Malacca Johore Diocese News Update #86

The MJD’s Diocesan Pre-Synod Assembly concluded on May 3, 2022. Some 176 representatives gathered to listen to one another, sense the leading of the Holy Spirit, and reach a diocesan pastoral consensus and direction.

May 13, 2022

Greetings and Peace of the Risen Lord be with you, dear Catholics of Malacca and Johore, continue to be surprised by the Lord, who makes all things new.

The MJD’s Diocesan Pre-Synod Assembly concluded on May 3, 2022. Some 176 representatives gathered to listen to one another, sense the leading of the Holy Spirit, and reach a diocesan pastoral consensus and direction. The final diocesan report will be presented at the coming Catholic Bishops Conference of Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei, to finalise a national report.

These were what many commented: The prayerfulness of the gatherings, the respect in the group sharing, the openness to the bigger picture, an awareness that God is in control, and that the Spirit reveals to believers in community. Fakes And Faking Times Are Here. Fake news! Fake reports! Fake allegations! Attack integrity, personal life, vulnerable family members, the fearless, the honest and uncompromising. Use the cyber space, pay-off the cyber troopers, millions to “memputihkan yang hitam; menghitamkan yang putih”. The fakes are ganging up to scratch each other’s back, and give legitimacy to condoning crimes. The fakes get police escorts. The fakes may fool some people some of the time, but they cannot fool all the people all of the time. The fakes maybe too convinced that they are genuine. But, can they fool death and judgement? Unless they have fooled themselves, thinking that their God can be fooled.

Some quotes from Scott Peck in his book “The People of The Lie”:

1. Evil people, the people of the lie, hate the light because it reveals their selves to themselves. ... They will destroy the light, the goodness, the love in order to avoid the pain of self-awareness.

2. A predominant characteristic of the people of the lie is scapegoating. Because, in their hearts, they consider themselves above reproach, they must lash out at anyone who reproaches them. They sacrifice others to preserve their self-image of perfection.

1 Jn.1:8 says “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Malacca Johore Diocese News Update #86 15 24 25 - 28 Tamil Mass @ 8.00am, Church of St John Britto, Penang English Mass @ 10.30am, Cathedral of the Holy Spirit, Penang SSVP State Council of Penang AGM @ 3.00pm, Church of the Immaculate Conception, Pulau Tikus Catholic Health Care Asia (CHCA) @ 3.00pm, ZOOM Confirmation - Church of Our Lady of Fatima of the Holy Rosary, Kota Bahru Visitation of Catholics in Jeli and Tanah Merah Penang Diocese Diary of Bishop Sebastian Francis May Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese Diary of Archbishop Julian Leow May 17 - 18 19 28 Clergy recollection Archdiocesan Finance Meeting Confirmation Mass at Church of St Jude, Rawang

A Thought for the Week:
The Wisest Socrates, the ancient Greek philosopher, wanted to know who was the wisest person in Athens. The Delphic Oracle said, “You are!”

“That is impossible,” replied Socrates, “because I am aware that I know nothing.” “That,” said the Oracle, “is why you are the wisest person in Athens.”

Eckhart Tolle felt that to give up trying to understand, to surrender and become comfortable with not knowing, is Wisdom.

Adyashanti said that the door to God is the insecurity of not knowing anything. Bear the grace of that uncertainty and all wisdom will be yours.

Ben Gillison in Wise Quotes 88 said, “Wisdom is a mixture of experience, courage and intelligence. We all want to be wise and make wise decisions, because, when we do, we’re tapping into the best of ourselves. Quite often, being wise is just giving ourselves enough time to think (isn’t it quite often the case that snap judgements turn out poorer results than considered decisions!). Listening to wise counsel — to wise friends and mentors, who give us a more balanced perspective when we’re mulling over an idea — is a good way to tap into wiser choices.”

Announcements for this Week

1. The Clergy Monthly Recollection is scheduled for May 17-18 at Majodi

2. The seminarians from Penang and Kuching will be back for their July break.

3. On May 21, Saturday, the bishop will be attending Sheikh Imran’s Open House.

4. The nine-day Novena to the Holy Spirit in preparation for the great Feast of Pentecost will begin with the Feast of the Ascension, from May 27 till June 4.

5. The Church celebrates World Communications Sunday on the weekend of May 29 or the Seventh Sunday of Easter.

6. The Easter Joy Hampers Project by the Society of St Vincent de Paul raised a total of 135 hampers worth RM200 each, for the South Johor friends-in-need (FINs).

7. The Orang Asli Back to School Project by Caritas-MJDOHD collected RM28,000 to help struggling Orang Asli children. A total of 300 school children from Kampung Orang Asli in Kota Tinggi, Mersing and Kluang benefitted from this project. To the generous benefactors of the above two projects, thank you.

This week’s Question and Query:

The Q asked: Why did Pope Francis say that liturgy should not be a “battleground?”

This is what Pope Francis said:

1. Liturgical life and the study of it, should lead to greater Church unity, not division. When the liturgical life is a bit like a banner of division, there is the stench of the devil in there.

2. It is not possible to worship God while making the liturgy a battleground for issues that are not essential, indeed, outdated issues, and to take sides starting with the liturgy, with ideologies that divide the Church.

3. Close-minded people use liturgical framework to defend their views. This is the drama we are experiencing in ecclesial groups that are distancing themselves from the Church, questioning the Council, the authority of the bishops in order to preserve tradition. And the liturgy is used for that. Just a thought: The liturgy feeds and frees us to feed the hungry and free the imprisoned.

Walk in His peace. “Religion does not tolerate any question. But Spirituality questions everything”. We are the living parts of the Body of Christ. Let us together, you and I, plant God spaces where we are planted.

Bishop Bernard Paul
May 13, 2022

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