Friday, 23 December 2016

Fasting and abstinence on Christmas Eve

Today is 23 December, a Friday.

Felipe Checa y Delicado, 1896
Museo del Prado

Under the current Code of Canon Law, with approval from the Holy See, Filipinos are required either to abstain from meat, or to perform an act of penance. Before the lamentable dilution of many things that made us Catholic, 23 December was a day of fasting and abstinence. While no longer binding, it is praiseworthy and indeed noble to observe this old penance, to soften the rigidity of our gluttonous appetites with the parvity and simplicity of our meals.

There exist amongst us pockets of disagreement over which day is the traditional date. One side argues that 23 December was the date observed during the Spanish era. Another side argues that 24 December was the Spanish observance.

Once and for all, we present the timeline below:

Monday, 12 December 2016

Our Lady of Guadalupe

Today is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Heavenly Patroness of the Philippine Islands! ¡Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe!

Our Lady of Guadalupe
Heavenly Patroness of the Philippines

Obsession with rank is a cultural baggage common to Filipinos. It runs the gamut from stage mothers pitting their preschoolers against each other in school singing competitions, to media networks appropriating for themselves meteoric ratings based on their statistics in hand. Companies attempt to harness the better aspects of this Filipino tendency, rebranding it as a strong bias towards excellence, but, as is almost always the case, never quite succeed in banishing its malignant expressions.

We are tempted into tracing this obsession to the agglomeration of many proverbial nations forming the proverbial Philippine state. Scattered settlements, congealed into colonies, kept in check by a combination of divide et impera and a caste system that placed importance not only on racial purity but, more importantly, on birth geography, created a regionalism that is barely masked by a fabricated linguistic unity under a national patois. This, together with the padrino system, which is anchored on a complex social and societal contract, in a multitiered and bureaucratic government, ultimately increases the burden of our obsession with rank.

Our Lady of Guadalupe is a victim of this Filipino obsession.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Third Sunday of Advent A.D. 2016

On 11 December 2016, Third Sunday of Advent, otherwise known as Gaudete Sunday, Mass was celebrated at the Parish of the Most Holy Redeemer in the Diocese of Cubao. Assisting were members of the Societas Ecclesia Dei Sancti Ioseph – Una Voce Philippines.

At the chanting of the Introit, during the prayers at the foot of the altar; at the chanting of the Epistle; and at the distribution of Holy Communion. Rose and organ music, for one Sunday during Advent, soften the penitential character of the season.

Ut in omnibus laudetur Dominus.