With Satan’s Curse?

Could an inanimate object really be a medium to bring a curse? Or was it a mere manifestation of an artist’s ingenious creativity?

Last Thursday, I was greatly perturbed when an office mate called to my attention a controversial video from a popular show in Philippines, the Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, aired last September 10, 2017 on GMA Public Affairs.  I was just at first listening to the interview of the man who claimed that the religious item he had, possessed such grave impact upon his family enough for him to think it had the devil’s curse. I was even more alarmed when an exorcist priest, Diocese of Novaliches Chief Exorcist Father Rev. Ambrosio Nonato Legaspi, confirms of the existence of such thing and that there is a possibility of truth in such claim (http://cbcpnews.net/cbcpnews/faithful-warned-about-satanic-rosaries/ or check http://www.veritas846.ph/exorcist-reinstates-caution-satanic-rosaries/).

Getting curious by the minute I stood up and looked at the item in question. It looked oddly familiar to me, so I went back to my table and rummaged inside my bag to confirm what I just saw.

I didn’t know how I would feel as I looked more closely at the thing I took from my bag.  It was a gift I, as well as some of our batchmates, received from a former classmate when we met last April 2015 for the Annual Alumni held every summer at our Alma Mater. According to her, she bought it in one of her visits to Rome and had them blessed there.

As a fervent believer of the mysteries of the holy prayer known to most Catholics, I was really glad to had received such a one coming from the most holy place all Catholics thought to be which I could only dream of to go to in my whole life but doubt if I really could.

Then, looking at the religious item, I told my office mate, I have one in my possession which, of course, brought most of them to stand up on their feet and looked at the controversial item up close. It was the exact replica of the item on the video, a video of the interview on a man who claimed that what he had and what I have in possession is a so-called Satanic Rosary.

I told them I had it already for the last two years. The office mate who brought the video as a topic, asked me then if was it at the time when I got sick. It made me think and replied, “I had it when my second daughter got sick of dengue and had to be placed in the ICU due to grave danger in her life.”

One of my office mates who also happened to be a batchmate and who received the same thing from our former classmate, stood up and said she had the same item but didn’t believe the item is cursed as it was blessed from Rome, of all places, after all.

I asked the first office mate what was the exorcist priest’s advise as to what to do with the rosary. He answered that it should be surrendered to the church. Throwing it away is an act of sacrilege for Catholics. With that thought, I decided to approach our own clergy during the Saturday mass in the village chapel. 

The next day, another office mate, reading the many comments on a post on Facebook on the same topic, came upon a declaration of a member of a Satanic group (times are indeed different nowadays for people are more outgoing and brave to claim their uncanny beliefs to the whole world without shame or fear of censure). 

Anyway, the person claims that the controversial rosary is in no way be the right image of the satanic rosary since the symbols their members were using are the hexagram or “The Eye”. Well, thinking over that, his claim is somewhat more plausible to me than believing that the Satanic group would use Jesus Christ’s image as their symbol. Being a fan of many fiction books about witchcraft and immortal beings (i.e. Vampires, wolves, elves, etc.), hexagrams were often mentioned as a magical symbol for witchcraft and “The Eye” as a cult symbol.

But being as vulnerable as I am with how much difficulties I had to face and battle recently, I began to ponder heavily on the issue. So, when Saturday came and the time for the mass to begin, I dressed up and carried with me the rosary to the chapel. The mass went on without a hitch, with the gospel about forgiveness and how God is a forgiving master to advice Peter to forgive his brother not just seven times, but seven times seven more.

After the mass, before the Novena for the Divine Mercy would begin, I approached the officiating priest and asked him if I could ask his opinion on something. 

So walking a bit away from the other church-goers, I asked him if he heard about the issue regarding the Satanic Rosary and what does the church had to say about it.

He told me that as of present, the church had not made a definite stand or opinion regarding the matter. What the church says, according to him, that if in doubt, the item should not be used but definitely not thrown away. Better place it on the altar (to be near more sacred items to ward off any, if there is, of its demonic powers, I surmised).

The good priest, one way or the other, had the same thinking as I had that the creator of such instrument may had been merely expressing his ingenious creativity, depicting imagery that were misconstrued. The four suns on each corner of the cross could have been his way of telling the power of brightness that dispel sin from Jesus sacrifice of dying in the cross instead of being the symbols “of the Satanists…particularly by the group called Illuminati”, as stated by Rev. Legaspi on the CBCP news. The line spiralling down Jesus’ head could have been a decorative vine instead of a snake. Or if even it was a snake, it could be depicting or a portrayal of man’s grievous sins that Jesus Christ had to die for in the cross to save us from eternal death.

I may just have a positive or even poetic outlook towards the imagery portrayed on the religious item, but what was uppermost in my mind was that, it’s just too much of a convenience to blame an inanimate object, albeit something that was almost considered a lifeline by most elders in the Catholic faith, for all the negativity that occurs in our daily lives. After all, as the good priest I talked to himself said, the rosary is just a tool, an instrument we use to say the prayers. It is our heart that is actually communing with God. The issue could have just been to “detract believers from the Catholic faith”, to quote him.  

I am not, of course, undermining, the warnings made by Rev. Legaspi. He was after all been through several occurrences, personally witnessing and fighting against such demonic activities. He, among others, is more well-versed with such things and manifestations being an exorcist priest.

In fact, upon checking other articles on the net regarding the issue, and reading the two uppermost articles regarding it as per the two links I shared with you earlier. (http://www.veritas846.ph/exorcist-reinstates-caution-satanic-rosaries/ and http://cbcpnews.net/cbcpnews/faithful-warned-about-satanic-rosaries/), I was once again alarmed by the fact that the workings of the devil and his believers could be that intricate to worm their way through the peaceful lives of firm believers of Christianity, so much so that they would perform satanic rituals to spread chaos and create a medium for their intention to do so.  As of date, however, the Vatican is silent regarding the issue. CBCP News on its update last September 5, 2017, issued the following: 

Update as of September 5, 2017 

In social media comments, the story about satanic rosaries has been mistakenly attributed to the CBCP.  The CBCP Media Office has clarified that Fr. Ambrosio Nonato Legaspi was speaking as head of the diocese of Novaliches office of exorcism (Libera Nox) and not for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.”


We had to admit that for some other religious beliefs, sects or religions, the Catholics’ fervent belief on rosaries, statues, and images were actually of paganism attribute and would more likely readily agree that our entire belief on such religious items are sacrilegious, whether it is just the normal ordinary rosary or the so-called Satanic Rosary.

So, do I believe that the rosary I have had any demonic powers to bring down a curse upon me and my whole family?

Despite all the woeful events that occurred in my life, I don’t actually believe that the rosary had anything to do with it. (Am I just trying to make myself believe that?) 

The trials and difficulties we had, if I really had to be honest with myself, are results of decisions and actions I and my family had made or situations that not just my family are in. Meaning, there were types of situations that could have been avoided if we had been more careful in our decisions and undertakings. There were situations that were brought about by our surroundings or by carelessness. There were also those brought upon by circumstances that almost everyone in the workplace are suffering from, even those who don’t have the same rosary on them, or those not even within my vicinity to even consider blaming myself to have brought the blight with me.

What we should always remember, Catholics or not, our faith in One True God is not anchored on an inanimate object such as a rosary. Communicating with God is through our prayers, whether it be through repititive mumblings of Our Father and Hail Mary for us, Catholics, or random words from the bottoms of our hearts as most Christians do.

Trials and hardships in life does not spare anyone. Even Job, God’s faithful servant, had to experience the test of faith (https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Job+1&version=GNT&interface=amp). What we just need is the unwavering faith that God will not allow us to suffer what we cannot bear. All He is waiting for is for us to surrender everything into His capable hands. It is not wrong to acknowledge our weaknesses and instead be prepared to revel in the Power of God to make everything right. Believe when He said:


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Faith Changes Everything

Annyeonghaseyo! (Hello!)

It’s another serious talking today, guys and so as not to disappoint you, I have another quote from a Korean drama to share with you. 

The photo above (yehey, I was finally able to upload photos!), show a quote from the Korean tv series entitled Falsify starring Nam Goong Min (http://wiki.d-addicts.com/Nam_Goong_Min) as Han Moo-Young, who became a media jackal to unveil the truth behind the death of his brother who was murdered through a seemingly vehicular accident by a man with a tattoo for trying to correct falsified stories he published instigated by the director of the newspaper company he worked for and revealing social corruption involving the biggest newspaper company, the chief prosecutor and a secret organization.

The quote Han Moo-Young said to one of the victims of false accusation in the drama was this:  

“You may feel like you’re in the desert without a compass, but nothing will change if you keep on dwelling on your emotions.”

There are times in our lives that we feel how unfair fate it seems, that we feel like we were left in the middle of the desert without a compass, uncertain of which direction to take.  It is somewhat akin to a fish taken out of water and left to gasp for air and plop itself helplessly, seeking a way to breathe and survive.

No matter how much we wail and “plop” and let ourselves be enslaved by our dire situation, nothing will indeed change if we kept on dwelling on it.  

And although according to Friedrich Nietzsche: “Hope, in reality, is the worst of all evils because it prolongs the torments of man,” I’d rather continue to hope while positively thinking that all will come to pass.

My Dear Friends, what we all must bear in mind, when the road ahead becomes so difficult you can’t see a thing beyond a foot, when it seems all that surrounds you is a boundless desert, when life is seemed hopeless, is to never, ever lose faith.

Remember:

If The Devil Is Man’s Creation

My  Dear Readers, with a long weekend to enjoy here in Philippines, I had spent it on some creative hand-sewing that has taken a bit of my concentration in writing thus the delay of posting this article.  Hmm, must discipline myself more to stick to my schedule, right?

Anyway, today, let me share with you another quote I chanced along while watching Criminal Minds (http://asianwiki.com/Criminal_Minds_(Korean_Drama) starring my favorite actor Lee JoonGi (http://asianwiki.com/Lee_Joon-Gi), a quote from Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky, a Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, journalist and philosopher whose literary works explore human psychology during the troubled times of 19th-century Russia and engage in various realistic philosophical and religious themes.

As a born Christian, I was taught by my mother things about God, the Holy Trinity, the Virgin Mary and about evil things Satan has caused to mankind. As I was growing up, I attended catechism, and even read the Bible from cover to cover when I had to stop schooling for one year to undergo surgery. From such, I learned about the existence of Satan or Lucifer or the devil.

What I meant to say is that, from time immemorial, we knew of the existence of the devil as much as we knew of the existence of God. Whatever we see or feel that encompasses what we understood or classify as evil is caused by or wrought of the devil. 

With this quote from Fyodor Dostoyevsky, it can make us realize that if the devil does not exist, and we, humans, only made it up, meaning putting a specific name to which we find or consider as evil, the devil will indeed probably look like a human.

Despite what we might have read in the Bible, specifically from Ezekiel 28:12, that Lucifer is said to be the “seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty,” we can only attribute to it something our human mind can decipher, that is, based on that description he might look like this…

But if we wish to reiterate especially to small kids how evil Satan or Lucifer is, he will probably look just like an ugly man would with horns and tail.

Whatever the real face and looks of the devil, what we should remember is that he can take on forms and images we least expect.  He might look like a lamb but act as a wolf.  He might look innocent as a sheep but cunning as a fox.  Most, of all, he can be just like any human.

Is Conviction a Foe or Ally of Truth?

Convictions are more dangerous foes of truth than lies. – Friedrich Nietzsche

This week I am following an ongoing Korean drama series entitled Criminal Minds which mind you features one of my favorite Korean actors, Lee Joon-Gi.

This drama  focuses on a group of highly-trained profilers in the fictional National Crime Investigation (NCI) team who tries to profile and track down criminals to solve cases.

When we say profiling, by the way, it means “the recording and analysis of a person’s psychological and behavioral characteristics, so as to assess or predict their capabilities in a certain sphere or to assist in identifying a subgroup of people.” (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/profiling)

Anyway, while watching it, the above-stated quote came up and sparked my interest and imagination.

So, our topic today is about conviction.  What does conviction mean?

Conviction means a strong belief or opinion or the feeling of being sure that what you believe or say is true.

If conviction is such, how then it becomes a dangerous foe of truth rather than an ally?

Let us site an easy example how this line of thinking must have come about.

For example, in common household products we use, detergent powder for one, let’s say I have been using this one product for several years and strongly believe that this product is the best ever product by far. Even when surveys or vast promotions occur, since I firmly believe that the product I have been using is the best, I probably will insist on what I believe and deny whatever evidence other people will present.

On that example, you can probably see where and when conviction can become a threat to what is true. Can you picture out how much more dangerous can it be if on a larger scale?

A person who firmly believes he is not doing a grave mistake despite of it being morally wrong will continue to commit the same mistake over and over again despite the fact or truth that it is wrong, for he had convinced himself he has abide by his own beliefs.

This must be how those committing crimes from petty theft to plunder have convinced themselves to do what they do so as not to buckle down at the prick of their conscience.

That is when conviction becomes the truth’s foe rather than an ally. That is, when we let ourselves be blinded by our wrong beliefs to the point of denying the truth despite of it glaring at us like the sun at midnoon hour.

Truth as Wide as the Sky

“You can never cover the sky with your palm.” – Prince Jin Seong/Lee Yeok, Queen for Seven Days Korean Drama

Queen for Seven.Days is a story about two brothers fighting for the throne to the Kingdom of Joseon due ro rhe evil manipulations and machinations  of state councilors who wished to have their tight hold over the leader of the nation, as well as a poignant love story of a couple who chose to part for each to live and love each other for a long period of time.

From the many memorable dialogues this drama series had, one of the lines which caught my heart and imagination is the above-quoted line.  Prince Jin Seong uttered these words during one of the altercations between him and his older brother who was the King when the latter was trying to subdue him with the ever-present thought that the younger brother (Prince Jin Seong) is out to take the throne from him, knowing that their father, the former king, wanted him to abdicate the throne to his younger brother once he had already come of age.

This quote, “you can never cover the sky with your palm” is, of course, a metaphor which means that one can never really hide the truth.  

As how it is not possible to cover the sky with your palm, unless you delude yourself that you are able to by covering your eyes instead, just as when we try to deny the glaring truth by trying to close our eyes to it or by trying to look the other way when we see something that should not be but feel we have no power or the right to be involved in, but still deep in our heart and if we let our conscience prevail, we know we can never totally evade or deny reality.

“The truth will always prevail” is another way to say it, but sad to say, no matter how wide the sky, most people nowadays will choose to cover their eyes with their palm rather than meet the glare of the sun and be blinded or burned, for often the truth can be as blinding or as hot as the sun and many peole will rather settle for half-truths or little white lies than to know or accept reality, they will be willing to become a racing horse let loose on a track with its eyes covered with blinkers or blinders.  

If you are honest enough, can you ever say to yourself, you had never ever tried to cover the sky with your palm?

Smile as Bright as the Sun

“Smile often in order to have more reasons to smile about.” – Princess Hye-myung, My Sassy Girl Korean Drama

It’s just another ordinary Sunday to ponder about life and its drama.  So today, let me share with you, one of the catching quotes I read from a Korean drama I was watching lately.

You must have noticed by now that I seemed to be a bit partial with Korean dramas. What I particularly love from watching them are the moral values and teachings imparted in most stories especially the historical dramas. 

So, the above quotation has not failed to enlighten me and inspire me for this week’s post.

The previous months had been quite challenging for me that there came a point where I thought there seemed to be no reason to smile about.  I wake up in the morning and go about everything I was supposed to do for the day. I was on automatic mode. I work with a gloomy feeling, with my chest so heavy.

But then I realized, who am I punishing with this kind of attitude?  The more I think seriously of my situation, the heavier my heart became. God saw me through those difficult times, so I chose to trust Him fully with everything. With that thought, that choked feeling, the heaviness in my heart lifted. I can smile again.

I decided, whenever things got too heavy, I just need to think of something to smile about to lift my spirit up again, and whenever the heaviness of the heart started, I sing or hum, at least.

Why let ourselves be shackled ny our worldy worries when there must be a lot to smile about? Miracles happen everyday, we just need to acknowledge it for it to change our life and make our day brighter. 

A positive attitude is like a magnet. It pulls in positive energy that can repel negativeness away. Let us exude that positive energy and prevent darkness from prevailing. Smile as bright as the glaring sun in a hot summer day.

The Heart of a Good Servant

“To give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.”

              – Douglas Adams

My Dear Readers, for this week’s post, let me share with you the Thought For The Week I am supposed to shed light unto and expound for the benefit of my fellow public servants this Monday.

As public servants, the essence of  our being is service for the people. And to serve them we must do so to our utmost ability and capability with sincerity and integrity.

But what do we understand when we say sincerity and integrity?

Sincerity is said to be the quality of being free from pretense, deceit or hypocrisy.  It is a mix of seriousness and honesty.  Showing sincerity means being serious, kind and truthful.

Integrity, on the other hand, is the quality of being honest and having moral principles or moral uprightness. It is a personality trait we admire in a person because it means he/she has a moral compass  that doesn’t waver. It literally means “wholeness” of character, as an integer is a whole number with no fractions.

From both meanings we can deduce that for us to render what we call as “real service”, we  must serve  with a heart of a good servant, that is with seriousness, compassion, and honesty with a set of moral principles that doesn’t get tempted or swayed by the alluring scent of money or by the dazzling brilliance of grandeur and power (indi matintar o mahaylo sang inggat sang pilak o ingganyo sang manggad kag poder).

Lastly, let me share these words of wisdom: 

According to Scripture, virtually everything that truly qualifies a person for leadership is directly related to character. It’s not about style, status, personal charisma, clout, or worldly measurements of success. Integrity is the main issue that makes the difference between a good leader and a bad one. ~ John MacArthur

These words do not apply only to leaders but to us as well, as members of the society. Let us all have the heart of a good servant! Live life with sincerity, compassion and integrity!