God’s Hand

Getting together as a family is often a challenge for us – My husband, Daniel and our son, Mathieu works Sunday. It’s often only Aleeza and I at home. All the craziness of maintaining one bubble under Covid-19 lockdown takes it toll on each of us psychologically and emotionally. While our world is thrown into chaos, our love and faith in God remains steadfast.

A look back to Easter Sunday was a special day for our family. It’s the first time we were able to get together to go to Sunday Mass. This was before lockdowns and curfews. We maintained our family bubble in St. Ignatius. It was a bit daunting for me, as the number of times I have been out in public since Covid – 19 can be counted on one hand – 3.

With great blessings from God, Aleeza was baptized and I was confirmed at St. Ignatius in Montreal into the Catholic Faith.

Praise be to God!

We give thanks to her Teen Alpha teen Ignation | St. Ignatius of Loyola MTL for drawing her into God’s embrace. Nothing can express the joy of being in God’s grace and love. Along with my own new found family at St. Ignatius via my Camino and Alpha group Alpha | St. Ignatius of Loyola MTL.

Getting involved and participating in these groups really helped both my daughter and I to stay focused on Jesus. It helped in answering hard knock questions about the meaning of life and our path in it.

Getting involved in a group setting via Zoom was at first daunting on me. As I have expressed in previous post, I am very much the awkward nerd who is not at ease in socializing. My passion/s rips across me, and I often need to minimize my behavior not to scare those around me. Hence direct and candid as I am, I often have to harness myself. My own daughter often tells me, “Mom! Tell me in simple language. I don’t understand you”. I was not sure I would be able to participate in either Alpha or my Camino group. Thanks be to God, these groups have enriched in my spiritual growth.

Rare Family Picture

Trusting in God’s hand to lead me is based on prayer. It is also an open humbleness on my part to know my will is strong, and that for change to happen in my spiritual life, I must let go of my need to control, and give it into His Almighty hands to guide me. Walking by faith and not by sight.

It is only by letting go, that God’s abundant graces pours down upon me. Sometimes it is like a torrential downpouring that can overwhelm me, but I have come to understand that only by the immensity of it, that I can be knocked down onto my knees in complete adoration of Him.

I have discovered that my Jesus, is a jealous lover, who does not want my focus to be anywhere else except upon Him. Since my confirmation, my soul has fallen more deeply in love with Him. I long to please Him. Endless songs of praise pieces my heart:

Photo by Jackson David on Unsplash

Your Hands

my hands stretched upwards

with eyes tightly shut

i feel your caress

like a gentle wisp of breeze

delicate and feathery

my whole being soaring

Out of my heart come forth songs

to a lover who i know waits patiently for me.

i am His earthly bride, and all i long for

is to please Him in every thing i do

There is a new found purpose

in every steps i take in this dust bowl

All my shortcoming exposed

there is no shame in sharing with Him

the deepest secrets of my soul

For i know He forgives me

washing away the stains that separates Him from me

So that all His love

in the outpouring of his mercy and grace

flows easily into my being

His hands mold and shapes me

so that i am anew – glowing in light

His bride waiting so patiently for Him

God Bless 💖

Betrayal’s Bite

Betrayal comes from the one closest to us. It cuts deep into our core, and creates within us a veil of distrust. I was betrayed by someone I thought was my “bestie”. She was a friend with whom we shared many fun moments. Our families use to spend a lot of time together. However, when my husband and I hit rock bottom and lost our financial standing, all our friends disappeared. I realize afterwards they were predators. There were there for the free ride when the going was good, but when all that was gone, they too left.

What hurt me the most during this challenging time was the person with whom I thought was my “bestie”, was among the list of friends who left us. It hurt me that she wasn’t able to be emotionally supportive.

Disillusionment harden my heart, and it took me a while to trust in people again. It could have lead to many negative and irrational judgements on my part, but the Holy Spirit lead me to forgive. It was a hard lesson into the meaning of friendship and the human soul. I came to understand that true friendship transcends the challenges of life. It is a bond that is a based on – love.

L.O.V.E.

Is the most misconceived word. Do we truly know what it means?

Love is the friend I have in Jesus. No matter how rocky our road can get, experience has taught me that Jesus is faithful. That year, through divine providence, we experienced many miracles. I can’t even grasp how Jesus made it possible, and I can only picture a tapestry of intertwining treads (different life threads). The hand of God was evident in our lives as He pulled cosmic strings to help us. There was the stranger who gave us two bags of groceries and gifts for our children that fateful Christmas. A family member stepped forward to help us out financially. A financial institution helped us reorganize and downsize (we sold all our real estate holdings), and we kept only our house. We also felt the stress lift off our shoulders. My husband who found himself unemployed during this period also found a new job. God’s hand was felt as He taught us a lesson in humility and humbleness. Our children also changed to public schools. My son telling us years latter that his years in private school was like being in “prison”.

We journeyed through this period as a family trusting in God’s hand in our lives.

My God is now my strength. He taught me to forgive and walk forward.

Most of all, God journeyed with us and did not let our hearts fall prey to Satan. God was there holding us up.

Jesus Foretells His Betrayal

21 After saying this Jesus was troubled in spirit, and declared, ‘Very truly, I tell you, one of you will betray me.’ 22 The disciples looked at one another, uncertain of whom he was speaking. 23 One of his disciples—the one whom Jesus loved—was reclining next to him; 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask Jesus of whom he was speaking. 25 So while reclining next to Jesus, he asked him, ‘Lord, who is it?’ 26 Jesus answered, ‘It is the one to whom I give this piece of bread when I have dipped it in the dish.’ So when he had dipped the piece of bread, he gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot.27 After he received the piece of bread, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, ‘Do quickly what you are going to do.’ 28 Now no one at the table knew why he said this to him. 29 Some thought that, because Judas had the common purse, Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’; or, that he should give something to the poor. 30 So, after receiving the piece of bread, he immediately went out. And it was night. John 13:21-33

Let us examine our lives and not become disillusioned. Trust in Jesus, and do not let your heart and soul fall prey to Satan’s lies and guiles. I know – I almost fell prey to my social status when the going was good. Upon reflection, I realize the many “things” I hold dear in life are temporal. They can literally be here today and gone tomorrow.

Betrayal’s bite can hurt. Let Jesus heal us when we are bitten. Let His hand lift us up when we fall. Let Him guide through the thorns and bristles of life.

Jesus, I trust in You.

Thank you!💖

The New Normal

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

I just finished writing a paper for a course on hybrid pastoral ministries. This course focuses on adapting new technology to spread the Gospel. What surprised me the most is how behind our local churches and parishes are in adapting to technology.

Here, I echo Pope Francis’ warning, the church today must go into the trenches – into the dark crevices in our world where the light is very dim or cannot reach:

“Do not be afraid to go and to bring Christ into every area of life, to the fringes of society, even to those who seem farthest away, most indifferent.”

Pope Francis

Those who step into the trenches even in the midst of Covid-19 and using technology are radiating a light for lost souls. These warriors come from many directions, with the goal of sharing the Gospel.

I want to take the time here today to thank the many warriors out there who have used their pen (coughs, ok our keyboard!) to share in our Christian and Catholic Faith. Many have been an inspiration to me during my own walk with Jesus. There were times when their words of encouragement, and their daily reflections have sparked a new insight within me.

Today, I want to take the time to thank you all (and the many other bloggers, I have yet to discover).

God Bless, 💖

Here is a list of Christian and Catholic Bloggers I follow:

For daily reading and devotion

www.ourgivenpurpose.com | Our Given Purpose

Daily inspirational about his walk with Jesus,

josephsdailywalkwithjesus | A closer walk with our beloved friend. (wordpress.com)

A daily Catholic blog which gives me great guidance and comfort in a world where Satan’s seed is everywhere in our social media.

AnaStpaul – Breathing Catholic

A Christian life style blogger, her writing looks at the beautiful graces of the everyday. In the busy hum of our lives, do we take the time to look at God’s miracles around us?

Becoming HIS Tapestry – Christian Lifestyle Blogger

Two other lifestyle blogs I follow,

BeautyBeyondBones

A survivor whose blog is a source of light. This blogger draws from her insights and recovery from a eating disorder – anorexia.

A Minute with Melissa – A Small Girl with a Big God

Melissa shares daily glimpses into her walk with Jesus. I can learn a lot from her blogging style – keep it short and to the point.

Why Alpha?

I was asked to join Alpha as part of my Camino (R.C.I.A.) journey in confirmation within the Catholic Faith. There was some resistance to join for all the wrong reasons, and am glad of God’s gentle nudge to – “Just do it!”

It has been such a beautiful journey as I meet people from different parts of our world. Using Zoom as the tool to connect, I got the opportunity to meet people I otherwise would never have met. Alpha brings together people from all walks of life. On a personal level, it provided me with a platform and opportunity to share and talk about my faith and discuss all those questions that I don’t normally discuss with my friends or family. More importantly, it is a safe space.

My group was international with some joining from outside of Canada. Bonds and affinities are made between each of us as we journey together in a deeper understanding of ourselves and how we fit into the bigger picture called life. Each week, I enjoyed sharing my personal story, and greatly looked forward to hearing their stories. Together we shared in understanding some basic truths about life and our journey in it.

It has lead to my own personal growth. Now, how awesome is that?

Sign up now for May 2021 (EST): Alpha | St. Ignatius of Loyola MTL

God Bless 💖

Mary’s Thought

A mothers’ quiet thoughts as she observes her children speaks volume about her strength and fortitude. As a mom, one of the most challenging aspect of being a mother is the multifaced roles and characters we have in caring for our children.

We are the caregiver who hide our inward fears when our children are sick. We nurse our children back to health keeping night long vigils by their bedside.

How many times have I held my tongue from making a hurtful retort. I recall the many times I literally bit my tongue to refrain from sounding like a nag. Being a mother is also balancing act, especially when it comes to positive reinforcements. It is also having a firm fortitude, and giving sincere praise when it is due, and not giving it when it is not.

A mother’s silence is her keep watch over her child, and letting them grow as you stand by them. It is guiding them to be the best they can be, and to learn the skills of critical thinking by providing them with the opportunities to hone in life skills.

As a mother, Holy Mary “treasured” all the things she heard, witnessed and learnt from her son, and ponder them she did – she was both a reflective and discerning woman with humble and quiet strength. There is much I can learn from Mary.

God Bless 💖

Mary, A Mother’s Love

A Mother’s panic

Many years ago, Mathieu was 5 years old, my husband and I took him to Indigo – a bookstore located in the heart of Montreal. I recall leaving him with my husband with specific instructions to keep an eye on him. They were browsing through magazines, and I thought that little Mathieu would have enough to occupy himself with.

I went to browse, and 30 minutes later, “Where is Mathieu?” Upon which my husband looked around hazily and responded, “I though he was with you!”

Oh boy did I bellow out, “Mathieu!”

The whole book store went silent for about 30 seconds – I swear you could have heard a pin drop (sorry for the pun here, but truly that’s how it felt like at the time). “How does he look like?” “How old is he?” Just as quickly after shouting out, “Five, Asian child….”, I heard the someone call out, “FOUND HIM!” “He is in the Children’s Book Department!” I recall my prayer of thankfulness for Mathieu’s safety.

I can almost understand the panic Mary and Joseph must have felt when they discovered Jesus was not among them, and rushed back to the city to find him – 3 days later. The anxiety that wells up in a mother’s heart upon discovering her child is missing is the fear and angst of all mothers. I can imagine the panic Mary must have felt.

A mother’s mission

Through prayer and in my journey towards the Catholic Faith, I feel a song in my heart. I also feel being moved to tell others of my love for Jesus. There is a desire for me to share this light and let it shine out – God’s Divine Mercy and love.  I have felt this calling in the past but was not ready to listen to Jesus.  Through prayer and mediating on His word, I have asked how he wants me to do this.  During praying the Rosary (about 4 weeks ago),  I saw an image during prayer of our Holy Mother.  The vision was short, but in my vision, she was sad, as if she was telling me that her sadness stems from many in our world who do not know or venerate her.  I wasn’t sure what to do with this vision, and I have been asking for the Holy Spirit to guide me. 

I am not a theologian, but I can share and give some insights into who Holy Mary is in my life. This is how I can contribute.

A mother’s help

This morning was one of those morning when I am awaken from a dream I can’t recall, but feeling alone and seriously down. It is one of those moments in my life when I wrestle with inner demons. I woke up washed with a tsunami of tears amidst a wall of insecurities – weighted down by the sins of my past. It is a flood gate of self doubt, and I am reminded of the torturous darkness of my soul. How can God love or even want someone like me to serve Him.

My usual tactics to get rid of Satan’s infiltration did not work this morning, and continued to mar my mind with an array of self deification. “You are wasting your time!” “Remember how peaceful your life use to be?” “You are wasting your time blogging.” “You are wasting your time writing” An endless steam of Satan’s bombardment attacked me all morning. Even praying became a battle ground, where Satan used my emotions to prevent me from praying. When I tried to pray, I was strangled with silence as a voice inside me echoed, “Why bother?” “What makes you think God is listening to you?”

“God, how have I displeased you?”

“Mother Mary, Father Joseph help me!” “St Michael, defend me!”

Yes, Satan is real, and he loves nothing more than to create and stir doubt within me. I had to ground myself in prayer, and believe me, that itself was hard today. Praying all of a sudden became a struggle between me and Satan. I felt the struggle. I turned on my Rosary apps from Divine Mercy, and couldn’t even utter the first few parts of the prayer…my tears fell, and I could not utter a word. I listened as I battled my inner demon, and only by the 3rd decade of the Rosary could I start to pray, “Hail Mary Full of Grace, the Lord is with Thee…”

A mother’s comfort

As fast as I was attacked by Satan’s lies and guiles, Mother Mary, along with Father Joseph, St. Michael and all the saints came to my aid – Satan ceased his attacks.

I am just as overwhelmed now as I write this. “Is this the kind of things one writes in a blog?” “Is this the kind of things I can talk about?” Why am I sharing this?

Our journey with God is not always a smooth path, at least not for me. I can say with a sincerity of heart – Satan will use every means to attack. Battle readiness is a must! I am thankful for our Holy Mother’s intervention, and St. Joseph’s help – he is after all the terror of demons. Just as St. Joseph saved the Holy family by taking them out to Egypt, he helps me battle the guiles of Satan.

My comfort is that I can call to Mother Mary (and St. Joseph, St. Michael and all the Saints) to intercede for me. It is not because Jesus does not hear my cries for help, He needs me to trust Him. He also needs me to be in total submission to His will. Just as He had to battle Satan for 40 days and night, I had to by faith accept HIs divine grace and mercy, and know that through His death on the cross for my sin, I am saved.

Made with Padlet

God Bless 💖

Gracious Grace

Photo by Johannes Plenio on Unsplash

The Gracious gRace that

B’stills a gen’tl

tingling

beckons(or not)..a charging   soul

Lost in the trans’lation of chatteredprayer

Or Thy thought; that our beckon’ing

sought…

we    danced where the foot prints

dis-appeared.; alone but aware

cradled in the ever     lasting Presence

the GraCe graciously’ b’stillin’ the

mINGLING

A gentleness unseen but alive………

by Jeff Rose

(Aside: I have met some remarkable and inspiring people through my RCIA (Camino) group. Jeff Rose is one of them, and along with all the members of my Camino group – have made me feel welcomed. They have helped me get over my social awkwardness. In our journey together, each of us have deepened our relationship with Jesus. This Easter will see 8 Baptized into God’s family.

Most of all, for me, I no longer feel like an outsider, but am the prodigal daughter returned home – into the welcome embrace of God’s mercy and amazing grace. Praise be to God.)

God Bless 💖

Know Mary

Getting to know Mary is also getting to know her son, Jesus.

That is really a simple truth for me. As I drew closer to Mary in praying the Rosary daily, I started to think about my role as a mother to my own children, and through mediating on the Rosary, I saw the perfect mother mirrored back at me. She is not only my role model, but she is a light that guides me closer to her son, Jesus.

Made with Padlet

Meeting and greeting people does not come naturally for me. I am awkward, and lack social finesse. Simple greetings can cause anxiety for me. With time, I learnt how to put on my social mask, and with effort participate in group settings. Getting to know Mary was much the same for me, especially coming from a Protestant background which carries it’s own baggage about our Holy Mother and saints in particular.

With each step I took towards her, I was drawn into her warmth. As I am an organized person, fitting the Rosary into my schedule was easy. Most days, I pray the Rosary in the morning. It starts my day on a positive note. Sometimes, especially when it is sunny and brisk out, I pray the Rosary as I walk the dog early in the morning. There is a wonderful array of online apps, along with material available via Apple music. I am sure the same is available for android devices.

Maintaining a prayerful routine each day has helped me get to know Mary. It has also drawn me closer to Jesus. Mediating on each of the “Sorrow” or “Mystery” has given me insightful depth into my human soul – and my humanity reflected back at me has shown me how flawed I am. The darkness of my soul healed by Jesus.

Know Mary, for she is love. Touched by the Holy Spirit, she carried in her womb our Savior Jesus.

God Bless 💖