V2Catholic.com  A voice for the poor  Edited by HK prison chaplain 
Fr John Wotherspoon O.M.I .
胡頌恆神父    jdwomi@gmail.com   

Links, Search & Archives     Imitating Pope Francis

         

This website's anti-drug campaign  saves people from going to prison in HK     See & share inmates' letters! 
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How campaign began
  HK:how long prison for  trafficking?   www.AsylumSeekerHK.com 

Wed Sep 20

 

Yesterday I was at Tai Lam Women's prison from 9.30am to 4.30pm ...heartened by the news that another month has gone by without the arrest of a female drug mule from Africa or South America at HK airport. 

And as I keep working on the Big Picture, I now know of at least three Nigerian Drug Lords in HK - all of them Customs' informers - who have been seen in South America ...recruiting vulnerable women to be drug mules for the trip to HK.

And see below!

 

Russian officer who averted cold war nuclear disaster dies aged 77

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  Chris McDonnell 

A Cold War is being re-heated
Military power has once more become chips stacked on the poker table where world leaders gather to play a dangerous game

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Judith 6:  Holofernes not only ignored Achior's advice, he ridiculed him for suggesting that the Israelites could resist his army. 
Holofernes then handed Achior over to the Israelites "to suffer the same punishment as they would receive from Holofernes' army."
Dear God, when people ridicule us for speaking the truth, please give us strength and courage

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 124: "If the Lord had not been on our side", this is Israel's song. If the Lord had not been on our side when people rose against us, then would they have swallowed us alive when they were angry with us. Blessed be the Lord who did not let us become a prey for their teeth. Our life, like a bird, has escaped from the snare of the hunter. Indeed the snare has been broken and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth.
Thank you, Lord, for all the times you have rescued me from trouble

Listen

 

Hebrews 4.12-16: The word of God is something alive and active. It goes deep into our hearts. In Jesus we have the supreme high priest who is now in the highest heaven. He knows how weak we are. He himself was tempted in every way, but did not sin. Let us be confident in approaching his throne of grace. He will give us grace when we are in need of help.
Jesus, our high priest, help me when I'm weak

Listen



Matthew 20.20-28: The brothers James and John were two of Jesus' disciples. One day their mother said to Jesus "When you become king, allow my sons to sit at your right and left". Jesus said to James and John "Only my Father in heaven can allocate seats on my right and left". The 10 other disciples were angry at James and John for seeking honor. So Jesus said to them all "In most places, people in power like to dominate and control others. But this is not to be your way of exercising authority. You must exercise authority by serving others, not dominating them, just as I came not to be served, but to serve, and to give my life as a ransom for the world".
Jesus, please help me want to help and serve other people, not dominate and control them

 
Listen

 

 Reflection on the above readings: 

An interesting quote I saw recently...suggested by today's Gospel: "In any conflict, the issue is not the issue ...but power/control"

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

180: Listen  There are no uniform recipes, because each country or region has its own problems and limitations.

It is also true that political realism may call for transitional measures and technologies, so long as these are accompanied by the gradual framing and acceptance of binding commitments.

At the same time, on the national and local levels, much still needs to be done, such as promoting ways of conserving energy.

These would include favouring forms of industrial production with maximum energy efficiency and diminished use of raw materials, removing from the market products which are less energy efficient or more polluting, improving transport systems, and encouraging the construction and repair of buildings aimed at reducing their energy consumption and levels of pollution. 

Political activity on the local level could also be directed to modifying consumption, developing an economy of waste disposal and recycling, protecting certain species and planning a diversified agriculture and the rotation of crops. 

Agriculture in poorer regions can be improved through investment in rural infrastructures, a better organization of local or national markets, systems of irrigation, and the development of techniques of sustainable agriculture. 

New forms of cooperation and community organization can be encouraged in order to defend the interests of small producers and preserve local ecosystems from destruction. 

Truly, much can be done!

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

172: Listen  One who accompanies others has to realize that each person's situation before God and their life in grace are mysteries which no one can fully know from without.

The Gospel tells us to correct others and to help them to grow on the basis of a recognition of the objective evil of their actions, but without making judgments about their responsibility and culpability. 

Someone good at such accompaniment does not give in to frustrations or fears.

He or she invites others to let themselves be healed, to take up their mat, embrace the cross, leave all behind and go forth ever anew to proclaim the Gospel

Our personal experience of being accompanied and assisted, and of openness to those who accompany us, will teach us to be patient and compassionate with others, and to find the right way to gain their trust, their openness and their readiness to grow.

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 Yesterday after I arrived at Tai Lam Women's prison, I went as usual for a toilet break, which led to a break I hadn't anticipated...a broken fly zip. Usually I carry a small safety pin in my wallet, but yesterday it wasn't there. So I asked staff if anyone had a safety pin ...and they pointed out that in prisons a safety pin is not safe! So I gave thanks for the fact that I wear my shirts hanging out which hid my problem while I was standing ...and when I sat down to talk to inmates I made sure to have my shoulder bag or a folder on my lap!

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia         
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia      
Thurs:
S.E.Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America    
Sat:
Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Wednesday, please bless the people of
East Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 20th
of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Sichuan

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 20th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Gambia

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today,
Wednesday, please pacify
Al-Shabaab 

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Tues Sep 19

Yesterday morning I was at the High Court for the application of an Indonesian inmate to change her plea from "guilty" to "not guilty" for alleged drug trafficking (after receiving a parcel in the mail ....another set up). Not a simple process in HK. The hearing continued in the afternoon but I could stay only in the morning because of a meeting in the afternoon. Unfortunately there's a lot of pressure on all people arrested to plead "guilty" from the time of their arrest ....to get a one-third reduction in their sentence. This one-third is available only to people who plead "guilty" from the start ....if you wait till you get to the High Court to plead guilty you get only one-fifth. Problem is that a tiny minority of inmates who are genuinely innocent, but who (at least at the beginning) don't have much evidence to prove their innocence, are pleading "guilty" to avoid a long sentence.

 

Chinese Christians' same sex marriage warning

 

Australian Catholic Church Falls Short on Safeguards for Children, Study Finds and Report lifts lid on Catholic Church and child sex abuse

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Judith 5: When Holofernes heard that the Israelites were resisting him he was very angry. He asked Achior, leader of the neighboring Ammonites, for information about the Israelites. Achior told Holofernes of the Israelites' history: how God had freed them from Egypt, how they had conquered the land of Canaan, and how God protected them. Holofernes ignored Achior's advice and decided to attack the Israelites. 
Dear God, please protect our country from war and strife

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 123: To you have I lifted up my eyes, you who dwell in the heavens. My eyes, like the eyes of slaves on the hand of their lords. Like the eyes of a servant on the hand of her mistress, so our eyes are on the Lord our God till he show us mercy. Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. We are filled with contempt. Indeed all too full is our soul with the scorn of the rich, with the proud man's disdain.
Lord, please protect poor people from being exploited by rich people
Listen

 

Hebrews 3.1-13: Focus on Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our religion. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just like Moses. Take care not to turn away from the living God. Keep encouraging one another, so that sin does not cause you to turn away from God.
Jesus, help me stay focused on you
Listen


 

Matthew 20.1-16: Jesus said to his disciples: The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out at dawn to hire workers for his vineyard. He agreed to pay them the normal daily wage. Then about 9am he went again to the market place. He saw more men without a job.  He got them also to go to his vineyard. He promised to pay them a fair wage. About noon and again about 3pm he once more went to the market place and employed two more groups of men. About 5pm he went one final time and employed one last group of men. At sunset when the men came to be paid, the owner paid everyone a normal day's wage. This made the dawn group unhappy. They grumbled and said "We have done a full day's work in the heat. Yet we got the same as those who did only one hour's work. This is not fair!" The owner replied "I am paying you what we agreed to. Why do you begrudge my generosity?"
Jesus, please help me not to be jealous of your gifts to others

Listen

 

Reflection on the above readings:
Some people "enter the kingdom" by water baptism or "baptism of desire" from their earliest childhood days. Others when they are teenagers, others when adults, others in old age. It's never too early ...or too late...to become friends with God. 

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

179: Listen In some places, cooperatives are being developed to exploit renewable sources of energy which ensure local self-sufficiency and even the sale of surplus energy.

This simple example shows that, while the existing world order proves powerless to assume its responsibilities, local individuals and groups can make a real difference.

They are able to instil a greater sense of responsibility, a strong sense of community, a readiness to protect others, a spirit of creativity and a deep love for the land. 

They are also concerned about what they will eventually leave to their children and grandchildren. 

These values are deeply rooted in indigenous peoples.

Because the enforcement of laws is at times inadequate due to corruption, public pressure has to be exerted in order to bring about decisive political action. 

Society, through non-governmental organizations and intermediate groups, must put pressure on governments to develop more rigorous regulations, procedures and controls.

Unless citizens control political power - national, regional and municipal - it will not be possible to control damage to the environment.

Local legislation can be more effective, too, if agreements exist between neighbouring communities to support the same environmental policies.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

171: Listen  Today more than ever we need men and women who, on the basis of their experience of accompanying others, are familiar with processes which call for prudence, understanding, patience and docility to the Spirit, so that they can protect the sheep from wolves who would scatter the flock.

We need to practice the art of listening, which is more than simply hearing. Listening, in communication, is an openness of heart which makes possible that closeness without which genuine spiritual encounter cannot occur. Listening helps us to find the right gesture and word which shows that we are more than simply bystanders

Only through such respectful and compassionate listening can we enter on the paths of true growth and awaken a yearning for the Christian ideal: the desire to respond fully to God's love and to bring to fruition what he has sown in our lives.

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Interactive Bible Quiz - 1 Samuel
Based on the actual words of the Bible. 
How many times can you get 3/3 ?!  

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 Over the past week I've gone into debt ...borrowing....to be able to pay study fees for African and South American prison inmates. Normally I try not to spend what I don't have. But this time was special ...it's so good for inmates to study...so I felt the risk was worthwhile. Then last night I received a text to say someone had made a donation to my bank account. Kind person did not know I was in debt. Donation will cover the fees. Good Lord has a great sense of timing! God bless the kind donor! 

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America
Sat: Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Tuesday, please bless the people of South Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 19th
of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Shanxi

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 19th of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Sudan

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Tuesday, please pacify Boko Haram

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Mon Sep 18

Occupy co-founder Reverend Chu anxious but adamant ahead of trial

"I have devoted my whole life to serving the underprivileged," he said softly. "I was emotional when I sat in the dock." He added: "I find it ironic that the government offered me a medal of honour before the city's handover in 1997 for my humanitarian work, and [is going to] send me to jail for my fight for democracy after the handover."

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Judith 2-4: Nebuchadnezzar summoned his top general Holofernes and gave him a huge army to punish the nations that had not joined him for the war against Arphaxad. Nation after nation, people after people, fell to the sword of Holofernes. Some places  made peace with Holofernes by giving him all their possessions and then becoming slaves of Nebuchadnezzar, worshipping Nebuchadnezzar as a god. As the army of Holofernes approached Israel, the Israelites fasted and  prayed to God for help. They also blocked the mountain passes to delay Holofernes' advance. 
Dear God, please help nations which have been invaded by other nations
My recording of this reading


 

Psalm 122: I rejoiced when I heard them say "Let us go to God's house." And now our feet are standing within your gates, O Jerusalem. For the peace of Jerusalem pray "Peace be to your homes." For love of the house of the Lord I will ask for your good.
Lord, may your peace be in our hearts and homes

Listen

 

Hebrews 2.14-18: The Son did not become an angel. He became a man, so that he could die for us. By his death he took away the power of the devil. He himself experienced temptation. He is able to help us when we are tempted
Jesus, please help me when I am tempted to do something wrong

Listen

The Word did not become a philosophy or a theory or a concept to be discussed and debated. But The Word became a person
to be followed, enjoyed and loved!

Matthew 19.27-29: On behalf of all the disciples, Peter asked Jesus "What about us?  We have left everything to follow you." Jesus replied "You will be leaders in the church on earth. Also, anyone who has left home, family or country for the sake of my name, will receive a 100-fold blessing in this life, and will also receive eternal life in Heaven."
Listen
Jesus, please bless all Gospel workers

 

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

178: Listen  A politics concerned with immediate results, supported by consumerist sectors of the population, is driven to produce short-term growth.

In response to electoral interests, governments are reluctant to upset the public with measures which could affect the level of consumption or create risks for foreign investment.

The myopia of power politics delays the inclusion of a far-sighted environmental agenda within the overall agenda of governments.

Thus we forget that "time is greater than space", that we are always more effective when we generate processes rather than holding on to positions of power. 

True statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good. 

Political powers do not find it easy to assume this duty in the work of nation-building.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

170: Listen  Although it sounds obvious, spiritual accompaniment must lead others ever closer to God, in whom we attain true freedom.

Some people think they are free if they can avoid God; they fail to see that they remain existentially orphaned, helpless, homeless. They cease being pilgrims and become drifters, flitting around themselves and never getting anywhere.

To accompany them would be counterproductive if it became a sort of therapy supporting their self-absorption and ceased to be a pilgrimage with Christ to the Father

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10 years ago today:

Visit to all centers by Matthew Carpenter & Thomas Li of New China Link

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NRL Finals: Cowboys' culture of no complaint wins over doubters

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa 
Mon: Europe, Russia
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia 
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America
Sat: Cent, N. America   
  
Jesus, today, Monday, please bless the people of Europe & Russia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 18th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Shandong

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month: 
On this 18th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Ivory Coast

And praying for one
Islam-related intention each day of the week:

Jesus, today,
Monday, please pacify I.S.

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Sun Sep 17 

I spent most of yesterday trying to catch up on a backload of mail (all from prisoners) that accumulated while I was in Kuala Lumpur recently. This is the time of year when prisoners in HK need to apply for an end of year study course which if they pass allows them to take part in a graduation ceremony early next year. Study is one of the best things inmates can do while in detention. How I wish the government would make it easier for all inmates to study. But then I guess I should not be too hard on the HK government ...its resources are limited....it has only about one trillion HK dollars in the bank....how could it possibly afford to sponsor HK$500 courses for a few hundred prisoners?

 

Urge, Splurge, Purge (George Monbiot)The demand for perpetual economic growth, and the collective madness it provokes, leads inexorably to environmental collapse

 

马克 拉山姆 : 同性婚姻合法将如潘多拉的盒子,给社会带来更多问题 - Mark Latham: Same-Sex Yes Vote will Open a Can of Worms

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

c.f. readings for Sunday 24

Sirach 25-28: Happy the husband of a really good wife. A good wife is the joy of her husband. Do not praise a person before they have spoken. A person's speech reveals what sort of person is speaking. Among stupid people look for an opportunity to leave, but among thoughtful people take your time. Sarcasm and abuse are the mark of an arrogant person. Resentment and anger are bad for everyone. Forgive others if they have offended you. Then when you pray, your own sins will be forgiven. Avoid quarrelling and losing your temper. Do not let your mouth speak scandal. 
Lord, please give me the wisdom to control my speech

My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 103: My soul, give thanks to the Lord. All my being, bless his holy name. My soul, give thanks to the Lord and never forget all his blessings. It is he who forgives all your guilt, who heals every one of your ills. It is he who fills your life with good things, renewing your youth like an eagle's life. The Lord is compassion and love, slow to anger and rich in mercy. As the heavens are high above the earth so strong is his love for those who love him. As far as the East is from the West, so far does he remove our sins. As a father has compassion on his children, the Lord has pity on all who love and honor him. Give thanks to the Lord, all his angels, who heed the voice of his word. Give thanks to the Lord, everyone and everything. My soul, give thanks to the Lord! 
Thank you, Lord, for your love and compassion

Listen

 

Romans 14-15: The life and death of each of us, has its influence on others. If we live, we live for the Lord. If we die, we die for the Lord. Alive or dead, we belong to the Lord. Never pass judgment on other people. Never treat other people with contempt. The kingdom of God is not about eating special food. The kingdom of God is about friendship with God, and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Do whatever you can to help other people become stronger Christians. 
Jesus, please help me be a good Christian

Listen


 

Matthew 18.21-35: Peter asked Jesus "How many times must I forgive someone? 7 times?"  Jesus answered "Not 7, but 77 times. For the kingdom of heaven is like a king who cancelled the huge debt of one of his servants. But that same servant refused to cancel the tiny debt of one of his fellow servants. So the king said to the servant: 'When you appealed to me, I had pity on you and cancelled your big debt.  But you refused to have pity on your fellow servant who asked you for mercy. Therefore you must now go to prison until your big debt is paid.' If you refuse to forgive other people, you are making yourself ineligible for God's forgiveness."
Jesus, please help me to forgive other people, just as you forgive me....many times each day
Listen

 

 Reflection on the above readings: 

A Google search of "link between unforgiveness and sickness" produces many important articles, like this one:
The Deadly Consequences of Unforgiveness - CBN News

Video commentary on today's readings - in Italian with English, Chinese and Spanish subtitles

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

177: Listen  Given the real potential for a misuse of human abilities, individual states can no longer ignore their responsibility for planning, coordination, oversight and enforcement within their respective borders.

How can a society plan and protect its future amid constantly developing technological innovations?

One authoritative source of oversight and coordination is the law, which lays down rules for admissible conduct in the light of the common good. 

The limits which a healthy, mature and sovereign society must impose are those related to foresight and security, regulatory norms, timely enforcement, the elimination of corruption, effective responses to undesired side-effects of production processes, and appropriate intervention where potential or uncertain risks are involved. 

There is a growing jurisprudence dealing with the reduction of pollution by business activities. But political and institutional frameworks do not exist simply to avoid bad practice, but also to promote best practice, to stimulate creativity in seeking new solutions and to encourage individual or group initiatives.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

169: Listen  In a culture paradoxically suffering from anonymity and at the same time obsessed with the details of other people's lives, shamelessly given over to morbid curiosity, the Church must look more closely and sympathetically at others whenever necessary

In our world, ordained ministers and other pastoral workers can make present the fragrance of Christ's closeness and his personal gaze. The Church will have to initiate everyone - priests, religious and laity - into this "art of accompaniment" which teaches us to remove our sandals before the sacred ground of the other.

The pace of this accompaniment must be steady and reassuring, reflecting our closeness and our compassionate gaze which also heals, liberates and encourages growth in the Christian life. 

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Hour of Love HK radio program 8.30 pm HK time tonight - with items about HK prison inmates

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  In the Old Testament, Abraham and God played a numbers game...Abraham getting God down from 50 to 10 (in Genesis 18). In today's Gospel, Peter and Jesus play a numbers game ....and Jesus "ups" Peter from 7 to 77 (or 490 in some translations). Jesus did not play 2-up but 7-Up" with Peter!

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia 
Tues: South Asia  
Wed: East Asia
Thurs: S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Fri: South America
Sat: Cent., N America    
Jesus, today, Sunday, please bless the people of Africa

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 17th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Shaanxi

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 17th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Malawi

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Sunday, please bless all Muslims in my country

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Sat Sep 16

Yesterday I was at Lo Wo Women's Prison (in Sheung Shui) from 9.30am to 5.45pm ...not a bad effort for an old fellow. 
Once again I came away sad to have seen so many mothers in prison...especially mothers from Africa and South America. One  bright spot is the fact that the number of such mothers arrested at HK airport for drug trafficking has been drastically reduced. Associated with this decline is a greater awareness among inmates about the drug world "big picture". 

This was illustrated by one mother from Mainland China who received a letter yesterday saying that her daughter was due to go on a trip outside China today. Mother was worried "trip" might be a drug delivery job, so she asked me to phone the daughter to warn her about the danger of travel outside China. Carrying out such a phone call request is against the rules, but this was an exceptional case, so last night I phoned the daughter to convey the mother's concern ....and was relieved to learn that the trip was organised by the daughter's business firm ....no foreigners involved. But since trip is to Thailand I mentioned the need to be most careful about carrying someone else's luggage etc. Today I'll drop a line to the mother to help her stop worrying. 

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here     
Readings are from Simple Bible

Judith 1: When Nebuchadnezzar was king of the Assyrians, he fought a war with King Arphaxad and his supporting nations. Nebuchadnezzar sent a message to the nations near Assyria to help him fight Arphaxad. But the peoples of those places ignored Nebuchadnezzar. They thought victory was beyond him. But Nebuchadnezzar was in fact victorious and after his victory he set out to punish the nations which had refused his call for help.
Dear God, please help all nations to live in peace with each other

My recording of this reading

 

Psalms 120-121: I call to the Lord in the hour of my distress: "Lord save me from people who speak with lying lips". Long enough have I been dwelling with those who hate peace. I am for peace, but they are for fighting. I lift up my eyes to the mountains. From where shall come my help? My help shall come from the Lord who made heaven and earth. The Lord is our guard and our shade. Day and night we shall not be afraid. The Lord will guard our going and coming both now and forever.
Lord, please protect us from danger, day and night

Listen

 

Hebrews 1.1-4: At various times in the past and in various different ways, God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets. But in our own time, he has spoken to us through his Son, through whom he made everything. He is the radiant light of God the Father's glory He has sacrificed himself for sinners. He has taken his place at the right hand of the Father. He is far greater than any angel
Jesus, deepen my understanding of who you are

Listen



Matthew 19.16-26: A young man asked Jesus "Master, what do I have to do to get to Heaven?" Jesus replied "Keep the commandments: do not kill;  do not commit adultery; honor your father and mother; care for others as much as you care about yourself". The young man said "I have kept all these commandments. What else do I need to do?" Jesus said "If you want to do something really special with your life, go and sell all your possessions, give the money to the poor, then come and follow me as one of my disciples". When the young man heard these words he went away sad, because he was very rich. Jesus then said to his disciples "It is hard for a rich person to get to Heaven".
Jesus, don't let riches endanger my eternal life

Listen

Reflection on the above readings:

Addiction to wealth means.... slavery. Living a life of sharing and caring means ...freedom.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

176: Listen There are not just winners and losers among countries, but within poorer countries themselves.

Hence different responsibilities need to be identified. 

Questions related to the environment and economic development can no longer be approached only from the standpoint of differences between countries; they also call for greater attention to policies on the national and local levels.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

168: Listen  As for the moral component of catechesis, which promotes growth in fidelity to the Gospel way of life, it is helpful to stress again and again the attractiveness and the ideal of a life of wisdom, self-fulfilment and enrichment. 

In the light of that positive message, our rejection of the evils which endanger that life can be better understood.

Rather than experts in dire predictions, dour judges bent on rooting out every threat and deviation, we should appear as joyful messengers of challenging proposals, guardians of the goodness and beauty which shine forth in a life of fidelity to the Gospel.

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 Pope to new bishops: "Remember that God was already present in your diocese before you got there... and he'll still be there when you leave"!

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa          
Mon:
Europe, Russia           
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia                         
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America                   
Sat: Cent. & N America    
Jesus, today, Saturday, please bless the people of Central & North America

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 16th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Qinghai

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 16th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Afghanistan

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Saturday, please pacify the Taliban

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Fri Sep 15 

Yesterday morning at the High Court a man from West Africa was given a 4 month sentence-reduction for taking part in my anti-drug campaign, and then, in a following case in the very same court room with the very same judge, a woman from South America received a 5-month reduction for campaign participation. Both inmates still have long sentences ....but at least they're alive (which would not be the case if they were in Indonesia or Malaysia). 

Last night with MercyHK fellow core-members Lucia and Tony I attended the usual Thursday night canteen meal for homeless people ...always a happy occasion...made even happier last night by news that several of our ex-Thursday night members are now doing really well at our Mercy Centre on Cheung Chau Island ....off drugs/alcohol, working...and arranging for some of their friends outside to join the community. Thank you Jesus!

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here    
  Readings are from Simple Bible

Readings for Feast of Mary of Sorrows

Hebrews 5.7-9: During his life on earth, Christ offered up prayer and entreaty, aloud and in silent tears, to the one who had the power to save him out of death, and he submitted so humbly that his prayer was heard. Although he was Son, he learnt to obey through suffering; but having been made perfect, he became for all who obey him the source of eternal salvation.
My recording of this reading

 

Psalm 31: In you, O Lord, I take refuge. Let me never be put to shame. In your justice, set me free,  hear me and speedily rescue me. Be a rock of refuge for me, a mighty stronghold to save me, for you are my rock, my stronghold. Into your hands I commend my spirit. It is you who will redeem me, Lord. I trust in you, Lord. You are my God. My life is in your hands, deliver me from the hands of those who hate me.

Recording


Luke 2.33-35: As the child's father and mother stood there wondering at the things that were being said about him, Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his mother: "You see this child: he is destined for the fall and for the rising of many in Israel, destined to be a sign that is rejected - and a sword will pierce your own soul too - so that the secret thoughts of many may be laid bare."
Recording

 

John 19.25-27: Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala. Seeing his mother and the disciple he loved standing near her, Jesus said to his mother, "Woman, this is your son".  Then to the disciple he said, "This is your mother".  And from that moment the disciple made a place for her in his home

Recording


 

Reflection on the above Bible readings:

A traditional prayer on this day: The Stabat Mater which has the words: 

O dear Mother, fount of love.
Touch my spirit from above,
make my heart with thine accord:

Make me feel as thou hast felt;
make my soul to glow and melt
with the love of Christ my Lord.

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

 175: Listen  The same mindset which stands in the way of making radical decisions to reverse the trend of global warming also stands in the way of achieving the goal of eliminating poverty. 

A more responsible overall approach is needed to deal with both problems: the reduction of pollution and the development of poorer countries and regions. 

The twenty-first century, while maintaining systems of governance inherited from the past, is witnessing a weakening of the power of nation states, chiefly because the economic and financial sectors, being transnational, tends to prevail over the political.

Given this situation, it is essential to devise stronger and more efficiently organized international institutions, with functionaries who are appointed fairly by agreement among national governments, and empowered to impose sanctions. 

As Benedict XVI has affirmed in continuity with the social teaching of the Church: "To manage the global economy; to revive economies hit by the crisis; to avoid any deterioration of the present crisis and the greater imbalances that would result; to bring about integral and timely disarmament, food security and peace; to guarantee the protection of the environment and to regulate migration: for all this, there is urgent need of a true world political authority, as my predecessor Blessed John XXIII indicated some years ago".

Diplomacy also takes on new importance in the work of developing international strategies which can anticipate serious problems affecting us all.

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

167b: Listen If, as Saint Augustine says, we love only that which is beautiful, the incarnate Son, as the revelation of infinite beauty, is supremely lovable and draws us to himself with bonds of love. 

So a formation in the via pulchritudinis ought to be part of our effort to pass on the faith. 

Each particular Church should encourage the use of the arts in evangelization, building on the treasures of the past but also drawing upon the wide variety of contemporary expressions so as to transmit the faith in a new "language of parables".

We must be bold enough to discover new signs and new symbols, new flesh to embody and communicate the word, and different forms of beauty which are valued in different cultural settings, including those unconventional modes of beauty which may mean little to the evangelizers, yet prove particularly attractive for others.

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10 years ago today:

Thank you Ramon & Teray for visiting Saturday night English Corner!

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 Well, I went ahead with my plan to buy a wig (see yesterday's menu) to keep my head warm at the High Court (where hats are not allowed). This gives a new meaning to the term "wigwarm"?!  My wig is black. I overcame the crazy idea of buying a green or red one. That might have been too much for the High Court establishment! I wore the wig at the High Court yesterday, where I spent a couple of hours (see story at top of this menu)

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia        
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia            
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: S. America     
Sat:
Cent, N. America    
Jesus, today, Friday, please bless the people of South America

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month: 
On this 15th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Liaoning

And praying for one of
the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
 
On this 15th of the month, Jesus please bless the people of Zimbabwe

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Friday, please bless all Muslims

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Thu Sep 14

Hello from Hong Kong where I arrived home last night after 7 nights in Kuala Lumpur ....obtaining and spreading information that will help stop drug mules being sent to HK from KL ...and help mules in HK to apply for a discount from their sentence. Thank you Jesus for a safe trip to KL. Please bless all the people I met there!

But my one-track, suspicious mind was activated at KL airport yesterday afternoon....as soon as a final boarding call for Flight 732 to HK was announced there was a ....blackout....as a result of which maybe one third of passengers on the flight did not have their carry-on baggage x-rayed.....which would be good news for anyone with drugs in their possession ....that not being a difficult task given KL airport's lax-security reputation. Just a co-incidence? Or perfect timing?

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The Book Blog:   4 readings + recordings 
Comments welcome here    
  Readings are from Simple Bible

Readings for Feast of The Cross

Numbers 21: In order to avoid the land of Edom, the Israelites headed towards the coastline. But the people again criticized God and Moses. So God sent snakes among the people, and many people died. The people then said to Moses "We have sinned; please pray for us to save us". Moses prayed for them, and God heard his prayer. God told Moses to make a bronze snake and put it on a pole. Anyone bitten by a snake could then look at the bronze snake and live.
Jesus' words (John 3.13): "The Son of Man must be lifted up as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him".
Recording

 

Psalm 78b: May future generations not be like our ancestors who so often were unfaithful to God. Even though our ancestors had seen God part the sea, even though they had seen him provide food and water for them in the desert, still they went on sinning. Yet he who is full of compassion forgave and spared them. He remembered they were only weak humans. Eventually he brought them to the promised land and gave a home to each of Israel's tribes. But still they sinned by building mountain shrines and serving idols. Then God raised up David to be their leader. God called him from looking after sheep to be the shepherd of his people.
Lord, help us not to forget all you have done for us

Recording  

 

Listen

 

Philippians 2.6-11: His state was divine, yet Christ Jesus did not cling to his equality with God, but emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave and became as humans are. And being as all humans are, he was humbler yet, even to accepting death, death on a cross. But God raised him high, and gave him the name which is above all other names, so that all beings in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld, should bend the knee at the name of Jesus, and that every tongue should acclaim Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Recording (song: The Philippians Hymn)

John 3.13-16: Jesus said to Nicodemus: "No one has gone up to heaven except the one who came down from heaven, the Son of Man who is in heaven; and the Son of Man must be lifted up, as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him". Yes, God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life. For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.

Recording

  

Reflection on the above Bible readings:

For today's Feast of The Cross, a beautiful poem: Retreat by James McAuley
Verses 2 & 3:

Soon you must return to tasks
That sicken and appall:
The calumnies will never cease,
Look only to the sign of peace,
The Cross upon the wall.  

This is that sole instrument
That measures every chart;
This square and level overrules
The subtle calculus of fools
By a celestial art.  

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Pope's letter on climate change:  Laudato Si  
我主應受讚美
Full English text       Full Chinese text

174: Listen Let us also mention the system of governance of the oceans. 

International and regional conventions do exist, but fragmentation and the lack of strict mechanisms of regulation, control and penalization end up undermining these efforts. 

The growing problem of marine waste and the protection of the open seas represent particular challenges.

What is needed, in effect, is an agreement on systems of governance for the whole range of so-called "global commons".

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Pope Francis: The Joy of the Gospel   
Full English text         Full Chinese text

167a: Listen  Every form of catechesis would do well to attend to the "way of beauty" (via pulchritudinis). 

Proclaiming Christ means showing that to believe in and to follow him is not only something right and true, but also something beautiful, capable of filling life with new splendour and profound joy, even in the midst of difficulties.

Every expression of true beauty can thus be acknowledged as a path leading to an encounter with the Lord Jesus.

This has nothing to do with fostering an aesthetic relativism which would downplay the inseparable bond between truth, goodness and beauty, but rather a renewed esteem for beauty as a means of touching the human heart and enabling the truth and goodness of the Risen Christ to radiate within it.

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 Today I'm due to attend two cases at the High Court ....so....last night at a shop opposite my home I bought ....a ....wig!  Because ...my last appearance at the Court, 9 days ago - for 3 hours - was like being in a fridge....and I picked up a bit of a cold which kept me company in Kuala Lumpur. Why not wear a cap/hat? ....because not allowed. Hope I'm not charged with contempt of court!?

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Please join me in praying for one part of the world each day:

Sun: Africa
Mon: Europe, Russia        
Tues:
South Asia  
Wed: East Asia            
Thurs:
S.E. Asia, Pacific 
Frid: South America     
Sat: Cent, N America    
Jesus, today, Thursday, please bless the people of South East Asia

And praying for prisoners in one part of China each day of the month:
On this 14th of the month, Jesus please bless the prisoners of Jilin

And praying for one of the world's poorest countries each day of the month:
On this 14th of the month,  Jesus please bless the people of Ethiopia

And praying for one Islam-related intention each day of the week:
Jesus, today, Thursday, please pacify Al-Qaeda

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Please also join me in praying for the very many deformed and handicapped people from China who are on the streets of HK as beggars...as well as deformed people in China itself ...like Hung Chun Cai

        
    My Africa trips: 
2015: Tanzania, Malawi

2016: Kenya, Uganda

2017: Southern Africa, Dubai ( The Last Run)

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Australian Chinese for Families Association

Gay marriage: an elephant in the room (by John W)

Video: What "gay marriage" did to Massachusetts 
同志婚姻自2004年立法後,美國麻省的改變 ( 廣東話附字幕版)

  Frightening YouTube reports: LGBT radical impact on educational institutions (No. 5); LGBT infiltrating churches (No. 6); US corporations massively supporting LGBT agenda (No. 7). What has happened in the US is now starting to happen in other places. Some day our children will ask "why didn't you do more to stop this evil?"

 

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Pope's surprise visit to drug treatment centre

Pope is practising what he preaches: "get out and mix with the poor"

 

HK readers might like to join me in praying each day for one group of HK prison inmates: Sun: Lo Wu; Mon: C.I.C., Siu Lam, Tai Lam; Tue: Stanley Wed:  Hei Ling Chau   Thu: Lantau 
Fri: Lai Chi Kok       Sat: Hospitals, Pik Uk & other centres


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 Fr John Wotherspoon O.M.I. 胡 頌 恆 神 父   
 jdwomi@gmail.com  HK mobile  +852- 67095674
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