A situation has come up that requires my attention and attendance away from home. Most likely, I won't be able to do any posting from now on until after December 1. Where I'll be, I may not have access to the Internet, and I am going to miss daily Mass too. This will be a big test of my faith in the Lord. It is my prayer that by trusting in him, I shall remain calm and loving throughout this trial. I'll be grateful if you'll remember me in your prayer. May God continue to bless you all abundantly.
Monday, November 8, 2010
In today's Gospel reading, Luke 17: 1-7, Jesus, to stress the importance, again uses strong words to command us to not sin, to forgive, to believe, etc. My thoughts are that even though the demands sound severe, they can be met or he wouldn't have given them to us, for he is always reasonable. With God's help, all should be possible. Looking at it from another angle: if we simply go along with doing what he wants us to do, how can he change his mind to make it impossible for us? God just does not contradict himself.
Today I felt a deep longing for the Lord. Once you've tasted the sweetness of the Lord, everything else becomes tasteless. The world is only enjoyable to those deeply immersed in it, but tiresome to those who live in the Lord. This is only normal in one's growth process and is a good sign. I still remember from way back that after I switched to color TV, I didn't want to go back to watching shows on black-&-white sets anymore. Same way with food, music, or the size of the house we live in. We just move on to "better" things. Then, once you get to Jesus, there's just nothing better or more satisfying.
Today's Response to the reading from Psalm 24 echoes my feeling: "Lord, this is the people that longs to see your face."
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Looking at the world, I see that each person lives in a space of his own; and in most cases, that space is just a small cocoon. A person is shaped by his own experiences, how he was brought up, the society he lives in, and every thing or person he comes in contact with. He may continue to change; but basically, he shapes himself the way he likes ~ he is still himself inside his cocoon.
Once the person encounters God, then he's no longer confined to his limited space ~ he now enters the unlimited space outside to live, letting God shape him into a new creature, free and beautiful.
A simplified description, but true.
Friday, November 5, 2010
Watching one movie on TV triggered this thought. Every thing is relative. Compared to Christ, we are all "insane" in our own ways. There must be millions of different personal beliefs, theories, habits, idiosyncrasies, and ways of life out there. Practically speaking, no two persons think alike. The fact is that so many people live wrongly. I am so glad that we have the Lord as our standard and model. To follow him is to be sane again in this world. Jesus simplifies us by removing the complicated mess within us. In other words, he sets us free as I have mentioned in the past. Without him, we would be in total chaos.
I saw a TV program presenting the wealth in art. Indeed, there are many beautiful things to see in the museums and elsewhere. Then I remember Philippians 3:8. Paul considered everything as a loss compared to the good of knowing Christ. He had accepted the loss of all things and consider them all rubbish because Christ was now his wealth.
Indeed, the wealth of the Lord is beyond the stratosphere compared to the wealth of this world. If your heart has already been captured by Christ, you will feel exactly as Paul did and understand.
Today during Mass I became sharply aware that I am really nothing. God created me and put me on this earth; I had nothing to do with it. He provides for my existence and shapes my life in this world. Everything belongs to and came from him. Even my love came from him because he who loved us first has given me the inspiration to love him back. Without him, I wouldn't be able to love. This awareness made me realize that I, the whole of me, am totally dependent upon God, and I myself belong to him alone. It has been a humbling, exhilarating, and liberating experience.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 16 at Mass, Jesus tells the parable of the dishonest steward who acted prudently and the Lord concludes by saying that the children of this world are more prudent in dealing with their own generation than the children of light. To be prudent is to be careful in providing for the future. The lesson here for me is that as children of light, we must stay wide-awake and manage our spiritual affairs wisely to ensure our future.
The Alleluia verse, 1 John 2:5, provides extra guidance: "Whoever keeps the word of Christ, the love of God is truly perfected in him."
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Today is the Memorial of St. Charles Borremeo. Reading a little about him, I discovered that he and I share the same birthday. He was a man for all seasons: a canonist, a diplomat, a reformer, an advocate for the poor, etc. I was reminded to question what God has chosen for each of us to do, that is, what our role is as disciples. To be holy and do his will is obviously the goal, but he may have more specific things for us to do. Through prayer and with patience, they shall come to light as we follow him in our faith journey, a journey of discovering both God and ourselves afresh every day.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
If you live as if you are a god, in reality you are just a slave to yourself and you're not free. On the other hand, if you surrender yourself to the true God, then he'll set you free and make you into a little god. Remember: no one can free himself without God.
After Mass I asked the Lord to break me down again. All remnants of the old self must be cleaned out. The goal is to live only in him and for him. I like the combination of being loving and fearless at the same time. If the old me can be cleaned out more, I should be able to get closer to achieving my goal.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 14, Jesus spelled out the requirements for anyone who wants to be his disciple. They include "hating you own family members and even your own life," "carrying your own cross," and "renouncing all your own possessions." If these requirements were asked on a test, will you pass or fail?
Should you think what the Lord asks for is too harsh or demanding, then you can always find another religion much less stringent in its teaching or a Christian denomination that makes sure that members won't be offended in any way.
You get what you pay for.
As I prayed the first Glorious Mystery of the Holy Rosary, which is the Resurrection, I tried to sense the joy that the disciples must have felt when they found out that their Lord had risen. After the crucifixion, despair must have descended upon them. Then the Resurrection turned everything around. It must have been a tremendous uplifting experience! Even though we did not live in those days, the effect on us should be the same. Feeling the joy of the Risen Christ is not to be limited to Easter time only. Let this joy outweigh any sorrow or pain that we may experience in this life.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Monday, November 1, 2010
Today is the Solemnity of All Saints. I felt that God had brought me into this world for me to find him so that he could have me back. I have responded to his call and found my way back through Christ. As today's reading from Revelation reveals, the servants of God were marked with the seal on their foreheads. We who serve the Lord belong to that group. The Father has chosen us for Christ. Fully realizing this, we shouldn't let anything in life upset us anymore. All trials and tribulations are part of the package we receive for journeying back to God. It's only a matter of time before we join all the saints in heaven. Rejoice!