Jennifer Tan Hooi Peng is a 54-year-old Catholic who found her way back to the Church eight years ago. She lives in Penang with her husband and two children but currently she is in Ipoh with her elderly family members in this Covid-19 lockdown. She shares her journey back to the Lord in a series of articles. Her earlier articles are listed below.
By Jennifer Tan
OCT 14, 2021
I started attending Sunday masses with my husband around July 2013 after 29 years of being away from God, hoping I could find my lost soul after doing work against my principles in my new job. At that time, we didn’t attend daily masses as we didn’t know they existed and time did not permit.
Since early 2015, God gave me back my old full-time job of auditing food safety. God also created a new position for me where I coordinate training within the Asia Pacific region. For this position, I needed to only do half of the travelling I did in my previous work, where I was required to travel and audit all the time. He provided me more opportunities to participate in choir, Catholic Charismatic Renewal, Little Rock Studies Scriptures and attend seminars to know more about Him. Thank you, Jesus! Alleluia!
Call from God
In July 2016, I kept waking up around 5am or earlier. This went on for several weeks without any apparent reason initially. After receiving promptings in my heart to start attending daily morning masses, I asked my husband about it. To my surprise, he said that he too had the same call! We obeyed, of course!
The morning masses ended around 7.30am and I would be back home by 8am for work on days that I was not traveling. Our Lord would wake me up early in case I needed to complete house chores and clear some office work so that I could attend daily masses. Thank you, Jesus, for reaching out to us simultaneously! Praise God!
The morning masses were more difficult because readings, responses and hymns were not projected on the screen in the chapel or the Blessed Sacrament room. Attentive listening was needed as sometimes we could not hear as microphones were not used. Initially, we could not even respond properly. After some time, my husband and I bought Daily Missals, and made efforts to remember our responses. Our participation made daily masses so much more meaningful! Thank you, Jesus! Praise the Lord!As I had internalised the Sunday homilies and put into practice the lessons learnt, I started doing the same for the homilies during daily masses. I now have more of God’s words to apply! Praise the Lord! Alleluia!
Over time, I received messages within me either during masses or at other times. These messages were never just once but were repeated, and they would be confirmed by other people, through scriptures, readings, activities, or seminars. The messages below helped to try shape my actions over the years: –
1) All that I have, belongs to God. I am here on earth to use my heart and mind in deciding how to share with the poor, needy, sick, and build God’s Kingdom, etc. This means sharing resources such as
of time, energy, and material possessions.
2) We are fully dependent on God – we cannot do anything without God or we are nothing without God. We can start something or try our best to do something. If it is not in line with God, it would not work or we will encounter many obstacles as our plans and timing must follow His.
3) Luck or coincidence do not exist, there are only God’s plans. Birth and death take place in His time, no matter what humans do or try to do.
4) Physical healing is fully by Our Lord. All medication, treatment and attempts will not work if God decides that other forms of healing (spiritual, emotional, or psychological) is more important. The time of healing is also decided by God as we might need more time for continued purification or for His Glory in His chosen time.
5) Christ is in others. We should treat everyone with love and respect irrespective of religion, race, and status.
6) When an incident or conversation happens, even when there are other people, how I react is between God and me, not the other person(s). We have to be accountable for our actions and words.
7) Suffering can be offered for atonement of our sins and sins of others, as purgatory can be here on earth.
8) Our God is fair and just. Deeds and actions that are not rewarded here on earth will be rewarded in heaven. As such, we do not need to retaliate or feel unfairly treated if we do not receive our rewards now. Punishment not received now will be undertaken as we pass into the next world.
9) Prayer is the starting point with God, a means of communication. From prayer comes actions and all others.
10) Our heart is a good gauge if we are doing something in line with God’s will, not our minds. We should feel joy, peace, and positive emotions even if not fully based on logic or science.
11) When we help, volunteer services, or give charity, we should not feel pushed, obliged, angry, irritated, or resentful, and other negative emotions. If we do, it is better to stop as we have lost our love for others.
12) When making decisions, ask God first. Seek the Holy Spirit for help. If we cannot hear or discern, ask God for help to correct any wrong and inappropriate actions taken. (I am practicing this because my discerning skills are not so good!).
13) Do not judge people – we jump into conclusions being unaware of the truth, actual events, or circumstances of a person. We should open our hearts and be more understanding towards others.
14) Stealing is not limited to just taking monies without one’s knowledge. Cheating on our taxes is one of them.
15) We must keep changing ourselves by following God’s teachings and His commandments. I noticed that each time I tried to do so, I experienced more of God’s graces and blessings to help me especially when trying to correct my sins, apply His Words, and learn more about Him.
After many years had passed, I learnt from online homilies by Father Joseph Edattu VC from Divine UK Retreat Center in 2011, that when Jesus died and rose from the dead more than 2000 year ago, all Graces, Blessings, Miracles and Healing were given to us then. Due to our own sins, stubbornness, and attachments to the secular world, we ourselves have blocked many of these! When we change and grow in Christ, we can release them in helping us lead the life that God desires for us! Praise the Lord! Thank you, Jesus!
This year, I also learnt from Fr Joseph Edattu VC that in the Lord’s Prayer, “Give us this day, Our Daily Bread…..”, that this bread referred to is actually the Body of Christ, the Holy Eucharist.
Attending daily masses gave me greater opportunities to apply more of God’s teachings and increased partaking of Our Lord so that I am slowly strengthened to grow in my faith journey to increase my trust in Him, for protection against spiritual warfare, grow in holiness, and be more Christ-centered. Thank you, Jesus! Alleluia!
More articles by Jennifer Tan:
Being away from Christ was the greatest mistake of my life – the story of Jennifer Tan
Tears would roll down my cheeks each time I receive Holy Communion
‘Our return to Christ as husband and wife happened just as how God told me’
Discovering Christ through prayer
‘How I used the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet to Intercede for others’