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!


Mga Pangunahing Dahilan Kung Bakit Baduy Pero Bumebenta ang Otcho-Ocho

Patalastas muna.  Salamat kay Reynz sa kanyang suporta sa isang online patimpalak.   Pasensya na, Kamahalan at overaged na pala ang blog ko.  Gayunpaman, touched pa rin ako’t nakabilang ako sa original list mo.  Tenkyu po!üüü

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Tag ito.  Tag.  Ibig sabihin eh sarili ko na naman ang pag-uusapan dito sa post na ito.   Nyayksidudels…

Na-tag ako ni Heleinah (new spelling para cute) ng mga eight things.ü  Bakit eight at hindi ten, di ko alam. Siguro, natakot ang original na may pakana ng tag na ito na baka mapagod sa kakaisip ang mga future na mata-tag, medyo binabaan nya ang requirement.  8 things na lang instead of 10 things.  Hmmm… merciful!

Anyway, tama na ang dada.  Eto na ang Limang Eight Things About Me.  Continue reading

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

Ang Di Mo Akalaing Advantages ng Pagkakaroon ng Nanay sa Kabilang-Buhay

Ang akala ng lahat, nag-OFW ako dito sa France kaya panay ang parinig nila ng mga pasalubong pag-uwi ko.  Nyemas naman eh.  Seminarian po ako, di naman po ako nag-engineer, nag-programmer, nag-nurse, nag-seaman o nag-teacher sa ibang bansa.   Kung may kinita man ako sa pagbabasbas ng patay o panggogoyo ng mga kabataang Pranses tungkol sa salita ng Diyos, eh istampita’t nobena lang ang kayang bilhin nun. Continue reading

Flowers For You!!! (by a celebrity guest blogger)

Para sa post na ito, naimbitahan ko si Glesy the Great na mag-guest blogger sa akin.  Na-attain na po ni Glesy ang celebrity status sa Pinoy blogosphere bilang guest blogger ng mga bigating mga Filipino datkomistas at wordpress bloggers.  At kung ayaw nyong maniwalang sikat si Gles, heto po ang list of more popular guestings ni Glesy in chronological order:

4.  HAPPY HEARTS DAY (for Potsquared)
5.  MAYORDOMA NI KENGKAY (for Kengkay)
6.  I, GLESY THE GREAT SOLEMNLY SWEAR?  (for mommy Kengkay ulit)
7.  HE SAID, SHE SAID (for Burinj)
8.   HE SAID, SHE SAID (for Kirksydney)

Ang especialty po nya ay humor posts, with a heart and a brain.   At kung hanggang ngayon eh di mo pa rin kilala si Glesy d’Great, well.. bahala ka, di ka cool.

Syempre, gusto kong makasama sa prestihiyosong listahan na yan kaya na-Fear Factor ko po si Glesy sa aking Bulaklak Post Challenge.  Napakarami ko po kasing mga bading na bading na litrato ng mga bulaklak na di ko naman maipagmalaki dahil di ako makapagsulat ng post about flowers, without any reference to human female anatomical parts.  Kaya kinailangan ko ang wholesomeness at expertice ni Glesy para maiparada ko naman ang aking mga pantashtik fikchurs oph plawersh nang hindi nawawala ang “for the whole dysfunctional family” factor ng blog ko.  Kaya para sayo, Glesy, maraming maraming salamat.  Kailangang i-schedule na natin ang date natin pag-uwi ko sa Pinas.

Anywey, tama na ang dakdak, Utoy.   Let’s hear it from Glesy!!! Continue reading

On “malongkot na Byernis,” bar jokes and the SMY…


Isa ito sa mga pinakaantigong expression sa Pilipinas (at sa iba pang bansang Katoliko) na isang rollcall ng mga members ng Holy Family na sina Hesus, Mary and Joseph.  Syempre, ang mode d’emploi ng salitang ito eh kung nagulat ka bigla o kaya eh na-shock sa narinig.

Example 1:  Susmaryosep, nahulog ang bata sa dyip!!!

Example 2:  Susmaryosep, 10,000 pesos para sa fieldtrip?!!!  (salamat kay panaderos sa magandang example)

And true to my kaadikan, gusto ko sanang pausuhin ang expression na ito sa Net.  Pero in the tradition of OMG, LOL and WTeff, and Susmaryosep ay binibinyagan ko na ngayon as SMY.   SusMarYosep.  Kung si Dedpish may may ODK (O Diyos Ko!), si Brother Utoy ay may SMY.

SMY!  Ano na namang kalokohan ito, Utoy?  SMY talaga!

BTW, depende sa gamit, hindi ito blasphemy.  In fact, ang precise term ng Inang Simbahan sa SMY!!!, ODK!!! at HMOG!!! (Holy Mother of God!!!) ay Ejaculations.  Walang biro.  With that being said, be prepared to read more of these ejaculations on my blog.

(Kaya ako nasasabihan ng barubal eh…)

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Luksa ang Biyernes ko.   Pero let me explain, please.  (SMY, parang  makikipagbreak lang!) 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