Communion experience. 1 John 4.19: "We love because God first loved us." It follows that God also first chose me, found me, and called me. Now I must respond to his love with joy.
Tuesday, December 6, 2016
People create strong bonds among them when they go through some adventure or harrowing experience together, even though they might not have known each other well at the beginning. Therefore, always ask the Lord to go through all the trials and tribulations of life with you for him to become your best and most intimate companion.
Since Jesus totally understands our hearts, he is the only one qualified to judge us. He does not judge us based upon what we do, but upon our motivation, our intention. Once our wife meant to stop at a traffic stop sign, but since there's an obstacle blocking her view on the right, before she came to a complete stop, she decided to coast forward a little bit to get a clear view and then stop. It so happened that a cop parked across the street saw all this. He construed that she did not intend to stop the first time and stopped only after she saw him, so he ticketed her with a traffic fine. Here is a case of not understanding the intention and rushing to the wrong conclusion. Once I actually forgot about the time of Sunday Mass and missed it. This was not good, but I also knew that the Lord completely understood that I did not do it on purpose and so would not judge against me. More recently, in drinking the chalice at Mass with others waiting behind me, I did not take the time to handle the deep cup with enough care so that as a result, some consecrated wine dripped to the floor. I felt so terrible that I asked the Lord to punish me in whatever way he wished. Then I realized that he knew that I would never do such a thing intentionally and that he respected my conscience and would forgive my involuntary carelessness. So what seemed horrible was in a way the very opposite of hypocrisy, which is choosing to look good deliberately before others. I rejoice that we have such an understanding Lord.
Monday, December 5, 2016
Sorrow pierced the heart of the Blessed Mother repeatedly in her earthly life, but do you know that God can also pierce our hearts with his love, giving us great joy? This is the same love that can bring peace to our world and save us from hell. Seek union with God to receive such joy.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 5, some men brought on a stretcher a paralytic in an attempt to see Jesus. Not finding a way to bring him in because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on the stretcher through the tiles into the middle in front of Jesus. Jesus saw their faith and not only forgave their sins, but also healed the paralytic. It shows that we need to put our trust in the Lord, be determined, and put in the effort to seek what we want, that is, really go after the Lord, and we will be richly rewarded. God will not help those who sit around with weak faith and no action.
Sunday, December 4, 2016
I just came across the short YouTube video entitled In Memory of Zoltan Kocsis – RIP and realized that he had passed away. He was a Hungarian piano virtuoso some of whose recorded CDs I own. A quick check on Wikipedia revealed that he died last month at the age of 64. I knew he was younger than I and had not expected that he would be gone so soon before me. This got me thinking that we are all marching toward death. It is healthy to be aware of this reality always so that we might plan living our brief lives properly. Of course, any planning for a noneternal period would be inadequate. Jesus has asked us to stay alert and ready for his Second Coming and this information must absolutely be taken into account in our planning so that we can truly be ready for death and everything else.
I see people as they age finally realize that their attachment to material possessions has turned into a burden, so they start to dispossess them one by one. This is moving in the right direction, but getting rid of your things and still feeling attached to them won't entirely free you. It's more important that you feel detached to them even if you still have them ~ this is enjoying everything in the proper free manner. If you can live completely satisfied without your material possessions, then you are truly free in this world. (Letting God replace all your possessions is the secret here, for only he can truly satisfy us.)
We live in this imperfect, sinful world, encountering frustrations, setbacks, unexpected turn of events ... constantly, and it's easy to get stressed out. The realistic outlook is to realize that such happenings will not go away and it's how we deal with them that matters. To me, to remain cool is to not let anything bother you, for life is dealing with a whole series of unfinished businesses until the day you die. How to remain cool? Know that all things that happen to you are allowed by God for a purpose, so there are no accidents. See it this way and you'll see the good that comes out of the experience each time. Let the Lord take up your burden; you are simply following his will, being detached yourself. This is what total abandonment is all about ~ letting God be in charge of all things, for nothing can happen without his knowledge.
Communion experience. When I received Christ in the Holy Eucharist, he entered me to claim me as one of the sheep the Father had chosen to give him, and he was to reside in me. What an honor, blessing, and joy! This is serious business. Sadly, I have seen Catholics no sooner receive the Blessed Sacrament than they walk out the church. One should never receive the Holy Eucharist out of sheer obligation. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 11.27: "Whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord." Catholics beware.
Saturday, December 3, 2016
Today is the Memorial of St. Francis Xavier. In today's Gospel from Matthew 9, at the sight of the crowds, Jesus' heart was moved with pity for them because they were troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few; so ask the master of the harvest to send out laborers for his harvest." How can we help with harvesting? First, to make your task easy, get to know the Lord like the disciples of his time who followed him everywhere. Then spread the good news every chance you get. It could be just making a phone call or performing some small chore to show the love of God for us. The task doesn't need to be taxing; only diligence is required. You'll fine laboring for the Lord to be a great joy.
If you feel inclined to do something that shows off your ego, that prompting can only have come from the evil one and not the Holy Spirit. Let only God bestow any glory on you. All glories that affect you ego are false ones, for they are bestowed on you by Satan. Do not contradict the Lord and you'll have peace. Safeguard the sanctity of your soul and dismiss your ego entirely.
Friday, December 2, 2016
I am artistic in nature and have found myself to be able to express myself through taking photographs. The images I capture identify me as the photographer well; as a matter of fact, you could say that they are me. So I feel good about that and am satisfied with my work. There is somewhat a parallel in following Christ. Abandon yourself in the Holy Spirit and you come to know and understand yourself well. As you become one with God, what you do is exactly what God wants you to do. And you are joyful and happy that you fulfill the will of God always.
Do you know that through Christ, God wants to bestow eternal life on us? How foolish would it be for us to ignore this offer! Let us prepare ourselves for receiving this fantastic, most precious and desirable, and once-in-a-lifetime offer in the remaining time of our fleeting life. Better late than never. In this case, better would be infinitely better and never would be infinitely worse.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
Communion experience. I was in complete harmony with my beloved Lord and my heart felt a great stillness. St. Augustine's saying came to my mind again: "Thou hast made us for thyself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in thee."
The speakers you hear in church, on TV, at conferences, during retreats, and contemporary writers on spirituality advise, encourage, or inspire you to grow holier, to love God more, but none exactly tells you how to do it. Good intention, but ineffective messaging. The secret is to let God do the work for you. This means that you open up to God to let him in first. Then you ask him directly to transform you. In short, the formula for success: Surrender to God, attain union with him, and all you desire is yours.