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confessional-officeFirst week of the month, is a time when we observe 1st Saturday Devotion to Our Blessed Mother to attend Holy Mass, Holy Communion, Confession (attend Confession any day of this week) and spend 15 minutes meditating on the Rosary for the intentions of the needs of the church today.

Today I was at church and it was quiet, with hardly anybody in the Confessional queue – a good time to go I thought. Plus the Holy Spirit was nudging me for some time, but my human nature made me feel a bit lazy!  Suddenly I saw a priest enter the church and go towards the confessional. Aha I thought, that is my cue! I thought, if a priest goes to Confession, what about me! So off I went to join the small queue. I have on occasions joined many people in the Confessional queue, all brothers and sisters in Christ, nuns and priests, side by side in the queue, and it is a humbling experience to realise that we are all on this spiritual journey towards our Eternal Home and we all have occasion to sin – daily, minute by minute. We all need this great Sacrament of Forgiveness and Grace to repent, to change, to try with God’s help to overcome our weaknesses, no matter how small or big. This world has temptations all around us to draw us into a life of sin and despair. We cannot escape the temptations of sin, unless we are strengthened with God’s help alone, by frequent repentance and conscious effort to overcome that weakness.

I would like to bring to your mind that many of us today think we don’t need to go to Confession, that we are living a daily life of doing daily chores and we think we are living a good moral life. After all the requirement of the catholic church is to go to Confession and Holy Communion (at least) once a year at Easter, although we need to attend Holy Mass every Sunday.  Intentionally missing Holy Mass on every Sunday and Holy Day of Obligation is a Mortal sin and our soul is in spiritual danger. Or we might think, our sins are too great, we are afraid to confess it. These are doubts coming into our minds to stop us from going to this great Sacrament and being free of sin! Do not listen to this! Many people who do not believe in this, carry on their lives day after day, soon they realise they are stuck in the same life patterns which they cannot escape, they try everything – seeking professional counselling help, courses, programs. (I am not saying they do not work, they do work). Who holds the key to the human heart, created by God? No one can get into the mind and heart of any human being, except God Himself. God alone can help mend the broken human heart.

Have no fear, the priest in the Confessional is very patient and gentle and understanding to hear us out. And before you know it, in a few minutes, you are granted Absolution of the Church and you are free! Check your local churches for Confession times on Google search (if you are on the net) or check with your local Archdiocese for the nearest church. You are not alone! I have been hearing from our priests at Mass saying to people ‘come and talk to us’.

The Confessional is the Seat of Mercy – Jesus revealed to St Faustina, the apostle of Divine Mercy, that He is there in the Confessional through the priest, listening to us. We receive the Penance the priest asks of us and God’s Mercy washes our souls clean and Grace poured into our souls to strengthen us for our spiritual journey.

Jesus gave the Sacrament of Penance to the 12 Apostles on Pentecost when He breathed on them and Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so also I am sending you.” When He had said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.”… St John 20:22.

Do not wait or doubt, go now to the Sacrament of Reconciliation and find Jesus the Divine Mercy waiting there!  Jesus says ‘Come to me all you who labour and heavily burdened and I will give you rest’.

~ God Bless you today and always!

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“Let us always meet each other with smile, for the smile is the beginning of love.” Mother Teresa

It is easy to smile when life is great around us, when we achieve our goals in life – succeed at school, getting your driver’s licence, buying a car, getting that dream job, marrying, having a family, holidays, buying a new house, ticking off all the things on our ‘To Do List’ or ‘Wish List’, or having a lovely day.

Life can be pretty smooth sailing for a while, until life suddenly changes … we encounter issues with job instability, financial instability, health problems for ourselves or people we live with, external factors we don’t have control over – like nature taking its toll on our homes with floods, damage to houses and properties; wars, terrorism, plagues, rioting, new laws governing our future security in our country.

How do we smile when a loved one is suffering illness and passes away? The overwhelming grief and loss is ever present. All around you, you see people happy and going about their own lives.

The ‘smile’ that Blessed Teresa talks about is a spiritual smile! You can instantly smile when you feel Jesus ever present within you, when you have a deep personal relationship with the Lord Jesus and He only can give you that peace that the world cannot give. How?

  1. By striving to live a virtuous life, praying continually, communicating with God our Father throughout the day, thanking Him for everything around us; praying for the intentions of others, sick, dying, poor, homeless, needs of the Catholic Church.
  2. Reading the Scriptures daily and learning our catholic faith. Reading the Lives of the Saints we learn how they dealt with life’s challenges and adversities.
  3. Attending Holy Mass regularly, listening to the Word of God and receiving the Holy Eucharist, food for our souls.
  4. Regular Confession, striving to avoid sin
  5. Eucharistic Adoration
  6. Daily Examen of Conscience
  7. Practicing good works of mercy

When we know more about Jesus, then we can smile from the heart and soul, even in times when we encounter adversities and challenges.

We smile at our brothers and sisters in Christ, wishing them peace and blessings! Each time we smile at someone we impart peace and blessings to be spread around the world! And we in turn also experience peace and healing.

Shalom!

 

Happiness


Happiness equation by Prager University

 


The Remarkable Evidence of a Transcendent Soul   by Fr Robert Spitzer, S J


The 5 prayers given to the children at Fatima that every Catholic should know.

Keep this at the top of your prayer list!

Summarised below:

1) The Fatima Prayer/Decade Prayer

“O my Jesus, forgive us our sins,  save us from the fires of hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those most in need of Thy mercy. Amen.”

Mary told the children that people should add this prayer to the end of each decade of the Rosary.

2) The Pardon Prayer

“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope and I love Thee! I beg pardon for all those that do not believe, do not adore, do not hope and do not love Thee.”

This prayer was given to the children by the angel that visited them in 1916, the year before Mary appeared to them.

3) The Angel’s Prayer

“O Most Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, I adore Thee profoundly. I offer Thee the most precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ present in all the tabernacles of the world, in reparation for the outrages, sacrileges and indifferences by which He is offended. By the infinite merits of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary I beg the conversion of poor sinners.”

This is another prayer given to them by the angel. There was a Eucharistic host and chalice suspended in the air, and the angel led them in kneeling before it and praying this prayer.

4) The Eucharistic Prayer

“Most Holy Trinity, I adore Thee! My God, my God, I love Thee in the Most Blessed Sacrament.”

When Mary appeared to the children for the first time on May 13, 1917, she said, “You will have much to suffer, but the grace of God will be your comfort.” According to Lucia, one of the children, a bright light shone all around them, and without thinking about it, they all started reciting this prayer.

5) The Sacrifice Prayer

“O Jesus, it is for the love of Thee, in reparation for the offenses committed against the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and for the conversion of poor sinners [that I do this].”

Mary gave the children this prayer, as well as the Fatima Prayer/Decade Prayer, on June 13th, 1917. The prayer is meant to be recited when you are offering up suffering to God.

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/blog/the-5-prayers-revealed-at-fatima-that-every-catholic-should-know/

 

Tribute to Mummy!


10133_1160290120674_1030423715_30448483_5667869_n.jpgThis year is the first year without you mum on Mothers’ Day! Just two months have passed since you left us for your Eternal Home. I can’t believe that I will never hear you again or see you again, or hear you say ‘then, what’s for dinner?’ ! This day we knew would come eventually after your long struggle with illness, but still nothing can prepare you for the shock, grief and pain that comes and goes daily. We try to go about daily tasks plodding along, but some memories come back. I think of the time when I would just marvel at the way you would still cook for us meals even after your own mother and sister or any close family had just passed away! You didn’t shirk responsibility. Not a day off sick from work, catching the tram to and from work in extreme heat, monsoons, floods, rioting, strikes! You didn’t ask for a day off from housewife or mother’s duties or to have a girls night out or just relax for yourself, to unwind from the stresses of everyday life. All spare time was spent with your kids and family.  As a mother, you didn’t even follow the fashions anymore as you were once a fashionable dresser in your youth. You asked nothing for yourself and never whinged or complained about it. Your children and family happiness was your life.

I am thinking of past Mothers Days we celebrated together and all the lovely cards and gifts we brought you, trying to express our love and gratitude.

With mum, every day was a celebration of life, Sunday family get togethers, feastdays, birthdays, anniversaries, Lent, Advent, Christmas, New Years, Easter, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Feast days of the church. She would ask each of us ‘what are you going to do on this day, what are you cooking, lets get together!’. So we had to make sure that we cooked the best! As you can guess, cooking and food was her passion! Early mornings were the times she prepared daily food for the family and any friends that came over. Cups of hot tea ever ready for anyone who came by.

Her catholic faith was her life and so was her family and friends! She would openly express her catholic faith to anyone. ‘Go to Jesus, pray, say the rosary, go to Holy Mass, ask Our Lady, St Anthony to help you, St Jude, St Joseph’. She had stacks of prayer books, holy pictures, Novenas to hand out to anyone who had a particular need. She struck up a conversation with anyone who would cross her path – whether on the streets out walking or at the local shops, she talked to them naturally.

We went everywhere with mum, to church, to events, to visit sick people in hospital or the lonely at home, attend fund raising events to help the needy and a regular trip to the movies. The local food shop owners knew her well and still speak with respect of her.

My earliest event memory as a child of mum was waking very early dawn of a cold winter morning and hearing voices. I peeped through the doorway and saw my mum talking to a man (who was the brother of her school friend who had become homeless) at the door who was huddled over with a blanket and a hot mug of tea and bread in his hand and mum talking to him gently, advising him what to do with his life, a homeless person. Many hungry and homeless people would turn up at our front door. Mum would wake at dawn and prepare the kitchen for morning breakfasts and lunches for the day and also have a big pot of tea and bread ready for the hungry. This memory stayed with me a lifetime, which prompts her children to always reach out to those in need, to be compassionate. Till her last year at home, she handed out cups of hot tea to the neighbours who passed by to say ‘hello’.

Mum spent a lifetime of service to others, even with a large young family of her own, amidst trying times, she kept calm and reached out to the needy. If she couldn’t help, then she would refer someone else. If she couldnt help that person materially, she would pray for them and ask them to keep praying till God answered their prayer!

God gave each one of us precious time to spend some quiet moments with you mum! They were quiet times when there was no need for words, just the sense of God being present between us and telling us ‘its okay I am with you, love and peace’. These were the best times mum!

I am praying and wishing you a Happy Mothers Day where I can visualise you at last resting in Eternal Peace with Our Heavenly Father in His Eternal Kingdom and with all your loved ones who have gone before us.

I love you forever mum!

~ Mary

 

 

 

 

 


Ash Wednesday 1Today’s readings for 2nd March, brings to mind the purpose of our Lenten journey, being aware of sin in daily life and discerning God’s Will for us, choosing to accept our cross and following Jesus.

Reading 1DT 30:15-20

Moses said to the people:
“Today I have set before you
life and prosperity, death and doom.
If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin on you today,
loving him, and walking in his ways,
and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees,
you will live and grow numerous,
and the LORD, your God,
will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.
If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen,
but are led astray and adore and serve other gods,
I tell you now that you will certainly perish;
you will not have a long life
on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy.
I call heaven and earth today to witness against you:
I have set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse.
Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God,
heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.
For that will mean life for you,
a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore
he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

Responsorial PsalmPS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6

R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Blessed the man who follows not
the counsel of the wicked
Nor walks in the way of sinners,
nor sits in the company of the insolent,
But delights in the law of the LORD
and meditates on his law day and night.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
He is like a tree
planted near running water,
That yields its fruit in due season,
and whose leaves never fade.
Whatever he does, prospers.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.
Not so the wicked, not so;
they are like chaff which the wind drives away.
For the LORD watches over the way of the just,
but the way of the wicked vanishes.
R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord.

Verse Before The GospelMT 4:17

Repent, says the Lord;
the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.

GospelLK 9:22-25

Jesus said to his disciples:
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly and be rejected
by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed and on the third day be raised.”

Then he said to all,
“If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself
and take up his cross daily and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.
What profit is there for one to gain the whole world
yet lose or forfeit himself?”

An interesting homily at Mass today given by our priest! He said that sometimes we encounter crosses which are of our own making – which is the consequence of us giving into our own will – our pride, envy, laziness, cheating, lying, dishonesty. When our will crosses the will of God.

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