[About this blog] Inspired by local soccer player Mike Lim during my rookie reporter days at Singapore Polytechnic, I set up this blog in August 2002. I feel that blogging is a novel platform to document interesting facets of my life and my thoughts on certain issues. [Email blogger] ephraim@singnet.com.sg

Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Remember, man, that you are dust and unto dust you shall return."

1. Yesterday was Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. Together with many Catholics, my wife and I attended evening Mass at Holy Trinity and had ash dabbed on our foreheads. It was to remind us of our mortality.

2. What Ramadan is to Muslims, Lent is to Christians. It is a time of sacrifice and reflection, a period of preperation before the great celebration of Easter. Later in the Lenten season, Catholics will make their annual donation to the Catholic welfare organisations which serve Singaporeans of all races and religions. Every year, quite a lot of money is raised.

3. We are developing a tradition in Singapore of serving everyone in need regardless of race and religion. I remember Abdul Halim explaining to me many years ago why it was important for Tabung Amal to help non-Muslims as well. Here in Aljunied GRC, a group of Sai Baba followers has offered to bring together a multi-religious group of doctors to provide free health services to our residents. I hope we'll be able to get something started in a few months' time. A nearby Buddhist Temple run by the Ven Kuan Yan is already providing a mobile Traditional Chinese Medicine service to those living in the Hougang-Punggol area. When we needed money to give ang pows and food hampers to poor families before the Chinese New Year, many individuals came forward to help.

4. Doing charity work is an essential part of being a human being. Even those who are sick and poor can make contributions which probably earn greater spiritual merit than the donations of the strong and the mighty. A tradition of giving makes a community strong.

Do also read my posts on Beyond SG


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