Encountering Mercy

Today was such a very very blessed day for me! I had class and I went to office hours and checked a lot of things out with the TAs. I am almost 100% ready for my final coming up in about a month. Thank you Lord! My only regret was that I was late to mass on campus because I was with the TA. I also spent a lot of time with my friend today. Dear Lord, please help her as she is going through a very difficult time. We all probably think that we are going through so much but listening to the experiences of another person just helps put things into perspective. I pray for my friend that God will see her through these trying times and help her especially in her academics. Amen.

In the evening, I went to day 3(final day) of St Mary’s parish Lenten Retreat. Can I just say how grateful I am to belong to such a vibrant and awesome parish? Where else has 7 masses on Sunday, not counting the anticipated mass on Saturday evening+ Confession before & after all Sunday masses? Where else has adoration from Wednesday to Friday nights and some Saturdays?Where else has the most awesome library that you can find classic and contemporary books that will nourish your spiritual life? I know lots of people ask why I go all the way to Joyce from SFU for Church but it is a parish that I am really in love with. May God bless Fr Pierre, Fr Gabriel, Vesna and everyone who works and volunteers in St Mary’s Parish, Joyce, Vancouver.

Keith Strohm was our guest speaker and oh mannnn he said so much, I might or might not post the parish Lenten reflections in a separate blog post…It will be called “Encounter” or something like that.  That was the theme for the retreat. Keith also shared his personal story and I was so touched, probably because his story reminded a certain girl that I know of in some ways .

The first time I saw Keith was on Feb 14 this year at the ONE Conference, I was really impressed that his topic was about discipleship and we all just ignored the fact that he had one arm. Don’t get me wrong, I am all for motivational speakers living with disabilities but I feel like that is just one aspect of the person’s life. I like when they also just talk about regular stuff. So I was pretty impressed with Keith at the ONE conference and I liked his session. To be honest, all the speakers at the ONE conference were amazing!

On Sunday, the 22nd of March,Keith came to my parish for day one of our Lenten retreat.  I actually told him that I think he’s really brave and awesome for not wearing a prosthetic arm and he said he stopped wearing one since he was 17. Wow, I thought to myself,  Praise the Lord for his confidence and boldness!

On this day march 24th, Keith shared his life story with us. He was born with one arm and his mum told him that it was “Because God made him special”. Then when he was 6, he wanted to get on some ride and the guy didn’t let him on because of his hook prosthetic arm. Keith was like “I will take it off” and the man said even if he did, he wouldn’t let him on because he would scare the other children.Keith said from that point, he knew that the reason he had one arm was not “Because God made him special” but  “Because God made him wrong”. Poor Keith.

Along his teenage years, he had a lot of frustration, anger and sadness. He was able to do well in school and he went to an all boys boarding school and was two time president of the Social studies club(First time in the history of the school). Unfortunately, in college he hung out with unserious people who eventually helped him to become an alcoholic. The funny thing about Keith was that he kept going to Sunday mass, he just arranged his drinking around the mass schedule. Lol. By the grace of God, he finished his undergraduate studies and as a nerd, he went back for his masters(His words, not mine). One day he went to the chaplaincy on campus to get the mass schedule and he ran into some girl  that invited him to a charismatic prayer meeting in the church. Long story short, through his encounter with them, he was able to come to a personal encounter with Christ and develop a relationship with Christ. Keith was very anti-charismatic groups but it was through them that he encountered Christ. He reminded us about something that he said earlier “Come with an expectant faith, But do not have any expectation of how the Lord will show up”

One of my favorite lines from Keith’s story was “I want to serve God, but I want to serve him as an advisor”. LOL. How true that is for me too!All that the Lord wants is my “yes”. I give it to you dear Lord. Take me and lead me wherever you want me to go.

We ended the night with praise & worship, sacrament of reconciliation & prayer teams came to pray for us individually. Thank you Lord for Keith, thank you for the St Mary’s community ❤ I pray for Keith & his family and their sick dog who had an operation while Keith was here in Vancouver.. Be with them & help them.Amen.

Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”- Matthew 19:21

Lent with the Saints

St Leonard of Port Maurice

Today’s action: Make a way of the cross at your parish church sometime this week

Lent with the Pope

“Jesus allows a woman who was a sinner to approach him during a meal in the house of a Pharisee, scandalizing those present. Not only does he let the woman approach but he even forgives her sins, saying: “Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little” (Lk 7:47). Jesus is the incarnation of the Living God, the one who brings life amid so many deeds of death, amid sin, selfishness and self-absorption. Jesus accepts, loves, uplifts, encourages, forgives, restores the ability to walk, gives back life. Throughout the Gospels we see how Jesus by his words and actions brings the transforming life of God. This was the experience of the woman who anointed the feet of the Lord with ointment: she felt understood, loved, and she responded by a gesture of love: she let herself be touched by God’s mercy, she obtained forgiveness and she started a new life.

God, the Living One, is merciful.

Do you agree? Let’s say it together: God, the Living One, is merciful!

All together now: God, the Living One, is merciful. Once again: God, the Living One is merciful!”

Pope Francis-Homily, June 16 2013

How frequently do I avail myself of God’s mercy? What invitations is he extending to me, even now to begin anew?

I was able to receive the sacrament of reconciliation today, Thank you Lord for this opportunity ❤

Mercy said no
I’m not gonna let you go
I’m not gonna let you slip away
You don’t have to be afraid
Mercy said no
sin will never ever take control
Life and death stood face to face
Darkness tried to steal my heart away
Thank You Jesus, Mercy said no

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