Nox Gaudii means “Night of Joy” and this young adult event was organised by the Office for Young People. I attended this event filled with praise and worship, sharings and Eucharistic Adoration with my friends from SIM’s Catholic Society (CS). It was a big sacrifice as it was a Friday night and we had to rush from school as tomorrow is SIM’s 50th anniversary and we had to help in the preparation of CS’s booth logistics. The event was held in the evening and we had to rush through the evening rush hour (almost got lost in the train crowd and almost missed the bus) as we wanted to be early for the event.
This was my first time attending such an event after a long time since Confirmation. Fr Jovita Ho was the main speaker of the night followed by sharings by two young persons who recently went on pilgrimages. The main idea for this event that occurs every month seeks to strengthen young Catholic people to have a sense of belonging and identity to the church.
The night started with a live band kick-starting the introduction of Nox Gaudii with some praise and worship songs that got all the young people in the room energized in the presence of Jesus and to surrender their worries and doubts to him. For me, praise and worship was something that I had experienced before but not that much after Confirmation. It was great to be able to praise and pray through the songs to know that Jesus is Someone that we can count on and go to, despite where our lives might be, whether good or bad. It was great to see so many young Catholics at the event and they came to experience the saving grace of Jesus and the saints.
After the praise and worship came testimonies from one pilgrim who recently went to the Asian Youth Day which was took place in Korea and it was where Pope Francis went to beatify Korean martyrs. She shared that it was sad to see the Catholics in China due to the history of communism, unable to practice their Christian faith for fear of being arrested and detained. I feel that having a religion is important and that no one should be persecuted for believing in their faith. Another pilgrim also shared about his walking pilgrimage in Northern Europe where it was hard to travel on foot to destinations of religious value. It made me ponder about my past pilgrimages and the takeaways that I got from them; I could relate to their sharing.
Next was Fr Jovita’s turn to give his sharing about the theme “walking with the saints”. He shared that we can be saints in our own way as our reward is eternal life in heaven. The saints are not perfect but they try and proceed on to make a difference in proclaiming the goodness of themselves through their own actions. Fr also shared that we all can be saints and that we should help each other to do good and not to give in to our temptations and weaknesses. Fr compared three scenarios in life in his time in the army to that of life’s race to the finish. On the way, we may stumble and fall as life is not always perfect and we need to help each other complete the race. We also recited the litany of the saints to ask the saints to intercede and pray with us to help us through the obstacles, pain, rejection and failures that we encounter during our own race.
The night was rounded off with the Eucharistic Adoration with the Sacrament of Reconciliation to lift up our burdens and surrender them to Jesus. Seeing so many young Catholics made me realise that everyone has his or her own shares of struggles and that Jesus walks with us. We do not walk alone! Ending off the event was more praise and worship to thank Jesus for being there with us through thick and thin and loving us for who we are. I am glad that I went for the event as we are capable of doing so much more through God’s grace and like the saints, though we have our shortcomings, we can still make a difference through our daily actions and that through prayers, we will get an answer or some form of help in guiding us to finish the race together.
I think that many people were touched by this experience as it made them re-connect with Jesus again and to just be there in his presence and find that peace in our own hearts from life. Sometimes, we lose sight of Jesus as we are so caught up with our own personal commitments. My own personal favorite saint is St Francis of Assisi and I hope to be able to walk in his footsteps in service unto others and God’s creatures too. It was also an opportunity to pray for my own personal intentions and I hope that God answers them as these intentions mean a lot to me. I was inspired by Fr Jovita’s sharing about saints and how we as young people can better relate to them.
I would like to end off with this quote which was the focus of tonight’s theme, “so then you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household.”- Eph 2:19
God Bless! and continue to pray that more young Catholics come and join this event to discover God and to experience the joy that Jesus loves and cares for us!
For more information about the next Nox Gaudii, do visit the Office for Young People Facebook page for more details and for other interesting youth related events.
Written By: Darren Chan Keng Leong