BANGKOK: ABOUT 20,000 people attended the closing ceremonies of a five-day celebration for the beatification of the Seven Martyrs of Thailand. The celebrations, held in Song Kon, a village in the northeast province of Nakhon Phanom, followed earlier ceremonies at the Vatican at which Pope John Paul II proclaimed the martyrs blessed.

The seven martyrs - a catechist, two Religious sisters, a housewife and three teenage girls - were murdered in December 1940 for refusing to renounce their faith during a police drive in Song Kon, to stamp out Christianity.

Thousands of Catholics from throughout Thailand were in the village each day of the celebrations, which included processions and sermons on renewal and conversion. But the biggest crowd came for the closing ceremonies and Eucharistic celebration on Dec 10. Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu of Bangkok celebrated the Mass from an altar set up on the banks of the Mekong River overlooking Laos.
Q: How are we to explain the fact that in the Old Testament several notable men are said to have had many wives, whereas we Christians consider polygamy to be a sin, and we Catholics do not even permit divorce and remarriage?

A: lt is indeed true that the practice of polygamy was a common and accepted practice at certain periods in Old Testament history. We read of King Solomon, for example, that "he had seven hundred wives of princely rank and three hundred concubines." (Kgs 11:3) And we must conclude that this was a privilege that only kings enjoyed.

Probably only kings and the like could afford to have as many wives as did King Solomon, but the legislation found in Deuteronomy 21:150, seems to presuppose the situation of one man with at least two wives. Since the book of Deuteronomy was written some time after 622/21 B.C., I think that we can assume that the practice was acceptable even at that relatively late date in Old Testament history.
A HEALTHY spirituality is one that joyfully surrenders to God's Will, offering all sufferings and humiliations in a spirit of reparation so that even the downside of life is seen as a blessing. This surrender to God includes die way we accept ourselves and our own life. Let's face it, some lives are messier than others. But God can draw good from evil and joy from sorrow. It's so important to trust Him.

Although I may not be all mat Td like to be, I know mat I have to accept my life because it is in die here and now of the present moment dial God calls me to love Him and serve Him and be happy with Him. It's His will that I make a reasonable effort to be good and that I enjoy it in the bargain.
THE Cathedral of the Good Shepherd was packed to capacity at the 10 am Mass, Sunday, Jan 21, for a very special reason. The Apostolic Pronuncio, His Excellency Archbishop Alberto Tricarico presided at the investiture ceremony of Mgr J.R. de Rozario who was promoted to the rank of honorary Prelate of die Holy Father.

It was in recognition of his long and faithful service to the Archdiocese of Singapore and to the Apostolic Nunciature and the person of the Apostolic Pronuncio to the Republic of Singapore.

Concelebrating with the Vatican Ambassador were Archbishop Gregory Yong and 18 priests from the Archdiocese. Present also were representative groups from the various religious communities as well as council members of the Inter-Religious Organisation of which Mgr Rozario is the Catholic representative.
VATICAN CITY: EASTERN prayer and meditation, while having positive elements, "is not free from dangers and errors" harmful to Catholic spirituality, said a Vatican document approved by Pope John Paul II.

Because of the growing interest in Eastern methods among Catholics, there is an "urgent need" to define the elements of prayer essential for Christianity in any fusion with techniques borrowed from Buddhism and Hinduism, said the document, a letter to the world's Catholic bishops.

Eastern methods were defined as Zen, transcendental meditation and yoga. Also criticized were some of the physical exercises associated with them.

The document said it also was a reference point "in a more general way, for the different forms of prayer practiced nowadays in ecclesial organisations, particularly in associations, movements and groups."