Knowing God

tumblr_miis5gSfL31qe49wpo1_500

Photo credit: /foolme

When you come to knowing God, the initiative lies on His side. If He does not show Himself, nothing you can do will enable you to find Him. And, in fact, He shows much more of Himself to some people than to others—not because He has favourites, but because it is impossible for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has no favourites, cannot be reflected in a dusty mirror as clearly as in a clean one.

– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

 

Prayer for Faith, Hope, and Charity

Faith, Hope, and Charity are the three supernatural virtues.

They are called “supernatural” or “theological” because they have their foundation in God, and are directly related to God, and are the way by which us men can reach God directly. As bestowed by God, theses are genuine powers that a person can develop and consolidate with the grace of God so as to obtain “the abundant life.”

An Act of Faith

Faith is the power by which we assent to God, acknowledge His truth, and commit ourselves personally to Him.

“O my God, I firmly believe that Thou art one God in three Divine Person, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; I believe that Thy Divine Son became man, and died for our sins, and that He will come to judge the living and the dead. I believe these and all the truths which the Holy Catholic Church teaches, because Thou hast revealed them, who canst neither deceive nor be deceived. Amen.”

An Act of Hope

Hope is the power by which we firmly and constantly long for what we were placed on the earth to do: to praise God and serve Him; and for our true happiness, which is finding our fulfillment in God; and for our final home in God.

“O my God, relying on Thy almighty power and infinite mercy and promises, I hope to obtain pardon of my sins, the help of Thy grace, and life everlasting, through the merits of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Redeemer. Amen.”

An Act of Charity (Love)

Charity is the power by which we, who have been loved first by God, can give ourselves to God so as to be united with Him and can accept our neighbour for God’s sake as unconditionally and sincerely as we accept ourselves.

“O my God, I love Thee above all things, with my whole heart and soul, because Thou art all good and worthy of all love. I love my neighbor as myself for the love of Thee. I forgive all who have injured me, and ask pardon of all whom I have injured. Amen.”

tumblr_m5o484rkN51ruyq85o1_500 (1)

Photo credit: harmonyandblissjewelry

Prayer for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit

“O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven,
did promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Your work in the souls of Your Apostles and Disciples,
deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me
that He may perfect in my soul the work of Your grace and Your love.

Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom, that I may despise the perishable things of this world
and aspire only after the things that are eternal;
the Spirit of Understanding, to enlighten my mind with the light of Your divine truth;
the Spirit of Counsel, that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven;
the Spirit of Fortitude, that I may bear my cross with You
and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation;
the Spirit of Knowledge, that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints;
the Spirit of Piety, that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable;
the Spirit of Fear, that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him.

Mark me, dear Lord, with the sign of Your true disciples
and animate me in all things with Your Spirit. Amen.”

tumblr_mgjoilH0su1qehgvqo1_500
Photo credit: shalala-love

Talking to God

Praying is the most important deed for us to get closer to God. Praying is us communicating with God. It’s us sending our earthly thoughts to heaven above.

Sometimes, some people say, “but I am not sure of what to say.” Nevertheless, praying is not about the words you say or how you say it. God already knows what we what’s bothering us, what we want, and what we need. Some people say, “but all I have are worries and complains.” Nonetheless, say it out and offer them up still. You see, God is and will always be bigger than all our doubts and fears.

Prayer is not so much about what you’re praying for. He’s God. He can do anything He wills. It’s a matter of putting our trust in him. Soren Kierkegaard said, “Prayer doesn’t change God. It changes the person who prays.” The thing is, when we decide to pray, we recognise that He is God and we are merely His children. When we pray, we are professing our faith in the most honest and true sense of the word. We are admitting that He IS God. That we believe that He can handle anything. That whatever we need is beyond our human capacity and He is the only one who can fulfill things. Putting our hands in prayer is akin to bowing our heads to our God, lifting up our human inadequacies, and letting go and letting God. Remember when people say, “Ask and thou shall receive.” Yes, God will provide what we ask but first, we need to ask.

That said, praying also calls for meditation. Imagine having a friend confide to you about their problem yet refusing to listen to the advice you’d have to say. Same thing goes for God. When we ask our Father to take care of things, we need to allow His Holy Spirit to guide us through our thoughts, words, and actions. Sometimes, we keep on praying but complain that He isn’t answering our prayers. But, did we ever stop and think that maybe it is us who aren’t listening? Perhaps, it is already out there but we are just not looking.  Henceforth, after pouring ourselves to Him and asking for His help, we need to sit down and listen. Listen to His words of love, affirmation and encouragement. Listen to the lessons He want us to learn, the path He wants us to take, or a new plan He wants us to follow. Listen to His words of wisdom and enlightenment. Because when we ask for something, He’d surely have blessings to provide as well. Perhaps it is not what we asked for or not when we asked for it, but it’s His blessing still, with a purpose bigger than ours. The question is, are our hearts and minds truly willing to achieve them?

tumblr_mgl3csh1MI1s3qt28o1_500

God and His sense of humour

So, recently, I’ve been praying to God to help me see, feel, and listen to the Holy Spirit more easily.

Well, I’m proud to say, that I have been more in tune with His voice and guidance. I have been finding it easier to hear words of encourage when I’m feeling anxious and doubtful.  Plus, once in a while, when I need to make some decisions, big or small, I would suddenly hear some bible verses out of nowhere.

Nonetheless, I prayed for more. I mean, He’s the loving omnipotent God. If we ask Him to flood us with blessings, He’ll (supposedly) bless us abundantly indeed! Am I right?

So, this afternoon, during my bus ride, a middle-aged man sat beside me. He was wearing a white shirt and was trying sooo hard to fix his tie. Guess what?!? I couldn’t help but notice that the diagonal patter on his tie says the words “Holy Spirit” repeated numerous times!!! Coincidence, much?

With such an obvious sign, I just couldn’t resist striking a conversation. Hence, I offered to help him with his tie, then I assured him that the tie’s all fixed and he looks good.  Apparently, he’s on the way for evening mass at the Church of the Holy Spirit. So, I guess he’s an usher in the church — that explains the tie. Haha! So, within a span of 5 – 8 bus stops, I found out that he’s single, he helps out in RCIA, and he teaches Sec 2 catechism. He even offered me to try it out, esp because he’s church is short of catechist. I said, I’ll check it out. As usual, I didn’t get his name but, well, let’s call him Mr Holy-Spirit-Tie.

After Mr Holy-Spirit-Tie alighted, I couldn’t help but laugh to myself and think what a comedian God is!  A dark red tie with “Holy Spirit” “Holy Spirit” written over and over again? Really?! That’s a freakin’ funny sense of humour, big guy! hahaha 😀

Okay. Fine. Message received, Sir!

PS: Thanks! (:

tumblr_m0i260DpAS1qhmhdfo1_500
Photo Credit: jesus-generation

God-centric Partnership

It’s so inspiring to be surrounded by stable loving couples with a God-centric relationship. Not only does it show that it’s possible, it’s also shows that putting God as the foundation of your relationship makes it that much stronger.

I used to like “bad guys” because I thought they’re the ones “with balls” and be more able to protect you. But I’ve been realising that God’s our protector and having a God-loving guy with God in his side would be the greatest coolest thing ever. So, find a man who loves God before he even knows that you exist. A man who falls to his knees, with tears in his eyes and hands held high, without a care to the world watching him. A man who knows that God is the best foundation in your relationship. A relationship that brings you each other closer to Him.

Imagine! The man who loves Jesus will respect you. He’ll pursue you and treasure you. He won’t pressure you or control you, but gently walk beside you and lead you. He will appreciate you as the gift and beauty you are, and remind you of it every day. He will worship with you. He’ll pray for you and pray with you. He will lead you with strong hands, stand up when you can’t, but remind you that God will always be there. That would be an everyday reminder that God loves us! Since he learned how to love from God, he’d love you according to 1 Corinthians 13. He would love you as God loved us.  He’d draw his love from God and that love would be genuine and overflowing. He’d offer your love to God by spreading it to others, especially your children. God is love – that’s where love should begin and end.

Print

Easier said than done huh? To begin with, how do we even find such a person? Imagine when you’re in a dance, what do you do to finally get that perfect dance? Would you dance around in search for the one? How tiring that might be! According to my friend, dance with God instead. Spend your time getting to know Him. Some people may approach and ask for your hand along the way. But, with God there, He’d ward off the “wrong boys” until the right one comes along. Then, He’d let him cut in and take your hand. Subsequently, you’d always put God in the middle of the relationship and always run to Him, for good times and bad. Together, you’d fulfill God’s purpose and do things that glorifies His name. Isn’t that a wonderful love story to tell your future children and the world? (:

Henceforth… for now, until further notice, God is my boyfriend. (:

Photo credits: Alycia Teo

227427_10150622742875641_127956_n227427_10150622742890641_1379932_n

Deliver us from evil

Oh Father, you are the source of all strength. Now, that I am on a new chapter of my life, I’m sure you’ll provide me with bountiful blessing.  But, being blessed by God carries one of the greatest perils as it tends to dull our keen sense of dependence on God and make us prone to presumption. So, please help me when I get lost, especially when my human wants foreshadows your big plans for me.

Dear Lord, please keep evil and temptation far away from me.

Please keep me away from evil because for every success and blessing you bless me with, I know that temptations from evil will also come. I confess that what I think is necessary, smart, or beneficial is so often only the beautiful wrapping on sin. Please protect me from deception and keep me from making the mistake I’m most prone to when temptation comes.

Please spare me from dangerous misjudgment and keep me safe from the pain and grief that sin brings. For the dangers I can’t see or the ones I think I can risk because of my experience, pride and carelessness, put up a spiritual barrier please. Protect me by your power.

Please keep me from the powerful pull of what feels right to us but is wrong. Keep me safe from temptations that pull at my emotions and physical needs that call out to my sense of what I deserve, what I have the “right” to feel and enjoy. Because You are the source of all that is really life, direct my steps away from all that is not of You.

tumblr_mi3gcvdFZU1r17noqo1_500

where were you?

I was there. I remember. I was quietly sitting on the newly varnished brown pews of this all-too-familiar church. I remembered mumbling, “thanks be to God.” There is no awkward silence here. With only one man speaking in front of a massive congregation, the silence is very calm and serene. –in today’s gospel– almost like a lullaby. –from the book of- Everything here is done in a well-rehearsed routine to glorify the Lord. –talks to us about repentance– Okay. I shall pay attention and not fall asleep today. –we go for confession-Oooh I like that girl’s dress. That guy is not bad. – we ask for forgiveness– My attention shifts to those low v-neck tops on well-endowed ladies, –to cleanse ourselves– those short skirts parading some girls’ long limbs,   yet, humans are fallible- those men glancing at their eye-catching neighbour. – all of us are sinners -It was interesting to look at how people stare blankly to the altar. -each and everyone of us– While looking at those familiar faces, there’s a sense of comfort in me –no matter how convoluted– It is amazing how a church is called a community. You mean, I’m supposedly connected to those -or self-serving– strangers I’ve never talked to before?. –your sin was– You mean, I share something –because He loves us– with these people other than me faithfully –He saved us– observing them weekly? –He gave his life for all of us – My gaze shifts to the windows. –the worst punishment– The sun was barely shining onto the colour-tinted glass. –crucified on the cross-  It will probably rain today. –For God so loved the world- Hmmmm… Can I go for a swim today? Maybe I’ll go for a run, instead.-He gave– Damn. I was supposed to go cycling with David. -His only begotten son– But, it’s such a nice day to sleep in.. Hmm. What movie can I watch? –Jesus sacrificed Himself– I’ll probably rush my school work next week instead. –He never leaves us- Oh no. I have presentation due tomorrow. Why do I have so much things to do? Oh God. Can I just have a break please? I’m so tired from all the things I need to complete. I feel like there’s so much burden on my shoulder. Dear Lord, can you please help me? Then, out of nowhere, the priest concluded, “God is always with you. The question is, are you with God?” OH MAN!!! What did the priest say for homily?…..