Kargador at Dawn

Kargador at Dawn
Work in the Vineyard

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

November 2, 2014 - ALL SOULS DAY

Readings: Wisdom 3: 1-9; Romans 6: 3-9; Matthew 25: 31-46

Selected Gospel Passage: “The righteous will answer him and say, “lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? When did we you stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? When did we see you ill or in prison, and visit you?  And the King will say to them in reply, “Amen, I say to you whatever you did for one of the least brothers or sisters of mine, you did for me”. (Matthew 25: 37-40)

Meditation: People have the tendency to multiply and impose so many laws and requirements.  Yet one thing is truly required of us - to help the poor and be in solidarity with them. It is, indeed, sobering that in the end this is the only thing that matters - what we did or did NOT do for the least of our brothers and sisters.  Our true measure and worth would depend on our ACTUALLY lifting our fingers to help the poor, the orphans, the strangers, the destitute and those in the margins of our society. Beware of the YEAST of the Pharisees!

Bapa Jun


1st step: Write the text or Dhikr (the Arabic word for REMEMBRANCE) in your heart.
2nd step: Let the text remain always in on your lips and mind - RECITING the text silently as often as possible...
3rd step:  Be attentive to the disclosure of the meaning/s of the text in your life.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

30th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Readings: Exodus 22: 20-26; 1 Thessalonians 1: 5-10; Matthew 22: 34-40

Selected Passage: "Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?"He said to him, "You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. The second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. The whole law and the prophets depend on these two commandments."  (Matthew 22:36-40)

Meditation: The Love of God and Love of Neighbor remain the basic ethical measure of our words, thoughts and actions. Often, we measure the LOVE of God by our concrete GOOD actions for the least of our brothers and sisters. We should not behave and think like the Pharisees and Scribes who multiply laws yet are lacking in the real measure that counts.

www. badaliyya.blogspot.com

Bapa Jun Mercado, OMI


Dhikr is an Arabic word which means REMEMBRANCE.
1st step: Write the text in your heart.
2nd step: Let the text remain always in on your lips and mind - RECITING the text silently as often as possible...
3rd step:  Be attentive to the disclosure of the meaning/s of the text in your life.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

29th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Readings: Isaiah 45 1. 4-6; 1 Thessalonians 1: 1-5; Matthew 22: 15-21

Gospel Passage: He said to them, "Whose image is this and whose inscription?" They replied, "Caesar's." At that he said to them, "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God." (Matthew 22: 20-21)

Meditation: The usual distinction of what is God’s and Caesar’s usually comes to mind with the above passage.  But the real challenge posed by the Gospel is to discern God’s will in our life and act truthfully according to His will. The false distinction and/or separation between God’s and the world’s that we do pose is simply an escape from truly listening to God’s call pointing to a life and behavior of true disciples.

Bapa Jun Mercado, OMI                      


Dhikr is an Arabic word which means REMEMBRANCE.
1st step: Write the text in your heart.
2nd step: Let the text remain always in on your lips and mind - RECITING the text silently as often as possible...
3rd step:  Be attentive to the disclosure of the meaning/s of the text in your life.

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Blessed Charles de Foucauld - Badal

Charles de Foucauld - Badal

·      Birth: September 15, 1858    
·      Death:  December 1, 1916.  He lived for 58 years
·      Personality:  He was Proud, Aesthete, Temperamental, Pleasure-Loving, Hardheaded, Impetuous and Self-Centered.   But He was also Sensitive, Generous, Kind, Honest, and Single-minded.
·      Career:  He was A French Military Officer, Explorer, Monk, Porter at Nazareth, Priest and a Little Brother to the Tuaregs.

1.     He began as an agnostic.  In his unbelief and as a colonial soldier to Africa, He became “captive” of the black continent and fascinated by Islam.  He became truly present in the continent – explored it and learned its peoples and languages.

2.     He came back to his Catholic Faith through Islam.  It was a powerful experience of conversion.  He lived in utter simplicity, became truly poor and lived a monastic life.  He went back to the East, the Holy Land and became a Porter at Nazareth.

3.     He discovered FRATERNITY as the essence of Jesus’ Caritas.

4.     From the Holy Land, He went back to Africa … to be a “little” brother among the Tuaregs… and spent a monastic life almost like a hermit in the desert… in prayer and “welcome” to the pilgrims.

5.     Killed in his hut…

6.     Beatified – December 16, 2005 in Rome, Italy

His friend and mentor, who he referred to as an “older brother”, guided Louis Massignon’s Badaliyya Prayer. His own letters to the Badaliyya members included many references to Foucauld and the prayer of Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament was included in every gathering, as it now is for every gathering of Blessed Charles’ many lay and religious fraternities world wide.

I am quoting from a series of articles that appeared this week on a French Internet site, that inspired my enthusiasm once again for a spiritual legacy that has far reaching implications for our own Badaliyya prayer.

Bishop Claude Rault who serves in the Algerian Sahara writes: “Charles de Foucauld was not a “perfect” human being, far from it. Nevertheless, his radical choice in service of God and his “beloved Jesus”, his desire to join with the farthest away and poorest of peoples, his hours spent in prayer in Adoration before the Blessed Sacrament, his days spent in welcoming everyone who came as a “brother”, his spiritual wandering in quest of his vocation, and so many other aspects of his personality that make him close to us and accessible, at last, a saint within our reach, even if he remains... inimitable! And yet, there are religious families of men and women born from the profound intuition of Charles, “little brothers” and “little sisters” spread out in the most remote corners throughout the world.... These spiritual children of the “universal brother” have made their priority the poorest populations, the most abandoned, farthest from society, sometimes to the limit of the possible....

There are also thousands of priests and laypersons who have discovered through his message a way of living the Gospel more fully to the ends of the earth, in fraternal sharing, caring for the smallest among us, and in silent adoration. There are finally all those who have discovered the grandeur of this personality and its spiritual dimension who do not belong to his spiritual family nor even to his religion. Blessed Charles, who through his trials and errors, his thirst for solitude and for relationships, his great love of God and of his neighbor, still shows us today the way to universal brother/sisterhood! He invites us to leave our frivolousness, our reassuring boundaries, our small spiritual comfort, to rise to the numbers of challenges that he confronted without always succeeding. It is up to us to continue the path that he outlined for us”.
August 30, 2005.

Brother Charles lifelong inspiration was what he called his “Nazareth”, living the hidden life of the worker, Jesus of Nazareth, before his public ministry began.

Monsignor Maurice Bouvier, postulator of the Cause for the Beatification of Brother Charles, member of the Priest’s Fraternity Jesus-Caritas, described the process in detail and wrote: “Nazareth has a permanent message for the Church. The New Alliance does not begin in the Temple, nor on the Holy Mountain, but in the small house of the Virgin, in the house of the worker, in the places forgotten by pagan Galilee, from which no one would expect anything good. It is only from there that the Church will find a new beginning and healing. She will never provide a true response to the revolution in our century against the powers of wealth if, in her own heart, Nazareth is not a lived reality”.

Peace to you.

Badaliyya Cotabato
October 2014

October 4th: Feast of St. Francis of Assisi

St. Francis of Assisi - Badal

1.     It is enough to utter his name and everyone knows who he is.  St. Francis was a man of God.  And because he was a man of God, he always lived what was essential.  So he was a simple, courteous and gentle to everyone, like God in his mercy.

2.     The Phenomenological Manifestations of our epoch…

·       Emptiness.  It is born of a feeling of impotence.  There is very little we can do to change our life, our community and society. Finally there is really nothing important…

·       Loneliness. It is an experience of lass of contact with nature and others in terms of friendship and gentleness. There is the lack of courage to commit oneself.

·       Fear.  It is the fruit of objective threats to life, to employment, to collective survival of humanity in general.

·       Anxiety. It has its origin in imagined fear, ignorance as to what one ought to do, in whom to trust, and what to expect.  When anxiety grips an entire society it means that the whole society feels threatened and senses its approaching end.

·       Aggressiveness without objectives.  It reveals a rupture with the norms of relationship without which a society cannot be built or defended.  What results is anonymity and the loss of the meaning of the self, that is, the worth and sacredness of human person.

From the above, Two consequences ensue… first is Emptiness and second is Loss. It is the loss of language of everyday communication, the loss of meaningful relationship and the lack of vital relationship with nature and habitat.

3.     The New Ethos…  It is a new way of life with many and varied relationship to nature, to others, to religion and to God.  In St. Francis, it was through Pathos – Sympathy and Eros – fraternal communication and tenderness.  Manifestations are:
·       His Innocence
·       His enthusiasm for nature
·       His gentleness to all beings
·       His capacity for compassion with the poor and “confraternization” with all elements and even death itself.

4.     To Be Saint … in the case of Francis…
·       To be Saint, it is necessary to be human.
·       To be human, it is necessary to be sensitive and gentle.

“Man knows as much as he does.” Francis’s gentleness was demonstrated, especially in his human relationship.  He broke the rigidity of the feudal hierarchy and called all persons as brothers and sisters.  He himself was called “little brother” (fratello). He wanted to unite great and small, to treat the wise and simple with brotherly affection, to bind with tie of love those who were held at a distance.  He treated everyone with outmost courtesy, even Saracens, Infidels and thieves.

5.     Peace…  One of the global values lived by Francis was Peace.

·       The World is the “regio dissimilitudinis” and behind these dissimilarities are camouflaged injustices and violence.
·       Every time Francis began his preaching, he invoked Peace… saying: “the Lord gives you peace.”  It is Peace and all good.  His group carries out a true mission of peace – “Legatio Pacis”.
·       The peace that is proclaimed in word ought always to be present in the heart.  Let no one be provoked by us to anger or scandal, but rather let all through your gentleness, be led to Peace, Tranquility and agreement.  “BE KINDER WITH YOUR NEIGHBORS.”

6.     The Role of Mediation…  During the Crusades, Francis had a profound impact on the Sultan and owing to his sympathy, tolerance and respect and love foe peace.  Francis gave a vote of confidence to the liberating capacity of kindness, gentleness, patience and understanding.  Peace in his own PERSON manifested in his words, poetry and song. 


Thursday, October 02, 2014

Badaliyya and Our Lady of Pokrov

We are learning many more details about the evolution of the original Badaliya from the translations of Fr. Massignon's works. The Convocations were written to invite the members to join in a personal day of fast on the first Fridays of each month and the hour-long Badaliyya gathering for prayer. They agreed to topics for common prayer with the fast that included praying for the successful outcome of interreligious dialogue. In each letter there is a plea to pray for peace and non-violent reconciliation for the many areas of the world, especially in the Southern Philippines, the Middle East and the Holy Land where tensions and civil wars were raging at the time.

We also learned that the patroness of the original Badaliya was Our Lady of Pokrov whose feast is celebrated in the Byzantine calendar on October 1st. This is an image of Our Lady as intercessor who spreads her veil ("pokrov" in Russian) as a sign of protection.

By way of sharing, we cite the following prayer to the Virgin written for the "Feast of the Portiuncula" in the Franciscan calendar which falls on August 2nd. This was the chapel restored by St. Francis in which he formed his first group of Frairs Minor, where St. Clare took the habit, and where the friars gathered annually for their chapter meetings. It became the center of the Franciscan community.

O Virgin of the Angels, who has for centuries
established your throne of mercy at the
Portiuncula, hear the prayer of your children,
who trust in you.

From this truly holy place and
the habitation of the Lord, so dear to the heart
of Saint Francis, you have always invited all men
to love.

Your tender eyes assure us of a never failing
motherly help and a promise of divine help to
all those who humbly have recourse to your throne,
or who from afar, turn to you to ask for help.

You are, indeed, our sweet Queen and our only hope.
O Lady of the Angels, obtain for us, through
the intercession of blessed Francis, pardon for
our sins, help us to keep away from sin and
indifference, so that we shall be worthy of cal-
ling you our Mother for evermore.

Bless our homes, our toil and our rest, by
giving us that same serenity we experience
within the walls of the Porziuncula, where hate,
guilt and tears turn into a song of joy like that
once was sung by the Angels and the seraphic Francis.

Help those who are in need and hungry,
those who are in danger of body and soul,
those who are sad and downhearted, those
who are sick and dying.

Bless us, your most beloved children, and, we
pray you, bless also with the same motherly
gesture, all those who are innocent, together
with those are guilty; those who are faithful,
together with those who have gone astray;
those who believe, together with those who are
in doubt.

Bless all humanity, so that all men
acknowledging that they are God's children,
would find through love, real Peace and real Good.

Those who are joining the First Friday prayer for peace may also want to make it a day of fast as a sacrificial offering in keeping with Massignon's deep belief in the efficacy of fasting and prayer as a powerful tool for change in the world.

Please join us in spirit as we pray for an end to violence in Southern Philippines, the Middle East and the Holy Land.

Peace to everyone.
Bapa Jun Mercado, OMI

October 1st of each year is the celebration of St. Therese of the Child Jesus.  She is also known as St. Therese of Lisieux. She is the Patroness of the Mission. Here in Cotabato Datu Piang (Dulawan) in Maguindanao and Mlang in North Cotabato have made her the Patroness.  My almost ten years as Pastor of Datu Piang have made me a DEVOTEE of St. Therese...

The 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time (A)

Short Reflection for the 27th Week of the Year

Readings: Isaiah 5: 1-7; Philippians 4: 6-9; Matthew 21: 33-43

Selected Passage: "Jesus said to them, "Did you never read in the scriptures: 'The stone that the builders rejected   has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes'? (Mt. 21: 42)

Reflection: Take note, the stone rejected has become the cornerstone. In life and in our work, we do NOT judge by appearances. God looks at the heart… so we, too, are asked to do likewise. (Bapa Jun)


1st step: Write the Dhikr (the Arabic word for REMEMBRANCE) in your heart.
2nd step: Let the Dhikr remain always in on your lips and mind - RECITING the Dhikr silently as often as possible...

3rd step:  Be attentive to the disclosure of the meaning/s of the Dhikr in your life