it is so that the works of God might be visible through him

Hellooo!! So it’s my turn to do reflections today. (actually it’s what i had reflected on on thursday)

This week has been even more stressful than usual because I had exams. In fact it didn’t go well, failed 2 subjects already 😦 Knowing that made me very demoralised, wanting to give up. And disappointed in myself, since academics had become very important for me after retaining.

I was reminded to do my best and glorify God. I felt: how can i glorify God with such results? and in my actions and weaknesses i haven’t been able to glorify God. So how and what can I do? As i was praying, some words came to me: glorify me by being just as who you are. That made me reflect, how do we be who we are? And how do we glorify God in that manner?

I realised in being strong in God, in my brokenness, I might glorify Him because He shows others His magnificence through me. And being who I am, I didn’t have to have labels of expectations from anyone or myself. All these came from God, and they belong to God. He is the one who is capable, smart, strong and I don’t have to be the one who is. He will give us whatever is sufficient, and I just needed to be me.

From today’s gospel:

“Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents? that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither he nor his parents sinned; it is so that the works of God might be visible through him.”

I am fine now, and back with motivation to work hard 🙂 I hope in this week we will glorify God by being who we are, depending on Him especially in our brokenness, so that others might see the magnificence of our Lord through us

– Natasha (26 March 2017)

God will step in and do what you can’t do

Hellooo guys! Hope y’all had a great day!! ahaha it’s my turn to do the reflection for today 🙂

I often find myself too caught up with material things and neglecting my spiritual growth. I always tell myself and am told that I should learn to centre my life around God and prioritise my faith but, especially recently, I tend to overlook that. For example, there are times where I would contemplate which is more salient to me between going for mass and studying and would end up choosing the latter with the mindset that as of right now studying for a upcoming test/exam is more crucial for my future while I can still attend mass next week even if I skip it today- it won’t make a difference.

But it does make a difference- by choosing other things over God once, you’ll begin to think that it’s okay and do it again another time and another time till it doesn’t even affect you anymore. What I’m trying to say is that I’ve unknowingly distanced myself away from God and for some reason it’s hard to inculcate my faith back into my life as strongly (or stronger) as before. In the recent pray overs I had the honour to receive, I always sought aid in finding direction as to how I can strengthen my faith and stay rooted to God. I was told once that ‘Jesus is already at your door and he’s waiting for you, all that you need to do is to open it’, I also came across a quote of late that said

” When you’ve done everything you can do, that’s when God will step in and do what you can’t do.”

It really struck me then that I’ve been saying that I want to go back to the faith, I want to centre my life around Christ but what have I done to make it so that I do? How can I achieve that if I pray to the lord for direction in strengthening my faith one night and choose sleep over prayer the next? God isn’t a wish-granting factory and strengthening your faith is not something that can be done overnight just because you say that you want to do it. Rather it’s a tedious process which results will only show from the actions you take and commitments you make- such as not only fulfilling the Sunday mass obligations but going the extra mile to attend Weekday masses as well, staying disciplined in not overlooking my prayers but also really indulge in that sacred time spent conversing with God, taking the initiative in reading the bible and learning more about the Catholic faith, etc. Saying it is easy but actually doing it is pretty laborious but I’m going to try my best one step at a time

hehe thanks for reading, sorry it’s so long, have a goodnight !!

– Nicole New (25 March 2017)

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand

Throughout this season of lent so far, I find myself constantly reflecting on trust and humility.

We always fear the unknown when we take a step into a new environment. Since all of us are/were students, we’d spend the first few days before school starts worrying about choosing the right friends to befriend, getting smart/hardworking group mates, joining a CCA you can really contribute to using your God-given gifts and talents etc.

However, our pride gets the better of us sometimes when we feel like we need to ‘market’ ourselves to these new people so that we can have an awesome social life, be in the best project group that’ll help boost our grades and being in a CCA where we get recognition for our achievements, or where we can shine because of our talents.

School’s been a huge struggle for me being alone here, yet i’ve been prideful to ask for help despite being so lost, especially since I got shot down by a lecturer who seemed to look down on me a lot for not knowing my work and not being able to grasp certain concepts, while other classmates were so on the ball with things. Uni culture has been shaped over the years to become a competitive environment. Being in it, everyone is inclined to create the best impression of themselves in order to ‘remain competitive’ and to do well (myself included).

I never bothered to pray for exams/assignments/studies throughout poly and Os because my pride told me that I could cope with it just fine without prayer since everything was going so smoothly. Yet now in uni, I find myself drowning, calling out to God to save me and feeling so upset with myself for taking advantage of Him in the past for I know I was/am nothing without him.

Needless to say, after realising how i’ve lacked humility in that way, prayer (especially before I start on work) has gotten me to a much better place. God has sent great people who’ve been helping me with my work, I am more focused, and i’m constantly reminded that with prayer, the word ‘impossible’ is really non-existent, if it is God’s Will.

To sum this up, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether you’re the smartest valedictorian, the MVP of your team or the most talented musician because in the eyes of God, these don’t matter (unless we’re doing these for His greater glory), unlike how it matters to our society on this Earth. He made us as we are now, perfect in His eyes and He’s equipped us with all we need to be his humble servants, and we should accept ourselves for who God made us to be, and to trust that He always has a plan for us especially when things don’t go the way we want it to.

Thus, this lent, in times where we’re so focused on accomplishing things and claiming credit for our successes, may we be reminded to pray for humility, to lay down our pride, and offer up our successes to the Lord, for it is He who gives us the strength to do the things we do in His name.

1 Peter 5:6 – Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time and cast all your anxiety on him

– Lauren (24 March 2017)

We love because He first loved us.

Hey guys, I’ll be doing the reflection for today. I’ll just quote this passage from an article real quick to help me out.

Life is all about love.

But love started with God. He loved us first, and that gives us the ability to love others (1 John 4:19). The only reason you can love God or love anybody else is because God first loved you. And he showed that love by sending Jesus Christ to Earth to die for you. He showed that love by creating you. He showed that love by everything you have in life. It’s all a gift of God’s love!

I pondered upon that verse and thought how could my ability to love others come from God’s love? Other people who are not Catholics has the ability to love. Then I remembered the time I walked away from God because I thought I was failing Him and did not deserve His love. So I decided to close my heart from God. That lead to like the lowest point in my life. I was a complete mess. Every time I tried to show my love to someone I was immediately worn out. It became difficult to love others and myself included. I started to despise anything and everything, even God, whenever I reached a certain level of fatigue. I lost interest in everything, I felt dull and lifeless.

I only realized I was worthy of God’s love again when I was prayed over during one of our camps. Since then I have slowly started to open up my heart to him and I feel a part of myself slowly coming back to life. I started loving myself again started trying out new things and discovered many things about myself. I thank God for that because I think that is His way of showing me my purpose in life. It felt great and rewarding in giving love to others too. That is all I can sort of understand from my experience.

Maybe sometimes we try to love others and we don’t really get that love from them in return. But it is absolutely okay! As long as we share the love God gives us and continue to ask God for His love you would never feel worn out because God’s love is endless. Asking for His love empowers not just you, but the people around you. Sharing God’s love through simple acts of kindness can make a difference to others. I also think that is what God has intended for us. So I urge you to just open up your hearts, and let God love you for who He meant you to be. Amen.

Thank you for reading. Cheers!We love[a] because he first loved us.

– Louis (23 March 2017)

it was then that I carried You

Hi ol, I hope you’ve had a fulfilling day so far. Okay it’s my turn to do my reflection!! Today, actually I got quite nervous doing this because I kinda may have realised a few things.

I was prompted to do the reflection for today, last night and honestly I felt really lost. I didn’t know what to reflect about and I had a strong urge I shouldn’t be doing this just because I didn’t know what to reflect on.

I haven’t been back in Church a lot lately, and I find it a struggle to even go for weekly masses. Recently, I kinda realised how many times i’ve attended mass this year and its quite depressing to know that they could be counted; When I thought over doing this reflection, I came to realise  I haven’t opened my Bible in forever, neither have I maintained my daily prayers to Him. I realised how distant I was from the faith and how much I’ve neglected God.

Once, I remember praying for those who have wandered from the church/faith. And I felt like God was somehow calling me back, for the fact that I managed to get myself to Church was a blessing and that this was who I am. I felt so full, and I finally remembered where my roots were and where my faith stands. I came across this I found on my table so today i’d just like to share this: During your times of trial, when you see only one set of footprints, it was then that I carried You.

I feel that despite the numerous times we forget who we owe it all to, He stands firm for us and is always there. There have been times whereby I call out to him because I felt like I was forgotten and my prayers went unanswered. During times of struggles, i’d question God and myself, and “Why me?” Sometimes, I’d lift people up to Him to be prayed for and ask God to teach me forgiveness. It spoke to me when I was praying earlier on, ‘And forgive us for our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us;’ Also it is important for us to always be reminded and know that we aren’t ever alone, and to lay down our worries and fears to Him, to give all of our sufferings up to God and to not let our insecurities and troubles define who we are. We should all pray not just when we find a need to, but to keep it close to us as them being conversations with the One who truly understands each one of us. Honestly a big big thank you ACTs haha, for always being presently active in this group, reminding me everyday that He is in me, and all of you

For nowww, i’m gonna start by going for masses every week and by praying everyday, not just only when I need Him. To thank him for each day lived, for the people around me and for all the blessings. This phrase reminds us of God’s unwavering power, protection and unwavering love.

– Kimberly (22 march 2017)

because he bends down to listen, i will pray as long as i have breath

Hello everyone, hope you all are having a good day!! Here is my reflection for today!!

psalm 56:8 says “tears are prayers too. they travel to god when we can’t speak”

psalm 116:2 says “because he bends down to listen, i will pray as long as i have breath”

These two verses caught my attention, it made me think of the times when I was upset and just questioning god, why do I have to feel this way, why do I overthink things etc. After reading these verses it made me realise that we don’t always have to say our prayers out loud, even when we say in our heart or even when we can’t find the right words to say, God understands us, he understands what we are feeling, he knows what we want to say to him. Prayers come in many form, for example, saying a prayer as you dwell on one word like strength/peace.

The second verse reminded me that He will always be with us when we need. My faith isn’t very strong I would say but after reading this verse, it gave me assurance that even when I feel like my faith isn’t strong, I know that God will always be there, waiting for me to come to Him, we may think that sometimes He doesn’t answer our prayers and doubt Him, but we must know that God always has a better plan in store for us, we must trust His plan.

Today’s takeaway is:

– God understands our prayers even when we can’t find the words to say them
– As long as we long for Him, He will always be there for us

Hope you all have a blessed day ahead!!

– Joelene (21 March 2017)

Only faith can help us to persevere in hope

Good afternoon y’all. I’m doing the reflection for today. Today’s reading is about Saint Joseph, Husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It’s also the Feast of Saint Joseph.

“This is how Jesus Christ came to be born. His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph; but before they came to live together she was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph; being a man of honour and wanting to spare her publicity, decided to divorce her informally. He had made up his mind to do this when the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, ‘Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because she has conceived what is in her by the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son and you must name him Jesus, because he is the one who is to save his people from their sins.’ When Joseph woke up he did what the angel of the Lord had told him to do.”

At first I didn’t really understand what the readings were about. But after a while of prayer and some reflection and reading, it spoke to me: FAITH IN THE UNFOLDING OF GOD’S PLAN IN OUR LIVES. Joseph followed what god has planned out for him and he followed it earnestly. Joseph would have been thinking how can Mary through the Holy Spirit be pregnant, but he followed through God’s plan.

“No matter what we human beings do to contradict the plan of God, His plan would unfold all the same.” – Archbishop William Goh

The promise of God to unfold His plans in our lives will also be realized in any one of us who has faith like our forefathers. Let us therefore walk by faith not by sight (2 Cor 5:7).

I’m in camp right now and like I have a lot of time to think about future plans and stuff like that. I’m very worried about what I’m gonna do after I ORD, I don’t know whether to work then study or to do both at the same time.

After reading all the passages I feel like I really need that Faith in God’s plan for me and to just let God take control of my future, I constantly forget that God is the one whom is in charge of my life and He already has set a plan/path for me to go down to and I really feel that He wants me to give Him all my worries and to have faith in Him, so to whoever of you all who is worried about something, just really give it up to God and have faith.

Conversely, only faith can help us to persevere in hope. This is what St Paul tells us

I’m gonna start laying down all my worries and struggles at the foot of the Cross cause I am weak and I am nothing without my Saviour.

Thank you for reading I know it’s really Long hehehe I pray that y’all have a great day ahead Soldiers of Christ!

– Jeremy (20 March 2017)