Archive for December 2011
Last Christmas day, I watched Panday 2 in Cavite with my sister’s family. The line for Panday 2 is long. There are no more seats left. It’s standing room only. We managed to sit at the back on the aisle.
Panday 2 was enjoyed by the children. They memorize the Panday theme song. They had a good laugh with Benjie Paras as comic relief.
The spectacle was superb. I think the monsters were inspired by the Clash of the Titans: the giant scorpion and the Kraken. The dragons are also believable.
But the story line fails. The movie tried to introduce conflicts outside of Lizardo: the overreliance of Panday on his sword at the expense of not believing in the capacities of his companions or putting the sword greater than his relationship with his friends. But these conflicts were too shallow and immediately resolved. The betrayal of Kris Bernal and opting to side with Lizardo has weak motivations. The sudden conversion of Eddie Garcia from pacifist to a dragon warrior is difficult to appreciate. The conversion of Marian Rivera from a dragon princess who loves Flavio to letting go of her love so that Flavio can focus on defending the free peoples is also too sudden.
There are two reasons for these weak characterizations.
The first is too many characters. All characters must have a conflict to resolve, and they all resolve them by one-liners. If there are fewer characters, then the movie can give more time to develop each character.
The second and more fundamental reason is weak mythology. Panday cannot always fight Lizardo over and over again. There is no sense of history. Panday cannot live in the eternal now and depend on resurrection of Lizardo so that a story can unfold. What is needed is true mythology: a world governed by its own rules and inner logic, so that the writer ceases to dictate the events but describes the events as they unfold.
Here are my suggestions to the writers of Panday 3:
1. Define the geography of Panday’s world
The Engkantadas should be close to Panday’s town. Otherwise Panday won’t meet Enteng Kabisote and Iza Calzado. Locate the towns where the fire and rock golems attacked. Where was Panday inundated by a tsunami and attacked by sirens and mermen? Where is the land of the dragons of Marian Rivera? Use a ruler and draw to scale. If the writers want to simplify things, let the setting be Philippines. For example, locate Panday’s town in Pampanga, the place of the mermen in Zambales, the land of the dragons in Sierra Madre, and the Witch’s cave in Mount Mayon. Geography would limit the towns that Panday can save from attacks, and a wise villain would attack piecemeal, knowing that Panday cannot defend all borders alone. So he needs to rally the people to his cause and inspire the young men to fight. A ragtag group of twenty armed men do not make an army that can challenge the might of the Evil Lord.
2. Make a chronology of events
Define dates. The setting can be 16th century Philippines. On what date did the asteroid fell? When did Panday forged the sword? When did Lizardo appear? When was his first death? When was his second death? When will Panday die? When did the talking animals settled where they are prior to their driving out by Lizardo? When did the dragons left their land? Time is a limitation that both the hero and the villain must overcome. How much time does the witch need to resurrect a dead man or create a giant monster? How long is a one day’s walk? How fast can dragons fly? Without a timeline there is no sense of history. The peoples in Panday world will have no history, so that all story lines would fail, which can never be prevented by fantastic one-liners.
3. Define economics and politics
Who governs the towns in absence of Panday? Where is the national government in the picture? Was the Philippines a collection of independent barangays governed only by a datu? How do they earn money? What countries or towns do they trade with? What is the medium of currency? Without Panday, the world must go on. Is there a trade among the free peoples in Panday world. What does the Engkato have to do with talking animals? How did the evil men get their costumes? Surely they bought them or robbed them from somewhere. Who manufactures weapons? Who makes the best swords? Was the Panday phenomenon unique in history? Or was there other Pandays long before him, as implied by the prophecies. Do Pandays appear only once in a hundred years in times of greatest evil? Who is the voice that commanded Flavio to make the sword? Aliens or angels?
4. Define the limits of supernatural powers
Human beings have difficulty relating to infinite power. Only God has infinite power; creatures should have limited power. Lizardo is technically a comic relief and not a villain. The audience just wants to know how he will die. But there is no sympathy. Was he pure evil from the beginning? How did he acquire so much power? By becoming more evil day by day? What is the limit of his power? Did he ever doubted that he is evil? Was there no glimpse of goodness left like that in Gollum? Like Lizardo, Flavio is also two-dimensional. It is difficult to sympathize with him. Yes, his sword is powerful. But does the sword’s power have negative side effects? The Lord of the Rings is also powerful, but it corrupts the wielder. Some talking swords have their own personalities and they can even make their wielder fight even if they do not wish. And since the sword was forged in fire, so we assume it is a fire element. Is it weak against water elements? Can the Engkanto like Iza Calzado really die? Or did she die because it is the rule of the Engkanto that the moment they fell in love with a mortal, they shed off their immortality, just like Arwen did when she fell in love with Aragorn? Can a powerful witch summon all the monsters? What is the radius of effectivity of her summons? Does the strength of her summons affected by the strength of the monsters? Or did she make the monsters by putting something of her own native power in them, thereby reducing her own native power, just as Morgoth did when he made the dragons and other evil creatures?
I hope that the Panday writing staff think about these things very carefully, so that Panday can grow into a true Pinoy mythology just like Lord of the
Rings or Star Wars. Let me end with the words of Aristotle on Poetics:
The plot, then, is the first principle, and, as it were, the soul of a tragedy; Character holds the second place. A similar fact is seen in painting. The most beautiful colors, laid on confusedly, will not give as much pleasure as the chalk outline of a portrait. Thus Tragedy is the imitation of an action, and of the agents mainly with a view to the action.
Third in order is Thought- that is, the faculty of saying what is possible and pertinent in given circumstances. In the case of oratory, this is the function of the political art and of the art of rhetoric: and so indeed the older poets make their characters speak the language of civic life; the poets of our time, the language of the rhetoricians. Character is that which reveals moral purpose, showing what kind of things a man chooses or avoids. Speeches, therefore, which do not make this manifest, or in which the speaker does not choose or avoid anything whatever, are not expressive of character. Thought, on the other hand, is found where something is proved to be or not to be, or a general maxim is enunciated.
Fourth among the elements enumerated comes Diction; by which I mean, as has been already said, the expression of the meaning in words; and its essence is the same both in verse and prose.
Of the remaining elements Song holds the chief place among the embellishments
The Spectacle has, indeed, an emotional attraction of its own, but, of all the parts, it is the least artistic, and connected least with the art of poetry. For the power of Tragedy, we may be sure, is felt even apart from representation and actors. Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of the poet.
In sum, Panday 2 is all spectacle and good song. But the story fails in plot, character, and thought. In Panday 3, there is a hope of a bigger dramatic conflict essential to tragedy: Panday shall love/fight against the child of his beloved Engkanto Iza Calzado and his ArchEnemy Lizardo. So let us all look forward to Panday 3.
Question (from a reader):
Can you comment on my observation that most students who graduated from Catholic schools tend to be the ones who are doubtful, skeptic and not firm in the faith? What must be done?
In the study of theology, we must study all objections to the faith in order to present the truth of the Catholic faith. This is what St. Aquinas did in his Summa Theologiae. First he presents the question, then raises all objections or difficulties, and finally presents his resolution. I think the problem in the current teaching of theology is that it limits itself to presenting the question and raising the objections, but never the Catholic resolution. Even if the official Catholic teaching is presented, it is presented in such a way that it is only one of the many interpretations or resolutions. Thus, the student ends up choosing for himself what truth is, which leads to Cafeteria Catholicism.
Surprisingly, it is possible to teach the Catholic faith even to Muslims, Buddhists, and Pagans, by phrasing the question as follow: “What does the Catholic Church officially teach about such and such question?” This is an objective question which demands an objective response that does not require assent of faith. The problem with some theology courses, they go to higher ordered thinking skills without making sure the simple objective questions are easily answered by the students. For example, the student must first be able to state the dogma of the Transubstantiation, before he can discuss in what sense is the Church the Mystical Body of Christ and how it is different from the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Other theology courses also uses reading lists which has majority written by of modern theologians which are considered by the Church as heretical; only a small fraction is by the Doctors of the Church or the Encyclicals of the Pope. And the Catechism is even never mentioned in the discussions.
How do we improve the teaching of theology? I shall recommend only one thing which the popes themselves recommend: teach St. Aquinas’s Summa Theologiae. As Pope Leo XIII wrote in his Encyclical Aeterni Patris:
“Z 1. But, furthermore, Our predecessors in the Roman pontificate have celebrated the wisdom of Thomas Aquinas by exceptional tributes of praise and the most ample testimonials. Clement VI in the bull In Ordine; Nicholas V in his brief to the friars of the Order of Preachers, 1451; Benedict XIII in the bull Pretiosus, and others bear witness that the universal Church borrows lustre from his admirable teaching; while St. Pius V declares in the bull Mirabilis that heresies, confounded and convicted by the same teaching, were dissipated, and the whole world daily freed from fatal errors; others, such as Clement XII in the bull Verbo Dei, affirm that most fruitful blessings have spread abroad from his writings over the whole Church, and that he is worthy of the honor which is bestowed on the greatest Doctors of the Church, on Gregory and Ambrose, Augustine and Jerome; while others have not hesitated to propose St. Thomas for the exemplar and master of the universities and great centers of learning whom they may follow with unfaltering feet. On which point the words of Blessed Urban V to the University of Toulouse are worthy of recall: “It is our will, which We hereby enjoin upon you, that ye follow the teaching of Blessed Thomas as the true and Catholic doctrine and that ye labor with all your force to profit by the same.”(35) Innocent XII, followed the example of Urban in the case of the University of Louvain, in the letter in the form of a brief addressed to that university on February 6, 1694, and Benedict XIV in the letter in the form of a brief addressed on August 26, 1752, to the Dionysian College in Granada; while to these judgments of great Pontiffs on Thomas Aquinas comes the crowning testimony of Innocent VI: “His teaching above that of others, the canonical writings alone excepted, enjoys such a precision of language, an order of matters, a truth of conclusions, that those who hold to it are never found swerving from the path of truth, and he who dare assail it will always be suspected of error.”(36)
St. Aquinas is the most lucid of all theologians: straight, direct to the point. An oral exam in Theology courses usually takes 15 minutes. This would just be enough to explain one question in Summa, with its objections and resolutions. Teach Aquinas and in four years, the students will leave the university with a firm faith in the Catholic teaching.
Questions (from a reader):
- An FB friend posted online: ‘I don’t have any problem’s with God, just his fan club.’ He reacted to the news about the CBCP being against the anti-discrimination bill. I think the question is: Would you need the Church (by extension, trust, and obedience to its bishops) to be a Catholic and believe in God?
In his Rules for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Church, St. Ignatius of Loyola wrote:
The Thirteenth Rule. To keep ourselves right in all things, we ought to hold fast to this principle: What I see as white, I will believe to be black if the hierarchical Church thus determines it. For we believe that between Christ our Lord, the Bridegroom, and the Church, his Spouse, there is the one same Spirit who governs and guides us for the salvation of our souls. For it is by the same Spirit and Lord of ours who gave the ten commandments that our holy Mother Church is guided and governed.
The hierarchical church–pope, bishops, and priests–received its ministry from the apostles through a succession of laying of hands (ordination). Jesus said to his 72 disciples whom he sent to all of Israel: “Whoever listens to you listens to me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me” (Lk 10:16). Such is the authority of those whom Christ sent. An ambassador of the king represents the king and bears his word. If you reject the word of the king’s ambassador, you reject the king. In the same way, since the priests, bishops, and pope are the ambassadors of Christ our King, if we don’t listen to them, we also do not listen to Christ, thereby rejecting him and the one who sent Him (the Father). Thus, it is impossible to be Catholic and not to listen to the Church.
It would be well to reread the Catechism regarding the faithful’s assent of faith to the Church’s Magisterium or Teaching Authority:
891 ”The Roman Pontiff, head of the college of bishops, enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful – who confirms his brethren in the faith he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals. . . . The infallibility promised to the Church is also present in the body of bishops when, together with Peter’s successor, they exercise the supreme Magisterium,” above all in an Ecumenical Council.418 When the Church through its supreme Magisterium proposes a doctrine “for belief as being divinely revealed,”419 and as the teaching of Christ, the definitions “must be adhered to with the obedience of faith.”420 This infallibility extends as far as the deposit of divine Revelation itself.421
892 Divine assistance is also given to the successors of the apostles, teaching in communion with the successor of Peter, and, in a particular way, to the bishop of Rome, pastor of the whole Church, when, without arriving at an infallible definition and without pronouncing in a “definitive manner,” they propose in the exercise of the ordinary Magisterium a teaching that leads to better understanding of Revelation in matters of faith and morals. To this ordinary teaching the faithful “are to adhere to it with religious assent”422 which, though distinct from the assent of faith, is nonetheless an extension of it.
Question from ivan misoto December 6, 2011 at 12:52
So, you said that we should be wary of false prophets, and that we shall know them by their fruits. Isn’t it that there are also people in other religions that show really good deeds to their fellowmen? Some of them even possess humility that nowadays are hard to see in people. They are not as famous as Mother Theresa or Saint Joan of Arc, but, I believe that you too have friends like them or have met people like them. Some of them also are very diligent in their church services and responsibilities. My point is: how can man be really saved, considering that we keep on committing sins before God? Will religion be a way to salvation or just our “faith”? Similarly, what if we do persevere in doing missionary works for the glory of “God,” but then, it is not the same God as the God of other faiths? Will those works, no matter how selfless, still count on the day of judgement, if that “saintly” person did not really serve the true God who is spoken of and being taught in the Bible? Do we really need to find the true Church of Christ before we can serve God and go on with our missionary works?
Response by Quirino M. Sugon Jr December 14, 2011 at 8:25 pm
I shall answer your 2011/12/06 comment.
1. Yes, there are people in other religions who show good deeds to their fellowmen, but there is difference in merit. If a stranger gives a woman a bouquet of roses, the woman can simply smile and say thank you. But if it is her beloved boyfriend who gives her an ordinary flower freshly plucked from the field, and telling her, “I love you,” the woman would be ecstatic in joy. Similarly God gives more merit to those good deeds done by His beloved adopted sons–and infinitely more that of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ. The good deeds of non-Catholics may save themselves. But the good deeds of Catholics can save not only themselves but also those of others, especially the souls in Purgatory. This is what the line “I believe in the Communion of the Saints” means in the Apostle’s Creed.
2. The first path to salvation is through the Sacrament of Baptism. As Christ said, “Amen, amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit” (Jn 3:5). “Go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved; whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mk 16:15). Peter also said to the crowd: “Repent and be baptized,* every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit.u 39For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off, whomever the Lord our God will call.”v 40He testified with many other arguments, and was exhorting them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”w 41Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand persons were added that day. (Acts 2:37-41)
3. Through Baptism we become adopted sons of God, so that we can call Christ as our Brother and God as our Father, and God will say as He did to His Son: “This is my beloved son with whom I am well pleased. (c.f. Mt 3:17)” Sonship can never be revoked, but you can squander God’s graces as what the prodigal son did. Yet God always awaits for the coming home of his son. For Catholics, this coming home to God after a life of sin is done through the Sacrament of Confession. Catholics must tell all their sins to the priest whom Christ gave the power to absolve sins: “Receive the holy Spirit. 23* n Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained” (Jn 20:22). This power to forgive sins was given to the apostles and to their successors, the bishops. The bishops in turn delegated this power to the priests.
4. Basing from 2 and 3, the Catholic religion is a real path to salvation and not just an emotional feeling or an intellectual opinion. The Catholic religion is a practical religion because it saves man from sin.
5. God has bound salvation to the Sacrament of Baptism, but He Himself is not bound by his Sacrament. For those who were not baptized in the Catholic religion, God will judge them according to their conscience. So even if the pagans have not heard of the Gospel, they will still be judged by their obedience to the natural law engraved in their hearts. Indeed, what you are asking is what the Japanese also asked St. Francis Xavier. The Japanese are worried that their ancestors have not heard of the Gospel and will not be saved. Here is an excerpt of the letter of St. Francis Xavier to the Society of Jesus in 1552:
“Before their baptism the converts of Yamaguchi were greatly troubled and pained by a hateful and annoying scruple—that God did not appear to them merciful and good, because He had never made Himself known to the Japanese before our arrival, especially if it were true that those who had not worshipped God as we preached were doomed to suffer everlasting punishment in hell. It seemed to them that He had forgotten and as it were neglected the salvation of all their ancestors, in permitting them to be deprived of the knowledge of saving truths, and thus to rush headlong on eternal death. It was this painful thought which, more than anything else, kept them back from the religion of the true God. But by the divine mercy all their error and scruple was taken away. We began by proving to them that the divine law is the most ancient of all. Before receiving their institutions from the Chinese, the Japanese knew by the teaching of nature that it was wicked to kill, to steal, to swear falsely, and to commit the other sins enumerated in the Ten Commandments, a proof of this being the remorse of conscience to which any one guilty of one of these crimes was certain to be a prey.
“We showed them that reason itself teaches us to avoid evil and to do good, and that this is so deeply implanted in the hearts of men, that all have the knowledge of the divine law from nature, and from God the Author of nature, before they receive any external instruction on the subject. If any doubts were entertained on the matter, an experiment might be made in the person of a man without any instruction, living in absolute solitude, and in entire ignorance of the laws of his country. Such a man, ignorant of and a stranger to all human teaching, if he were asked whether it were or were not criminal to kill, to steal, or to commit the other actions forbidden by the law of God, and whether it were right to abstain from such actions, then, I say, this man, so fundamentally without all human education, would most certainly reply in such a manner as to show that he was by no means without knowledge of the divine law. Whence then must he be supposed to have received this knowledge, but from God Himself, the Author of nature? And if this knowledge is seen among barbarians, what must be the case with civilized and polished nations? This being so, it necessarily follow that before any laws were made by men the divine law existed innate in the hearts of all men. The converts were so satisfied with this reasoning, as to see no further difficulty; so that this net having been broken, they received from us with a glad heart the sweet yoke of our Lord….”
6. Nevertheless, it still remains the task of Christians to proclaim the Good News, in fulfillment of Christ’s command: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 h Go, therefore,* and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit,20i teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.* And behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age.” (Mt 28:18-20)
by Fr. Arnel Aquino, SJ
Feast of Immaculate Conception 2011
Church of the Gesu
I’ve thought about this for quite some time and with some difficulty. I figured, Mary being conceived without original sin, and remaining free of sin throughout her life—all this would be just too conceptual for me unless I tried to make sense of it from ordinary human experience. If I wish to continue firmly holding in faith this dogma of the Church and giving it my unflinching assent, I figured I had better get busy. I’d better get busy trying to make sense of Mary’s extraordinary estate from what I can ordinarily grasp in this day and age, where you and I are right now, and with a sinner’s eyes like mine. I mean, just what kind of conscience could I suppose Mary to have had, so that she freely chose to not sin all of her life? What kind of consciousness, what moral landscape, what spirituality could I suppose Mary to have had, so that her sinlessness in conception and through life would, (a) continue to make sense to me and my faith, and (b) teach me to live as a good person here and now?
My brother Jesuits and the Cenacle sisters and I are good friends with this married couple. Itago na lamang natin sila sa pangalang Gorio at Betchay, a wonderful married couple, highly successful, sweet kids, a beautiful home. They do say that they’ve had their moments, and we believe them. They’re very sincere couple, and they’re able to laugh at themselves and their own foibles even with us around. And Gorio has this funny way of toasting Betchay, sort of giving her a tribute in front of us. He would raise his glass and say, “For my wife—she is a saint to be married to a man like me.” But see, Gorio is a good man, a dutiful and faithful husband and father despite the many temptations in his line of work. I asked him one time, “So, Gorio, how do you keep from falling?” And with great candor and naturalness, he said very quietly, “Alam mo, Arnel, kapag dumarating ‘yang mga sandaling ‘yan, iniisip ang asawa ko. She immediately comes to mind. I think of her face, the face of a woman who’s been very patient with me, who’s done a fantastic job with our kids, who continues to hope in me, in us as a married couple and as a family. Si Betchay, Father, nasa isip ko parati.”
I have another old friend in Cebu, his name’s Roy. I’m very close to him and his wife, Joy. They’ve been married 23 years. They have eight kids—all still in school. Manoy Roy used to run an upscale talyer. It was doing very well for some years. It put all of his kids through school, funded travels with his wife, awarded them a very comfortable life. Until he and his Joy joined the Alay sa Dios community at the Jesuit parish in Cebu. Their business went downhill from there. Why? Because Manoy Roy finally decided to be honest in business. “Gikapoy na ko’s panikas, Father. I just got sick and tired of these under-the-table deals that garages habitually make with insurance companies, at the expense of customers.” Since then, Manoy Roy and Joy have depended a lot on scholarships and grants to put their children through school. Gone are the niceties they used to enjoy. But, you know what, it is amazing how deep their joy is—their commitment to the parish is steadfast, their resilience puts me to shame, and their cheerfulness just bowls me over. I asked Manoy Roy one time if he was ever tempted to go back. “Natental ko, Padre oy; I’ve been tempted a lot, Father” he says. “If I really wanted to, dali ra kayo; it would be so easy. But I always think of my family, my sick mom, and my community, Father. And I realize, nah, it’s not really worth it.”
Something closer to home now; my mom and dad always had a difficult marriage when I was younger. In fact, in all my high school years in the Ateneo de Davao, I often played the role of reconciler at home. But I did it for selfish reasons. I was always afraid my parents would split up and I’d be known in school as someone from a broken family. Back in those days, that was a stigma. So I took it upon myself to always end wars between them. I’d talk to them separately, and then together, and try to knock sense into them. When I talked to my dad during those times, he would always say: “Alam mo, anak, kung hindi dahil sa inyo ng Kuya mo at ni Jonathan (my younger brother), matagal na kaming hiwalay ng mommy mo.” My dad, all these years, mightily fought the temptation of abandoning us, because our faces were always before him.
Now maybe, just maybe, one thing that kept Mary freely choosing the good was always seeing faces of real people whom she really loved especially through difficult times. Maybe, her being overshadowed by the Holy Spirit was something that happened all her life long, not just during the annunciation. Maybe she was always overshadowed by these faces her beloved, most of all, the face of her son. This must have been the kind of conscience that Immaculate Mary had, the kind that has kept Gorio faithful to Betchay, the kind that has strengthened Manoy Roy’s resolve to keep being honest, the kind that’s kept dad and mom together for 47 years—that appearance, that arrival of faces of the beloved in her consciousness. Mary, of course, might have been privileged to have loved so much more deeply than we ever can, so that her beloved’s faces lasted her through her own deaths and resurrections. By this kind of love might her days have been ruled. Right now, I could not think of any other reason how one could remain ever so sinless, unless she actually loved at every single moment of life, seeing the faces of her beloved—faces more than ideals; faces, more than regulations; faces, more than paradigms; faces of real people she really loved.
Could it be that what somehow divides us as a people, as a Church, as a community is caused by the blurring from our consciousness of faces of real people we love? Do we seem to see abstracted ideals, norms, paradigms much more vividly than we can actually tie faces to them, faces of real people we profess we love? Or could it be that when we are at each other’s throats, we’ve long begun fighting for some thing rather than some one? Could it be that one of the most profound reasons why we hit an impasse is that we no longer have faces before us in our passionate desire to fight for our ideals? Would it be safe to say that while Mary lived each day from ideal to ideal, from norm to norm, from fight to fight–to all of these were nevertheless fastened the faces of her beloved—so that whatever she chose to obey, to do, or to fight against, she did out of real love for people whose faces were always before her?
As a Church, we need to take stock not only of what we love but also and more so whom we love. When we say we love God, that love must have faces automatically if not desperately attached to it, and not just some free-floating ideal of what loving God is, or what a Church is, or what a family is, or what Jesuit education is, or some kingdom of God, some rarified realm, glorious and triumphant—but faceless.
I don’t think “immaculate” means “rid of what is totally human in order to engage the totally divine.” Rather, I think immaculate means being overshadowed by the Spirit of great love for real people, through whose faces God emerges and disturbs and calls. When we, your pastors, desire to keep the Church “immaculate”, pray for us so that faces of real people light the way towards our ideals, instead of our ideals blinding us from the faces of people we’re supposed to love and serve. And we pray for you, too, that people you love may continue to be the deepest reason to choose wisely, to obey, to do, and perchance, to fight.
And so we pray for Mary’s help: “Turn then, o most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us, and after this, show unto us the fruit of your womb, Jesus.” Show us his face that we may desire sin less because we love more.
Ad majorem + Dei gloriam!
May we request you to post this announcement on the Blue Board, OUD & AR’s the BLUE Post, the Ateneo Alumni Association Website and LST Website please? Thanks so much for your help! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
Sch Chester A Yacub, SJ
Theological Hour Committee
Loyola School of Theology
in cooperation with the Institute for Comparative and Advanced Studies present
A Theological Hour on
Saint Mary (Persian: ???? ????)
a film by Iranian director Shahriar Bahrani
with Hujatul Islam wal Muslimeen Shaykh Mohammad Rosli Hassan, Al-Hajj (discussant)
and Prof Dato Yusuf Morales (facilitator)
of the Institute for Comparative and Advanced Studies, Philippines
7 December 2011, Wednesday
Cardinal Sin Center, Loyola School of Theology, Ateneo de Manila University
Admission is free.
In commemoration of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, this film depicts the life of Mary, the Mother of Jesus, based on classical Islamic readings. A discussion and an open forum follow the film viewing.
Everyone is invited to REFLECTION DAYS WITH MARGARET SILF a four-day
lecture and reflection series featuring renowned spirituality writer
Margaret Silf on January 26-29, 2012 to be held at the Walter Hogan
Conference Center, ISO Complex, Ateneo de Manila Campus.
Silf is the author of several books on prayer and the spiritual journey such as Inner Compass, Companions of Christ, Close to the Heart, Taste and See, and the The Gift of Prayer (Winner, Catholic Press Association Award). The featured topic for each day is as follows:
Jan 26, 2012 – Living God?s Dream: A Fresh Look at the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Jan 27, 2012 – Discernment: Finding a True Course in a Bewildering World Jan 28, 2012 – The Other Side of Chaos: Breaking Through When Life is Breaking Down
Jan 29, 2012 – Faith in the Future:What It Means to be a Person of Faith in Today?s World
This event is a joint project of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality (celebrating its 20th year), the Center for Family Ministries (celebrating its 25th year) and EMMAUS Center for Psycho-Spiritual Formation (celebrating 30 years)
Registration fee is 1,000 PHP per day inclusive of snacks and materials. A discounted rate of 3,600 PHP is offered to participants who register for all four days on or before January 16, 2012.
Born in l945 and raised in Sheffield, England, Margaret Silf currently lives in Cheshire, in the northwest English midlands. She received her B.A. in English from the University of London and an M.A. from the University of Keele. In 1992, Margaret Silf made her first retreat and shortly after began training as a prayer guide, mentored by Jesuits in the British Provence. She made the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises in daily life in 1996-97 with the British Jesuit, Gerry Hughes, author of God of Suprises. After having worked as a translator in Germany and a systems programmer in the UK, Margaret decided in March, 2000, to retire to write and conduct retreats, full time. As a result of conducting retreats and making
speeches, she spends a great deal of her time on the road, an experience she enjoys. Aside from writing books, she is also a regular columnist for America magazine, a contributor to the New Daylight series of daily readings for Bible Reading Fellowship and can be heard on BBC local radio.
From Good Jesuit, Bad Jesuit:
MARGARET SILF was born and grew up in Sheffield. Although her parents were not Christians, she was baptized in her local Methodist Church and attended Sunday School until the age of 11. At the time, Margaret did not appreciate this, but has since come to cherish and be deeply grateful for her Methodist roots. After being confirmed at 14, Margaret felt herself to be in a ‘spiritual desert’ in her early adulthood, until a personal crisis led her to resume her search for God – she was greatly helped by an ecumenical chaplaincy near Keele University where she was studying for an MA in English, and where she still worships today.
Margaret doesn’t see herself as belonging to any particular denomination, despite her connections with both the Methodist and Roman Catholic churches, but rather identifies herself as an eager spiritual pilgrim.
Margaret now travels widely, meeting people from many religious backgrounds and exploring their faith. She reads widely, and is particularly interested in developments in science and their implications for theology and spirituality, and spends much of her time leading retreats. Margaret’s On Making Choices and On Prayer are two slim volumes in which she offers words of wisdom, encouragement and advice on two important aspects of our spiritual life. Margaret’s previous books for Lion are Sacred Spaces: Stations on a Celtic Way and One Hundred Wisdom Stories from Around the World (2003).