Joyful Self-Giving

Some 10 days ago, my big family – Domus Cordis (DC), just had our retreat on Theology Of the Body. The retreat was entitled Destination Confirmed, and was attended by some 50 participants and around 20 DC members.

Result? Amazing, wonderful, glorious, the atmosphere was filled with God’s blessing.

A week after, which is a few days ago, DC had a gathering to follow up the retreat participants. It was held at one of our Mission Partner’s house (Petrus). We had a big big dinner and nice sharing of people’s experience.

Result? Awesome, marvelous, joyful, and inspiring!

But the best thing that God did among us throughout the 2 events, for me – it was not the annointed worship (The worship was great, but it was not the one that impressed me). It was not the food (The food was awesone and mightily abundant, but it was not the one that impressed me). It was also not the tears of repentance (God indeed touched people’s heart beautifully, but this time it was not the one that impressed me).

The thing that impressed me most this time was… the giving attitude of DC members!

Throughout the retreat and the follow up dinner, I saw God moved in very special ways through the DC team. I have been seeing and working with many teams in all my 17 years of ministries, but this team is really awesome! Everybody worked and contributed much without any grudge! This “grudelessness” is not only accompanied by happy attitude, but it was also supported by great dedication and hard work. People worked and contributed as much as they could, without “calculating” personal “loss and benefit”. People give of their time and talents unconditionally.

Toni – who led the retreat preparation, made a decision of faith to conduct the Crucifix Adoration outdoor, while it was a rainy season. That night not even a single drop of water fell from the sky. His prayer and faith made it possible for us to worship Jesus beautifully. He shared with us an awesome gift of faith.

Avi and Tasia, who led the follow-up-dinner preparation, in such a short time managed to coordinate succesfully and come up with super abundant food. And everybody was working, serving, and eating happily!

This kind of attitude only comes from the hearts that are full of God’s love. Only people overflowed with God’s love are able to share this love through service. From the abundance of the hearts shall flow the abundance of God’s love to others.

God is The Greatest Giver! He gives of His time, His love, His compassion, His ability, His attention, and even His Own Body, so that we understand what it means to love in humble service to one another. This is the miracle of love: the miracle of joyful self-giving in service for others. 

After all, love is always about being a gift for others!

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The poor enters heaven first?

Beberapa bulan yang lalu, gue lagi duduk di Cinnabon, Plaza Indonesia – as usual with a cup of coffee. Sepanjang jalan menuju ATM, dan jalan menuju ke Cinnabon, gue ngeliat toko-toko, resto, and café yang sangat menarik buat dikunjungi.

Tiba-tiba aja terlintas pikiran di benak gue. Segini banyak kenyamanan dibangun dan di-sediakan bagi orang-orang yang punya uang. Segini banyak kemampuan, usaha, dan waktu  diluangkan untuk menciptakan suasana yang mendukung life style para kalangan ekonomi atas. Now the question is: ada berapa banyak sih orang-orang yang punya kemampuan buat belanja di sini, dibandingkan dengan yang ngga punya kemampuan itu? Ada berapa banyak sih orang yang punya uang buat menikmati semua ini, dibandingkan dengan mereka yang ngga punya? Kalo kita pergi ke mall-mall prestigious hari Minggu, rasanya penuh banget sampe cari parkir aja bisa lebih dari setengah jam. Tapi penuhnya tempat parkir ini apa bener-bener reflect people’s buying power? Atau sebagian besar cuma jalan-jalan cari udara sejuk? Pikiran gue melayang ke sekian banyak orang yang berjuang setiap hari untuk cari uang sekedar untuk menutupi biaya hidup bulanan. Pikiran gue melayang ke panti asuhan anak-anak yang gue en komunitas gue – Domus Cordis – kunjungin beberapa bulan lalu, yang anak-anaknya begitu girangnya saat kita dateng untuk sekedar doa dan nyanyi bersama.

 

Kata para economist kita sedang berada di ambang krisis moneter dan bahkan krisis pangan dunia. Di mailing list alumni sekolah gue dulu – CC91, sedang banyak diskusi tentang ekonomi Indonesia yang sepertinya ada di gerbang krisis – walaupun mudah-mudahan gak separah krisis moneter tahun 97 yang lalu. USD telah ter-depresiasi terhadap EUR hampir 50% dalam waktu yang relative singkat, dan harga minyak dunia menanjak terus, sehingga rasanya hampir tiap minggu ada rekor harga tertinggi yang baru.

 

Koran Kompas beberapa waktu yang lalu bicara tentang seruan APINDO (Asosiasi Pengusaha Indonesia) supaya perusahaan-perusahaan jangan melakukan PHK. Entah ini seruan serius atau pengumuman terselubung bahwa akan ada PHK besar-besaran. Departemen Keuangan juga sudah menyiapkan 86 skenario harga berkaitan dengan harga BBM yang katanya pasti naik.

 

Wajah-wajah orang miskin yang sering gue jumpai di perempatan lampu merah melintas di pikiran gue. Jangankan mereka yang meminta-minta di jalanan, wajah beberapa orang kenalan gue pun mulai terbersit di benak gue. Ada yang bergumul dengan uang sekolah anak-anak mereka, ada yang setiap hari bekerja banting tulang hanya untuk mencukupi biaya makan dan sedikit sisa untuk beli vitamin bulanan. Seorang Romo pernah cerita, di suatu daerah di Indonesia, waktu uang sekolah bulanan naik dari Rp.2000 ke Rp.3000, setengah murid-murid sekolah langsung drop out. Kira-kira sebulan yang lalu, TV dan Koran sempat memberitakan seorang ibu yang rela membunuh anak-anaknya – bukan karena benci, tapi justru karena takut anak-anaknya nanti harus menderita kemiskinan.

 

As I am writing now, my heart cries with them. Tapi nangisnya hati gue ngga ada artinya dibandingkan dengan pergumulan dan penderitaan yang mereka harus hadapi dan jalani setiap hari.

 

Kemiskinan ini bukan cuma uang. Waktu financially mereka miskin, mereka akan mengalami kemiskinan-kemiskinan lainnya – misalnya kesehatan, pendidikan – atau bahkan yang sering terjadi adalah keadilan dan kemanusiaan. Bukankah kebanyakan fasilitas dibangun untuk orang-orang yang punya uang? Bukankah sarana kesehatan yang terbaik disediakan buat mereka yang punya uang? Bukankah yang gak punya uang kurang punya kesempatan untuk membela hak-hak dan martabat mereka?

 

Aku berkata kepadamu, sesungguhnya segala sesuatu yang kamu lakukan untuk salah seorang dari saudaraKu yang paling hina ini, kamu telah melakukannya untuk Aku.

(Mat 25:40)

 

Atau jangan-jangan kita termasuk dalam pembuat-pembuat atau pendukung sistem yang mengorbankan kaum miskin dan tak berdaya di sekitar kita – lewat gaya hidup kita, lewat komentar-komentar kita sehari-hari, lewat pemborosan uang kita, lewat ketidakmau-tahuan kita, atau lewat bungkamnya mulut kita karena cari aman, atau karena kita sendiri juga menikmati sistem ini?

 

Berbahagialah orang-orang yang miskin di hadapan Allah,

Karena merekalah yang empunya Kerajaan Sorga.

 

Berbahagialah orang yang berdukacita,

Karena mereka akan dihibur.

 

Berbahagialah orang yang lemah lembut,

Karena mereka akan memiliki bumi.

 

Berbahagialah orang yang lapar dan haus akan kebenaran,

Karena mereka akan dipuaskan.

 

Berbahagialah orang yang murah hatinya,

Karena mereka akan beroleh kemurahan.

 

Berbahagialah orang yang suci hatinya,

Karena mereka akan melihat Allah.

 

Berbahagialah orang yang membawa damai,

Karena mereka akan disebut anak-anak Allah.

 

Berbahagialah orang yang dianiaya oleh sebab kebenaran,

Karena merekalah yang empunya kerajaan Sorga

 

Berbahagialah kamu, jika karena Aku kamu dicela dan dianiaya, dan kepadamu difitnahkan segala yang jahat,

Bersukacitalah dan bergembiralah, karena upahmu besar di sorga,

Sebab demikian juga telah dianiaya nabi-nabi yang sebelum kamu.

(Mat 5:1-12)

               

Atau jangan-jangan, saudara-saudara para orang miskin yang kita temui setiap hari ini – mereka akan mendahului kita masuk ke dalam kerajaan Allah… karena merekalah yang empunya kerajaan sorga?

 

Kita semua dipanggil untuk menjadi terang dan garam bagi sekitar kita. Orang-orang miskin adalah Yesus yang sedang menyamar, supaya kita semua belajar lebih peka dan lebih peduli dengan sesama kita. Semoga kita semakin mengasihi dan semakin mengusahakan kesejahteraan bersama.

 

At least I have to start from myself. Yup, dari diri gue sendiri.

 

(my humble request to all: please pray for me)

                                

Quotes of Mother Teresa

A clean heart is a free heart. A free heart can love Christ with an undivided love in chastity, convinced that nothing and nobody will separate it from his love. Purity, chastity, and virginity created a special beauty in Mary that attracted God’s attention. He showed his great love for the world by giving Jesus to her.

There is a terrible hunger for love. We all experience that in our lives – the pain, the loneliness. We must have the courage to recognize it. The poor you may have right in your own family.
Find them.
Love them.

Before you speak, it is necessary for you to listen, for God speaks in the silence of the heart.

Give yourself fully to God. He will use you to accomplish great things on the condition that you believe much more in His love than in your own weakness.

Speak tenderly to them. Let there be kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile, in the warmth of your greeting. Always have a cheerful smile. Don’t only give your care, but give your heart as well.

The more you have, the more you are occupied, the less you give. But the less you have the more free you are. Poverty for us is a freedom. It is not mortification, a penance.
It is joyful freedom. There is no television here, no this, no that. But we are perfectly happy. 

I pray that you will understand the words of Jesus, “Love one another as I have loved you.” Ask yourself “How has he loved me? Do I really love others in the same way?” Unless this love is among us, we can kill ourselves with work and it will only be work, not love. Work without love is slavery.

Little things are indeed little, but to be faithful in little things is a great thing.

A sacrifice to be real must cost, must hurt, must empty ourselves. The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace.

Keep the joy of loving God in your heart and share this joy with all you meet especially your family. Be holy – let us pray.

I once picked up a woman from a garbage dump and she was burning with fever; she was in her last days and her only lament was: ‘My son did this to me.’ I begged her: You must forgive your son. In a moment of madness, when he was not himself, he did a thing he regrets. Be a mother to him, forgive him. It took me a long time to make her say: ‘I forgive my son.’ Just before she died in my arms, she was able to say that with a real forgiveness. She was not concerned that she was dying. The breaking of the heart was that her son did not want her. This is something you and I can understand.

When once a chairman of a multinational company came to see me, to offer me a property in Bombay, he first asked: ‘Mother, how do you manage your budget?” I asked him who had sent him here. He replied: ‘I felt an urge inside me.’ I said: other people like you come to see me and say the same. It was clear God sent you, Mr. A, as He sends Mr. X, Mrs. Y, Miss Z, and they provide the material means we need for our work. The grace of God is what moved you. You are my budget. God sees to our needs, as Jesus promised. I accepted the property he gave and named it Asha Dan (Gift of Hope).

Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today. Let us begin.

Like Jesus we belong to the world living not for ourselves but for others. The joy of the Lord is our strength.

There is only one God and He is God to all; therefore it is important that everyone is seen as equal before God. I’ve always said we should help a Hindu become a better Hindu, a Muslim become a better Muslim, a Catholic become a better Catholic. We believe our work should be our example to people. We have among us 475 souls – 30 families are Catholics and the rest are all Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs—all different religions. But they all come to our prayers.

There are so many religions and each one has its different ways of following God. I follow Christ:
Jesus is my God,
Jesus is my Spouse,
Jesus is my Life,
Jesus is my only Love,
Jesus is my All in All;
Jesus is my Everything.

Make us worthy, Lord, to serve those people throughout the world who live and die in poverty and hunger. Give them through our hands, this day, their daily bread, and by our understanding love, give them peace and joy.
I heard the call to give up all and follow Christ into the slums to serve Him among the poorest of the poor. It was an order. I was to leave the convent and help the poor while living among them.

When a poor person dies of hunger, it has not happened because God did not take care of him or her.
It has happened because neither you nor I wanted to give that person what he or she needed.

You and I, we are the Church, no? We have to share with our people. Suffering today is because people are hoarding, not giving, not sharing.
Jesus made it very clear. Whatever you do to the least of my brethren, you do it to me.
Give a glass of water, you give it to me. Receive a little
child, you receive me.

Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush, anxious for greater developments and greater riches and so on, so that children have very little time for their parents. Parents have very little time for each other, and in the home begins the disruption of peace of the world.

If we really want to love we must learn how to forgive.

 

Life is Beautiful

Life is a gift and I thank God for everything He is and everything He has done to me.

If I look back to 10-15 years ago, I realize that there has never been any moment in my life, where He left me. He has always been with me through all of my struggle and my pain. He has always been with me through all my failures and tears. Most amazingly, He has always been by my side even at the many times when I was not lovable. There were times – and I know not only a few of them – when I was not easy at all for others to love. However, during these tough moments, His love never departed. He held me even closer, and He said He loved me a million times. He proves me that there is indeed no limit to His love and mercy and goodness…

I thank Him for His unconditional love.

He teaches me that a pure gold is a precious offering unto Him, yet a heart of love is purer than gold and even more precious to His Own Heart. He teaches me that flowers tell the beauty of God’s creation, yet a lifetime of faithfulness and humility is more beautiful than the flowers of the springtime.  He teaches me that material wealth can reflect the riches of God’s abundance, yet a strong Godly character is richer than the world with all its material wealth.  

I thank Him for His Fatherly wisdom. 

Every person in this world reflects the face of Jesus. The most unloving person in this world is Jesus in disguise, inviting us to enlarge our capacity to love. The most unfavorable situation in this life is Jesus at work, encouraging us to expand our trust in Him. It is Jesus everywhere. It is love at work everywhere. And no matter what circumstances we have today, in the end love always wins. We don’t know what exactly will happen in a few years from now, or even a few minutes from now. But we do have the assurance that no matter what happens; love is always at work to make all things beautiful for us – for me.Jesus always wants to make me happy. Jesus always wants to fill me with joy – a never ending everyday joy of complete trust in Him.

I thank Him for His everyday grace.

He placed dreams in my heart, and He fulfills them one by one. He does not pour down events and situation from heaven, but He invites us to take part in His saving work of love. He showers us with divine grace from above, and allows us to undergo struggle and even failures. He accompanies us with His everyday strength and consolation to make our dreams come true. At the end of the day, it is not only the dreams that materialize, but the heart – the wounded and broken heart – has become full of wisdom and compassion. A heart just like His very own Heart.

I thank Him for life passion and dreams.

His love, His mercy, His forgiveness, His peace, His joy… they fill my heart to overflow.

His desires, His words, His promises, His smiles, His laughter… they fill my passion days and nights.

His protection, His blessings, His affirmation, His abundance, His trust in me… they fill my everyday walk, they enable me to fly like an eagle; they empower me to inspire the world with love.

He is everywhere in and around me. He is my life.

Life is indeed beautiful.