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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Trying God Last

        Just saw someone on TV saying how yoga helps him live a balanced, holistic life and all that.  This is fine, but it just struck me why people always try God last in times of need.  If we say that we believe in God, then is it right to set him aside, feeling that we don't need him to "interfere," until we are in a jam or some desperate situation?  To ignore anyone's presence amounts to an insult, let alone that someone is God.  If you wish to establish an intimate relationship with God, then the first step to take would be to stop ignoring him.  Remember: "Draw God in," not "leave him out."

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Self-Importance Blinds Us

        I've been thinking about our own place before God.   We are really a lot smaller and more limited than we think.  God is infinite in every way, while we really know practically nothing.  It's true that man has made great progress in all areas of knowledge, discovered many "secrets" of the universe, and changed the material world for his own comfort and convenience, but that does not mean that man is getting smarter.  When you play hide-and-seek and find the object, your IQ just doesn't jump higher all of a sudden.  The "tragedy" is that man thinks he's now god or at least more important than ever.      
        All day long, you hear politicians, scientists, news commentators, celebrities,... express their own opinions.  There are experts and pundits in every field now.  They all love to tell you what they think and knock others in the process.  They all want themselves to look good and be at the center of attention.  Rampant self-importance has blinded them from seeing the presence of God.  How important you feel about yourself really indicates how much you lack humility, the must-have for knowing God.  Christ is our supreme example here.  Pray hard for the conversion of our minds and hearts. 

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Never mind...

what people think of or say about you, but let only what people think of God be of your utmost concern.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Made for Each Other

        God created the entire universe and all things in it.  He made the plants, all animals, us, and myriads of other objects.  It should be obvious that we are extra special among all his creations.  We were made in his image out of love and are expected to love him back.  No other creatures are expected to love him back because they were not created with the ability to do that.  A tree doesn't know how to love.  All non-human animals do not have the concept of God.  Let alone the planets and stars.  We are so special that God didn't even mind letting his own beloved Son take on our form becoming one of us to reveal his love for us!  Indeed, we and God were made for each other.  Rejoice please.   
        Another thought: We are the only creature that can be made Christ-like!!!

Reject...

all praises, compliments, honors, and recognitions coming from other humans as if they were poison, but embrace all graces from God heartily as if your very life depends upon them (as a matter of fact, your eternal life does depend upon God's graces).           

Sunday, September 26, 2010

How to Know God

        People want to know all kinds of things.  Scientists, philosophers,... all search and search, hoping to know more.  If the goal is to know God, then they will not find him that way.  You can study, learn, and research for a million years and never get to know God.  The Lord is not to be found in test tubes, cannot be cornered and examined, and is beyond the reach of our intellect.  You will only find him when you have the right attitude and mind-set, then he will reveal himself to you.  The way to know him is really simple ~ it just involves the heart.  Be humble, beg, and wait, and he is there.  This is what faith is all about.  This is why faith is so beautiful.  Sadly, this is also why so many do not get to know God.          

A Not-to-Judge Reminder

        On EWTN last night, I heard Father Corapi (in a 2003 video) quoting Jesus in The adulteress incident (John 8).  When the scribes and Pharisees tried to trap Jesus by asking him what he had to say about following the law of Moses to stone the woman, Jesus answered: "Let the man among you who has no sin be the first to cast a stone at her."  This again is a good reminder for me not to judge others. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Lord Really Meant It!!!

        During Eucharistic Prayer at this morning's Mass, father, consecrating the bread, said the usual words of Jesus, "Take this, all of you, and eat it: this is my body which will be given up for you."  Then, to consecrate the wine, again using Jesus' words, he said "Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you..." ~ at this precise point, it hit me hard that the Lord really meant it, as he did go right on to shed his blood.  Then when he said "I am the way, and the truth, and the life," he must really mean it too.  It follows that the Lord has been truthful in all his sayings.  This greatly increased my admiration and love for him.  Thank you, Jesus.   

God Is Sweet

        If you love the Lord, you'll find that everything about the Lord is sweet, sweet to the spirit, that is.  Today at Mass when I heard "the kingdom of God" mentioned, I instantly sensed its sweetness.  (A note of caution to myself: I must never let such feeling distract me from the central faith I have in God.)   

Making God Feel Good

        I've been feeling happy because I realize that I don't need to hide in any darkness ~ I'll just let the purifying light of God shine upon me, revealing all the specks in me and then removing all of them so that I may be made clean.  Being clean is a great feeling, then I must remember that the goal must be to make God the Father feel good, not me.  I should feel good only when he feels good.  
        At morning Mass, I wanted to prostrate myself before the mercy of God, letting him take over, taking complete care of me.  Again, a great feeling for both of us.     

Friday, September 24, 2010

"Pessimistic Christian"

        Another oxymoron here.  A true Christian places all his hope in God.  Being hopeful in God, he remains optimistic.  Placing his faith in God, he leaves all subsequent events to God.  Since he sees afterlife as a continuation of the present life, his vision is longrange, keeping him upbeat.  Suffering, OK; being pessimistic, noK. 

The Christian Edge

        When you see others distressed, you comfort them by asking what's the worst that could possibly happen.  If they are not going to lose their life, then you tell them not to worry about it ~ right?  But we Christians have a edge here because even we die, it's OK ~ we get to be with the Lord in paradise ~ right?  Right.

A Judgment Experience (video)

        Here's the story of Fr. Steven Scheier as told to Mother Angelica on EWTN.



        The video plays for just over 40 minutes, but it's well worth watching.  The story reinforces the knowledge that God's mercy is so wide, broad, and deep in scope that if you are still an atheist or not a true believer and keep going your own way and end up at the wrong destination, you have only yourself to blame.  God has bent forwards, backwards, and sideways, to the point of sacrificing his own beloved Son to save us, exactly what more do you expect him to do?
        One last thought.  People will pay to buy a lottery ticket, hoping to gain financial security in this life when the odds of winning are so slim that you're more likely to be killed by lightning, yet they are not willing to accept the free mercy offered by God to win eternal life.  You figure that out.

"All Up to You"

        Instead of saying "Thy will be done" at the end of prayer, I find it easier to say "I leave it all up to you."  This immediately frees me because now it's the Lord's turn to make the move.         

Holy Spirit, the Teacher Extraordinaire

        I posted earlier about God the psychiatrist, now I want to say something about Holy Spirit the teacher extraordinaire.  The Holy Spirit teaches with love.  Other teachers lecture to the brain, but the Holy Spirit whispers to the heart.  Other teachers force you to reason, but the Holy Spirit gently infuses sublime knowledge of God into your soul.   All other good teachers demand you to do rigorous homework for you to learn, but the Holy Spirit only needs you to remain passive and recollected to be enlightened.  Best of all, the Holy Spirit already knows your heart and will always give you what's best for you to know.     

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Remarkable Lord

        It struck me today that one most impressive, remarkable, and beautiful trait of Jesus is his humility.  He is God with infinite power and knowledge, yet he never once did anything to show himself off ~ every word and action were motivated by love and compassion.  He is Lord, but never lord it over us.  I rejoice that I have such a one to be my Lord.     

Concern for the Soul

        Early this morning the electricity went out and the whole neighborhood went dark.  It's the absence of light that made me think of "death."  I thought of all the people who leave a will behind before they die.  I pray that people will realize that it's so much more important to be concerned about where their souls are heading after death when they are still alive than about how their previous material possessions are going to be disposed of when they are not even around.

Live Every Moment

        In the older days when I was spiritually a lot less mature, I wasn't always happy at my job and felt that I didn't get to do what I really wanted to do in life.  I didn't exactly enjoy getting out of bed every morning to face the day ~ same old routine again!  Looking in the mirror I saw that I was getting older and older.  I asked myself, "What have I accomplished?"  
        Like most people, I lived for certain events.  For example: my upcoming vacation, Super Bowl on TV (for sports fans), the party at a friend's house this weekend, or the break coming up for me to finish making my storage chest.  I just looked forward to such events so much that it seemed that I basically lived for them and filled the in-between spaces with chunks of my tedious life.  I could see that this could go on easily for the rest of my life.  It's clear that this is not the way to live. 
        Now I am happy that with God's help I am living every moment instead of from event to event.  I don't need special events to keep me going; I am resting in God every moment of my life.  I am free to leave this world anytime.  To love and possess God is to be in heaven already.  It's just a matter of (short) time before the real heaven appears.  Events in life offer no hope of any kind; they merely provide temporary escapes.  Living for them is no better than going to a bar to get drunk to forget.  Live for God, the Truth, alone and you will know that you are truly living.
        (My apology for using "I" so many times in this post.)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pure Is Best

        If I am asked to be holy, it seems to be a tall order.  Where and how do I start?  There must be a whole list of things for me to do. 
        Here's the good news.  Try to become pure, and you will be holy as well.  Ask the Holy Spirit to make your heart pure, then your thoughts, words, and actions will automatically come out pure.  When you are pure, your are clean, and you'll have peace in your heart and be fragrant before the Lord.  So, be pure and let the Lord love you.
         

Most Wonderful Relationship

        This morning I was thinking about the fear of the Lord being a good thing.  Perhaps in some other religion(s), the fear of God or god(s) is a scary thing.  But Christians, acknowledging themselves as sinners and knowing that God is all holy, fear God more out of respect and love than out of true fear.   Jesus has come and shown us that God is our most loving Father and we, as his adopted sons and daughters, can approach (run to) him without fear as long as we have the proper attitude.  This is a most wonderful relationship that's, shall I say, made in heaven.        

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Be Liberated

        All things belong to God.  Think about it: what can be considered yours alone?  Even yourself belong to God, for no one comes into the world on his own, knowing where and when he was to be born.  Everything you have now was already here or made from things already existing.  Not a thing has your name stamped on it that says it's yours forever.  We'll all be gone soon and not be able to hold onto any material things.  Even non-material things such as love, appreciation of natural beauty, etc., belong to God, for he made us in his image in the first place.  When you are aware of this truth, you become immediately liberated!!!  There's no need to be attached to things that are transient, to fight for things that cannot truly be yours anyway, or to get uptight about not being able to get something you want.  You will always have God's love and that is more than sufficient.
        A footnote: All things include the people you know.        

Spreading the Good News

        St. Matthew, whose feast is today, after preaching the gospel to Jewish communities in Judea for 15 years, traveled to Gentile nations and spread the gospel to the Ethiopians, Macedonians, Persians, and Parthians.  He died as a martyr in Ethiopia.  This made me think that we who follow Christ should regard evangelizing as our full-time job, whether at home, at work, or traveling somewhere. 
        Normally, I am happy not to leave home, but last time I went on a cruise, which is usually boring, after I found out that there's daily Mass on-board and saw the trip as an opportunity to evangelize, as some of the friends going along were non-believers.  It turned out that the priest's room was right across the aisle from mine and I got to assist him at Mass.  Then one couple was very receptive to Catholicism when the chance came up to spread the good news of Jesus with them.  This alone made the trip worthwhile.                

Do You Need Jesus?

        Today is the Feast of St. Matthew.  From Matthew 9: Jesus spoke in Matthew's home for the Pharisees to hear, "People who are in good health do not need a doctor; sick people do... I have come to call, not the self-righteous, but sinners."  So if you believe that you are not spiritually sick and is not a sinner, then you don't need Jesus. 

Eucharistic Power

        The Holy Eucharist is the bread of life, the bread from heaven, and the body of the Lord.  It is the source of all graces, the source of power to transform us into new creatures like Christ himself.  Never take this holy sacrament without expecting that the Holy Spirit is going to lead you to new spiritual heights.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Be Humble and Proud

        You can mix humility and pride as long as the latter is of the justifiable kind that doesn't stem from the feeling of self-importance.
        St. John the Baptist didn't feel fit to stoop and untie the sandal straps of Jesus.  We are not worthy to receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist.  But since he did institute this sacrament specifically for our reception to remember him, we are to override our feeling of unworthiness to receive him.  God's wishes should always come first.  In fact, only his wishes, not ours, should prevail.
        Jesus wants us to be shining lights in the world.  Therefore, we must proudly "show off" our light by example for all to see, never to be ashamed of the Lord and what he has done for us.  This is holy pride.           

Be Empty to Be Filled

        Thoughts before Mass this morning.  If we don't empty ourselves first, how can the Lord enter?  Therefore, empty yourself to let the Holy Spirit occupy every cubic inch of you to refresh and renew you so that Jesus may enter and dwell within you with complete freedom to do what he wishes.  You'll feel so good knowing that the Lord is happy to be united with you.       

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Clinging to Jesus

        Today I feel that I am clinging to Jesus for dear life, even though I am not facing any danger or crisis.  This makes me feel that the Lord is going to carry me through anything coming my way.  I know that he is totally dependable ~ clinging to him through thick and thin is absolutely what he wants us all to do, as the Gospel messages make it clear.  Therefore, cling to him first before facing the world.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Appearing "Right" Before the Lord

        Today during prayer before morning Mass, the Lord made me see the importance of appearing "right" before him ~ "right" in the sense of being appropriate and presentable. 
        The Gospel reading is Parable of the Sower from Luke 8.  So I saw that to be right, I must first of all keep and cherish the word of God after I hear it.  I must be in a state of grace, at peace with myself, and content in this world.  Again, the key to achieving such a state is to let go in God, to trust and relax in his love, in contrast to forging ahead headstrong on our own without getting a nod from the Lord first or even looking in his direction.  We must always follow the Lord to let him do his work through us. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Let All Bring God to Mind

        I just couldn't fall sleep this early morning; felt a tremendous longing for the Lord.  What is he up to?  The idea for this post came to my mind: 
        When you see a beautiful day, think of God.       
        When you see genuine love in action, praise God.
        When you hear beautiful music, thank God for the inspiration he gave to the composer and the talents he gave to the musicians.  (Enjoy the music, but don't get attached to it.)
        When you get to drive a nice car, appreciate the engineering, the design, the technology and all that went into making it ~ they all came from God.  (Again, enjoy the drive, but don't get carried away.)
        When you see people get sick, realize how much we need God to pray to.
        When you see horrible things people do to each other everywhere, see how horrible it is to be godless and love God even more.
        Anyway, let all you see and experience bring God to your mind to help you think of him all the time.  He will bless you.
         

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Complain to Jesus Only

        James in his Epistle talks about Restraining the Tongue.  He's absolutely right.  The tongue is to be restrained and tamed.  I have no doubt that what comes out of the mouth has started world wars in the past, broken up our families, and is still causing unhappiness every moment to this day.  Sometimes we just express our feelings and what comes out is misconstrued as our intention to hurt someone.  Sometimes we just make one comment and someone takes it personally and starts venting his or her own feelings.  Often what's said is easily considered as a "complaint" by others.  I suppose anything said that's not very positive is fair game for any listener.  I almost feel that when I express myself, I am navigating through a mine field.
        I believe that what we should do is to say less and speak only if we have something loving and positive in mind.  If there are negative feelings, go to Jesus and tell him all about them.  I found very few people will truly listen to you objectively and try to see things from your point of view, but thank God that we have our Lord who loves us warts and all, understand us perfectly, and is always sympathetic.  Even his scolding is sweeter than praises from other humans, because when he chides us, it's for our own good.          

For Love of Christ

        Today is the Memorial of Saints Cornelius and Cyprian.  Many saints have shed their blood for love of Christ.  We may not be called to exactly shed blood, but we must be willing to shed whatever is necessary for love of Christ.  
        The Gospel reading is from Luke 7 about The Penitent Woman.  She, known to be a sinner, washed the feet of Jesus with her tears, wiped them with her hair, kissed them and anointed them with perfumed oil.  She never said a word and Jesus forgave her many sins because of her great love and faith.  So the Lord knows perfectly our hearts.  Let us maintain a clean, pure, and loving heart in us for love of Christ.      

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Beauty of Christ

        How beautiful is Jesus?  I am sure that if he looks at me, my heart is going to melt under his loving gaze.
        His inner beauty is what captures my heart.  He is the embodiment of pure love, a love that's gentle but intense and more beautiful than anything else in the universe.  This is a living love, always inflamed, ready to transform us into smaller flames burning with the same love, if only we are willing to embrace it.  His immense beauty is beyond our comprehension, but can be sensed by the heart.  Once you sense it, you are drawn to it.
        If you ask me why I follow Jesus, in the early days I would have said "because I've found the truth," but today I would simply answer "because he is so beautiful."               

Willingness to Suffer

        Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of Sorrows. 
        How much we are willing to suffer is proportional to how closely we are united to the suffering Christ.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Thoughts on the Cross

        Today is the Feast of Exaltation of the Holy Cross.  
        (1) The Cross exhibits the great Love of God.  Through the Cross, life was made meaningful and purposeful.
        (2) Pray that the Cross will displace all our worldly pleasures so that we may experience the true joy of Christ.
        (3) What's good for the Lord is good for us too.       

Monday, September 13, 2010

A Reminder from the Lord

        Still a continuation of the last two posts.  I was reminded by the Lord that journeying toward union with him is fine, but we must never neglect doing good works along the way or even after we have achieved union.  Don't miss any opportunity to show God's love.  Love is the whole point for making this journey. 

Journeying Toward Union

        This post continues the train of thought from the last one.  As I have stated on this site, the goal of my blog is to bring all, myself included, to union with God.  Then I must remember that the ultimate goal is to please God, not to feel good ourselves.  I have just started reading The Ascent of Mount Carmel by St. John of the Cross and it doesn't seem that the ascent to union, according to him, is a quick, simple process.  But I do believe that a simple trusting faith I talked about in the last post and a great love and appreciation for the Holy Eucharist can help us go a long, long way.  These two things are within the reach of everyone if we'll just ask the Lord to grant them to us.     

Let's Amaze the Lord

        This morning the Cure of the Centurion's Servant from Luke 7 was read.  When the centurion expressed his unworthiness to have Jesus enter his house and asked Jesus to just give the order for the curing of the servant, our Lord was amazed at his faith.  This got me thinking that we could still amaze the Lord by absolutely trusting in him ~ another lesson for me.  A trusting faith is beautiful.  It shows our obedience and our love for him, and it brings miracles to us.  Furthermore, it sets us free. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Glad to Be Saved

        Today's Gospel reading is from Luke 15, Parable of Divine Mercy, which show that Jesus came to save his lost sheep, and The Prodigal Son, such a beautiful story showing the Father's boundless love.  I feel extremely grateful that the Lord has called me.  You hear faith spoken of as a gift from God.  This could give the impression that this gift is selectively given, but I believe that God wants to give this gift to everyone, especially those who most need it.  To receive this gift, we must be receptive or at least be curious about it.  Being objective, putting aside any preconceived notions, is also necessary, for God loves a humble attitude.  So far in my faith journey, everything experienced confirms that I have made the right choice and am proceeding on the right path.  This is not any sort of proof, but when you are dealing with faith, this is as good as proof.      

Friday, September 10, 2010

Be "Self-Centered" First

        In today's Gospel reading from Luke 6, Jesus said, "Why look at the speck in your brother's eyes when you miss the plank in your own?  How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me remove the speck from your eye,' yet fail yourself to see the plank lodged in your own?  Hypocrite, remove the plank from your own eye first; then you will see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother's eye."
        The reason we don't have a peaceful world is because everybody is constantly criticizing everybody else.  What Jesus has given us is really a formula for peace.  If we all examine ourselves first and realize how imperfect we are, we probably won't think ill of others much anymore.  Besides, looking inward helps us in keeping in touch with God.    

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is God Fair?

        A lot of people feel that God is not fair to them.  What are we to believe?  I think the parable The Laborers in the Vineyard from Matthew 20 provides some clues.  In the story the workers hired in the last hour got paid as much as all the other workers hired earlier, including the first group who had worked a full day.  When the first group complained, the owner of the vineyard responded: "I do you no injustice.  You agreed on the usual wage, did you not?  Take your pay and go home.  I intend to give this man who was hired last the same pay as you.  I am free to do as I please with my money, am I not?  Or are you envious because I am generous?"  Also, I recall Jesus telling one Apostle to mind his own business and not be nosy about what's going to happen to the other Apostles.
        I can conclude that God wants us to respond to him alone, letting him do whatever he wishes.  Envy is, of course, a sin.  If you mind other people's affairs, then right away you see that some are better-looking, taller, have better health, were born into a wealthier family,... ~ how can God ever be fair?!  If there's no life after death, then you have a point.  Since this is not the case, it makes no difference what your life is like if you end up in heaven.  View it this way: you trade this life, fair or unfair, for eternal life ~ there's nothing unfair about that.  If you knew how happy you'd be in heaven, you wouldn't mind spending a million "unfair" years on this earth.        

God's Blessing Not Free

        Caught Frontline on TV the other day and watched the report on the horrific genocides that took place within the last decade in Rwanda and Dalfur (a region of Sudan).  Altogether, over a million people got slaughtered and millions more became refugees.  The murder, rape, and torture were absolutely shocking.  And we thought that the Holocaust was the last of such horrors! 
        What's equally sad was the fact that the nations that had the power and wealth to do something pretty much didn't do much.  After all, those regions had nothing to offer them.  One Asian power nation voted against doing anything to stop the atrocities in Dalfur because it had business ties with the Sudan government.  Shame, shame, shame!  At the UN, nations talked, discussed, and delayed for years; finally, some troops were sent to Dalfur to protect the civilians only.  By this time the killing was pretty much over.
        I am also ashamed of our own government and presidents.  Apparently, it's easier to accuse other governments of neglecting human rights than doing something to stop the real violation of human lives.  Contrast the lack of action here with the eagerness to invade Iraq.  We are no longer a Christian nation.  At the governmental level, loving your neighbor is no longer considered.  Everything is done with self-interest in mind, not that of the American people either, but of the power elite. 
       Anyway, what I want to say is that we always ask God to bless America, but do we deserve his blessing if we have no intention of becoming a better nation?  To make my point clear, let's look at the extreme case.  Suppose Satan asks God to bless him, do you think that God will comply?  If we want God to bless us, we'd better desire to become more loving and less self-centered.          

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Preparation for Union

        Give to God from your heart: yourself, your family, your health, your possessions, your finance, your everything.  There's no point in holding onto them as all belongs to God in the first place.   Throw in your problems, burdens, and worries as well.  Let God take over and you are ready to seek complete union with the Lord.

Eternal Good News

        The world is filled with all kinds of news, and the news of today fast becomes the history of tomorrow.  But we Christians have the eternal good news, the news that's forever fresh and true.  This is the news that Jesus has come and revealed himself as savior of the world ~ happy news for us to rejoice in always. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Prerequisite for Loving God

        In praying the Hail Holy Queen, we ask Mary to pray for us that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.  At this morning's Mass, I felt strongly that we should pray for all to be made worthy of receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist.  It saddens me a great deal to see people receiving this most holy sacrament so casually. 
        I believe that most Catholics know that the Holy Communion is the true body and blood of Jesus.  Whether they really believe in it is another matter.  I don't see too many people spending time preparing themselves before receiving the Eucharist.  Mind you, this is comparable to meeting the Lord in person!  Why the incessant talking about mundane things on their way to church and even after entering it?  Do they go up for Communion just because everyone else is going up? 
        I am not sure how much the children learn in their preparation classes for receiving first Communion either, because sometimes I don't see any reverence shown.  People just don't stay behind to pray after Mass much anymore.  They want to dash home to watch some game on TV or do their shopping.  
        Going to church, receiving Communion,... all seem to be so mechanically done with no great meaning to the participants.  This is disturbing.  Does "Many are called, but few are chosen" apply here?  Receiving Communion is serious business.  That's why not taking it seriously is just as serious.  If we truly love God, we must start with reverencing, adoring, and worshiping the Holy Eucharist.  It's a prerequisite.        

Monday, September 6, 2010

Another Lesson in Humility

        The other day someone told me that a certain person knew a certain subject very well.  It turned out that I was also well-versed in that subject.  My first reaction was to downgrade that person, thinking surely that I knew better.  Then I realized that how petty, unchristian my thoughts were.  I didn't even know the person!  Why should I even be affected in any way??  Maybe he is more knowledgeable than I, then praise God.  It's that ugly ego acting up again!
        Anyway, how good it is to have the Holy Spirit point out our sins?  Without his guidance, we'd be living in darkness.  We need to pray constantly for God's mercy on us.  Rejoice that the moment we humble ourselves before God, he exalts us.   

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Being Detached

        In today's reading at Mass from Luke 14, Jesus makes it clear that one must hate all his own family members and even his own life in order to be his disciple.  Obviously, "hate" is a relative term here.  Jesus wants us to be attached to him alone.
        To me, a detached person is one who       
        (1) is attached to God only and not to all else,
        (2) sees that all his family members belong to God and not to him,
        (3) is not cold but a true realist, seeing through God's loving eyes,
        (4) lives in the present moment, looking forward to eternal life with God, and does not get overly sentimental or nostalgic,
        (5) has all his priorities put in order according to God's will,
        (6) is no longer a slave to himself or the world, and thus free to love God.  

The Lord Nourishes Us

        At today's Mass, I saw myself as parched soil and Jesus as rain.  When I received the Lord, my thirst was quenched and I, the soil, was readied to bring forth fruit-bearing spiritual growths.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

How's Your Fighting?

        We are engaged in spiritual warfare against the evil forces.  If you are on the right side, then are you fighting?  If you are, then how hard are you doing it?  Are you letting others bearing the brunt of the enemy's attack or are you also in the forefront leading a charge?  Every moment of our limited lifetime counts. 

The Mass

        This morning while praying before Mass began, I saw the Mass as a feast, a treat, an opportunity of a lifetime because I get to be united with the loving Lord again, a momentous occasion, an awesome privilege, a life-changing grace.
        I remember maybe a couple of decades ago, when there was going to be a stride summit held near my area, I thought that's going to be a once-in-a-lifetime event with five of the best stride pianists in the world getting together to give a concert.  I just had to attend that.  I even took a leave from my work to do it (resulting in a loss of pay later).   
        Today, I'd rather attend one Mass than a thousand of these concerts.  By the way, that concert wasn't really a once-in-a-lifetime event ~ the performers came back the following year to hold a stride summit II. 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Be One with Jesus First

        I've been thinking that if you truly become one with Jesus, then you would have the mind of Jesus, and you would ask for things for which Jesus would ask.  It follows that the Father will not be able to refuse what you ask for.  Therefore, be united with Jesus first and let all good things follow. 

God the Renewer

        The Lord showed me this morning at Mass that he is a renewer.  He makes all things new.  How refreshing!  He's responsible for all the renewals in nature.  Most of all, he loves to renew each one of us, transforming us into delightful, brand new creatures, reflecting his beauty.  Naturally, our cooperation is needed.  So, cooperate and be refreshed.

Passion of Christ

        This is Friday and I meditated on the sorrowful mysteries of the rosary. 
        First, Jesus went through the agony in the garden.  It's safe to say that we all have gone through some agony when we knew ahead that we're going to get into some tough situation or face a dreadful moment.  Jesus knew exactly the terrible events coming to him and the agony must have been almost unbearable.
        Next, the scourging.  How do we feel when someone does as little as jabbing you with his finger in your chest even for a good reason?  What if someone punches you with his fist?  Here, our Lord, totally innocent, received such severe scourging on his body.
        Crowning with thorns.  When I work in the garden, even when a little thorn pricks one of my fingers, I feel the sharp pain.  Now, someone jammed a crown of large thorns on top of his head ~ it's hard to imagine how painful that could be.  And don't forget the hurtful verbal taunts and scorns he also received.   
        Carrying of his own cross.  This is adding insult to injury, an extreme cruel treatment.
        The Crucifixion.  His mission was accomplished.  This crowned his achievement.  He carried out the will of the Father to a triumphant conclusion.  And we are the beneficiaries.  

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Best Advice

        At the wedding at Cana, both Jesus and Mary were there.  After the wine ran out, Mary instructed those waiting on table, "Do whatever he tells you."  This gets my vote as the best advice ever given by a human being. 
        Obey Jesus and be amazed as the disciples were when they caught such a great number of fish after Jesus told them exactly where to lower the nets.  (Today's Gospel reading: Luke 5, 1-11) 

Feeling of the New

        Putting on some new clothing makes you feel good.  Driving a new car does likewise.  Welcoming the New Year calls for celebration.  Then there are making new friends, learning new skills, discovering new solutions to old problems, etc.  The feeling of experiencing the new is a good feeling.
        I am saving the best feeling of the new for the last.  This is the feeling that you are a new creature after you put on Christ.  The old "you" no longer lives and it's Christ himself who lives in you.  You're now clean, free, and an adopted child of the Father.
                                                                                     
       
                  

Perfect Relationship

        If you believe that Jesus did come for all, then we must live all for Jesus.  This is the perfect relationship intended by God.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Faith Journey

        Jesus said to Thomas after he saw the wounds on the Lord and believed: "You became a believer because you saw me.  Blest are they who have not seen and have believed."  So we who believe are blessed. The other known part is that God will always lead us to what's best for us because he loves us so much.  The only unknown are the details, exactly how God is going to make things happen.  And it is this unknown part that turns our faith journey into an adventure. 
        From Psalm 23: "Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for you are at my side..."  I love this verse.  For me, it describes the true faith journey.