The attraction itself is not a sin even when it is perverted or towards a sinful end. Over the years I have seen so many people struggle with getting this truth to sink into their hearts. One example illustrates this perfectly. One summer evening, Harry left a counseling session to go get a bite to eat before coming to a Regeneration meeting. He was tremendously excited as he left the counselor's office, feeling that in prayer with his counselor, he had come to a great breakthrough. Then right outside the counselor's office he spotted a man jogging—an extremely muscular man with no shirt, just jogging shorts. Feelings of desire came rushing through Harry, and he went from elation to despair. Looking at this man had ruined everything.

When he arrived at the meeting, he shared these events with the support group. We told Harry that his attraction to the man in no way nullified what the Lord had done in the counseling session, that it was not reasonable to expect attractions to disappear instantly, and that since he didn't carry the attractions to lust and fantasy as he normally would have done, he had experienced a victory. Our words helped, but still didn't take away all of his disappointment with himself.

Okay, if attractions are not a sin, why are we so concerned with them? There are three very good reasons to be concerned with attractions. First, attractions can lead to sin. James writes, "But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full grown brings forth death" (James 1:14-15). Many of us know from years of hard experience that our ventures into sin usually started with attractions to some person or some image.

Second, attractions bring forth a painful longing. I am not talking about just sexual desires here, but rather the deeper longings for touch, affirmation, and intimacy that cry to be met. When these longings are rooted in major deprivations from childhood, they can bring significant pain to an individual when he or she comes into the presence of a certain type of person. In addition, the Christian who tries to obey God by not easing the pain through lust or wrongful relationships actually prolongs the pain.

Third, the attractions keep you from living the life you and God want you to live. With homosexuality this is obvious. Being married and having children is part of God's plan for most of us, and most homosexual overcomers want this for themselves. But constantly feeling sexually and/or romantically attracted to people of the same sex blocks this. With each attraction to a same-sex person, you might feel like your life is going nowhere. If your same-sex attractions would diminish, you would be able to move more freely towards developing opposite-sex attractions, and you would be able to get on with life.

By and large we cannot do anything directly to make attractions go away. This is a hard truth that we each need to face. Attractions just are, and our decision to change them, or even our offering them to God, usually has little direct effect. We feel powerless over them, and this can lead to feelings of hopelessness, and even despair. Maybe when we were teenagers we thought we might outgrow our attractions. But we think so no longer. Years have proven how tenacious they are, and as the years pass they seem to become even more a part of us.

Their power and apparent permanency lies in the fact that they have hold of us in the three areas of our being. Our attractions have formed in our bodies, our souls and our spirits.

1. Our bodies: We are creatures of habit. Years and years of stimulus response activity have most likely burned paths into your automatic response system. You see a certain type of person, and certain responses-leading up to sexual desire-start to take place automatically.

2. Our souls (our hearts, emotions, and psychological make-up): Within our souls are great empty spaces longing to be filled. When a certain type of person comes along, a voice inside immediately seems to cry out, "Maybe, finally, this is the person who can fill that awful empty place inside of me."

3. Our spirits: Sin has its hold; not just the sins of lust and sexual immorality, but sins of idolatry (i.e. "She can be everything to me."), covetousness (i.e. "I want to possess that person's manhood."), and rebellion (i.e. "I know what God says, but I must meet this need."). Frequently, demonic forces also play a role in a person who has engaged in sinful sexual relationships.

Okay, attractions are tremendously powerful, they are deeply rooted in us, and we can't do anything about them directly. What then can we do?

The first thing I want to suggest is that we accept them. I don't mean accept them as acceptable; I mean accept them as reality. You can't wish them away. You probably can't even pray them away. Your healing doesn't start when you get rid of your attractions. Rather, being attracted is the starting place for your journey into healing. Don't fret. Don't feel sorry for yourself. Attraction to the wrong things is what temptation is, and temptation is a central factor of the Christian life. "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man" (1 Cor. 10:13).

So accept the reality of your attractions, and then start on the indirect process that will lead to their change. This can be done by dealing with those same three factors that make attractions so powerful:

1. Break the habit. Your problem is not that you find all men, all women, or certain types of men or women attractive. If they truly reflect the handiwork of the Creator, then it would be silly, even wrong, not to recognize their genuine beauty. The problem is not that you recognize the beauty of the person; the problem is what you want to do with that person-what is triggered in you-when you behold his or her beauty. By years of repeatedly responding to beauty with acting out sexually, you have set up stimulus response patterns in your brain such as: see a muscular man > long for him to protect me > have sex; or meet a confident woman > long for her to nurture me > have sex.

Breaking these links breaks the habit, and this is best done by substitution. Don't deny the beauty of the person, but train yourself to respond with something else. Usually for Christians this will be something God-centered. See an attractive man or woman and start praising God, repeat certain Scripture verses over and over again, or silently pray for that person. Another form of substitution would be to let the attractive person be a cue for you to immediately look around for someone of the opposite sex or simply someone who is not your type, and start searching for the beauty in that person. It is always there to be found.

Doing away with all lust might be too much right now, but breaking the linking habit is possible for most.

2. Identify the real needs behind the attraction and seek to meet them in legitimate ways. How many times I have heard a man, even the most promiscuous man, say, "It wasn’t the sex I was after; it was just someone to hold me." Find out why you have such a craving to be held, or to be affirmed, or to obtain your worth or security from someone else. Seek the healing of the wound, and find ways of meeting the need that are constructive rather than destructive. This is one of the primary purposes of our ministries, so it is too broad a subject to get into in detail here, but let me make one practical suggestion for immediate application. Figure out for yourself how sexual contact with another person will not meet this need, and then develop the habit of reminding yourself of this when you encounter a person who is sexually attractive to you. "I would love to be in that woman's arms. It would feel so good, but I know that she can't possibly fill that hurting place inside of me. Only God can."

3. Seek out the deeper sins and repent of them. I am convinced that the most powerful means we have of bringing about deep change in ourselves is repentance and confession. This is how the old man dies so that the new man can live. Behind almost every unnatural sexual attraction dwells a sin or sins that are not sexual in and of themselves. I have written of this many times. Sins that are common to homosexual strugglers are idolatry (worshipping the creature more than the Creator), envy (wanting to possess that person or a part of him), ungratefulness (not thanking God for what He has given you), not trusting God (believing that you must meet your own needs), and the list could go on and on.

For some, the way to discover the deeper sin may involve Christian counseling. For everyone, it involves living the normal Christian life of prayer, Scripture reading, worship, service and Christian fellowship.

At the beginning of this article, I wrote that if you change your homosexual attractions, the problem will be gone. What I hope you can see now is that the change I am talking about is the change that breaks the link between seeing an attractive person and feeling sexual feelings.

Your goal is not to stop finding other men or other women attractive. That a person is physically attractive may be an objective truth. That a person might make a wonderful friend might also be true. But your goal is to no longer translate your feelings of attraction into sexual or romantic desire.

What I have suggested can help accomplish this. You can consciously seek to break the "linkage habit." Through constantly reminding yourself that sex won't meet your deepest needs, coupled with finding legitimate ways to meet those needs, you can desexualize the needs. Finally, through the normal Christian life, you will clear away the obstacles of sin and brokenness that block your way towards healthy and natural relationships with men and women.

Because I spent more than half of my life feeding same-sex attractions, I may never be able to look at other men the way most men do. I may carry with me a heightened appreciation for manly beauty or strength. But the attraction no longer translates into sexual desire or feelings. This was a major part of my healing. It can be of yours also.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Weekly News (Third Week of June)

1. Eucharist Is Not Understood, Laments Pope

Says Well-Celebrated Mass Is Best Catechesis

ROME, JUNE 17, 2010 ( The doctrine of the Eucharist -- and its relevance for believers -- is not sufficiently understood and must be a catechetical priority, says Benedict XVI. [Read More]

2. CBCP Studying DepEd Sex Education Program

MANILA, June 14, 2010— The Department of Education’s request for dialogue regarding sex education has been referred to CBCP Legal Office through Atty. Jo Imbong. This was the update given by CBCP President and Tandag Bishop Nereo P. Odchimar in a radio interview Monday. [Read More]

3. Archbishop Cruz Asks Aquino to Abolish Pagcor

MANILA, June 16, 2010—Archbishop Oscar Cruz urged President-elect Aquino to abolish the state-run gambling firm Philippine Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) for bringing havoc to the country. [Read More]

4. New 'Ella' Drug Should Be Labeled an Abortion Pill, Argues Pro-Life Leader

Front Royal, Va., Jun 18, 2010 / 01:49 am (CNA).- In response to the FDA's safety approval of a new drug being described as a “morning-after” pill, a pro-life leader denounced the drug as an abortifacient, and argued that it needs to be labeled accurately. [Read More]

5. Battle Over the Blood — FDA Upholds Ban on Homosexual Male Blood Donations

“Detection of HIV infection is particularly challenging when very low levels of virus are present in the blood for example during the so-called ‘window period.’ The ‘window period’ is the time between being infected with HIV and the ability of an HIV test to detect HIV in an infected person….FDA’s MSM policy reduces the likelihood that a person would unknowingly donate blood during the ‘window period’ of infection. This is important because the rate of new infections in MSM is higher than in the general population and current blood donors.” – Food and Drug Administration (FDA) [Read More]

6. Lawyers Deliver Final Arguments in California ‘Gay Marriage’ Case

San Francisco (AP) - Lawyers arguing a landmark federal case involving California's same-sex marriage ban made their final arguments Wednesday, with supporters describing matrimony as an institution intended to promote childbearing and opponents saying the U.S. Supreme Court had recognized it as a fundamental right. [Read More]

7. Gay Group Wants Homosexuality To Be Taught Kids, Too

BAGUIO CITY — If government is ready to teach children about sex, shouldn’t it be ready also to teach children about homosexuality so the gay community would no longer be a punch line to a joke? [Read More]

8. Irish Bishops Lobby Against Gay Unions, Call for Conscience Protections

DUBLIN, June 18, 2010 ( – While Irish legislators prepare to pass civil partnership legislation, the country’s Catholic bishops conference has issued a last minute call for a halt to the plans. Failing that, they said, parliament must allow for “greater recognition of the proper autonomy of Churches and the right to social and civil freedom in religious matters.” [Read More]

9. NY Catholic Parish: ‘Live the Gospel at Pride Parade’

NEW YORK CITY, June 15, 2010 ( - A Jesuit-run Catholic parish in New York City is promoting the New York City “LGBT” Pride March in defiance of a directive from New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, reports [Read More]

10. Spanish Clinic Investigated for Allegedly Treating Same-Sex Attraction

BARCELONA, Spain, June 16, 2010 ( - The government in Catalonia, Spain, is investigating the clinic Policlinica Tibidabo for offering treatments to help their clients get rid of unwanted homosexual desires. The clinic could face fines if it is confirmed that such treatments are being performed. [Read More]

11. Pro-Life Exorcist: “Never in All of History Have We Seen Evil Promoted So Effectively”

WASHINGTON, June 14, 2010 ( - “Satan is normally ‘hidden’ … but nowadays he is walking tall in powerful structures of sin like abortion, pornography, sex slavery, rapacious greed and terrorism,” writes pro-life leader, Catholic priest and exorcist Reverend Thomas J. Euteneuer in his new book, Exorcism and the Church Militant. [Read More]

12. AIDS Can Be Stopped with “Values-Based” Approach: Vatican Delegation to the UN

ROME, June 17, 2010 ( – In a speech on Monday, the Vatican Ambassador to the UN said the focus in the global fight against AIDS needs to shift to a “values-based” approach that will change people’s risky sexual behavior. [Read More]

13. Dads & Sons [Full Article]

Especially for my dad:

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Being Saved From Emotional Dependency

This sharing is taken from our Courage e-group. I hope our readers will be able to learn something on how the dynamics of emotional dependency operate between two guys, in this case one in his early 40s and the other in his early 20s. I had old posts on this topic. You can search this blog to find out those articles by using the search box on top.


I retired from my office job last year and started a small photocopying and bookbinding shop along the university belt here in our province. Here, I met J, a 21-year-old student boarder just across my shop. Initially, he would drop by just to say hi, but eventually the shop became his "tambayan". Then one day he volunteered to be my assistant (during his vacant periods from school) without pay. I assume it was just out of friendship. To compensate him I served him free snacks if he was working at my shop. After closing time, I would also treat him for some beers. He impressed me more when he volunteered again to help in the renovation of the shop. Together we cut lumber, we painted, we polished and refurbished our work area.


Then came a situation that really brought me and J close together. I was supposed to close my shop for a couple of months since I had to personally care for my cancer-stricken mother. But, J came again to the rescue. It was coincidence. He had to stop from schooling that semester due to financial constraints (He is the eldest of 3 children of a poor farmer). So my shop continued its operation under his care. Being my employee, he and I had more time to share, business and personal wise since my shop became his home. We discovered we had a lot of things in common - from birth month to nickname, from fave food to fave music. We both loved to sing, to eat spicy sardines, etc. We called each other "idol". We both admired our good looks. He uploaded my pictures in his Facebook account and I did the same. He always makes me laugh with his crazy dancing. I started bringing him along in my social and family functions. Other people would usually mistake us as "mag-ama". (His father is as old as myself). We were loyal textmates too. Whenever one is out of sight, we would text "Ano gawa mo? or "Asan ka?". He would initiate at times "Ptapos na klas ko... pnta na me jan." We were monitoring each other. Our mornings began with "gd AMs" and our nights closed with "gud nyts!" consistently. One time I haven't texted him back, he called just to check on me. Isn't that flattering?

After my mother died, our relationship became even closer since I had more time to spend with J at the shop. We shared meals together. We shared jokes and teased each other like kids complete with surprises! My shop was always filled with our hearty laughter. Ang ingay daw namin sabi nga mga kapitbahay, lalo pag nag-iinuman na kami. We were a picture of ideal best friends despite of our age gap.


I allowed J to have his holiday every weekend so that meant I had to sleep overnight at the shop every weekend while he goes home to his aunt's house located at a nearby barangay or to their hometown. One time before we had or usual "relyebo" we had some beers, and before we know it we had much and it was already late night. He wasn't able to go to his aunt's house and so that was the first night that we shared the bed at the shop. I felt uneasy considering that I already had an "experience" during my 20's (that's another story), but we woke up the following day without any guilt or whatsoever. In another occasion, I volunteered to take his place during a weeknight since I had to supervise an ongoing repair of my machines at the shop but he preferred to stay. That was our second night together...then a third one...and so on. Until one night, I found my self embracing him in bed - just embrace. He did not react violently. In fact, later in same situations, I could cuddle him in my arms as we talked before waking up from bed.


I guess our closeness have made me selfish in his dealings with other people. Though I never told him, I was jealous whenever he talked with his lady friends or when he flirts with our clients. I felt the same whenever I learned that he spent his holiday night with his "barkada". I was hurt when he didn't inform me of his whereabouts. There were times I had to cry in despair. "Why do I have to feel this way?" I would even ask the Lord. I guess, I was addicted to him. I kept that feeling by myself until one day I have decided that we have to part ways before my feelings get worse, before our friendship gets hurt, before my family gets affected, before I would lose my right perspective. That was one of the most painful decisions I have made in my life. Para bang sinasaksak ko ang aking sarili. I knew all along that my decision would hurt me but I had to do it. In my lonesome, I let my tears flow. At home, it was good that my wife didn't bother to ask me why I was shedding tears while drinking a bottle of beer one late night.


Time came when I had to tell J my decision of letting him go. I didn't muster enough courage to tell him face-to-face so I called him via phone from my house instead. I didn't tell him the real score. I lied to him. I reasoned out that he can better concentrate with his studies during the coming semester if he is a full-time student and besides, I need a full-time helper. He was convinced and he added that he respected my decision. Needless to say, I was in tears again while I was breaking the news to him. The pain was almost unbearable.

The following day, we did our usual work routine in my shop minus the usual laughter we shared. Before we parted that night I asked his assurance if he really empathized with my decision to which he replied positively. I promised to help him in any way I could even if he will no longer work with me. I instructed him to read my parting words in his e-mail inbox.

I thought that was the end for us...I was wrong.


Our separation took another twist. Our closeness leveled up.

His class schedule the following school sem did not deter J from dropping by my shop...everyday. My new helper even commented that J would at times even wake him up early morning just to groom himself before going to school. He would also take a bath as if he were still a mainstay in the shop. He would also leave some of his things (his worn shirt, his school bag, shoes, etc.) as if always to say that "I'll be back." It's as if he has never left my shop. I tolerated him though as a sign of my gratitude for his services before, but deep inside I really liked that too. Common in our text messages now, by the way, is the text lingo for kiss, "mwah!".

Even my weekends at the shop were not spared from the presence of J. Sometimes I would invite him for a night out to the bars. Sometimes, he would assist me in my job, then it will lead to sharing of some beers after work and would end us in bed together. Sometimes, he makes it up very early Sunday mornings with the "alibi" of doing some rush photocopying jobs, but just the same I would invite him to bed before day breaks.


I am just but human. The temptation was too close to resist. My weakness was just a breath away. My embraces before advanced to moderate kissing of his back, neck and cheeks. Again, he didn't resist, but likewise he didn't respond to my advances. I never forced myself to him so that was just "it."

In one of our night's out, when he provoked me again of his usual teasing question of "parang may gusto kang sabihin sa kin...?", I haven't controlled myself from telling him that I'm falling in love for him. In my drunkenness, I am not sure how he reacted to that, but I can remember that he accompanied me to my shop and made sure that I was okay before he left. The following day, when I failed to text back to his successive messages of "Gud AM"s "Ano gawa mo?", "San ka na?", he asked me why I was no longer texting back. I replied that I was just busy. The truth was I was ashamed. The following weeks later, I found the courage to ask him if my expression of admiration was alright with him. He replied that it is okay. I took that as "it's okay if you love me, just don't expect me to respond the same way to you." I said I was sorry if I felt that way, but I was just being honest with my feelings for him. We went on with our usual dealings the succeeding days. He didn't change, I guess.


Back in my mind, I know that whatever that J and I was sharing has to end. I prayed that the Lord guide me to run away from that situation...again (as He has guided me during the same two previous experiences.) I was praying for a job abroad to keep a distance from J. (As in my previous experiences, distance aborted my forbidden relationships.) The Lord answered my prayer in another way. The space for my shop which was lent to me free of charge by my aunt was sold. Three of my friends offered me a space to transfer my business into. They were ideal business spaces since they were located in busy commercial areas. One friend offered a low rental based on my actual profit from the start of the business just in case. The other one offered it free for the first year. But I've made up my mind. I will transfer my business right beside my house. It's not a commercial area. It's not even a populated residential area. It's far from J's school. Some people I know might have wondered at my back...'What's up with me?' Only the Lord and a close confidante knows my real reason - to keep a distance from J and eventually bring back my pure friendship feeling for him. On the other hand, I'm perceiving it as a chance to work closely with my wife and my family. After spending years and years of prioritizing my office work, I deem it necessary to make it up with my family now. It sounds so ideal, right? Baka magka-award pa ako sa Courage nito. But it's scary at times. What if my business fails?


My business has been operating in my compound for more than a month now. It's a low start but it's slowly picking up. J drops by once in a while. Our text exchanges have mellowed down. No more "gd AMs", no more "gud nyts" and "mwahs".

It's been a week now that he hasn't dropped by my shop nor even texted me a message. I still have that feeling of longing for J. I badly miss his company. I just wish him well and hope that he still considers me his friend. I'm wondering if our picture together is still in his wallet or if our fave songs are still saved in his cellphone. A part of me is rejoicing for my strategy is working, but another part is crying.

I am entrusting everything to the Lord. I've never felt so dependent to the Lord than now. The Lord knows how heavy is my burden. I may look well on the outside, but I am hurt deep inside. As I worry on the fate of my business, I am also trying my best to let go of a misguided friendship.

So help me, God.


You hit it right. What happened between me and J is emotional dependency.

I felt good while I was in the company of J. I found someone who admires me. At the age of 43, when my good looks is starting to dip, I felt uplifted whenever J teases "Gwapo mo ah!". Somehow, I also saw myself in him when I was his age (though I admit, he looks better than me). The timing of our meeting played a role too. He came into my life when I just retired from my office job. His presence made my adjustment to a new routine easier to bear since he always provided the fun and laughter I needed.

In J's part, I assume he saw in me the qualities he was looking for from his father. From his story, he spent his childhood years from one family to another since his parents can hardly support their daily needs. That meant his formative years were spent with his uncles and other relatives. I suppose his self-esteem was uplifted when we worked together. He was proud of me since he would always introduce me to his friends and relatives that I meet as "Si Boss sa...". His father, whom I have met once at my shop, confirmed how J talked about me with high regard. The special care I've shown to him played a big part too, I guess. At first, it was the employer in me who was caring for his needs (para magsipag sa trabaho.) But later, I must admit, I was doing it to make him happy and to get a good impression from him. Ipinagtitimpla ko na siya ng kape during our breaks. Common in my text messages to him were "Kumain k n b?", "Ingat sa pag-uwi", "Wag k pbasa sa ulan ha", "TC coz I C". One time, I verbally told him.."Next to my family, is you."

It's not easy to forget what we have been through. I bet it's a beautiful friendship. It's just unfortunate I have spoiled it. J never said a word about it, but i have already said my apologies. If he only knows, I've made an effort to part ways with him before I make more mistakes. I'd rather kill my feelings for him than lose our friendship. I just wish he's not really keeping an ill feeling against me. I just wish he can still consider me his friend. I still have not erased his last text message when he went home for vacation last week, "pauwi na aq". How symbolic...he' s going home to his real father.

I'm going home too... to my real FATHER.


Thank you, brother, for sharing your story. I honor you for bringing this out into the open and for being totally honest with your struggle. You are not alone in this situation. I commend you for doing the right thing and for establishing boundaries in your relationship with this guy. I am glad you have made a personal decision to come back to the Father even if it is difficult and hard for you. I know in the end all your sacrifices will bear fruit in God's time. Personally, I believe you can still be friends with J, but this time around allow Him to put order in your chaotic relationships. Next to Him, you have an obligation towards your family and your wife. When your relationships are aright and in accordance to God's will for your life, everything will fall into place...including your friendship with J.

We are one with you in your struggle.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Homosexuality: An Overview

This is an excerpt from the book The Battle for Normality: A Guide for Self-Therapy for Homosexuality by Dr. Gerard J.M. van den Aardweg (pp. 21-24).

Not Normal

It is obvious that the vast majority of people still think homosexuality - being sexually attracted to members of one's own sex, along with an at least substantial reduction of heterosexual interests - is abnormal. I use the word "still", for this is a fact in spite of a prolonged bombardment of normality propaganda by the ignorant and slavishly trendy social and political ideologists who rule the media, politics, and a great part of the academic world. If the social elite of this time have lost their common sense, not so the great mass of people, who perhaps can be forced to accept social measures coming from the "equal rights" ideology of homosexuality emancipators, but not to change the simple observation that something must be wrong with people who, although physiologically men and women, do not feel attracted to the obviously natural objects of the propagation-directed sex instinct.

To the bewildered question of many on why it is possible that "educated people" could believe that homosexuality is normal, perhaps the best answer is George Orwell's saying that there are things "so foolish that only intellectuals could believe them". The phenomenon is not new: many a noted scientist began "believing" the "correct" racist ideology in the Germany of the thirties. For many the herd-instinct, a weakness of character, and an anxiety "to belong" make them sacrifice their independent judgment.

If someone is starving while his feelings fearfully reject the object of the hunger drive, food, we know the person suffers from a disturbance (anorexia nervosa). If someone cannot feel compassion at the sight of those suffering, or worse, even enjoys their suffering, yet becomes sentimental at the sight of an abandoned kitten, we recognize an emotional disturbance (psychopathy). And so on. However, if an adult lacks the capacity for erotic arousal by the opposite sex, while he obsessively chases same-sex partners, this failure of the sexual instinct is considered "healthy". Would then pedophilia likewise be normal (as pedophilia advocates already say)? Exhibitionism? Gerontophilia (being attracted to elderly people in the absence of normal heterosexuality)? Fetishism (a woman's shoe causes sexual excitement, the body of the woman indifference)? Voyeurism? I will skip over other, more bizarre and, fortunately, more rare deviations.

Militant homosexuals try to force on the public the idea that they are normal by playing the role of victim of discrimination, thus appealing to the sentiments of compassion and justice and to the instinct of protection of the weak, instead of convincing by way of argument and rational proof. This in itself shows that they are aware of the logical weakness of their position. Their vehement emotionality is an attempt to overcompensate for their want of rational grounds. With people of this mind-set, matter-of-fact discussion is nearly impossible, for they refuse to consider any view that does not fully endorse their normality dogma. But do they, deep down, really believe it themselves?

Such militants may succeed well in transferring their view of themselves as martyrs to others - their mothers, for instance. In a German town I met a group of parents of avowed homosexuals, who had united to fight for their sons' "rights". They were not less indignant and overemotional in their irrational argumentation than their sons themselves. Some mothers behaved as if their favorite baby's life was endangered if one merely contended that homosexuality is a neurotic condition.

The Role of Self-Labeling

This brings us to the psychologically dangerous decision to identify oneself as a different species of man: "I am a homosexual." As if the essence of that existence were different from that of heterosexuals. It may give a sense of relief after a period of struggle and worry, but at the same time it is defeatist. The self-identified homosexual takes on the role of the definitive outsider. It is, in fact, a tragic role. Quite different from a sober and realistic self-appraisal: I have these fantasies and feelings, still I resist taking on the role and identity of "homosexual".

That role brings certain rewards, to be sure. It makes one feel at home among fellow homosexuals. It temporarily takes away the tension of having to fight homosexual impulses, and yields the emotional gratifications of feeling unique and tragic - however unconscious that may be - and, of course, of having sexual adventures. Recalling her discovery of the lesbian subculture, an ex-lesbian writes about the "sense of belonging" it gave her: "As though I had come home. I had found my true peer group [recall the homosexual's childhood drama of feeling the outsider]. Looking back now, I see how needy we all were - a group of misfits who had finally found a niche in life" (Howard 1991, 117). The coin has another side, however. Real happiness, let alone inner peace, is never found that way. Restlessness will increase, as will the feeling of an inner void. Conscience will send out its disquieting and persistent signals. For it is a false "self" the unhappy person has identified with. The door to the homosexual "way of life" has opened. Initially, it is a seducing dream; in time it turns out to be a terrible illusion. "Being a homosexual" means leading an unreal life, ever farther away from one's real person.

"Self-labeling" is greatly stimulated by the propaganda that repeats that many people simply "are" homosexual. But homosexual interests are often, perhaps usually, not constant. There are highs and lows; periods when the person has more or less heterosexual feelings may alternate with fits of homosexuality. Certainly, many youngsters and young adults who did not cultivate the self-image of "being homosexual" have thereby prevented themselves from developing a full-fledged homosexual orientation. Self-labeling, on the other hand, reinforces the homosexual side, especially when it is only in its beginnings, and starves the heterosexual component. It is important to recognize that about half of homosexual men can be regarded as bisexuals and the proportion among women is even larger.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Forwarded Quote

This powerful quote from a brother is worth sharing here. Thanks Bro. I.

"Let things go. Release them. Detach yourself from them. Nobody plays this life with marked cards, so sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. Do not expect anything in return, do not expect your efforts to be appreciated, your genius to be discovered, your love to be understood. In the end, only three things matter - how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things that are really not meant for you."

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Weekly News (Second Week of June)

1. Priests Close Their Year With Successor of Peter

VATICAN CITY, JUNE 11, 2010 ( An image of the newly proclaimed patron of all priests was center stage this morning, hanging from the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica, as Benedict XVI and 15,000 priest-concelebrants closed the Year for Priests with a Mass for the feast of the Sacred Heart. [Read More]

2. Holy See Promotes Values-Based Response to AIDS

Affirms Effectiveness of Moral Law Approach

NEW YORK, JUNE 10, 2010 ( The fight against AIDS must address the deepest causes of the disease's spread through value-based behavioral education, says the permanent observer of the Holy See at the United Nations. [Read More]

3. Church Pins Hope on Aquino

MANILA, June 9, 2010— The Catholic hierarchy is counting on President-elect Benigno Aquino III’s promise of change. [Read More]

4. Catholics Denounce Slated 'Documentary' on Pope by Homosexual Activist

London, England, Jun 8, 2010 / 01:07 am (CNA).- A homosexual activist and Vatican protestor in the U.K. is slated to make what he calls a “factual” documentary on the Holy Father, which is set to air just before the upcoming papal trip. One critic of the proposed film called it further evidence of England being “a profoundly anti-Catholic country.” [Read More]

5. AFTAH Launches ‘Truth Academy’ to Train Youth on How to Fight ‘Gay’ Agenda [Read More]

6. Transexual Protection Bill Passes Second Reading in Canadian Parliament

OTTAWA, Ontario, June 11, 2010 ( - A private members bill seeking to enshrine protections for "transsexuals" and "transgendered" individuals has passed a second reading in the Canadian House of Commons, to the shock of at least one pro-family leader. [Read More]

7. Pro-Life TV Show Nominated For Emmy Award

CINCINNATI, June 11, 2010 ( - Cincinnati-based Life Issues Institute has announced that their compelling pro-life TV show, Facing Life Head-On, captured the attention of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) and has earned a nomination for the prestigious Emmy Award. [Read More]

8. Government of Catalonia, Spain, Recommends Oral Sex and Masturbation to Teens

CATALONIA, Spain, June 8, 2010 ( - The government of Catalonia, one of Spain's most populous regions, has created a sexual education website that recommends masturbation and oral sex to teens, and claims that condoms are the best way to prevent sexually transmitted diseases. [Read More]

9. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

WASHINGTON — The archbishop in charge of more than 800 chaplains in the American armed forces has condemned the proposed repeal of the 1993 law banning openly homosexual persons from serving in the military. [Read More]

10. US Changes Passport Rules for Trans People

American trans men and women will be able to get their new gender recognized on their passports without having to undergo gender reassignment surgery. [Read More]

Thursday, June 10, 2010

2010 Courage/EnCourage Conference

This letter is an invitation from Fr. Paul Check, Executive Director of Courage International, especially for those in the US who are interested to attend the 2010 Courage/EnCourage Annual Conference. This is my small contribution to spreading the word as it is not possible for most of us here in the Philippines to attend the said event. For more details about the conference, please click this link.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

The Lord’s peace to all of you.

In December of 2007, my Bishop, His Excellency William E. Lori of the Diocese of Bridgeport, released me from parish work, at the request of Fr. John F. Harvey, O.S.F.S., to work for the main office of Courage on a full-time basis. In January of this year, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan confirmed my appointment as the successor to Fr. Harvey in the role of the Executive Director of Courage, International. I am humbled by the trust Archbishop Dolan, Bishop Lori,and Fr. Harvey have placed in me, and I am grateful to you, dear members of Courage and EnCourage and friends and supporters of these noble apostolates, for your prayers, counsel, and patience during this time of transition.

I have served as a diocesan Courage chaplain since 2003, and this work has been a wonderful source of grace for my priesthood. The men in our Courage group here in Connecticut have taught me a great deal about the nature of same-sex attraction. But more importantly, I have observed in them and other members of Courage, in families connected to EnCourage, and in so many involved in the work of the apostolate, abundant evidence of the grace about which my patron saint writes in Second Corinthians: “For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (12:10) This is the Christian spirit at its truest and best, because it is the spirit and heart of Christ on the Cross…and it is very much the spirit of the men and women of Courage and the families of EnCourage…a spirit of trust and filial piety.

Another tremendous source of grace for my priesthood has been Mother Teresa and her Missionaries of Charity. “Joy is the net that catches souls,” she often told us. I have witnessed much joy in those who are part of Courage, their struggles with same-sex attraction notwithstanding, as well as in our beloved founding director, Fr. Harvey.

In time, I would like to offer my ideas about the future of Courage based on the strong foundation built by Fr. Harvey through his exemplary fidelity and generosity for so many years. I think often about our spiritual father, the Servant of God Terence Cardinal Cooke, and the founding grace that I believe he received from the Holy Spirit to begin Courage as I consider the next chapter in the life and work of the apostolate. For now, however, I shall limit this letter to some important information, an earnest request, and a strong suggestion.

Bishop Lori has assigned me to Courage as my principal work for the Church. One of my favorite figures in the Gospel is the centurion (not least because I am a former Marine…) from Chapter 7 of St. Luke. He describes himself as “a man set under authority” (v8), a description very much befitting the priest. So, God’s will for the priest comes through his superior. The priest can always be secure in the conviction that, as he does the work the Church asks of him, he is striving to do exactly what Christ the High Priest requires. In my case, in obedience to my Bishop, I must continue to carry out certain responsibilities here in my diocese, while serving as the Executive Director of Courage. To facilitate this, Bishop Lori and Archbishop Dolan have agreed to relocate the main office of Courage from Manhattan to Norwalk, CT. This move will take place after the national conference.

Now, for my earnest request. Courage receives some limited financial support directly from the Church. When I undertake the frequent travel that is part of the apostolic work of Courage, my expenses are generally covered by the host diocese or organization. But the operation of the main office, to include the salaries of our staff, office rental, etc. rests almost entirely upon our own efforts at fundraising. In years past, we have depended heavily on the response to our periodic newsletter (which as you know has not been published for sometime) in this way. In the future, we will do more to develop our fundraising methods, in order to expand the work of Courage.

For the moment, I am asking everyone who reads this letter to write a check for $100 as a special gift to Courage. We are in very serious need of the financial wherewithal to move and set up the new office. Some of you may be able to do more, perhaps even considerably more, to support the work of Courage…please don’t hesitate! Courage will be a good steward of your generosity. But for those to whom $100 is too much, please give whatever God’s providence will allow.

Finally, my strong suggestion: come to the Courage conference this summer. As you will see in the brochure, we are blessed with a very fine lineup of speakers and seminars. Our time in prayer and fellowship in Christ are invaluable for deepening in all of us the spiritual wisdom and witness St. Paul describes so poignantly. On a more personal note, I am looking forward to meeting you or seeing you again, the souls entrusted to my care during my tenure as Executive Director.

To my brother priests who are serving as Courage chaplains: I assure you of my daily prayers and gratitude for your service to the apostolate. I hope to greet many of you in Chicago and to hear your suggestions about our future work together.

Gratefully in Christ,

Fr. Paul N. Check

“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”(II Cor 12:9)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Deliver Us From Evil

I and my fellow brothers and sisters were privileged to have Fr. Dave Clay, one of our beloved spiritual directors in the community, give a talk on the topic of spiritual warfare. He is not an exorcist like Fr. Jocis Syquia of the Archdiocese of Manila, but he narrated to us his own personal experiences and spiritual combat with the forces of darkness, many of which were beyond explanations. I also feel grateful to Fr. Dave for sharing some of his life experiences to us and his unwavering dedication in the SSA ministry.

Meanwhile, please take some time to visit these links with regards to the topic of Spiritual Warfare: These are interviews with Fr. Syquia I suppose courtesy of the PWHS ministry.

Spiritual Warfare (Part 1)

Spiritual Warfare (Part 2)

Spiritual Warfare (Part 3)

Lastly, I urge you to read the book of Fr. Syquia on exorcism (see picture above). It is definitely one of the most informative and authoritative books written on this topic. It's available in all National Bookstore branches.

Spiritual Warfare Quotes

"Whatever the less discerning theologians may say, the devil, as far as Christian belief is concerned, is a puzzling but real, personal and not merely symbolical presence." (Pope Benedict XVI)


"'Spiritual combat' is another element of life which needs to be taught anew and proposed once more to all Christians today. It is a secret and interior art, an invisible struggle in which (we) engage every day against the temptations, the evil suggestions that the demon tries to plant in (our) hearts." (Pope John Paul II)


“No one wants to believe in evil, really, above all, not in an evil being, an evil spirit. Everyone wants to abolish the idea. To admit the existence of evil means a responsibility, and no one wants that responsibility. That is the opening through which the evil spirit crawls, stilling all suspicions, making everything seem normal and natural. This is the “thought,” the unwariness of the ordinary human being which amounts to a disinclination to believe in evil. And if you do not believe in evil, how can you believe in or ever know what good is?” - (Hostage to the Devil by Father Malachi Martin, Roman Catholic Priest)


“When I am asked how many demons there are, I answer with the words that the demon himself spoke through a demonic: ‘We are so many that, if we were visible, we would darken the sun.” (An Exorcist Tells His Story by Father Gabrielle Amorth, Roman Catholic Priest, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican, Rome, Italy)


"The Devil fears the Virgin Mary more, not only than men and angels but, in a certain sense, than God himself. It is not that the wrath, the power and the hatred of God are not infinitely greater than those of the Blessed Virgin, since Mary's perfections are limited: it is because, in the first place, Satan, being proud, suffers infinitely more from being overcome and punished by the little, humble servant of God, her humility humiliating him more than the divine power; and secondly, because God has given Mary such great power over devils that, as they have often been obliged to admit, in spite of themselves, through the mouths of possessed persons, they are more afraid of one of her sighs of grief over some poor soul, than of the prayers of the saints, and more daunted by a single threat from her than by all their other torments" (Evidence of Satan in the Modern World by Monsignor Leon Cristiani, Roman Catholic Priest)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Weekly News (First Week of June)

1. Unity Among Christians Possible, Pontiff Affirms

Celebrates Ecumenical Event With Orthodox Chrysostomos II

PAPHOS, Cyprus, JUNE 4, 2010 ( Unity among Christians is possible, especially between Catholics and the Orthodox Churches, says Benedict XVI. [Read More]

2. Sex Education Undermines Parents’ Roles – CBCP

MANILA, June 1, 2010— Imposing lessons about sex on kids as young as eleven is an attempt to wrest responsibility for bringing up children from parents, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said. [Read More]

3. Saudi Ban on Gay Foreigners Heightens Clash of Cultures

An organization of gay, lesbian, bisexuals and transgender Filipinos on Thursday expressed sadness over Saudi Arabia's new policy against the recruitment of homosexuals, saying it focuses on workers' sexual orientations instead of their capabilities. [Read More]

4. Military Archbishop Urges Congress Not to Repeal ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’

Washington D.C., Jun 3, 2010 / 08:04 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy barring open homosexuals from serving in the military should not be changed, the Archbishop of the Archdiocese for the Military Services said on Tuesday. Noting the need for strong rules against immoral activity, he said moral beliefs should not be sacrificed for “merely political considerations.” [Read More]

5. 'Gay Day' a Mayday for Families

Disney is about to host its annual "gay day" at its facility in Orlando. [Read More]

6. Obama’s ‘Gay Pride Month’ Proclamation [Read More]

7. CAUGHT ON TAPE: School Bus Driver Brings Girl to Tears for Opposing Gay 'Marriage'

CARMEL, Indiana, May 27, 2010 ( - An Indiana family has filed a civil lawsuit against a local school bus driver caught on tape harassing their daughter to the point of tears and calling her a "stupid little bigot" based on her pro-family views. [Read More]

8. McDonald's Ad Promotes Teenage Homosexuality

France, June 2, 2010 ( - A new McDonald's ad in France, part of their large "come as you are" ad campaign, features a homosexual teen speaking sweetly to his male paramour before he is forced to closet his emotions before a presumably insensitive father. [Read More]

9. Hollywood Holiness

Want to hang out with actors Jim Caviezel and Eduardo Verástegui (Bella)? [Read More]

10. Famed Blind Singer Andrea Boccelli Reveals, He Was Almost Aborted

ROME, June 4, 2010 ( – What would the world have been like without Andrea Bocelli, Italian pop, opera, and classical singer? With millions of infants having been victim to abortion, the blind international music sensation has revealed that he too could have been one more abortion statistic. Watch video or [Read More]

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Top 200 Catholic Blogs

Just the other day I was checking the visitors to the Courage Philippines blog and I got a pleasant surprise. A fellow Catholic blogger made a list of the top 200 most popular Catholic blogs based on the number of Google reader subscribers. We made it to the 176th spot. Praise God. For the complete list, visit this site.

I also urge you dear blog visitors to peruse the list as there are a number of very interesting blogs included here. Have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Funny Video Clips

MVP? Seriously? as in Most 'Vaklang' Player?

This is one of the toughest life-threatening predicament to be in!...ouch!

Simply effortless! Try to make sense of what he says. Michael Fajatin, pasok!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pahiyas 2010

Last May 15 I and some fellow Courage brothers went to Lucban, Quezon for our outing to join the celebration of Pahiyas - a festivity in honor of San Isidro Labrador, patron saint of farmers, and whose wife Maria dela Cabeza I found out later is also a canonized saint. In the center of the town is the Parish Church of St. Louis Bishop of Toulouse, literally a stone's throw away from Bro. J's house. It is a magnificent structure that gives you the impression of a colonial Spanish stone church on the outside but not quite so in the inside. I was quite surprised to find out that he is the patron saint of that place and not San Isidro.

The main event is the Pahiyas walk, where we got to see entire rows of houses ornately adorned with multi-colored leaf-shaped edibles called kiping, various fruits and vegetables, coconut and rice products. It was a visual treat and you would regret it if you did not bring your camera as virtually everyone hops from house to house to have their photos taken despite the scorching heat of the afternoon sun.

And oh the food! I liked the longganisang Lucban with matching vinegar, the delectable pancit habhab, the crunchy 'kipings', mangoes, fruit salad, and cassava cake. Nabusog ako grabe!

Perhaps one of the more memorable event that happened to us was the unexpected jeepney ride from Quezon to Laguna. It was already the last trip for that night and we had no choice but to board on top of the jeep. It was my first time to do so and heck what a rollercoaster ride! The jeep drove along zigzaggy roads at speeds that would rival the fastest cheetah in Africa, unmindful of the deep ravines on both sides of our track that kept us at the edge of our uncomfortable seats and holding very tight to steel bars for the duration of the travel. The night sky was lit by a constellation of stars you don't normally see in the metro with the cold evening breeze pounding our faces. It was pure adrenaline rush and I loved every minute of it! We even had a picture-taking of this crazy ride. I would love to have the same kind of adventure next time. I dunno where but this experience gave me that exhilarating feeling of being fully alive - a far cry from my everyday routine and secluded existence. Gosh, can I not have this kind of experience more often?

A million thanks to Bro. J and his very hospitable family. I truly enjoyed the stay and the food and I am looking forward to returning next year (hopefully). Meanwhile, here are some of the photos I took.