Nov 28, 2005

The Wind of Change

Will I be able to resist changes in the future? Can I keep my vow of virginity after 20, 30 or 40 years? Will I still love the Lord as much as now? Human change through time, so goes the saying.

I remembered the conversation I had with a friend many years ago...

Me: "I thought you said you want to be a priest!"
Friend: "Yeah, but it was then. Now not anymore."
Me: "Why?"
Friend: "Human changes."

Nothing's gonna change my love for you
You ought to know by now how much I love you...

So goes the song I used to like and sometimes I even sang it for the Lord. Today I ask myself, will I still love Him tomorrow? What if I give up following Him one day? What if He's no longer the most important someone in times to come?

I'm always in the environment that is conducive to changes. The friends I usually hang out with are Protestants and non-Christians. My housemates are lapsed Catholics who always make fun of me for my being serious about my Faith. It must have been the protection and strength of God that have kept me strong and unmovable for 3 long years!

No one knows about tomorrow except the Lord. Perhaps if we pray, He will always keep us under His loving care, and never will He hand us over to the devil, unless we chose to.

Nov 23, 2005

Feast of St. Cecilia - 22 Nov

I didn't know much about St. Cecilia except that she's the patron saint of singers and musicians. We always pray for her intercession during choir practice, but never have I tried to find out why or who she is and was. It so happened this morning that I read her profile (in Lectio Divina) out of boredom while waiting for my friend.

The first thing about her that struck me: She vowed her virginity to God. Something I also did, a personal vow. Now I clearly know that what I did was right, and I shall stay that way till I breathe my last, either being a nun or a discalced nun, or as a celibate.

The second thing that struck me: "While the profane music of her wedding was heard, Cecilia was singing in her heart a hymn of love for Jesus, her true spouse." (read more here) That ensures me of the importance of music and hymns and songs - not for self-gratification, but for the love and glory of God. For whatever songs, be it pop or contemporary christian music, which we offer up for Him, it is always the heart that matters most to Him. Just as what Matt Redman wrote in his song 'Heart of Worship':

I'll bring you more than a song
for a song in itself
is not what You have required
You searched much deeper within
through the way things appear
You're looking into my heart...
Remember, then, every time you sing to the Lord... SING WHAT YOU MEAN AND MEAN WHAT YOU SING.

Nov 20, 2005

Practise not...

...the dictatorship of relativism! It will certainly ruin your life. Maybe not this life, but the life to come when Christ comes for the second time.

Think about this: Whose thoughts matter most? We human's, or God's? If you only follow God's laws that MAKE SENSE TO YOU, then you shouldn't call yourself 'Christian', for you are not practising what is required of you as a child of God. Have the scriptures ever mentioned which laws of God are to be followed and which are not? Grab the book 'The Wounded Spirit' by Frank E. Peretti, and read about The Parable of the Playground (Chapter 6). The parable stresses the importance to include God and His laws in our everyday lives.

I challenge myself everyday to go against the ways of the World. Perhaps that is why friends (who claim themselves as Christians) always laugh at me and say that I am still immature. I was even considered embarrasing when I danced in joy and praised the Lord publicly. Sad, isn't it? For them, watching pornography is ok; sex before marriage is ok too as long as they love each other; it is perfectly ok to miss any Mass; using God's name in vain (yes, even till that extent!); continue wearing inappropriate attire to church even though notices have been made by the Archbishop; money is everything etc.

Don't you think we christians should be thankful to God that we have laws to guide us so that we would not go astray? Yes, it is not easy to resist the ways of the World, but with God's grace, it is possible.

Remind yourself with 'WWJD' (What Would Jesus Do) in your everyday life decision making. Go against the worldly values, trust me, you will have the feeling of contentment and peace despite being hurt. Look through Jesus' eyes, and you will be able to see things differently.

For those of you who have been in the dark and practising what YOU think is right, it is time to see things God's way.

God bless!

Nov 17, 2005

Welcome me back?

Yeps, I'm finally back after a two-week study leave. Can't wait to blog again! I'll start blogging next week. I still have some lab work to do this week, and of course, my friends and I will be having a little party celebrating our 'independance day'. Hahaha.

I want to thank all those who have been keeping me in their prayers. I believe it must be those prayers offered up by you (and my friends) that I received strength and guidance from the Lord! Thank you all once again!

Alrights, God bless you in all your undertakings and till we meet again next week!

p/s: Did I miss anything about the Catholic world when I'm away?

Nov 9, 2005

On Leave

I'll be away from the blogging world for two weeks (this and next week) starting today. Just want to concentrate on my exams. Well, I still accept prayers! Hehe.

God bless!

Nov 4, 2005

Dictatorship of Relativism

I first heard of this phrase during the One Way Youth E.R (Easter Rally) last Easter. The speaker, Jude Antoine, warned us not to follow the flow of this World, instead, we should live the slogan 'One Way, Jesus' as we proclaim that there is only one way to Salvation.
Today, I met someone from UK in a Catholic chatroom who claimed that he is a devout Catholic (yea I know I should be doing revision instead!=P). The proof? He wears the Rosary all the time. I was pretty impressed at first, but as we continued chatting and I mentioned about the Church's teachings.. there, I found out that he didn't know what it really means to be a 'devout' Catholic.
And then, I realized that Pope Benedict was right when he spoke of the dictatorship of relativism that affects many Catholics today(I didn't quite believe that at first).
'Sex before marriage is wrong.' I said.
'I don't agree... besides it's not a crime.' he said.
'As a Catholic, you should follow the church's teachings.'
'...I do what I believe is right.'
I couldn't believe those words came from a Catholic. I really wonder how many catholics of the same kind are out there? Why do they claim to be devout catholics but then never practice what they claimed to be?

*Sigh* This is just so sad, isn't it?

Nov 3, 2005

News of Persecution Not True!

Thanks to Moneybags, our doubt of the news of a persecution of Pastor Ferdie can be now cleared (read my post on Prayer Needed). Perhaps the messages were sent by Pastor Ferdie's friends out of despair. I have included the whole story here:

Denial of reports of threat to East Timor Protestant pastor

A story that has been circulating that Rev Ferdinando Flores will soon be executed in retribution for converting East Timorese Catholics to his own Christian denomination, are false, according to the Rome-based AsiaNews agency.

AsiaNews reports that the story, that included calls for prayers, was spread by hundreds of mobile text messages and e-mails in the United States, the Philippines, the UK, and even in Italy.

The message asked people to pray for Pastor Flores who was going to be executed by being beaten to death in East Timor.

In the English town of Leicester 300 Christians gathered in a vigil prayer for the unfortunate pastor who was waiting to die.

AsiaNews says that Flores' own web page says, the "information you have received [about the imminent execution] is not correct."

For some months the pastor had been preaching in the area and had "converted" and re-baptised ten Catholics. This led some local catechists to protest against his proselytising. At one point, the whole village came out and surrounded the clergyman's house where they engaged in an animated discussion over his methods of evangelisation.

According to Rev Flores, the tensions caused his colleague to have a nervous breakdown.

After the publicity his case received as a result of the many and e-mails, one of his colleagues said that "Ferdie experienced quite a bit of persecution recently instigated by the Roman Catholic Church . . . but there has not been any physical harm done".

The story, blown out of proportion by the chain of SMS and e-mails, seems to be just a local matter, so much so that the Superior of the Jesuits in Dili, which is just a few dozens kilometres from the village, told AsiaNews he never heard about it until now.

How Nerdy Are You?

I chanced upon this great blog and had a great laugh myself! Well, I love this one particularly: You know you're a Catholic Nerd when you stop and compare ashes with friends after Mass. (I believe the author meant during Ash Wednesday Mass) Exactly. That is what I do every year! Am I proud of myself to be a completely (well, almost!) NERD CATHOLIC! Hahaha. =P

Do you need a laugh? Or someone told you that you're an 'abnormal' person? It's ok, we (the blog authors and me) truly understand! Just drop by The Catholic Nerd Blog and you'll know that we are all in the same Boat of God! Or perhaps, you're much more nerdy than the rest of us are? Find out if you're as nerd, more or less!

God bless! ;)

Nov 2, 2005

Why Pray for the Holy Souls?

Perhaps, there are some Catholics out there who do not know the importance of praying for the Holy Souls in Purgatory. Here are some explanations and excerps from the book 'Read Me or Rue Me: How to Avoid Purgatory' by Fr. Paul O'Sullivan O.P.

We are bound to pray for the Holy Souls.
We are always bound to love and help each other but the greater the need of our neighbour the more stringent and the more urgent this obligation is. It is not a favour that we may do or leave undone, it is our duty, we must help each other... Now who can be more urgent in need of our charity than the souls in Purgatory? What hunger, or thirst, or dire sufferings on this Earth can compare to their dreadful torments?...

God wishes us to help them.
In any event they are God's dearest friends. He longs to help them. He desires most earnestly to have them in Heaven. They can never again offend Him and they are destined to be with Him for all Eternity. True, God's justice demands expiation of their sins, but by an amazing dispensation of His Providence He places in our hands the means of assisting them. He gives us His power to relieve and even release them. Nothing pleases Him more than when we help them. He is as grateful to us asif we helped Himself.

Our Lady wants us to help them.
Never did a Mother of this Earth love so tenderly a dying child, never did she strive so earnestly to soothe its pains, as Mary seeks to console Her suffering children in Purgatory, to have them with Her in Heaven. We give Her unbounded joy each time we take a soul out of Purgatory.

The Holy Souls will repay us a thousand times over.
But what shall we say of the feelings of the Holy Souls themselves? It would be utterly impossible to describe their unbounded gratitude to those who help them! Filled with an immense desire to repay the favours done them they pray for their benefactors with a fervour so great, so intense, so constant that God can refuse them nothing. St.Catherine of Bologna says: "I received many and very great favours from the Saints but still greater favours from the Holy Souls."

When they are finally released from their pains and enjoy the beatitude of Heaven, far from forgetting their friends on earth, their gratitude knows no bounds. Prostrate before the Throne of God they never cease to pray for those who helped them. By their prayers they shield their friends from the dangers and protect them from the evils that threaten them.
They will never cease these prayers until they see their benefactors safely in Heaven and will be for ever their dearest, sincerest and best friends.

The Holy Souls will lessen our Purgatory.
Another great grace that they obtain for their helpers is a short and easy Purgatory, or possibly its complete remission!

For the prayers, please pay A Catholic Life, Catholic Youth Networking a visit!

Nov 1, 2005

November: Pray for the Holy Souls in Purgatory

I hope this post is not too late. Adding to the information provided by A Catholic Life, here's an excerp from a book I found on Purgatory, an account given by Blessed Anna Katarina Emmerich when she was brought by Our Lady to visit Purgatory:

I was in Purgatory tonight. It was as if I were being led into an abyss, where I saw a large hall. It is touching to see the Poor Souls so quiet and sad. Yet their faces reveal that they have joy in their hearts, because of their recollection of God's loving mercy. On a glorious throne, I saw the Blessed Virgin, more beautiful than I had ever beheld Her. She said, "I entreat you to instruct people to pray for the suffering Souls in Purgatory, for they certainly will pray much for us out of gratitude. Prayer for these holy souls is very pleasing to God because it enables them to see Him sooner..."

(From the Revelation of Blessed Anna Katarina Emmerich)