Actually, I am very tired and sleepy already. But must jot these thoughts down so that they don’t disappear.
So, I managed to wake up at 6.30 am on a Sunday morning. The room is very cold and the thought of skipping the idea of going to St. Anne’s church that early is very, very tempting. It is as easy as hitting my alarm which is my handphone to silent permanently so that I can give myself the excuse that I overslept.
But I forced myself to crawl out of bed, into the bathroom though I see very little purpose in driving that far for church. I got out of my house at 6.50 am. Mass is at 8 am.
Before I left, I prodded my sleeping hubby and asked him how to go to St. Anne. Is it using the N/S highway and take the BM exit? He said no, use the Seberang Jaya one, easier to go. So, I did. But I forgot to ask which exit.
I left the house and found that my car needs petrol again. Few months back, filling petrol is never my job. I have my sons and husband to do the dirty job for me. Now, I am like filling petrol every week.
I got over to the mainland and happily I drive. Only to go ‘oh oh, Kulim, is this the exit?’ Thank God, my instinct told me there is another Permatang Pauh exit. And I was right. I drove using my instinct. Most days, I would lost my way. But hey, I am going to church so probably God open my eyes big big to know which road to take.
I was so happy when I get to St. Anne’s church ten minutes before mass. This is probably the first time I worship there. I had been there once but it was with my church choir and we were there to sing so I never really have time to appreciate how beautiful the structure is.
I notice that I am now so Catholicky. From the moment I step into the building, the holy water, cross, that little curtsy before I sit down to the prayer before mass. It has been seven years. I am utterly proud I had blended into Catholic churches now. I no longer feel like a sore thumb in a mass of stern looking sour face Catholics, mostly Eurasians. I tell you, it is a freaky experience to step into Catholic church because we are always so cold. Going into American churches are equally freaky too because they are too friendly. In fact, Christians are pretty scary people hor?
I felt an overwhelming sense of belonging there. Not because of anything but when I heard Father Stephen’s voice, it triggered a flood of memories of my first time in a church. Some of you may have read about how I become a Christian. I just walked into one after I looked it up in the Yellow Pages of Telekom Malaysia.
Father Stephen is in his 50s, speak like a Chinese but he has this sharp pronunciation. It is not soothing but rather, factual. I have heard all sorts of funny way priests speak and I tell you, you can get a headache if you concentrate too hard. But I like Father Stephen’s voice like a duckling grasping in the dark, looking for a familiar voice.
So……… I feel so blessed, so in awe, so much rejoice and so in touch with God. I know that it is only God’s grace that I had managed and coped so well after my son’s death. Vincent would be eight years old this September 24.
From the start, I was already comforted that there is God. The rest of the mass does not matter that much anymore because I already feel the oneness with the Lord. There were 3 other priests who are con-celebrating the mass. One mat salleh, one Indian and one so handsome Chinese priest.
The homily is about talents. Talents here do not mean skills but rather it was a denomination for money during the Biblical times. There is this parable by Jesus that God will give us the talents we need, to those who are selfish in sharing it, He will not give. To those who are generous, He will give more. The homily also touched on humility and humbleness. Many things run through my mind. I take stock of my Catholic journey so far. Since the day I was baptised by Father Stephen to what I had done over these 7 years.
In the middle of mass, the sun rays shone on the OHP and I can’t see a thing on it. I want to see the lyrics and sing along so I changed my place just before holy communion. So, I sat on the front pew. And that’s how I notice our Catholic church also have handsome Chinese priest lor. I know Father GT is going to smack my head for talking about handsome priest when I should be concentrating on Jesus on the cross. But forgive me lah, after so many old, old Chinese priests in our Penang parishes, it is like a breath of fresh air. Except that the priest is probably from Singapore cos he is not local.
After mass, I make a detour to say hi to Father Stephen. And he recognises me. I was like ‘Alleluia! I love You Jesus, this is the touch base moment with God that I had long for.’ Jesus is like the anchor. Seeing Father Stephen reminds me that I had come a long way from being a lost, broken soul to someone who is assured of the existence of God. I found the mountain top feeling of my faith. And no, the handsome priest is not the motivation. But hey, it is good to appreciate God’s creation, you know?