Friday, April 13, 2012

Visita Iglesia may download a free Visita Iglesia Guide here or here. (two forms).

This practice among Filipinos on Holy Thursday is rooted in a practice in Mexico (as most of our practices are), and in turn this Mexican practice is rooted in a Roman practice.After some search in the internet, I found this explanation which I thought was the most meaningful:

The Seven Churches Visitation or Visita a las Siete Casas in Mexico commemorates:

the stops (visits or stations) that were made by Jesus on his way to Calvary:

1st Visit: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22: 39-46)
2nd Visit: Jesus bound and taken before Annas (John 18: 19-22)
3rd Visit: Jesus taken before the High Priest, Caiaphas (Matthew 26: 63-65)
4th Visit: Jesus taken before Pilate (John 18,35-37)
5th Visit: Jesus taken before Herod (Luke 23: 8-9; 11)
6th Visit: Jesus taken before Pilate again (Matthew 27: 22-26)
7th Visit: Jesus given the crown of thorns and led to his crucifixion (Matthew 27: 27-31)

Upon entering the church one kneels, makes the sign of the cross, reads the above noted scriptures, reads a special meditation and ends with 5 Our Fathers, 5 Hail Marys and 5 Glorias. After this, one makes a personal reflection before moving on to the next church. In Mexico they sell small booklets outside the churches with the prayers to be used as a guideline. However, most eliminate the actual scripture leaving only the meditation (which may or may not coincide with the scripture). Many Mexican Catholics perform a “Holy Hour” (Hora Santa) after the last visit.

I translated a Visita Iglesia Guide and you can download it here or here


Other sources: - with a sample prayer in Spanish - prayers in English - a bit of history

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

How to renew the world

That's a big title. But Christians are here to do big things. For with God, nothing is impossible (Lk 1:37).

So how do we renew the world? By renewing the Church.

And how do we renew the Church?

The solution comes from the greatest analyzer of present-day affairs: Pope Ratzinger.

To a great extent, the renewal of the Church throughout the world depends on the renewal of the practice of Penance and the growth in holiness which that sacrament both inspires and accomplishes.

The liberating power of this sacrament needs to be rediscovered and owned once again by every Catholic.

Let's start in our beloved Catholic country: let each Filipino Catholic rediscover the liberating power of Confession, so we can renew the Church and the world. That's our mission.

To help in this renewal, you might want to spread the use of these leaflets: Confession: Simple Reasons, Simple Steps. In Filipino: Kumpisal: Simpleng Dahilan, Simpleng Paraan.