Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Aleteia: How a radical atheist became a Catholic priest

Mula sa: Aleteia  Sinulat ni Philip Kosloski | Aug 14, 2017

He hated the Church until one event changed his life forever ... and his story would later impress Maximilian Kolbe.

Born into a wealthy Jewish family in France in 1814, Alphonse Ratisbonne was set to become part of his uncle’s large banking firm. At first Ratisbonne was a nominal Jew, but when his older brother converted to the Catholic faith and became a priest, a hidden rage woke within him.

Ratisbonne wrote, “When my brother became a Catholic, and a priest, I persecuted him with a more unrelenting fury than any other member of my family. We were completely sundered; I hated him with a virulent hatred, though he had fully pardoned me.”

Furthermore this hatred for his brother was broadened to include all Catholics, and Ratisbonne explained how it “made me believe all I heard of the fanaticism of the Catholics, and I held them accordingly in great horror.”

This also affected his personal beliefs and he came to no longer believe in God. Ratisbonne was too busy following worldly pursuits to worry about his Jewish faith and his deep hatred for Catholicism only pushed him further away from any type of religion.

He eventually began to feel the void in his heart, but at first sought to cure it through marriage. Ratisbonne was betrothed to his niece, but because of her young age the wedding was postponed. During this time of waiting Ratisbonne decided to travel without any singular purpose.

His trip started out by traveling to Naples, where he stayed for about a month. After that Ratisbonne wanted to go to Malta, but took the wrong boat and arrived in Rome. He stayed there, making the best of it, and ran into an old friend.

One day when visiting his friend Ratisbonne encountered a Catholic convert, Theodore de Bussieres, who knew Ratisbonne’s priest-brother. While this made Ratisbonne hate the man, he enjoyed conversing with him because of his knowledge.

Later Ratisbonne visited de Bussieres again. They had a heated discussion about Catholicism and de Bussieres made a wager with Ratisbonne.

Have you the courage to submit yourself to a very simple and innocent test? Only to wear a little something I will give you; look, it is a medal of the Blessed Virgin. It seems very ridiculous, does it not? But, I assure you, I attach great value and efficacy to this little medal. [Also] you must say every night and morning the Memorare, a very short and very efficacious prayer which St. Bernard addressed to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

While at first Ratisbonne protested at wearing the medal (which was the Miraculous Medal), he decided to put it around his neck and say the prayer each day. He figured that it couldn’t do any harm and would prove to all the ridiculous nature of Catholicism.

Ratisbonne lived up to his side of the bargain, finding it easy to recite the Memorare. Then one day he was traveling in the city with de Bussieres and they stopped at the church Saint Andrea delle Fratte. When Ratisbonne entered the church it appeared to be engulfed in a marvelous light. He looked to an altar from where the light was coming and saw the Virgin Mary, appearing as she did on the Miraculous Medal.

He left the church in tears, clutching his Miraculous Medal. Several days later he was received into the Catholic Church. After returning to Paris his betrothed was shocked and rejected him and his new religion. Ratisbonne then entered the Jesuits and was ordained a priest.

This amazing story of conversion would later influence Saint Maximilian Kolbe to found the Militia Immaculatae and convinced him of the power of the Miraculous Medal. He firmly believed in Mary’s role in bringing the world to Christ.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Why is there a picture of the Virgin Mary sleeping?

Mula sa Aleteia
Sinulat ni Philip Kosloski | Aug 12, 2017
The image corresponds to an early belief of the Church called the "Dormition of Mary."

Public Domain
Many in the ancient world described the act of dying as “falling asleep.” This concept is also found in the Bible, where in the Psalms we find this prayer, “Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; lighten my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death” (Psalm 13:3).

St. Paul also uses this imagery in his Letter to the Thessalonians in reference to Jesus raising the dead, “God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep” (1 Thessalonians 4:14).

When contemplating the mystery of the Virgin Mary’s departure from this world, many early Christians referred to it as the “Sleep of Mary,” or “Dormition of Mary” (from the Latin domire, meaning to sleep). This highlighted the belief that Mary died before being assumed into heaven.

St. John of Damascus, in the 8th century, relates how “St. Juvenal, Bishop of Jerusalem, at the Council of Chalcedon (451), made known … that Mary died in the presence of all the Apostles, but that her tomb, when opened, upon the request of St. Thomas, was found empty; wherefrom the Apostles concluded that the body was taken up to heaven.”

This particular tradition was very common in the early Church and has different variations, but most revolve around Mary dying in the presence of the apostles. The Eastern Church still celebrates the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God on August 15, the same day that Roman Catholics celebrate the Assumption. Both celebrate the same event, but use different terminology and emphasize different aspects of it.

[Read more: What does it mean to be “Roman” Catholic?]

Officially the Church does not teach the exact nature of how Mary was assumed into heaven or if she died first. The Church teaches only that “the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” However, St. John Paul II did mention in a General Audience, “To share in Christ’s Resurrection, Mary had first to share in his death.” The dormition/assumption was a unique grace given to Mary, a fruit of her Immaculate Conception.

With this in mind many ancient artists depict Mary’s dormition as her sleeping on a bed, surrounded by the apostles. Christ is typically in the center of the picture, often holding a miniature version of Mary, representing the action of Jesus taking Mary’s pure body and soul up to heaven.

It is a beautiful image to meditate on, and brings to mind the only way we can truly rest in peace, in the arms of our Savior.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Ang mga Dakilang Utos ng Banal at Nag-iisang Iglesia ni Cristo

Pag-akyat ng Mahal na Birheng Maria sa Langit

1. Magsimba at huwag magtrabaho nang mabigat kung araw ng Linggo at Pistang Pangilin. 

2. Mag-ayuno at huwag kumain ng karne sa mga araw na itinakda ng Simbahan.

3. Magkumpisa at makinabang minsan man lamang sa isang taon, lalo na sa loob ng Kuwaresma

4. Mag-abuloy ng nararapat sa Iglesia ayon sa kaugalian.

5. Pakasal ayon sa batas na itinakda ng Iglesia. Alin mang ibang kasal ay hindi Sakrament.

Narito sa IBABA ang ORIHINAL NA KOPYA mula sa Opisyal na Katekismo ng Iglesia Katolika.

2041 The precepts of the Church are set in the context of a moral life bound to and nourished by liturgical life. the obligatory character of these positive laws decreed by the pastoral authorities is meant to guarantee to the faithful the indispensable minimum in the spirit of prayer and moral effort, in the growth in love of God and neighbor:

2042 The first precept (“You shall attend Mass on Sundays and holy days of obligation.") requires the faithful to participate in the Eucharistic celebration when the Christian community gathers together on the day commemorating the Resurrection of the Lord.82

The second precept (“You shall confess your sins at least once a year.") ensures preparation for the Eucharist by the reception of the sacrament of reconciliation, which continues Baptism's work of conversion and forgiveness.83

The third precept (“You shall humbly receive your Creator in Holy Communion at least during the Easter season.") guarantees as a minimum the reception of the Lord's Body and Blood in connection with the Paschal feasts, the origin and center of the Christian liturgy.84

2043 The fourth precept (“You shall keep holy the holy days of obligation.") completes the Sunday observance by participation in the principal liturgical feasts which honor the mysteries of the Lord, the Virgin Mary, and the saints.85

The fifth precept (“You shall observe the prescribed days of fasting and abstinence.") ensures the times of ascesis and penance which prepare us for the liturgical feasts; they help us acquire mastery over our instincts and freedom of heart.86

The faithful also have the duty of providing for the material needs of the Church, each according to his abilities.

Pagdiriwang ng Iglesia ni Cristo sa Kapistahan ng 'PAG-AKYAT NG MAHAL NA BIRHENG MARIA INA NG DIYOS SA LANGIT'

BUKAS Ika-15 ng Agosto - ay KAPISTAHAN NG PAG-AKYAT NG BIRHEN MARIA INA NG DIYOS SA LANGIT.  Araw ito ng Pagsisimbang tulad ng Araw ng Linggo. Ang pagliban sa Misa, nang walang sapat na kadahilanan ay isang Mortal na Kasalanang dapat ikumpisal kung may balak Tumanggap ng Banal na Komunyon sa susunod na Araw ng Linggo.

Jesus Founded ONE CHURCH!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Vatican City - Ilan lamang sa mga bansang pinapayagang pumasok sa Qatar nang walang prior Visa Arrangement

Balita mula sa ABS-CBN

Pope Francis (L) meets Qatar's Sheikha Moza bint Nasser on June 4, 2016 (Photo Source: Getty Image)
DOHA - Qatar announced on Wednesday a program to allow visa-free entry for citizens of 80 countries to encourage air transport and tourism amid a two-month boycott imposed on the Gulf state by its neighbors.

Nationals from dozens of countries in Europe and elsewhere including India, Lebanon, New Zealand, South Africa, and the United States only need present a valid passport to enter the gas-rich country which hosts the soccer World Cup in 2022.

Nationals of 33 countries will be allowed to stay for 180 days and the other 47 for up to 30 days.

"The visa exemption scheme will make Qatar the most open country in the region," Hassan al-Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development officer at Qatar Tourism Authority told reporters at a press conference in Doha.

Nationals of the 33 countries listed below do not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar. The waiver will be valid for 180 days from the date of issuance and entitle its holder to spend up to 90 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips.

1. Austria
2. Bahamas
3. Belgium
4. Bulgaria
5. Croatia
6. Cyprus
7. Czech Republic
8. Denmark
9. Estonia
10. Finland
11. France 12. Germany
13. Greece
14. Hungary
15. Iceland
16. Italy
17. Latvia
18. Liechtenstein
19. Lithuania
20. Luxembourg
21. Malta
22. Netherlands
23. Norway
24. Poland
25. Portugal
26. Romania
27. Seychelles
28. Slovakia
29. Slovenia
30. Spain
31. Sweden
32. Switzerland
33. Turkey

Nationals of the 47 countries listed below do not require prior visa arrangements and can obtain a visa waiver upon arrival in Qatar. The waiver will be valid for 30 days from the date of issuance and entitle its holder to spend up to 30 days in Qatar, during either a single trip or on multiple trips. This waiver may be extended for a further 30 days.

1. Andorra
2. Argentina
3. Australia
4. Azerbaijan
5. Belarus
6. Bolivia
7. Brazil
8. Brunei
9. Canada
10. Chile
11. China
12. Colombia
13. Costa Rica
14. Cuba
15. Ecuador
16. Georgia
17. Guyana
18. Hong Kong
19. India
20. Indonesia
21. Ireland
22. Japan
23. Kazakhstan
24. Lebanon
25. Macedonia
26. Malaysia
27. Maldives
28. Mexico
29. Moldova
30. Monaco
31. New Zealand
32. Panama
33. Paraguay
34. Peru
35. Russia
36. San Marino
37. Singapore
38. South Africa
39. South Korea
40. Suriname
41. Thailand
42. Ukraine
43. United Kingdom
44. United States
45. Uruguay
46. Vatican City
47. Venezuela

Oil giant Saudi Arabia along with Egypt, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates imposed a boycott on Qatar on June 5 and cut off all transport links with the country after accusing it of supporting terrorism and of close ties to Iran.

Arab states draw up Qatari 'terror list'

Doha denies the charges. Since the boycott began, Qatar has sought to build up its diplomatic and trade ties beyond the Gulf region. The visa scheme is just the latest in a series of measures aimed at preparing Qatar for greater economic independence in the long term. Efforts led by Kuwait to resolve the rift are ongoing.

Qatar has flown in food supplies from Turkey and Iran and chartered new shipping routes via Oman to bring in construction materials but hotel occupancy rates have fallen with Saudis, a key source of tourism, barred by their government from visiting the country.

Visitors from the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council usually account for almost half of all visitors to Qatar.

Air links suspended by the four Arab states represented around 25 percent of flights by state-owned Qatar Airways, one of the region's big three carriers.

On August 3, Qatar approved legislation allowing certain permanent residents to benefit from parts of the state's generous welfare system, including education and health-care services, a first for the Gulf.
Under the law, children of Qatari women married to foreigners and people with special skills "needed by the state," can benefit from the new status.

Foreign workers from countries including India and Nepal account for around 90 percent of Qatar's population of 2.7 million.

Qatar's World Cup organizing committee has said the Arab sanctions will not affect preparations for the World Cup.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Bakit May Imahe ang mga Kaanib sa Tunay na Iglesia ni Cristo?

Biblical Reasons Why Catholics Make Use of Images…YES, it is in the Bible!
Article Source: Gadel.Info

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Catholics do not worship images and statues


Over and over again, many non-Catholics keep criticizing our use of images in the Catholic Church. They see it as a major problem with us (Catholics) and as such, they often refer us to the book of Exodus chapter 20; consequently condemning or charging us with idolatry. Personally, I see this as an act of ignorance; if only they (i.e those who accuse the Catholic Church of idolatry), had read the bible properly, they would have understood better and stop their criticisms.

Now let us examine their claims…


The non Catholics often refer us to the Commandments; which according to the first commandment, God said: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them (Ex. 20:2–5).


God does not prohibit statues or images; he prohibits the adoration of them. If God truly meant that we were not to possess any statues at all, then he would later contradict himself. Just five chapters after this commandment in Exodus 20, God commanded Moses to build the ARK of the Covenant, which would contain the presence of God and was to be venerated as the holiest place in all of Israel. Here is what God commanded Moses concerning the statues on it: “AND YOU SHALL MAKE TWO CHERUBIM OF GOLD; OF HAMMERED WORK SHALL YOU MAKE THEM, ON THE TWO ENDS OF THE MERCY SEAT. MAKE ONE CHERUB ON THE ONE END, AND ONE CHERUB ON THE OTHER END; OF ONE PIECE WITH THE MERCY SEAT SHALL YOU MAKE THE CHERUBIM ON ITS TWO ENDS.” (Ex. 25:18–19).

In Numbers 21:8–9, not only did our Lord order Moses to make another statue in the form of a bronze serpent, he commanded the children of Israel to look to it in order to be healed. The context of the passage is one where Israel had rebelled against God, and a plague of deadly snakes was sent as a just punishment. This statue of a snake had no power of itself—we know from John 3:14 it was merely a type of Christ—but God used this image of a snake as an instrument to effect healing in his people.

Further, in 1 Kings 6, Solomon built a temple for the glory of God, described as follows: “In the inner sanctuary he made two cherubim of olivewood, each ten cubits high. . . . He put the IMAGE of the cherubim in the innermost part of the house. . . . He carved all the walls of the house roundabout with carved figures of cherubim and palm trees, and open flowers, in the inner and outer rooms. . . . For the entrance to the inner sanctuary he made doors of olivewood. . . . He covered the two doors of olivewood with carvings of cherubim, palm trees, and open flowers; he overlaid them with gold (1 Kgs. 6:23, 27, 29, 31, 32). King Solomon ordered the construction of multiple images of things both “in heaven above” (angels) and “in the earth beneath” (palm trees and open flowers). And then, after the completion of the temple, GOD DECLARED HE WAS PLEASED WITH ITS CONSTRUCTION (1 KGS. 9:3).

Now for those who criticize the catholic Church; didn’t God know what King Solomon had done? It becomes apparent, given the above evidence, that a strictly literal interpretation of Exodus 20:2–5 is erroneous. Otherwise, we would have to conclude that God prohibits something in Exodus 20 and he commands the same thing elsewhere.

Why would God use these images of serpents, angels, palm trees, and open flowers? Why didn’t he heal the people directly rather than use a “graven image”? Why didn’t he command Moses and Solomon to build an ark and a temple void of any images at all?
I hope the fact is becoming clear now…


Many Protestants will claim that, while Catholics may say they do not adore statues, their actions prove otherwise… Catholics kiss statues, bow down before them, and pray in front of them. According to the protestants, that represents the adoration that is due God alone.


The problem was not with the bowing; it was with the adoration. Bowing does not necessarily entail adoration. For example, Jacob bowed to the ground on his knees seven times to his elder brother Esau (Gen. 33:3), Bathsheba bowed to her husband David (1 Kgs. 1:16), and Solomon bowed to his mother Bathsheba (1 Kgs. 2:19). In fact, in Revelation 3:9, John records the words of Jesus: “Behold, I will make those of the synagogue of Satan who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie—behold, I will make them come and bow down before your feet, and learn that I have loved you.” This simply indicates that there are different categories of “bow” or “worship” as clearly seen in the examples above. We have the LATRIA which is the adoration due to God alone; this is clearly different from the relational worship or we give to ourselves to indicate respect. This is very clear with the Yoruba culture of Nigeria, where a child prostrates or lies down to greet an elder. This does not mean that he is rendering the elder a Latria worship or guilty of idolatry, however, it is just a relational worship which indicates respect. HENCE, WE MUST KNOW THAT THE IDEA OF “WORSHIP” IS VERY BROAD AND ITS USAGE MUST FLOW WITH THE PROPER SENTIMENT WHICH INDICATES WHAT IT REALLY MEANS.

My humble recommendation remains that the Catholic Church does not believe any statue or image has any power in and of itself. The beauty of statues and icons move us to the contemplation of the Word of God as he is himself or as he works in his saints. And, according to the Scripture, as well as the testimony of the centuries, God even uses them at times to impart blessings (e.g., healings) according to his providential plan.


I suppose the message we should send to those outside of the Catholic Church who don’t get why we bow down before, kiss, put flowers in front of, etc. statues and icons, is that we Catholics take very seriously the biblical injunctions to praise and honor great members of God’s family.

Besides, it is however, surprising that the critics of the Catholic Church take photographs, hang it at home and often times kiss them. Hence, following the command not to make any image at all, 99% of them equally guilty of idolatry, if we are to take that portion of the Scripture so literarily.

For us, having statues or images is just as natural as—you guessed it—having your pictures or those of your loves ones, especially those that have departed from us. Most times we keep these images or pictures of our relations in our wallets or at homes or even in our electronic devices, which remind us of the ones we love here on earth.

Hence, our use of images in the Church which reminds us of the heavenly beings is a far cry from idolatry.

By Chinaka Mbaeri
Chinaka Mbaeri’s Reflections