Our Father

(Taken from the 14th Rose of The Secret of the Rosary by St Louis De Montfort)

We make as many acts of the noblest Christian virtues as we pronounce words, when we recite attentively this divine prayer.

In saying ‘Our Father Who art in heaven,’ we make acts of faith, adoration and humility. When we ask that His name be hallowed and glorified we show a burning zeal for His glory, and wehn we ask for the spread of His Kingdom we make an act of hope; by the wish that His will be done on earth as it is in heaven, we show a spirit of perfect obedience.

In asking for our daily bread we practise poverty of spirit and detachment from worldly goods. When we beg Him to forgive us our sins we make an act of sorrow for them. By forgiving those who have trespassed against us we give proof of the virtue of mercy in its highest degree.

Through asking God’s help in all our temptations, we make acts of humility, prudence and fortitude. As we wait for Him to deliver us from evil we exercise the virtue of patience.

Finally, while asking for all these things – not for ourselves alone but also for our neighbour and for all members of the Church – we are carrying out our duty as true children of God, we are imitating Him in His love which embraces all men and we are keeping the commandment of love of neighbour.

If we mean in our hearts what we say with our lips and if our intentions are not at variance with those expressed in the Lord’s Prayer, then, by reciting this prayer, we hate all sin and we observe all of God’s laws. For whenever we think that God is in heaven – infinitely removed from us by the greatness of His majesty – as we place ourselves in His presence we should be filled with overwhelming reverence. Then the fear of the Lord will chase away all pride and we will bow down before God in our utter nothingness.

When we say the name Father and remember that we owe our existence to God by the means of our parents and even our knowledge to our teachers who hold the place and are the living images of God, then we cannot help paying them honor and respect, or to be more exact, honoring God in them. Nothing then, too, would be farther from our thoughts than to be disrespectful to them or hurt them.

We are never farther from blaspheming than when we pray that the Holy Name of God may be glorified. If we really look upon the Kingdom of God as our heritage we cannot possibly be attached to the things of this world.

If we sincerely ask God that our neighbour may have the very same blessings that we ourselves stand in need of, it goes without saying that we will give up all hatred, quarelling and jealousy. And of course if we ask God each day for our daily bread we shall learn to hate gluttony and lasciviousness which thrive in rich surroundings.

While sincerely asking God to forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us we no longer give way to anger and thoughts of getting even – we return good for evil and really love our enemies.

To ask God to save us from falling into sin when we are tempted is to give proof that we are fighting laziness and that we are genuinely seeking means to root out vicious habits and to work out our salvation.

To pray God to deliver us from evil is to fear His justice and this will give us true happiness. For since the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, it is through the virtue of the fear of God that men avoid sin.

Choosing To Forgive

I guess one of the hardest decisions that a human being could make was to choose to forgive.  Especially those hurts that went too deep, that somehow it went ‘hiding’ deep in your heart.  Because rational came in, and you thought you had forgiven them all along.  Chances are 99.9 per cent you might have not forgiven them.

I had been hurt…once, for many years and I knew it.  It was someone that was very close to me; someone in the family.  I thought I had forgiven her, and the truth was, I had not.  I didn’t even know whether it was even a decision for me to make.  Because it wasn’t me that she was hurting.  It was my family and that in effect, hurting me too.  I just wanted to keep a distance from her.  I was happy when she was not around, miserable when staying with us.  I grew up having no relationship with her, yet she was so close to my heart that it pained me because both of us could not have a right relationship with each other.

She revealed my own brokenness, my own selfishness, my heart of stone.  My own self that I didn’t even know it existed.  She called and called and called I simply ignored her.  I held back all the generosity I had in my heart because I was afraid she might take advantage of me (Not physically, but mentally). Emotionally I was already hurt.  Every time I did that, every time ignored her like that, I hated myself.  I hated her. That went on since I was matured enough to see what really happening in my family.  I stayed like this for many years.

Until finally I looked into my own brokenness – thanks to the grace of God.  You see, forgiveness is a decision, not a feeling (though most of the time it would be accompanied with  feeling). It wasn’t a proud moment.  It wasn’t the hallelujah, Praise the Lord kind of moment (though later, it is).  No! The pain became more real.  Immediately, my heart was flooded with so much pain and suddenly, I wasn’t in control of my emotion.  As tears running down and as I fought it hard, I found myself pleaded for forgiveness.

What an interest twist.

What came after that is the result of forgiven someone and being forgiven myself – a lifted burden.  It felt like I am free for the first time.

Oh Kites…

I’ve always wonder why the sky? Sky? What are you chasing? Every evening I walk Trojan, and every day I heard them say ‘There it is..there…there…come on let’s go.’ And off they went. Sometimes I saw a man, probably in his 50s, with two children on his motorcycle, doing the same thing. It was funny because I didn’t see anything at all. All I saw was birds and sometimes, dark clouds as if the storm was coming.

Then on one fine evening… I looked closely…And there I saw it…KITES!!! They were looking at the kites all along. And not just any kites…they were chasing for the falling kites. Oh…Oh, the simplicity of life.

I Know This Much Is True

“Do you sometimes want to destroy your brother?”

“No,” I said, struggling to hold it together, “Yes”.

She waited.  Watched me crumble.

“No! Yes! No! Yes! No! Yes!”

I have long to write this review but didn’t know how to do it.  I don’t usually think and re-think the book I’ve finished.  But this book is one of the few.  I reflected back on the things I’ve read, the experiences that the characters went through, as I journeyed it together with them.  I believed that I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb is the only book that I read and cried in almost every page.

Is it possible to love your brother and hate him at the same time?  It is the biggest question.  Dominick and Thomas Birdsey are identical twin brothers.  Both had problems.  Thomas suffers from paranoid schizophrenia and Dominick, the normal one is a broken man.  Apart from having to take care of his brother all his life, Dominick, who worked as a painter is leading a depressing and difficult life, he lost his only child due to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), at the result, his marriage ended.  With the stresses he has to go through, he also displays classic symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Things start to change dramatically for Dominick when Thomas cuts off his hand at the public library.  That ended him up at Hatch – maximum security.  Concerned of his brother’s safety (Dominick was covertly informed of the sexual abuse) he’s fighting to have his brother released.

In the course of that fight, Dominick sees a therapist Dr. Rubina Patel, an Indian psychologist, employed at Hatch.  He did it at first for the sake of Thomas’ interest, then for his own sake.

“That’s the trouble with survival of the fittest, isn’t it, Dominick?  The corpse at your feet.  That little inconvenience.”

Dominick had promised his mother that he would take care of Thomas – a promise he meant to keep; a promise that he carries heavily on his shoulder.  As the story progresses, there are many dramas, heartbreaks, anger, failures, childhood traumas, fear, and even death.  Yes, Thomas died.  It was suicide, just when Dominick successfully got him out.

However, despite the depressing theme, the story is quite moving and inspirational.  Throughout the course of the story, Dominic must confront the pain of his past, and the dark secrets deep within himself.  I think every part of the plot is necessary to uncover and to really understand Dominick’s past.  It is in fact, also a story of forgiveness.

“I am not a smart man, particularly, but one day, at long last, I stumbled from the dark woods of my own, and my family’s and my country’s past, holding in my hands these truths; that love grows from the rick loam of forgiveness; that mongrels make good dogs; that the evidence of God exists in the roundness of things.”

“With destruction comes renovation.”

“It is all connected Dominick,” she said.  “Life is not a series of isolated ponds and puddles; life is this river you see below, before you.  It flows from the past through the present on it’s way to the future.”

This is one of the books that have never left me.  That connection that the writer made between the protagonist and the readers is just incredible.  I think a life experience that anybody can relate to.  A very powerful novel, a very deeply moving that revealed humanity’s deepest needs and fears, and the desire for love and acceptance.

I highly recommend this book for everyone.