Sunday, November 30, 2008

1st Sunday of Advent

Today is the 1st Sunday of Advent. I preached about preparing for the coming of Christ in our lives. We need to pray well in order to remove the obstacles of receiving Jesus. The 3 main obstacles are: concupiscence of the flesh, concupiscence of the eyes, and pride of life.

Here is my Chinese Sermon:

You can also listen or download from here.

You can listen or download my English sermon from here. You can also listen to the audio from the last post below.

This afternoon, I went to the Hospital to visit the family suffered from car accident yesterday morning. While I was there, the sad news that 2 boys were declared death was communicated to the parents. I felt very sad today. I ask you please pray for the souls of the 2 boys & for the suffering family.

I was grateful that while I felt tired & upset, God allowed some people to cheer me up a bit this evening. I was invited by some new Catholics to dinner. The godparents were also there. We had a joyful time together.

They gave me a picture….

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We also took some pictures tonight…

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Auntie Irene & Uncle Alex…

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My English Sermon

Catholic Challenge of the Day

Q: What is purgatory?

Yesterday:

Q: What is meant by the term “heaven”?

A: By “heaven” is meant the state of supreme and definitive happiness. Those who die in the grace of God and have no need of further purification are gathered around Jesus and Mary, the angels and the saints. They thus form the Church of heaven, where they see God “face to face” (1 Corinthians 13:12). They live in a communion of love with the Most Blessed Trinity and they intercede for us.

Saintly Quote of the Day

It is absolutely necessary, both for our advancement and the salvation of others, to follow always and in all things the beautiful light of faith.---ST. VINCENT DE PAUL.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

A Day in Victoria

I arrived Victoria, Vancouver Island, last evening. I usually go to Victoria once every few months to support a small Chinese community there. As usual, the family whom I stayed with treated me with my favorite sea food…..

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This morning, we went out for lunch….

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During lunch, I received a page from the hospital. I was told that there was a serious accident, and a few children were in the hospital in critical conditions. I made several phone calls, trying to get a priest. Finally, I was able to get hold of Fr. Fernando Mignone of Opus Dei, and he went over to minister to the children. I was saddened by the news, and I ask the readers please pray for those involved in this tragic accident.

In the afternoon, I heard Confessions for the Chinese in both Cantonese & Mandarin. I also gave 2 talks. The 1st talk was on faith, hope, charity, & joy. It likes the talk I gave last month for the El Shaddai Prayer Group. And the 2nd talk was on the 4 Last Things. The 2nd talk likes the one I gave last Saturday for the co-workers of the Missionaries of Charity.

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At around 4:15 PM I celebrated Chinese Mass. It was the Mass for the 1st Sunday of Advent. A new liturgical year had begun!!! The set vestments I wore was from a closed monastery. This set was made by a monk brother and wore by the abbot. I intend this set of vestments to be the one, I will wear after my death. I purposely wear this set of vestments at the beginning of the liturgical year to prepare for the Coming of Jesus at the end of my life….

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We took the 7 PM ferry back. Oh! The ferry was so full!!! We barely made it!!!!

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Catholic Challenge of the Day (Nov. 29)

Q: What is meant by the term “heaven”?

Yesterday:

Q: What is “life everlasting”?

A: Eternal life is that life which begins immediately after death. It will have no end. It will be preceded for each person by a particular judgment at hands of Christ who is the Judge of the living and the dead. This particular judgment will be confirmed in the final judgment.

Nov. 29: I am now in Victoria, Vancouver Island. Today, I will serve the Chinese Catholics here by hearing Confessions, giving talks, & celebrating Chinese Mass. Please say a prayer for the Chinese community here. Thanks!

Saintly Quote of the Day (Nov. 29)

The reason why so many souls who apply themselves to prayer are not inflames with God's love is, that they neglect to carefully prepare themselves for it.---ST. TERESA.

Catholic Challenge of the Day

Q: What is “life everlasting”?

Yesterday:

Q: If every one has to be judged by Jesus Christ in particular judgment after death, why must all be judged in the general judgment?

A: We must all be judged in the general judgment for several reasons:

1. That God may be glorified (all shall know how justly God governs the world, even though here on earth the good are often afflicted and the wicked are often in prosperity)

2. That Jesus Christ may be glorified (He who was unjustly condemned by men, shall then come before the whole world as the Supreme Judge of all)

3. That the Saints will be glorified (many of them who died despised by the wicked, shall be glorified before the whole world)

4. That the wicked may be confounded (they shall then see even their most hidden sins laid bare before the whole world)

5. That along with the soul the body may receive its sentence of reward or punishment

Saintly Quote of the Day

We should blush for shame to show so much resentment at what is done or said against us, knowing that so many injuries and affronts have been offered to our Redeemer and the saints.---ST TERESA.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Very Busy Day

I had a very busy day today. I had Mass @ St. Pat'’s this morning, then I helped teaching the Chinese RCIA @ CC. After that  I went to say Mass @ nursing home. I offered the Mass for the eternal rest of my high school teacher, who died of cancer yesterday. Then I went to the Women’s Hospital to visit a lady who is expecting a baby. After that  I attended the Spiritual Care Department meeting of the B.C. Women’s & Children’s Hospitals. The meeting was attended by ministers & rabbi of different religions. Then I went to CC Elementary for Classrooms Visitation, and gave the same talk I had given on Tuesday. Soon after I came back to St. Pat’s, I got someone came for counseling. This evening, I taught high school Catechism. One of the topics for today was the Beatitudes…..

The Beatitudes:

4 P’s

3 M’s

plus 1 other

4 P’s:

Poor in spirit

Pure of heart

Peace maker

Persecuted

3 M’s:

Mourn

Meek

Merciful

1 Other:

Hunger & Thirst for Righteousness

Catholic Challenge of the Day

Q: If every one has to be judged by Jesus Christ in particular judgment after death, why must all be judged in the general judgment?

Yesterday:

Q: What are the qualities of the risen bodies of the just? (What will the risen bodies of the just be like?)

The qualities of the risen bodies of the just are:

1. Impassibility, by which they can never again be subject to evil, nor to any kind of pain, nor to need of food, of rest or the like;

2. Brightness , by which they shall shine , as the sun and as so many stars;

3. Agility, by which they shall be able to pass in a moment and without fatigue from one place to another and from earth to heaven;

4. Subtlety, by which without hindrance they shall be able to penetrate any body, as did Jesus Christ when risen from the dead

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Saintly Quote of the Day

He who truly loves his neighbor and can not efficaciously assist him, should strive at least to relieve and help him by his prayers.---ST. TERESA.

 

An extra quote for your inspiration:

I am giving you three ways of exercising mercy toward your neighbor: the first---by deed, the second---by word, the third---by prayer. In these three degrees is contained the fullness of mercy, and it is an unquestionable proof of love for Me.---OUR LORD to ST. FAUSTINA KOWALSKA.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Grade 7 Confirmation Class

Look @ what I wrote on the board tonight, and guess what topic did I taught…

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Chinese 中文

Finally, with the help of the instructions given to me by Teresa Poon through e-mail, I am able to put some Chinese characters up @ my blog. See my profile & welcome message for my Chinese name: 何庭耀神父

Here are 2 Chinese hymns in honor of Our Lady. The 1st one is in Mandarin & the 2nd one is in Cantonese. Please Enjoy!!! 请欣赏!!!

普通话 聖母頌

張德蘭 聖母頌

Catholic Challenge of the Day

Q: What are the qualities of the risen bodies of the just? (What will the risen bodies of the just be like?)

Yesterday:

Q: WHY will our bodies rise from the dead?

A: God wills the resurrection of the body, in order that the soul, having done good or evil while united with the body, may also be rewarded or punished along with it. Hence, the bodies of the just will rise to share forever in the glory of their souls, and the bodies of the damned will also rise to share in the eternal punishment of their souls.

Jenny Mary left a wonderful answer at the comments box yesterday. She pointed out that we, humans, created as Body and Spirit is NOT 'complete' when our bodies and souls are separated. God, in His infinite mercy, desires the full plenitude of Blessedness for us in Heaven, will raise our bodies, so we will all have our own bodies and souls together again. Please take the time to read her full comment.

Saintly Quote of the Day

The Church is the pillar and ground of truth, and her infallibility admits of no doubt.---VEN. LOUIS DE GRANADA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here are a few quotations from the young St. John Berchmans (+1621), the Patron for Altar Servers:

  • If I do not become a saint when I am young, I shall never become one.

  • Take care to avoid doing the kind of things that displeases you in others.

  • Notice what pleases you in others and imitate them in that.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Classrooms Visitation

This morning I visited the classrooms @ St. Pat’s Elementary. I gave the students a “children version” of my Sunday Sermon.

Kingdom of God:

1. Heart

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  • Heart that has the love & grace of God is like a beautiful garden for God the Holy Trinity
  • We should touch the hearts of others with LOVE

2. Church

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  • Jesus preached & performed signs
  • The Church also preaches & gives signs
  • The best members of the Church, the saints, speak the truth & live the truth
  • We should let people hear us speak about Jesus, and we should also let people see the love of Jesus in our lives
  • Proclaim the Gospel not just by words, but by deeds
  • Be signs for others to see

3. Heaven

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  • The greater our suffering, the greater hope we need to help us through
  • The Martyrs suffered a great deal, but they suffered with great peace, because they had the great hope of Heaven
  • Blessed Miguel Agustin Pro is a Martyr. When he died, he extended his arms & cried out “Long live Christ the King!”

 

New Features for this Blog

 Beside “Saintly Quote of  the Day” & “Catholic Challenge of the Day”, there are a few new features in this blog:

1. Catholic World News Feature Stories

 

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2. Catholic World News Brief

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3. Translator

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The 1st two features allow you to get the latest Catholic News. The last feature allow you to read this blog in other languages. But I have to warn you that the translator does not do a good job in translating my blog into Chinese. So, it might be a bit of help, but don’t trust it completely. I do not know that other 9 languages, so I cannot judge how well the translator works for these languages.

Catholic Challenge of the Day

Q: WHY will our bodies rise from the dead?

Yesterday:

Q: What is meant by “the resurrection of the body?”

A: By “resurrection of the body” is meant that at the end of the world the bodies of all men will rise from the earth and be united again to their souls, nevermore to be separated.

Saintly Quote of the Day

Is it not a great cruelty for us Christians, members of the body of the Holy Church, to attack one another?---ST. CATHERINE OF SIENA.

 

For your information:

Blessed Maria Gabriella Sacheddu (+1939) is a Silent Heroine for Church Unity. She was a Trappist nun. She made an offering of her life to God for Church unity. Soon after her act of offering, she was stricken both physically & spiritually. She had tuberculosis & experienced profound spiritual dryness. She did not withdrew her offering but chose to suffer & to die for unity. She endured all in silence. She died on April 23, 1939, Good Shepherd Sunday. The Gospel that day proclaimed: “There will be one flock and one shepherd.”

Monday, November 24, 2008

A Chinese Catholic Spiritual & Musical Blog

I have been sharing “Saintly Quote of the Day” with friends through Facebook & e-mail lists. And I received a good number of positive responses. Thank you!!!

One response is from a reader from Toronto, Teresa Poon. I met Teresa @ ECCCLC this year. She also shared with me her spiritual & musical blog. Teresa likes to compose Catholic Chinese music. I invite my Chinese readers to visit her blog & read some Chinese characters (Hopefully I will learn how to type Chinese characters in the near future & can put some Chinese characters @ my blog as well!!!)

http://www.teresapoonandvictor.blogspot.com/

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For now, you can read some Chinese characters from this Chinese song posted by Teresa @ her blog:

Catholic Challenge of the Day

I had a happy morning. I led prayer meeting for my smallest (& nosiest) private prayer group. A number of members (& children) are new Catholics whom I baptized this past 2 years. It’s wonderful to be able to do follow up after Baptism. After the meeting, we had lunch together.

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During the meeting, an idea dawned in my mind. I just started the “Saintly Quote of the Day” at my blog. Why not also start the “Catholic Challenge of the Day”? I have strong passions for Teaching Catechism, and for the Lives of the Saints. Hence, from today on, I will post a question each day to challenge your Catholic knowledge. You may use the comment section to try to answer the question (though I know that most of my readers are very shy in leaving comments). The next day, I will post the answer for the question & will post another new question. I hope it will help to refresh your Catholic knowledge. Since it is the month of All Souls and Advent is also near, I will begin with the Last Things. My 1st question for you is an easy one:

Q: What is meant by “the resurrection of the body?”

Prayer Requests

In your charity, please pray for a lady @ the Women’s Hospital who might deliver a very pre-mature baby soon.

Please continue to pray for the 2 babies whom I baptized @ the Children’s Hospital. Thanks.

Saintly Quote of the Day

Afflictions are the most certain proofs that God can give us of His love for us.---ST. VINCENT DE PAUL.

 

An extra quote from “Documentum Martyriale” by St. Eulogius, written to encourage Sts. Flora & Mary, virgin martyrs at Cordoba, beheaded at 3 PM on November 24th, 851.

Keep before your eyes the example of Christ’s Passion, think of it continually, and all pain of this life will become a pleasure. It may be hard and bitter, but it most be short.----ST. EULOGIUS. 

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Today is the Feast of the Martyrs of Vietnam. The following is from a letter of Paul Le-Bao-Tinh, a Vietnamese seminarian, written shortly before his martyrdom in 1843:

I, Paul, chained for the name of Christ, wish to tell you the tribulations in which I am immersed every day, so that you, inflamed with love for God, may also lift up your praise to God, 'for his mercy endures forever'. This prison is truly the image of the eternal Hell: to the cruelest tortures of all types, such as fetters, iron chains and bonds, are added hate, vindictiveness, calumny, indecent words, interrogations, bad acts, unjust oaths, curses and finally difficulties and sorrow. But God, who once freed the three boys from the path of the flames, is always with me and has freed me from these tribulations and converted them into sweetness, 'for his mercy endures forever…
Assist me with your prayers so that I may struggle according to the law, and indeed 'fight the good fight' and that I may be worthy to fight until the end, finishing my course happily; if we do not see each other again in this life, in the future age, nonetheless, this will be our joy, when standing before the throne of the spotless Lamb, with one voice we sing his praises, exulting in the joy of eternal victory. Amen.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Feast of Christ the King

Here is an outline of my sermon for today:

“Kingdom of God”

1. in our hearts

2. the Church

3. Heaven

1. In Our Hearts:

  • By grace (purchased for us with the Price of the Blood of Christ)
  • Our whole being should be dedicated to God. (mind---assents to truth; will---determines to do good; heart---love God above all; members of the body----works for the sanctification of the soul)

2. The Church:

  • Sign (the Church is Sign/Sacrament of God): We should back up our message by signs of love. Souls are conquered not by force, but by love
  • Service (to reign is to serve): There is more joy in giving than receiving. We should serve God in others. Man is created for God, he can only found himself by the  sincere gift of self.

3. Heaven:

  • Hope: Christ will make things right at The End.
  • Intention: Since Christ will judge & reward us, we should do things with the intention to please God, not men.

You can listen to my sermons @ the last 2 posts below. You can download the English one here, and the Chinese one here. My other sermons are available here.

My Chinese Sermon



My English Sermon



Saintly Quote of the Day

When one has fallen into some fault, what better remedy can there be than to have immediate recourse to the Most Blessed Sacrament?---ST. ALPHONSUS

 

One extra quote from the Lives of the Saints Daily Readings for today (November 23rd):

No matter how wise a man is, if he talks much he will say many things that were better left unsaid.----ST. COLUMBAN

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A Long Teaching Day

This morning I taught the Chinese RCIA. Our topic is the 3rd Commandment.

The 4 Reasons we should go to Mass on Sunday:

ACTS = Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving & Supplications

 

Adoration:

  • Praise (because the goodness of God is manifested in creation) & Worship (because God is God).
  • God deserves to be worshipped with our bodies and by community (so, we go to church physically to worship Him in community)
  • Making efforts to go to church on Sunday is to tell God that He is our #1 Love
  • Refusing to worship God on Sunday is to violate the right of God (He has the perfect right to Him)

Contrition:

  • The grace of Holy Mass & Holy Communion helps us to overcome sins & temptations
  • We should receive Communion of Reparation for our sins and the sins of the whole world (requests from Sacred Heart & Fatima private revelations)

Thanksgiving:

  • We thank God for Creation, Redemption & Sanctification
  • God gives us 7 days a week, and He only asks us for 1 day
  • He gives us 168 hours a week, and He only demands us to spend 1 hour in church
  • Jesus rose on Easter Sunday & the Holy Spirit came on Pentecost Sunday
  • Jesus commanded us "Do this, in memory of me"
  • We thank God all that we have and all that we are right now
  • We look forward to Eternal Life. We will rest & worship God in Heaven. Now we rest & worship on Sunday. So Sunday observance is a foretaste of Heaven.

Supplications:

  • We Catholics act as the "link" between God and the world. we should pray for the people in the world @ Mass
  • We should pray for our own spiritual needs. Missing Mass is call the "parent sin", because it leads to many other sins due to spiritual weakness

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The 3rd Commandment

Things we should do:

  • Go to Sunday Mass
  • Rest on Sunday

Things we shouldn’t do:

  • Miss Sunday Mass
  • Do unnecessary servile (physical) work on Sunday

Servile work is allowed on Sunday when the honor of God, our own need, or that of our neighbor requires it.

Here is my sermon on the importance of Sunday Mass in Chinese & in English (about ACTS).

This afternoon, I gave 2 talks for the Day of Collection for the co-workers of the Missionaries of Charity @ Corpus Christi. I am their spiritual director.

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My 1st talk was on the 1st Coming of Christ & my 2nd talk was on the 2nd Coming of Christ.

1st Coming: Incarnation

Lessons of the Incarnation:

1. Gratitude and sacrifice

  • Incarnation: Divine & human united (Hypostatic Union)
  • Grace & Sacraments: Divine & human united (by Grace)
  • The Incarnation confers dignity on us: we should be grateful
  • We also have obligations. Christ became Man to die for us. We are united to God to die to sin.

2. The joy of giving--- the happiness of serving

  • The joy of receiving is not to be compared with the joy of giving
  • Man is created for God. He can only find himself with the sincere gift of self
  • Happiness is found when the purpose of our life is fulfilled

2nd Coming: Judgment

  • Be ready at all times
  • The 4 Last Things from Catechism
  • Pray for the Holy Souls
  • Stories on Holy Souls: #1, #2, & #3.

Early evening, we had the Queen of Angels Group @ Corpus Christi. We finished the video: Prince of Egypt.

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The young people also learnt about Devotion to Our Lady.

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Saintly Quote of the Day

If we would advance in virtue, we must not neglect little things, for they pave the way to greater.---ST. TERESA

Friday, November 21, 2008

Going the Distance for Life

Fr. Z shared a video at his blog. Let’s pray for the Pro-Life cause in the U.S.

Couple other priests’ blogs also have this video:

The hermeneutic of continuity 

Da Mihi Animas

Saintly Quote of the Day

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The Blessed Virgin is of all the works of the Creator the most excellent, and to find anything in nature more grand one must go the the Author of nature Himself.---ST. PETER DAMIAN.

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Quotations (Thoughts and Counsels) of the Saints are very inspiring. I have an antique book, Mary Help of Christians (almost 100 years old book), which contains quotations of the saints for every day of the year. Beginning today, the Feast of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I will try to share one quotation with you each day. I hope the quotations can help you to love God more.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Please Continue Your Prayers

Yesterday & Today, I was busy in the hospitals. Yesterday, I was @ the General Hospital, visiting one of my high school teachers who have terminal cancer. She is a non-catholic Christian. I encouraged her to love God & to be sorry for her sins. And I gave her a blessing & a brown scapular. When I was in the elevator, a few ladies asked me to visit a dying man. So I went and anointed him.Then I got a couple more requests for Holy Communion. So I also gave out Holy Communion to different people.

Today, I was @ Children’s Hospital twice because of the baby girl whom I baptized last Friday. This morning she was very sick, and they did an emergency operation on her. I went and prayed with the family. I remembered Auntie Irene’s comments concerning Baby Houston last week. She mentioned entrusting the baby to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. So, when I offered Mass @ the nursing home @ around 11 AM, I offered the votive Mass of the Sacred Heart for the baby girl. I am very thankful that the baby girl survived the operation. Even the doctors were amazed how well she did.

I remember a quotation from the book “The Wonders of the Mass”:

How many men and women who are now lying in their graves might be alive and well had Masses been offered for them….

Please continue to pray for the baby girl. Please also remember Baby Houston in your prayers. I visited him this afternoon. His mom told me that there are still a number of problems concerning his health. Please pray also for the cancer patients @ the General Hospital. Thank you!   

 

Urgent Prayer Request

I just came back from the hospital. The baby I baptized last Friday is now very sick. She is now in the operation room. I am going to offer Mass for her at 11 AM (half hour from now). Please join me in prayers for her & her family. Thanks! God bless!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Quotations

I can say from my own experience how painful life often is when one lives as a halfway Christian; it is more like vegetating than living.”

The true Christian is to be recognized more in his works and deeds than in his speech. The surest mark of all is found in deeds showing love of neighbor.”

Franz Jagerstatter, an Austrian martyred on August 9, 1943.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Marriage Preparation Sessions

Here are the 4 Marriage Preparation Sessions I normally give to couples getting ready for wedding. The 3rd Session is the best of the 4.

Session 1

Conditions for a valid contract:

1. Persons capable of making a contract

2. Mutual consent

3. A matter subject to contractual obligations

4. Observance of the prescribed formalities

Effects of the matrimonial contract:

1. Matrimonial bond

2. Reception of the right and the duty to beget, rear, educate, and train children

3. The man is constituted head of the family, and the wife, his helper and companion

Session 2

Purpose of matrimony:

1. Procreation and proper rearing of children

2.Mutual assistance of spouses

Principles regarding other purposes of marriage:

1. The higher the motives, the better

2. They should in no way oppose or prevent the attainment of the 2 essential purposes mentioned

Qualities of Marriage:

1. Unity: one man, one woman

2. Indissolubility: no power on earth can dissolve a ratified, consummated sacramental marriage

Session 3

Vices against Marriage:

Contrary to the blessing of offspring:

1. Contraception

2. Sterilization

3. Abortion

Contrary to the blessing of conjugal fidelity:

1. Adultery

2. Unchristian emancipation of women

3. "Incompatibility"

Contraception against the 2 essential purposes of marriage.

Reasons Against Contraception

Purpose of ChildrenPurpose of Mutual Assistance
SpiritualViolates the Divine Right of God as Master of MatrimonyMakes act of the renewal of marriage vow a lie
NaturalSeparates sex from its purposes (love & life) and makes pleasure its ultimate goal. Disorder is bound to happen if we mess up with nature by putting the means as the end.Causes lack of communication between couple and encourages man to use woman as object

Session 4

Life after wedding (wedding is one day & marriage is for life):

1. Love

2. Self-Sacrifice

3. Supernatural aids

4. Chastity

Overview of the wedding ceremony

You can download these talks (both in English & Chinese) from my web-site.

Marriage Preparation Session 4

Marriage Preparation Session 3

Marriage Preparation Session 2

Marriage Preparation Session 1


Plenary Indulgence

Today is the Feast of the Dedication of the Basilicas of St. Peter & St. Paul. This year, the Year of St. Paul, a Plenary Indulgence can be granted by visiting some churches. In Vancouver Archdiocese, St. Paul’s Parish in Richmond is one of the churches. This evening, I dropped by that church to pray in order to obtain a  Plenary Indulgence.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

A Restful Day

Have been working quite hard in the past few days. Today I mainly rested & prayed. I also made a quick round @ the hospital. Visiting parents & babies, giving blessings and giving away the baby cloths I received yesterday. I felt a but like Santa Claus!!!

Last evening & this evening, I led private prayer groups. We finished Part II of the Introduction to the Devout Life. Here are couple main points:

3 steps to virtues:

  • inspiration
  • pleasure in the inspiration
  • consent to inspiration

3 steps to sin:

  • temptation
  • delight in temptation
  • consent to temptation

During Confession, be particular in confessing….

  • the fact
  • the cause
  • the duration

…..of your faults.

You can listen & download my Chinese presentation from last night here, and you can listen & download my English presentation from tonight here.

You can here @ the end of my talks, I explained to the members my new plans for the monthly presentations. For the Bible Study @ the 1st meeting of the month, I will use the newly published Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture for my base text. And each month @ the 2nd meeting, I will talk about the life of a saint using the Newsletter from Saint Joseph Abbey in France.

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Listen Chinese…..

Listen English….

Sunday, November 16, 2008

33rd Sunday

Today is the 33rd Sunday of the Year. The last Sunday this year to wear green vestments. 2 times I was distracted at the solemn moment of Consecration. The 1st distraction was @ the 9 AM Mass @ St. Pats. During the Epiklesis, there were loud noises at the back pews of the church. I just stopped & waited things to settle down. After the people had quieted down, I proceed with the Consecration. After Mass I was told that a gentleman had a seizure during Mass. The 2nd distraction was @ the 3 PM Chinese Mass @ CC. A baby boy whom I baptized this year recognized me. He cried out “Father”, and walked up to the sanctuary at the moment of Consecration. He was taken away by an adult right before the Consecration of the wine. During the Consecration of the wine, I really had to control myself in order not to laugh!!!! After the Chinese Mass, I celebrated the 5 PM Mass @ St. Pats. During the Consecration, I felt thankful that everything was normal, & there was no big distraction.

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Accidents do happen. I remember the book, Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite, gives us the following directive:

“When something goes wrong during the liturgy, a sense of calm and common sense should prevail.”

 I like this red book, Ceremonies of the Modern Roman Rite. I learnt my rubrics from this book. And when accidents did happen, I remembered the above quotation.

There is a parishioner of St. Pats who read this blog. She learnt from this blog that I often visit babies in the hospital. So, this kind lady gave me something to give to the babies….

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Today I preached on getting ready @ all times. I made 3 main points @ my sermon:

  • When we think about death, it helps us to be more detach from earthly things & be more attached to God
  • We should make good use of our time. 3 methods to make good use of time:

1. Have some definite tasks that you can turn to when you have time

2. Choose tasks that are most beneficial & suitable for your own vocation

3. Make use of the small amount of time available. (e.g. 15 minutes here, 10 minutes there)

  • Laziness is the result of lack of love. The word “diligence” has its root from a Latin word “diligere”, which means “love”.

You can download my English sermon here & my Chinese sermon here. You can also listen to them @ the last 2 posts below.

My Chinese Sermon


My English Sermon


Sunday Homily of My Pastor

My Pastor, Fr. Vincent Hawkswell, delivered a wonderful homily this morning about parenthood & against contraception. His sermon is also on the B.C. Catholic newspaper. Here is the complete text of his homily.

P1030492

33rd Sunday in Ordinary Time
St. Patrick's 2008
Year A
God created the world "good," but "it did not spring forth complete from the hands of the Creator," says the Catechism of the Catholic Church. "The universe was created in a state of journeying toward an ultimate perfection yet to be attained."
"God is the sovereign Master of His plan" for the universe. However, "to carry it out, He also makes use of His creatures' co-operation." In particular, He entrusts humans "with the responsibility of subduing the earth and having dominion over it." He gives us the freedom and the intelligence necessary for us "to complete the work of creation" and "to perfect its harmony," for our own good and that of our neighbours, like the "capable wife" of this Sunday's First Reading.
God's "plan" for us, then, is accomplished not just in what happens to us, but also in what we do. When we pray, in the Our Father, "Thy will be done," we must realize that a great deal of God's will is to be "done by God's creatures, including me," says C.S. Lewis. The petition "is not merely that I may patiently suffer God's will, but also that I may vigorously do it."
God grants us not only our existence, but also the dignity of acting on our own in the accomplishment of His plan, the Catechism says. This lays a burden of responsibility on us: a burden we are often tempted to relinquish, like the man with the one talent in this Sunday's Gospel Reading.
It would be nice, would it not, if we could make an irrevocable decision to follow Christ, once and for all, and after that "leave it to God," relieved of all responsibility, acting under orders like a soldier? When God does not give us those orders, are we not tempted to look for them elsewhere: in horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, tarot cards, mediums, omens, clairvoyants, lots, and even the flip of a coin? (All these forms of superstition are forbidden by the First Commandment.)
The desire to avoid this responsibility can even masquerade as "trust in God," especially in the decisions associated with human procreation. For example, one couple, asked about their next child, said, "We're leaving it to God." Similarly, a woman wrote, "We have left it up to the Lord in regard to more children. Whew! What a load that is off my mind! He's in charge -- not me, not my husband, but God!"
In contrast, "God the Creator invites the spouses not to be passive operators, but rather co-operators or almost interpreters of His plan," Pope John Paul II said during a Natural Family Planning course in Rome in 1990. "Unfortunately, Catholic thought is often misunderstood on this point, as if the Church supported an ideology of fertility at all costs, urging married couples to procreate indiscriminately and without thought for the future.... One need only study the pronouncements of the Magisterium to know that this is not so."
In his landmark encyclical Humanae Vitae, 40 years ago, Pope Paul VI said that conjugal love "is first of all fully human" (that is, "of the senses and of the spirit at the same time") and is therefore not "a simple transport of instinct and sentiment," but "also, and principally, an act of the free will." It "requires in husband and wife an awareness of their mission of responsible parenthood." This means, he said, that spouses must have a knowledge of and a respect for the biological processes which are part of the human person so that "reason and will" can exercise "dominion" over "the tendencies of instinct or passion."
(Ignorance and lack of control over our bodies are results of Adam and Eve's Fall. It is true that ignorance gives occasion for trust in God's providence, but it does not follow that God wants us to be ignorant.)
The knowledge we need to manage our fertility in a truly human way is the exact time of ovulation. As early as 1951, Pope Pius XII said, in a talk to the Family Front, "One may hope that science will succeed in providing this lawful method [of regulating births] with a sufficiently secure base."
Thanks to modern research, the exact time of ovulation can now be pinpointed in various ways. "These methods are becoming more and more accurate," Pope John Paul II said. "An honest appraisal of their effectiveness should dispel certain prejudices which are still widely held, and should convince married couples, as well as health-care and social workers, of the importance of proper training in this area."
Some people think that there is no difference between contraception and natural family planning, since both are designed to regulate births. However, it is not the regulation of birth that is wrong (in fact, responsible parenthood demands it) but the interference with the marriage act.
Spouses who have been properly trained in the knowledge of their fertility should be able to say, as they come together, "'It is the decision of the Holy Spirit, and ours too' that we conceive, or do not conceive, a child tonight." (These are the words used by the apostles, after prayer and consultation, about their decision not to impose the Mosaic Law on converts to Christianity.) By refusing the training, or, once they have been trained, closing their eyes to the knowledge it gives them, spouses decline the full dignity of God's co-creators: they decline the sublime experience of coming together with the knowledge and the will that, under God the Creator, they are about to pro-create a new human being.
Of course, selfishness is always wrong, whether it leads to large families or small. In saying to God, "[May] Thy will be done," Lewis says, "I am asking that I may be enabled to do it. In the long run, I am asking to be given 'the same mind that was in Christ.'"