Archive for April, 2008

Accidents and Medical Emergencies and You

There have been several reports in the local newspapers in the past week, documenting several deaths. One was the death of a 23 year old young man who had cardio-respiratory failure. There was another report of a Malaysian woman choking to death on a biscuit. And who can forget the horrific accident that wiped out four members of a Catholic family, leaving only their 2 month old daughter?

There could have been more ways to help the casualties. For example, if CPR was administered to the young man before the ambulance crew arrived, he might have survived. In the case of the lady, they managed to fish out the debris from the mouth, but the article did not mention if the airway was totally cleared or if artificial ventilation was provided.

Unfortunately, accidents and emergencies occur everyday. What is our response to these? Let’s say one day you are walking along the street, when a man collapses in front of you? What will you do? Some will help, some will not. Some want to help, but are incapable. Some are able to, but do not want to. For most of us it’s not our problem, until one day it hits home. By then it will be too late to regret the loss of our loved ones.

I read another article which is quite heartening (pun intended), there is a First Aid Corps being set up in Marine Parade GRC. The three volunteers are trained in the use of the Automatic External Defibrillator. Some Community Development Councils also conduct CPR courses for residents. I think Mum went for one of those a few months back. I think these are good steps for making people more prepared for emergencies. We should all take some time off to learn some simple first aid, CPR if possible. If we are more prepared, we won’t panic so much when disaster strikes.

By some coincidence, a few days ago we had lessons and tests on CPR, Choking and AED. That means we are trained to assist in such emergencies. I hope my fellow medics and I will have the courage to help in such incidents when we are outside. And we hope like hell that none of us will screw up the rescue! It is clear that there are two requirements in such a situation: Competence and Courage. We must possess the necessary skills to help out, in order to prevent further harm to the patient. We must also have the daring, to help without any hesitation.

But let us not forget about spiritual matters. Death is so untimely and unpredictable. Let us prepare our souls for its arrival.

May the Holy Angels preserve us!

30 March 2008: Acies

On 20 March 2008 the Legion of Mary Mother of Carmel Mandarin Curia had its annual Acies at the Church of St Peter and St Paul. The Acies is a annual collective consecration of Legion members to Mary. It is like, a renewal of vows. It was wonderful to see all the legionaries at once, especially those who were often absent. There were many making their individual consecration for the first time. ‘I am all yours, my Queen, my Mother, and all that I have is yours.’, These were the words professed by every one. I hope that everybody had meant these words sincerely, and not merely reading from the plastic board bearing them. (Boys and girls, in your heart you know.)

I have been in Legion since 2000. Nine years. And yet every meeting I go to seems like the first time. There is always something new to learn here. There are always new works to do and new people to help. There is always a new apprentice to mentor to. Every time I force myself to think of new ideas to make things better. There are always new challenges. That’s why I chose to dispatch myself to the parish of The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary to revive their praesidium.

Many things have changed. Formerly we called Rosary Crusades (玫瑰十字军敬礼), well, Rosary Crusades. Now we call them Marian Processions (圣母敬礼). It might merely be a cosmetic change, but I see it as a sign of the times that our fighting spirit has diminished somewhat.

We flourished in yesteryear, but now our ranks shrink year by year. Many leave, with reasons valid or otherwise. I have seen so many of my friends leave. The loneliness used to sting, but now I have got used to it.

Traditionally we have always recruited from the Mandarin speaking congregation and in recent years we have opened ourselves to the English speaking congregation. Yet we are always under pressure to recruit more numbers and use Mandarin exclusively. The Old people cannot accept the fact that the youngsters do not want to use Mandarin. The youngsters do not want to give it a chance. Who gets assigned the blame? Who else but Curia officers? Give me a break man. I’m also trying to adapt.

The Legion’s ideals have not always been upheld. I spoke to a Schola member who once belonged to Nativity’s praesidium, back in my predecessors’ time. He said he left because he felt that the praesidium did not adequately prepare him for the adult Legion. In other words, it was merely a social club. Very often we have not been charitable to others, causing them to fall away. We are all very guilty.

Perhaps this is why many of the young ones do not continue their path in the senior Legion. They have become disgusted. Indeed this is a bitter pill. Who can swallow it?

We are eternally young, yet we must always be matured. But I believe that these trials are times for greater purification of motives and ideals. Instead of looking at it in a totally negative light, why not consider the fact that the process of purification has already begun? I think this time of trial has filtered out the unsuitable.

Nonetheless, the efflux of members is disturbing. We must correct this and reform our Legion. We must make Legion into a place where true and orthodox Catholicism can be practiced and nurtured. With God’s help we must avoid the path of ruin.

Let us begin with ourselves and ask why we are still here. Do we truly believe in this cause? Are we willing to fight to the death?

I believe!


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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