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Malaysia
Event and Street Photographer who leads by the Spirit of God and loves to capture the moment in life either in door or on the street.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Journey home for Christmas 2

Now our journey start again as we left Sarikei for Sibu at 5.25pm on December 22nd. Tony Ngieng sent us to Sibu in his Toyota Hilux. The journey is very bumpy as if we are in a wavy sea. The road quality is good but the road is not level due to the swampy ground on which the road was constructed.

The roads from Sarikei to Sibu are well tarred as compare to Sibu to Dalat road which are mainly going through oil palm plantation. Actually these roads from Sibu to Mukah are plantation road which are used by the plantation workers to transport their crops to the processing factory. I agreed with Pak Uban, our beloved Chief Minister that these plantation speed up the link road from Sibu to Mukah. The people of Mukah, Oya, Dalat, Sg. Kut and Kebuwau appreciate that move by the government. No to be demanding but I think it's about time we upgrade the rough terrain to a proper road.

My sister Monica had a bad experience last month when her old Iswara got stuck in one of the hole on the road in upper Mukah area which damaged her front bumper. Maybe she is not careful enough but the point is, these rough terrain road are not fit for small vehicle unless you drive a 4 Wheel Drive like Toyata Hilux or Ford Ranger or Honda CRV.

People may say that I am comparing West Malaysia road with Sarawak Road as I am more familiar with NKVE, Puncak Alam Expressway, Plus or Jalan Universiti. Yes, I am comparing but not with these good road highways. I know apple has to be compared with apple and Sarawak Pineapple with Sarawak Pineapple. Someone did plant Sarawak Pineapple in West Malaysia and yet the one from Sarawak taste better. I am comparing with road like the road to Janda Baik, Road in Kampong Kok, Perak, road that goes through the rich paddy field in Kedah. I take away the Janda Baik road because the road was constructed around a mountain terrain. How about the road in Kedah that goes through the paddy field. Both are swampy area and have different quality of road. Why?

Are West Malaysia's engineers better than those in Sarawak? This cannot be as both have learned the same technique of road building as to what material to used, combination of material, how to tackle rough terrain, how to tackle soft ground or swampy area or sinking ground and yet we have the different product.

No one is to blame but we, beloved Sarawakian and Malaysian as a whole need to find a way to solve this problem once and for all. It's not about politics, it's not about race, it's not about complain, it's about the common good for the benefit of all. If we can find a way to solve the wavy road in Sarawak, then we can use the same techniques to solve the entire wavy road throughout the whole Malaysia.

I trust in DS Najib Tun Razak's voice of 1Malaysia and I believe it can be done if we work as a team of true Malaysia in heart. Not a slogan but our true self 1Malaysia.

Though Papa Chedet is no longer our Prime Minister but we can still hear the echo of his voice shouting at the top of his voice urging us to strive forward with the vision 2020 and be a developed nation by 2020.

At 11.30am on December 23rd, we took a 600horsepower speedboat to Dalat which takes around 2hours. The boat was full of people, young and old, kids and adults. All of them are going home for Christmas though not all are Christian as some are Muslims and others are Buddist. The kids are having good times shouting and laughing while most of the adults are taking a nap including my wife. The wind is rushing from the front opening of the boat which gives us good cool air.

As our speedboat glide over the water along Igan River, I glanced outside the boat and saw the water in the river is low tide which will affect our journey to Dalat. In order to get to Dalat, we have to go through Kut River which connects to Oya River and Dalat is on the bank of Oya River.

We stopped at one of passenger's house but our engine just stop. Agnes ask me what is happening and I just shake my head and keep on typing in my blog. The engine won't start and we are floating down the Igan River. Babies are crying due to the hot weather and the ladies look worried. Agnes looks uneasy. I keep my cool and keep on writing.

At 12.21pm, the engines gave back the smiles on everyone faces as they can hear the roaring sound of the engine blasted to top speed. Fresh air rushing on our faces and the babies stop crying as the cool air comfort their warm little body. The adults smile at each other as a sign of relieve and gratitude.

Then at 12.51pm, we stop at Bungan village and drop a few passengers which include a young man with a young child who told me to be working in a hotel in Jalan Ampang area in Kuala Lumpur. And off we go again. Strong wind brushes my face and my thin hair and I love it. It's really like home with water, wave, strong wind and fresh air. I really missed this experience when I am working in an air-condition office in Petaling Jaya. This is real fresh and free.

At exactly 1.00pm, we reach Sg. Kut Muara. Then we take a van to Mother's house at Sg. Kut Tengah. My sister Monica also arrive at Mother's house at the same time and we get the house key from our neighbor.

We are safe home at last.

Thanks God for our safe journey and may all within us bless His Holy Name.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.


 

 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pray for the Soul of the Dead


Let us continue my journey from my earlier blog entitled Going Home for Christmas 2010.

I did mention in my earlier blog that I am going for a prayer for the soul of the dead on December 22rd but we decided to change it to early December 21st. 

Today is the day and we will be going to the cemetery to offer incense and prayer to Agnes’ beloved one who had gone to her rest. The morning is wet and it’s drizzling since the rain started at around 1.00 AM. 

Today I will miss my morning mass at St. Anthony Catholic Church as we plan to out early. We are ready to go at 7.00AM but the rain has not stopped completely.

My father-in law handed me his favorite coat and his hat and Agnes smile at me.  He said this will protect me from the cold weather. I wonder how about his own daughter, is she alright to get wet?  Then he gives Agnes a few small pin which he believes these pin will protect his daughter from the bad spirit at the cemetery later. Agnes looks at me and I shake my head to indicate to her that I do not need the pin.

At 7.20AM, Agnes brother, Tony comes to fetch us and we have our breakfast at a nearby coffee shop then we head for his home cum factory. There we take the other apparatus for offering and bought a bouquet of flower to be placed at his mother’s tomb. We change the car from his Black Perudua MyVy to his new Toyota Hilux as we have to go through rough terrain.

At 8.10AM, we head for the Sarikei Christian Cemetery which takes around 30m minutes drive. Along the way, I see a few new building without windows and one is about six stories high. Tony explained to us that these building are the house for birds to build their nest. [Rose, maybe you know the name of this bird, ‘manok kepisan’ or silver swift]. Beside Sarawak Pineapple and green Orange, Bird nest is one of Sarikei main product. In my mind I thought, “These people really mean business.” It’s good that they build these building outside the town and residential area as the birds can be very noisy when they came home to sleep. And they throw their drops everywhere.

When we arrive at the cemetery, the rain has stopped and a few people were already at the cemetery. Tony parked his Toyota Hilux at the roadside not far far from the main path.

We take two umbrellas in case of raining again. Tony carries a big box which contains paper money, incense and candle. His wife carries a big container of water, cloths, a bit of newspapers and a broom. I carry a bouquet of flower. I look around and I see that all the tombs were marked with a cross .  Then we walk on the slippery path with care until we reach the tomb of Agnes’ mother.

Tony put the big box which he carried on his broad shoulder at one side of the tomb and start to clean the tomb with paper while his wife opens a container of water and ask him to pour the water on the tomb instead. Thus he pours the water on the tomb and warp with a dry cloth. His son and I pull out a few weeds around the tomb.

Once the tomb cleaned, Tony light up two candles and put on a coke tin as the floor is still wet and light up three incenses which Agnes explained to me of what Tony is doing,  as an offering to ask for permission to open the door of prayer to the dead. I cover his candles and incense with my umbrella as the few drops of rain fall.

Then Tony arranges the bouquet of flower in a vase on the tomb and start to light the incense of offering. He gives each one of us three stick of incenses each and I am the last to do the offering.
I offer up my prayer to God for her soul asking for mercy, forgiveness of sin and everlasting rest, one Hail Mary and three incenses stick. 

I keep praying to God, hoping to get some sign of presence. But I receive nothing, not even a stirring in my heart.  It’s just peace.That is good enough for me.

Then comes the time for burn offering of paper money with their believe that the soul of the dead will not be poor with this offering. As for me, I am burning these papers as part of the ritual and pray to God that the sin of the soul be forgiven and have eternal rest.

Most of Agnes’ cousins wonder why I am doing prayer for the soul of the dead. Most of Agnes’ cousins are Methodist and they do not offer incense and prayer for the soul of the dead. Their argument is that this practice is not in the Holy Bible. Therefore it is not Christian practice. 

True it’s not in the Protestant Bible but before 1517, it’s in the Holy Bible. This tradition had been taken out of their version of the Bible as this tradition was found in the 2nd book Maccabees. The Book of Maccabees is one of the four books taken out of the Protestant Bible.

This practice can be found in 2nd Maccabees 12 verse 39 to verse 45 on the Prayers for those killed in Battle.

42 and they turned to supplication, praying that the sin that had been committed be wholly blotted out. The noble Judas exhorted the people to keep themselves free from sin, for they had seen with their own eyes what had happened as the result of sin of those who had fallen.
43 He also took up a collection, man by man, to the amount of two thousand drachmas of silver, and sent it to Jerusalem to provide for a sin offering. In doing this, he acted very well and honorably taking account of the resurrection.
44 For if he was not expecting that those who had fallen would rise again, it would have been superfluous and foolish to pray for the dead.
45 But if he was looking to the splendid reward that is laid up for those who fallen asleep in godliness, it was a holy and pious thought. Therefore he made atonement for the dead, so that they might be delivered from their sin.
2Maccabees 12:42-45 (NRSV)

This is the reading which Catholic Church reads on the All Souls Day which falls on November 2nd every year.

My mind recalled my experience of praying for the dead.
Years back, I read of a Book called Soul in Purgatory and the  Saints’ experience of praying for the soul in purgatory. And I said to myself, “if Saints can do it, I also can with God will.” 

So when Agnes having her 3rd miscarriage, I start to pray for the soul of the three miscarriages, my grandparents, my uncles, my aunties, my friends  even those I read in the newspapers. Days turn into weeks and weeks into months and nothing happen. I said, “Cannot be!”

On the eight month at my normal time of morning pray that is at 3.00AM, I heard many voices as I walk down the stairs in my house. It’s as if our house is full of people but I could not see. They are very joyful and they are waiting for someone.

Then someone shout, “He is coming already! He is coming already!”

They are waiting for me!!!

The hair at the back of my neck rise and ghost bum covered my body.  I am afraid of the thing I cannot see.  I am scared to my bone. 

In my fright, I pray, “Jesus, help me!” 

And I rush back to my room and grab my Bible and hold it tight to my chest. Pull my blanket and wait for the morning to come. 

I told my wife about this experience and she said, “Don’t play, you know. It’s dangerous.”

Since that day, I never pray for the soul of the dead until recently when I met Father Ignatius Huan during my retreat at Maranatha, Janda Baik, Pahang last October. During my personal meeting with him, I shared this experience with him and  he told me that I am growing in my spiritual life. 

And I learn very important lesson, the soul of the dead is longing for our prayer and the Saints’ experiences were REAL. 

With this I would like to urge, those who read this sharing, PLEASE PRAY for the soul of the dead especially your love ones. They are longing for your prayer and your prayers will bring comfort and joy for their soul.

You prayer can be as simple as, “God, Have mercy on XX. Grant her a good rest or give her comfort.” Or “ O Jesus, have mercy on YY, Forgive his sin.”

Believe me this is a good deed because my heart is stirring as I write this blog.

Mercy to All and Peace to the world.

Merry Christmas and may the peace of Christ be always within us.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Going Home for Christmas 2010


Wow!!! Christmas time is coming!!!
It’s 12.30am Sunday morning December 19th and yet I am still playing with my friends on the Facebook game, Kingdom of Camelot. Agnes’s cousin, William Ngieng will send us to KLIA LCCT at around 4.00AM. Our flight to Sibu, Sarawak will be at 7.00AM which takes around 1hour 50minutes.

Back at the Kingdoms of Camelot in Caval250 Kingdom in our alliance Sarmatian Knights, my friends are actively chatting.
Lord Norse and Lady SnowAngel always ready with their attacking strategy and they are really having fun. On the other hand, I am just clicking the help and look for those in need of help.
Lord Norse types in, “JohnCross, when are you going back for Christmas?”
Lady RuththeGreat added, “JC  is going back to his village.”
Then I type in, “Tomorrow morning and have to wake up around 3.00 AM.”
Lord FranktheWise added, “You should be sleeping, sir.”

I bid good bye to everyone and head for late shower. The water is cold and I have to add hot water to make the shower bearable and refreshing.

 As I come out of the shower room, my wife said in a commanding voice, “Set your alarm at 3.00AM.”
“Tonight, don’t have!” I test the water. She just turned around and pulled her blanket and said, “Switch off the light, Sleep early.”
And I respond with a joyful heart, “I love you.”

I switch off the light and go to my side of the bed.
After a while my eyes become familiar with the dark except for the little light from the street light outside, I glance at the image of Devine Mercy next to my bed. An image of Lord Jesus with his hand stretches out in a blessing posture as if He is blessing our sleep.

“Lord, I am coming home for your Birthday. Grant us peace and joy during this celebration. Keep us safe during our journey.”

My heart is stirring and a sense of joy filled my soul. My mind flows back on this Devine Mercy image and our personal experience with this image over the years.
 I bought this image of Devine Mercy from Brother Paul of St. Ignatius Church, Taman Plaza, Kelana Jaya. The image was blessed by our Parish Priest Father Philip Tan on a Devine Mercy Sunday.
Once I wake up in the middle of the night, when I see our bedroom was filled with bright light which comes from the Devine Mercy image. My heart rejoices but I kept this experience to myself as I am scared my wife Agnes will say I am going crazy of Devine Mercy. This experience repeated many times and I am longing for this Bright Light to be there every night.
During this time, I am deeply devoted to the Devine Mercy prayer.
I used to do the Devine Mercy prayer, one in the morning, one during lunch (I used to skip lunch and walk at the back of the office just to do the Devine Mercy prayer), 3 o’clock prayer and one evening.
The prayer that I used to recite during my work time or walking around just to keep my mind on God and acknowledge my sinful self is this:
“Heavenly Father, we offer you the body and blood, soul and divinity of your dearly beloved son, our Lord Jesus in atonement of our sin and those of the whole world.”
And end with, “Jesus, I trust in you.”
God grants me graces upon graces and I live in His Holy Presence. I live in joy and peace in my inner-self and yet I live in real world of chaos and full of unpleasant noise.
Then a day of confirmation of these experience came when my wife Agnes share her abnormal experience.
That time, we were driving back from work one evening and my wife start,
 “Do you realize this or not, there is a bright light coming from the Devine Mercy picture which filled our bedroom. I scared to tell you. I have seen it many times already.”
And I respond, “Praise be to God. He also revealed the Bright Light to you.” And I added, “I have seen the bright light also and I always see it during the night but I also scared to tell you.”
Agnes ask, “Funny loh! Why like that? Why got light and I could not sleep because the light is too bright?”
I just smile at her and said nothing but my heart is stirring with joy and gladness giving thanks to God for His goodness and mercy.
As I recalled this experience, my eyes became heavy and off I doze.
At exactly 3.00 AM, our alarm goes off with the song, “Jesus, lover of my soul.”
We have a fast morning hot shower and do the last packing. I lighted up three tea candles, one in my prayer room, on at the Nativity with Mother Mary and one at the Statue of St. Anthony of Padua.

As I light these candles, I pray, “O God, Have mercy on us. Keep our home safe. Keep your cats safe. Keep our neighbor safe. Keep our family safe. Keep my wife safe. Keep my friends safe. As for me, grant me the grace to be always in your presence. In Jesus precious, I ask. Amen.”

Then I go to my private prayer room and do my daily personal prayer which is quite long but most of the time, I pray in tongues which help a lot in getting myself in the prayer mode. (I will write on my daily personal prayer at a later stage, if He will.) Normally it takes 5minutes to 20minutes. Today it’s only around 6minutes.

God is good and generous.
The result is the same. It’s not the quantity of the time but the quality of the time when you immerse yourself in God’s presence, complete surrender and full of gratitude like a little child in his father loving arms. There no places like His rest and if I can, I want to be in His loving arms forever.
I heard my wife steps coming downstairs and she said, “Today we only light up tea candle! No oiled lights.”
I respond, “I know.” 

I open the door and at the door, I am greeted by Ms Grace the cat. I tell her that I am going back to my hometown and ask her to look after our house. She just meow at me and I think she understand. Mr. Joy the cat and Ms Panda the cat are not around. They are my good friends who keep away the snakes, lizard and even other cats.
We locked our house. 

“O God, protect our house.”
And we carry out our three bags and wait for William Ngieng at our gate.

At 4.00 o’clock, William came in his Kia 4-wheel drive with his two young sons. We pack our bags in the boot of his car and drive off to KLIA LCCT. When we arrive at LCCT, we take down our bags and we thanks William for generosity to fetch us to the airport and we bid him and his kids goodbye and Christmas greeting as he and his family are not going home for Christmas. The two kids wave at us as we push our trolley to the check in area.
The departure areas are crowded with passengers and our counter for check-in headed for Sibu is R45. It’s a long queue but worth waiting. We check in and our two bags weight 38.6KG. Wow! That’s heavy. Actual our limit is 40KG as Agnes had bought another extra 10KG, in case our bags overweight. She made a right choice.
As I sit at the waiting area, Agnes is busy window shopping. Normal thing for the ladies everywhere is good for shopping. 
Alas!!
I take out my Asus EeePC Netbook and connect to LCCT wireless network. This is good. The connection is excellent.  I log on to Facebook and I am back in Kingdoms of Camelot. I see my friends are busy chatting with building all around. 

I am still on the Facebook when the call for boarding time announce. Real bad timing!! I log off the network and off my netbook but the queue is already very long. I lift up my two luggage and walk to the back of the queue and I am greet with a long face from my wife. I shrug my shoulder and smile saying, “I am sorry, sayang.”
We board the plane and what a luck we place a the back row of the plane seat no. 30B
I smile to myself as I help a young female passenger to life up her heavy luggage into the compartment above her seat with this in mind, ‘Is this what Jesus said, “Those who are first will be last and those who are last will be first.” This is good’

The plane takes off a few minutes later and the weather is a bit bumpy as we hit the top speed.
This weather condition does not deter me to take my Asus EeePC Netbook and start to write a blog entitled Going Home for Christmas 2010

We touch down at Sibu Airport at 9.50AM. At the airport there is another long queue and I heard a few passenger speaking in Melanau language. I tell myself, “That’s sound familiar, my own mother tongue.”
We collect our bags and greet by Agnes sister, her husband and their two young smart boys. We pack our bags in his Toyata Prado and headed for his home. 

On the way, I send three SMS saying, ‘Eagle has landed at Sibu Airport. John Ragai.’
When we arrive at Agnes sister house, we repack again and headed for a plate of Kampua Mee at Chinese Coffee Shop. I really missed this Sarawak Noodle. Then we start our journey down to Sarikei which takes around 30 to 45 minutes. I take pictures along the way.

When we arrive in Sarikei, Agnes father greet us and he looks healthier than the last time. As we bring up our bags I can smell nice food and there on the table are ready foods for lunch. As I look closer, I see one big plate of fried prawn, one big plate of crabs, taufo soup in mussel meat and friend long green bean. I am full after a big bowl of kampua mee in Sibu but the food looks delicious and smells good. Further my father-in law looks at me as if he wants to eat together with us.

Now I am in Sarikei and on Tuesday they are having a special prayer for the dead. I will be going home to my own parent house on Wednesday and celebrate the Christmas there with a Sunday Mass in St. Bernard Church, Dalat. 

May God bless us and keep us safe all the time.

Wish you and your family a Blessed Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2010.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Spiritual Life vs Facebook Game

Dear Beloved,

Facebook is one of the most access social network on the internet and we all thanks to the Lord of the Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg for this wonderful tool. Facebook attract human in many ways and game is one of the attraction which also catch me.

Some can not live without the Facebook and some are addicted to games on the Facebook. Some start their day with the facebook and end their day with the Facebook.
They are all hooked and at the mercy of the Facebook.

Is it good? Depends!!!

I have tried my best to avoid the games which will corrupt the soul and yet I put myself to a test.
What will happen to the soul? It's only a game.

I started the test in September 2009 and the game i choose is Mafia Wars. Actually in the beginning, I want to use Barnbuddy but I want something more bloody...like killing or frozen.

My first quest, stealing and robbing. My heart became reckless and my mood changed. I continued doing the quest and my heart just not nice. It's wrong. My heart corrupted abit and my grace decrease.

Then comes the mugging, the extortion, then killing. My heart boils like crazy and I know this is real bad but I keep telling myself this is only a game. The Spirit within me groaming and said, "STOP!"

I did stop after six month when my grace is almost zero and my longing for God become unbearable.

Now I can tell you Facebook games can corrupt the soul.

Choose your game wisely  if you want to live in the Presence of God and always in His rest.

Amen.

Merry Christmas and may you be able to be in His Rest.

St John of the Cross

Greeting, my Beloved.

St John of the Cross is one of my Hero and most of my Avatar in Facebook games is called JohnCross.
He is one of the Saint JOHN (St. John of the Cross, St John the Baptise, St. John the Apostle, St. John of God) who moved me to take up the name John as my confirmation name.

All of them live in the presence of God and lead by His spirit which I want to imitate and learn from them how it can be done.

December 13th is the Solemnity of St. John of the Cross and i would like to share his Spiritual Canticle.

This is a quote from The Spiritual Canticle


Where have you hidden,
Beloved, and left me moaning?
You fled like the stag
After wounding me;
I went out calling You, and You were gone.

O Word, my Spouse, show me where You are hidden.
The hiding place of the Word of God is as St. John asserts [Jn. 1:18], the bosom of the Father, that is the divine essence.
The Son is the only delight of the Father, Who rests nowhere else, nor is present in any other than in His beloved son. The Word, the Son of God, together with the Father and the Holy Ghost, is hidden by His essence and His presence in the innermost being of the soul. There the good contemplative must seek Him with love.

Oh, then, soul most beautiful among all the creatures, so anxious to know the dwelling place of your Beloved that you may go in quest of Him and be united with Him, now we are telling you that you yourself are His dwelling and His secret chamber and hiding place.

Merry Christmas and Peace to All.

Friday, December 17, 2010

11th Years Wedding Anniversary

First I would like to thanks God, the God of Abraham, the God of Issac, the God Jacob for the wonderful 11 years journey of marriage life with my wonderful and great partner, Agnes Ngieng.

It takes me ten years to convince her parent that she will be my perfect life partner.
God is generous enough to grant us to be husband and wife on December 17th, 1999.
God is good.
Then God moved her and to bring me to a Catholic Church, St Ignatius Church in 2002 eventhough she is a methodist. I still wonder why not to a Methodist Church as she is a Methodist.

God has His own plan and let His will be done.

Marriage life being great with less and less disagreement by the year and this year 2010 is wonderful with only two minor disagreement. WOW!!! Praise the Lord.

We have almost everything we need and yet we are still waiting for the 'baby cry' in our home. I believe in God, the Father of All and I believe He will answer our heart desire in His time.

On this special day, what we are going to do?

Go to church and get a Priest blessing or having a good dinner at our favourite restaurant.

We choose the second one and we go for Dinner at Shogun Japanese Restaurant, OneU.
I like it and my wife just take and take for me to eat.

Yet my heart is not a peace. Something is missing. We went home full and satisfied. We eat what we pay.

As we arrive home, i go straight to my favourite room in our house, my private room with the Lord.
I am full and tired.
I drop to my knees and pray.
"O God, here I am. I am full and tired. Let me rest in your presence."
I do not know what is going on but I feel I am going some where peace and serene. Am I dreaming?
When I wake up, I reallize I am on my stomach and I ask myself,
"Where have I been? Is it morning?"
I feel so refresh and full of energy. I am renew again, my energy is restored.

Then I go to the bedroom where my wife is and ask her,
"How long have i pray?"
And she said, "for awhile only, sayang!"

I look at her and said in my heart, "Thank you, my Lord. Bless my wife also."

Before we sleep, we share the goodness of love and share the wonderful moment we have during the year and greet each other with,

"HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, DEAR. I LOVE YOU."

In my heart, I pray,

"I love you, God. I love you, Jesus. I love you, Holy Spirit. I love you, Mother Mary. I love you, Guidance Angel. I love you, Saints of God."

"I thank you, God. I thank you, Jesus. I thank you, Holy Spirit......."

I doze off with tears of joy roll down my face.

Amen.

Merry Christmas and may peace be always within you.







Thursday, November 25, 2010

Welcome Back with Love

"Welcome, my son. I am waiting for you."

That was the words which touch my heart when i glance to the sky above Bukit Jelutong two days ago.

The son is on one knee approaching the Father asking for forgiveness and mercy.

Without a word, the Father just open his mighty arms waiting for the son to be with Him once again.

"Who am I, not to seek forgiveness and mercy for my wrongdoing and pride?" my innerself stirred as i reflected on the view.

"Forgive me, Father for I have sinned. Wash and cleanse me with the blood of Jesus and make me whole again, worthy to be in your presence." was my respond to the stirring.

And my wife drives on. My heart rejoices as I glance to my wife and say, "I Love You."

Peace be with you.

Happy Thanksgiving and may you have a great weekend.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Gospel Reflection1124

Gospel Reflection1124 – Wednesday, November 24th 2010
---------------------------------------------------------
Luke 21:12-19 (NRSV-Catholic Edition for India)

12: But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name.
13: This will give you an opportunity to testify.
14: So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance;
15: for I will give you words and wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict.
16: You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death.
17: You will be hated by all because of my name.
18: But not a hair of your head will perish.
19: By your endurance you will gain your souls.

The words which touch my heart:
1. Name (the Name of Jesus)
2. The word ‘WILL’ – this reading has 11 ‘will’
3. Opportunity & testify/witness
4. Mind (Mind of Christ)
5. Words/Tongue & Wisdom (Gifts of the Holy Spirit)
6. Hated & Betray & Death (Fruits of bad Tree)
7. Enemy within the Church (parents, brothers, relatives and friends)
8. Assurance & comfort – not a hair will perish, cling to the name and gain our soul.
-------------------------------------------------------
My mind searching for the name but my heart stood still.

And questions start to come.

“WHAT IS THIS ‘NAME’ THAT WORTH DYING FOR”, shout my mind.

“Be silent, mind. Jesus is here”, affirmed my heart.

My mind goes back to the temple in Jerusalem where an old man Simeon waiting at the gate.

An old man Simeon said to Mary about her child;
“This child is destined for the falling and the raising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts will be revealed-and a sword will pierce your own soul too." (Luke 2:34-35) (NRSV)

This baby boy knows human hearts.
That is good but it comes with a heavy responsibility to human.
He will be opposed by many and so will be His followers.
No wonder his followers will hated, betray and put to death. It’s being prophesied by Simeon.

What about the boy name? Why is it so special to God? My mind grumbles again.
After a short silent, my mind recalls that the name of the boy was given by an angel from God. My heart rejoices as the name is revealed.

And the angel said to her,
"Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus.”
Luke 1:30-31 (NRSV)

So JESUS is ‘the Name or Word’ that is so precious to God and always in His bosoms.

Saint John wrote in his gospel in this way about the Word;
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:1(NRSV)

What did Jesus said about the name?
“Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it, that the Father may be glorified in the Son;”
John14:13(RSV)
Jesus promised to do whatever we ask in His Name. This is getting better. Then we should ask him things that we need but not things that we want.

Then Jesus added;
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John14:26(RSV)

“Jesus also promised us the Holy Spirit. This is great. I won’t be lonely again.” My heart rejoices and added, “Gifts of the Holy Spirit will empower the believers to be the witness of Christ and have the mind of Christ as the Holy Spirit knows the depth of God.” No wonder Jesus said, “ So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance.”
The Holy Spirit also gives gift of the Discernment of Spirits so that we will bear the good fruits and do the will of the Father.
(For further reading on Gifts of the Holy Spirit, read I Corithians 12 but do not forget about Isaiah 11)

“And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in thy name, which thou hast given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled.
John 17:11-12(RSV)

“O my God!” my mind exclaimed as I read the underline words over and over again. “No wonder the ‘Name’ is so special and worth dying for.” My mind stood still and thinking of God and His greatness and majesty.

John answered, "Master, we saw a man casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us."
Luke 9:49(NRSV)
Even Demon knows the Name and they flee. Who am I not fear and terrified by the Name.

And Peter said to them, "Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:38 (RSV)
Peter revealed the name the people.

But Peter said, "I have no silver and gold, but I give you what I have; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." And he took him by the right hand and raised him up; and immediately his feet and ankles were made strong.
Acts 3:6-7 (RSV)

Power of God is manifested by invoked the name of Jesus. There is great power in the name.
The Apostles knew that power in the name and they invoke the name.
The Satan knows that power in the name and they flee.
The diseases and sickness knows that power and they leave.
The Saints knew the power in the name and they hold on to the name until the end of their days. They are willing to die for the name.
Who are we not to imitate them to hold on the name until the end of our days.

I will end with God’s promise in the psalm.

Those who love me, I will deliver;
I will protect those who know my name.
When they call me, I will answer them;
I will be with them in trouble;
I will rescue them and honor them.
With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.
Psalm 91:14-16(NRSV)

Cling to the name, fathers.
Cling to the name, brothers.
Cling to the name, sisters.
cling to the name, sons and daughters.
So that we are worthy of the name.

Praise and glory be to God.

Let the Name of Jesus be always on our lips.
JESUS, JESUS, JESUS.

Glory be to the Father, to the Son and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now and ever shall be,
world without end.
Amen. Amen. Amen.

---------------------------------------------------------
Lent in 2011 will start on Wednesday, the 9th of March
and will continue for 46 days until Saturday, the 23rd of April.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Gospel Reflection1123

Gospel Reflection1123 – Tuesday, November 23rd 2010.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Luke 21:5-11 (RSV)

5: And as some spoke of the temple, how it was adorned with noble stones and offerings, he said,
6: "As for these things which you see, the days will come when there shall not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down."
7: And they asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign when this is about to take place?"
8: And he said, "Take heed that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name, saying, `I am he!' and, `The time is at hand!' Do not go after them.
9: And when you hear of wars and tumults, do not be terrified; for this must first take place, but the end will not be at once."
10: Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom;
11: there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.


Words which touch my heart:
1. Temple - adorn
2. See
3. Sign
4. Warning – Take heed that you are not lead astray.
5. Warning – Do not go after them
6. Advice and assurance – Do not be terrified

As I immerse myself in today’s Gospel reading, my mind moved to Saint Paul’s writing about the Temple.

Saint Paul said in his first letter to the believers in Corinth:

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God? You are not your own; (1Cor 6:19 RSV).

I am not even my own;
Why I adorn myself so much with wealth and knowledge of the world?
It does not even last a hundred years.
Do I want to seen by others or to get their approval?
All these are gone when I return to dust.

Holy Spirit, the lover of my soul, help me to seek first the kingdom of God and that I may live in God’s presence all the days of my life.

In his 2nd letter, Saint Paul stressed further.

For we are the temple of the living God; as God said, "I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
(2Cor 6:16b RSV)

As we are the temple of the living God, then we should welcome Him and build His majestic throne within us. God is worthy to have the best part in us, the best castle in us, the most beautiful garden in us with it’s ever flowing stream and fountain of life. Let His presence shine through us and His love melt the harden heart. Let His glory shine in the dark night as at mid-day.

O God, how I long to be with you in the deep of my heart, just to be with you and listen to your words.

Do I need a sign from God that He is there?

God is perfect and truth, I do not need sign to believe and trust in Him.

I can proclaim with confident and trust along with the prophet of old;

“If God is with us, who can be against us.”

And yet our Lord Jesus warns us;

“Take heed that you are not lead astray.”

“Do not go after them.”

Our Heavenly Father sent the Holy Spirit in Jesus’ name to be with us.
Holy Spirit discerns and we act.
Holy Spirit leads and we follow.

Then Lord Jesus comforts us with his assurance;

“Do not be terrified.”

And I believe because our beloved friend Jesus had promised;

“And remember, I am with you always, to the end of age.”
(Mt 28:20b NRSV)

Mother Mary, lead us to your beloved son, Jesus.
Peace be with you.
Amen.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

SIC GSS-Make Me An Instrument

Last weekend 13th and 14th November 2010, SIC Charismatic Group had successfully organized a well planned a Growth in the Spirit Seminar with a Theme: Make Me An Instrument.

The Facilitators are Fr. Michael Raymond, OFM Cap and Fr. V A Michael.

Over two hundred Catholic attend the two days seminar.






Fr. Michael Raymond came back from tea break.

Go back to Galilee!!!
(Go back to the first you encounter the Lord.)

- Allow the Lord to stir the grace in you again.

- Allow the Lord to stir the Fire of Life to begin again.







Brother Lawrence of SIC Charismatic Prayer Group share his thought with one of the participant.

While Sister Winnie Barnabas moved aside to let Fr. Michael enter the hall with her mind still on which good spiritual book to buy at Brother Paul's stall.







Brother Mathew Gilbert sells OFM's calender.

A sister in pink wonder if she had made a right choice.











Participants at Brother Paul's book stall.



























Friday, November 12, 2010

Accident at Jalan Universiti. PJ

Today is Friday, the 12th of November, 2010.

Ms Norhafiza and her friend Ms Liza is having a good time after their morning breakfast at a Malay Restaurant opposite. The weather is cloudy with abit of dizzling amd the road is wet.

They are still talking with joy in their hearts knowing today is Friday and they have ready a good plans for the weekend with their family.

Sundenly a silver Merz driven at (claimed by the driver as at 40km per hour) lost control, skidding and smash the others cars, overturn and hit the two ladies.

Funny, how come a car driven at 40km per hour can over turn.




A yellow Proton Satria also hit by the Merz.






The driver in black shirt and brown trousers look at his car and informed everyone that he was driving at 40km per hour, knowing the speed limit along this road is 50km.


Side airbag activated


A silver car hit from the side.



One of the lady hit into the drain, right here.
She is still in the hospital at the moment (6.56pm) while the other has been discharged.

 


Many stories flying around.
Some say he is trying to overtake other car at high speed but lost control.
Some say he is avoiding the other car and lost control.
Only the driver knows the truth and also the bystander who were there at the moment of impact.
Please pray for Norhafiza who is still in the hospital.
"May she recover fully and may God gives her courage and strength. I Jesus name. i pray."
On another note, should there be a bumper on this straight road to slow down the traffic or a pedestrian crossing?
My hope there will a padestrian crossing install along this road.
May God bless Us and protect Us.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Retreat at Maranatha in Pictures

Welcome back, my friend.

This is part 3 of my Retreat at Maranatha - Personal Vocation story but this one is through pictures.

Enjoy your journey.....















The weather is goo as we arrive as a tunnel which only one side working and we hope to see light at the end of the tunnel.

In life, those who has hope are like hoping a light at the end of the tunnel. Sure there is if we hope with FAITH.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Personal Vocation Retreat with Fr. Ignatius Huan-P2

Part 2 - Personal Vocation Retreat with Fr. Ignatius Huan



WE, Francis, Ken, Lily and I heading for Bangsar in Brother Francis trusted Proton Wira. Brother Francis is in the driving seat and he is a good driver and know Bangsar well.

Ken told us that Bangsar main landmark are KFC and Maybank, the good place where people hang out during the night.

We drive on, looking for Lorong Telasik 8 where the Priest we are going to fetch. I thought we are lost but after a few turns we arrived at the place. There a couple meet us and the Priest is coming out with his bags. He takes the front seat and three of us at the back seat. Just nice.

Everyone in the car, seems to know him except me. We drive on towards Janda Baik. They seems to be complaining about everything from public transport to road signs.

In may heart, i said, "Why complain? This is our beloved country, if not right, fix it." And i pray, "God, help them not to complain to much but to appreciate more."


While the rest were busy, i write my prayer in my journal.


"O God, my beloved Father and Creator. God of Abraham, God of Isaac, God of Jacob, I love you above all created things and beings even life itself. You are my All in All."

"O Jesus, beloved of the Father, I love you. Transform me into another Christ and live your life. Let me be one with you, now and forever. Amen."

"O Holy Spirit, the Consoler, the Love of God, I love you. Possess me and use me as you will for the glory of God. Lead me and i will follow. Prompt me and i will obey as the Father's will. In Jesus name, i pray. Amen."

"Jesus, I love you."

"Heavenly Father, bless your priest, Father Ignatius Huan and anoint him as you have always done. In Jesus name. Amen."

"Heavenly Father, We are in a car travel to Maranatha to learn to please you and to be used by you. Kenny Cham, Francis Khoo, Lily and your priest Father Ignatius Huan. Father, keep us safe. In Jesus name. Amen."


Then we reach a small road turn in to Janda Baik and yet we miss the turn.


In my heart, i ask, "Do they know where they are going?" I pray, "Lord, help us and show us the way." I snap a few pictures along the way. Later we found out that we are going the wrong way, turn back and follow Ken's instruction of the route to follow.













As we drive on, we can see Maranatha Retreat House up the hill. Thanks God, we are safely arrive at our destinantion.

We unload our bags and check in. My room is Room 101 and my room mate is brother Nelson Gow. Joseph Wong told me Nelson is his BEC's CC. I wonder what is CC. I said in my heart, "maybe Nelson is the leader. Wow! in my room! How if i snore too loud."






I pray, "Lord, help me." My heart rejoice when i see the chapel. In my heart, i said "if like this i can pray the whole night." A soft stirring emerge in my heart and i said, "Yes, Lord."



I go downstair to check my room 101. It is a small room underneath the stairs but look unique. My heart grumble, "how can my room so small? Other people has big and better room."


The stirring comes again, i sense the voice said, "it's not the room, it's ME that matter." I respond, "Yes, Lord." My grumbling heart turn to joy for having a unique room with a unique number 101 which number i translate as Father, Son and the Holy Spirit.

Then i saw a push at the door and a handsome man of early forties with smiles on his face enter the room. I greet him by saying, "Hi, I am John." He respond, "I am Nelson." He will be my room mate for the next 3 days and 3 nights.


Our first lesson is ......SILENT!!!!!!

Father Ignatius put on a slid which says:

Tools for Making a Good Retreat.


  • Silence & Solitude to be with God
  • Docile, Discerning & Listening heart
  • Awareness examen - finding God in all things
  • Gratitude & Repentance
  • Events -> Experience
  • Praying the Scriptures
  • Lectio Divina
  • Ignatian Contemplation
  • Keeping Journal
I tell myself this is good. Then someone at the back of me whispering, "I forget to bring my Bible". It's Sister Lily who was in the same car with me. I do not know why i bring up two Bibles and i lend her my Jerusalem Bible. In my heart i say, "God knows everything even those who in need of something. He will provide."

Then this music sooth our soul.

video






You are Mine by David Haas.
(O God, Bless David Haas and grant him a healthy body and mind in order for him to praise and glorify your Name. In Jesus name. Amen.))
When the lecture finish, our curfew start....SILENT...no talking until the next lecture.

In the silent, my heart stirs.......and i respond, "Speak, Lord. Your servant is listening."
Then i sense a soothing and comfort voice in my heart which says:
"John, I have called you many times and yet you always said you are not ready. "

The words just keep coming...which i can not write here because it's too long and too personal and it's all about love.

Note: Today, i have learned something. If the word is for you alone...do not share with others or else your heart will be reckless and not at peace. That's the main reason, i deleted most of the words i received which i have written here earlier.

With joy, gladness and gratitude in my heart, with love i respond,

"Thank you, Jesus. Now i understand and I am ready to do your Father's Will and be your sign. Command me and I will follow. Praise and glory be to God. Thank you, Jesus."

----to be continue in Part 3





































Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Personal Vocation Retreat with Father Ignatius Huan

My mind wondering as to what sort of retreat is this with a theme Personal Vocation.

Is it for me? Would my wife allow me to join the Retreat?

Then i said...ask a favour from God to flood my wife's heart with His love so that she may allow me to join the retreat. God is Good and faithful to all His Creatures.

Good news!!! My wife ask, when is your retreat? Have you register?

I just answer....YES..YES...with my heart tickling with joy.

God is always very good to me which i really appreciated yet i felt unworthy for His abundant graces and blessings. Yet He pour and pour His love with a nudge, 'I LOVE YOU'.

As those words, 'I lOVE YOU' touch me inner being, my mind fly over the sea....the South China Sea to the one i love and the images of my old parents materialised in my mind....my heart felt heavy as i see my old mum stared blankly at her paddy field...she is really lonely, she missed her sons and daughters. She roll a cigar in her right and slowly she moved her left hand to her left cheek as a few drops of tears roll down her face. Her breathing has become unstable as she moves her left hand to her chest and grab her naked chest. I know she is crying inside...longing for her sons and daughters. The load become heavier when added with the caring of a blind husband who is very stubbone.

"Mum, we will be back for Christmas!!"

Then my mind turn back to this retreat...who is this Father Ignatius Huan.

Only lady said, "He is very good and annointed." Others said, "his retreat always full house".
Then the lady said, "normally he limit his retreat to 25 participants."

In my silence, i ask myself, "Is this the right retreat for me? I am only a child in my faith."

I look for more information on him and the information i get from Maranatha Retreat House 2010 Retreat Schedule...is this.

Fr. ignatius Huan, trained in the Spiritual Exercise of St. Ignatius and experienced in giving Ignatioan retreats. He is currently the Spiritual Director and Moral Theologian.

I said to myself, this is the Spiritual Exercise I am practicing. This is good. I will be at home with this retreat...and i signed up for the retreat which takes 4days and 3nights at Maranatha Retreat House, Janda Baik. The retreat start from 5pm, Thursday, 28th Oct to Sunday, 31st Oct 2010.

Still another week to go for the retreat......

On Monday, Oct 25th, I went to st. Ignatius Church for my LRSS class which will start at 8.00pm. There is no evening mass as all the priest are having Recollection Retreat in Port Dickson.

I walk towards the Church and i saw 3 adults busy taking pictures. I greet them and ask them of their country of origin.

Then a guy holding a new born baby whom later i know as Jake answered, " We are from Philippines and we come for evening Mass".

Further he ask me, "Are you a priest here?"

In my heart i pray, "Lord, What sort of question is this?" No words except a warm stirring in my heart. With a smile, i said.."No. I am not a priest." And i added, "today no mass as the priests are having recollections.

Then we share the goodness and faithfullnes of God. They are singing instructors from Philippines and they believe and trust in God. Actually they want the priest to baptise their new born baby.

As we were talking another family comes with a son (15) and a daughter(19). An Indian origin from Taiping, Perak. I smile at them and greet them.

The Father of the family introduce themselves, "We are from Taiping, Perak. we are looking for a priest. Maybe we can get a souvenir." Then the question come...."Are you a priest here?"

In my heart, i said.."Not again, Lord". In my innerself, i sense the voice said, "i love you." I repond, "I love you too."

I am touch and i give the my precious Italy Rosewood Rosary. Well what else can i give as they looking for souvenir. God gives me love and i give them Rosary. May their recitation of the Holy Rosary be pleasing to the Lord and Mother Mary.

As the taiping's family moved away, i turn to Jake and ask....

"Do i look like a priest?"

Jake answered, "Yeah! You look like a priest. you talk like a priest, you act like a priest even i thought you are a priest."

I said, "Ooo, is it?"

Deep inside my innerself, i said, "Lord, is this my prayer answered, 'make me another Christ as St. Paul pray, "Live i, not I but Christ lives in me"?

I felt like dancing as the living water stirring my soul.

Then the day came. It's Thursday, Oct 28th.

Early in the mornng before we leave home i said to my wife, all these kitten will die one by one.
You will knock them with your car. My wife respond, "Don't say like that!!!"

My wife send me to the St. Ignatius Church at Taman Plaza. I sense her sadness as she left me at the Chruch. I am waiting for Brother Francis and Brother Ken as I am car pool with them for the trip to Janda Baik. There also i meet a sister whom i know later as Lily.

At 2.30pm, we start our journey from SIC and head for Bangsar to fetch a priest, Father Ignatius Huan.

--to be continued...