Mar 31, 2007

A different approach to fasting

Click on the image to enlarge it.

Perhaps, this post is a little late.

I received this in a powerpoint format a couple of weeks ago. My Catholic colleague did a little photoshop wonder and turned a presentation into a compact image.

Everyone is encouraged to fast, but there isn't a particular prescribed time or manner of doing it (Authority for Abstinence in the New Law). There are many forms of fasting, it is not limited to abstinence from food only. Read more on fasting and abstinence here.

Lenten season is almost over. Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, and Good Friday is just another week away. I still feel that my Lenten preparation isn't enough, I could have done more. Much more. Sometimes I just hate myself for not being able to break through the difficulties I face. Another one week to Good Friday, Lord, give me the strength, Your grace and faith to prepare myself well this week.

Have a blessed Holy Week.

Mar 26, 2007

Message of Our Lady from Medjugorje

Message on 25 March 2007:

"Dear children, I desire to thank you from my heart for your Lenten renunciation. I desire to inspire you to continue to live fasting with an open heart. By fasting and renunciation, little children, you will be strong in faith. In God you will find peace through daily prayer. I am with you and I am not tired. I desire to take you all with me to Heaven, therefore, daily decide for holiness. Thank you for having responded to my call."

Mar 23, 2007

Curiosity kills my faith...

... and I really hope that it is not happening. And never will.

I came home bringing what people call "The Cake of Our Lady the Virgin Mary", its dough in a container and a piece of paper with instructions and the history behind it. Due to that dough, I had a fight with my mom.

The instruction sheets. Hand-written that said: "Say a prayer each time. Receive the graces."

Method of Preparation:

As soon as you receive the dough place it in a glass, pyrex or plastic container and cover tightly with glad-wrap or foil. Never put it in the fridge.

DAY 1 & DAY 2 (Day 1 begins the day after you receive the dough)
Leave the dough covered and don't touch it so that it adapts to the atmosphere.

DAY 3 & DAY 4
Stir the dough with a wooden spoon and cover again.

Add 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of plain yogurt and 2 cups of plain flour. Stir well with a wooden spoon and cover again.

Stir well with a wooden spoon and cover.

DAY 10
Add 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of yogurt, 2 cups of plain flour and stir well with a wooden spoon. Mix well. Then divide the dough into 4 equal parts. 3 parts to be distributed amongst 3 faithful people (1/4 each). The 4th quarter is yours. Add to it 1/4 cup of sugar, 3 eggs and 1/2 cup of olive oil plus 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Mix well with a wooden spoon and pour into a buttered baking dish. Bake in a moderate oven (150) for 50 minutes.


It is also known as Pope Pius bread. The story is told that an Italian woman who was suffering all her life from illness that she could not even do her house chores. One day her daughter asked to bake her a cake. She refused more than once because she was unable to do it. The daughter insisted so much taht the mother felt she needed to bake that cake. She asked the aid of the Virgin Mary. As soon as she started to prepare the cake, the Virgin Mary appeared and she herself prepared the cake for the woman. The woman was astonished with that was happening and the Virgin Mother told her "you yourself will eat from that bread and the world as well."

She asked her to keep 1/4 of the dough and to add to t the ingredients of the recipe to make the whole cake and distribute the other 3/4 to 3 other faithful people on condition, that they will do the same procedure to this miraculous dough.

Unto this day, no one has refused to bake this cake, yet, because it brings blessings and prosperity in all families that receive it and prepare it accordingly. It has been said that this bread travelled from the Vatican to America, Australia and Africa and this in itself is a miracle because:-

A -- Even though it is kept out of the fridge it never moulded.
B -- Its odour and form gives one an idea that it has yeast even though it does not.

[Picture caption: The dough. Despite the instruction not to disturb it, I dipped my finger in and felt its texture - gluey, slimy. Smelt like yeast - sour; probably due to the yogurt content.]

I doubt it is true. If it is, I would have read it somewhere from the internet. Or even heard about it through some online friends, or even priests. I've been searching for it online. Nothing at all! Not even the mentioning of it! I even interviewed 2 or 3 online Catholic pals, nobody has even heard of its existence.

It was not intended for me. An aunty from the choir gave it to me because she didn't want to 'share' it further, and also because she doesn't believe in such a thing with no proof. I brought it home all because of curiosity and that I want to find out whether this is true.

[Picture caption: The baked cake. It really looks like normal cakes, but not in the taste, which is sour and it's not as soft.]

Looks like I'll be the first person who refused to bake the cake.

I sincerely ask for the help of all readers, that, you would let me know:

1) the Truth behind this, proof;
2) your testimony (of how it changed your lives and what kind of blessings it brought to you and your loved ones).
If this is a fake myth, I think it's my responsibility to warn the other brothers and sisters about it. However, if they still choose to believe it, then it's perfectly their choice.

Please help me and the parishioners who believe blindly here in Malaysia. My heartiest appreciation to all.

Mar 11, 2007

Lent - a time for solitude and silence

"How's your Lent so far?" Somebody asked me.

Silence. I couldn't really answer. I told myself on Ash Wednesday that I would waste more time in contemplation and reflection of the Word of God all throughout Lent. But look, this is already the 3rd Week of Lent, what have I done so far?

Sigh. I can't remember what I've done, except abstaining from meat and fasting from 2 meals on Friday. That's it? Well, looks like that's it. What a shame.

My utmost desire is still to spend time in prayer. I even planned to stay with the Franciscan sisters last year, to pray and to discern. The purpose I chose a place away from home was because I felt that I need the correct environment to concentrate on praying, avoiding any forms of distractions - the internet, the TV, the computer, my family and friends, and my favourite way of communication, the mobile phone -- any comfort of life to stay close with the Lord

Just recently, the Carmelite sisters lend me the book Imitation of Christ by Thomas à Kempis, and as I flipped through it, this passage caught my eyes and thoughts:

Seek for a convenient time to search your own conscience, and think often of the benefits of God. Abandon curiosity and read such matters as shall stir you to compunction of heart for your sins, rather than only to pass the time. If you will withdraw yourself from superfluous words and from unprofitable business, and from hearing rumours and idle talkes, you will find convenient time to be occupied in holy meditation.

The most holy men and women who ever lived fled, as far as they could, the company of worldly-minded men, and chose to serve God in the secrets of their hearts. One holy man said: As often as I have been among worldly company, I have left it with less fervor of spirit than I had when I came. And this we well realize, whenever we talk long, for it is not so hard always to keep silence as it is not to exceed in words when we speak much. It is also easier to be always alone at home than to go forth into the world and not offend. Therefore, whoever intends to come to an inward fixing of his heart upon God and to have the grace of devotion must with our Saviour Christ withdraw from the world.

Thomas highlighted the importance of practicing solitude and silence: ...whoever intends to come to an inward fixing of his heart upon God and to have the grace of devotion must with our Saviour Christ withdraw from the world.

It's already the 3rd Week of Lent. Left with another 2 more weeks to go before the Holy Week. What have you done so far? I'm hoping that, no matter what, I would make it a point to spend a little more time with Christ everyday -- if I don't practice solitude and silence now in preparation for Easter, then when?

Wishing you all a blessed and fruitful Lenten season.

Mar 10, 2007

Message of Our Lady from Medjugorje

Message of February 25, 2007

"Dear children! Open your heart to God's mercy in this Lenten time. The Heavenly Father desires to deliver each of you from the slavery of sin. Therefore, little children, make good use of this time and through meeting with God in confession, leave sin and decide holiness. Do this out of love for Jesus, who redeemed you with His blood, that you may be happy and in peace. Do not forget, little children: your freedom is your weakness, therefore follow my messages with seriousness. Thank you for having responded to my call."