Oct 2, 2010

Leading by example

I thought I could need a little warm up for my brain before I go into writing a news article for Today's Catholic. I realised that I haven't been writing much these days, thus my rusty brain. Even though that article seems to be rather easy to write (well, at least the Editor thought so), apparently it is not so for me since: 1. it's very last minute; and 2. I'm a person who just cannot cope with last minute work... and the end result has never been satisfactory.

Alright. Putting work aside for now and trying to recall a particular situation which I came across two months ago.

Keeping the long story short... I found out that this person, who holds a high position in one of the local catholic organisations in charge of newsletters production, the person whom I looked up upon highly, did something very selfish. It was an act that is unfair to all those who had contributed to the newsletter that month (these contributors were not aware of it). I was totally disappointed, and I could hardly believe what I've witnessed. Since then the good impression I had towards this person has changed. I'm now more reserved and careful when working with this person.**

A thought struck me: Being a leader in the church is easy; being a good leader after Christ's own heart is not. Jesus mentioned leadership in the Gospel, "... whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all" (Mark 10:43-45). In other words, good leaders are those with humble hearts.

Although I'm currently one of the Core Team members in the Parish Youth Ministry, I don't see myself as a leader. I cannot see myself as a leader because I'm just not qualified! I do not possess the most important quality of a leader -- humility. I would rather have the lowliest position in the ministry... a servant. I like receiving instructions, not giving them.

Ever since Pope John Paul II returned to our Heavenly Father, I've been searching for another [human] leader whom I can follow, but so far, there is no one like Pope John Paul II.

Of course, being a Christian all of us are called to lead by example, no matter who we are. Be it a parish councillor or a worker assigned to keep the toilets and church compound clean and tidy, we ought to spread the Good News to others. And the best way to do it is through example.

Here in Kuching, we sometimes see non-Catholic Christians going door to door to tell people about the Good News. For me personally, I do not quite agree with such a method. What's the use when you do not practise what you preach? Well, unless you're happy with non Christians calling you "hypocrites".

A reminder for myself (and everyone else): At the end of everyday, it is important to look at myself and see if I've ever been rude, inconsiderate, selfish and unreasonable during the day, which not just left bad impressions on both Catholics and non-Catholics alike, but also prevented the Lord to work through me and those people I came in contact with during the day.

**Note: I have no intention of putting the person down. It is for my own personal reflection only.

Sep 5, 2010

No longer luke warm

Individual Quality

I celebrated my 12th Confirmation Anniversary on 23 August. Well, nothing grand. It shouldn't even be called a "celebration". Not sure what caused my procrastination that day until I missed the Mass which I've planned to attend. I fell asleep that night without bothering to say Thank You to the Lord.

Hmmm... what a celebration, huh?

The next day, something came into my mind that I should read the reflection for 23 August on Holy Spirit Interactive website. I did, and found it quite disturbing. "What differences have I made ever since I became an employee of the Archdiocese of Kuching? What significant impressions have I made especially upon the younger members in our youth group?" I kept pondering on these two questions for a few days, feeling a bit surprised that I had no answer.

Then recently, I had a dream. I was hanging out with some parish youths at a cozy cafe when I received a phone call. Someone who claimed to be the internet service provider asked for my details. Knowing that it was a scam, I was pissed off and spoke very impolitely to the person, ending the conversion with a curse. Putting my phone away, I noticed the youths were staring at me, shocked and couldn't believe that I've just cursed. I woke up instantly. [The dream was so real that I could remember it until today! I usually have dreamless sleep. Even though I do dream sometimes, I don't seem to remember a thing from the dream.]This provoking dream caused me to ponder even more... am I a bad influence to the youths?

This morning, our priest's sermon struck me again. He shared with us that, although he's been a priest for more than 30 years, he found that the journey gets tougher over the years as he tried his best to be a good priest. And so it is being a Catholic, he added. When one is a newly baptised Catholic, everything seems to be easy and smooth-sailing. But as one journeys further, temptations, disappointments, etc. keep coming one's way.

I agree with him. I guess it is so too with the life of a single and a married. Being a single myself, I don't find life getting easier. As I grow older, there are more matters to consider, more people to entertain and care for, more things in my to-do-list, more responsibility on my shoulders; and many a times I tend to put myself first on the Priority List while leaving God aside.

Now back to the earlier questions.

For the past nine months I've been comfortably hiding in my comfort zone, doing what I love doing (working with computers and media). Perhaps it's way too comfortable that I started to procrastinate and become lazy. Okay, my resignation from a high paying job to be a full time employee of the Archdiocese with a much lower pay may have earned myself some admiration and respect from friends and youths. But is that all I'm searching for in life? WHAT do I actually want to achieve in life? What kind of impressions do I want others to have on me?

Nine months... it's time to be "born again". It's time to pick up the things that I've planned to do but left off nine months ago. It's time to "pin" God permanently on the top of the list.

Thank you, Lord, for that little nudge you gave me. I'll give myself another year to evaluate how mature I've grown spiritually and mentally.

This is my prayer for today, sharing it with everyone:

Jul 21, 2010

Benedict XVI 7th oldest pope in history

I find this video clip pretty amusing. And educational too! I've never thought of comparing the age of the popes in history; who was the youngest, who was the oldest.

Looks like Pope Benedict and John Paul II are both in the Top 10 list.

The 6th oldest pope is Pope John Paul II who lived 84 years, 10 months and 15 days. Pope Benedict would pass John Paul II on 29 February 2012.

At the top of the list, The oldest pope in history was Pope Leo XIII, aged 93 years, 4 months and 19 days. Pope Benedict would have to live to 3 September 10 years from now to pass Pope Leo.

Long live the Pope!!!

Jul 11, 2010

A new chapter

I've finally settled down after 6 months in a completely new working environment.

I am now an employee of the Archdiocese of Kuching, and I help in the publication of the monthly archdiocesan newspaper. I have a nice office of my own just next to the chapel, with quiet and serene environment. I am alone in the office most of the time, but I simply enjoyed it. I told everyone who asked -- that I am alone but definitely not lonely! It is equally stressful compared to my previous consultancy job, but still I love this new responsibility.

Being a full time servant of the Church is what I've always wanted, and I thank the Lord for the opportunity to be employed by Him! I don't know how my parents feel about it now, but I seldom hear them express their disappointment about me changing job (they were really mad with me when I told them about my resignation last year). Although now I have just enough to live on (unlike 3 years ago, I used to have extras every month to spend on entertainment and food), the Lord sends me generous friends who added more colours to my life!

It is the beginning of a whole new chapter as I continue my journey with Christ. My Spiritual Directress used to tell me, "Unless you take a step forward, you would never know what is in front." Still struggling with work and getting myself familiarised with the whole changes, I am yet to find out what the Lord has planned for me for His own glory. But I guess for now, first thing first -- being a true servant physically, spiritually and whole-heartedly; practising a lifestyle of servanthood and worship, and avoid being lukewarm. Undoubtedly, I have seen and experienced much more than before.

We can't stop how other people look at us, but as long as what we're doing is done out of love for Christ, then nothing else matters!
Looking forward to new adventures and challenges that are coming my way... of course, I am way too frail and afraid to go into the unknown, but with Jesus by my side and standing on His promises and love, I know my life will be interesting.

[Lastly, I thank those who have been in this journey together with me all these while. Thank you! And I hope that we will continue to journey and grow spiritually together. Amen.]

May 2, 2010

Pope Ben and the Itsy Bitsy Spider

I was cruising around for some information on Year for Priests but got attracted by this video's interesting title. I had a good chuckle!

It's true, "not all perils faced by priests today are big ones..."

Well, I presume that the spider did not climb up Pope Ben's face or neck, or it would have been flattened. *chuckled*