- Published on Saturday, 24 September 2016 12:50
- Published on Saturday, 30 July 2016 18:35
The following is a reflection by Maureen Khoo, Friend of SJ on her thoughts and experiences while attending the first day (July 27, 2016) of the St. Ignatius Feast Day Triduum.
Fr James Tan SJ, Head of MAS Development Office, started the first day of our Triduum preparing us for the Feast of St Ignatius by sharing with us precious insights of St Ignatius on his life journey and how he changed in his relationship to wealth ('that tainted thing').
Speaking with an earnestness of deep personal faith in every word, and aided by carefully selected pictures and themed statements, Fr James showed us how we could see God's mysterious moves in St Ignatius’ (Inigo's) life. God chose to use Inigo's physical & social woundedness to transform him from the wealthy ambitious worldly nobleman - soldier he aspired to be. Like a discarded piece of clay reshaped in the Potter's hand - the wounded soldier, bedridden during a long recovery, and forced to read books about Christ and Life of Saints, recognized and opened his mind to 'other' noble aspirations; at this point we were made to see 'how all things are ordered to the service of God'.
From that point on, Inigo sought to commune with God about 'his relations to God and God's relationship with him'. He saw himself as a pilgrim; discarding trappings of a rich life, dressed like a beggar and nourished only by a desire for closeness to God, he spent many months in Manresa in fast and penance. By God's grace, he was later moved to abandon spiritual excesses. He began his transformation into a 'complete' man with a lifetime of continuous spiritual discoveries. He captured in writing his own journey of spiritual discovery (discernment processes) - especially during his time at Manresa - how to find God every moment, in the world, in nature, in all people and all situations even situations of adversity. Inigo was able to inspire others and share the process of spiritual journeying with his followers who later became his company of the Jesuit fathers.
Repeatedly we were reminded of how a seemingly 'elusive' God was actually always there for Inigo. ‘The will of God awaited Inigo's and our discovery’. Inigo had to not only discover, but desire that conversion of heart, to want to live for God; his learning was gradual but prolific and unceasing in spiritual movements through the workings of the Holy Spirit; He began to understand where he was with God and what God's relationship with him was; God was always there guiding Inigo with His presence as He would us, working him and us into 'co-workers' and soldiers for His Kingdom on earth.
God made His presence felt through adversity. But hard times only increasingly ‘deepened and broadened' Inigo's discernment. He gradually recognized ‘how God was unceasingly working hard for him and whole of humanity and nature'. Inigo's 'interior knowledge of God' grew through learning how to recognize when God was near (in moments of spiritual consolations) and when he was moving away from God (moments of spiritual desolation).
Fr. James brought to our attention how Inigo moved from a beginning position of wealth to learn that the first Principle for all living men was that we were made 'to praise, reverence and serve God', and that ‘finding God in all things and all situations' would lead man to a disposition of 'indifference' to worldly possessions – 'indifference' explained as 'maintaining a balance, not allowing our appetites, biases, pride, fears or ambition dictate our choices'; instead, using worldly possessions and gifts, where needed, for the service of God.
Inigo learnt and showed us in his pilgrimage that the 'tainted thing' can distance us from God by nurturing greed, and other passions. However 'through our intelligence, we may accumulate what we want' yet place possessions in 'the right ordering for the service of God'. Inigo during his lifetime - 'did not allow possessions to own him, rather he 'owned' possessions'. His management of money for his Order of Jesuits was moderated by the same principle of 'indifference'. In giving alms he learnt (and we learn with him) to give with compassionate attention and see Christ in the needy person. In our encounter with Nature, we see God serving us through his creations, so nature and our environment has to be given similar loving attention.
His spiritual journeying captured in his Spiritual Exercises' on how to continually fine-tune discernment in all matters was Inigo's greatest gift to his Jesuit companions and all lay persons for all generations. Our awareness and thankfulness help us to see our Creator's presence and His movements in our lives. To Inigo and us, all that must matter is to ‘collaborate with God in building His kingdom on earth’. Inigo learnt to live to serve God and God only, and so must we.
- Published on Saturday, 30 July 2016 18:14
Around 80 of our Friends of the Society of Jesus gathered for a Thanksgiving Mass on Saturday 16 July 2016 to commemorate the Feast of St Ignatius. The Mass that began at 5pm was celebrated by Fr James Tan SJ, Development Officer of the MAS region and concelebrated by the Regional Superior of the MAS region, Fr Colin Tan SJ. Fr James delivered a homily touching on the life of St Ignatius, how he surrendered worldly pleasures to transforming himself to a life focused on God. Amy Tan and Brendan Egan, served as lectors at the Mass and we closed the Mass to the annually sung and rousing hymn of “Noble Knight”.
Fr James Tan expressed his appreciation to all our generous Friends and reiterated that the evening was to express the Development Office’s gratitude for their support. A sumptuous Peranakan Dinner followed at the Novitiate Dining Hall. There was warm camaraderie among our Friends as they engaged in a Jesuit-themed Table game, hosted by the affable, Bobby Lean. Some questions were no doubt challenging but it was all in good fun. The winning table was presented with a huge box of juicy cherries which they graciously shared with all present - a heart-warming end to a delightful evening of fellowship!
- Published on Saturday, 30 July 2016 18:22
On the 2nd July 2016, Saturday, James Tan SJ gave a recollection in the morning to the Friends of SJ in Loyola Hall, Church of St. Francis Xavier, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. Sebastian Koh SJ, Assistant MAS Development Officer, and Pat Lam helped to organise the event. There were about 30 Friends of SJ who attended the event. The recollection ended with Mass followed by lunch celebration.
- Published on Tuesday, 26 July 2016 01:27
Jesuit Regional Superior of Malaysia-Singapore, Fr. Colin Tan, has missioned Frs. Simon Yong and Sebastian Koh, and Br. Simon Raj to new ministries in the Melaka-Johor Diocese (MJD).
Fr. Simon Yong, SJ will become the Head of the Catechetical Commission of MJD and also the assisting priest at the Church of St. Theresa, Masai.
Fr. Sebastian Koh, SJ will assume the Directorship of the Pastoral Institute of MJD. He will also assist in pastoral and audit work in the diocese.
Br. Simon Raj, SJ has been missioned to become Pastoral Assistant in the Church of St. Elizabeth, Kota Tinggi. He will also be the Pastoral Assistant to the Advisor of the Diocesan Service Team (Charismatic) and the Diocesan Pastoral Secretariat at Majodi Centre.
Let us keep them in our prayers.