Silent Retreat

Personal Retreat

mother teresa quote

I was longing for a personal retreat for quite a while now. A few years back i did my silent retreat together with a few other friends and the purpose of our retreat is very specific. Somehow, i didn’t find the answer for a lots of questions in my head. This is because i didn’t prepared spiritually and i am too busy with my worldly things around me. So, way back in 2010 i was searching for a possibilities for me to go for a personal retreat away from my hometown, where i didn’t know anyone. A quite and solitude place for me to find my inner self and carefully listen to the voice of God within. The ‘noise’ of this world easily distracts me from my intimate relationship with Jesus and i must find a way to stay firm and put Him as the centre of my life.

During my search i found a few retreat centres and one of the retreat centre that caught my intention was the Seven Fountains Retreat Centre, Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is managed by the Jesuit priests. At that time, when i calculate the overall expenses i need to travel there, i can not afford it so i stop there.

Last year, i have some ‘turbulence’ in my life and suddenly i was thinking about personal retreat again. My financial is not stable but i make a prompt decision to buy a ticket and go to Chiang Mai this year. Deep down in my heart, my desire to go to the Seven Fountains never fades away. It is always there and knowing that, i just go.

I will fly to Chiang Mai this coming week and will be there for 6D5N. I am excited and at the same time i feel a bit of nervous. I have a mixture of feelings right now especially after i received emails from my Spiritual Director.

Nothing special, try to come not too tired and with lot of goodwill and confidence in God’s love! I’ll see you every day to give you points for meditations and to know if you are well. Bring ball pen and exercise-book. – 16th Jan 2017

Welcome to the Seven Fountains, I am waiting for you. You will arrive for the dinner which is at 6h30 pm. I’ll see you the following day? See you soon.? – 17th April 2017

With this i will put everything in God’s hand and let the Holy Spirit be my guidance in my search. May Lord have mercy on me.

Diary

Relationship With Jesus Christ – Part 2

I stay in hostel. Life as a boarding school student is something that interesting and very challenging for me. It was my first time away from my family. Really far away for a 13 years old little girl like me. I was nominated as the shortest and smallest girl in school when i was in Form 1. I am a petite girl with 142cm height, as far as i can remember. Weight? Can’t remember already.

On the first day i step into this school i feel so different from others. The feeling of ” I am a kampong girl. How can i mingling around these all city fellas for as long as i am studying here?”… There were so many things that i am worried of. For three months, i cried at night because i am homesick. Missing my mum, my dad and my sister very much. I just can’t handle my emotions.

There were my seniors that brought me to St. Joseph Cathedral in Miri Town for Sunday Mass. I am so grateful that i met all my seniors that very kind to me.

Okay, when i was in Form 2, i was approached by my English teacher. She convinced me to join her church by asking me whether i am interested to learn about Bible. As i mentioned in my previous post, i didn’t do anything about my Faith after my baptism. I am only a regular Sunday Catholic. So, when my teacher approached me about this Bible Study, i was so excited. She gave me two books and i am a little bit curious because this books is not looks like Bible to me. It is just a book with Bible verses and some comments after the verse. This teacher convinced me to attend their service at their church and asking me to bring along my friends. Since i am hunger for knowing my God for more, i was agreed to join the service and bring along two of my classmates. One Catholic guy and one SIB girl. That Sunday we joined their service. It was something that i unexpected because when i enter their so called church, i was trying to find Crucifix in the room but none of t displayed anywhere in the room. This makes me a little bit curios. My friend started asking me and blaming me for bringing them to that place. It was something different from what we do in our church, even for my SIB friend. To be honest all the people that in there is so friendly and warm welcome us joining them. But, i started to feel awkward.

Actually, that is the group of Christian that they called them as Jehovah Witness followers. That was my first and last time. I return all the books that my teacher gave to me and after that day, i never join them anymore. That is also happen with my other two friends. I apologize to both of them for bringing them there because they feel uncomfortable among these group of people too. Their way is not the same way of Catholic and SIB church practices.

That is one of the experienced that i faced because i am hunger for more. Searching for knowing more about Jesus Christ and His teachings. I though i met the right person that can teach me about Bible. The learning point to be reflects. Trust on people and start to know what is right and what is wrong.

Thank you Jesus for show me the Way and let me experienced this. Amen.

Diary, The Six Sacraments

Relationship with Jesus Christ – Part 1

I was baptized at St. Theresa Chapel, Kampung Kebuaw, Igan in December 1993. It was when i was about 12 years old. From what i remembered, i was baptized by Fr. Phillip, redemtorist Father from our Church by The River, St. Bernard Church, Dalat. I have taken my class for about one year or less i think. I never really know what is actually i learn. I only memorized the prayers until the end of the church teachings. During my baptism, i gave the name that i choose for my baptism as Laurethea Jaquisee (this was given by my brother Ep, but i don’t know where he got this name) to the catechist that in charge of our baptist ceremony. However, the catechist resist my choice of name. He change it into Laurita (am not quite like this name though). I do not know what and where he got this name too. At last, i was baptized as Laurita. After baptism they asks us to receive our First Holy Communion. I am telling you, i didn’t know what is actually this thing. What is this bread that i receive and what should i do after i receive it? I just follow through what my friend did. She kneel down, so do i and i saw she do sign of cross and i did the same too. Just follow what she did.

After my baptism, there were no other class or any activities that i can follow to strengthen my faith in Jesus Christ. The truth is, even after my baptism, my parents especially my mum still brought me to see “dukun” @ “bomoh” to cure my illness. If i get sick, she will bring me to see “them”. Not much things change in my life after my baptism. I am still in the crossroads not really sure what is it about the Catholic Church teachings. I am blurr. What is wrong/sin and what is right to be followed through.

I finished my primary school and i was accepted to further my studies at SM Sains Miri, Miri, Sarawak. A boarding school that for sure will have mixture of races, cultures, religions and beliefs. My life in my secondary school is one of the first phase in my life that i was challenge so much as a follower of Christ.

So, i think i stop here for the very first chapter of how my growth as a follower of Christ. Where the story of my life as a Follower Of  Jesus Christ begins. Till the next Chapter. Stay tune guys!

Dear Lord Jesus Christ,

I am writing this to share my life experienced encountering You in my life since i was 12 years old. When i baptized, i am your daughter and from that day on you never leave me alone. You walk with me and always be by my side during ups and downs in my life. You carry me through to move on with my life. I pray that, my sharing will touch others heart and your love will spread to more of your sons and daughters in this challenging world my dear Jesus Christ.  To make you known to more people Lord. In Jesus name i pray. Amen.

Diary

Confession

I have fear of confession. I just can’t make it when it comes to confession. On 15-17 Oct (last weekend), i joint Life in Spirit Seminar at Kundasang/Ranau. So many beautiful things happen during these three days. One of it is the confession sessions. I am so afraid at first because the fear is there in my heart. Keep on lingering in my head that i can’t make it. I know it is the voice of Mr. S.A.T.A.N. As Bro. Jude said, “If fear is in your heart, there is no love”. His words, makes me realize that i need to overcome this fear. Need to ask for Holy Spirit guidance for this confession. Before i went for confession, i do some sharing with Sis Dot and she did gave me some advice and shared a few things with me. She makes me lower down my nervous and fear a little bit.

Then, i ask for Holy Spirit guidance and may by the power of Holy Spirit i can make a sincere and confessions from my heart. I think about more than 5 seconds i paused and don’t know what to say to the Father. Aiyah! But, thanks be to God with the Holy Spirit guide me, at last i make a confessions and the most beautiful things is that, i can feel that i overcome my fear of confessions. Thanks be to God. Praise Him above all names. How beautiful and how deep is His love for me. Thank you so much dear Lord Jesus Christ. I love You Jesus!…

Hope

Perseverance in Prayer – Part 2

Father was alone in the house now. He visited mother every day and she would occasionally have a lucid moment. He would bring her apples or small candies and try to remind her of the early days of their marriage, walking at night to see the local baseball team play, going on family picnics, spending summer days at a cottage on a northern lake. Sometimes she would smile or laugh in recognition, but the memories were leaving her one by one.

When in the area I would attend the indult Tridentine Mass celebrated by a devout older priest in the area.  Father Norbert Wilger though in his early 80s still runs St Mary’s Parish as well as the parish school in Altoona, Wisconsin. He worked hard to receive permission to celebrate the indult Mass and has been now been doing so for years. He also has a deep devotion to Our Lady of Fatima. He very kindly suggested that given my mother’s perilous condition, she should be conditionally re-baptized and given conditional last rites. My father agreed to this and the good priest saw to it. Mother was conscious at the time and did not offer any resistance or display any reluctance. When the good priest had finished, I took her hand and made the sign of the cross with her, as she herself was now in a wheel chair and could no longer move her limbs. She willingly allowed me to make the mark of faith on her bent and dwindling body. I wept with hope and began to suspect that my trust in God had been weak indeed.

My brother and I moved father into a small apartment in a complex for the elderly. He had a solid meal every day and people around to watch over him, but he complained of being profoundly lonely. He was now at the age of 84 living alone for the first time in his life. The highlight of his day remained the visit to mother, even though she could no longer speak and did no longer recognize him. Still, he visited her faithfully. He also continued to recite faithfully the Fatima prayer every night before going to bed, for himself and for my mother. And I offered up their sufferings and sorrows on their behalf and asked God to have mercy on them and allow them good deaths.

Father Wilger regularly visited my father. He would sit and talk with him, often about the war, or about old times in the city. He would say a prayer with him, but mainly, the good priest performed great acts of Christian charity by simply remembering and visiting at a time when my poor old father felt alone and abandoned. My father would often say, “Who would have ever thought it would end like this?” The Four Last Things have no place in the protestant worldview and when Death and Judgment and Heaven and Hell loom on the horizon, they arrive as unexpected and terrifying intruders.

Last year on the Feast of St. John, shortly after Christmas, I was staying with father when he asked me if I thought Father Wilger would give him “that blessing” which mother had received. I responded, “Well, Dad, you still have your wits about you. You could get a lot more. Would you like to see Father Wilger?” When he agreed, I raced to the phone and learned with delight that the priest was free right then. I picked him up at the parish church, brought him to my father and went to the little sunroom in the building to wait, praying the rosary with tears of gratitude and, God forgive me, disbelief. My father at the age of 85 was received into the Roman Catholic Church, was conditionally re-baptized and made his first confession. On the next morning, the Feast of the Holy Innocents, Father Wilger brought my father his first Holy Communion.

Father Wilger continued to bring Communion regularly. In early March, just after Ash Wednesday, he brought my father communion. My father received it reverently and they prayed together. The next day, an old friend came to visit father and they chatted for some time. He then settled into his favorite armchair, drank a beer and fell asleep, never to awaken again in time. He made a good death. He was a good man and a great father.

Mother never really knew that father had died. We told her and she said with tears, “Poor dad,” but “dad” had long ago become confused with her own father, dead for 70 years. And then that bit of news passed away with all the other memories. When I would visit her, I would bless her with holy water and with a fragment of the True Cross, the finest gift I have ever been given. I received it from a devout nun with a special devotion to Fatima who instructed me to bless both my parents with it and I had obediently followed her instructions for the past two years. My prayers for my mother continued.

In October of this year, I lectured in Tuy Spain and Fatima for good Father Gruner. To visit those two historic sites was a great honor. After one conference I saw some blessed brown scapulars on the table and a voice in my head told me to take one and get it onto my mother. When that voice speaks, I listen. Upon my return, I sent it to my brother who lives outside of Minneapolis. He took it to the nursing home in late October and my mother at the age of 82 was clothed in the brown scapular. On the Vigil of All Saints Day, she passed quietly in her sleep. I have great hope that God will be merciful to her. She was a kind, generous, loving woman and a great mother.

Many of you reading these words prayed for my parents over many years, for I would often publicly request your assistance. There is no way in which I can thank you. Perhaps this small chronicle of prayers being answered will be thanks enough. In this season of hope, with the joy of the Savior’s birth coming upon us again, we should remember those devout chosen ones who prayed for centuries for the coming of the Messiah. Do remember, all of you praying to God for events that seem so far away and so unlikely, God hears those prayers, just as He heard the prayers over those centuries and responded on a cold night in an obscure stable in a small town in Bethlehem. My prayers over 27 years were answered by events in a small apartment and a room in a nursing home in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, obscure spaces and small gestures of which the world took no note, little suspecting again their eternal significance or that God, through a devout old priest, had again visited his people. Persistence in prayer, even for centuries or for 27 years, is no time at all in the light of eternity. God will answer those requests in His good time. So pray and pray and pray, devoutly and with confidence, for God hears those who love Him and obey Him and God is good.