The Chosen People’s Hard Path

peopleExodus is a continuity of God’s promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in Genesis. Through Moses, God continues to fulfill His promises to His chosen people, the sons of Israel.

The 430 years of slavery for the people of Israel in Egypt (Ex 12:40), correspond to God’s words to Abraham that his descendants would be slaves in a land that was not theirs and oppressed for 400 years (Gen 15:13).  “God chose Abraham and made a covenant with him and his descendants. By the covenant, God formed his people and revealed his law to them through Moses” (CCC 72). Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Advent and the Art of Living Dangerously

dangerousCould but thy soul, O man,

Become a silent night!

God would be born in thee

And set all things aright.

-Angelus Silenius, 1657

Pope St. John Paul II wrote that we are an Easter People, and ‘Alleluia!’ is our song. We are also an Advent people. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Jacob in the mold: Genesis 23-50

jacobReviewing the life of Jacob, it was a life that was molded by God. God molded Jacob from his defected character into the character that God had intended for His salvation plan.  Jacob did not get his blessing from God because of his tricks, i.e. Jacob’s hand taken hold of Esau’s heel at birth (Gen 25:26); Jacob bought the right of the firstborn from Esau (Gen 25:29-34); Jacob tricked his father into giving him the blessing as the firstborn (Gen 27).  Rather, it was purely from God’s love and mercy that although he had performed all those tricks, God still chose him, still walked with him and gave him His blessing.

Through the different struggles in Jacob’s life, such as fear of Esau (Gen 27); La’ban cheated him on his marriages (Gen 29) and the jealousy between his wives (Gen 30): hunt down by La’ban (Gen 31) etc., Jacob was protected and blessed by God. Jacob is saved from harm only by divine intervention to La’ban (Gen 31:29). The 12 sons as a result from the fights between the wives became the 12 tribes of Israel.  Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

My Moment with Emanuela

giannaI had the opportunity to participate in the “March for Life” in Rome on Mother’s Day in 2016.  This is an annual event where all with the same belief in the dignity of human life gather to join in prayers and march in faith to offer hope to a world of despair.  During the event, I had the honor of meeting Emanuela Molla, the daughter of St Gianna Molla, the heroic mother who followed the example of Christ and chose to give up on cancer treatment during pregnancy, hence, her own life, in order to save the life of her unborn child, Emanuela.  I shared this encounter and the heroic story of St Gianna online, which raised many questions on whether St Gianna’s suffering and sacrifice was really necessary and worthwhile.

Why are moral absolutes important for Catholic morality?  Why do some people reject the idea of moral absolutes simply on the basis of a disordered view of suffering? Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Cross and the Cell Phone

instagramI kind of hate Instagram.  I like it in theory- a place where we can share images that communicate and share our lives, our hopes, our passions.  But I hate the twisted and vicious cross I’ve seen it become in my 15-year-old daughter’s life.

When “The Girl” (name withheld to protect the immature) turned 13, my husband and I gave her filtered access to Instagram as a rite of passage, but with a catch. Her account is on my phone, and I go through it daily.  We decided that this social media journey was going to be one that we walked together.  She didn’t need to worry about hiding anything, because I could see it. End of story. My job was to set ground rules, talk with her about what I saw, and listen to her as she shared what she thought.  This is part of the modern teenage journey, and ALL teenage journeys are messy. I promised myself to walk with her and not over-react to the messiness, but try instead to make it a learning experience. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Frankenstein vs. the Pope

doctorFrankenstein has been the subject of many movies, some campy classics and some rather awful.

Frankenstein with Boris Karloff (1931, is likely THE Frankenstein flick, although there were earlier versions – and a couple dozen later ones.

I admit my favorite in the genre is Bride of Frankenstein (1935). There is something about Elsa Lanchester’s piercing eyes and frizzy hair that touched my taste for the terrifying. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

5 hidden gifts in gratitude

gratitudeBeing grateful is more of a gift than a duty.  Something in us changes when we are grateful.  We glimpse our daily reality in a different way, like scuba diving below the surface of the ocean and discovering a world of beauty that exists just out of sight.  When we are grateful, we see below the surface of our busy lives and discover treasures that were hidden just out of sight. Here are five of them.

  1. Something in us changes when we are grateful. A sense of gratitude gives us a peace and contentment that shifts our perspective on our lives.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:6-7 Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Theological Reflection: Genesis 12-22

faithGenesis Chapter 12 to 22 is about the “Cycle of Abraham”, which described how Abraham was the chosen one by God, in which He would establish the covenant with (CCC 72), and the strong faith demonstrated by Abraham throughout the chapters.  “By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go.  By faith, he lived as a stranger and pilgrim in the promised land.  By faith, Sarah was given to conceive the son of the promise. And by faith, Abraham offered his only son in sacrifice(CCC 145). Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

How to Stop Freaking Out (with some Help from the Saints)

Thank God for the communion of saints.  Remarkably, there isn’t much in our crazy busy lives that the saints haven’t dealt with in some other iteration.  Even though the world we live in seems angrier and more anxious than ever before, the basics of human nature haven’t changed much. We have the same faults, sins, struggles, and hopes that we have always had, through dressed in modern circumstances.

Anger and anxiety have tried to strangle people and cultures with their icy hands for centuries.   Like good friends who have walked a road before us, the saints give us advice and hope for living a life of joy, peace and courage in the midst of the storm.

saintsWinning the War against Anger

We are living in the age of rage.  Hearing the news or scrolling through social media, it seems everyone is angry about something or someone.  Since Cain killed Abel, anger, also known as ‘wrath,’ has been a part of the human existence. The saints were not immune to this sin either.

St. John, the apostle of love, was once known as one of the ‘Sons of Thunder’ who wanted to call down fire from heaven to destroy a town that snubbed them.  You may be thinking that if you had the chance to spend three years at Jesus’s side, it would cure you of your anger too.  Well, maybe. Perhaps that’s an important lesson.  Prayer changes us.  St. John lived prayer.  He rested on Christ’s chest at the last supper.  He was so aware of the love of God for him that he came to name his identity as ‘the apostle that Jesus loved.’  That’s how he knew himself.  Spending more time in prayer, especially in adoration, changes our hearts and makes them less thunderous and more loving. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Genesis 1-11 and Salvation

salvationGenesis Chapter 1 to 11 was like a prologue to God’s salvation of man.  It showed a repetitive pattern of man sinning against God, hence, God’s punishment, and led to God’s salvation for man.  This ultimately brought out the key message of God’s infinite love and mercy for man and His preparation for the salvation of man, since the beginning.  ‘From the beginning until “the fullness of time,” Word and Spirit remain hidden, but it is at work. God’s Spirit prepares for the time of the Messiah’ (CCC 702).

Although man continually and repeatedly sinned against God, i.e. original sin by Adam and Eve (Gen 3:6), Cain killing Abel (Gen 4:8), Lamech being the first bigamist (Gen 4:23), the wickedness of man (6:5) and the Tower of Babel (Gen 11:4) etc., which God grieved and was sorry that He had made man on earth (Gen 6:6), God still loved man and never ceased the opportunities for man to repent.  Again and again, He offered a covenant to man (CCC 55), just as He established a covenant with Noah and blessed man after the flood (Gen 9:11), so man could return to the loving relationship with God, just as when they were first being created.  For He wishes to give eternal life to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing (CCC 55). Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment