*5xmom on a serious mode*
The thing I love most being a Catholic is the ability for me to remain very much a Chinese while following Christ. It is a natural transtition for me because I used to do all those thingamajig related to Chinese New Year including filling up the rice urn with rice over flowing, inviting the god of prosperity and stuffs like that.
So, when I turned to Christ, I naturally lost that desire to get rich quick with my own actions. I stopped relying on what those soothsayer predictions like ‘Next year will be a turbulent year for dragons yadda yadda, blab blab blab’. (HOI! dragons always get turbulent time cos we live with hurricane and typhoon, ok? 😛 ) Being a Christian gives me that comfort that Jesus is with me, in bad times and in good times. He is the wind beneath my wings, raise me up, got me out of stormy situations and things like that. (think Bette Midler, Josh Groban)
However, there are certain aspects that I hold dearly and closely. That is the memories of our departed parents and parents-in-laws. Being Catholic, I have the joyful communion with God, the saints and our beloved ones at the mass celebrated on the eve of Chinese New Year. Do make it to church to witness for yourself how Catholics have managed to weave the Chinese culture with our belief of worshipping our one and only God, the Lord Jesus Christ.
I can attest that there is nothing more joyful than being there in church with all other Chinese and singing and praising God and at the same time, feeling close to our loved ones. I can imagine the joyful time they are having in His Heavenly Kingdom. Though my parents and parents-in-laws aren’t Christians, I know that good people like them only belongs where good people go. (and Catholics believe in purgatory, the half-way home)
I can tell you that no amount of chicken and ducks and pigs slaughtered and offered can fill the spaces in our hearts. No amount of cooking and offerings can give the comfort that our dearly departed ones are in a better place. But our Christian belief of life, death and resurrection will provide us that feeling of letting go and meeting again.
Please surf over to my church’s website, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit to better understand how we manage to embrace our Chinese cultures and traditions and yet, being Christians – i.e. praying to only one God.
And also, check out Elvin’s travel blog – Wander the wonders of world with Elvin Ong. He is part of the project team whom work together to get our church website running. Of course, he got the blogging bug from me lah, who else. But serious, if you like to travel, Elvin has plenty of tips to share.