Last week I was in Penang Island for my annual retreat. It was a fruitful retreat and I have learnt one important aspect of my priesthood and prayer life. I realise my prayer life is not deep enough. So far I am unable to truly master my prayer life but it made me realise that prayer is an essential part of my priestly life. Without my daily prayer life and without the celebration of the Eucharist I would not be able to carry out my priestly ministry.
Jesus prayed so many times. He even prayed the whole night alone (LK 6:12) to show us the face of life in His personal relationship with the Father. Prayer has to be a part of our daily life and it is a breathing of the spirit. Without this breathing of prayer in our life then our spirit dies in us. We should not diminish that spirit that we have within us. St. Paul reminds us that “God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline”(2 Tim 1:7).
Many incidents and unfortunate events took place in the month of September in relation to our clergy. We lost two of our beloved priests (Frs. Philips Muthu and Peter Kim SJ) in our Archdiocese. Fr Jean Claude (a son of our parish) was also hospitalized. He needs rest. We the clergy are a little shaken up when we see what is happening to our brother priests in the Archdiocese of Kuala Lumpur.
This month of the Rosary, we priests also pray to Mary to strengthen our priestly ministry and our mission of evangelising the Good News in our nation. We pray that she will make all priests to be courageous in the midst of all the problems, either our health, personal crisis or with the community. Mary was there with her Son from His birth to Ascension and she was present and appears in all events of the public life of Jesus. We, priests are also assured that Mother Mary stands behind every priest. St. Pope John Paul II has invited all priests “to have an ever firmer and more tender devotion to the Virgin Mary and to show it by imitating her virtues and praying to her often.”
The Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Convention (PMPC) IV is just over. There were 650 delegates from all over the Peninsular Malaysia who gathered at Majodi Center, Plentong, Johor Bahru from 2nd – 5th October, 2016. This is my second convention I have attended ever since I became a priest. The first one was in 2006. The Church in Peninsular Malaysia has journeyed for 40 years since 1976 and has decided to move forward with the new vision and mission: “Integral Evangelisation” for the next 10 years and beyond.
All delegates, facilitators and presenters felt the movement and intervention of the Holy Spirit throughout the convention. All of us strongly believe that “the Holy Spirit is always the principal agent of evangelisation” in the Church. The Church in Peninsular Malaysia needs more discernment, dialogues, (particularly with the poor, people of various cultures and religions) as well as initiating action plans in order to grow more progressively for the next 10 years. Let us together as a Church “Work for the Lord with untiring effort and with great earnestness of Spirit,” (Rom 12:11).
Mary, Mother of priests and Mother of the Church, pray for us!