This 2013 is the 406th year we Filipino Catholics celebrate the Feast of the Black Nazarene. Millions of people (some even barefoot) endure heat, stench, and fatigue just to see, kiss, or wipe their towels/hanky to the statue. This proves that Filipinos have deep-rooted faith. However, there are some people who don’t get it and it breaks my heart everytime I hear someone says something against The Feast of the Black Nazarene.
1) “This tradition has killed a lot of people as much as they think it healed them from their freaking illnesses.” & “What is the whole point of risking your life just to get a glimpse or a slight brush of your handkerchief w the image of the Black Nazarene?” — First of all, there are countless people who are healed by the Lord on the image of the Nazarene. You may want to read some miracles happened: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/breakingnews/metro/view/20090109-182325/Devotees-recount-miracles-of-Nazarene. Let us never question miracles. And yes, many people died because of the procession but it was because of their strong will to touch at least the cross of the Nazarene maybe because of their strong need/wish. In my opinion, it’s their choice to do such dangerous act hence the consequence, they died due to their devotion.If only people would not step on other devotees’ heads/body, there would be no risking one’s life at all. The problem here are the people, not the tradition. (People should prepare well for the translacion so there will be no devotees passing out, etc). I believe that someday, the devotees will think of orderliness and consider other people to prevent injuries and deaths. The feast will be a festive, orderly, and spiritual procession. Let’s pray for it.
2) ”I’m just curious: can’t the Catholic Church open its doors daily for Black Nazarene devotees? Para iwas sakitan/siksikan/balyahan?” & “do its powers only work during its feast day kaya sila nagkakandarapat lumapit?” — It is open daily for everyone. There is a door outside that leads to the Black Nazarene. As what’s said, it is a “feast”, a celebration, just like how you celebrate Christmas on Dec. 25 and New Year on Jan. 1. People gather on Jan. 9 to show unity and devotion to the Nazarene. It’s the people’s deep rooted faith.
3) “For me: Black Nazarene, false tradition. Blessings flow because of our Faith. Miracles happened because of our prayers.” — Yes, blessings and miracles are due to our faith and prayers. But a false tradition? I beg to differ. Can’t we sacrifice a little by joining the procession? To celebrate the feast?
4) The worst is “Fanaticism is a far cry from Catholicism. You say deep-rooted faith, I say Idolatry.” — It is right to warn people against the sin of idolatry when they are committing it. But calling Catholics idolaters because they have images of Christ and the saints is based on misunderstanding or ignorance of what the Bible says about the purpose and uses (both good and bad) of statues.
"God has forbidden the use of images in worship" (281). Yet if people were to "search the scriptures" (cf. John 5:39), they would find the opposite is true. God forbade the worship of statues, but he did not forbid the religious use of statues. Instead, he actually commanded their use in religious contexts!
People who oppose religious statuary forget about the many passages where the Lord commands the making of statues. For example: “And you shall make two cherubim of gold [i.e., two gold statues of angels]; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end; of one piece of the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be” (Ex. 25:18–20).
David gave Solomon the plan “for the altar of incense made of refined gold, and its weight; also his plan for the golden chariot of the cherubim that spread their wings and covered the ark of the covenant of the Lord. All this he made clear by the writing of the hand of the Lord concerning it all, all the work to be done according to the plan” (1 Chr. 28:18–19). David’s plan for the temple, which the biblical author tells us was “by the writing of the hand of the Lord concerning it all,” included statues of angels.
Similarly Ezekiel 41:17–18 describes graven (carved) images in the idealized temple he was shown in a vision, for he writes, “On the walls round about in the inner room and [on] the nave were carved likenesses of cherubim.” (Further reading: http://www.catholic.com/tracts/do-catholics-worship-statues)
The devotees keep on coming back and are growing in number because they “encounter the Divine” in the grand procession, one most the most spectacular expressions of religiosity in predominantly Catholic Philippines, a Church official said. “The feast is a unique expression of Filipino spirituality and popular piety to experience `heaven’ even for a short glimpse.” Yes, there are abuses that need to be purified. But “kissing or holding on to the statues is not worshiping statues, it is connecting to the divine, to touch and be touched by heaven itself,” Monsignor Jose Clemente Ignacio said. “It is a Filipino trait to want to wipe, touch, kiss, or embrace sacred objects if possible. We Filipinos believe in the presence of the Divine in scared objects and places,” he added. Ignacio said the devotees want to be connected to the Divine through lining up for the Pahalik (the ritual kissing of the statue), holding on to the vestments of the statue after the Pabihis (the changing of the garments of the Black Nazarene), or touching the rope used to pull the carriage of the Black Nazarene. “This is a way of expressing one’s faith. It is an expression of their devotion. We all know we don’t worship statues. We worship God and if these statues would `bridge us to God,’ then we want to connect with God using these statues,” he said. (Source: http://newsinfo.inquirer.net/337495/quiapo-priest-filipino-devotion-to-black-nazarene-not-idolatry)
For me, let us just respect every religion’s traditions. The Black Nazarene has traveled many distances just to reach us Filipinos. Here is a short story retrieved from http://www.rappler.com/life-and-style/19373-sketching-the-story-of-the-black-nazarene.
1) In the early 1600s, an unknown Mexican sculptor creates the Nuestro Señor Jesus de Nazareno or Our Father Jesus the Nazarene. Bent in agony from carrying his cross, the statue represents his passion and suffering.
2) In 1606, the statue is put on board a galleon ship docked in Acapulco, Mexico en route to Manila.
3) On the way to Manila, a fire breaks out in the ship.
4) Legend has it that the flames reach the statue, but instead of burning it completely, only turns its fair skin into ebony, hence its present name… theBlack Nazarene.
5) In May 1606, the dark statue arrives in Manila and is given to Augustinian Recollect priests who bring it to its first home, the Church of San Juan Bautista in Bagumbayan (now part of Luneta).
6) Pope Innocent X in the Vatican City establishes the Confradia de Jesus Nazareno in 1650 to encourage devotion to the Black Nazarene.
7) On January 9, 1787, the Black Nazarene is finally transferred to its present-day home, Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo. Since then, the translacion is celebrated by millions of devotees.
8) In 1880, Pope Pius VII blesses the Black Nazarene, granting plenary indulgence to those who pray before the statue.
9) For centuries, the Black Nazarene survives fires, earthquakes and World War II.
10) Today, the tradition endures, reminding devotees that Christ suffered and that beyond suffering, there is hope.
Viva nuestra padre jesus nazareno!
I can’t believe that after a decade, we’ll see each other again. When we were in the second grade, you sat beside me in the classroom; now, you choose to sit beside me inside the bus, both of us bound to our universities. However, things are not the same anymore; you’re not saying a single word unlike what we used to do when we were kids— playing, fighting, and laughing like there’s no tomorrow. I don’t know if you’re just ignoring me or you don’t remember me at all. I’m dying to say “hi” but I’m weak when it comes to these things so I remained silent. We’re sitting arm to arm yet it seems like we’re so distant. The atmosphere kills me, not to mention the gloomy weather. You are the first guy I ever fell in love with and you made a big difference in my life; it’s as if you are a part of me since then. I sigh because you are about to reach your destination so you stand up from your seat. As you walk away and leave the bus, all I want to tell you is…
Look at you. You’re taller, more handsome, and more charming than before. But some things didn’t change— your skin is still whiter than me (funny, I myself am already white-complexioned), your face still pictures the innocence of a young boy, and most especially, your eyes are still the eyes I die for. I hope to see you more often and hopefully, by the next time we see, or even better, sit beside each other, talk to me. I need it. You really are a grown man now, boy. I miss you.
And you slowly disappeared from my point of view as the bus progressed…
One of the most difficult obstacles I have had to overcome in my faith journey is the spirit of independence. This is a wonderful country built on that wonderful spirit. But, unfortunately, it is that very spirit that often separates us from a true relationship with Christ for two simple reasons:
1. We bristle at anyone who expects us to be obedient.
2. We find it very difficult to be humble.
So, most of us find a church that makes us feel good. Let us worship God in “our” way. In other words, we don’t want to bear a cross. We don’t want to feel guilty. We want it “our” way, which of course is not necessarily “God’s” way. We want to storm the gates of heaven. Write our own ticket.
Sounds like WE are playing God and setting the standards.
The term Catholic Church does translate to “Universal Church”. But it does not translate to Universal Churches. I believe that Christ founded one Church, on one leader, for all people, for all time. I pray often, just as Jesus did, that we become one. One in the Church founded by Christ, not in any church founded by man. Man cannot found a “church” and consider it part of the Universal Church, especially “churches” that do not submit to the Universal Church founded by Christ. Just because I call myself a millionaire does not make me one. Just because an organization founded by man calls itself a “church” does not make it one. Christ founded ONE Church for ALL mankind.
Let me put an emphasis. This is MY religious belief.
As I was surfing the internet for movie reviews on The Amazing Spider-Man, I found these segments interesting and worth-reading.
This reaches a head in the movie’s most iconic exchange: the sacrosanct moment in which Peter’s Uncle Ben teaches him that “with great power comes great responsibility”. Webb has clearly been told it’s absolutely vital that this scene be included - hell, it’s the only reason Uncle Ben exists as a character: to impart his wisdom and then fuck off dead - but Sheen’s dialogue is squirm-in-your-seat awkward. I’m paraphrasing, but the line is something like “With immense abilities there comes a huge need to account for one’s self” or something equally obtuse. JUST SAY THE DAMN LINE. Either spit it out or leave it unsaid.
Garfield is an interesting choice for Peter Parker, but Webb’s reimagining of the character is botched. Instead of a socially awkward dweeb, Parker 2.0 has cool hair, a cool jacket, a cool skateboard, stands up to the school bully, looks like Andrew Garfield and gets to go out with Emma Stone. Tobey Maguire, for reasons that are probably pretty close to the truth, felt like he’d suck all the energy out of any given room; Garfield is too charismatic, too jittery and too damn handsome to convince as a super-nerd. In fact, when he begins courting Gwen, at times he comes on too strong, which is behaviour you’d expect more from Flash Thompson than Peter Parker.
Stone is predictably fantastic in the scenes where she’s allowed to do her own thing and not just react to Andrew Garfield’s Rain Man routine (one exchange with dad Denis Leary about hot cocoa is particularly brilliant) but the character of Gwen doesn’t really amount to much - just another skirt to be placed in mild peril. She’s short-changed by the sheer speed in which the movie dispenses with set-up - the time between her finding out her boyfriend has superpowers and her being totally au fait with him jump off her building’s roof is about nine seconds without the batting of a single eyelash. Garfield and Stone deserve better. But oh my, they aren’t the most lacking area of The Amazing Spider-Man, not by a long shot.
To be precise, it takes an increasingly dull, drawn-out 136 minutes to work through a story that many moviegoers older than 10 may think they’ve seen because they probably did when the first movie burned up the box office. Some of the characters have changed — here it’s the blond Gwen instead of the redheaded Mary Jane, the green Lizard instead of the Green Goblin, the supercilious Captain Stacy instead of the supersilly newspaper publisher J. Jonah Jameson — as has the balance between the blue and red on Spidey’s suit. Mr. Webb has given the story intimacy, scaling down a lot of action and handing over screen time to Peter and Gwen’s his-and-her charm. Yet despite this and the snazzier special effects, so much looks, sounds, feels the same, even in Imax and 3-D.
Parker is actually unmasked a number of times in the film, blasphemy in superhero movie-making that speaks to the intrepid young man’s vulnerability (or movie execs’ insistence we see Garfield’s pretty face more than we should). Either way, it doesn’t hinder what isn’t exactly award-worthy movie-making anyway. The film is overly long (136 minutes) and its prologue is especially trying, but it takes off when Parker puts on the suit.
Obviously the biggest question with the reboot is how Andrew Garfield does as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. I found him to be quite enjoyable, and, after speaking with my comic friends, perhaps more authentic to the comics. Ignoring a few scenes where he came off as Teen Wolf-esque, I thought he played the role quite well. But just because it is more authentic doesn’t mean it necessarily translates to film (for instance, if you are familiar with Wolverine’s outfit in the comics), and even though I found him solid, I still preferred Tobey Maguire at the end of the day. I thought Maguire played Spider-Man with a bit more complexity and vulnerability. This isn’t to say that Garfield can’t grow into the role, but he wasn’t the standout part of the film, and he really needed to be.
One of the strongest changes in the reboot was switching out Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst in the Raimi films) for Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone). Not only do I prefer Emma Stone as an actress, but her part felt more endearing. Mary Jane always felt like she only got interested in Peter Parker when he started to become “cool,” in contrast with Gwen Stacey, who legitimately seemed interested in Peter even when he was a nobody. If the movies follow the arc of the comics, it also looks like Gwen Stacey will have a much more significant role going forward than Mary Jane did in the previous movies. Beyond Stone, the supporting cast in the movie is wonderful. Martin Sheen and Sally Field are standout as Uncle Ben and Aunt May, both stealing a lot of the scenes they were in. The last major piece of the puzzle is the villain, and despite having no familiarity with the Lizard coming into the film, I thought Rhys Ifans did an excellent job and made the villain one of the most memorable of any of the filmes. One of the big kudos for this film has to go to the casting director.
Even more of a joy is Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. Together they have a remarkable chemistry, and their scenes together have an energy that is too often missing from the love stories of comic book movies. And so even though the first hour of the movie is just rehashing stuff we already know in unnecessary detail, it’s watchable. There are a lot of problems in the first hour - the pacing is dreadful, the love story (while enjoyable) has no momentum, as Peter and Gwen meet and pretty much fall right for each other without any kind of obstacle or problems or interesting incidents along the way - but The Amazing Spider-Man is mediocre in a watchable way for this stretch.
Then the superhero stuff kicks in and the movie shudders and begins falling to pieces before finally becoming a howlingly bad shitshow for the final action scene. The only thing amazing about this movie is how badly it goes off the rails.
The Lizard is a horrible character in this film; not just physically - his design is terrible, stupid and silly - but in a fundmental way. The first half of the film spends lots of time with Dr. Curt Connors as he looks at his stumpy arm, talks about his stumpy arm and mourns his stumpy arm, but none of these uninteresting, poorly done scenes prepare us for what kind of a character the filmic Lizard is. Instead of a Jekyll and Hyde type, where Connors is desperate to cure himself of his alter ego, the movie Lizard is a megalomaniac whose plan is to turn everybody in New York City into lizards. Rubbing our faces in the tragedy of crippled Dr. Connors does not make his stupid take-over plan more sympathetic. At least Magneto, who had the EXACT SAME PLAN in X-Men, was coming from a position we could understand.
Just as the love story has no momentum, the Lizard story has no momentum or gathering tension. Connors is not the Lizard and then he is. Once the Lizard shows up the movie slams into the wall of banality, becoming a completely generic superhero film. Webb clearly has no feel for this stuff, so he just takes pages out of other movies and recreates them. By the time the finale occurs on top of a tall building where a gadget is threatening everybody I had all but checked out. Also checking out: Spider-Man. While the buzz in advance was that this movie finally had Spidey cracking wise the way he did in the comics, the actual finished film has Garfield delivering a few ADRed bon mots in early scenes before Spidey becomes almost silent in many of the finale bits - which only adds to the banality of the ending.
Amidst the banality are some delightfully terrible moments and editing decisions that add levity to the ho-hum drabness of the finale. There’s a bit where every construction worker in Manhattan helps Spidey out by turning their cranes out into the street; if there’s a worse, less motivated, cheaper scene in the movies this year I’ll be surprised. And then there’s the bit where the Lizard turns an entire SWAT team into lizards… all of whom promptly disappear from the movie, likely to avoid burdening the picture with further FX costs. The whole movie is like that, with bad scenes or pointless interludes that point to a vastly different story that was hacked out in the editing process.
Common Sense Media http://www.commonsensemedia.org/movie-reviews/the-amazing-spider-man
Let’s be honest: The Spider-Man franchise didn’t really need a reboot. Sure, the third film of the last set, which featured the wonderful Toby Maguire in the titular role, was a bit disappointing, but overall the series was a crowd-pleaser in many ways. So is there any reason to love this new outing, which treads over much of the same backstory as previous films did? Yes. Garfield brings a different but equally fantastic energy to the role; his Peter has a skater-on-the-fringes angst that’s not emo and not super-boyish (like Maguire) but still perfect for a teenage superhero. He’s antsy and curious and very charming. And it helps differentiate THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN from previous movies that Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), not Mary Jane Watson, is Peter/Spidey’s paramour here.
Director Marc Webb brings a realism to the proceedings that’s hard not to like. He lingers on the teen romance, which is delightful, and serves up thrilling action sequences without the show-off-y quality that too many superhero movies rely on. One gripe worth airing is about Spider-Man’s nemesis: The Lizard seems scary enough, but not so scary as to be a worthy opponent. This Spidey wants to show off, as a teen encountering new powers would, and he deserved a proper fight.
Personally, I like Tobey Maguire more than Andrew Garfield but I do like The Amazing Spider-Man. In fact, I enjoyed it because it is comic and fresh, even though it’s a reboot. However, these movie reviews are right if I were to judge the movie objectively.