My Brother’s Wedding Anniversary

Anh Chị mến!

        Thế là đã mười sáu năm rồi, bao nhiêu nụ cười, bao nhiêu nước mắt,
bao nhiêu ngọt ngào, bao nhiêu đắng cay…kể từ ngày em không
còn gọi Anh và Chị- nhưng là Anh Chị- từ ấy luôn luôn đi cùng nhau.
Khi em nghĩ đến Anh, là có Chị trong đó và ngược lại.
         Em muốn gọi điện về, nhưng biết mấy ngày nay nhà rất bận…Ngày mai thư hai,
đúng ngày Kỷ niệm, em mong là anh chị gác bớt công việc, dành thời gian cho nhau, nhớ lại những kỷ niệm, để tạ ơn, để cầu xin…đặc biệt là để lấy lại sức mạnh, làm mới lại tình yêu của mình. Dự định ngày cưới nhau, bây giờ đã đi đến đâu rồi? Cái gì cần bỏ qua, cái gì cần tấn tới…ngày đó chưa có hai chú Boy, nay hoàn cảnh đã khác rồi…trong những dự tính của Anh Chị sẽ luôn luôn có hai chú ta ở đó, phải không nào?!!!! Đấy là HOA TRÁI của Tình Yêu anh chị! Đó là ân huệ lớn nhất mà Chúa ban cho. Ở bên này, em biết có những người đi cầu nguyện đến mòn hết cả vạt áo và chân các thánh, vậy mà mong ước có con vẫn chưa thành.
       Cùng với cả nhà dâng Thánh Lễ sáng mai cho Anh Chị và các cháu.
Cám ơn Trời đã xe duyên, và cám ơn Nội-đã sinh Anh cho Chị, và cám ơn Ngoại đã sinh Chị cho Anh.

My life in the Philippines so far: laughter and tears

“N.L! Let’s prepare your documents right away to go to the Philippines!”, my general superior told me. “No! Even though studying is always necessary, I like working pastorally meanwhile more than studying only”, I naturally thought.

Anyway, one of my friends told me “even thought studying is not easy, you will have a better service in your mission if God give you a chance to be carefully trained”, so I have said I have said “yes” with my superior, with my Congregation. Thus, I have lived here, in the Philippines for seven months  now with so much joy and there are sometimes tears, too.
First, there are the challenges that are worthy to be experienced. I arrived here with a fellow sister. We have no community, no any relationship, no friends and also not busy with any pastoral duty. These all are not problem except for difficulty in speaking English that causes us some problems. For example, immediately, we landed on the Manila airport, we

For example, immediately after we landed on the Manila airport, we had to stay there an hour more because we did not understand what the airport’s officer require me to

For example, immediately after landing on the Manila airport, we had to stay there an hour more because we did not understand what the airport’s officer require us to answer him. We were only able to leave when he had known that we are sisters.

Then, we had to go some officers in Manila to clear our visa. My sister was so worried about it because she did not know how to go there and of course, we could not speak English.

“Nevertheless, frequenting, Manila, usually, is a good opportunity to visit and know the Philippines. Everything will be ok,” I positively comforted my sister and enjoyed each time have to go the offices.
In addition, there were  some crying events that happened at the Goodsheperd Convent where I am staying I either understood the house rule or which others told me.

One time, a boarder turned back home very late. She was too angry because the door was closed and the light was turned off. She talked me with a strong voice and asked me many questions. I payed attention to listened to her that that time;  at the end, I said “I am very sorry, I don’t understand you” …Being too exhausted, she shook disappointedly her head and entered her room; I still stood there not knowing what I have to do.
Another time, I did not understand the convent rule. Thus, the management said me announce everyone to have a meeting. When the time came, there was only me present. “How about others?”, the management was surprised … She would inform for all boarders, but I thought she wanted to meet me for my fault.
The similar stories still happen sometimes. Hence, I had not only the new relationships or closer friends, but I also became resilent after these were been solved.
“The world is very huge and there are too many things to do”, talked I myself and enjoyed all things. I was really fascinated in going around and overlooking Malina, the capital of the Philippines. I tried to get almost vehicles as train, cars, buses, jeepney, tricycles…but I truly like the train because it is quite quiet; Just as I can see the city sights, so find I the good behaviors here. Going around to see and to think about something only is one of my likings. Especially, I spent and felt the meaningful Holy week here. While everyone did not go to work, I liked to go out to find the calm streets that contrasted with the busy, noisy and crowded routine. I dreamed when my country will have a day like that.
Nevertheless, learning English is my main work recently. I go to the Assumption language Centre all weekdays. Like a child, I have been practiced word by word, little by little. It is challenging and interesting! In addition, fortunately, someone has silently given me the school fee for English. Later, when I have been familiar to this city, sometimes, I followed another sister to visit the poor villages or to find the homeless people belong the street, I recognized that I was offer too much from the life which God created.
In this life, except my family, teachers, friends and my Congregation now, how many people who had quietly supported me to grow up by many different ways? I could not know. Those who are the wind beneath my wings. I am truly happy.
Nonetheless, two months, three months, and four months have passed away, I have attended the masses, joined the common pray time, especially during the Lent this year, I have almost gained nothing because of not understand English; so that I have always wanted to turn back my language. “O Lord, I like English, but I love Vietnamese!” I feel that I was losing something, my heart and soul seemed dry and hard, even to be stressful or tired.

Even I complained when I prayed, but the Lord seems not to answer. My E. have improved too slowly. Because of this, I made someone unhappy. So, I have spent a heavy time to think about it. How can I forgive when I have hurt those I love and they love me too? How…? Why..? Many questions have appeared in my mind. Someone said, “conquering myself is more important than doing a country”, it is true for me.
So, I have repeatedly reminded myself this quote “ Jesus Christ is Lord, but He has lived the human life, has loved with the human heart, has work with the human hands and has studied with the human brain, how about me? ”

So, I have repeatedly reminded myself this quote “ Jesus Christ is Lord, but He has lived the human life, has loved with the human heart, has work with the human hands and has studied with the human brain, how about me? ”

In return for it, I have been fortunately staying in a beautiful Convent that has the old buildings and a variety of plants, flowers and tall trees. My room’s window overlooks upon the green grass and the Convent’s entrance. How useful to pray by seeing nature and listening to its melody each morning when I get up! What a dullard when I only focus on the sadness, I made myself opaque to many miracles of life!
Therefore, looking back on the past time, I have totally been easy to adapt with a new environment, no problem with food, climate condition and I have a good health. Besides, I have more new friends, know more about the Philippines, its society and people. I also understand what someone told me more than before, it makes me happier. Counting graces, I will keep on the joys and more confident in the Lord.
O Almighty God, how grateful  I am to You for all presents You have given!

Continue reading My life in the Philippines so far: laughter and tears

How Has the Lord Called on Me?

I was born in the family with four siblings. My father died when I was nine months because of cancer. Someone told me “your father sails on a rectangular boat.” Therefore, I thought that my father was on the sea a long time. I would always play kite with my brother on the beach to wait for my father…When did I know the truth about my father’s death, my mother taught me how to pray.

For my brother and sisters still were too small, my aunt did not get married; along with my mother, she took care of us. Each day, I saw my grandfather picking my mother up from the salt field. Then, my mother picked my aunt up from the sea. My siblings had to dropout school very early. Everyone  sacrificed to offer me the best education. I thank God so much for giving me a family. Until now, my childhood’s memories have still been vivid in my mind. I know that I was born to be beloved. My family itself is my motivation for undergoing the different challenges in my life.

When I was ten years old, I had to go far away my family. For me, that moment was very difficult to adapt to a new place while there was no close relatives beside me. Because of this, I would always talk with my little friend-the Holy Baby Jesus and my father. Gradually, I became happier  because I had a good school with good teachers and dear friends. Moreover, I became more mature too.

I had many dreams when I was in high school; however, becoming a teacher was my greatest dream. Partly, I would be like my good teachers; besides that,  there are many negative opinions about the Catholic Church that I can not express at that time for them. I hope if I would be a teacher, I could do something for my homeland, especially for children.

Nevertheless, while preparing for the university, I visited a monastery. I saw monks in prayer… I silently wanted to become a nun.

I nourished my dream in the university. Even so, I got very sick. I could not step or do something by myself. I found all the darkness in front of me. I cried a lot. There was only one thing in me that God knows me very well and He will give me my future. Miraculously, after nearly two years, I became better and better. I also realized that the more difficulties, the more love is clearly revealed in my life.  Thus, when I earned the degree in  the university, I sought for a congregation that will accept me. However, four congregations said “no” to me because of my health. “Every sign showed that the Lord does not want me to become a nun”. I thought and decided to get married instead a year after.

At the same time, I met  a priest. He saw me, talked with me and said, “when the Lord closes the main door, He will  open another door for you. Let’s look for it”. He helped me join a retreat with the Lover of the Holy Cross (LHC). I truly recognized that in my deep heart, the Lord still calls on me. In addition, the superior of LHC also accepted me. As a winning goal scored at the ninetieth minute of  the football match, how happy I am!

Thus, I have become a nun like that. The Lord has laid everything happening in my life. Even though, I am slow and stupid, He waits patiently until I am aware of His messages. He also likes to make me surprised.  Thank to God and thank to the life.