Wednesday, April 22, 2009



  • In the world today, the improvement of technologies calls for materialism in the society.
  • Being in a country with one of the strongest economy in the world, we are easily prone to becoming materialistic.


  • It is sad that we are so engulfed in this materialistic world that we don't even recognize our own addiction for accumulation.
  • But who's to blame? Our economy is built on the materialistic ideals.
  • Nevertheless, we all have choices to make when it comes to spending what we want, when we want, and how much we want.


Causes of Materialism

  • Richness/wealth
  • The more you have, the more you want…you can never be satisfied with what you have.
  • False perception that materialism is the key to happiness
  • No self discipline of budgeting your money
  • Selfishness, self-glorification, and plain addiction (shopaholic).


Negative Impacts of Materialism

  • Addiction. You'll get whatever you want no matter what it takes to get it… you are bound to commit Gluttony
  • Bad habit of spending. All your money will go out the window for buying things you don't need
  • Major Distractions from what you're supposed to be doing. Ex: videogames, shopping, etc.


    • Negative Spiritual Impacts:
  • Greed: you will want more!!!
  • Gluttony: Too much of anything is bad… it doesn't have to be food, it's an excess of anything and everything.
  • Selfishness: You won't want to share God's blessings with anyone
  • Pride: You like bragging about the things you have. Ex: MTV Cribs…


How to Get rid of Materialism

  • Acknowledge that whatever you have belongs to God and it must be used for Good.
  • "All your wealth and richness is God's gift to you, what you do with it is your gift to God"
  • Share!!!! Be generous. Whatever you give, it will be given back to you tenfold.
  • Control yourself. You don't need to get everything you want. You can live without it!
  • Understand that materialism will not bring you long term happiness. Once you lived out the hype of having a certain material, you'll find it collecting dust in your room.
  • Know the difference between what you NEED and what you WANT.
    • Your NEEDS are those things that you must have in order to survive (enough portion of food, gas for your car, toiletries, etc.
    • Your WANTS are those things that you can live without. It is usually driven by human desires rather than human needs.

Jesus Story

    One day, when Jesus was with His apostles, He told them a parable about giving alms.

        He said,

There were two people that went to church one afternoon.

One was a rich woman who donated all her excess money and jewelries to the church.

    The other woman was this really poor servant who gave her last penny to the church as an offering to God.

    Now, which one do you think gave the most?

The apostles quickly answered Him, "Well my Lord, the first woman of course! She gave away her jewelries along with some money!"

Jesus then replied to them "Amen, I say to you. But you are wrong. The rich woman who gave money and jewelries may have given more than the poor woman, but she still walked away wealthy. The poor woman on the other hand had only one penny. Nevertheless, the poor woman gave more because that was her very last penny that she had earned and saved. Instead of buying food for herself with it, she donated it to the church."


Group Discussion Questions

What do you think the moral of the story is? How can you relate this to materialism?


How else can we avoid materialism?


Sunday, April 5, 2009



Social Application

    We all live in this type of society where everyone always practices 'self-glorification.' We're plagued with the mentality that we must showcase the best of who we are to people so that we can feel better of ourselves. It is the essence of individuality that feeds on the saying "The squeaky wheel gets the grease." This means that we must create attention to ourselves so that others will notice us and like us. As humans, we're all social animals, so it's almost automatic and innate within us to thrive to be liked by others. But sometimes we do this too much and we end up obtaining self glorification at the expense of others.

    Today, we will discuss what it means to be humble and why we should practice humility.

What are the characteristics of a humble person?

A humble person is:

  • Someone who is not being arrogant and/or conceited.
  • Someone who does not try to make himself look better than others.
  • Not threatening or challenging another's rights, or claiming more for yourself than has been allotted to you in life.
    • There are some who think they know better than others.
  • One who puts work for the glory of God without expecting anything back.
    • No pats in the back, no gratification from others, and no collecting of complements.
  • One gives honor to others rather than drawing attention to one's self

In contrast, the non-humble person is one who:

  • Attempts to better himself at the expense of others.
  • Tries to acquire more than others (money, honor, power).

Why should we practice humility?

  • By humility, we acknowledge that God created us for his purposes and not for our self-glorification.
  • By humility, we acknowledge the dignity of all God's people.
  • By humility, we cool the angry passions of others.
  • By humility, we can turn enemies into friends.

    Acting with humility does not necessarily mean we have to deny our own self worth. Rather, it gives us the opportunity to be OF EQUAL to all persons around us.

  • It is not intended to interfere with our own success. Rather, it prevents us from obtaining wealth, power, and higher status at the expense of others.


  • Humility is the quality that lets us go more than halfway to meet the needs and demands of others.

How do we obtain humility?


The Golden Rule

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.


  • "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. (NIV, Luke 6:31-35)


  • We actually need to distance ourselves from our abilities and pretend not to have them, or that they are not that great after all! One great example is that of Mama Mary. Some of you may remember from your Marian Retreat Class that Mama Mary was already born with the ability to speak. But because of her great humility, she chose to reserve her ability and kept quiet until she was of age.
    • Another instance that Mama Mary showed great humility was when after the resurrection of Christ, the gates of heaven opened up for her and her son, Jesus Christ offered her the chance to be with Him in heaven right there and then. But because she was so humble, she turned it down and told her Son that she wants to die naturally just like He did.


  • You must learn to put others before yourself. To serve God with humility is serving Him before you serve yourself.


  • Always maintain the mentality that whatever you do, you do it for the glory of God."


  • The greatest act of humility is when you try to love your enemies more than those who already love you.
    • "There is a saying, 'Love your friends and hate your enemies.' But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you!"
    • "If you love only those who love you, what good is that? Even scoundrels do that much. If you are friendly only to your friends, how are you different from anyone else? Even the heathen do that. But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. (TLB, Matthew 5:43-48)


  • Reflect on these scriptures regarding humility and interpret it in your personal lives.

For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Luke 14:11)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than your selves. (Philippians 2:3)

Proverbs 16:19 - Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


per·se·ver·ance    [pur-suh-veer-uhns]



steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., esp. in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.


Spiritual Context:

  • We Christians often lose the enthusiasm and joy of our salvation. Sometimes we get so caught up with our priorities and responsibilities on this earth that we fail to recognize our most important goal: Salvation.


  • In order for us to maintain the path to salvation, we must stay on the road of discipleship, but in order for us to do so, it requires perseverance.


    How do we obtain perseverance?


  • We must acknowledge that perseverance is a virtue that cannot be easily obtained. You can't just wake up in the morning and decide that you have the virtue of perseverance.


  • Like all the other virtues, we must earn it through trials and perhaps sufferings. Truly, there is no other way to obtain this virtue because by facing your problems in your daily lives, it is only at this time that you can practice how to handle them without affecting your service to God. Remember, God doesn't let trials and tribulations come in our lives for no reason. This is how He disciplines us, which eventually builds perseverance in us.


    Why do I want Perseverance?


  • It produces character and hope (Rom. 5:3) within us.


  • It will help us get through all of our future problems because when a similar problem occurs in our lives later down the road, we'll already know how to handle it, therefore, making it easier to for us to cope with it.


  • I made a quote that says:

"Embrace life's adversities for it is what strengthens your character in the end" – Anthony Fortin.


  • It is a foundation for the higher virtues of godliness and love, ultimately allowing ourselves to be useful in service to God (2 Peter 1:6-8).


  • Perseverance is like a prerequisite for these higher virtues like how there's a set of prerequisite classes a college student must take before he/she can take upper division courses.


  • Also, a house can easily be toppled down if it has no strong foundation; so how can one expect to be a true disciple of Christ if he/she doesn't even have the most basic virtue needed to be Christ-like?


    Thus, perseverance is a step toward the greater goal of developing the character that God desires in us. It is "the path to virtue, learned in endurance through dry spells, despite dark periods, and under trials and suffering."


    How can I be successful in persevering?


  • Patience and perseverance comes hand in hand. Patience reassures your success in perseverance.


  • Trust is another important factor. Trust in yourself that you can get through whatever comes your way and trust that God is with you through it all. Remember, nothing will happen to you that You and God together cannot handle.



Exploring the characteristics of Perseverance


    Serving God requires consistency. To obtain this consistency, it requires perseverance. But it is quite obvious that when we practice perseverance when serving God, it will come at a cost to us. Costs such as your time away from school, family, outside friends, and obtaining other personal goals are what will be sacrificed if we want to be consistent in serving God.


    What will I benefit from incurring costs for the sake of perseverance?    


  • When it comes to decision making, people often make decisions based on the relative measure between costs and benefits. If benefits outweigh costs, then we are easily motivated to follow through on that decision. But perseverance is opposite. With perseverance, we have to follow through with the decision from beginning to end no matter the cost.


  • Looking at it in this perspective, it seems like serving God is too much to ask for, especially in this society where time is valuable. But what we must consider is that there are different types of costs.
    There's spending and there's investing.


  • Spending is when you incur costs (money, time, effort) to obtain a goal or item. Basically, you pay what you get, and you get what you pay. It is an equal exchange of costs between two parties.


  • Investing, on the other hand, is incurring present cost to gain future benefits. You buy stocks and bonds from a public corporation in order to get a share of earnings from that company. If their company grows, your investments grow with it. Eventually, your benefits will outweigh costs at the end.



    By serving God at any cost is like "investing" in your salvation. When you persevere in serving God by not considering costs such as money, time, and effort, it will all add up in the end. And I'm sure we all know that our salvation is a benefit that outweighs ANY costs we incur here on earth. Remember, it's a win-win situation because whatever you give up for the greater glory of God is given back to you ten fold.


"Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and discouraged men who kept on working."


My Child,

      Hello once again. I am glad that you are here again to accompany me. How are you? How was your week? I can see that you're quite busy with school and work. It seems like there's never enough time in a day for you to do everything you need to do, isn't it? I understand that in today's world, everyone expects so much from you.

       But nevertheless, I am glad to see that you are still striving to make time to serve me. Though, you cannot always make it to every activities, I know that you still make the effort to do so. And with that, I am grateful. I would like to personally thank you for all that you have done, especially for continuing to serve my Mother through your Fatima Devotions.  

      Now my child; if LIFE gets too much for you, do not worry. Come to Me and I will always receive you in my arms. Surrender yourself to me and I will comfort you by lightening up the burden you are carrying. For not only am I your Father, but I am also your friend.

      Although, remember this. You cannot ultimately take away the struggles in life. Sometimes, I have to put you through a test in order to teach you a valuable lesson. For it is only through trials and tribulations that I can make you stronger and wise. It is through your problems in life that I can evaluate your faith and trust in Me.  Therefore, My child… I'd like to ask you this…. DO YOU TRUST ME? If so, HOW MUCH do you trust Me?

Remember this always… I will NEVER give you anything in life that you and I together cannot handle. If you want to strengthen your trust in Me, learn and apply this lesson: SEEK MY KINGDOM FIRST, AND EVERYTHING ELSE WILL BE GIVEN UNTO YOU.

      Now my child, speak to me in the silence of your hearts. Go ahead, I am listening…