Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Oratio Imperata

Oratio Imperata for Deliverance from Calamities

“Almighty Father, we raise our hearts to You in gratitude for the wonders of creation of which we are part, for Your providence in sustaining us in our needs, and for Your wisdom that guides the course of the universe.

“We acknowledge our sins against You and the rest of creation.

“We have not been good stewards of Nature.

“We have confused Your command to subdue the earth.

“The environment is made to suffer our wrongdoing, and now we reap the harvest of our abuse and indifference.

“Global warming is upon us. Typhoons, floods, volcanic eruption, and other natural calamities occur in increasing number and intensity.

“We turn to You, our loving Father, and beg forgiveness for our sins.

“We ask that we, our loved ones and our hard earned possessions be spared from the threat of calamities, natural and man-made.

“We beseech You to inspire us all to grow into responsible stewards of Your creation, and generous neighbors to those in need.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012


There is no doubt that we are living in a moment of extraordinary development in the human capacity to decipher the rules and structures of matter, and in the consequent dominion of man over nature.

We all see the great advantages of this progress and we see more and more clearly the threat of destruction of nature by what we do.

There is another less visible danger, but no less disturbing: the method that permits us to know ever more deeply the rational structures of matter makes us ever less capable of perceiving the source of this rationality, creative Reason. The capacity to see the laws of material being makes us incapable of seeing the ethical message contained in being, a message that tradition calls lex naturalis, natural moral law.

This word for many today is almost incomprehensible due to a concept of nature that is no longer metaphysical, but only empirical. The fact that nature, being itself, is no longer a transparent moral message creates a sense of disorientation that renders the choices of daily life precarious and uncertain.

Naturally, the disorientation strikes the younger generations in a particular way, who must in this context find the fundamental choices for their life.

It is precisely in the light of this contestation that all the urgency of the necessity to reflect upon the theme of natural law and to rediscover its truth common to all men appears. The said law, to which the Apostle Paul refers (cf. Rom 2: 14-15), is written on the heart of man and is consequently, even today, accessible.

This law has as its first and general principle, "to do good and to avoid evil". This is a truth which by its very evidence immediately imposes itself on everyone. From it flows the other more particular principles that regulate ethical justice on the rights and duties of everyone.

So does the principle of respect for human life from its conception to its natural end, because this good of life is not man's property but the free gift of God. Besides this is the duty to seek the truth as the necessary presupposition of every authentic personal maturation.

Another fundamental application of the subject is freedom. Yet taking into account the fact that human freedom is always a freedom shared with others, it is clear that the harmony of freedom can be found only in what is common to all: the truth of the human being, the fundamental message of being itself, exactly the lex naturalis.

And how can we not mention, on one hand, the demand of justice that manifests itself in giving unicuique suum and, on the other, the expectation of solidarity that nourishes in everyone, especially if they are poor, the hope of the help of the more fortunate?

In these values are expressed unbreakable and contingent norms that do not depend on the will of the legislator and not even on the consensus that the State can and must give. They are, in fact, norms that precede any human law: as such, they are not subject to modification by anyone.
The natural law, together with fundamental rights, is the source from which ethical imperatives also flow, which it is only right to honour.

In today's ethics and philosophy of Law, petitions of juridical positivism are widespread. As a result, legislation often becomes only a compromise between different interests: seeking to transform private interests or wishes into law that conflict with the duties deriving from social responsibility.

In this situation it is opportune to recall that every juridical methodology, be it on the local or international level, ultimately draws its legitimacy from its rooting in the natural law, in the ethical message inscribed in the actual human being.

Natural law is, definitively, the only valid bulwark against the arbitrary power or the deception of ideological manipulation. The knowledge of this law inscribed on the heart of man increases with the progress of the moral conscience.

The first duty for all, and particularly for those with public responsibility, must therefore be to promote the maturation of the moral conscience. This is the fundamental progress without which all other progress proves non-authentic.

The law inscribed in our nature is the true guarantee offered to everyone in order to be able to live in freedom and to be respected in their own dignity.

What has been said up to this point has very concrete applications if one refers to the family, that is, to "the intimate partnership of life and the love which constitutes the married state... established by the Creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws" (Gaudium et Spes, n. 48).

Concerning this, the Second Vatican Council has opportunely recalled that the institution of marriage has been "confirmed by the divine law", and therefore "this sacred bond... for the good of the partner, of the children and of society no longer depends on human decision alone" (ibid.).

Therefore, no law made by man can override the norm written by the Creator without society becoming dramatically wounded in what constitutes its basic foundation. To forget this would mean to weaken the family, penalizing the children and rendering the future of society precarious.

Lastly, I feel the duty to affirm yet again that not all that is scientifically possible is also ethically licit.
Technology, when it reduces the human being to an object of experimentation, results in abandoning the weak subject to the arbitration of the stronger. To blindly entrust oneself to technology as the only guarantee of progress, without offering at the same time an ethical code that penetrates its roots in that same reality under study and development, would be equal to doing violence to human nature with devastating consequences for all.

The contribution of scientists is of primary importance. Together with the progress of our capacity to dominate nature, scientists must also contribute to help understand the depth of our responsibility for man and for nature entrusted to him.

On this basis it is possible to develop a fruitful dialogue between believers and non-believers; between theologians, philosophers, jurists and scientists, which can offer to legislation as well precious material for personal and social life.

Therefore, I hope these days of study will bring not only a greater sensitivity of the learned with regard to the natural moral law, but will also serve to create conditions so that this theme may reach an ever fuller awareness of the inalienable value that the lex naturalis possesses for a real and coherent progress of private life and the social order.


Thursday, July 7, 2011



1. What is Pondong Damayan?

Pondong Damayan is a Solidarity Fund which aims:

- primarily, to save money for the needy ones. It is saving money for those who are less fortunate.

- secondarily, for one’s own need, especially in times of emergency.

2. How to build up the Pondong Damayan?

Pondong Damayan can be generated thru:

a. Regular Saving. One can save thru the 3S way: Sacrifice, Save and Share.

b. Tithing/Monthly Pledge

c. Donations/Voluntary Contributions

3. What are the special services offered by the Pondong Damayan?

Pondong Damayan offers:

a. Subsidy to all the member-depositors

b. Loan without Interest

c. Opportunity to share with others.

4. How to join the Pondong Damayan?

One can join the Pondong Damayan by opening an account with the Fund. Any amount can open an account.

Like savings in a bank, Pondong Damayan will issue a passbook in the name of the member depositor. There shall be a ledger for individual depositor in order to record total deposits.

5. What will happen to my savings if I join the Pondong Damayan?

Money deposited in the Pondong Damayan is strictly no longer owned by the depositors. Hence, it cannot be withdrawn by the depositors, but must be ready to be disposed in favor of the needy brothers and sisters. All deposits, including tithes, donations and voluntary contributions are not withdrawable, and shall not bear interest inasmuch as they are intended for charity and social services of the poor. In fact, all deposits are considered donations by the depositors.

However, depositors may avail of the services of the fund such as, Loans without Interest, Grants, Annual Biyaya Dividends and Extraordinary Subsidy.

6. Who manages the Pondong Damayan?

If the Pondong Damayan is parish-based; it is the parish that manages, with the Parish Priest as the Administrator. The services of the Parish Finance Council can utilized as auditor, or bookkeeper, or cashier.

If the Pondong Damayan is organized by the BEC or any community-based, from among the depositors-members of the community, the manager and other officers shall be selected.

There shall be a Board of Directors elected by all the depositors-members. The Board shall be the policy making body. The Administrator takes care of day to day transaction of the Fund.

All the officers and those people working at the Bank shall receive no remuneration.

Fund collected shall be entrusted to a secured bank or invested to a reliable broker in order to earn interests.

7. In case of dissolution, what will happen to the fund of the Pondong Damayan?

The policy shall determine the proper action in case of dissolution of a particular community that established the Fund. In the absence of such policy, the management may decides to merge the fund with other Pondong Damayan or may donate all the remaining funds to a chosen charitable institution.



SACRIFICE means giving up something or mortifying from any unwanted desires in favor of someone needing immediate aid. Every act of sacrifice shall be quantified in terms of monetary equivalent. For example, I will not take any snack today or every Friday. If one snack would cost twenty pesos, I save twenty pesos that day. There are many little acts of sacrifice we can think of, then calculate their worth. That’s your saving!

SAVE. Keep what you save that day. Choose a day in a week, when you can come to the office of the Pondong Damayan and deposit it. Make it your regular habit. Or at least once a month you deposit the accumulated amount you have for all the mortifications and sacrifices you made.

SHARE. Allow the Pondong Damayan to use your saving to help your poor brethren. That is your sharing. The Lord say, “…when you give alms, your left hand must not know what your right hand is doing; your almsgiving must be secret, and your Father who sees all that is done in secret will reward you”(Mt.6:3-4). Almsgiving can be linked to fasting. Money saved from giving up superfluities may be redirected to helping those who do not have necessities for life. Why not take the money that would be spent on that fancy meal you decided to forego and give it to those who do not know where their next meal is coming from? If you have given up movies for Lent or any other indulgence, again let the money saved be diverted to the really needy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Prayer of Forgiveness

(Adapted from the prayer of the Rev. Joe Wright delivered during
the opening of a new session of the Kansas Senate)

Heavenly Father,
We come before You today to ask Your forgiveness
and seek Your direction and guidance.
We know very well Your Word says, ''Woe to those who call evil good,''
but that's exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and inverted our values.
We confess that; we have ridiculed the absolute truth of Your Word
and called it pluralism;
We have worshipped other gods and called it multiculturalism;
We have endorsed perversion and called it an alternative lifestyle;
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery;
We have neglected the needy and called it self-preservation;
We have prevented conception of human beings and allowed to kill our unborn,
and called it choice;
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self-esteem;
We have abused power and called it political savvy;
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography
and called it freedom of expression;
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers
and called it enlightenment.

Search us, O God, and know our hearts today;
try us and see if there be some wicked way in us;
cleanse us from every sin and set us free.
Guide and bless our so-called honorable men and women in the legislature
who have been sent by the people and who have been ordained by You,
to enact laws for our welfare
Grant them your wisdom to rule and may their decisions direct us to the center of Your Will. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Monday, March 7, 2011


“What are you doing for Lent?”
There is one thing to give up during Lent – sin.
The season of Lent is a preparation for renewing our baptismal promises during the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night. Paul says, when writing to the Romans (6:3-6), that when we were baptized we died to our old way of life to live a new way of life i.e. when we were baptized we died to our old sinful ways, we left sin behind.
The season of Lent is to give us time once again to die to our old sinful ways and rise out of the tomb with Jesus to a new way of life so that by the Easter Vigil on Holy Saturday night when we renew our baptismal vows we will also have renewed our lives.
That is why the First Preface of Lent says,
"Each year you give us this joyful season
when we prepare to celebrate the paschal mystery
with mind and heart renewed".


The significant rite of the beginning of Lent is the signing with the ashes on Ash Wednesday.
The sign of the cross is traced upon the forehead with the words, "Remember Thou, O soul, that thy body is dust and unto dust it shall return." These words signify a release from the identification of the self with the mortal and corruptible body and personality. A detachment from our conventional identification with our mortal shell can result in an altered state of consciousness where our bodies can communicate to us a spiritual reality and we can develop in actuality a more caring attitude toward it.
The words, “Remember, O Soul, that thy body is dust and unto dust it shall return,” is a reminder that the body is not immortal, and that we must turn our attention to that within us which truly is immortal.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thoughts for Christmas

1. Jesus came to earth out of love. He was given by the Father: For God so loved the world he gave his only son!
We are also called to love. If Christ is to be born today it must be through us.
Christ fills us with love. Allow us to be agents who fill the world with love.

2. Jesus was born poor and simple. We are called to celebrate his birthday in a simple way, not extravaganza. Live a simple life.
Filipinos is known of celebrating Christmas longer and expense, due to commercialism.
The people that surrounds Jesus are the poor and the simple, first Mary and Jesus, then the shepherds, later on the three kings.

3. Jesus done it in obedience to the Father. He emptied himself taking the form of the eservant. We should be obedient also by doing the will of God. Like Mary, who obediently accepted to be the Mother od the Saviour.
Obedience now seems to be a bad word. Today it is do your own thing; of if it feels good, then do it. People focused on their rights, on what others owe them. But if we truly we have Jesus as our Lord, then we ought to be obdient to our Master. Otherwise, talking of lordship is just a lot of talk. Remember, not everyone who merely says "Lord, Lord" will enter enter, We need to obey.