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.

 

5th Sunday of Lent 2017 – Rise.

Today’s Gospel reveals not only God’s glorious magnificence but also God’s human nature. Raising Lazarus was one of the greatest miracles Jesus had revealed to us. The story of the raising of Lazarus displayed rather very complex characters. We will focus on Martha for today. Martha as we know her, has always been the “hands-on, logistics, all-around helper” of the ministry. Her character in this Gospel revealed three distincr characteristics that Christians tend to fall under, namely:

  1. Question/Judgement
  2. Reliance on what we know
  3. Doubt/Trust

Question/Judgement:

“Lord if You had been here (Lazarus) would not have died.”

We tend to ask God when faced with difficult situation what He had done or what He could have done to prevent certain events of our lives that are too unbearable. Just like Martha, we kind of put the blame on God.

Reliance on what we know

I have always believed you are the Messiah, the Son of God, the one who has come into the world from God.”

In our journey of faith, we will come to believe who Jesus really is in our lives. Martha had alreadt believed that fact, in fact she even stated and proclaimed that He was the on true Messiah. However, the human knowledge she has is clouding her faith. She knows that Jesus is the Messiah, but she also knows that Lazarus is now dead. Conflict of interest there…

Doubt/Trust

Lord, he has been dead for four days. The smell will be terrible.”

At this point, Martha could only feel confused. She knows for sure that Jesus will no longer be able to relieve her from the pain of losing her brother. It’s as if she doubts Him. Only now… all she could do was to trust in Jesus.

Martha reveals so much of me. She relates so much to me because of everything she is and who she became–a true follower of Christ.

PFM. PFW.

#BestLentEver – Day 17. ERASER.

As I scramble to read all my accounting notes and finish practice questions for my exam tomorrow, I can’t help but keep looking at the solution pages. Am I ready for this test because I have the answers just a flip a way? Or am I really confident that I can do the exam without it?

In life and in our journey with our faith, it’s the same thing. The only difference is we don’t need to flip the page to get our life on track. We just need to turn our lives to God. The answer to life’s biggest mystery is not to succeed. The answer is to seek God, to know God, and to love God. It doesn’t matter how many times we get the answer wrong. It doesn’t matter how many red marks we have on our tests… because God marks with an eraser. He sets asides our mistakes to use and give us another clean paper to try it again! He also uses us to provide others the answer to their own exam! In other words, He uses us to be the solution!

Let our light be always a guide to someone in need.

Pray for me. Pray for the World.

#BestLentEver – Day 12. Soulful.

I need to think about this for a minute… I was really not the best version of myself today. Mostly because I know there are some things I should’ve left unsaid and some things I should’ve never done. Nevertheless, I still did the things I did and I still said the things I said today. I don’t know. I’m like a Screwtape magnet (CS Lewis reference), they probably know what I’m up to. Well, guess what I know what they’re up to as well! I just need to work a little bit harder and pray a little bit more!

Matthew Kelly said something that hit me today, “…if there is something you want to stop doing, youโ€™ve got to crowd it out with other good things that do actually help you become the-best-version-of-yourself.”

And I guess that’s just it… sometimes we try to just avoid the bad things, but most of the time we keep coming back to it because we don’t replace it with the good. It’s kind of like when you want to become more healthy, you get rid of all the junk food and sweets, but never strive to replace them with healthier food so you just end up hungry and you resort back to eating the junk.

Now why didn’t I think of this before? Because we focus on ourselves too much! When we start focusing our attention to where it matters most (*cough* like Jesus), we start diverting our resources and time to things that make us the best version of ourselves!

Lord, help me to live and love more soulfully.

 

PFM. PFW.