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Faithful and true

The story is told about a husband who asked his wife for a copy of their marriage contract. Rather intrigued by his sudden interest, the wife asked him why. “Oh, I was hoping that I may find something written about an expiry date in the fine print” was his nonchalant reply.

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In today’s gospel (Mk. 10, 2-16), Jesus stressed the sanctity and indissolubility of marriage. “Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” It is a contract with no expiry date! If we read today’s gospel further, the reason for this becomes clear: the protection and security of children. “Then He embraced [the children] and blessed them, placing His hands upon them.” This gesture of Jesus paints a thousand words about His appreciation, concern and love for the “little ones.”

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It is the innocent children who suffer and are greatly affected when adults quarrel and do not resolve their differences. Adult selfishness and pride cause so much pain, anxiety and damage to children whose only wish is to live decent, peaceful lives. As has been said, when whales clash, it is the shrimps that get crushed.

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Remember the story about a wife who told her husband, “Your children and my children are quarreling with our children”? Confusing? Yes. But if this is confusing for us adults, how much more so for children who are involved in a situation over which they have no say or choice? May we adults, so filled with self-love, spare the little ones of confusing and painful situations.

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Do you recall the story about a restaurant somewhere in Quezon City that is being frequented by so many? The sign says it all: “No Wi-Fi here. Talk to each other!” Well, the same applies for marriages and families. “No quarrels here. Pray with each other!” We have to pray together again, and pray much. Otherwise, we will drift away from each other, and before we know it, we are already worlds apart. Try prayer. It works!

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I turned 62 last Oct. 1. It has been quite a journey, but I am still around, and we still have a mission that has to be done. At this point in time, I follow the Lord’s teaching of becoming a little child for the Kingdom of God. I have no more worldly ambitions or personal agenda except to do God’s will by being prayerful, humble and kind. One with you in our journey to God’s heart.

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October is the month of the Rosary, and Oct. 7 is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary. I have been praying the Rosary since I was a little boy, and as I grow on, I continue to appreciate this prayer more and more, especially when it is prayed not out of obligation or mechanically, but as a personal expression of love to our Mother and her Son. Pray the Rosary with the heart.

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“The family that prays together stays together.” We have to go back to the family, and pray again as a family. Otherwise, before we know it, our families are shattered and scattered. Prayer is the glue that will keep us together as a family. Are things not well in your family relationships? Maybe it is because you have stopped praying together—for and with each other.

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Here is a beautiful prayer that you can pray as a family: “Most Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary, united in perfect love, as you look upon us with mercy and caring, we consecrate our hearts, our lives, our family to you. We know the beautiful example of your home in Nazareth was meant to be a model for each of our families. We hope to have, with your help, the unity and the strong, enduring love you gave to one another. May our home be filled with joy. May sincere affection, patience, tolerance and mutual respect be freely given to all. May our prayers be filled with the needs of others, not just ourselves, and may we always be close to your sacraments. Bless those who are present, as well as those who are absent, both the living and the dead; May peace be among us, and when we are tested, grant us the Christian acceptance of God’s will. Keep our family close to your Hearts; may your special protection be with us always. Most Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, hear our prayer. Amen.”

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Lipa Archbishop Ramon C. Arguelles, DD, STL, has declared “with moral certainty, and with the best intentions and hopes in mind, seeking the compliance and the norms of the Holy See, acting for the greater glory of God, and ascertaining always greater love for the holy Mother Church, that the events and apparitions of 1948, also known as the Marian phenomenon in Lipa and its aftermath even in recent times, do exhibit supernatural character and is worthy of belief. Thus, I encourage the devotion to the Most Holy Mother Mary under her revered and worthy title, Mediatrix of All Grace.” (Sept. 12, 2015)

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Aside from Lipa, another popular pilgrimage destination in Batangas is the national shrine of St. Padre Pio in Santo Tomas. There have been many reported miracles and religious experiences in this place. Yes, the humble and prayerful St. Padre Pio is a very powerful and real intercessor in our present day and time.

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Think about this: “The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not smashing it. It is by love that we serve; it is by patience that we understand; it is by trials that we become strong; it is by knowing our mistakes that we gain wisdom; it is by sharing that we become a blessing.”

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A moment with the Lord:

Lord, help us to be faithful and true in who we are and what we do. Amen.

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