St. Lawrence Church, Macau

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St. Lawrence Church, Macau

St. Lawrence Church, Macau

St. Lawrence Church is located on Avenue Sao Lorenzo and is approximately 4-5 minutes’ walking southwest past St. Augustine’s square . This church built by the Jesuits in wood, dates back to 1560, which makes it close to five centuries old. It was rebuilt in stone and even that reconstruction was over two hundred years ago, which of course makes it one of the oldest churches in Macau. St. Lawrence has a similar facade to the heavily visited St. Dominic’s in Senado Square but a larger and nicer interior. The wooden ceiling which is painted blue is most impressive and compliments the stained glass windows and generally decorative nature of the church.

St. Lawrence Church, Macau

St. Lawrence Church, Macau

The church is also straddled by garden and planted areas and there are some outdoor benches for visitors to rest. It is one of three similar churches as well as St. Augustine’s and St. Dominic’s to be included in the UNESCO World Heritage designation for the City Centre of Macau. It is said that the families of Portuguese seamen used to gather on these church steps to pray for their safe return home. This explains how this church got its Chinese name “Feng Shun Tang” or the ‘Church of Smooth-sailing Wind’.

The church interior is richly adorned with decorated pillars, a magnificent wooden ceiling painted turquoise with white and gold beams, embellished with beautiful chandeliers. Below the cupola, the imposing red-carpeted altar and exquisite stained glass windows complete an absolutely stunning visual effect.

Black Tuesday

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file (34)Girls wearing green sweaters and boys wearing green blazers wearing tin badges printed with the school motto: “I shall rise and shine.” Nobody knew till 10 AM, on Tuesday, 16 Dec 2014 that about 132 students and nine staff members would be killed by Taliban and many would be injured. Taliban barbarism is crossing all historical limits and worst part of it is that they think that they by doing this they are serving Islam. Pakistan Army is already fighting a hard battle in North Waziristan and has achieved good results. This is not enough; Tahrik (Movement) Taliban Pakistan is supported by International terrorist organizations like Al-Qaeda. To win war against Taliban’s, it needs support from all factions of society, neighboring countries like Afghanistan and India and above all international Community.  It is time for United Nations to come up with a plan to help Pakistan to eradicate this menace of terrorism; such a plan will go a long way to reduce terrorism all over the world.

Strength of my Heart

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Verse of the Day

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.  Psalms 73:26

Food for Thoughtsaint-stephen-the-martyr-23

St. Stephen, who was accused of blasphemy and stoned to death, upheld the faith and gave witness to Christ as the righteous one proclaimed by the prophets. The saint told his accusers that the body of Jesus is the new temple of God; it is through Jesus that God and humanity are in true contact, which makes real communion with God and transformation of our lives possible. St. Stephen found strength during his martyrdom in his relationship with God. By living in Christ only, people can make real contact with God and get strength, because Christ is the channel through which the God reintroduced His limitless love that was lost due to disobedience by Adam and Eve. Jesus Christ came in this world to make our lives easy by reestablishing are close relationship with God.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Matthew 11:28

Praying

Praying

Today’s Prayer

O Lord, we thank you for your limitless love, you sent your only son Jesus Christ to this world,  so that we can reestablish our communion with YOU. Living with You O Lord, makes our life simpler and easier, all our worries, burdens, problems and difficulties are shared by YOU, thereby making our lives easier and happier. Lord we beg you to be our strength in all our adversities and difficulties. In Jesus holy name, accept our prayers. Amen

Greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven

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Verse of the Day

At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?

Matthew 18:1

Food for ThoughtTyler_Hamilton

Tyler Hamilton won a gold medal in the time trial at the 2004 Olympics, his teammate admired him as honest and hardworking athlete. But in the days that followed, a new test implicated Hamilton for blood doping. His supporters began hawking “I Believe Tyler” T-shirts, and he took donations from fans to fund his defense. One of his colleague and friend asked him straight if he was guilty. He told her that he didn’t do it. After being subpoenaed by federal investigators, Hamilton finally confessed and returned his medal.

There is a race in this world to be greatest, richest, wealthiest, best, top of the line etc. In this race very often we lose ethics, fair play, honesty and integrity. Disciples came to Jesus and enquired about the greatest in kingdom of heaven. The disciples must have been expecting a list of qualities, treats or qualifications, but Jesus must have surprised them with his answer “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven”. Concept of greatness is altogether different in Christianity, it requires a person to forgo his ego and be humble, gentle, fair and honest.

But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.   Matthew 23:11-12

Praying

Praying

Today’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, we thank you for all your blessings, You sent Your only Son Jesus Christ, not in a palace but in a manger, to show allegiance with poor, downtrodden and weak. Lord bless us with spirit of humbleness and fill us with love for humanity, so that we can serve your people. Bless this world with your peace and love. For Jesus sake, accept our prayers. Amen

Passport to Eternal Life

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Verse of the Day

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.   John 3:16

Food for Thought

Judaism believes in an afterlife but has little belief about it; the Jewish afterlife is called Olam Ha-Ba (The World to come). Resurrection and reincarnation are within the range of traditional Jewish belief and temporary (but not eternal) punishment after death is also part of traditional belief. Islam believes in life after death, resurrection of dead body and strict accountability after resurrection. According to Hinduism when a person dies, his soul leaves the body, goes to another world, spends some time there and comes back again. Hinduism decides the fate of a person by considering his previous deeds, his state of mind at the time of death, the time of his death, the activities of his children that are whether they performed the funeral rites in the prescribed manner and satisfied the scriptural injunctions (Weiner). Buddha accepted the basic Hindu doctrines of reincarnation and karma, as well as the notion that the ultimate goal of the religious life is to escape the cycle of death and rebirth. Nirvana is the Buddhist term for liberation. Nirvana literally means extinction, and it refers to the extinction of all craving, an extinction that allows one to become liberated. Sikhs do not believe in an afterlife in either Heaven or Hell. Sikhism teaches that the soul reincarnates when the body dies. Sikhs believe that good or bad actions, in this life, determine the life form into which a soul takes rebirth, like those who dwell on thoughts of riches, or worries about wealth are born again as serpents and snakes.

Christians believe in a life after death, concept of hell and paradise, accountability and salvation through the Grace of God. We believe that Jesus came to this world to deliver us from our sins; he endured torture and died on the cross to pay the price of our sins. He resurrected from the dead and is sitting at the right hand side of the God. All who believe in Him are the saved ones and are claimants of eternal life. Believing in Christ, gives everyone passport to eternal life, we just have to get visa endorsed through our good deeds.

Today’s Prayer

Heavenly Father, we thank you that you sent your only son to save us from our sins.  We as sinners, time again betray your great sacrifice by getting attracted towards sins. Lord give us power to remain steadfast and refrain from worldly attractions that distract us from the right path. Bless all of us with limitless blessings. In Jesus name accept our prayers. Amen

 

Salvation is Guaranteed

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Verse of the Day

But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”       Mathew 1:20:21

Cat n birdFood for Thought

Construction site was about 60 Feet deep; steel bars ware erected in double row to construct a retaining wall to hold the loose earth. The steel was fixed very close; it formed something like a cage. Many birds had made their nests by making holes in the earthen wall.  One morning I saw an interesting event, a young bird perhaps learning to fly was on one side of the steel bars, it had very little space to move around and a cat was on the other side that was open. Whenever, the bird came near steel bars the cat tried to catch the bird. It was an interesting scene; however, it was evident that the cat will catch the bird. One of us threw stone on cat; the cat ran away and he rescued the bird.

Forces of evil are always at watch to find us vulnerable and catch us. We often try and get away from these evil forces temporarily, but due to worldly pressures and restrictions, we are likely to fall in their trap sooner or later. We definitely need outside help, Christmas brings for us very good news, God has sent Jesus Christ to help us and liberate us from these evil forces. Christianity is the only religion that guarantees salvation and eternal life.

Praying

Praying

Today’s Prayer

O Lord, we are grateful that You have sent Your only son to this world to save us from all the forces of evil. No other name other than Jesus Christ can save our lives and bless us with eternal happiness. While we are celebrating Christmas season, be with us and enhance our festivities. Holy Father, bring peace to this world and make all people around the world to live in peace and harmony. In Jesus name accept our prayers. Amen

Contentment, Happiness and Mental Peace

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Verse of the Day

Then Herod, when he saw that he was mocked of the wise men, was exceeding wroth, and sent forth, and slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently inquired of the wise men. Matthew 2:16

Food for Thoughtfile (66)

Christmas story is incomplete without mentioning King Herod. Herod (B.C. 73–B.C. 4) was a friend of the Emperor Augustus and knew Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony. King Herod, ethnically Arab but a practicing Jew, increased the land he governed from Palestine to parts of modern Jordan, Lebanon and Syria constructing fortresses, aqueducts and amphitheatres and earned him the title ‘Herodes Magnus’, Herod the Great.  King Herod was son of Antipater, his mother was Cyprus, he had at least ten wives named Doris, Mariamne I, Mariamne II, Malthace, Cleopatra (Jewish), Pallas, Phaedra, Elpis, others and had 14 children including  Herod Antipas, Philip, Archelaus, Aristobulus, Antipater, others. He killed his father-in-law, executed one of his 10 wives and three of his 14 children, and ordered the infamous Slaughter of the Innocents in his quest to kill the Baby Jesus.

Herod was a successful king and a person gifted with vast kingdom, yet he was a very insecure person. He had everything, huge amount money to spend, large force for security, big castle for living, many wives for sharing and maids for service. In spite of all this we see him as a very insecure and unhappy, out of mistrust he killed one of his ten wives, killed three of his sons and killed all children of Bethlehem who were below 2 years of age. Most of us keep on striving for worldly riches, as we earn more our lust to earn even more increases. As a result, we remain uncontended, worried and unhappy.  Contentment, happiness and mental peace are result of being thankful to Lord for everything he provides us and sharing God’s blessing with our fellow human beings.

Today’s Prayer

Praying

Praying

Heavenly Father, we thank you for everything that you have provided us, often Satan makes us unhappy with all we have and sow seeds of discontentment in our lives. Heavenly Father, at all these times you come to our rescue and restore our happiness. Lord, bless us with the spirit of contentment, satisfaction and gladness and let our lives bring happiness for others also. In Jesus name, accept our prayers, Amen