Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Violence Against Women

I saw this post on Sr Rose's Blog about the Our Lady of Angels Cathedral in LA having a Chapel of Violence against Women. It brought to mind the first time someone shared with me that she was verbally and physically abused by her husband at home.

The sad thing was the fear and shame that had prevented her from letting anyone know about it. Fear of how her husband might react if he found out that she had told someone. A fear so strong that she wouldn't even consider stepping into a counselling centre, afraid that the husband might find out. Shame of how others might see and judge them, their marriage and their lives which look perfect by worldly standards. And so she has had to put up a strong front, as if nothing has happened, when she is around her friends and even family.

As I spoke to her, I went from feeling the pain she's been suffering silently these year, to the anger at a man who would do that to his wife, to the helplessness of what more could I do, other than listening and offering her some professional options to find counselling and support.

As I kept her in prayer, the thought also occurred to me of how many more other women, whose marriages look perfect on the outside, but are suffering silently from an abusive husband. I used to think that it was a problem which was easily identifiable...if the husband is alcoholic, there's a high chance of domestic violence. But now I realised that anger and rage does not need alcohol to fuel it. We've seen in the papers in the last few years many cases of maid abuse. But the subject of domestic violence has not really been highlighted in our media.

Talking about media, there have been campaigns against domestic violence in the US, UK and Australia. A recent ad in the UK featuring actress Kiera Knightley caused a controversy for being to graphic and violent.

Youtube Link - Kiera Knightley - Cut Movie

Here's another ad from Australia

Youtube Link - Domestic Violence Commercial (Australian)

And another one from Canada

Youtube Link - Domestic Violence (Restaurant)

In Singapore we also had a series of ads on Verbal Abuse
Domestic Violence - Verbal AbuseDomestic Violence - Verbal AbuseDomestic Violence - Verbal Abuse

Finally if you do know of families with domestic violence issues, here are a few places that will be able to provide help.


Shelters for Abused Women

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Does Jesus celebrate Fathers' Day

Just saw this cartoon, and found it quite hilarious.
It is quite providential that the start of the Year for Priests, and Fathers' Day falls on the same weekend this year. In CTK, the Maranatha Prayer Ministry were selling photo frames with on the spot photo taking and printing, for parishioners to buy and give to their fathers as a gift. Not only did families take photos with their fathers, there were requests to take photos with the priests of the parish.

Another surprising thing that came to my mind, was the link and continuation between the previous Year of St Paul with the Year for Priests. In his letters to the Corinthians and Thessalonians, St Paul tells us how he saw his role as a spiritual father to the people that God sent him to.
Indeed, in Christ Jesus I became your father through the gospel. 1Cor 4:15

As you know, we treated each one of you as a father treats his children, exhorting and encouraging you and insisting that you conduct yourselves as worthy of the God who calls you into his kingdom and glory. 1Thes 2:11-12
And so as we begin this Year for Priests, let us reflect on the role of the priests as our spiritual fathers. Have we allowed them to minister to us? Have we supported them in their vocation and ministry, through prayer, affirmation, encouragement, constructive criticism and love?

Happy Fathers' Day to all Fathers!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Growing Old

Ever since watching Tuesdays with Morrie, the idea of growing old has been something that has puzzled & intrigued me. How will I grow old? Grumpy? Eccentric? Lonely? Forgetful? Hard-of-hearing? Dependent? Child-Like?

That last 2 question was something that came to my mind as I watched my little baby niece grow over the last few months. And I realised that the needs of a infant change inversely with age. While a baby grows stronger and more independent, the elderly return to being weak and dependent on others.

I recently saw this short film on youtube which was really touching and highlighted the similarities.

It also highlighted how blind we are to see it in the realities of our lives, reflected in the different attitudes we have to the young and the old. How easy is it for us to be patient and loving to a small baby, but quick to be frustrated at the elderly. How fast we forget the care shown to us by our parents when we were babies, probably because we can't even remember it, when it is the same care that they need from us as they grow old.

Maybe some think economics when it comes to family, seeing children as an investment for the future, while the elderly are burdens or losses that need to be cut. Not everyone is going to be like the father in the film, keeping a diary of these little events with love, and be of sound enough mind to show it to their children.

This is a wonderful short film, with a real powerful message. Do pass it around. The link is
God Bless.