Dec 30, 2009

The Memory of Year 2005... gone

I've just realised that my parents took down and discarded the wall calendar of Year 2005, which I've kept all these years as a remembrance of the dearest late Pope John Paul II's death. The exact time and date of his death, his birthday, etc. were all marked on the calendar. It broke my heart so tremendously when I saw that it was replaced by the calendar for Year 2010.

I've never been this sad before... so very sad. And disappointed at the same time, not understanding why my parents would change and/or throw my things away without first asking for my permission.

Nov 21, 2009

Remembering my hero

I could not help but missing him for these few days. It all started with a conversation with my friend from Kuala Lumpur. She attended a talk by a well-know Taiwanese writer, Liu Yong that night, and shared with me that he made a difference in her life through his books and writings. She has already met him in person, twice. I even had the chance to look at her photos... she's so blessed to be able to meet her teacher and hero. I, then, shared with her that one man whom I have loved, looked up to and will love for the rest of my life. It brought me to tears when I told her how lucky she has been; as much as I wanted to meet my hero, the Lord called him home even before there was any opportunity for me to grab!

Today, I was attending a seminar on St. Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians when the speaker mentioned Pope John Paul II several times. He told us how John Paul II publicly apologised to the whole world for the past mistakes made by the Catholic Church; while the ex-President of United States, realising his own mistakes and errors, still remained silence all the while. Admitting one's mistakes is a very humbling act, and no leaders would ever do such a stupid thing. But the most foolish man in the world did it -- John Paul II, who later became one of the greatest and most respected leader in the world. I was so touched when I heard what John Paul II had done during his lifetime. This is my role model and inspiration!!

I found this forum with a lot of pictures of the late John Paul II, many of which I have not seen before. Some of these photos made me cry really hard. How I long to meet him in person!! And how much I've missed him ever since he left us. Sharing this forum with all of you who have loved John Paul II as much as I do.

Photo courtesy of The Pope Benedict XVI Forum.

Nov 1, 2009

Revamp and updates

I have not been blogging for quite a long time. Yes, I do miss blogging! I feel that it is not appropriate to leave this blog inactive for so long, and I should have some updates posted on my life at this point of time.

It all started with World Youth Day. A lot of things happened ever since World Youth Day '08. I came back home feeling empty, not knowing what was missing. I could no longer work as my heart was longing for that something. So I started searching, and by God's grace I was invited to Singapore to stay with and observe the Daughters of St. Paul. Although I was not able to see how exactly their schedules go, I had the opportunity to stay with them for more than a week and experienced the life in a convent, and that was actually more than sufficient to help me move forward.

Not too long after I came back from Singapore, I received another greater invitation -- to work as a full time staff for the Archdiocese in the Mass Communication team (i.e. production of Today's Catholic newspaper and all works related to the media in the church). It took me quite a while to pray and discern whether this is what God has called me to. It was seriously not easy as I discerned and at the same time struggled with work. After a few weeks of considering, I finally said "yes" to God. My parents are not happy, and I still receive a lot of discouragements from others. But these will not stop me from going forward to be a full time servant, because I really love the Lord and it is my desire to have Him as my Employer.

I have just tendered my resignation last Friday with a two months notice and I shall be with the Archdiocese officially beginning January 2010. Right now I am struggling with the remaining work in hand and hopefully everything will go smoothly until the last day of my employment with the current company. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!

Well, I will certainly tell you more about this once I have settled down with my new job. I thank you for coming back here once in a while to check on me. =)

Dear all,

I'm currently doing some repairing to my blog. Things are in a mess right now, but feel free to read all the previous posts. Hopefully it will be up and running soon.

Thanks for coming back! God bless.

Feb 3, 2009

Beginning Anew II

I am still continually praying so that I no longer live in fear. When I was browsing around two days ago, I landed on a sharing by Darlene Schacht. I know that this wasn’t an accident or coincident. The Lord spoke to me again through these words:

Work and prayer represent the two forces that will ensure your success. Your work and My work. For prayer, believing prayer, is based on the certainty that I am working for you and with you and in you. Go forward gladly and unafraid. I am with you. With men your task may be impossible, but with God all things are possible.

The words of comfort and assurance that I’ve really needed.

This is what I learn from those words. The secret of success is hard work and fervent prayer. No matter what we want to do, as long as it is not against Love and we willingly trust our work and ourselves in His hands, we should go ahead courageously keeping in mind that He is there with us and He is also working for us, with us, in us and through us.

Sometimes we feel that He is so far away, but the truth is that He is nearer to us than we could ever imagine or comprehend.
May your journey with God today be a challenging but fun one.

Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see. – Hebrews 11:1

Jan 25, 2009

Beginning Anew

It was the eve of Chinese (Lunar) New Year. I was busy online, searching for some Bible verses. My dad yelled at me over a small matter – I had not taken my shower. That incident actually triggered some series of incidents that happened right before New Year 2009.

I was all stressed out. People threw me with the resolution question, which I had no idea how to answer. I had nothing in mind then. I did not know what I wanted to do or achieve in another new year. I only knew that I did not accomplish much in year 2008. Each time I came across the same question, there was only fear.

How could I not feel afraid? I left behind days of failures, sorrows, bad memories, hurts… so much failure that it overshadowed the victory I’ve known. When I looked forward, I could only see darkness, loneliness, perhaps more failures that sent me a paralyzing fear that I could not resist. I tried my best to avoid this popular topic whenever I could. However, this unnecessary worry and stress continued to worsen till the eve of New Year.

On the night of New Year’s Eve, our parish organized a dinner cum countdown party for all parishioners. Right before I left for church that night, I had a quarrel with my dad. Again, over some small matters (which I can no longer remember today). This time, the very last bit of hope I’ve been holding on to so far shattered to pieces. I had to put on a mask of joy while keeping anger and sadness suppressed inside. At the end of the dinner and before another event by the youths began, a friend asked me to stay close to the stage while they were performing as they needed my “help”. I suspected it to be another prank and of course, I would not be so stupid as to agree on being their “victim”, especially not that time when I was struggling with the anger deep inside. I left the party before it started. Another group of friends called to ask me out as I was on the way home. They were in a pub, getting ready to count down. They knew about my anxiety and advised me to go out, have fun, forget about the past, and get ready to face the future. How could I ever enjoy myself when I was totally immersed in my past failures and hopelessness? I said no.

At home, I locked myself in the room, tried to relax myself as I chat with my other friends online, but unfortunately, nothing worked. Tears started to flow. I could not contain it anymore. I broke down totally at the Lord’s feet.

"…Father, I’ve failed through and through. I failed loving others. I failed loving You. I failed to show that I truly love You. I failed to keep my promises to You. I failed You! Father, I no longer know how to face tomorrow... Help me…!"

Amidst the tears, I remembered the messages the Lord has spoken to me a few days ago through my friends...

Be firm and steadfast! Do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord, your God, is with you wherever you go. – Joshua 1:9

God is faithful and will not let you be tried beyond your strength; but with the trial he will also provide a way out, so that you may be able to bear it. – 1 Corinthians 10:13

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine. Because you are precious in my eyes and glorious… Fear not, for I am with you… – Isaiah 43:1-5

My grace is sufficient for you… - 2 Corinthians 12:9

The fireworks then were at their full blast. Watching the firework display, my tears subsided, the inner storm gradually quietened. I dozed off and woke up the next morning feeling that my burden became lighter.

Although a tinge of fear still exists today, it is no longer as tremendous as it used to be. I used to ask the Lord why He did not change the others so that they would cease giving me so much problem. I was wrong all these while to think that way. "For others to change, I must change first." This is one of the favourite sayings of our parish priest, Fr. Stephen Lim. It is time I change myself.

Today, I'm starting my life anew again. I updated the outdated to-do list I used to have, renewed my pledge of love for the Lord, and offered up my whole self and all my dreams and deepest desires for His glory alone.

"I can do everything through him who gives me strength." – Philippians 4:13

Happy Chinese New Year to all who celebrate the Lunar new year!

Note from the author: I had to pluck up great courage to have this personal sharing posted. It wasn't easy to reveal the shame and pain I experienced. At the weakest and most hopeless point of my life, I usually prefer to pour everything out to the Lord in prayer and in tears. That is why I've never shown my sorrow in the public. I have to agree that it is not easy to confide in and love someone I cannot even see, but faith tells me that He has been always there for me and has never left my side. Thank you, Father God.