1 JohnNo one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
Good Morning!!! I would like to go ahead and write about my birthday week/weekend. God has blessed me with many things and was able to share/celebrate it with my family and friends. There's so much I have to say that I don't even know where to begin.
First of all, in my heart, I was hoping the government wouldn't shut down because of three things, money, my birthday party at work with friends and my birthday party on the weekend with friends. I was so excited and so happy to spend my real birthday with everyone at work - it was so much fun. I don't think they realize how grateful I am to have them as my friends. Now I understand why Dad takes me out to his co-workers house for parties. I always thought it was a drag but now I get it. If the government shutdown, many of my friends would use it as an opportunity to go out of town and then miss my second party too. I would've been sad about it. So I'm thankful that the govt didn't shutdown and I was able to have a party with my friends AND family. That's another blessing I have...I am so thankful for my parents who wouldn't miss my birthday for the world and would come to see me. They tried to surprise me but I knew they would come. I can feel them :) But I was surprised about my in-laws!!! Although I was sad I didn't see Alex, I was shocked and soo surprised to see my father in law and mother in law :) The fact that they took the time to come to see me like this, really means a lot to me. It made me feel very much loved.
Usually, when I drop off my parents to go home by bus or train. I would have to use my every strength to fight back my tears because its so hard living far away and not knowing when I will see them again. It happened at college during my freshman year but after the first year, I felt better because my parents made a habit of seeing me every three months, haha. She did the same when I first moved away. I believe her when she said, no matter how far I am, she will always be there for me. Daddy too. Because of my bond with her and because of God, I know I will see them again and that it won't be the last time. As an adult, I understand how harsh the world can be and how hard it is to be yourself in this world so I appreciate my parents making me and my husband feel number one in their lives. I appreciate their respect for us too.
In my last post, I was talking about the book and the drawing that my dad saw when I was younger. My father saw my post and decided to bring the book and tell me more about the story. I love how God works in mysterious ways. He actually gave me my birthday gift through my father. I didn't know this until my dad told me. When he was out of work, he remembers taking me to barnes and nobles to look for a book to read. He found a book that stood out the most - "I Am With You Always" by people who have had encounters with Jesus. My father told me that he believes in Jesus with his whole heart and doesn't need to see Him but would like for Him to visit me or my mother. After he prayed about that, few weeks later, he heard me screaming from my parents bedroom. Then I remember what he was talking about....
When I was in my parents bedroom, I was facing their mirror and was polishing my nails on their vanity. As I was polishing my nails, I looked up to the mirror and I literally screamed at the top of my lungs and RAN out of the room. When I looked up, I saw a man standing behind me, maybe 6 feet away. He was tall. He wore brown suit and at the time, I thought he had moles in his hands. His eyes were closed. I thought it was my Uncle Bob or something. I had no idea who it was and I wanted nothing of it. Because of that, I refused to go to sleep in my bedroom and my mother would have to stay with me until I fell asleep. My father kept asking me who did I think I saw...I said I think it was my Uncle Bob. It looked kinda like him from the pictures. My dad never explained it to me. Then until years later, I write about this book on my blog, and he decided to tell me over the weekend that he believes that I saw Jesus. And he believes that the moles was the holes from the nails. He also thinks Jesus came in a form where I wouldn't be scared of and that it would be easier for me to approach to. Of course. I cried. We all cried. Now, looking back, I do wish that I had never ran and faced him instead and say....Thank you Jesus - You died for our sins and I will be forever grateful for it. I love You.
On Sunday, I went to the Catholic Church with my parents and my husband. It was a very very emotional service. Actually, it was a very emotional weekend!! So many times I have to fight back my tears at the service that I had to think about my hair just to get my mind off of it!! My mom, didn't hold back, she cried with her whole heart. She has the heart of gold. We were emotional about the reading from the Bible where they talked about Jesus preparing for His Death on the Cross. It was hard to read it. The song was sad too. Children was singing - "were you there when they crucified my Lord"? This is why I won't watch Passion of Christ, it is too hard. It is like watching your own family dying like this. It's too close to the heart. It is also a good wake up call and a good way to understand it even more. It's still too emotional. If I ever decide to watch it, I would do it alone.
Anyway, Gil had a good point. He said that he doesn't understand why the Catholic church doesn't hand out communion in paper cups and plates. I know that the Church hands it out to people who have received holy communion . But, Gil is a Christian, he should be able to receive the body of Christ. My mother and I talked about this with him. We both agreed that, it's between him and God. It doesn't matter what the Church believes or thinks - that you have to be a catholic to receive it. Christians should receive it too. We told Gil, don't let the Church stop you. We know how you feel about Jesus, you should go up there if you want to.
I can understand how people would have wrong ideas about the Church because of their "rules" and "laws". I don't agree with it. I believe that you should find a Church where you feel that it celebrates Jesus in the way you want to celebrate Him and follow their rituals for spiritual practice. Like what LG said, some people use yoga, lent, etc. to get closer with the Lord. We shouldn't honor the church, we should honor their ways that makes us focused or closer to the Lord. I can understand why they would require for you to go to Church on Sundays...I do feel like God gives us messages through our priests and pastor and show us that He is here for us and knows what is going on with us. He makes us feel like our prayers are being heard. And life is so materialistic that the devil will distract us from being closer with God. Going to Church on Sundays is a great way to renew ourselves every week. To me, it doesn't seem like a habit or a routine anymore, it has meaning to me now, because of the captions and the interpreters I can finally benefit it and finally grasped the meaning and purpose of it!!
I still have so much to talk about. I am going to read the book that my dad left with me and will share it with you too. I would like to conclude that it was a wonderful birthday and I am so blessed.
I would like to add something that my mother left in my bag. It explains about the concluding rite (Praying the Mass).
When a movie ends, people simply get up and walk out of the theater. But the Mass is a communal ritual, and needs a ritual ending. So we are ritually blessed and then sent : "Go in peace." When the liturgy was celebrated in Latin, the priest said, "Ite miss est." The Latin word "missa" means being "sent, missioned." Literally, the Latin phrase meant, "Go, it is the sending." Since the fourth century, the whole celebration became known by that word: The Mass.
The Eucharist is not something we celebrate once, and then never need to celebrate again. We do it over and over and over because it is always "live." We also do it because the Lord said, "Do this in memory of me."
We need a healthy sense of "obligation" to prod us to do what we really ought to do, like traveling to a family gathering even though it's inconvenient. The "obligation" nudges us to go and afterwards we're glad we did.
"Going to Mass" is not a decision we should have to make from scratch every weekend. It's something we simply make part of our lives every week.
Picture Mary and the other disciples in those days after the Ascension. They came together for prayer and mutual support on Sundays.
We should picture ourselves as part of those early disciples gathered every Sunday. It is not hard to get the feeling : This is where I belong.
Read this...very interesting