Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Carrying the crosses in life with great Christian dignity.

 I’ve come across quite a lot of different people since my accident in May of last year, and in so many of the encounters, I have been told that I have inspired them in life.  Sometimes, I do get the chance to ask them how I have managed to inspire them, and they explain in no uncertain terms that it is by the way that I have been positive in my approach towards life when things in my life don’t seem to be something that gives me the reason to smile and to speak about life in such a positive way.  I see many of them struggling to open up in explaining why they find me an inspiration, and deep inside of me, I can understand why this is such a challenge.  Generally, people do not openly tell others about why they are an inspiration to them.  But what they are telling me is that crosses in life are generally not something that would cause others to be positive in life. I can understand this.  

I have read quite a number of spiritual books, both before I was ordained a priest in 2001, and in my days since the ordination to the priesthood.  Some of these were given to me by parishioners and friends who themselves found the books to be a great help in their spiritual lives.  I think I have made references to one of the books written by the late Cardinal Basil Hume called The Mystery of the Cross.  It’s a simply written book, with numerous references to his own spiritual readings that he made in life.  One of the enlightening chapters in this book is one that is called The Role of the Cross, where the late Cardinal expounded on the reality of the cross in life, and how a Mother Superior responded to one of her community who was grumbling about the cross she had to carry.  Apparently, this Mother Superior told the nun: “Don’t drag your cross, carry it.”  I truly appreciate that the late Cardinal wrote that there is a lot of wisdom in that.

I suppose it is true that when we are dealt with what we deem to be crosses in life, we could end up dragging it wherever we go, and it will show in the way that we complain about them, or aren’t even able to thank God for the cross in our lives.  If we are honest about it, we may even openly tell others that their prayer life seems to be manifested with petitions to God that he take the cross away in life, when we could pray in a better way to ask that God give us the positivity to carry the cross with a certain elan that gives us the strength to imitate the way Jesus Christ himself carried the Cross up to the top of Mount Calvary.  The late Cardinal wrote that it is important to reflect on how we face up to the cross in our lives.  We train for it in Lent when we impose some self-denial or sacrifice on ourselves.  The phrase “giving up something for Lent” sums up the attitude of cross carrying, and it can easily end up sounding negative.  

However, this is done in order to help us to turn to God in prayer, to focus our minds on him and raise our hearts in desire for him.  One of the things that has helped me to carry my cross well in life is the belief that whatever happens to me in life is allowed by God in order that I can draw closer to him.  Ultimately, there is one thing that God wants: that we should be close to him, and that he should be close to us.  Cross carrying with a positivity helps me to attain that holy end, while dragging my cross doesn’t.

Perhaps this is why I now find myself hesitating to give an answer to my parishioners or friends who openly ask me in public how I am feeling in life.  Sometimes I pause and then respond that in life, when we are faced with a trauma and are trying to get to the point of full recovery, the journey in that path upwards is one that is not just long but arduous.  But I try to put on a smile (even through the fact that I am often wearing a breathing mask during the encounter) and the strange thing is that the person senses that I am in a positive state even though things are challenging for me.  

I have many aspirations in life, and one of them is that I want to be a source of inspiration to the people God puts in my life.  I find my prayer life to be now filled with prayers of thanks and gratitude to God for the crosses that I have been blessed to carry in life.  My intention is to not waste the opportunities I have been given to carry the crosses well, with a positive attitude and a smile of calm and tranquility on my face while doing it.  I realise that with this kind of positive attitude, the cross carrying in Lent not only loses its challenge, but is also something that helps the darkness of Lent to be something that is very meaningful.  

So I want to thank the many people and parishioners who have told me in no uncertain terms that they have been praying for me in my time of recuperation since the accident happened in May of last year.  You know who you are.  Your prayers have been my strength and support, and know that I am praying daily that God will bless you as you journey with me in your selfless and generous way.  God bless you richly in life.


  1. God bless you too, Father Luke! You are indeed an inspiration to all!

  2. God watch over you and may you continue to find the strength to forge forward in life's challenges :).

  3. Yes Fr Luke you have been a true inspiration for me to give thanks to God for the crosses that come by, though at first asking God why me?Then on hearing His voice and seeing the passion that Jesus went through for me a wretch I surrender and give thanks. God Bless You Fr Luke.

  4. Fr Luke Fong, I ( Daniel ) am in the UK ( still are ) and was lucky during the pandemic to attend the online mass which was broadcast as part of the daily mass from the Singapore archdiocese. I truly enjoyed your sermons and have even forwarded one of your sermon to a minister in my dialogue with them. It was a huge sadness and disappointment when we heard of your accident , especially on that day when the mass was delayed. Thanks be to God that all things turned out well ( or I would say ok) . Glad to read your blog. You have been on our daily morning prayers , our daily chaplet to the divine mercy and our daily rosary. Hope you come back soon to celebrate mass and looking forward to your sermons. God bless .