Every night I’ve gone to the chapel where our Lord is present in the Holy Eucharist.
I spend time with Him, talk to Him, listen to Him, laugh with Him, and recently cry with Him.
It wasn’t long ago that I would go to the chapel in L’Asile at night and do the same, but I’m not in L’Asile anymore. Due to the unforeseen circumstances in which the world faces now, I’ve returned back to the states.
At this moment I’m quarantined out in the countryside. Everything changed so fast and I left in such a hurry. I can’t remember how those last days looked like.
Who were the last people I saw in L’Asile? What were they wearing? What did they say? Will I see them again?
All I know is now and here.
Everything was all done in a rush and now I’m left to mourn the decisions made.
And now I come here every night to the chapel and I pray for my friends who are living there begging the Lord to protect His beautiful country and all those who live there.
During these moments I remember my friends there and I sit with them. I can hear them; I can see them. I wonder what they’re doing. I remember their laughter and for a moment it is as though I never left.
Sharing this I hope that you don’t think I’m hurting as much as my friends. I mourn leaving, but they too are facing the uncertainty this virus will bring.
This is bigger than any of us, and I can do very little.
I see Him in the Eucharist where He is also present in L’Asile, and also in Madera, Valpo, Kerala, Santo Domingo, everywhere is where You are. He unites us all. He makes it possible to be close to my friends.
He does and will continue to do the rest; He was there long before me and loves more than I.
Being with them at night praying for each one by name, in those moments I return to L’Asile. I return to Madera.
I’ll fight for you in my prayers, I’ll visit you every night and know you’re not alone. Social distancing and removal from the country has no limits to prayer, it has no limits to the one who is Limitless.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Hebrews 13:8
He is always consistent in this moment of inconsistency. By His grace, I remain consistent to pray for you every night before the Him.
Please pray for L’Asile, for our friends.
Goodnight my friends,
I’ll see you again,
I’ll see you tomorrow.
Mwen Renmen Ou
Have you ever found yourself doing many things in your life, but none of them coincide what you’re called to do? Or better yet called to be? The readings during Lenten season always remind me of who I am because I’m often caught up on what I think I’m suppose to be.
When Jesus went out into the desert, the devil tempted Him three times. Each time was different, but how he started the conversation was always the same.
Then Jesus was led by the Spirit into the desert to be tempted by the devil.
He fasted for forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was hungry.
The tempter approached and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
Lately, I’ve been hearing this in my head:
If you are a good person, you should be doing this...
If you are a missionary, you should be doing this…
If you are a follower of Christ, you should be doing this…
But none of them are His voice, yet I still listened. In that I lost my identity. I assumed what I needed to be and did that rather than actually being. God never gives you what it seems, only what is.
Just as the sheep follow the voice of the shepherd, I need to not just do the same, but learn how to do it again. In the same readings, Jesus teaches reminds me of who I am.
He said in reply, “It is written
‘One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God.’”
Going back to scripture, going back to the Gospel, going back to His Words, He speaks of who I am.
I’ll be praying for you during Lent, please pray for me, a weak one.
Jezi renmen ou
A violent squall came up and waves were breaking over the boat, so that it was already filling up. Jesus was in the stern, asleep on a cushion. They woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Quiet! Be still!” The wind ceased and there was a great calm. - Mark 4:37-39
God blesses us with the gift of nature, and we do find a lot of appreciation for it. How many beaches are visited for vacation, lakes fished on, river swam in etc. I see kids flying kites, people on sailboats, hot air balloons etc. We appreciate and find joy in these gifts. We often don’t take care of them as we ought but we do try as well.
But we also forget the incredible power nature has over us. The same beautiful sea can easily drown me. The breeze that cools me can easily sweep me away if strong enough. The force of nature can kill me. Living in Haiti makes this quite evident. I can still see the destruction of the hurricanes that swept houses and trees like nothing. I can enjoy nature and it is our responsibility to take care of it, but in the end, we are mere ants to its power.
The storm that made the apostles fearful, the storm I can’t control, the storm much stronger than I can ever be.
But yet, when Jesus told the sea “Quiet! Be still!”, it did so obediently. It did not hesitate. It recognized the all-powerful Word of the Lord. To think that I am more favored than the incredible nature I live in makes me feel so loved and makes me sad to forget my identity in God. I am closer to God than nature, but I am not as grounded to my obedience to Jesus as the storm was in scripture.
I am truly myself when I am obedient to the Lord. I am fulfilled when I listen to His calling. My identity is realized by my obedience to my Father.
Jezi Renmen Ou!
If fear were to be made tangible, to me, it’d be a sword. A sword too heavy to carry and that weighs me down. A sword that I do not know how to use, but I would have it unsheathe so that it seemed as if I could. I’d be ready to strike at any moment without thought. I know that it can hurt others, but as I carry it, it is hurting me. I would present it as my weapon of choice when it is not needed and use it at the wrong times.
Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its sheath, for all who take the sword will perish by the sword.” -Matthew 26:52
We all have fears that we mask for solutions. Life is uncertain and we can’t prepare or plan every moment of outcome and we can’t always just go in swinging.
Immaculee Ilibagiza once said, “Is this fear just here to destroy me or tell me to do something about it?”
What will I do with it? I can stop pretending that it is not fear and give it up to the One who can win the battles. I’ll continue this new year with Jesus in front of me, behind me, above me, and below me. I will give up my flimsy sword, for He is my shield.
Love is stronger than fear
Happy New Year
I love You.
I had the honor to attend the Christmas Vigil Mass not too long ago and as always, a baby being held by her mother in front of me caught my attention. I wasn’t alone in this as I heard the many comments uttered among those sitting near me regarding the cuteness of the baby. A woman would wave to her and another behind her would shake her little hand. We’ve become very fascinated towards babies and most often tend to gravitate to them. Compared to any moment of our lives, infancy is the most approachable. I don’t have to think up a conversation or do I feel intimidated by the presence of a baby. I simply have to be just as the baby is simply being. We like to bring them close to us, carry them, try to make them smile etc.
Jesus was born today. The all powerful, limitless, and uncontainable God, and He was a baby. Many came to see Him in the manger. He was approachable. And you know what? He still is.
When I often believe the lies that He isn’t, I think of today and how much I would want to hold baby Jesus. That the same Jesus that holds me. I shouldn’t be intimidated by the one who loves me so much, that He made Himself approachable, vulnerable, and small to be with me.
Whenever I feel like God is only the burning bush and I do not feel worthy to be in His presence, today on His birthday, He reminds me that He was in that manger, waiting to be approached, waiting to be held, waiting to be close.
Now there were shepherds in that region living in the fields and keeping the night watch over their flock. The angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were struck with great fear The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For today in the city of David a savior has been born for you who is Messiah and Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.” -Luke 8:12
Happy Birthday Jesus!
Merry Christmas to you all!
I love you!
How are you? I hope that you are all well! I would like to share with you some thoughts. Reflecting on this year I’ve realized how weak I am, and to be honest, if we were to look at this on a level of skills and expertise, I am very unqualified to be here. On the surface level, I could say I do many things and so much is dependent on me, but that is untrue. My Creole is poor, I get sick often, and I lack strength/charisma. I can’t hide my flaws and the longer I am here the more they are brought to the forefront. No time to pretend to be something I’m not. But in Haiti I am reminded of who I am. Despite everything I shared, I am loved by the friends that I made in L’Asile and none of my weaknesses can get in the way of loving them back. Our relationship with one another is not built on what we can do, but who we are and simply enjoying each other’s company. If all my merits be stripped away, to my close friends of L’Asile, I would still be welcomed in, I would still have a seat by my them, and I would still be seen as God sees me. It is in my weakness that I know that I am loved for who I am. In my weakness I ask God to enter, to return that love that is given to me. To pick me up with mercy so that I can love as He loves.
“My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” I will rather boast most gladly of my weaknesses, in order that the power of Christ may dwell with me. -2 Corinthians 12:9
Please continue to pray for me, one of the weak ones.
Mwen Renmen ou!
Have you ever tried a mango in Haiti? After eating one, I can never go back. It is so sweet in fact; all fruits taste so much sweeter here. It made me think as I was eating a piece of mango with the kids the other day. It is in Haiti at this time, I could have a mango that taste like this. It is the season to enjoy this fruit, and all seasons invite a new fruit to be had.
Fruit is borne in all seasons.
Yes, it is true that a specific fruit is produced in a specific season, but it doesn’t mean that the season you are in is barren. Some seasons give different fruits, but they’re fruits nonetheless. I could have asked for a pineapple and received a mango, and without that, I wouldn’t have realized how much I loved mango. Some seasons give more fruits than others, but if we looked only at the quantity, we would lose sight of the quality. Quality in that mango made me appreciate and recognize the importance of that one single fruit. One fruit like that makes all the impact in an entire season.
God, You bless us in our hindsight in which we can see our past with clarity. God, in that, may the fruit of trust be grown so that I can appreciate its taste in the present. We transition and prepare for the next journey in our lives until we reach our end. But here in our present, fruit is borne so that we can eat it now, in this stage of our lives. It is ready now, eat it now. We can focus too much on the lead-ups of tomorrow and not enough on the lead-ins of today. You are where you are, and so is He, and it is here where He wants to make you holy.
As for me, now is the season for this amazing mango. I can say, ‘it isn’t as sour as the one back home,’ or ‘it isn’t as bitter as it will be next month here.’ But I can also say, ‘right now, it tastes great. Thank you!’
“And as for the good soil, they are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience.” –Luke 8:15
Mwen Renmen Ou!
I heard a very powerful homily that struck me to the core during a mass with the Missionaries of Charity. Father Tom’s words left a strong impact on me and I would like to share them with you. He spoke of the Gospel of John in which Mary Magdalene met with the Resurrected Jesus. He tells her,
“Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” - John 20:17.
He is no longer to be approached the same way before, nothing is the same from now on. Do not approach me as you saw Me before, see Me now. To paraphrase what he said; we’ve become comfortable.
Comfortable enough, just enough to leave Jesus; to leave Him in the past 2,000 years ago. To say that He once walked on this earth, but in our comfort, we no longer stop to think. To know something and not think about it is the same as not knowing it at all. He tells us not to approach Him like this. It is a dishonor to leave Him in history. He is still walking right now. Look at the person next to you and there He is. Sometimes, it is difficult to see Jesus in others just as it is difficult for others to see Jesus in us, but that is why we need His help, His grace. That is why we pray, that is why I need to receive Him in the Eucharist. He is the most sacred presence in the mass, but those sitting around you are the second.
We can hear Jesus speaking to us in the bible, but many just see a book, we can see Jesus in the Holy Eucharist but many just see bread, we can do the same to our neighbor. See beyond and look deeper, Jesus is there. We receive Him at the mass to find Him in the world. Just as Mary confused Him for the gardener, let us see with clarity and at the end of the day be able to say; Jesus, I encountered you today.
Mwen Renmen Ou!
I apologize for the delay of this post. I wanted to send this sooner. On the feast of the Assumption, two of our very dear friends Mr. Vre Vre and Madame Lucienne received their First Communion! It was a great honor to participate in the mass in the same room where we had our CCD classes with them.
It was a great honor to witness this great moment where I got to see two great people come closer to Jesus. It was a great moment to receive Jesus along with my friends. I was reminded of our classes that we had in which we all ate bread together, feeling it go deep in us, and explaining how intimate Jesus wants to be with us. I remember our discussions in which we shared our experience of hunger and how Jesus wants to feed our soul because it wants to be fed, it wants to be fed with the living bread. We would say ‘Jezi se pen kibay lavi a!’
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” -John 6:35.
I remember talking about how essential water is to our survival and even though the air around us contains water particles, how much we’re made up of water (I’m reminded of this when I sweat and I sweat a lot here!), we need to consume water to live. I remember us correlation that with God and how much we need the Eucharist to live. That day was full of reminders of our classes in which we sang, laughed, and openly shared all centered around the Good News, the Holy Gospel, and Jesus Christ Himself! I’m excited to continue formation with my friends and learn from one another. As we had dinner together after the mass, I showed a photo Mr. Vre Vre with myself and my parents when I was younger, receiving First Communion. He told me that me I was really rich. I asked why and he said it was because I had both of my parents present with me on my First Communion. Those words really marked me and I told him how rich I felt seeing him receive Jesus. He gave me a smile, a hug, and tells me how happy he is to be there. Please continue to pray for our friends, Mr. Vre Vre, Madame Lucienne, Mr. Estefan, Tikalu, and Tigi! Happy belated feast day of the Assumption.
Jezi Renmen Ou!
Do you want to learn Creole? Yes? Okay! Tande means to hear and koute means to listen. I’ve learned that these two words are not as synonymous with one another. I say this just from experience that I’ve had conversing with the children here. I’ll say (in all my glorious broken Creole) “Do you hear what I say?” They’ll say “Dako Dako” (Okay Okay) but they continue to ignore my comments. I assumed, my Creole must be really bad, they are not listening to me. But then it hit me, LISTEN. I used the word listen instead. And guess what! it didn’t work. I still hold true to my earlier comment; hearing and listening are not the same. And not to diminish hearing, in fact, Jesus said to hear His words. But how many times have I heard the Word of the Lord and how few times have I listened to Him? I see the fruits when I listen as oppose to just hearing it. Hearing acknowledges the exterior sound but listening grounds it in an interior way. So, what about the kids? Well, most times, they will listen, but then they will revert back, and misbehave. I don’t tolerate it, because I say this for their well-being. I don’t want to be a party pooper or the downer police. I love them and I want the best for them. I may not tolerate their bad behavior, but I do emphasize with it and with them. Does God see me the same way I see them? Infinitely more! He loves them more than I do and instead of trying to do the best for them, He knows what is best for them, and for me. I don’t just want to hear Him and be content with that, I mean I hear the devils voice too, but who do I listen to, furthermore, who do I follow? I want to seek Him. I listen to Him yet I still fall to vices. I can only imagine Him looking at me and thinking “I only want the best for you because I love you.” So, the next time the children don’t listen, I am reminded of God’s infinite mercy towards me when I don’t listen to Him. And He’s calling me to be merciful with them too. Hearing and listening, not the same, but I need them both.
“This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to Him!” -Luke 9:35
Mwen Renmen Ou!
I'm a Catholic lay missionary currently with Family Missions Company. I would like to share my days with you. I cannot do this alone and in order to better serve others, I will need your presence. Let us become the person we were always meant to be to better love one another. I'm done stalling, I'm all in.