What’s In a Name

My almost 10-pound baby at birth Gabriel Dominic at a little over 3 weeks old in this picture.


You might think that names are just words and that they do not have a significant impact on a person or something. But all words, which are composed of shapes and sounds that can trigger an emotional response, have a psychological effect. When choosing a name we can call our son or daughter, I would like to suggest that it should have a beautiful meaning in the first place.

The name of a person, thing, or place carries a lot of meaning. You may ask yourself: what do people think when they hear my name? What does my name remind them of? Of course, you must be good and do good to complement the good name you’ve had. Otherwise, your name is just a word to describe your shameful acts, no matter how beautiful it may sound.

But a good name, according to Proverbs 22: 1, must be chosen instead of great riches, and the favor is better than silver or gold. As parents, getting a good name for our children should be a priority. We have to work to achieve a good name for our sons and daughters.

On December 6, 2017, another member was added to our family when my second child was born. He weighed almost 10 pounds at birth and is 51 centimeters tall. I called him Gabriel Dominic, which means “God is my strength”.

I am very particular when choosing the names of my children. My firstborn was called Nathaniel Harris, which means “Governing Gift of God”.  The names, in my humble opinion, matter. In the Bible, we can read several stories about how God changes the names of people.

God changed Simon’s “God has heard” name to Peter “rock”.  He changed Jacob’s “supplanter” name to “Israel” which means “having power with God”. He changed Abram’s “high father” name to Abraham which means “father of a multitude”. God changed Abraham’s wife’s name, too, from Sarai “my princess” to Sarah which means “mother of nations”.

Names matter because every time we hear about someone or something, we are forced to make a series of assumptions based on the name, identity or origin of a person or something. It’s more than just identifying someone or something. It becomes the public face of someone or something that tells people who that person is or what that something is all about.

The Bible tells us about the change of names to all believers. God said in Revelation 2:17, “To him who overcomes, I will give him a part of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it.” God will change our names as we make the transition from sinful to holy.

We have to obey God’s commandments so that we can live in a way that gains the trust of others. The Bible does not tell us God’s reasons why He chooses new names for some people. But maybe, just maybe, it was His way of letting us know that the change of names of some of these people is for their new destined mission in life.

In two days we will celebrate the New Year.  We must make the coming of the New Year be accompanied by personal resolutions for change. So that we can have a New Year, a new name, and a new God-inspired mission in life.

Happy New Year to one and all! Welcome 2018!




Seven things our kids should remember most about us

Just when the cam clicked for the shot, he turned his head away.

Whether we realize it or not, we’re always given a chance to make a memory at every moment. We’re more than capable of creating good and bad memories every single day. It’s all up to us.

Sure, we all have regrets and disappointments. We all have moments of despair, of hopelessness, and brokenness. We all feel like, at some point in our lives, there’s no way out of the impending doom we’re in and creating.

We tend to stress about things that shouldn’t matter all that much in the first place. And, by doing so, we forgot about our important role as parents. Our children’s sole purpose is to replace us.

Life is short and our time with our sons and daughters is going to go by fast. We have to make the most of every minute and create the kind of legacy that’s enduring, even long after we’re gone. There’s a great need for us parents to focus on things that matter, for what’s important.

It’s never too late to make an unforgettable impact with every minute we have with our kids. The following are seven things our kids should remember most about us:

  1. The way we treat their mother or father. Our children have a way of forming their views of love in large part through how we treat our husband or wife. We must show them how to get entangled in a marriage or relationship that makes them feel encouraged or excited to get married someday.
  1. The way we love them unconditionally. Our sons and daughters may not remember every kiss or hug, but they remember hugs and kisses. They may not remember every “we love you” or “we care for you” but they would sure recall that they were loved and that they heard us say it.
  1. The way we encouraged them. Our kids would be basing their sense of identity, capability, and even self-worth, for the most part, upon the words we speak to them especially in those formative years of their lives. Sure, it’s part of our job as parents to correct our kids, guide, discipline them, but even in correction, the words we must have said should be such that encourage, positively reinforce, and carry the message of love to them.
  1. The times we made them feel safe and secure. Our children would be remembering those moments we chased the monsters under their bed or held them after a nightmare, but they would as well remember the times when our temper became the monster they feared. They’re probably going to see us angry sometimes, because that’s part of life, but we must never forget that it’s our mission to make them feel safe and secure at all times when they’re with us.
  1. The way we love ourselves. How we take care of ourselves matter. Our children pick up on our self-esteem, our confidence, and our attitudes toward our spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being. They’re going to model their own self-acceptance, and confidence based on the example we set before them.
  1. The times we gave them our undivided attention. Our children are going to measure love primarily by our attentiveness to them. The times we stop what we’re doing to have spent such a quality time with them would be memories etched into their minds and hearts forever. We should be taking time to do the little things with our sons and daughters because, in the end, they would be the moments that matter most.
  1. The way we handle tough situations. Our kids would look up to us for guidance because they’re navigating a world that they are unsure of. Stressful situations of all sorts could expose us in a way that such could place our character under scrutiny. It is when horrible things happen and hard times roll through that our kids would be remembering most of the way we’ve spoken to them, how we handled and reacted to such things, and how we made them feel safe and protected throughout.

Our Constant Prayer As Parents Should Be For Our Children to Come to Know God As He Is As Much As We Did

If God wills it, so be it.


When my son Nathaniel was walking toward the direction of a priest for a blessing after a holy mass celebration two years ago, he (the priest) was telling my son to try becoming a priest like him when he grows up. Then the priest looked me straight in the eyes as we traded smiles. “If God wills it,” I told him.

I once considered priesthood when I was a lot younger. I took up the entrance exam at the nearest College seminary from where I lived and was interviewed, of course, by a priest who was also the school director.

“What made you consider priesthood?” asked the director priest.

“Because I want to serve God by turning people towards him,” I answered.

“Not only a priest can do that, but everyone can serve God in his own little way,” he said.

“Listen, I want you to think hard about it. I’m sending you home and think hard about it. Come back when you have finally decided to become a priest.”

I didn’t come back. He was right, each one of us can serve God in our own little ways. It has become so clear to me now. God wants me to build a family and to make a domestic church out of it.

I know that if I was in the seminary, I would receive wonderful human and spiritual formation and academic education. I would be taught by dedicated priests who inspire by example as I’m going to share my life with fellow seminarians who are also a source of grace, fellowship, and wisdom.

But while I was considering the priesthood, God knew best than what I should be doing with my life. He made me a family man. I was still called “padre,” but of the family. While the priest is called “padre de Iglesia,” I, on the other hand, was the “padre de Familia.”

If my son is going to ask me about considering the priesthood when he grows up, this I have to say: “If God wills it.” Because I know that while I am my son’s biological father, his creator and spiritual father is the Almighty God. I’m confident that God knows what his vocation should be.

Our constant prayer as parents should be for our children to come to know God as He is as much as we did. God would lead our children if we prepare and encourage them to respond to His call.

If God wills it, so be it.

Some thoughts on family and the role it has to play in our society

The family should impact the entire society by its positive example.

It has been said that a home that’s filled with the light of Christ’s truth and the warmth of his love radiates joy far beyond its walls. The family, especially in the Christian sense of it, plays an essential role in our baptismal call to be disciples and missionaries. Each member of the family is called to holiness and to reflect this holiness in his or her state of life.

The following are some thoughts on family and the important role it has to play in our society to make it a much safer and happy place for all people to live and enjoy:

  • The family should be such an effective voice for the things that matter.
  • The family should be sharing its faith with other families.
  • The family should become a saving community in such a way that it is communicating Christ’s love to others in word and action.
  • The family should be such that it succeeds in living love as communion and service as a reciprocal gift open to all.
  • The family should be such that it has to receive and transmit the divine love realized in the mutual commitment of the spouses, in generous and responsible procreation, in the care and welfare of the children, work and social relationships, with attention to the less fortunate and the deprived, in participation in church activities, and in commitment to civil society.
  • The family should become an evangelizing community by accepting the Gospel as it matures in faith.
  • The family should impact the entire society by its positive example.
  • The family should be educating children in moral values in such a way that they would grow morally upright and mature.
  • The family should be fostering an environment where children learn skills, morals, and values.
  • The family should create structure and stability in the lives of family members.

A Prayer for World Peace and Healing

Lord, heal our land. Make us all but instruments of your peace.

In our deepest, darkest moments, a prayer serves as the source of our strength, joy, hope, and love. We’re living in a very cruel, evil world now. When you try to look around, or watch in the news, killings seem to be just an ordinary thing for some people.

People are being killed just like dogs, or birds. There’s blood in our streets. More hatred. More vengeance. More violence. Human life has become less or not respected at all.

As a writer, I feel privileged to share this prayer I made to all of you, and especially for all of us. May God bless us all. Here’s the prayer:

Almighty Father, creator of Heaven and Earth and the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, who delivered His own people from slavery and oppression in the land of Goshen in ancient Egypt. The God whom Moses received the Ten Commandments inscribed upon a pair of stone tablets.

We thank you for everything, especially that of your great gift of human life. But would you let us come to know you more and to witness to your goodness as a loving Father who, in every circumstance, gives us what is good?

We ask for your mercy and compassion especially in these much troubled times that we have come to experience. Send us your mighty angels to protect us, our loved ones, children, families, relatives, friends, and all those who walk in the paths of righteousness and worship your name, like a hen covering her chicks under her wings.

Grant us peace and guide us with your Light in such a way that we would never lose sight of you. Shower us your love so that our hearts would be as pure as what you want them to be. Give us courage to continue doing the things that glorify your name.

Heal our land. Make us all but instruments of your peace by becoming transformative agents in conflict management, reconciliation, and healing. Be it may that, through us, we inspire others as well to become peace-makers, protectors of the sanctity of human life, minorities, the upholding of the rule of law, and mutual respect and understanding.

May we all live in free societies and that may each one of us learns to renounce hatred and seek to build bonds of understanding and friendship in this a fractured world that we live in.

May our leaders be enlightened on the importance of the Fifth Commandment, which unequivocally forbids the taking of human life, from the moment of conception to natural death and it should be treated with utmost respect and love.

We ask this through your son Jesus, our savior.


Teachers as facilitators of learning and as second parents

Thanking our.jpg
We salute our teachers for planting the seeds of knowledge that guide, inspire, and making us all what we are today. Thank you for helping us grow and learn.

Today is Happy Teachers’ Day. As we celebrate this special day for teachers around the world and for their hard work, we must never forget that one of their greatest contributions is to help young minds learn and grow.

Aside from teaching children to behave and to judge what is right and wrong, teachers play the role of second parents to the students. They take charge in shaping the life of the students under their care. They empower them.

Each child should have a caring adult in their lives. Teachers substitute biological parents in mentoring and making students learn. They are facilitators of learning.

With just the right mix of chalk and challenges, teachers could change lives and inspire so much that they awaken the natural curiosity of the minds of those they were teaching. In other words, teachers exist to make a difference in their students’ lives.

Teachers teach their students how to deal with pressure, approach problems, express themselves verbally, and in accepting mistakes and finding solutions. It is not an easy job, though.

And while their salaries may be higher now than in days gone by, but all too often they’re held in little or no esteem notwithstanding the fact that their duties have broadened by which to include responsibilities far beyond what was asked of them a generation or two ago.

Teaching has become much more difficult.  Good teachers are worth their weight in gold but, clearly, most are not in it for the money. They had the respect of the community.

We are praying for their safety, health, overall wellness, and that they must continue thriving. We are thankful for having them.

We must thank them for shaping the future generation, for giving our kids much needed advice, their sacrifice, patience, dedication, and for letting us parents breathe easy.

We salute our teachers for planting the seeds of knowledge that guide, inspire, and making us all what we are today. Thank you for helping us grow and learn.

The gift of fatherhood is one that should allow Christ to transform our lives

We should love being a father and to translate such a thing into a reality that makes a difference in the way we live.

Although Jesus Christ, during his brief stay on earth a little over two thousand years ago, did not marry someone and to literally bear children with any woman, he was the head of the spiritual family he was establishing. It’s like a flock of sheep where offsprings (represented by lambs) follow their Shepherd.

Christ plays the role of a dad. He’s there to protect his children from wolves in sheep’s clothing. He’s there to protect the family from predatory animals and from all forms of corruption that may consume or damage it.

Jesus shows all of us how it’s like being the head of the family. It’s not an accident but every dad was chosen by God to be the father of his children just as Christ was especially chosen by the Almighty Father to head his spiritual family—the Church.

Fathering a child is not about being perfect, but to serve what God, who knows all your strengths and weaknesses, wants you to do and to be. Christ was sent into this world for the sinners, for the lost sheep. When we accept Christ and follow him, we are safe and what we’ve lost would be restored.

We should allow Jesus, the Messiah, to transform our lives. We should love being a father and to translate such a thing into a reality that makes a difference in the way we live.

To all the dads out there, including me, raising kids should be such a profound and life-changing experience, changed forever by the living reality of Christ Jesus, as we are all called to seek the Lord and receive the salvation that He brings.

Raising children should be something that invites us to be disrupted by a God who wants to be close to us. A God that says we fit the bill perfectly for His plan for our family and, most importantly, a God for whom the gift of life is one of the greatest proofs of His love.