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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Loving God with No Limit

        Just two weeks ago, I brought up Einstein's theory of relativity.  A little bit more physics today. 
        You probably have heard of Absolute Zero, the temperature of -273 deg C.  We get heat when molecules vibrate.  At absolute zero, all molecular activity ceases and you reach the coldest possible temperature, for you cannot possibly get "deader."  On the other hand, there is no limit as to how high a temperature can go.  The sun is plenty hot, but there's no reason why there shouldn't be something else that burns even hotter.
        All this makes me think of loving God.  To not love God, just reject him, be like the Devil, and you reach the very low limit of spiritual death.  On the other hand, if you love God very much, some saint probably loves him even more.  And even the most loving saint cannot say that he has loved God enough.  So we have an open high end and can say that there is no limit as to how much you can love God.  Well, this is exciting because you can go as far as you want! 

Beautiful Praying

        After the morning Mass, two young ladies remained in the chapel to pray the rosary.  Normally, prayers said aloud can be disturbing to those who wish to contemplate in silence, but today I didn't mind and even joined in.  At the beginning of each decade, you could hear them say their intentions truly from the heart.  Every syllable sounded sincere.  When they expressed their sorrows, you could hear the tears in their voices.  I finally appreciated these two line in the prayer Hail, Holy Queen: "To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve.  To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this valley of tears."  After these two sisters in Christ finished the rosary, I almost wanted to applaud.  Yes, praying can be beautiful if it truly comes from the heart!   

The Spirit's Way, Only Way

        It turned out that this morning's first reading was on the Wisdom of the Holy Spirit, 1 Corinthians 2: 10b-16.  Before Mass began, my meditation fell upon the Holy Spirit and the Lord made me see that the way of the Spirit is the ONLY way for us.  What does this mean?  First, the Spirit gave us the mind of Christ.  With his mind, we should view the the world and see all things as he does ~ this is the way of the Spirit. Any other way deviating from it is imperfect.  Anything that happens to us should be "irrelevant" in the sense that we must not let anything affect our way of the Spirit.    

Monday, August 30, 2010

Same Love

        We pray for our loved ones because we love them.  We pray for them because we love God.  And God loves them.  God has already made it clear that we cannot love him without loving others and vice versa.  So it's that same love, God's love, that binds us all.  May this love penetrate every single soul in this world!   

Don't Go to God

        Some go to God last; that is, they turn to him as a last resort when they really need help.  Some go to God first; that is, they turn to him when they first feel the need.  The best and superior way is to have God be with you at all times, to save all the "traveling" back and forth.  Pray for this grace so that you'll feel his presence every moment of your life.    

Joyful March

        It's almost the end of August ~ time surely flies.  Every Sunday night when I take the garbage out for Monday's pickup, it seems that I just did it yesterday.  We all are moving toward the end of this life.  Someone once said that our heart beats like a drum, accompanying our marching toward death.  That's a pretty grim picture.  But for us who follow the Lord full of hope, our heartbeats accompany us on our joyful march toward heaven.  What a difference faith makes!   

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Thank You

        At this point, I just wish to pause to thank all readers of my blog.  I wish you the very best and will lift all of you up to the Lord for his blessing in my prayer.  

Sign of Progress

        When people praise you, you feel uncomfortable and wish to go into hiding ~ this is a good sign.

Awesome Responsibility

        The Gospel reading for today is the Parable of the Silver Pieces from Matthew 25.  A man disbursed silver pieces to his three servants before going on a journey.  During his absense the two industrious servants invested what they had received and doubled their money, while the timid and lazy one simply buried the money he had received.  After the master came home, the two dependable servants were rewarded and the worthless one was punished.  
        My thoughts are: What we have received from God is far more valuable than silver pieces ~ every one of us has received God's infinite love!  It follows that we have an awesome responsibility to bear.  Are we to keep this love just to ourselves?  Are we to spread it a little bit?  Or are we to multiply this love for widest possible distribution??         

Satisfying God

        Today is the Memorial of St. Augustine.  Father Matthew celebrating the morning Mass passed on this remark that's going to stick in my mind forever: "God is easy to please, but he is very difficult to satisfy." 
        Indeed, whenever you do a little good deed, you put a smile on the Lord's face; but he's not satisfied because he wants all of you!  We are supposed to love him with all our heart, all our strength, all our mind, and all our soul.  He loves us so much that he wants to possess us totally ~ that's why. 

Friday, August 27, 2010

Joy Follows Sadness

        We are not to obstruct or impede God from carrying out his will.  Peter was scolded by Jesus when he expressed that he didn't want to hear that Jesus was going to die.  We must step aside and let the Lord freely do as he wishes.  Today, while meditating on the 5th sorrowful mystery of the rosary, I could hear the pounding of nails into the Lord's hands and feet at the scene of crucifixion.  I knew that I must not interfere, but I just couldn't help wanting to yell out as loud as possible to those doing the hammering: "What are you doing to my Lord???
        Thank you, Jesus, for dying for us.  I know that I should rejoice.

A Most Happy Sound

        I am referring to the crisp sound you hear as the priest breaks up the consecrated hosts into smaller pieces before distributing them at Mass.  The multiplication of the loaves and fish to feed the hungry crowd comes to my mind.  Now, the Lord is ready to feed us who hunger for him.  A welcome sound to hear. 

Achieving Intimacy with God

        Get in touch with the Holy Spirit dwelling within you to ask him to form and shape your conscience to his heart's content and you will experience a great intimacy with God. 

The Proper Focus

        If you have done something good, don't rejoice in that you have done it.  Rather, rejoice that you and the Holy Spirit are now another step closer.

Two Sides of God

        It seems that we always have two sides to everything.  In today's Gospel reading of the Parable of the Ten Virgins from Matthew 25, the five foolish ones were not ready when the groom arrived and were barred from entering into the wedding in the end.  God loves, but he also judges.  I pray for those who believe that God loves them, but forgot that he's also the judge.  Being ready is critical if you want to make sure that you don't get shut out in the end, for you don't know when the Lord is going to call you.   

Link Between Cross & Love

        Today is Friday.  As I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries, I saw deeply that to truly appreciate the depth and breadth of the love of Jesus, we must first ponder upon the Cross to fully understand its meaning.  It was through the Cross that Love was manifested.

"Do It Anyway"

        Chances are you've already read this poem attributable to Mother Teresa.  Just in case you haven't, here it is:
         People are often unreasonable, illogical, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.
         If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
     If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies; succeed anyway.
        If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.
        What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight; build anyway.
        If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway.
        The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway.
      Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough; give the world the best you've got anyway.
       You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Adore Jesus Online

        Go to http://www.savior.org/, see live image of the Most Blessed Sacrament, and adore.  (It may take half a minute or so for the image to appear.)

Our Mission Is...

to give Christ to everyone in the form of his love.  The more we give away his love, the more he fills us with his love ~ a miracle.

Why Believe in Jesus?

        Seeing the various problems in my life that I still have to deal with, I ask this question as a sort of review.
        First, since I have come to believe that Jesus is the truth, I have no choice but to believe in him.  
        Secondly, if I had believed that all my problems would go away once I believed in him, then I would've been totally mistaken.  Jesus made it clear that there would be crosses for his followers to carry.  The problems of life will always be there.  In fact, being a follower of the Lord may even bring a new set of problems.  But now, we have him to help us carry our burden, and our outlook changes and the yoke becomes easy.  In other words, we now fight battles following an invincible leader who gives us solid backing.
        Last, looking beyond our transitory life, we see eternal life with the Lord if we believe in him.  There will be no more "problems of life."  This is our "long-term" goal.
                    

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

God's View

        I have taken Holy Communion countless times, so how has that changed me?  I still sometimes expected to do great works for the Lord, then he made me see that I was not to expect anything to happen from my point of view, but to be grateful for and happy about the more important interior transformation which he had brought about.

Mystic and Saint

        I read somewhere once that anyone in love with God is a mystic ~ I am not sure about that.  What I am sure is that anyone who does everything cheerfully for the love of God is a saint.  (Look at St. Therese.) 

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dying for Others

        Today is the Feast of St. Bartholomew.  One of the first things Father said at the beginning of Mass was that St. Bartholomew, who was martyred, died for us.  I always thought of Jesus dying for us and the martyrs dying for Jesus ~ it hit me that in a way it's also true that the martyrs died for us.  If we are willing to die for Jesus, then we should be willing to die for our brothers and sisters, as Jesus equates loving our neighbors with loving him ~ we should really think about this one. 
        (By the way, the Gospel reading, John 1: 45-51, on the calling of Nathanael Bartholomew is beautiful.)

Emptying the Mind

        Up until Mass time this morning, I had nothing in mind to blog.  So I decided to empty my mind totally and not be concerned about it.  Then I could see that this is really the way the Lord wants us to be like at all times.  With mind emptied, you dispel all worries and become openly receptive.  You wait for him to make the move.  It's really putting into practice our trust in Jesus, not just theorizing, talking or thinking about it.  Jesus told us not to worry about tomorrow, not to be anxious,...  Perfect advice to follow in practice.  He wants us to have peace in all circumstances.    

Monday, August 23, 2010

Be a Channel of Love

        Prayer of St. Francis the hymn starts out: "Make me a channel of your peace."  The image of us being a channel of God's love came to my mind.  Visualize his love flowing through us unobstructed, cleansing us along the way, and coming out touching and reaching all those at the other end.  We should make this the goal and mission of our life.  And we seek no reward on this earth, only wait for our reward in heaven.   

Sunday, August 22, 2010

No Longer Earthbound

        Once you become a true disciple of Jesus, you are a new creature.  You are now a son or daughter of God and a brother or sister of Jesus.  You are no longer earthbound, but destined for heaven.  You don't belong to the world anymore.  You are free and death will have no power over you in the end by the grace of God.  You are elevated to a new level of existence.  You become one with God through receiving the Holy Eucharist.  You are essentially home.  I could go on more, but you get the idea.  

Accepting Ourselves

        It's easy to feel inferior in our society.  You see others better looking, more attractive, more popular; knowing how to talk, socialize, or get ahead; talented in a lot of ways, including making wealth, etc.  Well, the Lord doesn't bother with these things; he just looks at your heart.  So we shouldn't let them bother us either.  Don't try to remake what God has made; Jesus is the only one we need to imitate.  If you read about Moses, the prophets, and many others whom God had called to perform some task for him, most of them felt inadequate, unqualified, inferior, and responded typically, "Why me, Lord?"  No matter, the Lord loves to seek out the humble, help the weak, and exalt the lowly.  Therefore, accept yourself and be glad to be what you are.  (Psalm 139, 14ab: I give you thanks that I am fearfully, wonderfully made; wonderful are your works.)        

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Live in the Present Moment

        A year ago, I read Mother Angelica's Little Book of Life Lessons and Everyday Spirituality.  "Wow" was my reaction because I learned so much from the book.  What I most remember was her advice on living in the Present Moment. 
        Some people can't shake off the past, especially those unpleasant memories.  There are also some who feel that their past was a lot happier time.  In either case, they are unhappy now and their thinking becomes "disordered" or "disoriented" ~ I am using Mother Angelica's words.  As for the future, no one really knows how it may turn out.  Those who worry project the worst possible outcome for it and those who dream live in an unreal world.  Again, the thinking gets disordered or disoriented.
        The past is gone forever.  (If there were lessons to be learned, remember them and let the rest go.)  The future is unknown and not here yet.  The one with true faith lives happily in the present moment, freed from the past and entrusting the future to God.  By so living, he retains clear thinking at all times.   

Friday, August 20, 2010

Jesus the Giver

        At Mass this morning, I realized that we owe our existence to Jesus and that he has given us everything, even himself on the cross, and still does it in Holy Communion.  The only thing he takes from us are our sins.  Therefore, the least we could do is to give ourselves to him.  Loving him with all our heart, soul, and mind is then simply our duty.   

Thursday, August 19, 2010

We Should Be...

as enthusiastic and excited about our Catholic faith as the disciples in the early days of the Church.  Why should we let the passage of 2,000 years make a difference unless you have lost your faith?  I can't think of a single good reason.

A Contrite Heart Is...

beautiful to God.  This is in line with the blog Repentance Is Happy I posted last June.  A contrite heart is the key to entering the kingdom of God.  You needn't go through any rigmarole or figure out some secret code in advance.  
        Humankind has accomplished so much at the material and intellectual levels, yet a simple change of heart becomes a stumbling block for them.  If only they would realize that a contrite heart will bring true peace and joy to the heart that no worldly pleasure or satisfaction can ever match!!!   

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Life-After-death Experience

        This is an extraordinary account by Fr. Jose Maniyangat:
        "Oh my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell and leave all souls to heaven, especially those most in need of thy mercy." 

Anchor Needed

        This world of ours is as dangerous and treacherous a place as the high seas.  We need a secure anchor to keep us from being swept away by strong secular forces and worldly seductions.  And this anchor is Jesus.  Once you become one of his sheep, he will watch over you and keep you safe.  Even if you inadvertently stray away, he will come looking for you.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Another Form of Judging

        Another lesson for me.  Different people react differently to the same situation.  When I see someone react in a way that's not the way I would have reacted, it's easy for me to think that the other person is doing something incorrect or inappropriate.  This is judging all right.  I should always try seeing things from the other's point of view first and not start "criticizing" outright.   

Thanks to Einstein

        According to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, nothing can go faster than the speed of light because as an object travels faster, it mass also increases and time slows down too.  So if I, an object, am able to reach the speed of light, I'll be all over the universe at the same time and cease aging since time stops for me.  Well, it looks like our God fits the role perfectly because he does fill the universe and exists forever with no beginning nor end.  Now the expression "God is light" makes even more sense.   

A Timeless Moment

        I am referring to the moment you receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist.  Since God is timeless, when you receive him, you become one with him and time stands still for you to become timeless for a brief moment too.  

Don't Always Tell the Truth

        What?  Let me clarify.  If what you have to say is true and will glorify God or at least be harmless, then go ahead.  If what you have to say is true and will simply feed your ego or unnecessarily hurt others in some way, then keep quiet. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Pray for the Disadvantaged

        Early today I was in a big city away from home and came upon an impressive-looking Catholic church.  I went in to check it out and found that almost half of the the interior was occupied by the homeless ~ obviously, they had spent the night sleeping inside the church and were now packing up to leave for the outside world.  I knew that they would be back again tonight.  I just felt the Lord's great compassion and pity on them.  The story of Lazarus in the parable of Luke 16 came to my mind.  I won't be surprised if more of these disadvantaged children of God end up in heaven than their advantaged counterpart ~ percentage-wise, that is.  I myself felt quite helpless to alter the sad situation.  The least we could all do is not to forget praying for the disadvantaged in our world.  

Perfection Through Imperfection

        Many have seen Royce Hall, UCLA's emblematic building that looks somewhat like a castle, either on the UCLA campus or in some old movie(s).  When I saw it years ago, I noticed that the two front towers did not look the same, ruining otherwise the perfect symmetry of the building.  I asked about that and someone on campus explained to me that the architect deliberately designed it that way as he believed that only God is perfect.  That was certainly a humble gesture.
        I used to be somewhat a perfectionist.  I only felt good when things turned out perfectly.  Then the Lord made me see that what I had was a form of sickness and due to the lack of trust in him.  Being able to humbly accept all imperfections after I've done my best is actually a form of perfection.  That realization opened my eyes and freed my heart.  Thanks be to God.    

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Spiritual IQ

        This has nothing to do with the ordinary IQ.  One who has high IQ (ordinary) usually becomes highly educated and knowledgeable, possesses a lot of self-confidence, and is proud of what s/he can accomplish.  Unfortunately, this intelligence often gets in the way of finding God because it can blind the person from seeing that it is impossible for a creature to be greater than the creator and that all intelligence comes from God.  Basically, the more one thinks highly of himself, the more he becomes a nobody before God.  The one who has high spiritual IQ is the one who remains humble and becomes somebody in the eyes of God.  All this brings us to what Jesus had said, "Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled, but whoever humbles himself shall be exalted."   

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Lord Is Joy!

        Received the Lord already during the Prayer Vigil for Life this morning.  Went to vigil Mass (Assumption of the Blesses Virgin Mary) and received the Lord again.  I felt I could die right then in the Lord.

Suffering for Jesus

        Joined the Bishop for the Prayer Vigil for Life this morning; deeply sensed that if I want to follow the Lord, I must be willing to suffer for him ~ that's OK because suffering for the Lord is never bitter, only sweet.
        Inside, the soul cries out: "When will you be coming, Lord, to straighten out this crooked generation?" 

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tip on Married Life

        If you are already married or still looking for someone to get married, fall in love with Jesus first, then you'll experience married happiness at the level that, unfortunately, very few in this world know or can even conceive.  This tip is absolutely dependable.  
        God's love always makes all beautiful things infinitely more beautiful.

Enjoy Mass

        This is what I heard the Lord say during my prayer  before Mass started this morning.  He meant taking full advantage of the opportunity presented.  I was to go before the One who forgives sins and has inexhaustible riches in store.  When I receive him, I could ask for sanity to be restored, growth in holiness, love for enemies, peace of mind, freedom of the heart, greater devotion to God, and so on.  It's inconceivable that the the Lord could or would deny such requests all for his glory.  No matter how high you aim, you cannot possibly exhaust his supply of graces ~ that's certain.  Again, cause for rejoicing!      

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Ego Game

        So far, only a few of my friends know about my blog.  I gave them the URL because they were either still searching or just beginning to believe.  In such cases, my story might be helpful to them.  The thought of telling all my other friends about my blog did occur to me.  I know that most of them will at least get curious about what I am writing.  Besides, it wouldn't hurt to get more daily hits.  Seemingly, dropping the news now and then shouldn't do any harm, yet the Lord made me see that I still had some intent on promoting myself in my heart and that I should keep mum.  Of course, he is always right.  
        Again, this morning during Mass, a number of ideas suitable for blogging popped into my mind and I got a little excited.  Then the Holy Spirit made it clear to me that he can give me as many as ideas as he wishes or dry me up with nothing to say and I am to be content.  That sobered me up.  
        To play the ego game, you'll have to be sensitive to the voice of the Holy Spirit.  Hunt the ego or its remainder down and turn it over to the Lord.  It can be very satisfying when you succeed.       

The Golden Rule Modified

        "Do to others what you would have them do to you."  This is the Golden Rule given by our Lord in Luke 6. 
        Today's Gospel reading from Matthew 18 tells us how the Lord wants us to forgive others always (seventy times seven times).  Then Jesus told the story about a king who punished one official because he, after the king had forgiven him, did not in turn forgive his own fellow servant for the same kind of misdoing.  At the end the Lord warned that "My heavenly Father will treat you in exactly the same way unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart."  From Luke 6, 37-38 and the Lord's Prayer, we hear the same message.  Hence, we may safely replace the word "them" in the Golden Rule with "God." 
        We have now: "Do to others what you would have God do to you." 

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Big Choice

        I posted the last message because the idea had been in my head for a few days.  Now this post is similar in that it also presents a choice, but in a way nullifies that post. 
        It happened at today's Mass, the memorial of St. Clare.  As I was going to receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I saw that LOVE was going to enter me.  And this gentle, yet all-powerful love is stronger than fire because it's going to permeate the core and every pore of my innermost self, consuming all the dross and impurities in my soul and melting my heart to conform to his.  This purifying process is readying me for heaven.
        The alternative is to wait until I get to purgatory and let the fire there do the job.
        I can't imagine that anyone would rather choose the alternative.      

Believe Early

        The Lord is always trying to speak to us, but we sometimes don't or don't want to hear him.  It's easy to put him on Hold or the Ignore list.  Then pretty soon the only way for him to get your attention is to shock you in some way, as a last resort maybe.  One relative of mine did not return to Church until he had lost his job.  There are many others who came back to God only after some tragedy struck.  This is learning it the hard way!  
        It would be so much better to believe early to make it easy for the Lord, pleasing him at the same time.  And if shocks do come later, you'd be better prepared to deal with them too.        

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Taking a Break

        Time flies like an arrow.  ____ flies like bananas?  You fill in the blank.  (Hint: sA selpicsid fo eht droL, tahw era ew detcepxe ot raeb?)

Happy Is...

the one who hears God's voice and steps aside for God to work through him/her freely.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Jesus, Thank You for...

        (1) showing us what our Father is like,
       (2) showing us that you are what we should be like,
        (3) sending us the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, to guide and comfort us,
        (4) revealing the mystery of the Holy Trinity to us,
        (5) last but not least, revealing how great God's love for us is by laying down your own life for each one of us.     

Love Must Come First

        This morning someone at home required my attention, so I decided that I should skip morning Mass.  I really miss not receiving the Lord, but that's OK, because...  I remember the story of Juan Diego who had an appointment with Our Lady of Guadalupe that morning.  Then his uncle got sick and needed his attention, so Juan Diego just skipped his appointment with Mary and went to his uncle's house instead.  Obviously, that would be a difficult choice for some, but not to Juan Diego.  It turned out that Mary didn't mind at all when they met the next time.  Perhaps Juan Diego was being tested.  The lesson to me was that love must come first, even if it means missing a meeting with the Lord.
        My last thought is that we should be more like Juan Diego, a simple, honest, and humble person.  The trouble is that we live in a sophisticated, well-educated, and basically secular society; and we learned to advance and take care of ourselves first and make our decisions by weighing reward against cost to us.  We need to re-form ourselves.  I feel sorry for the children born into our world ~ it's going to be an uphill battle all the way for them.  The need to have God in our lives is more urgent than ever.        

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Joy of the Holy Spirit

        There are pleasures to be experienced in this world, so how are they different from the joy of the Holy Spirit?
        (1) EFFORT.  To experience the pleasures of the world, one must make the effort to seek them out; while the joy of the Holy Spirit is given to you by God.
        (2) SOURCE.  The worldly pleasures are experienced through external stimulants, while the joy of the Holy Spirit wells up like a spring from within the innermost recess of your soul.
        (3) EFFECT.  Here's probably the best part.  With worldly pleasures, you enjoy them less and less each time and can even become sick of them, while the joy of the Holy Spirit refreshes you each time you experience it and you can never tire of it.   

Life Is Continuous

        This morning the Lord let me see that the afterlife is a mere continuation of the present life and that I should not live them separately.  There are those who live only the present life without paying much attention to the afterlife.  And there are those who are tired of this life and wish to enter the next life soon.  Let me elaborate upon the latter case a bit.  If you feel miserable in this life, it's understandable that you hope to end this life sooner.  Then there are those who have somewhat tasted the joy of heaven and got weary of the world and yearn to go to the Lord.  Even though this seems natural, the Lord still wants us to live our life joyfully in him in this world.  In other words, there should not be any discontinuity separating the two lives.  We should start living our faith, loving our Lord, from this moment on in this life, and proceed smoothly into the next life to be with our God forever.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The All-Knowing Father

        If you feel inspired to want to become a saint for the glory of God, then that's terrific!  On the other hand, if you want to be a saint just so that you are a saint, then you'll never make it.  For our Father is all-knowing.  A tinge of pride or any trace of impure motivation he detects.  He knows us completely, more than we know ourselves. To me, this is cause for jubilation since we have an utterly reliable, faithful, caring, and understanding Father who can teach us everything and show us how to live our lives.  Such an awareness should bring great peace to our minds and hearts. 

Friday, August 6, 2010

Facing Trials & Tribulations

        Let's face it.  Life cannot always be a bed of roses; there will always be trials and tribultions to face.  God sends them our way to test our faith.  Regard them as blessings.  If we pass, we come out stonger and a better person.  So let's take advantage of every trouble that comes our way; see it as an opportunity for us to trust in our God of love and strengthen our faith.  (Or would your rather be dumb and just complain to God "Why does this happen to me?" and feel sorry for yourself?)  Of course, sometimes we may not pass a severe test at the beginning, but it's the final victory that counts.  We also learn from Scripture that if you love God, he'll never give you tests that you can not pass.  So "welcome" your trouble with God right behind you.   

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Difficulties in Loving

        Sometimes out of love, I have certain things to say to someone I want to help, but I neglect to review in advance to see how that person might feel upon hearing my words.  Is my intention totally pure?  Does my tone sound condescending in any way?  Am I truly sensitive to that person's feelings?  Do I choose the right words?  All these considerations and more are good to think through before saying anything.  I still have much to learn in the art of loving.            

A Clean Heart

        Today's Gospel reading from Matthew is about Peter the Rock and First Prophecy of Passion and Resurrection.  Jesus was preparing to build his church on Peter.  When the Lord prophesied that he's going to suffer and be put to death, Peter began to remonstrate with him and he responded, "Get out of my sight, you satan!  You are trying to make me trip and fall.  You are not judging by God's standards but by man's."  Strong words.  We could see that Jesus was cleaning Peter's heart.    
        This made me think how necessary it is to have a clean heart.  We all like to live in a clean house or neighborhood, sleep on clean sheets in bed, eat on clean plates, etc.  To have a clean heart is to feel even better because we know now that the Holy Spirit is happy to dwell in it, readying us for doing God's work.  A perfect time to ask for a clean heart is when we lift up our hearts to the Lord during Eucharistic Prayer. 

Two Momentous Moments

        When God first created us, it's a momentous moment.  When we receive Christ in the Holy Eucharist, we are united with our creator again ~ this is another momentous moment.  The circle is now complete.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Playing with Fire (Pelosi)

        I am a apolitical person, but after seeing the picture of Nancy Pelosi being honored by Planned Parenthood on http://romancatholicblog.typepad.com/roman_catholic_blog/2010/07/where-are-niederauer-wuerl.html, I feel compelled to make some comments.
        If she's misguided, then she's been misguided to the nth degree.  How can you be a proclaimed Catholic but openly go against the teaching of the Church on the sanctity of human life?  This kind of  conscience is beyond me.  Honestly, I would have more respect for a non-Catholic bashing the Church.
        I am not here to judge her because only the Lord can do that.  I am here to express my sorrow because Jesus is being crucified by his own.  I feel sorry for the bishops who do not have the courage to defend the Lord.  Last, I feel sorry for Pelosi and all other Catholic politicians like her ~ they are playing with fire and need our urgent prayers.
        One thing I am grateful to her ~ she has made me want to love the Lord even more and pray harder, for Jesus is our only hope.        

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Poignant Question

        In John 6, we learned that after Jesus gave his long discourse, many of his disciples broke away and left.  Jesus then asked the twelve, "Do you want to leave me too?"  Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life..."  To me, this rhetorical question from Peter is poignant.  If the Lord asks you the same question, what would be your response?  If there's absolutely no one else to whom you'd go, then he has truly called you.  Rejoice that your name is written in the book of heaven.  Follow him all the way and you'll be amply rewarded. 

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our True Refuge

        During prayer before this morning's Mass, I felt that I could really trust Jesus.  I could go to him with anything, complaint or thanksgiving.  I could hug him, or just lean or rest on him.  
        Today's Gospel reading from Matthew is about the multiplication of the fish and loaves.  At the beginning, Jesus saw the vast crowd and was moved with pity for them.  Elsewhere in the Gospels, we learned that Jesus felt the sorrows of the people and was  moved with deep emotions.  This means that if you or I am in a miserable state, he knows and will take pity on us, we can be sure.  We can confidently put all our trust in him.
        Recently, a couple of my relatives were in deep misery because of what happened to their own children.  One is a Catholic who attends Mass regularly and the other is a Protestant fairly active in her church.  You talked to them to help, but the moment you suggested that they pray and trust in God for their burdens, they listened, then  continued right on with their sad stories ~ it's as if they wanted to remain in their state.  I guess they were so mired in their misery that they couldn't think of anything else, not even letting the Lord in to help.  What a pity! 
        We must learn to turn to the Lord at the first moment we feel distressed for whatever reason.  In fact, we should turn to him as often as possible, even when we are happy, so that the Lord indeed becomes our refuge.              

Immense Universe; Immense Love

        This link www.slideshare.net/Nubiagroup/english-astronomie-by-azartha takes you to a site that shows quite a number of space photos taken through the Hubble telescope in space.  There are nebulae and galaxies millions of light years away spotted.  Since light travels at a speed exceeding 186,000 miles a second, you can (cannot) imagine how far away these heavenly objects are.  Visualizing the immensity of the universe, we realize how "puny" we are; yet the Lord loves us to death.  Indeed, his love is even more amazing than his creations!  (Be sure to watch the images on full screen.)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Growing in Two Directions

        I went to the vigil Mass yesterday (because I like the music played at that Mass more).  During prayer before Mass started, the Lord showed me that I must grow in two directions, outward and inward.  The former refers to loving others and the latter, to becoming more humble.
        It's easy to feel a lot of love for the Lord, but to translate that into the action of loving others, which involves the will and requires effort, is another thing.  It's somewhat like an engineer who knows all the theory but doesn't know how to fix anything.  So I must grow outward in that direction.
        As for growing in the other direction, I must concentrate inward to gain more humility.  I had already ask the Lord to ground out my ego like a stump grinder working on a stump, but there are still remnants left.  So the work must continue.
        Love and humility must go hand in hand because either one lacking the other cannot truly be genuine.