God is the God of Miracles

“My child, I am the Lord Who gives strength in the day of trouble. Come to Me when all is not well with you. Your tardiness in turning to prayer is the greatest obstacle to heavenly consolation, for before you pray earnestly to Me you first seek many comforts and take pleasure in outward things. Thus, all things are of little profit to you until you realize that I am the one Who saves those who trust in Me, and that outside of Me there is no worth-while help, or any useful counsel or lasting remedy.”  (Thomas à Kempis)

The challenge is not found during the experience of faith–where you are side by side with people who choose to follow Christ with You. The challenge is not when you are at your best or when all your prayers have been answered. It is not when you are in deep realization of the power of God in your life nor when you recognize that living a holy life is the fastest way to Heaven. No, the challenge is the resistance within us. The resistance when we wake up in the morning, when we eat our lunch, when we go back to sleep at night. The resistance is within us; living through our words, thoughts, and actions.

Let faith arise, in spite of what I see Lord, I believe. But help my unbelief, I choose to trust You.

We are called militants for we are still fighting and our battle is not over. It’s easy to lose sight of this battle. If you don’t think that you’re in a battle, there is a slight possibility that resistance has already won over you. Can we profess ourselves as Holy Warriors of God and yet find ourselves lost in this journey called life? How can we live this life and also strive to be Holy Warriors? Help me to trust You more.

Listen with the ear of the heart.

We have so many voices in our lives that provide directions and instructions. The voices may confuse, motivate, inspire, or discourage us. The voices may come in the beauty that lies within our surroundings or come as loud and as terrifying like thunder and rain. It may come as a whispering smile, or a heaving sigh. It may come like a shock to your already beautiful life. It may come and disturb your perfectly planned goals and desires. Despite the voices that may come, we have to listen and respond to our deep longing to be united with God. Our hearts are restless until they rest in You.

Jesus has now many lovers of the heavenly kingdom but few bearers of His cross.

Living our convictions and professing our faith is not easy. It’s not. No saint had ever said it was an easy journey. No saint had ever proclaimed that suffering is not part of the journey. But God is faithful, we have to believe and pursue God’s dream for us. God is done writing our stories! We need now to open the book and read it. We need to let the inklings of faith and the hunches of desire make us better versions of ourselves. We need to see God as He is, hear Him as He declares, feel and experience Him as He profess. We need to feel God’s glory through the little miracles He put in our lives. Our lives are full of little miracles. When we fall in love with Jesus, we are motivated to suffer and always encounter Him, to meet Him over and over!

Love takes to itself the life of the loved one. The greater the love, the greater the suffering of the soul. The fuller the love, the fuller the knowledge of God. The more ardent the love, the more fervent the prayer. The more perfect the love, the holier the life. (Staretz Silouan)

I pray that this fervour, this zeal, this desire will not depart from us. However,  if it does leave us, help us to always turn back and find You. I urge you brothers and sisters to fight the good fight of faith. Stand up for what you believe. We are the generation–the new generation that will bring troubled souls back to Him.

Pray for world. Pray for peace.

 

3 Things Fatima Taught Me

It has been one crazy month! And here I am, writing my heart away. I can’t even begin to explain what happened because time just flew by.

Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created. And You shall renew the face of the earth. 

It was difficult for me to write about what happened this month because for me, writing about it means “it ended”, “it’s done”, “it’s over”. Oh how I wish I could go back in time! However, after reflecting upon the last few weeks, I can’t help but feel so blessed, so loved, and so joyful. God is so good!

I have been blessed to have been able to join a pilgrimage to Fatima for the 100th anniversary of the Apparition of Our Lady! It really was a memorable experience and I will always cherish the people I’ve encountered, the joy I’ve felt, and the desire to live life anew. It is not enough for me to put my experience into words, but to actually start living it. Living holy is to live life.

Let me begin by emphasizing three key points I have learned:

1. “Do not be afraid.” 
The first apparition of the angel to the three children at Fatima began with the words, “Do not be afraid.” How fitting it is today to say those words and to mean it. Do not be afraid! In our lives, there are multiple instances where we are afraid. It’s the human thing to do, but we must remember that trusting the Lord means fully surrendering ourselves to Him even if we might be afraid. Do not be afraid to live like Christ and to share Christ to others!

2. “…You will have a great deal to suffer, but the grace of God will be with you and will strengthen you.”
I am reminded by what my dad once told me: “If it was easy, everyone would do it.” Living like Christ is not an easy thing to do! We are reminded by Our Lady that offering ourselves to God involves suffering. Being Catholic does not entitle you to a stress-free, always-deserving-of-blessings kind of life. It does, however, entitle you to a joyful, spirit-filled, meaningful life. Suffering is part of life and we must always remember that it is when we are suffering that we are closest to Jesus. We must never lose hope in Jesus. Jesus, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love You. I ask pardon for those who do not believe, who do not adore, who do not hope, and do not love You.

3. Pray the Rosary everyday.

It was a great privilege to meet Blessed Lucia’s niece – Maria dos Anjos. Joy radiates within her! She kissed and hugged me! We didn’t really get to talk, but just being in the same room as her had left me feeling like I need more. What was her secret? The rosary! She once said in an interview that her aunt (Lucia) would really stress that she prays the rosary, but being young at the time, she would always say it is tiring to pray the rosary.

Maria dos Anjos: Sr. Lucia’s niece.

Blessed Lucia said something that resonated with me, “Pray the rosary. Start it. Even if you do not finish praying, Our Lady will finish it for you.” The key message of Fatima is the rosary. I believe that it is one of the most powerful prayer out there and it can save so many souls that have not been prayed for. Want to start living like Christ? Pray the rosary. It’s powerful.

O, God, who by the light of the Holy Spirit, did instruct the hearts of the faithful, grant that by the same Holy Spirit we may be truly wise and ever enjoy His consolations, Through Christ Our Lord, Amen.

The last thing I wanted to leave behind with you is this: I am not perfect. I will struggle. I will fall. I will doubt. Know that, if I have you, I will never lose hope. I believe that the people around us make us the better versions of ourselves. So surround yourselves with people who make you the best version of yourself.

Originally posted in cfcsflcalgary.org/fatima/

#BestLentEver – Day 9. Healthy.

“Are you spiritually healthy?”

It’s probably not the right moment for me to be writing. I can’t even seem to finish my thought process…

Am I spiritually healthy? As much as I want to say yes, I’m really not. I strive to be spiritually healthy, just as I strive to go to the gym everyday to be physically healthy. However, I noticed being the human that I am, I seem to focus more on the physical aspect of things. I want to look good in front of people. Why do I care so much?

Every time I go to confession, I have to admit that one of the things I really struggle with is having a constant prayer time. I suck at it. I am saying it again, because I really do. The intention is there, but I can’t seem to get myself to focus on God. My mind constantly battles with this push and pull motion of desire to sit in silence. With the growing number of responsibilities as we become more “adult” like, our focus on life is no longer justified by how we live but defined by what we live for. What do we really live for?

Lord, help me experience more of You.

PFM. PFW.

#BestLentEver – Day 8. Almighty.

“THY WILL BE DONE.”

Matthew Kelly posed the question today on how do we see or experience God in our lives. It made me think about how I always see Him as the Almighty and Powerful; just as He was, is, and is to come. As Christians, that is one of our basic understanding of who God is–Almighty and Powerful; just as He was portrayed in the Old Testament.

We had LBS (Liturgical Bible Study) Thursday today and as we talked about the Gospel reading for this Sunday, Jesus was portrayed magnificently side by side Moses and Elijah. Jesus’ ultimate “selfie” or rather, image for us Christians has always been His crucifixion. Our discussion tonight had me thinking how Jesus the Almighty, magnificently portrayed by John and Peter, chose to die on the Cross for us! “THY WILL BE DONE” indeed.

Now as I reflect back to Matthew’s question, “How do I see God?” I always try to look back to what Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s favorite line of Jesus, “I thirst.” Jesus’ thirst not only portrays His physical thirst for something to drink, but His thirst for our love for Him.

I thirst for more of You, Jesus.

PFM. PFW.

#BestLentEver – Day 7. Prayer.

“Lord, thank You.”

I admit. I suck at prayer. Well, I don’t suck at it. No one sucks at praying. What I really mean to say is… my life really revolves around being busy by doing nothing at all. I have time! I just choose to have time to do something else. And I don’t really know why.

Don’t judge me… I do pray everyday. But the thing is, my prayers have become repetitive and very robotic at times. “Thank You for the blessings… sorry for being impatient today. Help me do this or that…” It seems that my prayers usually just ends up being mindless requests and petitions. There are times of course, where I would really have a good prayer time… but it’s not constant because my mind is like a squirrel. I’m so distracted it’s frustrating. I think too much at times that I forget I am in prayer. Sometimes I need to force myself into meditation to actually focus my mind on God. I know I need to make more time. I need to sit in actual silence.

Help me feel You and hear You despite the wordly noise.

PFM. PFW.

#BestLentEver – Day 4. WANT.

“Lord, I want more of You. I desire more of You…”

…have been my constant prayer throughout my faith journey. It’s my constant struggle battling between what I really want and desire for my life and what God desires for me. Sometimes I often think Him saying to me, “You say you want more of me but I want more of you too.” I find myself always just relying on my prayers asking God or rather telling God how He should just mold me, “Lord, make me more patient. Make me understand. Help me be less moody…” thinking that just by praying about it, God will snap His fingers and change me.

Snap.

I want more of You Jesus. Help me want more of You. I do really, but it’s not really enough to want something. It’s the first step, but it’s not enough. It doesn’t end there. It’s not enough to say, “I want to pass my exam” and then not study. You have to want and then act on that want.

Lord, let Your will be done always.

Pray for me. Pray for the world.

#BestLentEver – Day 3. HOLE.

“I have a God size hole in my heart…”

…and I can’t help but fill it with empty fillers. I work full time. I kind of love my job. I kind of love where I’m headed… but there are days when I feel like I’m back where I’ve started. It’s true… nothing in this world can satisfy, but we try so hard to satisfy ourselves with wordly things. Why? Because why not.

I have a lot of things to work on in my life and fear takes the most part of the hole that I know only God can fill. Why? Because I’m scared of the unknown, scared of the future, scared that God might ask too much of me! But, knowing that there is a God willing to complete and put the pieces back gives me hope–hope in what He can offer me. I just need to trust more.

Help me to trust more. Pray for me. Pray for the world.