Sunday, December 26, 2010

Nativitas Domini Nostri Jesu Christi Secundum Carnem

The Kalends -- Christmas Proclamation from Rocco Palmo on Vimeo.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Fr. Horacio de la Costa SJ on Hell

In life, Father Horacio de la Costa S.J. was one of the most eminent and celebrated of all Filipino Jesuits, a "gentle genius" who, it is said, once astounded his professors at Harvard with the elegance of his writing. Father de la Costa was counted among the graduates of what many call the most glittering era of the Ateneo de Manila; and not only that: for a story still circulated today goes that the young Horacio once climbed to the top of a flagpole, inebriated, whereupon he was duly reprimanded by his teachers (apparently, the only time it ever happened, too). He died in 1977 from cancer, but the memory of his titanic genius lives on, most significnantly, in the rare but pithy writings he left behind.

From a sermon:

"...It is a peculiar fire, the fire of Hell. Our Lord says that it is like salt. Salt is a preservative. So is Hell-fire. It does not consume what it tortures, it preserves it. Indefinitely. The damned soul is the charred corpse of Okinawa made eternal. But alive; and shrieking."

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Joseph, Haunted by Angels

 (Note: I have been very busy with school work as of late and have found little to no time to update this blog. I have also just taken my entrance exams for law school, so please pray for me that I may pass. Thanks! Also, I found this poem on a literary folio I picked up in school, and I thought I would share it with my readers)

Just when things begin
To settle down, be comfortable
I hear wings flapping
Outside my window

I have seen too many flaming swords
Pointed at foreign directions
Far from my patiently chiseled dreams
And carpentered ideas
Of how life should be.

My life is no longer my own.
Each time I carry the Child
Across yet another desert
I wonder if the journey will lead me
Back to the vineyards of home.

But now I am a stranger
Even to myself.
At night I dream
I am deadwood burning
In a holocaust fanned by angels' wings

Yearning to be ashes
Yearning to be dust
The carpet of sand
That shields two tiny feet
On the road to Calvary.

- Christine Lao

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Virgen de la Leche y Buen Parto

Our Lady of the Milk and Good Delivery. This image is venerated in Las Pinas, in southern Metro Manila, Philippines. I also found this on a Facebook fan page dedicated to Our Lady under this title:

The image of the Blessed Virgin Mary breastfeeding the infant Jesus dates back to the 16th century in the Spanish city of Madrid where she is called Nuestra Señora de la Leche y Buen Parto (Our Lady of the Milk and Happy Delivery). In 1598, the image was rescued from irreverent hands and enthroned in the home of a married couple. The woman and her unborn child was bound to die and her husband prayed intently to our Lady of La Leche to grant his wife a safe delivery. Our Lady heard his prayer and thereupon, his dying pregnant wife and child were saved. Together, the couple spread the news to other families about our Lady’s power with God. Soon after, the devotion became famous throughout Spain. Becoming aware of our Lady’s intercession, King Philip III, who was the ruler during that time, personally undertook the erection of a shrine in honor of our Lady of La Leche.

More than twenty years later, the early Spanish settlers brought a replica to the United States and enshrined it at the Mission of Nombre de Dios in St. Augustine, Florida. It was the first shrine ever to be dedicated to the Blessed Mother in the United States and was established on the very spot where the first parish Mass was offered 55 years earlier. The original chapel, built around 1615, was destroyed by gunfire during the colonial days and later, by a hurricane. The present chapel now houses a replica of the original statue that was destroyed during the Spanish Civil War of March 13, 1936.

Incidentally, I also found this image of the miraculous lactation of St. Bernard of Clairvaux on the same fan page. Here is the story.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux was the son of Burgundy nobles who after joining the church became an auster cleric and author who forswear wealth and images, is closely associated with the Knights Templar regarded as the author of the Templars rules and was one of the principal forces instigating the Second Crusade.

St. Bernard is also curiously connected to the Madonna or Vierge . There are two existing legends concerning lactation of St. Bernard. The first version describes how Mary appeared in a prayer to St. Bernard, and sprinkled milk from her breast on Bernard's lips. With this gesture she showed him that she is his "mother" and that she is prepared to mediate for him with her son. The second version describes how Bernard falls asleep between a prayer. Mary appeared and put her breast into his mouth in order to receive the wisdom of God.


The picture is founded in Bernard’s love for and devotion to the Blessed Virgin. It expresses the idea that Mary filled him with graces.

Bernard’s experience is supposed to have taken place while at prayer before a statue of the Madonna the Infant Jesus.

As Bernard prayed, “Monstra te esse Matrem” (“Show yourself a mother”), the statue came to life and Mary pressed her breast to nourish and wet the lips of Bernard, dry from singing her praises. The picture also illustrates the idea that Bernard’s preaching and eloquence were “sweet as milk.”