Prayer Rally on Aug 4 at EDSA against RH Bill: What would St. Ignatius do?

From Ateneo Latin Mass Society

Prayer Power Rally against RH Bill on Saturday, Aug 4, 2012

Prayer Power Rally against RH Bill on Saturday, Aug 4, 2012

Dear ALMS members and friends,

The Catholic Church hierarchy has called us to join the Prayer Power Rally at EDSA Shrine on Aug. 4 against the RH Bill. Some of us may still be undecided regarding the RH Bill. But as faithful sons of St. Ignatius, it may be worth pondering on his Rules for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Churchas stated in his Spiritual Exercises:

Rule 1. With all judgment of our own put aside, we ought to keep our minds disposed and ready to be obedient in everything to the true Spouse of Christ our Lord, which is our Holy Mother, the hierarchical Church.

Rule 13. 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.

In his Spiritual Exercises, St. Ignatius asks us to meditate on the Two Standards. Now before us are two standards: the Standard of Christ and of His Church against the RH Bill and the Standard of the Pro-RH groups. The battle lines are clear. There is no middle ground. To waver is to fall. Let us join the standard of Christ and of His Church.

This is a historic moment.

Across the Pacific in US, Obamacare is currently being implemented, which requires to institutions to include contraception coverage to their employees.  Those who don’t get health insurance coverage will be penalized with tax.  The Catholic Church is against this law because Catholics cannot promote contraception.  Though the Catholic Church itself is exempted, Catholic schools, hospitals, and charities are not.  Business run by faithful Catholics have to fight their way in court to be granted exemption.  Hercules Industries won the fight vs. Obamacare.  And there are still other business and institutions who have to fight their own battles.  The US Bishops have been divided on so many issues, but not this one: they are all against the Obamacare.

And the same story is replayed in the Philippines.  The Philippine president and some lawmakers wishes to promote the Reproductive Health Bill which would require government to buy contraceptives and give it freely, so that we can lower our population, which the government thinks is the reason why we are poor.  The bishops are against this bill because it would make Filipino Catholics accomplice to the sin, because the government will use taxes to buy these contraceptives.  The Catholic Church promotes Natural Family Planning which respects the reproductive cycles of the woman’s body.  Contraceptives only makes a woman’s body a tool to be used for the sexual gratification of the man, and the proliferation of contraceptives will promote fornication and adultery to the destruction of the Filipino family.  Pope Paul VI, in his Encyclical Humanae Vitae, have prophesied all these long before in 1968:

Consequences of Artificial Methods

17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection. Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

St. Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius of Loyola

The Reproductive Health Bill is supported and funded by international groups: Planned Parenthood (the world’s largest abortion provider), UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Marie Stopes International, the Packard Foundation, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.  As St. Paul says,

“For our struggle is not with flesh and blood but with the principalities, with the powers, with the world rulers of this present darkness, with the evil spirits in the heavens.”

All these groups seek to depopulate the Philippines and make it another wasteland like Europe whose birthrates have plummeted close to one child per woman, resulting to a graying work force that drains the government’s coffers due to more pension costs and lesser sources of taxable incomes.  If this cultural suicide of not having babies does not end, Western Europe as we know it would soon be gone.  And if US also falls, the West would plunge to a new Dark Age of Faith, and the Philippines would become the last bastion of Judaeo-Graeco-Roman Civilization.  Let us defeat the RH Bill once and for all–a defeat so definitive that  none can foresee its arising ever again.  This may be our last stand before Congress decides to terminate the debates on August 7 and decide the fate of the Philippines.  As Aragorn said before the march of the Western armies to the Black Gates of Sauron:

If this be jest, then it is too bitter for laughter.  Nay, it is the last move in a great jeopardy, and for one side or the other it will bring the end of the game.  (The Return of the King, p. 164)

Tomorrow, August 4, is a First Saturday, a day of battle which we shall dedicate to Our Lady.  She is The Woman Clothed with the Sun who accomplished the bloodless revolution in EDSA in 1986.  She is The Woman Who Crushed the Head of the Serpent who destroyed the Berlin Wall in 1991.  And tomorrow, She will be known once again as Our Lady of EDSA–Our Lady of the Epiphany of the Saints:

Who is this that comes forth like the dawn, as beautiful as the moon, as resplendent as the sun, as awe-inspiring as bannered troops? (Song of Songs 6:10)

So tomorrow, August 4, please come to EDSA and bring your rosaries. As Our Lady said to St. Dominic whose feast we celebrate tomorrow:

Dear Dominic, do you know which weapon the Blessed Trinity wants to use to reform the world?… I want you to know that, in this kind of warfare, the battering ram has always been the Angelic Psalter which is the foundation stone of the New Testament.  Therefore, if you want to reach these hardened souls and win them over to God, preach my Psalter. (St. Louis de Montfort, Secret of the Rosary, p. 21)

Our Lady’s Psalter is the Hail Mary. And a string of Hail Mary’s is the Holy Rosary:

Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you.  Blessed are you among women and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus.  Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death.  Amen.

I hope to see you there at EDSA tomorrow afternoon.  We can meet at 12:00-1:00 p.m. at Loyola House of Studies and join the  Loyola School of Theology delegationconsisting of Jesuit priests, brothers, and lay people.  Wear red for martyrdom.  Those who wish to join the convoy are asked to bring their cars.  Those who wish to join me–we’ll take the train  If there are only few who will come and EDSA is not filled to the brim, let us fear not but  bravely stand and weather the storm.  As Aragorn said:

Stand, Men of the West!  Stand and wait!  This is the hour of doom.

For this is not just our war.  Heaven is fighting with us.  And may God open our eyes as he did to Elisha’s servant, and see the hosts of angels in fiery chariots and horses surrounding EDSA (c.f. 2 Kgs 6:17)

Lex orandi, lex credendi.  May we who are faithful to the rubrics of the Latin Mass may also be obedient to the teachings of the Catholic Church.


Sincerely yours in Christ,

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr.

Ateneo Latin Mass Society

No to Renaming of EDSA to Cory Aquino Avenue

Senator Manuel Roxas II said he will file on Monday a bill seeking to rename EDSA to Cory Aquino Avenue

Sa tuwing mababanggit ang EDSA, iisa ang naiisip nating mga Pilipino: ang People Power ni Tita Cory. Nararapat lamang na i-alay natin sa kanyang alaala ang daang nagpakilala sa kanya sa buong mundo (Whenever we hear of EDSA, one thing always comes to the mind of Filipinos: the People Power led by President Cory. It is but fitting to offer in her memory the road that had made her famous all over the world)” (GMA News.TV)

To this proposal by Senator Roxas, I say NO.  NO, not because I do not like Cory Aquino–I admire her, especially her devotion to the rosary.  NO, not because people may think that Sen. Roxas would like to capitalize on the  symphathy and admiration of the Filipino people for Cory in his bid for the Presidency in the 2010 elections.  And NO, not because I do not like change, for I am for it if it is for the good (but not the CHANGE of the pro-abortion Pres. Obama).

I say no for three reasons:

1.  Cory Aquino Avenue (formerly EDSA) will become indistinguishable from the many roads that will be changed to Cory Aquino avenues in the whole Philippines.  In my hometown in Bacolod City, we have this Narra drive changed to Ninoy Aquino Drive.  And there is also a corner called “Bangga Cory.”  And soon, we will have many roads named Aquino.  Indeed the more prominent the person, the more roads it is named after.  Can anyone tell me how many Bonifacio and Rizal roads and highways there are?  But EDSA is unique, because Epifanio de los Santos, who once was called the “Great among the Great Filipino Scholars,” is obscure to us modern Filipinos who have lost our Spanish tongue.  Thus, no other avenue will be most likely named EDSA.  (A trivia: there is a narrow walk in Ateneo de Manila University named EDSA).

2.  EDSA evokes “People Power” as Mendiola evokes “massacre”. EDSA is the scene of the first People Power that ousted a dictator not by tanks and bullets but by prayers and flowers.  EDSA is a scene of the second People Power that ousted an actor from the highest post in the land, with everything covered in televsion from the gripping court trial to the boat farewell from Malacanang.  And EDSA is the scene of the third People Power that failed.  The People Power is the EDSA Revolution.

But what does Cory Aquino Avenue evoke?  A road in Hacienda Luisita?  A road near Ninoy Aquino International Airport?  Cory Aquino Avenue has no meaning in the same way as Marichu R. Tinga (MRT) Avenue in Taguig City has no meaning.  Maybe MRT Avenue is the better name for EDSA Avenue, since MRT (Metro Rail Transit) train spans EDSA.  But MRT Avenue is actually the new name of Bayani Road (Hero’s Road) that leads to Libingan ng mga Bayani (Grave of the Heroes) in Fort Bonifacio.  If you want to get lost in Fort Bonifacio, look for MRT Avenue.

Road naming is a sign of power, as naming of animals by Adam is a sign of his dominion over them.  When the communists came to power in Russia, they renamed all the old roads associated with the Emperor or the Tsar into those of Lenin and Stalin.  Leningrad was formerly named St. Petersburg, being founded by Peter the Great (1703);  Stalingrad was Tsaritsyn.  So let us be cautious in changing the names of our roads; otherwise, we lose our sense of history.

3.  EDSA means Epifanio de los Santos or Epiphany of the Saints. So what more apt name can you describe the events that happened at EDSA during the People Power revolution?  Everybody is praying, praying, and praying.  All the Juan de la Cruz of the Philippines are praying in their darkest hour  (St. John of the Cross is Carmelite mystic and Spain’s national poet who wrote the Dark Night of the Soul).  Like the persistent widow in Christ’s parable, we prayed and God heeded our prayers.  EDSA is a miracle.  EDSA is truly the epiphany of the saints.

EDSA Billboards this Holy Week: Women in Bikinis and Men in Briefs

I always take the EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue) route from Guadalupe to Cubao by bus in the morning and the MRT (Metro Rail Transit) train in the evening. I noticed that since last week, the pictures in the giant billboards along EDSA have changed to women in bikinis and men in briefs. What a ‘beautiful’ way to meditate on the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ this Holy Week.

It may be reasoned out that Christ was also wearing only a loin cloth when he was crucified on the cross. But here lies the difference: the icon of the crucified Christ recalls the price of our redemption from the slavery of sin, while the scantily clad showbiz idols tempts us to sin. All who look at Christ nailed on the cross and believes shall be saved, just as the Israelites who looked at the raised bronze serpent shall be saved from snakes. But all who look at these idols of lust shall gaze at the fruit of the forbidden tree, and to them the slithering serpent shall say:

Look closely.  Why deprive thyself of that luscious fruit?  You may not have it, but at least you can look at it, and look at it, and look at it again, until the image of the fruit fills your mind, even your dreams.  And you will burn with desire, and desire makes things happen, and what you desire will be yours.  You will be surprised, surprised by your power.  For you are god.  Did no one tell you this truth before?  You are god.  Did not Einstein said, “Imagination is more powerful than knowledge?”  What your mind can conceive, your body can achieve.  For you are god.  There is no absolute right and wrong.  There is no absolute art and pornography.  These are all relative concepts.  Everything is relative.  It is for you to define them.  For you are god.

It is time to pass the Anti-Obscenity and Pornography Act of 2008.

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.