The Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore


“Rome Sweet Home – Our Journey To Catholicism” : short reflections Posted on 3rd Nov 2012, 4:01pm by Alvin

I hadn’t realized that its almost been a year since I wrote a blog post here.

I used to consider myself a relatively prolific writer, but somehow along the past year, the ink dried up and the pen was left inside its casing, as other commitments appeared along the way.(Not that writing’s ever left me – I still enjoy (reading) a good article here and there.) And the thing about work is, that it tends to suck up every iota of your attention. Its as if there’s been an ongoing spiritual drought that went by un-noticed within me. Even being steeped in religion-related work didn’t seem to bring some much needed rain to the desert that was slowly forming.

These past 2 weeks of recuperation have given me a valuable treasure that’s been neglected so often – time. Being stuck at home with a painful back can be really painful, especially when there’s nothing else to do other than think (about your painful back). A good friend passed me a book which he thought would be up my reading alley. Personally, other than the SMJ CME articles and textbooks for exams, I can’t really recall the last time I read something else – The Straits Times not counted of course. 😛

An even greater irony being that this was an atheist friend who passed me these 2 Catholic books for reading – and I definitely don’t profess to be a “religious zealot” kind to read such stuff. But I figured that I should do justice to the books right?

This blog post isn’t a book review – no, I don’t think that I’m in anyway qualified to do a book review on a Catholic book. But having read it, I do feel compelled to pen down my thoughts here for sharing! =)

“Rome Sweet Home – Our Journey to Catholicism”, by Scott & Kimberly Hahn
For those who have not read, the authors, Scott & Kimberly Hahn, are a lovely Catholic couple with children. For them, the journey to Catholicism wasn’t an easy path – this book, is an autobiography of their journey from Protestants to becoming Catholics.

The book makes for an easy read with its narration split into separate husband and wife’s viewpoints. The at times candid, frank, and no-holds-barred narration, brings you into his / her world easily. Starting off as a staunch Protestant couple, the book does talk a bit about the foundations of Protestants, and some of the common misconceptions of Catholicism – in fact, the candidness and at times, brusque choice of words, leaves the reader wondering whether to laugh along, or to reach for a table lamp to batter the author over his head for his ridiculous misconceptions.

As you accompany the couple on their deep research into theology, you are woven into their family life and how religion has played such an important role in theirs. And as they sift through the various misconceptions of Catholicism, the answers are paraphrased into very layman language for us common folks who might not be that much into Theology – to understand and help us glean a better understanding of our own religion. As 1 particular striking line in the book goes, “Yep, sometimes it takes an immigrant to explain it for the natives.”

How many of us can claim to be able to defend our faith as rigorously as some of our other Christian counterparts? Another striking line in the book says, “Catholics can and must memorize Scripture – Protestants have no special gene that makes it easier for them to do it!” It brought a smile to the face, yet at the same time, struck a chord within me on how true it was. How many bible verses can we quote of hand? These are our brothers and sisters who have come Home after taking the long route and experiencing God’s loving grace – what more about us, who have been living in God’s grace for so long – shouldn’t we be more familiar with his Holy teachings?

I suddenly had a brief realization of what it felt to receive manna in the desert – in fact, so much that I almost tried to buy the book for myself to keep as a copy (I may, once I get better enough to roam out of my house to a reputable bookstore.)

If you are like me, a Catholic, who unfortunately does not seem to take a very vigorous interest in your own religious roots, then this book is definitely for you. We all need a reminder at times in our busy lives – a reminder of God’s presence in our lives, of our roots, of our beliefs.

Most importantly of all, we all need a bit of manna in our spiritual deserts.

2 Comments

  1. Thomas Seng says:

    Hi Alvin, i hope your back is better………..sorry………..going to the bookstore now to buy this interesting book……..Thanx & God Bless……………..Thomas

  2. Alvin says:

    Thanks Thomas! I’m feeling better now.. Hope you enjoy the book! Merry Christmas!

    ~ alvin

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Dr's Blog

Dr’s Blog is a feature of the CMG web site that aims to encourage interaction between Guild members. We hope to foster a spirit of community through the sharing of thoughts and personal experirences. The opinions expressed in these blogs are entirely those of the contributors and not of the Catholic Medical Guild of Singapore.

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Past Blog Articles

2014 Dec: A Prayer for Deliverance 2
2014 Oct: Who are you, Where am I?
2014 Sep: A Prayer for Deliverance
2014 May: Behind Those Clothes
2014 Feb: The Red Packet(s)
2014 Jan: God Loves You

2013 Dec: Caroling Reflections of an Expired M
2013 Nov: Scripture Reflection for Physicians
2013 Oct: Hang on. We haven’t beat this thing yet.
2013 Sep: Me and My Ride
2013 Aug: A Gift of Life
2013 Jul: Finding Happiness in a Land of Plenty
2013 Jun: A Beeline
2013 May: Living My Love Of..
2013 Apr: The Healthcare Debate
2013 Mar: A Doctor’s Prayer
2013 Feb: Project Battambang ’12
2013 Feb: Mission Srolanth ’12: To Heal the Heart, with a Heart to Heal
2013 Jan: The Hardest Thing To Say…

2012 Dec: The Lost Art Of…
2012 Nov: Rome Sweet Home – Short Reflections
2012 Sep: He Keeps Falling
2012 Aug: God Decides
2012 July: Am I To Blame?
2012 June: Saving Fragile Lives
2012 May: Ruminations On Love
2012 Mar: The iPhone

2011 Dec: The Red Cross
2011 Nov: Give Thanks!
2011 Aug: Ashes – The Epilogue
2011 July: Charity
2011 July: Ashes
2011 May: Of Angry Birds & Cowardly Mice
2011 May: Notes From Salzburg On Good Friday
2011 Apr: What It Means
2011 Mar: A Job.
2011 Mar: Dear Father…
2011 Feb: Clothes, A Person Doth Maketh
2011 Jan: Wonderfully Made

2010 Dec: A White Christmas
2010 Dec: A Medical Christmas Carol
2010 Nov: Saying Goodbye
2010 Oct: I Am Always With You
2010 Sept: Be Joyful Always
2010 July: Managing Expectations
2010 June: But They Are Our Masters…
2010 June: Driving: A Means of Personal Formation?
2010 May: HO Welcome Tea
2010 May: The Rain
2010 May: A Missed Lunch
2010 May: Man In The Mirror
2010 May: Reflections At The End Of The Day
2010 Apr: Finding God In All Things
2010 Mar: Surely You Put Your Trust In The Lord?
2010 Mar: The Significance of a Name

2009 Nov: Batam: Beyond A Mission
2009 Oct: The Broken Rosary
2009 Sept: Love Note To God, Father
2009 Aug: Let God Take The Wheel
2009 Aug: The Prequel: The One About Graduation
2009 July: The Sequel: The Later Months
2009 June: First Month of HO-Ship
2009 May: “The House of God” by Samuel Shem
2009 May: In The Discipleship for Christ


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