In the mornings, there are times when a passing bee, attracted to the glow of the fluorescent bulb, has flown into my window. As I watch this bee as it revolves around a strong, but artificial and man-made luminescence, I am prompted to think about how there are moments that I am exactly like this bee.

The bee has a task to fulfil and it is guided home and to find nectar by the natural ebbs and flows of the sun’s rays. I too have a mission and a purpose to fulfil in my life. This course of action, or, this vocation and life-purpose, is guided by the True Light who is Christ and by the teachings of Holy Church. Yet, there will be many times when the delusory, artificial light will lure me away from the actual path I need to take; that there will be times when I may forget my true light, and knowingly or unknowingly, drawn to this false light, happily spend my days in revolution around this worldly light.

Growing up, I was an ardent altar server, and was involved in many Church ministries, nevertheless, the lack of formation, prayer, a faith life, and a faith community, meant that while I was fervently attending these ministries and functioning in them, I lacked true understanding of the purpose of ministry, and failed to have a genuine relationship with God. God was not central in my life despite being involved with so many ministries. My formative years were also clouded in darkness. My father was addicted to gambling and my parents argued every day about money. There were also half-cousins who treated me cruelly when I was a toddler. I was subject to their constant lies, and pinches as they carried me in their arms, under the guise of being loving. I believed in the lie that I was not loved or wanted, and tried hard to be independent so as not to be a burden to anyone. These things led me to seek the false lights of instant gratification, of lustful pursuits, of disco lights when I came of age, of drugged drunkenness, and also the seduction of the new age, like tarot cards, spells, and zodiac astrology.

God in His mercy, never abandoned me and constantly sent reminders of His Love and True Light. I am thus completely redeemed, healed, and ransomed by God. The turning point came when I attended the Conversion Experience Retreat #52 in 2016. Archbishop William said to me as he was praying over me, “Jesus loves you” and I rested immediately in the Spirit, for a long time. While there are struggles with temptations even after the mountain experience. God is faithful and Grace is never wasted. My light had almost died, but God rekindled it.

John 8:12 “Jesus spoke to them again, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.’”

1 Peter 2: 9-10 “But you are ‘a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may announce the praises’ of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were ‘no people’, but now you are God’s people; you ‘had not received mercy’, but now you have received mercy.”

By Brian Bartholomew Tan

“You are the light of the World”- Mt 5:14