I made the choice to skip my Sunday routine and so went to the Church of St Ignatius for the mass at 12.15p.m. This was specially offered up for the country of Nepal, and in particular for the victims of the recent earthquake that claimed so many lives. This turned out to be a blessed visit, and I gained much throughout the time I was there.
My first stop was to the Adoration Room which has been renovated and refurbished. It is most suitable for silent contemplation and yesterday, I had such a blessed time. There were about four persons in total and everyone was so still that it seemed I was all alone with our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament. Praise God!
Half an hour later, I was in the main church. I made my way to the Confessional and there, with a few others, prayed my rosary. I noted that I was just the second person to be in the queue, and so that was good. I did not think that I should rush since the priest would only turn up 20 minutes before the next mass. Praise the Lord!
Fr. Mark came punctually, and soon it was my turn. What a blessing! Not only did I make a good confession but I also had a question that was in my mind clarified. The penance was to meditate on the Gospel of the day, and it happened to be a favourite of mine. John 15 speaks so eloquently of the love of God, and I had such consolation just contemplating and praying with the words of our Lord.
Jesus said to his disciples: “As the Father loves me, so I also love you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy might be complete. This is my commandment: love one another as I love you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father. It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you. This I command you: love one another.”
The conversation was sweet and the joy of the Gospel brought tears to my eyes. No more a servant but a friend. And it is true that I do have my prayers heard and answered more and more. Thanks be to God!
At Mass, Fr. Colin gave a simple but effective homily. One point that interested me was the fact that pearls come from oysters, and the oysters, we know, don’t have an easy time. So, should there be any obstacles or hindrances or difficulties or challenges, call them as you please, we ought to wait and see the result. Of course, I am paraphrasing the point in my own words. I thought that it was marvellous. It clarified for me some issues that I had been facing, and true enough, I am now seeing the fruit of those trials. Praise God!
At Mass the choir that served were mostly young people. I loved the voice of the male cantor. He sang so effortlessly and having served as a cantor myself years ago, I know that it is not that simple. To read is certainly easier than to cantor. It takes three years for one to be trained, and once the chant starts, there is no way for one to pause or stop. Praise God!
The music was so lively that a little girl of about seven in the pew two rows from where I was sitting started to move to the beat. She was not at all self conscious, and as she gyrated to the music, she smiled at her father. He smiled back. As for me, I was tapping my feet and singing to my heart’s content. Praise the Lord!
When Mass was over, I headed for the food stalls at the nearby hawker stall. And what happened next was that I shared a table with a young lady. She turned out to be from that very choir. A young undergraduate about to complete her studies, we started a conversation. It was so easy. I saw her praying with her head bowed and her eyes closed, and after her prayer, she gracefully made the sign of the cross. Praise the Lord!
On the way home in the bus, I was sitting next to a young foreigner. He had in his hands some music sheets, and I saw Bach etc. Without my saying anything, he offered me an answer. “I’m learning to play the piano. I’m just learning!” May God bless you. Enjoy making music!
And then it was home sweet home, but only for a short while. Soon, after Vespers, I made my way to the appointed place to wait for a friend. She came punctually and took me to the SICC for a meal. The meeting was a real sharing and I found out more about my friend at that meeting than in all the years we had been together. A conversation made in God’s presence is what makes it tick. And we spoke about the forthcoming Writing Workshop on Monday 1 June 2015.
Praise the Lord for a lovely Sunday! All’s well that ends well. How was your Sunday?