CYBER COMMUNION

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CYBER COMMUNION

Post by marcs castaneda on Sat Feb 20, 2010 5:23 am

Dear SVS website admin. Team, teachers, alumni officers and fellow alumni,

Saluti!

Congratulations to all those who spearheaded and collaborated in the planning and putting into reality the SVS Website. To create such entails a volume of time and effort. But they did it because of their love to our Alma Mater and their zeal to bring the SVS family together, “where we all want to remain.” The SVS Website is undeniably an efficient and powerful means of communication that can bring us together whether abroad or at home. It is high time for us to commune and exchange blessings not only among our small circle of friends but all over the world where an alumna might have found his or her family, work place and work.

We may be separated by seas, rivers and mountains but through the SVS website we can be in communion. We have to admit that we are now in a cyber world where computers seem to make the difficult situation, easier and faster. Hence, let us grab the privileges it cater. I exhort then, let us be in communion through the SVS website. I underline the communion to mean our NEED to be in touch with one another. But since it is through the net I may coin the word, “CYBER COMMUNION.”

Let live our significant faith and life experience to the youth of today who will soon be the hope of the coming years, the church and community of the future. I love to quote one of the beautiful lines I compose long ago that fit in to the theme of the younger generation, “The youth of today will be the church of tomorrow, but tomorrow depends on how they are evangelized, educated and loved today.” Let the beautiful experiences shared and nourished during our yesteryears at SVES become a wealth not only among ourselves but to your children and even to their children’s children in building Christian homes and communities.

The new website message is clear; we must come together amidst the distance and space. We must REMINISCE our momentous memories of course not discrediting the shadows and tough ones that may have taught us lessons in the hard way. We must LOOK and SEE the needs of the Here and Now (what can be done at this moment) and TO HAVE A FORESIGHT or a doable Plan for the coming years. Now the Website is available for us there is no reason not to communicate or to share something.

We are optimistic then to be in Communion with one another and persist being a living sacrament of our alma mater. It may sound like a “payback” time but I add, let us look beyond by seeing it as our act of being a grateful people. Our contribution then becomes a gift, selfless giving of who we have become today because of SVES.

One of the dreams initiated positively and still soliciting our generosity is the planned construction of the Bishop Nel’s Building. Our communion in words, prayers and financial assistance must be realized in our positive action. Hence, our communion will truly fulfill the dream. They maybe little ways of contributing and the little blessings shared but if we all do our part and share; it can become a handful of seeds in our own hands realizing our SVS dreams.

Again, I congratulate all the thinkers and doers of the new SVS website (Http://www.svsbontoc.tk/). Continue the good work. We keep our “CYBER COMMUNION” alive. As you have said it rightly, “Our home away from home.” Let us therefore spread this good news, i.e. our new SVS website to more alumni and to all who once was a part of the SVS. Let it be known and be used for our “Cyber Communion.”

A blessed observance of Lent! Complimenti e Dio la benedica!



Fr. Marcs Castaneda (Batch 86)

marcsongs@gmail.com

+393200321690 (wind) or

+639197850528 (roaming smart)



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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by SVS Headliners on Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:02 pm

Dear Rev.Fr. Marcs, are you still in Rome studying? May we request that you please share your experiences out there during your schooling and at the same time your pastoral mission... oh and yes your MUSIC too... Do you have new CD album released or scheduled concerts maybe? we can promote it here...

sincerely,
dunior
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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by SVS Headliners on Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:25 pm

Pachie's Point: "Gambling and the Gambler"
by Marcial Lloyd Marcs Castaneda on Thursday, October 7, 2010 at 6:55pm

“Gambling and the Gambler” (Part I)

I have come across many arguments about gambling. Some were in favor. Some were not. Some didn’t care about it. Some were arrogant against it. Maybe because it is a long debated issue and yet less effort is being exerted or seemingly no effect is seen despite all. From this juncture, let me dwell a little on the moral side of it. I strongly assert, gambling is a social epidemic. Hence if we do nothing against it we are actually opening doors for the epidemic to enter our homes.

Gambling espouses a "taking philosophy” i.e. a person is groomed to become a “taker” and a winner. Eventually, he forgets the other. He is trained to focus to “having and winning” by hook or by crook. Eventually, he considers himself as the sole player who must win. This is an aperture where the devil starts his trick drawing away people from the church and eventually from God.

The net provides some definitions and descriptions of gambling. The common definition says, “To gamble is to play a game of chance for stakes. It is taking a risk in the hope of gaining an advantage or a benefit.” It is engaging in reckless or hazardous behavior. That is, one knows that gambling will lead to the neglect of his responsibility but persists. Gambling is an exposition of oneself to social hazard or personal risk. Gambling is an act or undertaking of uncertain outcome. But, certainly it will lead to the death of Christian values.

On the other hand, the gambling den implies the place where to have the vice and the risk. Still people plunges into it. In effect the vice and addiction leads one to abandon his health, his family responsibility and his work. The bad luck may lead the loser to robbery and other possible forms of treachery. The gains lead the winner to crave for more and eventually getting into the veins of greed and treachery. The gambler becomes selfish. He considers only his ways and prospects of winning. This is one of the devil’s traps in today’s world.

I recall George (not his real name) who shared a very sad but touching story. He worked as a domestic helper in Italy for almost 20 years. One day, he was invited by his friends. They visited a house where they played poker with petty bets. He won the first try. He made it again until he was addicted with the game. Bigger bets and pays enticed him to play more. Before flying home for Christmas, he realized he lost all his money, his investments and almost his health.

His plan to bring home Christmas gifts for the family and at least to have something to get done the bungalow was hacked by the poker cards. In the gambling den; he lost his money, he destroyed his beautiful plan. The marital relationship started to be affected with his wife trying to call his attention but battled with much defenses to save his face.

In short the gambling den turned him a loser and a liar. It almost made him an idol carved from his poker cards and dices which almost doomed his life. The beautiful part of the story is when he realized himself and turned to his senses i.e. admitting his mistakes and learning to reshape his life. He totally abandoned the gambling den and figuratively burned the poker cards and the dices. He lives happily ever after. “Gambling has never done good and it will never do good even if you win the first or the second time. It will just ruin your life and the lives of others. Gambling will lead you away from the love of God and family.”

I am praying hard that the current Mayor of Bontoc will really work strictly on the implementation of anti-gambling policies and ordinances. I heard that he belongs to the line of mayors who does not stay in gambling dens or who plays the dice and the poker card for a bet. It is a logical consequence, once gambling is stopped, the social and political problems in the town will be minimized. If it will happen then that will be one of the greatest achievements of the mayor, building and forming the people is much better than building an edifice.

(For comments and suggestions you may reach me at 09197850528 or pachiespoint@yahoo.com).
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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by SVS Headliners on Thu Oct 28, 2010 5:27 pm

Pachie's Point: “Gambling and the Gambler” (Part II)
by Marcial Lloyd Marcs Castaneda on Monday, October 18, 2010 at 1:09pm

“Gambling and the Gambler” (Part II)

What is the moral lesson of the story? The responsibility of George as a husband and as a father was neglected. The winner may have taken a lot of money but the question is, “Did he sweat for that?” Gambling is not a work. It is a game of chance. George himself realized that even if by luck he won; he cannot use the money to buy gifts for his family or to finish the house. With a clean conscience, he cannot use that money coming from gambling to buy food for the family. Money coming from gambling is not worth for home sake. Betted money is not a fruit of hard work. It comes from chances that are sometimes stained by dishonesty and at the expense of the losing party. Hence, gambling can never be justified as morally right.

Somebody may have won the bet but at the expense of the other. What values can we get from gambling? What kind of life can we get from the game of chance? What kind of lifestyle can we be formed from the vice? What kind of relationship shall we be dealing with?

Some studies trace family breakdown from one or more than one family member’s addiction to gambling. Robbery and hold upping can never be doubted as an effect of gambling evidenced today by the problematic youth. Gambling promotes deceit, treachery, dishonesty and greed. People who gamble are being formed to be such. This is not what God wants us to be.

I don’t know of someone who gambled a lot and yet remained honest. The gambling den is a school where people learn how to cheat and to trick. It is where one learns how to neglect his responsibility to himself, to his family and to his community. This is not what we long and desire to be. Gambling in some sense worsens poverty which is considered as a social evil.

The Catholic Church discourages and condemns gambling in all its forms because of its immoral effects. Moreover, some leaders belonging to other churches like Joseph F. Smith and other Christian leaders asserted that, “gambling is morally evil because it leads its participants away from the behavior and attitudes taught by Jesus Christ.” And to quote also a Methodist minister, the Reverend Lycurgas M. Starkey, Jr., who said, “Can a Christian honestly use his gifts in gambling when his winnings are gained at the expense of another’s losing?” He answers, “The good Christian’s love of neighbor will stand against every practice which hinders the growth of the human spirit toward the likeness of Christ or which breaks down the structures of justice in society. The Christian will himself refrain from gambling and from publicly endorsing it in any form, realizing that gambling is detrimental to the purpose of life as revealed in Jesus Christ.”

F. Smith provides a better picture for us to think, “The senior devil instructs his apprentice to persuade the “patient” to concentrate on his own needs and desires and to ignore the effects on others. Gambling is an ideal technique since the participant inevitably considers only his own prospects of winning. The usual news coverage reinforces that attitude. It tells only of the winners. All are encouraged to ignore the reality that the winner has been enriched at the expense of a multitude of losers. In lotteries, less than 1 in 1,000 wins anything. What will be the effect to the 999 losers?”

I may end with this question, “Can you mention anything good that we can benefit from gambling?” When I say “good,” it must mean beneficial to oneself and the other.

*******

May I extend my condolences to Mrs. Mary Fagto and Family and also to Mrs. Anastacia Lucas. Be strong in the Lord. Entrust all your pains and sufferings to his care. Life begins from God. God himself is the end. (For comments and suggestions you may reach me at 09197850528 or pachiespoint@yahoo.com).

Fr. Marcs together with Bruno Huebscher during his visit in Switzerland
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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by d'bontokinian on Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:00 pm

Have to confess, it nearly wrecked my college education and my future. Thanks to the Holy Spirit, I realized my mistake.
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suggestions for articles

Post by marcs castaneda on Sat Oct 30, 2010 10:51 pm

Dear Sir Dunior,
Salute a tutti!
Actually these articles were published in the “Zigzag” and “Mountain Province Exponent” news papers. I am writing a Sunday column especially at the MPE. The people asked me to write on things pertaining to realities in the Province and its moral aspect. That gave me the inspiration. Later friends abroad requested to post some in the FB notes for their reading. So I did.
One time Mng. Freda asked for the articles if she can put it too in the SVS web site for those who do not FB, I am very happy she did. And as to your request, to write and share my stories here in Rome, I think that will be good material. I will find time to scribble something with a “Roman setting”.
As to our original music, I hope to download some for you. But as to the procedure I am still an apprentice. Maybe for the meantime you can email me and I will attach the songs. Promoting the CDs there will be a very good lift for the marketing aspect. I just released my latest one entitled "Marcsongs: The Poor Man's Prayer." I did the launching last September 24, 2010 at San Jose Gym, La Trinidad. I was so indebted to the San Jose parishioners and to Fr. Benny for the full support.
Please avail of the CD. I included my latest songs there that narrate my difficult situation as student-priest in a strange land with strange language and culture but above all on how God keeps lifting me when I fall. As you listen to the songs "Into My Life" and “The Poor Man's Prayer," I suggest you put your feet on my shoes and feel the blisters but don’t forget to feel too how God heals them.
Big thanx we continue keeping in touch through prayers and emails. I hope to meet you in the SVS Centennial Celebration on October 2011. Grazie mille e ti Dio benedice!

In Christ,
Pachi Marcs
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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by SVS Headliners on Sat Nov 06, 2010 8:47 pm

Pachie's Point: “The Moving Market” part I
(The Spirituality of the Market)


Fr. Marcs Castaneda


Once a little kid who excels in Mathematics was asked by the mother, “My child I learned from your teacher that you are very good in numbers.” The mother wants to try the skill of the child. “If I give you ten apples and 5 oranges, what will you answer?” The kid smartly replied, “Thank You!” This is an old story I borrowed but it continually brings new reflections on Christian values.

First, every good thing that is deeply ingrained in the family teachings and life will always manifest especially on unguarded moments. Second, it speaks about the relationship of a parent and a child i.e. how often do parents find time for their children? Third, the honest and innocent answer of the child speaks of a value that numbers cannot give. Gratefulness is an act where one transcends the value of a thing. It leads one to the spirituality of looking at things not merely as objects and activities but the circumstances surrounding it. He said, “Thank You” because he recognized that the apples and oranges are coming from somebody. The fruits are not his property. These are being given to him. Unless we are able to know these basic existential things, we can never value the little things we have and we cannot transcend the value of numbers.

I wish to tackle something on the spirituality of the market. In the market place, the immediate things that come to our mind are the verbs “to buy” and “to have.” In buying, we actually don’t think anymore about the story of the item we are buying. I may illustrate it with a kilo of potatoes. When we buy, we don’t actually think of who planted these things, where they planted these, how they took care of these, how they harvested these, how they brought these to the market? Consumerist, capitalist and industrial culture does not care about the details. The strong impulse is “to have.”

This culture thriving today treats work for the sake of work and profit. This is a kind of enslavement. Work and produce are alienated from the very being of the person. This is practically opposed to “agri-cultural” that treats work in order to realize oneself and the other. Simply put, they give a religious dimension of what they are doing. Human work therefore is not enslaving as compared to the industrial and consumerist market. Consumerist culture also tends to ignore the tale of a certain agricultural item. Hence, buyers easily negotiate for the price. It will be a big gain if they can get the product with bigger markdown. Even the rich people tend to grapple with the price. When they be able to bargain for the price they don’t even dare to say “Thank You” for the simple reason that they paid for it.

I recall an experience at Mabaay. Mabaay is a village in Bauko, Mt. Province known for its cold climate even during summer. It is beautiful place which you will certainly drop by when you travel via Halsema Highway. One will know that he already reached Mabaay because of the vendors approaching the bus with their stuffs to sell. Hence, I call it a “moving market.” They sell all kinds of food stuffs and vegetables. I know them as people of good heart, God-fearing, and hardworking because I have been with them for at least three years when I was once their priest.

In one of my trips, I noticed a rich lady traveler bargaining for the cabbages. She was so persistent that the vendor had to give in. I suppose that was not the only instance where people bargained for the price. We do bargain a lot especially when we see the products are from the villages. We don’t realize that these products are produced by hard labor and by working hands of families. Our motivation “to have” makes us so insensitive to the other. We become selfish. We simply think of ourselves. The bargaining we do are actually subtle ways of treating the vendors unjustly.

But when we go the department stores or the big shopping malls in the cities like SM, we do not even dare to haggle with the price. When a certain product is tagged 1,000 pesos, we pay it instantly. The owners of these are rich corporations and families who may not have experienced the burning heat of the sun and the rain. Our vendors in the villages personally toiled for their agricultural products but we often wrestle with their prices.

We may say, “Well, it is a different setting and a different story buying from the malls and buying from our local vendors.” The point is clear, what values do we have towards our neighbors? What values do we have in the marketplace? A good friend once said to me when we were bound for Baguio, “I don’t negotiate with their prices not because I have money but because they deserve it. They labored for it; it is our responsibility to give them what is due.” We can still find the religious dimension of numbers even in the market place. (For comments and suggestions reach me at 09197850528 or pachiespoint@yahoo.com).

Pachie's Point: “The Moving Market” part II
(The Spirituality of the Market)

Fr. Marcs Castaneda


I wish to start my column today with another old anecdote. There was once a barber who does not get the payment of his clients. An African visited the barber for a haircut and the African attempted to pay the barber for the job well done; however, the barber returned the money. He simply said, “Don’t bother. I offer my services free of charge as reparation for all my shortcomings.” The following day, the African took a box of fruits and placed it at the doorstep of the barbershop as an act of gratitude.

The next morning, the barber was surprised to see the box right in front of his door with a note, “You are such a good and generous barber. I am giving this box of fruits as an act of gratefulness.” The next day, a Japanese also visited for a haircut. Again, the barber did not charge him. As an act of gratitude, the Japanese wrapped a bottle of whiskey. Early morning, he brought it at the doorstep of the barbershop. The barber was indeed elated to see another gift with a note that says, “Sir, for the nice hair cut and above all, for your generosity, I bought you a bottle of whiskey.”

A Filipino learned about the good news. He grabbed the opportunity so he visited the barber too. And after having his haircut, the Filipino started to negotiate with the fee. But the good barber, simply said, “Don’t worry. It is free.”

The following morning, the barber was shocked. He saw 20 Filipinos lined up waiting for their haircut.

I did not borrow the story with the intention to downgrade our country. This is to stir our minds to think and examine our own “lifestyle” and our “way of life” as a community especially in this “disquieting market mentality.” It is purposely narrated to see where we are and what values we must constantly carry and which ones we must change.

Maybe the simple story can teach us how to be grateful for the things we receive. It can also purify our intentions and orientations i.e. “towards myself or towards the other, towards having or towards giving?”

It is in the market place where various personalities, various cultures and religious affiliations meet. But despite the plurality, everything boils down to one common denominator - our moral values. Are our moral values also tagged with a “market value?”

A young priest shared his humble story when we were driving home to Sadanga years back. He used to haggle with the prices of agricultural products sold along the market. He feels good when the vendors give in. But when he personally saw how they were produced, he felt a kind of regret. He learned a lot about “agri-cultural life” and about the market. Now, when he visits the market, he does not bargain with the price anymore.

I myself experienced how the people worked hard in their farms and fields. Undeniably, these people produce quality dried beans and native rice. Betwagan people are known for such. Interestingly, they have to climb the slopes of the mountains notwithstanding the risk to sow the seeds. They take care of them. For some time, they will harvest and dry them. Since Betwagan is not accessible by car, they have to carry the products from the village and cross the river to reach the provincial road. There, they have to wait patiently for passenger vehicles coming from Tabuk or Sadanga to carry the “agri-cultural products” to Bontoc.

I used to take a snack at my cousin’s news stand every time I go for a walk. One day, I saw a lady selling beans. She was from Betwagan, Sadanga. Then, a fairly rich lady was fascinated by the shiny and robust red beans. She asked for the price and immediately proposed for a lower cost.

If we only see them climb the mountains, clean the slopes, plant the seeds, take care and gather them; perhaps we will not bargain anymore with their reasonable price. We might even commend them for their quality products. We think of our concern for our families but we also have to think of these farmers’ families and their needs.

The daily routine in the marketplace orients our minds to comfort and convenience. We are caught unconsciously bargaining for a big mark down at the expense of the other. The things that we have and the possessions that make us feel good matter to us. Sometimes, we forget the feelings and condition of the “vendors” in the “marketplace.” It is even worst to see how people abuse generosity. Our discontentment, attachment to possessions, and engrossed orientation to profit lead us to a mechanical relationship.

I have to note well that there are lots of businessmen who are also with good hearts. Generosity and kindness is visible right in their faces. Their yearning for a good market and good profit is just secondary. I remember Fr. Bong who appreciated some of the vendors in Bontoc. He spoke well of them. Accordingly, when he walked around, vendors approached him and gave him bundles of vegetables and fruits. They were happy to see him and they find joy in sharing their blessings. I know a lot of vendors in the marketplace whose hearts are nourished with kindness and generosity. They too desire for profit but a giving heart is instilled in their ordinary way of life.

I recall when we staged a concert for a noble cause. Some of the leaders distributed sponsor letters for the concert. They tried to approach some of the business men of the town with much optimism. Some were received with open hearts. Some converted the letters in kind. Some were annoyed with it. Some returned the envelopes empty. Some sealed it with mockery. I felt so embarrassed when I heard personally a scornful remark from one of the store keepers.

This goes to tell that the “marketplace” in one way or the other can turn the hearts of people into hearts of stones. It can lead people to indifference. But it can also bring people closer to God. People recognize that their wealth and possessions come from God so they generously give due to Him. Hence, their generosity emanates from their humility and sense of gratitude.

If I have to mention a couple whose heart to business is not enslaving, it is Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Boaging of Bauko, Mountain Province. They are among the big businessmen of the “marketplace” who always recognize God’s hands in their richness. They have the heart to share and they are happy sharing it.

The “market value” can either make us open or close handed. A person can share because he has. But he can also close his heart because he has.

*******

I congratulate the SVS administration, faculty, alumni and all those involved in the preparations and celebration. God bless you all. (For comments and suggestions you may reach me at 09197850528 or pachiespoint@yahoo.com).

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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by SVS Headliners on Thu Nov 18, 2010 7:42 pm

Pachie's Point: The “BREVIARIANS” and the “BREVSTOCK”

Fr. Marcs Castañeda

The “Breviarians” or “BREVS” is a Catholic youth group in Baguio City that works hand in hand with the programs of the Catholic Church particularly in the youth and music ministry.

As to the etymology of the name, I learned from the founder that “BREVS” draws its roots from the word “Breviary.” Hence, the group was born from the daily praying of the Breviary. Let me quickly quote the Wikipedia for the term. “A breviary (from Latin brevis, 'short' or 'concise') is a liturgical book of the Latin liturgical rites of the Catholic Church containing the public or canonical prayers, hymns, the Psalms, readings, and notations for everyday use, especially by, bishops, priests, and deacons in the Divine Office (i.e., at the canonical hours or Liturgy of the Hours, the Christians' daily prayer).” Note that it was only done by the ordained ministers. Interestingly, through the liturgical reforms initiated by Pope Paul VI, the Breviary later became accessible to the laity.

Having seen the etymology of the name “Brevs,” let me say something about its nature and composition. It is a youth group that does not work in parallel with the parish activities. Instead, it integrates itself to the parish and recognizes the complementariness of each parish ministries. The “Brevs” are young people who have the passion in arts especially, music. They are given the opportunity to develop their giftedness as they commit themselves in the music practices, spiritual formations and services to the people. Furthermore, they are not only taught and trained how to pray. They are trained to appreciate the value of praying. Though the group has its own programs and activities, the “Brevarians” see themselves not as an “independent group.”

Personally, I can describe this vibrant Catholic Youth group in three ways. They pray the breviary together. They encounter Christ regularly in the Eucharist, and they “sing the Holy Mass” with passion and joy. The spiritual distinctiveness of the group is indicative of their 11 years of meaningful and fruitful journey.

The group, from its very existence, was properly built on a rock foundation. The group members survived the thick and thin situations. They survived their shadows and lights, because they recognized Jesus in each one and in what they do.

There was a time in the 90’s when youth organizations were mushrooming. After some years, several groups gradually ceased. But the “Brevs” from its genesis up to now is able to maintain its prayerful and vibrant spirit. Bro. Alex Manongdo, the founder, narrates, “The Breviarians, which attracts a large number of young people, currently serves at the Baguio Cathedral. It was established in 1999 mainly to introduce the praying of the Breviary, commonly known as the Liturgy of the Hours to the youth, and to welcome the Great Jubilee Year 2000 and the New Millennium with renewed vigor and enthusiasm in rediscovering the treasures of the Faith.”

Simply put, the group is founded in prayer. The activities and plans of the members of this group are constantly nourished in the Eucharist. Music brings the group members together to unearth their talents. Moreover, it is through music that the talents of these people are being enhanced. The faith experience continuously builds them as persons capable of sharing their giftedness.

One of the significant activities of the Brevs is the “Brevstock” which they hold every year. Brevstock has impacted a lot of conversions among the youth and influenced the young people of Baguio and Benguet to experience God in prayer, in the Eucharist, and in the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. This is vivid in the beautiful acronym they made for BREVSTOCK, “Bring Every Soul To Christ the King.” Therefore, BREVSTOCK is a vision at the same time a mission.

Bro. Alex Manongdo succinctly puts, “Brevstock is the “Breviarian way of providing the young people with a venue to hone their musical talents and skills as they are guided to build a firm foundation of faith in God.” Bro. Alex, in founding the group, traces his inspiration from Pope John Paul II. Accordingly, the challenging words said by the Pope in 1981 during his visit in Baguio still reverberate in his mind, “The evangelization of Asia will start in the Philippines.” This narrates the dawning of the youthful catholic group.

My first acquaintance with Bro Alex was in 1991. He was then among my instructors in martial arts. I have known him as a man of great talents but remaining his foot on the ground. He is a man who finds meaning in what he does especially on matters pertaining to the spiritual development of people. I told him once, “Kuya Lex, you should enter the seminary?” If I remember right, he said, “I can serve God the way I am serving Him now.” That is why I was not surprised when in 2007; he was awarded as one of the Most Outstanding Citizens of Baguio for Moral and Spiritual Development of the Youth during that year’s Baguio Day celebrations.

I grab this beautiful opportunity to thank him and the group for all their sacrifices, services, and untiring supports to the church. Personally, I am grateful to them for sharing with me their lives and music particularly in my priestly life. They contributed a lot in my music ministry primarily in my concerts and CD productions. They were simply selfless in their services.

Don’t miss them perform the “BREVSTOCK XI” on November 20, 2010 at the Baguio Convention Center. Grab the chance to see them. Your presence will support them in their noble mission. Reach them at 0928-345-3197 or log on to www.brevstock.com. Email address is brevstock@brevstock.com.

(For comments and suggestions you may reach me at marcsongs@gmail.com or 09197850528 or if you want to share your thoughts about this message, please you are free to post it here). Thank you.
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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by marcs castaneda on Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:10 pm


Marcsongs: The Poor Man’s Prayer

Fr. Marcial Carino Castaneda

lundi 27 septembre 2010 05:58

Marcsongs: The Poor Man’s Prayer” “is my fourth and latest CD album containing my new and old compositions. The album is a compilation of 15 inspirational and liturgical songs. They are fruits of my faith tested experience and prayers. They are songs that spell the different life situations and liturgical seasons. They are songs that uplift the soul. It disposes the spirit to encounter God in the lines and music of the songs. Many people asked me, “Where did you get your inspiration to write and compose these beautiful songs?” I simply remarked, “It is God writing through me. Significant people, significant situations and significant places inspired me to write.” The carrying song “The Poor Man’s Prayer” is a concrete example.

The song “Poor Man’s Prayer” which I took as my CD album cover tells the story of my first year in Rome as a student-priest. The difficulties I encountered and how God made his love felt motivated me to write the song. Listen carefully to the song and find yourself in the deeply reflected lyrics and be amazed that you are actually praying and listening to God. Find yourself in the beautiful lines. “Into my Life” is another beautiful song that describes how God lifted me up from fear and anxiety through significant people and friends. The album also contains liturgical and biblical songs like the “Glory to God” and “Our Father” using the official text as a hymn. Psalm 128 talks about couples and families i.e. fitted for wedding celebrations, Psalm 105 about praises, Psalm 133 about brotherhood and actually the theme song of my bishop (Bishop Rodolfo Beltran). “Advent Prayer,” “Come to the Table” and “Receive Our Gifts” are appropriate liturgical processional songs i.e. it accompanies entrance procession, presentation of gifts and communion. “Back to You” is a prayer of offering and acknowledgement that everything comes from God and we have to give it back. I should not miss mentioning the songs to Mary, “Hail Mary” and “Ode to Mary” which are appropriate in Marian devotions. “Paraclete” is a short song. It is a prayer invoking the Holy Spirit which can be used as opening hymns in gatherings. I decided to include “Ode to Sadanga” because it will be reminder of my fruitful years as a priest in the mountains of Sadanga.

The unplugged or acoustic touch of the album i.e. use of guitars, violin, piano and other percussions made it more beautiful. Accordingly, it is very soothing and pleasing to the ear. It increases deep spiritual longing. The “Aggiornamento” did the back up at the same time sung their masterpieces. These young ladies from Bontoc continuously share their talents and unknowingly enhancing their gifts. I pray more youth will join them.

CD album production is not easy. The commitment of the people involved and my passion to music made it possible in two months. The scarcity of funds did not impede the production. Wise decisions, good remedies and generous people interceded. My family who never gave up on me and my humble musical endeavor was my main support system. I am so blessed to have them. I am so grateful to the San Jose Parish Youth Ministry (La Trinidad, Benguet) for inviting me to sing in their concert at the same time to launch it on September 24, 2010. They too inspired me as well. I dedicated the album to the Vicariate of Bontoc-Lagawe, to my Mama Carol who just celebrated her diamond birthday and to my Mng. Padi Benny as he celebrates his silver priestly anniversary on December 3, 2010 and to all those who in one way or the other shared a hand in the musical endeavor.

Avail a copy and promote it in your communities. Let us continue praising God in our songs. Thank you very much and God bless you all. You may reach me at +639197850528 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              +639197850528      end_of_the_skype_highlighting or marcsongs@gmail.com.

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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by care on Mon Nov 22, 2010 6:44 am

CD OUTLETS AND PERSONS TO CONTACT:

THE "POOR MAN'S PRAYER" IS AVAILABLE AT:

BONTOC:
PLEASE SEE THE STA. RITA PARISH STORE AND MR. HERMIE CASTAÑEDA


BAGUIO:
HE-BREWS(UPPER DECK PORTA VAGA )
PAULINE(UPPER GENERAL LUNA)

TRINIDAD
SAN JOSE PARISH

SABANGAN
PLEASE SEE MS. CHEVY SALLY

BAUKO
PLEASE CONTACT BRO. JEASON

OR CONTACT ME AT 09155936790

OUTSIDE THE PHILIPPINES:
I WILL ASK FATHER MARCS IF PAPAANO ANG SELLING..

Laughing bounce lol!
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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by SVS Headliners on Wed Dec 29, 2010 12:03 pm

Pachie's point: “Mary-Christ-Mass” and “Xmas” (Part I)

Fr. Marcs Castaneda

“Rejoice in the Lord always again I say rejoice! Rejoice! Your kindness should be known to all. The lord is near. Have no anxiety at all.” (Philippians 4, 4-5) This pericope immediately reminds memories of yesteryears’ advent. These lines explain the Latin word, “Gaudete” which was carried in the church liturgical calendar to refer to the 3rd Sunday of Advent, “Gaudete Sunday.” It is a Sunday that means a joyful and hopeful expectation. Why do we rejoice on the third Sunday of Advent? We rejoice because Advent is half over and Christmas is drawing very close.

John the Baptist, the precursor had been proclaiming that the kingdom of the Lord was near and it necessitated rigorous repentance. He exhorted the “wilderness” to prepare the way of the Lord and to make the crooked ways straight (Mt. 3,2). It was fulfilled. The reign of God was fully manifested in Jesus, the Son born of a woman preserved from sin. The “Word” was infleshed. His birth to the world is the birth of salvation. This is precisely the reason why we celebrate Christmas. The history of salvation participated by a woman and perfectly fulfilled in Jesus. Christmas therefore speaks about the coming of God in HISTORY. Jesus the promised Messiah came centuries ago. He came as a person and lived as a person except in sin. Very interestingly, the salvation history cannot afford to dissociate the significant role of Mary. Mary freely and faithfully committed herself to her “yes” up to the cross. She was the loving mother at the same the ever faithful disciple of her Son.

There was once a little kid who innocently asked her mother, “Mama do you know Mary’s family name?” The mother smartly answered, “My child can you not remember what I have been telling you before? Go and read again what I have posted on the wall. What does it say?” The child rushed to the sala and innocently read what was written in bold and colorful letters, “Merry Christmas.” She went back nodding her head with a childlike understanding and said, “Thank you Mama, now I know Mary’s family name. It is very unique and very beautiful, “Mary… Christmas!”

Christmas is an event that happened in history and yet a history continually pounding messages of love and salvation to humanity today. It was a history not only prophesied and written in the book. It is a history with the universal themes of selfless giving and selfless love. It is celebrated every year. But interestingly, it is a feast that is not confined only to December 25. It is a feast alive today in all ages and ages to come. It is a history leading to a great deal of conversions even in today’s generation when secularism seems to overtake the religious sense of peoples and cultures. It is a history that points to his second coming in GLORY.

Hence, advent is not the joyful expectation of Santa Claus as often advertised in the televisions and even taught by some parents to their children. May I quickly comment on the most loved popular Christmas song of Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, “The Greatest Gift of All.” The line goes, “…you and I are waiting for Santa Claus to come…” I have nothing against Santa Claus. But seemingly in today’s trend of thought regarding the holiday, we made Sta. Clause the central character. It looks like; Sta. Clause stole the role of the real protagonist of Christmas because of our undiscerned creativity. That is not Santa Claus is for but we put him in a character which he did not intend to be. I hope I will not be persecuted for the commentary.

Advent therefore, is not the joyful expectation of Santa Claus. Logically, Christmas is not the joyful celebration of Santa Claus. Advent and Christmas are two inseparable seasons. The former entails the joyful expectation of Jesus and latter entails the joyful memorial of Jesus’ birth thousands of years ago. Very significantly, advent and Christmas must be made present again in our daily lives. That is, the value of the celebrations must not remain merely on merriment and decorations but on the daily conversions it cause to our lives and our lives causing conversions to other’s life. Let me briefly reword the beautiful and striking Christmas message of Bishop Fulton Sheen. “Even if Christ will be born again a thousand times in Bethlehem if He is never born in our hearts, Christmas will be empty.”

The annual celebration of advent and Christmas (his coming in history) must direct us to the second coming of Christ, “his coming in GLORY.” I will be dealing about the “mass,” his coming in MYSTERY and “xmas” in my next column.

*******

I feel happy to know of the successful priestly ordinations of Fr. Jason Cabacab (December 13: Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Bauko, Mountain Province) and Fr. Ferdinand Fulatao (December 14: Santa Rita De Casia Parish, Bontoc, Mountain Province). Congratulations! We continue supporting them as they begin their new life as priests. In like manner I wish to greet Fr. Benny Castañeda (December 16), Fr. Andrew Claver (December 17) Jesus Castañeda and Cheryl Castañeda (December 25) a blessed and meaningful celebration of life, Happy birthday. And to all I wish you, “Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo! (Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!)” (For comments and suggestions reach me at pachiespoint@yahoo.com or +6397850528.




Pachie's Point: “Mary-Christ-Mass” and “Xmas” (Part II)

Fr. Marcs Castaneda

The annual celebration of advent and Christmas (Jesus’ coming in HISTORY) must direct us to the second coming of Christ, “his coming in GLORY.” It has to be noted well that the role of Mary in the history of salvation cannot be discredited. We cannot speak of Christmas without Mary and her loving faithfulness to her commitment.

The history of salvation began from Mary’s crucial “YES” to the message of the angel. From conception to the resurrection, the same measure of faith and love was made manifest in Mary’s life.

Christ came already centuries ago and that was HISTORY. But even today he comes to us in ways that we cannot fully understand and yet we find meaning in it, he comes to us in the sacraments, in our prayers and in our charitable acts. The constant coming of Christ to us is better understood in the MYSTERY of faith. It is a coming we cannot fully grasp and yet we have faith on it. This coming intensifies our preparation for his final coming i.e. his coming in GLORY i.e. a coming that will declare God’s supremacy over the world. It is a coming that will finally announce that God is truly the origin and end of our life. It will be a coming that will declare that God is truly our purpose in living. But it is only in faith that we await this final coming in glory with joyful expectation instead of trouble and anxiety. It is a hopeful expectation if we started recognizing Jesus’ coming in HISTORY and his coming to us in the here and now in MYSTERY.

However, a sad reality is being perceived today. Jesus coming in mystery is being sidelined. Some people try to deliberately and unconsciously remove Christ in their lives and in their families. Our way of life and our lifestyle oriented to the worldly allure, interests us more, than building our spiritual treasure chest. The growing secularism is leading us to a lifestyle where we don’t find meaning to Christ’s comings particularly his coming to us in MYSTERY. Prayers especially the HOLY Mass are set aside. We easily compromise spiritual activities to what can benefit our physical life and our economic stability. I cry when I see the young people waste time to be with their peers, get drunk and cause trouble.

I am elated to receive Christmas greetings from friends through the net, cell phones and Christmas cards. The greeting said, “merry x’mas.” I was grateful about it but at the same time I felt sad. If we try to analyze the short greeting we can see how without our knowing, materialism is making its way to our culture. This simple greeting though it came from a good intention should be purified. It is a dangerous greeting because it is espousing the elimination of Christ on his own feast day.

Secularism is truly creeping into our systems and in our way of life unconsciously. We cancel him or we want to declare him wrong without our own noticing. The letter “X” immediately connotes an error. It right away asserts the removal or cancelation of something. Secularism tries to demean Christ on Christ-mas and in our lives as Christ-ians.

We are unconsciously being driven by the power of the secular world to get rid of Jesus. We must do something about it. The worldly attacks us in our unguarded moments. I strongly suggest, we refrain greeting people with “merry xmas.” We must express the greeting properly, “Merry Christmas.”

It is an imperative to go back to the original meaning and purpose of Christmas. Christ came in history, he is coming to us in the here and now in Mystery and he will be coming finally in Glory. We don’t wait for Santa Clause on Christmas but we joyfully celebrate Jesus’ birth. This will eventually lead us to await Jesus’ final coming in glory. We don’t decorate our houses to show off but to persuade the world that Jesus came in history to redeem us. The physical decorations which are signs of joyful expectation should be deepened more in our spiritual preparation.

The sense of the divine is gradually perishing and sense of the matter continuously developing. One of the beautiful reasons why we celebrate Christmas every year is to hammer us on the reality that we are both body and soul. We must find the essential balance of our personhood. Otherwise, we fall short of emphasizing so much of the concrete and leaving out the more indispensable one. Christmas therefore means Christ came in History and still coming to us in Mystery so that when he comes in Glory we will be ready to meet him and be with him too in glory.

*******

As we celebrate Christmas let us not forget our suffering brothers and sisters. We pray in special way for the eternal repose of Rev. Fr. Herman de Rijs, CICM.

*******

A blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year to all. For comments and suggestions reach me at pachiespoint@yahoo.com or +639197850528.

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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by SVS Headliners on Wed Jan 26, 2011 11:13 pm

Pachie's Point: Coward(s) of the Country
by: Rev. Fr. Marcial Lloyd Marcs Castaneda on Tuesday, January 25, 2011 at 11:36pm

One of the most painful realities that a good man can ever experience in his life is betrayal. Even the great men in the scripture were not spared from such. Betrayal can be seen and understood in many angles. However, I am confining my treatment with the definition of betrayal as, “harming anonymously another person with allegations and rumors to destroy his reputation and career in public.” Bishop Francisco Claver calls it, “character assassination.” This is morally wrong. It is unjust. Therefore, it solicits condemnation.

I suppose, we can share some common stories and feelings if we were once a victim of the hurting reality. Or taking the other side of the coin, we once allowed the Devil to manipulate us i.e. to inflict harm anonymously to others with our selfish motivated-propaganda.

The unpleasant experience can either teach us to become callous or to become more forgiving. Human nature may indicate the former one, but this must not be the case. It has to transcend to the act of forgiving. According to my course in Medieval Mystics, “No man can judge another by evidence of his deeds. But you can judge the deed. Leave the judging and the punishing of the person to God who is both the Just Lawgiver and the Ultimate Judge.” For truly, God is merciful, but we must never forget, he is JUST. In the final analysis of everything, nothing will remain anonymous; everything will be unveiled in God’s time. As St. Theresa popularized it, “It is never between you and them, but you and God.”

A victim of “character assassination” is often left helpless because the enemy operates secretly. Nonetheless, a victim should not lose hope when he knows he had worked and served for the common interest and in the name of God and people. This is actually his rock foundation as a good man. It must be made very clear; “No one can put a good man down. Christ proved it on the cross.”

Who are the cowards of the country? These are the evil plotters who hide their identity with false names and non existing or ghost organizations. They are traitors who remain anonymous, and these people continuously interfere in the lives of great people, that is, to be watchful at the good man’s loopholes. From the good man’s weakness, they incessantly attack him by propagating allegations and propaganda to cause the fall. They operate cowardly.

The sad thing here is that they do it not purposely to serve the common interests and the common good but to cater their ulterior motive and personal agenda. In simple sense, they want to put down a person and destroy his career because of their covetousness and envy.

They enjoy doing it because they benefit from the downfall of their fellow men. They enjoy doing it because they find happiness seeing their fellow men suffer from the manmade adversity. From this juncture, these evil plotters are not only cowards of the country i.e. for the conspiracy to destroy the good man who is working for the common good but also they are social nuisance disrupting the social order. They are impediments to social progress. They disturb the social order, and they curtail the service of the good public servants to the common good. They need to be corrected before they will cause more social turmoil. They are in need of conversion before salvation leaves them. For comments and suggestions, you may reach me at pachiespoint@yahoo.com or +639197850528.

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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by alumani on Fri Jan 28, 2011 5:39 pm

Very nice sharing Fr. Marcs! this is something we all must reflect upon. Thank you for sharing this here. There's so much to learn about this site if we only take time to read. it's not only about our alumni school but also about values and our spiritual growth toward our fellow citizen and most important to God, the author of life...

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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by SVS Headliners on Fri Feb 11, 2011 12:17 am

“The Dying Values in Education” (Part I)

Pachie’s Point: Fr. Marcs Castañeda

If there is one thing that should make us reflect deeply nowadays is the situation of Values Education in our country’s educational system. The last time I went home for a semestral break, I learned from my friends who are teaching in the government schools that the Values Education is signaling its abolition from the school’s curriculum. If my memory still serves me well, Values Education and Religion were then elective courses or optional subjects in government schools. The existing status of Values Education insinuates a future that each one of us will soon regret. I don’t have any authority to comment on the educational hierarchy and structure, but as to its moral part, I think I have the right and the responsibility.

Science, Mathematics, and English are considered as the major subjects. Every student is encouraged to be efficient in each course. I am elated to know that there is a section devoted to students who are outstanding in such fields. Students who excel in every major subject are highly recognized with corresponding academic awards. Despite all of this academic major progress, I am equally sad because the Values Education is marginalized. Very astonishingly, Sex Education is currently being integrated in the school syllabus even in the elementary level. Religion and Values Education meanwhile are considered dispensable subjects that are moving forward to their impending death. It is alarming to see how Religion and Values Education which are fundamental elements in child rearing are now being set aside.

From this juncture, I think there is a necessity to revisit the educational system of the country. We must be keen enough to read the “signs of the times.” We must not be contented to our limited and immediate horizons, but we must take a look at our situation in the macro level and its future. In my course, “Holiness in Politics” it underlined that the rearing of a child is not only confined in the spheres of the family and church, but it continues in the school where the child becomes formally a student.

The observation in short suggests, “Get rid of Values Education and Religion.” If we allow it to happen, I believe it is not remote to conclude that one day; we will be sharing the same crisis that Europe is now suffering from. In 1881, Pope Leo XVIII enunciated that “the main cause for the present spirit of revolt, sedition and terrorism threatening the civil authority, comes ultimately from the rejection of the Divine Authority of the Church.”

The regress of Christian spirituality in the schools is looming. It is a clear stepping stone to the removal of God in the lives of people. I have been to European countries and there is one common observation I share with my colleagues, the sense of God is at the brink of death. This is evidenced by the big basilicas where rarely you can find the youth. It is a symptom of a dying church.

Today, some European governments order the removal of crosses in public places such as hospitals, government’s schools, and offices. The ordinance therefore prohibits the public display of any Christian signs of faith and devotions. The meaning is clear; religion must become a private thing. It must not have any place in the public square and in the public places. The recitation of prayers is discouraged if not prohibited in private and government schools, and I attest to this. I have been to a language school for a year now, and I cannot remember an instance where we started and ended the class invoking God. They call it religious freedom. However, it is wrong sense of religious freedom. Do we want this to happen in our own land? I will be dealing more on this in my next column. For comments and suggestions, you may reach me at pachiespoint@yahoo.com or +639197850528.

“The Dying Values in Education” (Part II)

Fr. Marccs Castaneda

Tracing the deeper essence of education is no other than going back to the fundamental truths of the Scriptures. I find it helpful to enumerate some strong pericopes from the Books of Psalms and Proverbs. Psalm 111: 10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; a good understanding have all those who do His commandments; His praise endures forever.” Proverbs 9, 10 says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 1, 7 “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction.” Psalm 112: 1 says, “How blessed is the man who fears the LORD, Who greatly delights in His commandments.” The truths that we find in the scriptures will never go obsolete from their meaning and impact. Even if the world reaches its highest digital inventions and most scientific lifestyle, the Scripture will remain ever new and relevant. Hence, the morality, the Scripture teaches will never lose its meaning in the “here and now.” It will constantly be relevant even in the future.

The Britannica Concise Encyclopedia says, education is the “learning that takes place in schools or school-like environments (formal education) or in the world at large; the transmission of the values and accumulated knowledge of a society.” The New Handy Webster Dictionary says, “Education is the systematic training of the moral and intellectual faculties.” Merriam Webster’s says, “To educate is to develop mentally and morally.” The definitions of education on the other hand are never dissociated from its moral aspects.

I emphasize on the fundamental truths of the Scripture and the original definitions of education because of our nature as body and soul. Every human person finds meaning when he or she realizes that he or she is first of all “God’s image and likeness” (Genesis 1: 27). This underlines man’s very dignity as a human person. This truth must bring him to an understanding of love and respect to his very dignity. Education must advocate this truth. Hence, Values Education is not an “optional choice” but a “necessary duty” of the family and of the church and of the school where he is formally enrolled as a student. We are bound to build the youth of today with the fundamental Christian values. Education is not a personal crusade. It is a social responsibility. Education ceases to be when it excludes the moral development.

But today’s reality reveals a looming direction of life and education. The world and its government want to get rid of religion. It claims that religion is behind. We have to note very well that the very characteristic of religion is liberating. A religion that does liberate the human person from alienation, sinfulness, oppression and other forms of human attack ceases to be a religion. Likewise, an education that does not mold a human person with the corresponding moral values betrays its very essence.

On January 21, 2011, Pope Benedict XVI addressed an audience with the officers and personnel of the Italian State Police. He said, “Religion and morality tend to be confined to the area of the subjective: in other words faith, with its values and forms of behavior, is no longer entitled to a place in public life and civil life. Religion is tending to be gradually marginalized and perceived as unimportant and, in certain sense, foreign to the civil world.” This is a current reality in many countries all over the world. The church has been doing her part since time immemorial but it may have failed in some areas. But it has to be noted that it is through the church’s Divine Authority that we are still having the grasp of morality.

Our world has changed a lot especially in terms of its morality. Pope John Paul II observed that an economic force is leading a secularized trend where the world seems to be flowing today. The economic and scientific forces are trying to redesign social structures at the expense of the common good and the human life. Today, economic progress seems to dictate what morality should be. This is happening because humanity started to look at their own success as fruits of sheer human capacity. They started to deliberately ignore God and his grace. The human nature of man remains stagnant if it is not seasoned with the grace of God. I reiterate what the Bible tells us, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.”

Our education must stand strong against the economic force that is reshaping the social structure. It must stand as a locus to bring the youth to a meaningful life and to an understanding that the real value of human life rests in the hands of God. The real search for meaning begins from a profound experience of human value and the values that surround it. Education should direct us to an understanding that our final end is not the worldly success and achievements but our final union with God. In this sense, educations is beyond doubt a means towards a meaningful life. Education is truly liberating.

Educators must not forget to teach this- We are all bound to leave this world in our designated time because this is not the place meant for us. It might look like very pessimistic but perhaps we need something like this to wake us up from our deep slumber. St. Thomas says it, “We are first of all citizens of heaven.” For comments and suggestions, you may reach me at pachiespoint@yahoo.com or +639197850528.
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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by stela on Sat Apr 02, 2011 4:52 pm


Lenten Pachie’s Point: We NEED to FORGIVE!


by: Fr. Marcial Lloyd Marcs Castaneda



We NEED to FORGIVE!

Pachie’s Point: Fr. Marcs Castañeda

There are two fundamental questions I want to work upon during this Lenten season. First, “Why do we need to forgive?” Second, “Is there a limit of forgiving?” It may look again something idealistic and impractical especially for those who were deeply wounded, but I know it will still be of help as we move on and reflect on the themes of Lenten season.

You might be wandering why I am dwelling mostly on forgiveness during this season. I have been facilitating Lenten recollections to Filipinos in Italy and Switzerland and most of the sharing that revolved and transpired were on hatred coupled with the difficulty to forgive.


The first question posed is, “Why do we need to forgive?” Notice the word, “Need.” I can choose to use the word “want”, but I opted for the word “Need.” To forgive is a CHOICE rooted in our “heart.” Hence, it is not a “want” that entails a sheer feeling and fleetingness. It is a choice that must be chosen by all means. Furthermore, it is not a mere choice that is motivated by mood. It is a “choice freely willed.” Ray Pritchard succinctly puts, “Forgiveness, in its essence, is a decision made on the inside to refuse to live in the past. It’s a conscious choice to release others from their sins against you so that you can be set free.” Forgiveness is a choice. When you say, "I can't forgive that person," what you're really saying is, "I'm choosing not to forgive that person. But if you will and choose to forgive, you'll find yourself forgiving soon."



St. Josemaria Escriva adds, “If you forgive, you set someone free, yourself.” And if your enemies continue to disturb you, he adds, “Don't say, ‘That person bothers me. Think: That person sanctifies me".

Forgiveness is a virtue founded on altruism and wisdom. Furthermore, it is not an acceptance of wrong behavior. It is not an act of condoning with the sin. It is first of all an act of charity. Despite the wound the sinner has inflicted, you still desire good things for him or her, that is. You desire salvation for those who wronged you. Hence, it is altruistic in nature.


Second, we forgive because we need to be healed and to be liberated from the past. Therefore forgiveness is a decision to liberate oneself, that is, to experience salvation in the here and now. To forgive someone who has wronged us is a process of healing. By forgiving, we liberate ourselves from spiritual imprisonment. If we choose not to forgive and we cling to resentment and anger, we are bound to be crippled. Anger and resentment aggravated by pride are negative emotions. "They are powerful negative feelings that will destroy us. If we hold on to them, they will escalate and imprison us from our past bitter experiences. It pains to forgive, but it is much better than refusing to forgive."



The “Heart” is another important word that signifies the totality of the person. In Biblical times the “heart” was used to symbolize the “inner man with his deepest thoughts, the deepest feelings, and the deepest intentions.” It is so deep that it becomes incomprehensible yet known only by God. Simply put, “the heart is a word that represents the core or ultimate intention, ultimate value, ultimate motivation” of the human person.

We need to forgive because it is our nature to forgive. As Saint Augustine once said, “To err is human and to forgive is divine.” Let me illustrate this with one old anecdote which I believe you heard many times in the homilies.

Once upon a time, Monk Michael and his friend Bro. Fred went for a stroll along the Chico River Bank. The monk was so keen and observant that he chanced to see a scorpion drowning along the river. So he signaled his friend to halt for a while in order to pick the scorpion. But Bro. Fred stopped him with a remark, “Don’t ever touch it. It will sting you!” But the monk persisted. He bent his knees and saved the scorpion. In turn, the scorpion stung his finger. Bro. Fred remarked, “I told you not to touch it but you were hard headed. Now you will suffer the pain and the poison.” But the monk replied, “I chose to save it though I know it will hurt me. I chose to save because it is our nature to love and it is the nature of the scorpion to sting.” Truly, it is never our nature to inflict wound and to leave a fellow suffering despite all the painful circumstances entailed. It is not our nature to be unforgiving.


We can love and forgive because we recognize and allow the grace of God to operate in our lives. Forgiveness is our choice to let God work in our hearts. “When our eyes are washed from the tears of forgiveness, we can see the beauty of others even those who have cut deep wounds in our lives.” For comments and suggestions you may reach me at Pachiespoint@yahoo.com or 639197850528.


*******




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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by yang-ew on Thu Apr 21, 2011 11:47 pm

"I encourage each one to pray for all the priests today, Holy Thursday. It is day in the Holy Week that points to the inseparable relationship of Priesthood and the Holy Eucharist. It happens that today Holy Thursday is the 9th anniversary of my Ordination to Diaconate. Please offer a prayer for me. Thank you so much and have a Blessed Easter Triduum to all!"

by: Fr. Marcial Carino Castaneda

Please listen to this beautiful song, composed and sang by Fr. Marcs
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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by SVS Headliners on Wed May 11, 2011 11:15 pm

The Mother in Times of Pain and Danger

Fr. Marcs Castañeda


I wish to thank those who telephoned, sent "SMS get well wishes" and offered prayers for my quick recovery, those who sacrificed for a visit and those who brought biscuits and fruits. God recompense your generosity.

Getting sick in a strange land is not a joke. My pneumonia recurred and it was a real suffering, causing my back and hip pains and headache. I can hardly move my body. A little move of the body hurts. And how many hard coughings I had that caused the jerks. I just endured and as usual I offered it to God for my sanctification and the sanctification of the world. That’s how I managed it.

Nobody will take care of me so I had to stand and to do all the survival aids. The anxiety of final examinations added.

When I cried the pains, I remembered the loving tender care of my Mama Carol. Then to console myself, I just imagined I was in Bontoc with my family easing the excruciating pain. Upon learning that I was ill, she immediately sent her usual motherly health care advices as she used to do to the family.

Such reality will point to the truth that Mother’s Love is ever constant and enduring. Mother’s Love will always be felt especially in times of suffering because of their selfless love. The umbilical cord is cut upon birth but the spiritual umbilical cord is still connected. That’s why we can still relate with our mothers despite distances. Observe, in times of danger or when you suddenly slip along the way, the first word that you utter is, "Mama or Ina, or Inay or Nanay." This goes to prove that maternal love is truly felt in all situations. The birth cord is connecting us spiritually with our mothers.

I am getting better now with the medicines and strong anti biotic prescribed coupled with the prayers. So again, as Mother’s Day is celebrated, I must celebrate it with much gratitude, Thank You Mama Carol for the care and love. And to all the Mothers, I pray that God will bless you all the more and that you will continually manifest the Love of God to the whole world.
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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

Post by SVS Headliners on Wed May 11, 2011 11:19 pm


May is the month of flowers and is dedicated for all mothers around the globe. HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!!
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Re: CYBER COMMUNION

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