I don’t know what to name this. I don’t know what’s on my mind. A question I stopped asking patients this summer is “how are you doing today?” and “are you doing okay” with the notion that they aren’t even in the best state of mind or feeling physically fine or else they wouldn’t be in the hospital in the first place. and okay is not a feeling.

Backtrack a little, I am a chaplain intern this summer at a hospital completing a unit in Clinical Pastoral Education.

It’s a challenging ministry yet very rewarding. If you’re not to careful, burnout is right around the corner and I feel like I’m there somedays. Although it’s a learning program, how much am I learning versus how much am I working? Quality over quantity but in the back of my mind, has all the patients on MY floor been seen yet? Who is getting discharged today? Do I have time to see them before they leave? before they go into pre-op? At the same time, I’m not always at the hospital doing clinicals, the other half, I’m in the classroom. I need to take a step back to acknowledge it is not my job to see all of the patients, it is not my job to make sure everyone is seen. Though, it is my job to learn. It is my job to learn about myself. It is my job to reach my goals and the learning outcome of the program. It is my job to process my own grief.

Time Flying By

Sometimes I open up WordPress and there are a thousand things on my mind and then there are time nothing comes out. I told myself, this year, I would write more to see how much I grew or how much I think I would grow. I have been writing lately, but it’s just for my order’s blog, theological reflection for class, and barely getting by in my classes.

At the beginning of every new semester, I tell myself, I’ll do better, I’ll put more effort in and I really don’t think that has happened. So much is going through my mind, I don’t even know how to process it all or really where to start. Now even through Adoration, thoughts are rushing through my mind, I have to really let go and let God.

It’s almost 1AM, I should be sleeping or working on my assignments.

Assignments due this week

  1. Case Study for Biomedical Ethics
  2. Scientist Paper for Church History
  3. Theological Reflection #4 for Theological Reflection
  4. TNTT Retreat on Saturday
  5. Pentateuch Homily
  6. and so much more with so little time.

Perhaps next time, I’ll write more, with more meat.

I’m not angry at God!

“God, are you there? Are you listening to me to me? I hate you, I’m so angry” were words of a 16-year-old me. I was finally grieving the loss of my mother, 13 years later. At that time I didn’t understand what had happened and why it had happened. It took many years, funerals, and painful nights to understand and to say that I love God and that I am not mad.

So how did this topic come about? I recently went to spiritual direction as I’m supposed to once a month and we talk about whatever the Spirit leads us to, and somehow it led to my spiritual director asking if I ever wrote a letter to my mom. To be honest, I can’t recall so in the upcoming weeks, I will attempt to write a letter to her.

Why the hell am I not mad at God (anymore) because I was able to let go. When I was 2, I didn’t have an understanding of what was going on, I was going through the motion. It wasn’t till I was 16 that I was angry, really angry, at my Confirmation retreat where I was questioning God’s love and my relationship with God. Only then one year later losing my Ông Ngoại. So, of course, I was angry, who wouldn’t be in my shoes? I was only two years old when my mom lost her battle against Lupus. I grew up not knowing that I was missing an essential part of my life, my other half. So it wasn’t until I was sixteen that I fully understood what it meant to me, to live without my mom, from watching shows such as Full House, Boy Meet Worlds, etc.  Even though I could recall growing up being introduced as the boy who lost his mother as a toddler to my bà ngoại’s friends. That became my identity. I now know that I am so much more than that!

As I’ve grown older, I have witnessed my friends lose their parents and I feel for them; however, if I’m honest with them, I  don’t understand what is it that they went through, from seeing their parents get sick, weaker, and slowly drift away. The experience that they have is nothing compared to what I went through as I didn’t comprehend at the time that my mom was sick, got weaker, and left me. I was asked if I remembered anything about her and I said no. I don’t remember her smell, her touch, her smile, her anything. I can’t even say I know what it is like to be yelled at by her or hear that she loves me. Which the latter, I know she does.

As I have come to terms with it, do I wish it never happened? I can saw with peace that I don’t as I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it. I don’t believe in the saying that “everything happens for a reason” but more so, I believe that God believes we can handle anything He gives us. I love God and I love my mom, who gave her life for me that I might live.

Reflection to Pope Francis’ Letters

I’ve been meaning to write some sort of reflection upon my first full month as a novice; however, I didn’t feel motivated to write down my thoughts and feeling as there was a pull to something else. But then again, I did already spend some time to gather my thought after our visit to an apostolate where I reflected where I was and how I felt.

The last few days, something sparked and inspired me to write a reflection on how I am growing (or at least, I’m hoping that I am) as a religious. It was last week that I somehow (not) by chance, found myself to be reading “Meeting with Seminarians and Novices” – Address of Holy Father Francis, 6 July 2013. It was not my first time reading it and I don’t think it will be my last, as it is only the beginning of my religious life.

From the beginning of the address, I saw the joy and humor that Pope Francis has, something that I’ve been told that I display when I’m working with the youth and young adults, or when I’m working on something I’m passionate about. Pope Francis posed several concerns when it comes to wanting to be a religious or priest during these days. He brings up this scenario of a seminarian who wants “to serve Christ for 10 years, and then he would think about starting a different life” I’m not sure of where to begin as Pope Francis also told his audience that he heart that “you all want to give your life to Christ forever.” How can this forever go from that to just 10 years? As it is temporary in the things we want to do, something that one is just called to now. What is this notion of now o where does it come from? He commented that “we are under pressure from this ‘culture of the temporary'” and that reminded me of when Fr. Provincial wrote about the millennial and how it appears that we have trouble with commitment, but Francis pointed out that “even the older people among us” is under this pressure as well. To Pope Francis, this “culture of temporary” is an issue for everyone. Continue reading “Reflection to Pope Francis’ Letters”

Food For Thought

One week down! I can’t believe that it has already been a week since I became a novice. As I was talking to a dear brother of mine, he asked me what does the novitiate actually entails? So I told him about my day – what I have been doing and what I will be doing as there is still so much that I haven’t done yet. As of now, our novitiate house hasn’t been on a regular routine and it’ll probably stay that way for another month.

At the same time, a close friend of mine told me that he was (finally man!) discerning for the priesthood and another friend and her sister were looking at religious orders, so I had the opportunity to talk to them a little bit about religious life and asked me what exactly was a novice? I found this on Vision (vocationnetwork) and it clearly describes what I am going through and will be doing.

A man or woman taking part in the initial stage of entering a religious community. The novice is typically involved in discernment, preparation, and formation activities, including study of the order’s charism, history, constitution, and way of life. This period usually lasts from 12 to 24 months and is called the novitiate. At its end, the novice can go on to take temporary vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

Continue reading “Food For Thought”

Start Of Something New

This is it, today’s the day! It has taken me two years (August 12, 2015) to get here. I am making my formal request to enter the Novitiate. So I decided to start this (blog) as I embark on this new journey, entering into my third year of formation. “Teach me to persevere in prayer and penance, in the service of the Church and all people. Teach me to live out the Gospel every day of my life” is what I am asking for on this journey.

… bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things..

I hope that during this time, I will learn what love truly means and to express this deeper kind of love. I feel as if I’m called to show others this love and compassion in a world that desperately needs it. Continue reading “Start Of Something New”