Saturday, October 22, 2022

A habit of daily encounter with God

There are some things that I do as a priest every day that I truly believe helps me in my spiritual journey in life.  Each morning, I have the habit of getting up early slightly before 6am to get ready to celebrate the Eucharist in the study area of my mother’s apartment where I am spending the days of my prolonged Medical Leave given to me by my doctor at the hospital where I received medical treatment when I was injured in an accident whilst I was on my morning exercise routine of walking sometime last May.  The only other person present at the Mass is my mother, and I am grateful that she is willing to get up and be ready to give her fullest attention to glorify God at each day’s Mass.  My giving her the Holy Eucharist at the time of Holy Communion thrills me in indescribable ways.  I see it as my honour and privilege to do this for her, as there is very little possibility of her going to the Church on her own in her frail health, especially since her legs are weak and give her much problem in her mobility.  I am uncertain how she will receive her daily Eucharist after my Medical Leave ends (which could well be soon), and thinking of how I can come to visit her at home to bring her Holy Communion will be a delight for me.

Apart from the daily Mass, I have been given the privilege of reading several books on spirituality and the priesthood during this time away from the parish.  One of the treasures is a book written by the late Fulton Sheen called “The Priest is not His Own”.  It is of great spiritual input to any priest who is sincere in the taking the path of holiness, and one of the gems that this book speaks about is that the one of the characters of the priesthood is to be like Christ, a “holy victim”, where the priest needs to imitate Christ in His example of sacrifice, offering himself as a victim to make Christ’s Incarnation continually present in the world.  The late Fulton Sheen stresses how in reality very few priests take their victimhood seriously in their daily lives, but instead, find themselves busiest in carrying out their daily duties and schedules, even though they may do so with the admiration and respect of the people they serve.  It is only a truly victim-centred priest who looks forward to being another Christ for the people of his flock, aiding the parish in undergoing the spiritual transformation that is so necessary for the benefit of the people of God.  A priest who is intent of living out the victim-hood called for in the sacerdotal ordination will be able to see himself not only as a celebrant at the Eucharist, but the words that are uttered should even cause him to realise that he isn’t only asked to repeat words of consecration, but to make them mean something in and through his life.  “This is my Body” and “This is my Blood” that are uttered in the Eucharistic Prayer at Mass need to be able to remind the priest that in and through his priesthood, he too is asked to live out the truth that in his service of his people, he too is giving the people his body and blood like the way Christ did on Calvary.  It changes dramatically the way one lives out the daily life of the priest.

Another thing that I have made real and daily is my visit to the Adoration Room in the parish church of my mother, which is the Church of St Ignatius.  There is a beautiful Adoration Room in the parish, and each day there are a few regular parishioners who take the time and trouble to visit Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament housed in the glass covered Monstrance in the room.  I have been quite regular visiting the exposed Sacred Host in the various Adoration Rooms around Singapore, but it was only in the time of my Medical Leave that I have made advances in beholding the Lord in the Adoration Room.  It has turned into a mystical experience that is granted by God and I sense that God is drawing me closer and closer to the Sacred Heart of his beloved Son, Jesus Christ.  It is undeniably a place of love, and in the Adoration Room one can easily find not just the presence of Jesus, but also the presence of his beloved Mother, who is Our Blessed Mother Mary.  Her will is to draw the parishioners present before her Son to imitate Jesus in the way that he unselfishly gave of himself to death on Calvary, to show how real it was that he loved the Father.  I am certain that the more a priest is entranced by the Divine Love of Christ, the more Christ will be made truly present in and through his words, prayers and actions.  This may have been written about by authors like the late Bishop Sheen, but as long as no one takes time to pour over the written pages and absorb the truth in it, this truth could just end up being something ‘there’ in a book, but without the transfer from word to something real in life, making it such a waste.  

This daily walk to the Church of St Ignatius Adoration Room is something that I endeavour to carry on doing until I am released from my Medical Leave and sent back to live in the parish I was serving at before the accident unfortunately happened.  My daily life will see a change in the parish because my daily visit to see Jesus in the Adoration Room will be a regular affair for me.  It gives my whole day a new spiritual dimension and meaning, and I hope that it will change me into living out my priesthood with a consciousness of the need to imitate Christ as a “holy victim”.  I find that it can be a bit frightening to type these words out   in this blog reflection, but it is a way that I can encourage parishioners to make it their daily habit of visiting Adoration Rooms as part of their spiritual life.

Mystical experiences are varied and they are not as supernatural as many may think they should be.  Personally, for me, these experiences are when the soul is touched by God himself, and where one is reminded that one is truly and divinely loved by God who is love.  Each time I exit from the Adoration Room, I find that I am encouraged to give of myself because Christ displayed such love through his willingness to die for the Father and to give glory to God.  I look at the world with brighter eyes and listen to conversations with a more patient and generous self.  

I sincerely do not think that it is only special priests who are called to offer themselves as a victim in and through their priesthood.  It is a call and a challenge for every priest, no matter the kind of spiritual challenges he may be facing.  I am certain that the spirituality of the entire country’s believers will be greatly improved if there are more and more priests who are willing to live out their victim-hood of their sacerdotal priesthood.  

If you who are reading this reflection are a priest yourself, know that I am praying for you and that your enthusiasm will be on fire.  If you are a lay person, do pray for the priests in your parish that they too will be enamoured by the deep and energising love of Christ for them.  This way, the church in Singapore and in any other part of the world will be transformed, and more and more people will see how real the glory of God is.  


  1. Thank you Fr Luke for the long awaited post! Yes praying for priest to be holy as we see them Christ-like. Good to know that you are recovering and will be back in your parish soon.Praying for all who are weak and unable to receive the Eucharist.God Bless us all.🙏❣

  2. Hi Fr Luke, thanks for taking the time to always looking forward to more posts...and also your contemplation journey is interesting

  3. Hi Fr Luke, so nice to have you back..... Been waiting patiently for you to resume your blog. God bless you and will continue to pray for you and all priests.