When Emotional Problems Warrant Professional Help
Inspiring You to Live a Fantastic Life
St. Maria Candida de Jesus in the Eyes of a Follower
Subtle Attacks Against the Family Explained
EMPOWER YOUR EMOTIONS
They Are the Windows to Your Soul By Bo Sanchez
No. 246 Vol. 20
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Kerygma November 2010
t happened more than 60 years ago. A frail, pale and bedridden woman named Magdalena was suffering with tuberculosis. Her breathing was labored. An only child cared for her — a 19-year-old beautiful girl named Pilar. One day, Magdalena said, “Pilar, I want to go to Pacita. Today!” She was talking about her sister. Both were very close to each other. Tragically, like her sister, Pacita was also sick and bedridden for many years. Pilar said, “Mama, what are you talking about? You’re bedridden! How can we go all the way to Auntie Pacita? She lives in San Juan.” And because it was the Japanese occupation, there were very few vehicles on the street. Bringing a bedridden woman to another city was almost impossible. But the old woman was adamant. “My sister Pacita is calling me. I need to go to her now!” But her daughter put her foot down. “Mama, we can’t leave the house!” In Pilar’s mind, she thought her mother was hallucinating. But the very next day, it happened: Magdalena finally took her last labored breath. Pilar was devastated. But as it was wartime, there were no proper wakes or funerals possible. She had to act fast. On that same day, Pilar placed her mother’s body in a cheap wooden coffin. She pushed the coffin in a wheeled kariton (pushcart) all the way to the cemetery. Late that afternoon, Pilar met a friend on the street. “My condolences, Pilar,” the friend said, “your Auntie Pacita was a good woman.” “Huh?” Pilar was confused. “I think you got it wrong. It was my mother who died today, not my Auntie Pacita. She’s still in San Juan.” The friend was shocked. “What? Your mother died?” “Yes, my mother died early this morning,” Pilar said, “not Auntie Pacita.” Her friend covered her mouth. “Oh no. I’m so sorry. I just came from San Juan. Your Auntie Pacita died yesterday, too.” Pilar’s head was spinning. For a few moments, she couldn’t speak. Two sisters dying one day after another! Finally, she was able to ask, “Did you say Auntie died yesterday?” “Yes. Why?” She couldn’t believe her ears. “Yesterday, Mama was insisting that we visit Auntie Pacita. Somehow, she knew that her sister was dying at that precise moment.” The woman said, “This morning, did you know that Auntie Pacita’s body passed right in front of your house on their way to the cemetery?” “This morning?” Pilar asked. It was almost like Pacita fetched her sister Magdalena. On her way to heaven. Sixty years later, my mother Pilar told me this amazing story. I never saw my grandmother because I was born 22 years after her death. It seemed as though the souls of Magdalena and Pacita were communicating prior to their deaths — and after. Friends, do you believe in ghosts? I believe in souls. Do you have true stories like these that speak about how there is life after death? That reality isn’t just the physical world we see? These stories remind us that our life on planet Earth is short, and that we always need to be ready to go home to God — anytime. Happy All Saints Day, my friends! May your dreams come true.
Do You Believe in
Bo’s clothes courtesy of Golden ABC/Memo.
I started reading KERYGMA when I was in high school. I’m 27 now. I am amazed and really eager to grab a copy every month. I just love reading it. In the Point of Contact, I feel as if God touches me every time I place my hand over Bo’s hand. More power! Kathleen A. Senados Oroquieta City, Misamis Occidental KERYGMA stories have been consoling me every time I’m down and out. Right now, I am full of hope that God will soon answer the desires of my heart. Thanks, Bo, for writing “The Boss.” Dolores S. Gabrillo Oslob, Cebu This is my first time to read KERYGMA magazine. I know that God planned this because I have so many problems right now. I know God wants me to be enlightened by the encouraging words of the writers, by the KERYGMA staff and especially Bo Sanchez. It is really inspiring. I can feel the presence of God. He will always be at our side, maybe not in the way we want Him to but in some other way. Like in my case, I felt God’s presence by reading KERYGMA. Thank you so much to the staff of KERYGMA. May God bless you always. P. J. C. Dumaguete City Congratulations! What a beautiful release of July 2010 issue of KERYGMA. I enjoyed reading the articles most especially on “Act of God or Act of Man?” Very informative and conscience awakening about our responsibility towards Mother Earth. Thank you so much and more power, KERYGMA staff! Nic Teves Cebu City
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Kerygma November 2010
living by grace
I Dare You to Outgive the Lord. It’s a Contest You Will Never Win.
That night, Randy’s wife, Thessa, texted: “Of the two gestational sacs only twin B was fully developed. We heard the strong, steady heartbeat. Gosh, we’re so thankful for this miracle. God just showed us that if He wanted to, He could have given us twins.” Randy later told me that he wasn’t disappointed. He was ready for the worst and held on to the proclamation of the three young men in the Book of Daniel — that his God is able to save, but even if He doesn’t, he will continue praising the Lord (Daniel 3:1718). The big guy has a big heart and a big faith. No wonder he receives big blessings as well.
And I will repay you for the years which the locust has eaten, the grasshopper, the devourer, and the cutter… (Joel 2:25) Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
who was always left out. At least in our circle of “elite” servants. When our music ministry was invited to perform at the Vatican before the Pope and 7,000 priests from all over the world, Randy didn’t make it to the short list. When we traveled to Colorado to attend the Christian Artists Seminar in the Rockies, he wasn’t with us either. When over 30 members of community made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, guess who wasn’t in the group? Randy was the type who was dedicated to the Lord and to the ministry. But somehow, he’d pique some people with something he said, he did, he thought, he breathed, he ate — God knows what else — and soon he’d find himself back in the subterranean existence of servants who did not render “greater service.” But you gotta hand it to the guy. No matter how much discipline, rebuke and rejection he got, he’d humbly acknowledge his fault — sometimes even if it wasn’t his — and press on. He accepted correction from community leaders as if it had been the Lord Himself who had spoken. Despite reaching a point of financial distress for choosing to serve instead of taking on well-paying jobs, he continued to give, to serve, to love. But nothing is wasted with the Lord. I watched from the sidelines as Randy plumbed the heights of service. (Yup, I said “plumbed” because as our beloved Jaime Cardinal Sin used to say, you have to stoop as you climb higher to greatness. And for Randy, who stands six feet tall, that’s a lot of stooping!) He became director of Bo Sanchez’s weekly Feasts. He traveled the world with him to shoot him for his Internet show Preacher in Blue Jeans. He became director of our TV shows. Head of our radio and TV department. Feast builder of the Makati chapter. Even on the personal level, I saw how the Lord prospered him, too. The perfect wedding to the girlfriend of his dreams. A condo unit in a plush side of town. A brand new car. But more than a year after getting married, they were still trying and praying for a baby. One night, when Randy arrived at our caring group meeting with his wife, Thessa, they had an important announcement to make. Randy pulled out the results of an ultrasound and read, “Found two gestational sacs. Intrauterine twin pregnancy.” If it were a movie, I’d cry, “Corny! Over! Too much!” But no, it’s Randy’s real life. A couple weeks later, they had another ultrasound to listen for the heartbeat.
andy was one of the guys
WHAT TO EXPECT THIS MONTH:
I only have three words for you: Don’t miss it! I’m referring to the biggest Catholic event of the year. Kerygma Conference 2010 with its theme, Restoration, is happening on Nov 27-28 with an optional leaders conference on Nov 26. Our venue will be at the PICC and on the 28th at the Araneta Coliseum. We’re holding it in Cebu and Davao on Dec 4. Participants get to choose which stream they’ll attend: Marriage Restoration, Singles Restoration, Youth Restoration, Faith Restoration, Inner Restoration, Single Parents Restoration and Happy Celibates Restoration. There’s a stream for everyone! Register now at 725-9999 or at our website kergymaconference.com.
Rissa’s clothes courtesy of Freeway.
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Inspiring You to Live a Fantastic Life
Kerygma November 2010
publisher BO SANCHEZ editor-in-chief RISSA SINGSON-KAWPENG managing editor TESS ATIENZA creative director REN CORTES graphics director REY DE GUZMAN contributing writers JUDITH CONCEPCION MARJORIE ANN DUTERTE ALVIN FABELLA ELEANORE LEE DINA PECAñA JANE GONZALES-RAUCH LEEANNE SY photographer ED SANTIAGO DANIEL SORIANO DAKILA ANGELES columnists ROSANNE ROMERO ALVIN BARCELONA chairman of the board BO SANCHEZ marketing director JOSEPH MARTINEZ KERYGMA. A Greek word meaning Proclamation of the Gospel. It is a Catholic inspirational magazine. It aims to be an evangelistic tool to all nations, providing Scriptural, practical and orthodox teachings to Catholics, particularly those in the Catholic Renewal, as an alternative to present-day magazines. It is also committed to fostering the renewal and unity of the whole Christian people. Philippine copyright Shepherd’s Voice Publications, Inc. 2010. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without permission. KERYGMA is published monthly by Shepherd’s Voice Publications, Inc., whose editorial and business offices are located at 60 Chicago St., Cubao, 1109 Quezon City. Tels: 725-9999, 411-7874, 725-1190. Fax: 727-5615. Email: editsvp@ shepherdsvoice.com.ph. Website: www. shepherdsvoice.com.ph.
vol. 20 no. 246
the Bo files.
1 The Boss Do You Believe in Ghosts? 40 Point of Contact
3 Just Breathe Double Blessed 35 Kitchen Scribbles The Rain Falls on the Just and on the Unjust 37 K Preacher Whole Sunday
2 Mailroom 6 New You 7 Real Stuff 8 Dear K 10 Kfam Insider 12 Feast Snapshots 13 Kerygma Shepherd 13 Laughingly Yours 15 It Happened When I Gave Jesus My Life, He Gave My Back My Wife 33 In the News Defending Family and Life Against Subtle Attacks 39 One Last Story Walking in the Shadow of a Saint
19 Are You Whole? 20 Celebrate Your Brokenness 26 Empower Your Emotions
26 Once Broken But Now Made Whole 30 Get Professional Help — Before It’s Too Late
ABOUT OUR COVER MODEL
The shoot for this cover was a breeze. Thanks to our model, Joel N. Saludares, who was so game in doing the poses and facial expressions, which our creative director, Mike Cortes, asked him to do. Joel and his wife, Renee, are members of the Light of Jesus Family for several years now and serve at the Ortigas Feast. In the June 2009 issue of Kerygma, Joel shared with us how he and Renee, both medical technologists, handled their failure to land a job in Singapore early on in their married life. Today, Joel is gainfully employed as senior account director in an online advertising company. Renee recently gave birth to their firstborn daughter, Luzia Joy.
tips for personal development
SMOKING RUINS YOUR LOOKS
hat if every cigarette you smoked created a black mark on your face? You’d easily have kicked the habit, right? But years of smoking impact your appearance more than you are probably aware of. Here are some ways that smoking ruins your appearance. 1. Bags under your eyes. You are four times more likely than nonsmokers to feel unrested after a night’s sleep and to have dark circles under your eyes. Nicotine withdrawal at night could cause you to toss and turn. RELATIONSHIP 2. Psoriasis. Although this is an auto-immune-related skin condition, your risk of having this scaly skin condition goes up when you If you have a teenager at home, getting him out of smoke. bed must be taking all your morning energy. The sleep 3. Icky teeth. The nicotine in cigarettes can stain your teeth. So in patterns of teenagers are different from adults and addition to buying cigarettes, you have to spend also for tooth young children. Their bodies’ internal clocks tell them whitening. to fall asleep late in the night and to snooze longer 4. Premature aging and wrinkles. Experts say that smoking accelerates in the morning. Here are some tips to make morning aging by 1.4 years on the average. Smoking hampers the blood wake-ups less of a struggle: supply that keeps your skin tissue looking supple and healthy. 5. Yellow fingers. Nicotine also stains your fingers and nails. 1. Tone down the alarm. Set the alarm about 15 6. Thinner hair. The toxic chemicals in smoke damage the DNA in minutes before he has to get up. It will help him ease your hair follicles and this results to thinner hair that tends to go into the day rather than jar him up by a strong blare gray sooner as well. from the alarm clock. 7. Scarring. Nicotine causes blood vessels to narrow down, thus limiting 2. Give him a good reason to get up. You can persuade the flow of oxygen-rich blood to the tiny vessels in the face and him with his favorite breakfast, or you can arrange a other parts of the body. The result? Your wounds take longer to heal morning carpool with his close buddy. and you end up with scars that are bigger and redder than if you 3. Make it his responsibility. In the long run, this is were not smoking. the best that you can do for your teen. Tell him he’s 8. Tooth loss. You put yourself at a greater risk for all kinds of dental old enough to get up on his own, so you’ll wake him problems including oral cancer and gum disease that eventually up only once. leads to tooth loss. Source: www.parenting.org 9. Skin cancer. Not only is smoking a leading cause of cancer of the lungs, throat, mouth and the esophagus; it also increases one’s risk for skin cancer. According to QUICK HEALTH TIP: a study, smokers are three times Lima beans more likely to develop squamous Lima beans, with its starchy yet buttery texture, have a delicate flavor cell carcinoma, the second that complements a wide variety of dishes. The pod of the lima bean common type of skin cancer, than is flat, oblong and slightly curved. Within the pod are two to four flat non-smokers. kidney-shaped seeds that are cream or green in color. 10. Cataracts. Smoking increases Lima beans’ high fiber content prevents cholesterol and blood one’s risk to develop cataracts sugar levels from rising too rapidly after a meal. When taken with whole because of the oxidative stress that grains, lima beans provide virtually fat-free high quality protein. smoke puts on the lens of the eyes.
Source: www.whfoods.org Source: www.health.com
GETTING YOUR TEENS UP IN THE MORNINGS
Kerygma November 2010
Guyabano, One of the Healthiest Fruits Known to Man
he Philippine guyabano, known also as sour sop, is cited by the United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS) in its book, Underexploited Tropical Plants with Promising Economic Value, as a “tropical fruit with potential for development as a processed industrial commodity.” Guyabano has a dark green, leathery and spikelike skin and measures from eight to 12 inches long and can weigh up to 2.5 kilos. When ripe, its creamy and delectable flesh is light yellow in color and soft. It is cultivated in practically all parts of the archipelago. It grows in any kind of soil and thrives on elevated areas up to 500 meters above sea level. The white edible pulp of guyabano is high in carbohydrates particularly fructose and considerable amounts of Vitaminc C, B1, B2, potassium and dietary fiber. It is low in cholesterol, saturated fat and sodium. Overall, guyabano is a good health food that can be processed into ice cream, sherbets and other beverages. Aside from this, its leaves and roots have medicinal value. They were found to cure colic and convulsions, reduce fever, and heal skin eruptions and other inflammations.
Renewed Fight Against Reproductive Health Bill
he CaTholiC ChurCh, through the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines, reminded President Simeon Benigno Aquino III in a lengthy letter to reject the revived reproductive health bill and to put a stop to sex education in schools beginning in the fifth grade. In the 14th Congress, the Catholic Church succeeded in blocking the passage of the bill, re-filed as House Bill 96, that proponents say would promote maternal and child health and responsible parenthood. The CBCP supports House Bill 13, or the proposed “Act Providing for the Safety and Protection of the Unborn Child and for Other Purposes,” filed by Representative Roilo Golez early on in the 15th Congress. The bill recognizes that the government should protect the life of the unborn from conception, which is at the moment of fertilization. It further said, through its president, Bishop Nereo Odchimar of Tandag, Surigao del Sur, “The constitutional protection of the unborn child from the first instant of conception is a legacy given to us some 20 years ago during the presidency of President Corazon Aquino. In spite of all the foreseeable opposition of politicians and powerful lobby groups, we pray that (her) moral legacy could be finally and fully realized during the term of her son.”
SAINTS AT A GLANCE
WHO: St. Margaret of Scotland BORN AND DIED: Hungary, 1045 — Scotland, November 16, 1093 NOTABLE FACTS: Margaret was an English princess who, together with her mother, sailed to Scotland to escape from the king who had conquered Hungary. King Malcolm of Scotland welcomed them and fell in love with her. Soon, Margaret and Malcolm married. Queen Margaret was a good influence on her husband and his court. She made the court beautiful and civilized. The princes acquired better manners and the ladies imitated her purity and devotion. Margaret and Malcolm set a good example by praying together. Her greatest sorrow in life was when her husband and son Edward were killed in battle, yet she offered this as purification for her sins. Margaret’s private life was spent in constant prayer and pious practices. She founded several churches and even embroidered the priests’ vestments by herself. She foretold the day of her death, which took place at Edinburgh on November 16, 1093. She was canonized in 1250 by Innocent IV.
How Do I Handle My Religious Differences With My Husband?
I am a Catholic wife married to a nonCatholic. I was raised in a Catholic school. We now have one daughter and we had her baptized in the Catholic faith. It’s hard for me because my husband doesn’t go to Mass with us. He attends his church. I don’t argue with him regarding religion but sometimes he blames my religion when we have some problems. I just cry and pray that he would convert to Catholicism. He’s been with his religion for almost 10 years now. His mother and one brother belong to the same religion, but his eldest sister is a Catholic. I didn’t realize that this would be a big problem in our relationship. If only we were both Catholics, I would be free to attend Catholic community activities like The Feast, prayer meetings, and so on. I can’t do this because he disagrees with me and we end up with misunderstanding every time I ask permission to attend. Please advise me on how to handle my family despite our having different religions. And please pray for our family. Mikaela
Email your questions to email@example.com. Or if you need to talk to someone, call (632) 726-4709 or 726-6728 to contact a Light of Jesus counselor. Telephone counseling is 24 hours from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. on Sundays. Face-to-face counseling is by appointment. For correspondence counseling, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.kerygmafamily.com. Or Call Pregnant? Confused? Abortion is not the answer. Contact Grace to Be Born at 0927-501-0605 or email rortega_corinthians@ yahoo.com. You may also contact Sr. Pilar Versoza at Pro-life Philippines. Call (632) 733-7027 or text 0920-945-5494 or email pilar.verzosa@ gmail.com.
Dear Mikaela, I understand what it feels to be in that situation. Differences in religion, social or income strata, and race can really be a source of conflict between husbands and wives. But these conflicts can be resolved. Instead of focusing on the differences in your religious beliefs, you may want to channel your attention on strengthening further your marital relationship. Find out how you are affecting him. Look into areas in your life that you can improve that will make these pleasing to him. I remember a story from a book that I read during my earlier years in the community. It is about a Christian pastor who had long been inviting his wife to attend his church service, but to no avail. One night, while he was preparing for his sermon in their dining room, his eyes happened to glance at their wastebasket in the kitchen. He remembered that his wife, since the time they got married, had been persuading him to bring out the trash. But he always failed to do so. That night, and every night thereafter, he started to bring it out. One day, his wife approached him and asked him when his next church service would be. She would attend it. I am also starting to learn that people change because they see the change in us. This principle may also hold true in your situation. I just prayed for you and your husband. Vic
Vic Español is one of the elders of the Light of Jesus Family. At present, he is the Feast Builder and preacher in the Ortigas Feast every Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Roofdeck, Prestige Tower in Ortigas Avenue. Vic and his wife, Ditas, train the counselors of the LOJ Counseling Center. Vic is a retired executive of a multinational life insurance company.
Kerygma November 2010
I Have Questions About Our Faith
I am a renewed Catholic and I have a friend who is a Born Again Christian. I feel intimidated when our conversations touch on our beliefs and religion. I would shy away or ignore the topic because I know for a fact that she will ask me questions that I don’t have specific answers to. I really don’t want to discuss our faith with her because it often leads to argument. I just tell her what I know based on my limited understanding, which she could not accept because, according to her, they are not in the Bible. Please help me deepen my understanding on the following issues raised by my friend: 1. Why do we confess our sins to priests when they are mere human beings and sinners, too? Why not confess straight to God? 2. Mary is not the mother of God but our Hail Mary prayer says she is. Isn’t she the mother of Jesus, not of God? 3. Why do we pray the Holy Rosary, a repetitious prayer? She says it’s not in the Bible. 4. Why do we call Mary as the Blessed Virgin Mary when she did not remain virgin because she bore a child or children with Joseph? These are some of the questions that my friend always asks me. Please help me enlighten my friend about our beliefs. Doris
When Fr. Rudy Horst came to the Philippines in 1984, he was first assigned to the Immaculate Conception Parish in Cubao. It was here where he came in contact with the still young Light of Jesus Community. In 1990, he moved to Christ the King Mission Seminary where he still serves as one of the spiritual directors of the seminarians and teaches Religious Education. He also teaches Holy Scriptures at the Maryhill School of Theology and the Divine Word School of Theology in Tagaytay.
Dear Doris, How sad that your conversations with your friend often end up in an argument. That should not be. Respect for each other’s faith and beliefs should be the basis for a real friendship. It is good you asked for clarification. These questions are asked again and again by Born Again Christians even though they have been answered so many times already in books and pamphlets written by Catholics. Here some very brief answers: 1. Jesus told His disciples, “Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (John 20:23). Jesus could not be clearer in saying that forgiveness of sins is channeled through His disciples and their successors, the priests, and not by confessing directly to God. Is Jesus not divine? Is Jesus not God? So, Mary can be called the Mother of God, as the Church declared officially during the Council of Ephesus in 431. Right, the Rosary is not mentioned in the Bible. But, again, what about all the prayers your friend and her community pray? Are they all in the Bible? Are we not allowed to pray to God even when the words are not in the Bible? When Jesus, according to the Bible prayed whole nights alone in the mountains, did He pray only the Our Father or only what was in the Bible? Was His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane a prayer that is in the Bible? Nowhere in the Bible does it say that Mary had children with Joseph. The “brothers and sisters” mentioned are cousins because in Hebrew there is no word for cousin; they were also called brothers and sisters. If Mary had other children, why would Jesus entrust His mother to the beloved disciple? Much more could be said but the space does not allow it.
Please read The Faith Explained by Leo J. Trese, or Catholic and Christian — An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs by Alan Schreck. In these and similar books you will find answers to the questions of your friend. You may also contact me by email. Please get in touch with Shepherd’s Voice for my email address. God bless you! Fr. Rudy Horst, SVD
Tahanan ng Pagmamahal
With a home like Tahanan, the children are now free to be children once again.
By Rey Ortega
A Home Filled with Love for Poor Orphans
nearby public school and is doing well as a Grade Two student. However, not all the Tahanan kids go to the same elementary school. Annalee (not her real name), almost 10, has been in Tahanan for more than three years now. She was found abandoned in the Payatas dumpsite. Her body was full of sores, her head infested with lice. Frighteningly thin and severely malnourished, Annalee was also suffering from tuberculosis. A traffic police picked up Annalee for vagrancy and brought her, mercifully not to jail, but to the local barangay center. The staff took her picture, enlarged it and pasted photocopies of her photo marked “MISSING” in the electric posts, barangay halls, public school walls, all over the area and even in some Fairview barangays. Sadly, nobody bothered to claim Annalee. The local DSWD heard of Annalee’s plight and took her to Tahanan ng Pagmamahal. There in Tahanan, volunteer doctors from Bo Sanchez’s Light of Jesus Community brought her back to health. Her sores disappeared and so did the lice in her head and the TB. Her shyness gradually disappeared as well. Shield from Rejection When the Tahanan staff tried to enroll her in the public school in June 2008, Annalee suffered yet another rejection. School officials discovered that she is a retarded child. They could not accommodate her as they only accept “normal” children. Ouch. That hurt. At her age, Annalee cannot read and write. When she talks, what comes out are gibberish sounds — sometimes intelligible, more often than not just strange sounds. But she is talkative. And she loves to laugh a lot. Thank God for the staff’s heroic patience with her, over time her words became clearer and clearer, though first-time visitors have a hard time understanding her.
Mai-Mai (not her real naMe) was dirty and hungry and terrified. A barangay tanod (village security) found her wandering aimlessly in Barangay Holy Spirit, Quezon City. The tanod took pity on her, fed her instant noodles and then brought her to the barangay chairman. The chairman was at a loss on what to do. Mai-mai didn’t even know her parents’ full names. And she had no idea where she lived or why she was there in the first place. Her answers to the chairman’s questions did not make sense. In frustration the barangay staff brought Maimai to GMA Television Network. Her photo and brief description were flashed for several days on the TV network’s public service program, with an appeal to locate her parents or relatives. Or even neighbors who knew her. Nobody came forward to claim Mai-mai. After weeks of futile waiting, the barangay chairman brought her to the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). But the latter had budgetary concerns and could take care of Mai-mai for a few days only. Not permanently. The solution: DSWD brought her to Tahanan ng Pagmamahal Children’s Home. Finding Love Mai-mai finally found a home — a caring, loving, compassionate home, just as its name suggests. Now a healthy, well-adjusted, fun-loving, seven-year-old girl, Mai-mai is very much at home with 15 other kids enjoying the compassionate love of the Tahanan staff. She even goes to the
Kerygma November 2010
Caring Groups from The Feast take turns in visiting the children and giving them treats to brighten up their days. Photos in this page show one such visit.
The Pain and Joy of Giving
By Lolit Torres as told to Leeanne Sy
y parents, both devout Catholics, raised my siblings and me steeped in Christian values, so giving to the less fortunate and sharing my blessings have become a way of life for me. In fact, we all gave our first salaries to our parents. And now that they are old, we help each other in supporting them. But what makes giving painful for me now is the fact that I’m a single parent with financial obligations to my nine-yearold daughter who’s studying in Colegio de Sta. Rosa, Makati. Just the same, I want to raise my daughter the way my parents raised us up. How I Learned about Tahanan ng Pagmamahal Tahanan’s executive director, Rey Ortega, used to be my boss in Rustan’s in the late 80s. Even after he resigned from the company, we didn’t lose touch. I started out supporting the ALAY Scholarship Foundation, his first scholarship foundation, because I believed in its cause. Then, when he told me about the Tahanan ng Pagmamahal Orphanage, I was compelled by love to be one of its benefactors. I even brought my daughter to the orphanage to teach her to value more her blessings in life. She always had a blast with the kids there during her visits. I think it’s an experience she’ll never forget. It’s the Love That Matters I once told Mr. Ortega that I wish I could give more, but he told me what God would have also told me, “It’s not the amount of donations that count. It’s how much of your heart you put in them and your consistency in investing for God’s Kingdom.” Even during times when my budget was tight, I still managed to give because I trusted that the Lord would help us. True enough, He has never failed in fulfilling His promises. Out of the abundance of God’s blessings, my heart longs to share. I can say that I’m very blessed in my career. I used to work for Rustan’s, SM, Inc., Enchanted Kingdom and Malayan Insurance. I’m currently the group head for Human Resources in Asialink Financial Corporation. Recently, I got a job offer to work as a Human Resource Director in a company in Jakarta, Indonesia. You can probably say that the blessings I get are the fruits of my generous giving. But when I give, I don’t expect anything in return. I give out of the abundance of God’s love, which resides in my heart.
These kids are able to laugh, play and study because of benefactors like Lolit.
The Tahanan staff found a SPED school (a learning center for special kids with learning disabilities). Annalee was accepted and is being tutored. Last March 2010, the SPED school gave her a “Most Helpful Pupil” Award. The angels in heaven erupted in wild jubilation! Abba Father threw a great party! And so did the Tahanan volunteers.
“What God considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering.” — James 1:27 Bo Sanchez, Tahanan president and chairman of the board, invites you to be a part of this ministry by supporting it in whatever way you can. This orphanage is located in 146 Saint Francis St., Oranbo, Pasig City. It is just three blocks away from Valle Verde Country Club, very near Shaw Blvd. Tahanan is duly registered in SEC, DSWD, Mayor’s Office, BIR and issues official receipts for all donations received. If you hear God calling you today to reach out to one Tahanan child, please contact Rey/Myrna Ortega, executive couple director, 0922-859-7035 or 0917-803-9139 or email reylindo.ortega@gmail. com. Donations may be deposited in BDO account no. 430191022 or BPI 2670-0006-32.
Angeles people now have another way of deepening their spirituality through The Feast.
Angeles Feast Reborn!
By Teena Villafranca and Tess V. Atienza
prematurely, most likely the doctor would advise that it be put in Marvin Tan leads The Angeles Feast through an incubator for his silent but engaging ways. a few weeks or months. And then when it has fully developed, it is taken out of the incubator and allowed to grow the natural way. Such is what happened to the Angeles Feast, a weekly Charismatic gathering spearheaded by the Light of Jesus Family. In October 2009, the Angeles Feast was launched under the leadership of the assigned Feast Builder, Marvin Tan. But somehow it didn’t have the ingredients that would make a regular Feast. First, the music. A lone keyboard accompanied the praise and worship session, and the crowd’s singing easily drowned out the accompaniment. Second, the number of participants in the beginning fell below the required number for a regular Feast. Third, there was a shortage in servants to handle the different ministries. So they decided to put the baby in incubation. Instead of a regular Feast, they held simple weekly prayer meetings. Marvin Tan, who’s from Valenzuela, Bulacan, went to Angeles City every week, conducted chapter prayer meetings, talked to newcomers, developed servants, and built relationships with the participants. This he did for nine months until, with the grace of God, they felt it was time to re-launch the
hen a baby i s born
Angeles Feast on July 9, 2010. The Angeles Feast is now being held every Friday at 7:00 p.m. at the Angeles City Library Building located along Sto. Entierro St., across the old Sto. Rosario Church and the Holy Angel University. The number of participants ranges from 120 to 170 and might soon fill up the maximum seating capacity of 250. When that happens, they plan to move to a bigger venue and SM Clark is an option. The keyboard player has several co-musicians on stage now: a drummer, four guitarists (one rhythm, one bass, one lead and one acoustic) and eight vocalists. The music ministry members include students from various universities and colleges in Pampanga, all members of the Light of Jesus Family, Pampanga. Aside from their weekly service at the Feast, they are also deployed to different schools to encourage the youth to serve the Lord via school tours featuring praise and worship songs as well as popular mainstream music. Joining the school tours are the members of the kids’ dance ministry whose youngest member is three-yearold Ma. Isabella Villafranca. Young and old, they serve the Lord at The Feast. Other ministries have been set up and are manned by passionate servants. Aside from the music ministry, they now have youth ministry, kids’ dance ministry, intercessory ministry, greeters/ushers ministry, and food/facilities ministry. Caring groups are also in place. Marvin gets support from his council, composed of Teena Villafranca as events head, Ruben Ramos as discipleship head, Ding Llemos as administrative head, and Cesar Piscasio as finance head. Fridays are becoming more exciting for the people of Pampanga. They now say, “Thank God, it’s Feast day!” For inquiries about the Angeles Feast, contact Teena Villafranca at 0927252-2317. For all other Feasts, call (632) 725-9999.
Kerygma November 2010
Pat Morales: Marching from Failure to Feast A Kerygma Shepherd’s Story
By Tess V. Atienza
ou have just watched a program on aBs-cBn and you want your husband to see it, too. Problem is, how? You don’t have a recorder. You call the network and you’re referred to the Media Asset Management Department, Pat’s territory. Pat leads a lean group of four that handles requests from internal and external clients for copies of their programs. Not a highly stressful job, she admits, so her small group is able to maintain a happy working atmosphere — enough to make her stay with the company for 10 years now. Practicing her spirituality in her work place isn’t a problem for Pat. She uses half of her lunch break every day to attend Mass at the station’s chapel. Every Friday morning, she gathers her staff for a 15-minute prayer to thank God for the week that’s about to end and to lift up each one’s concerns. When they hold their monthly meetings, they also pray before discussing work concerns. Outside work, Pat communicates God’s Word by giving away Kerygma magazines to friends and officemates. In fact, it is already part of her budget to buy at least 10 copies every month. Why she does so is her way of giving thanks to God for Kerygma and The Feast for helping her rise up when she was down 10 years ago.
Walking up to a department store’s fabric counter, a pretty girl asked, “I want to buy this for a new dress. How much does it cost?” “Only one kiss per yard,” replied the male clerk with a smirk. “That’s fine,” replied the girl. “I’ll take 10 yards.” With expectation and anticipation written all over his face, the clerk quickly measured out and wrapped the cloth, then teasingly held it out. The girl snapped up the package and pointed to an old man standing beside her. “Grandpa will pay the bill,” she smiled.
A Failure That Marked Her Life Pat was a graduating Computer Science student at the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila in March 1999. Unfortunately, she got a grade of 5 in her thesis defense — her first and only failing mark in her entire life. She felt so down for being unable to join the graduation rites at the Philippine International Convention Center. Looking for inspiration, her feet led her to The Feast at Camp Aguinaldo. She knew about it through Kerygma. And she found what she was looking for. When Bo asked the first-time attendees to stand in front for the pray-over, she cried buckets of tears. She felt it was God standing in front of her, talking to her and comforting her through her trial. Since then, wonderful things have happened to her. She graduated in May 1999, joined the Light of Jesus in 2000 and got employed at ABS-CBN in the same year. Giving What She Received Pat soaked herself with God’s Word through The Feast, the Light of Jesus Community, Kerygma, her caring group, and the ministries that she is involved in. In 2007, she enlisted as a Kerygma Shepherd. First, it was just to give a regular copy to a friend in Pampanga. And then in 2008, she decided to get 11 copies every month, not to sell but to give to people she wants to be inspired. She also avails of the privilege discount given to K Shepherds on other SVP products, especially books of Bo Sanchez. She uses these as presents on Christmas and special occasions. After one Sunday Feast, Pat and her friend took the train, carrying her copies of the September issue of Kerygma. Suddenly, Pat felt a different prompting on what to do with the 10 copies. She gave one to a security guard at the train station, another to the elevator operator in Shangrila Mall, to a janitress at the ladies’ room, then to a popcorn vendor. Their reactions? Shocked. Thankful. Or no reaction at all. Pat trusts that the Holy Spirit will touch and change the life of whoever gets to read them — just as it changed hers many, many years ago. Deprived of the chance to join her batch’s graduation rites at the PICC 11 years ago, Pat marches now with much joy to the very same hall every Sunday for The Feast. Be the missing link to someone’s conversion or transformation. Inspire them with God’s Word through Kerygma. Sign up now as KERYGMA SHEPHERD. Call (632) 725-9999 and look for Josie. Or visit a Feast book table.
The 2000-member church was filled to overflowing capacity one Sunday morning. The preacher was ready to start the sermon when two men, dressed in long black coats and black hats, entered through the rear of the church. One of the two men walked to the middle of the church while the other stayed at the back of the church. They both then reached under their coats and withdrew automatic weapons. The one in the middle announced, “Everyone willing to take a bullet for Jesus stay in your seats!” Naturally, the pews emptied, followed by the choir. The deacons ran out the door, followed by the choir director and the assistant pastor. After a few moments, there were about 20 people left sitting in the church. The preacher was holding steady in the pulpit. The men put their weapons away and said, gently, to the preacher, “All right, pastor, the hypocrites are gone now. You may begin the service.”
Kerygma November 2010
Monty and Yolly — a beautiful couple whose love has been tested by fire.
When I Gave Jesus My Life, He Gave Me Back My Wife
By Monty and Yolly Mendigoria as told to Leanne Sy
m Tired of sinning. in my life.
Tired of The CompeTiTion
i wanT To go baCk To you, lord.”
Those were my words during my first personal prayer to Jesus when I was at the most desperate point in my life. I was on my way home riding my motorcycle half expecting for a miracle to happen.
I learned to call out to Him because I needed Him. I surrendered everything — my extramarital affairs, my various vices, my relationship with my wife, my entire life — and asked Him to take me back. To seal my covenant with God, I asked for an impossible thing — that the Korean embassy grant me a visa in a day for my team’s competition in Extreme Sports in Busan, South Korea. My visa was granted even after arguing with the consul and despite their policy of giving at least Monty’s bike was his other love when the Lord was not yet in the driver’s seat of his life. five days of processing time. Since God fulfilled His promise, I’m also doing my end of the bargain — trying to be a nice guy, a good husband to my wife and a responsible father to my children.
Monty and his girls (clockwise): Yolly, Myka Myrjana, Michella Marie and Maria Michaela
His Story I was a smoker, a drunkard and a physically abusive husband and father. My booming voice was enough to scare the wits out of my three daughters. When I disciplined them, I’d make their mouths bleed. If Leonardo di Caprio was the Man in the Iron Mask, I was the wimp with an iron hand. I even used my martial arts prowess when I threw a monobloc chair at my then pregnant wife. I grew up with a physically abusive father. I’d be blackand-blue from my father’s blows whenever I failed to obey him. I think I became a blackbelter because I wanted to protect and defend myself from the blows of life. Little did I know that I’d go back to my homing instinct and do the same thing to the woman I promised to love.
Her Story I met Monty when I was only 16, and he was almost 18. His friends invited him to perform at a BMX show in our place. A common friend introduced us. We discovered we had a lot of things in common but what glued us together was a common family problem that we had: we both wanted a way out. I perceived myself as a damsel in distress, and he was my knight in shining armor. I fell in love with him and we eloped thrice. Our parents tried to separate us several times but to no avail. He first laid a hand on me after I had our firstborn. I nagged him because he continued to live like a single man. He stayed out of the house most of the time and had affairs with different women. My mother-in-law said that I was a fool for love. Even when my husband kept hurting me physically and emotionally, I was like a magnet drawn to him. After 15 years of his beating and womanizing, I finally said enough is enough. I separated from him when my eldest daughter ran away from home because of the beatings she received from him.
My Supposed Mourning I mourned for a week when my family left me. I was left alone in the house. My pride was bruised because they left me when I should have been the one who left them. After a week, I went out with friends and celebrated my freedom. I was liberated from all sorts of responsibilities! No more nagging and fights. But I became worse — I smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. I became a womanizer and a sex addict. I was no longer listening to my parents. Even when I thought that I was having the time of my life, I had this nagging question in my head at the end of the day: “Am I really happy?”
Kerygma November 2010
Eventually, I also lost my friends. It heightened that nagging emptiness in my life. That was when the visa miracle happened. As the head of the Asian Extreme Sports Federation (AXF), it was important for me to be in that world event. The invitation to compete in Korea got delayed, and we received the visa two days before we flew to Busan. My Conversion When I started fulfilling my promise to God, I broke up with my five girlfriends and apologized to each one of them. I told myself, “I can’t do this anymore.” The last vice I surrendered was my drinking. I started hearing Mass every day and developed a personal relationship with Jesus. As a personal fitness trainer, I have some clients in Valle Verde Country Club where The Feast is held every Sunday. I thought it was a Born Again congregation. When I got a spam email from a friend that led me to www.bosanchez.ph, it piqued my curiosity and I started searching for Bo on the Internet. His video teachings in Preacher in Blue Jeans (www.preacherinbluejeans.com) inspired me to attend The Feast. I attempted three times before I finally attended my first memorable Feast. I was amazed at the kind of worship they had and got inspired by the way the music ministry led everybody in the worship. I told myself that one day I’d join the choir. Shortly after a week, I auditioned and was given the privilege to serve at the Makati and Pasig Feasts’ music ministry. Even after encountering Christ, I felt like there was still something missing in my life. It was Yolly. I wanted her back, but she hated my guts. My Serving the Lord through music makes Monty prayer that time was, “Teach me, Lord, how to love her again.” The Lord answered my prayer when I noticed the sweetness of my couple-friend, a fulfilled man. Mark and Mickie of the Faith Rider’s Club. Since then, I’d always recall my happy moments with Yolly and, with that, my love for her came back. Since we hadn’t communicated for several years, I just told Jesus, “I will just serve You while I wait. I’m confident that nothing is impossible with You and You will give me the desires of my heart.”
A Simple Text from Me I didn’t know that Monty had already changed and he’d been praying for our reconciliation every day. One day, I asked my daughter for his number and texted him out of the blue: “Kumusta ka na?” (How are you?) He didn’t believe me at first because he knew how angry I was at him. But I gave him my mobile landline number and we started talking. It was our first peaceful conversation after we had separated. After some exchange of text messages, we had our first date with our daughter as our chaperon.
Jesus Gave Me Back My Wife I learned that no matter how hard the storms in life are, they all pass. The first time I brought Yolly to the Feast was the start of the series, “Relationships Reborn.” Now, we’re back together and enjoying what God has given us. He gave us hope and happiness by fulfilling our dreams. It’s true that God gives what we desire. Because when I gave Jesus my life, He gave me back my wife.
A happy family once again now that Yolly and Monty are back in each other’s arms.
Kerygma November 2010
anThony de mello’s books. A disciple went to his Master to seek advice. “I am in desperate need of help, or I’ll go crazy. We’re living in a single room — my wife, my five children and my in-laws. So our nerves are on edge, we yell and scream at one another. The room is a hell.” “Do you promise to do whatever I tell you?” said the Master gravely. “I swear I shall do anything.” “Very well. How many animals do you have?” “A cow, a goat and six chickens.” “Take them all into the room with you. Then come back after a week.” The disciple was appalled. But he had promised to obey! So he took the animals in. A week later he came back, a pitiable figure, moaning, “I’m a nervous wreck. The dirt! The stench! The noise! We’re all on the verge of madness!” “Go back,” said the Master, “and put the animals out.” The man ran all the way home. He came back the following day, his eyes sparkling with joy. “How sweet life is! The animals are out. The home is a paradise, so quiet and clean and roomy!” Friends, like the disciple, we sometimes feel that our life is hell. We experience all sorts of emotions and at times we end up being controlled by them. Often all we need to do is look at what we have rather than for something that isn’t there. In the following articles, you will learn how to face your pain, your weaknesses and brokenness. You will also realize how your emotions can lead you closer to God if you apply the habit of discerning the deeper messages of your emotions. Our brokenness and our negative emotions are the windows to our soul. They can put you in a hole if you fight and escape what they’re telling you. But they can lead to your wholeness if you obey their deeper messages. So, do you want to stay in a hole or do you want to be whole? Choose well — and be happy now!
ere’s a sTory from one of
Your Emotions May Be Putting You in a Hole
by bo sanchez
By Bo Sanchez
And Receive Your Greatest Blessing
Kerygma November 2010
Born in 1982 with neither arms nor legs, Nick wasn’t what his parents, a nurse and a pastor, were expecting. Questions ran through their minds when they first saw him. Would he live a normal, happy life? With his massive disability, what could he do in life? Will he ever amount to anything? But Nick, who struggled not with his physical disabilities but with emotional challenges due to society’s condescending regard for someone like him, managed to rise above his difficulties. And now, his biggest tragedy has turned into his biggest blessing. He travels all over the globe as a motivational speaker, touching lives and inspiring people with his faith. He says, “If God can use a man without arms and legs to be His hands and feet, then He will certainly use any willing heart!”
Around us are people like Nick with varying degrees of handicap. They live difficult lives. They should be complaining, right? But no, they aren’t.
They have accepted their brokenness, which, in turn, have become the source of their greatest blessing. And in so doing, they have become a channel of God’s grace for the people around them. Brokenness can mean many things to different people. But first, what does the Bible say about brokenness? In 2 Corinthians 12:8-10, St. Paul writes, “Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me, but he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.’ I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. Therefore, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” These are mysterious words. How can you be strong when you are weak? What does it mean to delight in weakness, in hardship, in difficulty? Take a look at the big shots in the Bible. They all had weaknesses and character defects. They came from imperfect families. But God entrusted them with big missions. They were blessed and became channels of blessing for others. • Abraham lied. • Moses stuttered. • Gideon was a coward. • Naomi was a widow. • David fell into adultery and murdered. • Elijah got depressed. • Jeremiah was too young. • Jonah ran away from God. • Peter was impulsive. • James and John had a temper. • Paul was a persecutor. • Timothy had ulcers. So if you are broken or weak in any way, don’t despair. Your brokenness will become your greatest blessing.
ick Vujicic is a man whose Life spells brokenness.
TYPES OF BROKENNESS
Physical Brokenness Many people do not like their body. Do you agree? You feel you’re too tall or too small, too stout or too thin, too dark or too white. You don’t like your long chin, or your flat nose, or your crooked teeth, or your kinky hair. Usually it’s the women who have a problem in this area. Rare are those who have learned to love their skin color, their face, or their body. OK, it’s good to be slim, but it shouldn’t be the goal. The goal is to be healthy while celebrating the brokenness of your body parts. God made you that way. Don’t cover it or be embarrassed by it. Show it, share it and make it the very feature that will make people remember you. 1. Emotional Brokenness Some people are immobilized by their emotional brokenness. It could be a phobia, a trauma or a deep emotional issue that has built up over the years. 2. Spiritual Brokenness Years ago, I decided to share about how I was molested and how I developed an addiction to pornography. You, too, may have sinned in the past but continue to struggle in your sinfulness. Or it could be that you haven’t forgiven yourself. 3. Family Brokenness Your marriage may have failed or you came from a broken family. While it’s unfortunate to have this brokenness, remember that you aren’t alone. 4. Financial Brokenness Are you literally broke or heavily indebted? Or you don’t have a job or source of income? Remember, there’s a way to get out. 5. WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR BROKENNESS The main thing to do is to celebrate and accept your brokenness. It’s easy to say but difficult to do when you’re right there in the pit of your brokenness. And that’s understandable. Here are four ways that people cope with their weaknesses. Check which one you’re using and how it’s helping or not helping you. Flight People who cannot accept their brokenness resort to flight. They escape rather than accept their brokenness. They bury it in addiction. Every single addiction is an escape from pain. If you have an addiction, it means you’re not facing your pain. 1.
Fight They get angry and bitter. Nick Vujicic should have been a bitter person, right? Who wouldn’t if you were born without arms and legs? He should be angry with God and at life, but no, he made a decision not to fight or flee. 2. Fantasize Some people who have brokenness in their life cover it up and pretend they are strong. I see this all the time. I know a man who has a marital problem but he never talks about it. I learned about the problem through his wife. He always appears jolly in front of others even if his marriage is breaking apart. It won’t help if you hide it from others or even from yourself. 3. Feast People who feast on their brokenness have accepted and shared it with others. I get this imagery of the “feast” from the Mass. One time, I went to Mass with my wife. In front of me was the priest, bald, no hair and shining as can be. And then there was something funny. Right beside him was his sacristan with a toupee, which was pretty obvious. So I told my wife, “Sweets, in front of you is my future.” She said, “What?” So I pointed to the two men in front, “Option A or Option B. Show it or cover it? One day I’m going to lose my hair. Option A is to expose it like the priest. Option B is to cover it like the sacristan. What do you want?” And she looked at me and said, “Listen to the Mass!” I was laughing inside, but you see, that’s the mystery of the Mass. It’s a celebration of the greatest tragedy and weakness of the Universe. We celebrate Jesus’ dying on the cross. Why? Because it has become the source of our greatest blessing, our greatest victory. So friends, don’t cover up your brokenness. If you learn to accept, celebrate and bring your brokenness before the Lord, it will become a source of your greatest blessing. 4.
Kerygma November 2010
FIVE STEPS TO “THROW A PARTY” WITH YOUR BROKENNESS
STEP 1: Acknowledge your brokenness. Many people don’t even acknowledge to themselves their brokenness. I met a guy who was taking drugs. He said, “Oh, I just take it with friends, no big deal.” After a few months, that same guy lost his job because he could no longer perform due to his addiction. So, first things first: Admit to yourself and to God your brokenness. STEP 2: Share your brokenness with true friends. Admit it. Stop hiding. Stop pretending. Have a small group of people, a few trusted friends, who will listen to you and who will love you enough to accept you as you are and urge you to grow. I hope you find these people in your caring groups at The Feast (our weekly prayer gathering at the PICC and many other venues in Metro Manila and nearby provinces) or in your own communities. STEP 3: Seek help. There are people who share their brokenness but don’t accept help from others. Vulnerability doesn’t only mean telling people about your weakness but also asking active help. STEP 4: Bless others with your brokenness. As you share your brokenness, you will heal others. I can no longer count the number of people who have emailed me about their sexual brokenness — and how my personal story as a recovering porn addict has helped them and healed them. You see, you’re not the only one who has a failed marriage, or a homosexual orientation, or hounded by a huge financial debt. There are other people who need your sharing and encouragement. Be a blessing to them. STEP 5: Accept the brokenness of others and love them anyway. When you accept your own brokenness, it is much easier to accept the brokenness of others. A judgmental person is really a person who hasn’t accepted his own weaknesses. Show me an overly critical person and I will show you a person who is really critical of himself. You cannot accept the brokenness of others if you do not accept your own brokenness. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the father had two sons: the younger son and the older son. When the younger son returned,
poor and broken after squandering his inheritance, the father accepted him back and threw a party. But someone didn’t join the party — the older son who had kept all the rules. Why didn’t his father throw a party for him? Because he couldn’t accept the brokenness of his younger brother. And many of us are like that. When my youngest son, Francis, first saw a crucifix when he was still very young, he asked with a concerned face, “What happened to Jesus? How pitiful He is!” Friends, if you are going through a difficult time now and it is breaking you apart, look up to Jesus. He didn’t stay on the cross for long. After three days, He rose again. And His resurrection became the foundation of our faith. The Mass where we celebrate His death and resurrection in the form of the Eucharist is a source of blessing and healing for us. Touch your brokenness. Feel it and acknowledge it. Share it with other people. Seek help. And when you’ve become whole again, share your journey from brokenness to wholeness with others. That’s how you become a channel of blessing for others. Be that blessing, my friend. For your comments, email me at bosanchez@kerygmafamily. com.
Bo’s Action Steps:
1. Identify your brokenness or weaknesses in all areas of your life. 2. Decide to face them and accept them in God’s presence. 3. Select a few trusted friends with whom you can share your brokenness and seek their help as you try to overcome them. Or if you want, you can go to a counselor in your parish or community for professional help. 4. Once healed, become a wounded healer for others.
By Mary* as told to Judith Concepcion
It was one of those nights again. Years have passed since my cousin molested me. I was only nine then. My uncle did the same when I was 15. But the effects bruised my young life in ways I wasn’t aware of. On the outside I pretended that everything was all right, but like a wound that wouldn’t heal unless the pus is expelled, mine got buried only deeper. Nobody in my family knew about it. I kept the secret to myself for fear that my uncle would hurt me as he had threatened. So I suffered in silence.
The sight of a needle was enough to make me tremble inside. I developed a phobia for anything that could hurt me. I was already 17 by the time my uncle and cousin changed residence. Only then did I feel out of danger, but only physically because the pain and the trauma remained within me for years. It was like being in a dark prison cell where only a glimmer of light comes from a tiny window above my head.
Once Broken But Now Made Whole
My shirt was wet with my own sweat and my heart was beating rapidly.
woke up In the mIddle of the nIght.
* Real name withheld by request.
Kerygma November 2010
For years, I was distant to every male I encountered except my father and brothers. I distrusted men and went out only with my female friends. I didn’t have a nightlife. I attended parties only if my brothers went with me. I focused all my energies on my studies. I became more prayerful and got involved in religious activities. This became the window that opened myself to healing and wholeness.
Rising from Brokenness
I first confided my dark past to my college best friend. Then I opened up to a male friend whom I have known and learned to trust since I was 12. He assured me, “I will protect you and love you and will never hurt you.” He later became my husband. I was already 28 years old when I found the courage to confide my secret and my deep hatred for my uncle to a priest. I forgave my uncle but I didn’t forget. I was only able to forgive him totally after I dreamt of his deceased older son who said to me, “I am sorry.” I took that as an appeal on his part for me to forgive his dad for his wrongdoings. Two years later, I confided my past again to another priest because I couldn’t forgive myself. I blamed myself for not doing anything to stop my uncle from molesting me. I saw myself as dirt and I thought that God saw me in the same way. By opening up to a priest and receiving absolution, I felt that I was washed clean and felt secure of the love of God who accepted me in my brokenness. I began to forgive, accept and love myself. In 2007, in the radio show Gabay sa Biblia, I heard Bo Sanchez share about his past. He said, “It will heal you completely if you can tell others openly about yourself.” From then on, I became more open in sharing my past to trusted friends and to my caring group members in my prayer community. I can now say that I am completely healed. The feelings of hurt, hatred and shame are all gone. I feel light. I believe that my past hurts and experiences make me more effective in my ministry as a prayer warrior. I have become more compassionate and understanding of the people who are hurting and were abused. I try my best to minister to them. I once was broken but now I am made whole by the loving grace and mercy of God.
Empower YourTOEmotions THEY ARE THE WINDOWS YOUR SOUL
By Bo Sanchez
Kerygma November 2010
So the doctor goes to the first man and asks, “Lolo, tell me, what is three times three?” “274,” came the reply.
Then he goes to the second man. “It’s your turn, Lolo. What is three times three?” “Tuesday,” replies the second man. The doctor shakes his head. “Oh, boy! It looks really bad.”
He asks the third man, “OK, your turn. What’s three times three?” “Nine,” says the third man. “That’s great!” says the doctor. “How did you get that?” “Simple,” he says, “just subtract 274 from Tuesday.” Emotions are like that. They can get as complicated as “274 minus Tuesday.” But let’s try to make it simple — as simple as “three times three equals nine.” Ready? Let’s see what the Bible says about emotions: He heals the broken hearted and binds up their wounds. — Psalms 146:3 The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. — Galatians 5:22 Be happy all the time. — 1 Thessalonians 5:16 A happy heart is good medicine and a cheerful mind works healing, but a broken spirit dries up the bones. — Proverbs 17:22 it, much less feel it. And when you do that, what happens? You become stoic. In Tagalog, it’s manhid. When stoic people are happy, they don’t show it. When they are sad, they don’t show it either. A stoic person would say, “I lost my job last week. My house burned down three days ago. My daughter eloped with her married boyfriend. And I found out my son is on drugs. Aside from that, I’m OK.” 2. As Master When you see your emotion as your master, you obey what it tells you. You say, “I’m not plastic. What you see is what you get. When I’m angry, you’ll see me angry. And I will say what I want to say because I am not plastic.” It’s important not to be plastic, yes, but it’s important to be loving. You don’t go to heaven because of emotional honesty. You go to heaven because of love. In the hierarchy of values, love is more important than emotional honesty. Sometimes I go home after preaching the whole
something like Anawim, our home for the abandoned elderly in Montalban, Rizal. The guy in charge of the home said, “Doc, you need to talk to these three old men. Their minds are getting weaker. You have to give them a test.”
docTor goes To a home for The aged,
The doctor rolls his eyes and looks up at the ceiling, saying to himself, “Oh, boy! This doesn’t look good.”
THREE WAYS OF LOOKING AT YOUR EMOTIONS
1. As Monster or Enemy When you look at your emotions as monsters, I’m sure you wouldn’t dare touch
day and I’m exhausted. After all the adrenaline has left the veins of my body, I feel low. But I have a wife and two boys who need a happy husband and father. If I’d simply be an emotionally honest person, I’ll enter the house with a sad, depressed look and say, “I’m low. Buzz off, will you?” I can’t do that. So before I enter the house, I practice smiling. And so I greet everyone in the house, “Hi!” And my wife and my kids come running and embracing me. And then later on, when my wife and I are alone, that’s when I become emotionally honest. I tell her, “Sweets, I feel low after such a big event today.” The key to life is balance. 3. As Friend You listen to your friends, right? And you respect them. But you don’t always follow what your friends tell you to do. You discern if what they say is the best thing to do.
no air conditioning! I’m going to complain to the manager.” And the bellboy said, “Madam, this isn’t your room; this is the elevator!” Your feelings are elevators that bring you to where God wants you to go. At least that’s what He wants to do. Your feelings of anger, sadness or worry — they’re not your permanent place. It’s just the elevator that’s supposed to move you to take action, to follow the will of God. 2. Follow the wisest thing to do, not just your emotions. Ask the greatest question ever: “What’s the wisest thing to do?” The greatest question is not, “What are my feelings telling me to do?” As I mentioned above, each emotion has two messages to you: a surface message and a deeper message. And always, you have to discern the deeper message. One day, I felt sad. I didn’t know why I was feeling that way? Immediately, I discerned why was I feeling this way. The surface message was: “I’m a terrible person.” My depression was telling me: “You’re lousy. You’re a terrible person. You’re not doing any good. What are you so busy about? Look at all the problems you’re going through. You’ve swallowed again more than you can chew. You’re a proud and boastful man.” But I discerned for the deeper message. The deeper message was: “I’m overworked. I need some rest.” I lacked time to rest, to pray, to be with my family. When I don’t rest, my body and emotions tell me to stop. So I scheduled a vacation. The moment I wrote it down on my calendar, I automatically felt so much better. I wasn’t such a terrible person after all! 3. Learn to be happy more often. There are some truths about happiness that we all need to remember: Truth No. 1: Don’t wait for something to happen before you become happy. Be happy now! Some people say, “I’ll be happy when I finish school, or when I find a job, or when I get married, or when I lose 10 pounds.” Happiness is a journey, not a destination. Truth No. 2: You can choose to be happy wherever you are by choosing the blessing that’s already there. Because when you thank the Lord for what you have, you attract more blessings into your life. What you consider small or worthless now is incredible wealth to someone else. Sometimes when we compare our lives to something that’s worse, we appreciate that which we have. So be happy with what you have. Your salary may be low now, but there are so many people who do not have jobs. You may be sick now, but guess what, there are many people who have more serious illnesses.
THREE SIMPLE WAYS OF EMPOWERING YOUR EMOTIONS
1. Feel your feelings and understand yourself. All of us have experienced anger, sadness, grief, jealousy, worry and other kinds of emotions. It’s OK to feel those things. You acknowledge your feelings. When you’re sad, say, “I’m sad.” You feel it. But here’s the key: You have to understand that emotions give you three important gifts: a. b. c. It reveals who you are; It brings you closer to God; It reveals a message that will move you to grow.
Emotions, especially the negative ones, are windows to your soul. Every negative emotion you experience has a surface message and a deeper message. Your growth comes from discerning the deeper message and following its recommendation. There’s an old couple who lived in the province. They were going to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary and the husband decided to treat his wife to a weekend stay in a hotel in the city. So they went to the city, entered the hotel and were awed by the chandelier, the carpet, the marbled floor, and the people dressed in gowns and coat and tie. They checked in. After the front desk guy gave them the key to their room, a bellboy came to take their luggage. He led them and they followed, smiling to each other. Then all of a sudden, the wife got angry at the bellboy. She yelled, “We refuse to settle for such a small room. It has no windows, no bed, and no air conditioning.” “But, madam!” replied the bellman. “Don’t ‘But madam’ me,” she continued, “you can’t treat us like we’re a couple of fools. Just because we don’t travel much, and we’ve never been to the big city, and never spent the night at a hotel, you’re giving us this small room with no windows, no bed,
Kerygma November 2010
Truth No. 3: Don’t live your life to please other people. Pleasing other people will not make you happy. People pleasers are one of the most miserable people in the world. One woman came up to me and said, “Brother Bo, every day I try to meet the needs of the people around me. I try to make other people happy. But right now, I’m just so drained. I don’t know what to do.” I told her, “All your life, you just wanted people to like you. Stop that. Start liking yourself. Instead of making other people happy, make yourself happy.” I am a people pleaser myself and God has been healing that area of my life little by little. My question: Are you allowing one person in your life to steal your happiness? Are you unhappy because someone in your life is unhappy? It could be your spouse, or your child, or a friend. This person is dumping all her problems on you. This person is expecting you to solve her problems. This person is emotionally demanding, asking for your time and attention, getting hurt if you don’t give her your time and attention. Here’s the solution: Accept the fact that you can’t make them happy. Accept the fact that you’re being controlled and manipulated. You’ve tried but it doesn’t work. You did your part — now leave the person in God’s hands. No one should steal your happiness. You serve them, you love them, yes, but you don’t let them steal your happiness. One Last Story I experienced this last year. I was at the airport at 8:30 a.m., catching a 9:30 a.m. flight. I was going to Baguio City to give a talk at 6:30 p.m. Suddenly, they announced, “Your flight to Baguio will be delayed.” So I just sat there, writing on my laptop. You know why I ride planes when I go to Baguio? Because I do not like the idea of riding in the car and doing nothing. At least in the plane, I can write on my laptop and stay productive. So that morning, at the airport, I was also productive. Then at about 10:30, after two hours of waiting, they announced, “Your flight to Baguio has been definitely cancelled.”
The people around me complained, “Oh no! We waited for two hours and now it’s cancelled?” Deep in my heart, I did not feel any kind of frustration. Really. I asked myself, “Am I in denial?” I should be frustrated like the rest. But no, there was not one iota of frustration in my heart. You know why? Because in my heart I knew that God had a purpose for this difficulty. You know, sometimes our dreams are not fulfilled. Sometimes there are delays in the answer to our prayers and our plans are not coming true. When that happens, we need believe that God has a purpose. So, while everybody else around me was complaining, I whipped out my cell phone, called my driver and told him to pick me up. My talk was at 6:30 in the evening, so there was enough time to take the car and reach Baguio before 6:30 p.m. I had the most wonderful time in the car. I could not write on the computer. I could not read a book. So what did I do? I thought wonderful plans for the community, for my family, for my personal life. When I arrived in Baguio, I said, thank God the flight was cancelled. If I rode the plane, I would not have thought of all those beautiful plans. God has a purpose. When you go through your trials, when you go through your problems, I want you to believe that one of the ways of being happy is to believe that God has a beautiful purpose for your trial, for your problem, for your difficulty. Email me at email@example.com.
Bo’s Action Steps:
1. What negative emotions do you usually experience? What are they telling you about yourself? Discern the surface and deeper messages. 2. Are you putting your happiness on hold, waiting for something to happen in your life? What is it? Look at what you have and find your happiness there.
Get Professional Help — Before It’s Too Late
An Interview with Maria Teresa Gustilo-Villasor,Ph.D. By Tess V. Atienza
eila had been feeling down for days, so much unlike her usual bubbly self. She didn’t know why. She talked to her friends. They tried to lift her spirits and then told her, “We’ll pray for you.” The following week, her friends and family got the shock of their lives. They found Leila hanging by her bedroom window. Like Leila, there are millions of people all over the world who have opted to take their own lives when there should have been a better way out — a better way of coping with the challenges of life. We Filipinos are known to be a happy, resilient people. Despite all the tragedies that have ravaged our country especially in the recent years, our sense of humor has remained intact. Figures show, though, that in 2004, the Philippines had the highest incidence of depression in Southeast Asia, with over 4.5 million reported cases of depression. Sadly, only three percent were clinically diagnosed as depressed. What about the other 97 percent? KERYGMA interviewed Dr. Maria Teresa Gustilo-Villasor, sought-after clinical psychologist and counselor, to find out when a person should seriously consider getting professional help in facing his feelings.
Kerygma November 2010
KERYGMA: How do you differentiate emotional health from mental health? Are they the same? Dr. Villasor: Emotions are affective reactions to experiences while thoughts are one’s cognitive impressions about such experiences. Thoughts and feelings form part of the attitudes, belief and values of the individual. The ability to balance these thoughts and feelings to come up with appropriate action is called mental health. So, to answer your question, they are neither different nor the same. Instead, they go together and determine how an individual responds to his experiences. KERYGMA: When is an emotional problem serious enough to warrant professional help? Dr. Villasor: It is normal for people to have emotional problems, or to experience varying emotions as they go about their daily lives. Negative emotions, like simple anger, feeling low, anxious, etc., normally come and go. But when the person’s occupational and social functioning are impaired or threatened, then it’s time to seek professional help. KERYGMA: What symptoms should one look out for in one’s self or family members to say it’s time to go for help? Dr. Villasor: Among the symptoms are: changes in behavior such as eating, sleeping and self-care (including hygiene); withdrawal from usual social interaction; extreme emotionality (weeping, angry outbursts); lack of empathy; and self-destructive behaviors. When one or a combination of these symptoms lasts two weeks, professional consultation is needed as the problem could become aggravated, lead to more serious problems, increased conflict at home, work and other self-destructive behaviors. KERYGMA: Filipinos don’t normally seek professional help for their emotional problems because of the stigma associated with it. How can we encourage people to seek help before it’s too late? Dr. Villasor: Compared to previous years, more people seek help these days. However, the alertness of family
and close friends in the person’s behavior changes is essential. It doesn’t help to be confrontative or to try to talk the person out of feeling low. A gentle suggestion that the person may need to talk about her concerns and offering to accompany that person to a counselor or psychologist can be the first step. KERYGMA: As Filipinos, we do have a tendency to spiritualize our problems. Is this good or bad for one’s emotional health? Dr. Villasor: Spiritualization is neither good nor bad. It is, like medication, a tool. What can turn this tool to the negative is when it is used without taking responsibility for one’s behavior. If one relies on medication alone to “get well,” that is not enough. One needs to take responsibility for one’s health and become aware of what aspects in one’s life can impact wellness. The same goes for prayer. Prayer is good, but if the person relies on spiritualizing all concerns and does not look into his role in praying through action (that is, taking responsibility for one’s relationship with self and others), then personal growth is affected. KERYGMA: There are many good-hearted people who act as pseudo counselors, especially in lay communities. While it is good to open up about one’s problems, there are some that can only be handled competently by a professional counselor or psychologist. What would you advise these pseudo counselors? Dr. Villasor: I cannot assume to “advise” others. The most important thing for anyone who works with the soul of others, according to Thomas Moore in his book, Care of the Soul, is to know your limitations, know that there may be others who can give what you cannot, and to remember that this is not about you — it’s about the other person.
DR. MARIA TERESA “DIDO” GUSTILO-VILLASOR obtained her doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology and master’s degree in Clinical Counseling Psychology from the Ateneo de Manila University. A PAP Certified Clinical, Developmental and Assessment Psychologist, she maintains a private practice in Clinical Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy at Makati Medical Center. She is a faculty member at the Asian Social Institute and the Center for Family Ministries at the Ateneo de Manila University. CeFAM is a ministry undertaken by the Society of Jesus and its lay partners. CeFAM seeks to promote family well-being, healing and growth. Their services include counseling for individuals, couples and families; marriage preparation (CANA) and parenting seminars; academic programs and trainings for persons engaged in pastoral care of couples and families. Contact CeFAM at 426-4289 up to 92 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit their website www.cefam.ph.
Kerygma November 2010
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In the news
25 Years old and is three months pregnant with her sixth child. The midwife has just checked her. “You have to deliver this baby at the hospital this time,” she says. Raquel’s usual bubbly self turned pensive. So many questions are running through her mind. Where will I get the money for my hospitalization? Should I continue with this pregnancy? Liza, my neighbor, said she knows someone who can terminate this pregnancy and she said it’s safe. What will my husband say? Is it really a sin to have an abortion? Will God ever forgive me if I had one? If I allow this baby to live, how can we feed her? The economics of feeding another mouth is a concern that has led more and more women to take the forbidden path: abortion. It is just one among the many attacks against family and life that threaten the very survival of society. In the Philippines, the threats are so real yet so subtle that the public can be deceived. If not for the Catholic Church’s strong stand against the reproductive health bill in the last two Congresses, abortion and contraception would have been legalized in the country.
Defending Family and Life Against Subtle Attacks
SAFE is a program under the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines.
The SAFE Program In 2001, the late Jaime Cardinal Sin issued a pastoral letter entitled “Subtle Attacks against the Family Explained (SAFE).” From this letter evolved a program called SAFE. SAFE is founded on the belief that “the future of humanity passes by way of the family. It is therefore indispensable and urgent that every person of good will should endeavor to save and foster the values and requirements of the family… Loving the family means identifying the dangers and the evils that menace it in order to overcome them” (Familiaris Consortio, Pope John Paul II). The SAFE program is conducted as a three-day seminar but can be modified into a one- or two-day seminar to suit participants’ availability. It covers seven modules, namely, Demography and the Overpopulation Hoax; New Age, an AntiChrist Spirituality; Sex Education and the Hidden Dangers in the Classroom; Truth and Meaning of Human Sexuality; Mass Media and the Family; Attacks on the Gospel of Life; and The Family in God’s Plan. The program operates under the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life headed by Bishop Paciano Aniceto, with Fr. Gregory Gaston as program director. It’s a huge task to spread the program all over the Philippines, but they are relying on the zealous and like-minded people who have caught on the passion to protect family and life against the attacks. SAFE now has a team of facilitators who are available to conduct the seminars in different parts of the archipelago. Kerygma joins the Catholic Church in defending the Philippines against the subtle attacks on family and life by presenting the SAFE Series starting with this issue. For more info on the SAFE Program, visit www.safe.ph or call 696-0382/1729.
By Tess V. Atienza
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Kerygma November 2010
photo © fjsanchez
By Rosanne Romero
The Rain Falls on the Just and on the Unjust
a dinner get-together,
Never mistake my silence for depth. Or approval. Because after she had said this, I thought, Gosh, anyone remotely intelligent would know better than to believe a statement like that.
In fact, I had plenty to say in response, but I was certain I would froth in the mouth as I made my point, and thereby embarrass some of my immediate family members seated on the same table. Choosing to refrain from speaking busted my fuse. What I wanted to say was, “Oh yeah? Say that to the relatives of the girl who was murdered and then stuffed
someone attempting to be sagacious said, “Everything bad that happens to you, you have brought upon yourself by thinking it — sickness, financial lack, failure, etc.” She glanced at my direction quickly after having stated this. I kept silent.
and cemented into a drum. They constantly thought of this possibility, you think? Following your line of thought, they dreamed this and wished it?” “Say that to the relatives of the people who got bludgeoned to death with a backhoe in Maguindanao. That came upon them because they thought it in their minds: One fine day, some people are going to plot our murder. Wouldn’t it be exciting to be bludgeoned?” “Tell that to my sister-in-law whose son got SSPE (subacute sclerosing panencephalitis), a progressive, usually fatal brain disorder occurring months to usually years after an attack of measles. So you mean this came upon him because at four years old he said, ‘I’m going to be fatally ill’?” “Say that to the tourists from Hong Kong who were held hostage on their last day in Manila. They thought much about this? Brought it upon themselves? Say that to the angry Hong Kong nationals.” “Lastly, say it to me. I’ve had multiple sclerosis for 24 years. That statement is supposed to help me? I asked for MS? I asked to be disabled and diminished in so many minute ways? I asked to be here?” Preposterous. No one knows why these things happen. Why do bad things happen to good people? And the reverse, why do good things happen to bad people? There is an answer, but only God really knows. I take my cue from several Scripture verses. I quote one of them here: “The Lord sends rain to fall on the just and on the unjust” (Matthew 5:45).
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kerygma November 2010
By Alvin Barcelona
One Whole Sunday
But it also means happily spending the rest of the day together — from morning Mass to afternoon bonding, with lots of talking and laughing and eating (spaghetti, ice cream, etc.) — and extending up to evening with non-stop sharing and playing with our baby. (And with extended eating, too.) One Sunday was extra special. My wife and I passed by the grocery store after Mass to buy stuff for the week to come, and for another special Sunday to celebrate.
undayS are Sacred to me.
Of course, it is church day, so I hear Mass with my wife, our teenage son and our baby girl.
At the counter, while our items were being packed, a little girl, probably eight to 10 years old, was standing next in line. On her thin hand was a can of sardines with two P20-bills squeezed in. I couldn’t fully describe how she was looking at all the stuff we had while holding on tight to her sardine can. “Are you alone?” I asked in Filipino. She politely answered, “Opo (Yes).” My wife read what I had in mind and asked, “How many are you eating that sardines?” “Pito po (seven),” she said in a low tone. SEVEN PEOPLE FOR A CAN OF SARDINES!?! There goes my cue. “Go back and get more,” I told the girl. She rushed back to the grocery shelves. I was preparing to pay more for whatever she would get, imagining that she must have taken a cart and filled it up with everything at hand. To my surprise she was back in a minute. On her hand were two more cans of sardines. I didn’t know exactly how to react. So I just paid for what she got and told her that the money she saved she can keep for her allowance. She hurriedly went home.
But it wasn’t the end of that story. Minutes later, while we were still at the same counter (we must have really bought a lot of stuff so it took us long), the same little girl came back to the store. She seemed to intentionally avoid us. She went straight to the drugstore counter, bought some medicine with the money she was supposed to have saved for her allowance, and hurried out again. The medicine must surely be for another family member, probably for her sick mother or a younger sibling. My wife and I looked at each other, wanting to do more but were frozen in awe at what happened so quickly. When we got home, it was another happy Sunday — sharing stories with our son, playing with our baby — and yes, enjoying ice cream and spaghetti for the rest of the day. But somehow, that Sunday was extra meaningful. It was “more whole.” There was God. There was family. And there was that one little girl at the grocery store. Wholly Sunday! Email me at email@example.com.
Kerygma November 2010
one last story
Aida’s faith grew as she imitated the faith of St. Candida Maria de Jesus.
and the lush trees that greeted me took my breath away. I stood there and just allowed the beauty around me to embrace my spirit. The sisters’ welcome added to the warmth I felt within. But I had a dilemma. Should I accept their offer as academic coordinator of the grade school department of Manresa School in Parañaque? I told the sisters, “I don’t think I am capable of handling the responsibilities because I don’t know anything about the elementary system. My experience is in the preschool system.” But they encouraged me to just be open. And in my continued collaboration with and service to Hijas de Jesus, I learned how important it is to walk in faith, just as their Mother Foundress did.
Her Story Blessed Candida, whose real name was Juana Josefa Cipitria y Barriola, was the eldest of seven daughters of a poor family in Andoain (Guipúzcoa, from a Basque county in Spain). As a teenager, she took off to Castile to help her parents financially and found a job as a domestic helper. She was illiterate and hardly spoke the Castilian language, but her good heart more than made up for these. She sent half of her salary to her family but the other half she shared with the beggars on the streets. She was a very pious young woman who heard Mass at dawn every day and spent the night in prayer. Her only desire was to do what God wants her to do. Before long, while in a church in Valladolid, before the altar of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, she heard God express His desire for her: “To found a congregation with the name of Daughters of Jesus, dedicated to the salvation of souls, by means of education and instruction of children and youth.” And so it came to pass that the illiterate girl, together with several companions and under the guidance of her spiritual director, founded the congregation now commonly known as Hijas de Jesus. Today, just over a hundred years later, they run schools, retreat houses and other institutions all over the world, including the Manresa School in Parañaque. A Lesson in Faith I was hooked by her story — such strong faith despite her inadequacies, and such determination to fulfill God’s mission for her. I decided to ask for her guidance about my dilemma and after a week of prayer, I got the sense that she was telling me to accept the offer. So I did, and followed what God wanted me to do, just like what she did when God asked her to found a congregation. After that, there was no turning back. I spent the next 34 years of my life in Manresa and I am now the assistant principal of the high school department. In the same manner, my relationship with Blessed Candida deepened and, like a real mother, she made her presence felt at the crucial moments in my life.
WALKING IN THE SHADOW OF A SAINT
By Aida A. Gomez as told to Dina Pecaña and Tess V. Atienza
Receiving Mother Foundress’s Favors At one time, I had to be operated on for myoma because I bled profusely for a month and had intolerable pain in my abdomen. I hesitated to go under the knife because I worried about my 96-year-old mother who was already weak. My brother, a polio victim, could not take care of her. I was afraid, too, so it took me a month to agree to an operation. But the sisters prayed for me and said, “You just go on, Aida, because you have to take care of yourself.” Before my surgery, they placed the relic of Blessed Candida in my palm and when I woke up after my hysterectomy, it was still there. Thankfully, the biopsy done on my myoma was negative. Another time, during my mother’s hospitalization, her doctor needed to put a catheter on her. With all the tubes already attached for nourishment and medication, I didn’t think her constitution could handle a catheter. But her doctor insisted so I had no choice. After three days, the catheter had to be removed. I was so worried that it’d be too painful for her. I had earlier placed Blessed Candida’s relic under my mom’s pillow. I prayed really hard to her to spare my mom from the pain. The nurse, after removing the catheter, asked, “Wow! She didn’t feel any pain?” So I told her, “That’s because I prayed to her (pointing to Blessed Candida’s relic). She’ll be a saint soon.” On October 17, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI canonized her as a full-fledged saint.
point of contact
I pray that you receive your miracles in Jesus’ name!
I PRAY THAT GOD LIFT YOuR TRIALS, heal your diseases, bless your problems and direct you to the path He wants you to take. I pray that God remove your fears and give you the courage to surrender your burdens to Him. So place your hand over my hand, and let’s pray with trust, together with our prayer team of intercessors praying for you right now… This page is our Point of Contact, our spiritual connection. Say after me… In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Lord, I surrender to You my worries and anxieties. I surrender to You my needs, my problems, my trials. I place them all in Your big hands. And I open myself to all that You want to give to me. On this day, I say yes to Your love, to Your blessings, to Your healing, to Your miracles. And Lord, specifically, I ask for the following miracles for my life... I believe that You answer my prayer in the best way possible! And I thank You in advance for the perfect answers to my prayers. I also ask for the special intercession of Mama Mary. I pray all this in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, Amen!
SPECIAL INTENTION FOR THIS MONTH: Bless the readers of Kerygma, Lord. You know what they are going through right now. You know their weaknesses and their brokenness. In Your great love for them, I know that You want them whole, You want them healed. Grant them the courage to face their brokenness and to seek help. Grant them Your comfort as they travel the road to wholeness. And when they have done so, fill their hearts with love for those who are still languishing in pain and brokenness. Make them Your channels of blessing and healing for Your other children. Amen. Praying for you, Email your prayer requests to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at Shepherd’s Voice Publications, #60 Chicago St., Cubao, Quezon City, Philippines 1109.