Prayer Before Reading Our Blog

Come Holy SpiritCome Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.

V. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.

R. And You shall renew the face of the earth.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

Prayer for Enlightenment

O Holy Spirit, divine Spirit of light and love, I consecrate to Thee my understanding, my heart and my will, my whole being for time and for eternity. May my understanding be always obedient to Thy heavenly inspirations and the teachings of the holy Catholic Church, of which Thou art the infallible Guide; may my heart be ever inflamed with love of God and of my neighbor; may my will be ever conformed to the divine will, and may my whole life be a faithful following of the life and virtues of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, to whom with the Father and Thee be honor and glory for ever. Amen.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Why Do Catholics Celebrate Festivals?

Pista ng Nayon
Pista ng Nayon
Anywhere here in the Philippines, Catholics prepare every time there is a feast as gratitude for the graces given by the Lord to us.
Just like Abraham serving the Lord God, we are also serving this festivity.
“When Isaac grew up and was about to be weaned, Abraham prepared a huge feast to celebrate the occasion.”(Genesis 21:8)
Part of the festival is dining and drinking.
“So Isaac prepared a covenant feast to celebrate the treaty, andthey ate and drank together.”(Genesis 26:30)
All of us Catholics are glad whenever we celebrate the festival in our area.
You shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the  Levite, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are within your towns.”(Deuteronomy 16:14)

Did God order us to celebrate the feast?

As early as the first period, God allowed people to celebrate the festival because of his loving-kindness unto thousands of them.
“Behold, upon the mountains, the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace! Keep your feasts, O Judah; fulfill your vows, for never again shall the worthless pass through you; he is utterly cut off.”(Nahum 1:15)

Why is there a Holy Mass in every feast?

Because we want to thank God for all his blessings, we want to this occasion to be solemn.
He gave splendor to feasts and even greater magnificence to the more solemn occasions, exalting the holy Name of the Lord and having the sanctuary ring with his praises from early morning.”(Sirach 47:10)
Before he celebrated, King Solomon offered the  offering and celebrated a feast for the people.
“Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.”(1 Kings 3:15)
For Catholics, the holy mass is the highest prayer. Before we have fun and eat to celebrate the feast, we need to pray for many things including the blessings we have received.
“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.”(1 Timothy 4:4-5)

Anti-Catholics say that only Pagans celebrate this feast

Not all feasts belong to Pagans. There are many verses in the Bible which prove that the feast is celebrated the feast of the Glory of God.
In fact, Levi then gives a feast in his own house to celebrate his call.
“After this he went out and saw a tax collector named Levi, sitting at the tax booth. And he said to him, “Follow me.” And leaving everything, he rose and followed him. And Levi made him a great feast in his house, and there was a large company of tax collectors and others reclining at table with them.”(Luke 5:27-29)
Feeding the poor during the feast is not a Pagan practice but something that will follow Christ.
“But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,”(Luke 14:13)

Why are there too many complaints and comments of the INC 1914? The Ang Dating Daan and other anti-Catholics also complain against Catholics during the celebrations?

When Levi celebrated the feast for the Lord Jesus, the Scribes and Pharisees also complained.
“But the Pharisees and their teachers of religious law complained bitterly to Jesus’ disciples, “Why do you eat and drink with such scum?”(Luke 5:30)
We hear complaints and comments from anti-Catholics whenever we celebrate the feasts, like the feast of the Black Nazarene, Feast of Sto. Niño, and other feasts to devote to the Lord.
This is because they feel so jealous of the festival like the feast of the Sto. Niño as we Catholics are bad in their eyes.
“All the days of the afflicted are evil, but the cheerful of heart has a continual feast.”(Proverbs 15:15)

Why are there Feast of the Saints? Is this not false worship because it is only the feast of God and not the feast of the saints that we should celebrate?

We are celebrating the feast to thank God for the gift of holiness through that saint, to honor that saint for his life of heroic holiness and to present him to our people as model of faith.
Just like the people of God, they celebrate the festivities because of the victory that they achieved. We recall the saints as models of humility and committing good acts because the grace of God was bestowed to them. The people of God celebrate the feast as the people of God because of the victory they committed.
“This was on the thirteenth day of Adar. On the next day, the fourteenth, there was no more killing, and they made it a joyful day of feasting. The Jews of Susa, however, made the fifteenth a holiday, since they had slaughtered their enemies on the thirteenth and fourteenth and then stopped on the fifteenth. This is why Jews who live in small towns observe the fourteenth day of the month of Adar as a joyous holiday, a time for feasting and giving gifts of food to one another.”(Esther 9:17-19)
We also need to celebrate the victory achieved by the people which served as good examples for their humility. We need to follow them to be holy.

Why do we use the images of saints and offer flowers when we celebrate feast days?

King Solomon made an offering before the Ark of the Covenant Then he held a feast for all his servants.
“Then he came to Jerusalem and stood before the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and offered up burnt offerings and peace offerings, and made a feast for all his servants.”(1 Kings 3:15)
The cherub is an indication wherein God will meet with the leaders of Israel.
There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.”(Exodus 25:22)
In short, the cherubs remind us about God.
The images and statues of Saints are used to remind us of the saints so that they can follow their examples in loving God.