"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Egoistic Hypocrite

        Be the genuine you always, no duplicity. Never do anything for show (no ego play). If you cannot do it, then you have to be categorized as an egotistic hypocrite. 

*Do We Need Jesus?

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 2, some scribes who were Pharisees saw that Jesus was eating with sinner and tax collectors and asked his disciples why he ate with them. Jesus heard this and said to them, "Those who are well do not need a physician, but the sick do. I did not come to call the righteous but sinners." Are we the righteous or sinners? Do we need Jesus? The fact is that we are all sinners and need him. It is interesting that those who believe that they are righteous and do not need Jesus are the ones who need to be saved the most, while the great saints always regard themselves to be the most wretched sinners before the Lord. Looking at our world realistically today, our assessment is that we need Jesus most desperately!

The Life in Union with God . . .

is a life of joyfully waiting to hear from the Lord and doing what he wishes you to do, without any anxiety.

Settling Eternity

        Let's get right to it: since our soul lives on forever, we cannot be happy until we get our eternity settled. Now, God is eternal, so if we can latch onto him, we should do fine. Fortunately, he loves us and desires that we spend all eternity with him. It all works out perfectly. Follow Christ the Savior and our issue is no more (for all eternity). 

Friday, January 17, 2020

**Beautiful Conversion Story*

        Watch and hear the beautiful conversion story of the Croatian photographer Don Elvir Tabakovkić. Chances are one or more of the things he said would resonate with you. His photographs are beautiful too.

**Morality Reversed!

        Here is Fr. Mark Goring's new short video. The message is not directly related to the content of my last post, but it's the same Spirit that prompted us. Hear Fr. Mark's revealing message (warning), and pray for Ireland.

*What Mass Should Be Like

        The center of Mass is of course Christ the Lord. Everything that happens at Mass should help us focus upon and not distract us away from him. I know that what I have to say will sound too strict or worse to many, and may even draw ire from some of you, but that's OK. It's to each his own. 
  1. First, I'd like to see lectors prepare and practice their readings ahead of time. Too often the lector sounds robotic, enunciates poorly or speak not loud enough. What bugs me the most is that there is no pause between readings. When you are still reflecting on the first reading, the second reading starts already. A pause at least 15 seconds long would be nice. 
  2. Personally, I don't find music that sounds more like pop music uplifting. It's difficult to say, but when you hear it, you know. Music can be nice, but not necessarily uplifting.
  3. There is a reason why in the older days the Church required that women cover their heads and not to bare shoulders, etc. You see, men are different from women. A man can easily be distracted (attracted) by a woman he sees. So, for all those who are servers at Mass, please dress appropriately in order not to distract anyone from the Lord. I'd like to mention that I personally feel uncomfortable when I see a female Eucharistic minister offering me the white consecrated host with fingers whose nails have all been painted a very dark or some deep red color, definitely a distraction.
  4. I don't need to hear the homilist telling jokes or making remarks just to amuse the people. They tend to take the focus off Jesus. Also, things extraneous such as singing Happy Birthday, etc. should be done outside Mass. 
  5. Ideally, people should refrain from talking freely before and right after Mass. After Mass because after receiving the Lord, there might be those who'd like to remain in reverence for a while.
       I'd say whatever you would not do at the Last Supper, we should not do at Mass.

**Extraordinary Food

        Communion experience. I was not receiving any ordinary food; I was receiving the living bread, the Lord God himself. This is the food that unites me to God my creator. This is the food that heals my soul. It is the food that promises life eternal! I felt gratified and elated. God always uplifts us when we rest in him.

***All or Nothing with God*

        It is not good enough to go near Christ to be close to him; you want to enter him to become one with him! It's not good enough to know that he is the Lord, you want him to be your Lord! It's not good enough to obey him 99.99% of the time, you need to obey him 100% of the time! The greatest commandment God gave us is to love him with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength. Would God, thinking that we are not good enough, say to us, "Stop trying to love me more, you''ll never make it"? Of course not! Would God think that we are good enough and say, "Stop loving me, you are already good enough for me"? I think not. What he wants us to realize is that on our own we cannot possibly succeed, but if we let him do it for us, nothing would be impossible, especially when we wish to do only his will.

**God Knows About Me!

           Today is the Memorial of St. Anthony. The Gospel reading from Mark 2 tells the healing of a paralytic by our Lord. Four men brought the paralytic to see Jesus. Unable to get near him because of the crowd, they opened up the roof above him and let down the mat on which the paralytic was lying. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, "Child, your sins are forgiven." Some of the scribes present asked themselves, "He is blaspheming. Who but God alone can forgive sins?" Jesus immediately knew what they were thinking. To show that he has authority to forgive sins on earth, he said to the paralytic, "Rise, pickup your mat, and go home." He did as he was told in the sight of everyone.
        I do not know the age of the paralytic. He could be older and not much younger than the Lord. Anyway, the fact that he called him "Child" strikes me that he was speaking to him as God. As always, Jesus knew what people were thinking or what they were going to do. I find great consolation in knowing that God knows all about me and all my thoughts. It would be terribly lonely to know that there is not a single soul out there who can fully understand you. Being aware that the Lord knows all about me guards me against losing my way. Furthermore, it keeps me on the path to becoming holy and more perfect. 

Thursday, January 16, 2020

**Exalted Spiritual State

        Communion experience. When we submit our will to the Lord, we become one in perfect harmony with God. And all is well! 

***We Are the Antichrists!

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark, a leper came to Jesus and kneeling down begged him and said, "If you wish, you can make me clean." Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand, touched the leper, and said to him, "I do will it. Be made clean." The leprosy left him immediately, and he was made clean. Yes, the Lord only needs to will and it is done! But wait a second, there is a problem. Do you realize that we have the power to prevent God from completing his will by exercising our free will? See how we ignore him, defy him, or betray him all the time. Look at the politicians who claim that they are Catholic, but openly support abortion without shame. I now see life also as a testing ground for the Lord to find out whether we deserve to be his children in heaven or not.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

***God No Longer a Mystery

        Communion experience. The Lord entered me—God could not possibly be a mystery to me anymore. In fact, he had come into the world, becoming one of us so that we might know him as one of us. And he revealed all we needed to know about the Father, the Spirit, and how we can have life for all eternity. In union with us, he becomes one we know more intimately than anyone else! It turns out that he is also more exciting to know than all the mysteries there are!

**Focusing on Jesus*

        Christianity is all about Christ. Therefore, we should zero in on him. He is everything and all things to us. Going peripherally about him is a waste of time; you won't get to know him well. We need to live in him, breathe him, be wide open to him to be fed, nurtured, shaped, and molded by him, and become one with him. Then we'll be like him, fulfilling his loving desire and satisfying all our inner thirst and hunger.   

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Love for All Eternity

        Communion experience. Relationship with anything or anyone in the world, no matter how enjoyable or intimate, can wane, grow tiresome, or become burdensome over time. With God, the deeper you enter him, the more you witness his beauty and splendor, and the more you fall in love with him. 

No Duplicity in Us with God

        Jesus said in Matthew 7.21: "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven." In other words, when we say "Lord, Lord," we must mean it, that he truly is our Lord and we obey him always. Otherwise, we are hypocrites. 

*Faith as Gift from God

         If I want to enlarge my house, no problem. I could do the work myself or hire someone else. If I want to plant more trees in my yard, again no problem. If I want to grow more muscles, I can join a gym to work out. With most things, I can do something about it. As to my faith in God, it is different. I can try my hardest to force myself to believe in him more and that won't work. Only by the grace of God can my faith grow. In this sense, faith is a gift from God.
        The above I blogged earlier. Then I thought about it. There is something we can do to increase our faith. Instead of trying hard, we simply relax ourselves and open up to God. With resistance out of the way, the Lord can increase our faith by drawing us close to him.

Bolder Prayers Please God

        I hear too many prayers that begin with "May...." They sound timid, too polite, or even wishy-washy. I venture to say that the Lord would rather that we be bolder, more commanding, or more resolute, especially when we know we are following his will. I particularly remember Jesus' parable of the persistent widow from Luke 18, in which the dishonest judge eventually caved in to the demand of the widow who persistently pestered him. Remember that our Lord is our dearest Father.