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Dear Mr Alvin,
I am writing to you because I am personally angered by what I consider to be a grossly disrespectful and utterly heinous act performed by you in bad will. Rather than speaking against your act in a way that condemns you disrespectfully behind your back, I have chosen to address you personally in what I hope to be a respectful way.
A Holy Thursday Reflection
Holy Thursday. On this night, we see our priests performing perhaps one of the most humble priestly actions we get to observe in an entire liturgical year, that is, the liturgical action of washing the feet of twelve men seated before him. It is not just the man who performs this action, for he does it in the person of Christ. It is not just a pretend drama, for it is mean to be a real reenactment of the very same action that our Lord performed in the Upper Room on the night of the Holy Passover. Christ washes our feet again.
I get it. He happens to be a Cardinal who sharply and unapologetically tries to stay as close as possible to what many deem to be "manmade" traditions of the Church, a crony of the previous pope (who, incidentally, a particular bishop -- not my own bishop -- told me in my face should be shot dead because he thought I too was a militant crony of the previous pope), an archaic never-evolving stiff-necked conservative who gives the Catholic Church a bad name. So his removal from the Apostolic Signatura and subsequent transfer to the Order of Malta is interpreted as a sign of the present reigning Monarch of the Church not being in favour of such conservatism.
On 7 November 2014, an opinion article was published in the Malay Mail Online. The article entitled "Why I Left the Faith" was submitted by Miss Boo Su-Lyn. Read it here.
Below is my reply to the said article.
It is strange how as human beings, we often pander to phenomenalism by looking for sensational experiences in extraordinary situations. This following video is a stark reminder of how we miss out on the authentic beauty of everyday life when we are so fixated on the extraordinary.
Nineteenth Ordinary Sunday Year A
It doesn't take much to set people into a panic mode these days. As modernisation creeps in and people become increasingly "in control" of their own fates because of scientific advancement, ironically, the more anxious people seem to get about their safety, their security and the certainty of their survival. It is strange, the kind of fear that modern life begets.
Some recent globally publicised occurrences have now caused a serious panic and anxiety to set in, if not anywhere else, in our part of the world. This has been brought about by the disappearance of the MH370 aircraft and most recently the shooting of the MH17 aircraft. And as if that was insufficient, the onslaught of the Ebola virus began, which is now a situation classified as a "global emergency" by the World Health Organisation. These catastrophes have caused a good number of Malaysians to refrain from traveling on long-distance hauls for fear of their own lives. Put simply, people are now afraid to die either of a plane crash, a plane being shot down or a viral attack. I have personally encountered a good number of people who have withdrawn abruptly from their travel plans in their next few months.
I remember many years ago, in 2002 when I graduated from seminary, the graduating students of my cohort chose the theme "A New Song" as the theme for our graduation. This theme was certainly not an indication that we meant to forget the old phase of our life in seminary, but that a new phase of our lives and ministry was now presenting itself before us as a continuation of the "old song" that we had sung until then. The "new song" we were now going to sing, i.e. the new phase of our lives, was going to entail new and exciting challenges for us, and the "old song" we had sung prior to that was what had prepared us for the day of this "new song". Since that day, I had always been aware that change and dynamism were intrinsic to the life of ministry.