What Is Catholicism?


Catholicism is the faith, ritual, and morals of the Roman Catholic Church as a historical reality, revealed in Jesus Christ and destined to endure until the end of time. It comprehends all that the Church teaches must be believed and lived out in order to be saved and, beyond salvation, in order to be sanctified. This system of doctrine, cultus, and practice is called Catholic (universal) because it is intended for all mankind, for all time, contains all that is necessary, and is suitable in every circumstance of human life.

Modern Catholic Dictionary

The summary of the Catholic Faith is professed by the faithful in the Nicene creed during Sunday Masses before they partake of the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.


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Reason Why We Kneel 10 times During the Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday


My brother, who died few years ago, once “protested” about this in our small chapel in Mindanao. He was is his early teen years when this happened. My father (due to lack of priests) was the one leading the community service in memory of the passion of our Lord.

There are four parts of the Catholic Celebration of the Lord’s Passion on Good Friday: The Liturgy of the Word, the Solemn Intercessions, the Adoration of the Holy Cross, and the Holy Communion. It is the second part where we kneel 10 times (or more).

We have intercessory prayers for the entire Church for the specific needs of the local Church during all other Holy Masses. However, in Good Fridays when we commemorate the crucifixion and death of Jesus, the Church make the intercession prayers more special by asking the faithful to kneel as she solemnly unite her petitions with the passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is the reason why we kneel 10 times during the celebration of the Lord’s Passion in Good Fridays.


The 10 intentions of the Mother Church on Good Fridays are:

  1. For the Holy Church
  2. For the Pope
  3. For all orders and degrees of the faithful
  4. For catechumens
  5. For the unity of Christians
  6. For the Jewish people
  7. For those who do not believe in Christ
  8. For those who do not believe in God
  9. For those in public office
  10. For those in tribulation

In some cases, there could be more if the bishop issues a decree or allows other intentions to be added.

I wish I could tell my brother about this before he died, or before he even grumbled about it. He actually said in our dialect, “Ah, gibinuangan ra man ta aning papa, bai!” which translates to “I think my father is playing with us!”. He said this loudly that many attendees could hear him  and caused laughter inside the chapel.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!


If You Think Masturbation Is Fine, Think Again


If you think masturbation is fine, think again because “among the sins gravely contrary to chastity are masturbation, fornication, pornography, and homosexual practices”. (CCC 2396) Many men and women masturbate and the world will say it is fine, or that, it’s good for our health. However, God tells us through his Church what’s best for the health of our souls.

Masturbation is the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action. The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose. For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved.

To form an equitable judgment about the subjects’ moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.

Catechism of the Catholic Church 2352

From these lines of the Catechism, we can conclude that masturbation is always wrong, a grave error. It is a sin or a deed contrary to eternal law, an offense against God. (CCC 1849-50)

Is masturbation always a mortal sin?

Mortal sin is a sin that leads one’s soul to death (1 Jn 5:16-17). For a sin to be mortal, one has to have full knowledge and complete consent of a grave act. And, yes! Masturbation is always a mortal sin for a regular person without any psychological illness or any related conditions who deliberately masturbates in order to derive sexual pleasure.

Adolescents undergoing puberty or those persons in challenging conditions (they and God only know) may not be guilty of this mortal sin if the act is not repeatedly done and if they strive to be free from being slaves of this sin against chastity.

Is there a way to overcome masturbation?

There are a lot of ways and many have tried and were successful. Praying frequently and getting oneself busy with tasks and other activities (e.g. sports, develop new hobbies) are ones of the most effective ways to combat this evil.

Only God knows what is going on with our hearts and minds. His endless mercy tells us that he can forgive all kinds of sin if we believe and trust in his saving grace and not lose hope. He, dying on the cross, redeemed us from our sins and through baptism we were saved. But since we are humans and we fall, he rescues us through the sacraments he instituted. The sacraments are always available through the Church he built to sanctify souls that are stained by sins.

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!


How Can the Baptized People Live a Prophetic Life?


Prophets come in to the scene when there is exploitation, oppression and misuse of power. The main work of the prophet is to speak the truth to the power that abuses. He speaks on behalf of God or God’s spokesperson on behalf of the voiceless suffering people. Those who cannot really speak.

Like the prophets, God the Father was with them. Like the first apostles, the Holy Spirit was with them in their journeys. So, we have to have the God with us in doing our individual missions for the kingdom of Christ.  A Church or a mission does not exist without the out-pouring of the Holy Spirit.

Christ is the greatest of all prophets because it is in him that everything in the Old Testament was fulfilled. He is the voice of the oppressed and relieved the suffering of many. Saint Paul urges us to become imitators of Christ (1 Cor 11:1, 1 Cor 4:16, Eph 5:1). As Christ saved us from slavery of sin and death, we have to be Christ for others especially the voiceless. We have to redeem others from physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual slavery. We need to be prophets in our days to those who are lonely, persecuted, and all those suffering caused by nature and those caused by the greed of some people.

In our own ways we can help and at the same time proclaim the Gospel to others. If we can only offer a little, then give a little, but if much is given then also much is expected from us. Where do we draw the line when talking about the right amount to spend for a cause is between us and God. We have to pray so we become more prudent with our decisions. God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor 9:7). God loves those who joyfully give some of their time, effort, skills, and money to others especially to the oppressed. By our love and service, we shall know that we are Christians.

“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

John 13:3

Let us serve Christ and the Church in all circumstances!


The Three Types of Faith


The three types or levels of faith are infantile faith, critical faith, and adult faith. Infantile faith is the faith we inherit from our parents. We learned to pray and worship God because our parents taught us to do so. You enter the critical level when you start asking questions about your faith and you are now asking for a reasonable answers. Your faith becomes adult when you fully understand your faith in general and you will be able to explain your faith to others.

For the practicing Catholic eyes, each person is entitled and can work for his salvation regardless of the level of faith he has. For example, an elderly prayerful laywoman who loves the sacraments and does pious practices, has same chance of salvation as the Pope in Rome or any well-known theologian.

I, personally, can say I am in between critical faith and adult faith. Definitely not infantile faith. How about you?

Let us serve Christ in all circumstances!