Author Archive: Cristina Montes

Cristina Montes, from the Philippines, is a lawyer, writer, amateur astronomer, a gardening enthusiast, a voracious reader, a karate brown belter, an avid traveler, and a lover of birds, fish, rabbits, and horses. She is a die-hard Lord of the Rings fan who reads the entire trilogy once a year. She is the eldest daughter in a large, happy Catholic family.

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Easter Triduum Family Traditions

Easter Triduum Family Traditions

[ 0 ] April 24, AD 2014 |

This year, the biggest feast of Christendom happened to fall on the date of our parents’ fortieth wedding anniversary. I find the coincidence fitting. The wedding of our parents forty years ago marked the beginning of the transmission of life and faith to us, their children. Among the happy family memories we recall together with […]

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Nothing Changes

Nothing Changes

[ 3 ] April 10, AD 2014 |

By now, those who have been monitoring the events in the Philippines know that the Supreme Court upheld as constitutional the Reproductive Health Law except for eight provisions. In a nutshell, this means that state-sponsored, state-subsidized contraception remains in place. However, the nullification of certain provisions of the law means, among other things, that private […]

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Dr. Quirino Sugon, Jr.: A Scientist and a Theist

Dr. Quirino Sugon, Jr.: A Scientist and a Theist

[ 1 ] March 27, AD 2014 |

Dr. Quirino Sugon, Jr. is a scientist; a physicist, to be exact. He derives equations using geometric algebra while teaching physics at the Ateneo de Manila University. He also heads the Upper Atmosphere Dynamics Program of the Manila Observatory, where he researches on space weather. “Space weather is the weather in outer space that the […]

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When Attending Mass is Tedious

When Attending Mass is Tedious

[ 8 ] February 27, AD 2014 |

Even the most devout Catholics have to drag themselves to mass on some days. What should we do when attending mass seems more like a chore than the spiritual delight it should be? The short answer: go anyway. The supernatural graces we receive from the mass have nothing to do with the euphoria (or lack […]

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Celebrating Christmas on the Streets

Celebrating Christmas on the Streets

[ 0 ] January 2, AD 2014 |

In the Philippines, while the well-to-do families feast on traditional ham, roasted suckling pig, steak, or turkey on Christmas Eve, many other people spend the night begging. Way back in 2009, my friend Carlos had spiritual direction sessions with a priest famed for his work with the poor.  Carlos documented his own major spiritual experiences […]

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Seeking the Truth Amidst Satirical Sites

Seeking the Truth Amidst Satirical Sites

[ 0 ] January 1, AD 2014 |

The article posted on the Diversity Chronicle blog stating that Pope Francis, during a supposed Third Vatican Council, condemned racism and declared all religions to be the same, is a satire. Those of us with a rudimentary knowledge of how the Catholic Church works know that the story is false. How do we counteract the […]

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Reflections on Generosity

Reflections on Generosity

[ 0 ] December 5, AD 2013 |

The past month has been, for me, a month of humbling lessons in generosity as millions worldwide answered calls to help my fellow-Filipinos who survived Typhoon Haiyan. I learned, for example, that one need not be rich or powerful in order to be generous. Stories abound of such examples as a pre-schooler who donated his […]

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“I’m Gonna Confess, Support Me”

“I’m Gonna Confess, Support Me”

[ 8 ] November 7, AD 2013 |

The title is a Facebook status that one of my friends once posted. When I saw it, I thought she was asking for prayers because she was about to receive the sacrament of confession. Only after several other friends posted the same status did I realize that some Facebook game, meme, or even virus is […]

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Issues With Pope Francis

Issues With Pope Francis

[ 9 ] October 4, AD 2013 |

By now, a lot has been written about the recent controversial interviews of Pope Francis – what the media think he said, what he actually said, what he should or should not have said. I have seen people suffer because of the confusion the interviews caused. These people are Catholics who, because of their knowledge […]

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Offering Them Alternatives

Offering Them Alternatives

[ 3 ] September 12, AD 2013 |

In this excellent blog entry about Muslim child brides and the lost innocence of children, blogger Quirino Sugon asks, “We may condemn the Muslim practice of child brides, but have we also looked at our own culture and try to see how far we have wrought emotional, moral, and spiritual harm to little children through […]

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Lorenzo

Lorenzo

[ 3 ] August 15, AD 2013 |

Lorenzo, a contemporary opera about the life of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, oozes with all the human drama that can be extracted from the life of the saint. Director Nonon Padilla dares potential viewers to come out of the theater with their eyes dry. The project was originally conceptualized as a movie which the actor Christopher […]

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Fashion Resources for Women Who Want to Dress Modestly

Fashion Resources for Women Who Want to Dress Modestly

[ 1 ] June 20, AD 2013 |

The best advertisement for modesty is the example of a woman who combines it with good taste. We women who are already convinced that we should dress up modestly sometimes wonder how we can look presentable, as our standards limit our clothing options in an environment where showing skin is considered “in”. Fortunately, with creativity […]

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The Religious Art of Daniel Mitsui

The Religious Art of Daniel Mitsui

[ 2 ] May 22, AD 2013 |

Intricate details and deep meaning characterize Daniel Mitsui’s religious art, which he renders by hand using ink on paper or vellum. Mitsui draws biblical subjects and saints according to the conventions of traditional iconography. More than being just representations of scenes and persons, Mitsui’s works are visual theological treatises. For example, his Pentecost shows not only tongues […]

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Some Things We Can Do to Re-Christianize Christmas

Some Things We Can Do to Re-Christianize Christmas

[ 2 ] December 5, AD 2012 |

That Christmas has become more and more secularized is obvious.  But we are not helpless against the tide.  There are things we can do to restore and maintain the meaning of the holiday  for ourselves and for our families, and for those around us. We can start by making our own personal observance of Advent […]

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On Spe Salvi and The Lord of the Rings

On Spe Salvi and The Lord of the Rings

[ 7 ] November 8, AD 2012 |

I remembered the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy several times while I was reading Pope Benedict XVI’s encyclical Spe Salvi five years ago.  When someone, upon encouraging me to read the encyclical, recounted to me the encyclical’s treatment of eternal life, death, immortality, and the human dilemma between not wanting to die and not wanting […]

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On Saints and Movies

On Saints and Movies

[ 2 ] October 22, AD 2012 |

St. Pedro Calungsod, whom I wrote about in my last post, was not the only one who was canonized on October 21, 2012. Also canonized with him were two Americans (St. Marianne Cope and St. Kateri Tekakwitha), a German laywoman named St.Anna Schafer, the martyred French Jesuit St., Jacques Berthieu, the Italian St. Giovanni Battista […]

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