World beyond the womb: before birth and after death

A small fetus on the womb

A small fetus on the womb

For the fetus, the world is the womb–a dark place, but full of sounds with time counted by his mother’s heartbeat: rub-dub, rub-dub, rub-dub.  And there are voices:

“Ah, that’s a voice of someone who encloses me, who bears me, who feeds me, who loves me.  If she is sad, I am also sad.  If she is happy, I am also happy.  If she does not want me and wants to abort me, I can feel it, and I brace myself and hold on to whatever I can grasp for dear life.

“Ah, that’s the voice of someone who is distinct from she-who-is-my-world.  But his voice soothes and strengthens me, because I can feel that she-who-is-my-world is also strengthened.  When he touches my world, the sound is amplified by the waters, and each rhythmic pattern gives me joy.

“Someday, I may see them face-to-face.  But I don’t know what seeing is; I only know that they exist because I hear them.   To hear is to believe.

After 9 months, the fetus leaves the womb–the world that he ever knew.  This leaving is a form of death, but a death that leads to a new life. The new world is far different from what he can ever imagine, for now he has acquired the use of his other sense: the sense of sight.  If the baby can speak of the glorious sights, he will say:

“All things bright and beautiful.  All creatures great and small.  All things wise and wonderful.  The Lord God made them all.”

As Scripture says: “Out of the mouths of infants and nurslings you have brought forth praise’?” (Mt 21:16).

From the world of the womb, man is brought forth to the world of the earth, grass, sun, stars, clouds, water, and air.  Man is still enclosed in a womb layered into spheres: biosphere, hydrosphere, atmosphere, ionosphere, magnetosphere, plasmasphere, heliosphere, and the spheres of stars and galaxies.  Atheists may say that this is the only world that we have; but our Faith says that there is a world beyond–beyond the farthest stars visible to the most powerful telescopes, before the beginning of time.  In that world, there is Someone-Who-Loves-Us, because He was revealed to us by His Voice, His Word, His Son Who became Flesh like one of us–Jesus Christ.  Christ, God the Son, reveals God the Father.  As Christ said to Philip:

“Have I been with you for so long a time and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who dwells in me is doing his works.11Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else, believe because of the works themselves.” (Jn 14:9-11)

It is difficult to imagine what would life be in the other world and what would our resurrected bodies look like.  St. Paul describes it best:

“So also is the resurrection of the dead. It is sown corruptible; it is raised incorruptible.43It is sown dishonorable; it is raised glorious. It is sown weak; it is raised powerful. 44It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual one.”

But this we know: in heaven we shall see God face-to-face in a beatific vision.

“I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. 23* The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it,o for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb.”  (Rv 21:22-23)

And we shall be full of happiness, for what we believed from His Word is true: indeed, we have a Father in heaven–that other world–and so we have the courage to say as adopted sons, “Abba, Father!”


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

Lady Gaga: What’s in a name

A name stands for the person: what he is and what he will be.  That is why the Catholic  Church encourage parents to adopt Christian names, usually a saint’s name, so that will be like that saint someday.  If you name your son as Stephen, you hope that he will be like St. Stephen, the first martyr who effected the conversion of Saul into Paul, the Apostle of the Gentiles.  If you name your son John, he will be like the beloved Apostle closest to the Heart of Christ.  Name changes are significant because it is a change of mission: Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah, and Simon to Peter.  When Cardinal Ratzinger became Pope, he changed his name to Benedict XVI because of his new mission.

So what does this leave us with Lady Gaga?  Mary is always known as “Our Lady” with a accompanying identifier, such as Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, etc.  ”Gaga” means you are completely crazy with something.  For the case of Lady Gaga, her being is an antithesis to our Lady.  Our Lady is clothed.  Lady Gaga is nude.  Our Lady is humble.  Lady Gaga seeks fame and fortune and everything that goes with it.  Our Lady magnifies the Lord.  Lady Gaga magnifies the Devil and blasphemes God.

Lady Gaga’s original name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta and attended the Convent of the Sacred Heart.  May the Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on her soul, even though she made a mockery of His Sacred Heart.  May the nuns of the Society of the Sacred Heart pray for her conversion, even though she made a mockery of their veil.  May St. Stephen pray for her soul, whom I believed she already sold to the Devil, as evidenced by her ritual blood sacrifice of herself in one of her concerts.  May that blood of Christ cut her chains to Satan, so that she may offer her life in martyrdom for God.  May St. John pray for her soul that she may hear in the silence of her heart, amidst the screams and shouts, the soft whispering sound of the Sacred Heart beating, awaiting for her love.  May her guardian angel pray for her together with all the angelic hosts–Seraphim, Cherubim, Thrones, Dominions, Virtues, Powers, Principalities, Archangels, and Angels.  This we ask through Christ our Lord.  Amen.