Jan 31, 2006

Celebrating with sadness

Orphans and unfortunate people watching lion dance with the crew.

Lady in tears while being interviewed by the TV crew.

How many of us out there would remember those who cannot celebrate a joyous occasion such as Christmas and Chinese New Year, the way we celebrate?

I was waiting for another TV program to begin when the short documentary was shown. A group of people (multi-racial) from the Malaysian Charity Organization (I don't remember if that's the correct name) were seen reaching out to a few poor Chinese families and orphans at an orphanage who had no chance to celebrate Chinese New Year. They comforted them, bought them the daily needs they could not afford and helped to prepare a feast for these special people.
Both the feelings of sadness and gratitude flooded me. I am grateful that there are [still] kind people out there who willingly take care of the needs of orphans and the poor, regardless of their race and religion. On the other hand, I feel sad and disappointed with myself... I call myself the child of God, the follower of Christ, yet I can do nothing to help these people. Seeing their helplessness, I feel so helpless myself!
Please join me in prayers for all these people around the world. Thank you!

Jan 29, 2006

CNY countdown... fireworks accompaniment!

Fresh photos from my digicam! Wow, the fireworks were... well, I really do not know how to describe it... Although it's not as grand as when I was still a kid (Malaysia government banned all kinds of fireworks, but somehow, the people are still able to get them!), I still enjoy watching the show of fireworks!

Jan 28, 2006

Christmas, Narnia and the World

What? Are you nuts? Christmas was like one month ago and you're still talking about Christmas? Are you OK? Hey, it's time to move on! Don't you realize that it's now 2006??

Yeah, yeah. I know, I know. Whatever you like to call me -- nuts, insane, idiot, out-of-date, blah blah blah... Let me tell you something. Don't get it wrong, buddy. Christmas is not just celebrated on 25th December. Christmas begins in the hearts of every believer. That means, the most important celebration of Christmas happens in the hearts of Christians.

Anyhow, Christmas isn't the main focus here. Secularism is.

I do not know how many people out there have stopped by here and read about this great article. If you have not, then welcome!

Let's fight against secularism together.

On New Year's Eve

Finally, here comes the Eve of Chinese New Year. This festive season is also known as the Lunar New Year Festival as it is based on the lunar calendar. Today is the busiest day for most chinese family during this holiday season.

My parents, woke up early this morning to prepare the food, cookies and cakes to be served to visitors during Chinese New Year, arranging and putting them in special trays and containers used especially during this time of the year, and then putting them in the living room. We have also hung up one or two 'spring couplets' on the front door and around the house.

Later in the evening, my mom will be cooking for dinner... that will be a sumptuous meal, with 10 dishes (according to my mom, as 10 means 'complete'). Of the 10 dishes, one of them will be fish, Tilapia, also known in mandarin as 'fu gui yu', means 'the fish that brings prosperity'. Ahh.. why would I care what the fish means, that is my favourite freshwater fish, that is more important! *giggled* Another believe of the Chinese for fish is that it is a symbol of long life and good fortune. The picuture of fish can be seen in decorations, greeting cards, 'spring couplets' and even the red packets. The word 'yu' shares the same pronunciation as 'surplus' in mandarin. When we wish each other 'nian nian you yu', we wish the person to enjoy a surplus, that is financial security, every year.

Tonight, everyone will stay up to welcome the New Year. Some people believe that staying awake would help their parents live a longer life. Some are still following the ancient tradition - keeping lights on the entire night to drive away the monstor 'Nien'. Some will take this few hours to make the most out of the family get-together. Some others, especially the Buddhists and Taoist, hold religious ceremony after midnight to welcome the God of New Year and Prosperity into their homes. This is no practice for Chinese Christians. And also not forgetting firecrackers.

I do not believe in any of these ancient beliefs, but I do see that there are moral values behind the celebration. Like what the author said in my previous post, "Chinese New Year can degenerate into just another occasion for feasting and merry-making unless a conscious effort is made to put real meaning into the various customs."

Usually the first thing chinese do tomorrow (Chinese New Year day) is offering ritual homage to their ancestors and paying reverence to the gods. But for my family and relatives (and many other Chinese Christians), this is not put into practice. Well, we know where our faith lie in! We normally have a Chinese New Year thanksgiving Mass on the day itself, and tomorrow I will be assissting in the Mass.

Ooops..talking about the Mass, I remembered that I haven't finished what I am supposed to do! Gotta go! God bless.

Happy Chinese New Year to all who are reading my blog!

Jan 26, 2006

Chinese New Year in Christian Context

I am reading through the booklet with the flow of the Mass on Chinese New Year, as I will be assisting in the Mass that morning. There is a piece of attachment I have never seen before. Found it to be quite informational. It seems to be a message from a priest or a bishop. No names though.
The celebration of the Chinese New Year is accompanied with rich traditions and customs which are indeed very meaningful if taken seriously, as they embody real values. It is in a way regretable that these customs and traditions are being gradually abandoned by many among the younger generations.

The focus in Chinese New Year is very largely on the family. Much like the Western celebration of Christmas and New Year, it is very much a family celebration. The traditional reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year has very much the importance of the Christmas gathering. Then there is the very important offering of respects to the parents by the children, the visits to various members of the family and the exchange of gifts.

All these customs are very rich in significance and have a useful and educative value if observed and explained particularly to the children. But like the celebration of Christmas and New Year, the celebration of the Chinese New Year can also degenerate into just another occasion for feasting and general merry-making unless a conscious effort is made to put real meaning into the various customs. The Chinese family should certainly seize the opportunity to instruct the children in family values.

As for the rest of the populace, Chinese New Year, like all the other cultural festivals, can serve as a good occasion to promote friendliness that transcends racial and cultural boundaries. We in Malaysia, and in Sarawak in particular, are indeed fortunate that the multi-cultural composition of our population has enabled us to grow up in an environment that fosters mutual respect for and acceptance of others who are not of the same race. This is something which we in Sarawak, perhaps take for granted, but which a good number of other countries would gladly welcome among the members of their populace. Hopefully, festivals like the Chinese New Year can be enriched by meaningful celebrations and in our context even 'christianized'!

Also read: Chinese New Year in Christian Context (2) 

Our Lady's Message for 25 Jan

Message from Medjugorje - 25 January 2006

"Dear children! Also today I call you to be carriers of the Gospel in your families. Do not forget, little children, to read Sacred Scripture. Put it in a visible place and witness with your life that you believe and live the Word of God. I am close to you with my love and intercede before my Son for each of you. Thank you for having responded to my call."

- from Children of medjugorje

Jan 23, 2006

New Year celebration... the 2nd time

I was trying to change the background to red, since we, the Chinese will be celebrating another new year for a second time -- Chinese New Year. In other words, the Lunar New Year. But I guess I've given up trying... I'm not a good user of HTML at all. So it's kind of difficult for me.

The Lunar New Year starts on the 29th January. On the 28h, we'll be having a reunion dinner. You can come here* to see what are the type of food that must be on the table (oh well, I've never cared about stuff like that, so I honestly don't know much about the number and type of food taken during CNY).

I'll try posting some decorations among other things, me going visiting etc. Oh, I'll ensure you that what you're going to see soon will be RED, RED and RED... the lucky colour for traditional Chinese (that surely doesn't include me!!!)

Stay tuned. God bless!

*I checked the site few minutes ago and found that it's not really helpful, but you can browse around anyway.

I memed myself!

Saw the meme from Ukok and Moneybags. Found it to be quite interesting. And here's what I have to share:

1. What were three of the dumbest things you have done in your life?

  • I was proud of one of the talents I've got. Because of that, I considered myself to be among the best. And because of my pride too, I had a bad fall... a lesson I've learnt, and never will I ever dare to be blinded by pride.
  • I relied on my own strength to pursuade a friend (who was a devout Catholic) to leave a group of 'bad' friends in my own way. The consequence was... I speed up the process of her joining that group. Worse still, she abandoned her faith. Shame on me.
  • Gave in to temptation. I willingly opened the window of my heart for the evil one. That was really really dumb. Too dumb and caused all my actions come back to haunt me.

2. At the current moment, who has the most influence in your life?

  • Jesus, who has been my best friend and the person whom I will love for the rest of my life.

3. If you were given a time machine that functioned, and you were allowed to only pick up to five people to dine with, who would you pick?

  • Jesus Christ - 1st on the list! He's the one person whom I MUST meet. I'll do anything and everything if I could see Him face to face. Dining with Him would be everything I've ever dreamt of!!
  • Pope John Paul II - the 2nd on the list. I still miss him a lot a lot. I don't think I can ever stop missing him. I've always wanted to meet him when he was still alive, but... *sniff*
  • St. Cecilia - the patron saint for singers and choirs. It would be good to hear her advise and opinion on my love for singing.
  • Fr. Noel Hanrahan - a priest from Ireland who have been serving here for more than 20 years. He is now back in Ireland, serving at Knock. He is the first person in whom I recognized Christ.
  • My uncle, husband of mom's youngest sister - he has given me very bad childhood memories, and if I could go back then I would like to tell him how much I hated him at that time. And also to ask him to change his attitude.

4. If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?

  • I would wish for the wars in the world to stop, once and for all. I've had enough of it!
  • To be spiritually wedded to Christ - a professed religious, it's everything I wanted to be!
  • Let love take over every kind of evilness in the world - let love leads the way for everyone.

5. Name two things you regret your city not having, and two things people should avoid.

  • Pope's visit! - No pope has ever have the chance to visit us Catholics in Malaysia.
  • More devoted Catholic youths to volunteer in church services.
  • Avoid: Bomohs and witch crafts
  • Avoid: Being too open for intimate relationships, especially in Christians, remember who you are in God's eyes!

6. Name one thing that has changed your life.

  • Meeting young people who love God as much as I do, not many of them, but being together with them means a lot to me.

I'm not tagging anyone. If you think your experiences and thoughts are worth sharing, then please do so. Buzz me when you have yours posted. God bless everyone.

Jan 11, 2006


Me? Yes. Very.

3 more months to go and I'll be graduating. Before I decide whether to work or to continue Masters degree, I want to know everything about becoming a Secular Carmelite. If time permits, I'd like to spend a few weeks after graduation to concentrate on the discernment of my vocation.

I am not satisfied with what I was told when I called to ask about the matter. The person simply replied that they don't accept students. That was all? Yeps. That's why I'm not satisfied.
I can't believe I was so stupid that I didn't see the email address printed on the page. I only noticed it last Sunday, and quickly sent a mail to the person-in-charge. I wanted to check my mails on Monday and Tuesday, but I couldn't get access to the internet. I hope I will get a reply when I open my mailbox later.

Am I expecting anything? Hmm.. I don't know. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Knowing the saint

Thanks to Moneybags and his friend, St. Louise de Marillac has chosen me. And so after doing a lot of readings about her, I have finally decided to make her my model saint for the year.

Perhaps, this is all God's plan. First of all, He gave me the opportunity to learn French language and write my assignment on French culture during the last semester. In the process of information gathering, I met a nice Catholic French lady at Vatican Friends who kindly helped me out with my assignment. Just recently, I watched the French movie "Taxi I-III", exposing me to how exactly French people interact with each other. Without me knowing it, I am now chosen by a French saint, St. Louise de Marillac. Somehow I feel that God is preparing me to meet this saint of French origin.

She is a total stranger to me before I read about her. To my surprise, she ever worked closely with the saint whom I am rather familiar with - St. Vincent de Paul (and guess what, I've just realised that he was also a French!) Thanks to Moneybags again, he reminded me to observe whether there is any connection between the two of us. And yes, I found out few similarities between us.

I realised that, like St.Louise, I am greatly attracted to religious life. I have the opportunity to interact with the nuns; my aunt is a religious too! I have also eaten with them, visited the sick with them, prayed with them, and witnessed the joy and satisfaction on their faces. It was from them that I learned more about human services. Knowing them makes me long for the Lord even more!

Throughout this year, I would like to discover and learn how to humbly render services to people in need from St. Louise. I suspect this might be an answer from the Lord that I have been waiting for all these while. Everything happens for a reason, right?

Do you want a saint picked for you too? Then send a request to Moneybags. Read more about St. Louise de Marillac here and here .

Jan 6, 2006

Don Moen in Korea?

Does anyone of you have Don Moen's album 'Heal Our Land', or ever listened to the song called 'Heal Our Land' from that same album? I got that album in mp3 format from a friend, and I was really surprised to hear Korean language instead of English.

If you have heard of this album (and this particular song), please contact me. Or maybe it is not in Korean language, but I thought it is? If it is really in Korean language, I would be interested to learn it. Hehe. See the rest of the song tracks and lyrics here.

God bless!


Believe it. Believe that the Eucharist is not just a symbol. Believe that when Jesus said those words, He truly meant it.

I was having a discussion with a Protestant friend years ago about the Eucharistic miracles. She commented that it might be the work of the evil one. How could it be possible? Satan fears the name of Jesus, and it was Jesus' blood that has defeated him. And besides, I don't think Satan would be so stupid as to create these miracles to help the lost sheeps to go back to God!
Sometimes, I do hope that I would be an eye-witness of those Eucharistic miracles. But even so, I truly believe that Jesus is present at every Sacrifice of Mass. If not, I wouldn't be who I am today.

"Happy are those who do not see and yet believed!" John 20:29

God bless!

Eucharistic Miracle III

The third Eucharistic miracle took place in a little town called Faverney, in the diocese of Besancon in France on 25th May 1608. It happened in the chapel of the Benedictine monastery.
The monks there asked permission from the Pope* to allow them to exposed the Blessed Sacrament (consecrated bread) for 24 hours adoration. They received this permission in writing from the Pope.

On that day, the Blessed Sacrament was put in a monstrance on the altar for people to make their private adoration and to make reparation for the sins of so many people who did not believe in the real presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. At 10:00p.m. on that night, all the doors and windows of the chapel were locked. The monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament was left on the altar with six candles burning.

The next morning, when the monks went to the chapel, they noticed the chapel was full of smoke. As they walked to the altar, they found the altar completely burnt to ashes and the brass candle stands melted. But, to their great surprise, the letter of the Pope giving them permission to expose the Blessed Sacrament was not burnt although it was in the midst of hot ashes. They found the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament suspending in the air in a slanting position, twelve feet from the ground.

During that day, many people came to see this extraordinary phenomenon. Jesus, once again, proved to His people that He was really present in the Blessed Sacrament and that He had given His sacramental power to His priests for consecrating bread and wine during the celebration of the Eucharist.

The next morning, the chapel was packed with people participating at the Eucharist. It was celebrated by an old priest at a side altar. At the beginning of the Mass, the six candles on the altar suddenly went off. There was no wind. They were being lit again. After the Gospel, they went of a second time. Just before the consecration, they went off a third time. The whole congregation was very excited.

When the priest pronounced the words of consecration: 'This is my body,' a bell was heard ringing in the air. All looked up. They saw the monstrance, in a slanting position, becoming straight and moving slowly to the side altar and rested itself on the altar where the Mass was going on.

There were many other miracles connected with the Eucharist. Jesus, again and again, called His people to appreciate the Eucharist which He has given us. He knows that we need Him in order to live a happy, peaceful and meaningful life.

(Adapted from The Healing Power of the Eucharistic Lord by Bishop Dominic Su.)

*Anyone knows which pope was it? I don't.

Eucharistic Miracle II

In 1226 in Santarem, Portugal, a lady went to consult a medium - hoping that the medium would help her stop her constant quarrel with her husband. The medium asked her to bring along a consecrated host so that he would be able to solve her problem. So she went to her church pretending to receive Holy Communion. She put the sacred host in her handkerchief and rn off to see the medium. While she was on the way, the sacred host started to bleed profusely which was seen by several pedestrians. She was so frightened by the sight; she quickly rushed home and put the bleeding host in a box in the room next to her room.

When her husband came back that night, he could sense something mysterious going on in their house. He noticed that the room next to their bedroom was unusually bright. He entered the room and saw light coming from the box where the bleeding host was being kept. He asked his wife for an explanation. She confessed her sin to him.

The next morning, they went to report to their parish priest about this sacrilege. The priest went to their house, took the bleeding host, kept it in a container made of wax and put it in the tabernacle in their church. A few days later, when he opened the tabernacle, he found the container broken into pieces and the bleeding host in a crystal container which no scientist at that time knew how to make. This crystal containing the bleeding host is still being kept in a monstrance in St.Stephen's church in Satarem, Portugal.

(Adapted from The Healing Power of the Eucharistic Lord by Bishop Dominic Su.)

Jan 2, 2006

Eucharistic miracles

First of all, let me share with you one article by Bishop Dominic Su, the bishop of Sibu, in his book 'The Healing Power of the Eucharistic Lord'.

In the 8th century, a Basilian monk, whilst pronouncing the words of consecration during Mass, was doubting and questioning his priestly power for consecrating bread and wine and changing them into the Body and Blood of Jesus. After pronouncing the words, the consecrated piece of bread turned into flesh and the consecreted wine into blood.

From this Eucharistic miracle, our Lord Jesus wanted to prove to this doubting monk and subsequently to the whole church that He was really present in the consecrated bread and wine, that is, in the Eucharist.

This piece of flesh is still being kept in a monstrance in the Franciscans' Church in Lanciano, Italy until now - already 1200 years old. The blood is kept in a transparent chalice. There is no preservative used to keep them from getting rotten. I have seen this flesh and and blood for myself in 1986 and 1988. All those who went there to see could not help being emotionally moved to realize how much Jesus loves us that He even gives His own Body and Blood to us. How inhuman we can be if we fail to be touched by His love!

In 1971-1972, Professor Linoli, an eminent Professor in Anatomy, Pathological Histology, Chemistry and Clinical Microscopy and Professor Bertelli took a piece of this flesh and blood for analysis. They found the flesh pertaining to human heart with all its essential elements and the blood was human blood; both were of AB type - belonging to the same Jesus.

How inhuman we can be if we fail to be touched by His love! Indeed. If we could be touched by the little things others did for us, then why can't we feel touched by the great things Jesus has done for us? Nothing can keep us away from the love of God, so said the Bible. It is us who keep God away from our love.

A little argument broke out between my Protestant friend and I. She said that the bread and wine is nothing but a mere symbol of Jesus' sacrificial love. I disagreed and told her that the Eucharist in itself, IS Jesus' sacrificial love for us. Is it really that difficult to believe that Jesus is truly present in the bread and wine in the Eucharistic celebration?

It is clearly stated in the bible:"For my flesh is the real food; My blood is the real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I live in him" (John 6:55-56). Notice the reaction of the Jews, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" (John 53-54). If it is only a symbol, Jesus would not have explained and stressed on the importance of eating His flesh and drinking His blood.

I will continue posting another two Eucharistic miracles this week. These miracles prove that Jesus means what He has said.