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Act of wisdom

Act of wisdom

Many times we were feeling frustrated in our present situations. We fell into cases that we didn’t like or expected to face. Living in that situation, we seem to think that everything has become stuck, our minds are surrounded, and we become desperate, helpless, depressed, and even want to give up everything.

Saint Paul determined in 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 that “For this momentary light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,18 as we look not to what is seen but to what is unseen; for what is seen is transitory, but what is unseen is eternal.” The trouble that we are seeing, facing is just a brief moment. It will not last forever, but what we unseen does eternal, for God, who sets things to be good for us, in which as human we are finite, then couldn’t see whole things. If we are living in hope and conviction in the Lord, keeping doing the right things, and passing the tests that were sent to us through the circumstances of life, God will never forget us. He will remember us like he remembered Noah. In every moment of difficulties, we had challenges in life, just like the moment Noah sent out a raven without getting any promising signs. Therefore, we are invited to live in hope, continue to send out a dove, and seek the sign of life from God. The reason why is because God will not leave us in trouble for long; at the beginning of Genesis, Chapter VIII described that after one hundred and fifty days, the waters maintained their crest over the earth, God remembered to Noah, then he acted by made a wind sweep over the planet. We will not stay in crisis the whole of our life, for the Living God is with us.

Getting out from our crisis moments, we are also invited to learn from the example of the woman whose afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years in the Gospel; she took the first move, to come and to touch the Lord before the power of the Lord has come upon her.

When we are stuck, we are like people sitting in a dark room, fighting with the darkness is highly useless, because basically what we have to do is get out of the room, light the candle, open the door to let the light shine through the room, only then will we not be surrounded by darkness. So the deadlocks, difficulties in life that we are facing, too, need to keep ourselves a strong hope like Noah expected the sign of life; like a woman with a hemorrhage who knows how to run to the Lord.

Trần Văn Lực Sch. P.

VAN LUC TRAN

VAN LUC TRAN

Piarist

Br. Tran Van Luc Sch. P. hails from the Archdiocese of Hanoi, Viet Nam. He is a Marketing graduate, joined the Piarist Fathers in 2014. He took Philosophy units at the Adamson University and Certificate for Practical Social Skills Class at HCMC Youth Employment Service and Vocational Training Center. He is the writer of several books, like, “Hanh Phuc & Khon Ngoan; Tien Van Tam-Nha Giao Duc…” Currently, he is taking Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) – Maryhill School of Theology.

The bell tower and the sanctuary of the Fatima church

The bell tower and the sanctuary of the Fatima church

The bell tower and the sanctuary of the Fatima church are indestructible in front of the University of Law of Ho Chi Minh City

Those who have passed by Ho Chi Minh City University of Law 123 National Highway 13, Hiep Binh Chanh Ward, Thu Duc District, HCMC. (This place is only a kilometer from our community of St. Joseph in HCM City, Viet Nam.) all noticed something strange, that is, the bell tower above is the Cross of the old Fatima Church still standing right in front of three school buildings. Behind the bell tower history is a mysterious story that is difficult to explain.

 History of Fatima Church

Fatima Binh Trieu Church is a Catholic church belonging to the Archdiocese of Ho Chi Minh City. This place is known as “Binh Trieu Fatima Pilgrimage Center.”

In May 1962, the Fatima Apostolic International Movement organized the procession of the statue of Our Lady of Fatima to many countries around the world. On the occasion of this statue’s procession through Vietnam, Father Paul Vo Van Bo – head of the procession organizing committee bought a 12.5-acre plot of land near Highway 13 and Binh Trieu station to build a pilgrimage center of Our Lady of Fatima.

 Demolition of Fatima Church to build the University of Law of Ho Chi Minh City

After 1975, the government confiscated the land of Fatima Church to requisition to build a law university. The school destroyed the church here to build the school. However, the bell tower with the Cross above it and the church’s nave cannot be destroyed by any means. The construction board used all means to destroy the bell tower and the church’s sanctuary many times but could not because of the mysterious miracles that caused all equipment and machinery to turn off suddenly. In the end, people had to change the drawing, keeping the 30-meter high bell tower, standing in the center of the schoolyard, and a sealed room in the middle of the lobby that could not be used. This is the sanctuary of the former Fatima Church. The bell tower and the sanctuary are still existing, today.

Trần Văn Lực Sch. P.

VAN LUC TRAN

VAN LUC TRAN

Piarist

Br. Tran Van Luc Sch. P. hails from the Archdiocese of Hanoi, Viet Nam. He is a Marketing graduate, joined the Piarist Fathers in 2014. He took Philosophy units at the Adamson University and Certificate for Practical Social Skills Class at HCMC Youth Employment Service and Vocational Training Center. He is the writer of several books, like, “Hanh Phuc & Khon Ngoan; Tien Van Tam-Nha Giao Duc…” Currently, he is taking Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) – Maryhill School of Theology.

The heart is the most value

The heart is the most value

All of us have areas that we are struggling with. However, God does not evaluate his children basing on its mistakes, but the hearts do: The heart is always highlighted by the Lord, as it said in Mk 7:6, “These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” God is always looking for those who live with Him from the heart; 2 Chronicles 16:9 said, “The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him.” We knew and were convinced that God is not only looking for the perfect ones, well performance, good manners, and behaviors, people, who were never making mistakes, but he also looking to the people who have the perfect heart toward Him.

Hezekiah was announced by Isaiah that ‘you are about to die’ ‘Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord.’ Two concrete action verbs that ‘turn’ and ‘pray.’ It doesn’t matter how sinful we are, how many mistakes we had committed, but after all, did we turn, pray, and look for the mercy of God? Hezekiah’s prayer at the last moment he said, “Remember, Lord, how I have walked before you faithfully and with wholehearted devotion and have done what is good in your eyes.” (2nd Kings 20:3) Scripture described that moment he wept bitterly, not simply weeping but wept bitterly. I noticed that; in Hezekiah’s prayer, he didn’t mention any negative things or what are his wrongdoings were against God, but he said what pleasing to Him (God). It is showing us, the mercy of God is greater than all other things in the eyes of God, and God’s looking at his children is much greater mercy; the mercy of God greater than the law. I am convinced that the way God looks at us, what the people cannot see is the heart.

The wrong things that we did cannot say who we are; the only One can say that who we are is the Most High God; the fact that we cannot change our dignity “the Children of God” Whenever we are here on earth, we are in the process of changing:

The key for us here is to accept we are in the process of changing and turning the heart to Him.“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel (36:26). If we do so, I do believe that God is also telling us what he said to Hezekiah “I have heard you; I will heal you; I will rescue you; I will be your shield…”

Br. Van Luc Tran Sch. P.

VAN LUC TRAN

VAN LUC TRAN

Piarist

Br. Tran Van Luc Sch. P. hails from the Archdiocese of Hanoi, Viet Nam. He is a Marketing graduate, joined the Piarist Fathers in 2014. He took Philosophy units at the Adamson University and Certificate for Practical Social Skills Class at HCMC Youth Employment Service and Vocational Training Center. He is the writer of several books, like, “Hanh Phuc & Khon Ngoan; Tien Van Tam-Nha Giao Duc…” Currently, he is taking Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) – Maryhill School of Theology.

God’s Vision

God’s Vision

«For man sees those things that are apparent, but the Lord beholds the heart»

(1st Samuel 16:7d)

 

Looking at the situations we are facing today where crises, challenges, difficulties are occupied, we often have a narrow-minded and superficial literal vision. This is what prevents us from recognizing God’s presence in all circumstances. This is reaffirmed by Saint Joseph Calasanz, who once said, «The religious! When you go across the city must remember that you are a religious, not painter». Indeed, to recognize God’s presence in all, we must have a holistic view of God’s love, not judgments based on what our physical eye sees. That is why we are called to live in the loving gaze of God in all circumstances. That means we need to recognize God even in the worst of our life’s adversities. It is the passport for all acts of love, and this allows for loving-kindness, sharing to be cultivated, and God’s love to be pervasive.

Let’s take a look at some cases in the Scripture to see how God’s vision changed the life of His people: Abraham be known as an old man in the eyes of people, but in God’s eyes, he is the father of the great nation, a blessing generation. Jacob, from now you shall be called Israel. In his brother’s eyes, Joseph is just the lord of dreams, but in God, he will be the lifesaver of the family and the nation. David, his father, looked at him as the shepherd boy, but God calls him a history maker.

In the eyes of God, we are blessed, and we convince ‘in God, we are the masterpiece.’ When we consider our names in God is peace, we will live our life for peace, masterpiece we will live for its perfection. The Lord Jesus called us friends, for, in him, we also inherit God’s kingdom. We must also keep going forward with the mission of love and share it with others. Here is the key if we believe that when God created us, he put a part of himself in us, he powered, he anointed, and crowned us with His favor. Don’t let the situations, the human vision tie us out of love. No matter what we were, if we live in God from now onward, look at things in love, God will always present in us.

Prayer: Lord, we are not asking you to put away of us the crisis, difficulties, challenge moments; but we ask you to use those situations to put us in where we were created to be, using us as your instrument of love now and then. Amen.

Br. Van Luc Tran Sch. P.

VAN LUC TRAN

VAN LUC TRAN

Piarist

Br. Tran Van Luc Sch. P. hails from the Archdiocese of Hanoi, Viet Nam. He is a Marketing graduate, joined the Piarist Fathers in 2014. He took Philosophy units at the Adamson University and Certificate for Practical Social Skills Class at HCMC Youth Employment Service and Vocational Training Center. He is the writer of several books, like, “Hanh Phuc & Khon Ngoan; Tien Van Tam-Nha Giao Duc…” Currently, he is taking Master of Arts in Theological Studies (MATS) – Maryhill School of Theology.