Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Bahasa Ibu (Mother tongue)

Last CHOICE weekend, I had to make a decision about whether to read my sharing in English, or in Bahasa Indonesia. I have 2 sessions' sharing all written in English, and to my horror, I could not translate them into Bahasa!

So, I thought, why not start writing in Bahasa? Since none of my blog readers seem to be from Indonesia, I can get away with little mistakes here and there ;) Disclaimer: my command of Bahasa Indonesia, I realize, tends to veer towards the dramatic, so for those who understand, forgive a little drama!

A little reflection from last CHOICE weekend:

Bahagia sekali rasanya mendengar bahasa ibu digunakan lebih dari beberapa menit, berturut2 selama dua hari lebih! Ada satu perasaan aneh, tetapi perasaan senang dan terharu lebih mendominasi. Mungkin tema weekend-nya juga membantu, lagian kan CHOICE bertujuan membantu pemuda-pemudi membuat pilihan hidup yang benar; jadi banyak session yang membuat kita semua sedih, karena mengingatkan kita akan dosa2 dan kelalaian diri kita sendiri.

Apalagi mendengarkan sharing2 dari Team Choice Indonesia dalam bahasa ibu sendiri! Sangat menyentuh sanubari (That's another word I didn't know exist, and have never used before until it pops up just so suddenly!). Yang unik adalah, aku baru menyadari kalau aku dapat mendengar kedua-dua bahasa, Indonesia dan Inggris secara langsung, tanpa 'menerjemahkan' di kepala! Lega rasanya menyadari hal ini, karena menulis/menerjemahkan Inggris ke Indonesia (dan sebaliknya) agak susah bagiku, tapi masih untung ada sebuah skill yang ternyata tidak hilang!

Tetapi ada sesuatu yang disayangkan: aku sadar kalau aku tidak bisa berdoa dalam bahasa Indonesia... sedih memang, karena sebelum aku benar2 tahu dan mengerti siapa itu Tuhan Allah, aku sudah diajari memuji nama-Nya melalui doa2 seperti Bapa Kami, Salam Maria, Kemuliaan. Secara simbolis, aku rasa, perbedaan berdoa doa2 lazim dan doa2 spontan, melambangkan 2 "era" dalam imanku: semasa aku kecil, imanku adalah iman anak kecil, dan ketika aku bertambah besar, imanku pun dibina, tetapi menggunakan medium bahasa Inggris.

Terima kasih Bapa, Engkau telah mengingatkan aku tentang kebahagiaan masa kecil-ku, seperti kita semua pun mempunyai kerinduan untuk dipersatukan kembali dengan Engkau, pencipta diri kami, di dalam surga satu hari nanti.

Nah, sekarang saatnya aku belajar bahasa lain, biar aku bisa memandang wajah-Mu dari segala penjuru!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

20 reasons why I thank Thee

Just one of those days when I feel especially grateful!

  1. For the gift of my parents: You chose two wonderful people to be my parents and we have journeyed and grown together
  2. For the gift of my sisters: Without whom I would most likely forget what warmth is, without whom I would still live in darkness
  3. For enrolling me in a convent school: You taught me to say Your name, to pray to You, before I know who You are
  4. For the gift of faith when I was as a child: You made me see You through the eyes of faith before I could grow old enough to question whether You exist
  5. For the gift of intellect: You gave me intellect so that through my faith, I may strive to know You more
  6. For the gift of curiosity: You drew me to Yourself through the wonders of Your creation
  7. For the gift of languages: You gave me aptitude to learn many languages so that I may know You through many expressions
  8. For calling me to Singapore: So many things You have made me experience, taste, see and learn from this country
  9. For keeping me safe in Singapore: So many have come and felt only disappointment, but You have seen me through the worst of times
  10. For the gift of Auntie Dolly: You gave me to her and her to me when we need each other the most. I love her, You know that
  11. For the gift of optimism: I was a born optimist because You gave it to me to keep up my hopes
  12. For the gift of focus: You gave me focus so that I could keep my eyes always trained onto You
  13. For the gift of friends: Although I have not been a good friend to many, You gave them to me and I to them so that we keep each other company when we need friendship the most
  14. For the gift of courage: You gave me courage so I can embark on an adventure, a lifelong journey to return to You
  15. For the gift of your forgiveness: You forgave me first, and I learned how to forgive others
  16. For the gift of Eucharist: Need I say more?
  17. For the gift of John Paul II the Great: Through his writings, You revealed Yourself to me
  18. For the Internet: I have lost myself in the Web, and You reached out to me through the Web
  19. For the gift of CHOICE: I was lost and despaired, but through CHOICE, You found me
  20. For Your beautiful plan for me: You have made me live my life thus far, and brought me far away from my family, yet You have a beautiful plan from me!

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Baby step

I just came back from my first CHOICE weekend as a brand new presenter. It was for an audience of all-Indonesian students, and I was just happy and so blessed to be there.

It marks the first time ever I'm getting involved in a ministry, and this too, after the WYD!

Pathos vs. Logos:

We had an interesting discussion after the weekend programme is over. We agreed it was a very special weekend; it had a different feel, different responses. The question is, was it because: (1) the presenters were mostly a team of seasoned Indonesian veterans, OR (2) the presenters were speaking in the mother tongue of the participants (therefore 'reaching deep')?, OR (3) the participants were young Indonesian students/new graduates who were away from family and especially vulnerable, therefore more susceptible to the values that CHOICE was trying to impart?

We had this discussion because it is increasingly harder to get through more jaded, older participants that a typical local weekend has. The values of the world are different from that of the Church, and it's getting more difficult to share the Christian values of relationship and belonging to a youth population with minds which are increasingly cynical.

More on this later..

Friday, September 09, 2005

LATEST!! After Cologne 2005

"And they departed to their own country by another way" (Mt 2:12)

I've been thinking about this message after the WYD in Koln. While the experience has been so overwhelming, more than I've ever hoped it to be, it's a bit like Confirmation—the Holy Spirit doesn't light up in tongues above my head!

At the same time, I've been thinking about my present 'vocation', that is mostly getting busy with all sort of programming & designing for my startup's premiere product, XShare. While computer science is definitely more than a study of computers (just like astronomy is more than a study of telescopes), I'd say its place is more appropriately 'supporting' of other domain knowledge/sciences.

So, combining the two, a moment of inspiration came, and After Cologne is born! Basically, the idea is like Friendster for those who were there for the WYD '05. I've written in that blog, what are my hopes and objectives for this project.

If there's anyone out there reading this who's interested to participate in this project (sociologists, theologians, catechism teachers, web programmer, graphic designer?), do email me at antonia AT, and if you know anyone who went to Germany to attend WYD this year, ask them to watch out for After Cologne, a portal coming up soon!

Predominant Faults

"Predominant Faults"--from Fr. Jim Tucker at Dappled Things. Read the rest here! Just the reassurance I needed to hear ;)

I hear a lot of confessions. People will frequently mention their frustration that they find themselves confessing the same things over and over. "I've been working on and praying for patience for 20 years, and I still am an impatient person. What a failure I am in the spiritual life!" There is a certain discouragement, and sometimes a certain surprise, that we commit the same sins over and over again.

This shouldn't be surprising at all. In fact, this is one of the general patterns of moral life in a fallen race. It has to do with what is called one's predominant fault.
How long will we have to put up with the combination of temptations that fall along our crack lines? Basically, until death. Success in the ascetical aspects of the moral life does not bring freedom from temptations (although it will generally lessen their strength), it enables us to withstand the temptations more surely. The temptations will all be removed once the cracks are perfectly healed, in the resurrection of the just.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Which Saint are you?


You are Augustine! You are a great thinker, but be careful not to let your past immoderation freak you out about good times. It's really ok to take some pleasure in material things.

Which Saint Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

WYD Debriefing

From NCR's "Word from Rome" by John Allen Jr.

Some excerpts:

I had the opportunity recently to join a group of Canadians in Rome following World Youth Day. The Canadians, part of a group called "Catholic Christian Outreach Canada," were led by Basilian Fr. Thomas Rosica, who was the main organizer for World Youth Day in Toronto in 2002.

Bishop Renato Boccardo and I had been invited for a "debriefing" from Cologne with the group.

Boccardo has a long history with World Youth Day. When he worked in the Pontifical Council for Laity, he was in charge of WYD preparations. When he took over from Jesuit Cardinal Roberto Tucci as the pope's travel planner, he played a key role in the Toronto and Cologne events.


In his remarks to the Canadians, Boccardo described the heart of Pope John Paul II's vision for World Youth Day in three concepts.

Kerygma: The first purpose of the event, Boccardo said, is to come together to hear the gospel, and to reflect on what it means in one's life and circumstances. This is not just a matter of the pope's homilies, but also of the catechetical sessions that are carried out during the week.

Experience of the Church: What World Youth Day does for many Catholic youth, Boccardo said, is open them up to the breadth of what it means to be Catholic, exposing many for the first time to the reality of a global church. Among other things, Boccardo noted, this should make youth aware that their way of doing things is not the only one, and that their movements are not the only options for authentic Catholic living.

Mission: The point of World Youth Day, Boccardo stressed, is not merely to have a great experience of togetherness for a week. It's to energize people to go home and make a difference, bringing new energy to their local churches, youth groups, and other areas of their lives.

On this last point, I told the youth that World Youth Day has become the premier event for the Catholic church on the global stage, which means that it garners the attention of the world press. The question, however, that my colleagues always ask is, "What difference does it make?" Granted that hundreds of thousands of Catholic youth exhibit great passion over a week, does it change anything in the long run? Are these youth more likely to go to Mass? Do vocations to the priesthood and religious life go up? Is there evidence that these events have put a dent in runaway secularization?

These are legitimate questions, and unfortunately they're hard to answer in any quantitative fashion. To date, no one has carried out serious longitudinal studies about the impact of World Youth Day, interviewing participants before and after, following up six months later, two years later, etc., to get a handle on what happens to people who take part. It's a challenge to which one hopes a Catholic university or research body will respond.

In the meantime, I told the Canadian youth that it would be helpful if they went home and talked about what difference the experience made in their lives -- not just to reporters, but in their schools, in their workplaces, among their friends and family. Images of delirious youth greeting the pope along the banks of the Rhine will be greeted in some circles with skepticism until the church can establish that the effect "sticks."

(Emphasis mine: I'm going to do something about this! Watch out this space for the next announcement!)

WYD is an extraordinary event; an event which might just be an extraordinary memory for those who were there, if we don't bring to our homes and communities, the light of Christ!

Friday, September 02, 2005

Yet another divine intervention...

Today I was rushing out from the office to attend evening Mass; today being first Friday, and I was cross that I was going to be late again! My guardian angel had another plan though, and I arrived early instead, for there was a devotion to the Sacred Heart at 18:45, Evening Prayers at 19:15, and Mass only started at 19:30!

I'm sure some who read this wondered just how I could be so ill-informed about the mass times! The Church of the Holy Cross isn't my parish—it's the closest to the office, and I haven't been there since the last First Friday... but I digressed.

Whenever I find myself impatient waiting for some Thing that just doesn't arrive, the words of that visiting priest at St. Joseph's came back to me: "My time is Yours."

In Katrina's wake

As we start 9-day Novena to prepare for the Feast of the Holy Cross in the parish of the Church of the Holy Cross, we remember to pray for our brothers and sisters who are affected by the storm Katrina.

And to donate, (link via the Angry Twins):