Archive for October, 2009


October 29, 2009 Leave a comment
This is something I got in my e-mail inbox today that I thought was worth sharing (near verbatim)…

Jim Paredes wrote: Something that happened in Katipunan, Q.C.
Dear friends,
Many of you may not have heard of the incident that happened to a friend of my son last week at about 6:30 pm right in front of the thickly-populated area of BPI-Katipunan, near Shoppersville. She parked her car right in front of BPI to make a withdrawal and to do some grocery. As she was getting into her car after doing her chores, a man suddenly appeared beside her and tried to bully her into moving to the passenger seat. When she pressed her car horn to call attention, he pushed her in the car and pinned her down with his elbow on her neck. It was a good thing that she had the presence of mind to continue to struggle and press on her car horn to catch attention (even if she had to use her foot to do this). Her assailant even tried to make people believe that it was a domestic matter by telling the crowd not to get involved as it was a "private matter". But with the onlookers multiplying by the second, her assailant finally gave up and ran. That was when she stood up and shouted for help. Thank God the guy got caught and is now under police custody.
Last Saturday, during the inquest, she told me that what gave her the guts to fight her assailant was the article "THROUGH A RAPIST’S EYES" forwarded to our e-group about a week prior to her attack. I am re-forwarding the article (you can find it at the bottom of this e-mail) for everyone’s benefit. Please tell your friends, family, and loved ones about this. It works. May I just add that to a certain extent, we have to get ourselves involved if we see violence being committed on anyone like calling on a security guard or a police officer even if it appears to be a domestic matter. It seems that a lot of attackers use that tactic to get away with violence. Not many people know how to take care of themselves when faced with such a situation. Everyone, please be very, very careful.
FYI – Through a rapist’s eyes!
A group of rapists and date rapists in prison were interviewed on what they look for in a potential victim and here are some interesting facts:
  1. The first thing men look for in a potential victim is hairstyle. They are most likely to go after a woman w ith a ponytail, bun, braid or other hairstyle that can easily be grabbed. They are also likely to go after a woman with long hair. Women with short hair are not common targets.
  2. The second thing men look for is clothing. They will look for women whose clothing is easy to remove quickly. Many of them carry scissors around to cut clothing.
  3. They also look for women on their cell phone, searching through their purse or doing other activities while walking because they are off guard and can be easily overpowered.
  4. The number one place women are abducted from/attacked at is a grocery store parking lot.
  5. Number two are office parking lots/garages.
  6. Number three are public restrooms.
  7. The thing about these men is that they are looking to grab a woman and quickly move her to a second location where they don’t have to worry about getting caught. If you put up any kind of a fight at all, they get discouraged because it only takes a minute or two for them to realize that going after you isn’t worth it because it will be time-consuming.
  8. These men said they would not pick on women who have umbrellas, or other similar objects that can be used from a distance, in their hands.
  9. Keys are not a deterrent because you have to get really close to the attacker to use them as a weapon. So, the idea is to convince these guys you’re not worth it.
  1. If someone is following behind you on a street or in a garage or with you in an elevator or stairwell, look them in the face and ask them a question, like ‘what time is it’, or make general small talk like ‘can’t believe it is so cold out here, we’re in for a bad winter’. Now that you’ve seen their faces and could identify them in a line- up, you lose appeal as a target.
  2. If someone is coming toward you, hold out your hands in front of you and yell ‘Stop!’ or ‘Stay back!’ Most of the rapists this man talked to said they’d leave a woman alone if she yelled or showed that she would not be afraid to fight back. Again, they are looking for an EASY target.
  3. If you carry pepper spray (this instructor was a huge advocate of it and carries it with him wherever he goes,) yelling ‘ I HAVE PEPPER SPRAY!’ and holding it out will be a deterrent.
  4. If someone grabs you, you can’t beat them with strength but you can do it by outsmarting them. If you are grabbed around the waist from behind, pinch the attacker either under the arm between the elbow and armpit or in the upper inner thigh – HARD . One woman in a class this guy taught told him she used the underarm pinch on a guy who was trying to date rape her and was so upset she broke through the skin and tore out muscle strands the guy needed stitches. Try pinching yourself in those places as hard as you can stand it; it really hurts.
  5. After the initial hit, always go for the groin. I know from a particularly unfortunate experience that if you slap a guy’s parts it is extremely painful. You might think that you’ll anger the guy and make him want to hurt you more, but the thing these rapists told our instructor is that they want a woman who will not cause him a lot of trouble. Start causing trouble, and he’s out of there.
  6. When the guy puts his hands up to you, grab his first two fingers and bend them back as far as possible with as much pressure pushing down on them as possible. The instructor did it to me without using much pressure, and I ended up on my knees and both knuckles cracked audibly.
  7. Of course the things we always hear still apply. Always be aware of your surroundings, take someone with you if you can and if you see any odd behavior, don’t dismiss it, go with your instincts. You may feel a little silly at the time, but you’d feel much worse if the guy really was trouble.
I know you are smart enough to know these pointers but there will be some time, when you will go "Hmm… I must remember that." After reading, forward it to someone you care about. Never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.
  1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do: The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do it. 
  2. Learned this from a tourist guide to New Orleans : If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM. Toss it away from you… chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you and he will go for the wallet and/or purse. RUN LIKE MAD IN THE OTHER DIRECTION!
  3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car: Kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won’t see you but everybody else will. This has saved lives.
  4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc.) DON’T DO THIS!The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go. AS SOON AS YOU LOCK YOUR DOORS…LEAVE!
  5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:
    • Be aware. Look around you. Look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat.
    • If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
    • Look at the car parked on the driver’s side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out. IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)
  6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot).
  7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times. And even then, it most likely WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN!
  8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP IT! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.
I’d like you to forward this to all the women you know.  It may save a life.  A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle.  I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc. you may wish to pass it onto them, as well.
Send this to any woman you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of craziness in it and it’s better safe than sorry.
Categories: Health and wellness


October 28, 2009 Leave a comment
Written by Fr. John Speekman, taken from the monthly October e-mail of the 24 hr Chaplet of Divine Mercy headed by Jay Hasting.
Crux Fidelis, Cross of gladness, tree on which our hope is hung, make our arms be as Your branches, Your’s the song that must be sung.
The Cross in our lives usually occupies the same space we put all the other unpleasant, unwanted things – disappointments, hurts, humiliations, failures – all the burdensome things we don’t want to remember, all the broken relationships and sufferings of our lives. Needless to say it’s not a pleasant spot to go; it’s a dark, uncomfortable place, to be avoided at all costs.
This is what makes today’s feast so puzzling – The Triumph of the Cross. Even for Christians it’s not an easy thing to make sense of, while for the godless world which seeks to avoid the Cross at all times it’s just sheer madness.
This lack of understanding of the Cross and its place in our Christian lives lies at the heart of our difficulties with it. St Peter was the first to reject it: ‘Heaven preserve you, Lord;’ he said ‘this must not happen to you’. Jesus quickly rebuked him but it was a long time before Peter understood. The trouble is, the Cross is God’s way of thinking but not ours.
St. Paul seems to have learned more easily: As for me, the only thing I can boast about is the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.(Gal 6:14).
But even Paul recognised that the Cross was to the Jews an obstacle that they cannot get over, to the pagans madness. (1Cor1:23). He said also: The language of the Cross may be illogical to those who are not on the way to salvation, but those of us who are on the way see it as God’s power to save. (1Cor 1:18).
God’s power to save! A little later (vs. 24) he calls it the power and the wisdom of God.
Jesus himself said: Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me (Mt 10:38).
At another time he said: If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me (Mt 16:24).
The people at the foot of the Cross of Calvary totally rejected the Cross and yelled: .come down from the Cross!(Mt 27:40)
The chief priests with the scribes and elders made it a condition of faith in Jesus: .let him come down from the Cross now, and we will believe in him (Mt 27:42).
Whatever way you look at it, our relationship to the Cross is a defining reality of our Christian life. This is borne out almost every day in my work as a hospital chaplain. There I meet Catholics who no longer believe in God’s goodness, or even his existence, because of the Cross they must carry; while others, like Mrs Grixti, adrift on an ocean of intense pain, can look up at me and say with gut-wrenching conviction, ‘God is so good. God is so good.’
I know I’m digressing here but one reason for it all is the fact that all too often our faith is dependent – our faith depends. I remember the man who stopped believing ‘because of the war’. I remember the young mother who wanted to believe but every time she went to church something bad seemed to happen. Then there was the old man who could no longer believe because his son was killed by a runaway car; and the woman who came to believe because a prayer was answered.
Very few people believe in the existence of God with a faith that is ‘sovereign’, that is, independent of changing circumstances and experiences. People who say: I believe God exists because God exists.
On the way through the wilderness the Israelites lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses .
To lose patience with God or to speak against God is the same as losing faith in him; the Israelites lost faith. As the NAB translation of Psalm 106:13 says so eloquently: .they soon forgot all he had done; they had no patience for his plan; and it’s precisely God’s ‘plan’ that is the key to understanding the Cross.
At this point in our reflection I can’t present you with a fully developed theology of the Cross, rather let me outline again our Christian faith in the power of God who reconciled us to God and made peace by his death on the cross (c.f. Eph 2:16 and Col 1:20).
There is no hope we can ever understand this reconciliation or this peace which Christ won for us, if we don’t have a lively appreciation of the debt humanity was in through the sin of Adam and Eve. Through that Original Sin the floodgates of suffering and death were opened and mankind found itself helpless to restore the innocence and harmony which it had forfeited.
The plan of God was to enter the suffering itself and take it to himself in Jesus.
He has overridden the Law, and cancelled every record of the debt that we had to pay; he has done away with it by nailing it to the Cross (Col 2:14). In this way he opened for us the way to heaven.
He was bearing our faults in his own body on the Cross, so that we might die to our faults and live for holiness; through his wounds you have been healed (1Pet 2:24).
And now he says to each one of us, ‘Do not be afraid. Retrieve all those discarded sufferings, your Cross. Gather them all up and follow me. They are your salvation now, because I have made suffering the greatest possible expression of love open to man. Your sufferings are invaluable when you bear them with me and they will lead you to eternal life.’
Categories: Religion

Keep In Touch

October 22, 2009 Leave a comment
Love knows no limits and true friendships last a lifetime.
Get back in touch with someone today.
You’ll be glad you did.
Categories: Ideas and Philosophy

Quilt of Holes

October 15, 2009 Leave a comment
Taken from a post in Facebook
As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.
Before each of us laid our lives like the squares of a quilt in many piles; an angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that is our life.
But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations I was faced with in every day life. I saw hardships that I endured, which were the largest holes of all.
I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.
My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.
Finally the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth. The others rose; each in turn, holding up their tapestries. So filled their lives had been.
My angel looked upon me, and nodded for me to rise.
My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes. I had love in my life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world, as I knew it. I had to start over many times. I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.
And now, I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was.
I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.
Then, I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image, the face of Christ.
Then our Lord stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes.
He said, ‘Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than there was of you.’
May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!
God determines who walks into your life…it’s up to you to decide who you let walk away, who you let stay, and who you refuse to let go.
When there is nothing left but God that is when you find out that God is all you need.
Categories: Religion

Intercession of Heaven

October 11, 2009 Leave a comment
The following are my collective thoughts to date regarding the help we get when we ask it from our family and friends in Heaven. 
The Saints suffered a lot more than everyone else.  The thought crossed my mind that if Jesus, Mary or one of His angels appeared to a person, this would only result in hardship and later on Sainthood.  That may be true.  However consider also the opportunity – the favor done out of mercy – that God gives that particular person.  It is a more active share in participating in His work of salvation.  Where the work of salvation is more, there where He is more, and to be that close physically and spiritually with the Creator and Savior of the universe is indeed a great privilege.
There was a time when I wondered why we still needed to pray to Mother Mary and all the Saints when in fact we can go straight to God, to Jesus for our prayers and help.  We know this to be true, because out of God’s love for us He would want us to approach Him in prayer.  I think it’s still okay to pray to Mother Mary and the Saints only because God gives them a share in His work of Salvation.  Ultimately whatever intercession Mother Mary and the Saints are able to do for us, they would not be able to do without God’s consent, too.  And they would not be able to do any intercessory work at all if He also didn’t permit it.  God’s graciousness allows them a share in His work of Salvation.  Their intercessory assistance is not an end in itself, for ultimately it’s used to help bring us closer to Him. 
One other thing to consider: God is a community in and of Himself by virtue of being three Persons.  Granted that God is love, this in a way makes sense because by the very nature that we know love to be, it is not selfish and in fact is generous of one’s self.  Mother Mary and the Saints have an opportunity to express their love for God and us by helping us in our needs in this world…
One new insight I’d like to add is this: By allowing our family and friends in Heaven to help us, God shows His generosity to His children: He allows Mother Mary and the company of Heaven to express their love for Him and all His people by participating in His work of salvation.
Let’s not hesitate to have recourse to our family and friends in Heaven for the help we need in this world.  They have gone through what we are going through now, and by their union with God they can serve as His instruments to give us the graces we need. 
Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You!
Categories: Religion


October 5, 2009 Leave a comment
Adrian Gurvitz
Got to write a classic
Got to write it in an attic
Babe, I’m an addict now
An addict for your love
I was a stray boy
And you was my best toy
Found it easy to annoy you
But you were different from the rest
And I loved you all the wrong ways
Now listen to my say
If it changed to another way
Would the difference make it
Would it be a classic
I gotta send it right away
Expressing my words
One page at a time
Then tearing them up
‘Cause they never rhyme
Alone in my room
So far from your love
Whatever I write
That’s not good enough
And it’s not what I mean
I mean it’s not what it seems
I just keep living for dreams
Got to write a classic
Got to write it in an attic
Babe, I’m an addict now
An addict for your love
Gotta write it down and send it right away
Got to write a classic
Got to write it in an attic
Babe, I’m an addict now
An addict for your love
Now I’m living my life
One day at a time
Since losing your love
I’ve been losing my mind
No more can I see
The future so clear
And it’s not what I mean
I mean it’s not what it seems
I just keep living for dreams
And it’s not what I mean
I mean it’s not what it seems
I just keep living for dreams
Got to write a classic
Got to write it in an attic
Babe, I’m an addict now
An addict for your love
Gotta write it down and send it right away
Got to write a classic
Got to write it in an attic
Babe, I’m an addict now
An addict for your love
Categories: Music

Never Be Afraid To Try!

October 5, 2009 2 comments
The following are some quotes I got about criticism and not being afraid that I feel are worth noting.  They are from people in history, people I personally know, or simply from the collective tome of the anonymous. 
  • “No one ever built a monument to a critic.” – Rush Limbaugh
  • “Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain – and most do.” – Benjamin Franklin
  • “Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.” – Benjamin Franklin
  • “It’s not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doers of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who was actually in the arena, whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood, who knows at best the triumph of high achievement and who if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” – Teddy Roosevelt
  • “Our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most importantly, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.” – Anonymous
  • “It’s hard to wait for something you know might not happen, but it’s harder to give up when you know it’s everything you’ve ever wanted.” – Jeff M.
  • “If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is always NO. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.” – Nora Roberts
Never be afraid to try.  Even if you fail, you are still better off than the man who will forever be wondering how things would have turned out if he only dared to make his dream come true by taking a chance. 
Yes, you can fail.  And yes, things could actually be bad when you fail.  However things will only be worse with regret if you don’t even take a shot. 
Anything worth doing is never easy. 
So take a chance and go for your dream! 
Jesus, King of Mercy, I trust in You! 
Categories: Ideas and Philosophy