Seed of Lies

Keeping Jesus in the center of my life is a choice. It is what I pray for daily. Why? Because the seduction of evil permeates all facets of our lives.

There was a time when money, work (I was a workaholic), the latest trend, hype fashion, and shopping was the center of my universe. It was all about me and what I wanted.

When did all that change?

I am not sure. In fact I think it was a gradual transformation. The realization I wanted something more out of life than my quest for “knowledge”, “things” and satisfying my “needs”. Perhaps it’s my journey from being a prodigal daughter to mother. I am not sure anymore, but I do know it started with wanting to leave a legacy for my children that will steer them away from the struggles I went through. I want them to lead a good life. I hope they walk a straight path rather than a meandering one filled with painful spiritual battles, sin, and mental challenges. I want to be able to guide them to lead meaningful lives.

Lies in our midst

The world we live in has been tainted by the dark hand of Satan. Everywhere we look, whether it be mass marketing, the media, social media, television, or online, everything has been permeated with a seed of evil. We see it in every facet of our lives. To be able to discern the truth from all the trash around us, requires our veils to be lifted. It is only then, that all lies can be exposed. It can be difficult to discern when the truth is persuasively interwoven with lies. Lies are cloaked in so called documentaries, films, novels, talk shows, YouTube, news, academic writing, etc.

Remember when Satan first appeared to Eve. The serpent was so conniving and convincing that before she had the time to think about it, she was seduced into believing his warped logic. This has not changed in our world. Today, any lie can be reinforced with quasi truth. In turn, seeds of these lies spread quickly – online. Catholicism, Jesus, our Holy Mother, is attacked time and time again with these quasi truth and lies. An online search can bring up many examples of this. There are just as many novels and movies that deconstructs and mars it with beguiling lies. Watching or reading some of this material seem to be plausible and true. It may even sound logical. Through skilled writing, many of these discourses propagate lies. This is how Satan works. The master of lies. A person reading or watching these movies can easily fall prey to these lies and even embrace these sacrilegious idiom. There are just as many academic researchers whose running critique on the Bible and on Catholicism seem to be based on sound research. The key word here is “seems” and “appears’ to be plausible. Any thesis or conjecture backed up with documentation can seem to be real. It is only with close examination (with the help of the Biblical truths, and filled with the Holy Spirit) that the lies can be exposed. Yes, lies can be very convincing! They use all kinds of examples and conjectures to prove their point. The populous watching or reading this material will find it believable.

Be aware that Satan rules over this world. He delights in planting doubtful seeds in our mind.

Parable of the Sower

Sowing of doubt is abound in our world, and many who are not grounded in their faith will be sweep away. Jesus warned of this in his parable of the sower:

And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!” Matthew 13: 3-9

It grieves my heart that my own husband after watching one of these so called documentary on Netflix believed the cleverly planted lies. Evil seduces us from every facet of our lives, and sometimes our fortitude is not strong enough to overcome it. Instead of refuting and arguing with him about the nature of all these lies, and getting into a dispute, I told him to stay grounded in Jesus. I also took some time to pray for him, and asked Jesus to open his heart to the truth. Remember Satan will attack those closest to us.

Ask, Search, Knock

‘Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

Stay centered upon the word of God, and in the teachings of the Holy Catholic Church. Pray for the Holy Spirit to help us discern especially in light of all the seductive lies in our world. Read about the lives of Saints and how they personally battled spiritual demons. Pray!

Prayers

Aside:

The sinner in me seeks forgiveness, and asks for God’s grace and mercy:

A moment I am not proud of, and ashamed of: My advice to my own son when he was in High School, “You can convince anyone of anything with skillful writing and using data/examples to back your theory/thesis/objective.” “Language is a game”, I recall telling him (Wittgenstein).

God Bless 💖

A Mother’s Love

19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

Luke 2:19

Becoming a Mother

In the middle of an airport terminal was the first time I saw my adopted son. I recall feeling a sense of awe and anticipation as I took him in my arms. A surreal feeling washed over me as I held him. He was little bundle, and 4 months old. I’ll never forget the flicker of fear that passed through me as I realized nothing prepared me emotionally for this moment. I am a mother. I didn’t have 9 months to biologically bond with my child. Although my husband and I had received regular updates, and photos taken by his foster mother – I had that initial feeling of awkwardness when meeting someone for the first time. Then the stunted reality that this precious bundle will be my son, and I will be his mom.

We repeated this process a few years later. This time, my husband and I picked up our adopted daughter (8 months old) from an orphanage in Taiwan. The same feelings resurfaced. I again felt like a newbie, and was just as emotionally overwhelmed. I am now a mother to two children.

In retrospect, there was and still is, a sense of awe and thankfulness to our Almighty God for answered prayers. Both times, I recalled the feeling of inadequacy, “What am I getting myself into”? Each time I felt the surreal – when reality and longings fused. There was also the overwhelming weight of responsibility that comes with answered prayers. “Yes, I am now endowed with the responsibility for two gifts from God.” “Lord, guide me to be the mother you want me to be to them, and let my gift back to you be worthy.”

I cannot to this day, imagine the emotions their biological mothers must have felt in giving up their babies. I can only thank the Lord my God for blessing me with two beautiful children. One is now a young adult, and the other a teenager. By God’s mercy, He has given me two gifts and my job is to love them with all my heart.

Motherly Love

The love of a mother is not just an emotion. When my I first held them in my arms, I had to learn to love them. The bond of love is developed over time. My love for my children is also a relationship which starts with caring for their needs, guiding, teaching, mentorship, and above all. in the giving of myself without expectations for rewards. Both children are uniquely different in temperament and personalities. Their learning styles were also different. Love not only grows and deepens as I got to know each, but it led to my own growth as a person and mother. I learnt let go of my own ego, to love the uniqueness and difference in each of them. It also opened my eyes to who I was as a mother and as a child of God.

Now that my children are older, this love continues to grow and mature in depth and width. In fact, this feeling of maternal relationship and love never ceases, and grows with every trial that each child goes through.

Daughter

So often, my relationship with my own children has led me to recall my mom, and my relationships with her. Often I hear her echoed in me when I talk to my children. As I live in another province and city, I miss her, and often make the effort to call and talk to her. Our mother – daughter journey is reflected in the different stages of my life, from that of a child, a rebellious teen, a young adult, and finally, as a mom.

Holy Mother Mary

The care, love and nurturing of a mother is a bond she establishes with her child. Nothing can compare to the love of a mother. I thank the Almighty God for giving me the opportunity to be a mom. It is in being a mom and daughter, that I can imagine the depth and width of our Holy Mother’s love for her son Jesus, and for us. Her immense love pours out for us, and she longs to intercede on our behalf to her Son – Jesus.

My initial steps towards our Holy Mother – The Virgin Mary, was awkward. Coming from a Protestant background, I was not familiar with her. I remember asking the Holy Spirit to grace me with a sincere heart in getting to know her. Like a newly adopted child, I looked upon her to take care of me, and I embraced her with child like trust.

Praying the Rosary is part of my steps towards my Holy Mother. It is through prayer that relationships are established. It is through communicating in prayer that our relationship with one another – between Mother and child – is deepened. From silent whispers, to fumbled sentences, to soulful moans, and now with trusting velocity, I have a better understanding and insights into my faith. Like a child, I thirst for intimacy to be in the abode of the Holy Family.

I long to get to know my holy family through the graces of my Holy Mother.

Let us pray for the grace to love Mother Mary more, and for the grace that through her we can ask her to intercede on our behalf to have spiritual closeness with God the Father, His son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit.

Praise be to God. 💖

My Hybrid World

In my daily life, I see how reliant my family is to technology. These days, my son takes all his courses from his local college via zoom. My daughter is in school every other day, and on days she is home, she has classes via zoo. When I need to communicate with my kids, it is via a text message. They are less likely to respond to my voice call but will answer my text. Go figure!

Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash

Covid -19 pandemic has basically forced a pendulum shift in how we go about our daily lives. Depending on the type of employment, many now work from home. I am one of them. Not only do I work online, but staff meetings as well as parent meetings are also online. In fact, in the last annual parent/teacher meeting I attended, I noticed much more participation. Why? Both teachers and parents had the ease of tuning in during a peak time from home. They were able to participate and follow along while continue to do family chores at home (cooking, eating dinner, etc.).

The physical and restrictions imposed on our churches should not be a negative experience. In fact, it has forced many who have not used online platforms in the past, to scramble and build from the ground up a system by which to not only share the world of God, but to maintain important and valued programs for children, youths, adults, families, and the elderly. Going back to a grassroot level and reaching out to volunteers from the community to help with unfamiliar technology has been a challenge for all. In fact, I feel that going back to basics is an important process in identifying what is most relevant and lets us shed away the irrelevant. I genuinely believe the hand of God is upon us. He is guiding us to adapt, and as we (Catholics and the Church) maneuver, explore, and use the technology available for outreach. I personally do not think we will return to the old guard of the physical – that is going to the actual physical environment. If we do, it will be a novelty and on special occasion, but rather it will be a “hybrid” Pastoral approach.

Photo by Anna Gru on Unsplash

All churches now must adapt to the reality of a blending of both the physical and digital means by which to spread the Gospel, teach, communicate with not only their parish, but to those around the world. Many who did not use YouTube or online platforms to preach, have had to adapt very quickly and explore the platforms available by which to do this.

I make this conjecture out of the experiences with my own children. I recall every all the effort and activities my husband and I have done as our children were growing up to introduce our children to a variety of experiences. One of them was the ambience of live concerts, music festivals, museums, art and cultural events. I recall one such evening at the Montreal Jazz Festival. Not only was it jam packed with people, but there was a lot of security and checkpoints to ensure the weeklong event went smoothly. My son asked us, “Why do we need to be here, when I can watch a live stream of this on YouTube?” “Phew!”, I thought. What viable answer to I have for him? Many wise words flashed through my mind before I answered him. “When you watch shows streamed on YouTube, you are missing out on the ambient feel and energy of the crowd”, all the while hoping my answer makes sense. Well, to my chagrin, my son informs me he will rather watch it in the comfort of home (his room) than amidst a crowd, to which his sister nodded in agreement. Sheesh! I recall looking into the night sky and asking God, “Really?” “Is this what’s become of our generation?”

Photo by Jazmin Quaynor on Unsplash

This is the reality of our lives today. Many churches and religious organizations have come to this realization, especially considering how dependent we have become of our digital world of social media, or our online discourse and reliance on it for communication. Many have jumped on the online band wagon. Church at home seems to be the mantra these days. It is the realization that to reach out and spread the Gospel, they need to do so by reaching out on a social platforms. It is also the realization that our devices/online is a reality of our modern world – especially in the mist of a pandemic, government lockdowns and restrictions.

We live in a hybrid world – a fusion of the physical and the digital. Covid – 19 pandemic only accelerated this process into our daily lives. The social stage of it was already set when this technology was developed and infiltrated into our homes via our reliance on our devices.

My daughter participates in Teen Alpha offered by our local parish. It is zoomed weekly, and I am thankful for this forum is available for our youths. As with most teens of her generation, they are at ease using the internet and social platforms to communicate. It is actually easier for a generation that grew up along side YouTube, Tik Tok, Snapchat, Instagram to adapt to using Zoom or a hybrid that consists of online and real-life vehicles to learn.

My son and I participate in our local Alpha group also via zoom. I also participate in many online zoom groups. One group I look forward to weekly is examining the work of St. Thomas Aquinas – The Bread of Life. Zoom meetings like these gives me and others the opportunity to delve deeper into my/our faith. Just as there are online zoom meets for the rosary, and weekly meeting for Bible studies, etc.

Yes, our lives are changed forever.

The Hybrid Pastoral Approach the embraces and fuses both the physical and online realities that exists in our world today. Physical and online realities are here to stay. It can only be perfected. Hence, our Church leaders only need to fine tune the process, by adapting online technology and its various platforms to build, create and expand the physical space of the church into the home of every parish member and beyond its boundaries. The goals are not only to welcome every participant, but to invite new participants. It’s incentive is to create a Christ centered community that embraces one another with love. Another is to enable each to feel comfortable and safe in celebrating the daily Holy Sacraments, in celebrating our faith, and in developing our faith. It is reaching out and embracing all our young, teens, adults, families, and our elderly in a technology like zoom to bring us all together as one body under God.

On a personal level, I believe it is by the grace and mercy of Jesus, that we embrace the new technology in our political, social, cultural and post pandemic reality. The goal is to sustain the church, as well as secure and revive the foundations of Catholicism, and, to spread the word of God into every home. The empty churches we felt before the pandemic will only magnify post pandemic. The hybrid fusion of the physical church and online platform is the last bastion for a revival of the Catholic Church – for outreach to new souls, and to maintain and keep the faith alive of the old. It is a time for all Catholics to step forward to become active participants in faith.

Jesus, I trust in You!

God Bless and thank you, for reading.

💖

He Hears Us

As my 14 year old daughter was preparing for bed the other night, I quietly reminded her, “Don’t forget to say your prayers”. Her response to me was, “Mom, I don’t pray to God, I talk to Him”. As much as I wanted to give her my two cents worth of insights, and share my own prayer experiences, I held back. Why?

She has her personal journey with Jesus. It is different from mine. She “owns” it so to speak through her prayer, and this makes it real for herself. Does it matter how she communicates with Jesus? As a parent, I can guide from behind the scenes – stealth mode. I pray for the hand of God, Holy Mary, and all the Angels and Saints to protect her from the clutches of Satan’s guiles (this can come from television, social media, etc.) as she journeys with Jesus.

My daughter is also absolutely right, praying is talking to God. Her way of communicating with God is personal and private. As I reflect on my own prayer life today, and how I use to pray in the past, I see a transformation in my prayer life as my own faith grew. Prayer is synchronous with my own growth and development as a Christian. From awkward prayers to free flowing lucid ones – “I don’t know what to say to Jesus!” – to sincerely heart felt prayers that often have me in tears before our Savior.

Prayer is also related to our own personal experiences. Each of us experiences and makes sense of our world based on different sets of lens. Our worldviews and the way we see things changes as we ourselves change and adjust to our environment. Prayer is much the same. It grows, expands along with our own sensitivities and life experiences.

Faith, Hope, Love!

Jesus, I trust in You!

Prayer is our dialogue with the Almighty. Through prayer, we acknowledge He is our God. He hears us.

The story of Esther in the Old Testament is a testament to this:

Queen Esther’s Prayer  

Esther C: 14-25, 14:4-9

“My Lord, our King, You alone are our God.
Please help me, for I am alone and I have no one else
but You to turn to; my life is in danger.
As a child I was always told by the people of the land
of my forefathers that You, O Lord, chose Israel
from among all peoples and designated our fathers
from among all their ancestors as a perpetual heritage,
and that all of Your promises to them were fulfilled.
Now, however, we have sinned in Your sight
by worshiping the gods of our enemies,
and You have delivered us into their hands
because You are just, O Lord …
Do not forget us, O Lord.
Be present to us in the time of our distress and grant me courage,
O King of gods and Ruler of every earthly power …
Save us by Your power, and come to my aid,
for I am alone and have no one but You on whom to depend, O Lord.”
Amen.

God hears!

Yes, and He answers Esther’s call for help by softening the King’s heart. Esther was also able to reveal to the King the treachery that belies his throne, and stop the persecution of the Jews.

As I reflect on my journey into Catholicism, praying has become the center of my day. Through faith, I know God hears me. Whether He answers right away is up to Him. I can only hope that He will answer me. Through prayer, I acknowledge Jesus and His divine greatness. Through prayer, I tell Jesus I love Him. It is a simple truth based on faith and love.

Sincerity is all that God asks of us.

There is a rich vault of prayers and chaplets in the Catholic faith. They are powerful tools for us to pray with. It was through praying the Rosary that I fell in love with my Holy Mother. As a former Protestant, I will admit that my yearly nod to the Virgin Mary and St. Joseph was only at Christmas (in the nativity story). I never delved deeper. My journey in the Catholic faith was the rediscovery of our Immaculate Virgin Mary through the Rosary. It is also a rediscovery of St. Joseph.

I recall those early days when after an online search and armed with YouTube and printed material, I awkwardly said the Rosary. After many weeks, it dawned on me, “I enjoy praying the Rosary”. There are days when it calms me. There are days I find myself sobbing and crying. I was led into an intimate journey through the Passions of Christ, His suffering and love for us. I was shown our human weakness.

Through praying the Rosary, I also got to know Holy Mary. The repetition upon each bead, I prayed, “Hail, Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of they womb, Jesus”. The Holy Spirit revealed to me insights and mysteries that transcends the day to day repetition of the Rosary. I think this is something each Catholic must discover on their own, as I believe it will be unique to each.

Praying the many prayers and chaplets shows our trust in God. It also acknowledges a bond of trust.

He hears our prayers.

God hears everyone and every whisper of our heart!

Our act of faith goes a long way.

God Bless 💖

Dreams Speak

Alleluia, Alleluia, It’s Sunday!

The last two days has seen me short tempered, snappy, and difficult to get along with.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Little incidences cropping up made me realize how human I am, and, how I fall short of God’s glory. I am reminded of the abundance of God’s grace and mercy pouring out for us. It also made me realize that in my imperfection, I also have God’s forgiveness for my sins.

Little irritants that crop up as a mom and wife are God’s way of showing me to let it go, and trust in Him. So what if my kids don’t make their bed. I will close the door to their rooms. A sink full of dishes can be an eyesore, but someone can wash them later. It’s ok if my husband doesn’t know where things go. I can remind him. Is it worth getting angry and letting the negative feelings feed Satan and his minions. NO!

Let it go!

God’s grace and mercy is abundant.

“Let yourself be healed by Jesus!” (Pope Francis)

After feeling mortification and remorse for my hissy fits, I had a beautiful message sent by God through a dream.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

In fact I woke up in the early morning and reflected upon it. In my dream, I only recall the last part of it: I died during a surgery only to come to life again minutes later. As I was waking up from my dream, this verse came to mind:

I have been crucified with Christ; 20 and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 

Galatians 1:19-20 NRSVCE

Thank you Jesus, for your love and guidance. Thank you for your abundant grace and mercy.

God Bless 💖

This past Friday and Saturday was set aside by me to worship. I have linked the information below:

The first Friday and Saturday of every month is a time of worship and meditation upon the Sacred heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Holy Virgin Mary. For more information and background:

January 1st, 2021

January 2nd, 2021

February 5, 2021

February 6, 2021

Coming Home

Many years ago, when my children were young, a neighbor invited our family to attend Catholic Mass with her. I must say at the time, my eyes were closed and all my prejudice towards the Catholic faith prevented me from appreciating the experience. Now many years later, I can honestly say that I was ignorant. I was blinded by many wrong ideas about the Catholic church.

Now, I can humbly say I was wrong in all my misconceptions of the Holy Mass and of the Holy Church of God.

What changed?

When Covid-19 forced Christians to stay at home and churches were closed worldwide, I found that my quiet time with God was littered with a restless and wondering mind, and I was sometimes at a lost as to what to study or mediate on in the scripture. I felt a lack of self discipline. I prayed for help. I search and watched YouTube steams from different evangelical denomination, from Dispensationalist with their fear inducing fire sermons on the one hand, to feel good meditative scripture reading with a positive vibe, and to mega churches and their use of contemporary music and multimedia to draw in our tech savvy youths. All these magnified a gap for me. I was missing the feeling of a home, and of being a part of a family.

Writing in down my thoughts and prayers, and asking for guidance, I found I was serendipitously being guided towards books by Catholic writers, live stream of Catholic commentators, and other Catholic YouTubers. I remember my exclamation at the time was, “really God, the Catholic Church!”

I read Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahns, and although I am not a Bible academic, I understood the issues in doctrine that He addressed along with what moved him towards the Catholic church. I recall asking much of the same questions as I went from one Protestant denomination to another, always feeling something was missing. I could relate to his experiences.

I grew up within an Alliance tradition and returned to the Alliance tradition (when St. Stephens closed), but did not feel a sense of belonging. My own family was divided. My husband and son wanted a church like the Anglican one we use to attend, but this church has long closed. They both loved the family feel as well as the all cultural and socio economic diversity of St. Stephens Anglican Church. For myself, I longed for the feeling of family, and a total experience of worship. I wanted a Church that encompasses discipleship, discipline, structure, history, and true substance. Please note these are my experiences and am not trivializing or criticizing Evangelicalism Christians. My daughter still favors Churchome and their style of sharing God’s words. I encourage her to continue to be a part of Churchome. She is also in a teen Alpha group member of a Catholic parish. In the end, I think what’s important is getting closer to Jesus.

I recently confessed to my siblings of my walk towards Catholicism. It’s a walk that requires acceptance by the Catholic Church, and a journey into a deeper understanding and relationship with Jesus. After much prayer and asking God for signs, and being the proactive person that I am, I looked for a Catholic Church in my parish. They also have a 7 day live stream of their Mass.

I recall my child like “awe” when I heard the scripture at the beginning of Mass, and I recall thinking to myself, “Wow, the Mass uses Bible scriptures!” When I think about it, I can honestly say, “I was so ignorant, what else would the Mass be about if it’s not the Scriptures?”

It was during the Holy Eucharist and partaking in the Body and Blood of Jesus, that I realized this is what I have been missing. For the first time, “communion” came alive for me. After Covid-19 I felt it was so trivialized when I recall one Pastor telling his congregation any carb would do for the Body, and any drink would do for the Blood as long as we imagined it to be just that – the Body and Blood of Jesus. I was quite annoyed when my daughter went to get a muffin and juice saying it was what she was using. I didn’t want to scold her as she was participating. For myself, I felt it was a trivialization of a Holy experience, especially as the next time we had virtual communion, my daughter grabbed a bowl of chips and juice because the Pastor said it was ok as long as it was carb.

I had to put my foot down spiritually, and found myself in front of the Catholic Church.

My post today is especially for members of my family, to understand why I am here. To guide them in understanding that the Catholic Church is a home coming experience for me. I feel I am now a part of a Christian family with members world wide. I share with all of them the same daily Scripture readings, and participate with all of them in the daily Holy reunification with Jesus in partaking in His Body and Blood. It is a family that respects and acknowledges the history of the early church. Moreover, it looks to the early church as a bedrock for it’s faith and commitment to Jesus.

The living Jesus is with me in my daily prayer. I find myself having a deeper understanding of His sacrifice for us as I pray the Rosary. Each day my appreciation deepens for Mary the Mother of Jesus. Just as I have renewed respect and appreciation for all the Saints who have sacrificed themselves for Jesus.

Praise be to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit!

Exploring The Christian Faith

As a starting point, I suggest Alpha. I have taken this course 30 years ago, and will redo it in January as part of my journey into the Catholic Church. It is an awesome course with a limited number of people to maximize on sharing questions about life as well as a journey in the exploration of faith in the Christian faith and in Jesus. Try Alpha | Find an Alpha Course Near You to Try

Different Christian groups regardless of denominations have Alpha courses available. It may take a little research to find one in your area.

For Newbies to the Mass

I suggest you look for a Catholic Church near your neighborhood. A local parish takes care of believers in their area. They also provide programs and charity work for the needy in their area. This is way to support your community.

The Mass for new comers can be a bit confusing and intimidating, but if you prepare ahead of time, it will be less daunting, and you will find yourself having a deeper experience. The Mass starts off with Daily Readings. All Catholics worldwide have the same readings. All readings are from the Bible. Although my parish sends me out a weekly reading list, I also use an app on my iPhone: Laudate – CatholicApps.com, or you can subscribe to a number of Catholic sites (in the U.S.A.): Daily Bible Readings, Audio and Video Every Morning | USCCB.

I am lazy so I like to have these readings on my iPhone. I read them in the morning before Mass. This helps me follow along.

In Canada, the readings come from the The Revised Standard Version Catholic Bible or the NIV, while in the U.S. they used the The Ignatius Bible which is a Revised Standard Version. There are free Catholic Bible apps. The one I use is One Bible. I like this apps as I use a few different versions, and sometimes will read a few interpretations for better insight. If I am online using Microsoft Edge, I use BibleGateway.com.

After the Readings, the Priest proceeding over the Mass reads from the Gospels followed by a short message based on the readings. My Priest always leaves an opened ended question at the end – food for thought. As I am a visual learner, I follow along by using the Sunday Missal, which has a collection of all the Eucharist, special Prayers, etc. for the year. Your local parish supplies this.

To help me understand that I was not the only one looking for home, the program The Journey Home with Marcus Grodi | EWTN helped me when I needed signs from God. I had read Hahn’s book, so watching His interview on this program was an affirmation for me.

Dr. Scott Hahn’s First Interview:

Dr. Scott Hahn 2020:

This is my personal journey. I wanted to share this with my readers, especially my own family. During quiet time this morning I had asked the Holy Spirit for inspiration and guidance. I have been feeling a bit “blah” yesterday and felt I had nothing to write about or share. While I was making lunch, images of my family flashed in my mind along with this feeling of light bursting out from within. I was ready to share with them my story.

Thanks for reading, and God Bless!

(Chinglish-I’ll edit later:p)

The Battle of Wills

I pray that You will reign in my will.

Christ the King Novena 2020

This is a seemingly simple statement. In fact, it can be very difficult to do.

What is will? How do I define it?

I needed a day in reflection and pray to understand more deeply what God wanted me to understand in this prayer. I had a challenging time praying this prayer yesterday, and had to make a conscious effort to buckle down and pray it 15 times. I actually felt a glimmer of rebelliousness in me, and I procrastinated until I summited to God’s will and made the time to pray the Christ the King Novena – Day 6 – My will verse God’s will. This is a very real phenomenon in my prayer life. It is when I feel my rebellious nature surface that I inwardly recognize I must submit to God, because there are worldly factors coming into play to create a division between me and Him.

What does the concept of “will’ means to me? I had to reflect upon its meaning in my life. My will – my human ability to make decisions of outward expressions or actions, from what is amplified from within. At the most basic level it is my personal selfishness.

I See, I Want, I Act

At the most basic level – let’s follow the basis understanding that – my will is one based on one characteristic of my humanity. Let’s look at my selfishness. When I think about it, I can define will as the inner action or desire which moves me to act outwardly. Sometimes, my inward desire can lead me to an impulsive bad action, like it did the other night when I saw a plate of Ferrero-Rocher on the counter. I liberally helped myself to 3, and ate it one after the other. What motivated me? Well, I love the taste of milk chocolate. Seeing the half empty plate of Ferrero-Rocher, I didn’t even try to control my impulse. Why eat three in a row? I was greedy to eat it and one was just not enough. Let’s not forget I was being gluttonous, “I better eat them now before they all disappear!”

Wow this also made me think of impulse shopping, but will not mention it here, but my point is we are flawed human beings that act on instinct and sometimes we don’t have the control mechanism to stop.

How often has my own desires lead to actions contrary to the will of God. What is God’s will? What does it mean God’s will mean to me?

Yes, I am ashamed to admit that instead of reining in my inward desires, I let my outward behavior act out.

God’s Will

When I think about God’s will, I think of the Lord’s Prayer which we pray daily.

Pray, then, in this way:

“Our Father who is in heaven,

Hallowed be Your name.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done,

On earth as it is in heaven . . .”

Matthew 6:9-10 (NASB)

Your will for me is for me to abide by Your will, and live it as if your Kingdom is already here. It means for me to take action first by inviting you into my life. First, I confess to my Lord Jesus that I am a sinner. I cannot control my own impulses, and I am flawed through and through. It is only by Your redeeming grace I am saved.

Invitation

As I have freedom of will, and it is my choice to acknowledge my sins, and confess it. It is also based on my freedom to chose that I invite the Holy Spirit to come into my heart (being) and guide me.

“Your kingdom come, Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven,” is my clear invitation for Your guidance, and to open my eyes so that I can see clearly the difference between right and wrong. I invite Your grace to give me the strength to abide in the will of God – His will and His alone.

Yes, I will falter, and I am ashamed to admit it. However the next time I am tempted, I will have a better understanding and awareness of my flaws. The next day my husband included in his grocery bag, 4 cans of Pringles. After nagging him to not buy junk food anymore, I refrained from eating any (actually said a silent prayer asking for self control), for if I start, I will eat the whole can in one sitting. I realize this is a very silly example, but it is something that came to mind as I spend the day reflecting upon my will verse God’s will. These two examples are also my way to include a dose of honest humor. After all, in our walk with Jesus there are often funny anecdotes, just as there are deeply moving ones.

I know if we think about it, there are many examples in our lives that can highlight examples when our will and God’s will clashes, just as there are many examples of how when we sincerely ask for God’s Holy Spirit to work in us, there are also many example of His grace at work in our lives. I pray that we continue to pray for “His kingdom come, and His will be done” in our lives.

Sasha Freemind (@sashafreemind) | Unsplash

This Advent is a time for me to really reflect and draw closer to Jesus, and to prepare my life from a proactive standpoint to receive and truly live my life with Him with sincerity and love.

God Bless!

Day 6 and Day 7 Christ the King Novena 2020 Links:

I will edit my Chinglish a bit later in the day:)