11 August, Thursday — Gratefulness to God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today, we welcome Grace Yee, who professes a great love for sports (but sometimes is too lazy to exercise) and music. She is an avid soccer fan (but struggles to understand what is offside) and hopes to catch live soccer matches in Europe one day 

When off from work, she enjoys visiting different bars to listen to live band music (especially Mandopop), chilling at a cafe or catching up with dramas on Netflix. She once considered pursuing script-writing for TV shows but concluded it was too far-fetched and decided that it was more feasible to hone her writing skills by writing reflection articles. To her, this is a great way to process the Word of God and she hopes that others may be able to relate it to their lives.

Aug 11 – Memorial of St Clare, Virgin

St Clare of Assisi was one of the first followers of St Francis of Assisi. She founded the Order of Poor Ladies, a monastic religious order for women in the Franciscan tradition, and wrote their Rule of Life, the first set of monastic guidelines known to have been written by a woman. At age 21, she was obliged by St Francis under obedience to accept the office of abbess which she exercised until her death.

Throughout her life in the convent of San Damiano in Assisi, St Clare served the sick and washed the feet of the begging nuns. She exercised great influence even though she was seriously ill for the last 27 years of her life as popes, cardinals and bishops often came to consult her.

St Clare was known to come from prayer and trust. She had the Blessed Sacrament placed on the walls of the convent when it was attacked by the Saracens in September 1240. Through her prayer “Does it please you, O God, to deliver into the hands of these beasts the defenseless children I have nourished with your love? I beseech you, dear Lord, protect these whom I am now unable to protect.”, the Saracens eventually fled.

St Clare was canonised on 26 September 1255.

– Wikipedia & Franciscan Media

Eze 12:1-12
Mt 18:21-19:1

“Not seven, I tell you, but seventy-seven times.”

God’s mercy was never meant to be kept for ourselves; it was meant to be shared. To be able to acknowledge that God has been merciful to us requires gratefulness and love.

The spirit of gratefulness reminds us that experiencing forgiveness is not an entitlement but a form of grace that has been extended to us. It is only by gratefulness that we can grow the humility to recognise opportunities to exercise mercy and forgiveness with others, the same way that God has exercised with us.

Through experiencing God’s mercy, we also experience His love. God’s unconditional love makes us whole, and it is through this fullness that we learn to love our brothers and sisters just like how God loves us. It is through God’s mercy and love that we have been equipped to do more than what we humanly can do. Humanly we are imperfect, but perfect in the eyes of God. To be able to see the beauty amidst the flaws of human nature is what Christ continues to challenge us to do in the spirit of love. Hence, to love is to forgive.

(Today’s OXYGEN by Grace Yee)

Prayer: Lord Jesus, I pray that you may continue to grow our hearts of compassion and love, that we may be able to see one another the way you see us. For those whom we struggle to love and forgive, I pray that we will be reminded that You love them for who they are, and for our hearts to remain open to loving and forgiving them.

Thanksgiving: Thank you Jesus, for giving me the opportunities to exercise love and for teaching me how to exercise compassion.

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