Let the world turn topsy turvy, everything be in darkness and Mount Sinai all aflame, covered with lightning, thunder — God is with you. But if God lives in the darkness and Mount Sinai is all aflame, covered with lightning, thunder, and noise, will we not be safe near Him?
- St. Pio of Pietrelcina
A half century has passed since Padre Pio left us and yet his words still reverberate true in these topsy turvy Covid times. Cathedrals remain closed, victims cough thunderously, young people silently descend into darkness but “will we not be safe near Him?”
Father Elton Fernandes, SJ, gently guided our PPPG members to choose hope when he led last month’s (January 9th, 2021) Zoom prayer meeting on “How we can hear Christ’s voice more clearly in our lives.” First and foremost, “test the spirits,” he counseled. For our world is drowning in noise and news so it would behoove us all to dedicate time to discern.
In the January PPPG prayer meeting, Fr. Elton Fernandes, SJ of Taipei Ignatian Spirituality Centre guided us on how to hear Christ’s voice more clearly?
It was such an excellent talk. Father Elton explained thoroughly on how God speaks to us, that His voice is often very subtle and need to be discerned. He pointed out the two keys of discernment: consolation and desolation and then he ended the talk with the process of discernment. He also gave many examples from our daily lives.
For almost fifty years, I turned to our Blessed Virgin Mary for all my needs. Then I had an intimate encounter with our Lord Jesus. After that, I continued to pray the rosary but it was Jesus with whom I most related.
One day when I was praying in front of the tabernacle, I felt a desire to go the statue of our Lady. It was as though Jesus was telling me, ‘go to her.’ On doing so I experienced peace and a great comfort. After a while I felt a desire to go before the statue of St. Joseph. This time it was as though Mary was telling me to visit with him. From then on my triangular relationship was with Jesus, Mary and Joseph.
I recall that throughout my life while I showed reverence to other saints, I hardly ever kept a devotion to or actively sought out their intercession. Encouraged under the guidance of our parish priest, I developed an admiration for St. Therese of Lisieux, Blessed Mother Teresa of Kolkata and St. Jean Marie Vianney.
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