I give thanks for two beautiful children my husband and I adopted as babies. I give thanks to God the Father, Jesus the son, and the Holy Spirit for the graces and blessings bestowed upon us.
Yesterday we celebrated MeiMei’s 16th birthday – how quickly the time has past.
Father of Jesus, We praise you and give you glory For the wonderful things you do for us; For life and health, for friends and family, for this splendid day.
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, Who art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy Will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
Hail Mary, Full of Grace, The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour of our death.
Glory be to the Father, And to the Son, And to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, And ever shall be, World without end.
19 Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, which you have from God, and that you are not your own? 1 Corinthians 6:19
For a whole year, I’ve been physically inactive. Aside from short walks with my dog to our neighbourhood park, I have not worked out. I feel my clothes getting tighter, my extra weight gain now visibly obvious. Urgh!
God has a way of revealing to us our shortcomings and imperfections. In my Alpha group this week I was moved by many of the personal testimonies shared. One participant reminded us that as we feed our spiritual body, we can’t neglect our physical one.
God has a way of communicating with us through the Holy Spirit. He often uses those around us, along with what’s within our sphere to guide and lead us. Well, again this week one of my favourite bloggers on Instagram posted:
God also moves me through the testimonies of a personal friend and colleague. Her stories gives me encouragement and strength. She inspires me with her kickboxing updates on Instagram. I admire her fortitude when she is also going through personal health challenges. Her faith in Jesus has inspired and deepened my own trust in Him.
Wow, I can’t ignore this, especially as everyday this week I have been waking up at 5:30. Each time, as soon as I realized how early it was, I snuggled back into the warmth of my duvet, “No!” “Please Jesus, it’s too early – 30 more minutes”. Then, “6:30!” “No, too early!”
Yesterday at 5:30 am, and I even felt a light nudge – a gentle caress on my left hand – the light and feathery touch of my guardian angel. I woke up immediately and seeing it was 5:30, I shamefully went back to sleep. “No!”
Finally, today at 5:30, I slowly got up and said to myself, “OK, I’ll listen!” After a coffee to wake myself up along with toast and jam, I prepared myself – in slow mode – to go work out. When I finally stepped onto the elliptical, it was cutting into my morning Rosary time, so I put on my earphones and listened to the Rosary while I silently murmured along with each breathe. It was not easy, but I did it!
Although I’ve been getting my daily spiritual nutrients, I have ignored my physical well being. Although I eat well (ok, I’ll admit a weakness for poutine and potato chips), and take my vitamins, I have neglected keeping my body healthy through exercise. I sit in front of my laptop or devices for the greater part of the day (as I am now, writing). God has been sending me nudges throughout the course of this week – all ignored! I finally stop to listen.
Thank you to all those around me for being God’s conduit.
My prayer is for God’s continued blessings for all those around me. I give thanks to all of you – my Christian family. Please continue to keep me in your prayers, as I do for each of you.
Come, Holy Spirit, send down those beams, which sweetly flow in silent streams from Thy bright throne above.
O come, Thou Father of the poor; O come, Thou source of all our store, come, fill our hearts with love.
O Thou, of comforters the best, O Thou, the soul’s delightful guest, the pilgrim’s sweet relief.
Rest art Thou in our toil, most sweet refreshment in the noonday heat; and solace in our grief.
O blessed Light of life Thou art; fill with Thy light the inmost heart of those who hope in Thee.
Without Thy Godhead nothing can, have any price or worth in man, nothing can harmless be.
Lord, wash our sinful stains away, refresh from heaven our barren clay, our wounds and bruises heal.
To Thy sweet yoke our stiff necks bow, warm with Thy fire our hearts of snow, our wandering feet recall.
Grant to Thy faithful, dearest Lord, whose only hope is Thy sure word, the sevenfold gifts of grace. Grant us in life Thy grace that we, in peace may die and ever be, in joy before Thy face.
Today I wanted to share with you this beautiful prayer, “Come, Holy Spirit”. It’s become one of my daily prayers. I discovered this prayer as a part of my Lent reading and following the, Consecration to St. Joseph by Father Donald H. Calloway.
God Bless everyone as we share and discover our own favorite prayer 💖
Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
How do I talk to God?
I love my daughters’ definition about prayer. Her answer is so simple and succinct, “I don’t pray, I talk to God.” Her little statement enlists from me much food for thought. Each of us have our own journey with God. The very fact that it is immensely personal, makes it unique and different for each of us.
How do I start? Relationships in life takes time to build. Prayer is very much the same. When we meet someone, not all of us have the skills to effectively communicate with ease. I am an introvert, and simple conversation is a source of stress for me. Being able to talk with ease is also relationship building. Trust is also one of the important foundations in relationship building.
When it comes to prayer, it is easy to say, “Jesus, I trust you!” Living it takes time. Blind trust is not something all can do, and like our relationships, it requires time and effort. Often, it is only during a crisis or when we are suffering that we call out in prayer. For many this is how prayer and talking to God starts.
How often have we called to God when we are scared? How often have I called to Him for help when the tunnel ahead looks dim? Yeah, I call to God when I was facing a crisis! This changed when I made the conscious decision to draw nearer to God, and turn away from my life of sin. Seeking for forgiveness, and then asking God to take the lead. “Help me be the person you meant me to be, ” I recall praying.
The video link below is one of the best discussions I have seen on prayer, and explains it much better than I would. I can only reiterate that prayer is an important part of my own spiritual growth and walk with Jesus Christ.
The video link is a very good start in understanding why prayer is an important part of our spiritual growth and relationship with our Almighty.
Our youths today spend a great amount of time online. They communicate by adding “likes” to postings on social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Snapchat. There is minimal communication and interaction. As we move farther away from communicating in the physical and towards communication via online, we also lose the skills to communicate, that is to talk, to share our thoughts and ideas. Today’s communication becomes etherized in images, emojis, or one liner.
As I have discussed in other post, we live in a Hybrid world that fuses the real with online realities. There are many apps available to help us with prayer, and I have linked a few below. Why use an apps? Prayer apps are a great way to integrate prayers and conversations with God into our prayer life. We already use devices, and some of these apps like Our Story – Hallow is a great way to start. There are 1 minute mediations for those who literally don’t have the time to pray. They can over time develop into longer prayer time. What is important is to start, and if it means starting from a 1 minute meditation, then why not?
When you feel you don’t have time to pray, it usually means you need to talk to God. Go small and build up your prayer life. The very act of taking that first step will lead to many more steps, and before you know it, you will feel the Hand of the Holy Spirit moving you towards greater depth in prayer.
Apps | Marians of the Immaculate ConceptionMary App. A complete resource for information on Our Lady and a guide to Marian devotion. Includes Marian prayers and an interactive Rosary. Free from the Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception.www.marian.org
Divine Mercy App | The Divine MercyThe Marian Fathers of the Immaculate Conception, who have promoted the authentic message of Divine Mercy since 1941, are pleased to release the OFFICIAL Divine Mercy App. This FREE app offers the complete Divine Mercy message and devotion in an easy to navigate format. The app has three main chapters with these features: (Screenshots from Android) THE MESSAGE Introduction towww.thedivinemercy.org
The Holy Rosary – Apps on Google PlayThe Holy Rosary that automatically selects the mysteries by day with beautiful illustrations that accompany prayer. In the application there are also The Divine Mercy Chaplet and the main christian prayers. For those who have Android 6 or later, go to SETTINGS \ APP, select the App The Holy Rosary, go PERMITS, and enable STORAGE. If you would like to report a prayer, devotion, etc., you can do …play.google.com
Praying the Rosary on YouTube:
This is also available on Apple music, which is easily download – free if you have the plan or at a cost of a few dollars. Great to listen to anywhere – car, walk, or walking the dog, etc.
19 But Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Day 6 and Day 7 Christ the King Novena 2020 Links: