We give over to the Lord everything. God takes us seriously, and why should that not be? We own nothing save our sins. We belong wholly to our Lord, and for the One who first loved us, surely we can entrust our lives to him. He is the way, the truth and the life. In him is our happiness, our salvation, our eternal joy. As St Angela would put it: Jesus is our only Treasure. Praise God!
This brings to mind another prayer by St Charles de Foucauld – the Prayer of Abandonment.
I think that it is necessary to have the grace of God to even utter the words of these two prayers. What can one do without the grace of God? To be able to make these two prayers one’s own, the grace of God is truly required. The grace to be generous is not ours but it belongs to Christ who kindly gives it to us. Did he not say to us, through the words of St Paul, that there is more happiness in giving than receiving? Praise God!
I used to sing this hymn. . . .”I thank my God each time I think of you, and when I pray for you, I pray with joy”.”
Fr. Damien quoted this in a voice that was very emotional and filled with gratitude and joy, he thanked Jesuit Bishop Paul Tan for ordaining him. What a privilege it was for us to have witnessed this.
Who is the reason? Our Lord Jesus. And he is the one who gives us reason to rejoice.
I thank God too for the opportunity to receive blessings from the two newly ordained priests. There was no need to wait for my turn. The opportunity presented itself. All I had to do was to kneel down and receive, and I did that. Thank God!
In the final photo, we all had the opportunity to laugh out loud. The joke? One would have to figure it out! The answer comes with observation of what one can see with the eyes given us, and more so, with the eyes of faith. Praise God!
I was impressed. Yes, I was impressed by the love and the hospitality shown to us by our brothers and sisters in Christ. I had often heard that our neighbours in Malaysia are simple and easy going. Since my last trip in April when I visited twelve churches in five days, I have come to accept that it is true.
Today at the Church of St Louis, people were coming in before nine onwards and by the time the ordinations, scheduled to start at ten, were about to begin, the pews were already full. I saw people just moving in and allowing the late comers to sit. From this photo one can see that people were packed like sardines, and no one seemed to mind. Thank God for the grace to be loving and considerate! Praise God!
How the years have gone by! It has been more than 13 years since I first attended my silent retreat at Seven Fountains Spirituality Centre in Chiangmai, Thailand. It was there that I met most of the seminarians and since then so many have been ordained. Here are some pictures of priests – a Capuchin friar, Jesuits and diocesan priests – all friends in the Lord!
This was a time to catch up with old friends after the two ordinations today. We had all come from near and far. The good Lord had brought us all together to rejoice in his goodness. Praise Him!
A good time was had by all today. The goodness of God saw us take a smooth ride to Johor, Malaysia before sunrise. We arrived safely to the Kluang Railway Station where we stopped for breakfast at a small stall nearby. It was already three hours after we had started on our car journey.
After the ordination, we stopped again for a drink. Colourful as the drinks are, they are supposed to be full of nutrition. We had stopped at an organic farm. My companions ordered Mulberry Juice, Dragon Fruit Juice with ice cream while I stuck to my usual mug of coffee on a cool day. The weather was perfect, one could say.
This reminds me of what Fr Iker once said about how nothing brings friends together more than food. How true! Thank God!
His prayer is the familiar one prayed by all who love the Lord. . .
Take and receive O Lord all my will, my liberty and my understanding. . . .
May it always be so with us, Lord. Help us to remember that nothing we can do for you is ever sufficient. As the second Mass reading went, we are but earthen vessels. You alone are precious. You alone are worthy to be praised!
With my brothers and sisters in Christ in the Church of St Louis, we spent a good time rejoicing in the goodness of the Lord. We witnessed not one but two ordinations. Alleluia!
Bishop Paul Tan SJ used FOUR different languages – Tamil, Mandarin, Malay and English – in some parts of the Eucharistic celebration. Praise the Lord!
In May 2008 Pope Benedict composed a special prayer for the Feast of Our Lady Help of Christians (May 24), venerated at the shrine of Sheshan, near Shanghai. He also designated May 24 as the yearly World Day of Prayer for China and asked that we recite this prayer.
Virgin Most Holy, Mother of the Incarnate Word and our Mother, venerated in the Shrine of Sheshan under the title “Help of Christians,” the entire Church in China looks to you with devout affection. We come before you today to implore your protection. Look upon the People of God and, with a mother’s care, guide them along the paths of truth and love, so that they may always be a leaven of harmonious coexistence among all citizens.
When you obediently said “yes” in the house of Nazareth, you allowed God’s eternal Son to take flesh in your virginal womb and thus to begin in history the work of our redemption. You willingly and generously co-operated in that work, allowing the sword of pain to pierce your soul, until the supreme hour of the Cross, when you kept watch on Calvary, standing beside your Son, Who died that we might live.
From that moment, you became, in a new way, the Mother of all those who receive your Son Jesus in faith and choose to follow in His footsteps by taking up His Cross. Mother of hope, in the darkness of Holy Saturday you journeyed with unfailing trust towards the dawn of Easter. Grant that your children may discern at all times, even those that are darkest, the signs of God’s loving presence.
Our Lady of Sheshan, sustain all those in China, who, amid their daily trials, continue to believe, to hope, to love. May they never be afraid to speak of Jesus to the world, and of the world to Jesus. In the statue overlooking the Shrine you lift your Son on high, offering him to the world with open arms in a gesture of love. Help Catholics always to be credible witnesses to this love, ever clinging to the rock of Peter on which the Church is built. Mother of China and all Asia, pray for us, now and for ever. Amen!
I had not attended a Pentecost Rally for a long time. This year, however, hearing about it from Fr. Thomas, I prayed for the grace to be present. I was grateful to be able to spend a little more than four hours there. I was early, arriving there at about 12.30p.m. and I could have taken the first pew but it was too close to the musicians and singers so I decided to move to the last pew. That was a good move. When the new Bishop William Goh came in, I could see him at close range. Moreover, I saw for myself that the entire congregation seemed to be welcoming a popular personality, almost as if he was a famous movie star or pop singer. The clapping and cheering went on for a short while. It gave me a good feeling to see him so warmly received. Hopefully the Spirit of God will help our local church to have a renewal under this new leadership.
Then the Bishop gave a long talk which was also well received. People were listening intently, and they laughed at the right parts. I thought it was a good sign for people to be open to the preaching and teaching. The Bishop spoke on the two scourges in the world now, affecting everyone including the Catholic Church. He spoke also on Catholics who pick and choose what suits them. As he spoke, I was busy jotting down notes. Should the grace be given, I will post that some time later.
So the church has a new leader, a Spirit-filled leader, a leader who is ready to lead by example, ready to do his utmost to revamp the entire set up in terms of personnel, ways and means. Bishop is a ‘peoples’ person. Praise God! He will spend time to listen, to pray and to act. We praise and thank God for this gift of our Bishop on this very important day of the Church – Pentecost Sunday.
I started this morning to meditate and pray with the Holy Spirit as the Wonderful Counsellor. How apt! Sometimes one has an important decision to make and instead of turning to the Lord in prayer, one allows one’s mind to be jumbled up with all sorts of thoughts, and these thoughts in turn get one all knotted up. Is it any wonder? We need the clarity, the compassion, the care of the Holy Spirit to see us through, and this connection with him must be made. Then one can be clearer and find peace in one’s heart.
Imagine if a new assignment was given me and the task had come so suddenly and unexpectedly that, for a moment, I just got thrown off balance. I would lose my equilibrium, forgetting to look at only what was essential. If I were not focussed on the Wonderful Counsellor and did not turn to Him for help, I might find myself totally worked up for nothing. I would have unwittingly allowed all sorts of obstacles to be placed before me, real or imaginary, and what would happen to my poor heart? Confused. Perplexed.
Wonderful Counsellor, I praise and thank you for who you are. You are the best. Your wisdom and your love for me will see me through all the problems that besiege me. Help me, then, by giving me the grace to always seek your good advice. Let me never fail to turn to you and allow you to lead and direct me. Amen.
A call to discipleship. We have come to the crux of the matter.
The model disciple is our Lady, and we can call on her to pray for us. She was with the apostles in the Upper Room. The men were huddled in fear, afraid and doubtful. Mary prayed with them. She prayed for them. She journeyed with them, experiencing also their pain and at the same time giving them confidence to go on. Like the apostles then we too must let God’s mercy and compassion raise us up. Baptised children of God we are, and so we can come to our Lord, to the wonder of His love. No betrayal or denial can make Him turn away from us. His love surpasses all our understanding. He – our God – is LOVE!
Touching on the homily of Pope Francis, Fr. Jacob once again pointed us to the Cross of Christ. He quoted Matthew 28: 16-20. We are to imitate Him. We are to remember that He is still with us, always, to the end of time.
We are to obey God, and that can be translated to mean our knowing the purpose of our lives. We are to work towards knowing, loving and living as one with God, our God of surprises. We are to obey his commandments if we really love him. No turning back, for sure. The Spirit of Truth given to us will guide us in all truth.
And what is eternal life? It is to know the Lord. It is here and now. We don’t go by the majority but by the truth of God. Praise Him!
We were all invited to write something and then leave it in front of the Cross. I did just that and felt moved. Two hearts beating as one. Two hearts united as one. The Heart of Christ enfolding mine. The Heart of Christ beating in love and my heart tries to beat in tune with His. Praise God!