Blessings and Consolations On The Journey of Life

Good Shepherd (Vocation) Sunday 
May 7, 2017

This time last year, I was on a little break of sorts for a couple of months, to be renewed and refreshed (see previous post). Since I returned to the convent and active ministry in early July, so much has happened within a span of ten months.  As I spent some quiet moments with the Divine Master this evening, my heart was full, full of gratitude for the love of God. As I reflected on the blessings of the day, I realized that today was a good summary of the past months, which have been filled with blessing after blessing from our good and gracious God! Through the gift of friendship, God continues to shower his love upon me personally and my community, and at times, even surprising me with graces beyond my imagination.

Today, the Church of the Divine Mercy in Pasir Ris held a food and fun fair in aid of the building funds of the Cenacle Sisters and the Daughters of St Paul. All the proceeds will go towards the new convents of both our congregations. The parish priest Fr Johnson Fernandez is a dear friend and he initiated this gracious gesture. He was not only my boss when I worked with the Catholic News more than a decade ago but has also been my home parish priest. His kindness and generous support and that of the assistant priest, Fr Terence Kesavan, and all the parishioners (who worked so hard for this fair) was for me a beautiful reflection of God’s abundant love and kindness to us. God acted through Fr Johnson and this wonderful parish community to pour out his love for us.


And this is not just a one off event. Since I returned in July last year, we had a joint CRMS (Conference of the Religious Major Superiors) collaboration with the parish of St Ignatius for a feast day carnival, with proceeds also going towards our building fund. This project of solidarity was thanks to all the religious orders, especially the Religious of the Good Shepherd headed by Sr Joan Lopez, RGS and the parish priest of St Ignatius, Fr Chris Soh, SJ who are also both wonderful friends in the Lord.

A month later, in August, we launched our cookbook, Taste of Heaven, at a fundraising gala dinner held at the Sheraton Hotel. This time it was also through the connection of a friend of a friend that led to the event and venue being fully sponsored.

Fast forward to a few months later and in February, we held our maiden charity golf tournament, and again, it was through good friends who helped organize and pull off the whole event.


Isn’t this all pretty amazing?!! But that’s how amazing and awesome our loving God is!

On a personal level, I too have been blessed with grace upon grace in so many areas. The love of close friends and the gift of their friendship have also been beautiful reflections of God’s personal love for me.  Of special significance too is the precious gift of family and relatives. Celebrating my mother’s 85th birthday this year was in itself a rare and treasured gift, and to pull it off in a surprise party with the collaboration of friends and family was a little joyous miracle all on its own.


Mom's beautiful birthday cake (it's the kebaya) was specially made by Amanda Wong, the daughter of one of my best friends.
In anticipation of my 50th(!) birthday this year, a loving cousin also treated me to an advance birthday gift, which was way beyond my dream of an island paradise holiday! There are already hints that the good Lord has more in store for me this year, and I can only say, indeed, He is an awesome, loving God of surprises!



One of the greatest consolations on my life's journey is to have a circle of close friends
who are a source of solace in good times and in bad.



All this made me reflect on the gift of my vocation (today also being Vocation Sunday) and how God continues to bless those with a hundredfold, surpassing our imagination and dreams, when we say YES to Him, and surrender to his will in our lives (as painful as that can be at times!). The road is not always smooth. There have been some pretty rocky sections in the past months that have made the journey rather difficult and arduous. And even now, it can still be pretty bumpy. Yet, these moments of grace to look back on, and the loving friends and delightful friendships God has gifted my life with, are pure consolations to ease and smoothen the journey, and they both inspire and encourage me to continue to say with love, “Here I am Lord, I come to do your will.”


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PS: These words of advice from St Paul in Romans 12:12 (beautifully hand lettered by a Spirit filled Sister and cherished friend), framed and hung in my room today, are also a source of inspiration and a constant reminder that I am not alone on the journey. Our father St Paul, and our patron saint, is mentoring me all the way.

PPS (9 May 2017): After reading this blog entry, a close friend who knows well my journey of over a decade (with its crises of varied levels!) messaged me to say that as she digested what I shared, she felt happy for me. She saw God's faithfulness and my openness leading me to this point of my journey, and for her, underlying all my gratitude was an inner peace and joy - which she saw as a beautiful 50th birthday gift from God to me. WOW! Funnily enough that was my prayer last year at Fatima! So perhaps what she said has some truth. I do hope it is true!😊 And as we approach the centenary anniversary of the apparitions at Fatima in a few days time, I recommend each of you reading this to our blessed Mother's loving prayers -  to grow in peace and joy in the Lord and be instruments of His peace too!