Rejoice, O Hearts!


This is the day the LORD has made;
let us be glad and rejoice in it.

~ Psalm 118:24

          Today, a quest and an immense fight came to a happy end. We had been facing a great test as a family, and on this Wednesday, on a day when I make it a point to honour St Joseph, the great, silent saint brings me heaven’s closure in a joyful ending. Among the things I will remember about this Lent and Easter, will be my journey from frustration and weariness at having to fight so hard and so often for our rights, to hope that God would cut us a miracle path through crushing mountains and finally to the sweet joy of answered prayers, each day journeyed with St Joseph.

Rejoice, O hearts,

and be very glad!

Lent 20 ~ O Precious Blood!


Prayer of St. Catherine of Siena to the Precious Blood of Jesus

Precious Blood,
Ocean of Divine Mercy:
Flow upon us!
Precious Blood,
Most pure Offering:
Procure us every Grace!
Precious Blood,
Hope and Refuge of sinners:
Atone for us!
Precious Blood,
Delight of holy souls:
Draw us!


Lent 19 ~ The Angel’s Prayer


As in the days when You came from the land of Egypt,
show us wonderful signs.

~ Micah 7: 15


          With a number of things weighing heavily upon my heart, I have been trying to trust that everything will work out. Every time I felt the frost of fear come too close, I made haste to place my anxieties in St Joseph’s hands, each time telling him,

Place it in the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St Joseph,

followed by, I trust in You, Jesus.

          Then came several hours when no prayer seemed to work and the frost seemed to spear in deeper. At that moment, I remembered one whose aid I had not sought – my guardian angel – I hurried to this brave and noble heart. If God allows it, please give me a sign that all will be well – and let me in some way know that it is from you, I prayed.

          About an hour later, seeking something restful and beautiful this Sunday of the laughing winds, I came across a blog, charmingly titled, Small Moments. There, unexpectedly, was a tiny bloom, the sweetest line of all,

Snowdrops are said to mean ‘Hope and consolation’.

~ by Elizabethd, in Snowdrops, from Small Moments

          I hadn’t known that. That as tiny as they may be, snowdrops stood for hope, the massive grace that gives life when frost threatens power. In the past, crocuses and daffodils have been spring’s earliest heralds of joy for me and so, I kept an eye out for them even this year. Although earlier today, snowdrops had indeed appeared before me, I had not paid them much attention because I was intently looking out for what was familiar. When our eyes are fixed on something outside of God’s pathways, even if it is good in itself, we can certainly miss out on surprises that contain His word. We can miss following His light to where He wants us to be.

          But sometimes, a longer, more rutted path is necessary to get to where God is because He has more things to be revealed. The meaning of snowdrops now held close to my still wobbling heart, I turned to place my thanks into my angel’s hands, tremulously saying once more the prayer, I trust in You, Jesus.

          At that moment, deep within me, I sensed someone put a hand out, and in the gentlest of motions, change the words of the prayer to,

Jesus, I will trust in You.

          Just like that, hope found life once more by the addition of a single tiny word. In eagerness, I embraced the prayer which I knew my angel had brought.

          Praying it in restored hope, the last vestiges of anxiety left me and my heart steadied.

Flying Dove

Lent 17 ~ Ireland Lights the Way

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O most loveable Jesus, the sighs of my heart rise up to You.

~  St. Bernadette Soubirous


          This morning, a troubled heart from Ireland sought prayers from me and a few others. The threat of losing one’s home is not to be taken lightly, not when it involves the construction of a windfarm on private land and a complete change of life. So, I sent up a quick prayer to God, asking Him how He wanted me to help.

          A thought popped into my head immediately. Offer to pray the St Joseph novena for this person, Enda. And it was the most perfect prayer for the time. Enda was the very same person who contacted me some years back and told me he had a strong feeling that I should recite the St Joseph novena for my workplace problems. And I did it, praying the novena a number of times in the years since. Although it took time, one by one, my workplace issues got resolved. I never forgot the power of those prayers. I never forgot St Joseph, the silent Discerner of Dreams. And I never forgot this beautiful soul, a family man with young children, who took the time to care for a stranger by introducing me to this particular devotion and who prayed so much for me too.

          Right after I replied to Enda telling him I would offer up the full 9-day novena for his sorrow, I learned that today, the 11th of March was indeed the first day that the novena is traditionally prayed, to end on the 19th, the feast day of St Joseph. I hadn’t known that and had not planned on praying the novena at all till this plea for help.

O most loveable Jesus, the sighs of my heart rise up to You.

          Truly, everything in life is ordered and ordained by the Almighty. What transpired this morning was no coincidence. My friend’s sighs had risen up and reached Jesus. And it is the will of God that all of us whose help was sought, unite our prayers with Enda’s. We all live in different parts of the world, yet, as members of Christ’s body, faith and love joins our hearts in the precious unity that marks those who love Jesus.

          Feeling now the mystical sweetness of this call to prayer, a warm fire lit in my heart for my friend. And then, I realised something.

          Three days ago, heeding the kingfisher’s call to be still and listen, one of the three presses of spirit I received was of Ireland. I had gone in immediate search of what Ireland meant for me but nothing remained long enough on my heart. I retreated, but in the belief that it would be revealed in due course.

          Now, lit by the first rays of the sun of understanding, an invisible finger traced a trail,

Ireland. Enda. St Joseph. 


Lent 16 ~ The Lord Knows


The dear Lord knows what is going on.

We must pray. The good Lord will take pity.

We must not lose patience.

~  St. Conrad of Parzham


          Today, the sign of geese appears once more, after yesterday’s surprise. A personal sign to me signifying a change of seasons, a sign of hope.

          3 days ago, I had suddenly wondered about the geese that took as their home an area of our daughter’s university campus. One of the first things our girl did when she had settled into her place there less than a year before was to send us pictures of those geese. It thrilled our hearts so because this was the life we had wanted so much for our children – to have decent access to modern life and yet to retain a strong hold on the old where Nature truly lived and breathed free. To know she had geese there made it perfect. She was just as happy with them and over the next few months, we were kept informed about the family of geese and their little exploits.

          And then, life got very busy for us all, and the little geese got tucked away somewhere unseen.

          Until 3 days ago, when my thoughts went there.

          Then, yesterday, without a word from me, our daughter sent us 2 videos of the geese on her campus. Needless to say, I was so, so surprised. And delighted.

          It wasn’t until later that it occurred to me that after such a long time, geese had returned, on not just any day but on what I refer to as Miracle Thursday and Illumination Thursday. It had been a somewhat dry day, my spirit silent and unmoved in listlessness. Although I pondered so many things, I did so only with my mind as my spirit had curled in on itself. I knew I was physically tired from my studies and that there was nothing to do but to let the body heal in its own time. Still, a part of me yearned for some sort of sign. And it came, on the breaths of twilight.

          Today, without warning, the geese return for a second time. They come after I have asked God if things at work would ever change. If the old dream of a quiet and pared down workforce would ever come true. If the hope of an especial peace and quiet to work hard and to work in love would ever be ours.

          Right after this weave of thoughts, comes the geese. Then, in its wake, St. Conrad’s gentle entreaty.

          Among the highest and lowest boughs, the winds leap and twirl.

          They know something I don’t.


Lent 7 ~ Paths in Thy Sight


Lord, God Almighty, You have brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Defend us today by Your mighty power, that we may not fall into any sin, but that all our words may so proceed and all our thoughts and actions be so directed, as to be always just in Your sight. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Once and For All

Free photos of Storm

Let the malice of the wicked come to an end.   Psalm 7:10

          This time it is the suffering of my colleagues that sends me to the feet of God. The relentless heartlessness of narcissism which I know only too well, now comes to life once more, binding tightly others in the nets of work. For so many, the past two years have taught them searing lessons of compassion and humility. That life is fragile. That the presence of one day does not ensure the next. So, go out into life’s lanes. Look for the maimed and the lame and give them Jesus’ hand, to the orphaned and the widowed, offer His own wounded heart.

          But not these other people. It’s as if no light can penetrate the darkness within them to choose peace and love over abuse.

          And I cannot sit by and do nothing.

         What prayer do I pray, Lord? Fresh from a 9-day novena to St Padre Pio, I’m not sure if I can commit to another similar entreaty, for I too am exhausted, barely standing upright.

What do you ask of me, Lord?

          Through a gentle weave of moments, it comes. The sparsest of prayers.

          Let the malice of the wicked come to an end

          In God’s mercy, may it end, once and for all.

Last of June


          On this last day of June, month of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the winds lift and fall from the break of dawn, blowing secrets among them, marking the last of what has been a very hectic month. Still, even as I’m glad it has come to an end, a quiet awe sits stronger within me. Awe at all God has done and eased for us this entire month. Awe at how, for once, I managed to face the innumerable twists and hurdles relatively calmly and with fewer stumbles.

          But I also know that it wasn’t me going out to meet each deadline and obstacle; each day, it felt as if someone or something within me was already in charge and leading the way. A still and quiet power beyond what I’ve ever experienced. A power so strong yet so exquisitely gentle, unperturbed at my occasional shenanigans and general inability to read things right. A power at peace even when I often tried to do things my way.

          Today, on this last day of blessed June, looking back, thanksgiving and gratitude breathes strong in my heart. I know well many hearts have helped me get through all the hard days of June, for very few journeys of this life can be undertaken safely and successfully without the love of those who pray and guide us all onwards and upwards. Most of all, without a doubt, we have journeyed through June, as a family, bound tightly to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

          As the winds raise their softly golden voices higher in the late morning sky, I can’t help but ponder what July holds for us. I can sense something is ahead, for some endeavours have ended even as we hoped to go on.

It is as if an invisible gate is slowly being shut on some journeys, why I do not know.

          But fear finds no living within me today.

          Today, I am at peace, content to let the Spirit lead.

          And He will, Father of the Poor He is.

Your Times Are In My Hand



Help me to journey beyond the familiar

and into the unknown.

Give me the faith to leave old ways

and break fresh ground with You.

Christ of the mysteries, I trust You

to be stronger than each storm within me.

I will trust in the darkness and know

that my times, even now, are in Your hand.

Tune my spirit to the music of heaven,

and somehow, make my obedience count for You.   ~  St Brendan

          A day after the words, The end is nigh, a new world/life awaits you mysteriously appeared on my screen and then disappeared, I came across the above prayer from St Brendan, the monk’s words piercing my heart gently with its sweetness.

journey beyond the familiar

and into the unknown

          At the sight of those words, a tiny nightingale began to sing a strange, new song outside the door of my heart. Nonetheless, even as my heart harkened hesitantly to its melody, an invisible Hand withheld the lyrics from my understanding. No other word beyond this was given to me.

Give me the faith to leave old ways

and break fresh ground with You.

            In the days since, I have been listening in to the winds as they too sing an unknown hymn amongst the trees, the wind~wraithes turning over a secret among themselves. Is it to do with my job, I wonder? Is it time to leave for something better? And with that my heart goes two ways: one in tremulous glee of unknown joys ahead, while the other retreats into the shadows of familiarity, impossibly favouring unhappy folds long known, over the uncertainty of a new life elsewhere. What if I exchange hell for hell? After 23 years of being chained to unhappiness, I am fearful of leaving and starting over even if I long so much to find joy in my work in the few years I have left before I retire.

I will trust in the darkness

          A resolve comes to life within me. I will trust in the darkness of not knowing what lies ahead, if joy lives in wait there, whether in this place or somewhere else all new to me. The God I know got me through the past year; I know He can do anything He wills, move any rock or mountain in my way, level the most impossible of paths. It is in Him that I will place my trust, my lord of Miracles. Why even this past week, I have been seeing a version of myself which I haven’t before. Facing challenges better, making wiser decisions, still afraid and still given to bouts of worry, but much less so for both. If I dare say it – I am almost like an Easter version of who I once was! All because I’m trying my best to tuck my mountains into His heart and to hold His hand tight.

          What do I do as I await the signs to unfurl their truths in the skies of my spirit? I wonder and ponder as I scan the familiar path within my sight. In clear answer, the word from Heaven comes,

Tune your spirit to the notes of heaven,

And live out your days in obedience to Me,

For your times are truly, truly in My hand.

Lent 37 ~ Light for the Dark


          Above all, I beg of you to be always gay, joyful and happy, for this is the true mark of the Spirit of God, Who wishes that we should serve Him in peace and contentment; do not be uneasy or anxious, but do all things with liberty of mind and in the presence of God.   ~  St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

          Holy Week began on a difficult note but today, things deepened without warning and completely knocked me off the hill. I finally broke down at Jesus’ feet, my first time in some weeks.

          Still, I had a feeling I was under some kind of attack. I don’t usually see things in this light but I did today. Because today, having heard of vicious attacks against Ukrainian women and girls, I felt I had to do something. Knowing how packed and busy my day was going to be, I needed to be able to make some kind of a continuous offering, alongside the calls of work. Hence, I decided to offer up as many Hail Mary’s as I could, asking Mother Mary if each bud could in some way be used to save the life of a woman or a girl.

          A few rose~buds in, everything began to unravel. Even minor issues threw me off balance, on and on, snowballing till late afternoon. By late evening, as the humidity of an impending storm singed the sunset hours, I knew I had barely given anything towards so great a need. Hell was being unearthed in Ukraine and here I was, as usual, tripping over far smaller trials. Darkness had seemingly won.

          But someone saw, and someone knew I needed help against whatever was blowing hard against me today.

Above all, I beg of you to be always gay, joyful and happy, for this is the true mark of the Spirit of God, Who wishes that we should serve Him in peace and contentment;

          How do I be this gay, joyful and happy when dark winds rise? I wondered mutinously. How do I not lose the mark of the Holy Spirit? For once, I felt that beloved saint~friend did not have God’s word for me today.

          Just as frustration began to curl into me, I saw it,

…do not be uneasy or anxious,

but do all things with liberty of mind and in the presence of God. 

          On my own, I can do none of the above for I bear no kinship with the serene lotuses of still ponds. The quiet peace of saints continually evades me. But if there’s anything I’ve managed to learn, it is that I can always trust in God to grant me every grace to fill every dry gully of need. What I have need of, He will provide.

          So, back to God’s Heart I went again.

          This time, into Its depths I gave up my darkness. In exchange I took His Light.