Sunday, September 1, 2013


September 1st, 2013

Today's mass reading was about humility, and I feel very connected to this topic. I think many of us have forgotten the virtue of being humble, especially living in a world where we have to constantly 'prove' our argument, or substantiate whatever we say with a 'logical' reasoning. In order to appear smart and knowledgeable, we say things with more conviction, with more confidence, sometimes to the point of boasting. Note that conviction and confidence have no correlation with being right. Let's look at some excerpts from today's reading. 

My son, perform your tasks in meekness; then you will be loved by those whom God accepts. The greater you are, the more you must humble yourself; so you will find favor in the sight of the Lord. (Sirach 3:17-18)

"When you are invited by any one to a marriage feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest a more eminent man than you be invited by him; and he who invited you both will come and say to you, `Give place to this man,' and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, `Friend, go up higher'; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. For every one who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted." (Luke 14:8-11)

My take on humility is that we always have to be aware of how we behave and say things. Just because you know something doesn't mean you have to say it in an arrogant, prideful, or boastful way, because it may not be true. When shown that your argument is weak, then you will be like the man in the Gospel, humiliated in front of other people. 

Even if your arguments hold true and are valid, there are better ways to present it than boasting and having the know-it-all attitude. Saying it in a calm manner or suggesting it as a tentative hypothesis are ways that will not make people be annoyed at you. 

I personally dislike people who say things loudly just because they think they know what they are saying. Obviously, me getting annoyed shows that it is something within me that I need to be aware of (counseling education is giving me a lot of self-awareness. Whenever you are upset, ask yourself why. In most instances, it's within you rather than outside of you). Why am I annoyed with such people? I suspect it's because it stems from my beliefs that there is no one truth (except for the fact that I believe in God), and that most things, if not all things, can be seen in different perspective. This belief conflicts with other's know-it-all attitude and thus forming a strain in the relationship. 

Now that I have examined myself, let's look at why do people want to boast, act arrogantly and be prideful? I suspect it's because deep down, they feel inadequate and inferior. They act as if they know everything to compensate for their feelings of inferiority. I have observed that (it could be a false, statistically insignificant observation) people who are truly knowledgeable do not act in a prideful manner. In fact, they act in humbling ways, and I suspect that it's because they know what they know, and they know what they don't know. They are secure in their knowledge, and do not pretend to know things outside of their competency. 

Of course, the environment plays a part as well. Some of us grew up in environments that promote our boastful, arrogant, and loud talking behaviors. The media (hint: HOLLYWOOD) is showing us, more often than not, that these qualities are positively looked upon. It surely gets you attention. 

All that said, we first have to evaluate ourselves whether we have this prideful attitude, and if we do, is it beneficial for ourselves and the community? If it is beneficial, then great. But if it is straining your relationship with love ones, friends, and family, then maybe it's time to evaluate how we can humble ourselves to better serve others and the world, rather than paying attention on feeding our inadequacy. I believe that there is no harm is being humble. Being humble doesn't mean being submissive, and being humble doesn't mean you don't sell yourself during interview. Being humble means knowing your strength and weaknesses, being considerate of other people's plight, and acting in ways that portray you do not know everything. 

God Bless~

Friday, May 17, 2013


May 17th, 2013

It's been some time since I last updated my blog, and I guess this is a good time since my semester is over and I am having a little bit more time. Studies so far is going good. I should be graduating Summer next year (around August 2014). I have also secured scholarships for my next academic year, which is an absolute blessing. Still waiting for a few more, but thank you Lord for all these blessings.

Love life is going awesome. Very blissful and it is wonderful to have more time to spend with my love one. We are going to New York next week, and I am very excited about this trip. It will definitely be a blast, coupled with very tired jelly like legs at the end of everyday.

Work is also going good. More at ease with creating documents for courts and handling cases. The other day, I watched the movie 'Cold War', and I think one of the character (Sir Lee), said something that should be remembered.

Wherever you work, you need to know the rules of the game to survive. After learning the rules, determine the boundaries, so that you may stay within the boundaries and play according to the rules in order to succeed.

As for volleyball, I quit training because I was busy this semester :( Also wanted to spend more time with my girl. Hopefully I will be able to go play at the gym for fun in the Fall, even if I am not rejoining the club.

Oh did I mention how much I love the living expenses here? It is so affordable that I am loving it. 15 oranges for $1? A piece of porkchop for less than a dollar? Absolutely fantastic. :D

That's all for my update.

God Bless~

Sunday, January 6, 2013


6th January 2013

This morning I was in distraught. I woke up a little bit earlier than usual and managed to get my breakfast before mass. I even had time to online. While scrolling FB, I saw a video of people killing goats. It was swift and methodical. No torture. One can argue that it's merciful because the animals do not suffer for a long period of time.

Knowing that fact did not make it any easier to watch. My stomach churned when I saw the goats being decapitated and bodies being flung to a side. Without their head, they were still moving their limbs and it was not a sweet sight to behold. My immediate reaction was condemning the people who were doing it. But thinking on a little bit more, their method, as I said, was quick and methodical. They did not meant to torture the goats. They meant to slay it. Maybe for food. Maybe for prayer. Maybe for something else.

It got me to think how I am similar to them by my actions. I am no vegetarian and I love eating meat. Pork, chicken, fish, venison, mutton, prawns, crabs etc. all taste so good. I am condoning all these killings by wanting to eat them. Am I any different from the people in the video? I was in distraught.

I walked for mass and was quiet, pondering what should be done, and what can be done. I couldn't think of an answer. I stepped into the chapel praying and lifting up my distress. We had a different priest today and I was eager to hear what he has to say, and thank God for him. He managed to give me a peace of mind through his preaching. This might sound bizarre (or stupid, depending on how you look at it), but what he preached gave me an answer to my questions.

Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord, where the Magi visited Jesus in the manger. All these events happened through faith. They had faith by following the star. They had faith even though they were foreigners. The priest made a distinction between faith and religion. Many people have religion, but how many have faith? Real faith? And he said something which struck me, which was the answer to my distress:

"Faith means believing that God is making things a little better, regardless of how bad you think the world is. He is working little by little everyday to make the world a better place. That's faith."

Seems like my faith has diminished to such a level that I do not even realize that I am not putting faith in God anymore. As I grow older, there are more and more atrocities that I am aware of. I always wonder about the pain of other people (can't help it. It's in my profession :p) so much so that I am blinded by the wonders of this world. So much so that I waver in faith, wondering whether God is really helping. My faith has undoubtedly diminish. And today, God is speaking to me personally, when I am distressed. He really has His own method of doing things. How awesome.

This year, Pope Benedict XVI has touted this the year of faith. Not the year of religion, but of faith. The Pope asked us to do 3 things; to profess our faith, to celebrate it, and to witness it. We are professing and celebrating it everytime we go for mass, but the hardest is to witness. Today I am a witness to something great and I thank God for that. I would want to be a witness for other people as well. Thank you Lord.

God Bless~

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Reflection of 2012

1st Jan 2013

It's the New Year and I think it's a good time for a reflection. 2012 has been a year of change. Big changes and I am going along fine with it I think. Came to the States to study my Masters in Counseling and it has been an ok journey. I still kinda miss my undergrad years though. It's a little different but I think things will change pretty soon when I am going to do my practicum and internship. I would want to be helping people :)

There are many many people whom I would want to say thank you to and below would be the list:

1) Suzanne Chong: I did not know anyone before coming to UNT. She provided me with lots of information, from GRE practice book, to applying to UNT, to coming to UNT. We weren't at all close before I came, and I think I bored her with my questions on FB message about UNT. However she has helped a lot and I wouldn't be here if not for her. Coming here made me know her a little bit more and she's actually a very bubbly, cheerful girl. It gave me a whole different perspective on her. Thank you Suzanne for all your help. I will be waiting for you to come back!

2) Louis - He picked me up from the airport. Absolutely no idea who he is, but well he picked me up :D Brought me to eat Chipotle and I didn't like it. Maybe I ordered the wrong stuff. lol. He helped me with shifting in and out during my first few days, drove me around to buy laptop and other necessities and I cannot thank you enough. Thanks Louis.

3) Tammy - for letting me sleep in her room while she was away. It was a good way to settle into a foreign place. She has also very boisterous and a good friend. Brings us to shopping once in a while and that's nice because I do not have a car. Thanks Tammy

4) Pao Kai and Yin Meng - The sweetest couple here. :D Thanks for always driving me to groceries shopping. I wouldn't be able to survive without the both of you. Well maybe I could, but it will be a very sad existence maybe. Haha. Thanks for the willingness to help out whenever I needed help with.

5) Shi Yun - The other Malaysian who is taking the same course as me. Thank you for helping me to settle into the course and lending me your textbooks. I wouldn't be as successful now if not for her assistance. Not to mention a lot poorer cause I need to purchase textbooks. :p

6) Ming Kai - The ex-president of Malaysian Student Association. He also helped a lot when I was shifting out from College Inn, and brought me to groceries shopping, whenever he is free. Since his house is the biggest around here, most of our parties are held at his place. From CNY to Deepavali. It's nice to have people around to mingle with during these times of festivities.

There are so many more people whom I would like to thank, for helping me transition. All the Malaysian friends here, Wen, Ying Zhi, Jennis, Kenny, Poh Lynn, Kumar, Victor and Annette, etc. ICSC members, Hitoko, Hsiu Shan, Mimi, Tiffany, etc. Volleyball gang: Will, Chase, Jared, Brandon etc.

Time to move on to 2013!

God Bless~

Monday, December 17, 2012

Love, life and religion

      Yesterday when I was at mass, the priest preached about how Catholics should devout more time to prayer. And I agree. I do not pray enough I think, and hopefully with enough prayer, I get to be at peace with myself and with the world, knowing that God will take care of us.

     There is something which intrigued me though about his homily yesterday. He mentioned that there was a Catholic girl who messaged him telling him that she is very in love with this guy who is a non-Catholic and is considering marriage (something along that line). The priest said "Are you crazy?" (well that was the exact phrased he used in his homily, not sure whether he really did say that to the girl). He mentioned that one can be in love with another person, but to consider marriage, that's really dumb. He asked why would we want to make our soul suffer through these difficulty of living with another non Catholic. He did say however that conversion is possible, but the chances are slim. There are many Catholic young people, why do we need to choose someone outside the church.

     That got me thinking. And let me tell you upfront, I do not agree completely with his opinions. Marriage between people of different religion is tough, mostly due to differences in value. But are there differences in value within the Catholic church? Of course there is. Does it mean one is less Catholic than another if opinions differ? I don't think so. Are there evil people in the Catholic chuch? Sure thing. Are there good people with good values outside of the Catholic church? Plenty. That means that a marriage between people of different religion or same religion does not guarantee that it will be an easy or rough marriage. If you manage to find people whom you are compatible with, who has the same values, then great. It doesn't mean that if you find a person within the same religion, it's all going to be smooth going. It also doesn't indicate that if you find someone outside of the same religion, life is going to be terrible. There is no clear cut formula to happy marriage (how convenient it would be if there is right?)

     So now that the point is made, what makes marriage between people of different religion difficult? I think it has to do with the family as a unit, especially when there are children involved. If one is Catholic and another is not, then when children comes along, which religion will they subscribe to? If both parents are pious in their own religion, then each one might say that the children should follow their own religion, which would create trouble because now both partners are fighting.

     If one parent is religious, another is not, the pious parent might want the children to follow his/her religion, and the less pious one might say wait till the child grow to make a decision. This is also difficult because the pious parent would want the kid to grow up based on faith system, whereas the other parent does not understand the importance of it.

     This is where things get tricky for there is no easy solution. For pious parents, the argument might lead to "my God is greater than your God" or "my religion is better than your religion". Maybe one may not say that out loud, but there's meaning behind wanting the child to follow one's religious beliefs. For partners where one is religious and another is not, the non religious parent might argue that "Do you think we are unable to raise our kids good enough?" argument. And as I said, there is no easy way out because both parents have different beliefs about life and death, moral values and importance of living.

     The important thing for couples before they get married, is to iron out all these possible difficulties, even if they are from the same religion. This would be the best way to live harmoniously. If I do get married, I would definitely want my children to grow up as Catholics. That's because a big part of who I am today comes from my Catholic upbringing. I think I am a moderately decent guy, and I am not saying that there are no decent guys out there, but I am, and would want to raise my kids the way I know how, and one part of it is the church. Differences in values should be ironed out, regardless of religion.

I should really pray more.

God Bless~



Thursday, December 13, 2012

Close to a year

     It's been close to a year now that I have been in the Denton -> Texas -> US. The year has not come to an end yet, but I think it's about time I update my blog with what has been happening throughout this 1 year, or almost a year. When I first got here, I was taking 9 credit hours (3 classes) and I do not have any work. I was very very very very very free then. It was fun because I had much free time to roam around, seeing events, and having more time to socialize with people. I was also looking for job frantically because I cannot afford to not have a job. I found a part time job, 10 hours a week, dealing with kids. I love kids, so that job was not bad. I still had time and Spring passed.

     During summer, I did not take any class because I would want to work full time, 40 hours, and immigration requirement, if I want to work full time, I cannot be taking classes. I need the money to support myself for Fall, and so I worked full time. Everyday it was going to office at 8, ends at 5, and I worked in 2 separate part time jobs, 20 hours each/week. So it was 8 till 12 in one place, 1 - 5 in another place. My work place was not awesome, and pretty stressed. What I feel more than stressed, is the helpless feeling I sometimes get from not being able to help students.

     After work, I will go to the gym once in a while. There wasn't anyone who plays volleyball during summer. I suppose many are not on campus, so it's pretty sad. I will come back from work, go to gym if I did go, and then cook. I shifted out from the dorm and into an apartment. Although summer was mundane because it was work everyday, my weekends were pretty ok since I get to go groceries shopping. I also got to go to Kansas City, which was nice. :)

     Fall came and I found a new job, a Graduate Assistant job which pays me well. Hurray! Thank God for all His blessings. 20 hours, and I am taking 4 classes. Contrary to Spring, I am very very very very busy this semester. Work, then class, then volleyball, and in between there's tutoring (because I became a volunteer tutor) and was the President of International Counseling Student Club, so I need to plan for events. During the weekends, I had volleyball tournaments and I got to go to San Antonio, Texas A & M, and University of Arlingon which was pretty nice.

     During this semester, I think I did not go Asian groceries shopping for 10 consecutive weeks. I need to get a trophy for that I think. XD Got to experience Thanksgiving. But on a whole, I think this semester I have been socializing less with people. Others are busy too and there just isn't time for chilling around. It's been months since I have been to Secret Recipe. Previously it's like a monthly event. Hahaha.

     I am happy with how this year is coming to an end. I have definitely learnt a lot in my classes, especially through the experiential learning. Gained some insight about myself and others. Miss my family and friends back home. Discovered that there are a lot of evil doings around the world and I am disturbed by it. Sometimes I think the world does need a superhero. Denton has spoilt me in many ways with it's traffic, weather, people and very affordable standard of living.

     Will go to Disneyworld, Universal Studio, Miami and Keywest next week. That is how my year is gonna end!

God Bless~

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Religion and judgement

1st July 2012

Sometimes, people uses religion as a means to condemn other people, saying things like:

"If you don't believe in my religion, you will not be saved"
"You should not do such sinful things/behavior for God will not forgive (or will be very angry at) you"

What we fail to understand is that God is God, and we are not God. How could we claim to know what God thinks. How could we know that 'other people' will not be saved and forgiven?

God's compassion is so great beyond our comprehension that God could forgive even the worst of sinners, whom we mere humans see these sinners as as low lives.

And I believe that God's love is so great that God will save people of other religion, just because God loves all humanity, regardless of religion. I don't claim that God will definitely do that, but I believe so.

What we need to do therefore is not to judge, but to welcome people of all walks of life to embrace God, by our ways of life of not judging, to be accepting, to be holy, and to be LOVING!

Many a times in the Bible, Jesus rebuked the so called 'holy men' in favor of sinners simply because it is sinners that are seeking for repentance, forgiveness, acceptance and love. Jesus himself gave us the perfect example when he minister not to the righteous, but to the sinners, the sick, the lame, the afflicted. He wants to show us what following him should be like.

Let us not be self-righteous like the 'holy men' (scribes, teachers of Law etc.) who only put heavy burden on people, but do not help them to overcome nor alleviate their misery.

Jesus came for the sinners. We should help, welcome and love sinners too, and since all of us are sinners, let's love one another as God has loved us.

God Bless~