“Of Gods and Men”

If you haven’t heard of the movie, “Of Gods and Men”, it’s because it’s not really that internationally released. I don’t know if it was released in your country but in mine it wasn’t. Anyway, it’s been a long time since I posted here. I know I said so many times that I will update this blog but I always get so engrossed with other stuff, like, portfolio-building and work. Anyway, I just want to share the movie “Of Gods and Men” to whoever is interested.

By the way, here’s the post I have published regarding the movie and my reflections of it:http://canvasartworks.blogspot.com/2011/08/of-gods-and-men-and-some-reflections.html

In case you want to share your own reflections regarding the movie, I would love to read it. :)

Striving to be a good Catholic is striving to be a good Christian

As a Catholic, I’ve been told a million times that I’m going to hell by evangelicals that call themselves “The real Christians”. You know the type that will send you to hell faster than you can utter the word “brimstone”, that is if they can. But whenever I encounter them I try my very best to be nice since I am a very civilized person but most of them are really rude and in-your-face. They even prefer to be called just “Christians” and not by the denomination they go to in an attempt to own that word. They seem to be succeeding in that because a lot of people seem to be thinking that Catholics and Christians are not the same. Even some Catholics call those evangelicals “Christians” like Catholics aren’t. It’s appalling. Anyway, these evangelicals insist that others should believe their every word; their every lie and share their prejudice against others or else. They also seem to be trying people’s patience so that when people get fed up with them and they get shouted at, or even get their beliefs questioned, they can cry persecution. They seem to think that being emotional about their blind faith is an effective defense for their beliefs. I know that there are lots of anti-Catholics from other groups everywhere (even some Catholics are staunchly anti-Catholic) but nothing beats the anti-Catholicism of these so-called evangelicals that are trying to own the word “Christian”. These evangelicals spread their venom in the guise that they do it out of concern for the souls of us, poor Catholics, and these same evangelicals think that being rude to Catholics is okay because Catholics are hell-bound anyway. It’s sad that these evangelicals actually succeeded in fooling so many Catholics away from Catholicism, the only Church that Christ Himself established. Anyway, I don’t want to sound sanctimonious, even though I think I am beginning to. Truth of the matter is I never gave these evangelicals any thought until recently when an evangelical, who finally revealed what denomination he belongs to, which is Baptist, insisted that I declare to people that my religion, Catholicism, is not Christian. Like hell, I would! He can wish to whatever devil is behind him that I declare such falsehood about my religion but that ain’t gonna happen. Nevah! I may not be a perfect example of what a Catholic should be but I will never turn my back away from the very thing that molds my very character; my very being. My faith is not a result of unquestioned beliefs nor fear of hell. It’s a result of years of doubting, questioning and seeking answers. I looked for God and I found Him in Catholicism, where the fullness of God’s Truth is revealed and continuously being revealed. Being a Catholic is being a Christian because Catholicism IS Christianity. I trust in Jesus’ promise, “The gates of hell will not prevail against His Church”, so no matter how much effort anti-Catholics exert on destroying Catholicism they will not succeed because there’s no power on this earth is greater than God’s. Amen and amen.

Prayer and Work (Ora et Labora)

Ora et Labora is a Benedictine Motto. When I was little, I didn’t fully grasp the full meaning of it, at least not by my heart. I either pray or work instead of pray AND work, and most of the time I don’t pray at all. I met a very prayerful Baptist in my first year college, and he’s very talented. He has lots of potentials. He told me that before he works on his projects, he prays first. I laughed at the thought. I must admit, it sounded a bit weird to me. For a Catholic it shouldn’t sound absurd, but it did to me because it’s honestly the first time I heard of it (probably because I wasn’t practicing Catholic back then). It’s not my habit to pray actually, so it’s not that I intend not to pray, I just forget to pray. Now, I’m beginning to practice praying and working at the same time, and it works. I am more productive than I have ever been. I love the kind of work I have now, and I thank God for that.  Sometimes I run out of concepts, but this time whenever I do, I pray to God, and almost instantly, the ideas rush in my head like a tidal wave.  Now I know what St. Benedict meant when he said prayer and work.

Holy Week

I participated in Holy Week as best as I could for this year, and while I was participating in the Easter Vigil, I realized how blessed I am for being born in Catholicism through a devout Catholic family that sticks strictly to Catholic teachings and values; for being provided by God through the Catholic Church with as many means as possible for me to stay in God’s grace. We have the Mass and the Eucharist – the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise that He shall be with us until the end of time. And I’ve witnessed a baptism of an adult in the Catholic Church for the very first time, and we were informed that since the adult is already an adult when baptized, that person will immediately receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. Unlike Catholics who have been baptized as infants, we need to wait until the age of consent for us to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation. The only prayer I have for the converts, and all Catholics as well, is that, with the grace of God, they remain firm in their faith no matter what happens.  Nobody said it’s easy to be a Catholic.

May God bless the Catholic Church.

Novena Masses – A Christmas Tradition

Novena Masses or Misa de Gallo (also known as Simbang Gabi) is a nine-consecutive-day Mass celebration to welcome Christmas, or the birth of Christ. It is about to start and I am deciding whether to attend the night Novena Mass or the early morning Novena Mass. If I attend the night Novena Mass, it won’t feel like I’m attending a Novena Mass, because traditionally, Misa de Gallo is celebrated very early in the morning and not at night. Then again, if I attend the early morning Novena Mass, I might not be able to complete it because I hate waking up early. Traditionally, Tomorrow is the 15th of December and the start of the night Novena Mass will be tomorrow night. If I decide to attend the early morning Mass, I will be starting on the morning of 16th of December.

I’m torn actually because I like following the traditional way of celebrating Novena Mass, but I also love sleeping. Should I attend the early morning Novena Mass or should I attend the night Novena Mass? I’m still thinking.

I think it’s time for me to go to confession…

And clear my conscience and restore my relationship with God. I know people around me have this idea that I’m not religious, but I am. For years I haven’t gone to confession, thus, for years I haven’t received Communion as well. Right this very moment I feel like confessing, but at the same time I think I’m not ready yet… then again, I feel that I really want to… *sigh* I’m torn…
The last time I prayed the Rosary, which was, I think two weeks ago, It felt like I wasn’t even worthy to pray it… I know I shouldn’t feel that way, but I did… and it felt like God wasn’t listening to me because I’m not worthy of His attention. I rarely attend Mass, and to a Catholic, it’s a mortal sin. I was never a good Catholic nor even tried to be, but I know my Catholic obligations, and I have intentionally failed to fulfill them… I think that’s what’s eating me up.

I had a realization today… no voice remains unheard if the voice is persistent enough to be heard.

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I always talk about Marie Antoinette every chance I get because I think she’s one of the most inspiring people who ever walked the earth – a woman of substance as I call her. I also make digital paintings of her as much as I can afford to. Today when I opened my mail, with chat feature imbedded in it, I saw a friend’s offline message giving me a link to Elena Maria Vidal’s article, “Axel von Fersen legend Part I”… an article that clears Marie Antoinette’s name concerning false rumors about Marie Antoinette’s extra-marital affairs. The first time I heard of this author was when I was browsing through youtube for any historical documentary about Marie Antoinette. I bumped into this video where Elena Maria Vidal is being interviewed in EWTN program. I like the way she connected Marie Antoinette’s character to Catholicism saying that Marie Antoinette was a very good example of a Catholic woman. I myself am a Catholic and I agree with Elena Maria Vidal. Marie Antoinette, at least the real Marie Antoinette, was indeed a good Catholic even in death. I know many will disagree with me, because they bought so much lies told about Marie Antoinette, but I’m glad I have enough curiosity about her to read and learn facts about her; to differentiate truth from lies said about her; to finally help this poor soul clear her name. All of us want to leave a good name as our legacy, and I think it’s only fair to clear Marie Antoinette’s name with real facts and bring her good reputation back by overriding falsehoods that had tainted, and continue to taint, her person.