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.

AMDG

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Dr. Quirino Sugon Jr.

Coordinator
Ateneo Latin Mass Society

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Ateneo Rosary Crusade: Who wants to join?

October medal (Miraculous Medal) and rosary given in Ateneo de Manila University

October medal (Miraculous Medal) and rosary traditionally given for free in Ateneo de Manila University after an October Mass. The book is my 1962 Baronius Missal.

I read in Zenit:

MANILA, Philippines, AUG. 31, 2011 (Zenit.org).- The Family Rosary Crusade in the Philippines is spearheading a campaign to get 1 million Filipinos to pray 1 million rosaries in 200 days for all nations in the world.

Dubbed “A million roses for the world: Filipinos at Prayer: Peace for All Nations,” the campaign aims to rally Filipinos to offer one rosary each day for a particular country in the world in 200 days.

The nationwide activity will begin Oct. 7, the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary and end May 31, 2012, Feast of Our Lady of All Nations.

I am thinking of organizing an Ateneo Rosary Crusade (ARC) as a complement to my other org, the Ateneo Latin Mass Society (ALMS).  The ALMS I organized in behalf of Fr. Tim Ofrasio, SJ.  For ARC, I have a couple of Jesuits in mind whom I can ask if they would be willing to serve as spiritual directors.  But I think it would be easier to ask a Jesuit if there is already a stable group of Ateneans who would like to pray the rosary together, e.g. before mass in the college chapel.

I admit I have difficulty praying the rosary on my own.  It requires an extreme effort on my part.  But if there is a group who prays the rosary regularly, it is easier to persevere in prayer.  As St. Louis de Montfort says, the demons can distract one person at a time, but several persons praying the rosary together is difficult to distract, just as a bundle of sticks is hard to break.

So is there anyone interested in joining the Ateneo Rosary Crusade?

The Rosary belongs to the Ateneo’s Jesuit tradition.  Our Alma Mater Song is a Song for Mary.  Our basketball team is the Hail Mary Squad.  During October, the school gives out rosaries and October medals (Miraculous Medal) (I got 3 rosaries and 3 medals after mass).  And Ateneo High School students always have rosaries in their pockets.  So set us recover the tradition of praying the rosary in Ateneo de Manila University.  Let us form the Ateneo Rosary Crusade.

Stations of the Cross at Ateneo de Manila University: Some observations and suggestions

I was able to attend the Ateneo de Manila University’s Stations of the Cross last Friday.  I attend this same procession two years ago and I feel it is not a good way to start the Lenten Season.

I   shall begin first with what I like about the Stations of the Cross.

  1. I get to see Jesuit priests and seminarians wear their black and white cassocks.  Instinctively, I would imagine a sword dangling on their belts as in Samurai X; but since Ignatius offered his sword to our Lady, then we should not expect Jesuits to wield swords.
  2. High school students carrying the statue of Mater Dolorosa, the statue of Our Lady wrapped in the darkness of sorrow.  Two years ago they sang the Latin version of “By her cross her vigil’s keeping stands the mournful mother weeping”.  Now we don’t hear it anymore, but at least they still sing the “Dakilang Pag-ibig” of Fr. Hontiveros, S.J.  I now its Ilonggo version by heart because we always sing it during our Lenten processions in the Parish of Villamonte, Bacolod City since I was a boy.   Dakilang Pag-ibig is in spirit of the Gregorian chant tradition.
  3. The readings are all scriptural.  Some of them are from Isaiah’s Songs of the Suffering Servant.

Now, what I don’t like are the following:

  1. The leading crucifix is an abstract figure of crowns and sticks.  Christianity is not an abstraction or an idea in Greek Philosophy.  God became man and made his dwelling with us.  His suffering and death is real.  Thus, we must draw Christ as he is, as real as possible, complete with gaping wounds and blood flows.
  2. What is the use of violet flags with white crosses hastily painted?  They look like the banners of leftist groups who hide their numbers by waving large flags.  I think the violet flags are meant to represent each station of the cross.  Maybe it is better to buy a float with statues depicting each station of the cross.  We can also put large pictures in tarpaulin per station.
  3. High school boys wear black shirts and they act out certain plays.  Sometimes they are silent while dancing, if dance it was, sometimes they shout–naming the calamities that beset our country.  They remind me of the ritual dance and shouts of the boys in William Golding’s Lord of the Flies after they killed the pig: “Kill the beast, cut his throat, spill his blood.”  This is jarring to the ears and I do my best not to look at them.  The stations of the cross became like a political rally.  I think it is better to make the boys make a separate play outside of the procession, which depicts the passion, death, and resurrection of Christ.  This is an ancient Filipino tradition and there are old scripts on this.  It is called, the “Pasyon”.
  4. One person gives a reflection on the reading and I am one of them.  I think the reflection should be one paragraph long not four.  Also, the reflections tend to become too secular that we lose the sufferings of  Christ in the picture.  I prefer that we stick with age-old reflections on the stations of the cross for two reasons.  First, there is an imprimatur of the bishop on it, so you can be assured that the reflections have nothing contrary to faith and morals.  Second, everybody–in all time and space– can relate to the reflection and not just a few people.
  5. There is no prolonged kneeling at the Station, “Jesus Dies on the Cross.”  God is dead.  Are words enough?  This is the cross of Christ.  On it hung the savior of the world, as in the prayer for the Easter Vigil.
  6. There is no rosary.  What is a better way to meditate on the Passion of Christ than to pray the rosary?  St. Louis de Montfort says that group rosary is better than individual rosary, because demons cannot break the prayer of a group, since it is easier to break a single stick than a bundle of sticks.  Also in group prayer, each member benefits from the prayers of the whole group.  If an individual joins a group of 100 praying one Hail Mary, this is equivalent to individually praying 100 Hail Mary’s.

I really look forward to a more traditional Stations of the Cross at the Ateneo de Manila University.  You don’t have to improve on it to make it relevant by modern standards, which surprisingly turns off lots of youth.  If there are 7000 persons in the Ateneo de Manila University and only 100 showed up for the procession, that says something.  We have been doing these University Stations of the Cross for years and the turnout is still dismal.  After several years of failure, I think it is time to go back to the time-tested traditional Stations of the Cross.  If somebody likes to bet with me, I  shall bet 10: 1 that  the turnout will be ten times more.

Consecration to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom, through the Blessed Virgin Mary

by St. Louis de Montfort

Oh Eternal and Incarnate Wisdom! Oh sweetest and most adorable Jesus! True God and true man, only Son of the Eternal Father and of Mary always Virgin, I adore you profoundly in the bosom and splendor of your Father in eternity; and I also adore you within the virginal womb of Mary your most worthy Mother, at the time of your Incarnation.

I thank you for having emptied yourself by assuming the condition of a slave in order to rescue me from the cruel slavery of the devil.

I praise and glorify you for willingly choosing to submit yourself to Mary, your holy Mother, in all things, so that through her I may become your faithful slave of love.

But alas! I must confess that I have not been faithful to the vows and promises which I made to you at my baptism. I have not fulfilled my obligations. I do not deserve to be called your child, or even your slave.

Since of myself I cannot lay claim to anything except what merits your rejection or displeasure, I no longer dare to approach the holiness of your majesty alone. This is why I turn in recourse to the intercession and the mercy of your most holy Mother, whom you have given to me to be a mediatrix with Thee. Through her, I hope to obtain from you contrition and pardon for my sins, and through her I hope to acquire and to preserve Wisdom. Be pleased, Master, that I thus turn to Her:

——————–

Hail! Oh Immaculate Mary, living Tabernacle of the Divinity in whom the Eternal Wisdom has willed to be hidden and to be adored both by angels and by men! Hail, Queen of Heaven and Earth! All that is under God has been made subject to your sovereignty. Hail, Oh sure refuge of sinners, whose mercy fails no one!

Hear the desires which I have for the Divine Wisdom, and to that end receive and accept the vows and the offerings which I now so solemnly make to you, conscious of my unworthiness:

I….(Name)….an unfaithful sinner, renew and ratify in your hands today, the vows of my baptism. I renounce forever Satan, and all his pomp’s and works and empty promises. I give myself entirely to Jesus Christ, the Incarnate Wisdom. I promise to carry my cross after Him all the days of my life, and to be more faithful to Him than I have ever been before.

This day, in the presence of all the heavenly court, I choose you Mary, as my Mother and my Queen. I deliver and consecrate to you, as your slave: my body and my soul, and all that I possess, both material and spiritual, even the value of all my good actions, past, present, and to come. I give to you the entire and full right to dispose of me, and all that belongs to me without exception, according to your good pleasure for the greater glory of God, in time and in eternity.

Accept, Oh gracious Virgin, this little offering of my slavery, in honor of – and in union with – that subjection which the Eternal Wisdom willed to have to your maternity. I wish to acknowledge the authority which both of you have over this poor sinner. By this consecration, I also wish to give thanks for the privileges which the Holy Trinity has bestowed on you. I declare that I wish henceforth to seek your honor, and to obey you in all things as your true slave of love.

Oh admirable Mother, present me to your dear Son as His eternal slave: so that He who redeemed me through you, may now receive me through you. Oh Mother of Mercy! Grant me the grace to obtain the true Wisdom of God! For that end receive me as one of those whom you love, and teach, and guide, and nourish, and protect as your own children and your slaves.

Virgin most faithful, make me in everything so committed a disciple, imitator, and slave of Jesus Christ your Son, the Incarnate Wisdom, that I may attain, through your intercession and example, to the fullness of His stature on earth, and to the fullness of His glory in Heaven.

Amen.

Source: New Jerusalem

Note: My friend and I made this consecration before the Blessed Sacrament last Saturday, 15 Aug 2009, the Feast of the Assumption of Mary.