Behold the Handmaid of the Lord

“And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her”- Luke 1:38.

This was a deeply beautiful statement. I imagine myself in Mary’s shoes, a young girl who had probably imagined her ‘perfect’ future with Joseph…maybe she wanted many children, the way some of us have planned…”Oh I will have blah blah children, my first child will be a boy called ____” Lol. One day, an angel appears to you and says “Hail *insert your name here* full of grace, the Lord is with thee, blessed are you among women. What will be your response to this? I don’t know about you guys but immediately I see the angel, I will faint. Then the angel goes on to tell you that even though you are a virgin, you are pregnant, Say what? Can you imagine what your reaction will be? Mary’s response was nothing but awesome. She gave herself fully to God and exhibited total submission to the will of God. She responded with the beautiful statement: I am the handmaid of the Lord, let it be done to me according to your word. Could there be any response as amazing as this?

Dear Mama Mary, thank you for this wonderful statement! Thank you for your docility, openness and your submission to God’s will. Sometimes, I struggle with following God’s plans for me versus following my own plans which I presume will give me happiness. Please pray for me to be submissive to the will of God for me & to always remember that as the heavens are higher than the earth,  so are the ways of the Lord higher than my ways.

Today is the feast day of the annunciation; the day when the angel Gabriel appeared to mama Mary. Ever since I was a child, it has been a special day to me especially in school because my primary school was run by The Sisters of the Congregation of the Handmaids of the Holy Child Jesus. March 25th was their feast day and as a result, we did not have classes that day. We just came to school to pray and play! Fast forward to so many years later, today was like that for me because my class was cancelled and my lab was an open review session, just ask the TA whatever you want and if you have no questions, byeee. LOL. It was pretty chilled.My TA later told me that I was the first person who he ever met that was super skeptical about the course & the informed consent form. LOL. Why wouldn’t I be? Look at some excerpts from the form..LOL see what I did there? from? form?

I understand that the laboratory portion of BPK 142 will include tests to evaluate body composition, the musculoskeletal system (flexibility, muscular endurance, strength, and power), and the cardiorespiratory system (heart and lungs). Fitness tests will include flexibility exercises, muscular endurance exercises, strength exercises, power exercises, maximal breathing tests, and stationary cycling.

I understand that in order to experience and evaluate physical fitness tests for body composition, flexibility, muscular endurance, strength, power, and cardiorespiratory endurance, I will be both a subject and a tester.

I know I am not fit, why would I sign such a form? My TA tried so hard to convince me to hand in the form. LOL. I eventually submitted the form a week later and true to his words, I actually didn’t have to be a subject. Hahaha.

On campus, we had the Traditional Latin Mass (mass of the extraordinary form). I was so confused. Lol. and then I went to Crestwell. Thanks R for the Cake Pop! Tanya also entered the convent today. I still can’t believe she has left! Tanya has responded to the call of Christ and let go of all things, as she begins this new journey, please be with her dear God. I encourage whoever sees this to please say a prayer for Tanya!

Today was also the very first time in my life that I slipped down the stairs, praise God I did not fall. Still, it was a very scary experience for me; I cannot recall the last time that I fell. Okay, I can recall it but it was a over a year ago. I think I have only fallen once or twice since I came to Canada. I was going to the bus stop by the library and SFU has these endless stairs and I think they were slippery because of the rain and I slid down them. All I kept praying was “dear Lord please do not let me break anything”. I kept screaming even after I stopped falling. I dont know how it happened except by God’s grace but I landed on my feet. Thank you Lord for keeping me safe!

Lent with the Pope

“The joy of the Gospel is not just any joy. It consists in knowing one is welcomed and loved by God. As the Prophet Isaiah reminds us…. God is he who comes to save us and who seeks to help, especially those who are fearful of heart. His coming among us strengthens us, makes us steadfast, gives us courage…However great our limitations and dismay, we are not allowed to be sluggish and vacillating when faced with difficulty and our own weakness.

On the contrary, we are invited to strengthen the weak hands, to make firm the feeble knees, to be strong and to fear not, because our God always shows us the greatness of his mercy. He gives us the strength to go forward. He is always with us in order to help us to go forward. He is a God who loves us so very much, he loves us and that is why he is with us, to help us, to strengthen us, help us go forward. Courage! Always forward! Thanks to his help, we can always begin again. How? Begin again from scratch. Someone might say to me: “No, Father, I did so many reprehensible things … I am a great sinner…. I cannot begin from scratch!”. You are wrong! You can begin from scratch! Why? Because he is waiting for you, he is close to you, he loves you, he is merciful, he forgives you, he gives you the strengthen to begin again from scratch! Everybody! And so we are able to open our eyes again, to overcome sadness and mourning to strike up a new song. And this true joy remains even amid trial, even amid suffering, for it is not a superficial joy; because it permeates the depths of the person who entrusts himself to the Lord and confides in him.

Christian joy, like hope, is founded on God’s fidelity, on the certainty that he always keeps his promises. The Prophet Isaiah exhorts those who have lost their way and have lost heart to entrust themselves to the faithfulness of the Lord, for his salvation will not delay in bursting into their lives. All those who have encountered Jesus along the way experience a serenity and joy in their hearts which nothing and no one can take away. Our joy is Jesus Christ, his faithful love is inexhaustible!”- Pope Francis, Angelus December 15 2013.

Do I obsess over my faults and failings to the degree that it robs me of joy? How can I acquire peace and serenity?

Not anymore. I can acquire peace & serenity by casting all my cares upon the Lord and remembering that worrying helps as much as chewing gum solves math equations.

Lent with the saints

St Maximilan Mary Kolbe
Lol. Due to my failed attempts at preparing for Marian consecration, I have learnt a lot about this Saint. He loved mama Mary so much!In 1941, Fr Kolbe was arrested and sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp.Fr Kolbe volunteered to take the place of a fellow prisoner( who was  a family man) condemned to starvation in retaliation for a prisoner escape. He died as a martyr via starvation & lethal injection.

Today’s action:Pray today for contemporary victims of genocide and persecution.

1024px-The_Annunciation_stained_glass_window_in_Saint_Patrick_Church;_Lowell,_MA;_2012-05-19

A stained glass window in Saint Patrick Church in Massachusetts depicting the Annunciation. Source: Wikipedia Commons. Because Stained Glass Windows are the best!!! ❤

Sancta Maria, Spes nostra, Ancilla Domini, ora pro nobis!

Holy Mary, our hope, handmaid of the Lord,pray for us!

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