True Devotion to Mary

These slides simply remind us of the true devotion to Mary. To be devoted to Mary is one short cut to being closer to Jesus, and her way is surely the shortest way. Brother gave this talk to mostly Legion of Mary people and I am happy to acknowledge that I have been with them as an Auxiliary member since my baptism some 24 plus years ago. I make it a point to pray the rosary before the Blessed Sacrament, as far as possible. 

Below is the PIETA which shows us how much our Lady also had to suffer in order to remain close to her Son Jesus.

Bible Seminar 2017

The ballerinas were a wonderful surprise in the Bible Seminar which I attended this month in July 2017. It was no wonder that Sr Sandra Seow, the Director of the Biblical Apostolate, shared of her childhood desire to want to dance. Seeing the ballerinas so gracefully dance with such adeptness does make one wish to join them. Praise the Lord!

What touched me more was the song written by Sr Monika for the occasion. The song title is “You are Word of God’. When she first sang it, I found tears rolling down my cheeks and this went on till the  entire song was  sung so well by the nun herself. I managed to speak to her and to share with her how much consolation I had experienced with her song. And who would have thought that I would once more cry tears of consolation and joy in the Lord when she sang it again at the end of the whole session? Truly dear Lord, you surprise me!

Trust. Hope. Light. Peace.

Glittering words, like stars above.

Do not fear. You are Mine. Remain in Me.

Healing words, spoken in love.

Written in ink, but carved in our hearts

Embracing and calming, reminding us that

Turn your ears to Your Word

Speak to  us, Word of Life

That we may know  how to speak to the weary

Turn our ears to You, Lord

Teach or tongues, Lord of Life

Give Your word, revive them, today!

The first seminar was in 2015 when we were given a scripture on a slip of paper. I experienced the same thing, that is, shedding tears and experiencing deeply the love of God. To be full of tears is a sure sign for me as I could never have made myself cry.  I suffer from dry eyes. I read the passage and could not stop my tears from falling. Later on during the break, I took the paper out again to read and again the tears came. Amazingly so!

What was the passage? It is on the love of God for me in a special way.. . . . .Beautifully so! He has carved my name on the palm of his hand! Should there  be another Bible Seminar, you can be sure I will be there with the Verbum Dei nuns to experience the love of God through His Word. Praise the good Lord Jesus Christ!

Dance, Ladies, Dance!

Bolly Dazz is the name for the dance you see here in these photos and the instructress is a young and lovely lady by the name of Nandini. I was invited by my friend Cara to join them as I was looking for a group to exercise with and when told that there was a group I might be able to join, I finally found the time to join them on a Sunday evening at six.

I wanted to observe to see if I could do the exercises and then to join the group. The group is made up of different age groups with those in the 20s to the 60s I believe. I found the ones I talked to very encouraging and they were truly hospitable to me. One of them even offered me a bottle of water which I desired much but did not have. You can imagine how grateful I was!

Well, I confess that I am not cut out for this dance which is really zumba but the moves and music are Bollywood inspired and so  it is called Bolly Dazz. It combines all of the benefits of a high-intensity workout with the energy, fun and excitement of Bollyword dancing. Apparently the dance has been put together by world-class choreographers and made easy to follow by people of all fitness levels. It is very attractive and there is a need for many to take it up!

Suffering is a vocation

Suffering is a vocation and all of us will be called to it. . . I certainly agree with Gladys and her friends Brendan and Carol Pereira! The stories come from the two of her friends, Brendan and Carol.

Truly one can say that suffering is a vocation. . .

The danger of death 

The death of loved ones

Loneliness

The lack of children

Dryness of faith

The difficulty of seeing the wicked prosper 

The consequence of wrong choices

 At some stage of our life, we will taste suffering.

But as Monsignor Ambrose Vaz said at a funeral I (Brendan) attended in Singapore on Friday, while we can’t avoid suffering,  we can choose to avoid misery.‎‎

He‎ recalled that Nicholas Jayaram was visited by suffering, especially in the later years of his life when illness seemed to be a permanent companion. Yet, the 85-year-old soldiered on, happy to be alive to enjoy his family with whatever time he had left.‎

Nicholas Jayaram chose not to be miserable when his body was giving way.‎‎

I am blessed because I know quite a number of people like this man.

 I know Karen. I can’t remember when she was diagnosed with cancer and I have lost count of the tests and scans she has been subjected to. I just know that she has endured far too much pain and suffering in the last few years but she counts her blessings. She thinks of the Passion of Christ and puts her life in perspective. 

I know ‎an Irishman called Felix Donohue. He is skin and bones these days, a shadow of a man who had such a commanding presence in school. A good day these days is spent in a normal ward and a bad day in the high dependency unit. But don’t expect any moaning from him. If anything, the wicked humour is too alive. When a former classmate introduced his teenage son to Bro Felix, the Irishman looked at him and quipped: ‘Are you sure he is your son?’

 My former school principal knows that he is not in good shape but ‎when you have had 86 years, every day is a blessing.

I know Jaclay. Two years ago, the airline lost his bag just before we started a nine-day walking pilgrimage in Spain. He completed the 220km trek in Crocs and borrowed clothes. And he was the most joyful person on the pilgrimage. People gravitate to him because he is a half glass full kind of person. ‎

‎Nicholas, Karen, Bro Felix, Jaclay have all experienced difficulties, storms and suffering in their lives but their reaction to adversity has been measured. 

‎How come?

I guess they were given the grace of God to understand that nothing changes for a Christian. 

The God who is with us when things are going well is the same God who is with us after the tests results have come back or a loved one has passed on.

‎The Jesus who slept while the boat full of apostles rocked in the storm was the same Jesus who calmed the seas. In both situations, He had their back.

In both situations, He was their peace.

The people who choose not to be miserable even during the worst of times remind me that the essence of faith is truly believing that GOD IS WITH US.

God bless!