We Catholics Have Become Stubborn

“The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.” — Revelation 16:19

Recent survey shows that Catholic mass attendance continues to decline. Based on the survey conducted by SWS (as read from ANC), among the things that discourage the respondents from attending the Holy Mass are sloppy homilies, the relentless opposition of the church on the issue of the Reproductive Health Bill, and just because some have already gotten tired of being preached at. While I wasn’t part of the sample who responded to this survey, I seem to agree.

“There was once a man who went to a hotel and upon entering the room where he is booked, he saw a lady lying on the bed. Outraged, he hurriedly made his way back to the hotel’s front desk. “I think we have a problem here. There is a woman in my bed,” he confronted the reservation officer. “Sir, in this hotel we don’t have problems. All we have are opportunities,” the man behind the desk answered calmly.”

Believe it or not, that is a story I did not expect to hear during a mass especially one that is watched by hundreds of thousands on live TV on a Sunday morning. I don’t know what was on the priest’s mind that time but his story left me questioning his integrity—and to think that he isn’t a rookie priest made me a lot more uneasy.

Lousy homilies also don’t necessarily mean boring. Sometimes, information overload kills it. Take for example this other priest who celebrates mass on the same TV channel on some other days. His highly spirited way of delivering his homilies seems not to help relay the real message behind the scriptures. His fondness of integrating stories from the telenovelas, maybe in his effort to enliven the churchgoers, and talking about investing in mutual funds don’t seem to impress me because I do believe that these topics just don’t fit in what is supposed to be a solemn ceremony meant to feed the spirit, at least just a day every week.

So my question now is “where have all the good priests gone?” In this world where we Catholics have become stubborn and most of us starting to think that we are smarter than the doctrines that we once believe to be true—just by sheer faith, we really need those good priests around again to get us back on track or else the next SWS survey will be worse.

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Honestly, I have been tempted several times already to change channel whenever I see this particular priest walk towards the altar to celebrate mass on TV. But just this last Sunday, something from his homily struck me. It is about focus.

“We should not focus on our problems but rather on its solutions because whatever we focus on to is greatly magnified.”

This one perfectly makes sense, right? If he makes more of these and less about Ser Chief and Bo Sanchez, I will be paying more attention.

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Bible passage from Biblegateway.com

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Watching The Three Musketeers on HBO while drinking gin. Alpha and Theta.)

The Guardians and the Bible

The Guardians. (Image from the web.)

The last page of the calendar is already out. It is already December but lately a lot of news on TV have been overwhelmingly sad. Crime rate is going up and this is not the Christmas season that most of us once knew as kids and definitely not the one that we would like our own kids to remember. It is therefore a relief that behind all the negativity around us are things that tell the young minds that Christmas is still around the corner.  Among these is the movie Rise of the Guardians.

Thanks to the creative geniuses at Dreamworks Animation as they have once again concocted and produced a movie that not only entertains but at the same time conveys a subject matter that kids do not easily find nowadays. Rise of the Guardians is an animated film about Jack Frost and other popular mythical characters but appearing in their not usual form:  there is the authoritative Santa Claus (known as North), the cranky Easter Bunny, the sexy tooth fairy, and the nonverbal Sandman.  And of course, there is the bad guy named Pitch, aka the boogeyman.

Originally, I got attracted to this movie just because it has a Santa Claus  but its appeal grew twofold. As the movie goes along I begin to notice that behind the spectacular animation and funny scenes (I became a fan of the golden Sandman) is a story which I think has a lot of biblical references thus making those lessons from the holy book easier to digest by the younger ones.

To cite an example, among the lines in the film “…for as long as they believe in us, we will guard them with our lives” actually has its own mature equivalent from Genesis 18:26: “…if you can find a man, if there is any that executes justice, that seeks the truth; and I will pardon it.

And the one told by Jack Frost said to Jamie (not verbatim): “you don’t stop believing in the sun just because it is hidden behind the dark clouds” made me recall the one from my other blog regarding an argument about faith between a  student and his atheist professor.

While it is highly likely that its young moviegoers, like Marcus who knows more Ninjago characters than Saints, won’t fully understand yet the deeper meaning of the messages that Rise of the Guardians relay, it is nice to know that there is another movie this yuletide season that conditions the minds of our kids, through good entertainment, what the values that they are supposed to know and do at least during Christmas time.

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There are things I realized while watching Rise of the Guardians:

  1. I never knew Sandman as someone associated with kids’ dreams. I blame Metallica and Spider-Man.
  2. Despite recently celebrating my birthday, making me closer to that age wherein they say is when life begins, I am among those who get excited at the sight of that fat man in red suit.

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Recommended read: Should you tell your kid the truth about Santa Claus?

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Mood: 2/10 Honks! (Going to a Christmas party for Marcus.)