Saturday, November 1, 2008


God also said: Let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven.

Genesis 1:20

Give praise to God the Father of all creatures!

I am sorry, Mr Darwin, you lost!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Pilgrimage to France

The District of Asia will be sending a group of over 100 pilgrims to France today, with Singapore having the largest delegation of more than 30 pilgrims. They will embark on a highly spiritual journey, visiting great Marian Shrines in France, which used to be the Eldest Daughter of the Church. They will join the rest of the 10 000 pilgrims from the Society of St Pius X and other affliated traditional Catholic religious orders all over the world next weekend in the magnificent and solemn Marian Pilgrimage to Lourdes, in honour of the Apparition of the Immaculate Mother to little Bernadette 150 years ago.

In your charity, please keep them in your prayers, and unite your prayers and petitions to the Blessed Virgin and the great Saints of the Church with those of the pilgrims.

St James the Greater, Patron of Pilgrims, pray for them!

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

When the Blessed Virgin ended her earthly course in her Dormition, the Apostles thought that she was dead and laid her in the tomb. All the Holy Apostles were present, except for St Thomas.

St Thomas came along, deeply grieved by the death of the Holy Mother. He requested to be brought to the tomb to take a look at the fair countenance of Our Lady for a final time and pay his last respect and homage to his Mistress and Mother.

The Apostles led St Thomas to the tomb of the Blessed Virgin, but to their astonishment, the tomb was opened, and the body of Our Lady disappeared. The tomb was strewn with countless roses of bright colours and stunning beauty, and a heavenly fragrance shrouded the area.

A bewildered St Thomas turned to his brethren, who were also astounded by the mysterious disappearance of Our Lord, "Where is the Holy Virgin Mother?"

There was a silence, no one spoke for a long time. Everyone just stared at the empty tomb. Suddenly, one of the Apostles broke out, "Our Lady... Perhaps she is taken up into Heaven?"

"Well," said St Thomas, "that is the Assumption."

Monday, August 11, 2008


... rearranged to be PAX TECUM FILUMENA, or 'Peace be with you, Filumena'.

Such are the words on the set of tiles that appear on the tomb of St Philomena, which was discovered in May 1802. Either the person who arranged and placed the tiles on the tomb of the fourth century Virgin Martyr was in such a mad rush - probably to sneak off before the Christian persecutors could find him, roast him, and destroy the Catacombs of St Priscilla - or his Latin was just plain horrid.

St Philomena is known to be a wonder-worker, and even St Jean-Marie Vianney had attributed the miracles he performed during his life to her most powerful intercession in Heaven.

Her short and courageous life, punctuated with tortures, visions and miracles, before concluded by her crowning martyrdom, can be summarised with the Litany St Jean-Marie Vianney composed in honour of this his favourite Saint:

Litany of St Philomena

Lord have mercy on us.
Christ have mercy on us.
Lord have mercy on us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Ghost, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity one God, have mercy on us.
Holy Mary, Queen of Virgins, pray for us.
St. Philomena, pray for us.
St. Philomena, filled with the most abundantgraces from your very birth, pray for us.
St. Philomena, faithful imitator of Mary, pray for us.
St. Philomena. model of Virgins, pray for us.
St. Philomena, temple of the most perfect humility, pray for us.
St. Philomena, inflamed with zeal for the Glory of God, pray for us.
St. Philomena, victim of the love of Jesus, pray for us.
St. Philomena, example of strength and perseverance, pray for us.
St. Philomena, invincible champion of chastity, pray for us.
St. Philomena, mirror of the most heroic virtues, pray for us.
St. Philomena, firm and intrepid in the face of torments, pray for us.
St. Philomena, scourged like your Divine Spouse, pray for us.
St. Philomena, pierced by a shower of arrows, pray for us.
St. Philomena, consoled by the Mother of God, when in chains, pray for us.
St. Philomena, cured miraculously in prison, pray for us.
St. Philomena, comforted by angels in your torments, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who preferred torments and death to the splendors of a throne, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who converted the witnesses of your martyrdom, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who wore out the fury of your executioners, pray for us.St. Philomena, protectress of the innocent, pray for us.
St. Philomena, patron of youth, pray for us.
St. Philomena, refuge of the unfortunate, pray for us.
St. Philomena, health of the sick and the weak. pray for us.
St. Philomena, new light of the church militant, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who confounds the impiety of the world, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who stimulates the faith and courage of the faithful, pray for us.
St. Philomena, whose name is glorified in Heaven and feared in Hell, pray for us.
St. Philomena, made illustrious by the most striking miracles, pray for us.
St. Philomena, all powerful with God, pray for us.
St. Philomena, who reigns in glory, pray for us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V: Pray for us, Great St. Philomena.
R: That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray,
We implore Thee, O Lord, by the intercession of Saint Philomena, Virgin and Martyr, who was ever most pleasing to Thy eyes by reason of her eminent purity and the practice of all the virtues, pardon us our sins and grant us all the graces we need (and name any special grace you may require). Amen.

Upon request, a fellow Catholic friend took a picture of his home altar on the Feast of St Philomena, specially decorated for the occasion.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Flying Padre

What an awesome short movie!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Bowl of Noodles and 20 Cents

I received this story through the e-mail:

There was once a priest who was newly transferred to a parish in Perak. Some days after his arrival, finding the food brought to him a little too spicy for his palate, he went to the local coffee shop to have a nice meal of Chinese rice noodle soup. Of course, he wore street clothes, as do all the Catholic priests in Malaysia.

He sat down at one of the run down tables and began to read the morning paper. Soon enough, the hawker brought a steaming hot bowl of noodles to him. Not paying much attention, he paid for the noodles and the hawker put the change down on the table.

As he ate the first spoonful, he found the soup too watery and the noodles overcooked and soggy. He was disappointed with the dish, as after hearing the locals rave about it for the past few days, he had expected better. Well, to be honest, being from Penang where the food is glorious, he was bound to be disappointed no matter where he went. Anyway....

After finishing his meal, as he picked up his change, he realized that the man had returned him 20 cents extra. As he considered what to do, he thought to himself, "You'd better give the 20 cents back. It's not right to keep it." Then he thought, "Forget it, it's only 20 cents and anyway, the food was horrible and not at all what it was made out to be. Who's going to bother about 20 cents? And look, the man is so busy cooking. It might disturb him if I were to interrupt. Let me just take it as a gift from God and keep quiet."

So he made his way out of the shop. But as he passed the stall, he paused momentarily and then handed the 20 cents to the man and said, "Hey boss, you gave me 20 cents extra change".

The hawker smiled and replied, "You're the new parish priest right? I haven't been going to church for a number of years now because of a bad experience I had. I just gave you the extra change to see what you would do and whether you are also a hypocrite like the rest of them. I think I will be coming to see you soon."

The priest rushed back to the Church and fell to his knees before the Blessed Sacrament. "Sweet Jesus!", he said, in tears, "Judas betrayed you for 30 pieces of silver buy I almost sold you for 20 cents! My example might have caused a soul to be lost!"

Most non-Christians will probably never read the bible. But they will read us and all the other Christians they come across. Our lives and our actions will be only Scripture they will ever read and we are closest encounters they will have of the Lord Jesus.

What we say and more importantly, what we do will determine what others think of the Church, the Faith and Our Lord. Are we just hypocrites? Have we, through our words and actions, through our commissions and omissions, led others to have a bad impression of the Lord? Have we driven someone away from Jesus?I think we have all, at some point and some more than others, have been guilty of this. And for this sin, we need to beg the Lord's forgiveness and resolve to better represent the Lord who has made us, through our baptism, ambassadors of Christ. May we be Christ to others and let the Light of Christ shine through us.

Post Script: The priest, shaken by this experience, has taken to wearing his cassock and collar in public, both as a sign of his calling to others and, primarily, as a sign of his own calling and consecration to himself. His vesture reminds him daily, at all times, of his identity and his own vocation as a priest and as a Christian and reminds him that his actions as a minister of Christ and the Church are a sign to others as well. It reminds him that people, and God, are watching.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

"Chilli! Chilli!"

I was leaving a local Catholic bookstore on my last visit there when I saw a Filipina approaching, with a happy group of three four-year-olds running before her. I would suspect that the little children were Filipinos too, and they were in their uniform, which led me to assume that they were dismissed not too long ago from their kindergarten at a church nearby.

While waiting at the bus-stop, which happens to be just outsie the Catholic bookstore, the group of children, who were also at the bus-stop waiting for their bus with the lady, they started peeking through the glass windows of the display shelves of the bookstore. They must have seen a statue of the Sacred Heart, and called out frantically, trying to get the lady's attention, "Papa Jesus! Papa Jesus!"

I smiled to myself, but I never expect what is to come. What happened next almost caused me to trip over and burst out laughing.

One of the children, getting excited by the many statues on the display shelves, saw the statue of the Immaculate Heart. Without hesitation, he lifted his finger and pointed at the statue of Our Lady with her Immaculate Heart, he screamed, "Chilli! Chilli!"

I managed to hide my surprise and chuckle by quickly turning away. Deep down, I was laughing, laughing out loud. Not for the boy's ignorance that the chilli-shaped thing he is referring to is actually the Heart of the Mother of God, but more of a certain joy, a certain unspeakable joy, that the child is still so innocent, so pure, so child-like.

The lady quickly corrected the child, saying that the statue is a depiction of 'Mama Mary'. She, too, is evidently controlling her laughter.

'Papa Jesus', 'Mama Mary'. How lovely, how sweet, how endearing do these little children address their Saviour and their Virgin Mother! Our Blessed Lord and Our Blessed Mother Mary in Heaven would have, I believe, showered the little boy with many graces and clapped their hands in joy at that very moment, as they gazed down lovingly at this little child from their thrones in Heaven, this little soul shining like a diamond amidst the dark, corrupted world around it, still innocent, undefiled by actual sins.

Prayers need not be long and elaborate. Sometimes, the mere addressing Our Lord and Our Lady as 'Papa' and 'Mama' is more than sufficient, if you truly love them as your Father and Mother.

And said: Amen I say to you, unless you be converted, and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
St Matthew 18:3