Monday, December 06, 2004

I like... peaches

This is the first of the "I like.." posts. I've had many conflicts of identity recently, and my housemate and friend suggested I should go introspecting, you know, "just discover" myself.

The process didn't begin today— it started way back, when a guy I was dating asked me what do I like to eat. I answered none, because it is true I don't particularly like food. Pretty strange, huh? How can a human being don't like food, when the rest of the world is facing growing obesity problem? First response I thought of, is that I'm just not enthusiastic about food– it doesn't mean I skip breakfast, lunch or dinner!

"There are many things—which are not food— in this world that give satisfaction", I told myself. And I've tried many things: parasailing, canoeing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, mountaineering, rock climbing; in the culture department, I played piano, percussion, collected stamps, painted watercolours. You name it, I'd have almost certainly have tried it. Except for one thing: I haven't fallen in love :D Yet all these things don't adequately represent who I am.

Well then, my friend asked, do you have a vision of yourself? Or are you trying to make a person out of a collage of many other people's accomplishment? (She was referring to my numerous crushes at accomplished men) I can see what I'm going to do six months from now. I can see what I'd possibly want to do ten years from now. I can't see what do I do in between!

Anyway, the point of this little rant is, I want to start consciously on this journey. I want to know who I am. I want to know what makes me tick. I want to know who wants to love me. I want to know who I love back. Where is God in all this picture? Is He a background Character? I somehow feel like He'd want me to go through this, and find out what He has meant me to be.

I'll start with something simple: I like peaches :)

Sunday, December 05, 2004

"Christmas Lady"

I found this while browsing the blogosphere. I wish I have this kind of eloquence when explaining to people why the Catholics honor Mary, the Mother of God.

"In truth, of course, Mary is the model for us all. As C.S. Lewis points out, before the majesty of God we are all feminine. Mortal men seem so small, because He alone is the true Father, to which any mortal man is but a pale image. He is the One who makes the decisions and who is the ultimate fount of all true authority. His is the role of actor and Sovereign Lord. We are His consort and Bride."

Read the full text:

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Ora Pro Nobis!

I met an amazing person. Sadly however, I think it is not good for my spiritual life.
Mater noster, ora pro nobis!

I found St. Augustine's memorable paragraph from his Confessions:

Late have I loved Thee, O Lord; and behold,

Thou wast within and I without, and there I sought Thee.
Thou was with me when I was not with Thee.
Thou didst call, and cry, and burst my deafness.
Thou didst gleam, and glow, and dispell my blindness.
Thou didst touch me, and I burned for Thy peace.
For Thyself Thou hast made us,

And restless our hearts until in Thee they find their ease.
And in Latin (o what beautiful language!):

Sero te amavi, pulchritudo tam antiqua et tam nova, sero te amavi!
et ecce intus eras et ego foris, et ibi te quaerebam, et in ista formosa, quae fecisti, deformis inruebam.
mecum eras, et tecum non eram.
ea me tenebant longe a te, quae si in te non essent, non essent.
vocasti et clamasti et rupisti surditatem meam: coruscasti, splenduisti et fugasti caecitatem meam: fragrasti, et duxi spiritum, et anhelo tibi, gustavi et esurio et sitio, tetigisti me, et exarsi in pacem tuam.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Family of God

Our God is the only God who is a family of Three— the Holy Trinity.

This teaching of the Catholic Church, inspires many theological works, one of which is our Holy Father, John Paul II's magnificent Theology of the Body. I am now reading Scott Hahn's "First Comes Love".

Before I start writing this piece of short reflection, I'd like to state that I don't intend to start a proper blog— with regular postings and comments and all those. This is solely intended to contain my reflections on readings, or occurences in life where the theology illuminates the economy of God.

One day i must write a thank-you letter to Dr. Scott Hahn; it is through his writings that I first became aware of theology. No I don't mean theology as a branch of study, but theology as in the learning of who God is, to me. After many years of convent education, I still did not know, til today, that in Genesis, God revealed himself to be a plural God. In the Gospel, Jesus revealed the name of God, that is, "the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

The connection between the Trinitarian God and the elevated status of sex and the family in the Catholic Church was made explicitly. I had never questioned this connection, but this simply means that when I fully accept this doctrine, I do not quite feel the elation that'd be felt by one who did not use to believe. Hahn's book restored that sense of awe for me.

I experienced a renewal of love when I read and understood for the first time how God sets Himself to be our Father, and receive us into His Family via a covenant, the last and the only one necessary of which, is Jesus Himself. Hahn wrote what the Hebrew notion of family is, why living members of a clan are considered mere trustees of the family— comprised of past, present and future generations, land, rights, titles and name. There's a sense of being completely loved and completely owned, when one belongs to a family as described. In today's situation, of course that view is becoming less practised.

Hahn made a memorable point: leading a Christian life means to participate in the life of the Trinity. "We are empowered to live and love in a godlike manner".

St. Irenaeus wrote: "It was for this end that the Word of God was made man, and He who was the Son of God became the Son of Man, that man, having been taken into the Word, and receiving adoption, might become the son of God."

How amazing it is that we, such sinful and lowly creatures, should be so much loved by our Father!

Thursday, November 25, 2004


In the past few weeks, I have been borrowing lots and lots of DVDs from this little rental store that's conveniently on the way home from the bus stop. The subjects of datamining and customer profiling have always fascinated me, and I realized one evening, on the way home after borrowing yet a few more DVDs, that a psychological profile could be compiled on me based on my borrowing records.

Discounting those who borrow for families and friends, individuals' records of titles borrowed do reveal quite a bit about the person. Let me recall a few titles I have been borrowing (discounting my sister's horror selections) recently:
The Alamo, Enigma, The Patriot, Saving Private Ryan, Daredevil, The Bourne Identity, Indiana Jones (all 3!), The Spy Game, X-Men 1 & 2, Casablanca, The Great Gatsby, Gosford Park, Quo Vadis, Brother Sun Sister Moon
(You could probably tell I love war, action and old movies!)

Retail sites such as are gold mine for customer profiling. I think thinks it knows me better than myself! It knows what books & DVD titles I have and what I thought about them. It makes recommendation based on my wish list, shopping history and items I already owned.

Back to the topic, how much information can make a customer happy? Is there a point where there can be too much information, and gets the customer uncomfortable? "Right to privacy" is overused and not well understood. For instance, why would it upset me to know someone knows I like action and war movies? It might upset me, if somebody associates liking action movies with support for war (or for George W Bush!), and spam my house with anti-war or anti-Bush flyers.

Mass consumer behavior is complex; the same folks who'd put up "Bush-Cheney '04" signs on their lawns (thereby announcing their conservative right-wing leaning or simply being fed up with the Dems) would cry foul if a website to which they subscribe begins profiling their surfing behavior and make suggestions!

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

525,600 moments

This is another of those nostalgic moments before the frenzy of work gets hold of me. I found a curious instance of bizarre, amusing, and at the same time, pitiful snapshot of a woman who's been blogging about all her breakup and heartbreak and loneliness and longing at And more curiously, she landed herself a book deal, based on what she wrote there.

Not that i have anything against people who are honestly trying to get rid of the excess angst and bile in their life by venting it out at a public square (and a not-so-public square, like yours truly's blog). Recently I met up with a few girl friends who are going through a period of a need for affirmation; everyone is looking for the right person, some are looking to dump people they think are not the right persons, and others are asking whether going through this motion of questioning is worth the effort.

While I am very glad I'm not partial to generate much angst, I often wonder why not. The woman from the above mentioned blog was truly heart-broken. It's true I wasn't exactly in her position, yet I wonder whether I have spent the few months in my last relationship truly enjoying 525,600 moments of love? I think I didn't, and I hope that it is yet to come.

Perhaps that's the reason for the lack of angst. I now enjoy 525,600 moments in a year, with or without someone next to me. Man makes plans, God decides. My life is His to decide, including whom I'm with :)

Saturday, November 20, 2004

March of the Black Mountain

A poem by G.K. Chesterton (1913)

From uncle Gilbert... as we remember All Souls & Veteran's Day.
(Thanks to Sancta Sanctis!)

What will there be to remember
Of us in the days to be?
Whose faith was a trodden ember
And even our doubts not free;
Parliaments built of paper,
And the soft swords of gold
That twist like a waxen taper
In the weak aggressor's hold;
A hush around Hunger, slaying
A city of serfs unfed;
What shall we leave for a saying
To praise us when we are dead?
But men shall remember the Mountain
That broke its forest chains
And men shall remember the Mountain
When it arches against the plains:
And christen their children from it
And season and ship and street,
When the Mountain came to Mahomet
And looked small before his feet.

His head was as high as the crescent
Of the moon that seemed his crown,
And on glory of past and present
The light of his eyes looked down;
One hand went out to the morning
Over Brahmin and Buddhist slain,
And one to the west in scorning
To point at the scars of Spain:
One foot on the hills for warden
By the little Mountain trod;
And one was in a garden
And stood on the grave of God.
But men shall remember the Mountain,
Though it fall down like a tree,
They shall see the sign of the Mountain
Faith cast into the sea;
Though the crooked swords overcome it
And the Crooked Moon ride free,
When the Mountain comes to Mahomet
It has more life than he.

But what will there be to remember
Or what will there be to see--
Though our towns through a long November
Abide to the end and be?
Strength of slave and mechanic
Whose iron is ruled by gold,
Peace of immortal panic,
Love that is hate grown cold--
Are these a bribe or a warning
That we turn not to the sun,
Nor look on the lands of morning
Where deeds at last are done?
Where men shall remember the Mountain
When truth forgets the plain--
And walk in the way of the Mountain
That did not fall in vain;
Death and eclipse and comet,
Thunder and seals that rend:
When the Mountain came to Mahomet;
Because it was the end.

Turning Point (cont'd): Epiphany

A year had passed since I attended the first series of talks on the Catholic Church's teaching. Last Friday was the last of this year's series, and as I was talking to one of the (ACT) people who organized these, a question came up: "How do you become Catholic without [C]atechism?"

Catechism with capital C can happen anywhere I'd say. Let me explain a long story. (Well, I am the only intended audience — this post is fully meant to remind myself what I've gone through and where I'll be going — so any curious soul out there can skip this post rather than be misled into a maze :p) Parts of the following are taken from a correspondence with a priest:

I was born in Jakarta, Indonesia, and spent the last 11 years studying in Singapore. My parents were born into Taoist families, although my father was the only one out of 9 children who did not go to a Catholic mission school. All his siblings became Catholic, and my father sent me and my sisters to a convent school. You might've heard that autism in adults is often 'inherited' from their children (discovered in parents only when their children are diagnosed), and so similarly my parents 'inherit' Catholicism from their children.

Back home, we have religious education as a part of the vernacular curriculum, with state-administered examinations! In school, naturally, we began and ended each day with prayers, we attended Mass every wednesday, and First Communion prep classes were even held during normal class schedules.

Having spent 8 years in the Catholic school environment, I began to accept the teachings, and felt it was only a matter of time before i am formally received into the Church. My parents didn't share the same sentiment; and my mom was especially vocal against this. I left for Singapore upon entering secondary school, and what a difference it was — my school was highly secular and nearly all my classmates claimed no belief in God! I began atending sunday Mass at the Cathedral in 1994 with another non-Catholic friend, also an alumni of a convent school in Indonesia.

You can say that I was (and still is!) very much ignorant of the Church's teachings then, for despite being taught who Jesus is, and what the Eucharist and transubstantiation is, I never knew there was such a thing as RCIA! More than a year later, I told my parents that the time has come for me to profess what i believed in— and that is the Catholic Church's teaching. Being away from my parents accelerated that. My mother was particularly not pleased, and i expected a long uphill persuasion before she'd respect my desire. Each mass that i went to during that period beckoned me towards the Eucharist. There was a phrase spoken before communion that made me long for it: "Happy are those who are called to his supper."

One fine day a year later when I was home on vacation, we were baptized as a family. It was abrupt, and I was aught with guilt and doubt – not sure whether that baptism was valid for the huge lack of catechism. Those years in convent school no doubt helped; but there are many Catholic "traditions" that I never knew until I chanced them in my friends' behaviour, or in literature found distributed in the Church, or on the Internet.

From ACT and the pro-life movement, I have since found numerous sources of education from various sites on the Internet. I have followed closely the US election and the large-scale mobilization of the faithful Catholics to vote according to the Church's teachings.

So that's the sum of my Catechism: groping in the dark, not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel yet, but I'm very firm that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. For I know it is God whom I am journeying to.

Turning Point

I wrote some weeks back about going to this youth program weekend retreat called CHOICE. Well the activities did not cease after that weekend; in fact there are more activities now than ever. The majority of the people I met there are older than me, and every single one of them, to a certain degree, admitted that CHOICE brought about a "turning point" in their life.

My own turning point, happened quietly sometime last year. Around September last year, I began attending a series of talks about the Catholic Church and its teachings. Since then, I have noticed a change in my life — from priorities to readings to time management. Some things, have taken precedence over other things. CHOICE was a "visible" sign to an invisible change. Some would argue that invisible changes are harder to understand, harder to act upon, and could be as good as no change. That's why so many important, invisible things in this world require a conduit to express themselves to mere mortals with hardness in our hearts — such as the grace of Sacraments.

Anyway, I have not written anything much for a long time. It could be a good sign – it could be a bad sign. I could have been reflecting and mulling for a long, long time; and only now the fruits of that labor are budding. What I want to achieve in this post is simply a recognition that articulation of thoughts and changes need to be written in order for us to keep track of the direction we're going. I've never thought that blogs are private diaries – far from it – but as long as it serves the purpose of growth, I will write.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Crusading for FireFox!

Get Firefox!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Tuesday, August 31, 2004


I came back from CHOICE retreat this weekend, hopefully, a changed person.

Hopefully, because all too easily resolutions get washed away by the pressing demands of modern life and past promises. After all, I was raised to give my words and keep 'em. Yet, what is the value of promises made on misguided beliefs?

More than ever, I thank God for the way life has turned out.

I want to be in a Church ministry. I do. I truly do. Despite my unsavory past being a serial ministry hopper, I think -- alright, I feel -- I have yet a role to play. A cause to fight for. I want to be more than just a Sunday Catholic.

I want to describe and defend my God, and in turn, the Catholic Church who has taught me the way to Him, to my friends and foes. I don't want to be sitting silently with frustration when some poor misguided, mis-instructed soul happily trounce the Church. I want to know what my Church teaches.

But I don't know where to begin. I know some thing I am passionate about -- pro-life, pro-family activities in the Catholic Church -- yet I'll not be contributing much if I know nothing about the Church's teaching. Where should I start?

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

My avatar... testing's photo-blogging capability!
Posted by Hello

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


Today hasn't been really "productive" in the traditional sense - but we accomplished a few things:
(1) Got the website draft up
(2) Did a thorough project proposal

What's new, you may ask, since these are the daily tasks of budding entrepreneurs? :)

What's new, the answer is, is the attitude. Today I realize how much better I can contribute. How more involved and passionate anyone can get. Is it a one-off phenomenon? I don't think so.

What Robert Pirsig of the "Motorcycle" fame wrote echoed back to me. Quality. It's all about quality, isn't it. Quality is when you know you have fluidly contributed the day towards something that is Good. And so should each day be.

Lapses may seem only human - but I have recently come to see that what we often call 'human errors' are nothing but aberration from the grand plan we call being human. Human beings are made to do great things - if only to exalt our God, and so it shall be my new inspiration: that we may do things better tomorrow, for that is what our purpose here is.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Heartbreak and J2ME

Do these terms belong together? Heartbreak and J2ME? :D Methinks they do!

Just like Warren Buffet who said, if he'd been present when the Wright brothers flew their first plane he'd have shot them down, I think if J2ME hasn't been invented and adopted, it'd have saved a lot of heartbreak.

You see, today I and my coding partner spent a few hours trying to figure out why our JAR file, working perfectly on the emulator, refuses to display images when deployed on a real phone, Nokia 6600. So what went wrong?

Lesson #1: ".PNG" != ".png"
Lesson #2: Don't use Windows Explorer to view your files. If you are unfortunate enough to do so, always, ALWAYS, show all extensions!
Lesson #3: "Grow" your software in layers. Make sure each function works on the phone before going on to make other functions!

Solaris vs. FreeBSD vs. Linux

On a slightly less heavy-hearted topic, let's talk about OS-es :D yay, my next favourite subject!

Did I mention we've got a Solaris machine now? Our very own living breathing Solaris machine. An old baby, for sure, but a Solaris baby nevertheless. After the initial excitement has quietened, I realised that I've completely forgotten Solaris eccentricities. You see, Solaris was my 'rude' introduction to the NIX* world three years ago, and since then I have moved on to FreeBSD for servers and Linux for desktops.

Well, it's like getting re-acquainted to an old lover ;)
I've been reading, and reading, and reading. It's interesting to actually do something else than read and work on the computers. Anyway, most recently, I've been reading Pope John Paul II's retreat spiritual exercises, given when he was still a priest in Cracow, Poland. Way long ago, when he was still known as Karol Wojtyla.

There have been so much new insights, about dignity of human persons, God's plan for each of us, and others of similarly 'spiritual' nature. For me, this period is what most people would call 'busy': I have a BIG deadline two days from now, i have a messed up thread of a dead relationship, i'm moving out of my old place, and i'm going home in three days time. Sure, I look busy. Yet, I refuse to think, or believe that I am 'busy'. I'd suspect that word is invented in a highly secularist period :)

The Holy Father, speaking in his retreat in 1962, wrote that work and suffering, are two things that can bring us closer to Christ. Although busy-ness is often an indication of how much one is 'working', too often it is a poor substitute for the fulfilment of our human destiny. For work in the truest sense involves service and love. And despite the antisocial that I truly am, I think not even my 'work' can delude me into believing that I'm too busy for anyone and anything else. For service and love are not going to be achieved by spending 24 hours of my time working and shutting out everything else.

Now at this point, I am terribly conflicted. Terribly conflicted because everytime the topic of 'busy-ness' comes up, I will remember him: he who claimed to 'sacrifice' much of his time to 'help' me despite his 'busy-ness'. No doubt he has good intent. I don't doubt for an instant that he believes what he says. Yet it is sad, truly tragic, to lose a friend because I no longer believe any truth in what he says.

I have not gone for communion in two weeks :( I missed Pentecost. I was sick the first Sunday and too slothful to go the next. And I'm not worthy. My falling out with him has led me to believe that I'm not worthy to receive communion. Everytime something there is something hypocritical or sadly deluded, I will always associate it with him. How can I be in a state of grace when I could not be at peace with one of my own friends? And I cannot resolve it with him, for I cannot very well tell him I think he's been hypocritical and untruthful with me. To be fair, I too have had my share of hypocrisy.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Field of Grounded Arms

Sleep, comrades, sleep and rest
  On this Field of the Grounded Arms,
Where foes no more molest,
  Nor sentry's shot alarms!
Ye have slept on the ground before,
  And started to your feet
At the cannon's sudden roar,
  Or the drum's redoubling beat.
But in this camp of Death
  No sound your slumber breaks;
Here is no fevered breath,
  No wound that bleeds and aches.
All is repose and peace,
  Untrampled lies the sod;
The shouts of battle cease,
  It is the Truce of God!
Rest, comrades, rest and sleep!
  The thoughts of men shall be
As sentinels to keep
  Your rest from danger free.
Your silent tents of green
  We deck with fragrant flowers;
Yours has the suffering been,
  The memory shall be ours.

Henry Wordsworth Longfellow

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Re-reading his post, i've identified what it is I was so hurt about.

Father, he wrote that he's been neglecting You, that being with his friends reminded him of the relationship he once had with You. that hurts so much. You know very well i don't wish to judge anyone's spirituality: but if he's been worshipping You all these time with me, how can I take his relationship with You away? Was it not real? Does my relationship with You not bring him closer to You too?

How could i be so wrong... Fallacy. All fallacy. How can i remain his friend? How can i?
I've decided that my earlier post about him is completely unfair. I have no right to castigate him. None at all. What i've described probably formed the 'holistic' reason why i cannot be with him anymore. BUT i have no right to criticize how he handles the hurt. May God be his constant companion.

I too recognised the loss of a friend, and recognised what I'm doing now to make up for the severance. I'm picking up Spanish, stepping up on my work, and have been more contemplative than before. An interesting, compelling reading has been Pope John Paul II's biography. I've became totally, completely inspired. His entire life is marked with devotion and consecration of his talents to God's service. Living in tragedy and persecution, he showed just how, in human weaknesses, God can shine through.

Wednesday, May 26, 2004

Storm in my heart

Today i read his blog. And saw how eloquently he expresses his plight. and how he turns to God.

To be fair, he does not say i was the cause of his plight. to be fair, he does not vilify me. so why am i so sad as i write this? "The wise keeps silent", they said. And so have i tried to be. The storm in my heart remains for God and I to work out.

What i despise is the hypocrisy of it all. Telling everybody that he's ok, that he's turning to God, that he's accepting the separation with both hands. Oh have i tried, have i tried, to be his friend. But he's pushing himself away from me. Perhaps it's for the best. Perhaps i never had a friend in him :|

Maybe i should be sorry, maybe i should try to explain to him. But not being the eloquent truth-twister (well.. he's quite good at it!), i chose silence. the more he comes, the further he pushed himself. I sound confused, because i know not what to do about this person i see i can help, and yet one who refuses to see he has not been his true self. And now, i see him like a tiny ship caught in a storm of my own making.

Perhaps someday Father, you will tell him what i mean.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

it's simply amazing to know how much have happened in the last three, four weeks or so :)

first, i had a nasty fall, gouged a piece of flesh in my leg and got myself stitched. not healed yet. at least i'm not hobbling anymore..

and that happened right on the eve of my moving day: and the place was simply awful. simply awful. now that i've found a new place i have yet to find someone to replace me :|

and now i'm all alone once more :D

happy? i don't know. relieved? perhaps. sad? definitely. i thought i'm liberated - from all the things i've simply tolerated, but it feels more than ever like i've lost a friend. in any case, it's time for me to make new friends. he's been taking up much of my time; he's been pretty much my "crutch". it's time to get up and learn how to walk all over again.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

it's been sometime since i last blogged. lots of insights, not enough time to reflect on them. let's see:
- watched the Passion,
- celebrated Easter,
- got interesting insight from Sancta Sanctis
- reading Henri Nouwen now..

i'm afraid, so very afraid, that what Nouwen described, is exactly what i'm going through now. Spiritual Death. I hope it's not too late to do something about it. I need a long break, to get away from the wordly world, and ask myself again the question Jesus asks Peter, "Do you love me?"

Monday, March 22, 2004

What Kind of Cross are You?

Two days to submission! Panic is rising as i think i've got 'em writing blocks!
Anyway... another quizilla quiz:
What Kind of Cross are You?
i'm apparently a "Corpus Christi"...
You are the Corpus Christi Crucifix: The cross that
bears the body of Christ is the most venerated
of all the crosses. It hangs in the most sacred
places in the world and inspires the faithful
to contemplate the suffering of Christ.

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Which book of the Bible are you?

Which book of the Bible are you?

You are Psalms
You are Psalms.

brought to you by Quizilla
Another development at school:
'Revival' of Linux movement... of sorts.

When i was a freshman, there was a pretty active community of Linux users. They're the ones who were responsible of hooking me to this good stuff! Anyway.. times have passed, the machines in Linux lab have grown old and the OS unkempt.. so it's been shut down and made into (of all things sacrilegeous!) a Microsoft library!!!!!

Now a group of firebrand Linux evangelists (mostly a year my junior) have taken up the torch again, and they wanted to build a new Linux lab, have a Linux installfest and start a new Linux community. I will not, sadly, be there since I will (hopefully) graduate this April. But before then, I hope to give this group some worthwhile contribution. Viva le Linux!
Ash Wednesday

I went to church today, with no expectation but to fulfil my duty as a good Catholic to go to Mass during Ash Wednesday, a day of obligation. And besides, I love to go Mass... But today's Mass another special blessing!

The choice of songs, the readings, and the liturgy were perfectly orchestrated. The effect was (yet another) mini-epiphany (well.. it may not be to a lot of people, but we must remember here that I'm a self-confessed lapsed, 'lay' Catholic) for me.

Lent marks the beginning of the season of penance and penitence. Its culmination takes place in the Passion of the Lord, followed by Easter. In the coming forty days or so we are expected to deny ourselves physical gratification, by practising fasting and abstinence, as well as doing special penance acts. Since I'm already mostly vegetarian in any other seasons, physical 'suffering' from not eating meat is no suffering at all. What suffering is to me right now, is completing the station of my life: last semester of college and it's never been so tough to pull through...

And today's Mass has revealed to me that suffering, is a way to get closer to God. Through suffering we identify with Christ, and we can understand and appreciate more the meaning of His Sacrifice for us. (Haven't watched Mel Gibson's Passion yet, it's not showing in Singapore until April!) Hence, it was truly a new source of inspiration: that by persevering and suffering through challenging times such as these, we will get closer to Him. And whatever it is I'm going through, it is not the ultimate suffering, for the ultimate suffering for any soul (I think..) is being denied the vision of God. So I'll persevere, I'll take up my cross, because I know with each step I am growing closer to see the face of God :)

To all Catholics out there: Have a blessed Lent!

Sunday, February 22, 2004

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Breathe into me, Holy Spirit,
that my thoughts may all be holy.
Move in me, Holy Spirit,
that my work, too, may be holy.
Attract my heart, Holy Spirit,
that I may love only what is holy.
Strengthen me, Holy Spirit,
that I may defend all that is holy.
Protect me, Holy Spirit,
that I may always be holy.
(by St. Augustine)

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Pro-life? You bet!
A beautiful pro-life cartoon on a yet to be born baby called "Umbert" :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Prayer To The Holy Spirit

Holy Spirit, be with me today.
Be my teacher, my guide, my counselor, my friend.
Fill me with your gifts, especially the gifts of
wisdom, discernment, knowledge, understanding, compassion,
love, and awe in God's presence.
In all that I think, say, and do, let it be in accordance
with your most holy and perfect will.
I ask this in Jesus' name.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Last sunday's Mass readings held an epiphany for me. Isaiah, sometimes dubbed the 'fifth gospel', started out his works as God's prophet when he recognised his unworthiness. The angel of the Lord touched his lips with coal, in a way purged him of his iniquity, and here comes the epiphany: Isaiah said, "Here i am! Send me, Lord."

Similarly, Peter the Apostle first met Jesus while failing to catch any fish. He recognised Jesus as Lord and asked Him to 'depart', for he was unworthy. These two readings reverberates within, as I could identify very well with what they are feeling. Sinful, weak and unworthy of grace. Yet there was also a common thread of grace, warranted or not, in both men. They asked the Lord to show them their true vocation. They asked the Lord how to serve Him. They asked Him to make them better for Him.

The point is, they rose beyond their feeling of unworthiness, to embrace new lives (which may not seem to be pretty, nor more comfortable than before), one that is led by God.

Monday, January 12, 2004

A short prayer:

Lord help me
to remember
that nothing
is going to happen
to me today
that You and I
together can't handle.


Tuesday, January 06, 2004

A quote from our dear pope John Paul II (from World Youth Day 2002):
"We are not the sum of our weaknesses and failures; we are the sum of the Father's love for us and our real capacity to become the image of his Son." How true!
Find your spirituality type here

Mine's the 'path of intellect'. Here's what it says:
PATH OF INTELLECT (Thomistic prayer): About 12 percent of the population follows this path, using the syllogistic method of Saint Thomas Aquinas known as Scholastic prayer. The main emphasis is on the orderly progression of thought from cause to effect. People of this prayer type prefer neat, orderly forms of the spiritual life, as opposed to the free-spirit, impulsive attitude of the Franciscan approach. Their spirituality is centered on the earnest pursuit of all the transcendental values: truth, goodness, beauty, unity, love, life, and spirit. Like Saint Teresa of Avila, they are willing to exert superhuman effort to achieve their goal. Because of their disdain for second best, they seek total truth and authenticity in their lives and work hard to reach the whole truth about themselves, about God, and about sanctity. This intense pursuit of truth colors their whole spiritual life. Books of prayer frequently call the Thomistic method of prayer 'discursive meditation.' In this type of prayer, one takes a virtue or fault or theological truth and studied it from every possible angle. Change of behavior is an essential part of this prayer--it doesn't stay at the intellectual level. There is generally a bias against this type of prayer today because it was so much in vogue before Vatican II.
Back from holiday. Back to work.

Not quite yet; today's spring cleaning of my room and then followed by "Return of the Kings". It was lovely! I can't remember when was the last time I was simply blown away by a movie. Its beauty moved me, its nobility takes my breath away, and the courage of the characters inspires me. Have you ever wondered what it would be like living in such times? But as Gandalf wisely remarked (in the movie), "All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us."