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Friday, December 16, 2011

Light of Genesis...Same Light that Dawned Bethlehem

“In the beginning God created heaven and earth.  And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters.” (Genesis 1:1-2, Douay Rheims)

A simple sharing this Advent...

Today, a friend asked me about the story of Creation, found in the book of Genesis.  She was confused...  Why is it that in the beginning, the earth is covered with darkness...emptiness...void?

Many people continue to read Genesis as the story of creation in terms of a religion versus science debate; reading the Holy Bible as if it is a story book or a pop novel.  This way of reading imposes our historical situation on the sacred text (using our finite mind to comprehend the infinite Word) and misses entirely the spiritual insights that open our heart to the “religious” meaning the story had for ancient Israel, and the spiritual meaning that God intends for us today.

This Advent, as we quietly contemplate on the lighted candles of Advent, we remind ourselves that the Word of God is alive and will continue to examine us individually today if we choose to allow it.  The Word of God is Light that pierces through the darkness in our lives...bringing hope, peace, love and joy.

For instance, the Genesis’ creation day is different from the ordinary day with which we are normally familiar with these days.  With the sacred scriptures, it is always about reading through the eyes of faith, patiently allowing the Word to sink into our hearts, taking quiet time to encounter the Word.  The story of Creation tells us that the Spirit of God brought life and light out of chaos and darkness.  The Holy Spirit is “the Lord and Giver of Life”.

Genesis, the first book of the Bible, reminds all of us today of the power and goodness of God as manifested in the creation of the world, and also the dependence of fragile creatures like us, on the dominion of the ultimate Creator; from a formless, empty void, He unconditionally fills it with life, and from darkness, He brings forth Light – in God, there is simply no darkness...only Light.

The first chapter of Genesis shares that in the beginning the world was “formless and empty.”  It then proceeds to show how God sets out to fix this - first, by giving the world form and then filling it with abundance.  In Days 1-3, God creates the “form” of the world - the day and the night; the sky and the sea; the land and the vegetation.  In Days 4 - 6, God fills these “form” with the sun, moon and stars, the birds and the fish to fill the sky and the seas; and man and beast, which rule the land.

There is a perfect order to all these; from chaos, comes order.  First God creates the “structure” of the world, then, He fills that structure with living beings.  After each day of creation, God sees that His work is “good.”  After the six “work days” are through, God sees that His work is “very” good.  The word “very” is used to mark the end of the creation cycle.

Very briefly, Genesis is a story of faith...our faith, telling us how God chose a particular family to keep His Revelation, and how He trained His Chosen People to fulfill His mission; how His Light still shines forth today through His chosen people and still continue to radiate out simply, gently and quietly to this chaotic world that is filled with much darkness.

As we prepare for Christmas, simply remember that Christ IS “the Light that came into the world” to dispel the “darkness” of sin and to radiate the truth and love of God to each one of us.  Like the poor humble shepherds, let us always be watchful and simply trusting to the quiet call of God...following the one true Light...

As His chosen people, let us always choose to create a new Genesis in the lives of others on this short journey through re-create the world we live in so that we can experience heaven, here on earth today.

Let the joyful bells of Christmas resound, proclaiming the birth of the Creator, the source of life...the true Light of the world.

Maranatha!  Let us simply and quietly invite Him into our lives, O Christ our Lord!

God bless all.  Blessed Christmas to one and all!  Peace and joy across the land!  We are but ONE family...ONE colour...the colour of the ONE human race; created and hand-painted by the ONE God who loves us for eternity!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Simply Waiting Again...Searching...

“But you are a chosen generation, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people: that you may declare his virtues, who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light: Who in time past were not a people: but are now the people of God.  Who had not obtained mercy; but now have obtained mercy.”
(1 Peter 2:9-10, Douay Rheims)

Another eventful year 2011, is about to come to a close...a new one beginning again.

The economics around the world looked set to become another mess created by the greed of humans and the so-called, superpowers.  Many continue to be slaves to the world, to debts, to the restlessness and anxiousness of today.  Where most people around the world are led to the popular idea that Portugal, Ireland, Greece, Germany, Spain are the primary cause of this global economic downturn, many still believe that the real and present threat is quietly erupting in the United States, especially.

In any case, it is always the story of the poor becoming poorer and the rich simply gets wealthier by the day.  Doesn’t this sound all too familiar during the time of Jesus as well...the mighty Egyptians against the Hebrews, the Romans, and the Samaritans, the lepers, the marginalized...  This world has never learnt and never changed!

Quietly, but surely, the holy season of Advent comes upon us again; November 27, 2011.  It is simply a time of waiting, a time of preparing, a time to examine, a time for renewal, conversion, turning back to God...most of all, a 4-Sundays journey to receive Jesus Christ anew at Christmas...a new beginning to the Roman Catholic Church liturgical calendar.

Coincidently, according to the Holy Quran, Allah has given that it is also the first day of the first peaceful and sacred Muharram month of the Islamic calendar...yet, fighting is still ever prevalent all across the land, all over the world...greed, abuse, abortion, corruption, bribes, marginalization, crimes, conspiracy, etc!!

Many Advents has come and gone, with renewal still lacking.  The soul of the world has not changed much, yet, materially, nothing looks the same.  We recall that the simple word “Advent” originates from the Latin word “ad venio”, meaning “to come”, and thus refers to the waiting of the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Whether it is winter, spring, summer or fall...this sacred season is filled with expectations for many, waiting, waiting...  Amidst the hustle and bustle of life, we must remember that this period is a journey towards satisfying our longing for Jesus Christ – the Word made flesh...coming to dwell amongst us...bringing hope to many...the Messiah in the form of a baby born in Bethlehem!

Is there any room for Him in the inns of our hectic hearts?  We must always remember who we are in the presence of God, the source of all life, all joy, peace; without whom we are nothing!

“...Amen.  Come, Lord Jesus.” (Apocalypse of St John – Revelations 22:20, Douay Rheims)

The Aramaic word, Maranatha reminds us to continue to invite Jesus Christ the Lord into our hearts!  God does not care about our past; He simply wants us to know who we are and who we can be.

Jesus, the same Messiah foretold in the prophecies of Isaiah, the lost lamb whom the poor shepherds found amidst their flock on a quiet night, the same King in a faraway manger whom the three humble kings searched and adored on bended knees with gifts of gold (royalty, authority), frankincense (holy priesthood) and myrrh (healer)...Glory to God on High, Jesus, in Hebrew, the with us...God is always with us each day.  Simply wait and listen to His voice!

A Blessed and Holy Advent to one and all as we journey together, as one people, as one human race, towards Christmas!  I have been quiet for a while but sometimes, silence is good for the soul...  With your prayers, it is my sincere wish this season is to be able to share more of my simple thoughts with all of you, for the glory of Him who created me, gives me life and sustained me.  Praying that each one of you have a meaningful Advent and remain in good spirit.

Simply be quiet,
Simply be watchful,
Be extra patient
and listen for the still, small whisper of God,
Who is waiting to touch you with joy...give meaning to your journey

Like Mary and Joseph, we, too must remain simple and simply remember that Jesus is an unconditional gift from God to us and that He came to die for all, so that each one of us may simply live...and find eternal life!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Apple...and the Tree of Life...

“Life is this simple: we are living in a world that is absolutely transparent and the divine is shining through it all the time.  This is not just a nice story or a fable, it is true. ”
― Thomas Merton, O.C.S.O

Earlier this week, I was reminded of a sharing some years back by the CEO of Apple.  Well, cancer somehow finds a way to humble even the giants among us.

However, in his interactions with his people, fellow human beings, the late Steve Jobs was not the world's greatest manager.  In fact, this very God-gifted person, what the world perceived as, a “visionary” who revolutionized multiple industries with his cutting-edge products could have been, if not, one of the world's worst managers; his management style shrouded with darkness...instead of radiating light.

Where he could have reached out and touched many lives, he chose to destroy... constantly demanded excellence from people around him and was known for his blunt delivery of criticism.  God seems to have disappeared from his life.  Rather, his core obsession was with the change in people's lifestyle through his iPhones, iPads, Apple computers, iPods...everything else with the selfish “i”.

This very simple orphan, who once delivered the inspiring message at the Stanford University, seems to have forgotten how all the simple dots of his life...connected back to God...the ultimate tree of life...the ultimate architect...the ultimate provider.

At the end of the day, God will simply hold us all accountable...  Let us then, as simple pilgrims, always remember this throughout our journey through life...we are merely humble instruments of God...sending out tiny ripples to make this world a little better for that others too, whoever they may be, will come to know the loving God...through us.

“...keep me, as the apple of thy eye.  Protect me under the shadow of thy wings.” (Psalm 16:8, Douay-Rheims)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Where on Earth is Heaven?

Last Sunday morning as I was making my way to Church for the Eucharistic Celebration, I came across a Buddhist sticker behind a car windscreen which read, “You can go to Heaven if you do good!”

These nine simple words flung me into a deep reflection.  Is that all there is to life?  Is life truly that simple as many people would think or like to believe?  Just doing good and heaven is there for you?  Is doing good the only thing that will get a person to heaven?  Are all religions the same then, since most teach us to do good?  Why would a Buddhist follower even believe in the existence of Heaven; not reincarnation?  For that matter, isn’t the thought of Heaven generally associated with Christianity?  Where is Heaven?  Can anyone dare claim that their place in Heaven is guaranteed?...

Humans are truly funny creatures, they believe what they want to believe, they start a new christian sect whenever they do not agree with certain teachings.  They twist and turn things to their own favor.  Most humans do not even know what they themselves believe in!  In the case of this Buddhist with the car sticker pronouncing Heaven...what do you call this...fusion Buddhism??

My reflective thoughts just came streaming through my mind.  Perhaps I too have been a little too pre-occupied with my new job...trying my best to settle deliver a professional level of’s been exactly two months...the opportunity cost? ...neglecting my favorite reflective times...times which I so cherished, spending with the Lord when I was on my Sabbatical for slightly more than a year.  Now I tend to speak to Him in a rush, rush mode.  Here I am now trying to get that balance back...that equilibrium to be able to share more of my thoughts in this little “SimplyQuiet” corner.

Perhaps that car sticker was God's simple way of reminding me...are my actions these days, my priorities...sending the message that if I do good, I will go to Heaven??  Whatever happened to my life and actions being for the glory of God?

Coming back to the sticker...for me, I know that my life is about being constantly in a loving relationship with God, with Jesus Christ...trusting...believing...carrying that hope...the same hope and obedience carried by the Prophets throughout the Old Testament and having this hope come to fulfillment in the New Testament.  Life is about surrendering our journey to Jesus and allowing Him to walk with us as our best companion.  Truly, the beautiful religion of Christianity...especially Catholic Christianity is such a beautiful gift from God...sharing His Real Presence with us in the transubstantiation of the Bread and Wine into His Body and Blood...

One cannot know Heaven if one does not know Jesus...and if one does not know Jesus, how can one know God...know Heaven?

If only many others are humble enough to open their realize that it was God that chose them and created them...made them to love Him, to serve Him...if only people today take up the gift of Jesus Christ...if only we humans take time to know how Jesus gave up His Divinity to die the most humiliating of death on the Cross for us...that we may come back to Him with all our heart...with all our sinfulness.  Sadly, human beings have drifted away into many other world religions, new age beliefs, no beliefs, self beliefs, obsession with the gods of Facebook, Twitter, what have you...

At the end of the day, only if one knows Jesus and is willing to share this life with Him...allowing Him to purify cleanse us.  Only when we acknowledge Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior... Only when we bend our knees...get rid of our ego...recognise our own sinfulness...only then will Heaven beacons...only then will the land filled with milk and honey become a reality.  Only then will our Spirit become one with God.

You can go to Heaven if you do good?  Perhaps not entirely true, if you have no relationship with Jesus.  ...One of the privilege of Christianity is that you can live and experience the same Heaven on earth at this present moment if only you repent and open the door of your heart to let Jesus in.  You can go to Heaven only if you recognize Jesus around and everyday...touching lives...making this world a little better...

The keys to the Kingdom of Heaven was given to Peter, the first Pope of the Catholic Church...therein within the universality of the Church and its Sacraments, coupled with the intercession of Mother Mary, Queen of Heaven and all the Holy Saints and Angels, with the power of the Holy Spirit lies the treasures of the Kingdom of Heaven.  Come one, come and you shall find...ask...and it shall be given to the door and let Jesus in today....don’t just go through life like a car sticker...stuck on the surface with no depth on the knowledge of God behind a car.  Instead, allow Jesus to be the lens through which you view and live the world today...I am sure, in that way, you will begin to get a glimpse and experience the richness and peace of Heaven on earth now.

“That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth. And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:10-11, Douay Rheims)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Getting Intimate with a Jesuit...


Part 1:

Part 2:

The goal of our life is to live with God forever.
God who loves us, gave us life.

Our own response of love allows God's life to flow into
us without limit.

All the things in this world are gifts of God,
presented to us so that we can know God more easily
and make a return of love more readily.

As a result, we appreciate and use all of these gifts of God
insofar as they help us develop as loving persons.

But if any of these gifts become the center of our lives,
they displace God
and so hinder our growth toward our goal.

In everyday life, then, we must hold ourselves in balance
before all of these created gifts insofar as we have a choice
and are not bound by some obligation.

We should not fix our desires on health or sickness,
wealth or poverty, success or failure, a long life or short one.

For everything has the potential of calling forth in us
a deeper response to our life in God.

Our only desire and our one choice should be this:
I want and I choose what better
leads to the deepening of God's life in me.

St. Ignatius of Loyola, from the beginning of the Spiritual Exercises

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The World...Always Losing Heart...

Once upon a time, just a couple of years back, not so long ago, huge mega financial companies, such as Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG came tumbling down, and government officials were scrambling to prevent a global financial meltdown.  These people cooked up bailouts and pushed weak companies to merge with stronger ones.  The government has “fooled” the people into believing that investors were reassured and that order was restored in the financial system.

However, these bitter lessons were never ever learnt and the consequences are still being felt today in the USA...Europe...Asia...all over the world.  Tough and difficult times continue for humanity, the world over. Certain powers and hidden forces that be and self proclaimed economists, bankers, officials at the top seem to have done it again in their quest to feed their insatiable egoistic pursuit; at the expense of the people, their lives, their families, friends....

Whilst the US National Debt clock keeps ticking and its ratings downgraded, more than 300 million Americans indirectly have a vested “share” of this debt!  Americans feel the painful effects.  Mr. President, where is the basic risk management skills and early warning system of your so-called “esteemed” government?

Across the globe, bearish international investors have also coined a new term for the countries that they believe are the weak links of the Euro Zone, facing debt crisis: PIIGS — which basically stands for Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain. Greece, the home the peaceful monastery in Mount Athos, barely avoided a major bankruptcy in June 2011, looks set to default the October deadline...Greece is sinking...imminent default in sight!...many predict that Greece will go into depression!...the rest of Europe into a recession.

Will the US become like Greece?  Will this event be another Black Swan event?  Are the world super powers going to be red-faced again?  Has not the bitter events of 9/11 taught some humility and responsibility to the US government??  Whilst healing have taken place slowly and painfully amongst the loved ones of the departed, the US government, the Central Bankers, the Federal Reserve have all turn a deaf ear to the future of the American people.  Ah, politicians will forever be selfish was it Osama or Bush or Obama’s conspiracy???

In Asia, stock markets becomes volatile and are crashing in response to these adverse developments...many innocent investors and companies are positions of many companies, heavily invested in equities are threatened by negative unrealized losses in the financial statements.

The reason why so many people have lost heart today is that they feel both confused and powerless...helpless to see their choose their own lives.  Everything that had seemed so important – stock options, investments, affluent lifestyles – suddenly begins to fade, yet again.  The world is facing a crisis of meaning yet becoming more complex these days.  Where is Jesus in America?  Where is Jesus in Europe?  Where is Jesus in the world?  Most of all, where is Jesus in our lives?

Franciscan priest, Richard Rohr, shared that, “Belief hinged on what could be proven by a certain paradigm called science.  Science assumed – and this became the arrogance of the modern mind – that it knew more than anybody else ever had!  ...It told us that education, reason and science would make the world a better place.  ...Now, in fact, we have a lot of new diseases and many insolvable diseases of the mind and soul.  ...The inner world of meaning has not been fed.  (The world today) starved for meaning, grasping at anything and everything.  This is a terrible dilemma to live under.”

Here, it is timely that we remember the following episode in the life of our Lord...

“...and in the Temple he found people selling cattle and sheep and doves, and the money changers sitting there.  Making a whip out of cord, he drove them all out of the Temple, sheep and cattle as well, scattered the money changers' coins, knocked their tables over and said to the dove sellers, “Take all this out of here and stop using my Father's house as a market.”” (John 2:14-16, New Jerusalem Bible)

What are the real values held by politicians elected to hold public office, whose fundamental mission is to serve the people, to protect them and build them a better future?  What are the priorities of humanity?  In continuous pursuit of potential upside in the stock market or to seek the Lord who have created us and called us by name?  Humanity seems to have lost the inner compass time and again.  It is sad that the so-called “developed” world today, despite countless gentle “reminders” from the loving Father, is still wandering aimlessly and getting all lost again...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Internet Down...SimplyQuiet...

Just a quick post to share with all that my wireless router was down for a while...therefore, absolutely no access to the internet...hence, my quiet absence for the last couple of days...or weeks!  Last weekend, my internet has been restored...

We should not absent ourselves from the assembly, as some do, but encourage one another.” (Hebrew 10:25)

Life's journey is beginning to pick up, in terms of intensity, for me, after getting back to full time employment.  At the same time, I am having some minor challenges finding the time to share my light with many others out there.  The discipline which I enjoy for the past year seem to be fading a little, distracted by the demands of the working life.

The corporate world can be demanding but I am enjoying my new tour of duty.  Please be patient as I will be back soon and hopefully...more revitalised.

Someone, once said, with great power, comes great responsibility”...for me, it would be the ultimate responsibility to become an obedient disciple of Jesus Christ....a humble instrument of the Lord.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Remembering 9/11...Reunited with Each Other...With God


September 11. 2001...more commonly known these days as 9/11...seemed like a simply quiet and normal Tuesday morning in New York City.

I remember I was at an evening bible study meeting half way across the globe.

Down in New York City, nothing seemed unusual...nothing lookked extraordinary...faceless people sending their kids to school...grabbing their quick breakfast...reading the papers...packing breakfast...catching the bus...the tube...hugging their loved ones...kissing their good byes...for some...whereas for others...getting into an argument...not home to go out their last days...on board their very last suicidal flight...American Airlines Flight 11, United Airlines Flight 175, American Airlines Flight 77 and United Airlines Flight 93...worst still, those who fell or jumped off the tragic floors of the World Trade Center’s North and South Twin Towers....the Pentagon...

Do you remember what you were doing on that fateful day?...when...just about everyone, suddenly remembered God...reaching out to Him...coming home to Him...talking to Him...praying - pleading...crying...begging...reconciling...

On that day...the world stood still and witnessed the powerful United States cruelly brought down to their knees...humbled, at the expense of many, many innocent Americans...2,977 victims per official reports...someone else’s mother, father, daughter, son, brother, sister, friend, neighbor, colleague...a created human being whose life was suddenly and cruelly taken away...the words of Job rings aloud...

“...Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: as it hath pleased the Lord so is it done: blessed be the name of the Lord.” (Job 1:21, Douay Rheims)

One often wonders how does God ever fit into the everyday lives of the people in a big, cosmopolitan, noisy and seductive city like New York?  The city that never sleeps...try telling this to the brave emergency workers, firemen, paramedics, medical units, armed forces, chaplains, Ground Zero...where humanity was once again reunited with each other and most importantly with God.  Suddenly, the noise and seduction of big New York City does not seem to be so distracting after really does not matter about the much as what was felt deep inside...the emptiness...the loss...the void...

Only when you empty yourself completely...can God fill your heart...and your soul...

Americans have always known wars in foreign soil...Vietnam, Afghanistan, Kosovo...but never in their own back yard...the center of a great city... not far from the New York Harbor with the torch of the Statue of Liberty and Freedom held high...9/11 struck!

Soon after, there was so much much much much hatred...even today, continues to reverberate in many hearts and minds...terror for this, the only the US continue its spending on defense (against what?) and its relentless attacks on oil fields in the Middle East.

As Pilate said to Jesus, “What is truth?”   ...Terrorism?...Political Conspiracy?  ...Does it matter anymore?  ...when innocent lives are lost??  ...Such is the price humanity must pay...

Where was God?  Why did God let this happen?  Was this, rather, the work of mankind in their selfish quest for power and personal glory?  The consequence of the sins of humanity against humanity?  ...against God?

So much for our human finite understanding of God...why do we need events or tragedies such as these to help humanity remember?  Who is God really, for you, in your life?  A punishing God?  A loving God? An absent God?  A non-existent God?  An unknowing God?  A God amongst many other worldly gods...wealth, materialism, success, etc?

For such a long time, the world have witnessed the US slavery era in the 1600s, World War I in 1914, World War II in 1939, the Holocaust and bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941, South Africa under apartheid from 1948, the Korean War in 1950, the Vietnam War in 1955, great Chinese Famine in 1959, the assassination of President JFK in 1963, AIDS Pandemic beginning in 1981, Chernobyl Nuclear disaster in 1986, Rwanda genocide in 1994, Indian Ocean Tsunami in 2004...sins of abortion and many, many more suffering and deaths around the globe which are even much worst off than 9/11...but, on that fateful day, the world was in solidarity with the USA...the world offered their prayers and good and caring neighbors sharing the same planet...

Nevertheless, we want to still remember and respect those whom we lost on that fateful day of 9/11 and throughout history amongst the many other tragedies around the world...may their souls find eternal rest and the world find healing and peace.  May the price that they paid be worthwhile for the spiritual growth of the world...where each and every country can have great influence over the future of the world we live in...

Tragedies, pain and suffering are something we humans simply cannot control...but what we can do in response is to simply allow these events, become turning points, to help us reconnect with one another and with God...bringing much spiritual meaning and maturity to supposedly, meaningless innocent suffering and sacrifices.

We must draw strength from Jesus who journeyed the Via Dolorosa and learn to view such world tragedies and human suffering through the lenses of His wounds on the Cross.  Forgiveness and change will then become possible because, as obedient Christian disciples, others will then see and know the love of Christ through us – our spoken words, our actions, our silence and also our non-action...our generous love...a love which the world knows so little of these days.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

God's Grace to Grow in Stewardship

“Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not serving to the eye, as pleasing men, but in simplicity of heart, fearing God.  Whatsoever you do, do it from the heart, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that you shall receive of the Lord the reward of inheritance.  Serve ye the Lord Christ.” (Colossians 3:22-24, Douay Rheims)

It has been quite sometime since my last piece of journal on this blog.  Many events have happened since then...on my journey.  I still feel sad when I recollect the sudden departure of my good companion and friend...only two weeks ago...but just seem like yesterday.  Sad or not, life for me must still go on...

Coincidently, I have been back working in the corporate world...the very week after my best friend’s funeral.  I still remember my last conversation with him, just the week before...he advised me to give it a shot...get back to there are still so many lives I am capable of reaching out to and touching.  My friend, I have taken your last words into heart...we are indeed God's gift to the world...our lives are meant to be shared...our brighten where it is dark...

But then, my dear companion never stayed long enough to hear the good news...that I have successfully got the job...on the very day after he passed on.  In fact, the phone call came when I was at the wake at his residence near the coastal waters off the Straits of Malacca...

Sometimes, the happenings in life are such a paradox...emotions of sadness and joy all mixed just does not know what to feel anymore.  What I know is that my journey from this point onwards will miss the cherished companionship of a very dear friend.  Nevertheless, I thank God for bringing him into my life and will always hold his words in my heart...guess this must have been similar of how the twelve disciples must have felt when Jesus suddenly left them at Golgotha...

Me getting a new job and losing a dear the same moment?  Perhaps the Lord has a hidden message for me...somewhere under the blanket of these events in life.  Perhaps Jesus wants me to bring His Light back into the world...perhaps there are lives I must still reach out and touch...  Perhaps, I must walk the rest of this journey without my good friend...perhaps, my dear friend is called onto another journey somewhere else...perhaps there is more learning for me...perhaps I require more refining...

Whatever it is, I remain the humble instrument of the Lord...  Once we have experienced God’s merciful grace and forgiveness in our lives...surely we are obligated to share and pass this on joyfully and willingly to many others who have yet to experience the same...

For me, two weeks have passed into the corporate world...the landscape of my journey is beginning to change again...yet my mission remains the do my small part, in partnership with God, in making this world a little better; with my strength anchored on God alone.

My time management has gone a bit wacko since then as I re-orientate myself and settle into this new position.  What I have realized these past 2 weeks is that I must be even more disciplined, spiritually, as I pursue my new journey; as a disciple of Christ...amidst the “noise” and “seduction” of this crazy world.

Trying to be simple amidst the “complexities” and “complications” of the competitive entrepreneur world is never easy.  To achieve this spiritual equilibrium, I have fallen back to rely on the basic foundation of prayer and the rosary...coupled with much scriptural and spiritual reading.  This has helped, to a certain extent, to sustain me and maintain a calm “center”...not forgetting the Holy Eucharist which I am so privilege to receive at each Friday noon mass, given that my new place of employment is within walking distance to a cathedral.  Thank God for that!

Don’t get me wrong but I am indeed pleased to be back to work again...I know that my past sabbatical year has helped formed me somehow, to face the competitive business world with much more composure, confidence, spiritual maturity and priority.

Indeed God continues to work in mysterious ways...He has a unique plan for all of us...if we but be obedient to His ways.  Although we are sinners, He loves each one of us all the same.  So, here I am, it I, Lord?...I will go, Lord, if you need me!

I just pray that my humble listening to Him, discerning...and obedience in journeying this route through the waves of life...will bring only more glory to His Holy Name.  I pray that He will continue to guide me in all my decisions and actions.  May He increase as I decrease...

“You have seduced me, Yahweh, and I have let myself be seduced...” (Jeremiah 20:7, NJB)

Ultimately, I know that I am “employed” by God and He remains my first “boss”.  As a Catholic Christian, I also know that my work on earth is a spiritual stewardship; not a secular necessity.  What I contribute, in any small way, at my workplace must serve His purposes with the utmost integrity and fit into His entire plan for Creation and the Universe.  I, a mere servant, partner with God through my “sacred” worldly responsibilities to bring life to this “dying” world and humanity.  By the grace and mercy of God, I now have another opportunity to grow in my stewardship at work...placing all my trust in God alone.  Alleluia!

“Otherwise, you might say in your heart, “It is my own power and the strength of my own hand that has got me this wealth.”  Remember then the Lord, your God, for he is the one who gives you the power to get wealth, by fulfilling, as he has now done, the covenant he swore to your ancestors.  But if you do forget the Lord, your God, and go after other gods, serving and bowing down to them, I bear witness to you this day that you will perish utterly.” (Deuteronomy 8:17-19, NAB)

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Your Life...Truly Raised Me Up...

“Hope is important because it can make the present moment less difficult to bear. If we believe that tomorrow will be better, we can bear a hardship today.”- Thich Nhat Hanh

A day has past and many are mourning your sudden departure...suddenly ending this journey without a single word of warnings.  Life is indeed very fragile.

Tan Chee Wee, my funeral arrangements are being made for tomorrow and you continue to simply lie quietly on the cold stainless steel autopsy table at the hospital last night, I recalled you once shared of your favorite song, entitled, You Raised Me Up.  This was right after you attended a live concert with your spouse, one by British tenor, Russell Watson.

You mentioned that the every word of this song was especially meaningful to you.  As a simple tribute to celebrate your short but meaningful and simple life, here is a more solemn version by Celtic Woman...for your now-lonely spouse and 3 young children who must surely miss your fatherly presence but must still persevere on with the journey, ageing parents who mourn the loss of their little boy, your siblings, friends...everyone who met you on this journey through life...indeed, you too have raised many of us up in many, many simple and quiet ways.

When I am down and, oh my soul, so weary;
When troubles come and my heart burdened be;
Then, I am still and wait here in the silence,
Until you come and sit awhile with me.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

There is no life - no life without its hunger;
Each restless heart beats so imperfectly;
But when you come and I am filled with wonder,
Sometimes, I think I glimpse eternity.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up, so I can stand on mountains;
You raise me up, to walk on stormy seas;
I am strong, when I am on your shoulders;
You raise me up: To more than I can be.

You raise me up: To more than I can be.

Chee Wee, you know that life belongs only to is not to be lived selfishly but to be given away...  Lingering in our minds will be your simple smile and open heart.  Your life have touched many...  May your soul rest in peace, my dear friend!  You will always be in our hearts...never ever be forgotten...

“The source of love is deep in us and we can help others realize a lot of happiness. One word, one action, one thought can reduce another person’s suffering and bring that person joy.

...To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.” Thich Nhat Hanh