Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Blessings From Abba

Since I started going back to active work about 3 months ago, I can really feel my heavenly Father's hand guiding and leading me.

If anyone has ever taken a year-long sabbatical from work of any kind, you will understand some of the adjustments I was and am still going through as I once again join the corporate world.

Abba, I just want to thank you for the new clients you have sent my way and for the understanding of my existing clients of my new found responsibilities as a new mom.

I feel that with You, I really can do all things that others deemed impossible.

You know Patrick and I have an ardent dream to fulfill within the last quarter of the year. We pray You will continue to guide and lead us through this exciting yet challenging period.

May You use us to be Your testimony of great Providence and Love.

Thank Abba, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit, Amen! BlogBooster-The most productive way for mobile blogging. BlogBooster is a multi-service blog editor for iPhone, Android, WebOs and your desktop

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mary Isabellle celebrates her first year as a Cradle Catholic

It has been a full year today since my beautiful daughter was baptised. It is also my husband's birthday today. So it's a double celebration of sorts.

She is indeed God's little favourite - as He has given her really great days in her life thus far. Firstly, she was born on 31 May 2009 - which happened to be Pentecost Sunday (the Church's birthday). It is also the yearly feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary - which explains why her name is Mary.

She came into our lives as our daughter on 7 July 2009 - my mother's birthday and became Roman (Cradle) Catholic on 16 Aug 2009, her papa's birthday. We didn't actually planned it. It was just the Sunday that Patrick's home parish sets for infant Baptism.

Although just 14 months old, she has been an active church going Catholic (no choice, or rather best choice as recommended by her parents), an active choir member (same reason as earlier one), attends regular BEC gatherings and seem to be a little celeb after mass when her weekend "fans" visit her for some cheek pinching or just simply to say "hi" to her.

Our challenge is now of course to teach her by example the reverance we offer to God during mass as our little toddler is learning to run. Thank God we had experience some success with the help of the Holy Spirit and our stroller for blocking her route to a free sprint down the church aisle. She also can be quite noisy - speaking especially during the homily. She seem to think our parish priest is having a conversation with her or something... hmmm. If you are or have been a parent of very young children, you'd understand what I'm sharing here, right? So please pray for us that we may soon find the best way to help her appreciate mass as a special time set aside for God and that we worship as a family in reverance.
My ardent prayer and dream is that she will change the meaning of what a Cradle Catholic would be into the future - a person who truly LOVES and UNDERSTANDS her Faith and encounters GOD in everything she does, and NOT the norm now which is generally a blur follower of Christ whose Faith is easily shaken due to lack of knowledge and understanding of our own Faith.

This blog was started with my Cradle Catholic eyes' view of my world. I see and feel that soon it will be shared by my little Cradle Catholic Mary Isabelle, whose eyes are oh so precious to us all and especially to our Lord.

Amen!

video

Monday, August 2, 2010

First major St Thomas More Feast Day celebrations in Subang Jaya (2010)

A Man for All Seasons (Special Edition)
More in DVD
This year 22 June 2010 was special. How and Why? Well, it's the first time our parish celebrated in a big way our Parish Feast Day.

Although, we did it last year with Fr OC celebrating mass a day earlier on Sunday (as the actual feast day fell on a Monday on 2009), it was a Sunday mass. The homily was of course powerful as Fr OC himself, a qualified lawyer, had always been a fan of the saint.

My vivid memory was about the part when he said (Fr OC) - in not so many words that if it came down to it, we should "hate" even our family members if they will prevent us from loving our God. Sounds harsh right? Well, if you don't already know the story ... his most beloved daughter Meg begged her father Thomas More to take an oath that would declare an earthly king, head of the Church instead of Christ's appointed successor the Pope.

True to his Faith and conscience, Thomas More rejected even his most loved daughter's pleading request, and ended up with his head chopped off. How many of us can do this? Perhaps, (in shame) not even me, when cornered to such a point.

This year, again, we invited yet another lawyer Fr Michael Chua. He gave a powerful and long homily reminding us how important TRUE JUSTICE AND PEACE is, especially in Malaysia and that when we are challenged as Catholic-Christians (remember the hoax SMSes to take down your Rosary or risk having your windscreen smashed), we should remind ourselves how St Thomas More responded.

Apart from the resounding message from this saint which is absolutely apt for Malaysia today, we also treated our eyes to two beautifully painted Stations of The Cross by our very own artist Christie Das. In fact, all fourteen stations will be her masterpieces. At this point of the post Fr Simon Labrooy told us after mass that all 14 stations had been successfully sponsored as part of the church's fund raising activities.

For me personally, it was indeed a great milestone in my journey of being a parishioner of this church. Those of you following my blog would have read earlier that I've somehow gotten the job of script writer for a play which will be staged on the life of St Thomas More as part of the opening celebrations of our new church building.

After almost two months of research and writing, the script was finally completed just before March ended and auditions and rehearsals started early April. As there was another major play being staged, most of the talent pool had gone there...

Due to God's great providence, we still ended up with a team that would do quite a good job, we felt. Then, three weeks into the rehearsals, our Music Director whom, we depended a lot upon, due to his vast experience in this field, decided to quit the team due to personal reasons.

As this a volunteer project, his departure was beyond our control. In desperation, I prayed one night that God will truly help us out of this terrible situation as we needed a few very important songs to complete the tale of Thomas More in the next few days when the rehearsal resume.

The most remarkable thing then happened. It was about 11pm then. My husband, who was quite worried about the entire situation had retired to bed. Out of the blue, I felt like penning some thoughts down. And then it happened ... a tune for the St Thomas More theme song came to me. I know it is truly divine inspiration, cos' on my own strength - I have no such talent.

I then reflected his life and the different aspects of who Thomas More was ... to cut a long story short by about 2.30am I had the theme song roughly recorded. Then I looked at the other important part which needed to be expressed and it was that  heart wrenching moment when Margaret, fondly known as Meg to Thomas More, wrote to her father, begging him to change his mind and take the Oath of Supremacy.

That, my research showed, was one of the most, if not the most painful moment of Thomas More's life- that his daughter, whom he considered his kindred spirit, could not understand what she was asking of him.

And so from 2.30am to about 4.30am, Meg's Letter was composed. It was roughly recorded by 5.30am, by 6am I was so dead tired I slept. However, the moment I heard Patrick waking up, I was up, excited to share my new songs and yet not knowing whether he would approve of them (he's got high standards).

Somehow he felt the songs and we started calling friends who played the piano to play for us and thank God, Christine Das (yes, she's my earth angel) answered the call. Yes, besides being an artist, she is a great pianist. She brought the exact emotions to Meg's Letter.

What affirmed me that God had truly inspired the song, as some people later told me (including Christine) - the song reminded them of their relationship with their own father and it touched them deeply (some to the point of tears).

Back to the feast day... it was indeed a proud moment when my joint composition with God - Hymn to St Thomas More was played in church. What confirmed for me that it was from God was that it coincided with Fr Michael Chua's homily and it felt like it was a summary of what he had preached.

I really can't wait for the play to open when we move into our new home. As Erasmus (STM's best friend) would say, it would be my pleasure to tell the tale of my friend Thomas More.

Come join us spread this message of Thomas More to all Malaysians... May Allah's name be praised always!!! Amin!

(At this point of writing ... God has continued to send the right talent to help us ... slowly but surely. He sent us a really creative set designer who happens to be Christine's husband, a talented tailor, a swell sound engineer/technician, a fabulous choir master, a very efficient secreatary, a innovative creative designer, a very dedicated co-producer, who is also our backbone when we are busy with other areas. Dedicated cast who are internalising their lines and taking on important characters with an important message for all. Our team is getting better despite some minor hiccups along the way .... if you are reading this post, please continue to pray for us.... we definitely need it... Amen)

Monday, July 26, 2010

WOW! I can't believe this blog is a winner ... ;-)

I was really happy this morning to receive an email informing me that my blog is now one of the top 40 Catholism blogs of 2010. Seems unreal that my personal ramblings could lead to this...

According to Emma Lee of AwardingTheWeb, who initiated the award, winners were chosen through a scoring system led by internet nominations,which came from my reader base!

Well, I know from my blog traffic that I do get lotsa visitors and I sometimes wonder whether they do come back to read updates (which I must confess are few due to my crazy schedules these days). So this nomination and scoring thingy kinda gave me a little tap on the shoulder though I know it is also an advertising campaign (of onlinephdprograms - who may be one of AwardingTheWeb sponsors that keep what they do alive).

Whatever it is ... this has given me new vigour and energy to blog again (this post included). I've experienced so many God-led miracles since March and they are shouting to be told and heard, so watch out for them soon.

My only hope is that if you are my reader and hopefully follower too, please make it official by clicking on the FOLLOW button on the right. To me, it means a lot and is like a personal hello, I like your sharing, or I can identify with that.

I'm so happy that one of the other winner is a local blog for our young adult ministry STM Lifeline. Click this link to see who the other top 40 winners are: http://www.onlinephdprograms.com/top_catholicism/#Cradle_Catholic_Eyes

May God's choicest blessings be upon all of you,
Hazel

Sunday, February 28, 2010

What happened in January and February...

Firstly, a thousand apologies (in the slang of Ali Nadim of Mind Your Language, an old British comedy series I thoroughly enjoyed as a child) for not blogging so long and to break my promise that I would do so by mid February.
So as promised, the details which made January truly exciting was first - it was the beginning of the Gregorian calendar and to all people around the world, includng of course yours truly, a brand new start.

Then there was a brand new project which I was enrolled into for our parish fund-raising activities - to come out with exclusive commemorative items for our soon to be opened brand new church building ... the mere thought of it sends shivers through my spine due to sheer excitement.

Come on, how many people who belong to old and established churches ever experienced being part of its building process from scratch. I'm sure their very first memories of celebrating mass inside their church, whether as a child (Cradle Catholics) or an adult (Converts) was that the church building was already set up, with no memories whatsoever of how it was first thought of and then built.

That's why to me the privilege and blessing to see my new church building conceptualised from an artist's impression and slowly how the bricks, concrete and all other building materials used, start to rise higher and bigger with each passing month ... and also to be part of a team helping to raise funds for it.

I thank God for the entire experience, as it truly gives me an increased sense of ownership and belonging to my parish. For those who don't know and who just accidentally stumbled upon my blog, my parish has been celebrating mass in a rented badminton court in a private school for years. Every Sunday morning, extremely dedicated parishioners come as early as 6am to transform a bare hall into a beautiful church.

A Man for All Seasons (Special Edition)The other exciting event was when my husband informed me that Fr Simon Labrooy our parish priest has envisioned a musical to be staged for the opening celebrations of our new church and has entrusted the Music Ministry to produce it.

Somehow, I ended up with the responsibility of drafting a script for it. At first I was apprehensive because it seems like too daunting a task, especially when I'm a stay home mom with a baby and household chores. But like all things divine, God just opened up some time for me and inspired me during my research about Thomas More.

I'm so glad He did, that cos' now I know who St Thomas More is, to the extend I feel he is like a friend. Someone I can relate to him too well.

How? Well, firstly his simplicity in food and beverage - is really something I live daily. When I read how he would kinda pretend to drink wine, by just letting it touch his lips, or how he just drank very light beer or sometimes even pure water from a beer mug to socialise with his friends, hit home close to me.

Even, his preference for eggs, corned beef and milk  and other simple food instead of fine cuisine - is shockingly me. I used to have friends ridicule me cos' to them, I'm missing out in life, but too me I just say to them I don't need special substances or food to give me a high, I'm simply high on life.

I cherish the fact that he is a family person who spends time enriching the lives of his children through education and lotsa of time playing with them. As a stay home mom, it gives me encouragement when it gets tough looking after little Mary who is a bundle of pure energy, if you catch my drift....He has also given me hope that despite the extra effort, it truly is worth bringing up our children to know the Faith. And being a blurr Cradle Catholic, it gives me a push to learn more in order to teach it to her.

Please pray for me as I continue to write the script.... I know so much about him but to put it down as a story within a timeframe of 90 minutes is a true challenge for a person as interesting and as unique as Thomas More....

Writer's block is setting in especially after the long Chinese New Year holidays.

Bye for now....

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Truly exciting month

Before Jan ends, I just have to say it has truly been a busy and exciting month in my life as a Catholic. In short, I'm exhausted but happy.

Details will definitely follow at least by second week of Feb. God is indeed a most amazing being... my treasured Creator how I love thee.

Over and out for now...