In the Whisper of a Bus Ride: Children’s Dreams and the Symphony of Hope

One evening aboard Dublin’s 121 bus, a tired journey was transformed into a canvas of innocence. Amidst the humdrum of daily life, a child’s proclamation echoed hope – “Mum… I want to have 16 children!” As the bus resonated with dreams, the simple chatter of youngsters revealed profound aspirations. In the enchanting realm of children’s conversations, these innocent exchanges paint a portrait of hope and optimism. When little minds envision a future with numerous offspring, it sparks a gentle reminder that hope is the silent melody underlying their musings. As adults, we might dismiss these talks as mere childhood fantasies. Yet, in the simplicity of their dialogue lies a profound truth – a hope for life that transcends our adult complexities. The children’s uninhibited discussions unveil a positivity born from their nurturing relationships with one another. Beyond the innocent banter, this conversation becomes a beacon of hope. Amidst a world sometimes overshadowed by challen

In the Joyful Art of Smiles: A Lesson from Schoolyard Innocence

In the sun-drenched afternoons of my secondary school days, a simple yet beautiful game defined our youthful camaraderie. Gathered on the road in front of the boarding school, we aimed not to cause mischief but to play our version of a ‘positive game’ — making passers-by smile. This delightful game wasn’t about deceit or tricks; it was an earnest attempt to elicit joy. Standing by the road, one of us would flash a smile at strangers, and if they reciprocated, we celebrated the shared moment. No prizes were exchanged, just the simple joy of making someone smile. Reflecting on this cherished memory, a quote recently received via email echoed its essence: “The best way to dress up is to put on a smile. A smile is an inexpensive way to improve your looks.” While this sentiment rings true, I’ve come to realize that the best smiles emanate from the purity of one’s heart. In the book of Samuel, it’s written: “The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at outward appear

Transformative Messages: Unveiling the Power of Advertising, Inspired by Catholic Wisdom

By Nilora In a world inundated with advertising’s myriad faces, each vying for our attention, they’re designed to tantalize our senses, beckoning us to explore their offerings. These cleverly crafted messages are a tapestry of persuasion and allure, with the hope that we’ll yield to their siren call. But not all ads are born equal; some transcend their role as mere marketing tools and become powerful reminders of our duties and responsibilities. Take a moment to consider this peculiar advertisement (see the photos). It’s the kind of ad that tickles your funny bone and, at the same time, delivers a profoundly resonant message. Whenever it shares the stage with its peers, this advertisement consistently stands out, captivating my gaze and coaxing a smile from my lips. This ad, in all its whimsical glory, issues a compelling challenge to all who cross its path: If you thoughtlessly drop litter, your once-dignified nose will undergo a remarkable transformation. It will take on the uncanny

Life Lessons from Two Worlds: A Journey Through Time

In the bustling digital world of Cyber Kompas Online, on a crisp October day in 2007, I found myself immersed in the celebration of a musical maestro and the wisdom of an Irish writer, worlds apart yet strangely connected. Gesang Martohartono, the revered composer of the soul-stirring Bengawan Solo, had just marked his 90th birthday on the 1st of October. Solo’s community had bestowed upon him a heartfelt gift - a lifelong promise of health. A gesture, some might say, timed with the grace of twilight years. However, delving into Gesang’s “Tips for a Long Life,” published a few months prior, reveals a man who would undoubtedly accept this honour with humble gratitude. One might expect longevity advice from a maestro to revolve around diets and culinary secrets, but Gesang’s counsel transcended the mundane. His life’s philosophy, simple yet profound, resonates with wisdom we could all embrace: “Enjoy what you have in moderation,” he’d say. “If you’re angry, don’t let it consume you; cont

Grateful Behind Bars

In the most unexpected places and moments, one can find profound gratitude. “I’m grateful I went to jail… jail saved me,” were the words of a man who visited me this evening. He shared that for approximately 7/8 years, he was heavily involved in alcohol and drugs, including heroin. He viewed his 18-month prison sentence as a period of grace. Now, it’s been 20 months since he touched alcohol. He sees his success as inseparable from his faith in God’s strength. Although he still resides in a hostel with 18 other occupants and relies on sick benefits, he’s grateful for the experience. According to him, many others in different places aren’t as fortunate. He perceives God as in the story of “footprints.” For him, God never abandoned him. God was always with him even in the toughest times. I added that his faith in God must be coupled with diligent effort. It’s not just about praying; he also needs to strive and work hard for a better life. That’s “Ora et Labora.” “I don’t want to c

A Journey to Unity: Embracing Caravan Life and Togetherness

Burnham-On-Sea Holiday Village, West Country, England By Fr Nilora SVD Never did I imagine that one day I would find myself residing in a caravan. Caravans had always been associated in my mind with the “travellers” of Ireland or the “gypsies” in other places. Yet, the opportunity I had never foreseen finally arrived. Caravan Chronicles: It all began with an invitation from my friends, my fellow parishioners, hailing from the Philippines. They asked me to join them on a holiday at the Burnham-on-Sea Holiday Village, which is approximately an hour’s drive from Bristol. Our sojourn lasted from July 17 to July 19, 2006. We comprised four families, including 12 adults and 9 children. With four vehicles, we could comfortably accommodate our group of 21 people. Thankfully, no one was double-sized, although I was often teased by my friends with questions like, “How many months pregnant are you, ’Fr?” Still, I believed I could fit into a single regular seat. Caravan Comfort: Our accommodatio

Film 'Dances With Wolves' in the Light of RCIA Process & The Challenge of 'Instant Culture'

By Nicodemus Lobo Ratu Having studied the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults) process, I began to ask: "Is there any connection between the RCIA and our popular culture at the present time?" lucky enough, I found the answer in the film 'Dances With Wolves'. Therefore, it is quite understandable if I try to reflect on this film in the light of the RCIA process. One of the main issues around the RCIA is that people think that the RCIA is only a collection of rituals that will finish at the end of initation process. In fact, it is not only a collection of rituals but it is an on going process in life. This mindset, of course, comes from the trends in our culture nowadays. One of them is the 'instant culture'. Film 'Dances With Wolves' in the Light of the RCIA Process Film 'Dances With Wolves' is one of the best films of our time, which is the winner of seven Oscars in 1990. This film tells a story of an American soldier, Lt. John Dunbar