I'm not sure if many Malaysians have watched the Downton Abbey series before as it's not widely available to the masses here, except perhaps among those who are savvy in the downloading technology. It is simply the most magnificently cultured television show I have watched in many years.
This television series captures the life of a family of British aristocrats in the early 20th century together with their working class staff occupying the bottom level of their home as well as their society.
In the past five days, I've been receiving numerous messages on my Facebook wall, through Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp messages, and in person, all being warm wishes and kind birthday greetings from friends whom I have known, some whom I have just got to know, and even many whom I don't really know. These greetings are a stark reminder that I have just hit a major milestone in my life: I have just completed a full four decades of my life. No matter how hard I try to tell myself it's just another birthday, no big deal, I can't shake the reality off that it's a 40th birthday, and that's what makes it significant.
I have been away from Malaysia for almost a month, trotting through various countries beginning with the Middle-East and then on to some other European countries. This is the longest consecutive duration I had been away from my own country in the past 18 years. It was a great (and rather expensive) experience reading life, scrutinising cultures, observing faith.
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.