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

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Force of God

        It's a perfect morning today with perfect temperature, blue skies, and birds enjoying their time among the trees.  I happened to see a perfect acorn on the grass and picked it up.  I knew it would grow into a mighty oak if planted properly in good soil.  We've all seen roots of trees cracking concrete pathways, planters, or even uplifting house foundations.  This is the force of nature.  So I started thinking that the force of God, which is the Holy Spirit, can absolutely make each one of us grow into a spiritual giant, powerful enough to crush all obstacles in the way, so long as we plant ourselves properly and firmly in God.  May this thought give us hope and inspiration.  

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Heavy Responsibility

        Today when I received the Lord in Holy Communion, I felt the tremendous responsibility he placed upon me.  First of all, I am nothing and here the Lord of the universe, pure LOVE, entered me ~ how was I, unworthy as I am, to bear his holy presence in me??  I felt almost crushed and the heavy responsibility to do my utmost to please him by not sinning again.  Let's say you are carrying the Holy Eucharist in a pix on you, as Eucharistic Ministers do when they visit the homebound or imprisoned ~ I am sure that you would do your utmost to make sure that the Eucharist is well protected and reverenced.  You should feel the same after you have consumed the Eucharist within you.  With such heavy responsibility felt, I asked the Lord to carry me in his love instead rather than me having to "carry" him by myself.  

Old Testament Wisdom

        I went to Vigil Mass today, so the readings were the ones for Sunday tomorrow.  Reading 1 was taken from Wisdom ~ 11:22-12:2.  I must admit that I have never read or studied the entire Bible.  For me, the four Gospels are dearest to me, so I'd rather read them again than starting on another book.  Anyway, the reading from Wisdom basically states the following about God:
        (1) The whole universe is as a grain or a drop of morning dew before the Lord.
        (2) God has mercy on all because he can do all things.  He overlooks people's sins that they may repent. 
        (3) God loves all things and loathes nothing that he has made; for he would not have fashioned what he hated. 
        (4) Nothing could remain unless he willed it; or be preserved, had it not been called forth by him. 
        (5) He spares all things because they are his.
        (6) He is lover of souls, for his imperishable spirit is in all things!
        (7) He rebukes offenders little by little, warns them and reminds them of their sins, that they may abandon their wickedness and believe in him.
        I concur with all that's said here.  I shall read more books from the Old Testament.

God Is Humility

        Today's Gospel reading from Luke 14 at Mass contains the famous saying from Jesus: "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted."  This is another beautiful paradox, which speaks the truth.  Jesus himself has demonstrated with his own life this truth.  On the other hand, many prideful people in the world today have demonstrated the same truth too, the way it's stated in the first half.  We who follow Christ are to imitate him.  He has always spoken the truth and will never mislead us.  The truth shall set us free, and freedom awaits us.  
        God is love.  God is also humility.       

Friday, October 29, 2010

Faith Is...

knowing that God will always provide what we need, lead us in the right direction, and get us through any situation in life, and not being concerned about how he is going to do it. 

Jesus the Sensible One

        Today's Gospel reading from Lk 14:1-6 shows that Jesus was a sensible person, not legalistic like the Pharisees.  He taught with authority, but was never domineering.  He could be demanding, yet he remained humble.  Everything he did, he did out of love.   
        Like him, let love motivate us in all that we do, then we don't ever have to worry about whether we've done the right thing or not.        

Cause of Unhappiness

        This thought popped into my mind during Mass.  People are not happy because they have not straightened out their relationship with God, whether they are aware of it or not.  St. Augustine said that God has made us for himself so that our hearts are restless until they find their rest in him.  This is what it's all about.  God has made us so that we'll never be happy until we have set the relationship between God and us straight.
        Today's Alleluia verse from John 10: " My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me."  This is the perfect relationship.

On Submission to God

        This morning during prayer before Mass began, I felt like prostrating myself before God to become totally submissive to him.  Today "submissive" is not a welcome word to many.  The mind associates it with "being subservient or weak," "lowering your self-esteem," "losing face," or even "slavery."  Now, it all depends upon whom you submit yourself to.  If you are submissive to yourself, then that's being self-centered.  If you submit yourself to another human being, it could be humiliating or you may lose your freedom.  But I am talking about submitting yourself to the loving God who can set you free!  Therefore, "submission" can be a beautiful thing.  

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eternal Life Assured

        Choose Christ over every single thought, word, and act of yours and you'll have eternal life assured.

Double Renewal

        The old must die before the new can be born.  This is clear in nature.  We cannot be renewed in Christ without letting the old self go.  Repentance is the first step.  When we repent, God breaks down the old person and you are renewed.  The next step in line is total surrender.  When you surrender, God frees you and you are renewed once more. 

Power of a Truthful Heart

        Praying half-heartedly without much sincerity wastes both God's and your own time.  On the other hand, a truthful heart moves God's heart.  Praying with such a heart means praying with total honesty, nothing hidden, and everything meant.  Such prayer directly penetrates the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.         

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Obedience to the Word of God

        If we believe that the word of God is truth, then we have no choice but to obey ~ just simple logic.  And this obedience makes the soul beautiful.

A Big Wake-up Call

        In a post the day before yesterday, I mentioned that when Paul expected his followers to be good in so many ways, it was like a wake-up call.  In today's Gospel reading from Luke 13, we really get the big wake-up call from the Lord himself.  In verses 22-30, he answered the question "Lord, will only a few people be saved?" asked by someone.  He surely instilled some fear in those who heard him.  Those words are fit for framing and are exactly what the world of today needs to hear and pay attention to.  Do you think that the Lord was just kidding?            
       

Jesus Our Life

        In the hymn we sang at morning Mass, one of the lines is "Jesus is our life."  This is fitting because life, whether physical or spiritual, is dearest to us and should mean everything to us.  When we are alive, the physical life is precious.  After we die, the spiritual life is even more important.  If you love Jesus, let him be your life.     

Give God Free Access

        During prayer before morning Mass, I tried to let go in the Lord.  We have our body and our soul.  I have learned to relax my body before by letting every part of it go limp to help me fall asleep.  We feel greatly relaxed when we are getting a body massage or soaking in hot spring water.  So I thought I must relax my soul and spirit in the Lord too by letting everything go in him.  As I mentioned in my last post, taking care of the soul is far more important than taking care of the body.  Letting go in God then is the perfect way to relax the soul and bolster our trust in the Lord.
        I had the experience of being slain in the Spirit several times in the past.  I personally prefer to use the word "kissed" in place of the word "slain."  The first time it happened, it was at a local cathedral where a visiting priest was blessing everyone going up to him with a piece of wood reportedly to be from the cross on which Christ was crucified.  People just all fell to the floor.  I neither sought the experience nor disbelieve in it ~ I just left it up to God and I did fall too.  It felt like the Holy Spirit had just kissed you.  If there had been no need to get up to allow room for others to fall, I definitely would have lain on the floor much longer because what I experienced were pure sweetness and peace.  By leaving all up to God, you give him free access to your soul.  How can he possibly give you anything but the very best??

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Concern for the Soul

        I did not receive too many thoughts from the Holy Spirit today.  During morning Mass, I was deeply moved when I heard the priest pronouncing: "This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world..." before giving out Communion.  Yes, taking away my sins so that my soul will be safe in God's keeping.  Many in the world take great care of their material possesions and neglect their own health.  Many do take good care of their health but forget all about the soul.  All material things will become scraps in time and our health, inevitably deteriorate or vanish as we age or die.  But the soul lives on forever ~ shouldn't then the condition of the soul be of our prime concern??

Monday, October 25, 2010

Live to Love

        Do we live to eat or eat to live?  A fun question to answer.  All we need to know is that God wants us to live to love.  He is love and wants us to be like him.  It's an invitation that we should accept wholeheartedly. 

How to Achieve Freedom

        Hold onto Jesus and let everything else go ~ that's it! 
        A footnote.  For every situation and problem, consult the Holy Spirit for there is an answer to be received or a solution to be worked out.  Submit yourself to God with great faith and you'll be rewarded.         

Jesus Our Model & Guide

        Today's First Reading is from Ephesians 4.  Paul continues to urge his followers to be kind to each other, compassionate, forgiving one another...  Altogether, he gave quite a number of exhortations.  This is like a wake-up call.  I am just happy that we have Jesus among us as our example, standard, and a reference point.  He is perfect for us to imitate.  We look to him to see where we stand and how we should change or grow.  He alone is the model and guide for us.  May the whole world hear his wake-up call.   

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Born-Again Process

        Protestants emphasize the born-again experience.  Once you accept Jesus as you Lord and Savior, you are saved forever.  It's that moment of acceptance that counts.  But for the Catholics, the born-again experience is an ongoing process.  Scripture makes it clear that a disciple of the Lord is to shed his old self and be transformed into a new creature that's Christ-like.  Since we'll never be able to reach the perfection of Christ, this renewal process must continue for our entire lifetime.  One just doesn't become holy overnight.        
      

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Meaning of Love

        God's love, agape, is the ultimate love.  He laid down his life for us.  Since he has first loved us, it's our turn to love him back.  When you say "I love you" to God, it should mean "I am willing to lay down my life for you."

Power of the Heart

        This posting could be considered a sequel to Heart of the Matter posted a week ago.  The heart in concert with the mind wields tremendous power.  For example, take someone who has committed serious mortal sins.  If the heart repents in a split second, the soul is saved.  If that's not done, the soul could be doomed.  This is why it's ever important to be prepared at all times. 

Beauty Everywhere

        When you are aware of God's presence, you see beauty everywhere.  I am thinking more of the beauty that you sense spiritually.  Naturally, the beauty of our Lord is ever present no matter what situation you happen to be in.  You see the beauty of each human soul because you see Christ in it.  There is beauty in the fidelity of a married couple and in every human act done for love.  This morning's Mass was particularly beautiful with a group of seminarians and some sisters joining the rest in singing.  The faith shone through.  The priest's homily and the devoutness with which he conducted the Mass made it even more beautiful.  To follow God is to follow beauty.     

The Joy of Letting Go

        There is joy in being able or allowed to go all out to do something.  For example, you get the chance to do all the enjoyable things over a weekend or play a sport with all your heart and strength.  Or it could be that you have the opportunity to express yourself fully in some way or even eat your favorite foods to your heart's content.  In the same way, if you can let go entirely in God, you will feel great joy in your soul.  This joy comes from feeling free and knowing that you have pleased God and made spiritual progress yourself.        

Friday, October 22, 2010

Trust Removes Guilt

        Sometimes I make a mistake despite my good intentions and start feeling that I have hurt the Lord.  Then I realize that he knows that we are imperfect and to be too harsh on ourselves is not trusting in his mercy.  This again becomes a chance to learn how to let go and deepen our trust in him.

Jesus the Shortcut

        In today's first reading from Ephesians 4, Paul asks us to be humble, gentle, patient, ... Elsewhere throughout the New Testament, we are called upon to be good in so many other ways.  I had mentioned before that to seek salvation, Jesus is the shortcut, in the sense that you don't need to search all over the world anymore ~ you just go to him to find it ~ simple and direct.  Now, to do all those things as a Christian is expected to, Jesus again becomes the shortcut.  We Catholics are so fortunate to have the Holy Eucharist available to us, the bread of heaven, to nourish us and unite us to the Lord.  It is through this union that we become holy and automatically, we'll be living right; there's no need to keep a check list to see if we're good in the various ways.   


Thursday, October 21, 2010

God Is Infinite

        Today's First Reading at Mass from Ephesians 3 talks about the immensity of God's love, a love that surpasses knowledge.  Can you ever imagine that God is limited in some ways?  If there is a single thing that's not possible with him, then he cannot be God and I don't want to worship such a "God" either.
        If he is not finite, then he must be infinite.  Thus, his love is infinite; his mercy, boundless; his knowledge, unlimited... ~ I could go on and on, but the list is infinite too.  We creatures cannot comprehend infinity, but we are not supposed to ~ we are called upon only to believe and trust.        

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How Important Is Jesus to You?

        Here is perhaps a way to find out how important Jesus is to you.  Imagine that Jesus is taken away from you, so you are absolutely cut off from him.  He's now totally out of your life and there is no hope of ever getting in touch with him again.  How would you feel?  Would you feel merely sad or devastated?  Would you feel that you could still live on or life has lost its meaning?  If you feel devastated, is there any point in not wanting to live anymore if Jesus is out of the picture?  There are many other questions you can think of. 
        Cheer up, because he will always be here with you. 

How to Live Right

        To abandon yourself to God is the only way to live right.  If God wants you to go to him right this moment, you response should be an instant "yes," with no reservation whatsoever.  If he wants you to live another hundred years, you respond exactly the same way.  In the meantime, we keep praying to God to show us the way in everything so that we may discern and do his will. 

How to Be Bold & Fearless

        If you put your full trust in God and since he is all love and all-knowing, you should never need to worry, be anxious, or afraid anymore.  This is the theory that sounds totally logical and I can't find any flaw in it either.  Therefore, put it into practice and become confident, bold, and fearless.
        A footnote.  This is not to say that you'll no longer experience any agony or have sufferings or crosses to bear.  The difference is that now you will have the strength and inner peace to deal with anything that comes your way.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Matter of Occupancy

        One good way to picture our relationship with God goes like this. Imagine that God gives each of us one of his rooms to live in. Now he wants to move in to stay with us. Here are the various possible reactions. (1) Ignore him; close the windows and lock the door to keep him outside. (2) Look through the windows to peek at him once in a while. (3) Wave to him at the window or maybe even open the door enough to talk to him. (4) Permit him to move in, but change your mind afterwards. (5) Actually let him move in, but you are still in control. (6) He is in with you, but you still fight him over many things. (7) You begin to like him after getting to know him more. (8) You are pretty happy that he's staying with you. (9) You begin to get attached to and love him. (10) You come to love him with all my heart and finally surrender to him. He is now truly your Lord and can do whatever he pleases with you or the room.
        It's a matter of your decreasing to nothing and God increasing to occupy all of you.

Wise Up Now

        Today's Gospel reading is from Luke 12 about being prepared for the master's return. How much time do we have? The answer for each one of us is clearly at most the time each of us has left to live, unless Jesus comes again in our lifetime. Since no one knows how long he's going to live and when Jesus will come, the question "how much time do we have?" becomes irrelevant. The wise ones would wise up right now.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Hard to Please

        Please do not try to impress me with your meetings with celebrities; the cars you drive; the brand name of your watch; the designers clothes you wear; the vintage of the wine you serve; your exquisite collection of art or other rare objects; your vast knowledge of world affairs, science, or economics; and all your other successes and accomplishments in this world.  
        The only thing that will engage my interest is the fruit you bear out of love for God.

Guess Whom I Know

       People in general enjoy telling others whom they saw, talked to, or know, especially if it involves someone famous or well-known. It could be that they sighted some celebrity eating at the same restaurant, standing in the same line at the airport, or even got to talk to one at some show. These were considered special occasions and people love to let others know about them because they feel somewhat special about themselves.
        Please don't be disappointed if I tell you that the person I know, most intimately, is the greatest of them all ~ in fact, he is the creator of the universe and all of us: he is Jesus, the Savior. I shall tell you about him only out of love, and I do feel special about myself, but in a different way.

All Things Lead to Jesus

        When I see the beautiful blue sky and smell the fresh air, I think of Jesus.  In the middle of a dark night, I feel him even closer.  In every person, I see the Lord.  Great music leads me to the source, which is Jesus who made it all possible.  The music doesn't even have to be sacred or a hymn; it there is something there that stirs up some beautiful emotion, I thank him too.  Whenever I catch some bad news on TV, I see the need for the world to know Jesus.  Even when I watch some pretty bad, worldly shows ~ not that I enjoy watching them ~ I find out how awful it is to speak and behave without knowing Jesus.  A few days ago, I posted about the desecrators ~ what they did really hurts, but it also directed me right away to Jesus to pray for mercy on their souls.  As the Psalms make it clear, the Lord is everywhere you look.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Infectious Joy in Jesus (video)

Sr. Mary Samuele

        I came across this website 
http://www.salvationisfromthejews.com/samuele.html  about Sister Mary Samuele.  After it was discovered that she had cancer spreading through her body, she was hospitalized.  Her novice directress writes, "The last four months of Sr. M. Samuele's life were nothing more than the breaking loose, in all its tenderness and fury, of God's love for her..."  Sister herself said, "He has broken me down completely. He can do whatever he wants with me."
        It's so beautiful to have God break loose to break one down completely.  It would be the experience of life, the new birth of a soul, the fulfillment of our ultimate desire, the lifting up to the bosom of the Father, the union of the Almighty and poor us, and the end of our journey. 
        Sr. Mary Samuele, pray for us.

Face the Truth

        I believe that people don't believe in God, not because they don't believe that God exists, but because they are not ready to believe yet.  God is a threat to them at this point and they are not ready to give themselves up.  The truth is that God is love and the threat they feel is not caused by God, but by their own selfishness and blindness.  My sincere advice to them is: "Don't put off facing the truth that will always be present while there is still time."   

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Focus on God's Mercy

        Today I committed a venial sin and lost my peace.  Naturally, I turned to the Lord to repent and pray for forgiveness.  But peace did not return to my heart.  After more praying, I finally realized that my pride was still in play ~ basically, I was bothered by my own spiritual failure.  You see, I was focusing on myself instead of God's infinite mercy.  There's no question that I'll be sinning again and again, but the Lord will set me free again and again.  Finally, I was set free this time.

Heart of the Matter

        The condition of the heart determines our eternal destination.  You could say that if the soul is a ship, then the heart is the pilot.  To keep us heading in the right direction, the heart must always be in the right place, that is, be pure, loving, and trusting in God.  The problems of our world can all be traced to the deplorable condition of the human heart.    

Sweetness of the Holy Spirit

          Today at Mass I experienced the sweetness of the Holy Spirit.  To get in touch with the Holy Spirit, you must go deep, deep within yourself to sense his presence.  His sweetness will melt your heart, purifying it in the process.  It is a sweetness intoxicating to the soul only. 

No Better Model

        We talk a lot about the importance of having good role models, especially for the younger generation.  I look at Jesus and see a perfect model.  What can be more perfect than being holy??  He shines and towers above mankind.  If you want to be godlike, just let him be your model.  Besides, he will actually help you achieve your goal along the way.      

Friday, October 15, 2010

God the Sole One

        Let God be your sole lord, your sole love, your sole hope, your sole joy, your sole guide, your sole teacher, your sole true companion, your sole source for strength, your sole comforter, your sole refuge, your sole... 

Self-Importance Important

        There's the right way to feel self-important and the wrong way to feel so.  To feel the right way, realize that you are a servant of God and that's an important position because salvation of others (the glory of God) depends upon you.  You are to be a shining light in the world.  To remain fit in your given duty, it's imperative that you maintain your spiritual health, which is holiness, so that you'll able to do the greatest possible good for the glory of God.  You are indispensable to God ~ that's how important you are!  
       

Life Has No Meaning?

        As I was praying the Sorrowful Mysteries today, this question popped into my mind.  If life has no meaning, then why would Jesus even bother to go through all the sufferings and die on the cross??

Store Up Treasure in Heaven

        Time is passing and so are the things of the world.  Nothing in our material world lasts forever.  A museum can house many valuable collections, but how long will they last?  How about the most impressive structures man built?  No one knows, but certainly not forever.  Anything can happen.  The only things that last are the treasure we store up in heaven.
        Looking at all the things people do, I see so much time and effort wasted because they are not expended for the glory of God.  Television is said to be a vast wasteland, but many shows are even worse as they suck people away from God.  All things done out of selfishness or without love are wasted efforts.  Life is brief and the time left for storing up treasure in heaven, even briefer.  Yesterday I got the news that someone I saw at a wedding six days ago had drowned.  The Lord knows exactly how much time we spend and what our intentions are in doing each thing.  When we see the Lord, how good it will be to hear him say, "Well done, my faithful servant." 

Holy Spirit, the Greatest Teacher

        On my way to Mass this morning, I felt the need and urge to learn from the Lord ~ I wanted the Holy Spirit to teach me so that I may understand the mind of Christ.  Unquestionably, the Holy Spirit is the greatest and most perfect (redundancy intended) teacher you can possibly have.  Listen to and learn from him and you'll grow spiritually as far as you'll let him take you.  He will lead you straight to the heart and mind of God.  Many thoughts followed during Mass ~ I'll try to post them one by one.  

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Make Macho Instinct Extinct

        This morning I had to skip my daily Mass because I felt called to help another person in her ministry.  On my drive to the destination at a red-light stop, I sensed that the driver to my right was going to forge fast ahead when the light changes.  Sure enough, it took off at full throttle ~ even the car behind me decided to change lanes to keep up with the front runner.  I realized that most men have this macho instinct to want to be ahead of others and not be left behind ~ it doesn't even have to be a race situation.  At the same time I heard words from the Scripture counseling us to be gentle, patient, and humble.  The Holy Spirit won out.  If I want the Lord to take away my ego, I'd better extinguish that macho instinct too. 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Formula for Happiness

        Happiness is where your heart is.  Therefore, give your heart to God and you'll be with him and happy.

The Holy Eucharist Appreciated

        As I received the Holy Eucharist this morning, I couldn't help thinking what a special privilege it was to receive the Lord in this way.  In my life I have tasted many different foods at various tables, but to eat and drink at the Lord's table is to partake of a banquet in heaven!  When the disciples first heard Jesus say about eating his body and drinking his blood, they couldn't stomach that and turned away from him ~ they were normal people; they just didn't understand.  Now that we comprehend what it's all about, uniting with the Lord in this way becomes a most moving, intimate, uplifting, and humbling experience.  I was born into this world ~ the purpose is now fulfilled through receiving the Holy Eucharist.         

Let Love Triumph

        Nothing is impossible with God, who is Love.  Therefore, nothing is impossible with love.  St. Paul described love in 1 Corinthians famously: Love is patient, kind, not pompous, not inflated, not rude,...  Therefore, let love be the (only) motivating force in us to guide us through life.  Love will remove all our fears, anxieties, worries, hangups, angers, resentments, all negative thoughts,... as God is all powerful.  Let love transform and renew us.  We have the secret recipe for living a triumphant life.
        A footnote.  The priest at this morning's Mass quoted another priest he knew: "To love, you anticipate the needs of others."

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The Same Holy Communion

        When I received Holy Communion today, I saw that in essence the words I heard were exactly what Jesus said at the Last Supper and what I received was exactly what the Apostles received at the Last Supper, the first Mass.  This was a great feeling, even though Jesus was not visually present. 

Love Adds Meaning

        In today's readings at Mass, Paul pointed out that observing the law counts for nothing, but only faith through love; and Christ said to the Pharisees that observing the prescribed washing before meal does not cleanse the inside.  This lead me to think that we perform many deeds by going through the motion just because it's the practice, custom, or tradition.  If we're given free choice, we probably wouldn't want to do any of them.  What's lacking is love.  So doing them all with love for God, then they will become meaningful.  

Monday, October 11, 2010

Jesus' Challenge

        From Matthew 10:  "Everyone who acknowledges me before others I will acknowledge before my heavenly Father.  But whoever denies me before others, I will deny before my heavenly Father."  These are strong words from Jesus.  We are faced with making a choice.  Of course, one can ignore him, but the question remains.  
        What I love about Jesus is that he challenges us and let us make up our own minds.  He knows what he's talking about.  Everything is clear cut.  To me, again, the mark of a true, loving God.    

Good Way to Keep Humble

        My last post deals with our nothingness before God.  The great saints regard themselves as being most wretched before God, so humility is definitely a sign of holiness.  The more we realize our sinful state and lowliness, the more we come to see how holy and exalted God is ~ a good way to keep us humble.  

God's Love Changes Everything

        The Lord let me realize the "distance" between him and us.  Today's Responsorial Psalm 113 tells us that the Lord is high above all nations and his glory, above the heavens.  We see that he is infinite, while we are finite.  He has created everything from nothing, while we merely work on or put together the things that have already existed.  God put us into this world and will take us away as he wishes ~ we have absolutely no control.  We are totally at his mercy.  Basically, God is everything and we are nothing.  If we are so proud of ourselves and think that we are somebody, that'd be sheer folly.  
        What is amazing is that God has shown his love for us and can make us into little gods to turn our nothingness into everything to him.  This is a "shocking" surprise and certainly cause for rejoicing.  

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Let God Alone Turn You On

        There are some who wouldn't attend a certain church because they do not like the priest there.  Apparently, all those messages heard during Mass about forgiving others, loving the unlovely, turning the other cheek,... from Jesus have not taken any effect in them.  People often "shop" for a church to their liking.  What if you go to all the churches and find that there's always something  displeasing to you ~ does that mean that you won't go to church anymore?  The main reason for going to Mass is to meet and receive the Lord.  Thank God we have priests to give us Holy Communion.  Without them, there would be no Church.  They need our support, love, and appreciation.  Let God alone turn you on so that no one else will turn you off.    

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Heart-to-Heart Affair

        It is through the heart that we come to know God.  An unclean heart keeps one away from God, while a pure heart is the conduit that connects us to God.  It is the pure heart that moves the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, the heart of God.  We have a heart-to-heart affair here, so start living heart-to-heart with the Lord.  

Motive Matters

        Doing one little thing for God exclusively is more meritorious than doing a million things for just yourself.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Enjoy God

        During prayer after Mass, I keenly felt that God is me all in all, I am utterly dependant upon him, and I owe everything to his mercy and love.  Without him, I'd be a shambles, lost, and dead. 
        He was the one who made me love him, so I am going to enjoy him.   

"Never Say No to God"

        Before Mass this morning, I heard myself saying "Never say no to God" in my mind.  In the Gospel reading later from Luke 11, Jesus says, "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."  It's clear that staying neutral would not be a good choice.  This is in line with Jesus' dislike for lukewarmness.  "Never say no to God" should take care of that.

Carry Your Own Cross

        This morning as I was praying the fourth Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary, the Carrying of the Cross, I felt that the least we could do was to carry our own daily, little crosses, following the Lord with his big, heavy cross on his shoulder.  Know that every time we are not willing to carry a cross of our own, Jesus feels that extra weight on him.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Are You Your Own Obstacle?

        The way to eternal life is simple.  All you need to do is surrender yourself to God through Christ.  That's it!  The hard part is doing the part.  Guess what?  The only obstacle that stands in your way is yourself.  Basically, you face choosing either yourself or God.  It's simple all the way. 

The Holy Eucharist Again

        The Holy Eucharist is Jesus on earth and is to be worshiped, adored, reverenced, treasured, loved and appreciated.  It is the center of our faith.  Without it, there would be no real need to have priests and thus no Church.  Then why is receiving Holy Communion treated almost like an afterthought by so many?  Why isn't there more zeal and joy among the faithful (clergy included)?  Why are there so few on fire to serve the Lord?  Why do so many skip Mass?  Why  are most attendants at Mass elders (especially in some European countries)?  Why do so many Catholics ignore the teachings of the Church when they vote in elections?  Why are so many Catholics easily lured away by other denominations and sects?  These are all good questions.
        I personally believe that if the significance and the place of the Holy Eucharist is properly taught and understood by all, the above-mentioned problems will diminish or disappear.  To love the Holy Eucharist is to love Christ.    

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Journey to Freedom

        Another realization that came to me was that people live for themselves in this world because they think that this is the only life to live.  If this were true, I don't blame them because I would do the same thing.  Once a person has come to know God and realize that there is definitely an eternal life after death, then he begins to live for God more and himself less.  It's all very logical.  The process could take time, but it's a journey to freedom. 
        

Look Within

        The Lord showed me today that even though external sources can give one much guidance and help, it's most profitable to searh within one's own heart first.  Look within your innermost self to see what you really desire, what really troubles you (if applicable), how you really feel.  Learn as much as you can about yourself, asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate your heart for you to see.  Be completely honest with yourself, then you'll be honest with the Lord too.   

Praying Together with Jesus

        Once you have received the Lord, you know that he is in you.  Therefore, when you pray, you would ask for the same things Jesus would have asked.  Now you and Jesus pray together with one mind and one heart to the same Father.  What could be more beautiful?? 

Everything Is Grace

        I talked about this in an earlier post.  Yesterday I worked in the garden and had an accident.  I ended up with a bad cut on my head and bled a lot.  I was calm and remembered that "everything is grace" as St. Therese said.  So let's be aware that everything that happens to us, whether good or bad (from the human point of view), is an opportunity for us to be drawn close to God.  Now, let things happen.  The more, the "merrier."

Every Effort Counts

        Recently from the news we learned that Bill Gate and Warren Buffett gave billions for various good causes.  Sometimes we feel that we are too feeble or powerless to make any great contributions.  Let's not forget the story of the poor widow who gave two copper coins as her offering and Jesus valued that above the offering made by the rich out of their surplus.  Little acts can mean a lot to God if they are carried out with love and sacrifice.  And do not pass up any opportunity of doing things for the glory of God, no matter how little and simple they are.  Every effort counts before God.   

The Complete Prayer

        In today's Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus taught his disciple (gave us) the "Our Father."  This is a complete prayer ~ complete in the sense that it is perfect ~ you cannot possibly improve upon it.  The words teach clearly how we are to approach and relate to God.  This is the only prayer we need, a great prayer. 

A Revelation!!

        I really looked forward to going to Mass today.  I received the Lord just yesterday, so why did I feel so "excited" today?  Here's what happened.
        We read about how God spoke to Moses and other prophets in the old days, how various saints and mystics had visions and actually talked to Jesus, and how the Blessed Mother have appeared to many today.  I am sure that many of us have had the thought of wishing that we would experience something like that.  Perhaps it would be so uplifting and make us feel happier.  Well, today the Lord made me see that receiving the Holy Eucharist is a blessing on a level higher and more desirable than all those aforementioned experiences!  This was the first time it struck me this way.  All those experiences are external and are not intended to make us holy, but receiving the Lord himself is a total union that can truly transform us.  Wow! I am now totally content in the Lord.  (How I wish that those who do not believe, the addressees in my last post, would experience for one second what I am feeling and realize what they are missing!)  The Holy Eucharist is the Blessed Sacrament!  Receive it with love, adoration, and reverence as you would the Lord himself and you would be blessed abundantly.     

Ultimate Stupidity

        In my last post yesterday, Important Petition, I asked any of you out there to sign the petition to YouTube, requesting the removal of the videos that are offensive to Catholics (and to all God-fearing people in a way).  Here are a few words to those desecraters.  
        If you don't know God and want to find him ~ that's one thing.  If you don't know him, but you start to belittle, ridicule, or attack him ~ then what's the point??  Maybe you think that you do believe in God, but just don't like the Catholics.  Let me tell you then that you really do not know God at all, because God, being love, will never, never put hateful thoughts in our minds!  That's why I do not hate you ~ I just feel sorry for you being stupid.  What if there is a God?  What if the consecrated host and wine are indeed the true Body and blood of the Lord?  Go to a dictionary and look up the meaning of these words: desecration, profanation, sacrilege, blasphemy.  Does it ever occur to you that you might have committed all these terrible deeds?  What you've done will gain nothing for you; in fact, you may even lose your soul if you do not change.  Not even thinking of covering your own ass ~ that is the ultimate stupidity.    

God Knows Our Needs

        Today I went to morning Mass with nothing in mind to post on my blog.  Then during Mass, the Lord supplied so many thoughts that I had to jot them down on a blank piece of paper I carried lest I might forget.  This is proof that God always supplies what you need at the right time.  Praise be to him forever.
        I'll try to post them one by one in no particular order. 

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Important Petition

        If you are for the Lord, then please sign the petition to ask YouTube to remove the offensive videos showing the desecration of the Holy Eucharist in various ways.  In the meantime, pray for God's mercy on those who do not know what they are doing, though they claim otherwise.  Spread this message if you can.  God bless you.
        http://catholicheritage.blogspot.com/2010/09/stop-host-desecration-e-petition-to.html

Let Us Be God's

        At the same church I attended this morning (see my last post), the Rosary group started to pray after Mass ended.  You could hear the members saying their petitions aloud at the beginning.  This went on for at least ten minutes and I heard every thing that's said.  Some of the things asked were somewhat insignificant, but others were more urgent.  Normally, if someone goes on telling you all these things for over ten minutes, you'll probably get annoyed or bored.  But here the listener was the Lord and these people were pouring their heart out to him ~ I was moved.
        From telling the Lord everything on their mind and heart, I started thinking that we really shouldn't stop there.  We must give God all we are and all we have.  Now, if everything (including us) did come from and belong to God, what is there for us to give?  It must be that we thought we owned them.  Therefore, all we need to do is to disown everything and the matter is settled.  This is the detachment that God wants to set us free.  Let what's God's be his.  And let us be his.      

Responding to God's Attention

        I attended Mass this morning at a different place, a church not quite a  20-minute drive away.  At Communion time, I realized that it's the same Lord I was going to receive, even though I was at a different location.  Then I realized that the Lord follows us everywhere.  Indeed, not for an instant do we ever lose his loving attention.    
        Some good questions to ask: If the Lord is always watching over us, do we at least glance in his direction a few times a day?  If he gives us 100% of his attention, do we reciprocate by giving him a few percent of of our attention?  To make any relationship work, it has to be a two-way thing.  

Choose the Better Part

        Today's Gospel reading from Luke 10 is the familiar story about Martha and Mary.  Martha was busy doing the serving, while her sister Mary just sat at the feet of the Lord and listen to him speak.  When Mary complained, Jesus pointed out that "there is need of only one thing and Mary has chosen the better part."  
        It's clear that Jesus wants us to put my spiritual life, prayer life, ahead of all other chores we need to do in life.  If this lesson is a theorem, then one corollary would be to put the spiritual health of our heart ahead of our physical health and concerns about all other conditions of life.     

Monday, October 4, 2010

On Obeying the Lord

        The word that came to my mind this morning just before Mass was "obey."  To obey is to follow the Lord.  Actually, if you can do it, it's the easy way out.  To follow is always easier than to lead ~ you don't have to think anymore.  You are off the hook, so to speak.  The hard part here is to do it, that is, obeying the Lord.  Knowing that he will always lead you right should give you the confidence to get started. 
        The other part is to hear his voice so you can follow.  This morning during prayer before Mass I realized that even in silence, my mind was busily ticking away, dashing from one quick thought to another ~ it was like I was doing all the talking and questioning.  So I tried to empty the mind by not thinking about anything.  I just wanted to listen to the Lord.
        In reality, if you don't hear any strong voice from the Lord, you simply do your best to love him in the most humble way you see fit, knowing that you aim is to serve him.  If you have peace in your heart, then you know that you're on the right path.  The Gospel reading of today from Luke again reminded us to love the Lord with all our heart, all our being, all our strength, and all our mind.  If we are filled with love for God, we will be obedient to him.  This then is our starting point.  

The Gospel to Remain Intact

        Today is the Memorial of St. Francis of Assisi.  In Reading 1 from Galatians 1, Paul strongly admonished those who went over to a different gospel.  He pointed out that the gospel he preached is not of human origin, but came through a revelation of Jesus Christ, and is not to be perverted.  He felt so strongly about this that he said that if anyone, even an angel from heaven, should preach a gospel other than the one he preached, let him be accursed!  With the additional example of St. Francis who adhered to the Gospel teachings, it just shows how important it is for us to keep the original gospel intact.  Times have changed, people say, but the gospel is not to be altered because it is divine revelation.  

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Eucharistic Difference

        Yesterday I attended morning Mass and later the Vigil Mass.  Receiving the Lord in Holy Communion twice in a day can be overwhelming.  The Communion experience goes way beyond maintaining a personal relationship with Christ, which is the goal of many Christians.  Of course, to know Christ, we must have a personal relationship with him.  But without the Holy Eucharist, this is as far as we can go.  It's the Holy Eucharist, the true body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, that draws us deep into him to become one ~ it's no longer two separate persons close together, but two persons in each other united.  How blessed and fortunate are those who recognize and take advantage of this great gift from God!    

No Cowardly Spirit

        Today's second reading is from 2 Tim 1.  Verse 7 reads "For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice but rather of power and love and self-control."  
        Basically, I see that the Holy Spirit renews us, making us holy.  Since it's the guilty person who gets nervous and is timid, a holy one becomes fearless and strong with God on his side.   Naturally, the Spirit also makes you loving.  Be fearless and loving at the same time ~ this is how we are to deal with others, including our enemies.  As for self-control, once the Spirit takes over, we no longer need to exercise it since the Spirit is now in command. 
        Take full advantage of the gifts that the Holy Spirit gives us.     

Saturday, October 2, 2010

We Are Limited

        In thanking God after receiving Holy Communion today, I felt that I wasn't able to thank him enough.  What I mean is that the heart wanted to thank him more, but I was at the limit of thinking of words and thoughts to express myself truthfully.  In the same way, in praising God, we can quickly run out of words to fully express ourselves ~ again, we feel the limitation.  Out of frustration, tongues starts to flow out of the mouth. Anyway, all this makes me realize more our limitations and that God is what we need to lean upon for all things.   

Let God Fill You

        In today's Responsorial Psalm, the response was: "Lord, let your face shine on me."  I pictured opening myself to God's shinging light, deleting whatever that's unclean or impure in me, and letting God fill the entire empty space of my soul.  This is not imagining things; you actually wish so and, of course, the good Lord sees it clearly and fulfills your desire with love.  He always wants to give you more and more, so long as you are open to him.     

Friday, October 1, 2010

Be Ready Now

        It's already Oct. 1 ~ time just marches on relentlessly.  We all keep getting closer to the time of judgment.  I don't mean to sound grim ~ it's just reality.  The urgency for us to stay alert, be prepared, for you know not when the Lord will be coming, becomes even more compelling with the passing of time.  "If today you hear his voice, harden not your heart" ~ the response to the Alleluia at Mass this morning.  To be ready, live as if this moment is your last.  Don't give anyone a chance to say "I told you so" to you later. 

St. Therese of the Child Jesus

        Today is the Memorial of this beloved saint of many. Here is a link to her Act of Oblation to Merciful Love she recited on June 11, 1895, to God: http://www.rc.net/org/therese/actof.htm  She was twenty-two at the time.

Jesus the True God

        I woke up in bed around 2 a.m. this morning.  In the dark stillness, my mind was drawn immediately to Jesus.  I started thinking that here's someone I've never met in person and was here on earth some 2,000 years ago, in a region far away from where I reside now; yet, among all the people I know, he is the  one closest to my heart and most intimate to my soul.  I don't believe this kind of relationship exists in any other religion.  I wasn't ever brain-washed, nor was I under any kind of spell.  No one has  pressured me into this relationship, which I am free to sever anytime I wish.  And I am not alone, knowing that there are many, many others feeling the same way.  The only conclusion I could come to is that I have encountered the True God in Jesus.