9 October, Sunday — Let Us Offer Our Sincere and Grateful Heart to God

28th Sunday in Ordinary Time

2 Kgs 5:14-17
2 Tim 2:8-13
Lk 17:11-19

“…no one has come back to give praise to God, except this foreigner.”

I remember in my schooling years, how I studied and ploughed through pile after pile of assessment books and when I got excellent grades, I would always thank my parents and teachers, and then quickly uttered, “Praise the Lord!”.

Then I remember thinking, “That’s it, I’ve given my thanks to God, and He should be satisfied.” But on hindsight, I probably did not quite give praise to God.

I have learnt over the years that thanking God is not as simple as mumbling, “Phew, thank God!” when I get into an unfortunate situation and manage to get out relatively unscathed; nor was it shouting from the rooftop, “Praise the Lord!” when I managed to get into my dream schools.

For the past few years, I had countless nightmares which were so disturbing, that I just found it difficult to sleep through the dark nights. These nightmares kept repeating over and over again. It was always the same kind of incident but with different people acting out the same kind of actions in my nightmares. As a result, I developed unhealthy coping mechanisms – for instance, sleeping really late – even if I had those nightmares by the time I woke up in the early hours of the morning, it would be just in time for me to start my next day.

I was deeply troubled. I wondered why I kept having the same kind of nightmares. So, I saw countless priests who advised me to pray before sleeping. That did help but sadly, not for long. I also saw countless psychologists and mental health counsellors who told me to take pills and supplements to knock me out faster into dreamland. But the nightmares still did not stop. Listening to peaceful and calming music before bedtime was not effective either.

I was beginning to lose a little bit of faith. If prayer and pills couldn’t help me, then what could? Who and how can I stop these nightmares that were giving me so many troubled nights?

Just last week, by the intervention of the Holy Spirit, a confessor told me that such nightmares happen because of a possible encounter with those disturbing scenes in an earlier part of my life. A day later, my mind suddenly opened again with the abundant grace from God. My childhood memories came flooding through. I suddenly remembered my early childhood days when I encountered that disturbing incident for the first time in my life. I was shocked as I could not remember that incident at all before last week.

And finally, I have had peaceful sleep for the whole week. That nightmare has finally stopped. 

I haven’t been able to stop thanking Him and Our Lady for the peaceful nights, at Mass and in prayer. And my heart is so full of gratitude, that I want to pay forward to others the graces that He has given me, by spreading my testimony to others and ministering to those who may be in the same boat as me. And I believe that’s the best way that we can say, “Thank you, Jesus!”

(Today’s OXYGEN by Brenda Khoo)

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help us to thank you with a sincere heart for the blessings and graces that You have given us. Amen.

Thanksgiving: Dear Lord, thank you for always being with us and granting us blessings, graces and answered prayers! Thank you for rejoicing in us in happy moments too! Amen!

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