A Fantasy Trip through the ‘Dark Night of the Spirit’

missionary ROMANS 9.17

Imagine John and Martha as a married couple approaching their seventy fifth birthdays. They enjoy good physical health, have a solid marriage, are very involved in their church and their community, are proud of their grown children- all of whom seem to be doing well- and take particular delight in their grandchildren. They are also financially secure enough to enjoy a comfortable retirement. One day they approach their parish priest and ask for his guidance, and this is the story they share: ‘Father, we have been long-standing and faithful parishioners here, and you know us well. We’re retired; we’re really enjoying our grandchildren. In fact, John has just built a huge deck off of our living room so that we have more space for our family when they drop round. There are so many options still open to us, so many things we would still like to do in our lives. But…but… we have been praying together, and praying a lot over the story of Abraham and Sarah and how when they were old, done with their childbearing years, God called them to set out for an unknown place and how it took them ten years to get there and then, when they arrived there, with them now well over eighty years old, Sarah got pregnant in some new way, and how that, this gray-haired and impossible pregnancy, became their real gift to the world…Well, we have been praying over this for a long time and we feel called in this way, like Abraham and Sarah. We feel that God is calling us into the big, big unknown as he did them. We have mulled over this for a long time and this is our plan: What we want to do is to sell our house and, after buying two one-way airline tickets, give the rest of money to the food bank (because Jesus said to sell everything and give the money to the poor). The one-way tickets we would buy would be for Pakistan. We feel that God is calling us to spend the rest of our lives as missionaries to Islam in Pakistan. We picked Pakistan because there is so much tension today between Christians and Muslims, and there is a need for more understanding between us. Our plan is to go there with no money and to live simply with the poor there, and to die there. We presented this plan to our children, and they were beyond belief, stunned and horrified. They think we are insane and demanded that, among other things, we talk to you. So what do you think of this idea?’

The priest, unless he was John of the Cross, would most certainly side with the view of their children: ‘You’re crazy! This is dangerous fundamentalism! This is the ultimate in naivete!’ But being a trained pastoral minister, he would attempt to dissuade them and bring them and bring them to their senses through logic. His first objection would be this: ‘You shouldn’t do this. You are needed here! Your children, your grandchildren, the church, the community, we need you! There is still so much that you can do. You’re still young, still healthy. You may not do this!’ But John and Martha are ready for this objection, having already thought this through: ‘We appreciate your saying that, and it’s nice to be wanted. But radically, we are not needed. What we have to give we have already given through the last fifty years. We did the work, we provided for our kids, and we love them deeply. But in going to Pakistan and ending our lives in this way, we want to give our kids and grandkids something else, something deeper, something that can be given only in spirit. We have already given them what we can give them humanly. We are doing this for them! They will miss us and we will miss them terribly, but that’s the price for this. Besides, yes, we are healthy, but we are no longer young. Either or both of us could be struck down by cancer or a stroke or something else, and we would be gone in any case. In twenty years, we’ll both most likely be gone, so we may as well do this of our own volition, when we can make it mean something deep.’ Dissatisfied but undaunted, the priest would move on to his second argument: ‘And how do you intend to live in Pakistan, once you have given all your money away? How will you eat? Where will you live? What will you do if you get sick and need a hospital?’ But again, John and Martha are ready for those questions: ‘That’s the real point of this. If we took along credit cards and had return tickets tucked away in case of an emergency that would defeat the real purpose of this. We need to do this on blind trust. We won’t starve, we’ll live somehow, we’ll beg, we’ll live off peoples’ kindness. We know this sounds utterly naïve, but God will provide for us somehow! Don’t think that we haven’t thought of this, and don’t think that we aren’t scared. We’re very scared; we don’t even know what we are going to do immediately after we get off the plane. But that is the point of this!’

With that response staring at him, the priest plays his last card: ‘Besides, the whole thing is wrong from the top down. You know nothing about Pakistan, nothing about the Islamic religion. Moreover, the last thing we need in the church and the world today is a couple of naïve, misguided missionaries, thinking they can save the world! You will do more harm than good!’ John and Martha have also already thought about this: You’re right. We are naïve, and maybe we are misguided. We don’t know anything about Pakistan and Islam, other than some rather superficial things we’ve picked u by reading a couple of books. But again, that is the point. We are there as sheep. We’re not going there to preach or to convert anyone. We just want to live among the people there and try to understand and love them. Maybe we will get killed, but we hope not. We are not going there to save the world; it’s more ourselves and our kids and grandkids whom we are trying to save!’ Now imagine what would happen if neither their family nor the priest could talk them out of their plan and they indeed went to Pakistan, stayed there, and died there. What would be the reaction of their family ten years after their deaths: ‘Our parents were crazy!’? More likely the reaction would be: ‘We had extraordinary parents! They did this incredible faith thing when they retired! What an incredible witness they gave us! What an incredible memory we have of them!’ And if they could articulate this in more religious terms, they might phrase it like this: ‘What a freeing and life-giving spirit they left us! They gave us their deaths as a gift!’

This fantasy might seem pretty fanciful and far-fetched. Who would ever do something like this? John of the Cross would, I suspect, answer the question this way: You may as well risk this kind of radical journey, because if you do not do this of your own volition, it will be done to you. Sometime, and it will happen to us all, we will walk into a doctor’s office and be given a death sentence. Or death will catch us even more unexpectedly in a heart attack, stroke, or accident. At that moment, metaphorically, we will have been handed our one-way ticket to the greatest of all unknowns and, from this journey, there will be no coming back. Palliative care awaits us all, and palliative care is a one-way ticket. We can enter it on our own, on purpose, or we can wait to be eventually taken there against our will. Either way, we will now stand before the same choice that Jesus had to make in the Garden of Gethsemane: How am I going to give my death over? In freedom or in clinging? In graciousness or in bitterness? In anger or in forgiveness? The particular spirit that our death leaves behind, our final gift to the ones left behind, will be determined on how and what we choose in our dying.

[Extracted from pages 300-305, SACRED FIRE- A Vision For A Deeper Human And Christian Maturity by Ronald Rolheiser]

Get Me Off This Roller Coaster!

Jesus at work

To get off the roller coaster of excessive commitments and put God in the driver’s seat, here are a few things to consider:

1. Put God first. If you can trust God with your very life and eternal salvation, you certainly trust Him with your career. Prioritize your life to serve God first, and make your work an act of service to Him along with a way of serving others.

2. Maintain spiritual practices when you’re busy.History is full of examples of extremely busy people who pray constantly and build other pious practices into their daily routine. The ultimate example is Jesus Himself, who, during His public ministry, frequently withdrew to spend time in prayer. You’re not busier than Jesus, are you?

3. Read Scripture regularly to maintain perspective.Isn’t it amazing how the Scriptures are constantly new and applicable? Sometimes when we’re most troubled by things at work, reading Scripture can help us regain perspective.

4. Have a plan. Build a routine around the things that draw us closer to God. We know that God is always with us and that He cares about even the most mundane aspects of our lives. Our work is important to Him, so by offering it to Him as a form of prayer, we most effectively accomplish His will.

-Extracted from the book, ‘Faith at Work-Finding Purpose Beyond the Paycheck’ by Kevin Lowry

Amazing List from Pope Francis

Pope's List

Keeping Fit

Praise the Lord! This was my greatest achievement in 2014 as an English teacher. My pupil, Rosasyidah had become the winner for Zon Pedalaman, and as you watch on video was recorded in Tawau, Sabah as she competed in English public speaking state-level.

A very good morning to our chairman, honourable judges, teachers and friends. The title of my speech today is, ‘Keeping Fit’.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In this day and age, most of us know the benefits of keeping fit. Modern society has come to the point that we need to keep fit to stay alive. Our work normally does not involve hard physical labour. So, many of us lack exercises. The consequence of not getting enough exercise is frightening. On the mildest scale we may simply grow fat. On a more ominous scale, we may develop all sorts of ailments that can kill us before we grow old. So we exercise for our lives.

There are various means by which we can get the exercise we need. If we live in the city and can afford it, there are fitness clubs and gymnasiums that can cater to our needs. They offer aerobic dancing, jazz dancing, weight training and other sorts of body torture guaranteed to make us sweat. For the poorer ones there are other cheaper alternatives for keeping fit.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Games like badminton, squash and tennis are popular with many who like a bit of competition in their exercise. Others play hockey, soccer and similar field games. Others engage in mild games of snooker or bowling. While the intensity of physical exertion differs in each game, they all give certain amounts of exercise to the participants. Who can say how much exercise a person needs? It all depends on his physical condition and his willingness to participate.

By far the most popular form of keeping fit is jogging. It is also relatively cheap. All a jogger needs is a good pair of running shoes, some decent and comfortable clothes, a track to run on and a desire to do something beneficial for his body.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Thus, we can see joggers in the parks, fields and roads early in the morning and also in the evening. These people are of various shapes, sizes and ages. They dress in all sorts of outfits ranging from simple drab ones to flashes of colour enough to distract other joggers. Nevertheless, all of them huff and puff their way along their chosen paths. Some jog rather quickly while others look like they are out more for a stroll than a run. Some fitter ones jog easily and smoothly while some obviously not-so-fit ones drag their tired feet one after another along the track. By merely looking at the face of a runner, one can tell if he is feeling all right or feeling tortured.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Come organised runs like marathons and half-marathons, we see virtually thousands of people running and walking along the route for prizes that most will not get. The point is not to win anything except the satisfaction of knowing one has completed the distance. This is an achievement in itself. Twenty six miles by car is a long enough journey. The same distance by foot is far longer and infinitely more tiring, if one can make it at all.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Whatever means we emply to keep fit is up to us. In fact we have the choice whether we want to keep fit or leave our bodies alone. The benefits of keeping fit are many provided we do not do it to extremes. There are cases of people over-exercising themselves to death. That defeats the whole purpose of keeping fit. Performed moderately, exercise does keep us fit and healthy. Let me end my speech by asking all of you, ‘Would you like to keep fit?’ It is your body, you decide!

Thank you.

Awaiting 2015!

Saint Ignatius

Patient Trust

“Above all, trust in the slow work of God.
We are quite naturally impatient in everything
to reach the end without delay.
We should like to skip the intermediate stages.
We are impatient of being on the way to something
unknown, something new.
And yet it is the law of all progress
that it is made by passing through
some stages of instability—
and that it may take a very long time.
And so I think it is with you;
your ideas mature gradually—let them grow,
let them shape themselves, without undue haste.
Don’t try to force them on,
as though you could be today what time
(that is to say, grace and circumstances
acting on your own good will)
will make of you tomorrow.
Only God could say what this new spirit
gradually forming within you will be.
Give Our Lord the benefit of believing
that his hand is leading you,
and accept the anxiety of feeling yourself
in suspense and incomplete.”

—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, SJ, excerpted from Hearts on Fire

Before embarking the brand new year in just few hours, I would like to offer the above prayer, Patient Trust.

While I was looking on something to read on my Facebook news just now, I found out two very helpful articles for me:

1. An Ignatian Framework for Making a Decision

2. Cardinal Dolan’s 10-step guide to holiness

especially I am going to plan for my resignation in 2 years time if God’s will. (saying YES to my door of religious life) Jesus, I love you and I know You will take care of me.  In Jesus Christ, I put my total trust in You. Increase my trust in You Lord! Amen.

I would like to sum up my 2014 with the following phrase:

 

Praise the Lord!

The Characteristic of becoming Jesuit

(taken from the book, 34th General Congregation of the Society of Jesus)

200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus

1. Deep Personal Love for Jesus Christ

Here it will be to ask for an intimate knowledge of our Lord, who has become human for me, that I may love him more and follow him more closely.

2. Contemplative in Action

I shall not fail to recall that grace which he had in all circumstances, while at work or in conversation, of feeling the presence of God and of fasting spiritual things, of being contemplative even in the midst of action; he used to interpret this as seeking God in all things.

3. An Apostolic Body in the church

Finally we decided in the affirmative; namely that… we should not break this divinely constituted oneness and fellowship, but rather strengthen and consolidate it ever more, forming ourselves into one body.

4. In Solidarity with those most in need

And what they should especially seek to accomplish for God’s greater glory is to preach, hear confessions, lecture, instruct children, give good example, visit the poor in the hospitals, exhort the neighbour according to the amount of talent which each is conscious of possessing, so as to move as many as possible to prayer and devotion.

5. Partnership with Others

For that same reason too, preference ought to be shown to the aid which is given to the great nations, such as the Indies, or to important cities, or to universities, which are generally attended by numerous persons who by being aided themselves can become labourers for the help of others.

6. Called to Learned Ministry

After the pilgrim realized that it was not God’s will that he remain in Jerusalem, he continually pondered within himself what he ought to do. At last he inclined more to study for some time so he would be able to help souls, and he decided to go to Barcelona.

7. Men Sent, Always Available for new Missions

If they were not given permission to remain in Jerusalem, they would return to Rome and present themselves to the vicar of Christ, so that he could make use of them wherever he thought it would be to the greater glory of God and the service of souls.

8. Ever Searching for the Magis

Those who wish to give greater proof of their love, and to distinguish themselves in whatever concerns the service of the Eternal King and the Lord of all, will not only offer themselves entirely for the work but make offerings of greater value and of more importance.

Conclusion

Our way of proceeding is a way of challenge. But this way of proceeding is the reason why every son of the Society will always act and react in a consistently Jesuit and Ignatian way, even in the most unforeseen circumstances.

May we ever love more faithfully this way of Christ modelled for us by Saint Ignatius. For this we pray in a prayer of Father Pedro Arrupe:

‘Lord, meditating on our way of proceeding,’ I have discovered that the ideal of our way of acting is your way of acting.

Give me that sensus Christi that I may feel with your feelings, with the sentiments of your heart, which basically are love for your Father and love for all men and women.

Teach me how to be compassionate to the suffering, to the poor, the blind, lame and the lepers.

Teach us your way so that it becomes our way today, so that we may come closer the great ideal of Saint Ignatius: to be companions of Jesus, collaborators in the work of redemption.

p.s: Today 27 Sept, Pope Francis will celebrate the 200th anniversary of the Restoration of the Society of Jesus with vespers at the Church of the Gesù in Rome.

Reflection: What does Jesus offer me?

Jesus offers something BIG

Finding God in 10k Marathon!

N5005_0552

Aced it!

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

To God be the Glory! Amen.

Heaven by Peter Kreeft

Below were some excerpts that made me pause and reflect for few minutes upon finishing this ‘heaven’ book written by popular philosopher and apologist, Peter Kreeft. It was an awesome book,but not everyone would find it awesome as each of us has different ‘taste’ of what heaven is. There you go:

What do we want? A political saviour? A superstar? A Superman? If so, Jesus is not our answer. He does not fit our expectations. ‘He is the great iconoclast….The Incarnation is the supreme example; it leaves all previous ideas of the Messiah in ruins.’ Our hearts are too small for him. He gives us more than we want, and he wants us to want more than we want so we can want what he gives us. Is it perhaps a new birth, a new being that we want? Divine life? The seed that will grow into being ‘perfect as my Father in heaven is perfect’? If that is what we want, Jesus is our answer. It is to this desire that he says, ‘Seek and you shall find…all who seek, find.’ All other things can be sought and not found: money, pleasure, power, fame, health, peace, security, or worldly success. Only God is guaranteed. All who seek him find him. But only those who seek him find him: ‘You will seek me and find me; when you seek me with all your heart, I will be found by you, says the Lord.’

Finding him is heaven. Seeking him is heaven’s door. Not finding him is hell, and not seeking is the door to hell. The road to hell is not paved with good intentions but with no intentions, with ‘I don’t give a damn’ or ‘the hell with it’. (Page 47,48)

As C.S. Lewis puts it, ‘Joy is not a substitute for sex; sex is very often a substitute for joy. (Page 105)

Romantic love is an infinite passion because it is an unconscious longing for the infinite God who is love. (Page 107)

Why does this person fall in love with that person and not another? Why does just this face, whose eyes, move us as lovers, work wonders in our heart, seem to be one we were born desiring? Why do we recognize the beloved’s beauty as what we were looking for all our lives? Why does Romeo fall for Juliet, of all people? Antony for Cleopatra? What in the world does Joe see in Mary? Nothing in the world. But what in heaven does Joe see in Mary? That’s it: What in heaven? (Page 107)

Spirit is essentially dynamic, and its joy flows out in three directions: back to God in gratitude and rejoicing, out to others like a watering fountain, and into our own soul and body as a sort overspill. Joyful feelings and thoughts, even pleasure and health, result from Joy; and this is a foretaste of heaven. ( Page 134)

Teilhard de Chardin also sees ‘ the heart of the problem’ as an image problem: ‘Man would seem to have no clear picture of the God he longs to worship.’ It is because a joyless person can only picture a joyless God.

Perhaps one reason excitements like gambling, violence, alcohol, and promiscuity are often temptations to the ethical and conventionally religious person is that his or her life is full of peace but not of joy. It lacks the ingredient that is in joy but not in peace or happiness: passion. Such a person is rarely tempted by avarice, selfishness, or lust for power, the desire to control one’s life. The need is to yield to ecstasy- if not to God, then to an irrational passion. (Page 141,142)

We act out our perceived identities. Tell a kid he’s lovable and he’ll act lovable. Memento mori, said the medieval maxim: Remember death, and then you will not sin. But the biblical meaning of this is not: Remember that if you sin you will be punished after death. It is: Remember that you have already died to sin, to old self, to Adam; remember who you are, and you will not sin. (Page 188)

Unless we fight, we do not fail. Unless we fail, we do not know our need. Unless we know our need, we’re not in the market for God’s grace. (Page 193)

With our feet on the earth, we breathe the air of heavenly joy. It’s not something we work up or read a book about; it’s something we’ve been given. The present of heaven is presented to us in the present, and there’s no time like the present. In fact, there’s no time but the present. It’s here, and the only thing we can add, the only thing God wants from us, is our desire for it, our yes to it. The ‘it’ is a him; his name is Jesus.

What do we want? Infinite joy. Very well, here he is. Now what? Just say yes. Is that all? Yes. Keep on saying yes, like Molly Bloom at the end of Ulysses. Yes yes yes yes yes yes yes. (Page 199)

Paul in Romans 7: ‘I do not understand my own behaviour. For the good that I would do, I do not, and the evil that I would not, that I do.’ (Page 223)

‘For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his own soul?’ (Page 256)

According to the most practical of all religious authorities, Jesus Christ, only the virtuous, only the pure of heart, can see God. For the instrument with which we see God is ourselves, our hearts. Our wills, our loves. By loving, we keep the instrument clear, the mirror bright, the temple ready for the Lord who has promised to come suddenly and visit his temple with the weight of his glory. His yoke is so easy, his burden so light, that the thing that weighs infinitely more than the whole world, namely, the weightless that we do not even carry it, it carries us, like the wind carrying the stream. All we have to do is to say Yes. ( Page 164, 165)

To sum up this book that I had read: Finding Jesus is heaven, and heaven is my heart’s deepest longing.

Simple Guide for Discernment by Melanie Yeoh (It’s more confusing than Neuroanatomy!)

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Originally posted on Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Disclaimer: All my own opinions. Read at your own risk!

Discernment is like the start of “A Tale of Two Cities” -> ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness.’ It’s the BEST cos the world seems so lovely.. God loved us first, so our hearts have the capacity to love others. But it’s the WORST cos you’re suddenly confronted with a whole new world of change, of seeing how far you will go for Your Beloved. Wisdom given by God shows me the Way, but the foolishness and pride from myself keeps me from the Way.

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I don’t think i will ever stop discerning God’s Will in my life. Everyday, every single minute is filled with choices. Some are easier than others (99 year old, bed-bound 10 years, Alzheimer’s with pneumonia. Intubate? Erm, NO) and some are slightly more complicated (What should i have for dinner? Ramly oblong chicken burger or nasi goreng kerabu seafood?! I like both! How?!) The day i stop discerning, is the day my pride and arrogance has won…

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But i digress. The discernment I’m referring to is discernment for state of life. Many many many learned scholars have written many many many books on Discernment. Unfortunately, i haven’t read many books on this. I figured, the only one who can discern God’s Will for my state of life is myself, with God’s grace of course. I’ve noticed that He’ll drop hints and tips on and off on which direction He wants me to go.

So here’s what I’ve garnered, in a nutshell:

1. There is NO such thing as coincidence, no matter how much people around you will try and convince you that it exists.

If you are discerning, then you know that everything happens for a reason and for God’s purpose (hikmah, as my friends would say). But if that is the premise, then there is no room for the existence of this animal called ‘coincidence’… We might perceive it as coincidence, but in God’s eyes, He’s got something more up His sleeve!

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2. Pride is a deadly sin.

Which i am guilty of fairly often… Being young and feisty, thoughts of morbidity and mortality lie far way from my mind. I assume that my family, friends, colleagues, patients need me, and how could they possibly do without me?! It’s fine if I’m alive and well. But who’s to say i don’t walk out the door and get hit by some crazed mat rempit? If i die, that’s a good thing. If i don’t die and am left paralysed from the nose down, then who will be caring for WHOM now…? So note to self: I am not God. Presumably if my GPS (God Positioning System) tells me to turn right/left cos there’s an obstacle or ravine ahead, then i can either follow instructions or choose to ignore my GPS on AOR (at own risk) basis.
*This GPS is more reliable than my Garmin, which likes to take me on the longest and most expensive route possible to get to my destination…*

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3. Take it one step at a time

As Sr Anne fsp (a very wise person) would say “God gives us JUST enough grace for the day”. Basically, God will give you X amount of grace/day. Therefore, by the time you reach Obstacle A, you’d have enough accumulated grace to overcome said obstacle. You can speculate what might be ahead, but don’t be overly stressed about it. It’s like the lamp analogy – Life is like walking on a dark path with a lamp (and that ‘GPS’ in your heart) to guide your steps. With the lamp, you can see just one or two steps ahead, but that’s about it. The oil that keeps your lamp burning is prayer, all the good deeds you do, all the virtues you accumulate, and most importantly, God’s grace.

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4. Be careful about picking the logical choice

Let’s face it.. This whole vocation thing is just NOT logical. I mean, if you look with the eyes of human logic, none of this makes sense! God falling in love with me? Leaving everything behind to follow a Divine Spouse that no one can physically see? But if you feel with your heart, everything makes perfect sense…
So practical applications! Just need to answer two questions:
A) How much do i love God (and, this being a relationship, how much does He love me..) and am i willing to give up all that i’m comfortable with right now, for Him?
– This one, only you and God can answer it. Generally, your heart knows what it wants, but your brain just has to catch up.
B) Which congregation/order?
– I credit this answer to my dear friend, Dr Anita Gonzalez.. She says “Choose the one you feel most at home with.” I interpreted this as – Let’s say you decide on Order X. If you happen to meet a Sr Grumpy (or, more likely, a whole bunch of Sr Grumpys) would you still stay with Order X? Cos entering an order is essentially like marrying a 100 husbands (this quote, i credit to my mother, Dr Gertrude).

angry nun

If you can tolerate all their funny habits (no pun intended), and still love them for whom they are despite being Sr Bad Mood and Sr Perpetua(lly) PMS, then this is your home… Don’t choose based on logic, i.e. I’m a doctor, i should apply for FMM/FMDM/LSP/medically-related orders. Follow what your heart tells you (does NOT apply if you’re marrying a normal guy btw. That one, follow your head.) and choose that one, no matter how illogical it may seem to you!

5. Do a Gedankenexperiment (Google it…)

– This one is credited to Sr Shirley Chong, fsp. Well, she didn’t say this exactly, but i expanded on what she did. She used to lie down on her bed and see if she could imagine herself as a nun.
– What i did was lie down and imagine:
Scenario 1 – What my plan is for my life, i.e. transfer to a Klinik Kesihatan, then resign, then be a GP + charitable works + travel and see the world from time to time. Perfect! But…. had this tiny niggling feeling of uneasiness. Couldn’t quite figure out why. It looks like a great plan, don’t you think? Future certain, all systems GO!
Secnario 2 – With great reluctance and much scepticism, i acknowledge that PERHAPS, just MAYBE, remotely possible that my path is to enter the religious life. Pathway ahead is seriously unknown. Chances of practising as a doctor is not in my hands. How does THAT feel? Again with much reluctance, i have to admit that i felt peace and a deep joy within my heart, although my brain said “Heart, are you crazy?!”
– So try it out! It just might work for you… It worked for Einstein!

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6. Don’t forget the devil

His greatest trick is to make you think he doesn’t exist. Remember that other forces are at work here. Whenever something happens (good, bad, or neutral), just kind of step back and evaluate the situation. Look with your heart, then look with your brain. Both can contribute! Heart is attune to God. Brain is better at recognising the devil.

Conclusion:
1.The crux of it all is that if your will is in line with the Holy Spirit within you, then you will feel at ease and at peace. The easiest way is to keep praying – “God, if this is not what You want for me, then please oh please take this desire away from me, cos it’s really stressing me out!” Things will happen.
2. I have heard that this lovey dovey feeling doesn’t last forever. One day, there will be a Dark Night of the Soul (dig out your St John of the Cross from the shelves). Hopefully, i’ll be ready for it and will mature, not regress.. So walk by faith, not by feeling. My heart will bring me closer to God, but my brain will sustain my vocation too.
3. If you’ve thought and pondered and discerned that this is the life for you, then STOP stressing on whether you’ve made the right decision! Done is done… Stop waffling!

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Suggested Reading (if you only have time for one book)
-Story of a Soul by St Therese of Lisieux
Just my opinion, but i suspect your reaction to her writing will pretty much be a hint on which direction God is tugging your heart towards!

Dear God,

Please guide me and all the other confused folks. I only want to do Your Will, for i know when You are happy, i will be at peace too. Help me to persevere through this path You have chosen for me, and may i one day be the person You want me to be. I know if my vocation is love (as St Therese said so eloquently), then everything else will fall into place, for me and all those around me.

Amen.

This entry is taken with permission. Thank you Melanie!