Saturday, 8 September 2018

Parking or Hogging? That is the Question!

I believe several parishes have got a big problem which seems not so easy to solve. Some of you may be wondering... what sort of big problem am I talking about? While there are different kinds of problems we face in a parish, one that seems pertinent is the big problem about car parking. Why is car parking considered a big problem? Allow me to elaborate.

We know that not many parishes are blessed with sufficient parking space, and from time to time, we come across certain folks who seem to not know how to park their car properly; or they can't find space to park and so they double park or even triple park; or they simply park their car as if it is their grandfather's road. Some even park their car in front of other vehicles, and remain in their vehicle, possibly waiting for a family member to come, and when they are asked to move their vehicle, they show a sour face, scowling face or monkey face, as if moving their vehicle just a few meters away so that another vehicle could come out is such a difficult or painful thing.

Then when the Mass is over and folks are exhorted to go forth in peace to love and serve the Lord, instead of having the presence of mind, or "cow sense," or even common sense; to remove their vehicle which could be blocking other vehicles, they dilly dally by chit chatting with other folks; or they go about in their involvement in other church activities; or some even walk to the shops nearby for breakfast or lunch, as it is convenient for them to go nearby instead of the "hassle" of driving out and going elsewhere. Sometimes, the vehicle of such folks could be just in front of them, and when irate owners of blocked vehicles begin to blast the horn, such folks carry on doing their thing as if everything was ok, or they pretend to not know or "buat tak tau," or they even give a dirty or disgusted look, as if they are not in the wrong.

When such folks do such things, what happens? Other folks who need to drive off may find their vehicles stuck, blocked by the vehicles of such folks. Then what happens? Instead of going forth to love and serve the Lord, as what the priest exhorts at the end of the Mass, folks end up fighting, arguing, cursing and quarrelling (sometimes even to the extent of using "flowery language") over a simple matter of just removing one's vehicle after Mass and re-parking it elsewhere, so that the vehicle does not obstruct other vehicles.

So the question we need to ask ourselves is this: have some of us become so self-centred and egoistic, not bothered about others, and only wanting convenience and benefits for oneself and perhaps for one's family? What sort of Christian example are we showing when what is supposed to be a simple matter such as parking becomes a sore issue, which causes other faithful to unnecessarily sin due to the selfishness and couldn't care less attitude of certain folks?

Friday, 7 September 2018

Making Time or Demanding Time?

Some people can be strange creatures... first they ask for the priest to come to their house for house blessing, then when the priest is free to come on a weekday, either morning or noon or, where necessary, in the evening, such folks then say they are not free on weekdays. Then such folks say that they are only free on weekends, and some even say only towards the evening on weekends.

Then when the priest tells them that the weekend is a busy time for priests, as there are weddings, funerals and weekend Masses, such folks rant and rave and complain beyond complaining that the priest is not fair, or too busy for them, or not sensitive to their needs. When the priest is free to come to bless their house, they say it is not convenient for them, then when the priest is not free to come on a weekend for their convenience, they blame the priest for not making time for them.

Surely when it comes to house blessing, one should make effort to be available on a weekday, even if it is in the morning, noon or evening, instead of only wanting thing's according to one's convenience or according to one's way. This same scenario also applies to marriage preparation, where some couples seem so busy, that they seem "married" to their jobs. This makes me wonder... if a couple cannot find time for marriage preparation and to meet the priest for an interview, then how are they going to survive in their marriage?

Besides, if you think about it, if one's loved one or family member is elderly and sick, or in hospital, or requires confession and anointing of the sick, would one conveniently insist on having such anointing of the sick only on weekends? Surely one would do one's best to get the priest to give anointing of the sick as quickly as possible. If one could be so "hardworking" in getting the priest to give anointing of the sick as soon as possible, then why can't one be just as "hardworking" in making oneself available for house blessing and other matters?

At the end of the day, there needs to be some compromise and understanding on the availability of the priest for house blessing, marriage preparation, and other matters. Remember that the world does not revolve only around certain persons, and that the priest has other matters to attend to. Are some becoming so self-centered and demanding, or have we learnt to be more charitable and amicable in our attitudes, behaviour and conduct?

BO and MO during Confession?

Among the many challenges a padre has to put up with when it comes to confession, one which is just as potent and potentially pengsan-able...