Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
".....the Internet manifests an open vocation, with an egalitarian and pluralistic tendency, but at the same time it has dug a moat about itself: One speaks, in fact, of the "digital divide." It separates the included from the excluded and adds to the other discrepancies that separate nations from each other and divide them internally. The dangers of homogenization and control, of intellectual and moral relativism, already quite evident in the bent of the critical spirit, in truth reduced to the play of opinions, in the multiple forms of the degradation and humiliation of the human person in his intimate dimension. One witnesses, then, a "polluting of the spirit, which makes us smile less, makes our faces gloomier, less likely to greet each other or look each other in the eye...But this meeting points to recognizing faces and so to overcoming those collective dynamics that can make us lose the perception of the depth of persons and remain at the surface: When that happens, they are bodies without souls, objects of trade and consumption"
"....The media can become a factor in humanization "not only when, thanks to technological development, they increase the possibilities of communicating information, but above all when they are geared towards a vision of the person and the common good that reflects truly universal values". This demands that they "focus on promoting the dignity of persons and peoples, they need to be clearly inspired by charity and placed at the service of truth, of the good, and of natural and supernatural fraternity".
... This is our mission, the Church's mission that she cannot renounce: The task of every believer who works in the media is that of "opening the door to new forms of encounter, maintaining the quality of human interaction, and showing concern for individuals and their genuine spiritual needs. They can thus help the men and women of our digital age to sense the Lord's presence"
akala nyo pa-Facebook-Facebook lang yung Internet, no...
Monday, April 26, 2010
- Concerning its end and object, both tend supposedly towards wellness and beauty. A gym workout definitely aims towards increasing the strength of the body’s muscles and there’s no doubt that well-toned musculature contributes much to physical beauty. The spiritual ascesis is ordered towards the person’s union with God, whom
would identify as Beauty itself. No one would negate the fact that the effort towards spiritual perfection would always lead to beauty. St. Augustine
- A gym workout and the dynamism present in the life of the spirit always mean effort. Ascesis somehow acts as a bridge between the two. Any dedicated gym buff knows that he would have to go through a lot of fuss and hardwork (and even pain) in order to get built up. One would need time besides. The spiritual life isn’t any different. On both sides we could talk about sacrifice and dedication, as well as….
- Discipline. This is an indispensable element in any ascetic endeavor. Just include order as an afterthought. They’re sisters anyway.
- Any disciplined gym program is composed of trifling things such as sets, reps (repetitions) etc…in the plan of life (older traditions call the rule of life) which any disciple should have, you have a moments of prayer, devotions, short visits to the Blessed Sacrament, the Mass, meditation. In short, the whole routine is made up of little things which contribute to the organic whole which is either the spiritual life or the fitness program that you’re in. One could might as well come up with a talk on the importance of little things and details. They sure are very important.
- You could go on the gym on your own, and move about with your own plan, but there’s nothing compared to going about with your fitness program under the watchful guidance of an experienced and certified trainer (include the muscles and all. As the saying goes, never trust a skinny chef). He or she would know better how to let those muscle groups grow to their maximum advantage. In the gym it may be a choice, but this is clearly not the case in the ascetic life. One simply needs to be directed, or in the parlance which some employ nowadays, accompanied. The maxim that guides this simply goes this way: Nobody can guide himself.
Comparing between the two and proposing their similarities doesn’t necessarily imply that both reside on equal domains. Of course, what is physical has a very short and ephemeral lease…its date of expiration would come sooner or later (usually it comes sooner), that which is spiritual remains and goes on. For us who go to the gym, the time will come when these muscles would slowly cease to support us, and the heart wouldn’t always be as strong for us as we would wish it. But the spirit lives on, and hopefully would grow stronger and more beautiful, even as the body begins its inexorable decline. The bottom line is simply this one: more advantageous it is to take care of the soul, for the time will come that we would have to consign the body to its own time.
Saturday, April 17, 2010
We are in the Easter Season, in the Third Sunday, to be exact. We gaze at the visage of Christ, risen and victorious, one which was once no stranger to pain and rejection and suffering and ugliness as it gazed upon a cruel and indifferent humanity. He is the very same one who said, " I am the Good Shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep...and I lay down my life for my sheep" (cf. Jn 10:11, 15), words which were not empty, for he proved it, in the most bloody way. In laying down his life for the errant sheep he proved the love God has for sinful man. The Cross therefore stands as the sign of the Good Shepherd's love, the staff with which he leads and guides those numbered among his flock.
In the latter part of the Gospel this Third Sunday of Easter we hear Jesus, risen and victorious, ask Peter this question: Do you love me?...Peter, who had denied him three times, three times is asked the same question, to which he dutifully (and truthfully, no doubt) answers: Yes Lord, you know that I love you. Jesus then says: Feed my sheep.
In the short exchange that we witness between the Master and the repentant disciple we learn what it means to love God, to love Christ, and what it means to love as Christ loves. In effect, to love God, and to love as He loves, is to feed the sheep. And who feeds the sheep? None else but the Shepherd, and don't we have a Shepherd in Christ Jesus, who offered his life on the Cross? To love means to love like the Shepherd, who loves us from the altar of the Cross. Jesus asks us: Do you love me? Then love as I loved, as a shepherd gives his life for the sheep, and for us, disciples, there is no other way that the cross, to die to oneself , to offer one's life. To give. the Cross is the royal throne upon which Love reigns, and it is the only true measure of love. So, "how do I love thee"? Let me count the ways......
BUT I KNOW BETTER than to jump into its murky depths. the ravine named Melancholy may seem to offer the balm of self pity and the shallow comfort it promises, but then it's just a promise, and experience would always show that not all of these are kept, and Melancholy is a fickle guarantor.
I WOULD RATHER HAVE MY HEAD TURNED towards the sunlight that sooner or later would break through the gray clouds of my musings, and restore the song to that fickle bird which is my human heart, laden with misery as it is, yet capable of joyful melodies. And as the sunlight of optimism and gladness really do break through and give light to my otherwise gray surroundings, with wings that are the gift of the light, I shall fly once again over an above that painful abyss, far from its empty comforts and promises...