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"Mary kept all these things, pondering them in her heart." – Luke 2:19 (RSV)

Month

December 2015

Suffering

st therese suffering.jpg

I have been thinking about suffering a lot recently. I’ve been worried about going through suffering in the future; the suffering of infertility and the suffering of being physically separated from my husband.

During Mass and Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament today I prayed a lot about the topic of suffering in my life and thought of St. Therese. I will drink from the cup of suffering if my Lord offers it to me because I trust Him.

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Protect what is intimate

I read Alice von Hildebrand’s beautiful exposition titled ‘Dietrich von Hildebran, Catholic Philosopher, and Christopher West, Modern Entusiast: Two Very Different Approaches to Love, Marriage and Sex‘ recently after it was recommended by Helenka in her blog.

Alice’s article really challenged my views on veiling what is intimate in my life.

The French have a wonderful word to capture the veiling of one’s intimate feelings, out of a proper sense of shame—pudeur, a “holy bashfulness,” so to speak.

– Alice von Hildebrand, Dietrich von Hildebran, Catholic Philosopher, and Christopher West, Modern Entusiast: Two Very Different Approaches to Love, Marriage and Sex

For most of my life, I have been an open book. I rarely ever veil what is intimate in my life. Intimate things such as my spiritual life, my relationship with my husband, etc are things that I never guarded very much at all. In fact, I grasped every opportunity to talk about the intimate with friends.

After reading Alice’s article, I now realise that I was wrong in liberally sharing the intimate things in my life with others.

I am slowly learning, with God’s guidance, to protect what is intimate through prudent silence and modest dress. The mantilla is a wonderful symbol and reminder to veil carefully and with great tenderness what is intimate.

Childlike trust

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When I read ‘Story of a Soul’ by St. Therese of Lisieux, I was captivated by her childlike trust in God. Ever since then, I’ve been trying to imitate her Little Way. Fortunately, my Lord has been teaching me how to.

At the moment, my understanding of having childlike trust in the Lord is to place my trust in the Lord and not in myself; it is to be so full of trust that I can fall asleep in God’s arms.

Beware of despairing about yourself; you are commanded to place your trust in God, and not in yourself

– St. Augustine

 

Finding a hobby

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St. Augustine of Hippo

You have made us for Yourself, oh Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in You.

– St. Augustine

For years I have been searching for a hobby that sticks around. Often I’d try something thinking that it would be my new hobby because it’s exciting in the beginning, but after a short while it dies off. The reason why it dies off is because it doesn’t satisfy my restless heart. I’ve tried so many things, reading fiction, writing fiction, knitting, playing the flute, colouring, drawing, cycling, running, sewing, etc.

Finally, I found something that sticks; because it satisfies my restless heart. I guess my hobby is to immerse myself in the rich tradition of the Catholic Church. I love reading the beautiful writings of the saints (my favourite so far is ‘a Story of a Soul’ by St. Therese of Lisieux). I love thinking about God and praying always by imitating Our Lady in pondering things of heaven in my heart. Most of all, I love going to daily Mass. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to do this especially since I live a mere 8 Min walk away from my parish and am currently unemployed and on Uni holidays.

My heart is restless until it rests in God.

Praying constantly

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Rejoice always, pray constantly, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

– 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (RSV)

This bible verse has long been on my mind. The question I was always unable to answer was, “how am I supposed to pray constantly with life going on?” Like most people, I have many (usually mundane) things to do during my day; lots of content to study, people to serve, chores to do, etc. My understanding of prayer was that I could only pray when I set aside the time to not do anything else but. Because of this I didn’t understand how someone would be able to pray constantly.

After reading ‘A Story of a Soul’ by St. Therese of Lisieux my understanding of what prayer is slowly began to change. I began to understand that to pray is to lift up my heart of the Lord. So in imitating Mother Mary as she kept all these things, pondering them in her heart.” – Luke 2:19 (RSV), I can pray constantly.

Christmas Traditions

Mary of Nazareth
http://www.maryfilm.com/

Today as part of our family’s Christmas tradition, we watched ‘Mary of Narazeth’. I had seen this film before but today I watched it with new eyes because of the recent changes in my spiritual life. It was such a beautiful film (many tears were shed from both my Mum and I). What I loved most about this film is how Jesus and Mary are always gazing and glancing at each other with such tender love. This film reminded me again how powerful Mother Mary’s intercession is. Where we find Mary, we find Jesus, and where we find Jesus, we also find Mary.

mysticalrose
Mystical Rose – Original created in 1937 by Sr. Marie Pierre Semler, M.M. (1901 – 1993) (http://www.sistermariepierre.com/oil.htm)

Hail Mary.jpg

Steady

LYRICS:
I put all my hope in the truth of Your promise
and I steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness
When I’m bowed down with sorrow I will lift up Your name
and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

because You are good to me, good to me

I lift my eyes to the hills where my help is found
Your voice fills the night–raise my head up and hear the sound
Though fires burn all around me I will praise You, my God
and the foxes in the vineyard will not steal my joy

because You are good to me, good to me
Your goodness and mercy shall follow me
all my life
I will trust in Your promise

– Audrey Assad

While I was thinking about what to blog about today, I listened to the song that was playing on hubby’s spotify. It was ‘Good to me’ by Audrey Assad. This beautiful song really resounded with my heart so I think I’ll blog about this.

“I’ll steady my heart on the ground of Your goodness” Audrey sings. Steady is that I want to be. I want to be free to love my beloved (my God) with all my being. At the moment I can’t because I’m not there yet. But I entrust myself to my Lord Jesus to form and shape my soul so that I will be able to have this freedom. I entrust myself to Our Lady and St. Therese to pray for me in the meantime.

Sometimes I tell Jesus that I entrust myself to Him but yet I feel worried. So I ask Our Lady for help and she always reminds me that to be childlike is to ask for something and then immediately trust that my Father in Heaven will take care of it in His time and in the best possible way. I’ll practice this childlike confidence in my Father more 🙂

The Little Way

St Therese Little Way.jpg

St Therese is my favourite saint after Our Lady. I love her little way of spiritual childhood. It allows me to be little all the time.

Today my husband reminded me that if I want to imitate St. Therese’s little way, then I also need to be childlike to him. I need to tell him everything I think about, especially if I don’t know how to express it. I need to be like an open book to him so that he has all the information he needs to look after me as best he can.

I read this quote by St. John Chrysostom today and it really reminded me of the attitude my husband has towards me; all he wants is for me to be in heaven.

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Unshakable peace

St Therese glide.jpg

Oh boy, I hope one day soon I will be able to imitate St. Therese in her unshakable peace.

Today was not a good day for me. It was one of those days where I just wanted to curl up in a ball and disappear. I’m so grateful my husband pulled me out of that state of mind as soon as possible.

But anyways, I love St Therese’s imagery about the peace that she experiences.

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