JOURNAL / NEWS (continue)


December 8, 2011  Happy solemnity of Our Lady’s Immaculate Conception!

“… she was uniquely endowed with such grace by God that from the beginning of her life she enjoyed God’s favor in a measure that no other human person has known. So fully did she belong to her Creator from the beginning, that, unlike the rest of us, she was never drawn aside from Him by any interior attraction. The many trials and sufferings she experienced did not arise from any disordered impulses of her nature but came to her from the outside. This unique privilege derived from what came to be called her Immaculate Conception.” – Taken from Rev. Father John Eudes’ homily


Finally, I had a little time and some sunshine (two hours) to complete the 4th layer of paint of Blessed Mother - Our Intercessor icon this afternoon. Praise the Lord!

I took advantage of not being able to write the icon due to lacking of sunlight a few days ago to gesso.  It took more than six hours for me to complete the two large panels with great patience and pain.  Now the panels are complete but I still have to sand them down.  These two panels will be for another set of the same icons: Our Lady and St. John the Baptist.  Icons are quite costly in all aspect!  Thank You Lord for I am able to work hard and improvise.  Spencer shared with me a tube of arthritis lotion today for my hand hurt quite bad last week from adding 16 layers of gesso in 6 hours straight with a one inch brush!!!  I encountered a couple of people who are suffering greatly.  I promised to offer my pain up for them.

Oh dear Mother, please intercede for us, for me.  Thank you.

November 27, 2011  Happy first Sunday of Advent !!!!

… When thou shall come O lord …

Let’s pray for a joyous and grace-filled Advent season to all mankind who never experience fully true happiness and peace without the realization that God is in us, and therefore will respond generously to His grace.  Amen.

On the feast of our dear St. Gertrude of Helfta, November 16, 2011 (Rev. Father gave the homily that day) New Helfta’s spiritual father blessed the modified drawing of Our Lady of the Intercessor.  I asked St. Gertrude to intercede for me while I write this icon of the Mother of God who is constantly praying for her “poor banished children of Eve”.  I began to work on the icon.  On the feast of the Our Lady Queen of Peace, after about 8 hours of intense work of penance which was offered up for those in need, her holy and queenly halo was complete.  While waiting for the clay layers to dry, I also did some yard work.  All together, my body experienced some serious severe pain.  Instead of praying while writing the icon, I did my penance in stead which I willed and was happy to do.  I guess when I grow more in faith and love for God as I get older, and then I will not have to suffer as much in body but will find more peace and unity in prayer with Him in spirit.  There is a time for everything.  Knowing Him, He will let me know when the time is right.

I had two days off this week so spent a lot of time writing the icon.  I made a lot of progress.  I pray and hope to have it done by January 1, 2012, on the Feast of the Mother of God and also my 4th Anniversary of Solemn Vow.  I will try to up load some pictures and will have a link for this icon soon.

Let’s stay united in prayer, peace and joy as we wait for the New Born Savior to arrive in Spirit and Love.    


Bishop Clark, Minh and Ena

November 1-2, 2011  Happy feast of All Saints and All Souls!!!

Cathy and Ron Paprocki, the donors

The private unveiling and the public blessing of the new icon of Our Lady of Meliora went well and beautifully.  At the unveiling, I was happy to meet the donors, Cathy and Ron Paprocki. They are beautiful people….  It was also a privilege for me to have a face to face conversation with Bishop Clark.  I was invited to some special events when he was present also but we never really met.  The last time I recall shaking his hand and making a promise to pray for the Bishop was a few weeks before my baptism in April 1998. Anyhow, Most Reverend Father seemed to like the icon very much and asked me to give a short speech. I am grateful for the opportunity to emphasize what our special gathering was about: thanking and praising God for another beautiful and sacred gift to the Church.

The blessing of the icon was very moving and personal for me.  It was blessed before the celebration of the Eucharist and the chapel was packed with students and alumni who came back to the university for the Meliora weekend.  I thank God for all and continue to ask for his blessing through this icon.  Thank you dear Blessed Mother!

Ms. Bernardette and Minh Thank you very much for your holy prayer concerning our trip to visit Ms. Bernadette.  Our trip ended up to be 8 hour driving one-way instead of 5 as I thought...  (After calling 911 for help, it took 3 hours for the emergency crew to drive her to the Adirondacks hospital which locates in Lake Placid, NY)  So we made the trip in 19 hours safe and sound in one day!   Praise the Lord!  I thought I was daring, but my Protestant friend Becky was more than I am.  God loves her!

The Lord is merciful and love.  The miracle is that Ms. Bernadette, who has been suffering all her life now will be moved to a nursing home in her home town where her parents were buried, and she will be too when she is ready to go see the Lord.

Here is a picture of Ms. Bernadette and me.  I am still recovering from the trip.  Poor Becky!  She drove all the way, except for the 15 minutes she needed to rest after about 13 hours driving.

 

Thank you all for your prayer.

 

United in prayer and in God's loving mercy - Minh

September 28, 2011  Here I am.  The Lord sure allowed some unpleasant things to happen to slow down my soul so I am able to update Our Lady of New Helfta News and Journal page.  

I have so much to share but the more I experience life in a broader scale and feel the pains of others, the less I want to talk and write because it is better to contemplate on the mystery of God than to constantly complain and question.  Only when we go deep and pierce through the depth of our being where the Lord awaits us, we realize that the journey home has just begun; otherwise, sooner or later, life becomes bored and limited.

 

I am staying quite busy these days, especially writing icons.  Many are due before Oct. 14 when the private unveiling for the U of R icon (in progress) will be.  Please pray for a special intention. 

And this is a desperate prayer request for a rescue mission of a lonely, poor, and suffering elderly woman. Thank you very much.

    

Dear Fathers, Mothers, brothers and sisters in the merciful Lord,

I am asking for your holy prayer for special intentions and for those who are involved, especially my dear saintly friend Becky and her husband as well as the whole family.

Ms. Bernadette (the 80 year old woman with no relatives who is suffering with all sort of trials from St. Regis Falls, NY) followed up on the information given by friends and called to the places (where I have visited and thought she might be eligible) and got some discouraging and cold responses from them.  It is sad because what it boils down to is: like so many others, she is too poor to be accepted by these places and since she is alone that does not help.

This is when my saintly friend Becky comes in.  Praise God for such a loving soul!  After a long frustrating and discouraging conversion with me, Ms. Bernadette felt very sad and helpless.  I had to talk to my faith-filled friend Becky a mother of 3 teens about it (Becky responded to the prayer request and has been in touch with Ms. Bernadette)  To make the story short, Becky and I have decided that we are driving to St. Regis Falls in about 2 weeks to visit Ms. Bernadette (5hour drive).  We want to see what the situation really is like, and if we hear the voice of God calling us to act upon it, we will move her who has been so ready to go.  Becky is taking to her family to see whether Ms. B. can stay with them until we find a place that is good for her.  Please pray for this intention.  Thank you.   

Knowing Becky and her husband, even though they are not perfect Christians just like all of us, they have the strongest faith among all I know!  They did have prisoners staying with them through their transformation stages (asking them by a priest).  Now they will have room for Ms. B.  May God give them all the graces they need to help Ms. Bernadette.  Their living faith and love really move me and at the same time ashamed me for my lacking of them!  I pray for the grace to be able help as much as I can with this whole ordeal for God's love.  May the Lord reward Becky and her family for being such an example of love they are giving to us and for trying to rescue a poor soul!  AMen.

 

We cannot help everyone, but trying one at the time, we can experience God's awesome and unconditional love for every single soul, especially those who are totally stranger to us but not so stranger in Christ!   Gratefully in the Lord,  Minh


May you have a blessed fall! Amen.

July 24, 2011 Thank God for the beautiful and overflowing rain we had last night.

We really do not know how much we depend on God's love and generosity until we realize that the world is in big trouble once we do not have the most basic but essential needs to survive.  We take all these free graces for granted such as water, air, wind, plants, animals, etc. Forget about wealth and fame, as the tsunami in Japan recently again helped open our eyes to God's power.  "Man is merely a breath… What is man that you care for him", Lord! 

 

He gave generously to ALL unconditionally.  While watering the garden during the draught, I told the grass and the trees that only God can have the capacity to care for all, and I am sorry for neglecting them who were so thirsty.

 

St. Gertrude of Helfta reminded me yesterday that at one time, her region faced the same problem, and she begged the Lord for a more comfortable and favorable weather.  The Lord told her that it is good for people who do not appreciate what they have and take them for granted to recognize Him and ask for them.  The saint then was at peace understanding that God allowed things to happen to help convert those who are more in need of God and his merciful love. 

 

Driving home from the city yesterday, I spoke to the corn fields saying how much we needed water and together we prayed to God.  I also got disappointed when I looked at the 5 day forecast last night.  I did complain to the Lord but with hope, like St. Gertrude, that the world will learn to pay more attention to GOD, instead of technology and things that are just to fulfill one's temporary needs and great comfort which do not last. 

 

God finally gave rain to us.  My friends and I reminded each other of God's almighty power and love yesterday.  Prayer is miraculous!!!  The Lord finally answered our ardent prayer for a good rain fall on behalf of all, including animals and plants!  It rained very hard and long during the night that woke me up, when the weather forecast did not even mention it!  I was so happy praising God then and even in my sleep. 

 

Together let's praise and thank God for all the basic needs we receive so freely.  Can you imagine if some one who is awful enough, with the advanced technology, tries to control the air we breathe in?

 

Together we pray for the world acknowledgement of God and his power and love, especially we pray for those who were in the tragic incidents in Norway!

 

With all the animals and plants, we praise the Lord!!!

_____________

I am back after a few months not updating the News as often as I used to.  I apologize.  Everything has been going well.  Since there are so many graces to catch, I am so preoccupied with everything.  The more He loves and gives, the more He asks of us for sure.  I will try to take time to keep you posted as well as I am able to.  At the presence, I have been getting back to writing icons.  Praise the Lord and thank you all for your prayer.  Thank you St. Therese whose icon helped bring back my confidence and patience. To see the progress on the U of R icon project, please go to www.newmanmarianicon.com.  I probably will share the reflect about it on a separate page on New Helfta site.

Hope you are well and know that I am offering up all the graces I receive during the time I write these icons of Our Lady for you and your prayer intention.  Please pray for me.  Thank you.


March 26, 2011 We finally got the 2 links ready for the web ( http://www.ourladyofnewhelfta.com/Mchildren/  Marian Children Scholarships and http://www.ourladyofnewhelfta.com/Mchildren/URschedule.php  U of R Marian Icon schedule ).  That was a lot of work.  We thank those who prayed and gave helpful suggestions and advice, especially Rev. Father John Eudes, Karen Petote and Ena Gill.  We thank Benjamin Gigliotti also for his faith and perseverance...  

Dear Blessed Mother, we hope your Marian children will receive the grace to know how loved and blessed they are… . One of the signs is that they have souls volunteering to work so hard on their behalf!

March 13, 2011  To all my Fathers, teachers, brothers and sisters in the Lord and our Lady,

 

A faithful and devoted Catholic and his family would like to donate an icon of our Lady to the movable Marian shrine of the University of Rochester

With the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I am going to work with the University Newman students, intensively several weekends (either on Saturday or Sunday) in March and April to come up with an image and name for our international Blessed Mother.  We will walk this Marian journey together to experience how to be like her who is in total union with the Holy Trinity by way of spiritual sharing from our family tradition and every day life experiences.  I will discuss the spiritual steps and theology of writing an icon with some demonstrations.  When it is appropriate, I will also let the students have a hands-on experience by participating in a couple steps as I write the icon of our Lady.    

 

After a few meetings with the committee and Fr. Brian Cool, the university Chaplin and with his blessing, we are extending our invitation of this Marian spiritual walk through an icon of our International Mother to all, especially those who are interested and willing to make it to some or all of our weekly gatherings.  While the students are main participants, others are there to encourage, support and sometimes may join in when we share our faith.  Ben Gigliotti is entrusted by Fr. Cool will work closely with me and will be in charge of building a web site and updating it so people can walk the journey and pray with us through the cyberspace as well. 

 

If you are interested and are inspired by love to join us on this Lenten spiritual walk with our Lady, send me an email.  Once we have everything scheduled (date/time/topic), either I or a member of the committee will stay in touch to inform you.  Please pass this on to others/your parish who may be interested in participating and praying for us. THANK YOU.

 

Also, I am invited to have an icon display at the Sacred Heart Cathedral and to give my spiritual talk: A Soul's Journey with God on March 28, 2011 at 6:30pm.

 

With God's help and our Lady's assistance, I pray that all who are involved will experience a special grace to know our Lady more intimately for she will bring us all together closer to her Beloved Son, the Lover of our souls.  He died loving us and for the salvation of all mankind.  These days, I do more praying and trying to listen and to stay attentive with the eye and the ear of my heart where the Beloved Lord abides.  Please keep us all in prayer.  THANK YOU.

 

I thank you so much for your prayer for my going back to writing icon.  I missed it but knew there is a time for everything so was at peace.  After two years, it looks like the Lord wants me to get back to doing icons now and more. 

 

Have a blessed and fruitful Lenten season!

 

In his Sacred and her Immaculate Hearts,

 

Your sister in Christ,

Minh

February 14, 2011   For the last few months, I have been going in and out of hospitals and nursing homes to visit the sick and elderly friends.  I have witnessed suffering and heard so much about it as well as hope.  The experiences have taught me a lot about life and helped me look at it from a different angle.  They help me stay focused on what really is important and necessary in this life according to the teaching of the Lord.  I feel so matured all of the sudden as I often converse with these people who have walked the life for many years.  The oldest person I know is 95 years old! 

 

Also, by the grace of God, I have got to know Ms. Boyer, an eighty year-old woman who is bound on a wheelchair and lives by herself  in an assisted-living home out of now where in the Adirondacks.  She has no relatives and is waiting to go home with the Lord.  She is suffering very much in body, but has the most bright and cheerful spirit.  She never complains but rather shares her cross with me in an accepting way and with great faith.  I cannot help but be patient and grateful to stay a long time on the phone with her when we talk for I know she finds joy and consolation in our conversation because she is able to share her wisdom and faith with me.  She sure is carrying her cross gracefully.  Please help me pray for her special intention and for the mercy of God for her.  Thank you.

 

I am working on painting a crucifix.  This will be my third, after the Geneseo and Abbey Crucifixes.  For the love and the glory of God, may I be inspired to unite myself in the love and the suffering of the Lord on the cross with these friends who are ever close and look forward to entering the gate of heaven that is promised to us, those who seek to love and be with him for eternity.  Amen.


January 11, 2011 “My vocation is love”
I could not agree with her more.  Love is everyone’s vocation because God is love, and because of love, everything was created and sustained by Him.  Sadly, not all of us recognize this truth.  Therefore, we do not accept and strive to live our calling to love.  Because of the original sin, many of us tend to be self-centered and want to be in control of our life the only way we know how according to the flesh.  We then aim for something less than what we are called to do and to be: love.  As St. Paul pointed out that no matter what gift(s) we have, if we do not love, we have nothing. 

 

Now that I am reminded my vocation is love, what I am to do to love? It is a learning and growing process (right, Rev. Father?) that I must go through with humility and faith in God as I walk the journey together with my brothers and sisters.  St. Therese talked about her dealing with other Carmelites, and how she always accepted the cross gladly without the sisters knowing it.  It sure was a great grace for her, but how about the other sisters’ sanctity?   For me, because of who I am, and how I am made, I believe that at times, it is more charitable to either explain myself or question the other’ motives when the situation looks as if we need to reevaluate the accusation of one and the action of the other.  I think that sometimes, staying silent and accepting to be misunderstood are easier than speaking out the truth.  I believe the conversion of many souls is better than one’s holiness alone.  The Lord deigned to become a human and died not for some but for all mankind.

 

St. Therese shared her difficult experiences in dealing with the novices.  I shared mine with her in my dealing with some members of our group, especially the ones who have left.  I am sure it is the same for everyone who is in charge of training and guiding others who are new at the rules and norms of a particular group.  In a spiritual group, Rev. Father shared with me that while some would like to join because they want to seek and love God, others are attracted to a group for other reasons.  And while those who have the right intention, they are neither ready to go deep into their soul nor desire to learn how to love others as their spiritual brothers and sisters the way God asks of them;  Therefore, many do not persevere.  When one loves, she seeks to do good for the beloved.  She does not demand to be loved by others.  For those who are in need, usually tend to seek for attention and are demanding of others rather than being selfless and work for the good of all.  We continue to keep these former members in prayer and be friendly with them.

St. Therese’s sharing from the heart has helped me very much.  She helped me to recognize the graces that I took for granted.  She helped reassuring me of the consolations I have received, and most of all, her soul’s story encourages me that all of us who have the desire to love God can be saints:

 

 “…  I have always wanted to be a saint… God cannot inspire unrealizable desire.  I can, then, in spite of my littleness, aspire to holiness. …  I want to seek out a means to go to heaven by a little way…” the way of love (I add, and I think she would agree with me!)

May she intercede for all of us who desire to love God and seek to love Him selflessly the way he has predestined for us as we continue our journey together to be one with him who is love.  Amen.


January 1, 2011 Happy Feast of the Holy Mother of God and Happy New Year!

Christmas was a beautiful celebration with wonderful graces and blessings.  After Midnight Mass, I stayed in Church for two hours and the time did not seem that long.  I was blessed with family members and friends.  Praise the Lord.

I am celebrating my third year of solemn vow today.  Time goes by so fast.  May I be better this year and love God more as I continue on the mission the dear Blessed Mother has revealed to me.  Do you know the Blessed Mother?   Of course you do.  Only in faith will you be willing to open your heart to embrace the grace God has given you through his mother who will bring you closer to her beloved Son who died for all of us.

May this year be a spiritual one and that you will learn to open yourself to listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit calling you from the depth of your being.  Why look for it some where else outside of you when you have all the answer within you?

Come Holy Spirit, come and save us.  Amen.  O dear Mother, please intercede for us, the poor banished children of Eve.


December 14, 2010  Happy feast of St. John of the Cross!!!

Here I am!  Sorry for taking so long.  I finally have a little free time to update the website.

1. I think I did what I could do best, with the Lord’s help, at St. Bonaventure’s.  I now know what to pray for the college community.  I thank Sr. Margaret and Bob for their warm and friendly hospitality.  I thank you all very much for all your prayer.

2. By the grace of God, St. Therese’s intercession and your prayer, St. Therese icon is finally finished!!! Praise the Lord!  I just have to wait for it to dry to protect it with the layer of oil before I detach myself from it.  I like it very much because it is how I am inspired to see St. Therese, a special friend whom I have got to know and admire in a more personal and spiritual way. (The picture of the icon posted here is not quite finished. I will post another one after it is totally finished with oil.)  It is a cross for me to “give birth” to my icons written from the depth of my spirit and are guided by the Holy Spirit himself.  After I see the fruit of my labor, I have to let them go!!!  The lady whom this icon will be given to, as a gift from a priest, must be very special and need this icon of the holy saint more than I do.  May St. Therese intercede for her love for God and her growth in holiness.  Amen.

With St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, I say:

I want to be a saint.  God has stooped down to reveal his love and caring for me the way he does, so he cannot inspire unrealizable desire.  I can, then, in spite of my littleness, imperfections and sinfulness, aspire to holiness. … 
I want to seek out a means to go to heaven by a little way, the shortest and straightest way: the way of love"


St. John of the Cross, please pray for us.  Thank you.

 

Have a blessed and holy Advent to you and yours!

In his Sacred and Her Immaculate Hearts, Minh

October 21, 2010 Thank you so very much for all your prayer.

"We started out with a portion of Fr. Justin's homily on Christians' goal and the intimacy with God and ended with an important part of Fr. Stephen's homily given on the feast of the Sacred Heart: the Miracles of the Eucharist in Lanciano, Italy

 

Praise the Lord! Many thanks to Betsy Colon and Pat Alioto who have invited me to their church and made sure the event was was well publicized and organized.

We all did it, all of us who were present at the event last night. It was one of the most, if not the most powerful sharing I have never experienced during my 13 years on the road talking about God.  The church is beautiful because it is old and very traditional with stain glass, paintings and statues of saints together with a big crucifix which overpowers the church.  There are candles and flowers in front of it just like in Europe.  I felt so at home there. 

This time I was inspired to ask six audiences (3 men and 3 women) to participate in the presentation by reading aloud the quotes and verses I selected from the Bible and the writings of the saints which have paved the way for my journey with God and my growth in love for him.  The people were simple and humble in their expectation and that was quite important for all of us.  We hung on every holy and inspired word of God, of his prophets and of his saints.  I found them very inspiring when I listened to others read. There was a great sense of reverence and holiness of God's presence in our midst throughout the sharing.  How blessed it was for us all. Praise the Lord!

It is the church of St. Joseph, the dear saint who has played a major role in my present journey.  It is very humble as far as modern technology is concerned, to the point that I had to bring everything with me for the PowerPoint presentation.  Because of the lacking of equipment, praise the Lord for granting me the grace, I spent about two hours on my knees while giving the talk.  The miracle was that I neither felt the discomfort nor pain.  I never thought of me kneeling that long until someone pointed out later that she wondered why I had no difficulty getting up when everything was over.  Even though I had a pillow to kneel on, I humbly thought of St. Bernadette, and how she felt no pain during one of the apparitions at the Grotto in Lourdes when the candle burned her hand...  

 

I reflected on the experience and many of the Lord's words spoke to me concerning how only the humble and the childlike could hear him and be blessed, etc.  The people of this town sure brought me back to Jesus' time, especially when he preached to the people the Beatitudes. Anyhow, I have experienced something very special in this church of St. Joseph that belongs to the people of this little humble cluster of small and rural parishes.  I am very grateful to the Lord.   

I experience differently and speak with great enthusiasm and passion whatever the Spirit inspires me, depending on what he wants the audiences and me to learn when we gather in his name.  I have no idea what to expect at my next talk at St. Bonaventure.  One thing I know for sure is that in my heart, I would like very much to speak in church near the Eucharist from now on if I am given the choice.  At St. Joseph's church in Perry, NY, the Lord certainly let me know he was pleased that we spoke about him there in the presence of the tangible and visible body of his, the Lord of lords and King of kings who humbles himself to be in the form of a little host.

 

The Spirit somehow inspired me to take a total different approach to the presentation which is very effective.  St. Joseph sure helped preparing me for my next important talk at St. Bonaventure University where the young generation awaits us.  I wrote to the president and the vice president of Ministries, asking to let me give the talk in church in the presence of the Eucharist instead of in their beautiful Gallery as they have planned.  I am praying and awaiting their response.

 

Thank you all, including Father Richards, the women committee which sponsored my talk and the members of St. Isodore's church, especially those who came and allowed God to use them to make the night a specially blessed one!.

Please pray for the intention and for this future talk on November 11, 2010. Thank you.

 

May the Spirit of the Lord and his Sacred Body continue to sustain and nourish us as we live day by day in faith and serve him and the Body of the Church in love to fulfill his mission on earth for the redemption of all mankind.  Amen.  In His Sacred Heart, Minh

October 7, 2010 Happy feast of Our Lady of the Rosary! Our dear Blessed Mother is praying and watching over us.

At last we were able to finalize the time and dates for the coming talks: October 20, 2010 at St. Isodore’s Church in Perry, NY from 7pm to 8:30pm.  Refreshments will be served, and November 11, 2010 at St. Bonaventure University from 4pm to 6pm.  I had to turn down the invitation to NY City on the weekend of October 15 because of a late notice and the complication of scheduling.  God’s willing, there will be another time to praise God with our sisters and brothers there in the future.

 

For those who have been going after my not painting icons for almost a year and a half, (thank you) St. Theresa of Lisieux whose feast day was on October 1 has heard your complain J and is praying hard for me.  A couple days before her feast, I obeyed and accepted a commission to do her icon.  Unlike other inquiries which I have refused to accept during the last 18 months, this time I felt the Lord wants me to write icon again.  The timing is ever perfect because our spiritual group just started to read her autobiography, The Story of a Soul!  I responded to this grace by calling my icon master who graciously made an exception to teach me on a day I could come. This Saturday, I will begin to pick up the brush again.  Not being able to continue my icon classes and writing icons on my own because of my present jobs have saddened me.  I cannot concentrate when I constantly get distracted and not having a long period of time to pray and stay focused.  

 

Anyhow, God’s timing is ever perfect.  Thank you Lord.  I always trust that as long as I try to do your holy will and to please you by letting go of my own preferences, you will guide my heart and give me peace.  I am first a Christian, then an icon writer.

 

Another good news to share: recently, I just saw the documentary (http://www.amazon.com/Road-Hope-Spiritual-Journey-Cardinal/dp/B001PB5Q8E) of the life of Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyen Van Thuan whose suffering deepened his love and faith in God inspires me greatly.  Priests especially will be inspired and strengthened by his story.  We are praying for the causes that will lead to his sainthood.  I sure will try to contact the source to help with this intention because of his holy messages given to him by God for the church and his life lived as a “prince of the Church  God willing, I will be inspired to do an icon of him in the near future.  I definitely will mention him at the conclusion of my PowerPoint presentation when I honor the Eucharist since the Sacred Body and Blood of the Savior sustained this holy cardinal, especially during his nine confinement years of the 13 years in jail. 

 

May we see him as a great role model, especially priests and those who do not believe in and not have enough respect for the Eucharist.  May his intercession help strengthen us in trying to live the life of the gospel faithfully and fervently as he watches over his Catholic Church even now when he is in heaven with his Lord and Blessed Mother. Amen.

 

I thank you all for supporting and praying for me.  I pray for your peace and growth in the love of God who sets you free from all the sufferings and toils of this world.  Amen.  United in prayer and in his love, Minh

 

August 26, 2010 I am sorry for taking so long to update the News page. The truth is I am so so so busy!  I know it is not a good excuse, and I am working on it.  I asked Rev. Father why I get so busy as I grow in faith.  The answer is “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few…”  Luke 10:2 

I finally converted my slide presentation into a PowerPoint presentation which is much more sufficient and effective.  I showed it at my recent talk at St. Cecilia’s Church in Rochester, NY.  I thank you for all your prayer and support.  It was a grace-filled gathering and sharing.  Many thanks to the pastors of the Irondequoit Community of Churches and those who organized it and made it a pleasant and fruitful one.  I thank especially Amanda for all the work she did.  Praise the Lord. 

I am getting ready for the next events which will happen in the fall.  Once the dates and the locations are set, I will have them posted.

As I walked with the Lord this afternoon, I missed my spiritual sisters who have become a part of me and of who I am transforming to be in the love of God.  We always act like children when we are together and we care for each other’s spiritual well being.  I do not talk to them that often and neither do I see their faces.  Even though I feel sad, I am convinced it is necessary that we keep a distance otherwise we will take each other for granted.  Only when we miss those we love, we think of them more and love them for who they are and not who we want them to be to fulfill our selfish desire and passion.   In the present world, it seems like we always get what we want fast if not instantly, and patience is not a very welcoming word.  When that is the case, especially in human relationship, how can one expect to get to know and respect one's inner self and others'?  What really differentiates human from robots?  With the rapid growth of technology and our response to it, will we be transformed to be like machines without love and compassion?  What is happening to us, especially the young generation?

May the God of mercy and love protect us from all harms that can delay our search for happiness and truth in him the one and eternal God who so loves us.  Amen.


July 19, 2010  After my sharing with the youth group in Utica, NY, a young adult came up to me and made a comment: “God is so close to you!”  Immediately, I was inspired to respond: “God is close to everyone, and he desires so much that we perceive that so we can have the confidence to be his children and so to love him in return.”  Making an act of faith to believe that God loves me exclusively and personally and then experiencing his loving presence first hand day after day, have helped transforming my life and strengthening my relationship with him.  And that is the very purpose of my traveling to share my spiritual journey with others to help them recognize God’s intimate presence in their life so that ”… they can recognize their own gifts and grow in gratitude and so increase in grace themselves...” --  St. Gertrude the Great of Helfta GERTRUDE of HELFTA, THE HERALD OF DIVINE LOVE  (BOOK I: Chapter 15)

 

I am grateful to God for my spiritual father who has helped liberating my soul to freely worship God without fear, with the help of St. Gertrude the Great.  Learning from this compassionate and holy spiritual father, with God’s grace, I intend to help my spiritual sisters of the New Helfta spiritual group the same way.  By the way, the spiritual group is being refounded.  Serious candidates must go through stages: being observers, novices, juniors and finally commited members.  We take what we do seriously and we are required to devote ourselves to live sincerely the Christian life the way all Christians are called to live. 

 

Yesterday I met with a spiritual friend who was quite upset about the suffering she is witnessing our Mother Church endures.  For instance, in certain churches, the Eucharist was either taken out of the church or was not very prominent, and people talk freely in church before and after mass as if the church is a social gathering place; Lay people who take charge of preparing the altar and the sacristy as well as handling the Eucharist before and after mass do not have enough respect for the Body of Christ; Priests either do not know the law or take short cut.  One priest told a good Catholic (who was afraid that not doing the right thing she would commit mortal sin) not to worry about following the law. He told her if she did commit mortal sin, she could go to confession afterward and God would forgive her!!!; Catholic left the Mother Church and joined other Christian groups because of losing their parish... 

 

When God gives us the grace to see the people act according to their weaknesses, we do not judge them but pray for their action.  Only God can judge them, but we judge their action and pray for the grace to avoid making the same mistake.  At the end, it is between God and each individual.  Let's together pray for our Mother Church, and pray for the grace to be selfless and to prefer Him above all else.  Amen.


July 4, 2010  HAPPY INDEPENDENT DAY!!!

We are so grateful to God for this country where one can live in freedom, justice and peace… We thank God for all the men and women who have gone before us and have spent their lives making a great difference for generations to come.  However, we pray that the freedom which has been given to all Americans will not be taken for granted nor abused!.  What is true freedom?  Rev. Father reminded us in his recent homily:

YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED TO FREEDOM—BUT NOT A FREEDOM THAT GIVES REIN TO THE FLESH….True freedom as the apostle conceives of it, is not the power to choose whatever a person might like at any given time. The real freedom is the power to choose what is truly good and true, and the strength to adhere to it under all circumstances.”

Last Sunday June 27, 2010, I traveled to Utica, New York to spend some time and shared my journey of faith with the young adults of the three Vietnamese parishes in Syracuse, Binghamton and Utica.  I thank Fr. James ThienAn for his faith and his caring for them.  It was a good experience for them and for me as well.  May our time together prove fruitful as we open ourselves to God’s love and respond generously to his grace.

Speaking bout grace, my dear spiritual sister Vy gave birth to a beautiful baby girl, Anika LaVang Nguyen. Praise God! PLease keep both the mother and her baby in your prayer and also for the grandparents and daddy who help take care of Anika as mom needs some time to recover from a difficult birth. I am the Godmother of this grace from God. Thank you Lord. As we are grateful for this precious gift of Anika, we remember to pray for all unborn babies, babies and mothers, especially the single moms.
 Amen. 


Back row from left: Minh, Ena, Kyiem, Lucy.  
Front row from left: Rev Father John Eudes, Teresa, Karen, Sauling, Cecilia

May 18, 2010 The Easter season has been a grace-filled one.  I am so grateful.  I wish I have not been as busy, but I do not think I have a choice.  The more He loves and showers graces on one, the more he asks of her and that is no surprise!

Last weekend we were together for our 4th annual group retreat....  Another blessed experience for us was doing the Walking Rosary daily.  We even prayed it in Korean since there were four Korean present on that Saturday.  We also enjoyed our picnic lunch and dinner on the Abbey ground since there was not enough room for all of us at New Helfta studio apartment, and neither did we have enough time for traveling back and forth between Vespers and Compline.  Everyone took turn to read while others ate in silence.  The Road of Hope: A Gospel from Prison by Phanxico Xavie Van Thuan Nguyen was very inspiring.

… I thank Rev. Father for his sincere effort to help out with the group as it grows.  I am grateful to God for giving Rev. Father the patience in teaching and guiding me as I try my best to be a good servant and sister to the group.

Come O Holy Spirit, Come!

April 4, 2010 He has risen, Alleluia Alleluia Alleluia !!!  

Thank you Lord for dying for our redemption and for showing us the way to the Father through love and faith in the Almighty and merciful God.

Please help us take up our own cross and follow you.  Amen.

 

An early Easter present is our dear friend, Ron connected New Helfta with a colonel who is stationing in Haiti.  By the grace of God, New Helfta is making prayer cards for the children there.  Thank you St. Joseph for helping to bring our Lady of Tender Compassion image to Haiti as a help to strengthen the children’s faith and love for God.

 

I am getting ready for a few talks coming up to help enkindle souls for the Spirit.  Please say a prayer for these special intentions. 

May the Risen Lord shine his light into your heart and awaken your spirit to God’s love in a fresh way so that you can respond to him whole heartedly knowing He is your everything for He is the only source of hope who will deliver you and yours to everlasting happiness and peace.  AMEN.

 

O Blessed Mother, intercede for us to do his will.  

 

March 1, 2010  

”The chief causes of envy are several: Having wrong values and so desiring wrong kinds of satisfaction and sources of happiness, also self-doubt and lack of self-knowledge so that one desires a higher degree of achievement than one is capable of. Looking for approval and recognition from others instead of finding it in doing God's will etc. Jealously is a result of a certain passivity as well, looking for satisfactions one has not deserved or earned, to be given without deserving it.”  (One of Rev. Father’s answers to our spiritual group questions)

This is such a despicable sin that we commit often and hurt one another not realizing how bad it is until we ourselves are the victims of such human weakness!  May God give us a special grace during this Lenten season to see our shortcomings and allow love to help convert us to be more sensible and considerate toward one another’s gifts so that together we can do great things for the love and glory of God.  Amen.   

 

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.

February 18, 2010   "I believe the most important question we should all reflect on is whether where we think we belong helps us grow in faith, in virtues and in love for God through our dealing with one another in what we do.  Please give God a chance to teach us and be patient.  It is his time and not ours.  We so often think that we give up a lot whenever we want to say YES to God, but what we cannot perceive is that nothing we do in this life can ever be compared with what he has suffered and died for us..."

Be merciful, O Lord, for we have sinned.


February 4, 2010 Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

 

The Abbey of the Genesee www.geneseeabbey.org is reaching out to single Catholic males, 21 to 45 years of age who may be interested in joining the monastic way of life at Genesee or would like to know more about it.  With the help of our Lady and the blessings of God, recently, the Abbey had many vocation brochures designed and printed.  The Novice and Junior Masters, Fr. Gerard and Br. Anthony have sent and plan to send them to different vocational conventions nationwide.  In addition, they would like to have the brochures available to churches. 

 

On behalf of the Abbey, I would like to ask if you would talk to either your Pastor or whoever is in charge of the church bulletin board or flyer slot to see whether the Abbey could send the parish (or through you) the brochures so they can be available to your parishioners and guests who may be called to serve God and his Church living the contemplative way of life at Genesee Abbey.  If you know of any other church, please check it out as well.


The contemplative vocation is as important to the Church as the active vocation. While the hidden fathers and brothers stay humble in prayer and stay secluded in this way of life, they contribute greatly to the holiness and salvation of the Church.  Christians like me who benefit directly and greatly from their vocation have the obligation to help in anyway we can.  Therefore, I am writing to you for help.

 

Would you let me know or contact Br. Anthony Weber directly at (585) 243-0660 x. 19 E-mail: AnthonyWeber@geneseeabbey.org if you would like to support this mission.  Br. Anthony is scheduling two VOCATION DISCERNMENT RETREAT WEEKENDS for those who are interested.  Please go to http://www.geneseeabbey.org/vocations.html for more details.

 

Thank you very much for your help, for YOUR PRAYER FOR THIS INTENTION and please stay well in the Lord.

 

All for the love and the glory of God, Minh

 

February 2, 2010 Happy feast of the Presentation of the Lord in the Temple!

“The Light to reveal to the nations”; “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel”; (to the Blessed Mother) “The sword will pierce your heart”What bitter sweet that is and at the end, it all links to the Cross!
 

Today, I received an email concerning the Geneseo Crucifix.  It concerns and worries me.  I can’t rest until I find a home for the Lord!  On the one hand, I trust that the Lord allows this to happen for a good reason, but on the other hand, it distracts my peace and questions my faith.  This Cross means so much to me and to those who were involved during the two years when it came to.  It played an important role in my journey of faith that led to my conversion to Catholicism.
 

The Geneseo Crucifix is too big have a permanent home!  What a pity!!! If it is the will of God, may he allow me to build a home for it, a simple home where those who seek refuge in Him are welcome, too!  Please say a prayer for New Helfta special intention.  Thank you.

 

January 18, 2010 HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL!

Together with the whole world, New Helfta is praying for the victims, their loved ones and all those who are being affected by the earthquake in Haiti!  May the Lord have mercy on the souls of the departed and continue to reveal his love to all who are calling on him for help.  God bless all who are supporting them in anyway!

 

Concerning our spiritual group, Rev. Father told me today: “Life goes on.”
Yes, indeed.  Despite the many challenges we have been going through as individuals and as a spiritual group, we persevered and have been growing spiritually.  Praise the Lord! And thank you all for your prayer.

 

Our ex-member Vy is expecting her first baby.  We are praying for her and her family.  In December, 2009, we had a new postulant, Yolanda Nava from San Francisco, California.  After a few months of discernment, she is officially trying out our group.  We are happy to have her.  She is slowly introduced to each member of the group as their prayer partner.  We are praying for her perseverance and her vocation. 

  

While Debbie feels called to walk a different path from ours (She would like to join the Little Sisters of the Poor.  God’s willing!  We are praying for her), we have two new candidates, Teresa Kim from Toronto, Canada and Barbara Price from York, New York who are inquiring to check us out.  With Rev. Father' permission, they hope to be with us at our next meeting in February, 2010.  May the Lord guide them to discern as we pray.

 

We are planning for our next annual retreat in May.  With our Lady's intercession, may the Lover of our soul whom we seek, bless and guide our every effort as we persevere to seek and love him in faith as spiritual sisters under the help and guidance of Rev. Father John Eudes.  AMEN.

December 25, 2009 Wake up O sleepers for the Savior has come to save us!

 

I am having a beautiful and peaceful spiritual experience on the Lord's birthday this morning.…  I am praying the same for you.  Amen.

I stayed awhile in church after the midnight mass when all have left….  I was alone, kneeling at the railing beside the poinsettias and being among the beautiful lighted candles…  I wished I could stay longer but you know how a good spiritual experience usually does not last long...  
 

May the spirit of the Lord's love renew your spirit of hope, faith and charity.  Amen. 

“The true significance of this celebration is increasingly unrecognized or only vaguely adverted to, by large portions of our people. We who are given the precious gift of faith that in Jesus’ the Word of God, one with the Father in the Holy Spirit comes among us because God loves us and seeks to give us a share in his eternal life even at the cost of suffering and humiliation of his beloved Son. He comes, as John tells us in today’s gospel, as a light into a world lost in the darkness. This darkness afflicts the human spirit and affects our judgment and our desires; it consists in an ignorance of the true good for which we have been created, the loving knowledge of God.” 

Rev. Father John Eudes’ Christmas homily

December 14, 2009

“Three things keep men from sins: fear of hell; hope for the kingdom of heaven and love of virtue, and “the third is particularly characteristic of God and of those who have really taken the image and likeness of God unto themselves.” according to the teaching of the elder Chaeremon. (P.143-4)  

 

I would not agree with him more.  Even though, I faced the first two from time to time due to my lowliness and shortcomings which I might not be aware of, I am most grateful that the Holy Spirit who urged me to seek goodness and virtues was the main reason why I surrendered my will to God and became a Catholic.

 

The ever loving and merciful Lord has so generously been giving me many opportunities and graces and allowing me to taste what goodness is, that urges me to desire to go after this characteristic of God.  Of course this is not so easy when I have to face my human weaknesses and imperfection often as I go about this journey to learn how to be “perfect as heavenly Father is perfect.”

 

When I was younger, and lived on the surface, things seemed to be light and easy going.  “Something must not be right since this is not the cross I have agreed to carry when I became a Christian.” I told myself.  My intuition was right! (or was that the Holy Spirit who gently reminded me!) Then as I learn to go deeper in faith seeking to be transformed, I realize how this is such a strenuous task!.  Only when I stop worrying about ME; what others may think of ME; what MY future will be; etc… that I could get a glimpse of what goodness is.  I believe that trying to avoid committing sins because of the first two reasons mentioned is only for my own good and advantages, whereas the third is for the good of the kingdom where all who seek God, are lost in love of him who is love.

 

May the new born Savior who is coming soon grant us this special grace to be lost in him!  Amen.”

November 5, 2009

            “…A SAINT TOLD ME ONCE THAT WHATEVER I DON'T WANT, LIKE GARBAGE, I SHOULD THROW IT AWAY.  IF I KEEP IT, IT WILL ROT AND HARM MY SPIRIT.  YOU KNOW HOW WE FEEL VERY GOOD ABOUT IT WHEN WE EMPTY OUR GARBAGE AND WASTE?  WE ARE MADE FOR LOVE AND PEACE, IF ANYTHING DISTURBS,  HARMS OR DAMPENS OUR SPIRIT, WE HAVE TO ALLOW SOMEONE WHO KNOWS AND HAS EXPERIENCE TO HELP GET RID OF IT FOR US IF WE CAN’T DO IT ON OUR OWN. 

 

GOD ALLOWS US TO FACE CERTAIN SUFFERING AND DISCOMFORT TO GIVE US OPPORTUNITIES TO LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE SO WE CAN BE WISER, STRONGER AND HOLIER ACCEPTING THE FACT THAT AS A HUMAN RACE, WE ARE ALL SINNERS.  A GOOD DEFINITION OF A SAINT IS A SINNER WHO KEEPS ON TRYING, A BROTHER TOLD ME ON THE FEAST OF ALL SAINTS AND I AGREE WITH HIM ON THAT.  SO KEEP ON TRYING!

 

THE SPIRITUAL LIFE IS AN ART WHICH NO ONE CAN LIVE IT PERFECTLY.  GOD HAS TO HELP US.  BECAUSE WE, AS A HUMAN RACE ARE IN THIS TOGETHER, HE USES ONE ANOTHER TO HELP US LEARN.  USUALLY, WE DON'T SEE OUR SHORTCOMINGS.  WE OFTEN BLAME ON OTHERS.  BUT AS TIME GOES BY, AND WE GROW, WE WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO LOOK BACK AND REGCONIZE OUR WEAKNESS.  WHAT WE DON'T ABOUT WHAT OTHERS DO,  WE ARE LIKELY TO HAVE THE SAME TENDENCY TO DO THE SAME SOONER OR LATER. 

 

ANYHOW, WHAT I AM TRYING TO SAY IS THAT SAD THINGS JUST DON'T GO AWAY AS YOU SAID.  WE HAVE TO FIND THE ROOTS AND GET RID OF THEM.

….  BEING OPEN AND ALLOWING SOMEONE TO SEE OUR WOUNDS ARE NOT THAT EASY. IT IS PAINFUL AND EMBARRASHING.  BUT UNLESS WE DIE TO OUR PRIDE AND FALSE EGO, WE WILL NOT GET HELP.  NO MATTER HOW HURT IT IS, A WOUNDED PERSON HAS TO LET THE SURGENT TAKE OUT THE BULLET SO THAT SHE CAN BE NORMAL AGAIN AFTER A PERIOD OF RECOVERY. 

 

I HAVE MANY FAULTS AND HAVE BEEN LEARNING HOW TO DO BETTER EVEN THOUGH I WILL NEVER GET RID OF THEM ALL.  BUT AT LEAST I CAN STAY HUMBLE KNOWING I AM A SINNER AND THEREFORE I NEED THE MERCY OF GOD TO KEEP ON TRYING.

 

  I PRAY EARNESTLY FOR YOUR WELL BEING.  YOU SEEM TO HAVE GREAT SPIIRTUAL GIFTS.  IF YOU  CAN ALLOW SOMEONE TO GUIDE YOU PROPERLY, YOU WILL LIVE A MUCH MORE MEANINGFUL, PROFITABLE AND PEACEFUL LIFE WHERE YOU CAN DO SO MUCH TO HELP THIS WORLD WHICH GOD HAS CREATED YOU TO BE APART OF AND TO MAKE IT BETTER PLACE… “

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