“Grace is the seed of all goodness.”

“Grace is the seed of all goodness.” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita


#MoralStory: Determination and Persistence

In 1883, a creative engineer named John Roebling was inspired by an idea to build a spectacular bridge connecting New York with the Long Island. However bridge building experts throughout the world thought that this was an impossible feat and told Roebling to forget the idea. It just could not be done. It was not practical. It had never been done before.

Roebling could not ignore the vision he had in his mind of this bridge. He thought about it all the time and he knew deep in his heart that it could be done. He just had to share the dream with someone else. After much discussion and persuasion he managed to convince his son Washington, an up and coming engineer, that the bridge in fact could be built.

Working together for the first time, the father and son developed concepts of how it could be accomplished and how the obstacles could be overcome. With great excitement and inspiration, and the headiness of a wild challenge before them, they hired their crew and began to build their dream bridge.

The project started well, but when it was only a few months underway a tragic accident on the site took the life of John Roebling. Washington was also injured and left with a certain amount of brain damage, which resulted in him not being able to talk or walk.

“We told them so.” “Crazy men and their crazy dreams.” “It’s foolish to chase wild visions.”

Everyone had a negative comment to make and felt that the project should be scrapped since the Roeblings were the only ones who knew how the bridge could be built.

In spite of his handicap Washington was never discouraged and still had a burning desire to complete the bridge and his mind was still as sharp as ever. He tried to inspire and pass on his enthusiasm to some of his friends, but they were too daunted by the task.

As he lay on his bed in his hospital room, with the sunlight streaming through the windows, a gentle breeze blew the flimsy white curtains apart and he was able to see the sky and the tops of the trees outside for just a moment.

It seemed that there was a message for him not to give up. Suddenly an idea hit him. All he could do was move one finger and he decided to make the best use of it. By moving this, he slowly developed a code of communication with his wife.

He touched his wife’s arm with that finger, indicating to her that he wanted her to call the engineers again. Then he used the same method of tapping her arm to tell the engineers what to do. It seemed foolish but the project was under way again.

For 13 years Washington tapped out his instructions with his finger on his wife’s arm, until the bridge was finally completed. Today the spectacular Brooklyn Bridge stands in all its glory as a tribute to the triumph of one man’s indomitable spirit and his determination not to be defeated by circumstances. It is also a tribute to the engineers and their team work, and to their faith in a man who was considered mad by half the world. It stands too as a tangible monument to the love and devotion of his wife who for 13 long years patiently decoded the messages of her husband and told the engineers what to do.

Perhaps this is one of the best examples of a never-say-die attitude that overcomes a terrible physical handicap and achieves an impossible goal.

Often when we face obstacles in our day-to-day life, our hurdles seem very small in comparison to what many others have to face. The Brooklyn Bridge shows us that dreams that seem impossible can be realised with determination and persistence, no matter what the odds are.

City of God



Awake from your slumber
arise from your sleep
a new day is dawning
for all those who weep

The people in darkness
have seen a great light
the lord of our longing
has conquered the night

Let us build the city of God
may our tears
be turned into dancing
for the lord
our light and our love
has turned the night into day

We are sons of the morning,
we are children of day.
The one who has loved us
has brightened our way.


#ShortNews: Roman rumor: new drive to allow married priests?

A meeting between Pope Francis and Cardinal Claudio Hummes has touched off speculation that the Pope might support a move to allow the ordination of married men as priests.

Cardinal Hummes, the former prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, has indicated his support for a discussion of allowing married priests in areas where the shortage of clergy is particularly acute, such as in the Amazon region of his native Brazil.

Sandro Magister, the veteran Vatican-watcher for L’Espresso, reports rumors in Rome that Pope Francis intends to devote the next meeting of the Synod of Bishops to discussion of the clergy: a topic that would allow for debate on the issue of celibacy.


#ShortNews: China plans new restrictions on religious groups

The Chinese government has proposed strict new rules to regulate the activities of religious organizations, emphasizing that they must “not be controlled by foreign forces.”

Expanding existing controls on religious groups, the new rules would include restrictions on the construction of houses of worship and religious groups’ access to the internet. The draft regulations also increase the fines that can be levied for “illegal religious activities.”

Every recognized religious group “must adhere to the principle of independnece and self-government,” the rules state. Religious organizations are required to promote Chinese patriotism, and missionaries admitted into the country are expected to embrace the Chinese perspective. Clerics who are not recognized by the government are forbidden to engage in “activity as religious professinals.”

The new draft regulations—issued at a time when Vatican officials are reportedly in active negotiations with Beijing over the appointment and recognition of Catholic bishops—raise special concerns for Chinese Catholics. The rules appear to justify a tougher government policy toward the “underground” Catholic clerics who have not obtained the approval of the government-backed Patriotic Association.


#ShortNews: Massive demonstration in Mexico against same-sex marriage

Over 200,000 people joined in demonstrations in Mexico City on September 24 to protest plans by President Enrique Pena Nieto for legal recognition of same-sex marriage.

The demonstrators, dressed mostly in white, insisted that the government must not re-define marriage. Their banners also called for parental control over school sex-education programs.

The government of Pena Nieto, which had promised to move forward with legislation to recognize homosexual unions, has backed away somewhat after suffering surprising losses in June elections. Same-sex marriages are currently recognized only in a few Mexican jurisdictions, including Mexico City itself.


#LittlePilgrimage 38. อาสนวิหารอัสสัมชัญ Assumption Cathedral, Bangkok

It was a sunny Sunday when I woke up alone in my hotel, during my solo holiday. What a fun days so far. And I had a plan to attend the Sunday Mass at the famous Cathedral in Bangkok.

Apparently the Cathedral was located not too far from the hotel. I took a taxi and it cost me less than 40B.

#LittlePilgrimage 38. อาสนวิหารอัสสัมชัญ Assumption Cathedral, 23 Oriental Avenue, New Road, Bang Rak, Bangkok, Thailand

The Renaissance style building is the Cathedral of the Archbishop and of the Archdiocese of Bangkok has a beautiful red bricks on the facade, facing the car park.

The history of the Cathedral date back to the year 1820 when Bishop Florens was the head of the “Siam Mission”. A piece of land was purchased to build a church in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, paid for by donations. A traditional Thai-style church was completed for the Catholic community in that area in the year 1821, and given the name “Assumption Church”. After the completion of the church, the office of the bishop was built nearby and in the following year, the church was named “The Assumption Cathedral”, the Cathedral of the Bishop of the Bangkok Diocese. Since then, the Assumption Cathedral has continuously been the permanent residence of all the bishops of the Bangkok Diocese.

As Grand as the people talk about it, the interior was very impressive! The golder altar, golden ceiling, golden statue, everything looked amazing for a non-catholic country. The choir group sang very beautiful even without a conductor! And there was this young lady who sang the Psalm solo, and she truly has an angelic voice! She really amazed me!


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