Contemplata aliis Tradere

A meagre contribution to the mission and work of the Order of Preachers: my reflections, thoughts, ideas and the occasional rant on matters mainly theological, philosophical and ecclesiastical, drawn primarily from my reading and experience of life and the world. Striving to be always Catholic, firmly Christian and essentially Dominican, flavoured with dashes of Von Balthasar.

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Location: Oxford, United Kingdom

A son of the English Province of the Order of Friars Preachers (Dominicans); born in Malaysia but have lived in the USA, Singapore, the UK & the Philippines for varying durations. A pilgrim and way-farer, a searcher for Truth on the journey of Life... "Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine, There’s always laughter and good red wine. At least I’ve always found it so. Benedicamus Domino!" - Hilaire Belloc

Monday, July 25, 2005

Some respite from the heat and work



Today was an unexpected boon for us as the President of the Philippines, last week declared today a public holiday. This was in view of the 'State of the Nation' address which was delivered and broadcast this afternoon. For most of us, it was a chance to enjoy a long weekend!

The observant among my readers may recall that a few months ago, I established a scholarship fund in honour of St John Macias to assist poor students in Dagat-dagatan with their education, providing anything from tuition to book allowances. Upon my return to the parish this month, I decided to use some of the money I had made from the sale of some of my CDs last month in the UK to take the scholars out on an excursion. It was also a chance for me to meet them and see them informally. So, this morning, we set off in that quaint Filipino public utility vehicle, a jeepney (which we hired for the day) to Laguna de Bay, to a 'garden resort' called Dona Jovita. This has become one of my favourite swimming resorts in Laguna as it is surrounded by lush trees and flowering shrubs and is fed by hot springs.

Armed with food, a rudimentary barbecue kit and our swimming gear, we enjoyed six hours of swimming and games. I am quite exhausted now, as I spent hours playing catch with three of my former students in the pools! Altogether, it was a wonderful day and I think it was well spent because it brought a pleasant respite from the dust, heat and odours of Dagat-dagatan to these poor students.

Personally, I find a lot of joy in spending time with these teenagers. Many of the children here are separated from their fathers or parents for extended periods (years at a time) because their parents work overseas to earn a living. Thus, when I am here spending time with them, I become a surrogate father to them and it's a real joy that the love we show to children is reciprocated so expressively. Only last night I received some touching text messages from one of the children I spent time with. Often, I find, all these children want is some attention, love and time; they want to be treated as a friend and not a kid... In fact, is this not what any human being longs for in life? In the vocation that God has given me, I shall never have children of my own, but I don't feel too great a loss, because I realize this frees me to give myself to the many children who need me, as a friend, a brother or even a father-figure.

I offer them this friendship and love and hope that in this way, they will also be drawn to the love of Christ and ultimately befriend Him.

The photo above shows Fr Allan Lopez, OP, Daniel Jeffries (DVI) and some of our scholars relaxing in a pool; the photo below shows the entire group who went to Laguna today.


2 Comments:

Blogger Liturgeist said...

Heya Br. Paul!!!

Glad to see you two having a whale of a time over there (along with the rest). Keep us posted.

Daniel's asked me to forward his blog address to the sisters at Hemel... would it be okay to do the same with yours?

Just wondering.

In caritate Xp, per Mariam et Ss. Dom et Cat.

JMR Xx

9:32 pm  
Blogger Br Lawrence, O.P. said...

Please do.

9:44 am  

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