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Thursday, 27 March 2014

Sharing a prayer...

Prayer once given to me by our Lady in 2011

Mother Mary
Queen of Heaven
Let us not have doubt
But faith
As we trust in your Son
Our Lord Jesus Christ

Kim Lee

Blog Update: So much going on lately.

I'm so sorry that everything has been so crazy lately. I am trying to deal with so much at the moment that I haven't been able to type up the reflections for Lent. I will try and get them up as soon as I can. In the mean time, please pray that I am able to resolve the situations I am currently dealing with, or else refer to the Serenity Prayer! :)

With love and prayer as always,
Kim Lee

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Blog Updates: Social Media and Updating

Sorry about how long it's been since we posted much, but we are working on a lot behind the scenes so here's a quick update on what's going on:
  • We've been working on increasing our social media presence, and we are now on Tumblr and Pinterest. If you use either, please follow us for more 
  • A few new Guides are coming up soon and our FAQ page will be up soon. 
  • Our About & Contact Us page has been updated to be a little more streamlined and organised. We are also updating our Glossary page. 
  • We are currently also going through our directory to ensure it is up to date since websites and details may have changed. 
  • The Facebook Vocations Chat Group Sessions will continue to run on Tuesday evenings from 8-9pm UK time. There will soon be some changes to the admin of the group, but we will update you as soon as changes are decided. 
We will be back to normal soon, so please be patient! 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Blog Update: Lent Reflections coming up soon

Hello Everyone,

I am sorry that I have not been able to post up the reflections for Lent for some of the days yet. I will be on retreat tomorrow when I will be writing out more reflections. Please bear with me, and next week I will get a whole load out in one go. Thanks.

God Bless,
Kim Lee

Monday, 10 March 2014

Lent 2014 Reflections: Monday, 10th March 2014

Monday, 10th March 2014

Reading 1, Leviticus 19:1-2, 11-18

1 Yahweh spoke to Moses and said:
2 'Speak to the whole community of Israelites and say: "Be holy, for I, Yahweh your God, am holy.
11 "You will not steal, nor deal deceitfully or fraudulently with your fellow-citizen.
12 You will not swear by my name with intent to deceive and thus profane the name of your God. I am Yahweh.
13 You will not exploit or rob your fellow. You will not keep back the labourer's wage until next morning.
14 You will not curse the dumb or put an obstacle in the way of the blind, but will fear your God. I am Yahweh.
15 "You will not be unjust in administering justice. You will neither be partial to the poor nor overawed by the great, but will administer justice to your fellow-citizen justly.
16 You will not go about slandering your own family, nor will you put your neighbour's life in jeopardy. I am Yahweh.
17 You will not harbour hatred for your brother. You will reprove your fellow-countryman firmly and thus avoid burdening yourself with a sin.

18 You will not exact vengeance on, or bear any sort of grudge against, the members of your race, butwill love your neighbour as yourself. I am Yahweh.

Reflection by Kim Lee:
So often we are faced with decisions in life that can lead us both ways. We have all the options open to us, and there may be a few good options we can take, but not necessarily the best options to serve God. Sometimes, we even take the wrong path. This reading reminds us that we must look to God for guidance in these times and ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide us to making the right decision in co-operation with God's will. God is the ultimate good, and we must remember that He is LOVE. In knowing this, we must also believe it, and then share it with others. This is not just a duty, but a joy and a source of great spiritual nourishment. We were made to serve, and to give to one another, so let us be fraternally loving towards one another, in imitation of the love that our Lord has for us - unconditional love. We are not perfect, so when we fall, just remember that it is how we get up that makes us truly children of God. Remember how Peter said he'd die for Jesus, yet denied him three times, and then we still see in Matthew 16:18 that it was Peter who was chosen as the rock to build the Church on. 

Lent Giving: Be true to yourself and pray to the Holy Spirit for guidance this Lent to do what is right, because it is the right thing to do, and not for other motivations. 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Lent 2014 Reflections - Sunday 9th March 2014

Sunday 9th March 2014

Gospel, Matthew 4:1-11

1 Then Jesus was led by the Spirit out into the desert to be put to the test by the devil.
2 He fasted for forty days and forty nights, after which he was hungry,
3 and the tester came and said to him, 'If you are Son of God, tell these stones to turn into loaves.'
4 But he replied, 'Scripture says: Human beings live not on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'
5 The devil then took him to the holy city and set him on the parapet of the Temple.
6 'If you are Son of God,' he said, 'throw yourself down; for scripture says: He has given his angels orders about you, and they will carry you in their arms in case you trip over a stone.'
7 Jesus said to him, 'Scripture also says: Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'
8 Next, taking him to a very high mountain, the devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour.
9 And he said to him, 'I will give you all these, if you fall at my feet and do me homage.'
10 Then Jesus replied, 'Away with you, Satan! For scripture says: The Lord your God is the one to whom you must do homage, him alone you must serve.'
11 Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels appeared and looked after him.

Reflection by Kim Lee:
Many people think that when we are tempted we should fight back. Actually, that's probably the most dangerous thing you could do. In the extreme example of an exorcism, if one does not enter into the place of the exorcism under the authority of the Church, then one could be utterly destroyed. Satan (the devil) loves it when we speak to him, when we fight back, because he knows he will win. In fact, if we fight back, and talk to him, and engage in conversation with him, he helps us to be further tempted, knowing our weakness and psychology - which "buttons" to press etc. The best way to fight temptation is not to wish it away or to get into a conversation with evil, but to ask our Lord and our Lady to protect you. Go in with the authority of the Church to protect you, with the authority of God. 
I know a number of people who try to do away with temptation. This is a mistake. Everyone who takes their faith seriously is tempted at some point. Rather than trying to get rid of temptation, we should ask God for His grace to make us stronger. It is one thing to know that we should love God and centre our lives on Him, but it is something totally different, and very much true conversion for us to truly believe that, especially when times are hard. 

Lent Giving: Reflect on Ephesians 6:10-20. Put yourself under the authority of God through the Church and pray for all those who are struggling with trials and temptation.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Lent 2014 Reflections: Saturday 8th March 2014

Saturday after Ash Wednesday - 8th March 2014

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:9-14

9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he will say, 'I am here.' If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist and malicious words,
10 if you deprive yourself for the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, your light will rise in the darkness, and your darkest hour will be like noon.
11 Yahweh will always guide you, will satisfy your needs in the scorched land; he will give strength to your bones and you will be like a watered garden, like a flowing spring whose waters never run dry.
12 Your ancient ruins will be rebuilt; you will build on age -- old foundations. You will be called 'Breach-mender', 'Restorer of streets to be lived in'.
13 If you refrain from breaking the Sabbath, from taking your own pleasure on my holy day, if you call the Sabbath 'Delightful', and the day sacred to Yahweh 'Honourable', if you honour it by abstaining from travel, from seeking your own pleasure and from too much talk,
14 then you will find true happiness in Yahweh, and I shall lead you in triumph over the heights of the land. I shall feed you on the heritage of your father Jacob, for the mouth of Yahweh has spoken.

Reflection by Kim Lee:

A lot of the time we do not realise that we are surrounded by so much good. The media and society like to highlight all the rubbish going on around us that we end up becoming accustomed to a dysfunctional society, such that, for us, it becomes the norm. We are told that if we "deny ourselves for those in hunger and satisfy the afflicted", our "light will rise in the darkness" - this reminds me of St. Francis of Assisi's words, "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle". This inspires me to tell you that YOU can be the difference in this world, to help bring about change for the better. There is so much evil and perpetuation of exaggerated falsehoods, filled with temptation to draw people into what is wrong. All sorts of external pressures that seep into us and soon become internal pressures if we do not hold onto God. 

Turn back to God this Lent. All you need to do is to look around you - the Church building even can teach you things without anyone saying anything to you. If you look at a stained glass window in the parish, do you notice that always at the centre is God, usually depicted as the Father or Jesus? You may also notice how all the saints/people around the window are looking at the centre, looking at God. Their focus is totally on Him. We need to take the saints as our example and centre our lives back on God if we are expecting to find peace and true fulfilment. If we centre our lives on anything else, any lesser good could and probably would destroy us. 
Lent Giving: Take some time to think about what you have centred your life on. Try and ensure that your life is centred on God, and that your focus is on Him. Choose one part of the day to really pray more, fast on Fridays with a smile on your face, and give alms to the poor - and they aren't just the one's on your street - if your next door neighbour needs help and you can help them, then do so! :)

Friday, 7 March 2014

Lent 2014 Reflections: Friday 7th March 2014

Friday after Ash Wednesday - 7th March

Reading 1, Isaiah 58:1-9

1 Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a trumpet. To my people proclaim their rebellious acts, to the House of Jacob, their sins.
2 They seek for me day after day, they long to know my ways, like a nation that has acted uprightly and not forsaken the law of its God. They ask me for laws that are upright, they long to be near God:
3 'Why have we fasted, if you do not see, why mortify ourselves if you never notice?' Look, you seek your own pleasure on your fastdays and you exploit all your workmen;
4 look, the only purpose of your fasting is to quarrel and squabble and strike viciously with your fist.Fasting like yours today will never make your voice heard on high.
5 Is that the sort of fast that pleases me, a day when a person inflicts pain on himself? Hanging your head like a reed, spreading out sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call fasting, a day acceptable to Yahweh?
6 Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me: to break unjust fetters, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break all yokes?
7 Is it not sharing your food with the hungry, and sheltering the homeless poor; if you see someone lacking clothes, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own kin?
8 Then your light will blaze out like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over. Saving justice will go ahead of you and Yahweh's glory come behind you.
9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he will say, 'I am here.' If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist and malicious words.

Reflection by Kim Lee:

In Lent, we are asked to do three things: Pray, Fast and Give Alms. These things are meant to bring us closer to God. If we pray more during Lent, but then go out and be really awful to people and upset them, then there is no point in praying. If we fast and put on a grumpy face and tell everyone how hungry we are and how we are not eating what we like, and then we go around being a glutton in other ways, then the hunger for God is not brought out, so there is no point in fasting. Same with giving alms, why would you give alms then go out and steal from someone else, for instance? 
The reason we are asked to pray, fast and give alms is because they are supposed to help us to change our hearts. The word used in Scripture is "metanoia" which means "beyond the mind". We have to stop thinking with our heads and start thinking with our hearts. We have to go beyond rationality and logic found in the mind to follow the Holy Spirit, to leave ourselves in the hands of the Lord and completely trust in Him. We see in Scripture that the words, "do not be afraid" appear 365 times - that's once for every day of the year. "Commit your life to the Lord, trust in Him, and he will act" - Psalm 37.

Lent Giving: Instead of thinking "What am I giving up for Lent?", think, "How can I give and serve this Lent?".

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Lent 2014 Reflections: Thursday 6th March 2014

Thursday after Ash Wednesday - 6th March 2014

Reading 1, Deuteronomy 30:15-20

15 'Look, today I am offering you life and prosperity, death and disaster.
16 If you obey the commandments of Yahweh your God, which I am laying down for you today, if you love Yahweh your God and follow his ways, if you keep his commandments, his laws and his customs, you will live and grow numerous, and Yahweh your God will bless you in the country which you are about to enter and make your own.
17 But if your heart turns away, if you refuse to listen, if you let yourself be drawn into worshipping other gods and serving them,
18 I tell you today, you will most certainly perish; you will not live for long in the country which you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 Today, I call heaven and earth to witness against you: I am offering you life or death, blessing or curse. Choose life, then, so that you and your descendants may live,
20 in the love of Yahweh your God, obeying his voice, holding fast to him; for in this your life consists, and on this depends the length of time that you stay in the country which Yahweh swore to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that he would give them.'

Reflection by Kim Lee:
Here we have been offered two paths - life and prosperity, or death and disaster. This reminds me of Ecclesiasticus 15, where it is said that "man has life and death before him; whichever a man like better will be given him". It is true to say we have free will. God does not wish to impose His will on us, although I have often found that His will is the only way to find true fulfilment and come closer to who we are - ourselves, made in the image of God.  I truly believe that God wants us to choose him freely, and not to feel we are constrained by the laws there to protect us from harm and evil.

Another thing this passage reminds me of is St. Faustina's diary. In a vision she had, she saw two paths - one was a wide road where people were happy and things were easy. The other was a narrow, with thorns, and barely a path to be seen. Those on that path were weeping and struggling, with pain and suffering. However, those on the wide road were falling into the abyss of Hell, while those on the narrow path discovered the light at the end and, when they came into the light, they forgot all about their sufferings.

Lent Giving: Make the choice to pray more, to come closer to God, to choose the more difficult path, even though it can be hard. Do things because they are the right thing to do, not because you want to look good etc. 

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Lent 2014 Reflections: Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday - 5th March 2014
Reading 1, Joel 2:12-18

'But now -- declares the Lord - come back to me with all your heart, fasting, weeping, mourning.'
Tear your hearts and not your clothes, and come back to the Lord your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and he relents about inflicting disaster.
Who knows if he will not come back, relent and leave a blessing behind him, a cereal offering and a libation to be presented to the Lord your God?
Blow the ram's-horn in Zion! Order a fast, proclaim a solemn assembly,
call the people together, summon the community, assemble the elders, gather the children, even infants at the breast! Call the bridegroom from his bedroom and the bride from her bower!
 Let the priests, the ministers of the Lord, stand weeping between portico and altar, saying, 'Spare your people, Lord! Do not expose your heritage to the contempt, to the sarcasm of the nations! Why give the peoples cause to say, "Where is their God?" '
Then, becoming jealous over his country, the Lord took pity on his people.

Reflection by Kim Lee:

Lent is a time for turning away from sin and being faithful to the Gospel. It is a time to prepare our hearts for what is to come. God wants us to be who we are, and nobody else. We aren't called to be somebody's ideal of who we are, not even our own ideal. We are called to be ourselves for God. To be a child of God means to get up when we fall, to trust when humanly you feel like despairing, to forgive when actually you really feel like beating up the person for what they did to you. God is asking us this Lent not necessarily to "give up" as many people think, but to GIVE, to give our whole self to Him as His children, in His service, to carry out His will. Remember that Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life..." (John 14:6). Turn back to God and remember that no sin is too great to receive God's loving mercy and forgiveness - He died on a Cross for us, shed His blood for us - how much more do you need Him to show His love?!

Lent Giving: Offer up all the grudges you hold, and forgive those who have hurt you. Leave them in God's hands and pray for them.