elyse: (feeling reminiscent)
Here is a a very inspiring life story (also serves as a farewell letter), written by an Indonesian Jesuit priest who, after 30 years serving the Lord as a priest in the Society of Jesus order, was called to try to be a Carthusian monk (see chartreux.org). He's now a Carthusian novice at Parkminster (St. Hugh's Charterhouse, England).

The name (before entering the Carthusian way of life) has been Martin Suhartono, SJ, a 53-year old Indonesian priest, and now he's known as Dom. Ambrose-Mary. He wrote his life story found below after he entered the charterhouse. He's the first Indonesian to enter the Carthusian order. Everything he wrote is in Indonesian, though..

I love the poem at the end of his writing...
Day after day, O Lord of my life,
shall I stand before Thee, face-to-face.
With folded hands, O Lord of all worlds,
shall I stand before Thee, face-to-face.
Under the great sky, in solitude
and silence, with humble heart,
shall I stand before Thee, face-to-face.
(Rabindranath Tagore)

EDITED April 4, 2008:
After 6 months being a Carthusian postulate & 9 months being a Carthusian novice, and after doing a lot of prayers & discernment, Fr. Martin Suhartono decided to go back to his Jesuit calling, where he is most effective in serving for God's kingdom. Here's the continuation of his life story that he wrote after the decision.

His life story has blessed me (and hopefully others who read it) & has served as a confirmation to my own God's calling in life. His braveness to really act (that is, to really try the Carthusian way of life & see if it fits with his calling) has inspired me to really act on whatever God has placed deep inside in my heart. Thank you, Fr. Martin. May you continue to bless others around you with your precious Jesuit calling & may the precious experience of the Carthusian order be a blessing to others who are in need of an answer to their own callings in life.
elyse: (kurt halsey: togetherness)

Just finished reading Mother Teresa's Crisis of Faith (@ Time Magazine & @ Yahoo News), it's very very inspiring & strengthening.
Even Mother Teresa experienced the dark night of the soul...

Reflecting on my own dark night of the soul...
I'm so happy that I'm not alone & to experience it is not a sin. Although I'm not quite sure what it is... a natural spiritual cycle? a privilege? a dryness? a gift? a 'sickness' of the soul?
I often feel that the more I follow Jesus & know the "truth", the more I'm questioning about Him & His 'existence'... Not that I don't believe in Him, but because I often -borrowing Mother Teresa's words- "look and do not see, listen and do not hear".
Sometimes, I want to go back to 12 years ago.. when I was just a normal Catholic girl without knowing Him so much deeper... without knowing the Charismatic Catholic Renewal... without having a calling for ministry in my deepest heart... And yet life was so much easier back then.
Sometimes I just want to stop following Him, but all my life has been confirmed by His seal... I am His... and in the end, where can I run to but Him?
I have no other destination... so with a weak mind and bitter heart, I still try to drag myself towards Him.
After all, since the very beginning, and long after it ends, it's always about Jesus, and never about myself.
I am only the street sign pointing to The Way. I am -borrowing St. John's words from the gospel- just "a voice of one that cries in the desert: Prepare a way for the Lord. Make his paths straight!".

The whole story of Mother Teresa simply shows that love, to Christ & to one another, is beyond feeling.

"The tendency in our spiritual life but also in our more general attitude toward love is that our feelings are all that is going on. And so to us the totality of love is what we feel. But to really love someone requires commitment, fidelity and vulnerability. Mother Teresa wasn't 'feeling' Christ's love, and she could have shut down. But she was up at 4:30 every morning for Jesus, and still writing to him, 'Your happiness is all I want.' That's a powerful example even if you are not talking in exclusively religious terms."

That is the true example of faith. Whatever she might've been feeling, she still set her eyes & mind to God and do God's works.
The book, Mother Teresa: Come Be My Light, came out just at the right time... It will surely "ease the spiritual road of thousands of fellow believers". I'll be getting my hands on it as soon as I can find it.


"There are those relationships that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started, and those that bring you back. But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you can find someone to love the you you love, well, that's just fabulous..."
~ Carrie Bradshaw (from Sex and the City)

May 2010


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