On “Caritas in Veritate”

May sakit ako ngayon so nagkaroon ako ng time for blogging.

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It’s been barely a month since Caritas in Veritate was released by Vatican but the news of its publication seemed slow to spread in the Philippines.  I’ve been scouring the local papers for some words about it, but the first social encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI seem not as newsworthy as, say, our politicians being photographed with the US president or his pet dog.  It’s quite  saddening that the world’s most recent knowledge of the Popeever speaking of something socially relevant wasthat misquoted opinion of the Holy Father against the use of contraceptives in the AIDS-stricken African nations.  And what do we make of Caritas in Veritate?  It’s just tad too boring to rouse the media hype.

But we still have plenty of time ahead of us.  Malay ba natin, it’s just picking up its momentum.  Lalo na when the latest Vatican offering on social issues is lauded by experts as Church’s learned dialogue with sociologists, economists and leaders of the land.  The authoritative and modern manner that it was written just goes to show that the Pope has been doing his homework of updating himself to the current global realities.  Reading the encyclical, one cannot but rail to remark how Caritas in Veritate acted like the biblical dragnet (from the Gospel of St. Matthew, you heathens), scouring every important corners and backalleys of the modern society for “occasions of salvation” :  the financial system, the labor unions, bioethical issues, international economic institutions, ecumenism, and even a “espace sacré” for tourism and the plight of the migrant workers.   While we say that Caritas in Veritate packs a social clout, this is not to say that it pales on the theological department.  At each themes and subthemes, Pope Benedict XVI exercised well his vocation of preaching the coming of the Kingdom, by precising on economical and sociological terms, the image of the Kingdom of God.  And for our main man Benny, if our quest ofr the much anticipated Kingdom of God has a soundtrack, it has the words “love” and “truth” all over its refrain.

Personally, I find the English translation of Caritas in Veritate a refreshing, albeit a longish, read, especially when at some rare moments, we’ll find a few very up-to-date English expressions that somehow lent a little zest on the usual conciliar or curial language of the Vatican documents.  Thus, we find phrases like “weaving the networks of charity,”  “putting the breaks on violence,”  “gaining a foothold on economy” and “running on a level playing field,” just to name a vivid few.  Whether the credit for such novelty is due to the genius of the translator or to Pope Benedict himself or even to the alleged ghostwriters of this document (many remarked that Veritas in Caritate is sooo un-Benedict.), I don’t know.  All I know is that omong these “pop-culture” savvy lingo that found a usage in the newest encyclical, my personal favorite is the word “breathing-space.”  The term, breathing-space is found at least four times in the document:  on numbers 3, 11, 20 and the fourth one, it just eludes me right now.  But it’s right there, look for it.   Veritas in Caritate (VC) # 3 spoke of how “truth frees charity from fideism that deprives it of human and universal breathing space”.  VC # 11 reports that “without the perspective of eternal life, human progress in this world is denied breathing-space.”  Then, CV # 20 tells us how “the perspective of charity of Christ remains fundamental in giving breathing-space to our comitment for the development of the people.”  Again, the fourth mention of breathing-space, ikaw na ang maghanap.  Andyan lang yan, pramis.

Now the word “breathing-space” may not perfectly put into nutshell the social message of the Pope, but ican very well be the Holy Father’s one-word critique to the whole world today.  By this word, breathing-space, itcan be conjectured that the world today seemed more and more deprived of its natural function of breathing,  that is, breathing in every sense of the word.  Which means that we are being stifled, held by the neck, strangled, asphixated, not just environmentally, physically or economically, but culturally, morally and spiritually as well.  To breathe without restraint is one of the most basic freedom of every human being, with the breath, the biblical “ruah” as the primordial gift of God to mankind in the book of Genesis.  Thus, to give humankind a space for breathing is to allow the Spirit of God to work in us, as we pursue our paths to progress.  Bringing back the much needed breathing-space in our modernity is a call for us not to stifle or strangle the Gospel values of truth and charity, in the name of economic development.  The pope’s demand for a “breathing-space” is a rallying message that global progress does not consists only of tehcnology, commercial wealth and financial wizardry, but rather it has on its very heart, the welfare of humanity, the living and breathing humanity, which must wholistically benefit from such modernity, and at the same breath (no pun intended), be inspired by the Holy Spirit, who breathes through the two nostrils of truth and charity. 

In Caritas in Veritate # 77, Pope Benedict XVI is telling us, “In every truth, there is something more than we woudl have expected; in love, there is always an element that surprises us.  We should never cease to marvel.”  This is an invitation for us to learn how to gasp in awe and wonder in God’s continous creation  despite all the scientific learning and economic progress we have acquired.  True to the Second Vatican Council’s tradition of “letting the fresh air in the Church,”  the Holy Father is calling us to always reserve a big breathing space for humanity, for the Spirit to work on, that whatever progress we may have attained, it be always geared up towards the sanctity and wholeness of the human person, turhtfully and lovingly on its way towards the Kingdom.

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At syempreds, ang ating stainglass window of the day ay ito:


Ito ay isang stained glass window sa Chapel de Notre Dame de l’Assomption ng La Salle en Beaumont, sa parokya namin sa La Mure, France.  Ito ay nagdedepict ng passion ni Christ.  Modern-modernan ang istilo dahil sobrang modern din ang simbahan na ito.

In fact, eto ang altar nya.


at eto naman ang modern rendition nila ng Blessed Mother:


Gawa ang estatwang yan sa isang tipak ng kahoy.  Teka, at eto nga pala ang labas ng chapel:


God bless!

Utoy’s Pop Quiz Ek-Ek: What does your church wear reveal about you?

Nainspired ako sa success ng mga FaceBook quizzes (na madalas walang kwenta), syempre, gusto ko ring gumawa ng pareho (yung wala ring kwenta).  Gaya-gaya lang, pauso, ganun.  Ang napagdiskitahan kong topic ay ang ating usual Sunday wear, yung mga soot-soot natin kapag nagsisimba tayo, at kung anong sinasabi nito tungkol sa atin.  Bakit kamo yun ang napili kong tapic.  Kasi gusto ko at kasi blog ko ito.  Wag ka nang magulo, kumuha ka na ng bolpen at isulat sa palad nyo ang sagot(sayang ang papel, save the forest tayo).  Sige na’t multiple choice naman ito.  At syempre, true to FaceBook tradition, this quiz is “scarily accurate!”  Continue reading

Oh meyn, top teyn!

May mga kakaibang pangyayaring nagaganap sa aking blog.  Una ay sa araw na ito lang ay nakatanggap ako ng 107 spams.  Siguro, normal lang ito sa ibang bloggers pero sa akin, wierd ito, kasi in a week, di sumosobra sa dalawa o tatlo lang ang spam comments na natatanggap ko.  Pangalawa, biglang nabago ang itsura ng blog ko.  Ang blog roll ko ay biglang lumitaw, not on the sidebar, but on the bottom of the page.  Hmmm… Na-virus kaya ang blog ko?

Pero hindi iyan ang tunay na mahalaga sa akin.  Ansaya-saya ko dahil may natanggap akong comment from HRH Reyna Elena the other day.  May surprise daw sya sa akin.  Syempre, kapag ang Reyna ang nagsabi sayo nyan, magkandarapa ka dapat, diba?  Yun nga ang ginawa ko at ito ang tumambad sa aking mga matang may vow of chastity  (salamat pala kay Darbz kasi ninenok ko sa site ng Exodians ang screen capture na ito): Continue reading

Animersheri ek-ek (with recipe!)

Tingnan mo nga naman.  Isang taon na ang blog ko!  Nakaraos din ang low-profile kong cyber-tahanan.  And to think, bobo ako tungkol sa computers at sa internet.  And to think, nabola lang naman ako ni Bluep na mag-blog.  And to think, gusto ko lang magka-outlet for writing.  And to think… and to think… uhhhmmm… think positive? Continue reading

Mga Sure-Fire Tips para Hindi Antukin sa Simbahan

Una sa lahat, welcome kay Atticus, kay Luna, kay Jesshua, kay Ikay, kay Bluguy at kay Katpusa sa blogroll ko!  Mga kabisyo, tangkilikin din po natin ang mga kabaliwan nila sa blogs nila.ü

Pangalawa,  maraming maraming salamat kila Malen at Menard sa offers nilang Datkom.  Nakakataba po ng puso pero parang di pa po ready si Utoy sa Big League. Pasensya na po.  Atsaka po, may naoohan na rin kasi ako.  Hehe…  Maraming salamat po ulit!  Touched po ako!

Pangatlo, i-click nyo ito at dalawin nyo ang mga bagong listang baguhan sa ating Hellish Links, Heavenly Blogs.ü

Panglast, patawad po kung di ako nakakablog-hop.   May sinalihan kasi akong theological discussion group dito sa kabundukan tapos yung mga reading materials eh kailangang itranslate ko pa from French to English para lang maintindihan ko.  Syempre, ita-translate ko naman from English to French ang reflections ko para sila naman ang makaintindi sa akin.  Anim na documents ang lagi kong tina-translate every week.   Diba, easy lang.  Maning mani.  Parang gusto ko nang mamatay.

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Isa sa mga pinaka-common na problema ng isang karaniwang Kristiyano tuwing siya’y dumadalo ng Holy Mass o ng Sunday Bible Service ay ang labanan ang antok.  Automatic yan na pag-upong pag-upo natin para sa First Reading eh parang nagbu-book na agad tayo ng flight papuntang dreamland.   Yung tipong sana di ka na nagpakahirap na maligo at magpaka-japorms:  Nagpajama ka na lang sana para mas komportable pa ang sleep-over mo sa simbahan.

Henywey, alam ko naman na may honest effort talaga ang marami sa atin upang labanan ang antok sa Misa.  Yung tipong isang oras na pakikipagbuno na wag mapikit o tumangu-tango na parang aso sa dashboard ng kotse ang ulo natin sa sobrang antok lalo na during the readings at homily ni Pads (yan ang tawag namin sa mga pari sa seminaryo).  Kaya naman, narito si Kuya Utoy ninyo upang magbahagi sa inyo ng mga tried and tested stay-awake-in-the-Church tips na tyak hindi itinuro sa inyo ni Miss Pacheco at ni Sr. Catherine sa Catechism at Christian Living Class.  Eto na.  Go. Continue reading

Mga Datkomistas, na-BITAG!!!

Ang mala-Tulfong taytol ko ay dahil nakatanggap ako ng Award Tag galing kay Panaderos (na may bagong Avatar na ngayon).  Ayon sa kanya: 

Written mostly in the vernacular, [Bro.Utoy’s Blog] is a very funny, informative, sometimes irreverent but often witty blog authored by a very intelligent and funny Filipino seminarian based in France.

honestscrap1Dahil nga nakapagbackflip ako sa tuwa’t dalawang beses niya akong tinawag na funny, sinikap kong magcomment sa blog ni Panaderos tungkol dito, pero dahil inglisan ang laban eh hayun at sablay-sablay ang grammar.  Kung gusto nyong pagtawanan ang aking balibalikong pagbabalarila sa ingles, hanapin nyo lang sa blog ni Panaderos, mga damuho kayo.  Pero seriously, sobrang ikinatuwa ko ito’t sa listahan ni Panaderos eh sekon oner ako!  Woohoo!  Salamat, salamat, Panaderos!  Pinapatawad kita kung di mo naisama ang mga katagang na gwapo, magandang lalake, at God’s gift to women upang ilarawan ako.  Di mo pa naman kasi ako sa personal o kahit sa pityurs lang so nauunawaan ko.

At dahil nga pala isa rin itong tag eh siyempre, may kaakibat itong mabibigat na utos: Continue reading

Barubal na nga ba si Utoy?

Uninspired si Utoy today.  May krisis kasi ako…

Last week lang eh sobrang excited akong magsulat tungkol sa mga Larawang Pang-Majorette Part II pero dahil bisi-bisihan nga ang Kuya Utoy ninyo eh naudlot.  Pero ngayong kadarating ko lang galing bakasyon (na naman?!) sa Lisieux eh parang nawala lahat nang enthusiasm ko.  Ayoko nang gawin.

Don’t get me wrong:  di pa ako sawa sa blogging.  It’s just that napakabastos ng susunod kong “Larawang Pang-Majorette.”  May iilang tao na ang nagsabi sa akin (mga eleven na sila) na maging maingat ako sa mga ginagamit kong salita sa Web.  Napansin nila na medyo barubal na ang mga nilalaman ng blog ni Bro.Utoy.  To their words, nagiging “unbecoming of a seminarian” na ang gwapong blogger na ito.   Matapos kong mahanap sa online dictionary ang meaning ng “unbecoming” eh napaisip talaga ako at nalungkot.  Oo nga, nagiging bastos na ang blog ko.  Kung kelan more than five na ang mga readers ko eh lalo akong naging reckless sa paggamit ng salita.  Masyado ko nang pinaninindigan ang taytol ng aking blog at nagiging out of line or off-colored na ang mga jokes ko.  Baka nga ang image ko na ngayon eh gwapo pero balasubas na seminarista na lang.  But really, there’s more to Utoy than that… Continue reading