Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Larantuka Beach, Reinha City (East of Nusa Tenggara)

It's an amazing place to visit...
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Sungailiat, Bangka island (Kepulauan Bangka Belitung Province, Indonesia)

pormadi's collection
pormadi's collection
pormadi's collection
It's amazing for tourism.

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Toba Lake Panorama (North Sumatera, Indonesia)

pormadi's collection
pormadi's collection
pormadi's collection
You can visit Toba lake, and rent a hotel there. It's amazing

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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Keep your Value!

A well-known speaker started off his seminar by holding up a US$ 500 note. In the room of 200 participants, He asked, "Who would like this US$ 500 note?" Hands started going up. He said, "I am going to give this note to one of you but first let me do this."
He proceeded to crumple the note up. He then asked, "Who still wants it?" Still the hands were up in the air. "Well," he replied, "What if I do this?" And he dropped it on the ground and started to grind it into the floor with his shoe. He picked it up, now all crumpled and dirty. "Now who still wants it?" Still the hands went into the air. "My friends, you have all learned a very valuable lesson. No matter what I did to the money. You still wanted it because it did not decrease in value. It was still worth US$ 500-. Many times in our lives, we are dropped, crumpled, and ground into the dirt by the decisions we make and the circumstances that come our way. Remember, no matter what has happened or what will happen, never lose your value. Don't ever forget it! "VALUE HAS A VALUE ONLY IF ITS VALUE IS VALUED."

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Tuesday, September 03, 2013

"What's Outrageous? Poverty Wages!" The Role of Religious Leaders in Worker Justice (Joseph A. McCartin)

"What's outrageous? Poverty wages!" This chant, echoed by thousands of striking fast food workers as they marched in the streets in New York, Chicago, and dozens of other cities on August 29, has begun to arouse the American conscience this Labor Day. The fast food industry produces billions in profits for corporations like McDonald's and Burger King. But, according to the organizers of the recent walkouts, fast food workers in New York City make only 25% of what they need to survive from their jobs. Fast food workers in other cities aren't much better off. In many ways, their struggle symbolizes the immorality of an economy that is producing jobs that keep workers poor. Who can argue with picket signs that say, "We can't survive on $7.25"?

It is not surprising that religious leaders have been conspicuously present on many of the fast food workers' picket lines. The recent protests have seen priests and ministers, rabbi and imams joining hands with fast food workers. The nation's largest labor-religious coalition, Interfaith Worker Justice, which is sponsoring Labor Day prayer services in cities across the country honoring the dignity of labor, has taken up their cause. So has Rev. Cheri Kroon, of the Flatbush Reform Church in Brooklyn. In April Rev. Kroon told the New York Times that her community was "filled with fast-food workers who have been suffering due to low wages, no sick days and unsafe working conditions."

The faith leaders now rallying to support fast food workers' demands for a living wage are reviving one of America's oldest and most powerful arguments for social justice, one deeply rooted in religious ideals. Many of those marching today for a fifteen-dollar wage for fast food workers might not realize that the very term "living wage" was first popularized by an American Roman Catholic priest, Monsignor John A. Ryan. In 1906 Fr. Ryan published a book called A Living Wage, which argued that workers deserved to earn enough to support themselves and their families in dignity. Over the next three decades, Ryan emerged as the nation's most forceful moral advocate for minimum wage. Many saw the passage of the federal minimum wage law in 1938 as a fulfillment of Ryan's long crusade.

But it was not just Ryan and Catholic co-religionists who helped elevate the ideal of a living wage in the United States. Two years after Ryan's book, the Methodist Episcopal Church adopted a "Social Creed" that endorsed the idea of "a living wage in every industry," and the nation's most prominent Jewish rabbi, Stephen Wise also took up this call.

Not only have religious leaders from across the spectrum consistently defended the living wage demand over the last century, activists from many faiths have spent much of the last decade laying the moral groundwork for the fight for justice that is now being waged by fast food workers.

The nation's first living wage ordinance passed in Baltimore in 1994. Soon fights for the living wage spread to many cities. It did not take long for religious communities to get involved. A decade ago many faiths began to go on record again in support of living wage demands. The Disciples of Christ adopted a resolution in 2005. In 2006, Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi, President of the Fiqh Council of North America, issued a fatwa indicating that living wage demands were consistent with Islamic Shari'ah law.

In 2008 Rabbi Jill Jacobs authored a teshuvah (legal position) on the obligation to pay a living wage was passed by the Conservative Movement's Committee on Jewish Law and Standards, and that same year the Presbyterian Church's "Social Creed for the 21st Century" endorsed the living wage demand. Many other denominations followed suit.

Today, the living wage ideal has been broadly embraced by the nation's religions, and the Catholic Church, which helped introduce living wage demand in the early 20th century, seems poised to provide leadership on the issue again. "Not paying a just wage, not providing work, focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking at making personal profit. That goes against God!" says Pope Francis, the world's most visible religious leader.

As workers take to the streets to fight for a living wage in fast food and other low paying industries, they can take comfort from knowing the nation's religions are increasingly aligned with their cause. That is one reason for hope this Labor Day that we might finally reverse the trend toward inequality that has so long afflicted us.

Source: Joseph A. McCartin ("The Huffington Post," September 1, 2013)

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Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Pope Francis Reforms Threaten Some Catholics, Changes Not Welcomed By All Nicole Winfield (AP, July 31, 2013)

Vatican City - The Francis Revolution is underway. Not everyone is pleased.

Four months into his papacy, Francis has called on young Catholics in the trenches to take up spiritual arms to shake up a dusty, doctrinaire church that is losing faithful and relevance. He has said women must have a greater role – not as priests, but a place in the church that recognizes that Mary is more important than any of the apostles. And he has turned the Vatican upside down, quite possibly knocking the wind out of a poisonously homophobic culture by merely uttering the word "gay" and saying: so what?

In between, he has charmed millions of faithful and the mainstream news media, drawing the second-largest crowd ever to a papal Mass. That should provide some insurance as he goes about doing what he was elected to do: reform not just the dysfunctional Vatican bureaucracy but the church itself, using his own persona and personal history as a model.

"He is restoring credibility to Catholicism," said church historian Alberto Melloni.

Such enthusiasm isn't shared across the board.

Francis' predecessor, Benedict XVI, had coddled traditionalist Catholics attached to the old Latin Mass and opposed to the modernizing reforms of the Second Vatican Council. That group greeted Francis' election with concern – and now is watching its worst fears come true. Francis has spoken out both publicly and privately against such "restoratist groups," which he accuses of being navel-gazing retrogrades out of touch with the evangelizing mission of the church in the 21st century.

His recent decision to forbid priests of a religious order from celebrating the old Latin Mass without explicit authorization seemed to be abrogating one of the big initiatives of Benedict's papacy, a 2007 decree allowing broader use of the pre-Vatican II Latin liturgy for all who want it. The Vatican denied he was contradicting Benedict, but these traditional Catholics see in Francis' words and deeds a threat. They are in something of a retreat.

"Be smart. There will be time in the future for people to sort what Vatican II means and what it doesn't mean," the Rev. John Zuhlsdorf warned his traditionalist readers in a recent blog post. "But mark my words: If you gripe about Vatican II right now, in this present environment, you could lose what you have attained."

Even more mainstream conservative Catholics aren't thrilled with Francis.

In a recent interview with the National Catholic Reporter, Philadelphia Archbishop Charles Chaput said right-wing Catholics "generally have not been really happy" with Francis.

To be sure, Francis has not changed anything about church teaching. Nothing he has said or done is contrary to doctrine; everything he has said and done champions the Christian concepts of loving the sinner but not the sin and having a church that is compassionate, welcoming and merciful.

But tone and priorities can themselves constitute change, especially when considering issues that aren't being emphasized, such as church doctrine on abortion, gay marriage and other issues frequently referenced by Benedict and Pope John Paul II.

The Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, used the word "gay" for perhaps the first time in its 150-year history on Wednesday, in an article marveling at the change Francis has brought.

"In just a few words, the novelty has been expressed clearly and without threatening the church's tradition," the newspaper said about Francis' comments on gays and women. "You can change everything without changing the basic rules, those on which Catholic tradition are based."

The biggest headline came in Francis' inflight news conference on the way home from Brazil this week, when he was asked about a trusted monsignor who reportedly once had a gay lover.

"Who am I to judge?" he asked, when it comes to the sexual orientation of priests, as long as they are searching for God and have good will.

Under normal circumstances, given the sexual morality at play in the Catholic Church, outing someone as actively gay is a death knell for career advancement. Vatican officials considering high-profile appointments often weigh whether someone is "ricattabile" – blackmailable.

But Francis said he investigated the allegations himself and found nothing to back them up. And that regardless, if someone is gay and repents, God not only forgives but forgets. Francis said everyone else should too. By calling out the blackmail for what it is, Francis may well have clipped the wings of an ugly but common practice at the Vatican.

Francis also made headlines with his call for the church to develop a new theology of women's role, saying it's not enough to have altar girls or a woman heading a Vatican department given the critical role that women have in helping the church grow.

While those comments topped the news from the 82-minute news conference, he revealed plenty of other insights that reinforce the idea that a very different papacy is underway.

- Annulments: He said the church's judicial system of annulling marriages must be "looked at again" because church tribunals simply aren't up to the task. That could be welcome news to many Catholics who often have to wait years for an annulment, the process by which the church determines that a marriage effectively never took place.

- Divorce and remarriage: He suggested an opening in church teaching which forbids a divorced and remarried Catholic from taking communion unless they get an annulment, saying: "This is a time for mercy."

- Church governance: He said his decision to appoint eight cardinals to advise him was based on explicit requests from cardinals at the conclave that elected him who wanted "outsiders" – not Vatican officials – governing the church. Francis obliged, essentially creating a parallel government for the church alongside the Vatican bureaucracy: a pope and a cabinet of cardinals representing the church in each of the continents.

And then there was Rio.

From the moment he touched down, it was clear change was afoot. No armored popemobile, just a simple Fiat sedan – one that got swarmed by adoring fans when it got lost and stuck in traffic. Rather than recoil in fear, Francis rolled down his window. Given that popes until recently were carried around on a chair to keep them above the fray, that gesture alone was revolutionary.

He told 35,000 pilgrims from his native Argentina to make a "mess" in their dioceses, shake things up and go out into the streets to spread their faith, even at the expense of confrontation with their bishops. He led by example, diving into the crowds in one of Rio's most violent slums.

"Either you do the trip as it needs to be done, or you don't do it at all," he told Brazil's TV Globo. He said he simply couldn't have visited Rio "closed up in a glass box."

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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Frans Magnis Suseno about World Stateman Award to our President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation (ACF),

I am a Catholic Priest and professor of philosophy in Jakarta. In
Indonesia we learnt that you are going to bestow this year's World
Stateman Award to our President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono because of
his merits regarding religious tolerance.

This is a shame, a shame for you. It discredits any claim you might
make as a an institution with moral intentions.

How can you take such a decision without asking concerned people in
Indonesia? Hopefully you have not made this decission in response to
prodding by people of our Government or of the entourage of the

Do you not know about the growing difficulties of Christians to get
permits for opening places of prayer, about the growing number of
forced closures of churches, about the growth of regulations tha make
worshipping for minorities more difficult, thus about growing
intolerance on the grassroot level? And particularly, have you never
heard about the shameful and quite dangerous attitudes of hardline
religious groups towards so called deviant teachings, meaning members
of the Achmadiyah and the Shia communities, and the government of
Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono just doing nothing and saying nothing to
protect them? Hundreds of their people have under Susilo Bambang
Yudhoyono's presidentship been driven out of their houses, they still
live miserably in places like sports halls, there have allready
Achmadis and Shia people been killed (so that the question arises
whether Indonesia will deteriorate to conditions like Pakistan dan
Iran [favor of President G. W. Bush] where every months hundreds of
Shia people are being killed because of religious motivations)?

Do you not know that President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during his up
to now 8 1/2 years in office has not a single time said something to
the Indonesian people, that they should respect their minorities? That
he has shamefully avoided responsibility regarding growing violence towards Achmadiyah and Shia people?

Again, whom did you ask for information before making you award
choice? What could be your motivation to bestow upon this President a
reward for religious tolerance who so obviously lacks any courage to
do his duty protecting minorities?

I have to add that I am not a radical, not even a "human right
extremist" (if such exist). I am just appaled about so much hypocrisy.
You are playing in the hands of those - still few - radicals that want
to purify Indonesia of all what they regard as heresies and heathen.

Franz Magnis-Suseno SJ

(Source Exclusive)
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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The 7 C's of Happiness

What are the critical ingredients for experiencing genuine happiness? Here are seven elements of life that I believe are essential to the attainment of human happiness. I call them the "7C's in the pursuit of happiness." One is not more important than any of the others.

1. Compassion
In order to evolve into a state of happiness, you must develop your in-born ability to care about life, to value life in all its forms, to engage in loving, kind actions, to cultivate an attitude of what Nobel laureate, Dr. Albert Schweitzer called "reverence for life,". (including your own).

2. Contentment
Inner calm. Peace of mind and heart does not mean acceptance of everything that happens. It does mean letting go of fear. When you live life fearlessly, you experience a kind of peace that permeates every cell of your body, every thought of your mind, every emotion of your heart, every element of your spirit.

3. Connection
Without effectively connecting to other humans, you become less than human yourself. Connection means involving yourself in relationship to everyone around you, connecting to your own inner life, and becoming aware of the environment in which you live. Learn to create a high quality relationship, and your happiness is almost guaranteed.

4. Communication
Communication is our primary method for connection. It increases your knowledge, your understanding, and your awareness. Language is precious. Words are the building blocks of all happiness.

5. Commitment
Oprah Winfrey says that what motivates her to get up in the morning is "my commitment to my life and fulfilling my life purpose." If one of your life's purposes is to enhance your happiness, committing your life to the service of others brings more happiness than you can imagine. Happiness requires you commit yourself to something larger than yourself.

6. Consciousness
Most spiritual teachers believe we are living in a sleep-like or dream state. In order to be happy, one must increase one's awareness of life. And the single awareness that is most conducive to happiness is: the impermanence of everything. Life is in a constant state of flux, of change, of rhythm and of evolution.

7. Creativity
Creating your life experience by consciously choosing your thoughts, your actions, your decisions and your attitudes will allow you to attain personal happiness regardless of external circumstances. The pursuit of happiness is not something you search for or attain from outside your skin. Happiness develops from within. You were born to be happy. You were given life to experience happiness. Pursuing it is your right. Sail the 7 C's of happiness and the pursuit of it becomes obvious and being alive becomes the happiest of moments.

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

One example is Better than 10.000 Words of Advice

By Pormadi Simbolon

In the public, we can find that the word of 'integrity' are often be a simply toyed and be a sweet word on the tongue.

The public can see an example of the recruitment of leadership. How to be a leader, for example: village heads, district, regents, governors, members of Parliament, the President, etc. One of requirement is a must to have an integrity.

One more important requirement for officially and commonly practiced in the government to strengthen the integrity of a leader is to say the pledge or oath before God, and accompanied by one of his priests.

In fact, some of those who were subsequently elected in leadership many of them do not have integrity.

Many of them while addressing an official speech: they prohibit subordinates doing corruption, but they themselves corrupt. When they ask a subordinate to be disciplined, but they break down the rule of discipline. They requested subordinates to maintain ethical manner, but they do not have their own manners. They prohibit public not to watch porn's video for morality reason, but they do.

Integrity is defined that words are harmony with action, performance. Someone isto be said having integrity if the words embodied in the act.

When campaigning, Joko Widodo promised, if they win the election for governor, they will issue Jakarta healthy cards and Jakarta smart cards to the people in need as an effort to build a welfare society. The promise was fulfilled, when Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and her partner Tjahaya Basuki Purnama (Ahok) won the elections for the governor and deputy governor of Jakarta.

The lack of integrity as well as hypocrisy. Hypocrisy shows the surface of an action is just as self-image, but actually, there is a cover-up decay.

Equally, however, a religious leader or religious scholars, in Javanese language, "iso khotbah, ora iso ngelakoni ", may preach, but could not do it. He preached that the people must live away from the prohibitions of Allah, but he deviated from the commandments of God.

Now, we need not the speech of a leader, if it does not have the effectiveness and side effects for the listener. For example, a speech about vision of Indonesia in future is to protect all citizens of Indonesia and promote the general welfare. This speech will not have the power to influence the public when there is a minority in the field and their human rights are not protected. It's called hypocrisy, and it has no integrity.

Professor Sharif Hidayatullah State Islamic University, Jakarta, Azyumardi Azra, see the leaders of this nation as a sign of lack of practicing integrity, but hypocrisy. As a result, values ​​disorientation occurs in almost all aspects of life. Some people also take the bypass road, easy to find their own way, and no longer believe in the law (Kompas, 9/3).

Hypocrisy show lack of integrity of the leader. Azyumardi give an example, when leaders asked the political elite not noisy, but at the same time it noisy with the internal crisis in the party.

Needed One Example
People are already tired of looking at the leaders with no integrity. Public need an example of integrity. We can see an evident from the winning pair and Ahok Jokowi the Jakarta gubernatorial election.

For the public, it is true the words of these wise men: one example is far better than 10.000 words of advice. For people, samples of Jokowi's work in Solo and Ahok's work in East Belitung is convincing enough to encourage them to choose Jokowi-Ahok as leader in DKI Jakarta Province.

Looking forward, the word and the meaning of integrity in choosing leaders should no longer be mocked. Soon there will be election for presidential candidate and representatives' candidate. This is a chance where the public must see examples or role models that they had done in the past to be choosed for the candidates as well as candidates for president and vice president,and also representatives candidate.

Pormadi Simbolon is an alumnus STFT Widya Sasana Malang
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Friday, March 08, 2013

"The beggar and Pope John Paul II"

A Priest from New York went to Rome for an audience with Pope John Paul ll. Whilst in Rome, before his meeting he decided to go to a church to pray. As he walked through the door he saw a beggar sitting on the steps, which is not uncommon, and yet he sensed something familiar about him. When he had finished praying he walked back out and decided to speak to the beggar, at which time they realised that they knew each other and had gone to Seminary together. The beggar revealed how he had been a Priest and had `crashed and burned' in his vocation.

Later, when the Priest had an audience with the Pope, he joined the line of people who were processing past, and when his turn came, he gave in to a holy impulse and fell to his knees asking the Pope to pray for the beggar he had met earlier, telling him of how he was a Priest but had now fallen on hard times.
The Pope gave the Priest an invitation to bring the beggar to dinner with him that evening. The Priest immediately went from St Peters to the small church and found the beggar was still on the steps. The Priest told the beggar of the invitation they had been given from John Paul ll. The beggar said that he could not possibly do such a thing, but the Priest insisted telling him he was not going to this meal without him. He then took the beggar to his hotel room and gave him a loan of his razor and some clothes.

The two men arrived an hour later at the Papal apartments and sat down and ate a nice meal with the Pope. An hour later the Pope asked the Priest to kindly leave him alone with his friend. The Priest found out, later that evening, what had happened when he left the room:
The Pope turned to the beggar and said, "Would you hear my confession?" The beggar replied, "but I am not a Priest anymore!" The Pope then told him, "once a Priest, you are always a Priest." But the beggar told the Pope that he was out of good standing with the church. The Pope replied, "I am the Bishop of Rome, I can reinstate you right now," which he then does.The Pope then knelt before the beggar and confessed his sins. The beggar-Priest barely got the words of absolution out before he fell on his knees and with tears in his eyes asks the Pope to hear his confession. Once the beggar-Priest was restored to Christ and in a state of grace, the Pope asked the other Priest to come back into the room. The Pope asked him which church he had found his friend at, upon learning he then told the beggar-Priest, "for your first pastoral assignment I want you to go to this church and report for duty, because you will be an associate there, with a special outreach to your fellow beggars on the street" – and to this day that is where the beggar-Priest works, helping the dispossessed.

And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."(John 20:22 & 23).

Note: It is a true story, as been told by EWTN and that Dr Scott Hahn has met the Priest in this story in person.
(Milis ApiKatolik)
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