Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Time To Give

Tomorrow we will enter into the third week of Lent. I know, I know it seems like yesterday when it was Ash Wednesday... then again it seems like yesterday when it was Jan 1 and now we are at the first quarter of the year.

If you have been swept away by life's routine and haven't really quieten down this season of Lent, there's still time. You still have the whole of the 3rd week, 4th week and 5th week before Palm Sunday on April 1.

I know I myself am making a conscious effort despite so much noise and activity living in a fast paced city.

As I mentioned in my earlier posting, inner peace and quiet time with the Lord is a CHOICE. It can be scheduled in. For me my best time is early morning before the rest of the family wakes up and also just after my daughter Mary goes to kindy.

Of course, it is different for everyone. Some of you who are nocturnal creatures may find that the best time is when everyone else in the family has gone to bed at night and peace reigns.

Anyway, the pillars of Lent is fasting, prayer, abstinence and alms giving. I shall not go into what these are cos' if you are Catholic, you already know what they are, right? Opps, perhaps I am taking too much for granted. Maybe some cradle Catholic out there still wonder what exactly these are.

Well, you can check out this site and find out more.

My parish priest Fr Simon has been reminding us that during this time of fasting from food and all things we love too much, we would have spent less and the money saved from these efforts can then be donated to help the needy.

Now, I know most of you have your favourite charity or organisation to give to. However, this Lent I encourage you to expand your giving circle and consider the Church of St Thomas More, my parish.


Well, for starters besides still paying off our RM4mil loan from the Archdiocese for our building fund, we have started actively helping foreign immigrants to have a better life. For a new parish which is paying off a huge loan and serving a growing community made of young families, funding is always a help.

We have been fortunate that God has blessed us with many generous donors thus far in the initial stage of the building fund raising activities. That's how we are no longer worshipping in a badminton hall of a private school and now celebrate mass in a beautiful church.

After starting this blog and being involved in the parish fund raising activities, I created a PayPal Donate button just to see if people actually would donate online.

Well, one very generous Catholic from Singapore (a true loving thy neighbour story here) donated some. My friend Jimmy from the Finance Ministry of my parish and I was very encouraged by it.

However, since I slowed down on blogging, nobody else has donated online. Anyway, here's my appeal once again to the global Catholic community to send some over here.

Having said that, all Malaysians reading this post is most encouraged to charge your credit cards, (debit card or PayPal) and earn some extra points while helping us out.

In fact, there was an announcement in the Budget last year that the government may consider giving tax relief for donations to places of worship.Let's make them honour that soon...

Once again, I'm calling for action, just look at the right side of my blog and you will find the Donate button I'm talking about. Just click and follow the instructions and you would have helped us out immensely.

Thanking you in advance for your generosity this Lent. God bless you.

Monday, March 5, 2012

2nd Week of Lent 2012

As usual time passes really fast and we are already into the second week of Lent. I have been quite happy this year. It's a CHOICE. There have been many challenges to make me feel just the opposite. However, I CHOOSE happiness and inner peace.

My secret?

I focus on Christ and what He had to go through in the desert for 40 days and nights and suddenly all that has happened to me pale in comparison. I even seem extremely petty.

So to stop myself, I switch to gratitude mode. I decide to thank Jesus for all my blessings and instantly I feel happy.

I'm really glad my little cradle Catholic Mary is picking up this habit, as every night before she sleeps, we say our gratitude prayers together.

We start by saying thank you Jesus for everything... then I encourage her to list out what she is thankful for. Is always great to hear her say, I thank you Jesus for Mommy (me...*beaming*), Papa, Aunty Bee, Aunty Da, Ah Ma, Ah Kong (her grandparents), Gaby, Tia, Risqa (her cousins), Teacher Joanne...etc.

My heart sings to see that my little girl has her values in the right places as relationships with our loved ones are priceless.

At two plus she can recite the Our Father and Hail Mary pretty well (actually she sings the Hail Mary much better). She's proof that our Faith is caught and not taught.

In fact, because of her, I've developed a habit of saying grace before meals. However, she's sometimes shy in front of strangers. Guess she might have caught that one too. Opps, sorry Lord, I'm working on it.

I do pray that I do allocate more time for set prayers - the Rosary and the Stations Of The Cross this season. Please pray for me. It's a struggle most modern day typical Cradle Catholics go through. I can just imagine those super Catholics shaking their heads (in disapproval).

Anyway, I discovered a link Catholic on audio Catholic prayers. You can check it out by clicking on the link.Perhaps it might help you. Do let me know what you think of it please. Whether it has helped you or not. I just love living in this information age. Everything I need including food for my soul is just a click away.

Dearest Lord, I pray you will continue to walk this journey of repentance and renewal. Thank you Abba, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Indeed you are my beloved blessed Trinity.

Till we meet again, God's choicest blessings....