Last night I was listening to the late Patricia Ng, wife of Peter with whom Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew had spoken about Christian Meditation. Patricia was the first to start this movement here, and that was way back in 1988. She died on 14 February 2005, a woman of love! What struck me in her musings were the following gems:
As she had only three months to live, being a terminally ill patient of stomach cancer, she had the grace to learn to live fully. How did she live fully? She lived with awareness, with vitality and with faith in God. Yes, she learnt to live in God’s presence, talked more to Him and counted on Him alone. People around her began to experience her self-emptying love and she was able to attract them to see God’s goodness.
Patricia began to trust more and more in God. She came to the realisation that God alone can help her. Her life was in God’s hands and even though she was fearful of death and did not wish to leave her loved ones, she gradually learnt to surrender even this. She learnt that it was useless to worry for worry could do nothing for her. She learnt also that her years of meditation were now bearing fruit. Dependence on God and surrender to His will, just like Jesus: Father, into your hands I commend my spirit. No, it was not an overnight matter. It took years of perseverance. Peace came to her and she was able to fulfill her desire to trust the Lord.
One other matter that struck me was hearing her say that if she had to choose all over again, she would choose to walk the same path. Paradoxical as it appeared, she learnt that joy came from being able to suffer if the Lord so allowed it in her life. The comparison was again seen in the life of our Lord Jesus who chose to do the Father’s will. He did not shrink from the suffering and who has suffered like our Lord? Who has endured what He endured out of love for us all?
Today I am grateful to have heard the talk again. I had forgotten most of what I had heard years ago. Last evening Fr Ignatius Huan mentioned the little snippet in the news several weeks ago. Minister Mentor Lee had commented on his incredulity at seeing Peter Ng so much at peace. What was the secret? And he gave Christian Meditation a trial. Whether he will continue and bear fruit or not, no one knows. But he did experience peace as he said the simple prayer word MA RA NA THA…and in Aramaic, it is ‘Come Lord Jesus’!