Archive for December, 2006

It’s Christmas!

Posted: December 25, 2006 by piusranson in Uncategorized

It’s Christmas once again. This day, marks the day when Christ Jesus was born of the Virgin Mary. Fr. Bosco was right. If this day never exist, there won’t be Santa Clause, presents, Parties. It started with the birth of Christ in Bethlehem. Christians and non-Christians alike, celebrates Christmas. The word was made flesh and dwelt among us. We must really put christ into the center of our lives. Jesus himself is a gift to us on Christmas. Below is the Christmas Message of Pope Benedict XVI:

URBI ET ORBI MESSAGE
OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI


SOLEMNITY OF THE NATIVITY OF THE LORD

“Salvator noster natus est in mundo” (Roman Missal)

“Our Saviour is born to the world!” During the night, in our Churches, we again heard this message that, notwithstanding the passage of the centuries, remains ever new. It is the heavenly message that tells us to fear not, for “a great joy” has come “to all the people” (Lk 1:10). It is a message of hope, for it tells us that, on that night over two thousand years ago, there “was born in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord” (Lk 2:11). The Angel of Christmas announced it then to the shepherds out on the hills of Bethlehem; today the Angel repeats it to us, to all who dwell in our world: “The Saviour is born; he is born for you! Come, come, let us adore him!”.

But does a “Saviour” still have any value and meaning for the men and women of the third millennium ? Is a “Saviour” still needed by a humanity which has reached the moon and Mars and is prepared to conquer the universe; for a humanity which knows no limits in its pursuit of nature’s secrets and which has succeeded even in deciphering the marvellous codes of the human genome? Is a Saviour needed by a humanity which has invented interactive communication, which navigates in the virtual ocean of the internet and, thanks to the most advanced modern communications technologies, has now made the Earth, our great common home, a global village? This humanity of the twenty-first century appears as a sure and self-sufficient master of its own destiny, the avid proponent of uncontested triumphs.

So it would seem, yet this is not the case. People continue to die of hunger and thirst, disease and poverty, in this age of plenty and of unbridled consumerism. Some people remain enslaved, exploited and stripped of their dignity; others are victims of racial and religious hatred, hampered by intolerance and discrimination, and by political interference and physical or moral coercion with regard to the free profession of their faith. Others see their own bodies and those of their dear ones, particularly their children, maimed by weaponry, by terrorism and by all sorts of violence, at a time when everyone invokes and acclaims progress, solidarity and peace for all. And what of those who, bereft of hope, are forced to leave their homes and countries in order to find humane living conditions elsewhere? How can we help those who are misled by facile prophets of happiness, those who struggle with relationships and are incapable of accepting responsibility for their present and future, those who are trapped in the tunnel of loneliness and who often end up enslaved to alcohol or drugs? What are we to think of those who choose death in the belief that they are celebrating life?

How can we not hear, from the very depths of this humanity, at once joyful and anguished, a heart-rending cry for help? It is Christmas: today “the true light that enlightens every man” (Jn 1:9) came into the world. “The word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1:14), proclaims the Evangelist John. Today, this very day, Christ comes once more “unto his own”, and to those who receive him he gives “the power to become children of God”; in a word, he offers them the opportunity to see God’s glory and to share the joy of that Love which became incarnate for us in Bethlehem. Today “our Saviour is born to the world”, for he knows that even today we need him. Despite humanity’s many advances, man has always been the same: a freedom poised between good and evil, between life and death. It is there, in the very depths of his being, in what the Bible calls his “heart”, that man always needs to be “saved”. And, in this post-modern age, perhaps he needs a Saviour all the more, since the society in which he lives has become more complex and the threats to his personal and moral integrity have become more insidious. Who can defend him, if not the One who loves him to the point of sacrificing on the Cross his only-begotten Son as the Saviour of the world?

“Salvator noster”: Christ is also the Saviour of men and women today. Who will make this message of hope resound, in a credible way, in every corner of the earth? Who will work to ensure the recognition, protection and promotion of the integral good of the human person as the condition for peace, respecting each man and every woman and their proper dignity? Who will help us to realize that with good will, reasonableness and moderation it is possible to avoid aggravating conflicts and instead to find fair solutions? With deep apprehension I think, on this festive day, of the Middle East, marked by so many grave crises and conflicts, and I express my hope that the way will be opened to a just and lasting peace, with respect for the inalienable rights of the peoples living there. I place in the hands of the divine Child of Bethlehem the indications of a resumption of dialogue between the Israelis and Palestinians, which we have witnessed in recent days, and the hope of further encouraging developments. I am confident that, after so many victims, destruction and uncertainty, a democratic Lebanon, open to others and in dialogue with different cultures and religions, will survive and progress. I appeal to all those who hold in their hands the fate of Iraq, that there will be an end to the brutal violence that has brought so much bloodshed to the country, and that every one of its inhabitants will be safe to lead a normal life. I pray to God that in Sri Lanka the parties in conflict will heed the desire of the people for a future of brotherhood and solidarity; that in Darfur and throughout Africa there will be an end to fratricidal conflicts, that the open wounds in that continent will quickly heal and that the steps being made towards reconciliation, democracy and development will be consolidated. May the Divine Child, the Prince of Peace, grant an end to the outbreaks of tension that make uncertain the future of other parts of the world, in Europe and in Latin America.

“Salvator noster”: this is our hope; this is the message that the Church proclaims once again this Christmas day. With the Incarnation, as the Second Vatican Council stated, the Son of God has in some way united himself with each man and women (cf. Gaudium et Spes, 22). The birth of the Head is also the birth of the body, as Pope Saint Leo the Great noted. In Bethlehem the Christian people was born, Christ’s mystical body, in which each member is closely joined to the others in total solidarity. Our Saviour is born for all. We must proclaim this not only in words, but by our entire life, giving the world a witness of united, open communities where fraternity and forgiveness reign, along with acceptance and mutual service, truth, justice and love.

A community saved by Christ. This is the true nature of the Church, which draws her nourishment from his Word and his Eucharistic Body. Only by rediscovering the gift she has received can the Church bear witness to Christ the Saviour before all people. She does this with passionate enthusiasm, with full respect for all cultural and religious traditions; she does so joyfully, knowing that the One she proclaims takes away nothing that is authentically human, but instead brings it to fulfilment. In truth, Christ comes to destroy only evil, only sin; everything else, all the rest, he elevates and perfects. Christ does not save us from our humanity, but through it; he does not save us from the world, but came into the world, so that through him the world might be saved (cf. Jn 3:17).

Dear brothers and sisters, wherever you may be, may this message of joy and hope reach your ears: God became man in Jesus Christ, he was born of the Virgin Mary and today he is reborn in the Church. He brings to all the love of the Father in heaven. He is the Saviour of the world! Do not be afraid, open your hearts to him and receive him, so that his Kingdom of love and peace may become the common legacy of each man and woman. Happy Christmas!

© Copyright 2006 – Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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Code of Canon Law – Penance,Fast,Abstinence

Posted: December 18, 2006 by piusranson in Uncategorized

I guess most Christians doesn’t read the code of canon laws. Below is the law on Penance, Fast and Abstinence

Under Book IV’Functions of the church>>Part III’Sacred Place and time>>Title II’Sacred Times>>Chapter II’Days of Penance:

CHAPTER II.

Days of Penance

Can. 1249 The divine law binds all the Christian faithful to do penance each in his or her own way. In order for all to be united among themselves by some common observance of penance, however, penitential days are prescribed on which the Christian faithful devote themselves in a special way to prayer, perform works of piety and charity, and deny themselves by fulfilling their own obligations more faithfully and especially by observing fast and abstinence, according to the norm of the following canons.

Can. 1250 The penitential days and times in the universal Church are every Friday of the whole year and the season of Lent.

Can. 1251 Abstinence from meat, or from some other food as determined by the Episcopal Conference, is to be observed on all Fridays, unless a solemnity should fall on a Friday. Abstinence and fasting are to be observed on Ash Wednesday and Good Friday.

Can. 1252 The law of abstinence binds those who have completed their fourteenth year. The law of fasting binds those who have attained their majority, until the beginning of their sixtieth year. Pastors of souls and parents are to ensure that even those who by reason of their age are not bound by the law of fasting and abstinence, are taught the true meaning of penance.

Can. 1253 The conference of bishops can determine more precisely the observance of fast and abstinence as well as substitute other forms of penance, especially works of charity and exercises of piety, in whole or in part, for abstinence and fast.

The Holy Eucharist

Posted: December 9, 2006 by piusranson in Uncategorized

The Holy Eucharist, also known as, Holy Communion, Host. Many still do not believe in Transubstantiation, which is the changing of the unconsecrated host and wine into the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. This occurs during Mass, when the priest consecrates the bread and wine saying the words “This is my body…This is my blood”. The priest at mass is acting in persona Christi . The Eucharist have always been the center of the Christian life, Catholics to be specific. It is because of the Love of Jesus that allows us to consume it. It also serves the purpose of maintaining the ‘one holy catholic and apostolic church’ as recited in the Niceno-Constantinopolitan Creed, and maintaining the Apostolicity of the Eucharist.

This aspect of the universal charity of the Eucharistic Sacrifice is based on the words of the Saviour himself. In instituting it, he did not merely say: “This is my body”, “this is my blood”, but went on to add: “which is given for you”, “which is poured out for you” (Luke 22:19-20). Jesus did not simply state that what he was giving them to eat and drink was his body and his blood; he also expressed its sacrificial meaning and made sacramentally present his sacrifice which would soon be offered on the Cross for the salvation of all. “The Mass is at the same time, and inseparably, the sacrificial memorial in which the sacrifice of the Cross is perpetuated and the sacred banquet of communion with the Lord’s body and blood”.

**Read more of this in the Encyclical of Pope John Paul II ‘ECCLESIA DE EUCHARISTIA

The Immaculate Conception

Posted: December 8, 2006 by piusranson in Uncategorized


Today the Church Celebrates the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. However this was not a day of obligation in the Archdiocese of Singapore. “Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.” St. Luke 1:28. How true are the words. God chooses her out of the whole human race to be born without sin. Immaculate Conception- Pure since birth.

She is indeed the Mother of God. She is omnipotent by grace. We honor her because she is the Mother of Jesus, true God and true Man. We also honor her because she is not stained with sin. She did not commit sin at all, not even the smallest mistake. Isn’t that honorable? She was a virgin before and after the birth of Jesus. This make us stand in awe of her.

John 19:26-27
26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing nearby, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold, your son!”
27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her into his own household.

Jesus Christ wants us to honor his mother. Honoring and praising Mary is worshiping Jesus, the son of God. Many thinks that we Catholics pray to her. In actual fact, we do not pray to her. We ask her to pray for us, like all the other saints. She is definitely closer to the Holy Trinity than we do.

To Jesus Thru Mary!!

†Advent†

Posted: December 3, 2006 by piusranson in Uncategorized

Today marks the first Sunday of Advent. Advent means the ‘coming’ of the messiah or savior. Advent consist of 4 weeks. This week is the week of HOPE. During Advent, one should always attempt to go through the Sacrament of Reconciliation, or simply, Confession. So as we prepare for the coming of the lord, we recall our sins and ask his mercy. So how are we going to prepare for Christmas during this Advent? Its definitely not about presents. I guess since the movie,”The Nativity Story”, is releasing soon, we should all go and watch that movie and realize the true meaning of Christmas. This is a period of giving, a period where we move closer to God. We should be acting like Mother Theresa of Calcutta. She sees every person as Jesus Christ himself. Advent represents Expectation, Purification, or Penance. Kyrie Eleison

Vietnam-HoChiMinh/Saigon

Posted: December 1, 2006 by piusranson in Uncategorized

28th November 2006, well, took a taxi to Changi Airport T2, went to the check-in counters. But! Guess what? Economy Class was full. Luckily we had firmed seats. So, we were upgraded to Business Class, First Class cabin. The seat was spacious. The moment we entered the cabin. They start serving you. Unlike the Economy Class. Watched movies but due to the short flight to Vietnam, the movie have to stop halfway.

Got down the plane, went for immigration. After Immigration we took a taxi to the hotel. Cost about ₫73000 VND. Went to Ben Thanh Market, the night market…I don’t know whether to call the place clean or unclean. Theres this woman when talking to her, i saw ants crawling in and out of her hair. *puke*. Vietnam is Famous for the ‘Pho’, Beef Noodles. Not bad food. We had tours to Mekong River. The different Islands, they have unicorn island, phoenix island, Dragon island. Quite Fun though.

Went to the CAO DAI temple. Some religion in vietnam. This religion is unique, it had mixture of Roman Catholicism, Taoism, Buddhism. Went to Cu Chi Tunnels too! It shows the events of vietnam war, how the locals build small tunnels to hide from the Americans. Bought many shirts. Bought a vienamese hat. LOL..ok..i guess thats my trip. Short but quite fun