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

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Unity Is Strength

        In today's Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus drove a demon out of a mute man and the crowds thought that Jesus did it by the power of Beelzebul, the prince of demons.  Jesus then said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste and house will fall against house.  And if Satan is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand?"  Indeed, strength comes from unity.  And our strength is derived from union with the Lord, who is invincible and against whom only fools will go.

We Must Choose Sides

        Today's Entrance verse: "I am the Savior of all people, says the Lord.  Whatever their troubles, I will answer their cry, and I will always be their Lord."  How I wish that every person will believe.  The world is in chaos, and unbelief and sin are the cause, yet people still feel that nothing bad should happen to them, forgetting that by choosing sin, you reject God.  In today's Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus said, "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters."  Yes, we must choose sides. 

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Perfect Relationship with God

        I've been thinking about relationships among people.  I dare say that there isn't a single instance in which you feel absolutely close to someone because there are always some differences between any two people.  But with God you can get so close to him that you become one with him.  Basically, I see him as being so great and merciful that we can be totally absorbed by him.  If we repent, any distance between him and us vanishes ~ we're back in the bosom of the Lord like what happened to the prodigal son.  What a great God we have ~ he is all we need!    

The Passion of Christ

        In this Lenten season leading to Easter, we think of the Passion of the Lord ~ how he went through the agony, was scourged and crowned with thorns, etc., ending with Crucifixion.  Then I thought of one excruciating moment: After Jesus had been nailed to the cross, the whole cross had to be lifted up, dropped into the hole, set straight, and compacted to stay in the upright position.  There had to be a lot of violent jerking and shaking of the cross with Christ on it during the process.  Imagine how painful it must have been for him, our most loving Lord!!!  May he be appreciated and glorified forever and more.   

Formula for Freedom

        If you don't care about what others think and do everything only out of love for God, you are truly free.  If you are much attached to the world and concerned about how you appear to others, then you are still imprisoned.  It's all perfectly logical. 

The Body and the Soul

        After Mass during prayer, I became aware of the following.
        God has created this physical universe, but he lives in the spiritual world.  We have our physical body here, but our soul is not to live forever in this physical world.  We are very much aware of the body ~ its weight, the pains and aches, the tiredness, etc.  Even when I pray, I am conscious of the discomfort of the body, distracting me from my concentration.  The body basically is a drag, but we just have to live with it. 
        Then I intuitively see that the soul is a separate entity.  The soul has a life of its own, you might say.  The body and the soul have different demands, each operating in its own world.  In this life, they are merged in one person, but they are so distinct from each other that I see clearly that the soul's home is not in this world.  The body is designed to dwell in this physical universe temporarily and the soul to dwell in the spiritual world for all eternity with God, just as Jesus came into the world and then ascended into heaven.  
        This awareness helps me become even more detached to this world.      

Power of the Holy Eucharist

        Right after receiving Holy Communion this morning, I recalled Jesus proclaiming that he is the light of the world and is also the way, the truth, and the life.  Then I saw the power of the Holy Eucharist: illuminating my soul, leading me all the way to the Father, setting me free, and filling me with new life.     

No Procrastination

        Procrastination is a "bad" word.  To procrastinate doing God's will is even worse ~ it's refusing to do his will temporarily.  The whole purpose of life is to follow God every step of the way so that life becomes meaningful.  When we hear God calling, we must act ~ this is obedience.  It could be as small as responding to someone wanting to talk to us. 
        [I am posting this message for myself to hear too.]

We Are Special!

        Before Mass started this morning, I was thinking that the Israelites were special because they were chosen by God to believe in him from the very beginning.  Then we are special too for being chosen by God to know the Son, Jesus the Savior, and inherit eternal life.

Warfare Continued

        Jesus came to engage the Enemy.  He lost his life, but he won the war.  For us to fight the spiritual war, we must likewise counter hatred with love and pride with humility.  This is God's way and must be our way too.  Utter dependence upon the Lord is called for.      

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

How to Fight the Enemy

        I personally feel that God and his Church are facing vicious and violent attacks today.  I think many of you will agree.  Just look at the news every day.  People just do what they want to do and say what they want to say.  The closest description would be to say that they all act as if they were god (not God because they are in reality anti-God).  So what are we the believers to do?
        Realizing that the objective of Satan is to alienate us from God, we must all the more cling to the Lord.  We must be ready for martyrdom if necessary.  After all, this is warfare!  Stick with the Lord through thick and thin all the way to eternity and nothing can harm our soul.  We know who our leader is, but our poor enemies don't even know that they are being lead astray ~ they need our prayer.         

Monday, March 28, 2011

Attending Daily Mass

        I have been attending Mass daily for over three year now.  Way back in the past, I did attempt to do the same.  Some of my friends attended daily Mass (this was at a different parish), so I thought it should do me good too.  But it didn't last long ~ I didn't feel I was getting enough out of it and besides, getting up early in those days was hard for me.  I already loved the Lord, but my thinking was more or less self-centered. 
        I am recalling all this because this morning as I drove to Mass, I felt that I had an important appointment with the Lord and was eagerly going there to meet him.  This time, definitely the Lord was drawing me.  What I pray is that even if I don't feel the draw, I will continue to go to him, for he always bless you extra for making the effort to please him and not yourself.           

On Obeying the Lord

        The strong in faith obey the Lord out of love, while the weak in faith obey him out of fear.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Jesus Gives Living Water

        In today's Gospel reading from John 4, Jesus told the the woman of Samaria by the well "whoever drinks the water I shall give will never thirst; the water I shall give will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”  This statement really resonates with me because like the spring water Jesus does refresh my soul, especially when I receive him in the Holy Eucharist, and I do feel the constant surge or welling of the Holy Spirit within me.  As the Lord said, the water he gives indeed quenches the thirst of the soul, but it also intensifies the soul's yearning for him.  This is only natural, as once you have tasted something good, you desire even more of it.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Jesus Is Ours!

        Today's Gospel reading at Mass was the well-known Prodigal Son parable from Luke 15.  It's such a beautiful story depicting God's love for us.  Books have been written based upon this story.  It richly provides so much we could reflect upon.  What struck me this time was what the father said to the older son near the end: "My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours."  To those of us who already belong to the Father, even if nothing special happens to us, we know that God's love is ever present and most of all, Jesus is ours.   

Surrender Leads to Union

        "Surrender" is the last thing people want to do.  To surrender is to yield or submit to another person, or to give oneself up.  But surrendering to God actually turns out to be the way to freedom.  God now takes over and starts removing all your worries, fears, and other negative feelings; for he is merciful, gentle, patient, understanding and full of compassion.  He does not boss you around; he even gave you a free will!  If you think otherwise, then you have not known him yet.  The whole goal or wish of God is to free us.  To surrender to him is to surrender to Love.  It's what every human being should do ~ to acknowledge that he is the Lord and to recognize and accept ourselves as his beloved children.  Therefore, surrender leads to union.  What else could you possibly wish for?
        A footnote.  God never forces us to love him, because there cannot be love if it's not genuine.  In the same way, there is no genuine faith if we are forced to believe.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Be Truthful

        To maintain the most intimate relationship with God, I see the absolute necessity of being truthful to him.  By that I mean laying yourself open before him, hiding nothing but revealing everything.  You want the Lord to see everything in your heart, your mind, and your soul to let him help you understand and see so that he may guide and heal you.  If you are closed to him, then he cannot help you.  So, be truthful to God and you'll be truthful to yourself too. 

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Conjecture

        Today's Gospel reading is from Luke 16 ~ the well known story about the poor man Lazarus who died and went to heaven, while the rich man died and landed in the netherworld.  Some people have asked why others seem to have everything in this life while they live a hard life.  Here is a conjecture.  No one is 100% good or 100% bad.  Let's say someone is only 10% good, then he's probably reaping his reward for the good part in this life already.  Someone 10% bad is probably just being "punished" for the bad in this life.  Obviously, the choice to suffer in this life and be rewarded in the next is preferable.    

Amazing God

        Yesterday when I saw Hunting the Edge of Space on Nova, I was further impressed by the immensity of the universe.  It's been discovered that there are now more stars than grains of sand on all the beaches put together.  Not only that, the stars are all racing away from each other further into deep space.  Our earth was estimated to have been born over 13 billion years ago.  You just have to respect utterly the creator of the universe, our God.
        Then there is the other facet of God.  He is spirit, lives in heaven and is love.  This deep love is just as amazing as the vast universe he has created.  We were all born into this physical world, but will enter the spiritual one later.  There are just so many beautiful mysteries to our finite mind.  The Lord is amazing beyond words that the only sensible action for us to take is to believe in, listen to, and follow him.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Lord Answers

        Ask the Lord to do whatever he wants with you and guess how he answers you ~ he sets you free!

Jesus Is the Reason

        Why do I want to live?  Why do I not mind the trials and tribulations of life?  Why do I not give up in any setback I face?  Why do I feel peaceful in my heart?  Why do I not let anyone upset me?  Why do I pray for the world?  I could go on and on.  In short, Jesus has freed me to see that he must be the reason for everything I do.

Jesus Came to Serve

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 20, the mother of the sons of Zebedee asked Jesus to command that her two sons sit, one at his right and the other at his left, in his kingdom.  That was a totally self-centered request.  Contrast this with what the Lord said at the end of this Gospel reading: "The Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many."  A diametrically opposite statement.  To me, this saying alone shows that Jesus was totally sane, knew exactly what he's saying, and spoke the truth.
        When I received the body of Christ today, I realized that he was serving me ~ giving me new life.  If serving is good enough for the Lord, it should be plenty good for us.  And the best way to serve him is to surrender ourselves completely to him.  He has given himself to us ~ let's give ourselves to him.      

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Loving Jesus First

        As I was doing a good job washing the dishes tonight, I was aware that I was doing it for Jesus.  Then he made me see that I must love him more than myself.  That is the way to freedom.  I believe that this is a truth that's clear to many, but following it could be hard. 

How to Feel Great

        To those who have not completely come to Christ and his Church yet, I offer the following thoughts.
        (1) It can be an awful feeling to be estranged from someone of your own family or anyone close to you.  I have known of cases in which a person near death finally wants to reconcile with those he's estranged from.  It's a great feeling to be back on good terms with everyone.
        (2) After you leave home for a while, you get homesick.  You finally return home and get that great home-sweet-home feeling ~ if doesn't matter much whether you have a shabby place or live in a magnificent palace.
        (3) I always feel good after taking a shower, shaving, combing my hair, and putting on some clean clothes.  You are now clean and well-groomed, feeling like a brand new person.  
        When you go all the way to Christ and his Church, you receive all three of these great feelings.  First, you are no longer estranged from God, more important than any of your family members.  Secondly, you know you have come home, your true home on earth and in heaven.  Thirdly, you will feel clean and renewed, beginning a new life in Christ.  Only God can make you feel this great.    

Monday, March 21, 2011

God Touches

        In the Gospel, we read about the woman afflicted with hemorrhages for twelve years.  She touched the clothes of Jesus and was healed.  I am thinking that in various ways the Lord touches us too, wanting to heal us.  Whenever I feel his holy presence, experience sudden joy, or want to do his will, he is touching me.  Most of all, as I receive him in Holy Communion, he touches my whole being to the extent that we become one.  The Lord in heaven unites fully with a soul on earth ~ what a glorious event! 

Happy and Free Is the One...

who seeks the will of God, finds it, understands it, embraces it, and does it with all his/her heart.   

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Be Heavenward, Not Earthbound

        I caught a classical music program on TV, featuring the songs of Schumann, one of my favorite composers.  The music was great, singing beautiful, and the lyrics pure poetry.  Even though what I heard was enjoyable, somehow I felt that the whole thing was "earthbound."  And I realized that the experience provided only some momentary pleasure, nothing more.  On the other hand, God uplifts the heart heavenward and touches the soul at its deepest level, drawing you to him for all eternity!  There is just no comparison.   

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Most Perfect Short Prayer

        The most perfect prayer is the Lord's Prayer, taught us by Jesus himself.  By extracting "Thy will be done" from the Lord's Prayer, I feel that I have the most perfect short prayer.  Saying it meaningfully requires our surrender to the Lord first.  To say it is to want to be in union with him.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Alleviating Jesus' Suffering

        As I was meditating on the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary after Mass, I felt sorrowful that I couldn't be there to alleviate in any way the suffering the Lord experienced on his way to Calvary.  Then he made me see that I still could do it now, since he still suffered.  Let's love him even more as the world spurns him!

Seeing One's True Worth

        Not knowing God can cause much unhappiness.  For example, you can feel lonely and become over-attached to a pet.  There are even men who spend thousands of dollars to buy a life-size silicone doll to be their make-belief wife.  Others feel self-pity or the emptiness of life and are driven to drink at the bar.  Jealousy, envy, anger, intolerance and the like are all symptoms of unhappiness.  
        The good news is that once you have established a good, close relationship with God, everything gets straightened out.  To me, the best part is not seeing that you are now a better or worse person, but that you are important to the Father and you are loved by him.        

Ousting Prejudice

        The Lord has shown me that I must not harbor prejudices within my heart.  If John the Baptist were to appear today, how would I view him?  Would I conclude that he is probably mad?  When Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth."  Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" That was prejudice, all right.  But there are often small preconceived notions quite subtle and not readily detectable.  For example, I felt less attracted to a saint solely because the name didn't sound as attractive as the names of some other saints (thank God I finally realized).  I am certain that many do not come to the Lord or his Church because they are prejudiced or have wrongly conceived notions.  We must always search the heart and ask the Lord to remove all prejudices, large or minute, so that we may discern clearly and do his will freely without impediment.     

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Reason to Live (Back to Union)

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 7, we hear from Jesus the familiar "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you."  To ask, to seek, to knock ~ this is what the Lord wants us to do to discover the love of God.  Not too long ago, the message was to deny ourselves, take up the cross, and follow him.  And Jesus wants us to not be anxious about tomorrow nor be afraid.  Of course, we must remain humble and not judge others.  There are just so many counsels to heed to.  
        All this brings me back to union with the Lord.  If we do become one with the Lord, then we'll be thinking and feeling like him.  We'll always ask for the right thing from God.  Since we are already in and with him, denying ourselves and following him are no longer issues to deal with.  And the cross becomes something to cherish and I suppose that we can find another word for it.  Freedom and peace of the heart ensues, and humility and compassion for others grow.  To seek union with God is to follow him all the way.  Along the way, complying with the Lord's requests will be taken care of.   
        When you receive the Lord in Holy Communion, it is the perfect time to seek union with him.  Let this physical union deepen the spiritual one each time.  This is indeed the reason for us to live. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Fire of Love

        At Mass after receiving the Holy Eucharist, I felt that Jesus was the sweet fire of love, burning up all that's impure within the soul.  What remained was filled with his pure love.   

Some Random Thoughts

        In view of the possibility of a nuclear disaster in Japan due to the recent earthquake, it seems that God sets limits to how far we should explore on our own.  We discovered nuclear fission so we're able to build reactors as well as the bomb and look how much trouble it has gotten us into.  Maybe there are things we should not touch, like the forbidden fruit in the garden of Eden.  I see cloning as one of these areas.  The Lord wants us to seek his will, listen to him and follow him, but mankind has taken off in the opposite direction, forgetting that we reap what we sow.           
        Looking at our earth, a relatively puny, round body in the universe.  It's covered mostly with water, so our continents are basically islands amidst the vast oceans.  We are like creatures marooned on these islands for a limited period of time ~ how then can we call these lands our home?  To just plan for a good education, a good job, and financial security for ourselves in the world but nothing beyond is sheer folly. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

See Jesus in Everyone

        Today's Gospel reading is from Matthew 25.  Jesus speaks of coming in glory to separate the sheep from the goats.  He makes it clear that he is in the hungry, the thirst, the stranger, the naked, the ill, and the imprisoned.  Whatever we did for one of these least ones, we did for him.  Such beautiful and powerful teaching from the Lord is again a cause for rejoicing.  

Listening to God Means...

not holding any of your own strong views; rather, it's letting God shape all your views. Listen well and you will speak well.  

How to Receive Joy

        Love and serve the Lord as if you don't even exist. 

Sunday, March 13, 2011

On Fantasizing

        People fantasize to gratify themselves.  The one who knows the Lord lives in reality and is content and peaceful.  Therefore, the desire to fantasize no longer exists.  The joy of knowing God simply detaches one from all desires for self-gratification. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Loveliness of God

        After receiving the Lord in Holy Communion, I felt the loveliness of the Lord.  It's an indescribable loveliness only the heart can "see."  I know that God has created us so that our heart will not rest until it has found rest in him.  Now I believe that God has also created the heart for us to see his loveliness. 

Keeping Conscience Clear

        I went to vigil Mass today.  The first reading is taken from Genesis 2.  Adam and Eve disobeyed God and ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.  So we all now have a conscience.  The thing is that as we sin more and more, our conscience gets muddy and dull.  But if we submit ourselves to God, the Holy Spirit will wash it clean and sharpen it to the point that we don't ever wish to offend God anymore.  With a clear conscience, we can bask in the glorious light of God, enjoying his presence.

Healing the Subconscious

        During my waking hours I feel continuous peace, but I do have less peaceful dreams.  So I asked the Lord to cleanse my subconscious as well. This morning I had a dream in which I got so terrified and panic for whatever reason that I called on Jesus (aloud) for help.  And I woke up with a great calm.  I hope that from now on, I shall have continuous peace in my sleeping hours too.   

No Accidental Incidents

        Yesterday I had the great joy to share Christ with someone.  The opportunity just came up naturally and I did not force anything on the person ~ I simply shared my own experience.  He shared with me too.  It turned out that he believed in God, but not in any particular church.  When he was around 6 or 7, after some tragedy struck in his family, he got really angry and looked up into the sky and yelled at God "Why did this happen?" or something like that.  Then he heard the rumble of a thunder and it was on a clear day.  I told him that the Lord was probably letting him know that he heard him. 
        I have heard or read other similar stories.  You just don't forget incidents like that and eventually the person comes back to the Lord and/or the Church.  There are no accidents!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Wake Up and Repent

        Today's big, horrific news is that earthquake and tsunami suddenly hit Japan, resulting in massive damage.  When will the world (this country included) wake up, realize that we are at the mercy of God, repent, and turn to him for salvation??  This is no new message (I could hear John the Baptist preaching) and people just don't get it!!  The need to pray for God's mercy on all has never been so urgent.

Jesus Makes Loving Meaningful

        Leo Buscaglia is well know for his talks on living, loving, and learning on Public Broadcasting Service.  A lot of his sayings are quite beautiful, but it just strikes me that any talk about love without ever mentioning God sounds somehow empty.  True you can  be a great humanist and know that to love is the way to go, but how long can you keep that up?  Do you love in order to feel good about yourself?  I also tried self-hypnotism to make myself feel happy ~ the effect never lasted long.  I also practiced being aggressive in dealing with others, believing that I would get my way.  Some people practice the power of positive thinking.  To put it bluntly, believing that you can do it without God is basically fooling yourself.   
        Then Jesus came along and showed us the way to live.  He gave us purpose in loving and we finally understood.  There is now a greater power than us to inspire us and a perfect example for us to follow.  Jesus has come and made loving meaningful. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

To Choose Abortion Is to Choose Death

        From the first reading from Deuteronomy 30 at Mass, I heard, "Choose life, then... by loving the Lord, your God."  Yes, to choose Jesus is to choose life, as the Lord had made it amply clear. 
        Then I thought of the pro-choice (meaning pro-abortion, according to the dictionary) people who don't like to be known as being anti-life and don't want to hear that abortion is murder.  Surely, to choose abortion is to choose death ~ you can't deny that.
        Place the two above-mentioned choices side by side.  Remember that Jesus said that for anyone to follow him, he must deny himself and take up his daily cross and also that the greatest love is to lay down your own life for another.  Now, try to reconcile these two choices with each other.       

Jesus Is True God

        Today's Gospel reading is taken from Luke 9.  Jesus told his disciples that he was going to suffer, be rejected and killed, and be raised.  Than he told all,  “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it."  If Jesus were a pure man and not divine, this kind of talk just wouldn't make any sense, unless he was a lunatic or someone who just didn't know what he's saying.  Then you read about him in all the Gospels and you just have to rule out that possibility.  Now, if you believe that he was speaking as the true God, then after the first shock is over, you know that he's speaking the truth.
        I am most grateful to the Lord for revealing himself and laying out his plan of eternal salvation for me so clearly.  This is a tremendous blessing indeed. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Speech Watching

        Here's an afterthought after the last posting.  We looked at not doing anything to gain personal attention.  I notice that this may be hard to observe in speech, especially in a social situation.  It's just so easy to want to say something to show that you are knowledgeable, you are witty, you can be the life of the party, or you have something to say too like the others.  Of course, you may tell jokes, say things that can get you attention, or to express your personal opinions.  All I am saying is that let whatever you have to say come out naturally and be not ego-oriented.  If you miss the chance to tell the best joke, that's OK.  Always be humble, honest, and genuine, and you'll be refreshing.  

Live Secretly in God

        In today's Gospel from Matthew 6, Jesus advises his disciples to do good deeds always in secret.  If we perform them to have others notice us or to win their praise, then we get our reward already. 
        This is an excellent way for us to learn humility (and become holy).  Basically, we do not do anything to feed the ego; we just do it for the love of God.  We don't need to desire that God will notice us either because he knows what's going on anyway.  It comes down to letting love alone motivate everything we do.  This may not be easy, but no doubt about it ~ it's the way to peace.     
        Live a secret life in Jesus, secretly, and he will reward you in secret.

Take Advantage of God's Grace

        Reading 2 today is taken from 2 Corinthians 5, in which Paul appeals to them not to receive the grace of God in vain.  The verse caught my attention.  God's grace is all there ~ how do we respond to it?  We can ignore or reject it, receive it but not pay much attention to it, or receive it, treasure it, and respond to it with all our heart.  The grace of God is ready to pour into us like a mighty river, so let it drench us, cleanse us, and transform us.                 

Ash Wednesday Thoughts

        When you go up to receive the ashes on the forehead, the words you hear are "Remember, man, you are dust and to dust you will return."  The message is clear as a bell and irrefutable.  We have the physical body and the soul.  The body will only last a brief moment on earth, but the soul is imperishable.  We automatically take care of our body, but don't think much about the soul.  Shouldn't the priorities be taking care of the soul first and foremost and then the body?  Ash Wednesday is a good wake-up call for many of us.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Give to God What Belongs to Him

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 12, Jesus said to the Pharisees and Herodians out to test him, “Repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”  Having failed to ensnared him, they were amazed at his reply.
        What exactly of us belongs to God?  It's clear that the whole of us belongs to him.  Why not start with the heart, the most important part to us?  When you are at it, throw in your mind as well.  Offer your heart and mind to God and he will purify both, filling the heart with his love and enlightening the mind with his wisdom.  And we become a new creature, pleasing to ourselves and delightful to him.  A great way to pay what's due.     

Monday, March 7, 2011

Let Love Motivate Us

        Sometimes I want to do something to someone, which seems harmless or even helpful on the surface, then I detect that there is the underlying motive to justify myself, to hurt someone emotionally, to convey a subtle message, or to put someone in his or her place.  This must not be so because we must let love motivate every thought.  (I didn't include word and deed because they automatically follow thought.)  This is what following Christ is all about.  To follow Christ is to follow love and nothing else.  The Lord has made it clear that this is the way to eternal life.        

Taking Refuge in God

        Every time I see my own faults, weaknesses, and imperfections, I look at Jesus and see a more perfect Lord.  
        Too many times when our hearts are troubled, we try to resolve the problem on our own.  I hear people say that it's not a big thing and I don't want to bother God.  Could this be just a pretense put up to hide the unwillingness to get God involved?  I now see that if I profess to trust in God, I must include him in everything I do and at all levels.  In fact, anytime my heart is troubled, the first thing I should do is to run to him without hesitation, asking for understanding, guidance, and healing.  Dwelling on the trouble by myself still shows the presence of pride.  I see a great example in Jesus going through the agony in the garden, at the same time praying to the Father.  May God free us completely.                 

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Process of Union

        The yearning for the Lord prompts us to seek union with him.  The Lord then helps us grow in holiness and the process of union begins.  Now he helps us even more (rather, we are now more receptive) and we are drawn still closer to him.  This process continues on.  It all starts with a desire at the very beginning and ends with perfect union.  Naturally, the Holy Eucharist is the essential aid in this process.

Does the Lord Know You?

        Today's Gospel reading is from Matthew 7.  Jesus told his disciples that only those who does the will of the Father would enter the kingdom of heaven.  And to all the others he would say, "I never knew you.  Depart from me..."
        It would be so terrible for the Lord to not know you.  This is worse than being a nobody ~ it's like you have never even existed.  So, we must live in such a way as to make him notice us.  Another reason for seeking union with him in this life.     

Grafted to the Lord

        Today I heard the verse before the Gospel reading about Jesus being the vine and us the branches.  This gives me another picture of union with the Lord.  We are grafted to him, thereby becoming part of him.  Cut off from him and we die.  United with him, we get fed and continue to grow.  How nice it is to flourish right before his eyes!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Charity Begins at Home

        We often act nicer to those outside of the family than we do to members of our own family.  To the outsiders we want to create a good image because of pride, whereas at home we freely show our true colors as there's not much to hide anymore.  Well, the Lord makes me see that this shouldn't be so.  Everyone must be treated alike with love, respect, and patience.  The saying "Charity begins at home" takes on a new meaning.   

Chance for Heaven

        Last thought as I came home from Mass.  No one looks perfect in this world.  We can be ugly, have wrinkles on the face, scars on the body, bad teeth, crooked smiles, and so on.   After we die, we all turn into bare skeletons.  Lucky for us is that when we apply for admission to heaven, the Lord totally ignores our appearance and looks at our heart only ~ so we stand a good chance getting our application approved.

Clear Choices to Make

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 11, Jesus asked the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders whether John's baptism was of heavenly or human origin.  (John refers to John the Baptist.)  Of course, it was either one or the other.  Then I thought that with Jesus and the Church, it's the same.  Either Jesus is true God or a false impersonator, and his Church of divine or human origin.  We are either saved or not.   Hopefully, the fact that there is no muddy middle ground to stand on will not delay us in making the right choices.    

Friday, March 4, 2011

Is Jesus Drawing You?

        Yes, if you feel that you want to love him more.       

Two Astounding Facts!

        (1) Jesus who is God, became man so that we could get to know God intimately.  Astounding!
        (2) Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist so that we may become one with him.  You could say that this is how we get to get inside God.  Again, astounding!

God's Teaching Is...

tonic for the soul.  

"Desire Nothing"

        This was what I received from the Lord during prayer after Mass and I tried to understand what it meant.  I believe that it means "we are to conform to God's will and beyond that there's really nothing for us to desire."

Where Peace Dwells

        Peace dwells in the heart of one whose will coincides with God's will.

How to Ask in Prayer

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 11, Jesus counseled "all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours."  Again, faith is requisite. 
        I started thinking: how shall we ask in prayer?  If I ask to win the lottery and believe that I will win, will it happen?  Then I realize that whatever we ask must glorify God.  Therefore, ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to ask before asking.  Basically, we must always ask out of love for God.  We ask not to have our way but to have God's will be done.  Looking at it this way, I see that asking is also a form of listening to God, a way of discerning his will to which we must conform.

Real Living

        As I drove to Mass in the morning, I was acutely aware of God's existence and presence.  I know that I trust in him, being not anxious about anything, and just want to follow him with no desire to go off on my own to chase after my own dreams.  A peace pervaded me.  I realized that this was real living.  Any other way would be squandering away the time of my life.   

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Listening to God Is Essential

        It was just in the news that members of certain denominational Christian church picketed with "hate signs" at the funeral service of a veteran.  They were anti-gay and believed that God was punishing this nation for tolerating homosexuality.  Would their kind of action draw other to Christ??  It just made me realize how we could be so easily mislead when we don't listen to the Lord carefully enough.  I always stay away from anyone who proclaims self-righteousness.  Let's ask the Lord to teach us in all things and lead us in everything. 

God Alone Is to Be...

desired, sought, listened to, and followed. To get ahead, go for the best and ignore the rest.       

On Feeling Good

        If you feel good when you know that you look good to others in or out of clothes, have won honors and earned higher degrees, or possess good health and great wealth, then you must be a pretty vain person.  Whatever pleasure you derive from such satisfaction only feeds the ego and is therefore superficial and short-lived.  By contrast, the hidden joy you feel when you humbly serve the Lord is pure and deep, permanently affecting the soul.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Most Wonderful Offering

          One person prays for a job and he's offered one.  Another prays for healing and gets well speedily.  These are all wonderful happenings.  But the most wonderful of all to me is that when a sinner prays to become holy, God transforms him or her into a saint.  In all cases, God shows his love for us and hopes to draw us closer to him; but in the last, he is most pleased because instead of asking to receive something, the sinner offers himself to God for his glory ~ meeting him halfway, you could say.  God's love for us deserves our all.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

To Get Closer to God

        If you yearn for God, the only way to get closer to him is to love him more and he will draw you to him ~ most satisfying and rewarding.

Faith Leads to Beauty of God

        The more your faith deepens, the more you see the beauty of God.  This is somewhat like a spelunker exploring a cave ~ the deeper he enters the cave, the more it opens up before him a new, more beautiful world. 

Holy Eucharist, the Most High

        Today's Communion verse is from Matthew 28.20: "I, the Lord, am with you always, until the end of the world."  To me, the Holy Eucharist Jesus instituted for us confirms this promise in a special way.  The Holy Eucharist is the bread of life, the Lord himself, the greatest gift he has left us, so special, so extraordinary, a treasure beyond measure...  When I receive the Holy Eucharist, not only Jesus touches me, we become one.  This gift is absolutely necessary to attain full union with the Lord.  I shall extol and exalt it as long as I am still breathing.

Living a Life of Love

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 10, Jesus makes it clear that anyone who gives up everything to follow him will receive a hundred times more in this life and eternal life in the next.  Basically, I see that Jesus wants us to to love him, to experience his love, to be filled with his love.  Our whole life then should be one fully immersed in the love of God. 

To Take on the Heart & Mind of Christ

        On the way to morning Mass, I felt that I wanted to pray like Jesus.  He is completely intimate with the Father (they are one) and always asked for the will of the Father to be done.  Then I thought that I wanted to think like Jesus and feel like Jesus too.  It's clear that union with Christ will bring about these desired changes.

Back to Abandonment in God

        The other day I had a chance to urge someone to come back to the Church.  I began well; but gradually, because of my zeal, I started swamping him with too many words.  The lesson I learned is that even with zeal, I should always follow the Holy Spirit and not take over his lead.  And I must always leave the outcome to him so that my zeal may not get out of bounds.  It's back to abandoning myself to God.