MAY THY WILL BE DONE Father..
A call will be real when we say “Yes” to God’s will as what Mother Mary did.
“Guide me to walk in Thy will, and teach me more about you; Thou art the Lord my Savior forever. I am here Father, use me according to Your will … “
My personal experience of the program “Laudato si” in Action AS organised by IMCS Pax Romana in Bangalore, India on 20 – 28 May 2017
Thank you Lord Jesus, You know me thoroughly.
I am blessed with the opportunity to follow this program because all my questions about the IMCS program have been answered. The wonderful opportunity for me to follow the Laudato Si in Action programme is not wasted as it has given me new awareness and has changed me from being passive to being more conscious and concerned towards issue politics, economics, education, culture and social issues especially in Malaysia.
During the program, many sessions were conducted like Laudato Si in Action ( Fr Jojo Fung, SJ) Climate Change Research in Asia (Dr Noelyn Dano), Climate Change and Food Sovereignty (Ms Myrna Dominguez), Global Warming (FR Kasi Rayappa), Environment Conservation Strategies (Mr Leo Saldanha), Citizen Journalism (Prof Mark Rasquinha), Exposure and Eco Spirituality (Fr Robert Arthical, SJ). These sessions opened my eyes and mind on how faith and reality should be practiced together in mission.
In a few session, I was touched with the words which was said Fr Jojo who said “If all races were united from the start to care for the environment as how God wanted, surely the world will not experience such destruction as we see today. Climate change is a consequence of human behaviour whom do not understand and are unaware of their responsibilities to care for God’s creation. Laodato Si in Action says very clearly that the world is not our property but God’s.
In the session “Climate Change and Food Sovereignty and Eco Spirituality”, I gained awareness on how important it is to change my behaviour from “EGO” to “ECO” so we can overcome the climate change crisis. Through “ECO”, I now understand who I am and my relationship with the environment. This session reminds me that one way to overcome climate change is to take action as real a Catholic who lives like Christ.
My awareness was strengthen by the exposure programme which made me to think and reflect and become more aware that life and the environment are both interconnected. Throughout the exposure program, I silenced myself, listening, experiencing, observing the surrounding situation of the exposure place, while at the same time I reflecting about my attitude towards the environment back home. With this, I have learned many things and I need to to change myself to be person of ECO and live the call to serve as a Catholic youth.
This program also thought me that as a youth of Asia Pacific, to always voice out justice and peace as written in Catholic Social Teachings. Besides that, we were exposed to a methodology called Web Chart Analysis to find the root cause of the complex climate change problem and find effective solutions together.
One of the most valuable experience gained from this IMCS program is meeting youth from different Asia Pacific countries, which helped motivate me to be consistently concerned on current issues especially in Malaysia. They have also brought me closer to Jesus. Other than that, I also got to know more about the different and unique cultures of the participants during the cultural night.
COMMITMENTS NEEDED TO BE MADE AFTER THE LAUDATO SI IN ACTION PROGRAMME
In this program, we were invited to make our commitment to action after this Laudato Si in Action program. A number of collective commitments were raised but I choose three life commitments which are not wasting food, reduce eating meat and to take immediate action . After making the commitments, I was given 3 wristbands to be used every day to remind me of my chosen commitments.
Commitment to myself after following this program …
Jesus said, “Everything that you do for one of my most despicable brothers, you have done for me.” Many faithful people are moved by this verse.
After the Laudato Si in Action program finished, a question arose in my heart “What does He( Jesus) want me to do next?” This question arises because I felt that if I don’t take follow up action, I have wasted my participation in the programme. Furthermore, I have sacrificed my time, energy, money and much more to follow this program. After reflection and prayed, my conscience finally gave me a clear answer that what I saw, heard and experienced during the program had to be lived.
So, I first chose to go deeper into the Gospel before I approache my local enviroment by studying the issues discussed in the Archdiocese of Kota Kinabalu PAX Assembly in 2015. Through this study, many things I have learned and need to take action wisely to address the three key issues that were identified and are critical today.
Why have I chosen to go deeper into the Gospel and reality (Church Social Teachings)? Because I really believe in the power of the Gospel and reality, that one can change the world like St. Francis of Assisi did. The Gospel also says “…for the Mighty One has done great things for me– holy is his name.” Luke 1:49
My Hope towards myself and for the youth today
Pope Francis said in the book Docat, “If until today there are Christians who do not care about the needs of the poorest of the poor, it is clear that he is not a Christian.”
My hope for myself is to continue getting closer and learning about Jesus so to change from Ego to ECO. Through a closer relationship with Jesus, I am confident that I will continuously be concerned about matters around me. In addition, I also hope that I will always live out what is contained in the Laudato Si in Action and DOCAT says as this book helps me to see the world together with all the concerns and realities of today. This book also guides me to change and grow in values to do something small for the well being of the world, especially in my own home. This book also teaches me to live up to the Church’s Social Teachings that lead to charity.
As I hoped for myself, so is my expectations for today’s youth. Be active and always caring and aware of what’s happening around us, especially current issues in politics, economics, social, education and culture. This is because through awareness and attentiveness, we learn something that is expressed and implied in current issues. Let’s unite for the sake of justice and humanity, especially for the poorest among the poor. We are the Church and we are the one who will make sure whether the Church is alive or not.
The book “Social Teachings of the Church” teaches us about the principles of life namely People, Kindness, Solidarity and Subsidiarity. Let us live out the principles of life so that we can become Catholic Christian youth who truly lives according to God’s will. Amen!
“Holy Father Frances called on the youths to make Mother Mary as a model of prayer who lived according to the “Eucharist” learning how to be grateful, prayful and hopeful despite the problems and difficulties in life.”
Alex Paulus Jiran
Youth of St Edmund Parish, Kota Belud