Communion experience. I wished the Holy Spirit to set my heart ablaze to burn away all the impurities and soothe my soul. [Please note that I shall have to take a hiatus from blogging for a month or so, as I'll be somewhere unable to attend daily Mass nor blog. Check back on October 18 or 19 for new postings. While reading any spiritual writings can be beneficial, the superior way is to meditate upon the Gospels and go to the Lord directly – communicating with him one-on-one with an open heart. Think of the Apostles – they just followed him and learned firsthand from him. God bless you all!]
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Today's Gospel reading came from Matthew 18 on the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant. Jesus wants us to forgive our brothers and sisters always. If God forgives us, we must forgive others, treating them as the Father treats us, or face severe consequences. By the way, when you forgive others, you gain freedom for yourself and find peace in your heart!
Saturday, September 16, 2017
Here are three examples: (1) Coyotes smuggle poor Latin American immigrants into US for a hefty fee (often borrowed money or their entire savings) and abandon them across the border. (2) Recently, thieves looted evacuated homes and stores in Florida during Hurricane Irma. (3) Now, Whole Woman's Health, a reproductive health care organization is offering free abortions to women affected by Hurricane Harvey. Is this compassion? Don't they realize that abortion can affect a women more catastrophically than a hurricane? Abortion also destroys a new life, period. Does it ever occur to these callous people that a hurricane could be God's warning for being anti-life? (In case you missed my post Abortion Horrendous of November 28 last year, you may read it here.)
In today's Communion antiphon, Luke 22.28-30: Jesus said to his disciples, "It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom." To stand by Christ in his trials is to know what causes him to suffer and do our best to alleviate his sufferings. This is following the Lord, requiring us to deny ourselves and take up our cross. To stand by him is the duty of and appointed task for all his followers.
(1) We keep ignoring Christ, time passes quickly and our life is over, over for good.
(2) We know that Christ will reward us for everything we do for his glory, no matter how minute. We remain faithful and keep building up our treasures in heaven. When life is over, we'll be where our treasures are.
Friday, September 15, 2017
These are the three great gifts (rewards) of union with God. I list freedom first because it is a distinctive feature. It is God, the Truth, setting you free. All other so-called freedoms are man-made, not God-given. Freedom in God is absolute freedom, the freedom to do whatever you want in God's infinite space, resulting from being attached to God alone. Peace follows freedom. This is a deep-seated peace grounded in deep faith with the knowledge that your soul is safe in him. Joy is the joy that surpasses all understanding. It comes and goes as the Lord pleases. When it comes, it is powerful and intoxicating, affecting the soul. To paint a picture of these three gifts, I see peace as a calm lake with hardly any ripples on the surface, freedom as the refreshing air and cool breezes that circulate freely around the lake, and joy as an occasional dazzling light that appears over the lake, brightening the entire landscape.
Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. At the presentation of the child Jesus at the temple, Simeon, a righteous and devout man awaiting the consolation of Israel, in the Holy Spirit prophesied to Mary that the child was destined for the ruin and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign of contradiction, and that a sword would piece Mary's own soul (Luke 2.35). Of course, later Mary did eyewitness the sufferings her own son underwent, all the way through his crucifixion. The great sorrow she experienced was a holy sorrow. I used the adjective "holy" to distinguish it from the sorrow of anyone who does not know God and has lost a loved one. In this case, the sorrow is not pure, for the person also feels sorry for himself, lamenting over his own loss. The Christian focuses upon the will of God and the departed. If the soul is heaven bound, sorrow would be lined with joy. If there is any uncertainty, he would share the sorrow with the Lord. Yes, every Christian sorrow no matter how great has a silver lining, provided by the joy of the Resurrection of Christ.
Thursday, September 14, 2017
Communion experience. The Lord entered me not only to purify and heal my heart but also to give me the power to live a triumphant life in serving him. At the end of Mass, Fr. S. blessed each of us with a relic of the Holy Cross and I felt greatly fortified.
Today is the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. In the Gospel reading from John 3, Jesus said to Nicodemus: "No one has gone up to heaven except the one who has come down from heaven, the Son of Man. And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, so that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life." John added: "God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him." The intention of God is clearly revealed here and we need to know it well.
It was tragic that eight elderly residents at a Florida nursing just died from excessive heat and high humidity after Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning system. People die tragically everyday around the world. All of us are going to die, tragically or not. What matters more than the death of the physical body is where the soul goes after death. There is absolutely nothing more tragic than the soul getting separated from God for all eternity!
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
To sin is easy, no effort required on your part. To become holy, you would need God's help, for only he can take away your sins. You may remain living with your sins; but if you wish to become holy and have the best possible future, make the effort to turn to God for help and he will take over and help you accomplish what you wish for. This effort you need to make is just that initial decision, for the rest is taken care by God. Both ways are easy, so choose wisely.
To want to be holy, to please God, to get into heaven . . . all these things must be taken seriously. For Catholics, humility and obedience are absolutely necessary. Humility means that we are willing to submit ourselves to God, and obedience means obeying all of the teachings of Jesus and his Holy Church. We may not succeed in reality, but the intention must be in us. Seeking union with God so that he may help us succeed is definitely the way to go.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
God has already shown his love for us to respond to him. God has already clear the way for us to return to him. God is already merciful for us to repent our sins to him. God is ready to lead us to eternal happiness for us to follow. God is ready to be one with us for us to invite him in. God is ready to teach us for us to open up our hearts. God is already most beautiful for us to discover and enjoy.
I know Christians who choose not to follow certain counsels of Christ. For example, they would not forgive someone they dislike, they just can't. Yes, forgiving your enemy can be most difficult, but deciding not to forgive is going directly against the will of God – certainly the wrong attitude. The smart, right attitude is to tell God it's hard for you to follow his will, but admit that he is right and you need his help. This change of heart exhibiting humility is absolutely crucial to your ultimate salvation.