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Accompanying Jesus: In this valley of tears

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Sharing by H Anthony Chan

Having spent the majority of my career in science and technology, I am most thankful to God, who has entrusted us with talents to participate in God's work to continue to buildup the world and the society. The work of God in creating the world is continuing through our participation. Today, God has gifted human beings with advanced technology and civilization. This generation has far more material wealth than all our ancestors throughout the history. Yet people think they do not need God.

In our society that does not want God, we see that at home, nearly 50% marriages end in separation in advanced countries. In the work environment, the relationship between employer and employee is primarily not built on trust but based on worldly benefits. As more jobs have greatly improved in efficiency, more people are working longer hours.

Even in the Church, 80-90% Catholics in advanced countries do not practice.

The atomic bomb in 1945 in Hiroshima caused over 100 thousand deaths and many injured with lifelong suffering. The damage that kills innocent people so discriminately has awaken the people's conscience to realize how much evil can be caused when misusing the gift of science and technology from God.

What would we react if an enemy is dropping one such atomic bomb on us each day? Would the government and the whole world be in the state of utmost emergency? Yet, we are killing that many lives each day owing to the ignorance of abortion, and the world simply continue with life as usual.

In all the countries in southern Africa, an estimated 1/3 of the population have HIV, and it is already quickly spreading in China and India. HIV was originally transmitted through sex among gay, but have later transmitted to women, and to their children through pregnancy. In addition to the innocent mothers, there are many innocent children who have lost their parents through HIV and are born with the infection. The primary response from United Nation is however to distribute condoms to children in all schools!

Besides the physical deaths caused by people's ignorance and being stubborn to reject God, many more souls perishes every day, although many are unaware of the danger when evil is disguised in lies.

Our children are growing up in a world that has no room for Jesus. They promote the idolatry of life for worldly pleasure and have lost the sense of sin. Most people found it difficult to raise children, and it may continue to worsen one generation after another.

Many times in history when church is being tested, Eucharist came to rescue and strengthen the faithful.

In this gravely sinful world, so capable of destroying itself with its soul, the grace of Jesus in the Eucharist continues to flow.

St. Faustina saw that, "each time a person entered the chapel and visited Jesus exposed in a monstrance, His Divine Rays of Love and Mercy burst forth and encircle the whole world and everyone in it with graces and blessings!" Through Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Jesus unleashes His rays of healing upon us, our families and the whole world!

"Has there ever been a time in human history when we have needed God's Divine Mercy, love and guidance more?" Blessed Pope John Paul II confirmed that, "Anyone who prays to our Savior (in the Blessed Sacrament) draws the whole world with him and raises it to God . . . . Through adoration, the Christian mysteriously contributes to the radical transformation of the world"

Let each of us come to Jesus in the Eucharist to heal the world.

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Accompanying Jesus: Jesus loves you! Jesus has invited you! Could you come and adore Him?

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I am neither a theologian nor a clergy, but I firmly believe that Jesus is hidden in the Blessed Sacrament. Jesus loves me and He loves you, too. He is thirsting for our love. I have the following 10 reasons to motivate myself to organize perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in the parish (it's my ideal). Every single reason is strong enough to enable this great event take place :-

(1) "Could you not watch just one hour with Me?" (Mt. 26:40) God gives us 24 hrs, can you return just 1 hour to God? Jesus dies for us on the cross, are we willing to be with Him for 1 hour? If each of us would be willing to spend just 1 hour to keep Jesus company, then each hour is covered so that Jesus is never left alone. This will make Him happy. To implement perpetual Eucharistic Adoration in parish is my ideal. We may not be possible to do it every day but at least we can start doing it every week.

(2) Scripture says that Jesus was worried and prayed overnight (Mt 26:38). Between midnight to 6 a.m. are the most difficult hours to find parishioners accompany Jesus. Whoever is willing to take one of these difficult hours, will be blessed ten times as much for doing so because God cannot be outdone in generosity. When we are generous with God, He is ten times more generous with us.

(3) Jesus asked His disciples, "Will you also go away?" (Jn 6:67) Hope you can answer like Peter did, "Lord, to whom shall we go?" (Jn 6:68) Jesus is calling you in the Blessed Sacrament. Are you willing to stay for a while?

(4) "Come to Me all you who are weary and are burdened, and I will refresh you." (Mt 11:28) To express your love for Jesus is to adore Him in the Blessed Sacrament. If you are stressed in life, come close to Jesus, He can make you feel better.

(5) When you are scared, worried, lonely or upset, there's no better solution than to be with Jesus.

"Cast all your anxiety upon the Lord who cares for you." (1Pt. 5:7)

"Fear is useless. What is needed is trust." (Mk 5:36)

"My peace is my Gift to you." (Jn 14:17)

Just sit and relax and enjoy the sweet peace that come from simply being with the One who loves you the most. If you are deeply in love with someone, don't you want to be with him/her forever?

(6) "Let the children come to Me." (Lk 18:16) I hope parents can come with their children so as to obtain blessings from Jesus and facilitate their spiritual growth.

(7) "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive all glory, honour, and praise." (Rev 5:12) Adoration is saying"thank you"to Jesus. Without doubt, Jesus deserves our adoration. Each holy hour you make with Jesus draws the whole world and everybody in the world closer to Jesus. "If I am lifted up, I will draw all men to Myself." (Jn 12:32) Thus Pope John Paul II began perpetual adoration in his chapel at the Vatican on December 2nd 1981. His greatest prayer and desire for the whole Church was that every parish throughout the world establishes perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.

(8) A chapel of perpetual Eucharistic Adoration is an image of the outstretched arms and boundless mercy of the father in the parable of the Prodigal Son. It seems impossible to open the chapel for 24 hrs but if we are willingly to do so, with God, all things are possible. A parish should be a house of welcome to all. Where there is one or more of us in prayer at all times gives witness to the Real Presence of Jesus among us. "My house shall be called a house of prayer for all people." (Is 56:7)

(9) During the Eucharistic Adoration, we could pray the Holy Rosary. In this way we unite with the perfect love of Mary to make Jesus happy. You could also read the Bible or simply look up to Him and speak to Him heart to Heart. Jesus is our very best friend who dies for us. There is no love on earth greater than that. "I have loved you with an everlasting love, and constant is My affection for you." (Jer 31:3)

(10) When the Holy Spirit descending upon Jesus like a dove and a voice from Heaven saying, "This is My Beloved Son," (Mt 3 :17) Through perpetual Eucharistic Adoration, an unbroken chain of parishioners coming to be with Jesus tells the world that Jesus is truly here. This parish will be renewed because He fulfills His promise. "See I make all things new!" (Rev 21:5)

And so, brothers and sisters, can you think of the 11th reason? Let's adore Jesus together.

May God bless you!

"Do not be confirmed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God - what is good and acceptable and perfect." (Romans 12:2)

President of Legion of Mary, Chinese Catholic Mission, Montreal

March 8, 2008.

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Accompanying Jesus: How are you Jesus?

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Diary of adoration by Sally Choi

Date: March 17 2009

When I went to adoration this morning, the adoration chapel was being cleaned so that the Eucharist had been moved to a temporary room. An elderly and a priest were also there. This room is big and has windows all around so that we can see the trees and shrub outside. We also heard the birds singling and the children playing. I could not concentrate in prayer. I was so distracted that even Eucharist looks ordinary at that time. After the elderly left, only the priest and I were in the room, and I continued to say the rosary. Then a staff came to tell the priest that the adoration chapel had finished cleaning, and it was ready to move the Eucharist back to the chapel. The staff then left. Then the priest said to me, "Let us bring the Eucharist back to the chapel now."

As Father raised up the Eucharist in the Emporium and as I looked at Jesus, I wanted so much to go forward to greet him that I had even forgotten the formality to genuflect. So I spontaneously come forward right in front of Jesus. With both hands closed, I bowed and greeted, "How are you Jesus!" I had acted so naturally and my greeting was loud that Father laughed a little bit.

I then walked behind Father as he was holding Jesus. My mind was completely occupied that I could so closely encounter Jesus and followed him. This is the first time during adoration that I felt this way that I simply have to go forward to greet Jesus even in front of Father. Jesus is so real. He is really in front of me! Oh, Jesus is so dear and intimate. Jesus is so close to me and so warm!

We walked to the adoration chapel, and father placed Jesus back on to the altar. Then father asked me to sing a hymn with him, but I do not know the hymn in English. So I prayed, "Jesus please teach me. I do not know how to sing." As father began to sing slowly, I found that I was able to follow! It was wonderful. There were only the voices of father and me, and it was very sweet.

Father left afterwards after thanking me. So, only I remained there, looking deeply into Jesus in the Eucharist. Jesus had overwhelmed me. I cried and was very touched. I thanked Jesus granting me such a big favor - that I can go forward to greet You! I even desired to go up to the altar to embrace the Eucharist. Oh Jesus my Lord, I want to praise you. I want to thank you and love you for my entire life! Alleluia.

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Accompanying Jesus: A future Jesuit

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Sharing by Dennis Cho

Thanks for your prayer. Anthony Cho is my baby brother, the youngest of the 4 brothers. We call him baby (BB) in the family when he was little. This "BB" name calling got stuck in our mind that the family still call him "BB" at the age of 30. He is a gift to the family and to the church.

The youth group in the Transfiguration Church had an evening sharing/prayer. Over a hundred young people show up in the church sharing their special moments that were touched by Anthony. It was an eye opening event for me. I have heard a whole new chapter of Anthony that I don't know much about. This church is like his extended family. He tutored many young people in science, math and other subjects going way back when and even during the time when he was going through the chemo treatments. He is a dedicated altar boy. One of the girls thanked him for the altar service training. One time, after Anthony served two masses on a Sunday morning, this girl had an emergency and asked Anthony to replace her for the next mass. Anthony took a deep breath and picked up the cross serving the next mass just like that. The prayer, slide shows, singing and sharing started at 6pm and didn't finish until 9:30pm. Since Anthony is 30 year old by 12/8 this year, the youth group choose Palsm 30 for Anthony. They call Palsm 30 Anthony's Palsm. There were too many stories that I wish I had recorded them. To these young people, Anthony is their hero, teacher, a smart person who can figure out anything (magnum cumlaude at NYU), a basketball star, a person who can get a job well-done, a determined individual and a dedicated, responsible, and caring volunteer for the church.

He is a gift to the family. I would choose another word, obedience, to describe him. I don't remember an incidence when he objects to my request. During the time when his throat was damaged and couldn't swallow any food or liquid, Mom was sad that Anthony hasn't been eating for 2 weeks and asked him to drink an enriched drink. He hesitated but he did it anyway. It took him an enormous effort to swallow even the saliva. This one swallow took a toll on him. He knew the consequence but he obeyed.

During the past one and half year, he continues to spend lots of his time serving the church until he was readmitted to the hospital. When he stepped out of the apartment in June to be readmitted, he sighed for he knew that it was probably his last time stepping out this home. When I look at him at the hospital bed, the only other person that pops up in my mind who suffers so much is Christ. I checked the numerous needle holes in his arms. The nurses draw blood everyday making a new puncture and didn't use the pill line at Bellevue Hospital. After Anthony was transferred to SLOAN, the nurse continues to draw blood 4-5 times a day but luckily SLOAN knows how to use the pill line without making new needle holes on the arm. The purple blood stained in his arms and body as a result of pulling the pill line owing to infection and reinstalling the pill line again and again at different location of the body. Three times Christ fell during the way to the mountain to die. Three times Anthony was sent to the ICU on the verge of death. He couldn't make it out after the 3rd ICU trauma. Despite the situation, Anthony didn't mention a word about pain. He tried to show no sign of suffering because he knew if he showed it, the family and friends will feel bad. He continued to cheer people up asking how others are doing, cracked a joke, wrote emails and smiled. When the doctor conducted the liver biopsy, he didn't even make a sound. When asked how he felt, he said causally, "It feels like Christ being pierced through the heart." When I look at the cross, it reminds me of my sins that cause Christ's pain. Now, I have another way to fight sin. I just need to remember Anthony.

I also found out that he plans to purse Jesuit to become a priest. He thinks that Jesuit requires smart people with higher degree. His original plan was to pursue a doctor degree MD, spend a couple of years to work and buy an apartment for mom and dad before going to the Jesuit. He died on 7/31/08. Coincidentally, 7/31 is the day the church dedicated to Saint Ignatius of Loyola, the founder of Jesuit. I hope that Saint Ignatius of Loyola takes him on 7/31 to be a member of Jesuit in heaven completing Anthony's dream. The last writing he made on a piece of paper since he couldn't talk is on 7/28 4:45am " Thank you Mom, Dad, Bros, everyone. It's been a journey! God Bless!" Anthony believes that he has a blessed life. He has a good mom, dad, bros, friends and church. His life is blessed. If he is cured, he will continue to serve the church. Else, he is already very satisfied for what God has given him.

I am glad that he passed away peacefully. Every sacrament that could be provided in a Catholic way had been provided to Anthony. Numerous blessing was given to him. Many young people from the Transfiguration Church, 3 priests and 1 deacon and family were there at his last moment. The last heart beat happened when folks were singing a Hail Mary prayer in Latin ending with the word AMEN. The machine that kept track of the heart sounded the alarm at his last heart beat and ending the Hail Mary with AMEN. His impact to others goes beyond the family extending to many young people's life. The pastor had made a request to Anthony to look after the young people in the church. He will continue to make an impact until the day we re-unite. God bless, Dennis.

Epilogue by H Anthony Chan:

During a sharing on Eucharistic, a friend reminded me of the relationship between loving Jesus and loving other people in our daily life. Loving Jesus needs to bear fruit in loving our neighbors whereas loving neighbors enables us to better experience the love of Jesus as we come to adore Jesus in the Eucharist. It is therefore encouraging to have the above sharing of the life experience of one who so loves Jesus.

"Not only are we to receive and adore the Eucharist, we must live the Eucharist. We are to let the rays of mercy from the monstrance pass through us and go out through all the world." (Diary of St. Sister Faustina)

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Accompanying Jesus: A Lent Retreat sharing

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Sharing by Louisa and Anthony

Dear friends in prayer,

We would miss too much gifts if I merely consider Lent as an obligation to fast. Lent is a precious opportunity to experience the profound love of Jesus. In whatever suffering and darkness, Jesus accompanies us. As we understand how much Jesus loves us in willingly going through his most sorrowful passion, whatever happens in our life can turn into a joyful journey accompanying Jesus. Indeed, it is very sweet to accompany Jesus, and we can accompany Jesus not only during adoration or station of the cross but also in one's daily life.

A retreat we had to experience Jesus throughout the entire Lent season was in the year of Irene's birth. We have received so much love from Jesus that we had learned to love our life experiences to accompany Jesus.

Louisa was coordinating a jointed Lenten retreat for two parishes that year. The retreat did not take place although she had requested that the retreat could move forward as planned when she first regained conscious. Instead, we spent an unplanned retreat with the love and prayer support from many friends. In the mean time, many friends had prayed so intensely throughout the Lent season that they were also having their Lent retreat in their own daily life so that more souls can be touched and healed.

On the Ash Wednesday (2/13), we went to the hospital as Louisa started labor. Irene was born at 3AM the next morning, which happened to be the Eve of Chinese New Year in that year. Yet as we waited afterwards in the recovery room, the doctor came back to find that she had nonstop hemorrhage and had lost her blood clotting capability. She was rushed to the operation room else she would die right away. Yes it certainly did not sound good to have an operation while one had lost blood clotting capability. The doctor frankly told me the chance for past patients to survive was no more than one percent.

It was so sudden and fast that I worried whether Louisa could hold at least till she had the opportunity to receive the sacrament of the sick. So I prayed for this gift and asked for a Catholic priest, and this gift was granted. In addition, the priest said mass at a convent later in the morning and asked the entire convent of 80 religious to pray for her. I must say that it was quite touching because we were basically nobody in the church and yet the priest was asking a whole convent to pray for us.

I understood that I was entering into an important life experience. I asked the priest again so that I could have confession to prepare for that experience. Indeed, it was fitting to start this long retreat by first experiencing the love of Jesus through the sacrament of reconciliation.

Words had later quickly spread to many people whom had responded with plenty of prayers. A friend in the middle of preparing feast for the Chinese New Year at home had interrupted the preparation to first recite the rosary for 10 times. Another Chinese Catholic Community in the middle of a New Year party had also paused to pray.

Meanwhile, plenty of different specialists had been called to attend to Louisa. Each of them explained to me the procedure they were taking, and I must listen carefully and asked the right questions to make sure what they were doing really make good sense while trying whatever was possible within human capacity. Yet they admitted they could only do so much.

I found it difficult to know what to pray at that time. Yet I then began to experience such closeness with God in our prayers that I had never known before. I had prayed for the gift of the sacrament, and I thanked God for having granted her this gift. I knew I would be devastated on Earth without her. Yet if God wanted to take her to enter into the perfect love of God in heaven which we so much desire to enter in future, I asked God to allow me to see her at least one more time. Things had happened so sudden that we did not yet have opportunity to said goodbye. The doctor was very understandable and later gave me special permission to see her any time when the medical staff was not busy with her. I also prayed that Irene would not lose her mother, and a priest then came to visit us and offered her to our Heavenly Mother.

In the first 24 hours, Louisa continued to bleed while continuing to receive a large amount of blood transfusion. No medication could cure her blood clotting condition. She must recover on her own. Yes, Jesus continues to give us gifts, but if our soul is poisoned we will keep wasting these gifts. Jesus cannot enter into our soul when we shut our doors. We must respond to God's love.

I prayed that she could re-gain the blood clotting ability, and she managed to gradually re-gain this function afterwards. She had received a total of 114 liters, and was going to use up the blood in the hospital. Many friends and many people we did not even know had come to donate blood. We were thankful especially because the chance of survival from past experience was believed to be small even with transfusion. What if the patient couldn't survive after transfusion? The prayer was so real as if Jesus was telling me that he had willingly shed all his blood for me no matter what. So I prayed that I would not let Jesus shed his precious blood in vain for me.

The blood clotting disorder and the large amount of transfusion had triggered a long process as different parts of the body malfunction one after another. So what followed was a 10-day struggling process in the intensive care unit. The malfunctioning in each organ itself was a life-threatening condition. After one body function had managed to recover, the struggle in another body function followed. Through the process for each organ to malfunction, I prayed for gift of that organ for her, and she passed through the critical condition for each of these organs one at a time. At that time, we realized that each body function was so essential, although I seldom knew to thank the gifts of our body functions before. The malfunctioning of any one organ can lead to death. We also realize that problems in our spiritual health can be fatal too so that we need to guard each of our spiritual functions.

After that, she needed to re-learn all the basic human activities step by step, including how to breathe, how to eat, and how to move each part of the body. We were so thankful as she re-gained each of these basic functions. While recovering at home during Lent, we had to go to see each of the specialists for follow-up diagnosis and treatments. Each of them watched her with amazed eyes. Most of them had believed that even if she could survive, she would at least have permanent disorder but she didn't. Around Easter that year, she was able to walk freely so that we were able to thank our friends at the church and to witness the love of God.

My prayers during that Lent included thanking God for the gift of having Louisa as my best companion with whom we had grown in Faith together. If God allowed her to stay, I prayed that we could continue to serve God together in Earth. We thanked God that we had seen and heard many people praying intensely. We prayed that some hearts had been touched with this miracle of life, and we thanked God that some previously lukewarm souls had then prayed and had indeed rekindled their faith. We thanked God that in healing Louisa, some other souls had also been healed.

God's healing is so powerful that after she had fully recovered, we do not wish the prayers to stop. We wish prayers can continue so that other people may be healed, both physically and spiritually.

Louisa was on respirator at that time so that she could only receive the Eucharist spiritually each day. I recited to her the prayer that Jesus gave us his body and blood. It was just so real especially when she was going to bleed to death. It continued to be so real afterwards in numerous times during mass when Jesus speaks to me through the priest "This is My Body which will be given up for you!," and "This is My Blood which will be shed for you, so that sins may be forgiven."

We especially pray for you the gift to accompany Jesus and that we will not let this precious gift wasted. Thank you for coming to accompany Jesus.

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Accompanying Jesus: Prayers from a Lent Retreat

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Sharing by Louisa and Anthony

In the retreat which lasted over the entire Lent season and which we had shared in the April 2008 issue of Grapevine, we have received and keep receiving many gifts. Among them is the sweet companion with Jesus in the Eucharist.

I guess no one would prepare oneself with the sacrament of the sick before going to the hospital for a normal delivery. Yet when it was found later that Louisa had lost blood clotting function and had already lost about half of the body's blood, it became most urgent to find a priest to administer this sacrament. I was thankful for the gift of this sacrament which had prepared her with either the grace to enter into the perfect love of God or the grace that we may stay longer.

When I did not know yet where she would go, the time we had in the past was most thankful for. It had been a tremendous gift that Louisa and I had come into each other's life so that we can accompany each other in our journey to experience the love of God. I thank Jesus for so many daily gifts throughout many years we have journeyed together to share and witness the love of God.

What we have at present could only be a dream at that time. I was told that a patient normally cannot hold more than 24 hours without encountering organ failure. As she continued to bleed while receiving transfusion, Jesus having emptied all His Blood to reveal the love of God has become our strength.

When I take gifts for granted, the worldly desires would then occupy the soul, and an ungrateful heart can never be satisfied. It is through thankfulness that I realize the abundance of gifts. Being so much indebted with gifts, many other things do not matter any more, be it a delicious meal, an argument, or an ego.

I can never thank Jesus enough. I deserve nothing, but God continues to give us more and more. I do not know what else we can offer in return, but to live a meaningful life according to its purpose from God who is love. So if we are gifted with the opportunity to stay together again we pray that we may witness love together. Not only was I desperate for this opportunity, I also needed to pray for Irene that she, being new born at that time, would not lose her mother.

Louisa was subsequently able to pass through numerous medical conditions one at a time. Some conditions may be fatal. Others bear risks of permanent damage. As we need to thank for the gifts we have already received, it is most humbled having to pray for the next gift of healing in each new condition.

Having experienced the generous gift of blood from so many people and the gift of life, the experience with the Eucharist sacrament is never the same any more. Each time the priest consecrates the Eucharist, I am determined to respond to the love of the Body and Blood of Jesus, whose love will then overwhelm my soul so much that I sometimes cannot hold my tears.

At first, I felt embarrassing to cry during the Eucharistic celebration. I thought it might be rare so that I had kept this as a secret with my sweet Jesus. Yet how can one not breakdown as it is impossible for our physical body to hold so much love of Jesus? Now I understand that many people must have cried also. It is then not necessary to keep this secret, in order that we can share with each other the love of Jesus in the Eucharist.

A few weeks later when Louisa was undergoing therapy at home, we visited one specialist who did a blood test for her to check for hepatitis. The specialist had explained that one in about 10 people has hepatitis, which will pass to other people through transfusion. Louisa already had received transfusion from over 110 people in a system for which the screening process is not without fault. Yet we were speechless when the test results turned out all negative.

Prayer can longer be adequately expressed in words, especially each time when my most sweet Jesus humbles His Body and Blood to come to me. If I am ever distracted, I pray that I may hear nothing. It is like whatever happens around me does not matter any more, so that I may not let anything else to be in the way between Jesus and me.

The love of Jesus knows no bound. The only bound is perhaps in our determination and commitment. The more we respond to His intimate love, the more He invites us into the ocean of his love.

The communion with Jesus is just so sweet. I feel so sorry that love of Jesus is often not known by many of his own people. Whatever love I am capable of, I wish I can give to Jesus. My regret is the limitation in my weakness that I am only capable of this much love. My dear Jesus, the little thing my miserable soul can offer is only these drops of tears when your heart is being inflicted with so much ingratitude. The bare 5 minutes after the communion towards the end of the mass is just too short to give Jesus even just this much love. I later started a very small commitment to accompany Jesus at least one hour per month. (Please refer to the sharing of "Accompanying Jesus: Even for Busy People.")

My sweet Jesus hidden in the Eucharist, You have chosen to bear our pain. Your heart is so much consumed with the fire of love. It is not imaginable how painful to love the ungrateful souls. Knowing that your sacrifice is still in vain for so many souls who will chose only worldly desires had caused you so much pain in your agony in the Garden. Sharing only a very small bit of your pain is enough for me to cry to death. Yet you continue to bear this pain as you humble yourself in the Eucharist.

My dear Jesus, many friends do not know how to accompany You. You never turn down anyone. When one knocks it will be open. Please grant the grace to accompany you. Allow me to offer my love, if it may help just a tiny bit to comfort your wounded heart.

Dear Jesus, there will be no need to implore my friends to accompany You when You return in glory. At that time, many people will want to accompany You. Yet I pray that we do not wait till that time. I pray that we desire to accompany You now when the world is rejecting You.

Dear friends in prayer, the chapel will be open the whole day every first Saturday for adoration. Please sign up to spend at least one hour each month to accompany Jesus.

Thank you very much for accompanying Jesus.

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Accompanying Jesus: even for busy people

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Sharing by H Anthony Chan

Dear friends in prayer,

The gift to accompany Jesus is not just for the very pious people but is now for every Catholic. I am sharing with you that even I, with all my weaknesses, am able to receive this gift. Therefore everyone can, and you should be assured that you will be able to receive this gift too.

I could never spend an hour in silent prayer before the Eucharist myself and had not even dreamed of such possibility until I read the following witness written in 1995: .

The witness was about an 11-year old Chinese girl whose martyrdom for adoring Jesus had influenced Bishop Sheen to spend an hour every day out of his very busy life to adore Jesus.

Bishop Sheen became a very powerful preacher. He preaches over the radio in the mid 20th century. His listeners would cry, cold hearts would be kindled with fired, and sinners would repent.

After hearing the inspiration to such a saintly bishop, pardon me now to share the struggle in my weaknesses.

Since then, I would spend time with Jesus each time I give a witness. In addition, I know I need to make a commitment, but my life is so busy. With a family and a stressful job in a volatile job market, I could not even find time for house maintenance work and often do not have enough rest. Yet I did not want to spend my life just like that when I realize how abundant I have received from Jesus. So I decided to make a very low commitment to accompany Jesus only one hour per month. I am as weak as anyone else. I did not want make a commitment that I am too weak to keep. So I start with such a low commitment so that I have no excuse of not keeping it no matter how busy my life is. Any busy person can easily spend an hour on things not essential to our physical and spiritual health. I have managed to gradually increase the commitment afterwards, but only after a very long time that I had been drawn into the love of my dear Jesus.

Spending only an hour per month in something more important is indeed a doable start. Yet it has to be a commitment and a very important appointment with my dearest Jesus, rain or shine, with or without other appointment, and whether I am in town or traveling out of town. If other people invite me for something else, I need to try to change the appointment. In the event that I cannot change another appointment, I would make up at another hour on the weekend within a week.

The hour has to spend with the heart, the entire heart, with as much heart as a human being has received from God and can put forth before Him. As time went on, this appointment with Jesus is just so sweet. It initially requires determination and commitment which initially appears a sacrifice to me. Yet it is really a very insignificant sacrifice when I realize how much my dear Jesus has done for me. I then realize how much more sacrifice for my dear Jesus to wait for me to receive his abundant love. I never enjoy the long wait to meet a very busy person no matter how important he/she is. Yet I have made Jesus wait and wait in order for Him to bring the best gifts to me!

My dear Jesus knows how much I am in need of love. He suffers so much to see me toil in my busy life. He desires so much to give me true light, love and strength that I am in desperate need. Yet my almighty King cannot until I turn to Him. He desires so much to give himself to me, but He had to keep waiting and waiting and had to suffer so much each time I turn away and fall into prey of my weakness.

Because of numerous weaknesses, it does take time to learn how to accompany Jesus. For most friends that I know, it is indeed very difficult to accompany Jesus when we apparently cannot see or feel anything. Meanwhile, it is necessary to really keep the appointment even when we sometimes do not know what to do in that long hour. I also suggest that we support each other with prayers and to share with each other the struggles that we are going through.

In my struggle in front of a blank Eucharist with all glory hidden, I sometimes try to meditate accompanying my dear Jesus as he humble himself to share our humanity that he himself is sometimes in need our companion. It is so intimate to accompany Jesus for an hour to pray at the garden of Gethsemane. It is so touching to sit at the dining table with Jesus as he breaks the bread to give Himself to us. There, with St. John, lean your head again his chest and feel his sacred Heart opened for us. It is most privileged to stand for an hour with Our Mother next to the cross while he is crucified.

Let us accompany Jesus now when He is being despised, bruised, and insulted by the world.

We encourage everyone to sign up for only once a month to accompany Jesus.

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Accompanying Jesus: Mother, may I borrow your Immaculate Heart?

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Sharing by H Anthony Chan

My dear Jesus, how fortunate I am to be able to accompany you. As I come forth to accompany Jesus truly present in the Eucharist, please let me also stand by the cross of Jesus. Now, standing by the cross of Jesus are his mother (John 19:25) and me. I do know what to say to my dear Jesus, who died for me while I am still sinner (Roman 5:8). Oh my soul, why then am I still unable to avoid sin? As long as a contrite heart is what will comfort Jesus, let me make time to regularly receive your love through the sacrament of confession. Just please don't let my weaknesses stand in the way between Jesus and me.

Mother, I do not know how to love Jesus, but your love gives Jesus the best comfort. Please let me stand with you by the cross. Your heart bears so much pain as you stand here. Mother may I borrow your heart, which is pierced by a sword. Help me understand the passion of Jesus with a sorrowful heart!

My dear Jesus, see how You are bruised, derided, and insulted. The Eucharist, the Body of Christ, is the scourged Holy Body that Pilate showed to people who responded "crucify him!" Too many people today want to get rid of Jesus in their life; the world today continues to put Jesus to death.

My dear Lord and my God, your infinite glory is beyond human imagination. My naked eyes are unable to look directly at your shining sun. Yet you have hidden your glory in the Eucharist so that I can look at you. I can never glorify you enough in my life. As the world is insulting you at this moment, please accept whatever I can possibly offer from my small heart. Your Sacred Heart have taken too many insults. How can I possibly give to You enough comfort with my little heart? Dear Blessed Mother, please let me borrow your heart which praises the Lord with Magnificat, so that I may give to Jesus more praises that I possibly can by myself.

Dear Jesus, immersing in your love is what my soul yearns for. Whatever is happening now in this world does not matter. Whether the Earth turns or not also does not matter. Let nothing from this world bother me. Let no worldly thoughts enter my heart. Only Jesus alone do I see and listen to, in the Eucharist. There are no other desires, no other thoughts, no other sound. At this moment, there is only Jesus and me.

My dear Jesus truly present in the Eucharist, your love is far beyond human capacity. You have humbled yourself in the Eucharist so that I may experience so much of your love with faith. You have come to your own people who do not know you; the world does not have room for you. You are bringing to us the most precious gifts but the hearts of so many people have closed their doors on you. People of this world are too busy with plenty of other priorities. How humiliated that you continue to wait outside the closed doors of ungrateful hearts. I can never thank you enough in all of my life, but at this moment, please allow me to pour out whatever love I have from my little heart.

Dear Jesus and my all, as You are burning with the fire of love, how can I possibly offer enough love to quench Your thirst? How can I possibly give you enough love with my little heart?

Dear Blessed Mother, help me love Jesus with all my heart, all my soul, all my desire, and all my strength. Oh dear Mother, please do not look at my unworthiness. Look instead at dear Jesus the sacrifice of love, so much humiliated and insulted. Please let me borrow your heart of love which stands by the cross of Jesus to share his passion, so that I may follow you to give to Jesus more love, more comfort, and more thankfulness that I am so much in debt of!

Dear friends in prayer, please come to beg with me to borrow the Immaculate Heart to accompany Jesus.

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Accompanying Jesus during a Trip

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Sharing by H Anthony Chan

I am used to daily mass, but when traveling it is not always straightforward to find a church with early morning mass before the daily work and to figure out how to get there. I am thankful that I was able to attend mass each day I was in Singapore. I am also thankful to the brothers and sisters there who would be going to meet me in the hotel early on Saturday morning to bring me to a church near the hotel and also to take me to their church for Sunday mass and a sharing on adoration in the afternoon in Mandarin. I even came to know that most churches in Singapore have a beautiful adoration chapel, and many have daily adoration. The graces of Jesus is so abundant. The small discomfort encountered earlier no longer matters because He has given so much. He continues to grant these graces even in seemingly impossible conditions and in despite of my weaknesses. As I recall the wonders and graces from Jesus this week, I can no longer hold my thankfulness but be overcome with tears to see face to face and to unite with Jesus in each mass there.

I had a week of meeting in Singapore. I was taking flights to leave Dallas on Thursday morning and to connect twice to arrive on Friday midnight. After spending the first night in the second leg, we were scheduled to stop over Tokyo on Friday afternoon. It was 30 minutes towards landing there when earthquake occurred in Japan so that we had to spend an additional night inside the plane. During that time, the plane had detoured to refuel and to park elsewhere but the ground facilities were limited during such emergency in the country. The food supply and water were not prepared for that long, and half of the toilets had broken down later. We were strained inside that plane in this leg alone for 31 hours, during which I was also troubled with eczyma. I had eczyma for many years, and it had deteriated so much in recent years that it had affected many parts of the body. I understand that eczyma is nothing but only reminds me of Jesus scouged and afflicted so much that nowhere can unharmed skin be found. With eczyma, scratching can only worsen it so that the difficulty is to deal with the the urge to scratch when feeling itchy. With much use of medication, I still need the strength to overcome this urge in prayer. As I am reminded that there are many temptations that have caused many souls to fall, I realized that I can offer such small discomfort to Jesus as I pray for souls who may fall into prey of the worldly temptations. Although it seems I cannot do anything physically when being strained, I understand that in prayer I am actually working as I join the spiritual war against evil.

Communication was paralyzed throughout the country at that time that I was unable to communicate with Singapore. So it caused the brother to come to the hotel to look for me not realizing I was still strained in Tokyo.

The plane had finally landed in the Narita Airport before noon on Saturday. Yet we found that the airport floor was the only place to spend yet another night when many flights were canceled and no hotels are available. The only thing the airline company can do is to rebook for their own future flights. Their next flight to Singapore will only leave on Sunday evening. It became apparent that I would not be able to meet the Chinese church in Singapore on Sunday. Meanwhile, the Airline had helped me to call the church in Singapore to tell them about the delay. It was then necessary to cancel the sharing on Sunday afternoon.

I did not give up, and I ask Jesus to make it happen if that is His will.

A friend also connecting to the same flight as mine from Tokyo Narita to Singapore had landed in Tokyo before the Earthquake. He was in the airport when the whole building shaked, things fell, and people screamed. He had already spent the Friday night inside the airport but could scarcely sleep owing to numerous smaller aftershocks throughout the night and earlier building evacuations. He had already spent the whole morning on Saturday talking in vain to the Airline to seek help to re-route or to find a hotel.

The Airline company don't have any alternative routes, and does not contact other airline companies to seek other options to route the passengers.

We decided to do the searching on our own, and ran back and forth to different airline counters to ask flight information and availability. My friend finally found one other airline company with seats available to leave on Saturday night. Yet the local airline staff are not authorized to change the ticket for us. My friend used his cell phone to call the airline headquarter in USA while I was praying. He talked for a very long time but the customer support insisted that natural disasters are not their responsibility. He changed from talking to yelling until he was able to speak to a manager.

After spending 2 hours with his cell phone, they did re-ticket us for the Saturday evening flight to Singapore. I checked in the hotel at 3:30AM on Sunday. The church members came to the hotel to meet me at 9:30AM that morning. After having already called people on Saturday to inform them about cancellation of the Sunday afternoon sharing, they decided to call some people again on Sunday morning. It was not easy because the Chinese masses in most churches started early at around 8AM. It was too late to make sunday announcement and many people live quite far away. They realized that many people could not be reached in such a short notice, but they still tried.

I thank the spirituality team of the Commission for the Apostolate of Mandarin Speaking for hosting. I had caused them a lot of trouble, and I pray that Jesus reward them abundantly with even more graces to accompany Jesus. With their help, I was also able to participate in the Stations of the Cross event in Singapore attended by nearly 500 people. I did not forget the Cantonese Catholic there. I was leaving early Friday morning, and with the busy work and meeting, the only time I had left is Thursday evening. Being a weekday evening and with the long commuting time for most people, it is not convenient to meet the Cantonese Catholics. Yet they managed to find a meeting room in the church, and managed to set up the projector in the last minute.

A week later, my return flight makes stop over Tokyo again. The flight time is long, but at least half of the time can be spent in prayer, meditation, and rest. The discomfort in the long flight is really nothing compared with what the earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear reactor leakage victims are going through. Many of them have lost everything. As we pray for these victims, we may also pray for other souls who are putting all their trust and hope in worldly treasures but can lose all of them overnight. They can be as poor as the tsunami victims. Everyone will lose everything anyway in this world when we leave. Only love is eternal, and Jesus is love. It is so sweet to accompany Jesus truly present in the Eucharist. In the long flight, I cannot attend mass but I thank Jesus because I can still receive Jesus spiritually to immerse in His love. As I accompany my dear Jesus spiritually, my soul hungers more to physically accompany Jesus present in the Eucharist.

For the next week, my legs were hurting from the lack of circulation on the plane, and my voice was also affected probably owing to the long flight time. However, I am so thankful that my legs and voice were normal when I did need to use them in Singapore.

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Accompanying Jesus: as an intimate friend

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Sharing by Winnie Lim, January 18 2010

At this morning mass I have entered a "NEW" relationship with Jesus through the Blessed Sacrament.

I remembered hearing about adoring the Eucharist as the real presence of Jesus and that we should remain in prayers after receiving the Holy Communion. I followed the advice. I received Him with a joyful heart and with great love and expectations like that of St .Therese. Then I stayed behind in deep prayer, giving him thanks and praise. I simply said," Jesus, I am so glad to be with you. I am so happy you are here!"

At that moment, my perception changed. I began to have tears in my eyes. I realized that I have actually talked to Jesus like a friend, as if engaging in a human conversation. I had never known how to talk to Jesus because I had used to address Jesus primarily with His majestic titles which seem far beyond my reach. But now I know I can approach him, like a dear friend.

Today He responded to me with an analogy about prayers. He said every prayer we utter hit heavens like an atomic bomb. Even if it is a small whisper, it reaches Him loud and clear. It is a message I can bring home to my children and that they can pray without a doubt in their heart.

Now I truly understand the intention of God giving his people the Sacrament of the Holy Communion. It is because we as human being, in our limited capacity, may not comprehend the mystery of God. The body of Christ, then, is the most tangible evidence of God. In every mass, I can unite with Him and be very close to Him.

What a beautiful gift it is from God. I cannot wait till the next communion to receive Christ and to be in union with Him again.

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