Faithful 10/21/2012 10:32:00 AM

The Year of Faith officially began last October 11, 2012 and will last until November 24, 2014. The Holy Father Benedict XVI had written Porta Fidei a year ago in preparation for this. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has also released a Note with pastoral recommendations for the Year of Faith.
Just looking around me, I realize that there is a lot more to be done in this world regards with the faith. I have noticed that Catholics where I live are generally pious, but are not actually particular about receiving the sacraments, especially the Sacrament of Confession more frequently. There is a certain compartmentalization of one's life where in the message can be read as: "I am a Catholic inside this parish church", but elsewhere: "Earning as much as I can to the detriment of others remains supreme." Then there are those who say firmly: "I'm a Catholic who is a member of so-and-so organization/movement/charismatic group", and then will declare: "Well... ethics is relative!"
I guess this might be the effect of a lack of firm doctrinal formation, and the ability to live one's life true to the Catholic faith wherever one is. Catechesis seems to be reserved only for children, and the little that a lot of adult Catholics get is what they may-listen-to-if-they-chose-to during Sunday mass homily. There is so much to the Catholic faith that a lot of people are missing out on. As human beings, we can always improve in the knowledge of the faith the same way that we can always delve into another hobby or go into more specialized studies in our respective fields of interest.
I believe that one can only call oneself a faithful Catholic if one has made the effort to at least read through the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. When better to start doing so than during the Year of  Faith?

Not Quite Sick 10/09/2012 01:08:00 PM

I was diagnosed with atypical varicella zoster (a.k.a a not-so-usual presentation of your supposedly childhood chicken pox) which gave me a few crops of typical lesions with no other associated symptoms...
Owing to the fact that I was busy and felt otherwise fine, it took almost a week for me to see a dermatologist and got a delay in the diagnosis...
Still, I was made to stay in quarantine at home for another week... What was this usually busy radiologist to do, cooped up at home?
Looking back in the week, I actually had several things going on:
- preparing in advanced talks I will be giving
- readings of Porta Fidei and the accompanying Note with Pastoral Recommendations on the Year of the Faith
- a bit of spring cleaning
- going over old pictures in CD's to pick the ones for a slide show
- working at home with a provided portable viewbox a.k.a. negatoscope and x-ray films brought in for twice a day reading
- more time in prayer
I guess I was busy afterall...  

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Beyond Birthdays 9/22/2012 09:20:00 AM

Murphy's Law: "If anything can go wrong, it will..."

This year's birthday turned out to be a comedy of errors and mishaps, beginning with people thinking my birth anniversary was the day before and ending with a three day last song syndrome from the only song in the world I dislike which can induce an extended LSS for me.

My Half-Eaten Birthday Cake ;-)

And yet, there is more to this world than having the prefect birthday:
It's to be surrounded by people who love you just because you are you.
It's staying at a wonderfully conducive place for rest (which is a change of occupation from what you are usually up to the rest of the year).
It's to be able to sleep well and eat well.
It's to have the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass offered specially for you and your intentions.
It's coincidentally attending a First Friday Benediction, when you had just intended to go on a pilgrimage to a church dedicated to Our Lady.

The list just gives me the reasons why my birthday was the best!

And now that my two week hiatus with a birthday is done, I can get back to all the work that awaits me, refreshed and with a more optimistic outlook. 

Homecoming 6/28/2012 10:28:00 AM

My only (and younger) brother (a.k.a. Kuya Monster, a.k.a "Gifted Child") will be arriving dawn tomorrow from his 2 years in Europe to earn a master's degree in Vision and Robotics via the Erasmus Mundus Programme. The lucky guy has been studying in 3 different university campuses is three different European countries (Edinburg in UK, Girona in Spain and Burgundy in France). He did the semester of research in Barcelona, Spain. He has spent his semestral breaks and free time road-tripping in Spain, watching a football game,  visiting Paris Disneyland, and resting for a while in Italy on the invitation of a classmate. He even saw the Pope pass by in the Popemobile while he was in Edinburg. 

The wonder of modern day communication is that, by just using Skype, it sort of felt like he was never away. I personally do not even feel like I missed him (although I'm sure our mother does). The female members of the family can just badger him regarding the length of his yet uncut hair, ask him if he has found a  European girlfriend already or inquire about any asthma attacks. He was usually just a private message away on YM when you wanted to schedule the video chats. Emails were exchanged back and forth when his passport was lost to a pickpocket and we had to settle his documents at our end and send it back to where he was. His pictures of the myriad of places he visited (albeit without any captions - he's always been a man of a few words...) are well within our reach via his Facebook account. There was even one or two times when we "met" one of his fellow scholars who was around while we talked over video chat.

This was a far cry from the time we only had long distance telephone calls or snail mail to count on with regards a loved-one who was at a distance for a time or permanently.

Welcome home, Kuya!

I wonder what other things you are planning with your life, from hereon now...

Beginning Again 6/17/2012 04:48:00 PM

It's been sometime since I have paid attention to this blog, probably because I have been busy with other forms of social media, and have been mainly posting via mobile, which can be difficult for something longer than a paragraph. Perhaps I have been a bit lazy in this manner (and impatient with using an old, oftentimes-lagging desktop with Windows XP OS). And yet I realize that this is actually the social media form that is closest to my heart as it is nearest to pen and paper and ideas alone in my room... I once upon a time answered a panel interview that if I had not been pursuing a field of science, I would have been a writer, a poet actually, and I do dabble with poetry online as well... Then the only time I had the courage to apply to the school paper staff in high school, the adviser put me as literary editor (which was my dream position that time). To make a long story short, I have had a long term relationship with words which I could not leave off just because I am now in practice in the highly technical field of diagnostic radiology.

Perhaps this is the time to begin blogging regularly again. There are endless possibilities with this medium of communication, and at the same time I find it a highly enjoyable hobby.

A few weeks back, I was in a closed retreat with no access to the internet whatsoever. In that time of intense prayer with God, I remember thinking of what more I can do with my inclination to be tech-savvy (it comes with an orientation of working with medical imaging equipment all the time) and to be online more often than not to connect with people, keep in touch, exchange views... This is definitely part of the New Evangelization that is asked of me! 

Thus, I resolve to make at least a bi-monthly substantial post (excluding the poetry on the other blog) on different topics of interest.

Nunc coepi! Now, I begin again! 

Radiologist Says.... 5/15/2012 07:49:00 AM

To all clinicians, especially internists and pulmonologists: We radiologists would appreciate it if you do not insist that we read single ancillary views of the chest (lateral, lordotic and decubitus views) without looking at a recent PA or AP view, if you want us to render the best standard of care for your patients.

You would not want a detective to solve a crime without examining all the clues, would you?

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Once Upon A Time... 4/27/2012 10:41:00 PM

The recent past has held its share of painful memories. Yet I owe it to myself to transcend it. Sometimes, it amazes me how people believe that I have yet to move on and continue to misinterpret even comments on my own Facebook page.

Oh yet more things to offer up for love of God!

And I do know that I am only accountable to God in the end, not anyone else.

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It Would Be Better... 2/07/2012 10:01:00 PM

At several points in my life, I have had my share of rejections, rebuffs, even - believe it or not- an attempt to get signatures to get rid of me.

Somehow, I find myself wondering if never having to face such circumstances would have been better...

It's true that I would have been spared the pain, the fears, the anxiety, yet at the cost of missed chances to show that I can change, I can be brave, I can rise to the occasion.

Would it have been better otherwise? ... Not at all!

"Omnia in bonum."

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RC, Who Happens to be an MD 1/24/2012 09:30:00 PM

While waiting for the results of my third and last Philipine Board of Radiology examinations, I have been thinking of a post for my long-neglected blog. At this point of my life, I could think of no better post than to explain why I am a Roman Catholic, who happens to be a medical doctor. I definitely was baptized 25 years before I passed the medical board exams and became serious in living my faith a couple of years before I stepped into a secular medical school.

I still find it disheartening that many of my colleagues think "Ethics is relative" (believe it or not, the one who said this actually is a member of a Catholic charismatic group) or declare in public that one uses oral contraception herself (at the same time she used to be a lector and name-drops members of the team of pastors at my parish) or is thinking of going into the ethically questionable subspecialty of mainstream reproductive endocrinology and thinks teaching only Natural Family Planning to indigents is impossible (said OB-GYN is also member of a Catholic charismatic group) or be in a mandated parish organization while being riled up that the sterilization census at the OB-GYN department in a local government hospital one heads is at an all-time low.... I could go on and on with a list of people with this one question in mind---Why do you leave your Catholicism outside the door when confronted with professional and personal decisions? And yes, it can get so ignorant and bad as the above lector stating "for the success of the in-vitro procedure of..." as one of the Mass intentions. This sort of compartmentalization of personal, professionsal and religious spheres of one's life into different nooks and cranies has to stop!

I for one cannot understand why people who spend years working on their profession cannot take the time to study and give importance to their own doctrinal-spiritual growth which should be evem more important than their professional formation. When I met and eventually joined Opus Dei, I learned that this was also an important aspect of one's life-long formation. Right next to my medical books, I also read the Catechism of the Catholic Church, a medical ethics book by a priest who used to work as a medical doctor, and read encyclicals such as Humanae Vitae and Evangelium Vitae. I took the time to attend classes and talks on marriage, chastity, sexuality and ethics. I spent time studying up on issues related to my profession as well. I accepted as my own and made the effort to defend the Church's stand on life issues.

My being a future radiologist is not the most important thing. Being a Roman Catholic and trying to live faithful to the teachings of the Magisterium comes first.

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Crossroads 1/09/2012 07:28:00 PM

There is something about change, about several possibilities open to you that can be frightening. That's the reason why these upcoming exams seem to appear so overwhelming, even if I'm sure that passing is not the end all and be all of my professional career...

And then there are realizations pointed out to you that make you second guess what you have thought that you have gotten figured out for years. It seems like you might never have belonged from the start, and all the effort was at a loss right from the beginning...

And thus one reaches the crossroads...

What path do I take now? Where is this road about to lead me?

A day at a time... Taking a step at a time...

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