2 A large crowd followed him, because they saw the signs he was performing on the sick.
3 Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.
4 The Jewish feast of Passover was near.
5 When Jesus raised his eyes and saw that a large crowd was coming to him, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy enough food for them to eat?”
6 He said this to test him, because he himself knew what he was going to do.
7 Philip answered him, “Two hundred days’ wages worth of food would not be enough for each of them to have a little.”
8 One of his disciples, Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter, said to him,
9 “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish; but what good are these for so many?”
10 Jesus said, “Have the people recline.” Now there was a great deal of grass in that place. So the men reclined, about five thousand in number.
11 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed them to those who were reclining, and also as much of the fish as they wanted.
12 When they had had their fill, he said to his disciples, “Gather the fragments left over, so that nothing will be wasted.” 13 So they collected them, and filled twelve wicker baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves that had been more than they could eat
14 When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This is truly the Prophet, the one who is to come into the world.”
15 Since Jesus knew that they were going to come and carry him off to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain alone.
Born on the 2nd of January 1873 at Alencon in France, she was baptized two days after, on the 4th of January same year. When she was growing up, she thought she would be a nun. She received her First Holy Communion on the 8th of May 1884 and was confirmed on the 14th of June the same year. On the 9th of April 1888, she entered the Carmelite Monastery at Lisieux as a Postulant, at the permission of her Father. She practiced the virtues of humility, evangelical simplicity, and firm confidence in God. She is my Patron Saint, Therese of the Child Jesus, also known as Saint Therese of Lisieux and The Holy Face.
HER INTERIOR SCHOOL
Therese of the Child Jesus is well known throughout the Church’s history as a doctor of souls. I once visited her school of holiness when I read her autobiography and decided to be a student in her school. This gentle soul in her interior school of holiness is awesome and can be very instrumental in the life of any Christian who turns to her intercession. I love reading her story again and again. Her prayer life as a whole, her schedule, and simple constant communion with God must have been the classroom where all teaching, learning, and research work took place for her to come out with her mission. Of course, her teacher being the Holy Spirit and the Blessed Mother her model.
I’m always touched when I think of the kind of deep love Saint Therese had for God so much that in her last moment here on earth she declared her mission saying,
“I feel that I am about to enter my rest … but I also feel that my mission is going to begin. My mission to make God loved as I love him, to give my little ways to souls. If God grants my desire, my heaven will be lived on earth, until the end of time. This is not impossible since from the very heart of the beatific vision, the angels watch over us”.
My mission is love P.9.
She developed a lot of confidence in God as I see in most of her writings, like this very heartfelt one,
“O my God, Blessed Trinity I declare to love you and make you loved.”
Therese of the Child Jesus
I can see that she had a passionate desire to make God loved as she loves him or as they loved each other, a precious skill she must have acquired only in her interior school. Her self discipline and openness in little things fostered a more significant encounter between God and herself that she intended to serve God even hereafter. I also learned that Therese’s mission actually started after her death, her mission to spend heaven on earth, if God grants her desires, to make God loved. She is one of the most loved saints nowadays because she keeps on fulfilling her mission: Making God’s children love him through her intercession – making Love loved. This Aspect of hers truly amazes me.
HER PRAYER LIFE
I’ve always thought prayer is “talking and listening to God” until I discovered more about prayer when I reflected on what my patroness wrote as a definition for prayer from her experience of prayer.
“A glance directed towards heaven, a cry of gratitude and love in the midst of trials and joys.”
Therese of the Child Jesus
In her last conversation with her spiritual mother, Therese recounted a moment she encountered God’s glory. She said,
“…well I was beginning the way of the cross and all of a sudden, I was seized with such a violent love for God that I cannot explain it except by saying that it was as if I had been totally plunged into fire. Oh! What fire and what sweetness at one and the same time! I was burning with love and I felt that one moment, one second longer, and I could not have supported its ardor without dying. I understood what the saint said about this state that they had experienced so often. I experienced it only for an instant, and then I fell back into my usual state of dryness.”
Therese of the Child Jesus
Therese’s attitude in prayer was that of abandonment. Even when it was difficult for her to meditate or reflect due to her health, her simplicity, peace of mind, and honesty in little things saw her being carried along by God’s love as a child carried in her Father’s arms. She longed to do great things, but her health could not permit her. In prayers, She was in-between being predominantly active and passive; thus, with no strength of her own, she left her heart predominantly open for the love of God to manifest itself to the fullest. How did she do this? By doing little things in extraordinary ways. We can learn from Therese that we can’t depend on our power to do things or to pray but on the grace of God’s love.
Another amazing thing in her was her way of praying. Therese never cherished vocal prayers or could not stand a wearisome reiteration of words, but she prefers to silence all her personal circuits to give deep attention in listening to God. She realized that it is when she was in silence that God speaks to her, a very important aspect of her interior school. She wanted to be real as much as possible not to be drawn into ready-made prayers, but however, she said she loved the Divine office.
I also learned that Therese usually recites the ‘Our Father‘ prayer very slowly during her moments of spiritual dryness as she said,
“Sometimes when my mind is in such dryness, that it is impossible for me to draw one thought to unite myself with God I recite very slowly an ‘our Father’ then the angelic situation, this prayer carry me away, they nourish my soul so much more than if I had recited them quickly one hundred times.”
Therese of the Child Jesus
This simply means she took her time to get all the meaning and sweetness of every word, phrase, and sentence of the prayer. And this exercise usually carries her out of dryness into a soul-nourishing experience. Amazing!
HER RELATIONSHIP WITH THE VIRGIN MOTHER
Her relationship with the virgin Mother was so real that she said,
“The Blessed Virgin shows me that she is not displeased with me and never fails to protect me as soon as I invoke her. I turn towards her and she always takes care of my needs as a tenderness of a mother.”
Therese of the Child Jesus
This shows that in her interior school, Therese never despised the Virgin Mother she learned from her and obtained her benefits. She confirms she took care of her needs, which means her prayers through the Virgin Mother were always answered.
HER EARLY CHILDHOOD EXPERIENCE
Her radical faith and trust in God must have emanated from her early childhood experience of separation from her family. At the age of 3 years, due to ill health Therese was separated from her family and was only reunited after eleven months. This experience made her clung to her mother with a lot of passion. She could not endure being outside her mother’s presence. After her mother’s death, she clung to her family with the same zeal as she said,
“I could not bear the company of strangers and found my joy only within the intimacy of the Family.”
Therese of the Child Jesus
It is fantastic too that as Therese entered the convent, she clung to God in the same way she clung to her family. This childhood experience was just a glimpse of the interior school she came to establish as a nun, a preparation of what will come to pass in her life as a nun. Her unshakable or radical faith and dependence on God has gotten a significant contribution from her childhood experience.
HER ILL HEALTH
In sickness, Therese knew she had no strength to support herself but believed God would support her soul without her support. She believed she leans on a rock that holds her life and that she holds not the rock, but the rock holds her. This attitude of hers actually astonishes me.
In her interior institution, while learning a lot from God, the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and Mother Mary, Saint Therese in some of her poems taught us many lessons such as abandonment, love, and self-sacrifice, fortitude, tenderness, purity, etc. To understand and imitate her life is to make us men, women, brothers, and sisters of faith. Just as she taught her novices with her words and examples, so she is teaching us today. Here are two of her amazing poems:
A GLOSS ON THE DIVINE
“Without support, yet with support.
Living without light, in darkness,
I am wholly being consumed by love.
I have no other support than my God.
And now I proclaim what I value near him.
Is to see and feel my soul
Supported without any support.”
Therese of the Child Jesus
When I read this poem the first time, I was like startled, and then I asked myself, “what is the meaning of ‘gloss’?” From my dictionary and got it,
1.shine or luster on a smooth surface.
I was so moved as this definition made me understand the poem better. Amazingly, I see how this gentle soul describes her smooth leaning on God, her self abandonment in God’s hands, especially in moments when her heart was willing, but her body could not take her to where she wishes to reach in her calling due to her ill health.
LIVING ON LOVE
“Living on love is giving without limit.
Without claiming any value here below.
Ah! I give without counting, truly sure.
That when one loves one does not keep counts!
Overflowing with tenderness, I have given everything.
To his divine heart… lightly I run.
I have nothing left but my only wealth
Living on love.
Living on love is banishing every fear.
Every memory of past faults.
I see no imprint of my sins.
In a moment love has burnt out everything.”
Therese of the Child Jesus
Wow! what a love song. If there is a word in the whole wide world so difficult to define, it is “LOVE,” but here is a very simple, very true definition of love from a pure heart. Amazing! “Giving without limit, without counting, overflowing with tenderness, banishing fear, etc.”
CANONIZATION OF SAINT THERESE
“After her death on the 30th of September 1897, at the age of 24, Saint Therese was declared venerable by Pope Benedict XV in 1921. In 1923 Pope Pius XI promulgated a decree which beatified Therese, describing her as the “Star of his Pontifical reign.” Finally, on the 17th of May 1925, Therese Martin, also known as Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, was canonized at St. Peter’s Basilica in the presence of thirty-four cardinals, more than two hundred Arch Bishops and Bishops, innumerable priests religious and others. The Basilica was decorated with garlands of roses. She was also proclaimed a doctor of the Church.”
In fact, I’m impressed at the number of people present at her canonization, which indicates how Therese had touched the lives of many with her simple ways. This inevitably came to pass as a result of her dedication to her interior school, where she listened, communicated, and acted according to God’s will for her. She is said to be one of the most loved saints of this century because she keeps on fulfilling her mission. She is the woman most loved by the world after the mother of God. A doctor has done a lot of research, passed several exams, and is an expert in his work field. So was Saint Therese in her vocation. She did little things in extraordinary ways showing us that it is not only in doing great and mighty things that one deserves this title. Yes, she died but still lives and has visited so many countries of the world, something she wished she could do while on earth but limited by health.
Her Intercessory Power
I was so astonished when I read about her intercessory power and decided to seek her intercession one time I had a difficulty. I prayed the “Glory Be Novena to Saint Therese.”
I was standing in front of the whole school that morning, conducting morning devotion. The latecomers had been stopped from running in except the kindergartens who were allowed to join their mates on their line. Suddenly, up came one of the latecomers, my class kids, Tumi, running directly towards me with a flower in hand. He must have harvested it on his way to school, for he lives on a hillside two kilometers from the school compost. The other pupils watched with amazement, eager to see what Tumi will be up to. Innocently, he offered me the flower saying, “Madam, take your ‘fiawer’. ” The whole school burst into laughter. 😁😁😁 Tumi was so happy😀as I received the flower, carried him up, and embraced him. No one could understand what this was all about, but I who have read that Saint Therese usually indicates answered prayers with flower signs. This happens the first time I took the novena. I thought it was a coincidence, but my second experience made me actually believe.
I was kneeling in front of the Blessed Sacrament on the 9th day of my Novena to Saint Therese of the Child Jesus, and as I was meditating, my eyes caught the bouquet of flowers that was standing at the altar. Just of a sudden, a rose left the bouquet and fell on the floor. This again to me was a confirmation of answered prayers through Saint Therese, and this made me believe that what is said of her is true that when you seek her intercession, she mostly shows signs of answered prayers with flowers. No doubt, she is also popularly known as “The Little Flower of Jesus,” or only “The Little Flower.“
Truly my patroness amazes me, and I’m proud to be a student in her school. She is one of the greatest saints of modern times.
Game-Based Learning plays important role in teaching by making students to collaborate, communicate, interact and work in teams. Strategic games improve the functioning of brain. Gaming creates a dynamic that can inspire learners to develop skills and build an emotional connection to learning and subject matter. Games designed specifically for the purpose of educating children can motivate self learning and problem-solving skills to a great extent. Game-Based Learning simply means including knowledge matter of subject into games. All types of games are learning processes, be it casual gaming for fun, or something serious. Here is one of such games. The student will be able to identify objects and count them
The beans and tender coco-yam leaves are harvested from the farm or bought from the market or store. All the other ingredients are gotten from the store. Spinach can be used where cocoyam leaves are not accessible.
Corn Fufu and Njyama-njyama is a typical African dish, so rich in the various food nutrients. This traditional dish has become so popular that it is now eaten in many countries of the world because of its richness. The main ingredients used to prepare a tasty corn fufu and njyama-njyama dish are as listed below.
Harvest the huckleberry (Njyama-njyama) from the farm or buy from the market. The quantity depends on how much fufu and njyama-njyama you want to prepare.Pick the njyama-njyama by removing the hard stems.Wash thoroughly and boil the njyama-njyama for about 20 to 30 minutes, then remove and slice.
Slice the tomatoes and onion and fry using the vegetable oil and fry about two to three minutes.
Add salt and magi, and allow to fry for about two or three more minutes depending on the quantity. Pepper can also be added at this stage for those who like it.
Add the sliced njyama-njyama and stir well. When it is well mixed with the tomato and onion paste, allow it for one or two minutes, then stir and remove from the gas cooker or fireside.
Trash dry yellow or red corn and grin it at a grinding mill. You may buy already prepared corn flour from a store.
Put enough water in a sizable pot, depending on your quantity. Allow the water to bubble. Mixed corn flour with water and put in the bubbling water, then stir continuously for about three to four minutes till the dough is thick and tough.
Add warm water and using a pestle or a wooden spoon , open the dough and let the water go in between the dough down to the bottom of the pot. Then cover and let it cook for about two to three minutes. open and stir till the fufu is smoother, tougher and looks shinny.
Use the banana leaves to tie. Where there are no banana leaves, you can use film rolls.
When I look at the whole world as it was some months ago and in the present, I see a promising future where hopes shall be restored, fears disappear, social and public life curbed, businesses well managed, international relations well supervised, world health secured and good home discipline not left out of the great transformation that probably will sprout out of the situation we are living now. With great combat on COVID-19 presently, the future seems promising. Surely these advantages will come to realize if we continue to cooperate in the fight against COVID-19. Up till now, everyone is so conscious and so vigilant of every bit of thing happening around them; however, some people are still to realize the necessity of continuous combat on this virus. So, in seven ways, I have examined this beautiful dream.
It is but right that what we have all seen and passed through months ago and are still in it now has affected many of us negatively and left many without hope of a better future. There’s no need to be hopeless; in any disappointment, there is a blessing. Looking at how things are unfolding, like the continuous combat on the corona virus, opening up to normality being carefully initiated with everyone involved, the poor and the rich, the old and the young, the governments and lay institutions, we can say there is great hope for the future. If everyone continues to be involved in the fight against this virus, then the advantage is that hopes shall be highly restored and the future brighter.
2. A future with no fears but confidence in the ways things are done.
Fear still lingers in the hearts of many as a result of the present situation. Those who are sick, those who have lost dear ones or have relatives and friends who are suffering, feel hurt. Those working on the front lines and their families, the government, and private business owners, in a nutshell, nearly every one of us carries along a degree of fear in heart because of this situation we find ourselves. Due to the fear, we turn to do one thing or another with a lot of vigilance and care. Thus, when all these daily routines become a habit, a new way of life will surely emanate. When the new way of life is mastered, and new societal norms formed, our fears shall all disappear since we shall be like new people living in a changing society. We shall then leave our homes in confidence to go to a clean, well-organized store, supermarket, orchestra, Church worship, school, wedding ceremony, and what have you. The leverage here maybe that man shall overcome fear, develop more vigilance and confidence in his relationship with neighbors and others, and do simple things well.
3. A future with a new approach to social and public life.
Social life has been so vast and varied that many good and ought things have also happened within making its definition so tricky. It seems gone are those days when human beings had to move too close to one another in many different ways such as friendships, love relationships, infatuations, marriages, lesbianism, homosexuality, public worship, public games, school life, and what have you. These relationships and places brought humans too close to one another, but now a lot of care is being taken thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. With social distancing, face covering, hand washing, and other measures put in place due to this situation, in the future, people might turn to go very close mostly towards those they highly trust, thereby ensuring respect and care for others.
Public worship presently is experiencing some transformation, an indication that worship procedures shall never be the same again. There is a lot of vigilance and ethical rules put in place that may be maintained when things come to normality. Many people now use social media to worship and praise God. This act may bring about a wider Spread of the Gospel in the future.
With this beneficial tool of social distancing and if this degree of sanity and respect for others is maintained continuously, then shall social and public life curbed positively. Achieving this can help us become creatures of high integrity in the years to come when we must have gotten rid of the situation at hand.
4. A future with well managed businesses and discoveries.
Even though people physically distance themselves, they are using technology in a new way to connect with others. This phenomenon has given rise to the discovery of different techniques of doing things that are good and may continuously improve for a better future. Managers and business operators during this era of COVID-19 have developed very high standards and techniques for handling their businesses. The hygiene and sanitation nature, entrance and exit norms, more online sales, and delivery methods are signs of a better future. Considering the advantage of this change no one may want to go back to old ways. All these are indications that business life seemingly shall never be the same again but improve.
Working from home has been seen to be even more productive and stress-free than before. This experience has also helped to reduce the cost of depreciation and maintenance of office equipment, ensuring a better future for businesses. The cost of these types of equipment may also decrease in the future due to the reduction in their uses. This experience might influence both employers and employees to love and schedule more work from home in the future than now. Some people may also gain online jobs thereby fostering development and employment. In the line of education, the advantage is that there are hopes of more online teaching/learning, and more techniques and discoveries in doing this in the future than ever before. School staffs have also discovered different ways and techniques in meeting their kids online, even down to kids 1 – 12, a discovery that might have come to stay for a better future. Online classes and zoom meetings have been the order of the day and seen to be comfortable and productive. Connecting with the world online in any form of business is more accessible than ever before, as at-home media consumption has increased dramatically, influencing all aspects of life. More students may turn to take online courses effectively in the future rather than going into the classrooms.
5.A future with well supervised and improved international relations.
The movement now from one country to another is well supervised than ever before, thanks to COVID-19. These measures might only continue to improve because of the hard lessons governments have learned from this ugly situation. Screening and checks at the airports and seaports, if continuously intensified, shall be able to control better, further outbreaks of viruses that may spread this wild. More help is now directed to developing countries, thus ensuring more world health and peace. The vast world powers shall tend to think “world,” not just states or continents for COVID-19, in its manner of spread, has taught the global world that one man’s problem is everyone’s problem.
6. A future where home security and discipline will be more focused on.
Parents have developed more delight in tendering their children at home than before. Parents who sometimes feel relieved and rested when their kids are out to school have now with joy preferred to keep them at home and follow them up as long as it is safe without complaining. Family members are seen doing more household crafts like baking and cooking than before. They understand that health comes first for health is life. This mentality ensures less restaurant expenditures, more unity, love, creativity, and understanding within the family now and can be more in the future.
Christian life shall surely experience a boom because children are now learning a lot of sound Christian doctrine and practices right in their homes since home prayer life has intensified with the use of social media. With the experience of COVID-19 in mind, a second thought might be given to the construction of houses where a quarantine section shall be considered necessary for other health issues, not necessarily COVID-19. Such an achievement might help to control the spread of infections at family level thus ensuring good family and societal health in the future.
7. A future with a well secured world health.
As routines and schedules change to meet the demands of isolation, many people have turned to workout programs and indoor games. Some now focus on taking care of their own physical and psychological needs and those of friends and loved ones. Many seek ways to cope with stress and to keep themselves busy when bored. All these guarantee a better world health in the future.
We shall all realize and enjoy all these advantages if only we continue to combat COVID-19 using all possible means for its complete eradication. Let us all cooperate in quarantine, face covering, hand washing, ethical business norms, care, and respect for one another to secure a future full of hopes, confidence, integrity, good health, well organized businesses, discipline, more discoveries and employment.