Conference on Youth Life in the Spirit Seminar by Fr. Gino

September 30, 2008

SACCRE Youth has provided the audio recording of the talks. You can find it below:

http://www.saccre-youth.org/resources/2008/2008-09/conference-youth-liss

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Books by Cardinal Suenens on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal

September 25, 2008

Amazing, I found from a forum the out-of-print copy of the many writings of Cardinal Suenens on the Catholic Charismatic Renewal.

I have provided the link from The Emmaus Wiki, you can simply go to:

http://theemmaus.wiki.zoho.com/Catholic-Charismatic-Renewal.html

You will find the link under “Voice from the Church”. I think one of the most interesting article is on the “Resting in the Spirit”. I think we have to discern further. Following the suggestion by Suenens, from now on, I will try to call it “Falling Phenomenon” instead. We should not encourage it in public worship such as healing rally, prayer meeting, life in the spirit seminar, etc.


the important role of Fathers, game, and God in the life of boys

September 16, 2008

I found this article from Zenit interesting:

http://www.zenit.org/article-23595?l=english


What God wants is not our abundance but our poverty

September 11, 2008

Last Tuesday I had a bible study on the book of Acts, and the Priest who was giving the lecture spoke the words of Mother Teresa that still lingers in my mind,

What God wants is not our abundance, but our poverty

I kept on thinkin on these words. I used to think that when we have plenty, the more we can give to God. But it seems that what the Lord wants is not our abundance, but rather our poverty. But do I want to be poor then? Last night the Gospel reading was from Luke 6 verse 20

And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied. “Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.
“Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!
Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.

When I reflect on this passage, I realize that Jesus used the word “now” only in hunger and weep, but not in poor. It is as if that one day we will no longer in hunger but be satisfied, we will no longer weep but rejoice. But for the case being poor,…, maybe we will always be poor.

In Matthew Gospel, Jesus said, blessed are the poor in spirit, as if to explain what it means. I open up my Harper’s Bible dictionary to find what it means to be poor in the Bible.

[…] The view of the poor is revealed in the chief Hebrew terms for the poor, which address them as needy, without power, and abused by those with greater power. […] They do not have the capacity to provide for themselves the essentials of life.

Maybe we will always become a needy, in need of God, maybe we will always be without power, because God is our only power, maybe we will always be abused by the world and its values, but God is our hope. Maybe we will always be in a situation that we do not have the capacity to provide the essentials of Life. Maybe… the Life we receive from God, is simply a gift. Maybe the Eternal Life that we receive, is not in “our” capacity. It is just a generous gift from the Lord.

Blessed are you poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Jesus associates himself with the Kingdom of God. How blessed are you poor, how blessed are you who is in need of God, who has no power on its own, who relies solely on the Lord, for yours is the Kingdom of God, blessed are you, for to you … God belongs.


What should I do in the adoration room?

September 11, 2008

Since I am a bit free today ( I just finished my oral exam PhD, praise the Lord), I decided to write something which I shared with a friend of mine, a youth worker in one parish here.

I was sharing with him of God’s calling in my life to come regularly to spend a holy hour before the blessed sacrament. I guess it all started when I read the book written by Bishop Fulton Sheen. He promised the Lord that he would spend an hour a day before the blessed sacrament when he became a priest. And he did it! Then one day a friend of mine gave a book on the life of Sr. Briege McKenna “Miracles do Happen”. There Sr. Briege shared that she tried to spend time two hours daily before the blessed sacrament.

Well I love all those story but nothing happen until about two or three years ago. I started to have a desire to spend time with the Lord in the adoration room. So I told the Lord, “Lord I want to, but I don’t think I have the time. So help me Lord.” Well, the desire was there, but I didn’t go to the adoration room, because I didn’t have time.

One day, I went to a healing rally where a priest from India gave a talk. After the talk they invited us to come forward if we want to be prayed over. So I came forward, well, nothing to lose, don’t waste the grace that God wants to give to his people. So I came forward and the leader prayed for me. And after she finished the prayer and I was leaving, she tapped me, and said, “I felt the Lord wants you to go to the adoration room more often.” … I was startled, I couldn’t believe it. After a few seconds of looking at her, I just smile and left.

Well, I left the church that day saying to myself, “Oka, you better do it.” So I started to find time, and surprisingly, there is time! So every Sunday morning I came to the adoration room and spend my time with the Lord there.

To be frank, there are difficult moments, sometimes I skip the holy hour because of laziness of waking up in the morning. But the Lord help me to be faithful, the desire was still there. That is His voice that kept on inviting me to come.

One difficulties that I experience was that I kept on thinking what I should do during the one hour there in the adoration room. I tried rosary, the longest prayer I knew :p, I tried books on eucharistic adoration. I tried to praise and worship him, I tried reading the scripture, etc, etc. The point is, I was clueless what I should do for one hour in the adoration room.

One day I realize, maybe from the book of Sr. Briege, that I have a wrong conception. When I came to the adoration room to spend a time with the Lord, it’s not about what I should do for the Lord. Rather, it’s about what the Lord is doing to me.

So I still prayed, sometimes I meditate the scriptures, and other things. But I am not worried anymore. Most of the time, I sat and looked at the Lord. I tried to be still, and say, “Here I am Lord”.


Thanking the Lord for the past four to eight years

September 11, 2008

I just want to give the Lord thanks for his accompaniment throught out my study in NTU, starting from my bachelor degree and then to my PhD. This morning, I had my oral exam for my PhD degree, and thank the Lord he was there to accompany me.

Thank you Lord for your Love to me, that you never abandon me. You guided me through all this time. Through the difficult periods during my study you were there. You hold my hands. You are my friend and my Lord.

I want to offer up this thanksgiving sacrifice to your lovely heart. Let your name be praised for ever more.


Learning to fall in love with Jesus

September 8, 2008

I once had a conversation with a friend who asked me this question, “how can we love Jesus?”. Behind this question is the same difficulties we all have: we can’t see and touch Jesus, we can’t hear him speak to us, he is not physically there when we need him. How can we love Jesus then?

I don’t think I will ever give an answer that will satisfy everyone. My fear though, the way to love Jesus might not be the answer that we all want to hear. We have many conceptions about love. And the worst part is that the world contributes to many of the “wrong” conception about love. The songs, the movies, the novels. What have we learned about love?

How can we love Jesus then? Maybe we can’t. How can we love the infinite? How can a creature love the creator? How can we human try to love the source of Love?

Maybe our first step that we can do is to receive love. St. John said

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. (1John 4:10)

The next question we might ask is: how can we receive God’s love? I would like share two things that I do. The first one is to pray asking the Holy Spirit. The second one is to give thanks. I recall when I came to a Pentecost rally few years back, and fr. Robert Faricy S.J. gave a talk. He told us that the Holy Spirit only does two things to Christians. The first one is to help us to receive Love, and the second is to help us to Love. So if you want to receive God’s Love, ask the Holy Spirit. I learned to pray this ancient prayer of the church when I became legioner,

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit O Lord, and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.

So this is the first thing that I do, to ask the Holy Spirit to come and to fill me. Ah, I know many people todays is having difficulties with the Holy Spirit. If we even having difficulties with Jesus whom we can picture in our imagination, how much more with the Holy Spirit. But this is exactly the point. Many of us keep our hearts small. We restrict God’s love. We want only love that we can see. We want love that we can feel. We want love that we can touch. We want love that is physically available for us. We say that those are love and only those. That’s the problem! True Love goes beyond all those. So don’t restrict God’s love. When you open up you will realize you are at a waterfall, and God’s love is poured out abundantly. So stop saying those narrow minded love definitions.

The Holy Spirit will help us. Pray to the Holy Spirit, let him free you from the prison of worldly love. Let Him open up your heart to experience divine Love.

I remember the first time when I have a desire to Love Jesus. It was few years back when I started to realize how much God loves me. I opened up my heart and the I felt peace. I began to see how much God loves me. And if you think that is a one night thing, you are totally mistaken. It’s still happening till today. I still allow myself to be loved. I still experiencing His Love. And day by day, I kept on falling in love. Day by day I realize how small my love is, but day by day, he still calls me to draw nearer to Him.

In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)

The second thing, that I learned to do is to give thanks. Yeah everyone knows this, but guess what? Not everyone is doing it. I didn’t do it last time! But now I learn to give thanks for everything. I give thanks for the good nice rest, I give thanks for the morning sun, for the wonderful breakfast, for the work that I do, for lunch with my friends, for the birds that sing to my ear, for laughter that makes my day. I give God thanks for the time of prayer, just to sit and be with him. I learn to give Him thanks for everything! (I recall I once give him thanks for my big toes)

This is the beauty of Giving Thanks: we turn our eyes from our “selves” to God. When you are to busy with all your birthday gifts, you might missed the person who gives you all those things. But when you say thank you, your eyes turn from the gifts to the Giver. Similarly, in thanksgiving, we turn our eyes from our “gifts” to the Giver.

Give thanks to Him! This is how we can learn to use a new glasses that see God’s love is abundant and everywhere. This is the glasses to see the Giver.

Finally, again, we can’t love God with our strength. Our love is just a reflection of His love to us. So let us allow ourselves to be loved, let us come nearer to him. For he is calling us.

[8] The voice of my beloved!
Behold, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
bounding over the hills.
[9] My beloved is like a gazelle,
or a young stag.
Behold, there he stands
behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows,
looking through the lattice.
[10] My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my fair one,
and come away; (Song of Songs 2)