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Friday, April 6, 2012


Hello there! It’s been a while since I last blogged.  Before I begin, let me just announce that my previous blog has been hacked and I don’t have access to it as of the moment. That’s why I created a new site.  It’s really sad because we’ve already established a number of subscribers to that blog for the past 4 years. Hope you can help me spread this to more people this time around.

I am writing this in the midst of a 3-day silent retreat in the city.  Silent retreat means spending time in silence, prayer and recollection: between you and God alone.  Yes, it means not talking to the other participants, but you can always talk to your confessor or spiritual director.  There are around 25 of us—all-male students and young professionals. I can’t find a better time to reflect and share my thoughts to you than in this Easter Triduum, when we remember and contemplate Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection.  

Allow me to share my personal reflection on this topic since this is only once a year and I believe you may find it useful as well.

In the contemporary world, our lives can get so much caught up with work, work and work, including schoolwork.  Couple that with the ubiquity of modern-day technology—we find it almost impossible to detach ourselves from communication, information, entertainment, and the like.  I’ll admit that I am one of those guilty of that!

Sad to say, our modern world doesn’t favor reflection.  And it is during this moment of absolute silence when we can best listen to our Lord and speak to Him, in order to understand fully His divine will and plan for us.  After our first day in retreat, I felt so at home and so at peace.  I actually think I can live here—so simple and peaceful.  

Today is Good Friday, the day when Jesus suffered and died on the cross in order to save us.  It is on this same day when the first to be proclaimed a saint was a thief!  On the cross, the thief said to Jesus, “Jesus, remember me when You come to Your kingdom.”  Then Jesus said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 23: 42-43).  This good thief, a.k.a. St. Dismas (or Dimas), was saved because of his faith, repentance and contrite heart!

Our Father God constantly calls us to come back to Him.  Just like in the parable of the Prodigal Son, no matter how sinful or lost we can be, God unconditionally accepts us back as long as we repent.  He even slaughtered the fattest calf and prepared a huge feast for the younger son who has come back home after years of squandering his wealth. 

Through the sacrament of Reconciliation, God always awaits us to go back to him: we repeat in our lives the story of the prodigal son.  Conversion is not impossible with the help of the Sacraments and prayer.  And it is only then that we experience the joy of inner peace and lasting happiness—because we experience God, who only wants what is best for us, such that we can exclaim as Pope Benedict XVI said, “I am personally loved by God.”  That is why Confession is personal, one-on-one, between me and the priest ordained to represent God (because only God can forgive sins), as Our Lord told the first priests, the Apostles, “If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained” (Jn 20:23).  Then we are cleansed from anything that may hinder our complete union with God.  My confessor gave a beautiful analogy of a glass window. He said, “If the glass window is stained and dirty, how can the sunlight enter the room? In the same way if our souls are not clean, how can God enter us?”

I entitled this blog, “Joy of Repentance” because being sorry for our sins should be a cause of joy for us—we are going back to our Father God, whom we know is ever-ready to accept us no matter how sinful we have become!  All we have to do is to eat our pride and be humble to say, like the prodigal son in common parlance, “Dad, I’m sorry.” We are just going back home!  Is there anything more fun than that?  Now, I understand more clearly why St Josemaria calls the Confession as a sacrament of Joy!

Who could have been the happiest man on that first Friday which we call Good?  The good thief! Our speaker phrased it very wittingly.  “St. Dismas was indeed a thief until the end, because until his last dying breath, he stole heaven and the heart of our Lord!“


P.S. Watch out for parts 2 & 3 


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Thank you for sharing your experience on your retreat. This is great for reflection.

  3. Modern day world has become so polluted with temptations, activities and more varieties of recreation and luxuries that we sometimes forget to have time to talk and share with God. Joining retreats and recollections makes us learn more, reflect more and how we will go on living in a Christ-like way guided by His Words which is our Bread of Life.

    You're such an inspiring person. Not all public figures we know could exhibit this kind of reflection. More power to you! :)

    1. Tama Flor. Chris has never failed to inspire us since the first time we get to know him. I will always be a proud fan. :)

  4. What a serene way to spend your Holy Week. I will continue to pray for your apostolate. Omnia in Bonum!

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. It's sad to hear that your previous blog is no longer available, at least for now.

    God manifests Himself not only to those of the "poorest of the poor" or the people who seems to be saint-ly. Each of us are sons and daughters of God, hence, He is in every one of us. God shows you how much He loves you through people that bring you joy. But He is also in the persons who challenge you, those who makes you re-think and those who consciously and most of the time unconsciously, hurt you.

    I hope you will also use this "Silent Retreat" as on opportunity not only to ask for God's forgiveness but find it in your heart to truly forgive other people too. And eventually, personally reach out to those people whom you hurt and apologize. Or maybe, finally forgive those who has been longing to hear you say that you forgave them too.

    Looking forward to the parts 2 and 3.

    Have a fruitful Holy Week!

  7. superlike..
    it is worthy to read and it is something to reflect on...
    This should be read by other people.I will tell my friends to read this one..
    You know what, the reason why i like you aside from your a basketball player,tv host, an endorser is that you never stop inspiring other people.
    i know GOD will always BLESS people like you...mwahh

  8. Thank you for all the comments and insights! Keep them coming! Feel free to share this blog with others. Let's all help in spreading and reminding our friends of the true spirit of Easter!

    1. “If the glass window is stained and dirty, how can the sunlight enter the room? In the same way if our souls are not clean, how can God enter us?” I really like this one.

      I would really love to share your posts. Iam waiting for part 3! :). As part of my sacrifice for this Lenten season, i chose not to use fb nor watch my favorite series. Will have to wait for tomorrow for me to be able to do the usual stuff again. It was hard, but nothing compared to what HE did for us, right? Thanks for writing such posts. Not only do you share your insights and the things you do, you also inspire, help us reflect and in a way bring us closer to HIM. :)

  9. Very nice! PLease continue to write so that you can reach out to more young people... I believe that God has put you where you are so that you could be his voice, his heart and his hand --- reaching out to others. God bless you ...

  10. reading your blog is refreshing to the soul. it's even more inspiring to know that people like you continue to rekindle the fire for silence and reflection.

    may Jesus' love for us continue to remind us that all that we do, and all that we achieve is for His greater glory. :)

    i thank God for people like you who inspire others (more than you may ever know) to be better persons for God. :)

  11. I feel sad your first blog was hacked. Nevertheless there is always a way if you want to share what you did by creating a new blog! I'm happy to read another inspiring entry from you! All of your entries may it be short or long are always worth the wait! Thanks again for sharing your wonderful thoughts! I'll wait for the next parts, and keep them in my heart and put it into practice. God is so good! May God bless you always! Advance Happy Easter too!

  12. kuya Chris, nakakaiyak po to. i have something to share too. :)i just read this from and old magazine and does not talk about Holy Week, its for managing stress, i easily remembered it when i read your blog. :)

    "I suggest that they go to church to pray and confess their sins because its one way of managing stress which eventually leads to NCD(non-communicable disease).. keeping sins can cause emotional burden and stress to an individual" - Duque

  13. This is such a wonderful blog! Repentance is coming back to our God. God is just there waiting for us. And I hope we would hear His call.

  14. That exhilirating feeling after a confession..
    Indeed love and forgiveness are intertwined and it is only God who can realize this fully.

    May God bless you for this heartful sharing.
    Stay inspired..;)

  15. well no matter how sinful we can be, God is always there ready to forgive us because He is the God of Second Chances..

    there is no greater love than the love that God gave to us..

    so lets repent+faith+love..

  16. Thanks, Chris, for sharing your insights on this treasure of a Sacrament that is a true sign of our Lord's infinite mercy and Love. We really shouldn't approach it with fear and shame but with humility and a most contrite heart. (A priest humorously said that no priest has died inside the confessional of hearing even the gravest of sins, so we really shouldn't be afraid of anything. Yes, priests do joke inside the confessional box!) Just like you, I also want others to know of this real joy that St Josemaria refers to which probably explains why those who do frequent confession almost always come out smiling.

    God bless you, Chris, for this very enlightening and reassuring piece. +AMDG+

  17. Beautiful reflection. I'm sure it will move many souls to appreciate the beauty of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, the Sacrament of Peace and Joy.

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    Beautiful story on conversion and the joy after confession.

  20. This is a good reflection Chris. Nice one. Keep on writing.

  21. Happy Easter Chris!

    Promise fulfilled. I actually read your blog much earlier. I’m writing my comments only now because I just came back from Baguio.

    I’m impressed and very happy with your Easter triduum reflections. I see how much you have enriched the inputs from the retreat in terms of content and style. I’m sure that with your reflections, you will be able to reach more people than we (the retreat facilitators) can.

    How much good the lay people can do when they take their faith seriously! Keep up the good work! Keep on writing. And as you say, keep on converting.


    The speaker

    I like your reference to the preacher as “speaker”. The preachers should really be like a speaker. The voice must come from our Lord. We ought to loudly echo, project what He says. The preacher must disappear so to speak. In relation to this, let me just correct your reference to the speaker putting wittingly the consideration about the good thief stealing until the end... I don’t want to be a thief in the bad sense of the word. I don’t want to steal the credits from whom they are due. That beautiful consideration is not mine but from my favorite saint – St. Josemaría.

    P.S. ulit but this time, for your readers:
    You may comment to your readers that I, as a priest (no need to mention my name; the “speaker” is a sufficient identification for me), want to tell them that your reflections are STUFF FOR ALL CATHOLICS – LAY PEOPLE VERY MUCH INCLUDED. They don’t have to be a priest, a nun or religious to reflect on similar matters and more importantly to try living them and sharing these very good things with the others. This is what the Church has been reminding us. I invite them to check out numbers 2013, 900 and 905 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (the official document of the Catholic Church on the truths that the Catholics ought to believe and live).

    God bless.

  22. Priest na rin naman siya, because of baptism.

  23. I like this entry! :) Thanks for sharing this with us. God bless!