Dying to self

Self-emptying

That is what You did

Even to death on a cross

And You invite me

To do the same

That, imitating You, I may also

A true servant be

Obedient to the Father

Giving Him my all

Poor sinner that I am

In this moment then, dear Lord

I place my life into Your hands

I commit to You my spirit

To be eternally Yours

Now and forever

You will bear me up

I am never alone

Fear is foreign where there is love

Your love is faithful

Your love is eternal

For Your love I praise You

Lord that I may learn

Self-sacrificing love

Giving without counting

Dying only to rise with You

 Serving one another as You did

Lord, thank You.

 

 

 

Only connect

The language of Love

A gesture

A touch of the hands

A warm clasp

Silent but powerful

The language of love.

 

The Lover seeks the beloved

There is only joy

The beloved seeks the Lover

Nothing suffices

Only connect

Only speak the language of love

Of silence

Noting every movement

Noting every gesture

Silence itself so loud

Speaking volumes

To the Lover and the beloved.

 

Only connect — just two little words

To link two hearts and two minds

Spanning a life time

Touching hearts, changing lives

Only connect — just two little words

Seeking to remember

A spirituality of communion

An experience in life to share

Yes, only connect

 

Out of touch?

A thought provoking video came to my inbox today, and it set me thinking. This is not new. I remember articles I had used with my students, and the questions I had posed to set them thinking. But this time, I am the one who needs to do more thinking as I see myself using some social media more than before. Am I getting out of touch? I mean to ask if  I am losing the art of personal communication? Perhaps not.

It is frightful to think that the world of social media has reached such a state – a sorry state, really. We probably started to invent and use technology to keep connected. Think of the first telephone that was invented. Then we had other forms like email which took the personal touch out to replace it with speed.  It would not be wrong to say that social media are meant to link people and to keep people in touch, so much so that the world no longer remains a huge inaccessible globe but a village. The globe is unfamiliar largely and the village is supposedly friendly. People remain strangers in the world but they are friends and neighbours in a village.

But today, what has happened? I take public transport every day. I hardly see people talking. If they do anything at all, it would most likely be sending text messages or photos. The response is mostly a LIKE if one bothers to react at all. If not, one is likely to have one’s private life scrutinised and then superficially passed over.  It has come to such a proportion  that one does not seem to have much control over the entire situation.  I guess not everyone will agree with me. . .  and come to think of it, one really does have the means to make good choices. All in moderation may remain the  better option, but again, this depends much on the individual.  

In Christ alone

I wrote this poem years ago, and yet, when I read through it, I find that the sentiments have remained. How true it is! As long as we are far from our Home in heaven, life on earth remains a weary pilgrimage. Still, we have our duties to fulfil so let us hasten and complete them before the Summons come to take us with wings of love to our heavenly abode for all eternity!

Lord, You are the Source of my life

Apart from You there can be no life

No joy No peace No hope

Lord, You are the Source of my life

Without You who can survive?

Who can go on day after weary day on this lonely pilgrimage?

I look to You Lord Source of life And seek You in the midst of the world

Lord Give me Your peace this hour

Grant me the joy that will keep me going For joy is Your gift

And joy comes from You Source of my life

Lord To whom shall I go? You have the message of eternal life

To whom shall I speak of what lies within my heart?

Worries and anxieties Fears that threaten to cripple

Only to You, dear Lord, Only to You Source of my joy, my hope, my peace!

Help me today To clear all obstructions

What impedes What hinders What holds me back What retards my spiritual growth.

Lord I need You Source of joy And everlasting peace

Help me this time And help me again

To humble myself And to be like You

Suffering Servant Serving with love

Not minding the inconveniences Not finding any chore too troublesome

Let me begin today And again and again

For until and unless I leave this place This earthly existence

All can only be earthly And all can only Weigh me down

To soar to the heights Give me then, my Lord,

Wings of love To soar with You My God

To the highest heavens

Where there is no more weariness No more tears

But for now Just for a little while more

Let me carry this responsibility Entrusted to me

For life here is passing And life here is not forever

Let me then dear Lord With patience bear my burden

With hope I look to You Source of my life Source of my joy

Empty Unburdened Space is now created

Let Your peace fill my soul Let Your peace fill my soul

Let Your peace fill my soul. Amen.

 

May you achieve happiness

During my school days, my girl friends and I in the convent school would often talk about our studies. I remember how we looked at each of our teachers and said that we would like to have their brains. Mrs Thomas taught us Biology and we often said that we would like her brain which remembers so well all the terms used. . . and there was Mrs Loh who taught us Chinese. . . and all the other teachers, some of whom are nuns still alive today! Yes, I met Sr Joan of Arc not too long ago, on 2 February 2014, and I have to say that she still looks great. She is in her late 70s or early 80s. . .  Wow!

Another of the things that we did a long time ago was to compile our own song book. Listening to the radio was a popular leisure activity. In fact, I think compiling my own song book helped me to improve on my listening comprehension. Whenever a song was played, I would take out my paper and write out the lyrics. How accurate I was, I do not know. But I certainly learnt many songs in that way.  Oh yes, those were the days my friend. . . see you in September. . . a hard day’s night. . .

One of the songs which I learnt as a child in school was “Semoga Bahgia”. It was with joy that I heard it again on you tube. Amazing! For this I have again to salute the advancements made in social media. Who would have thought that possible?

Whatever it is, I have been trying to hum the tune of the song that you see here. It is a Malay song that I learnt as a child, and I never knew what I was singing. Today, I know that it is a song that children sing. Praise the Lord! I am also delighted to know that I have not forgotten the tune. I can still sing it pretty well, I must say! The composer of this song, Zubir Said B.B.M. who also composed “Majulah Singapore”, the national anthem for Singapore, said good bye to this earth several years ago – on 16 November 1987. He was born on 22 July 1907.

Malay lyrics: Semoga Bahagia

(Sama-sama maju ke hadapan

Pandai cari pelajaran

Jaga diri dalam kesihatan

Serta sopan-santun dengan kawan-kawan

Dengan hati bersih serta suci

Sama-sama hormat dan berbudi

Jaga tingkah pemuda-pemudi

Adat dan budaya junjung tinggi

Capailah lekas cita-cita pemudi-pemuda

Supaya kita ada harga di mata dunia ) 2

Kalau kita lengah serta lupa

Hidup kita sia-sia

Jiwa besar sihat serta segar

Rajin dengan sabar tentu bahagia

Lemah lembut perangai pemudi

Cergas tangkas wataknya pemuda

Suka rela selalu berbakti

Sikap yang pembela dan berjasa

Capailah nama yang mulia pemudi-pemuda

Rajinlah supaya berjaya semoga bahagia

Rajinlah supaya berjaya semoga bahagia

May You Achieve Happiness

Together we progress onward

Clever at seeking knowledge

Take care of your health

And be courteous to your friends

With a heart that is clean and pure

Together we respect and do good Watch your behaviour, oh youths

Customs and cultures, hold them high

Quickly reach your ambitions, oh youths

So that we’ll have our worth, in the eyes of the world

If we are lazy and forgetful

Our lives are for nothing

A good soul, a healthy and fresh mind

Hard work and patience, definitely brings happiness

Soft-spoken is the lady

Energetic and tenacious is the man

Charitable, always contributing

Protecting and giving service

Attain a respectable position, oh youths

Be hardworking so that you will succeed,

may you achieve happiness –

http://sg.theasianparent.com/childrens-day-semoga bahagia/#sthash.0j553whl.dpuf

Just like yesterday

I open my eyes and I am in my parents’ house. A bungalow in a quiet part of the country. A place where I have spent the most part of my life, and my fondest memories of family and loved ones can be found right here. I am very happy to see my mom and my dad. I look at my parents. Dad still looks so handsome, and he exudes a kind of air that makes it clear that he is the man in the house. He always seems so have that no-nonsense look and yet I know that he will be the first to insert humour in a situation. He gives me a wink, like he always does whenever he is relaxed. Then I look at my mom. She is the one who loves me and shows her care and concern without fear of being accused of favouring me. I love it when she says to me, “Have you eaten?” This is a question that she always asks no matter what time of the day or night she sees me. I don’t take it literally. I know it is a standard question to show how much she loves me, and she would be quick to drop everything to put food on the table should I ever need to have something to fill my stomach and satisfy my hunger. 

 I am in my house, the house I grew up in and everything is so familiar to me – the furniture, the colour scheme, the messiness, the house just as it is. Nothing has changed. Everything is as it has always been. However, I am also aware that both my parents went home to the Lord years ago. But here I am, having a conversation with them, just like yesterday. Dad is silent. I ask my mother,  “How long have I been here already?”

She answers, “Seven days.”

I cannot believe it. Seven days already? I cannot believe my ears. It sounds so out of this world.

The next minute I see someone else, and it is my aunt. She is in her uniform, as if all dressed for work in her company. I look at her and I can see that she looks very much younger than when I last saw her. The thing is, my aunt too is no longer with us. She went home to the Lord several years ago. . . . 

Finally, I realise that I have been dreaming, and the dream is so real. It is as if I have gone next door to witness it all. The dream is so real. It is so vivid. The faces of my parents and my aunt are so real. It is unbelievable. I seem to have gone to another dimension and returned. What a dream!

 

Writing Your Dreams

I attended a Dreams workshop yesterday. Imagine this – there are about 37 techniques, and I learnt only one. This technique based on story telling, however, is very good. I see that I can actually link it to our writing sessions. It works like this: you tell your dream. You tell it as if you are still dreaming. You use the Present Tense.

Here I am, with my family. We are going to church. To do so, we have to cross a road. We do just that. Safe on the other side of the road, we now find that we need to climb up a few steps. This is easily done. We almost skip all the way up, so thrilled are we to  be able to go to church. In a short while, we have reached the top.

Then I hear the voice of someone so familiar. It is the voice of Pope John Paul II and he is leading a meditation on one of the mysteries of the rosary. I hear his voice – so clear, so loud and so firm….

At the workshop which was really what one could rightly say was an appetizer, we were given input as a whole. Then we got into groups of three to share. The sharing was really good. We keep what we share confidential.

It is here that I think we can use it for our writing session. I am thinking of doing this. Please let me know if you are available, my fellow contributors to this blog, and we will see if we cannot have an exciting session.

I went away from the Dreams workshop with a grateful heart. How good God is! He has such wonderful and creative ways of connecting with us.