We remember . . .

 

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One of the last visits to Brother Jean showed that he had such a hearty appetite and so we were all so grateful to our good Lord. Here you see him attempting to eat some food, and the papayas in the plastic container awaited his consumption too.

Notice the cranes of peace made by the students who showed appreciation to their teacher. Praise the Lord!

As the Feast of the Assumption draws near, it is apt to pay a little tribute to one of Mother Mary’s most faithful servants. Imagine how he wanted to get more and more people to pray the rosary – just one decade a day per person. He recruited more than seven thousand persons through the years. Praise God!

 

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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!

Look at Him

P1120464r P1120476r P1120501r P1120502r P1120739rP1120713rI’m not asking you now that you think about Him or that you draw out a lot of concepts or make long and subtle reflections with your intellect.  I’m not asking you to do anything more than look at Him. 

Yes, it was for me a retreat with a difference. Of course, it is the goodness of our Lord for it is He who is the real Retreat Director.  He blessed me with a time for silent contemplation, and I often sought the help of our Lady to show me how she  pondered in her heart. Praise God for the time of silence, stillness, surrender and obedience to the leading of the Holy Spirit of God.

Be still and know that I am God – Psalm 46

It was a time of stillness. To wait in stillness and to wait in silence and peace. Like a child in her mother’s arms, so I tried to rest in the arms of the Good Shepherd. No fear. No panic. No anxiety.  It was a great reminder for me and it was reassuring to know that in His time, all will be well.

It was a time of surrender to the way God was leading me in my retreat. So often there was this prayer – Suspice – in my heart.

Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me. To You, O Lord, I return it. All is yours, dispose of it wholly according to your will. Give me your love and your grace, for this is sufficient for me.

Yes, St Ignatius had prayed to be placed near our Lady’s Son, Jesus. She did that and so we have, in short, the Society of Jesus. Those wonderful Jesuits! Our dear Lady placed me within the Sacred Heart of Jesus . . .  Praise God! Praise our Mother Mary! Whatever it is, let my life bear good fruit that will last. This then will be the real testimony of my recent vacation with the Lord! Praise Him!

Trust in the Lord

IMG_3762Trapeze dancers

At Seven Fountains Retreat and Spirituality Centre in the days to come, I shall certainly be taking time to make labyrinth walks as and when inspired to do so. In my heart, I have already planned to do what I did in a previous visit, and that is, to walk very early each morning when the air is fresh and there are few visitors.

The clip art above is an indication of one such walk that I had made here with Edwina about three or four years ago. The message remains relevant and it is all powerful, as such messages always are when one is open and the Holy Spirit takes control. I am always called to trust in the Lord.

Consider the two dancers on the trapeze. Consider the lack of trust in one’s partner. It would be unthinkable.

The more I reflect on this element of trust, the more I think it is silly not to trust in the One who loves me and desires all that is best for my well being. I see this as a strengthening of faith. If there is no faith, there can be no trust, and if one cannot trust, what faith is there? Our Lord is the One who will catch my hands. He is my Dance Partner and He will surely guide me well. Praise to you, Lord Jesus!

Yesterday, 5 October, was the Feast Day of St Faustina, and all of us who are familiar with the devotion to the Divine Mercy of God will surely also know that the image of the Divine Mercy carries five important words : JESUS, I TRUST IN YOU. Our Lord knows and He wants us to trust Him. Thanks and praise to God Almighty!