Name an occasion/incident when you felt God was far away.It was many years ago when I was still in college. It was the time of struggle in my studies, searching for my own identity, plus crisis in my faith as a Catholic. I prayed but there was no consolation. The weekly novena to Our Lady of Perpetual Help did not do any good. I was frustrated. It was as if God had abandoned me.
I met a Religious Sister and she told me that God is always near. She told me to keep on praying and to surrender to God.
What do you like best about being a Religious/consecrated person?
The happiness and joy. I always feel that my life is blessed.
What has sustained your life as a Religious, especially in the face of challenges/changes?
My own siblings are always there to support me mentally and emotionally.
What was one of the biggest challenges you have faced as a Religious and how did you deal with it?
It is to choose between my wants and the common good of the community. The way I deal with it, the best word I can use is “discernment”.
How would you make vocations attractive to the youth of today?
To show them that Religious life is not some kind of alien lifestyle but a life that is full of joy and happiness.
What aspect of Religious life has brought you most joy?
That I have touched so many lives; more friends; the lifestyle among the members of my community and the assurance from my siblings.
How would you summarise your life today as a Religious/consecrated person?
It is a life of joy.
What are the usual distractions during your prayer time? What do you do about them?
Wandering mind. I use a simple mantra to keep me on track.
Pope Francis calls for a Church for the poor, by the poor. How do you live that within your vocation?
To live a simple lifestyle. The goods of the earth are meant to be shared and not owned by certain individuals.
What do you like doing most when with your biological family?
Just enjoy their company. There is lots of fun and laughter.
Malaysian Br Thomas Paul
Montfort Brothers of St Gabriel