#OYP200for200 | A Heart for Christ

By Moses Pham, Temasek Polytechnic 

Hello, I am Moses. I was raised in a Catholic family, attended Catechism classes, and went to Mass every week with my family. I was never really attentive anywhere when I was young, so I never knew much about my faith. I always found the Mass boring, and I never really understood or knew God and was not really aware of God in my life. I viewed God as distant and not really involved and I mainly just asked Him for things. My faith was not strong and I did not really have a reason for my faith. I could not really see any direction or purpose in my life and I was always very fearful and sometimes felt hopeless because of some other issues I faced.

My faith started to grow after Secondary One, when I was attracted to church because of the “modern” praise and worship I experienced. While I was initially attracted because of the “fun” and mere emotional highs, God used it to really bring me to Him; He turned this attraction into a longing for Him and my faith grew. I had somehow become much more aware of God in my life and I learned how God really loves me and that He desires for me to be with Him. My faith continued to grow and mature over the next two years and I was confirmed. I was quite confident that I would hold on to this faith and follow God for the rest of my life.

However, over time, my faith was somewhat stagnant. I started to struggle with praying as I just found it so boring and difficult to pray every time. I was tempted to give up and just followed God passively. Although I was still aware of God and tried to follow Him, I knew I was not really on the right track.

Fizzled Fire, Fanned Into Flame

By God’s graces, and through attending retreats and meeting people that God placed in my life, my inspiration to pray and perseverance in faith slowly grew. He revealed Truths to me that I had forgotten or just did not understand. He transformed my understanding of prayer; I had still not really understood prayer and to me, it was sort of a ritual and almost a formal requesting of things. However, God helped me to realise that prayer is such a great and beautiful gift; it is actually really a conversation with God—our relationship with God, and we do not need to hide anything from Him. God really truly loves us way beyond our understanding and desires so much good for us and wants to be close to us in our journey through life; He constantly knocks on the doors of our hearts and gently asks to accept His invitation and to be with Him as friends.

Transformation of the Mind and Heart

Another issue I struggled with was the Eucharist. For some reason, it was only around 2017 to 2019 that I slowly came to learn about transubstantiation and how the Eucharist is truly the Body and Blood of Christ—not only a mere symbol or representation, and not only a spiritual presence, but really His true and full presence—and this is so critical to our faith. I had just not understood this enough and now I was really not quite sure what to think; I was not even sure if I really believed, but I wanted to and I thought I did, but I was unsure.

During an outpouring session where there was also Eucharistic Adoration, the Holy Spirit really convicted me of this, because when I gazed at Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I just suddenly felt somewhat stunned, and I just started to cry and I was really unsure why. After reflecting and even more reflection subsequently, I know that God was telling me to let go of the desire to be in control and to know and understand everything, but to surrender and put my trust in Him and rely on Him for what I cannot understand. I know that that was Jesus showing and reminding me of His immense love, mercy and power, and that all my desires are fulfilled by Him and Him alone; only He can fill the void in my heart and I truly need Him in the Eucharist. Jesus gives me not just His body, but His very heart, as seen in the Eucharistic miracles where the Eucharist transformed into flesh that was found to be human heart tissue. I can now claim the Truth that He gives of His flesh to me in the Eucharist, that my heart may be healed and transformed. Truly, as St. Augustine of Hippo said, our heart is restless until it finds its rest in God.

Heart transformed by Christ – an image drawn by Moses

My Invitation to You

I have become much more aware of God’s presence in my life, and how I do not have to keep relying on myself but can rely on the strength of God especially when I feel tired or lost. I now know that Jesus is really always walking beside me and He stretches out His hand whenever I fall or whenever troubles come, and I have to be humble and accept it and He will be able to pull me up. I know that He is truly working in my life, and has a plan for everything, and I just need to trust and follow Him without worry or fear, for His good plan always works.

My dear brothers and sisters, will you also allow God into your lives and live for Him, in Him, and with Him, and let Him love and show you the way?