It can be so sudden . . .

It happens often enough, coming without a warning

Sometimes there are signs but one may choose to ignore them

DEATH is an interesting subject no one can really ignore

Lately in preparing for a talk on a part of the Creed

I have been meditating frequently on the topic:

Forgiveness of sin, Death and Life everlasting

For me death is always not far from my mind

Funerals I do attend so often

What a blessing the Lord has given!

DEATH will usher in a change of life

Not change that is to be feared

A wonderful welcome it ought to be

The saints have  realised this

Only death gives one the chance

to meet our Lord and to behold Him face to face

Praise Him!

One thing have I lately been pondering

We have an immortal soul

Forever will it live on

So great too must our need be

to live in a pleasing manner

 with Heaven as our final end 

 Imagine if you will and  if you can

Making evil choices so as to  end up in Hell

and there suffer for all eternity?

I understand better now

St Teresa of Avila pondered on  Forever and Ever

 Praise the Lord

I too have had  the grace to meditate . . .

Thank our Lord Jesus, Saviour divine

Only You can direct our paths

 Let us follow You faithfully all the days of our life!

 

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Be true to yourself

Be yourself

Yes, I will try to do that

Easier said than done

Not really, no not at all

Simply calls for sincerity of heart

Is that so?

Yes, if one is  to be relied upon

One has to  be trustworthy

Ah yes, go ahead and try

Be sincere and  be open

Anyhow it is a desire of the heart

to be at one’s best at all times

May you be blessed

Abundantly  and richly

 

 

 

 

Awaiting the Saviour of the world

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A meditation I do each day is on the birth of our Saviour

And there is no end to the inspiration that comes each day

There is the Word from John’s Gospel

And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us

And to all who believe in Him He gave power to become children of God

For God loved the world so much that He sent us His only begotten Son

And all who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life

And we see and we learn that God took on sin to save us

To redeem us and to give us life everlasting

And what thanks can I render my Lord?

The best is to give Him my life to do as He will

For strictly speaking, I am no longer my own

Christ has paid the price with His precious Blood

Bled for me to wash away my sins

To save me from eternal damnation

To show me how deep is His love for me

And what thanks can I render to You dearest Lord?

Take and receive my whole will, my memory, my liberty and my understanding

All that I am and all that I have come from You

I give them over to You and ask only for Your grace and Your love to sustain me

Be praised my dearest Lord Jesus!

All souls’ day

blessing 1 blessing 2 blessing 3 blessing 4

Blessing for the niches

Niches that hold the urns that contain the ashes

Ashes of our loved ones summoned home to the Lord

Lord of the dead and the living here and now

Now the question is

Is it true that all go to heaven?

Heaven is for those who love the Lord

Lord of all, sole Judge of us all

All comes from the Lord and not from mere mortals

Mortals can never judge so as not to be judged

Judged alone by our Lord

Lord of heaven and earth

Earth is but a temporary place here

Here where all things are passing

 

And so the church prays as one

For we are a family of God

And it is our desire that all be rewarded

With eternal life in heaven

May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace

through the mercy of God. Amen.

(These photos were taken last year)

 

Lessons from the silence of the Lamb

cross 2 4cRI looked and what did I see?

The scene where our Lord Jesus was being mocked, taunted and insulted. He was being verbally abused and all sorts of vulgarities were being hurled at him. Pilate said that he found no case against our Lord, and then he made a public display of him.

“Here is the man. I find no case against him.”

Why, Lord? I thought to myself. I would have reacted. I would have thrown a tantrum. I would have tried to defend myself somehow. I would do a lot of foolish things to see that justice is done. Yes, Lord, there is no justice in this at all but you allowed it. You always have your reasons – good ones,  wise ones. Oh, Lord, that I may grow in maturity and learn from you.

To look at Jesus. It is another surprise for me.  I am given a portrait of a lamb being led to the slaughter. The Lamb of God who has no sin is taken to be killed.

You say not a word. You allowed yourself to be led to the Hill of Calvary to be nailed to the cross, and to die for sinful humanity. Your victory comes when you are raised to life on Easter morning.

Lessons for me: Humility. Counting on divine assistance. Vengeance is mine, you say. So often, I want to defend myself or get someone else to help me. But you are teaching me to allow you to take total control of every situation and rightly so. You know everything. I do not say that I am always in the right. My stupidity and my sinfulness bring trouble upon myself, and so I can say that I ask for it sometimes.

Lessons for me: Pay no lip service. Seek the grace of God to be truly docile to him. Seek the grace to be silent when hurts, insults, abuses and injustice plague you. Just allow the ones who do them to me be handed over to the Lord. You show me the totality of your obedience. Full and absolute obedience to do the Father’s will.  You did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but you emptied yourself and accepted death, even death on a cross.

Victorious King, pray for us!

Rest in peace

P1120981t P1120982r P1120983r P1120984r P1120985r P1120986r P1120987r P1120988r P1120989r P1120990rP1120991r P1120992r P1120993r P1120994r P1120995rP1130006r P1130007rP1120998rP1120999rP1130002rP1130003rP1130004rP1130006rP1130007rP1130008rP1130009rP1130010rP1130010rP1130011r P1130012r P1130013r P1130014r P1130015r P1130016r P1130017r P1130018r P1130019r P1130020rP1130021r P1130022r P1130023r P1130024r P1130025r P1130026r P1130027r P1130028r P1130029rP1130030r P1130031r P1130032r P1130033r P1130034r P1130035r P1130038r P1130039r P1130043r P1130044rIn everything there is a season. A time to be born and a time to die. And it is true. We know not the day or the hour. We are on the journey and we are called to be ever vigilant for we will be summoned home, sometimes with the grace to prepare as the nun in these photos did. She was an Ursuline nun, aged 85 and the only Catholic in the family. Yet, she was sent off in a grand manner, with the attendance of the Bishop of Chiangmai, ten priests and religious with lay people, Catholics and non Catholics too. I do believe that that funeral mass would draw the grace of God for the conversion of those open enough to receive. I recall how a young boy was so touched by the way a funeral mass was conducted that he gave his life as a priest in later years. Praise the Lord!

My friends had wanted to visit the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart on the day prior to our departure. But I suggested that we visit the grave of the late Fr. Iker first. We did. We also saw the graves of many other missionaries. When it was over, we crossed the road to go to the Cathedral. Immediately I recognise the signs pointing to a funeral. It was such a blessing. We not only spoke to the Bishop, a very gentle person, like most Thai people. Then we decided to join the mass. It was my first Thai funeral mass. Although I could not understand the language, I was deeply moved by the hymns that were sung. There was the pianist and the flutist adding to the solemnity of the occasion with their skilful renditions.

What impressed me too was to see the students who played the musical instruments during the procession from the convent nearby. These were students in the Catholic school run by some of the nuns, I believe. I had no chance to find out why the soldiers had the honour of carrying the coffin of Sr. Marie.  Besides that, I was impressed by most of the women present at the funeral mass. They seemed to be wearing their Sunday best although the colour was black. Smart looking and so dignified. There was reverence shown through the silence kept. Praise God!

So there is a season for everything. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to laugh and a time to weep. Whatever it is, may we always find time with our loved ones. We know not the day or the hour. Praise God!

Dying and rising again

 This afternoon I joined many fellow Catholics to celebrate the life, death and eternal life of a priest. He would have been a priest for forty years if he had lived for another six months. But what would that do for him? Nothing more than another earthly celebration. Where he is now is a better place. Where he is now is paradise. . . and God wants us all to be where He is, in heaven. I tried to recall the last funeral mass that I had attended of a priest and could not pinpoint one. I looked at each priest, each religious and each lay person present and wondered what was going on in each of their minds. Were they like me in some of my thoughts? It is a weary pilgrimage that we are on. Happy are those who have completed their journey. . . I can recall the sentiments of St Paul. To stay and do God’s work or to leave this earthly tent and be with our Lord forever. At the end of the day, what matters most is the will of the Father. As the Author of Life has  given us each a length of time, let us be content to remain and bear fruit that will last. Let us be content to persevere in this short life span on earth so that our lives may be meaningfully spent. Like a flower that blooms and wilts, so too will each of our lives be. Yes, it is a short journey compared to eternity. May our Lord sustain us and grant us the grace to persevere to the very end.

Eternal rest grant unto the souls of the faithful departed, O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon them. May they, through your mercy, rest in peace. Amen.