Jun 30, 2007

Beauty of the Creator

... a glimpse of His Glory.

I believe most people must have seen this natural phenomenon, the 22 degree sun halo, which is quite common in the temperate regions. But over here in Malaysia, one can only witness such a beautiful halo formation if that person is lucky enough. I had never seen this phenomenon with my own eyes till this day, but I've read it in the newspapers before and if I'm not mistaken, this is the 2nd time the halo appeared in Kuching.

My colleagues and I had the opportunity to see this great sight and capture a lot of photos on the 22 June 07. The whole office was actually in a chaos... thank God our boss wasn't around then, else he must be furious if he saw us leaving our work just to watch the halo!

A Fengshui master commented in the newspapers the next day, that this halo was a bad omen of more bad weather and a bad economy in Kuching. Oh well, that's what people who believe in Fengshui and those who always look for bad signs would say.

For me, it meant something else. Something like an assurance. Hey, how could a beautiful, unusual natural happenings like this be bad? I stopped my work like everybody else, and stared into the blue sky to watch the halo. It was just... amazing! Suddenly I felt a surge of tremendous fear of the Lord... I saw a tiny glimpse of His Glory!

I saw and felt the Glory of the Great Creator in His beautiful Creation!

I was supposed to give a short sharing on the apparitions of Our Lady in Marpingen*, Germany to a few of my Catholic colleagues 1 hour from the sighting of the sun halo. You know, I never liked sharing or even chairing a meeting; talking in front of so many people really freaks me out! And so I was actually getting very nervous until I saw the beautiful sun halo. It was just like an assurance from the Lord and Our Lady... that they would be with me as I talk about the apparitions.

I was nervous still. Plus fear. But much assured that I would be doing all right. A wonderful experience, indeed.

Have you ever tried to imagine how God's glory looks like? I only know that His Glory is way too much for our human eyes to behold. Perhaps, that sun halo (and many other natural phenomena, rainbows, the bright sun being partially covered by the clouds creating rays of lights from the clouds, etc.) is a reflection of His wonderful Glory.

Photo source: Edwin Lay

*Please refer my next post for more information on Our Lady's Apparitions in Marpingen, or you can visit the website.

Jun 17, 2007

Priests - We Need Them

Whether we realise it or not, priests play an important role in our lives as Catholics. Theirs is a ministry of total service to God's people, as they follow the footsteps of Christ, the great High Priest.

"The priesthood is an irreplaceable treasure in the Church. This is so, not because of administrative, culture or educational needs, but because it is essentially united to the sacramental ministry of Christ, the High Priest. The ordained Priest, acts in persona Christi capitis, that is: in the person of Christ who is the Head, when he celebrates the Eucharist and the other Sacraments of salvation. [...] So also the responsibility of teaching the gospel, guiding the faithful and counseling the distressed."

- Adapted from the speech of Bishop Nicola de Angelis at the Chrism Mass

Fr. Marcial Maciel summarized the importance of priests in our world today.

Most of us who have priests as our friends, worked with them before, or even those who only had opportunities speaking to them or having encountered them in one way or another, would agree that priests are influential not just in our spiritual lives, but in every aspect of our lives.

Many friends have shared with me how priests have touched their hearts; how their (priests) encouragements, prayers and even their little gestures of love have helped them increase their faith and kept them going in the midst of great hardships.

"Pope John Paul II is always my hero, and he's here in my heart forever." - A youth of my parish told me. Amazing how John Paul II could touch the hearts of young people (like me!) without having to meet us personally! I personally have met a lot of interesting priests and each of them is so different, but they are all so loving and caring! Some of them are even good looking! (Oh gosh, Lord have mercy!! But they look good because Christ shines through them!!) And I thank the Lord for working through these wonderful priests to make a difference in people's lives.

If priests have 'power' to build, so can they misuse their authority (given to them by Christ during Ordination) to destroy. And to be honest, I have also met this kind of priests.

"You are a stumbling block in this parish!"
How do you feel if a priest would point a finger at you with these words?

"They left this parish on their own free will. It has nothing to do with me or others!"
If a major misunderstanding broke out in your parish, and people (who have been faithfully serving the parish for years) started leaving one by one but the parish priest didn't even care to settle it in a way it ought to be settled, rather he made this statement and caused more faithful getting hurt... what would you do?

It hurts me when I heard these from a priest! And it hurts me double when he broke the heart of God's people!!

"I'm not going to step into this parish again. Yes, I know I'm serving the Lord but why do I have to put up with those who purely want to condemn? I can no longer grow spiritually here!"

"I don't know if I should ever trust him again, after so many things that happened here."

"He drove me out, so why should I go back?"

Imagine these happenings being witnessed/encountered by a Catholic who is still not mature enough to deal with matters like this. He/She might end up leaving the Church or becoming Protestant or worse still, turning away from God. The bottom line is, priests need a lot of prayers and support from us. I love all the priests I’ve met, no matter what personality each of them has. I have a special respect and love for them; it is the kind of love and respect that I don’t understand and I don’t know how to explain. In them, I saw and experienced a glimpse of His presence – something which I’m constantly searching for.

The following are taken from Our Lord’s revelations to Mutter Vogel (pg. 29, Mutter Vogel’s Worldwide Love, St. Grignion Publishing House, Altoting, South Germany):

"One should NEVER attack a priest, even when he's in error, rather one should pray and do penance that I'll grant him My grace again. He alone fully represents Me, even when he doesn't live after My example!" (29.6.1929)

"Oh pray much for My priests, that they'll love purity above all, that they'll celebrate the Holy Sacrifice of Mass with pure hands and hearts. Certainly the Holy Sacrifice is one and the same even when it’s celebrated by an unworthy priest, but the graces called down upon the people is not the same!" (28.2.1938)

I urge you, friends, to constantly remember your priests in your daily prayers.

For further reading, I recommend these:
  • Pope Reminds Faithful to Pray for Priests
  • The Value of Prayer and Sacrifice for Priests
  • Praying for Priests
  • A Prayer for Priests

  • <>< <><>
    This post is meant to be posted for World Day of Prayer for Priests.
    Please pardon me for the imperfect use of English as it is my 2nd language. Thank you.

    Celebrating a Father's love...

    To my greatest Abba, Heavenly Father God -- You're the ultimate Father of all mankind, and You've shown Yourself the most loving Person I've ever known in my whole life, and I thank You for so many graces and blessings and guidance which You've shown me. I love You, Father!

    To my Dad who have brought me up in the best way he could -- thank you so much, Daddy, for teaching me all the life's most precious lessons; and for so patiently bearing with me despite my disobedience and rebelliousness. I will remember you in my prayers today, and everyday, that the good Lord will bless you abundantly for all you've done for me, my brother and this family. I love you, Daddy!

    And to all the fathers in the world, Happy Fathers' Day!

    Jun 8, 2007

    Feast of the Sacred Heart

    Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

    The Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus falls on 15th June this year. Read what it is all about here.

    The 9 days Novena to the Sacred Heart has started on 6th June. Besides these devotions and this prayer, I have also found a day-to-day novena prayer here. The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, so I recommend daily devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

    Also not forgetting that on the same day, 15th June, is the World Day of Prayer for Priests. Please pray for our priests! They need God's blessings, guidance, strength and grace to go through difficult moments as they serve God's people.


    Some of the prayers I mentioned above are said for special intentions. So I searched up the Internet and found this one, a prayer of preparation for the Feast of Sacred Heart:

    O most holy Heart of Jesus, fountain of every blessing, I adore Thee, I love Thee and with a lively sorrow for my sins, I offer Thee this poor heart of mine. Make me humble, patient, pure and wholly obedient to Thy will. Grant, good Jesus, that I may live in Thee and for Thee. Protect me in the midst of danger; comfort me in my afflictions; give me health of body, assistance in my temporal needs, Thy blessing on all that I do, and the grace of a holy death. Within Thy Heart I place my every care. In every need let me come to Thee with humble trust saying, Heart of Jesus help me.


    "Let us remember that the Heart of Jesus has called us not only for our own sanctification, but also for that of other souls. He wants to be helped in the salvation of souls." - St. Padre Pio

    Jun 2, 2007

    Message of Our Lady from Medjugorje

    Message of May 25, 2007:

    "Dear children! Pray with me to the Holy Spirit for Him to lead you in the search of God's will on the way of your holiness. And you, who are far from prayer, convert and, in the silence of your heart, seek salvation for your soul and nurture it with prayer. I bless you all individually with my motherly blessing. Thank you for having responded to my call."

    Source: Children of Medjugorje