20year

Our community has more than twenty years of history in Dallas. What began as five or six families coming together to study the Bible and pray together, quickly became a community that regularly gathered at nearby churches for Masses and meetings. As the numbers grew, they requested that the Diocese of Dallas help establish a permanent Chinese Catholic community in 1990. In 1992, we put our money together and purchased a small office building in Richardson, Texas. By the end of 1993, we had renovated it to become our sanctuary and activity hall. With the guidance of priests seconded from Taiwan and the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit, our small community grew stronger in numbers and in faith.

說與不說



李翠婷

我們常說分享是好事,與人分享拉近了人與人之間的距離。但真的每一次分享都可以拉近人與人之間的距離嗎?為什麼有時分享不能為我們帶來滿足感,卻反而有了暴露自己內在感受,說了實話而帶來的不安感呢?也許正因為有了這一層的顧慮而使得許多人不願在別人面前談到深刻的感受、自己的見解,或甚至只是令自己感到不安的事。更加上許多時候,可能無法真正掌握別人可能有的反應,也擔心和對方交了心,卻遭出賣。畢竟敞開自己,使別人一覽無遺是充滿了風險的,你可能非但無法得到認同,更可能增加了壓力。

話不投機,固然半句多。說話每個人都會(指身、心結構正常的一般人),閒聊、哈拉、打屁,樂在其中時也能感染到放鬆的心情,滿足的快樂。但這並不在我所說的分享之列。我所說的分享,是指將自己隱蔽的部份,在意的感受說出來,期望對方是知心人,期望被了解與接納而不必擔憂被評斷,遭受二度傷害。「沉默是金」可以明哲保身,但那諸端藏在內心的感受,總要尋找一個出口,畢竟人是感情的動物,情感得到正常的抒發與宣洩是有助人格及身心健全的。於是問題就來了,到底說還是不說?

仔細想想到底是分享自己笨,找錯了聽眾?抑或聽者太粗糙,無法領會別人的分享予以尊重的回應?聖經中說:「不要把你們的珠寶投在豬前,怕牠們用腳踐踏了珠寶,而又轉過來咬傷你們。」(俗話說:不要拿珍珠餵狗);聖母更是將許多事「默存於心」,那麼就是明指著對那些根本無法領會你,願珍視、了解你的想法感受的人不要浪費時間和感情。更進一步的說,如果根本就是不同想法、價值觀、觀念的人說了也是白說,與其抱著期望,不如認清楚,珍視你的珠寶,就算別人認為是「敝帚」,你依然可以「自珍」。挑選你分享的對象,因為你不能期望別人都有「聽」的修養;有時反而愈是你希望他們明白的人,就愈挫折。當然如果你並不在意別人怎麼想,或是你根本不想理聽者的反應和感受,而覺得能「說」就好的,這樣的人畢竟是不多吧!至於「默存於心」就更需要智慧,你必須分辨該不該說、該不該問;說了比較好還是不問比較好。如果明知說了也沒用或情況未明,就不如默存於心。「默存於心」它需要時間的等待,需要謙卑下來,不急躁。就好像一粒果實,你不要太早摘採它,因為那滋味將是苦澀而不堪入口的。你必須有耐性,給予心思意念足夠的發酵期,等待時機的成熟,有些我們覺得極難轉變的事,到末了竟也「水到渠成」了。

「別拿珍寶投在豬前」教我對某些期待不必抱著希望;「默存於心」教我對某些事物,不必急於改變,過早放棄。沉默是金?還是土?無聲真能勝有聲?如何分辨?只能祈禱。在祈禱中我能訴說自己的一切,傾聽主的聲音,我做錯了,我會知道,但至少能學習不重覆同樣的錯,我祈求在生活中尋找一份這樣的平安與寧靜。因此在說與不說之間,我們必須去衡量哪一個對靈魂更有助益。親愛的主耶穌基督請教導我。我信賴祢。

美國的「梅瑟寶寶法」



王念祖

近幾十年來,美國的無神論者左手掌著「民權至上」的大纛,右手拿著「政教分離」的尚方寶劍,以幾近焚書坑儒的姿態,一心要把任何與信仰有關的事物趕盡殺絕。但是在這個鈔票上仍印有“In God We Trust”的國家,雖然「聖經」已被所有官府衙門視為禁忌,基督信仰的立國精神卻仍然深植在人心。即使是最講究「超然獨立」的司法,也有許多法律條文,被民眾冠以聖經典故的暱名(例如近年已被廢除的禁止男同性戀行為的「索多瑪法」,保護自願助人者不被訴訟的「慈善的撒瑪黎雅人法」,以及本文所要介紹的「梅瑟寶寶法」),使人不難看到深厚的基督宗教文化的影響。

公元1999年,美國德州州議會鑑於該州每年都有上百起的初生嬰兒被遺棄在公廁、垃圾桶、公園等地,任其自生自滅的慘案,而通過了一條被通稱為「梅瑟寶寶法」(Baby Moses Law)的州法(Texas Family Code, Chapter 262, Subchapter D)。按照這條法規,父母如果不願意撫養,可將出生不滿60天的嬰兒交給醫院、消防隊、警察局、或其他法律認可的機構,就可以免除刑責。這些暫時收容棄嬰的機構也依法不得追問父母的身份姓名。該法於2001年開始實施後,隨即有四十六個州及許多西歐國家本於人道主義,紛紛跟進,訂定了類似的條文。「梅瑟法律」本是指舊約中最偉大的先知--梅瑟,在帶領以色列人過紅海、出埃及後,為以色列人訂立的詳盡律法(詳見出谷紀、肋未紀、戶籍紀、及申命紀)。但是現代「梅瑟寶寶法」的名稱,卻是源自聖經出谷紀中關於梅瑟出生時的故事。

創世紀中記載,天主揀選了我們信德的祖先亞巴郎,命他離開家鄉到客納罕地,並且預許他的子孫將多如天上星辰。亞巴郎生了依撒格,依撒格生了雅各伯,雅各伯生了十二個兒子,也就是日後以色列十二支派的起源。雅各伯的第十一個兒子若瑟,被嫉妒他的哥哥們賣到埃及為奴,卻在天主的護佑下做到埃及宰相,日後並將陷於饑荒的全部家族接到埃及定居,從此以色列人在那裡繁衍壯大(創12-50)。四百年後,埃及的新王害怕以色列人的強盛,遂下令要將所有以色列初生的男嬰丟在尼羅河淹死。梅瑟出生後,他的父母不忍立即將他淹死,把他藏匿了三個月後,才迫不得已的將他放在一個塗了瀝青和石漆的蒲草筐子內,拋棄在尼羅河邊的蘆葦叢中。命不該絕的梅瑟寶寶,被埃及公主發現,撿回宮中扶養,日後長大成為帶領以色列人逃離埃及的先知與領袖(出1-2)。

這個為教友耳熟能詳的聖經故事,就是現代「梅瑟寶寶法」的來源。雖然棄嬰的行為,在本質上不人道也不合法,但是為了避免無辜的小生命遭到不幸,立法者兩害相權,甘冒「鼓勵犯罪」的大不韙而制訂良法,確是值得我們喝采的。在德國,為了讓只是一時慌亂、衝動、或有困難的父母有反悔的機會,法律准許棄嬰的父母可以在八週之內回來認領,不負任何刑責。義大利及德國的許多修女院及社會福利機構更體貼的在大門外安裝一個高科技的嬰兒搖籃。籃內除了有自動調節的保溫設備外,還有一個自動偵測的警鈴。只要籃內有嬰兒,室內的負責人員就會得知,如此可以讓嬰兒的父母得以從容的離去,以免他們因為不願人知而將寶寶棄置荒郊。

塗了瀝青和石漆,漂流在尼羅河的蒲草筐子,雖然遠不如現代科技的棄嬰搖籃來得安全舒適,但這個蒲草筐子在我們信仰中所代表的意義卻非任何現代科技所能取代。舊約聖經的希伯來原文中,用了同樣的一個特殊字眼(英文中的Ark)來表示諾厄全家逃避大洪水時所坐的「方舟」、裝梅瑟寶寶的蒲草「筐子」、以及代表天主臨在的「約櫃」。方舟載著在那個時代「惟一正義齊全」的諾厄(創6:9)及他的家人,避過了天主洗盡世人罪惡的大洪水。漂流在尼羅河上的蒲草筐子載著純真無邪的梅瑟寶寶,躲過了埃及法郎的迫害。英勇忠貞的若蘇厄帶領著在曠野漂流了四十年的以色列人,抬著約櫃踏入約旦河,使河水斷流(蘇3:16),進而征服了惡貫滿盈的客納罕民族(參見創15:16)。方舟、蒲草筐子、與約櫃這三個「方型箱櫃」(Ark的原意),雖然他們的外形、體積、與用途原本截然不同,卻都奇妙地藉著水的洗禮,將天主的正義與救贖的恩寵帶給了祂的子民,使他們免於溺死在罪惡中。

方舟載過的諾厄,見到了天主盟約標記的虹霓,再次接受了天主「滋生繁殖,充滿大地」的祝福(創9:1)。蒲草筐子載過的梅瑟帶著以色列人逃出奴役,進入自由的新生。裝著亞郎開花的棍杖的約櫃(希9:4),帶領著以色列人進入流奶流蜜的福地,完成了天主對亞巴郎子孫多如塵沙的應許。接納了棄嬰的現代搖籃,又何嘗不是為這無辜的小生命帶來了天主的恩寵,使他們不致死於父母的罪惡中,而獲得一個花開茂盛的嶄新生命呢?

見證



許王瑞昌

每逢聖誕佳節,我都會給遠地的朋友們寫卡祝福,朋友大多是外教人,但我以聖經經句祝福他(她)們,願朋友們都知道天主是愛,祂愛世上每一個人,其中有位同學她年青時在台灣領洗,後隨夫留學美國,他們生育三個兒女,都非常優秀,也是他們夫婦打拚的成果,可是人生的道路難免崎嶇,十多年前,這個家庭的女主人─我的學妹,患上巴金森難纏的毛病,這不但給她個人造成痛苦不便,也使整個家庭受到影響。首當其衝是她的先生-劉教授,白天教導學生,晚上回到家裡便挽起袖子,走入廚房為其一家人服務,因此這位研究西洋史的教授,在我們數位同學的心目中刻下了不可磨滅的印象,令我們敬佩不已!

旅居美國我們不斷聯絡,時常電話問候,在聊天中我不忘傳道,其實他們夫婦早是教友,只因來美苦讀生兒育女生活緊張,後來功成名就又忙於工作應酬,種種因素沒回到主的羊棧。

好事要與好朋友分享,每次我們聯絡通話,我總三句話不離本行-傳述信仰的訊息,如華人教會的情形,教友間的互動,以及信仰的分享和見證,久而久之她心生羨慕而嚮往之,去他們住家附近的教堂,雖然他們夫婦沒有語言的隔閡,但他們不喜歡那間教堂的音樂氣氛,心情得不到寧靜而作罷。我聽在耳裡,想在心裡,知道主召叫的時候還沒有到,祈禱吧,一切有力的舉動都沒有祈禱的力量大!

幾年前他的先生退休了,從東部搬到西部,棄大房,住公寓,捨財物過著恬淡的生活,放下著作的筆,拾起聖經研讀,我趁機贈送中文聖經一本,唸珠一串和誦唸玫瑰經及慈悲頌的方法各一紙,祈求天主帶領他們走向靈性的生活!

自從他們遷往舊金山後,便進教堂望彌撒了,每年聖誕節,兒女們攜家帶眷從各地齊聚一堂,進教堂望一台子夜彌撒,其樂融融不在話下。 前不久學妹與我分享兩個奇蹟,她說兩年前,她眼睛不好,去看醫生一配眼鏡,就向天上懇切祈禱,得到天主憐憫,不藥而癒,不戴眼鏡竟看得一清二楚,簡直不可思議!

感恩之際,聖寵再現,聖誕節她在電話的彼端傳來了這樣的一句話「妳真是好姐姐教我唸慈悲頌串經救了我」,我還沒轉過神來,接著又聽她說:「近來巴金森病,藥劑控制不好,服了藥仍然發抖,而且抖得厲害,無奈之下跪地唸慈悲串經,抖就停止了…」

感謝天主,我為加強她的信德,給她指引去讀以下的幾段經文(瑪四:23,瑪九:35);耶穌在公開福傳之中,不僅教導「傳道」而且也顯奇蹟,耶穌走遍加里肋亞在祂的會堂裡施教,宣佈天國的福音,治好民間各種疾病,各種災殃,祂行善治病,天主以聖神和德能傅了納匝肋的耶穌,使祂巡行各處施恩行善治病,治好一切受魔鬼壓制的人,因為天主與祂同在。(宗十:38)

我這位學妹,本來很會寫文章,曾著有「歲月風華」散文集一書,那是一本憶舊、記遊、話古今的文學作品,因為她是流亡學生到台灣的,所以她有豐富的人生經驗,加以天賦的聰慧頭腦,在她子女長大後,家事之餘,筆耕很勤,曾投稿中央日報、中華副刊、聯合副刊等台灣各大報紙,也交了不少當代名流女作家朋友!不幸後來患了巴金森症,使她筆耕的手無法再寫下去,真是她的致命傷!

至今她得此主的恩寵,多麼想把主的大能寫出與人分享,見證一番,然而,只有嘆息了!

我雖有責任代她寫出來,但自己沒有生花妙筆的素養,不能把她的感受描繪盡數,非常抱歉的握著拙筆實情實報吧,願此見證讓朋友們有分享的快樂!


生命的延續



陳麗璟

一大清早,開車在上班路上時,手機忽然響起。奇怪,一大早誰會打電話來呢?萬玉珊的聲音從那頭傳過來:「陳麗璟,今天一定要快點到醫院去看聞慧韻,她指名要見妳。」心裡好高興,我可以去看我的代母。我雖盼望已久,但不敢去打攪她。一走進公司,皮包還沒放下,桌上電話又響起。康宜姊在電話那頭說:「麗璟,妳趕快到醫院來看慧韻,今天一定要快點來。」

走進病房,一見慧韻姊,心好疼。她怎麼瘦成這個樣子?好像當初聞伯伯去世前那樣瘦,但精神還算好,講話還有勁。與大部份去看她的人一樣,她堅持要我原諒她。我說:「得罪妳多次的是我,求原諒的該是我,怎麼會是妳呢?」大家都知道,我講話一向很直,尤其是對熟人、親人,因此常得罪人。在她的堅持下,我們互相原諒了對方。

在十多年前,我就已經歷親人的死亡,再加上近十年的聖母軍工作,探訪了不少同年紀的臨終病人。生、老、病、死,人生的無常,我早已視為理所當然。我以為我已被訓練的很堅強。但一看到慧韻姊,我卻忍不住抱著她大哭,實在捨不得她走。我向她道歉,我真的很希望自己個性可以多改一些,說話不要那麼直,語氣可以溫柔些,這樣就可少得罪些人。她卻看著我,笑著說:「那妳就不是陳麗璟了啦!」唉!還是我的代母瞭解我。

很少人知道慧韻是我的代母。我們結緣於一九九四年,一同參加北美第四屆基督活力運動。當我要領堅振時,需要代母,但因我初歸羊棧,認識的人有限,而慧韻姊在各方面都優秀,我就很榮幸地成為她的代女。

從醫院回家的路上,我有很大的衝動,想寫篇文章謝謝她。我不想寫紀念的文章,因她看不到。這想法一閃而過,還沒機會寫,她就回歸天家。雖然我們沒有陪伴她的最後一夜,但很高興我們兒子及幾位年輕人在醫院待了一晚上,陪伴慧韻及家人,特別是她的兒子Clifford,走了她的最後一程。

這篇文章似乎該早點寫,趕著登在慧韻姊的紀念冊中。但當初只想寫給慧韻姊看,希望她開心。既然她已走了,我也就沒有寫的必要,但為什麼現在又要寫呢?其實整個靈感來自我與三個人的對話。

追思彌撒後,慧韻姊的二女兒,Chris,傷心的站在教堂門口。我就上前與她說話。在對話中,我告訴她,妳媽媽的生命沒有終結─her life continues。她不甚愉快的眼睛往上翻說:「Yeah, I know. Her life continues up there!」(呀,我知道。她的生命在天上延續著!)我回答:「No, not only up there, but also continues onto you guys, her three children。」(不只是在天上,也在你們這三個兒女身上延續著。)我不知道Chris能接受多少,但希望有一天三個孩子都能瞭解媽媽永遠與他們在一起。他們也能夠讓媽媽的「好」及「生命」繼續延續在他們的生命中。

有一天啟煦及幾位慕道班成員在一起聊天。啟煦問我願不願意做慕道班講員。我回答,你已有這麼多好講員,不需要我了。他卻感嘆說,慧韻姊一走,他少了一位講員。聽了這話,我立刻回答,讓我接替這個空位吧!畢竟她是我的代母,如果我可以做一點點她的工作,我應該做的!

兩個星期前,大傳組組長楊治財邀我為葡萄藤寫一篇有關慕道班的文章,主題是為什麼這麼多年來我一直參加慕道班的工作。其實,對慕道班的工作我一直很被動,且是玩票性質。已有這麼多的人才在幫忙,我算什麼?話都說不清楚!如果有人找我,我才做,絕對不會主動,更不會承諾長時間的參與。但因慧韻姊這粒麥子,埋在土裡,應該要有子粒長出。身為她代女之一的我,更應義不容辭的來分擔她的一點責任。再說,我是十多年前在慧韻姊及陳淳民代表達拉斯主教府所訓練的慕道班及宗教教育的講員之一。

大家都知道慧韻姊在教堂的服務一直與宗教教育有關,不論是個人陶成,或是孩子及青少年的宗教教育。她總是非常有耐心,不厭其煩的到處尋找迷失的羊,帶回羊棧,並滋養大家的靈性生命。所以這篇文章的目的也是希望見到慧韻姊的生命能夠繼續延續在我們這些思念她的親友身上。「一粒麥子必須落在地裏死了,才能結出許多子粒來」(若12:24)。把思念化成實際的行動,相信她在天上看了也會開心的笑。

親愛的兄弟姊妹們,慕道班需要您。更需要您帶領羊群回歸羊棧。

Confirmation



Jonah Chen


Certain things have the potential to change everything. Something happening in approximately an hour and a half definitely can, and one of the things is the Confirmation in our Catholic faith. You earn spectacular Gifts with Confirmation and a stronger connection with God. It’s not the connection you hear about in the CCD classes all year, of which you have to constantly go into prayer and sit for about an hour to attempt to hear God talking to you. No way. It’s a real thing; a little “live” broadcast to God in a manner you will never forget when you first try it. Get confirmed and look at all that you can get! And then, there’s even more.

You know the saying from the movie “Spider Man”: “With great power comes great responsibility.” But there really must be a great deal of responsibility when you get confirmed. It might seem a little hard, with your life maybe going bad, your boyfriend or girlfriend just dumped you, nah-nah-nah. But responsibility suddenly comes naturally. It’s like eating an energy bar and being able to run 7 miles, while when you weren’t Confirmed, you could only run 3. Figuratively speaking though. But if you can, that’s great.

To be prepared for Confirmation, you have to be able to attend CCD classes every week, from which you will learn extraordinary things. I got out of Peter’s CCD class much great knowledge: the 7 Sacraments, the Mysteries of the Rosary, what God can do, what I can do, what people around can do, and what those things can do for us. I learned the 7 Sacraments and set them as the priority before the laws of humanity. I may get in trouble at school with the anti-religion enemies I may get. Knowing that I’ll get confirmed sooner or later, I might as well deal with it now. (Back at that time, I had just found out about confirmation and thought it was cool).

Quoting Peter himself, (not the apostle, my teacher, Peter) “When you are confirmed, you become a soldier of God. You no longer drink Spiritual milk. You eat solid food like a real soldier.” Hearing that, I thought I would be like Saint Michael’s front-line fighter or someone cool. But, instead, I learned something else.

“You have a sword and a shield. You serve God on this Earth.”

I’m not going to rise up to Heaven right away when I get confirmed and start fighting a horde of freaky red, horned demons. Instead, I will be right here on the Earth with my invisible sword and shield, defending unconfirmed Christians and guarding them until their time for confirmation which no one knows but God.

I’ve mentioned something about the Gifts before, right? Yeah, man, there are gifts, very special Gifts. You can’t hold them, but you can keep them forever. God decides whether you get to have it though; whether you deserve it.

The 1st one is WISDOM.

Pretty awesome Gift. You desire for things of God and give everything you have to God.

I’ll explain that a little bit. Rest of it, figure it out, muchacho, because even I myself am still learning all that it means, but yea.

Wisdom in a sense is the ability to comprehend things and give them up to God to honor Him. In return, He will send a decorated gift basket to you with another Gift!

And the next Gift, #2: UNDERSTANDING:

It lets you know about the very sophisticated faith we share and be able to untie its tangled relationship easily. There are so many mysteries in our religion, and maybe you can be the person to unravel a serious of the unknown which we’ve been wondering for centuries. You decide whether you want to get confirmed for this or not.

But hey, remember, it isn’t all about the Gifts of the Holy Spirit. You see, If all you want are these Gifts, then you’ll understand how you will eventually devote all your Gifts to God and love Jesus 105%. Mary, Mother of God Himself, can help you. You can probably try sitting for a few minutes, praying to Mary, and asking her questions. She’ll definitely answer you in some ways; just keep all five of your senses open. I mean all five, seriously.

God grants you things when you deserve it, not as a giveaway at a lottery.

And next,Gift # 3 is COUNSEL!

Counsel is awesome. I actually know a few people with this superpower! You know the deceits of the Devil himself on sight or thought. You know the sins of the others as well as how they can obstruct salvation. However, you have the ability to save people from committing sins by giving them counsel or providing them guidance. You cannot just go around correcting people though; they’ll think your ‘de loco’. (Crazy)

Gift #4: FORTITUDE!!!

You are strengthened to do God’s will in everything. You need to always try doing the right thing, whether you want it or not. With sincere willpower, you will be able to do things right. Know what you are doing is for God and you will love every minute of it.

Gift#5: KNOWLEDGE.

You will be able to discover the will of God with everything you encounter as well as its meaning and purpose. However, you need to be bonded with God; you need a true heart, concentration, and continuous prayers and pleading to God. It works. You have to love God beyond anything that exists in your life, including your family. He will reward you, your family, and your friends eternity if you’ve tried to be His great followers.

Gift #6: Piety!

Piety is to love God. Piety is to obey Him because you just want to be with Him forever! It’s awesome. You love God so much, He sends down whatever you want, just ask and pray and pray and pray. It’s the coolest. By saying it’s the coolest I’m not suggesting any kind of comparison because all 7 Gifts rock big time. They’re better than anything I’ve ever had, and you can count on my words.

Gift #7 – FEAR OF THE LORD

You should desperately fear sin and fear the most of offending God. With this, you are like the perfect hero who keeps no pride. I wish I could have this combined with Knowledge; that would help me by letting me know the right from the wrong.

Along with the seven Gifts of the Lord is the Holy Spirit. It sometimes appears as a dove as seen in many paintings. It’s really God in the form of a dove as the Holy Spirit because the Trinity is all in one.

The Holy Spirit appeared before the disciples as Fire, so no Dove there.

Holy Spirit rested on the disciples as the “tongues of Fire”. This is the first Confirmation taken place, and the disciples were the first Catholics getting confirmed. With the Holy Spirit, they became able to preach about God in different languages.

He’s a King, and people didn’t even bother treating Him right. That makes me mad.

The teachings, preaching, healing, leading, and etc are also the Powers and the Gifts. There are 9 things that God also gives with Confirmation. Yes, many more presents!

You can become a teacher and teach the people about God. It’s not sitting down in a classroom and having to torture people to listen. You call to those who are interested in Him, those who deny Him, and those who reject the existence of God. By leading them in and teaching them, you can earn them and yourself either freedom from Purgatory or an easier path to Heaven. Those are nice, aren’t they? And then, preacher! Great ability. You will speak with the Holy Spirit in you. You’re kind of like a stage amplifier, but you get a lot out of it. You will be amazed at what comes out of your mouth. You teach people. You lead them into the right direction. You will have positive influence to people. However, you must remember to teach the right thing with a pure heart. Go to Confession often because you as a preacher have the ability to uplift someone or bring him/ her to the ground. You have to do the right thing.

Leaders! You lead the people to the light, and they will cry out to the Lord, “Thank you for this great man/ woman!”

When people don’t praise God, let them know that is no good. They will thank you so much for saving them. You can lead someone to death and lead someone to life, but you can choose to do the better, lead them to life.

You can also become a priest. It might sound stupid to you, and in that case I ought to hit you on the head. Priests are respected beyond nature for their wisdom and help. They keep no money and have to give up everything to God. A priest helps people from the moment he opens his eyes till the moment he shuts them. He can do great things with his incredible powers. They should always help people and never do harms. It’s a hard path but an insanely rewarding one. You’ll have the eternal companionship of the One upstairs, if you get what I mean.

You can be a PROPHET. Now, that’s also pretty cool. Just like Jeremiah, Moses, and my patron saint (although he, Jonah, is not really a saint).

You become a prophet through God’s choice, not yours. You have to be a seriously hardcore believer to ever get this power. You do have the choice to become a faithful Catholic. Then, any of these powers will come naturally. If you lead, you lead. When you teach, you teach. If you don’t like it, it’s too bad. Do it with all your heart and soul because it’s rewarding.

Healing is amazing. You heal people within a time, or even manage to do it spontaneously. “YOU! BE HEALED!”

Poof. Done!

You can heal people mentally, physically, or even spiritually. You have to really deserve to get this special gift. You can’t hold grudges, you can’t harm others, and you can’t treat them with sheer disrespect.

There are many, many, many more gifts from God. You can get these.

Confirmation. God’s gift, is a decorated box with a bunch of chocolate sent to you.

Chocolate will always taste different! Your powers will depend on God’s will and choice.

Have fun, go to CCD, learn from a teacher and prepare for Confirmation. With your love for GOD, JESUS, the HOLY SPIRIT, and HOLY MARY, earn some seriously hardcore wisdom.

-Jonah Chen, 13, 7th grade, Confirmed by Bishop Farrell on April 6th, 2008 in the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Christian Church in Richardson.

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