Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lent Season

Dear brothers and sisters, 

there will be mass today (25th February 2009), at Church of Divine Mercy (CDM) start at 8.00pm. Therefore, CDM bus will arrivee at 6.30pm at CSS UiTM Shah Alam, so be early. 


"He fasted for forty days and forty nights, 
and afterwards he was hungry" 
(Mt 4,1-2)


Dear Brothers and Sisters!

At the beginning of Lent, which constitutes an itinerary of more intense spiritual training, the Liturgy sets before us again three penitential practices that are very dear to the biblical and Christian tradition – prayer, almsgiving, fasting – to prepare us to better celebrate Easter and thus experience God’s power that, as we shall hear in the Paschal Vigil, “dispels all evil, washes guilt away, restores lost innocence, brings mourners joy, casts out hatred, brings us peace and humbles earthly pride” (Paschal Præconium). For this year’s Lenten Message, I wish to focus my reflections especially on the value and meaning of fasting. Indeed, Lent recalls the forty days of our Lord’s fasting in the desert, which He undertook before entering into His public ministry. We read in the Gospel: “Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry” (Mt 4,1-2). Like Moses, who fasted before receiving the tablets of the Law (cf. Ex 34,28) and Elijah’s fast before meeting the Lord on Mount Horeb (cf. 1 Kings 19,8), Jesus, too, through prayer and fasting, prepared Himself for the mission that lay before Him, marked at the start by a serious battle with the tempter.

We might wonder what value and meaning there is for us Christians in depriving ourselves of something that in itself is good and useful for our bodily sustenance. The Sacred Scriptures and the entire Christian tradition teach that fasting is a great help to avoid sin and all that leads to it. For this reason, the history of salvation is replete with occasions that invite fasting. In the very first pages of Sacred Scripture, the Lord commands man to abstain from partaking of the prohibited fruit: “You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die” (Gn 2, 16-17). Commenting on the divine injunction, Saint Basil observes that “fasting was ordained in Paradise,” and “the first commandment in this sense was delivered to Adam.” He thus concludes: “ ‘You shall not eat’ is a law of fasting and abstinence” (cf. Sermo de jejunio: PG 31, 163, 98). Since all of us are weighed down by sin and its consequences, fasting is proposed to us as an instrument to restore friendship with God. Such was the case with Ezra, who, in preparation for the journey from exile back to the Promised Land, calls upon the assembled people to fast so that “we might humble ourselves before our God” (8,21). The Almighty heard their prayer and assured them of His favor and protection. In the same way, the people of Nineveh, responding to Jonah’s call to repentance, proclaimed a fast, as a sign of their sincerity, saying: “Who knows, God may yet repent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we perish not?” (3,9). In this instance, too, God saw their works and spared them.

In the New Testament, Jesus brings to light the profound motive for fasting, condemning the attitude of the Pharisees, who scrupulously observed the prescriptions of the law, but whose hearts were far from God. True fasting, as the divine Master repeats elsewhere, is rather to do the will of the Heavenly Father, who “sees in secret, and will reward you” (Mt 6,18). He Himself sets the example, answering Satan, at the end of the forty days spent in the desert that “man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4,4). The true fast is thus directed to eating the “true food,” which is to do the Father’s will (cf. Jn 4,34). If, therefore, Adam disobeyed the Lord’s command “of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat,” the believer, through fasting, intends to submit himself humbly to God, trusting in His goodness and mercy.

The practice of fasting is very present in the first Christian community (cf. Acts 13,3; 14,22; 27,21; 2 Cor 6,5). The Church Fathers, too, speak of the force of fasting to bridle sin, especially the lusts of the “old Adam,” and open in the heart of the believer a path to God. Moreover, fasting is a practice that is encountered frequently and recommended by the saints of every age. Saint Peter Chrysologus writes: “Fasting is the soul of prayer, mercy is the lifeblood of fasting. So if you pray, fast; if you fast, show mercy; if you want your petition to be heard, hear the petition of others. If you do not close your ear to others, you open God’s ear to yourself” (Sermo 43: PL 52, 320. 322).

In our own day, fasting seems to have lost something of its spiritual meaning, and has taken on, in a culture characterized by the search for material well-being, a therapeutic value for the care of one’s body. Fasting certainly bring benefits to physical well-being, but for believers, it is, in the first place, a “therapy” to heal all that prevents them from conformity to the will of God. In the Apostolic Constitution Pænitemini of 1966, the Servant of God Paul VI saw the need to present fasting within the call of every Christian to “no longer live for himself, but for Him who loves him and gave himself for him … he will also have to live for his brethren“ (cf. Ch. I). Lent could be a propitious time to present again the norms contained in the Apostolic Constitution, so that the authentic and perennial significance of this long held practice may be rediscovered, and thus assist us to mortify our egoism and open our heart to love of God and neighbor, the first and greatest Commandment of the new Law and compendium of the entire Gospel (cf. Mt 22, 34-40).

The faithful practice of fasting contributes, moreover, to conferring unity to the whole person, body and soul, helping to avoid sin and grow in intimacy with the Lord. Saint Augustine, who knew all too well his own negative impulses, defining them as “twisted and tangled knottiness” (Confessions, II, 10.18), writes: “I will certainly impose privation, but it is so that he will forgive me, to be pleasing in his eyes, that I may enjoy his delightfulness” (Sermo 400, 3, 3: PL 40, 708). Denying material food, which nourishes our body, nurtures an interior disposition to listen to Christ and be fed by His saving word. Through fasting and praying, we allow Him to come and satisfy the deepest hunger that we experience in the depths of our being: the hunger and thirst for God.

At the same time, fasting is an aid to open our eyes to the situation in which so many of our brothers and sisters live. In his First Letter, Saint John admonishes: “If anyone has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, yet shuts up his bowels of compassion from him – how does the love of God abide in him?” (3,17). Voluntary fasting enables us to grow in the spirit of the Good Samaritan, who bends low and goes to the help of his suffering brother (cf. Encyclical Deus caritas est, 15). By freely embracing an act of self-denial for the sake of another, we make a statement that our brother or sister in need is not a stranger. It is precisely to keep alive this welcoming and attentive attitude towards our brothers and sisters that I encourage the parishes and every other community to intensify in Lent the custom of private and communal fasts, joined to the reading of the Word of God, prayer and almsgiving. From the beginning, this has been the hallmark of the Christian community, in which special collections were taken up (cf. 2 Cor 8-9; Rm 15, 25-27), the faithful being invited to give to the poor what had been set aside from their fast (Didascalia Ap., V, 20,18). This practice needs to be rediscovered and encouraged again in our day, especially during the liturgical season of Lent.

From what I have said thus far, it seems abundantly clear that fasting represents an important ascetical practice, a spiritual arm to do battle against every possible disordered attachment to ourselves. Freely chosen detachment from the pleasure of food and other material goods helps the disciple of Christ to control the appetites of nature, weakened by original sin, whose negative effects impact the entire human person. Quite opportunely, an ancient hymn of the Lenten liturgy exhorts: “Utamur ergo parcius, / verbis cibis et potibus, / somno, iocis et arctius / perstemus in custodia  Let us use sparingly words, food and drink, sleep and amusements. May we be more alert in the custody of our senses.”

Dear brothers and sisters, it is good to see how the ultimate goal of fasting is to help each one of us, as the Servant of God Pope John Paul II wrote, to make the complete gift of self to God (cf. Encyclical Veritatis splendor, 21). May every family and Christian community use well this time of Lent, therefore, in order to cast aside all that distracts the spirit and grow in whatever nourishes the soul, moving it to love of God and neighbor. I am thinking especially of a greater commitment to prayer, lectio divina, recourse to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and active participation in the Eucharist, especially the Holy Sunday Mass. With this interior disposition, let us enter the penitential spirit of Lent. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Causa nostrae laetitiae, accompany and support us in the effort to free our heart from slavery to sin, making it evermore a “living tabernacle of God.” With these wishes, while assuring every believer and ecclesial community of my prayer for a fruitful Lenten journey, I cordially impart to all of you my Apostolic Blessing.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Jangan cuba bermain api isu perkataan Allah

Jangan cuba bermain api isu perkataan Allah

PENGGUNAAN perkataan Allah oleh Herald Catholic bulan lalu disanggah oleh banyak pihak. Ramai yang melihat akhbar mingguan dari Sabah itu sebagai tidak sensitif. Ia dikatakan cuba bermain api.

Sewaktu negara berdepan dengan pelbagai konflik, isu seperti itu boleh menyemarakkan sentimen antara agama.

Maka, amaran oleh Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi perlu diberi perhatian serius. Memang betul kata beliau, jangan cabar kesucian Islam. Jangan bangkitkan kemarahan umat Islam. Perkataan Allah bukan untuk dipersenda dan digunakan sewenang-wenangnya.

Larangan penggunaan perkataan Allah untuk agama lain bukan isu baru. Ia sudah termaktub dalam undang-undang negara. Sebelum ini ia diterima berdasarkan persefahaman agama lain berhubung sensitiviti "Allah" kepada penganut Islam.

Tetapi kini, Herald Catholic cuba menghidupkan semula isu tersebut. Tindakan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok merayu Kementerian Dalam Negeri memberi kelonggaran kepada Herald Catholic pula sekali gus mencetuskan polemik terbaru.

Sebagai menteri yang arif dengan Perlembagaan dan undang-undang negara, Dompok pastinya tahu sejauh mana sensitifnya umat Islam dengan isu tersebut. Beliau tidak sepatutnya menyemarakkan sentimen antara agama.

Jangan samakan Malaysia dengan Indonesia. Dompok dan pemimpin Kristian lain perlu sedar Malaysia sebuah entiti yang sangat berbeza dengan negara jiran itu.

Indonesia dikenali sebagai negara yang serba bebas dalam isu agama. Peraturan di negara itu sangat berlainan berbanding di sini. Di negara itu, unsur liberal melampau sering mengambil tempat. Perkahwinan antara penganut Islam dan penganut agama lain direstui dalam sistem perundangan dan masyarakatnya.

Keadaan itulah yang membezakan Malaysia dan Indonesia.

Jika perkataan Allah dibenarkan dalam terbitan agama lain di sini, ia dikhuatiri akan mengelirukan umat Islam, terutama golongan muda.

Paling dibimbangi, penggunaan perkataan itu juga mempunyai agenda tersembunyi. Kita tidak mahu wujud usaha penyebaran dakyah secara tidak langsung menerusi penggunaan perkataan Allah tersebut.

Sudah cukup serangan daripada pelbagai sudut terhadap umat dan kesucian Islam di negara ini selama ini. Kita tidak mahu wujud lagi provokasi yang boleh menjejas dan mempersendakan agama suci ini.

Malaysia tidak boleh membiarkan apa yang dilakukan oleh penganut Kristian di negara Arab berlaku di sini.

Mereka di sana menggunakan Allah untuk merujuk kepada Isa sebagai anak Allah. Konsep itu sangat mengelirukan jika dibiarkan diguna pakai di negara ini.

Memang ada hujah bahawa penggunaan Allah oleh penganut Kristian sekali gus menunjukkan mereka menidakkan konsep Triniti dalam agama itu. Ini kerana makna Allah merujuk kepada "Tuhan Maha Esa".

Namun kita perlu sedar bahawa pemahaman dan perbandingan itu mungkin boleh diterima di kalangan penganut Islam yang tinggi ilmunya. Apa yang kita bimbang ia akan difahami secara sebaliknya oleh golongan muda dan baru berjinak untuk mendalami Islam.

Kita bimbang akidah terpesong daripada Islam kerana terpesona dengan perkataan Allah dalam agama lain yang akhirnya dianggap sebagai "semua agama adalah sama".

Bagaimanapun untuk tidak menyemarakkan kontroversi dan provokasi, patuhilah apa yang sudah termaktub di dalam undang-undang.

Jangan cuba menangguk di air keruh. Fahamilah sensitiviti agama lain.

Kita sudah pasti tidak mahu tindakan keras seperti Akta Dalam Negeri diguna pakai untuk menyelesaikan isu yang boleh diselesaikan menerusi persefahaman.

Beginilah keratan yang terdapat di Utusan Online

Adakah sanggup kamu kehilangan penggunaan perkataan Allah dalam kehidupan kristianisasi kamu?


Doa kelompok di CDM untuk perbicaraan tentang penggunaan Allah pada 27 Feb ini.


Wednesday, February 18, 2009

FIT hari Jumaat ini


Aktiviti pada hari jumaat ini ialah, "HARI BERSAMA SISTER" di mana kita akan praktis untuk doa kelompok di CDM pada Sabtu ini, 21hb Feb 2009.

There will be no mass at CSS this saturday, we will be attending Sunset Mass at CDM.
After Sunset Mass at CDM, we'll join them for "Doa Kelompok" (CSS UiTM SA will be handling music department). And sejurus selepas itu, kita ada dialog lagi bersama Tan Sri Bernard, dan juga ada beberapa lawyer lawyer katolik datang, untuk membincangkan isu pada "Penggunaan Allah".

SO MARI MARI!!! Because it's your right!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Meeting with Tan Sri Bernard Dompok

Pada 10 Feb 2009, CSS dengan kali pertama mengadakan dialog dengan Tan Sri Bernard Dompok di headquarters CSS iaitu di mana lagi kalau bukan CSS House, Santa Maria Villa. Umat-umat yang datang pada hari itu ada juga mencapai sampai 40 oranglah, termasuk Fr. Chris and Ms Monica, our beloved CSS advisor dan juga beberapa ahli-ahi jawatankuasa Momogun Society of Malaysia. *Tan Sri is also the President of Momogun Society.

Oh ya, ada juga artis Sabah datanglah, iaitu si Constantine aka Johnny Black, salah satu member Kinabalu Kings, juga merupakan DJ Traxx FM.. dulu la.. kalo tia silap. (Sebab dulu slalu bah sia dedicate lagu di Traxx FM).

From left
Ladyia (CSS Alumni), Shirley, Erdeyona, Amanda, Const, Alex (ex-presiden CSS)

Masalah @ isu2 yg dibangkitkan (ini saya copy ja dari si Ewon Benedick):-

· Hubungan etnik yg tidak berapa bagus

· Pemakaian wajib baju kurung dan larangan pemakaian kasual, dan sikap pak guard yg selalu menindas pelajar tidak bertudung

· Pengajaran wajib pengajian Islam di kalangan non-muslim serta turut diwajibkan mendengar ceramah agama

· Pengedaran pamplets “5 s” di setiap blok hostel merendah2kan moral penuntut non-muslim

· Pencerobohan pegawai atasan Uitm ke pusat kegiatan CSS

Cadangan2 atau idea2 yg dikemukakan:-

· Menerima masuk lebih banyak pelajar bukan Bumiputera dalam Uitm @ 10 peratus

· Keterbukaan dalam pemakaian (dunia kerjaya sebenar di dalam kebanyakan sebenar memerlukan staf organisasi berpakaian smart n casual, tapi pembatasan kepada jenis pakaian tertentu seolah-olah menggagalkan matlamat institusi pendidikan utk menyediakan pelajarnya kepada dunia pekerjaan yg sebenarnya)

· Menimba pengalaman dengan bekerja di luar Sabah/Sarawak, contohnya di negara2 luar kemudian barulah membawa balik pengalaman yg ada ke negeri sendiri

· Memperbanyakkan industri di Sabah supaya pembangunan dapat dijana dengan cepat

· Peminjam PTPTN harus diberi keutamaan mendapatkan pekerjaan dalam sektor pentadbiran awam berbanding penerima biasiswa (sebab dorang bilang mau bayar balik pinjaman kerajaan, mesti ada kerja dulu)

· Program2 integrasi antara kampus di kalangan Sabahan/Sarawakian

· Permohonan peruntukan utk aktiviti2 CSS dan kemudahan di pusat kegiatan mereka

Mengalu-alukan ketibaan Tan Sri Bernard Dompok ke CSS UiTM Shah Alam.

Kelihatan Timothy, presiden CSS, Amanda, Vice President dan CSS Advisor, Ms Monica membincangkan isu-isu yang dihadapi di UiTM Shah Alam.

Oh, sedang makan-makan.

Umat umat CSS ni pada mulanya malu-malu, tapi lama lama berdebat sama Tan Sri.

Amanda memberi kata-kata pembukaan dan memperkenalkan apa tu CSS.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Warmest Regard To All

The repair and maintenance work on CSS house, Santa Maria Villa is almost 95% completed.

Below are invoices for the payment made:
1 26/11/08 Lightings and Electrical Fittings 669.70
2 10/12/08 Payment to wireman 377.00
3 17/12/08 Interior Paint, Masking Tapes and Brushes 454.00
4 18/12/08 Interior Paint  1660.00
5 23/12/08 Roller brushes and 1 interior paint 50.50
6 28/12/08 Exterior paint, 50 ceiling boards and paint sealer  1016.00
7 30/12/08 Varnish, sandpaper and masking tapes 173.00
8 31/12/08 Small hammer 4.00
9 4/1/09 Thinner 14.00
10 4/1/09 Payment for adv in Sabah and Sarawak 50.00
11 4/1/09 New Curtain 300.00
12 26-28/1/09 Payment to Painter 500.00
13 27/01/09 Payment for lorry to carry long ladder 50.00
14 1/02/09 Payment to Painter 250.00
15 08/02/09 Notice boards and cloth dryers 513.60
16 08/02/09 Ash grey paint 25.00  
 TOTAL 6,106.80

The above amount does not include the RM500.00(finished using all) given to Timothy, CSS President for buying any necessary items and also food for those who join in the gotong-royong and also the cost of transporting the ladder and throwing away the rubbish from the house.

The amount of donation so far is:
1) James Douglas                                                       RM 1,000
2) Kennedy Tham                                                        RM 1,000
3) Monica Redeem                                                      RM 1,000
4) Emily King                                                              RM   200
5) Valence Shem                                                        RM   100
6) Thomas Santang                                                     RM 1,000

TOTAL                                                                       RM 4,300

All invoices will be audited by Fr Chris Wee.

The water jet help us alot. Ms Monica is helping us too! 
The new CSS House

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Annual Camp

This semester CSS had organized as Annual camp, and this activity was held at Residence Desa Lagoon Resort, Port Dickson. 


 Port Dickson