To Search is to Find

To Search is to find

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?

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.

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.

To Search is to find

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.

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.

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?

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.

MONEY LENDERS

I know a member of a Catholic organization who runs a lending company which works like a 5-6. They are good leaders in our community but I understand that this is against the Church teachings.

The Bible forbids the lending of money with interest. But that was at a time when money had a stable value. Today the value of money changes so that if I lend you P10,000.00 today, next year when you give it back to me it will actually only be worth maybe P9,000.00 in terms of the goods it can buy or in terms of rice. So the Church does allow interest to be taken on a loan. That interest should not be excessive and it is to be judged by several factors. One important factor is the RISK involved. If there is no collateral then the lender runs the risk of losing everything and sometimes does. Hence he or she makes up for it by increasing the interest. Another factor is to ask what is the prevailing interest at that time and place. What is very wrong is to take advantage of people’s illness or otherwise to lend them money on a land title with an exorbitant interest rate and deliberately use that to get the land from them. This happened a lot in the Marcos years in the rural parts of the Philippines and was one of the factors that drove the revolution. Now to your friends we should be slow to judge and you would have to be quite sure that you really have the true details. People are inclined to give only their side of the story.

To Search is to find

For some time we have been asked to put in Misyon a section on Questions which our readers would like raised. We are not too sure how appropriate our suitable this is so please let us know if these questions have been of any help to you. We are calling this article To Search is To Find because we do not have the answers to every question – but the very asking of the question is the beginning of the answer.

Misyon to China

Sometimes you have articles on priest going to China. I thought China was not open to missionaries.

Answer: China is not a present open to missionaries in the traditional sense. You cannot preach the Gospel there publicly by word of mouth. But China does allow Christians to wok there and is quite content of them to preach the Gospel by their lives. Indeed it is the most effective way to preach the Gospel though a much more difficult way. That is one of the ways the Church developed in the early times; look at these Christians, see how they love one another!

Father Shay Cullen

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