Oh Lisbon!

I have been travelling for approximately 18h and counting. As I sat on the plane waiting to land in Lisbon airport, I could not help but say to myself… why is everything not going according to plan?

This is my first time to travel internationally by myself… and I’m kind of, sort of–freaking out. We had a delayed flight to Toronto so they had to reroute us to London instead. In London, I had almost missed my flight to Lisbon (got held up at security because of a yogurt I got on the plane), waited approx 1h and 30 min to get out of customs clearance in Lisbon, prayed really hard and asked for the intercession of St. Anthony, Mama Mary and St. Joseph for my luggage to appear at baggage claim. (I can handle anything but a lost baggage.) Thankfully, it was there waiting for me after an excruciating wait to get a stamp on my passport. Whew!

We got to our Fatima hotel and it’s right beside the Basilica! Oh how lovely! I fell in love with the place! As I sat and celebrated mass at the Basilica, where you can find the tomb of Jacinta and Francisco (isn’t that so cool?), I prayed and let go of all my troubles and worries and frustration. I told the Lord to help me be closer to Him during this trip no matter what happens next.

I can feel Your presence around me. Help me be more like You.

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Portugal

I am going on a pilgrimage to Fatima. I am asking for your prayers. This is the first time that I will be traveling by myself (not really by myself because I am with a group of people I have not met yet). I am not a social person, used to be an anti-social, now I’m just a semi-anti-social (if that’s even a thing). I am feeling a bit worried, anxious, and excited all at the same time. Since I read the story about the apparitions of Our Lady of Fatima, I had since been intrigued about it. As I wait here today before I fly out, I can’t help but feel a little worried.

My flight to Toronto is delayed for another 2 hours… This means I will miss my Lisbon flight. I don’t know what to do so I’m just hoping and praying for the best. I know the Lord is with me in this trip so what could possibly go wrong right?

Here we go…

Jesus, I Trust in You

“Jesus, I Trust in You”

This has been a recurring message for me for years. I feel that no matter how deeply rooted I am in my faith, there is still a part of me that cannot fully let go and let God. I guess, it is safe to say that I am human after all. However, being human should not be an excuse to poorly imitate Jesus. No one is perfect or so the saying goes… but to be Catholic, to be Christian–our goal is not to achieve perfection, but Holiness. And what better way to achieve Holiness is to trust in the Lord! Trusting in the Lord is one of thing that all the saints have in common. They all trusted Jesus!

As we moved past Divine Mercy Sunday and the necessary survival of basic Christian journey, which is to always trust in the Lord, may we come to realize the significance of simply trusting the Lord. Why do we find it difficult to let go and let God? It is a necessary step to finding peace within yourself. When we do not trust in the Lord, we will get restless.

There had been days when I found it really difficult to get out of bed in the morning. What drives me to get out of bed? What drives me to go to work? What drives me to care? To be honest, I ask those questions not because my passion and drive comes from within my faith, no. Honestly my internal drive comes from some silly reason of “I care too much of what people think of me”. Most of the time, I find myself losing trust in the Lord because of what I think the people think about me. Do I even make sense?

I need to stop caring about what people think. I need to start letting go and letting God. I need to trust in the Lord. Trust in Him that He will always lead me in the right direction. I just hope I will be more than capable of letting go of the steering wheel.

Mother Teresa of Calcutta (Book Review)

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I got this book for free at one of our local parish, St. Bonaventure during the Feast of Mary, the Mother of God. To be honest, I never liked reading biographies, because they simply do not interest me. I would only read biographies when I am doing a paper on that specific individual (which by the way I just really skim through). As one of the parish volunteers handed me the Mother Teresa book, I knew it will either become part of my pile on “want-to-read-books-but-don’t-have-time” bookshelf or simply the “donate-pile” books. Don’t get me wrong, I admire Mother Teresa and the work she had done. I admire her life, her ministry and her charity… I just rather prefer not to read about them, and just watch documentaries instead.

My perception changed as soon as I started reading the book, her character, her humility, and her kindness intrigued me. Father Maasburg’s preface about her caught my attention and I started reading… reading until I did not realize I could not put the book down. Her character is amusing and very interesting to read. The things she says are so genuine that the people she encounters truly sees Jesus within her.

Matthew Kelly once said, “Immerse yourself in things that make you the best version of yourself.” I can truly say that this book left me being the best version of myself, because it taught me to love, to see, and to look at others like Jesus.

Mother Teresa never made herself the center of attention. But when she was put in the spotlight by others–after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979–that was practically a perpetual state. She used the opportunity to point attention away from herself and toward Christ. (p. x)”

#BestLentEver – Day 40. Black Saturday.

As we anticipate Jesus’ Resurrection, we now reflect on our Lenten journey. How has yours been? I have been blessed to journey with Dynamic Catholic on their program #BestLentEver. I have never been consistent in my writings and reflections and joining the program day-by-day throughout Lent had taught me a lot of things about myself and my faith. I have a lot to work on (I probably mentioned this multiple times throughout the season), however I know there are many more ways I can do to improve on myself–mainly to become a better-version-of-myself.

My life had been crazy busy with the ups-and-downs that life had thrown at me. It had been a hectic season of Lent both spiritually and physically. In all honestly, it had been difficult. There are times when I just did not have the time! I will find myself blogging in bathrooms, airplane, parks, buses, etc. It had been a great experience and I feel like the nudge from the Holy Spirit everyday had helped me get through it. Enough of my experience…

As we come tonight in Easter Vigil, we celebrate Jesus’ Resurrection and become witnesses of His great love for us. As I reflect on the reflection of the day, Matthew Kelly urges us to be present in the Gospel, most especially before, during, and after the Passion. If you were one of the disciples during His time, what would you have felt? Series of emotions and thoughts must have been whirling through their minds and it can get a little overwhelming. I can’t blame Peter for denying, Thomas for doubting, scared disciples for hiding… they all were acting rationally based on what they were feeling. Most of the time, we are the same. We act based on what we feel rather than what we know or believe.

Jesus, all powerful and loving, had helped us overcome this great mystery–mystery of our faith and his great revelation of His unconditional love for us. May we always be reminded, not just during Lent, to live and remember the Lord through His Passion.

I wish all of you a Happy Easter! Thanks for joining me on my journey of faith throughout this season of Lent.

Please continue to pray for me and pray for the world.

 

#BestLentEver – Day 39. Good Friday.

I have gotten fond of Mother Teresa of Calcutta when I read a book about her written by Fr. Leo Maasburg. Her story had reminded me so much of Jesus’ ministry and her dedication and passion portray and reflect Jesus’ Gospel message, “Whatever you did to the least of these, You did to me.”

When I first learned of her ministry and the message or “slogan” they lived by, it resonated with me just as much as Jesus hanging on the cross had an effect on me.Β Mother Teresa lived by Jesus’ words, “I thirst.” His last few words before His dying breath had become so meaningful to me because of how she had put meaning to it.

Mother Teresa said that Jesus’ Passion–Him hanging on the cross and Him saying, “I thirst” is not just so He could fulfill the scripture, but also because He Himself thirsts for our love. He thirsts for us. He thirsts for us to all be saved.

This Good Friday, today, may we be reminded once again of Jesus’ sacrifice, Jesus’ love, and Jesus Himself, the saviour and the lover.

PFM. PFW.