As my family would gather together for the first anniversary of my beloved father's death so I went home on Jul 1. My family first impression was “you lost weight.” My auntie’s daughter, granddaughter and granddaughter in-law arrived from Quanzhou-China on Jul 2. It’s their first time to visit Indonesia.
God gives me great consolation after the death of my beloved father so that I can move forward in my journey with Maryknoll Sisters.
We brought food, flower, paper money, joss sticks and candles to cemetery on Jul 3 morning and also prepared it on the altar at home. My father’s tomb was finished several months ago, all Chinese characters are in gold colour except for the living in red colour. We had meal together with family and relatives afterwards, total around 30 persons.
As my voice is getting heavy, I decided to bedrest for two days and then went to Bali http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bali with my uncle, auntie, family from Fujian on Jul 6. We stayed at Betania Retreat House-Kuta and went to Kuta Beach to enjoy the sunset. On the second day, we went to a Batik manufacturer, a silver manufacturer at Celuk Village, Tirta Empul Temple, Tampaksiring Temple, Mount Batur, and Besakih Temple. In several Temples, we should wear a sarong, shirt and sash, tank tops, vest, bikinis, revealing attire, mini skirts etc. are not desirable. Women who are menstruating are not allowed into the temple (scout’s honor) http://www.baliblog.com/travel-tips/visiting-besakih-temple-bali-2.html. On the third day, we went to Royal Family Taman Ayun, Monkey Forest, Ulun Danu Temple and sunset at Tanah Lot. On the forth day, we stayed at Kuta before leaving for Surabaya. It’s Galungan day so many people are going to the Temple to pray http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galungan. I had a chance to attend the mass at St. Fransiskus Xaverius Church and hear the healing power of Divine Mercy prayer on Fr. Hady Setiawan.
During my home visit this time, I had a chance to meet my friends in Surabaya, Malang, Tulungagung, and Bali whom I can’t mention one by one. On one occasion, I sat with several friends, two of them called me “Bu” (=Madam in Indonesian) as they were my former staffs, one of them called me “Mbak” (=elder sister in Javanese) as I was her senior in college and “Suster” (=Sister in Indonesian) as he knows me after my first profession of vows.
While walking on the Kuta beach, I met Fr. Anton Galih, whom I met in the Philippines and then in Boston. In Malang, I met Budi Santosa Johanes of “Mingguan HIDUP,” one of the speakers of journalism training for Bogor Diocese which I organized in 1993 http://anastasialindawatimm.blogspot.com/2011/08/liputan-penataran-jurnalistik.html. In the street of Kuta, I also met Franki, whom I met during Asia Pacific School of Evangelization in 2006, as he recognized my pink t-shirt. Several friends met again somebody whom they knew in the past. These are my experiences of small world, we don’t know when and where we’ll meet again, as in Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.”
I visited Daughter of Carmel Monastery–Tumpang, my senior high school SMAK Kolese St. Yusup-Malang, Seminary of Congregation of the Mission–Malang, Postulate Stella Maris–Malang, my former office PT Ritra Cargo Indonesia-Surabaya, “Klenteng Sanggar Agung” (=Temple for Buddist, Tao and Kong Hu Cu followers)-Surabaya, Candi Badut (the eldest temple in East Java), “Telaga Sarangan”-Madiun, etc.
After staying with my younger sister’s family in Madiun, I went to Carmelite Priory “Regina Apostolorum” Batu on Jul 18-25 for my annual retreat. Fr. Verbeek O.Carm, a hermit, was my spiritual director. I stayed in one of their guest rooms and attended Eucharist, morning prayer and meditation together with the novices and their formatores besides three times meditation, evening prayer and completorium by myself. I meditated on “A Blind Beggar Receives His Sight” (Luk 18:35-43), “What’s Eternal Life?” (John 17: 3), “The Calling of Matthew” (Mat 9: 9-13), “Joseph Make Himself Known” (Gen 45), “A Woman Caught in Adultery” (John 8: 2-11), Introduction to the Sermont on the Mount” (Mat 5), “Jesus Washes His Disciples’ Feet” (John 13:1-20), “The Last Supper” (Mat 26: 26-29), “Jesus Prays on the Mount of Olives” (Luk 22: 39-46), “Peter Disowns Jesus” (Luk 22: 54-62), “Jesus in Front of Pilate” (Luk 23: 1-25), “The Cross and Forgiveness including The Cross and The Vows and also The Dark Night in the Difference” (Luk 23: 33-43), “The Empty Tomb” (John 20: 1-8), “On the Road to Emmaus” (Luk 24: 13-35), “Jesus Appears to His Disciples” (John 20: 19-31), “Jesus and the Miraculous Catch of Fish” (John 21:1-14), “Jesus Reinstates Peter” (John 21: 1-15), “Mary conceived of the Holy Spirit” (Luk 1: 26-38), “Life Through the Spirit” (Rom 8), and “Mother Mary our Model of Faith.”
I was in tears when I said “God, into your hands I commit my life and mission” after reflecting on Luk 23: 46. During supper, I was in tears again when I was pondering this sentence again. Later on, I had more tears when I said “God, you know my incapability and limitation.” I was calmed down when I remembered the passage “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Mat 28: 20b). For months, I kept in my mind that if God wants me to be in China, God should responsible for it. And during the retreat, God leads me to surrender my life and mission to God’s Providence as God will be with me till the end of age!
It’s really a blessing to be home at this time, to experience again God’s presence in my life through my family, friends, and especially the annual retreat. I also had chances to share my life in China, listen to others’ concerns and also pray with them. Here is the link of the pictures: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150250933056556.318868.658706555&type=1
Thank you very much for your warm welcome, generosity and hospitality during my home visit this year. May God continue to bless your missionary journey.
Hong Kong, Aug 7, 2011
Sr. Anastasia B. Lindawati, M.M.
Let’s do simple things with simple love to make God’s love visible