A View From The Back Row

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

The Difference Between Family and Friends

"Why is it that I feel more at home with my friends than with my family?" a teenager asked me once. Fortunately, I had read a few pages of the book of life ahead of her. "Your family are the friends you are born into; you have to grow in them," I said. "On the other hand, your friends are the family... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Two Unread Novels

I bought two novels in the last two months that I intended to read: Umberto Eco's "The Island of the Day Before" and "The Da Vinci Code." But after flipping through the first few pages of those books, I close them and simply forgot about them. Until today. I bought Eco's "The Island" because I... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Selling A Figure From The Past

How do you sell the dreams and the ideals of a man who lived several centuries ago? St. Augustine of Hippo is probably one of the few Fathers of the Church whom all Christians of the East and West would claim as their own. His books are still read, however, but by only a few specialists and lovers... Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, August 20, 2004

The Right and Duty of the Church To Safeguard The Family

All the hype surrounding controversies involving both Church and State (e.g., family planning, marriage) moves around one important area of human life: the family. The family is the smallest particle of the Church; it is also the smallest unit of the State. Whenever there is an issue that directly... Sign in to see full entry.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

They Call It Home

"Maligaya" is home to more than a hundred families. It is situated right along the railroad, it has no water facilities and the electricity used is mostly tapped from a neighbor who in turn has tapped on somebody else's lines. "Maligaya" is the tagalog word for "Happy." And there is only one word to... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Back To School, and Gladly!

Just a few months after getting transferred to a parish environment, I got invited back to school. The purpose was to give a seminar to the members of a religious organization for girls. I laughed at the thought at first, but when they explained to me that the religious organization was called... Sign in to see full entry.

Wednesday, July 7, 2004

Remember, Simba!

There is a scene in the movie "The Lion King" where Simba, now fully grown, is debating with himself about whether to return to his pride and risk being exposed as the murderer of his own father or to stay on with his new Hakuna Matata life style. Then Rafiki the "tribal priest" comes along and... Sign in to see full entry.

Thursday, July 1, 2004

My Teacher in Hebrew B

Sis. C. C. died of cancer some time ago. She died quite young at 55. She was my teacher in Hebrew B. Her lessons included the evolution of the Hebrew consonantal form, advanced Hebrew syntax and the peculiarities of Massoretic vowel pointing. Under her class, I learned to read and translate I to II... Sign in to see full entry.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Cynicism or Wisdom?

And old friar used to give this definition of education: "Telling myself something that I already know in front of a bunch of people who don't know any better." Is that cynical or just wise? Sign in to see full entry.

Friday, June 25, 2004

Rewriting Leo the Great

The great Pope once began a Christmas sermon with these words: "Christians, remember your dignity?" He may as well have said: "Christians, remember that you were not meant to sit in the back row." Sign in to see full entry.

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