Archive for February, 2008

SISPEC Week 8 and 9

Exercise Wanderer and Grandslam ended without any major problems. I didn’t even get any extras. Thank God it did not rain, or it would have been worse for everyone. There were a few close shaves though. I almost lost some important items, in the dark. Fortunately I managed to locate them in less than five minutes. If not for my section’s support I would be in real trouble. Thanks guys.

(I have to thank St Anthony and St Jude as well.)

We had three nights’ off this week. I didn’t leave the camp during any of them. I even offered to do CDT duty for my friend who booked out for nights off. I’m not sure; maybe I have lost interest in having fun. The COS asked me why I didn’t want to book out. I replied that I was not interested.

It doesn’t feel like Lent. I haven’t done much to change my ways. I haven’t fasted or abstained either. Maybe I had a bad start, using the Chinese New Year as an excuse. I never bothered with Friday abstinence ever since I entered the Army. But this is not the way. Since I have some free time now, I started praying the Office and the Rosary again last week. Lent is still here for two weeks. Surely I can do something.

On Saturday my section was having some perverse conversations, and I inevitably got dragged in. I took the opportunity to explain why pornography is sinful. Expectedly, I was laughed at by everyone. They said that I was abnormal, gay and mad. Terrible! I was not angry; rather I was sad. I had pity for all of them.

It looks like the conversion of the world will be an uphill task. But it is a mission that must be performed. I’m sure we can do it one soul at a time. Now, who wants to join in?

I’m still not able to clear my IPPT, and I only have a week left. Sigh. A part of me doesn’t want to fail the course; the other really does not care anymore. I’ve resumed reading My Daily Bread again. What I like about this book is that it always stresses that we should only be concerned with doing God’s will, and no other. God will still love me the same, even if I am a failure from SISPEC. Or have I displeased Him by not trying hard enough in my military training? If I fail now, will I fail again when I move to greater things?

Whatever the outcome, fiat voluntas tua!

Pray for the Ex. Wanderer, pray for me

Hail Queen of Heaven

Hail, Queen of heav’n, the ocean star,
Guide of the wand’rer here below;
Thrown on life’s surge, we claim thy care:
Save us from peril and from woe.

Mother of Christ, O Star of the sea,
Pray for the wanderer, pray for me.

O gentle, chaste, and spotless Maid,
We sinners make our prayers through thee;
Remind thy Son that He has paid
The price of our iniquity.

Virgin most pure, O star of the sea,
Pray for the sinner, pray for me.

And while to Him Who reigns above
In Godhead one, in Persons three,
The Source of life, of grace, of love,
Homage we pay on bended knee:

Do thou, bright Queen, O star of the sea,
Pray for thy children, pray for me.

I am not looking forward to this week’s exercise. I’ll see you guys in a week, hopefully. Please pray for me!


The parable of the lost bayonet

The kingdom of heaven is like this: A company of trainees set off to train in the forests of Lim Chu Kang for three days. On the first day they performed the equipment check, and all was well. On the second day they performed the equipment check, and all was well. On the third day they failed to perform the equipment check, and all was well, until they were about to leave. As they were about to leave they discovered that a bayonet was missing. Hence they combed the forests, and the training grounds, and the encampment, for hours unto hours. After the third hour they finally located the missing bayonet. And all the troops rejoiced because they could go home, at last.

The story of the fool

From the same rabble of tired soldiers, there was a fool who misfired. How this happened, he does not like to say it in public, for it is quite stupid and embarrassing. The point is, he was given one extra duty to serve on a Sunday morning. The duty involved manning the telephone in the company office.

In the Swamps

After coming back from the forests of Lim Chu Kang, the company would set off to the swamps of Tengah. The swamp was nested between the Cemetary and the Air Base. There were no ghosts or zombies to molest the soldiers, but there were plagues of insects. It was disgusting to see them crawling infront of my face as I lay prone on the ground, screaming a fire control order at the top of my voice.

I was chewed out for being such a lousy commander. I’m starting to wonder if I should have opted to go elsewhere instead. These things scare me: Navigation, PT, battle drills, and the like. Maybe I am not cut out for such things. What am I to do? I don’t want my men to die because of me during a war.

In the meantime, you can see in their eyes contempt and disgust, when they have an uncapable commander leading them.

Nightmare Fighting Equipment

Nightmare Fighting Equipment (NFE) is commonly used by soldiers of all beliefs and creed. The purpose of these is to assuage fear. Common examples include cigarettes, alcohol, rosaries and stuffed toys.

This reminds me of a bad dream I had the other day. I dreamed that my computer got hacked.

Oh God, I don’t want to be here. But next week we are going back to the cursed island of Tekong, for a good four days. And I still need to pass one station for IPPT, if not I will fail this course and suffer in vain.

POP, come quick!

Anno MMVIII: 2007 After Action Review

Oh yes, it has been an interesting year. Here are some of the events.

July – Graduation

September – Enlistment into National Service

I managed to achieve some of my personal goals this year, but failed at some.

Goals 2007

  1. Ensure survival of Legion – success! but with mixed results..
  2. Continued Discernment – success!
  3. Survive in NS – success!
  4. Get rid of repeating sins – failed!

1. Ensure survival of Legion

It is fortunate that we managed to get more members in 2007. Better yet, they are at a good age, around 13 to 14. I hope the trend will continue this year. The bonds between the members are also quite strong, especially during the camp.

The thing is, I don’t want people to come for the wrong reasons. The Legion is not a social club, it is a ministry. To reinforce this, we must start enforcing discipline and order from now on. We have to act on it ourselves as well in order to set the standard.

The two main things I have planned this year is to revive the praesidium at Nativity. The adult praesidium and the parish priest are quite supportive. I hope we do not disappoint. Alas, my schedule is making it very difficult to fit in with the other members, but with God’s help I am sure we can come up with a plan. The second thing is the proposed young adults praesidium. It will be under the jurisdiction of the senior curia. Our aim is to retain the matured youths in the senior Legion in order to fulfill the purpose of the youth Legion, that is, to groom members for the work of the senior Legion.

2. Continued Discernment

I have continued my discernment under the guidance of Fr Gerard. That settles one of my goals, which was to find a Spiritual Director. I should resolve to see him more often.

I haven’t visited the local diocesan seminary in a long time. I think the last time was Good Friday? I can’t really remember. Neither did I attend any of their recollections or retreats this year.

I have reflected on other vocations other than the priesthood. I have great esteem for Marriage. My own parents are proof that it is such a great thing, that demands untiring sacrifice. Still, I am not interested in pursuing relationships. People tell me that I ought to date in order to discern better, but then I feel that it is futile. I’ve gone on dates, but I come back feeling empty. I don’t know, it seems like a day within His courts is better than days elsewhere.

My experiences at work and in the army has also convinced me the importance of the lay apostle. With so many opportunities to reach out, the laity have really no excuse. There are so many people in need of Christ, of some hope in their lives. Who will pick up a man who has fallen into the gutter by accident? It is the passer-by, the average joe, the man in the street. I will continue my work with the Legion to further understand the lay vocation better.

There are so many questions to consider. Should I apply for the seminary after I finish my army? Should I finish my studies first? And should I work after that? What do I work as? When do I stop? Maybe I should just forgo my studies and go apply for a job.

So many questions, but in God’s time there will be clear answers.

3. Survive in NS

Thank God I did not get maimed or crippled, yet. I didn’t get into much serious trouble, despite some close calls. I hope it stays that way, because I have already served one extra on a Sunday. No more! No more!

The Army has made me physically fitter than I was in school. Still, I miss the standard often. I struggle with my Standing Broad Jump. I cannot clear the Standard Obstacle Course. It makes me wonder if I’m cut out for soldiering. Should I push myself more or take it easy? There are so many ways to justify either course of action.

But I remember praying the night before I enlisted, that I hope to be a good soldier to defend the ruling party people of this country.
4. Get rid of repeating sins

Where my physical health is pretty all right, my spiritual health is failing. Every week it’s the same sins being confessed all over again. I have not tried hard enough.

But I have a whole year to keep working at it. I shall!


Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us

Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us

Stella Matutina, ora pro nobis

Our Lady of Perpetual Succor, pray for us

St Michael the Archangel, pray for us

St Jude, pray for us

St Benedict, pray for us

St Dominic, pray for us

St Anthony, pray for us