Browsing Category Prayer

Spiritual Director

A long time ago, my uncle once told me that the rosary is your “weapon.”

At first, I thought it was meant to be a “weapon” against external evils. Now, I know that it could also be a “weapon” against the voice that tells me that I’m not enough.

Any kind of personal growth is very difficult to measure yourself. Thus, it was very helpful when my spiritual director told me that he sees the changes in me. The growth from the day he first met me, the first spiritual direction meeting outside retreat, to the meeting on my birthday. Each time he has seen me, I have healed a bit more.

I trust my spiritual director. There are times when I get so impatient with myself, but he reminds me that I am still healing, especially because of the traumatic events that have happened not too long ago. He pulls me back onto the boat so that my faith can grow stronger before I go walking on the water.

But for now, I am more than enough.


What do you pray for?

“When you pray the rosary, what do you pray for?”

“… I always pray for Fr. XXX and-”

“Fr. XXX XXXXXXXX?” he asked, almost surprised, leaning in to be sure if he heard correctly.


He withdrew, put his head down, held his hands together, and said with a very gentle smile, “Us priest really appreciate prayers.

It’s moments like these that I am reminded of how important prayer really is.


Answered Prayer

After a long day, I sat down where we sat before inside Our Lady of Peace Church. Everything I was holding inside my heart spilled into tears I did not know I was holding. I kneeled and clung onto the rosary necklace and prayed, hoping that praying the rosary will calm me. However, the tears kept coming and I did not know what to do to make them stop. I texted a friend with no expectation he would respond any time soon, but he did. I felt as if I was frantically running through a rainstorm and finally able to find a tree for shelter and to rest under.

We talked on the phone while the rain beat down on my car. Towards the end of the conversation, I was laughing. Now, I feel free. Thank you.

Looking back at this incident, I think maybe God answered my prayer.

Power of Prayer

How long has it been since I’ve been laying down in bed? I cannot remember. I just know it’s been hours. I pick up my iPhone and noticed a missed call from you. I immediately call you back. We talk.

Do you believe in the power of prayer?” you asked.

Yeah, I do“, I responded.

Then he isn’t lying,” you said.

At that moment, I was reminded of the power of prayer and felt refreshed that another Huynh Trưởng truly lives his faith.

We talked until I began falling asleep. Thank you for being there for me during one of my weakest moments.

Call time: 3 Hours 28 Minutes

4-Day Ignatian Silent Retreat

4-Day Ignatian Silent Retreat by Christus Ministries

It’s been 4 years since I attended a silent retreat. I remember the graces and gifts I received from that retreat in late 2014, which feels so long ago now. I expected I would receive similar gifts from this silent retreat and I was correct. However, these gifts appeared to me in different forms. I am so blessed to have had this opportunity to attend this retreat. Through this retreat, my relationship with Christ grew and I saw God in other people. God truly works in mysterious ways.



“When you and I talked, I was… – I think – I hope- fairly careful with you… and fairly gentle, I hope.”


Yes, you have always been very gentle with me. Ever since the beginning. Thank you.

A letter from 6 years ago

Shortly after entering college, I began to feel that I did not belong and that it was a mistake coming here. I felt isolated from the friends I have made during high school because most of them attended San Jose State. I started to regret not choosing San Jose State and saving money as my sister told me that they were becoming closer friends. I don’t know when exactly I stopped thinking this way, but I think it happened when I started talking to you.

I really appreciate your patience with me. I take a long time to trust you and explain things because I feel like rejection is inevitable. Thank you for listening to all the things that were bothering me. Thank you for praying for me. On the Wednesday mass that I altar served for, I was tempted to feel angry and hate towards the permanent deacon. But I didn’t because, when I turned to my left, I saw the Jesuits symbol on an old candle and it reminded me of you and you promising that you would pray for me. It was the first time I altar served with the permanent deacon without any negative feelings.

“So God created man in his own image […]” (Genesis 1:27).

During the CLC Initiation night, when I looked at you while we were all standing in the circle, I realized that I see God in you. You helped renew my faith and made me see mass as something really special. I think God had me attend SCU to meet you, so I could become closer to God. When you said that you wanted to be our priest on the last day of class, I thought “You already are one to me”. Thank you for everything.

Merry Christmas.

I am going through a very difficult time this Christmas.

I was truly struggling. After what happened, I laid in bed for about 18 hours, cried, talked on the phone with multiple friends, cried over and over again. My chest was tight and breathing was shallow. I had to force myself out of bed to drink water and eat something. Finally, I reached out to someone I loved.

Today, we talked on the phone. After the phone call, I felt a familiar, old love from long ago. Above is the Christmas card I gave this person 6 years ago (2012). Today, I was reminded of this love again.

This Christmas, Jesus reminded me of this love. Of His Love for me.


Christmas Drawing 2018

In the middle of a prayer, you asked me if there was anything I would like to add as we prayed to Mother Mary. I paused, thought of my words, and said: “I want to be like you.” Somehow, the words were difficult to say even though I was unsure of what exactly I was asking for. I hear you re-adjust yourself. After a long moment of silence, you asked Mother Mary to let me know that I am pure, just like her; because I am pure in heart and soul despite the fact I felt quite the opposite in every part of me. Unexpectedly, I cried because I did not know that I needed to hear this.

The last time I drew and colored a drawing in Photoshop was in my senior year of high school (2012). Basically, it has been about 6 years since I have done something like this. This is what an engineering college education and starting a career does to you. Therefore, my art skills have remained (or deteriorated) as to how it was in my high school years. Anyhow, I am happy to start drawing again with the VEYM DAC (Digital Assets Collection)/TNTT Arts Team.

2018-11-25 19-17
Rough Sketch

Last month, I was swamped with other activities that I missed the Mother Mary theme. This month was chosen to be a Christmas theme. I unintentionally was somehow able to merge the two themes together: Mother Mary & Christmas. Another Huynh Truong pointed out the Motherhood portrayal in my piece. Motherhood is an essential part of Christmas.

When I first sketched this, the female Huynh Truong did not have a veil. I wanted to somehow include Mary in the drawing. Therefore, the light blue veil is to remind viewers of Mother Mary.

What I wanted viewers to take away from this artwork was that Mother Mary is a good role model for all of us. We could all be like Mary.


Thanksgiving 2018

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you all are having a good time with family and friends. Today, I will be sharing with you 8 things I am thankful for in 2018.

  • God
    • This year, I truly feel that God is doing good work through me and thus, I feel closer and closer to him each day. Slowly, but surely. Throughout the year, God was there. Although there were times when He felt far away, there were plenty of times when He felt close. Also, there are many times when I felt that God was communicating with me through other people.  As always, I am thankful for God.
  • TNTT Family and Extended TNTT Family
    • The years have flown by and it is only when we say “Goodbye” that we realize we built a bond with other HTs. Sometimes, I get so caught up with my responsibilities as a HT in the process that before I know it, I had become closer to my fellow HTs. The HT camaraderie gets stronger each year. I’ve truly felt it with HT in my own Doan and HT in other Doans. In addition, I have felt it with other HT in other Mien. Our HT bonds extend over the great distances.
  • Family
    • We all know we should be grateful for our parents because they sacrificed so much for us, especially if our parents are immigrants. I already know this and I’m usually grateful. However, I don’t think I was ever as grateful to my parents as when I had broken my ankle in late January this year. Through the time period of being bedridden and on crutches (Late January to late March), I was truly able to see my parents, especially my mom, love me and sacrifice time and energy for me.
  • Friends
    • Sometimes I joke I don’t have friends, but I know I do. However, sometimes it’s hard to feel friendship. The experience that made me stop doubting my friendships was breaking my ankle. My friends immediately took me to the hospital when I broke my ankle and continued to go with me to my checkups and surgery day. Honestly, I couldn’t believe they were willing to pick me up from my house and drive me to the hospital for each appointment. After the surgery, other friends visited me, brought me food, took me out of the house to eat a lot of good foods. I appreciate all that they have done for me and am so grateful for them.
  • New job
    • Changing jobs was almost a no-brainer for me. Although I loved what I was doing, my old job was way too stressful for me. I am very content with my current job, though. Because of my old job, I don’t think I can take my current job for granted.
  • Gym
    • I don’t know who came up with the idea of a warehouse-looking place with different weights of iron waiting to be picked up and placed back down again, but it is clearly a good idea. The gym has been a place where I can get my mind off things, get a good sweat going, and connect with friends.
  • Coworkers
    • I am grateful for my old coworkers as well as my new coworkers. In general, all of my coworkers are nice, thankfully! I always heard of those “horrible coworker” stories and feared I may have one in the future, but so far, I have yet to experience one that horrible.
  • iPhone
    • I am thankful for technology, especially my iPhone. Nowadays, phones are basically mini-computers. Through my phone, I have been able to connect to so many people and become closer friends with them. It’s so easy to message someone to hang out during work than to step out of the office and make a phone call to your friend (who may still be working and cannot pick up the phone).

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving season? Comment below to share!