Starting Point

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.

Hebrews 4:16

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.

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

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.

This YouTube video is from this article on prayer is from this post:
Don’t Give Up on Prayer: What St. Faustina Said About the Power of Prayer in Suffering | (churchpop.com)

The Ease Of Using Apps

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.

Photo by KEEM IBARRA on Unsplash


Here is a list of the best Catholic Apps: 

Catholic Apptitude | A testament to digital ministry | The Best List of Top Catholic Apps | Prayer Apps   

I personally use the two apps from Divine Mercy:  

Divine Mercy App | The Divine Mercy  (Divine Mercy Chaplet)
Apps | Marians of the Immaculate Conception (Basic Rosary)

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

Rosary Apps: 

‎Holy Rosary – Standard Edition on the App Store (apple.com)The Holy Rosary – Apps on Google Play

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.

17 Minute Rosary – Sorrowful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloud

17 Minute Rosary – Sorrowful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloudHoly Rosary – The Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday and Friday) A 17 minute version of the Rosary as heard on Relevant Radio daily at 9pm-9:30pm ET / 8pm-8:30pm CTsoundcloud.com

17 Minute Rosary – Joyful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloud

17 Minute Rosary – Joyful Mysteries by Relevant Radio | Free Listening on SoundCloudGenre Rosary Comment by jo ki. Thank you this have been helping me so much . 2020-06-16T04:06:52Z Comment by danny. @rmmp62: its women. 2020-05-18T21:14:41Z Comment by user761734792. Jesus loves yousoundcloud.com

Relevant Radio has many you can chose from, just click one of the above and you will see others listed.

Hope this helps.  God Bless💖

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 💖

Pray More

Praying has become my daily substance. Not only does it refreshes my soul, but it helps me begin my day with the inner knowledge of God’s grace and presence. I can hear my inner voice singing my own version of Psalms – praising God for a new day, and asking for strength and sustenance.

As a new Catholic, this will be the first time I celebrate the season of Lent. I had many questions: Why do Catholics celebrate Lent? What is Lent? When does it start? How long is Lent? What do we do during Lent? The researcher in me was curious. To find my answers, I asked Catholic friends and did an online search. This is how the hand of God lead me to The Pray More Lenten Retreat.

As we draw near to the season of Lent, the Pray More Lenten Retreat is being offered online. I love the fact that I can participate from home and at my own pace.

2021 Lent Retreat – The Pray More Retreat

“A retreat?” some may ask. Yes! An online retreat devoted to deepening our relationship with Christ. For those like me who juggle many roles and having hectic days is the norm, I like the fact I can tune in when I can, and journey at my own pace. I am excited by their list of speakers. I love inspiring insights that guide me towards a greater focus upon our Savior.

Starting February 17, it will add to my Lent experience, as it is a time to reflect and deepen my prayer life. This retreat will definitely guide me and all participants towards a fuller life in Christ.

Paying to participate in this retreat is not mandatory, as it gives all participants the option to pay or participate for free.

I encourage my readers to sign up for this retreat.

Heavenly Father,

Let us bring before our Lord Jesus all our baggage and put it at His feet. Let Him help us carry our personal yokes, and let us go on a journey of healing with Him. We all lead busy lives, and some of us more hectic than others. Lent is a time for us to take time out to joyfully reflect and draw nearer to Him, and participate at your own pace 💖

Amen 🙏

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:)

Live Your Best Life

I pray for the grace to place You above the powers of this world in all things.

Christ the King Novena

We live in a world today ridden by not only Covid-19 fears, but this narrative is continuously being supported by governments of all nations, our main stream media, and social media platforms. As soon as we turn on our news, one is confronted by all the negative that arises from this pandemic.

In the same instance, as the anticipated second wave of the Covid-19 hits Canada, in my province, Christmas has been cancelled. Those living in the red zone will not be allowed to gather during this festive season. The exception are those in yellow zones, 10 people can gather for Christmas, and in orange zones, the limit is 6. But nearly all of Quebec is currently red.

This is the new norm in our lives, and as responsible citizens we need to follow these protocols.

The second wave of the Covid – 19 pandemic is now upon us. It continues to separate families, and separate the Church from it’s people, we cannot let this deter us from remembering and celebrating the birth of Christ, nor can we stop ourselves from asking for the Grace to open our eyes so that we see Jesus. I am grateful for zoom. It will be a zoom Christmas with my family across Ontario and Quebec. I will participate with my family and watch the live streaming of Mass.

More so than ever, I think I need to be diligent and help out in any ways I can. This starts with my family, my neighbors, and my community at large. This is a time to reach out to family members. Call one another, and if there are any bad feelings between one another, it is the time to reach out and say, “I am sorry.” “Forgive me!” “I love you!”

This is the time to drop some food off to your local parish or to the organization helping those in need. This is the time to let those around you know you care and are thinking of them.

For the power that be in our world, it is a time for prayer. Asking in a sincere heart that the Hand of God will moved our hearts towards peace and love. It is also the time to ask for the God’s Hand to be in the heart of decision makers, asking specifically they act with calm and wisdom before making rash decisions that can effect the well being of all citizens.

Kyle Glenn (@kylejglenn) | Unsplash

On a more personal level, do I see Jesus offering love and redemption in the middle of all the noise from the powers of this world? During a time when I am bombarded from all sides by the powers that be in our world, from the mainstream media, and from all our social networking platform sending out narratives of doom and gloom, am I asking Jesus to open my eyes?

Live Your Best Life

Let me resound this and ask, are we asking our beloved Savior to open our spiritual eyes to see?

Do we see Christ everywhere in our lives?

Are we asking Him to help us judge wisely of all the things of this earth?

Are we asking Him to give us the strength, courage, and faith to stand firm with God?

Gilles Lambert (@gilleslambert) | Unsplash

Last night after my prayers, I found myself scrolling through my media feeds, and the majority of the news was NEGATIVE. To discern if what I am reading is fake or real, I find myself doing research that often can take me down a rabbit hole with no end in sight. Sometimes, there are news I really don’t want to know about, because it touches on the real evil that exists in our world.

“Ignorance is bliss”, is my husband’s motto. I on the other hand have a natural curiosity. “Curiosity killed the cat” idiom comes to mind. Urgh! Sometimes I have to abandon threads as they really are scary and sacrilegious.

I pray for the grace to place You above the powers of this world in all things.

The above quote came to mind last night and again a glimpse of it in my prayer this morning, which tells me it’s something for me to address, discuss and share. It’s so easy to fall prey to the powers of this world – whether it be reading something that is totally left field from the word of God and deemed so evil, it is better for me to stop. If my heart and head is not able to handle the profane, it is best I mentally stop delving deeper. Why? False teachings is Satan’s way of planting seeds that can bear the fruits of doubt and lead one astray.

During this advent, more than ever before, let me live my best life in Christ Jesus!

I pray for the grace from my Savior to open my spiritual eyes, so that I may discern what is the truth and positive from what is not good for my soul. Most of all, I ask Christ the King for the spiritual eyes to see your grace around me, so that I can judge wisely the things of this earth and stand firm in Godliness.

For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen

Jocke Wulcan (@wulcan) | Unsplash

(….I’ll edit later for grammar…my Chinglish comes through sometimes….)

Making Sure I have The Right Gear and Potion

Day 4 in Let’s Get Personal

Christ, our Savior and our King, renew in me allegiance to your Kingship

Praying Christ the King Novena

I was playing Black Desert Mobile well passed midnight. For those of you who don’t know some of my less attractive habits, I am an avid gamer, and in the past 20 years, I have played and beta tested a lot of online mmo (Massively Multiplayer Online (gaming)). It started with the Atari 520 ST computer back in the days when having a computer at home was a new phenomenon. To win in a mmo, my character needs to have the best gear and weapon to be able to compete with NPC (Non-Player Character) or against other players. Getting the best gear is one of the basic premise of a game. This often means patience. It is also time consuming, as most of the game is gathering material to craft your gear, or “farming”. Farming is the boring part of a game. Farming is killing mobs of evil monsters in the hope that items will drop. Items that drop can be material for crafting, silver for buying in game goods (like potions for stamina or extra boost), and sometimes if you are lucky, a good piece of gear. I love Korean and Chinese games for their auto play features in them. I often have the game on auto play while I work (don’t ask, it’s a gamer thing. My own kids think it’s idiotic to play a game that’s on auto…they say “what’s the use of playing it?” :/ )

Chris Carzoli (@madoctopusmedia) | Unsplash

This morning as I was reflecting on “Christ the King” Novena, I was thinking how in “real” life, we need to also gear up against the “evil” that permeates our society and lives. When I ask in the “Christ The King Novena” to “renew in me allegiance to your Kingship”, it also suggest I need to make changes in my life before I can put God first. A commitment to the game so to speak (gamer talk). What? Yeah, it means I need to be proactive.

The questions that come into play is “What can I do to strengthen my spiritual health?”

Taking spiritual nutrients is an important part of my daily routine with God (virtually due to Covid -19) during the morning broadcast of the Eucharist during Mass). Just as I take vitamins to keep my body strong in a world ridden with Covid -19, flus and colds. I ask for the Grace of Jesus to heal me spiritually as I partake in His Holy Sacraments.

James Coleman (@jhc) | Unsplash

26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”

27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins

Matthew 26:26-27

It is a reaffirmation of my personal covenant with God, that His Holy Spirit resides within me and heal me.

Next, I need put on The Armor of God so that I can combat and stand against all devilish schemes:

14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Ephesians 6:14-17

Wow and this is free, I don’t have to pay in game money, and I don’t need hope for drops from fighting mobs. God’s gifts are free. He only calls to us to ask for us to be proactive.

During this Advent, I wanted to really think about how I can strengthen and deepen my faith in Christ the King. To all you non gamers, understanding for me often means looking at my life and often there is an analogy for me to share. I stayed up later than usual to gear my game character. This morning this was still imprinted in mind as I started my Rosary. I quickly wrote it down so that this thought wouldn’t rain throughout my 20 minute Rosary time.

Have a Blessed Day.

Let’s Get Personal

(Personalizing Christ the King Novena)

(In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit)

Jesus, my Savior, and King

I humbly pray before you

May you grace my heart to love and adore you more,

to give me the grace of deepening faith

to give me the grace to place my trust upon you above all others,

and to give me the grace to be confident you are ever present in my life.

I proclaim you Prince of Peace and lift you high above all in this mortal realm.

As I wait for your second coming, let me not waste a moment

I ask that you grace me – this unworthy sinner –

with the inspiration and confidence to use the gifts you have given me

to share your story and love with others.

So that they may also rejoice in having a living God in their lives.

(In the name of the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit, Amen)
Grant Whitty (@grantwhitty) | Unsplash

I started praying the Christ the King Novena yesterday, and following the lead of my sponsor, I have reflected upon it, and personalized it. As I think in the abstract, one of my challenges is to bring it down a notch – or to bring it out of my headspace into the everyday.

Through prayer, especially the Rosary, I feel the depth and width of my love for Jesus growing with each passing day. There has been a few instances when during prayer I have been overwhelm with emotions and tears as visons of sin unrealized and unconfessed come to mind. Jesus has also shown me through prayer that He has always been with me, and He has also shielded me on numerous occasion from falling into the clutches of darkness. Just as he has opens my eyes, He also comforts.

Once a part of the darkness, the road back to the light is soul wrenching. There is no other way to describe it. I know that meeting my husband was God send – His unconditional love for me never faltered through our 30 year plus relationship. Just as my children were gifts from God – to me – a woman who fervently claimed I would never bring children into this world. God blessed me with two adopted children.

The goal is making Jesus Christ real in every facets of our lives.

Since the start of the Advent, my sponsor and I have each chosen a Novena to focus and pray on. Through the process of sharing our thoughts each day via phone or text, I have come to realize how each of us have personalized and made praying real based on our personalities and character.

Through a process of self reflection and reflecting on key words or concepts, it opens up for each something uniquely special and personal. It leads to a journey of deepening faith and love for Christ. It guides us to prepare our hearts for celebrating not only Jesus’ arrival to us through His birth, but preparing our hearts and soul to receive Him upon His second coming.

Having a partner during this prayerful period has enriched me. As I am a person of extremes, my prayer partner reminds me to maintain a balanced life. This has been an enriching experience for me, as I realize through our conversations and text messages that not only are we two unique individuals, with different approaches to prayer, she has shown me her own process of personalizing the Novena. This has helped me to bring abstract concepts from my headspace into my daily life. Coming down to earth so to speak – as I think in the abstract – personalizing my Novena, brings it down to my everyday.

From the Mouth of a Child

My daughter often says to me, “Mom, use normal words, I don’t know what you mean.” Upon which I would stop and rephrase my sentence, or explain to her what I mean.

The other day I reminded Aleeza to pray (and ask Jesus for the confidence to stand in front of her class for her oral). Her adamant response was, “Mom, I don’t pray. I talk to Jesus.” I smile now as I recall her statement. Yes, that is what we do when we pray, we talk to Jesus. I like the way she has personalized her relationship with Jesus. He is her friend.

Finally, from the mouth of a child, “Jesus is our friend”.

Aside: God has a way of grounding us through our friends and family.

God Bless.