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MAY 13/ 01





Tracing the Santactruzan's Roots
You may argue that the Philippines has no marked season like spring for flowers to bloom. More flowers seem to appear in May, nevertheless.

Get to Know Western Visayas
During the Spanish times, when a mother wanted her children to stop crying at night, she usually threatened them with the "quintos."

If you are a foreigner ... As history shows, foreigners have generally not come to the Philippines with friendly intentions. In spite of this, every visitor is heartily welcomed; the Filipinos are sociable and tolerant, and their natural openness charms many visitors. FULL STORY


Protecting Aklan's coastal ecosystems
Siltation and sedimentation triggered by upland deforestation pose another threat to Aklan's coastal ecosystems.


We need Mary today
MAY is closely associated with our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Tradition, now so complicated to trace, has forged it that way. And we are happy about it.

Again, on Lawyers
They are the defenders of truth and justice. Yep, yep, lawyers have to be truthful, to act noble and be fearless.

The poor must protest against their exploiters
The poor is the fair hope of unscrupulous politicians. Just by giving them a few pesos or a kilo of rice they spontaneously go out to demonstrate. In return they would say we will die for our idol. When they are caught or die they are abandoned.


It's a jungle out there
Ants are one of the few insects I know of that live in colonies. They have a caste system too.

Responsible Communication
How ironic is that media practitioners claim they are sources of true information, that they are most reliable institute of learning; when they allow themselves to be influenced by too much commercialism, consumerism, and materialism.

The tie that binds
Have you ever thought of why friends stick together through thick and thin and through the years?


Cain and Abel
Our new legal series dwell on the case of a man who murdered his own brother. The incident took place in Lambunao, Iloilo yet the names of the persons were changed to protect their identities as well as of their family.




We need Mary today

By Fr. Roy Cimagala

MAY is closely associated with our Lady, the Blessed Virgin Mary. Tradition, now so complicated to trace, has forged it that way. And we are happy about it.

There's the Santacruzan and Flores de Mayo as beautiful expressions of such tradition. And there are also the numerous fiestas celebrated precisely in the merry month of May that somehow bring the figure of Our Lady to the fore.

We have good reason to feel quite blessed with this tradition. While many countries appear to be languishing under different forms of paganism and worldliness, our Marian tradition has kept us, inspite of obvious defects, a believing and pious people.

To maintain the impulse and momentum of this tradition, however, it is important that the devotion to our Lady is ever nourished with relevant doctrine and practice.

As much as possible, we should not allow our Marian devotion to remain idle and passive. Such state of affairs could easily turn that devotion into mere sentimentalism, quite empty inspite of its pageantry, quite sterile and useless inspite of the flashes of ardor and fervency.

The truth is Mary occupies a very important part in our lives, both personal and collective. She is the mother of Christ, and for that reason and under a specific sense, she is called also the mother of God.

With Christ, only breaths away from his death, entrusting her to the disciple John and vice-versa with the words, "Woman, behold your son," and "Behold your mother," she is effectively made mother of each one of us and each of us is also called to take care of her.

This is the mind of Christ. That's why the Church can only preach it and encourage everyone to develop a deep Marian devotion. It is quite true that no one can be quite Christian if he is not quite Marian.

The two always go together. The Catechism underlines this truth when it says that "what the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ, and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ." (487)

Any attempt to separate the two, for fear of confusion and the possibility of an exaggerated and erroneous sense of devotion, should be overcome. Certainly, the valid concern for such fears should be properly resolved, but it does not justify making such division.

As taught by the Church and professed by many saints and holy men and women down the ages, Mary can only lead us to Christ, and Christ wants us to go to his Mother.

Our Lady will make sure that our belief in and love for Christ does not get entangled with the trappings of formalism and appearances. She will see to it that we hit the real thing, the very substance of our faith, hope and charity.

Pope Paul VI had it in bull's eye when he said once: "Knowledge of the true Catholic doctrine regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary will always be a key to the exact understanding of the mystery of Christ and of the Church."

Let's listen to a holy man, Blessed Josemaria Escriva, speak about this point:

"'In me is to be found every grace of doctrine and of truth, every hope of life and of virtue.' (Ecclus 24,25). How wise the Church is to put these words on our Mother's lips so that we Christians do not forget them. She is our safety, the love that never fails, the refuge ever open to us, the hand ever ready to caress and console.

"One of the Fathers of the early Church said that we should try to keep in our minds and in our memories a clear summary of the life of the Mother of God...We should often meditate, in the calm and quiet of our prayer, on all we have heard about our Mother. The reward will be that the story of her life will become engraved on our souls; we will find ourselves going to her without hesitation, especially when we have no one else to turn to." (Friends of God, 279-280)

The man and woman of today, buffeted with all sorts of pressures and temptations around, should find solace in this truth.


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