I pray in the morning after waking up when my mind is still clear and in the evening to finish the day with prayer before sleeping.
During the day I pray every time that I have a silent moment to myself.
This is not as often as you might think as one’s life becomes ‘occupied’ by work, the phone, the internet and other sources of information and entertainment. But I pray pretty much during the whole day. I give thanks or pray for help and support for others and myself through difficult situations.
I go to Mass every Sunday and most weekdays if I wake up in time. I find it a very relaxing way to start the day. I have my own altar at the end of my bed.
There is a Cross and statues of Our Lady of Fatima and St Anthony. I have a conversation with God. I believe that being able to focus is very important for prayer. I meditate, pray the Rosary daily and attend Novenas. During the weekend I attend retreats if I feel down.
I spent my early childhood in Vietnam where the communists suppressed any religious activities as well as expressions of faith. I experienced a lot of support from Catholics and non-Catholics enabling me and other fellow believers to continue our worship. Catholic private education and religious education were forbidden but there were always people helping us to continue and evade detection.
I was brought up in a family where praying was very important. My Dad went through so much in his life and he always believed without God we couldn’t do anything. He guided us to ask God for help during difficult times.
While he was in prison during the Vietnam War, my mum looked after us alone. I have two sisters and one brother but at the time it was only my sister and I.
My mum was always struggling yet she did not give up. She had a belief that Jesus, Mary and the Holy Spirit were guiding her and helping her. We moved to Australia when I was eleven.
In Australia there is religious freedom but it is difficult to practise our faith publicly. You get looked at weirdly when you make the sign of the cross before your meal in a restaurant.
In the office you get criticised or verbally attacked when you happen to mention your faith in the presence of someone who is against the Catholic Church. It is getting more and more difficult to stand up for one’s religion in an environment where ignorance and prejudice against practised faith is predominant.
I am 34 years old and my height is 120cm. I have worked in Library administration processing books for 13 years. I work with a colleague who is very tall and we help each other out so it’s balanced.
Sometimes I get angry about my physical limitations. I can be hot tempered and ask God, “Why me?” I get angry with Him because I think that it is unfair. But God always sends someone nice to help me out.
My faith helps me to refocus and not to be bitter or depressed about my situation. Faith guides you the way life should go even if you don’t see it right away.