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Why do you love your parents?

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How important is religion to our lives because many people keep on telling me that their religion is the right one, and I am supposed to be a member of the right religion in order to be saved? It makes me confused . . . help me to answer this question that keeps on bothering me . . .

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BABIES AT MASS

Is it okay to bring noisy, loud and restless babies/toddlers to Mass?

Last Sunday in a church in England, where I am as I write this, I told the people about the time when I was not yet three when I was ordered out of the church along with my pregnant mother. It was during a weekday Mass after Christmas and I shouted ‘Ba-ba’ at the infant in the crib. I’m sure the priest had ‘got out of bed on the wrong side’ that morning, as we say in Ireland.  I told the people on Sunday that what happened especially to my mother – it was a traumatic experience for her – has always reminded me to be patient with noisy children in church. Later during my homily a baby of one year began to cry and I said ‘He must have been listening to my story’. Everyone laughed and the baby stopped crying.

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Is it okay to be late for Mass?

No, it’s not okay to deliberately choose to be late for Sunday Mass.

If you were invited to a wedding or to a birthday party would you deliberately choose to be late?

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We do not have the answers to every question – maybe only a partial answer that could set you in the right direction. But the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer.  So why don’t you send us your questions and together we will search.

Last January Archbishop Jesus A. Dosado CM of Ozamiz ordained Columban Father Jovito Dales to the priesthood. Young readers often ask how they can know if God is calling them to the priesthood or religious life and how they can prepare to live such a life. On 17 February Pope Benedict met with seminarians of the Roman Major Seminary and they asked him some questions related to those topics. Here are some of the questions along with the Pope’s answers. These have been slightly edited.

HOW DOES GOD SPEAK?

Gregorpaolo Stano, Diocese of Oria (First-Year Philosophy): Your Holiness, ours is the first of two years dedicated to discernment, during which we are taught to make a profound personal examination. It is a tiring exercise for us, because the language of God is special, and only those who are attentive are able to discern it among the thousands of voices clamoring inside us. We are asking you, therefore, to help us to understand how God talks in practice and what clues he gives you in his private pronouncements?

To Search is to find

We do not have the answers to every question – maybe only a partial answer that could set you in the right direction. But the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer.  So why don’t you send us your questions and together we will search.

LEFT OUT

I’m a high school student and consider myself as a religious person. But I always feel left out. I suppose my classmates hate me. Nobody likes me. Sometimes in my most difficult times I even doubt that God/Christ exists especially when people produce movies such as ‘The Da Vinci Code” and everything else that weakens the Christian faith. I am very confused with these things. What should I do? What should I believe? Please help me.

To Search is to find

We do not have the answers to every question – maybe only a partial answer that could set you in the right direction. But the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer.  So why don’t you send us your questions and together we will search.

WHAT’S IN A WORD

What does the word ‘Catholic’ mean?

I have adapted this answer from a feature article by Steve Ray which you can find at Catholic Answers at www.catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0501fea4.asp and at www.catholicconvert.com, Steve Ray’s own website.  He’s a former Evangelical Protestant involved now in full-time teaching in the Catholic Church as a writer and speaker.

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1. Do I understand correctly that bahala na is trust?

‘Bahala na’ can mean trust in the Lord when we recognize our own limitations and helplessness. But it can also be a refusal to take responsibility for our own actions and their consequences.

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We do not have the answers to every question – but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer. So why don’t you send us your questions and let us together find the answers to our questions.

SIMBANG GABI

There are priests that are gradually doing away with the tradition of Dawn Mass every December by celebrating it in the evening. Is this okay for the Church?

There are occasions when the priest has too many Masses to say and in more than one church so he is forced to put the Dawn Mass in the evening. There are also well-off suburban churches who go for the easier option and persuade the priests to change even though there is no real necessity. I think this is a pity because there is a bit of magic and memory in the sacrifice of the Dawn Mass and that traditional snack with old friends as the sun comes up. Long may it survive. But then the only way it will is if you and your friends make your voice heard at the Convento. After all you are the Church.

BUKAS LALAW

Bukas Lalaw is a popular belief of Filipinos that after someone has died, his/her spirit has 40 more days to stay here on earth and after that goes to heaven or to hell. We even prepare a sort of party and a special Mass for this. Is this necessary or after the burial can we just go ahead with our lives without anymore having this Bukas Lalaw?

To Search is to find

We do not have the answers to every question – but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer. So why don’t you send us your questions and let us together find the answers to our questions.

To Search is to find

We do not have the answers to every question – but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer. So why don’t you send us your questions and let us together find the answers to our questions.

WHY DO WE HAVE TO CONFESS TO A PRIEST?

I do not want to go to a confession on a one-to-one basis. I prefer to ask forgiveness for my sins from God personally. Or would general absolution do?

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