Just Five Minutes

Hello it’s Kim here, newbie 7G-er and blogger!

“Out of general politeness, two things that people don’t talk about are religion and politics.” I might be misquoting him a little, but on Saturday Father Luke Fong spoke about something along these lines during his homily.

Although I am a cradle Catholic, I have never been one to openly talk about my faith to my friends. If you looked at my Facebook feed, unless you are that big of a stalker and clicked my “Pages You Liked” tab on Facebook, you probably might not even know that I do go to church.

And yet here’s a post testifying about His great love, because, in this day and age, I’m sure He’s techy enough to use the Internet as an instrument to reach out to us.

On Saturday afternoon, I shared about what happened when I was in Amsterdam. An Asian girl, walking the streets of Amsterdam all alone, came across a sign on a shabby looking door that read “Just Five Minutes”. Given Amsterdam’s reputation, she, of course, assumed the worst and thought that the establishment was offering a quickie.

She only realised that behind that shabby looking doors was the Church of Saint Peter and Paul as there was a tiny Year of Mercy logo at the bottom. Curiosity got the better of her and she pushed those doors and entered the church.

For some strange reason, there was an elderly Dutch man sitting at the back of the church. I assumed that he was the caretaker and approached him to ask why they had that sign stuck on the door.

With the aid of lots of gestures and a very a sporadic handful of English words, he explained that all God asks of us is for us to give him just five minutes each day in prayer.

All God asks from us is just five minutes of our time.

Coming home on Saturday evening after mass and dinner, I received a text from Deanna telling me that the page, Blessed is She, shared about the same thing I did in their daily reflections – Just Five Minutes.

The 24 hours prior to my sharing that afternoon had been an emotional roller coaster ride for me. I found out that God had answered my prayers for something that I had been praying for, for a while.

With such a humourous God, He answered my prayers in a way that I least expected. He answered my prayers in such a way that seemed as though He was making things worse for me instead of better.

I wasn’t angry with God, but I would be lying if I said that I wasn’t anxious and fearful.

When I received Deanna’s text, I felt like my heart was in my mouth and that I couldn’t breathe. Too many thoughts and emotions were running through my head. I  felt like God was using social media to reach out to me, and reassure me that he’s with me every step of the way, telling me to trust in Him and His plans despite what our myopic human brain tells me.

I shared my experience in Amsterdam and gave God five minutes. In return, He graciously showed me that He knows my heart through and through and that He is journeying together with me.

To quote Albert Einstein, coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous. Give Him five minutes each day and he will give you the reassurance you need to get through life’s very many hurdles.

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The highest form of Worship

Question: Why do we consider the Catholic Mass the highest form of worship?

Because of the communion! Where indeed, the Catholic Mass is the highest form of worship man can give to Almighty God because there is nothing man can offer God except God Himself. 

Wow that’s pretty profound. Like I kinda knew mass is important (hence the Sunday obligation yes?) but I never really thought about it that way.

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Image Credits: cathedral.catholic.sg

So now that we know the Liturgy of the Eucharist is super duper important – so where does that bring us for the Liturgy of the Word? Is it just to make sure Catholics are at least forced to read the bible throughout the readings from Year A – C?

Liturgy of the Word

Most of us are familiar with this sequence:

  • First Reading
  • Responsorial Psalm
  • Second Reading
  • Alleluia
  • Gospel Reading
  • Homily

The homily given by the Priest usually focuses on interpreting the readings for the day. Typically this translates to how we are called to live out our lives as Christians. To each of us in the congregation, our hearts may be stirred to ponder about the teachings and how we can be better people.

So this begs the question: Is the homily instilled to make me a better person?

If we have the habit to sincerely do reflection of the readings and homily, yes, certainly it can and will make us better people. But as we learn in this session, this wonderful transformation that the readings and homilies can do to us – is still only a side dish. If we only focus on that, we miss the actual profound purpose of the Liturgy of the Word.

 

The Word is Jesus speaking directly to us!

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If we were to be aware of this fact – that Jesus is speaking to us directly at every single mass through the scripture – how much more awareness and reverence we will have for the Liturgy of the Word!

As good Christians (as I’m sure we all are =p), we often tell people, “You know. I’m stuck. I don’t know what to do in my life. I’ll just keep praying and see what God tells me to do.”

This desire to do God’s will is fantastic! But it also brings the danger of expecting or wanting God to give a clear sign – or better still, decide for us and tell us what to do exactly before we make any action on our lives. This is however, the exact opposite of what God wants to do because He cherishes our free will so much. God is like our loving Father who provides us all information that we need, all the help that we require and then says “Come my dearest son or daughter, I have given you everything you needed. You are free to choose what you want now”. 

So if today you are especially stuck with a big decision in your life, whether it is pertaining to vocation, to a major career switch etc, listen especially attentively at Mass because that is where Jesus will speak to you. In the Liturgy of the Word, we get to know the heart of God and discernment is to understand the heart of God and to align to that. 

 

The first Mass after the Resurrection

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Luke 24: 13-33 On the road to Emmaus

I’ll just conclude here with a mention to the first mass celebrated after Jesus’ resurrection.

#1 Jesus explains Scripture to Clopas and another disciple:

And he said to them “O foolish men, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?

And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

#2 Jesus broke bread

When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight. They asked each other, “Were not our hearts burning within us while he talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”

 

 

Thank you Lord for revealing to us Your heart. Your most gentle, wise and merciful heart. May we always be open to listening and to be guided. Amen! 

 

Why Self-Help Is Shooting For The Wrong Goal

You’ve probably heard of Tony Robbins.

He’s one the most successful gurus in the self-help genre today. He’s advised everyone from Bill Clinton to Serena Williams to Usher to Oprah.

He’s announcing his upcoming seminar in Singapore with big, inspirational posters like this one:

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WOW – with one “life changing” week (and an entrance fee of $1,497), you too can UNLEASH the power within and reach your fullest potential! What could be more important than that?

I used to buy into the whole self-help genre. In fact, I’ve written hundreds of articles on my other blog about how you can improve your wealth, health, productivity, and career.

For a long time, “self-improvement” seemed like a worthy goal to me. What else was the point of life other than to climb up Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs to the coveted self-actualization tip of the pyramid?

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It’s easy to see why this is attractive. It’s like when you started school in Primary One, and you can see a clear path all the way until graduation. You polish off Primary School, move on to Secondary School, tackle University… all the way until you reach the Nirvana of Self-Actualization.

There’s just one tiiiiiiny thing: This is completely off the mark. Here are three reasons why:

We Don’t Really Know What’s Best For Us

Last week, I was watching baby Theresa (one of the kids in our community) play with a straw. Theresa’s at the curious age where she loves holding stuff. So she gets hold of a drinking straw and starts playing with it. She’s having loads of fun.

She drags the straw on the ground, then tries to put it in her mouth. This is when her dad steps in and firmly says “NO”. Obviously, we don’t want her putting a dirty straw in her mouth.

Theresa starts to get upset. She cries, and refuses to let go of the straw. If she had her way, she would chew on that dirty straw to her heart’s content. But as adults, we know that babies sometimes want to do things that aren’t good for them.

We get this when it comes to kids, but when we become adults, we somehow tend to forget this lesson. Now, we know KNOW what’s good for us. Just check out some of the things you can find in self-help books today:

From The Success Principles – a best-selling book by famed Chicken Soup for the Soul author, Jack Canfield:

How do you reconnect with your real passion?  You start on the smallest level by honoring your preferences in every situation – no matter how large or small.  Don’t think of them as petty.  They might be inconsequential to someone else, but they are not to you.

From If Life is a Game, These are the Rules, by self-esteem and motivational expert Cherie Carter-Scott:

You deserve to have everything in your life exactly the way you want it.

At first, glance, these seem to make sense. But when you think a little deeper, it starts to get a little iffy.

deserve to have everything in my life exactly the way I want it? What if what I want isn’t actually right? What if I had the same preferences of Hitler or Stalin or Mao Tse-Tung? Does it mean that I should still “honour those preferences in every situation?”

The truth is, we don’t really know what’s good for us. Just like how adults know that putting a dirty straw in our mouth isn’t good for our kids, God knows that sometimes, what we want might not be what’s best for us.

(And the “wisdom gap” between God and us is much, much bigger than the gap between us and our kids!)

Soooo – the whole self-actualization thing? That’s a man-made concept. How do we know that’s actually the target we should be shooting for?

We Need Higher Standards

So if only God knows what’s best for us (after all, He created us), maybe we should check out what He says about what “success” really is.

And heyyyyyyyyy, surprise, surprise – Jesus teaches us that the goal is the exact opposite of self-actualization:

Whoever finds his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. — Matthew 10:39

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Jesus wasn’t just some guru who dropped wisdom bombs like Yoda: He lived it.

He didn’t come into the world to attain self-actualization. He didn’t become a billionaire philanthropist superhero, overthrowing Caesar, funding cancer research and helping the poor and founding SpaceX.

Nope. He said to His disciples: You know what’s the ultimate fulfilment of life in my eyes? Being crucified on the Cross, humiliated, rejected, having given up everything in the eyes of the world.

THAT’S the true standard that He’s looking for. It’s not about building yourself up and self-fulfilment; it’s about losing ourselves and giving up everything for Him.

Saint Teresa of Calcutta understood that it all boiled down to love:

I have found the paradox, that if you love until it hurts, there can be no more hurt, only more love.

We Can’t Earn Our Way To Christ

As Christians, we know that the ultimate goal isn’t worldly success, but to get to Heaven:

For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life? – Matthew 16:26

Let’s assume that you are just awesome at this self-improvement thing. You’ve “unleashed the power within”. You’re now a billionaire with a six-pack; you’ve found a cure for cancer, and millions of people adore you.

But that doesn’t make a single bit of difference on whether you can make it to Heaven.

How talented or amazing you are has no bearing on how “saved” you are. Christ has already redeemed us fully and entirely by dying on the Cross. There’s not a single thing more that we need to do to “earn” His grace. It’s done – it’s given entirely to us, freely, totally, undeservingly.

The root of healthy self-esteem is not to pat yourself on the back and say, “I’m awesome”. It is to be convinced that you worthy because you know someone loves you, and loves you even if others don’t and even if you are tempted to believe that you are not worth loving at all.

As Msgr Cormac Burke writes:

On this basis even the person with no sense of exceptional human talents (and perhaps especially such a person), can develop a full Christian life.

What a wonderful message of hope! Knowing that there is nothing we need to do to earn Christ’s love, other than saying “yes” to it and embracing it.

In Short…

Of course, I’m not saying that all self-help is wrong. There is merit to improving ourselves, our skills, and our lives so that we can better build God’s kingdom. But we need to remember that it isn’t the end goal.
Where I think we’ve lost our way is that we’ve become so focused on the self that we fail to see that we’re shooting for the wrong goalpost.
Today, let’s remind ourselves to remove our self from the centre of our lives, and replace it with the One who truly matters: God.
Inspiration:

Why I Started Taking Angels Seriously

When Majella’s flock gave a session about angels during yesterday’s community session,  I gotta admit: I was pretty skeptical at first.

It’s just that I’ve never really thought about them, y’know? It’s already a struggle to be aware of the presence of God, and the Saints, and the people around me… now I gotta think about my guardian angel too?

It’s a weird thought: I kept picturing this weird, humanoid-shaped sphere of light following me around everywhere I went. I was thinking “This dude needs to get off my case already!

I also couldn’t shake off my inherent skepticism about anything remotely mystical. To me, angels seemed like a convenient figment of human imagination – kinda like Zeus or deities or unicorns. That skepticism was compounded by the fact that I couldn’t see them, and I couldn’t feel their effects in my life.

But on Esther’s recommendation, I went over to formed.org (kinda like a Netflix for Catholics – OYP has a free subscription if you’re interested!), and downloaded the book Angels (and Demons) by Peter Kreeft to read more about these strange beings that we know so little about.

I’m just about a short way through the book, but I’m already intrigued. For example, here are some mind-blowing facts about angels that I took from the introduction:

  1. They really exist. Not just in our minds, or our myths, or our symbols, or our culture. They are just as real as your dog, or your sister, or electricity
  2. They are not cute, cuddly, comfortable, chummy or “cool”. They are fearsome and formidable. They are huge. They are warriors
  3. They’re present, right here, right now, right next to you, reading these words with you. (Lionel: Now that’s a slightly intimidating thought, isn’t it?)
  4. They can literally move the heavens and the earth if God permits them.
  5. There are also evil angels, fallen angels, demons or devils. These too are not myths. Demon possessions and exorcisms are real.
  6. We are on a protected part of a great battlefield between angels and devils, extending to eternity

The last point really made me think.

There’s a great spiritual battle being fought for our souls, even though we can’t see it. The spiritual realm is as real as the physical realm – just because we don’t see it, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. Can a fish in a fishbowl comprehend the world outside it?

For all we know, maybe our guardian angels saving our lives every day. Maybe we could’ve been possessed by a demon, or succumbed to the devil, and all matter of horrible things… if it weren’t for our formidable, faithful guardian angel.

It made me feel especially ashamed about dismissing the importance of my guardian angel. And the least I could do for him (her?), who has probably been working crazily hard to protect and guide me, is to offer up a simple prayer:

Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love entrusts me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Today, take some time to thank God’s for His infinite love, and for sending us such formidable warriors to protect us. It’s awesome to be on His side 😀

Social MEdia

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This scene is, unfortunately, a little too familiar to most of us. Technological devices – especially mobile phones – have taken so much away from us.

 

 

  • Time from families & friends
  • Time from God – ever got distracted at prayer / mass because our phones vibrated?
  • Time from other things that we may need to do – study or work

Yeah yeah…I can almost hear the dismissive tone and eyes rolling. This is a dead topic! Not this “technology is a double edge sword and needs to be used wisely” article again. So this is not going to be that article. This writing will be more about how it creeps into us even when we are not using technology.

Credits: A lot of the topics discussed here has been extracted from Ju’s speech at OYP Nox Gaudii 15 September 2017.

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Credits: GlobalDirective

WORK

This is an essential and critical aspect as much of our time is spent at work. In fact, you should have noticed by now how much research and writings have been dedicated just to understand how millennials work.

Here is a typical example from Forbes.

The first few pointers are as such:

  • Millennials don’t just work for a paycheck ― they want a purpose.
  • Millennials are not pursuing job satisfaction ― they are pursuing development.
  • Millennials don’t want bosses ― they want coaches.
  • It’s not just my job ― it’s my life.
  • … … …

And the list goes on. Actually these are wonderful things. God calls each of us to do meaningful work with a purpose, to develop and to contribute to society. The desires and needs that Millennials have are not new – probably just starting about 5000-4000 BC.

Genesis 2:15 “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and keep it.”

Ecclesiastes 9:9b-10 “in your toil at which you toil under the sun. Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might, for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.”

Colossians 3:23-24 “Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

Certainly we are not saying what Millennials want are not good. The important issue here is how Millennials react when they don’t get what they want?

From a personal stand point, I suffer greatly when I find work stagnated. I crave so much for constant affirmation that I am doing good work, whether is it producing results, getting feedback from happy customers, from a happy boss, getting an increment, getting a promotion…anything. Anything that shows me I’m learning and progressing well. I strongly feel that my day to day purpose at work and happiness is the most fundamental and important thing I need every day at work.

But here’s the thing. I cannot get this all the time. There are times when a certain deal needs to be worked at and pursued for a longer period of time – say even years. Often times, in the middle of it, I would have lost motivation. I would feel that I’m losing out to my peers and that I’m wasting time when I could be doing something more productive. 

In some ways, in the pursuit of development and contribution, I have lost the ability to have patience and to persevere. Ju gave an insight on how this could have happened. In the world today, we are hardly bored. In a second of having to wait or when we have nothing to do (and unfortunately sometimes even in between a conversation), we turn to our phones. We scroll endlessly for new content and we glimpse at our phones every time there is a notification. We end up being edgey all the time, never being fully present but always looking out for something new.

When we post something on social media, we often times get instant gratification. Regardless if it is contributing to our online profile, generating likes / comments, generating comments for others…the list is endless! Quite unknowingly to most of us, these habits have crept into other parts of our lives. We call it YOLO, turning away from the slow and unfashionable and making the best of our time here on earth. In fact, we have rushed and packed so much that we are losing sight of the actual best things in life.

Gone are the days when we hold a conversation without interruption. Gone are the days when we arrive at an appointment punctually knowing there is no way to cancel or to inform that we are late. Gone are the days when we remember our friends’ birthdays by heart. Gone are the days when we reach out to people in person.

We are so used to the screen that sometimes we even speak more to people over chat than in person! It has trained us to be comfortable in being awkward in real life (if that is even possible). It has trained us to ‘like’ somebody’s depressing post without even speaking to the person.

Social media is probably here to stay, but we can all start by being more aware of how it may eat into the best parts of life. Perhaps next time you suffer some frustration or impatience with something, take some time to offer it up to God and ask Him to gently guide us to do the better thing =)

Mother Mary, Teach us how to say Yes to Jesus

Visiting the Church of the Annunciation in Nazaren, the home of Mother Mary. I can unequivocally say that this has been my favourite site in Israel to date!

We were able to visit this beautiful and majestic Basilica. To be honest, i’ve never been one to enjoy visiting churches. But this one was different.

1) Mary, Mother of us all

Just standing at the outskirts of the church, what went through my mind: This was the site where the history of mankind was written, because of a simple “Yes” 2000 years ago.

There was a deep sense of peace and love as i just looked and prayed to Mother Mary. To intercede for my loved ones and for their conversions. I just sensed the deep love of Mary for them. One that stemmed not from my own heart, but from hers. And i knew Mary was reassuring me that she loved them as their own children and that she would continue to intercede for us.

2) Mary who shows us how to say Yes

We all know the story of how Mary said Yes to the Archangel Gabriel when he told her that she was chosen to be the Mother of Christ. And sometimes, its so easy to simplify it looking at the bible and how it has all ‘played out’

But as we read in scripture (Luke 1), in her humaness, Mary was feeling confused at first when the angel first appeared. Yet the angel said to her “do not be afraid”, and she accepted the will of God, “Behold, the handmaid of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word’

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I was drawn especially to this image of Mary outside the church that depicted a young looking Mary. And when you look at her hands, you see a disposition of openess to the Lord

And because she was open to God’s call, she has a special place in Jesus heart. Which was why 30 years on, when Jesus started his public ministry and performed his first miracle, at the Wedding of Canna, at the intercession of Mary. And just as she told the servants at Canna all those years ago, Mary wants to tell each of us today “Do whatever he (Jesus) tells you”

So for me, as I look at my life where the Lord is leading me in various aspects of my life. I too ask Mary to pray for me, that i may have the same openess, to say Yes to Jesus 🙂

 

 

O Little Town Of Bethlehem

Underwhelming.

That was the word going through my mind as our tour bus trundled through Bethlehem. We were on our first day of our Israel pilgrimage, and it wasn’t getting off to a good start.

I wasn’t sure what I expected Bethlehem to look like. I had some vague idea in my head, an image similar to what you might find on a typical Christmas postcard: Soft lighting, cobbled streets, whitewashed houses, flaming torches, maybe a donkey or two.

But the scenery that unfolded before my eyes was… underwhelming. Barren sandy streets, dying plants, several sketchy-looking kebab and tailor shops. Not very pretty or picturesque.

This was the birthplace of our Lord Jesus Christ?

Because of some delays at the airport, we were 15 minutes late for Mass. After rushing through Mass, we were unceremoniously hustled out by the priest who looked after the place.

He shoved us out of the way as he packed up his things. Before we could take pictures, he growled, “Please leave… NOW.” Nobody wanted to mess with him.

Later on, while shopping at a nearby supermarket for groceries, I paid 8 USD for a bottle of water, a packet of chips, and some gum. I’m pretty sure I got scammed.

Like I said: Underwhelming.

First Impressions Aren’t Everything

But after reflecting about the experience, I realised that maybe Jesus was trying to show me a particular truth about who He really is.

Like many of the ancient Israelites, I had a romanticised vision of what Jesus (and His birthplace) was supposed to look like: Splendid, royal, beautiful, majestic. I expected to be filled with wonder and awe, just like when I’m immersed in beat-thumping P&W music in our modern, sparkling churches.

But today, I remember that God chose this barren, insignificant town to become the Word Incarnate. And not just that, He chose the humblest of places – a manger in a cave – to be born.

Jesus was never about appearances and material splendour. Because when you strip away all the razzle-dazzle, all that’s left remaining is what’s in our hearts.

How Many Times Have We Chased Jesus Away?

It would have been easy to judge the priest who was rude to us. It would have been easy to complain about the poor “customer service” given to us pilgrims who had travelled hundreds of miles to be there.

Yet, as Fr Jude reflected, perhaps that’s what Mary and Joseph experienced in Bethlehem 2000 years ago! When the inns were full, when doors were slammed in their faces, when the world seemed so unkind and heartless and dangerous to a young couple… that’s when Jesus chose to be born.

How many times in our lives have we slammed the door on Jesus? How many times have we rudely told Him to “please leave… NOW” because He didn’t fit our plans?

We’re All A Little Bethlehem Inside 

Maybe we’re all a little Bethlehem inside.

Whenever we disappoint our parents. Whenever we’re hostile to our colleagues. Whenever our sins rear their ugly heads. During those times, we’re certainly not the beautiful, pious selves we envision ourselves to be. In fact, we can be quite… underwhelming.

That’s when we need Jesus the most, and that’s precisely when He invites us to let Him be born in our hearts again.

Because despite its humble appearances, Bethlehem has a royal identity.

Bethlehem was where King David shepherded his flock. Bethlehem was where Jesus chose to enter this world. And Bethlehem is the birthplace for the salvation of all the world.

Jesus could have picked a majestic palace or a splendid mountaintop to be born… But He chose Bethlehem. Today, Jesus is telling you that no matter how “ugly” you may seem to the world, He’s choosing you.

You have a royal identity. Will you let Him come in?

PS: I’m pretty sure Bethlehem is a lot prettier than what I described, but I haven’t actually explored it fully yet. Like I said, first impressions aren’t everything 🙂

Food – Sustenance or Sustainment

Food..Glorious FOOD

Whether thiisssssssssss

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thiiiiiiiiiiiiiis

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or thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssssssssssssss

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Food is a form of sustenance for us. We often consume varieties of it on a daily basis.

It nourishes us, but also add’s variation to our otherwise monotonous day.

In fact, Food helps to regulate mood (and contribute to weight gain)

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PRAYER / REFLECTION

Helps

  1. Clear our mind to focus on important things
  2. Consciously bring God into our thoughts
  3. Develop a healthy habit of opening a dialogue with the Holy Spirit & God

Arguably, it can be said that Prayer/Reflection is a form of “Sustenance” in our spiritual lives.

Sustenance – The act of bearing weight against the structure ( Sir Issac Newton would be so happy that im invoking engineering concepts into Blog posts now)

It helps sustain us daily,weekly in our stressful lives. Balancing Work, Family Commitments, Relationships etc.

In truth, many of our daily routines/experiences do inevitably bear weight/strain on our mental & spiritual well being.

Whether it’s through Taize sessionsWhatsApp Image 2017-09-16 at 20.51.57.jpeg

or adoration, may we always remind ourselves to turn to God 🙂

Let’s talk about God’s will vs my will

How often do you find yourself praying along these lines “God, guide me such that Your will be done and not mine.” Probably plenty and plenty of times.

This comes especially so when you perceive yourself to be making a huge decision. Like a career change, a relationship, parenthood, migrating overseas etc… Then the interesting question comes – at where exactly do we draw the line? How do we know whether a certain decision is needed for us to implore the Holy Spirit to come down and somehow mold our mind suddenly to conform to what God wants us to do?

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Image credits: astieyoung

A lot of us will agree that probably a career change is big enough to enter the ‘discernment and praying’ time. What about starting a new project? What about helping out at a charity organization? What about helping a friend? What about visiting your mother? What about whether to dine out?

What if God’s will was for me to dine out and I cooked instead?! Did I just sin?!!!

 

Jokes aside, of course I’m not discounting a planned discernment period where we pray and ask God to help us in our decision making. That in itself is fantastic! But we also need to recognize that we don’t stop to remember most of the time. How often do we include God in our daily decisions that mold us as a person much more than the infrequent big stuff in our lives.

Perhaps instead of falling to our knees to beg and expect signs from God only during the big decisions, we should start by practicing great love and wisdom in doing the little things in our lives. Only when we have grown our heart to be closer to Jesus’ heart, can we then be more loving and wise to discern the big decisions properly.

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”

Luke 16:10

I became more aware of it when I saw how people go into a ‘discernment period’ of whether to attend Treasure Retreat. Then before they knew it, the registration has closed (first come first served basis). “God’s will” they say. Then I would think in my mind “HA! Procrastination more like it!” and this is the typical scenario of me pointing a finger at others with 4 back at myself.

I have also been misusing “God’s will” for things that I do not have the heart for! I’ll give you a concrete example.

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Image credits: Dilbert

This year, many people asked me to sign up for Conversion Experience Retreat (CER). My typical response to them is that I signed up for the first run this year, but I didn’t get in (balloting system). Subsequently, I have no more leave to sign up.

“God’s will”, I said.

A lot of my friends are very kind to me and tell me perhaps God is telling me it isn’t time yet. But I know in my heart that the main reason why I am unable to attend CER this year is because it isn’t a priority for me. If in fact it is a priority, I would have ensured that I have enough leave before I splurged it on holidays.

Hence, instead of just being a sleeping Dilbert (chosen as I consider myself to have a similar job as him) and waiting for ‘God’s decision’ to plop down on me, I hope to be more aware of my own heart and faith in making decisions – whether big or small.

 

 

“Not your usual” Session

Change of Plans!?

Our community had an initial activity of conducting a session at Choice House with Migrant Workers. Due to some unforseen circumstances, the workers were unable to be present

So Session cancelled la?

Well one amazing thing about community is the willingness for individuals to step up
aka HELPS

The Outreach team pulled together and came up with a mini prayer session for migrant workers + a personal sharing by Kim (Enquirer) on her outreach efforts with CWS (Catholic Welfare Services)

Why Pray for Migrant Workers?

Seeing how life itself is complicated enough, i’ve often asked myself why bother to pray for others when our own lives are seemingly complexed enough

Like any good student – I googled about it

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What does our Teaching advocate?

TLDR: In the interest of time and eye power – We’re called on as Catholics to promote & uphold the dignity of a fellow human being (catholic or non-catholic_

The act of reaching out to someone is a sign of love towards a fellow Child of God

How do I go about it?

Simple acts of kindness 🙂
The act of greeting/reaching out to the cleaners at the Hawker or your office. A smile makes their day

Even a “Hi, how’s your day going” approach goes a long way 😉