Friday, June 27, 2008

DOWN WITH UNBORN BABIES WITH DOWN’S SYNDROME?'s-syndrome-offers-fresh-hope-for-screening.html#continue
…and more…
SCIENTISTS in Hong Kong claim to have developed a new risk-free test for Down's syndrome in unborn children which would save hundreds of pregnancies a year.

At present, the only way of diagnosing the condition in an unborn child involves inserting a needle into the womb and taking a sample of either the amniotic fluid around the foetus or the placenta. This is then analysed to see if there are any abnormalities in the foetal DNA.

However, the tests are extremely risky, causing miscarriage in around one in every 100 pregnancies, and leaving many couples and expectant mothers with an anguished dilemma over whether or not to take the test.

The new technique, in contrast, would require only a small sample of the mother's blood, which could be taken in a few seconds as part of a standard check-up...

If the new diagnostic procedure is introduced, it would increase the likelihood of Down's testing becoming routine, saving around 340 healthy unborn children who die every year because of the current diagnostic procedure ...

I’d say that soon, we will be having a world free of human beings with Down’s Syndrome.

Would the world then be a better place?

Not if we continue to have intelligent, normal, “healthy” people who oppress the weak, rob the poor, destroy the environment, enrich themselves at the expense of marginalizing others,…kill innocent human beings.

Why are you Catholic?

(by MarcoPolo - Catholic Answers Forum)
* I like to pour my guts out in a dark closet to a stranger.
* I like being subordinated to higher authorities, especially especially if they wear black with a white collar.
* I like watching infants get baptized because a lot of them need baths.
* I like the thought of getting a "second chance" in a fantasy world called purgatory, because let's face it, Christ didn't get the job done on the Cross.
* I enjoy putting my money in a basket and handing it to someone else.
* I like praying the Rosary because the beads make little clicking sounds when they dangle.
* In the winter time, I like to go to late-morning mass so I can miss the first possession of the Bears game.
* I like hiding the Bible from other people so they don't find out the truth.
* I like the thought of relics. They make great collector's items, and should be utilized on eBay.
* I enjoy kneeling in adoration chapels on a hard floor to a "wafer."
* I like reciting "canned prayers" because I have no capacity to think of one myself.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Counting Sparrows and Hair

"Are not two sparrows sold for a small coin? Yet not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's consent. As for you, every hair of your head has been counted; so do not be afraid, you are worth more than many sparrows". (Mat 11:29-31)
The above verses are taken from part of this Sunday's Gospel, and gives reason for a layman to marvel a bit.

First, a few facts:

- Sparrows are the most common and the most plentiful of all birds.
- In North America alone, the population of house sparrows is estimated at 150 Million.
- The average person has up to 100,000 hairs on his head.
- Asian hair grows the fastest and has the greatest elasticity.

Now back to the verses.

It is interesting that even in those days, common sparrows are caught and sold as pets. I have seen many instances of these being sold at fairs, even outside churches for - yes, a few coins. The enterprising sellers even dye the birds a variety of colors to make them appear like exotic birds. Sadly, these sparrows are not suited for pets, and they expire soon in captivity. Yes these birds are bountiful, and you see them almost everywhere. Commonplace and insignificant as they are, the abundance of these plentiful sparrows can only mean they have a special place in maintaining the ecological balance of the earth. Indeed we cannot doubt that “not one of them falls to the ground without your Father's consent.”.

The matter about the hair is even more notable. Even in this age of technological wonders, I don’t think there is a feasible way of counting the hairs on one’s head. Well, we tease my brother-in-law of attempting to do it in the face of his widening forehead, that’s why he takes so long in the bathroom. But even those going bald cannot possibly do it, which reminds me of a little bit of curiosity with baldness. It is also a fact that baldness is more common among Europeans and Westerners than among Asians. It is more likely another nature balance thing, as the sun shines more intensely in Asia, and to better protect the head, Asians have been blessed to have more luxurious hair. But going bald or not, the scripture tells us each one of those strands is counted from the heavens, and everything in our being cannot be kept hidden.

Being indefinitely more valuable than sparrows, with even each and every hair strand of concern to our loving God, we have indeed no reason to be afraid when we walk with Him. In the face of natural and man-made calamities as in the recent typhoon, God always prevails.

The recurring tragedy of typhoons

A relative of a ferry passenger cries as she awaits the latest news on the sunken vessel.

In a tragedy that appears distressingly familiar year after year, a strong typhoon codenamed "Frank" lashes out at the Philippines, leaving a wide trail of destruction. About 220 dead and counting, 100,000 people displaced, millions in crops damaged, and a ferry carrying 700 people sunk. To date the fatalities in the sunken ship remain unaccounted for. Reportedly among the passengers were 31 infants and 20 children. Oftentimes human folly even exacerbates the tragedy, as it is now in question why the ferry was allowed to sail in the face of great risk to its passengers, while severe flooding again puts to account the massive denudation of forests.
Most of the 180 villages in Iloilo city, which was among the hardest hit, remain submerged, and it would take months upon months to recover from the economic and social tragedy that this typhoon has wrought, even as we brace ourselves for the next one.

When the wrath of nature strikes, no one is spared, as even the recent earthquake tragedy in Sichuan shows. No one can understand the end-all of natural calamities, and the ultimate lessons nature imparts, even as we continually ignore most of them. We can only reach out in comfort to our afflicted and grieving compatriots as we join hands in picking up the pieces from a swift but terrible storm, even as we pray for them, and lift our intentions to Him who can calm all storms.

Friday, June 20, 2008


The people of God shines forth like lights
The sword of the Spirit is in their hands
That You O Lord might be glorified
May Your kingdom come!


Sunday, June 8, 2008

Angels for Celtics?

Celtics wins game one. Paul Pierce was the man of the hour, coming back after a knee injury in the third quarter to carry the Boston Celtics into that 98-88 Game 1 pulsating win. It appeared like a dramatically heroic moment for Pierce, but to Lakers coach Phil Jackson, the scene was more theatrical than inspirational:

"Paul got carried off and was back on his feet in a minute," Jackson said. "I don't know if the angels visited him at halftime or in that timeout period that he had or not, but he didn't even limp when he came back out on the floor. I don't know what was going on there. Was Oral Roberts back there in their locker room? He certainly carried some energy back on the floor for them."

Ho-ho. If we go by Phil Jackson, it seems even the angels were commissioned to be Celtics fans, and they even hired a faith healer to boot. It seems likewise that the game strategies in this finals series are being hitched up several notches. It will be very interesting to watch game 2. Some feathery fans certainly would be watching too.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Bardot fined $23,000 for anti-Islam remarks

Paris, Jun. 4, 2008 ( - A Paris court has fined Brigette Bardot €15,000 ($23,000) for instigating hatred for Muslims.
In December 2006, Info-Journal published a letter in which the one-time French film icon wrote of Muslims: "The entire population is destroying us, destroying our country, imposing its culture.” Judge Nicolas Bonnal said, “Her words clearly refer to the Muslim community and assume the character of a reaction.”.
$23,000. That’s a hefty sum for 12 words of indiscretion. She must be grateful she didn’t make an entire speech of it. Maybe Ms. Bardot should have explained that her diatribe was against the Catholic Church, then no Paris court would have minded a bit ?

Unconditional love and forgiveness

If we take note of yesterday’s Gospel reading, the Sadducees try to trap Jesus with a trick question on marriage based on the Old Testament Scriptures, but Jesus readily corrects them: “Are you not in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?… He is not the God of the dead, but of the living. You are badly mistaken!”. There are many instances in the books of the gospels where Jesus rebukes and corrects the Pharisees, the Sadducees, even his own disciples often enough when the situation calls for it, but his ministry stands out not because of those corrections he made. Jesus’ ministry stands out with preaching the Gospel in words and in deed, the greatest deed of which is the supreme sacrifice on the cross – the epitome of unconditional love. The theme continues with today’s Gospel: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength... You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”. Unconditional love comes with an eagerness to forgive. On the matter of forgiveness, again I quote Henry Nouwen who says that “forgiveness has two qualities: one is to allow yourself to be forgiven, and the other is to forgive others”. The first quality is harder than the second. It may put one in an irrational defensive mode where one might say “I didn’t do anything wrong, I don’t need your forgiveness”. We have ALL sinned against each other in one way or another, some more grievous than others, which calls for a contrite and deep examination of conscience. True restoration begins with the person. We are at peace when we are reconciled with God, relaxed and breathing easily as we go on with renewed vigor of putting our charisms at work, comforted by the embrace of a forgiving God.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

How many people will be saved?

How many people will be saved? Some scholars say that eventually everyone will be saved and reconciled to God, as God "wills all people to be saved" (1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9). According to the prophet Isaiah, ony 10% of all people will be saved (Isaiah 6:13). The prophet Amos, when asked likewise, replied "a remnant" (Am 3:11-15). Jesus, when he spoke of the narrow door, said that "only a few" will find it (Mat 7:13). Now if we try asking the Fundamentalists or the Iglesia Ni Kristo, they will say "kami lang" (only us!).

But no one can really tell how many will be saved, only God knows. We can not determine how many, but we do know HOW one must be saved. Today’s Sunday Gospel tells us if one anchors his Faith on solid foundation, then it will not collapse, even if the storms come (Mat 7:21-27). St. Paul tells of former believers who “shipwrecked” their faith (1 Tim 1:18:19) - these are the people who built their Faith on sand, which Jesus talks about in today’s Gospel. He starts by saying “Not everyone who says Lord! Lord! Will enter the kingdom of heaven, but who does the will of my Father". How will our Faith not collapse? What is the ‘will of my Father’ in the simplest terms?

It is to give life-giving Love (Mk 12:29-31), (Jn 13:34).