Job, Jonah and Acts 2 story. My quest for blessings (the last part must be said in an over dramatic voice!)

 

So let us begin at the beginning born and brought up as a Catholic my mum is English and a Catholic and my father is Japanese and not a Christian yet. As you can imagine it is an interesting cultural mix. I never felt insecure by it except for wanting my parent to tell that they loved this is some thing that I still find hard to handle more about that later and have only become aware of it recently.

In 1996 I started my training at Norland which was based in Hungerford. While I was there I did the Alpha Course and I was here that my faith had a revival It was here that I experienced prayer and being prayed for the first time. In the Catholic Church people say prayer by rote and there seems to no heart to prayer because you do not really understand what they mean but after I experienced what prayer really was prayer became more meaningful to me. During this time to I also stayed with the Catholic church but did not find it so meanful. It was last Christmas that I decided to leave St Nicholas and it was hard to leave a wroshipping community that Id been part of ten years but God has blessed me no end by returning to my Catholic roots and I did learn so much that ive adapted to my Catholic roots.

I also believe God places people in your life for a reason, some to challenge, some to break you, some to encourage you and some to support you. He also provides place to rest and refocusing on him. Three places I find most useful are three Benedictine monasteries that I go to Douai Abbey near Reading and Ampleforth Abbey near York and Worth Abbey near Crawley. Even though they  follow the rule of St. Benedict they offer me three very different things. Douai Abbey is a place where I do my spiritual learning you could say and Ampleforth Abbey is a more prayerful environment where God does his encouraging and Worth Abbey is where I get my emotion challenged by God. In a society that is so busy I so value my retreat times and the people I meet too.

The end of 2004 and the beginning of 2005 was what I would say is my dessert moment Five people I knew died in as many months, all of which were pretty close to me. It was at this point some of the people God gave me came to the front and kept me going. One is monk friend of mine. He constantly challenges my over my over the top emotions and silly notion of my faith that I sometimes get. The second friend I would like to mention is a bishop friend of mine and in the context of a sermon on healing he once said there is “consolation in desolation” something which took me a while to workout but now I know what it means and is this that in the lowest moment (as well as in the good moments) God will carry you no matter what a bit like in the poem Footprints Jesus carries us through our pain and challenges. Both these friends and many other I know pray for me and that is so comforting to know and really lifts me up

In May 2006 on the weekend of the feast of Pentecost I had my Acts 2 awaken and for me it was as dramatic as it was for the Apostles and joined the Cursillo movement. The background stemmed from the link Anglican chruch the movement it self is nondenominational. A memeber of St nicholas Chruch approached the vicar and the vicar gave her my no. and I joined the informal prayer meetting they have and I meet more of the Anglican Cursilistas intially. As part ot the commitment there is a four day intensive retreat on the Holy Spirit. The reason why I call it a intensive retreat is becasue it is really is a more than a retreat but has the stlye of the retreats. Unfourtualtey work commitment stopped me doing the weekend retreat with my original group but fortunaltey I found Catholic group who hold there weekends at Worth Abbey and I knew it was going to be speical just by where it was held. Worth Abbey as I said before is some where my emotinal side is alway challenged. What a bank holiday it was. As a result I believe in the power of the Holy Spirt to empower people. It has given me to courage to truly seek God in all that I do and to continue and to tentativley put my toe over the boats edge. Where as before I would hid from God nudges some how  

To back track slightly in the later part of 2005 I really felt a call from God but was very confused and fustrated by it all so I took the bull by the horns and tryed to find a vocation fellowship and found one called Compass which is held at Worth Abbey. This was my first experiance at Worth. The first Monk I meet was a very sensible clam man who had a lasting effect on me by say I could not join the group. No 2 letters but what power they yieled WOW that stabbed me through the heart. I sat in the Abbey church in tears and the anger crept in up on me until then I never realised negativelty was respectful of God in a funny way which I shall explain now. I had two of the people I regard as a spiritual mentor praying and they felt postive and it was in hindsightit was  but I need to go through he and anger and pain. I wrang my friends up and one said to words that ill never forget and it was when you are angry at some is it because you couldn’t careless about them  or that you care higly about them and it was then that the penny dropped for me and my relationship with God deepened all because of two letters n and o. It was also here that it was suggetsed to me to get a spiritual director and I did and she has been an invaluable tool. Everyone should have one.

Since then my lifes been one blessing after another in Easter time ish  2007 I felt God calling me to explore being a lay Benedictine and was tron by which Monestry but choose Douai or Should I say GOd choose it for me! In October 2009 it shall be 10 year since I started my Bendcitine habit you could say but one that will last forever. St Benedict such a common sense saint. Thanks St. Ben for all your portection amen.

New media to share my Catholic Faith. Ever since my father brought me an ipod as a gift from japan It has deepen my faith I habve nicmaned it my godpod. I have found internet Catholism, internet Catholic Church and comunites and it where faith is heading too in term of worship stlye and was one of the reason why I started this blog. The Catholic church must not be left behind on this matter it does take coourage to do this but it is so worth while as it can go golbal.    

I recent times God been saying to me to reach for the sky if your dreams are my dreams I will honour it and I must not worry. I alway had this dream that I thought was unrealistic but may come into being. For once in my life God is showing me a bigger picture. It will be so different to what I am doing now that and I will need bucket loads of fatih and a courage to dangle the feet even more off the boat but woth God it will be possible.                                  

So what have I learnt from God? That God is in control however much I feel he is not it is then he carries me.

That God has a calling for each one of us. It may be hard to comprehend what but it is in these challenges that he enriches us but we have to trust him to a degree.

He also provides the strength to carry on by what people do and say to you and from words people may say that are totally unconnected but that may bring comfort and that is something you need to hold on to when times are tough.

 

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