February 3, 2012 § Leave a comment
Almost every morning, my mother will look out the window to see me as I go off to work.
She did this when I was little. She still does this when I’m grown.
Today though, I had a sudden thought.
The thought that I’m constantly on my mother’s mind.
She prays over her children.
Well, time to be grateful for Mother Mary as well.
December 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
As I was settling down to pray in the adoration room, I couldn’t help noticing that right beside me an old man was praying aloud.
So I asked Jesus to excuse me while I listen in. And as I listened, I couldn’t help smiling.
This man was praying for his daughters, specifically that they return home safely from their trip with colleagues. He kept repeating this prayer, very earnestly. Lastly, and only lastly did he pray for his legs.
Despite the painful legs, he tottered towards Jesus and placed his hands on the glass covering. And repeated the same prayers.
I wanted to laugh. Still, I was touched by his prayers. I thought it revealed a father’s heart, a father who placed his daughters above himself.
And despite all that tottering, I believe that here was a good man, a true one.
I started to wonder if God was telling me something about His own heart.
(I think he did mention something about Jesus knowing that he loves his wife, as on the day they met. I might be imagining it though. Wasn’t listening carefully enough.)
September 7, 2011 § Leave a comment
I wouldn’t be rosy-eyed and say WYD was a blast, I will only tell you that there was much suffering involved and that this suffering is soul-building. I wouldn’t say it so readily for my other sufferings, so being able to see these sufferings as good and therefore not actually minding it much is a grace 😉
WYD involved waking up in the morning, EVERY DAY, still sleep-deprived, and going for meditation and mass. At least, it meant that I had something to offer for mass– waking up for meditation and mass (which I could and was tempted to skip) when I am so darn tired 😀 I really am glad about that part, since Jesus will take what we offer and multiply it like he did to the bread and loaves.
WYD also involved not being able to do what I wanted to do. Instead, to cause less trouble, we had to follow the itinerary set out– some of which were not very appealing. I wanted to go for more WYD-organised events rather than OD stuff. There was the feeling that we didn’t too much, or much of what I wanted to do. Oh but well, this is training to be the kind of sheep that follows Jesus rather than go on its own way. Specifically, this is training to not follow my will all the time and to deny it sometimes to not make things difficult for the group leaders, who had to keep the group together. Applause, they really were very patient with us, but I would be sure they emerge from this with a more vivid understanding of how it is like for Jesus (with the Pope) to shepherd people.
Watching WYD on the web is significantly different from being there and actually experiencing it. On the web, the main events are clear. You get a clear glimpse of the pope, hear the music clearly, and get the translation (or it is easily accessible). For those who are actually there however, it involves jostling in the crowd, being way too far behind to actually see or hear anything, bearing the heat of the sun and the crowd…and at least for us, it also involved not understanding what is going on, because the mass and homily and speeches are in some foreign language. The opening mass was a huge shock– the venue couldn’t accommodate us most of us, I daresay even half of us.
Not very strangely then, what stood out for me was how very human we were, in how the event was organised (must be hard to organise it for this number on low funds) and in how we reacted to the events– sometimes with frustration. Yet, this made me realise even more what it meant for Jesus to shepherd such people, even take on a human nature to be among such people. As Fulton Sheen’s analogy goes, it’s like a human allowing himself to be among serpents. It also made me realise that despite our humaness, there was, surprisingly still room for grace and the presence of God. Yes, the presence of God I felt more strongly, which is a grace because I wouldn’t know how to pull through the suffering the WYD involved.
So that is it. I’m not going to apologise for not saying that WYD was a blast and enjoyable. Blah, no it wasn’t. But it was spiritually fruitful, and maybe I can say, I did feel some joy in the midst of the suffering 😉
And even if I didn’t get any spiritual fruits, it was ALL WORTH IT because I got to see the Pope LIVE, and just a metre away 😀 😀
July 22, 2011 § Leave a comment
6 Never worry about anything; but tell God all your desires of every kind in prayer and petition shot through with gratitude, 7 and the peace of God which is beyond our understanding will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4
I’m loving this quote, especially because I have felt the peace of God when I was worried about something before 🙂 It is so easy to become worried, but God keeps telling us over and over again NOT TO! It almost seems as if he knows what fearsome and timid creatures we are. Not to worry is a discipline. And unlike other things we have to discipline ourselves to do, this is one which lightens our loads and adds a spring in our step…almost immediately!
May 30, 2011 § Leave a comment
Today’s results gave me a dejavu feeling.
11 years ago, I was pretty sure I was going to fail my PSLE (Primary School Leaving Examination). I kept all my books, preparing to re-take the exam. Then the results came, and oh, wow.
Ok, my results today aren’t fantastic. But I was expecting I might get an ‘E’. Yesterday night, I even had a nightmare about it. I was wondering if an ‘E’ is considered a fail, or was it ‘F’? Today’s dream was better. Today I dreamt that I had a C, and there was a person in charge of each person’s grades pulled it up to a B just so I can graduate with second class upper. But I woke up, remembered that no one would look at my overall grades and pull me up just because they saw that I was very close to a second class upper, that everyone would just mark my work separately and give me whatever grade they deemed fit without coordinating among themselves to ensure I could pull up my CAP, that everything was electronised… Thinking this, I once more braced myself to see an ‘E’. Then I thought again, maybe God is that moderator?
And as you might have guessed, I did better than expected. But it was a really very close shave!
May 8, 2011 § Leave a comment
It's done, the exams are over.
I know I haven’t done my best. I know that I did put in effort despite the nagging feeling that it’ll be very difficult to pull up my CAP. I wonder if it will be enough.
But anyhow, I don’t think I’ll regret it. I keep telling myself, it’s over, time to move on. This applies not only to exams, but to my university life, to CSS. And I’ve been saying the same thing to myself since year 3, or the beginning of year 4. Would “preparing to leave” describe me? Maybe. On the last day, as I walked out of school, I wondered if I will miss this place. But looking around, the place…the place was just a place. I did not associate any particular place with a special memory. If there were memories, they seemed so long ago. I don’t get the “it’s almost as if it’s just yesterday” feeling.
I’m walking away. I’m walking away from stagnant relationships. I’m walking away from studying a subject I do not care about. I’m walking away from the liminality of university life where I hardly feel I know who I am and what I’m supposed to do.
In today’s reading, the disciples were walking away from Jerusalem to Emmaus. This is no biggie, except for the fact that Jesus had told them to stay in Jerusalem.
The priest’s homily was particularly striking. Their walking away had a deeper meaning.
They were walking away from community, they were downcast and had given up hope. They had put their trust in Jesus, but now the man was dead. Or so they thought. They probably wanted to move on, lead their own lives, look out for themselves. They insulted the stranger whom they met along the way for his ignorance of what has been going on in Jerusalem. They were bitter, practical. It’s over, time to move on. (Gosh, that sounds like me.)
Then as they walked with this stranger, their hearts burnt. And then He broke bread. And they recognised Him. And maybe they were reminded that they were meant to be like the bread, blessed and broken, given and shared.
You know what is comforting? Not the reminder to be bread definitely, though yes, I know I have forgotten and should work on that. What is comforting is that Jesus took the initiative to appear to them, men who, for all the time spent with him, seeing him walk over the sea and healing the sick, should probably have more faith that Jesus’s death is not the end. Such is His love and patience.
It gives me hope, especially since I think I am just like these disciples.