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A Prayer of Miracles

A Prayer of Miracles

Once a widow confided to a priest that she did not only pray the Rosary but applied it in her life. She said: “When I got married – it was joyful mysteries; when my husband’s bad habits surfaced – sorrowful mysteries; when my husband died – glorious mysteries; when I preferred to be single enlightened by my experience – luminous mysteries.”
* * *

October is the month of the Holy Rosary and October 7 is the feast of Our Lady of the Rosary in the Catholic Church. The feast recalls the decisive victory of Christian Europe over the invading Moslems in the naval battle of Lepanto, Spain, now known as “La Naval.”
The victory which had saved Christian Europe was attributed to the Blessed Mother’s miraculous intervention invoked through the recitation of the Rosary.
* * *

Catholic tradition attests to the powerful intercession of Mary in our modern times. To cite examples: the miraculous healings of terminal ailments in Lourdes, France, since 1858 which baffles medical experts, Mary’s predictions of world peace in Fatima (1917) before World War II.
* * *

A personal experience of mine may likewise illustrate Mary’s protection and intervention. As a kid

in grade school in Laoag, Ilocos Norte, I almost lost my life. Two of my classmates and I didn’t go to school. Instead we went swimming at a nearby irrigation canal.
Blissful in ignorance, we jumped into the water not knowing how swift the current was. Our feet were immediately swept off by the swirling stream. Excitement turned into panic. Like puppies, we kicked and flailed our hands desperately.
* * *


My two companions managed to reach the bank but being the smallest, I just could not overcome the strong current. Seeing me helpless, my classmates fled in fear. Just when I was about to pass out, an old man appeared from nowhere. He looked around, got a bamboo pole and extended it to me.
* * *

I grabbed the pole and the man pulled me out of danger. Exhausted and coughing out water, I forgot all about the man. He looked like a farmer and was unusually reticent. Shortly afterwards, he just vanished.

Who was that mysterious man? Was he an angel sent by God? Anyway, aside from using my experience as a warning to truant pupils, I considered the dramatic rescue a miracle.
* * *

Looking back, I attribute the saving grace to the Lady of the Rosary and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel for whom I had special devotion and had been regular Mass sacristan. No doubt, there are other similar stories of Mary’s intervention in critical situations attested by Marian devotees.
* * *

The Rosary is a meditative form of prayer where we contemplate on the extraordinary events that brought about our salvation by Christ with Mary as co-redemptrix.

In these times of economic crisis, calamities, and uncertainties, we need a greater power as firm anchor. Devotion to Mama Mary through Rosary praying serves that purpose.

“The family that prays together stays together.” Remember that slogan? It still works.
* * *

THE LIGHTER SIDE. He who dies with the most toys is nonetheless dead.
* * *

PRIEST: What’s the name of the baby?
PETE: Surf.
PRIEST: That can’t be. That’s the name of a soap.
PETE: But Father, my wife is Perla and my son is Ariel.
PRIEST: In that case, what do you want me to use to baptize him? Downy o Zonrox?
* * *

Overcoming Temptations

February 24, 2012, 11:00pm

MANILA, Philippines — There's an amusing story about a young man who was constantly bedeviled by sensual thoughts. Feeling guilty, he consulted a priest-friend.
“Don’t worry,” the priest assured him, “these thoughts popped out in our minds. They’re not sinful but only enticements. But the moment you start entertaining them, they become sinful. Did you entertain them?”
The young man paused, then sheepishly replied: “Well, I didn’t entertain them, Father, but they entertained me!”
* * *

Temptations are an ever present reality in our lives. They are not just temptations

of the flesh, but also of injustice, cheating, stealing, or murder.
The Gospel message for this 1st Sunday of Lent, relates how Jesus underwent temptations in the desert and how He struggled to overcome them, thus setting for us an example. (Read the more detailed version in Lk 4:1-13).
* * *


First, the tempter was sweet-talking Jesus to use His powers for His own personal aggrandizement. “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to turn into loaves” (Lk 4:3).
There is always the temptation for us to use selfishly whatever powers or talents God has given us. A person, for instance, may possess an innate ability to sing. He may cash in on it, refusing to use it unless he is paid. There is no reason why he should not use it for pay, but there is no reason too why he should use it ONLY to get paid.
* * *

In the SECOND temptation, Jesus was challenged by the devil to throw Himself down (the temple parapet) but would not get hurt. In short, do something sensational. Make miracles.
We Filipinos have a penchant for the extraordinary and miraculous. The trouble is that we’re so drawn to the sensational that we overlook the many “miracles of faith” that are happening quietly every day. For instance, isn’t it a miracle that strong, happy families survive in an environment of broken marriages? Or that many Catholics practice honesty and compassion where selfishness and dishonesty abound?
* * *

The tempter’s THIRD avenue of assault was for Jesus to “fall down and worship me, and I will give You all the kingdoms of this world” (Lk 4:6). In short, compromise. Don’t demand too much. Wink just a little at evil and people will follow you.
But Christ slammed the tempter’s enticement. There can never be compromises with evil. Evil can not be defeated by compromising with evil.
* * *

Finally, remember one very important thing. Temptation often comes not at our strongest, but at our weakest moments. Jesus’ temptation began AFTER 40 days of fasting. Isn’t it that when one is broke and creditors are running after him, the temptation to steal or accept bribes can be very strong?
We have just entered the season of Lent. Lent is a special occasion which calls us to deep decision-making. It challenges us to test our fidelity to God and our moral convictions.

Can you pass the test? Do you avoid the occasions that will lead you to sin?

Mission accomplished

May 14, 2010, 7:45pm

When we hear

the word “ascension,” we invariably think of “going up.”
And that’s what is conjured when we talk about the Ascension of Jesus, the feast we celebrate this Sunday.
In the 1960s, flushed from a successful flight to outer space, one Russian cosmonaut sarcastically remarked: “We’ve gone up to heaven, but we did not find God there.”
* * *


The atheistic cosmonaut was speaking merely on the level of the physical and material.

There’s more to the Ascension than “going up” to the heavens. First, the Lord’s Ascension was His hour of glorification by the Father. After a fruitful life on earth, Jesus was exalted by His Heavenly Father.
* * *

Further, the time for His physical, visible presence in our midst was completed, but the time for His invisible and sacramental presence was beginning.
What is this mission? In the gospel today, Jesus says, “You are witnesses of these things.” (Lk 24,48).
The mission is to witness to Christ in the world, preach the Good News that God redeemed us, and to show by our love that He is always with us.
* * *

Our mission, as one theologian puts it, is not only to gaze up into the sky but also to “look down.”

I once took a bus bound for the Ilocos. In Carmen, Pangasinan, an old lady got in, dragging a lot of personal belongings. Hardly had she settled down when the conductor handed her a ticket for her fare. When the woman reached out her fare, the conductor said, “Lola, that’s not enough; remember this is an aircon bus.”
* * *

To which the poor lady replied: “But that’s all I have, young man.” “Then I’ll let you off at the next bus stop,” the conductor snorted.
When the bus halted and the decrepit lady struggled with her belongings to go down, one of the passengers asked what was the problem. The conductor related her predicament.
* * *

The man quickly offered: “Ako na

Fr. Isabelo San Luis, SVD



The PRESIDENT Fr. Isabelo “Bel’ Ruiz San Luis, SVD was

ordained priest on September 18,


1971. His first assignment was assistant parish priest at the Immaculate Conception Parish, Cubao Quezon City; then he was transferred to the Divine Word College of Legaspi, Albay. After five years, he was assigned to the Divine Word College of Laoag (DWCL). From Laoag, he became rector of Divine Word Formation Center in Urdaneta Pangasinan, and then returned to Laoag. After a total of nine years as president of DWCL, he was assigned to Catholic Trade Manila and subsequently to Verbum House in Los Banos, Laguna for a year then to St. Jude Parish in San Miguel, Manila until his transfer to his present assignment in Christ the King Mission Seminary, Quezon City. From school work, Fr. Bel shifted to the social communications apostolate of the Society of the Divine Word (SVD). He helps financially hard-up seminarians, he put up a scholarship program called “Adopt a Seminarian” which presently supports 20 seminarians belonging to seminaries and religious congregations all over the country.


Fr. Bel hosts a teleradyo program, Salitang Buhay, on DZMM, ABS-CBN at 8:30 to 10:00pm every Sunday. Is a religious program anchored on God’s Word, which applies to various sectors of society: spiritual, moral, economic, and political. It’s the Word in the World. Salitang Buhay is inspired by Christ’s words: “Everyone who listens to my words and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on rock.” (Matthew 7,24).


In 2003, he started the TV apostolate of the SVD as the executive producer of “Family TV Mass” – which aims to Bring Good News to the Filipino Families through Television aired every Sunday, 7:00 to 8:00am on IBC 13 and on GMA Pinoy TV International. Other TV projects were, “7 Last Words” – since 2000 and “Misa de Gallo & Misa Aguinaldo” – since 2005.




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