Can we study astronomy, charms, dark arts, flying, herbology, history of magic, potions, and transfiguration?

This class is boring. This class is boring. Can we study astronomy, charms, dark arts, flying, herbology, history of magic, potions, and transfiguration?

This class is boring. Can we study astronomy, charms, dark arts, flying, herbology, history of magic, potions, and transfiguration?

Questions from a Harry Potter Fan (Harry Potter flows in my blood–Facebook page)

This class is boring. Can we learn about astronomy, charms, dark arts, defense against the dark arts, flying, herbology, history of magic, potions and transfiguration?

Read more at Monk’s Hobbit

Advertisements

Philippine Coat of Arms: a Catholic Interpretation

Icons of the Philippine Coat of Arms

Icons of the Philippine Coat of Arms

Wikipedia has an excellent entry on the Philippine coat of arms that describes its evolution from that of a colony of Spain, to that of the US, and finally to its independence as a sovereign nation. The historical interpretations of the the heraldric devices such as the sun, stars, eagle, and lion are well-known. What I shall propose here is a possible reinterpretation of the devices in the light of the Scriptures and the Catholic Faith.

The top icon is Crown of Spain who gave the gift of Christianity to the Philippines; it may also be interpreted as the billowing sails of Magellan’s Spanish galleon whose front hull is shaped like the bottom of the shield. The yellow and white are the colors of Vatican City, the seat of the Catholic Church. The three stars and the sun represent the doctrine of the Trinity–three Divine Persons in one God; they also represent the the wounds of Christ on his hands, head, and heart. The sun represents the radiating Sacred Heart of Jesus pierced by thorns or the Immaculate Heart of Mary pierced by swords. The blue and red represents the water and blood that flowed from the pierced Heart of Christ, as seen in the Icon of Divine Mercy.  This is reenacted during mass when the water (blue) is mixed with (wine), which becomes the Blood of Christ after consecration.  The sun on a white ellipse may also represent the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Christ hidden under the appearance of bread in the Sacred Host.

The Eagle icon is the Eagle of the United States of America. The Eagle also traditionally represents St. John the Evangelist because of his lofty description of the pre-existent divinity of Christ as the Logos or the Word of God (Jn 1:1). In the Book of Revelation, the wings of a great eagle was given to the woman pursued by the Red Dragon so that she can escape to the desert (Rev 12:14). The eagle is at the foot of Our Lady of Guadalupe, with the man with the the eagle’s wings (angel) representing Juan Diego whose native name was Cuauhtlatoatzin or “The Talking Eagle.” Our Lady of Guadalupe is the second patroness of the Philippine Islands as defined by Pope Pius XI; the primary patroness of the Philippines is still Our Lady under the title of The Immaculate Conception whose colors are blue and white.

Lastly, the Lion icon is the Lion of Spain. The lion represents the Judah, the Lion’s whelp, from whose loins the Messiah, the Son of David, Jesus Christ, shall come:

“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise –your hand on the neck of your enemies; the sons of your father shall bow down to you.9Judah, like a lion’s whelp, you have grown up on prey, my son. He crouches like a lion recumbent, the king of beasts–who would dare rouse him10 The scepter shall never depart from Judah, or the mace from between his legs, While tribute is brought to him, and he receives the people’s homage.11 (Gen 49:8-11)

The present-day Jews are named after the Tribe of Judah, who survived the destruction of Israel by the Assyrians but was later sent to Babylonian exile.  The Lion of Judah is the municipal emblem of Jerusalem.  The lion also traditionally represents St. Mark the Evangelist because he begins his Gospel with St. John shouting in the desert where the wild beasts like lions live. St. Mark also described Jesus as living in the desert for 40 days to be tempted by the Satan, living with wild beasts, and ministered by angels (Mk 1: 1-13).  St. Peter describes the devil as the roaring lion:

Your opponent the devil is prowling around like a roaring lion looking for [someone] to devour.9 Resist him, steadfast in faith, knowing that your fellow believers throughout the world undergo the same sufferings. (1 Pet 5:8-9)

Thus, if the sun represents the human person, he would always have his guardian angel (eagle) and a demon (lion) by his side to influence his will whether to obey God or to go against His Holy will.

After the RH Bill: The Age of Catacombs

Procession in the catacombs

Procession in the catacombs

Welcome to the Age of Catacombs. The Secular State is now against the Catholic Church in the Philippines. We need to prepare for a long protracted warfare for souls. This is the Year of Faith. This is my proposed battle plan:

For Priests

1. Increase devotion to the Blessed Sacrament and the Mass. Organized groups to make Holy Hours at least once a week or once a month. Encourage proper dress at mass, especially for priests. Encourage kneeling to receive communion and discourage communion in the hand. Use the Nicene Creed and kneel at the mention of Incarnation.

2. Encourage priests and seminarians to wear their cassock as a habit inside and outside the Church. If they don’t believe the idea, they can at least try it for a month and compare the reactions of people to their presence.

3. Revise the seminary formation. A priest should have read all of Summa Theologica before ordination. He must also know how to offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass in both ordinary and extraordinary forms. He must also be able to speak, write, and read in Latin.

For the Laity

1. Form confraternities of the holy rosary in every school and parish. UST and the Dominican schools can lead here. The Dominicans wiped out the Albigensian heresy before. They can do so again with the same tried and true method: the rosary. The members promise to say the rosary everyday, as a group if possible.

2. Revise the Religion curriculum taught in Catholic schools for K-12. The curriculum must make sure that at Grade 12, each student should have read all books of the Bible and all articles of the Catechism. They should be able to know whether a statement conforms to the teachings of the Catholic Church or not and answer True or False accordingly. Or better yet, they should be able to cite the actual passage of the Catechism.

3. Form Catholic apologetics groups in every college. A Chesterton Society used to exist in Ateneo de Manila. Debating for the sake of debating is useless unless it is done with charity, and with the purpose of conversion to the Catholic Faith.

4. Encourage more women to spend more time at home, so that they become the primary educators of their children. The formation of children should not be relinquished to house helpers. “The hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world.”–William Rose Wallace.

5. Encourage religious orders to analyze their histories. They should ask the following questions: “When was our order at the peak of its numbers and spiritual strength? What did we do then? When was our order at the lowest in numbers and spiritual strength? What did we do then?” By this simple exercise, the religious orders would know in a very scientific manner substantiated by history how to increase their numbers and spiritual strength.

6. Read more Papal Encyclicals and less newspapers. Read more about the history of the Catholic Church. Read the lives of Saints instead that of movie stars.

7. Read St. Ignatius’s Guide for Thinking, Judging, and Feeling with the Church.