Even though I, like my father, attended Catholic missionary schools in my younger days, I was not drawn to the Catholic faith.
It was only after the birth of my second child, Ambrose, when my wife and I went through a barren spell in life. A yearning and thirsting for ‘something’, a sort of inner peace. But we could not seem to find it.
Reading articles and attending talks on self-help, spiritual guidance and religious practices did not help either. We felt like we were in a meaningless and repetitive life, in a cycle of rinse and repeat. We assumed that being successful in our careers, having loads of money, a couple of real estates, a nice car or going on multiple holidays would fill that emptiness inside.
We were so wrong.
We realised that the ‘something’ we craved for was God.
God then led us on a journey, in search to quench our insatiable thirst for Him. We attended RCIA for the elderly in the Church of the Holy Family, which was conducted in dialect and Malay. Although we did not understand most of the catechesis but we enjoyed it especially listening to the older folks joke about the colour of their coffins.
I am not sure how and why we persisted going for classes, but it was probably that deep longing for God. It was only three months later, that the parishioners realised that we were in the wrong place and directed us to the RCIA in the Church of Our Lady Queen of Peace.
When my family was baptised, I thought that the beautiful union with God would bring me true happiness. However, the burden of life slowly crept its way back.
My sinful nature resurfaced. I was absorbed by the materialism of the world, and chased the glamour, riches and success this world could offer. I was descending into darkness, and lived out my faith as though it was just a philosophy of life, an ethical choice.
I was at Church on Sundays because I believed I was there to visit, to appease God and sometimes, to strike a bargain. I was like a child negotiating with my father for a well-deserved reward, based on my behaviour and achievements.
Through my wife’s persistent encouragement, I attended the catechesis of the Neocatechumenal Way. It was through this journey with a small community that I came to realise God has always been in my history. He was holding my hand while I was spiralling down that descent, which helped me to realise my weakness, shortcomings and frailties. God has always been at my side through all the trials and tribulations. I came to realise that I was not journeying alone in my faith – my family and the community were with me.
Why would you be afraid of meeting your Lord Jesus?
After two months of journeying with the Neocatechumenal Way, I had a real, personal and beautiful encounter with the Lord at a Mandarin Charismatic Mass. At first, I was skeptical and doubtful when my wife invited me, as I was petrified of the physical manifestations that I have heard about. But my wife assured me, “Why would you be afraid of meeting your Lord Jesus?” As I went, I told myself to open up and lift up all my sins to the Lord.
At that moment when I came face-to-face with the Holy Eucharist, I was blinded by a bright and searing light. In my vision, I saw many people in white, singing and speaking in different languages amidst that light. And we all understood each other. I also experienced extreme heat, as though I was engulfed in flames. I felt the Lord prompting me to help the people around me and assuring me that I could do it. At the end of that night, I was at peace and felt very blessed by the Lord and His presence.
A week later, while I was sleeping I was prompted to wake up in the middle of the night to write a song. Despite my drowsiness, a tune played over and over in my head. I mumbled and grumbled, wondering if I could really pen a song at that time of the night. I wrote the song and lyrics within ten minutes and when I was done, I threw it aside and went back to bed.
When I read the lyrics in the morning, I was hit hard by raw emotions. The song and lyrics were so beautiful! I knew such a moving piece of music could not have possibly come from my own efforts, but through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
“He Takes it on the Cross”, written by Melvin Goh, is a song to help us better understand the love and faithfulness of Christ for us and God’s sacrificial love.
A sense of remorse gripped me. In all my years as a music producer and educator, I have written countless music pieces for established brands and artists, yet I have never taken the time to write one for our Lord.
He Takes it on the Cross is a song to help us better understand the love and faithfulness of Christ for us and God’s sacrificial love. He takes all our sins onto the cross, to reconcile us with God our Father, so that one day we will be with Him together in paradise.