Thursday, 10 November 2016

The End

10th November - Memorial of Saint Leo

"Refresh my heart in Christ."
Philemon 1: 20

The Extraordinary Year of Mercy soon comes to an end, on 20th November the Door of Mercy in Rome will be shut and sealed. I take this blessed occasion, just before the academic year and the holy year comes to an end, to take the courage to shut and seal something about me too.

In reality, I wanted to stop writing blog many years ago. But, a lady told me to continue writing because it brings hope to others; it seems my sharing in this blog is viewed as very common and has an important message. In 2016 I received a feedback from India finding my post to speak a great deal about social justice and equality.

This blog has been a pillar of determination to me over the many years; it gave me inspiration to continue the good I think I was doing and many were inspired by my sharing, my deep thoughts. I will be honest that yes, my writing has also caused divisions among people when what I wrote was the truth.

I have grown to know that many people are afraid of DIFFERENCES; when people see me as different from the rest, they become suspicious of me and they try to destroy me in the process. Yet, these experiences of shame has helped me to be more appreciative of those who do not fit in perfectly with societal norms. I have grown to be more caring towards those who are misunderstood for the ideas they have, of those who are shunned for the way of life they embrace...

Issues, perhaps many issues I raised reflected 'negativity'? But issues, even when negative must and can be discussed. Many of us have the idea that our ignorance and silence is the best cure for divisions. In my personal experiences, silence and ignorance create more harm because it leads both parties to 'hide' in their own shelter; sweeping issues under the carpet and trying to forget about the issue. We got to learn to have courage to speak, not to argue, when there are matters of concern.

As I shut and seal this stage of my life, I basically want to move on to the next higher and greater stage. Shutting and sealing can be deemed as negative - many of us are afraid of shutting and sealing. Yet, I remember, such as during this Year of Mercy, I have been given the Grace to be Merciful like the Father. If I only keep receiving, if my 'door' is only kept open then will not the grace received go to waste? Shutting and sealing is a state of growth; a moment in time to take into account what we have received, thinking/reflecting and allow ourselves to grow.

I thus hereby say farewell to those of you who have been inspired by my writings, I say I am grateful to God for the opportunity to be of a little inspiration. To those of you who have been offended by my honest writings in this blog, I seek your prayers and forgiveness.

Saturday, 8 October 2016


On Friday, I watched Miss Peregrine -Home for Peculiar Children. After the movie I had to drop my friends back, and the moment my friends stepped into my car, their first response was,
"So clean...not a speck of dust. You are peculiar!"

An appropriate way for me to write my blog this 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time because it is also about cleanliness.
  • Naaman went down and plunged into the Jordan seven times
    at the word of Elisha, the man of God.
    His flesh became again like the flesh of a little child,
    and he was clean of his leprosy. (2 Kings 5: 14)
  • As they were going they were cleansed. And one of them, realizing he had been healed,
    returned, glorifying God in a loud voice;
    and he fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. (Luke 17: 14-16)
One message of the Gospel, is that it is perfectly fine to be peculiar; Jesus, the prophets of the Old Testament, they never abandone the lepers. In the time of Christ and before his coming, lepers were shunned by society. Lepers were not allowed to mix around, and if we remember movies, lepers wore a mask.

I think the message for me, is how do I treat my peculiarity? How do I make use of my peculiarity? Am I aware of my peculiarity and have the guts to speak about, not against, my unique peculiarity? Do I listen to and respect the peculiarities of others, or do I despise them like lepers?

10 lepers were healed by Jesus Christ, only 1 returned back to express joy and gratitude.

When I look at my own relatives, family and friends I witness the similar pattern. When everything is good we become forgetful; we get lost, losing our sense of direction. The 9 who were healed but did not return to thank and rejoice with Jesus, must have been so caught up with good things - they no longer have leprosy - that they became blind. Once healed of the skin disease, the 9 ex-lepers no longer have to enclose themselves but freely mix around with society. They forget the way back to Jesus. The one leper who was healed, must have persevered along the way, remembering the person of Jesus and the direction to Jesus.

Do I remember Jesus? Do you remember Jesus?

The convict who was nailed to the cross next to Jesus, made this request : 'Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom'. Totally good if we make this request of remembrance upon our death bed and in bad times. Yes, we want, we force, we entreat, God - Jesus to remember us, to be merciful to us, to help us. Yet, so often I forget to be merciful to others, I forget God.

How often we find ourselves finding it so hard to sit down and discuss differences? How often people pretend to agree with others, only to later find out from different sources a different story? How often I have seen people feeling sad, because their work mates were not honest with their opinions? How often I see my school friends keeping to themselves, thinking that it is the best way to avoid conflict?

Each of us have our peculiarity - our individual differences. Learn to recognize it, speak about it and not against it. Learn to accept the peculiarities of each other, and together in our journey may we find healing.

Have we persevered in our remembrance of Jesus Christ? Have we persevered to preserve His commandments and live life in fullness of joy?

In short, have we persevered in keeping our sense of direction - the way that leads to Jesus?

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Complexity made simple

25th Sunday in Ordinary Time

"Have I proclaimed Christ as my Lord? Have we proclaimed Jesus as Lord?" This, to me, is what sums up the Gospel message from Luke 16: 1-13.

Money-wealth, says Jesus is a tainted thing - this item is also dealt by the 'children of this world'. But we, who are 'children of the light' are expected to conduct ourselves at a much higher standard compared to the 'children of this world'. Some prompting that we should constantly have with us, especially when it comes to dealing with money/wealth and power are:
  1. Fidelity: 'The virtue that allows us to persevere in living out an unswerving commitment.' How often have we made mistakes when it comes to gaining excess to money and business/political 'contacts'? In the Gospel, we see how the steward of the master, squandered the master's property and taking commission from the master's debtors. It is common of many people that the little or the much they do, they expect some kind of reward from the boss. If the reward isn't enough, that is when many people start taking various forms of commissions. Remember Jesus and the Church do not condemn money, but the way we treat money is condemned.
  2. Belonging: To whom, as a child of light, do you belong to? To wealth, power, glory? Or, to God? Jesus in the Gospel mentioned that, "no servant can serve two masters."
  3. Security: How secure are we? In the Gospel we heard that the moment the steward knew that he will lose his job, the steward did things differently; the steward gave the master debtors a discount from the commissions the debtors were to pay on top of their loans. Why did the steward do that? Because of fear that once the steward's employment ceases, the steward should be despised by the debtors and have no 'contacts' for his next job.
As children of the light, we are called to live in peace by praying for those in authority over us (1 Timothy 2: 1-8). Living in peace so that we can conduct our lives accordingly, and a child of light we are to conduct ourselves based on our proclamation that "Jesus is Lord", that means to live our lives in a manner that is reflective of the Gospel.

Does the manner in which we deal with people, strangers, the poor, business associates. Does our manner of living show to the world that Christ Jesus is the ONLY mediator between men and God? Or are we busy modifying our scales to cheat others, taking illegal commissions that burden others?

Yesterday, 17th September 2016 I had a very fruitful time spent with Br William and Jean at the Toowoomba Floral Carnival. I think I am slowly coming to see that I am a private person, as I never enjoy talking about myself and if I do speak about myself, I only do that to people whom I have come to know. I always believe the best way to know another person, another stranger, is to "COME AND SEE"; this I mean, to journey respectfully with the other. Many of us, we have the tendency to perform a "BACKGROUND CHECK" on new people we will meet by looking up the person on social media (Facebook) or by asking another person (another contact source); it happens in Church too, mind you!

I came to know Leo, William and Jean without even trespassing on their Facebook content or by asking other sources about them. I think if I do such a thing, then it is pointless to even desire to form a Christian-friendly relationship with others. Our meeting with other strangers, unknown people, must be done discerningly (with care) but not with prejudice and pre-judgements.

God, comes to us without searching us up on Facebook/Instagram or in placing a rule that we must have excellent contacts/referees. Thus, neither should we build new friendships through trespassing on the privacy of others.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Come As You Are

There is so much we can say about so many people. Yet, a difficult reality many face is the capacity to say good. Like you, I too at times struggle with the good; how can I find good in others? I have not met Mother Teresa in person, but I have experience and met Mother Teresa in Faith. Why? Because, Mother Teresa was a woman of faith, she shared with me the Catholic Faith and she lived that Catholic Faith in the person of Jesus entirely. Friends, if you cannot identify good in an individual who shares the same goal, the same faith, the same love, the same peace, the same career...Then there is something really wrong.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta
[4th September 2016, canonization]

If you are a Catholic, do you identify another Catholic as another person of God, another Jesus Christ?

I think, what Mother Teresa did was superb because she did not identify herself with any sort of other Catholics or individual (non-Catholic, no faith...?). She identified herself with the poorest of all Catholics and the poorest of the poor. She seek the face of Jesus in the worst sort of Catholics and the worst sort of poverty.

23rd Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Reading: 'Who can know God’s counsel,
or who can conceive what the LORD intends?
For the deliberations of mortals are timid,
and unsure are our plans.'

Wisdom 9: 13 - 14

I once saw a video made on Mother Teresa's life, to be honest I had no discipline to view the entire video. I was captivated by this women who had that great ability to find courage to leave the comfort of her Loreto Convent (she was at first a Loreto Sister) and, at the same time, insisted of keeping her religious vows. She had that courage in enter into the unknown, but I am sure she knew the next stage in her life will not be an honored and comfortable one. The video saw her begging for help, for shelter, for a roof over her head. Soon she saw herself begging for assistance to help the poor she so desired to assist.

Second Reading: ' that the good you do might not be forced but voluntary.' Philemon 1: 14

Did Mother Teresa went out seeking for trouble? Did she ever desired a tough, hard, poor life? Did she ever desired to be criticized by others for receiving funds from corrupt criminals, to be criticized for not giving excellent world standard medical care to the poor she looked after? I don't think she ever did. Mother Teresa followed, and she followed Jesus Christ willingly - freely, joyfully, lovingly.

Gospel: Luke 14: 25-33

To follow Jesus, which is the duty of all baptized Catholic, you and I are called by Jesus to a higher state of living. Like Mother Teresa and all the numerous Saints, Jesus calls us to:
  1. "If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother,
    wife and children, brothers and sisters,
    and even his own life,
    he cannot be my disciple."
    ........Jesus tells us to forget those whom you have left behind; cling not to individuals whom you hold dear. Mother Teresa went forward forgetful of herself and those clinging to her emotions, so that she can be truly free to place her entire existence on the poorest, the worst, the least.
  2. "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me
    cannot be my disciple."
    .....Jesus said that we will have a burden to carry when we make that choice to go after Him, to follow him. Mother Teresa did not went seeking a comfortable life, but a life that was in tune with the music of the Gospel; she carried her cross daily as faithfully as she possibly could.
  3. "In the same way,
    anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions
    cannot be my disciple.
    ”....Like so many, I am sure to renounce all possessions can be a big nail/knife in our heart. I still cannot find that capacity to renounce everything, and like Mother Teresa to live simply with only her white-blue saree attire.
I think the message of Mother Teresa's Canonization is not all about crowning this woman for the work she and the Sisters continue to do. Mother Teresa's Canonization has much to ask us about our concept of MERCY. To me Mother Teresa TRUSTED in the generous love of God the Father, Mother Teresa in this trust abandoned everything and as if a CHILD went out to look for Jesus in the ordinary, the poor, the unattractive, the ugly. Like a CHILD, Mother Teresa worked not for her own and not on her own accord, but she relied on prayer - long hours of prayer; like a child she turned to Jesus for grace to continue doing.

Ultimately, like all the Saints and, in fact all of us, Mother Teresa' recognition and elevation to the altar of God is a reminder that SINNERS can become SAINTS of GOD. God can work in the worst sort of sinners, and if we have Faith, we can see that working around us. If we can only open our seeing but faithless eyes - and really start 'SEEING'; many of us are only looking but not seeing.

In this Year of Mercy, and beyond, it is fair to take these two noble ideas as we seek God's goodness:
  1. TRUST - trusting, not doubting that mercy and goodness has a place in our lives, in society. Trusting that no matter how poor, troublesome, difficult our lives can be...Let us repeat "Mercy". God will see that if we are just, if we are faithful, we will get the assistance we need.
  2. CHILD-LIKE - if we want Mercy to flow like a river in us, then we need to have the capacity to let go and be free. And like a child to find courage to step into the unknown, the unfamiliar, the uncomfortable.

Saturday, 27 August 2016


' My child, conduct your affairs with humility,
and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
and you will find favor with God.
What is too sublime for you, seek not,
into things beyond your strength search not.'

 SIRACH 3: 17-18, 20

I am down with flu, to some extend it is affecting my mind; in my resting I have been having weird dreams.

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time

In this Year of Mercy, what have I learnt?

To be honest, humility? Humility is distasteful in this generation, doesn't it? Pain to the ears!

Many, not even myself can come to full terms with this virtue of humility, because it entails HUMILIATION. I cannot claim to be humble if I do not dare myself to face humiliation.

In my search for God, for my identify, I have been condemned of showing "false humility". In my persistence of wearing the cross, in my perseverance of things holy, in my desire to dress in a modest-religious way...I was accused, not only by ordinary people, but also by Catholics, Religious Brothers and Sisters, and Priests. I was blamed for pretending to be humble.

On my part, I knew that as long as I remain prostrate before God, I knew no harm can come my way. All I want is to remain there, on the ground, laying my entire body down being there before the majesty of God...To say to God, "God YOU are my LIFE!"

I always knew there was no need to explain myself to others, because they will never get it. They, you and I, we have our stubborn preconceived ideas that sadly no one can change. But, it is worst if those preconceived ideas are born not of God but of our own selfishness. Such preconceived ideas, selfish ideas, those ideas are the ones we must be careful of.

In this Year of Mercy, in humility, as Church, we must remember to look at our sins. Let us not as church fear humiliations, because humiliation is the food of those who are humble. Talk about our sins -  your sins, my sins. Many people, I sometimes too but not always, I am like that too - we do not want to talk about our mistakes, our sins.

No one can help us, not even God, if we close shut the areas of sin. If we keep closing up, telling ourselves to forget the past mistakes, run away from mistakes. Then, we not only do not learn from our mistakes, turning our mistakes into stepping stones for greatness, but we miss the opportunity in this extraordinary Year of Mercy to rejoice in God's Mercy-God's Forgiveness.

Open up, talk about your sin in this Year of Mercy. So that God, through your willing listeners, will bring you His Mercy and, ultimately, Freedom that comes from Forgiveness. Then, the next step to greater state of humility is to seek the conviction to go to a good and holy Priest for the Sacrament of Penance (Confession). I honestly recommend making use of Confession - it is a humbling experience for me, and I am sure, will be so for you. Confession tells me, speaks to me, that God's Mercy and Forgiveness makes great impact if we can humble ourselves before man (the Priest), confess our mistakes (humiliation), and through man (Priest) we are absolved from our sins. We are made new, in the tender Mercy of God!

"For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”
Luke 14: 11

Mary, Mother of Mercy.
Bring to us, poor sinners, the radiance of God's Mercy.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Hoping It Is Not Me

Money, opportunities to go higher, new products, friendships, contacts...When I hear that my mind goes wild! My heart gets some adrenalin and starts beating a little fast. My mind, my emotions tell me, "I MUST GET THAT! I MUST NOT MISS OUT!" Or, our body whispers to us saying, "LET THAT OPPORTUNITY FALL ON ME FREELY!"

Friends, we are all the same. But the greatest failure we as human being, with great capabilities can commit, is to fall so deep into those opportunities that we lose ourselves. The greatest failure is to allow myself, yourself, to become a vermin - to turn into an awful worm for the sake of wanting more money, selfish desire to go higher, wasteful desire in wanting new products, emptiness/loneliness in hoping for new friendships or contacts.

Humanity urgently needs to look at themselves before we point our finger to Islam, to Islamic State, to same sex marriage, to personal rights. Why are we so concern when our very own life is not on a straight line? Why are we ill-treating others? When we see cheap labor and chances to commit petty crimes such as tax evasion or telling small lies to our employers/employees, we crab that chance without thinking deeply?

Let us not turn ourselves into vermin.

On the contrary, the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the writing of Luke invites us to faithfulness. Jesus invites us as Catholics, as his hearers and his doers, to constantly be on guard. Be on guard not against the devil, but be on guard to that which can destroy our soul.

Then Peter said,
“Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?”
Luke 12: 41

When it is money, cheap labor, short cuts, new products...Oh, we will not be asking if they are meant for me! Sadly, when it comes to doing the right thing, when it comes to suffering for the cause of right, we hope so hard that it will not be us, "NOT ME...NOT ME PLEASE! LET THAT BE SOMEONE ELSE."

Be grateful because that dream of yours has indeed fallen on others. Others such as St Dominic who saw a need at his moment in life, and in generosity responded with great courage. He upheld what the church saw as Truth. He safe guarded the divine teachings of Jesus Christ that the magisterium of the Church reveals. St Dominic sets his very life as an example, so that unbelievers may see Christ through his manner of living; austere, simple, holy.

The greatest fault that you and I can commit is to forget that the good things we enjoy today, came from the little and big sacrifices that many men and women before us have done.

Memorial of Saint Dominic
8th August

Joyful friar,
Tolerant master,
Grace-filled preacher
Gospel man of prayer, Holy Father Dominic;
Pray that your sons and daughters may be faithful to your heritage so that other men and women will join
to praise, to bless, and to preach that Jesus Christ is Lord.


Saturday, 23 July 2016

I Call Out

Today, as the youths of the Roman Catholic Church starts gathering in Krakow, POLAND for the World Youth Day...I thought to myself this, "I CALLING OUT TO GOD, WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN?"

The weather has started to warm up, my body - nature's natural thermometer - informs me that there is no need for layers of clothe; time for much thinner materials, shorts, sun lotion, sunnies, ice drinks. I am amazed by how much my body can inform me about the environment I live in; without checking the news, I knew that the weather has changed - it has become warmer.

To me, I find that my spiritual side is also very sharp; I have a tendency to pray, pray and pray, to turn to God, to turn towards this greater Truth, that many calls as God, for Spiritual nourishment. Calling out to God, what does it mean to me as an ordinary person - I am only different in my decision in following Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour.

Lord, on the day I called for help, you answered me.
Psalms 138 (Responsorial Psalm)

Let me make it clear, calling out to the Creator, is not a job belonging to the few holy people - perhaps, we like to call these people as fanatics? If you look at it, in the reality of humanity, I am grateful that calling out to God is my natural duty, my natural right, my natural identity.

Imagine a world where we cannot call out to God; a world where we are prohibited from identifying ourselves with something we know exist, something beyond our human limitations. Imagine in moments where we are just so lonely, when like Jesus on the Cross we are left alone, even our closest friends abandon us. We can't call out to something we know is out there? Imagine we cannot call out to that 'something'.

Calling out to God, to me, does not only mean that I need something done; I am searching for God's interference. It does not mean that I want to be holy...It does not mean that I want to be great. Yes, perhaps in my actions of calling out to God, it is for these reasons, but at the same time it is not.

Scriptures has told us, that holiness means "LIVING THE SAME KIND OF LIFE THAT JESUS LIVED". Calling out to God means I want to be made one, I desire to be me; desire to be me means to be the person that the Holy Spirit is calling me to be. I call out to God, because I have an identity - I know myself and I know God.

Perhaps, if you are still not comfortable calling out to God, it may truly mean that you have yet to find your everlasting identity; an identity that despite the hardships of gossips and persecution, makes you grounded. Calling out is your right, is your vocation - the vocation of every baptized Catholic Christian. It brings me great JOY, I am excited, when my instinct - prompted by the Spirit - urges me to cry out to God my Father.

Have you call out to God today? Have you had that courage to reach out to God, breaking the chains that keep us in fear, in doubt, in low esteem...Have we call out to God who is full of kindness and truth (Psalm 138)? To God who in our calling, this God answers. Have you call out to God?

World Youth Day will see young people calling out to God; some will cry, others will kneel, some will go for confession, others will listen to talks. Whatever our style of calling out to God, be sure that when you call out to God - God who is full of Mercy, God listens to YOU.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

We Have the Answers

No short cuts, no place to play tricks...How nice if I can? Or, at least how nice if the world around me permits it. Yet, I have seen myself going through years of struggle, identity crisis and doubts.

My friends in Jesus Christ, I think we know it all. Humanity has the answer, don't ignore it! It is clear that to achieve some form of academic success we got to pass our examinations; no matter how often we fail, no matter what we have negotiated with our supervisors/lecturers/teachers we got to hand in some form of academic evidence. It is known that if we want money, we got to perform some form of work; those who do not have the ability to work, they too need to prove their case before the government/organization will offer them monetary help.

That is the reality of everyone of us, we got to go through the tunnel, reach the light at the other end - to emerge.

"Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers' victim?"
He answered, "The one who treated him with mercy."
Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise.""

LUKE 10: 36-37

15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Gospel today speaks of a dialogue between Jesus Christ and a learned lawyer. I think the lawyer was trying to negotiate about the method to achieve Eternal Life; the Gospel mentioned that this lawyer was trying to "JUSTIFY" himself. This lawyer, a smart person and knows the details of the Mosaic Law - he had all the answers, he knew what he has to do to achieve eternal life.

'There was a scholar of the law who stood up to test him and said,
"Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
Jesus said to him, "What is written in the law?
How do you read it?"
LUKE 10: 25-26

This reminds me of the many issues pertaining to the Church - such as the demand for "women priests", the demand for the Sacrament of Matrimony to be applied to "homosexuals", the demand that priests/religious live a more simple and holy lives (to be more in tune with people), the demand for a Church Magisterium that is certain of her teachings (many complain that under Pope Francis there are so much uncertainties about Church teachings)....Many try to negotiate about going to Church on Sundays (keeping the Sabbath), some try to find their own way to heaven without the Mass or the Sacraments, some have the idea that there is no need to pray.

Though our demands, and the reasons we give to justify ourselves may be valid. But, let us never forget the essential - to me I think the first essential step is to dialogue with Jesus, to speak with God. Just like this lawyer in the Gospel, even though his intention was to test Jesus, he listened to Jesus when Jesus gave him the 3 examples of how to achieve eternal life. The Gospel of this Sunday was written in such a way that there was dialogue, a conversation, between Jesus and the lawyer; one speaks, the other listens.

Don't forget to dialogue with Jesus! I tell you don't!
Because you may achieve equality for homosexuals, you may not come to church on Sundays, you may not pray and yet still go to heaven (or at least you think so?)...But, remember - as history has proved - anything built solely on human effort, will eventually fall and crumble. Remember win your case the hard way - there is no short cuts; live fully the cross.
 (The entrance to Mary Mackillop Memorial Chapel, North Sydney)

So pray, dialogue with Jesus, speak with God in prayer. Tell God who is Mercy your concerns, let God guide you so that you can emerged from the tunnel a more glorious person.
For me I will not want to continue justifying myself - no point testing God, testing people, testing ideas. I would rather live according to what has been prescribed by the Law of God, the Scriptures. As the Gospel reminds us, Jesus also reminds us often, that we have the law - we have the answers - do it, live it, get excited about it.

Wasting time justifying ourselves, will only mean that others will achieve eternal life, and not us who are constantly in a debate about "what must I do to inherit eternal life?" Be obedient to the Teachings of the Catholic Church and follow strictly the call of the Gospel; that is how we can attain eternal life. Jesus reminded the lawyer in the Gospel today, that there is no point justifying ourselves when the answers are there - written.

Yet how often when new matters arise, we so often see ourselves in conflict? We get angry, we get upset, we get excited for the wrong reasons. Let us pray for each other, for the capacity to contemplate and remain calm in the presences of uncertainties.

I wish all of you well and have a good week ahead!

Sydney Opera House
Finally I made it to Adriano Zumbo pastries!