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“The people in the parks, the alcoholics, the homeless, they are looking at you. Do not be those who look and do not see. Look and see.” St Teresa of Calcutta

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In today’s (13th April) Gospel reading of Saint John 6:1-15 we hear about the feeding of the 5 thousand people. How after a long day the crowds following Jesus were tired and hungry. His disciples asked Jesus how can we feed 5 thousand with just a few loaves of bread and fish or even the money they had wasnt enough. Jesus knew their thoughts and He does know our thoughts too when we are confronted daily with worries of providing daily food and needs. I heard a good homily explanation today about this parable which challenges us to trust that God is here with us, in this present moment, and He will always provide for every need. We fear for what will happen beyond this present moment we are in. We should realise that God is present in every moment and trust in Him that He will help us.

In the reading of the Psalms today at Mass, we find comfort in this message:

Psalms 27(26):1.4.13-14.
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom should I fear?
The LORD is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
One thing I ask of the LORD
this I seek:
to dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
that I may gaze on the loveliness of the LORD
and contemplate his temple.
I believe that I shall see the bounty of the LORD
in the land of the living.
Wait for the LORD with courage;
be stouthearted, and wait for the LORD.

Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 6:1-15.
Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee.
A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.
The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.
Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little (bit).”
One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?
Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.”
So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat.
When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.

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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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10629816_1088999964515947_3861913081420977853_n“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!

 

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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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At the start of this new year, we all have many plans and decisions to make, hoping to improve our lives or when faced with critical decisions for ourselves and our families! I hope you find this website helpful in taking steps to meditate on and structure your decision making plans. This is based on St Ignatius of Loyala’s teachings:

“Ignatian spirituality can help you in making good decisions. St. Ignatius Loyola’s approach to decision making combines keen psychological observation with acute spiritual insight. It has had a great impact over the centuries.”

http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/making-good-decisions/an-approach-to-good-choices/an-ignatian-framework-for-making-a-decision

God Bless ~ Mary

 

 

 

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Start the new year with praise and worship of God! One of the ways to build up our spiritual and prayer life is with praying the daily communal prayer of the church – Lectio Divina – an encounter with God. These readings and prayers are said in the morning, afternoon and night. Isnt it great that around the world, religious communities in church and the laity are gathered together praising God with these same prayers!

Download the App from this weblink to your mobile phone or pc:

https://play.google.com/store/search?q=lectio%20divina&c=apps

If you dont wish to use the App, you can view it online at this site:

http://www.ignatianspirituality.com/ignatian-prayer/the-what-how-why-of-prayer/praying-with-scripture

A video lesson in how to pray Lectio Divina :

 

 

God Bless ~ Mary

 

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