The Root Cause of Disunity

After I post about Christian Disunity, another question pop up to me. What is the root cause of disunity? I would like to refer to the book of Genesis for insights. This book teaches us about the origin of the world, it tells us about who is the Creator, and what are the creations. That is why I find it useful to look at this book to find out it has to say about the root cause of disunity.

Disunity

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Does Catholic Church Creates Christian Disunity?

Last week I read my friend’s blog, and according to him, there is a basic disunity in Christianity, for example only Catholics who are allowed to receive the Body and Blood of Jesus. It makes me ponder about this question, does catholic church creates disunity in Christianity?

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Finding Your Praying Corner

Eucharistic Adoration at church of St Mary of the Angel

What is your favorite place to pray? Why do we need to have a certain place to pray? If God is everywhere, can we pray anywhere? Yes We Can! We can pray anywhere at anytime, as St Paul said

Pray constantly (1Thes 5:17)

However we still need to find a special place to pray, why?

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The 7 Sorrows of Our Lady

This post is dedicated to our Lady on the feast of Our lady of Sorrows (15 September).

Our Lady of Sorrows

In my current work, I need to do some experiments in order to test the system that I developed. This week I did the first experiment on last Thursday ( 9 September 2010), and it failed. I was quite stress.

I rescheduled the second experiment on Wednesday (15 September 2010). In order to make sure that the system will work, I spent the day before to do some preparations. Unfortunately at that night the system was not very stable, and I need to work until 11.00 pm. Because of this work, I couldn’t attend the bible study session at that day. It made me very sad.

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Wrestling with God

For whoever would save his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. – Mat 16:25

One of the most interesting story in the book of Genesis for me is the story of Jacob wrestling at Peniel (Gen 32: 24-32). It is said that Jacob have striven with God and have prevailed (verse 28), that God changed his name to Israel, which means God strives. I am attending Logos Bible Study group, and currently we are studying the book of Genesis from Catholic Scripture Study.

During this wrestling part, the lecturer mentioned something very beautiful. Wrestling is a sport where we use so much power and strength in order to win against the opponent. When God wrestled with Jacob, He used equal force such that Jacob prevailed. If God used more power, He could destroy Jacob. God always gives us Grace equals to our capacity to receive. God always allows problem to happen in our live equals to our ability to solve it.

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Easter Sunday : A New Beginning

Happy Easter!
Time flies very fast, lent is just like yesterday and now is Easter Sunday.

We have completed our lent observant. Thank God for this fruitful lent season.
Its not because I kept a perfect score on my fasting or abstinence,but because He taught me few lesson during lent.

Repentance. I have heard about this word so many times, but more often i forget how important it is. More often I forget how much I have transgressed against Him. More often I forget about Him as my God, and my master, only!
This lent he taught me to remember more often.

Conversion. It is a result of repentance. It is a commitment to renounce sin and turn back to Him. It is about answering a vocation. It is about becoming a Christ like person. It is about being a saint.

Prayer. I noticed that I have a desire or rather an intention of doing God’s work but most of the time i was just working for God. The difference is as far as heaven from earth. Doing God’s work is working on what He wants me to do, His will be done. Working for God is doing what I want to do for God. So its either all about God or all about me. So far I only know one way to get a clue about His will, loving relationship in prayer.

Discernment. Life is like a journey. I am from somewhere going to somewhere. These somewhere most of the time are unknown to me. I need a map to know the way, I need to ask who is The Way. He will teach me about The Truth that will set me free.

Easter is a new beginning for me. A new hope for a new life. It is also an invitation to die with Jesus of my sinful life. Life is not easy, even Jesus had a difficult death, which become a reminder to me, before my death of my sinful life, I might need to carry my cross to the Calvary. This death creates a new life.

Happy Easter my friend.

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Ash wednesday: A beginning

Today we begin our lenten journey. I attended mass at NTU, and I was quite surprised to see the lecture room was so packed ( I really pray that I can see this scene more often). I have decided to experience a better Lent this year. To be honest I did not experience Lent properly previously.

I tried to do better this year by searching few articles regarding lent. I have few questions such as What is lent. What is the origin and the history of Lent. What is the Church teaching about Lent.

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Give me a King, Like other Nations

This is a reflection from 1 Sm 8:4-7, 10-22a.

This is a story when Samuel was the judge of Israel. Prior to Samuel time as a judge, Israel were defeated twice by Philistine and the Ark of the Covenant was stolen by them. Samuel led Israel to get back the Ark.

However when Samuel become old, the elders of Israel insisted for Samuel to ask God to anoint a king. This is what they say:

“Now that you are old, and your sons do not follow your example, appoint a king over us, as other nations have, to judge us.”

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A Blessing in Disguise

I have been sick for 2 days due to gastritis. I couldn’t even sit for too long as I constantly feel headache if I do not laying down.

Fortunately this afternoon I feel much better. At least I can stand without feeling the pain in my head. Strangely I got an idea to attend daily mass at st mary of the angel church. Maybe I just want to give thanks to God or maybe I just want to meet him. I had no expectation but a simple and quick daily mass.

When I sat down and was about to pray I saw across of my seat there were many friars there. After I finished my opening prayer I looked at them one by one, I saw fr Jp, fr john wong, fr jivan, fr clifford, br derrick,br rowland,and many other friar that I dont know.

Then the mass was started, I opened the breaking bread while thinking what event is happening?
The altar servers entered the church, they are also friars. The celebrants of the mass are fr michael and fr paul, the head of custody of st Anthony ,and the provincial of Holy Spirit provice ( Ofm order for australia,malaysia,and singapore).

The mass is the ceremony of the first profession of the four new friars!

I have never attended a mass crowded by those number of religious people. They made the mass become special for me ( the mass become longer than usual :p).

I have never witness a holy profession like this before, and to share it here i took some pictures. ( I know I should turn off my mobile device while attending mass, please forgive me).

So it is a small gift from God for me to attend this special ceremony.

During the homily the priest mentioned about vocation, and he said that

What we are called by God is to Love God and to Love others

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Christmas Recollection – Table for Two

I attended a recollection organized by the Cenacle sister for Christmas preparation. There are 3 lessons that I learned:

The Fidelity of Waiting

Many people understand how does it feel to wait. Some people wait with anxiety, because they don’t know when the thing they are waiting for will come. Some people wait with excitement because they are hoping something good  will happen soon.

We wait because we expect something to happen. In the context of Christmas we are expecting of the birth of Jesus. In the other context we are waiting for graduation, or for job offer, or for contract offer, or many other things that we are waiting for.

Waiting can be a process of faith renewal, because when the hearts wait, things happened, waiting is in between time. I learned from many bible stories where many people were waiting, John the Baptist was waiting for Jesus to come and Mary also was waiting to give birth to Jesus.

Attentiveness to the Gift of Light

While waiting, I also learned that I need to be attentive. I like to use the analogy of a farmer to illustrate this. After the farmer sow the seed, and tend the seed, there is nothing else he can do other than waiting for the seed to grow and become crops. When the farmer is waiting he needs to be attentive to the growth process of the crops. The farmer need to be attentive when the crops need to be watered or any weeds that need to be removed.

Daily Prayer

We have heard this so many times. It is a common sense that daily prayer is very important. But let me quote Dr Stephen Covey here ” Common sense is not always common practice”. I heard this beautiful story which remind me the importance of daily prayer. This story has reminded me daily prayer is not about the prayer, about the person whom we meet and converse with in our prayer.

Table for Two

He sits by himself at a table for two. The uniformed waiter returns to his side and asks, “Would you like to go ahead and order, sir?” The man has, after all, been waiting since seven o’clock–almost half an hour.

“No, thank you,” the man smiles. “I’ll wait for her a while longer.
How about some more coffee?”

“Certainly, sir.”

The man sits, his clear blue eyes gazing straight through the flowered centerpiece. He fingers his napkin, allowing the sounds of light chatter, tinkling silverware, and mellow music to fill his mind. He is dressed in a sport coat and tie. His dark brown hair is neatly combed, but one stray lock insists on dropping to his forehead. The scent of his cologne adds to his clean cut image. He is dressed up enough to make a companion feel important, respected, loved. Yet he is not so formal as to make one uncomfortable. It seems that he has taken every precaution to make others feel at ease with him. Still, he sits alone.

The waiter returns to fill the man’s coffee cup. “Is there anything else I can get for you, sir?”

“No, thank you.”

The waiter remains standing at the table. Something tugs at his curiosity. “I don’t mean to pry, but…” His voice trails off. This line of conversation could jeopardize his tip.

“Go ahead,” the man encourages. His is strong, yet sensitive, inviting conversation.

“Why do you bother waiting for her?” the waiter finally blurts out. This man has been at the restaurant other evenings, always patiently alone.

Says the man quietly, “Because she needs me.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Well, sir, no offense, but assuming that she needs you, she sure isn’t acting much like it. She’s stood you up three times just this week.”

The man winces, and looks down at the table. “Yes, I know.”

“Then why do you still come here and wait?”

“Cassie said that she would be here.”

“She’s said that before,” the waiter protests. “I wouldn’t put up with it. Why do you?”

Now the man looks up, smiles at the waiter, and says simply, “Because I love her.”

The waiter walks away, wondering how one could love a girl who stands him up three times a week. The man must be crazy, he decides. Across the room, he turns to look at the man again. The man slowly pours cream into his coffee. He twirls his spoon between his fingers a few times before stirring sweetener into his cup. After staring for a moment into the liquid, the man brings the cup to his mouth and sips, silently watching those around him.

He doesn’t look crazy, the waiter admits. Maybe the girl has qualities that I don’t know about. Or maybe the man’s love is stronger than most. The waiter shakes himself out of his musings to take an order from a party of five.

The man watches the waiter, wonders if he’s ever been stood up. The man has, many times. But he still can’t get used to it. Each time, it hurts. He’s looked forward to this evening all day. He has many things, exciting things, to tell Cassie. But, more importantly, he wants to hear Cassie’s voice. He wants her to tell him all about her day, her triumphs, her defeats….anything, really. He has tried so many times to show Cassie how much he loves her. He’d just like to know that she cares for him, too. He sips sporadically at the coffee, and loses himself in thought, knowing that Cassie is late, but still hoping that she will arrive.

The clock says nine-thirty when the waiter returns to the man’s table. “Is there anything I can get for you?”

The still empty chair stabs at the man. “No, I think that will be all for tonight. May I have the check please?”

“Yes, sir.”

When the waiter leaves, the man picks up the check. He pulls out his wallet and signs. He has enough money to have given Cassie a feast. But he takes out only enough to pay for his five cups of coffee and the tip. Why do you do this, Cassie, his mind cries as he gets up from the table.

“Good-bye,” the waiter says, as the man walks towards the door.

“Good night. Thank you for your service.”

“You’re welcome, sir,” says the waiter softly, for he sees the hurt in the man’s eyes that his smile doesn’t hide. The man passes a laughing young couple on his way out, and his eyes glisten as he thinks of the good time he and Cassie could have had. He stops at the front and makes reservations for tomorrow. Maybe Cassie will be able to make it, he thinks.

“Seven o’clock tomorrow for party of two?” the hostess confirms.

“That”s right,” the man replies.

“Do you think she’ll come”” asks the hostess. She doesn’t mean to be rude, but she has watched the man many times alone at his table for two.

“Someday, yes. And I will be waiting for her.” The man buttons his overcoat and walks out of the restaurant, alone. His shoulders are hunched, but through the windows the hostess can only guess whether they are hunched against the wind or against the man’s hurt.

As the man turns toward home, Cassie turns into bed. She is tired after an evening out with friends. As she reaches toward her night stand to set the alarm, she sees the note that she scribbled to herself last night. “7:00,” it says. “Spend some time in prayer.” Darn, she thinks. She forgot again. She feels a twinge of guilt, but quickly pushes it aside. She needed that time with her friends. And now she needs her sleep. She can pray tomorrow night. Jesus will forgive her. And she’s sure he doesn’t mind.

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