Archive for August, 2014

Life is full of beauty.

Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams. — Ashley Smith

I read a story about a sad and terrifying incident that occurred during the recent tragic war in Sarajevo.  A reporter, covering the fighting and violence in the middle of the city, watched a little girl fatally shot by a sniper.  The reporter threw down whatever he held, rushing immediately to the aid of a man who knelt on the pavement cradling the child. As the man carried the child, the reporter guided them to his car, and sped off to a hospital.

“Hurry my friend,” the man urged, “my child is still alive.”

A moment or two later he pleaded, “Hurry my friend, my child is still breathing.”

And a little later, “Please my friend, my child is still warm.”

Although the reporter drove as fast as was possible, by the time they arrived at the hospital, the little girl had died.

As the two men were in the lavatory, washing the blood off their hands and their clothes, the man turned to the reporter and said, “This is a terrible task for me.  I must now go tell her father that his child is dead.  He will be heartbroken.”

The reporter stood speechless.  He looked at the grieving man and said, “I thought she was your child.”

The man shook his head.  “No.  But aren’t they all our children?”

Yes.  They are. We live in a world that can be cruel and merciless. And there are a heap plenty of people and systems to blame.  (And it is always some other people, and some other system.) But the truth is that we wound one another. We wound with real wars, and real bullets. We wound with words, with hatred and resentment. And we wound with intolerance and small-mindedness (some of it in the name of “love” and God).

“If we have no peace,” Mother Teresa reminded us, “it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.” Well, if we do belong to one another, then “they”–the “least of these” and those without voices–are indeed, our children.

Ours to care for.

Ours to listen to.

Ours to see.

*

lifeisfullofbeauty

From “Sabbath Moments”.

Advertisements

Living the Beatitudes

Blessed is he who in the Lord has become free of all the affairs of this vain life.

Blessed is he who has in mind the coming terrible judgement and tries to heal the wounds of his soul with tears.

Blessed is he who in tears has become like unto a cloud, and daily uses them to extinguish the fiery flae of the evil passions.

Blessed is he who excels in good measures of ascetic feats, hoping to receive from God the heavenly kingdom.

Blessed is he who like a fire is ablaze with love and has burned up in himself all impure thoughts and corruption of the soul.

Blessed is he who has found a choice heavenly pearl and, having sold all that he had on earth, has bought this one jewel.

Blessed is he who has found a treasure hidden in a field, rejoiced and cast aside all, and acquired this one piece of land.

Blessed is he who ceaselessly remembers the day of his departure and strives to be ready and fearless in that hour.

*

blessedishe

SAINT EPHREM THE SYRIAN

Saint Helena Empress

Helena_of_Constantinople_(Cima_da_Conegliano)Saint Helena was born c250 in Bithynia (modern day Turkey), a Roman province, in the northwest of Asia Minor. She grew up in the Roman province of Illyricum (modern Bosnia, Serbia, and Herzegovina). Not much is known about her family, but they were probably quite poor because she found it necessary to work in a tavern as a servant girl, an occupation no daughter of a wealthy man would choose.

In her line of work, Helena was bound to gain the attention of men. These were often soldiers in the Roman army serving on the frontiers far from their homes. These soldiers who spent their lives guarding Rome’s frontiers often took a local wife or mistress to ease the loneliness and discomfort of an army camp far from the civilized world they knew. Such was the case with Helena. A handsome but pale skinned Roman general had soon fallen deeply in love with the young Helena and took her as his mistress. This was Constantius Chlorus. who was later to become the emperor Constantius I.

Constantius and Helena settled down to a life together on the edge of the empire. Their son, Constantine the Great, was born in Naissus in Upper Moesia, Serbia, in the year 274.

In 292 Constantius, being co-Regent of the West, he divorced Helena in order to marry Theodora, the step-daughter of Emperor Maximianus Herculius. In a court full of intrigue and murder, Helena formed no party, took no steps against her rival, but quietly accepted her disgrace. After her divorce, she settled at Trier (Trèves) where the Cathedral probably stands on the foundations of her palace. Almost certainly it was there that she became Christian.

Helen was known for her selflessness and generosity; she gave tirelessly to the church,  performed a variety of good works, charity, miracles, giving money to the poor, collected holy relics and built more than eighty churches – at Bethlehem at the birthplace of Christ; on the Mount of Olives where the Lord ascended to Heaven; and at Gethsemane where the Savior prayed before His sufferings and where the Mother of God was buried.

On the death of Constantius Chlorus in 308, Constantine, who succeeded him, summoned his mother to the imperial court, conferred on Helena the title of NOBILISSIMA FEMINA, meaning “Most Honored and Noble Lady.” This title is also the one chosen for the introduction to the section on Roman women in this author’s present work. As time went on, the Role of Helena grew to where she held a position of power and influence in Constantine’s government. By providing her son with wise counsel, she became as much the powerful woman behind the throne that Livia, Julia Domna, and Julia Maesa had been in previous ages.

Helena believed that God had told her that she would eventually find this most holy of relics and restore it as a symbol of Christian worship. In 326, she was directed to an elderly who stated that the Cross was buried at the Temple of Venus. Helena ordered that the pagan temple be demolished. After praying, the ground began to be excavated. Soon, the Tomb of the Lord was uncovered. Not far from it were three crosses, a board with the inscription ordered by Pilate, and four nails which had pierced the Lord’s Body. When the crosses touched to a corpse, the dead body came to life. Having beheld the raising of the dead, everyone was convinced that the Life-Creating Cross was found.

Helena died in Trier in Germany at the age of eighty in AD 328. Because of her great service to the Church and her efforts in finding the Life-Creating Cross, Empress Helen is called “the Equal of the Apostles.”

#LittlePilgrimage 21. Church of The Holy Family

i said i wanted to finished all the church in singapore within this year, but i am not too sure. i still have plenty to go, and now i am not sure i have that much time to go around singapore every monday. anywho, i’ll do my best. this year or next year, i will and i must finished all the roman catholic church in singapore. –looking forward for the church in japan. i hope i have time to visit one of them during my holiday soon.

#LittlePilgrimage 21. Church of The Holy Family, 6 Chapel Road, Singapore 429509

 

copy of familycopy DSC_1704 copy of Altar

i went to this church on 29 Aug, it was a beautiful sunny morning and i planned to go in 11:30 am Mass. i reckoned it will take about 2 hour to go to this church from my place. but what i didn’t reckon is, the bus was rarely go there. so i waited quite long time and i thought i wouldn’t reach there in time if i didn’t take a cab. my mistake.

so i took a cab, and reached the church within 30 min. it was before 11 am, so i had plenty of time to choose the best seat, pray, and observe the room before the Mass started. i noticed a painting of Mary on the wall, the blue color was very captivating even though it was located quite afar from my seat. i also noticed the beautiful stained glass above the altar, the sunlight from outside reflects its beauty on the altar floor.

i found out the church was nice, ground floor for car park, the church was on the 2nd and 3rd floor. i seated on the 3rd floor, and it was quite noisy because a lot of kids playing around during the Mass. this reminds me of sunday school back in bandung, Indonesia. i agree that the church supposed to have a sunday school, so that young kids can learn at the school, meanwhile the parents attend the Mass. or else, parents who have young kids who couldn’t stay quiet for about 1 hour, should sit at the corner back near the exit door, so they wouldn’t disturb others during the Mass. this is only my opinion. i know some parents always want to sit in front of the altar, so the kids can have the blessings too–well, that was selfish if you can’t keep your kids quiet.

anywho, after the Mass, i decided to walk along the east coast road, and found out there are many kinds of restaurants along the road. i stopped and had my lunch at indonesian restaurant, which is very nice! there are also chinese restaurants, malay/peranakan, many kinds of western restaurants, cafes,, etc.., i have to go there again and try another restaurant after the mass!

and this is the web of the church : http://www.holyfamily.org.sg/

“When you say YES to God unconditionally, you have no idea how far this YES is going to take you.”

“When you say YES to God unconditionally, you have no idea how far this YES is going to take you.” — Hans Urs Von Balthasar

#MoralStory : Akbar’s Gold Coins

This Akbar – Birbal story is just one of the many stories, which are an integral part of rich Indian heritage.

The wisdom of Birbal was unparalleled during the reign of Emperor Akbar. But Akbar’s brother in law was extremely jealous of him. He asked the Emperor to dispense with Birbal’s services and appoint him in his place. He gave ample assurance that he would prove to be more efficient and capable than Birbal. Before Akbar could take a decision on this matter, this news reached Birbal.

Birbal resigned and left. Akbar’s brother in law was made the minister in place of Birbal. Akbar decided to test the new minister. He gave three hundred gold coins to him and said, “Spend these gold coins such that, I get a hundred gold coins here in this life; a hundred gold coins in the other world and another hundred gold coins neither here nor there.”

The minister found the entire situation to be a maze of confusion and hopelessness. He spent sleepless nights worrying over how he would get himself out of this mess. Thinking in circles was making him go crazy. Eventually, on the advice of his wife he sought Birbal’s help. Birbal said, “Just give me the gold cons. I shall handle the rest.”

Birbal walked the streets of the city holding the bag of gold coins in his hand. He noticed a rich merchant celebrating his son’s wedding. Birbal gave a hundred gold coins to him and bowed courteously saying, “The Emperor Akbar sends you his good wishes and blessings for the wedding of your son. Please accept the gift he has sent.” The merchant felt honoured that the king had sent a special messenger with such a precious gift. He honoured Birbal and gave him a large number of expensive gifts and a bag of gold coins as a return gift for the king.

Next, Birbal went to the area of the city were the poor people lived. There he bought food and clothing in exchange for a hundred gold coins and distributed them in the name of the Emperor.

When he came back to town he organized a concert of music and dance. He spent a hundred gold coins on it.

The next day Birbal entered Akbar’s darbar and announced that he had done all that the king had asked his brother-in-law to do. The Emperor waited to know how he had done it. Birbal repeated the sequences of all the events and then said, “The money I gave to the merchant for the wedding of his son – you have got back while on this earth. The money I spent on buying food and clothing for the poor – you will get it in the other world. The money I spent on the musical concert – you will get neither here nor there.”

The Moral: This is true even today.  The money you spend on friends is returned or reciprocated in some form or the other. Money spent on charity gets converted into blessings from God which becomes your eternal property. Money spent on pleasures is just frittered away!

*

Gold-Coins

He is my everything

He is my everything He is my all

He is my everything both great and small

He gave His life for me made everything new

He is my everything Now how about you

Some folks may ask me some folks may say,

Who is Jesus you talk about everyday

He is my savior, He sets me free

This’s what will I tell you what it means to me

Like honey in the rock

Sweet honey in the rock

for he tastes like honey in the rock

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good

For he tastes like honey in the rock.

*

JesusIsMyEverything*

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yIv7AwA4LGs