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allsaintsdayAll Saints’ Day is a solemn holy day of the Catholic Church celebrated annually on November 1. The day is dedicated to the saints of the Church, that is, all those who have attained heaven. It should not be confused with All Souls’ Day, which is observed on November 2 and is dedicated to those who have died and not yet reached heaven.

soulsAlthough millions, or perhaps even billions, of people, may already be saints, All Saints’ Day observances tend to focus on known saints –that is those recognized in the canon of the saints by the Catholic Church.

Generally, All Saints ’ Day is a Catholic Holy Day of Obligation, meaning all Catholics are required to attend Mass on that day, unless they have an excellent excuse, such as serious illness.

Celebrations and customs vary around the world. In the United States, children go out trick-or-treating for candy the night before, while Catholics attend the Mass the following day. In Spain, Mexico and Portugal, offerings are often left for the dead. Across Western Europe, people visit graves and leave offerings of flowers, and in Eastern Europe, they light candles on the graves at night. In the Philippines, families paint and repair graves of their loved ones.

These celebrations often blur the distinction between All Saints’ Day, which is dedicated to those who are in heaven, and All Souls’ Day, which is dedicated for all those who have died.

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Walk by Faith 

Walk by Faith

By: Jeremy Camp

Would I believe you when you would say
Your hand will guide my every way
Will I receive the words You say
Every moment of every day

 

Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see it
Well because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

 

Help me to win my endless fears
You’ve been so faithful for all my years
With the one breath You make me
Your grace covers all I do

 

Well I will walk by faith
Even when I cannot see it
Well because this broken road
Prepares Your will for me

 

Well I’m broken, but I still see Your face
Well You’ve

Pray

75-CHARITY-1
In solidarity with Pope Francis’ announcement of the first-ever World Day of the Poor in November, Caritas Manila launched on Tuesday the “75 Days of Charity”.
Caritas Manila Executive Director Rev. Fr. Anton C.T. Pascual urged the public to show their love for the poor not only in words but through deeds by being part of the 75 Days of Charity.
“I hope that individuals, companies, homeowners and condominium associations, schools, parishes, and other socio-civic and religious organizations show their love for the poor, not just in words, but also in deeds. Let us all help the poor help themselves through the 75 Days of Charity,” he said.
Pascual suggested different ways on how the public can help the poor such as by filling cans of charities.
The “75 Days of Charity” will run from September 5, 2017, the International Day of Charity, up to the World Day of the Poor, on November 19, 2017.
He said under this program, giving and helping the poor is made easier through the deployment of drop cans (alkansyas) to offices and /or to public places like in the canteen, cashier or lobby where people can drop bills or coins to share with those in need.
Pascual said one can also support the Segunda Mana donations-in-kind program wherein pre-loved items such as apparel, footwear, bags, accessories, furniture, and appliances that take up spaces at home will be sold at Segunda Mana charity outlets.
According to the priest, proceeds of Segunda Mana help sustain the Caritas Manila flagship Youth Servant Leadership and Education Program (YSLEP), which focuses on education for the underprivileged youth, supporting 5,000 scholars nationwide.
Another way of helping, Pascual said, is by helping poor but deserving youth get a college or vocational-technical education by donating P25,000 per year to Caritas Manila’s YSLEP.
Pope Francis, in his message for the first World Day of the Poor said, throughout the world Christian communities can become an ever greater sign of Christ’s charity for the least and those most in need.
Caritas Manila is the social services and services ministry of the Archdiocese of Manila.

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“My peace I give to you”

Tuesday (May 16):

Gospel: John 14:27-31

Jesus said to his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid. You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe. I will no longer speak much with you, for the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me, but the world must know that I love the Father and that I do just as the Father has commanded me.”

 

Reflection:

Jesus offers peace to his disciples and to us. He says: “My peace I give to you”. The peace of Christ is more than the absence of trouble. It includes everything that comprises fullness of life. Worldly peace is avoidance of trouble and a refusal to face unpleasant things. Jesus offers the peace which conquers our fears and anxieties. Nothing can take us away from the peace and joy in the presence of the Lord. No sorrow or grief, no danger, no suffering can make it less.How can we attain the peace which the Lord Jesus offers us? Through the gift and work of the Holy Spirit, whom the Lord promised to send, the Spirit who dwells within us. Through the Holy Spirit’s indwelling, we are able to overcome anxieties, worries, anger, fear, and selfishness so that we can receive his gift of peace. The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness and strengthens us with his gifts and virtues so that we will be able to live good moral lives as disciples of Christ.Prayer:

“Lord Jesus, may your peace be always with us. May no trial or affliction rob us of the peace which surpasses all understanding.”

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“I am the way, and the truth, and the life”

Sunday: (May 14):

Gospel: John 14:1-12

1 “Let not your hearts be troubled; believe in God, believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way where I am going.” 5 Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going; how can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also; henceforth you know him and have seen him.”

8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you do not know me, Philip? He who has seen me has seen the Father; how can you say, `Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves. 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.

 

Reflection:
Jesus is the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. When the Lord says: “I am the Way” (John 14:6), He gives us more than a road map and guide book. He personally is the way to the Father’s kingdom, and we cannot miss it if we follow him. He accompanies us on our daily journey and watches over us as the good shepherd who leads and sustains us each and every step of the way.

The Lord is the Truth (John 14:6). Many can say, “I have taught you the truth.” Only Jesus can say: “I am the Truth.” He posseses in himself the fulness of truth. Jesus is one with the Father and He speaks the truth which proceeds from the Father. The truth which Jesus proclaims has power to set us free from ignorance, deception, and sin. The words which Jesus speaks are true because there is no lie or falsehood in him. Moral truth requires more than mere words or ideas because the person who speaks them must be true – true in thought, speech, deed, example, and action. Jesus embodies the truth in his person.

Jesus is the Life (John 14:6). He not only shows us the path of life (Psalm 16:11); the Lord is the fullness of life himself which only God can give – abundant life that lasts forever through His death and resurrection.

In Jesus we see the perfect love of God – a God who cares and loves us intensely and unconditionally because of his deep compassion for us.
Prayer:
“Lord Jesus, fill us with the joy of your compassion and love so that we will be able to live fully in the here and now.”

Spiritual Lesson From Pain

How little we know what God has in store
As daily he blesses our lives more and more.
I’ve lived many years and I’ve learned many things,
But today I have grown new spiritual wings. . .
For pain has a way of broadening our view
And bringing us closer in sympathy, too,
To those who are living in constant pain
And trying somehow to bravely sustain
The faith and endurance to keep on trying
When they almost welcome the peace of dying. . .
Without this experience I would have lived and died
Without fathoming the pain of Christ crucified,
For none of us knows what pain is all about
Until our spiritual wings start to sprout.
So thank you, God, for the gift you sent
To teach me that pain’s Heaven-sent.

by Helen Steiner Rice

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Faith is a Mighty Fortress

We look ahead through each changing year
With mixed emotions of hope and fear —
Hope for the peace we long have sought,
Fear that our hopes will come to naught.
Unwilling to trust in the Father’s will,
We count on our logic and shallow skill,
And in our arrogance and pride,
We are no longer satisfied
To place our confidence and love
With childlike faith in God above.
And tiny hands and tousled heads
That kneel in prayer by little beds
Are closer to the dear Lord’s heart
And of his kingdom more a part
Than we who search and never find
The answers to our questioning minds  —
For faith in things we cannot see
Requires a child’s simplicity.
Oh, Heavenly Father, grant again
A simple, childlike faith to men,
Forgetting color, race, and creed
And seeing only the heart’s deep need.
For faith alone can save man’s soul
And lead him to a higher goal,
For there’s but one unfailing course  —
We win by faith and not by force.

by Helen Steiner Rice