Aug 31, 2006

I get emotional... for Him

I get emotional when I kneel before the Tabernacle. I miss Him so much, and I wish that He would appear right before my eyes so that I can run into His embrace.

I get emotional when it comes to singing. Any kind of songs or hymns can remind me of my need of Him.

I get emotional when friends are discussing vocations. I've always dreamt of the moment I would take my vow... the vow of everlasting love for Him and Him alone.

I got emotional when a friend said he wanted to marry me. I got so angry and asked him to shut up. I felt so painful inside when I imagined myself living my life for somebody else and not Him.

No. I can no longer tolerate His absence in my life. Who can satisfy my every need and desire but He alone?

Have you ever felt this way? That the more you tried to disappoint and hurt Him, the more abundantly He would bless you. And the more He blesses you, the more guilty you would feel. When His love started to overflow in you, you realised that He is all you've ever wanted and needed. And gradually you began to see everything differently, because you see things through His eyes. Finally, He became the most important part of your life.

I am experiencing that right now. And I don't want that feeling to fade away. I want it to stay that way... to be occupied by Him spiritually, mentally and physically.

Fill me with Your fire, Lord, and change me deep within so that in everything I do, I'll do it for Your glory. Lord, guide me with the help of Your Spirit, and take away desires and things that keep me from You. Lord, please let me prove my love for You.

Aug 26, 2006

Prayer to Pope John Paul the Great

Pope John Paull II is the person who have inspired me the most, and even though he is with Daddy God in Heaven today, he's still an inspiration to me. Oh how much I miss him!

Sharing with you the prayer I personally love...

Prayer for asking graces through the intercession of the Servant of God Pope John Paul II

O Blessed Trinity We thank You for having graced the Church with Pope John Paul II and for allowing the tenderness of your Fatherly care, the glory of the cross of Christ, and the splendor of the Holy Spirit, to shine through him. Trusting fully in Your infinite mercy and in the maternal intercession of Mary, he has given us a living image of Jesus the Good Shepherd, and has shown us that holiness is the necessary measure of ordinary Christian life and is the way of achieving eternal communion with you. Grant us, by his intercession, and according to Your will, the graces we implore, hoping that he will soon be numbered among your saints. Amen.

Adapted from Gallery of Lovers of Saints

Message of Our Lady from Medjugorje

Message of August 25, 2006

“Dear children! Also today I call you to pray, pray, pray. Only in prayer will you be near to me and my Son and you will see how short this life is. In your heart a desire for Heaven will be born. Joy will begin to rule in your heart and prayer will begin to flow like a river. In your words there will only be thanksgiving to God for having created you and the desire for holiness will become a reality for you. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

Children of Medjugorje, Inc.

Aug 23, 2006

Confirmation Anniversary

8 years ago, I received the Sacrament of Confirmation. It was so beautiful that I can hardly forget about it. Today, I'm just so glad that I said "yes" to God, and I'll be saying "yes" to Him throughout another year in everything I'm going to do.

I didn't have any special celebration. It just happened that my good friends from university called me up and we went out for a 'reunion' dinner at KFC. I sure had a good dinner with lots of laughter and fun-filled moments.

Besides, I'm working right now as an Environmental Executive. Just started work on Monday 21st August. It's not an easy job... I write EIA reports and Terms Of Reference (TOR), going to project site to collect samples, and even meeting clients. Right now I'm helping out with the writing of TOR for one project. I'm praying for God's wisdom, strength and blessings so that I can finish the current project in time. Please say a prayer for me too! You can read the post about this job of mine HERE.

Photo courtesy Dayspring.

Catholic Carnival is Up!

Catholic Carnival for this week is up and can be found at Catholic Blog Carnival: Mater Dei, Ora Pro Nobis in To Jesus Through Mary. There are 15 interesting posts worth a read.

I've also submitted a post with the title Love, Mercy and Justice. Just a simple post about the lesson I learned for the past few weeks.

Enjoy reading and reflecting! God bless.

Aug 19, 2006

Love, mercy and justice

During the Fan Into Flame seminar, one of the speakers started his speach by asking us this question: Between God's love and God's mercy, which is the greatest? What do you think? How can we measure God's love and mercy? Both of them are just as great! But on a personal note, I believe that love comes first, mercy second.

For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to be its judge, but to be its saviour. (John 3:16-17)

The first sentence tells us that God loves us. And [the second sentence] because of His great love for us, He sent His Son so that instead of condemning us, He came to save us - this is mercy. Love is the greatest thing on earth. Love is God Himself! And where there is love, there is mercy also.

"Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him [Peter], "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." (Matthew 18:21-22)

How I wished I have read the reflection for Thursday Gospel reading (Matt 18:21-19:1) earlier so that I would not have given in to anger and unforgiveness. Two weeks ago, I kept on thinking that, since it wasn't my fault (or my parents' fault) why should I (they) leave all the serving ministries? The person who has caused all these 'disaster' should be the one leaving. The person who has caused all kind of 'chaos' should be the one apologising. Getting angry with that person is the right thing to do.

Until I got a wake-up call from God-sent people and read the Gospel reading and reflection for Thursday.

[...] Jesus made it clear that there is no reckonable limit to forgiveness, and he drove the lesson home with a parable about two very different kinds of debts. [...] No offence our neighbour can do to us can compare with our debt to God! We have been forgiven a debt which is beyond all paying; to ransom our debt of sin God gave up his only begotten Son. If God has forgiven each of us our debt, which was very great, we, too must forgive others the debt they owe us.

[...] James says that judgement is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy (James 2:13). Mercy is truly a gift and it is offered in such a way that justice is not negated. Mercy 'seasons' justice as salt seasons meat and gives it flavour. Mercy follows justice and perfects it. To pardon the unrepentant is not mercy but licence. C.S. Lewis, a contemporary Christian author wrote: "Mercy will flower only when it grows in the crannies of the rock of Justice: transplanted to the marshlands of mere Humanitarianism, it becomes a man-eating weed, all the more dangerous because it is still called by the same name as the mountain variety."

If we want mercy shown to us we must be ready to forgive others as God has forgiven us.

An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth is not my style. Thinking about revenge is just torturing my heart and soul. When I told a very good friend through MSN that I've decided to let go of my grudge and resentment towards that person, she immediately said to me, "This is the che-che (sister, translated from mandarin) I know, a good person with a big heart." Wow, what an affirmation!! It felt like an affirmation from the Father, "This is my beloved."

For me, this is a good lesson learnt. My next mission is to work together with Christ; I shall be the love- and mercy-sower, Jesus will be the garderner. And I will patiently wait for the 'fruits' to grow as God showers His blessings on His people.

Inspired by Thursday Gospel reflection in Lectio Divina, a community project of the Secular Order of Discalced Carmelites (OCDS) Malaysia.

Aug 18, 2006

Mind my own life

I realized that my last post (which I have deleted) will not just bring me lots of trouble, even the friends whom I love so much may be affected as well because of me. No, I don't want that to happen. I don't want to involve those who are innocent. Therefore, by not making that post public is the only way to protect those I love.

The story of Jesus and the prostitude has been in my mind ever since the day I sat down and did some reflections. Jesus said, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." (John 8:7) I knew that all along, that is why I didn't get to be the first one to "throw that stone." Today, I have more realizations and know that I should mind my own business.

1. God has His own PURPOSE for each of us, whether we are good or bad. In the same way, chances of meeting different types of people are given to me for a good reason. One of the many reasons (which my immature mind identified) is that God wants to open my eyes and let me learn from the mistakes of others, and also to apply other people's good points into my own life. Perhaps He is like a potter's hands shaping my life so that I become the person I am supposed to be. So, condemning a person is not my job.

2. The Bible says, "Do not give what is holy to dogs - they will only turn and attack you. Do not throw your pearls in front of pigs - they will only trample them underfoot." (Mark 7:6). I happen to spot this verse when I was flipping the pages to look for the encounter of Jesus with the prostitute (John 8). I know that there's no use getting angry, nor is it going to help if I take revenge. Therefore, why should I worry about those who couldn't care less about others? Why should I get angry with them? Will I get anything out of it? NO. Instead, it is such a waste of time and energy, besides causing me to have a shorter lifespan. Haha.

3. Who am I to teach others a lesson? Who am I to tell them that they need to change? Who am I to threaten them? I don't have the RIGHT and AUTHORITY to do all that, because God is the Ultimate Jugde and not me. The Bible says, "Do not jugde others, so that God will not judge you, for God will judge you in the same way you judge others..." (Matt 7:1). That verse has really scared me out of my chair! Well, why should I be afraid that they repeat their mistakes again and again? It's their choice anyway. All of us will have to give an account for our deeds at the end of our lives. We are all judged individually. I'm not the generous kind who would accompany them to hell! No way!!

4. Liking involves feeling, loving involves willing. I cannot distinguish the differences between 'like' and 'love' until years ago. When I say that I like someone, it is not necessary that I love him/her. In the same way, when I hate someone, it doesn't mean that I don't love him/her. Even though I can hate someone with all my heart and soul, I would still willingly help that person when he/she comes to me for help. Why? Because I LOVE God and whatever He says I'll do.

Okay, since it is no more my business and there's nothing I can do to change the situation, my real job is to PRAY. To pray for conversion of hearts. To pray for forgiveness. To pray for perseverence, courage and wisdom. To pray for God's protection and guidance. And to put all hope and trust in the Lord our God, who never fails to keep His promise. I also ask for prayers of this blog's readers, that God will protect me and those around me from the snares of the evil one.

[I've recovered from my anger and unwillingness to forgive. Looks like everything will return to normal again. Thank you for your prayers and advice. Father, I ask for Your forgiveness for bringing You so much pain. Have mercy on me, Lord!]

Aug 12, 2006

Don't give anger a chance!

Don't you think this is kinda scary? We've never realised that being angry is really scary.

Anger. It's such a familiar word to me. Bad temper. That's one of my characteristics many friends of mine can easily identify.

I have been trying real hard to keep my temper under control, but sometimes, it disrupts when I'm unnecessarily provoked. I don't like getting angry at all. When my patience has reached its limit, I can become violent. But I thank God that so far, I haven't hurt anybody yet. Nor do I wish to hurt anyone in the future.

I landed on this post by Moneybags: "On Anger" By St. John Vianney. It is terrifying to know that we actually give authority to the Devil to take control of us when we let anger manisfest itself in us. The damage anger can do are unpredictable. And so, before we burst into anger, it is wise if we can think of the hurt we will inflict on the others, as well as on God whom we love so much.

"On Anger" By St. John Vianney is a good article to read up if you have a bad temper like I do. By God's grace, I'm sure I'll be able to control my temper better. Lord God, take control of me and my temper so that I'd not hurt you and myself in return.

Photo courtesy of Indymedia Italy.

I'm a fool

I have been angry with someone from church who hurt my father a week ago. She has done the same thing to many others and drove them away from our church many years back. I thought she has changed, but looks like I was wrong.

So I wasn't happy for the whole week. I felt like giving her a punch in the face, to teach her a lesson she will never forget for the rest of her life. Since no one has done that before, let me be the first. I told the Lord. It took me a long time to forgive her (I was her victim too), now she has caused my hatred for her to grow again.

I even blamed the Lord for letting this happen. Why Lord? Why my father and not me? Let me bear all these hurt for my father because I have been through it once. And that would most probably be a good chance for me to teach her a lesson (for if I'm provoked, I can be very violent). I prayed.

I seem to get an answer in my heart... "My Child, I knew you would do that. That's why I didn't allow it." I wasn't satisfied, of course. For that week, I forgot my Morning Prayers and Night Prayers. All that's on my mind when I opened my eyes in the morning and before I sleep at night is that woman and what she did. It was a terrible week.

Until last night, changes started happening. I went for choir practice, and as usual we have praise & worship first. But when we were singing the hymn "You Are My All In All", my eyes got foggy.

You are my strength when I am weak,
You are the treasure that I seek,
You are my all in all;
Seeking You as a precious jewel,
Lord to give up I'd be a fool,
You are my all in all...

Taking my sin, my cross, my shame,
Rising again I bless your name,
You are my all in all;
When I fall down You picked me up,
When I am dry You fill my cup,
You are my all in all...

Tears flowed.

Oh, how could I be such a fool? Why did I let matters like this to trouble me? How could I give up the greatest Treasure which I own? Why did I allow myself to believe in the lies of the evil one? Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!

Right now, I offer up all the anxiety, anger, confusion, and unwillingness to forgive to my Lord. Only by letting go and letting God can I overcome this problem and many problems to come in the future.

God bless.

Aug 11, 2006

My convocation

Hooray! I had my graduation ceremony on the 6th August (oops, yes I know I should have posted these photos earlier. But something came up so they have to wait). How did I feel? Joy to the extreme. Hehe. And thankful too, that I finally come to an end of the campus life. I know that I didn't really excel in studies, but I also know that God has His own plan for me. And besides, I didn't do too badly at all... 'cos I qualified for convocation! Lord, I knew that since You brought me to it, You'll bring me through it. And You did! Thank you Lord!

See those flowers? I didn't expect anybody to buy me flowers or gifts, but a junior came with these and it was indeed a pleasant surprise! It was my first time to receive flowers from someone.

Here are some of my good friends who have journeyed with me through thick and thin. Not all the time, but we've enjoyed moments together. The memory of these three years shall I carefully keep in the treasure box of my heart. :) Too bad I couldn't get the whole gang in, since everybody was busy with photo taking. For those who are not in the photo and those who are, I love you all! And thank you for the friendship I enjoyed and cherished. May God bless your future and everything you do. Ohh... and CONGRATULATIONS... to ALL OF US!!! ;)

Aug 4, 2006

Thanksgiving... on my birthdday

Gees... I'm kind of hungry when I see this cake.

I am celebrating my 24th birthday today.

Goodness, age is really catching up. At about 11:40 p.m. on 3rd August, I was surfing the internet and looking for some Catholic news that might attract me. An SMS came, but I took no notice of it. After 10 minutes, I checked the message and it was a pleasant surprise! A friend sent me a birthday greeting. Seriously, I forgot that I have lived for 24 years when the clock strikes 12:00 midnight.

See, I can be that forgetful sometimes. I almost forgotten my own birthday!

I don't think I will have a birthday cake this year. But the best birthday memory that I had was two years ago when I stayed with my campus mates in a rented house. They prepared a grand celebration for me, with chocolate fudge cake (yummy, I loved it!) and birthday song in 3 languages. Haha. I thank the Lord for them.

My birthday wish? I sincerely hope that I will become a better person - a better friend, a better daughter to my parents, and a better Bride to our Lord.

O God, I thank you for giving me another year of life.

I thank you for all the people who have remembered me today, and who have sent me cards, and letters, and good wishes, and presents.

I thank you for everything which I have been abled by you to do and to be in the past year.

I thank you for all the experiences of the past year;
for times of success which will always be happy memories;
for times of failure which reminded me of my own weakness and of my need of you;
for times of joy when the sun was shining;
for times of sorrow which drove me to you.

Forgive me
for the hours I have wasted;
for the chances I failed to take;
for the opportunities I missed in the past year.

Forgive me that I have not made of life all that I might have made of it and could have made of it; and help me in the days which lie ahead to make this the best year yet, and in it to bring happiness to my loved ones, and credit and joy to you.

Mary, Mother of God and my mother, please pray for me.
This I ask in Jesus' name. AMEN.