Covid-19 Updates

第七封牧民信函 24-06-2020

我亲爱的兄弟姐妹,

我认为你们已经习惯了行动管制令的“复原期”。马来西亚人民生活的某个层面是总会有一些“计划”供某些人赚钱。(还记得失败的国民服役计划所需的制服
吗?)为努力适应此复原期,我们现在不得不进行不必要的花费来证明我们有遵守标准作业程序。贴纸,温度计,护栏,屏障,警戒或警告胶带以及消毒液。
某些人从这些“必需品”中受益。当我们有了疫苗时,我们将必须适当处置这些多余的用品。如果没有妥当处置这些口罩,湿纸巾,手套等,将破坏我们的生
态环境。话虽如此,我们还是遵守并采取必要的步骤,为主教座堂恢复公开弥撒做准备,尽管这是比较简单的弥撒。目前为止,教堂的椅子已经贴上适当标
记以让教友们保持社交距离。感谢许多志愿者在准备为主教座堂重新开放的初步阶段伸出援手。

我很高兴地宣布我们的银行转账服务(JOMPay)申请已获批准。主教座堂的银行转账服务代码(Biller Code)为 90449。当你们捐款时,你们需要提供以下
信息以供我们做记录:

jom pay

参考-1(Ref-1): 电话号码
参考-2(Ref-2): 付款目的

我们现在所收到的捐款将按此比例分配 -- 75% + 25%(除非另有说明)。即 75%用于堂区的开销及 25%用于帮助穷人。使用 JOMPay 将变得更简单。按照你们的捐款意愿填写在 Ref-2。例如“圣堂”(Church)或“全人发展事工“( POHD)。 这样你们就可以决定我们应如何使用你们的捐款。

我们的全人发展事工一直做的很棒。我们共有 24个家庭接受定期的帮助,我们称他们为我们挚爱的“需要帮助的朋友“。他们可获得现金和物品的帮助,每月
的开销总额高达 7 千令吉。但是在最近几个月(3 月至 6 月),除了这 24 个家庭以外,我们还向大约 90个人提供了帮助。这笔额外的开销(包括现金和物品)需要额外的 2 万 2 千令吉。

Pastoral Letter Nr 6 dd 2nd June 2020

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Buen Camino!

This salutation is how pilgrims greet each other as they pass along the Camino Santiago. Bernard, our trusted sacristan, would have walked the entire French Way since the lockdown began. He averages about 15 km each day just from praying the rosary, and when added up would have exceeded 799km—the length of the Camino Frances. It has been a privilege to accompany him everyday. And the praying continues. Sometimes we are joined by others.

Before I continue, please accept my sincere apologies, my dear people for this rather long silence.

This lockdown has had strange effects on people, one of which is withdrawal—a symptom of depression. I seemed to have retreated when I should have reached out. I have been struggling with this dilemma to write or not. I felt that since I do not hold a conventional view of how we should respond to this pandemic, writing will only invite misunderstanding. As it is, my sense is that there is more of a pandemic of fear than there is a fear of the pandemic. What people consider to be precaution, I see it as paralysis. Hence, my Catch-22. Even voicing this view may be understood as recklessness. The alternative is to maintain silence which I have been doing thus far. For good reasons too. Many are raving about online Masses etc. that to suggest otherwise would come across as attacking what people cherish. I have no intention of that.

What many consider to be a creative way of engaging the Sacrament of the Eucharist is for me a subtle process of disincarnation. In a world where fake news is as good as news, we have come to accept the unreal to be real. A good example is “wood”, something which is real and concrete. As forest reserve got depleted, we started of with laminated wood—a veneer of wood over something which is not wood. After that, we progressed to using plywood. We have proceeded to produce particle boards (just think of cheap Ikea shelves or cupboards). Finally, we simulate wood grains printed on plastic. In fact, these days we do not need a real forest to behold. All we need is a screen saver. This little example illustrates for me the slow process of the virtualisation of reality which is but a process of disincarnation. The virtual appears good enough to be real. But, the logic of the Incarnation stands on the foundation of what is material. Why? The rationale for the Incarnation is because man could not reach God directly or internally. Hence, God had to come to him visibly, in and through the external world. God Himself became man, became body, matter, a sensible subject to unite us with that which is beyond all sense, beyond all conception of the created mind. God did not send us an email. He sent us His Son. The entire project of Satan has been to insinuate to man that God could not have incarnated. Perhaps it explains why my reluctance at writing this pastoral letter.

Just to be clear that I am not against technology but I sense a deeper movement which I would be glad to be wrong about it. Take the Holy Water stoup. We emptied it because it is considered to be a potential source of infection. Whilst the dry stoup represents prudent precaution, my concern is how easily we have forgotten that touch is at the very heart of what it means to be human. Touch or contact which is who we are has now become the possibility of death.

So, what is the alternative to “human touch”? Virtuosity—with this we easily resort to virtual reality thinking that “virtual touching” is sufficient substitute for real human contact and connexion. This is basically my apprehension. We all know that human procreation requires an exchange of bodily fluids. It cannot be that a man stands in one corner with his wife standing at another unless we introduce technology into this human act of reproduction. When human touch is removed from us, we readily stray into the world of make-believe.

What the Conditional MCO has done is to deepen our sense of helplessness especially with its arcane standard operating procedures. Faced this with prolonged paralysis, I chose silence and retreated into praying. Praying in itself is not a bad option but in a media-saturated world, media presence is everything. Silence is considered to be absence at best or the lack of pastoral care at worst. For this I truly apologise.

The rosaries do not seem to accomplish much, if one were to measure them using an “alpha-male achievement” scale. However, I think the rhythm is important. When we are helpless, it is easy to sink into despair but keeping a schedule gives us reason to go on. Furthermore, we have been praying St Michael the Archangel’s Prayer at the end of Mass. What for? It must mean something for we acknowledge that Satan prowls the world seeking the ruin of souls. Satan seeks by any means possible the perdition of souls. The prevention of Mass attendance, under the guise of precaution and protection of health may fall within his predation of souls. That is why we must continue praying. Covid-19 is not merely nature’s comeuppance against our ecological sins. There is definitely a spiritual component to this pandemic and in the realm of spirituality, prayer is paramount. Let us not stop praying every day.

I am in the Cathedral every day. So, should anyone need anything, as Charlie Puth croons, “I am just one call away”.

God bless.
Padre

第六封牧民信函 02-06-2020

主内亲爱的兄弟姐妹,

Buen Camino!

这种问候语是圣雅各伯之路(Camino Santiago)朝圣者互相打招呼的方式。自封锁以来,我们值得信赖的管堂伯纳德(Bernard)已经走完了整个法国路线。他在平日念玫瑰经的时候平均每天步行约15公里,加起来就超过了799公里,即圣雅各伯之路法国路线(Camino Frances)的长度。我很荣幸能够每天跟他一起颂念玫瑰经,有时也会有其他人加入我们,而我们也还在继续我们的祈祷。

在我继续之前,对于一段相当长时间的沉默,请亲爱的各位接受我诚挚的道歉。

这次的封锁对于人们产生了奇怪的影响,其中之一就是退避--抑郁的症状。当我应该去接触人群时,我似乎却回避了。我一直在纠结应不应该写这封信。我觉得既然我还不知如何以常规的方式应对这种疫情,那么写信可能只会引起误解。实际上我的感觉是,人们心里”恐惧的疫情”更甚于对疫情的恐惧。对于人们认知的预防措施,我却觉得是一种瘫痪。提出这样的观点可能会被视为鲁莽,这使我左右为难。另一种选择是保持沉默,那也是到目前为止我一直在做的。这也是出于善意的缘故。现在有许多人热衷于网上弥撒,如果提出不同的观点似乎是在批评人们所珍视的东西,而我並无此意。

许多人认为的创意性方式参与弥撒圣祭,对我而言却是一个微妙的”否定降生成人”(disincarnation)的过程。在一个把假新闻也当成新闻的世界中,我们已经接受了虚幻是真实的。一个很好的例子就是“木头”,它是真实而具体的。

随着森林保护区的枯竭,我们开始使用胶合板(在非木材的东西上覆盖薄木材板)。之后我们开始使用三夹板。我们已经开始生产刨花板(想想便宜的宜家的架子或橱柜)。最后我们在塑料上印刷木纹。实际上现在我们已经不需要看真正的森林了,我们只需要一个屏幕保护程序。这个例子说明了虚拟化现实的缓慢过程,也是”否定降生成人”(disincarnation)的过程。虚拟的东西看起来是那么的真实。但是降生成人的奥迹是必须建立在实质的基础上。为什么?降生成人的奥迹的基本原理是因为人无法直接接触天主,因此天主必须以可见的形式来到人间。天主自己成为了人,取了肉身,以看得见的实体,與我們結合,这是超越一切创造的思维。天主没有发送电子邮件给我们,而是派遣祂的儿子到我们这里。撒旦的整个计划是要向人们隐射天主不可能降生成人。这也许解释了为什么我不愿意写这封牧函。

请大家了解我并不反对科技,只是我对科技有更深层次的觉察,我也希望我的觉察是错误的。以圣水台为例,我们将其清空是因为它被认为是潜在的感染源。虽然清空圣水台是一种谨慎的预防措施,但我担心的是我们可能忘记了肢体的接触是人类的核心所在。但现在触摸却可能造成死亡。

那么什么可以取代“人类的接触“?虚拟化--我们以为可以轻松地通过虚拟现实以“虚拟接触”的方式来代替真实的人际交往和联系,这正是我的顾虑。我们都知道人类的生育需要肢体接触。除非我们将科技引入人类的生育方式,否则在生育的过程里男人不可能站在一个角落而妻子却站在另一个角落。当人类没有了肢体的接触,我们就很容易迷失在虚构的世界中。

有条件的行动管制令加深了我们的无助感,尤其是那些繁杂的标准作业程序。面对长期的瘫痪状态,我选择了沉默并退省祈祷。祈祷本身是很好的选项,但是在一个充斥媒体的世界中,媒体的存在就是一切。沉默,從积极面看会被认为只是一种缺席,但從消极面看则会被认为缺乏牧民关怀。我为此深表歉意。

如果以人的成就测量方式来衡量的话,念玫瑰经似乎并不能达到什么。但是我认为保持规律的生活节奏很重要。当我们感到无助时很容易陷入绝望,但保持规律的生活可以使我们有继续前进的理由。此外,我们为何在弥撒结束前要颂念圣弥额尔总领天使祈祷文?这肯定是为了让我们了解撒旦正在世界徘徊以使灵魂丧亡。撒旦将竭尽所能地寻求灵魂的灭亡。为了掠夺人们的灵魂,撒旦可能以预防和保护健康的幌子阻止大家参加弥撒。这就是为什么我们必须继续祈祷。新冠肺炎不仅仅是自然界对我们破坏生态的反扑,这种疫情肯定有灵修上的反思,因此祈祷是至关重要的。让我们不要停止每天祈祷。

我每天都在主教座堂里。因此如果你们有任何需要可以随时联络我,就如查理·普斯(Charlie Puth)所唱的歌曲--“I am just one call away”。

天主降福大家
杨光明神父

Pastoral Letter Nr 5 dated 23rd April 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Peace of the Risen Lord!

I write this as the extension of the MCO was announced earlier. This recurring 2-week period subject to review only adds to the unnerving uncertainty so many feel as to when life can return to some semblance of normalcy. If anything, this protracted lockdown has highlighted something which we may have forgotten in our hubris: man proposes but God disposes. We had hoped that once we come out of the MCO, we can proceed with planning for the Family Day. It would be a good time to celebrate as the human spirit is in need of uplifting. But, sadly, I am keenly aware that post-MCO, we will also have to deal with the economic cost of shutting down the country. Many will be out of jobs and we must also recognise the difficulties that many of our brothers and sisters will find themselves in.

No doubt some of you would have seen the Family Day poster online—website or Facebook—scheduled for 6th June. Considering the situation, it is now put on hold indefinitely.

In the meantime, the economic effects of the lockdown are already apparent. POHD, apart from providing groceries, is also assisting an organisation that seeks to provide cooked food. Daily, three of our members are delivering hot meal packages to some 90 persons which consist of a mixture of migrants (Vietnamese, Filipinos, Myanmar, Bangladeshi) and Malaysians.

Hence, 1st May which marks the Memorial of St Joseph the Worker is even more relevant to us. Most unfortunately, the date falls within the MCO. In honour of those who labour, the usual private Mass will be offered as thanksgiving to God especially for the scores of dedicated medical personnel who put their lives on the line to secure our health and to ensure that the country stays on top of the Covid-19 pandemic. To all our health-care personnel, we thank you for your sacrifice and pray that God will bless you and your family. We also would like to remember those who belong to the essential services and are grateful to them for carrying out their duties.

At this point, do not let up on our prayers. Please continue with the chain rosary between 6 am and 8 pm, ending with the Chaplet of Divine Mercy. Our social distancing must be accompanied by our storming of heaven. As the Catechism teaches us, “pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you” (CCC2834).

I miss you all dearly.

I remain humbly at your disposal,
Padre

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