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Archive for the ‘Discernment’ Category


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!

 

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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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“The task for a Christian is to drown evil in an abundance of good. It is not a question of negative campaigns, or of being anti anything. On the contrary, we should live positively, full of optimism, with youthfulness, joy and peace. We should be understanding with everybody, with the followers of Christ and with those who abandon him, or do not know him at all.

— But understanding does not mean holding back, or remaining indifferent; it means being active.

St Josemaría Escrivá, Furrow, 865.

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Today at Mass, our priest spoke on this topic. So how do you define ‘happiness’?

‘Seeking holiness rather than happiness is a hard thing to do in the culture in which we live,” wrote John Maxwell, “because so much is geared to happiness—whatever makes you feel good.  In a secular society, happiness is the aim of life.  In a spiritual society, holiness is the thing that we strive for….Happiness is really found in holiness.  But if we try to bypass holiness in our search for happiness, we’ll miss it altogether.  Happiness is a by-product of holiness; it’s a benefit of living a pure life, rightly related to God, self and others.”

Material happiness is short-lived, it is just a feeling. If we strive to live holy lives we will be at peace, that is seeking peace with ourselves and others, doing the Will of God, obeying God’s Commandments, praying throughout the day, going to Mass, receiving the Holy Eucharist, Confession, striving to overcome our weaknesses, serving others. Striving to achieve this is hard work, but God gives us much more abundant Grace when we look to serve others, giving us peace and strength for daily living.

 

 

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