Tuesday, 30 January 2007


"Non tutte le vocazioni sono all vita religiosa, consacrata o sacerdotale; non basta uno slancio di generosità e di buona volontà. La vocazione alla donazione totale è un dono, ma la vocazione ad essere apostolo, annunciatore del vangelo, portare il Regno di Dio a tutti è per tutti: va' nella tua casa, dai tuoi e annunzia loro..."

This reflection was taken from Messa Meditazione and since it is in Italian, I will try to be as faithful as I can in translating, bearing in mind my limited, poor Italian.

"Not all vocations are to the religious life, consacrated or priesthood; not enough an impulse of generosity and good will. The vocations to total donation is a gift, but the vocation to be apostle, announcer of the gospel, to bring the Reign of God to all, is for all: "go to your house, to your family and anounce to them..."

This past week, I was graced again with the visit of Connie, my friend from Singapore, who was here for a meeting. Through her, I got to know her colleague from Taiwan. This person has a very positive attitude even though I met her only on 2 occasions. Unfortunately on her first day here, she was the victim of the pickpocket at St. Peter's Basillica, right in front of the Pietà, she believed. Instead of getting upset, she smiled to me and said: my passport is still here even though it was beside the wallet. At least it got stolen in the church instead of on the street.

I would have thought otherwise: why of all place it is in the church!

Anyway, as I read today's reflection, I remember her sharing of her faith.

This new friend is a christian and experiences great joy whenever she prays. She has a so-called 'prayer board' when she stick all her prayer intentions and will mark the date on which she thinks it was answered. Then she will stick them into a journal. She make sure she has 5 intentions each day, not just for her own relationship with Jesus (which is one of them), but for others, people whom she does not know, people whom she came across from reading the news. She prayed 13 times before she finally got a house of her own and she said: only 13 times, that is very little. How can we keep saying we pray a lot and God does not answer our prayers? I prayed only 13 times! She felt she did not do much to spread the Gospel, but just coming into contact with her, I feel that she had already shared with me the Good News--through her faith, through her joy, through her positiveness.

Monday, 29 January 2007

4° Sunday of Ordinary Time

In today's homily, the priest reminded us: our vocation is to seek to do the will of God in our lives. Yes, whether we are priests, religious or lay person, we seek to do His will everyday, even in little things. In today's gospel reading, Jesus was not being accepted by His own people. Often I wonder how He felt not being accepted and being rejected by the people whom He love most, especially those closest to Him.

In life, definitely we bound to be rejected or not being accepted by people, and the most painful experience is from those we love most. In these moments, everything may seem dark, nothing seems to be right, we feel alone and probably we even want to run away from where we are.

These days, I came across a number of readings and reflections that touch on this subject and give some lights to them. Just a few days ago, we were in the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and one of the readings the Church offered include:

  • St. Paul's letter to the Romans--who/what can separate us from the love of Christ?
  • Psalm 22--Why remain far from me and do not help me? Why do you not hear my cry, O Lord?
  • Jesus dying on the cross and the women and John there.

I thought the comment to the readings was good:

  • There are moments in our life in which suffering goes beyond every measures, in which there are no words to express our pains, not even cries, tears or gestures. In those moments, we are also there with the women at the tomb, watching all that we loved and in which we hoped from the buried.
  • The sufferings of God is redeeming. He is loaded with the sufferings of all the people and his death redeemed all of us. He was elevated on the cross to draw everyone to him. In his sufferings and solitude on the cross, he really shared and participated in the experience of most obsure pain and fear that humanity experience. The more we cling to the cross of Christ, the more we cling to one another. Christ offered his life for all, when we recognize that we depend in equal way from this salvific work, we discover that we are gifted with a profound unity.

Do we continue to love those whom we loved even though they rejected or abandoned us? Do we continue to trust?

Jesus did not stop loving his people even though he faced rejection and abandonment. I believe He loves them even more. It is difficult and I believe it takes time to reach this point where the wounds of hurt be transformed into deeper love. Yet, I believe that faith and trust in the will and love of God makes all things possible. It opens our eyes to new light and love.

Sunday, 21 January 2007

3° Sunday Ordinary Time

Yes, again, I am behind time, after 3 weeks of silence. Something interesting happened today. A sister and myself decided to go downtown for 10 am Mass. However, when we reached there, we realized that the Mass actually started at 9:30 am. Being in Rome, there is always no difficulty in finding another Church, but the problem is the timing. Yet, we managed to get to another Church which is less than 5 minutes away on the same street. I was so happy to see on the sign that there is a 10 am Mass in Latin. Well, even if I don't understand Latin, at least most of the time the readings and homily are in Italian.

The Church was not filled, yet, quite a number of people. Then here came a young priest to begin the Mass. To my surprised, the altar in front was not prepared but off he went towards the tabernacle, facing it and began the Mass. This was a real experience. The only thing I could really hear is "Dominus Vobis cum" "Ecum spiritu tuo". After all the prayers, began the readings. He stepped towards his right, still facing the tabernacle and began reading (I guess in latin 'coz I really could hardly hear anything). Then, the old man who was serving the Mass moved the 'book' to the left and the priest again moved over and began reading. Guess this was the second reading. As we sang the Alleluia, he took off his little vestment, then moved towards the lecten for the Gospel and homily -- only thing I could understand at least 'coz was in Italian. The rest of the Mass was all in latin with him facing the tabernacle.

Well, I do not want to comment about this or be critical, but personally I felt myself not praying and participating in the celebration. It was indeed an experience for me. I know that recently there is a kind of movement of returning to the latin rites, and I have no objection of attending latin Mass, but I question: how far back do we want to return to?

Tuesday, 2 January 2007

Welcome 2007

Happy New Year!
I began the New Year with the Eucharist Celebration with the Pope at St. Peter's Basillica and and on this World Day of Peace, the Holy Father invites us to reflect on the theme: The Human Person, the Heart of Peace.
The Pope states: "I am convinced that respect for the person promotes peace and that, in building peace, the foundations are laid for an authentic integral humanism. In this way a serene future is prepared for coming generations."

Monday, 1 January 2007

Goodbye 2006

We ended 2006 with Evening Prayer, Benediction and singing the Te Deum at the Parish of St. Anna yesterday, giving thanks to the Lord for all the graces and blessings received. It was such a great experience to be with the people, feeling united in thanksgiving. Then, in the community, we had exposition of the Blessed Sacrament and Adoration together. Each one expressed their thanksgiving to the Lord for all the blessings. After the prayer last night, we gathered together at the dinner room for the 'countdown' and wishes for the new year.

For me, 2006 has been a great year of blessings and graces. It began with a journey moving from the small community in Terni, south of Umbria, towards the outskirt of Rome--Torvaianica by the sea, where I began with 19 other FSPs from the world for the course of preparation for Perpetual Profession. The 5 months intense preparation led to the gift of Perpetual Profession, which I made on 15 June. Then, with the grace of returning back to Rome at the end of September and be inserted into the community of Via del Mascherino. I thank the Lord for sending me people in my way, whom reflect His love to me, most of all, the person who accompanied me in my journey during my '2nd novitiate', my family, who so openly accepted my vocation even though I know it was difficult for them to comprehend and understand, yet they attended the celebration of my profession. Last but not least, for the grace of the visits of my 2 brothers at the end of the year.