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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Power over Sin

        This morning at Mass, the Lord made me see the power we can have to overcome sin. Of course, only he has the power to take away our sins, but he has given us the choice to repent, get our sins forgiven, and reconcile with him again. I thought about it and saw that it was a tremendous power we can channel from God for our benefit. This is a unique power that comes only from God. Whatever God does, he accomplishes. Prepare yourself and give the Lord the go-ahead and it will be instantly done. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sad State of the World

        I am greatly saddened by the fact that so many Catholics do not take they faith seriously. Attending Mass on Sunday is not on their priority list and the reception of the Holy Eucharist becomes perfunctory and produces no change in them. Being lukewarm is worse than being cold (Revelation 3:16). 
        Today I heard the absurd news that in France, quite a number of once baptized but now atheists want the Church to de-baptized them. One has begun a lawsuit already. Of course, this is something that cannot be undone. It's rather like deciding you don't want to live in this world anymore and asking your mother to put you back in her womb.  
        More saddening news ~ those candidates who are involved in fighting to become front runners in our political party primaries are spending vast amounts of money in media attacking each other, and these false accusations actually influence many ill-informed voters. Money definitely works here. With enough money, you can pretty much "buy" the office you want. By the way, the candidates are all known to be Christians!  
        I know, we all fall short or way short. Jesus came in the first century and was rejected by many and put to death. In this 21st century, we are acting no better. The next time he comes, he will be doing the judging and we shall not have the chance to say anything. My advice is: Wake up and reform before it's too late ~ that same age-old warning.

Listen, Obey, and Act

        From today's Gospel reading taken from Mark 1 at Mass, we hear that Jesus entered the synagogue to teach and the people were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority and not as the scribes. Now that we know Jesus is God, this is no longer surprising in the least. Therefore, we should not only pay attention to his teaching, but also do what he tells us to do. Listening alone is not enough ~ to obey and act becomes mandatory if one truly believes in him. Again, this is the logical conclusion. 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

God Forever Cares

        Today is the Memorial of St. Thomas Aquinas. The Gospel from Mark 4 is about how the disciples got scared when a violent squall came up and their boat was filling up with water. And they thought that they're going to perish. So they woke up Jesus asleep in the stern, and he calmed the wind and stilled the sea for them. Then he asked them, "Why are you terrified? Do you not yet have faith?" 
        It's true for all of us that when things don't go our way, we think that God has abandoned us and we start to worry. It just shows our weak faith and lack of trust. Let us remember that God is always with us, in everything, large or small, that happens to us. He is present right now as I am peacefully typing and will not stay away when things go bad for me. Lack of trust is caused by forgetting that God is ever present and that he cares for us. 

Preparation for Loving God

        After my last post, I see this logical sequence. First, get your heart cleaned up by the Lord, and then you'll feel so good that you can't help but fall in love with God.

Being Clean Before God

        During prayer before Mass began this morning, I felt so good to feel "clean" before the Lord. When your have repented, have gotten all your sins forgiven by God, and have had the Holy Eucharist cleanse and purify your heart, you are set free by God ~ this is absolutely the best feeling you can possibly have in this life! I felt so elated that I wanted to proclaim aloud my love for God. Later, I was further gratified to hear during the recitation of the psalm that the response was: "Create a clean heart in me, O God." How good it is to go before the Lord and hear him say, "My child, you are clean"!

Friday, January 27, 2012

Power of the Holy Eucharist

        God's word is like a mustard seed, once it's planted in us, takes root and starts to grow, we bear much fruit. This morning during Mass, I saw that once the Holy Eucharist, which is the body of our Lord, enters us, it has the power to transform us until we become perfect. That's why the Holy Eucharist is the greatest gift God has left with us. It is through this Bread of Life that we are able to attain union with God. 

Jesus Is the One

        This morning before Mass began, I just knew that Jesus was the One, the only one, who could make me permanently happy. It's as if he's the perfect missing piece for the incomplete jigsaw puzzle that was my life. I also know that he is the One for everyone who will let him into their lives. The truth remains true forever, unaffected by anyone's rejection of it. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Christian Love

        I attended a memorial Mass this morning. One of the readings was taken from 1 Corinthians 13 on love. The familiar part as St. Paul describes it: "Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, love is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things." The Christian love is beautiful! Obviously, anyone who has this love will also have peace and joy in his or her heart.

Unanswerable Question

        In the last post, Jesus asked Paul, "Why are you persecuting me?" Know that every time we sin, the Lord asks us that same question if we could only hear it. For Christians, this is a question to which a good answer does not exist.    

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Conversion Experience

        In the last post, the conversion of Paul was mentioned. Paul had been persecuting and punishing the Christians. Jesus came to him in a great light from the sky and Paul was blinded and fell to the ground. Jesus asked Paul, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?" Paul replied, "Who are you, sir?" And Jesus said, "I am the Nazorean whom you are persecuting." (How I wish that every one of us sinners will hear the Lord say this!) Paul then asked, "What shall I do, sir?" The conversion had already started.
        This was a powerful, life-changing experience for Paul. God touched him. It's important that we experience a conversion in our lives. You may be a cradle Catholic, but when you were born you really didn't know what's it's all about yet and you should have some kind of awakening experience later to make your belief more meaningful. I know that everybody's spiritual journey is different, but to not have experienced the power or fire of the Holy Spirit at some point in the spiritual life is not leading a satisfying one, to me anyway. 

To Be Chosen by God

        Today is the Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. In Reading 1 from Acts 22, we learn how Paul was chosen by the Lord to be his instrument and went through a complete conversion. To be chosen is usually good news, such as being chosen to fill a position, to attend a university, to receive an honor, etc.; but to be chosen by the Lord to belong to his fold is the best of all things! It means that we belong to him, we've been adopted by the Father, we are to bear lasting fruit in this life, we are heaven bound... To be chosen by God is something to be thankful for and rejoice about every day.    

Doing Away with the Free Will

        Our free will is a gift from God. Use this gift to choose to do his will always and then give it back to God. We are not free as long as we need to choose between good and evil. Once we have decided to follow the Lord, we are liberated and free and the free will is no longer needed.  

Taking God's Point of View

        Taking the other person's point of view often helps us understand a particular situation we're in. Putting yourself in the shoes of someone who offends you can make you less judgmental. When you find it difficult to believe in the good news of Christ, try to see it from God's point of view. Imagine that you are in his place. You love mankind, your own creation, and want to save it. So you send you own son down to earth to spread the good news, even allowing him to die in order to complete the necessary work. I think you would see that it is truly amazing, but also  logical, that a God of love would do this. Now I hope that you would come to appreciate the good news to the point that you will want to accept Christ as the true Savior of all.   

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Praying with the Heart

        Since God looks only at our hearts, it's of paramount importance that we maintain a pure heart in the right place. In prayer, what words we use, how we say them, what posture we assume, how awake we are... all these things matter less than how sincere we are, how deep and urgent we feel, and how much we trust, as the Lord looks into the heart. He is the heart specialist.  

Lucky Us

        After receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I saw how fortunate I was to have the Lord come and enter me, whereas the three magi had to travel long distances following a star to find the newborn, child Jesus in a manger.   

Joy Is the Holy Spirit

        During Mass I sensed that the Holy Spirit is pure joy. He illuminates us to receive the light of the Lord. Everything coming from the Holy Spirit is sweet and joyful. It's a joy to surrender to Joy. If you don't like the word "surrender," then think of embracing the Holy Spirit with your open heart ~ it's the same thing. 

Beauty Is God

        Today is the Memorial of St. Francis de Sales. I still remember reading his classic work Introduction to the Devout Life many years ago. I was most impressed by the simple and sensible advices he gave for the people in the world. Anyway, on my way driving to Mass this morning, I again sensed the great beauty of God ~ everything about him and everything associated with him are beautiful. His creations reflect his magnificence and beauty. If all of us on earth are saints and do not sin, we would be living in paradise! Unfortunately, there are sinners aplenty in the world. But for those who love God, paradise still exists in the heart.   

Monday, January 23, 2012

Heart for God's Safekeeping

        I posted about giving our heart to God. The heart is the most precious part of us ~ what better place is there for its safekeeping than God? During the Eucharistic Prayer at each Mass, we're asked to life up our hearts to the Lord. This is the perfect moment to offer our heart to God. While the Lord is keeping it, it gets a thorough healing and purification as well. 

The True Good News

        The news we hear daily is 99% bad news, which only seems to get worse each day. But for us who believe in Christ, we have the Good News with us. Bad news comes and goes, but the gospel remains forever. The joy and hope of this good news is powerful enough to displace all the sadness and despair caused by the bad news. Today's Gospel Acclamation at Mass, 2 Timothy 1.10: "Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and has brought life to light through the Gospel." Jesus wants to fill our hearts with joy! 

Blessings in Disguise

        We all go through trials and tribulations in life. One thing of which I am absolutely sure: For those who love God, trials and tribulations are blessings in disguise because God put you through them to draw you closer to him. You emerge spiritually stronger and more fit. Recently, a friend passed away after much suffering, despite the many prayers said for his healing. I saw his suffering offered up to God as part (or all) of his purgatory. All trials and tribulations suffered in God's behalf give him glory and benefit souls. How can anything you do for God be wasteful?  

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Our Father Desires Intimacy

        During Mass, the Lord made me see that having the desire to pray to him alone pleases him. Imagine how much he looks forward to hearing what we have to say. So let's share everything in our hearts with him. Let him be the first one we turn to when we face a problem. Our Father loves to have our trust and our desire for intimacy. 

Seek Only God's Acceptance

        Today is the Memorial of St. Agnes. In the Gospel reading from Mark 3, the relatives of Jesus thought that he was out of his mind when he let the disciples and the crowd come into his house. Jesus was also rejected in Nazareth, his hometown, prompting to him to say that "a prophet is not without honor except in his native place and among his own kin and in his own house." This is still true in today's world. Then I realize that we only need to seek God's understanding and acceptance of us. Jesus cared only about pleasing the Father. If Christians had wanted to be accepted by their own folks or any other fellow humans, there would not have been saints and martyrs.         

Be the Best Christian

        Jesus wants us to love God with all our heart, with all our being, with all our strength, and with all our mind. In this presidential election year, politicians are doing their utmost to stay in front with the hope of winning the presidency. Many musicians and athletes sacrifice just about everything to train for competitions. St. Paul likened living the Christian life to running a race ~ you are in it to win the prize. As Christians, let us also be the best by loving God as Jesus had asked? 

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Lack of Inner Peace

        Here's a simple observation. The lack of inner peace can be traced to self-centeredness because we believe that we are most important and how things turn out matters a great deal. By letting go in God, peace is restored and we are free again.

Being One with God

        Jesus the Son is in God the Father and the Father is in the Son, so they are one. In mathematics, if A is in B and B in A, then it's a certainty that A and B are one. Union makes us one with God. When we surrender to God, we are in him; but how can God, so much greater than us, be in us? I am assured by the fact that Jesus gladly and willingly descended to earth to become one of us in order to save us. To be just like us, he asked John the Baptist to baptize him. He even washed the feet of his disciples to show his humility. In John 14, after promising that he would send the Holy Spirit to us, he said, "On that day you will realize that I am in my Father and you are in me and I in you." And that's how we become temples of the Holy Spirit. By instituting the Holy Eucharist, the Lord made it absolutely clear that he can dwell within us. So, believe, surrender, and receive the Eucharist, and we are one with God!    

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

God Can Help

        After Mass, I was thinking about why we need God. Left on my own, the best I could do would be to keep myself alive by working at a job, to try to stay healthy by exercising and eating right, and to get some fun out of this life if possible. Then after some years, I would just pass away, the body starting to rot and the soul floating somewhere. It's not a happy picture, but it's all true.
        On the other hand, with faith in the Lord, he will lift our souls to heaven after death and raise our bodies one day, not to mention all the extra benefits we get to receive in this life. Let's face it ~ we are just helpless on our own. We need God if we want to get anywhere. And his mercy is ever ready for us.   

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

God and the Devil

        Today is the Memorial of St. Anthony, Abbott. The first words I read from the Entrance Antiphon are "The just..." ~ right away I thought of "the unjust." Then I saw the existence of opposites in our world: the good, the bad; the pure, the impure; the beautiful, the ugly; the loving, the hateful; the kind, the cruel; the joyful, the angry...  Yin and Yang are real! Intuitively, I also saw the existence of God and the Devil.    

Freedom in God

        Some may ask how we can still be free if we totally submit ourselves to God. Wouldn't we become constrained by him? Let me say that it is God who gave us the free will in the first place so that we may choose to do whatever. If you believe that God is controlling you, you have the power to break loose any time. The fact is that God doesn't control you ~ he only knows how to love. He has made us in such a away that we are free only when our will and his are in harmony. Another reason why you feel free after submitting to him ~ it's simply that you don't need to worry about what to do on your own anymore because God now shows the way. In reality, to be on you own is to be a lost slave to yourself. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Be Renewed For the Lord

        This morning's Gospel reading at Mass was taken from Mark 2. Verses 22 & 23: "No one sews a piece of unshrunken cloth on an old cloak... Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins... Rather, new wine is poured into fresh wineskins."
        For the Lord to dwell in us, we must be new too. And Jesus is the renewer. We must ask him to renew us and then invite him to remain in us. I know that all youngsters are excited about new experiences. Do you remember riding your first new bike, trying on a pair of your new favorite shoes, or visiting the zoo for the first time? When Jesus renews us, we experience the same joy, only deeper and more personal. Be new to be fit for the Lord.  

Salvation Our Objective

        God's foremost will is to save all mankind. He can't help it because he is love. Therefore, we must make salvation our foremost goal too. Let us be compliant tools in God's hands, a pleasure for him to use, to save as many souls from perdition as possible. God's joy will be our joy too.

The Depth of Christ

        This morning before Mass began, I saw in my mind the infinite depth of Christ that I wanted to dive deep into it to search and explore, to listen, learn, and rest. Then I wanted to abandon myself, to let go and be totally open to his light, letting him heal and transform me. The beauty, profundity, and power of the depth of our Lord is what makes him so attractive.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Wonder of Wonders

        I was praying the Rosary while strolling through the house. I happened to look out one window and saw the towering oaks and pines, huge boulders, and the running creek among them. The scene was familiar, but the objects I saw struck me this time as wonders! Then I "saw" the greatest wonder of them all, the behind-the-scene creator of all these wonders, our God ~ he is especially wonderful because not only did he create us, he also loves us. How fortunate and blessed we are!  

Are You Shortsighted?

        A friend just passed away after a long illness. I did not know him well, but I did sense that he was a good person, loved the Lord, and I have no doubt that he is with Jesus right now. I may not be the next person to go, but we are all in line waiting for our turn to meet the Lord. This brings to mind the reality that so many adult people are totally occupied with how to live comfortably and safely each day in this life as if they're never going to die. The right thing to do should be taking care of our eternal destiny first and then living our present life as an appendage in our overall journey." Not following this order is being extreme shortsighted. 

Saturday, January 14, 2012

To Live the Best Life

        Here's how: (1) Love God to the utmost and (2) trust in him to the utmost. Again, simple and logical. I just don't know of a better way.
     

      

Friday, January 13, 2012

Afraid of Jesus?

        This morning at Mass, I felt that Jesus was the most endearing person one could ever possibly meet. Then why are there so many who already knew something about him still do not approach him? Are they afraid of him? If so, why? 
        I believe that they are afraid, not because they haven't heard that God loves us, but because they are aware of their sins. We learn from the Gospels that all demons and evil spirits fled or begged for mercy when they were confronted with Jesus. In a similarly way, anyone in partial or total darkness do not feel comfortable in the presence of the Lord, who is the light. Ironically, these are precisely the people who need to know the Lord to become fearless. 

Chance of a Lifetime

        Adam and Eve disobeyed God and were banished from Paradise. Then God sent his only Son into the world to prepare the way for our return to the Father. All the necessary work for our salvation had been done. Now we're given another chance to obey God and be restored to the state of grace. It's all quite simple and logical. Do not miss this chance of a lifetime.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Give God Your Heart

        It's not always easy for us to exercise our God-given free will to choose to do God's will, but we can let him have our heart first. Once the Lord possesses our heart, he will cleanse it until it's all pure. With a pure heart, all our thoughts become pure, and our words and deeds become pure as well. So, give God a precious gift, your heart, and he will reward you amply. 

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Union with God

        It seems that relationship with God is what I've been led to talk about. We saw the Lord first as our center and then as our shepherd. The closest relationship with him is, of course, union. Here's a quick recap. In union, God and us dwell in each other and we become inseparably one. His love is the binding agent. It's through the Holy Eucharist that this is made possible. The Lord is free to transform us in any way he wishes. Let's again realize that we are not in union with just someone, but with GOD, who is Love, the one who died for our sins! When you are in union with God, you are already in heaven!

A Special Relationship

        Today's Gospel Acclamation, John 10:27: "My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord. I knew them, and they follow me." In Reading 1 from 1 Samuel 3, when God called Samuel, Samuel learned to say, "Speak, Lord, for your servant is listening." I see this relationship between God and us. The Lord knows us. When he calls, we hear him, and we listen and follow. There is an intimacy and a oneness here, which make the relationship so special and beautiful.

Jesus the Center

        The center is a most important point, the pivot around which things revolve or the focus of what surrounds it.  It is a point of stability or a source of influence. This morning before Mass, I was thinking how blessed we were to have Jesus as our center. He draws us toward him with love, guides us along the way with his teachings, fills the void of our lives, and we become safe and secure in him. After receiving him in the Holy Eucharist, he becomes the center within us as well. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

How Death Affects Us

        For those who know God, death presents no fear, for they see it as a turning point in the life of the everlasting soul and look forward to going on the better part of their journey beyond death. For those who do not know the Lord, death could be a problem for they are heading into the unknown, although they may still be saved through God's mercy if they were good people while living. But for those who choose not to believe or reject God outright, death will bring the greatest shock of their lives.

Created for Obedience

        The Gospel reading at Mass was taken from Mark 1. An unclean spirit in a man came out of him after Jesus commanded him to do so. When I heard that part read, it just became so clear to me that we were created to obey God; therefore, to disobey him is a sin, something horrible. In fact, rebellion against God is sure to doom oneself! Let's steer our free will in the right direction always.  

The True Free Spirit

        A true free spirit is not someone who does whatever he feels like doing. In fact, such a person is a slave to himself, for he just follows himself who may altogether be lost. A true free spirit is one who follows the Holy Spirit, who is Truth. It's by following the truth that one is lead to freedom.

On Preserving Internal Peace

        Peace is what God wants us to have. Those who do not obey God do not have internal peace and as a result cause the world to lose its external peace. Those who obey the Lord have internal peace despite the lack of external peace around them. Internal peace is to be protected and cherished.
        Here are some tips on keeping internal peace. Avoid participating in any sinful activities or indulging in sinful pleasures. There will be a big price to pay later for a few moments of such enjoyment ~ it's just not worth it! In fact, detach from all things of the world even if they're not harmful, for all things pass. Aim for eternity. Basically, if your thoughts are peaceful, you will have peace. So it all goes back to loving and living in the Lord. If God truly dwells in you, then you'll have peace. 
         

Monday, January 9, 2012

Be like Martha or Mary?

        We are all familiar with the story of Martha and Mary. (If you are not, read Luke 10:38-42.) This morning I heard two men discussing the football game they watched on TV yesterday. I could tell that both were enthusiastic fans by the way they shared what they saw in the game. I realized that I had changed because I felt that I'd rather sit at the feet of the Lord and listen to him talk ~ in other words, I wanted to be like Mary. Of course, at times we need to be like Martha too. Then is it better for us to be more Marylike and less Marthalike? Finally, I realized that I can be like Mary even when I am busy like Martha. I'll simply offer the many things I need to do up as prayers to God for the love of him. 

Spiritual Journey Dissected

        I posted before about the turning point of the spiritual journey ~ that is the point at which you surrender yourself totally to God. So you basically can view your entire journey as two segments that are joined at that point of surrender. The first part is very much an uphill journey that involves constant struggle. You have the good intention to grow spiritually, but you may also find that old sins are hard to shake loose and fundamental changes do not come easily. Then you surrender to God and things begin to happen because now the Lord is taking full charge of your life and the journey is becoming more like coasting downhill with him sitting next to you. Since we'll never be as perfect as the Lord, there will be some rough bumps along the way; but the momentum of the ride will carry you right over them. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Fighting Temptation

        We live in a world in which we face temptation every waking hour of our life. Just watch some entertainment on TV and you'll see what I mean. The smart way is to avoid doing anything that might lead you into temptation. The basic recipe for overcoming temptation is to remain humble. And the only way to remain humble is to surrender to God. Therefore, turn to God the moment you sense temptation coming on to submit yourself to him for protection. God is our safe refuge against all evil. Absolutely true.  

Reasons for Being a Catholic

        I am truly happy about being a Catholic because the Catholic Church is the original church established by Christ, her teachings are true and complete, and through receiving the Holy Eucharist I am able to achieve the closest possible union with God in this life.

God Is Life!

         This past week I learned of a couple of suicides committed by people whom I only knew indirectly. And I had posted about the surging high suicide rate among the veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. It's just so sad, so sad. How I wish that all the victims had known Jesus the Lord! God is Life and the creator of life. He grants eternal life and gives us the zest for living the present life. He is our bright hope. Death is the opposite of life and despair. What's why knowing Jesus can turn one around completely. With him you'll never die, as he had promised! It sounds good and is true at the same time. This is what the Good News is all about!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Sharing Padre Pio's Thoughts

        It turned out that I have quite a few books on Padre Pio, now St. Pio. I am more interested in his meditations, counsels, and spiritual wisdom than his story. I've started reading his Meditation Prayer on Mary Immaculate, a little booklet, and would like to share a couple of things he said and add my two cents.
        (1) He wished to acquire a love of God that is continually renewed ~ I thought of how I get my love of God renewed every time I receive the Holy Eucharist. 
        (2) Padre Pio considered the Immaculate Virgin Mary the greatest of all the masterpieces created by God's hands. Realize that all of us, who were not conceived without the original sin like Mary, are nevertheless, still amazing masterpieces created by God.  

Jesus Worth Knowing

        We all have people we know ~ family members, relatives and friends, our pastor, fellow parishioners, business associates, classmates, et al. Some we know well and some not. Some we like and some not. 
        In today's Gospel from John 2, the disciples of Jesus saw how the Lord turned water into the best wine at the wedding at Cana and began to believe in him. Later, after following him longer and witnessing more miracles, they were convinced that Jesus is the Messiah. So I am thinking that if you'll just get to know Jesus, you shall also come to believe in him. I can testify to you that you'll find him to be the most beautiful, trustworthy, and understanding person you'll ever encounter and fall in love with him in time. There is just absolutely nothing worth knowing more than Jesus!

Formula for Spiritual Success

        This morning during meditation before Mass, I saw any of us as a small plant, possibly weak or even diseased, before God. As long as we remain open and passive and let the sunshine of the Father, the water of the Son, and the food of the Holy Spirit heal, nurture, and feed us, we will become healthy, strong, big, and bear much fruit. This is a sure formula for spiritual success.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Greatest Human Accomplishment

        Life gives one the chance to practice continuously being holy. Since practice makes perfect, in time one will be living a holy life, pure and pleasing to God. In God's eyes, there is no greater human accomplishment.        

Touching Jesus

        When I was receiving Holy Communion today, I realized that, the Lord being present in the Holy Eucharist, I was actually touching him. More than that, the Most Holy One came to dwell within me ~ something for me to think about!

Two Joys

        At morning Mass, Reading 1 continued from 1 John. From chapter 5, we read, "God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.  Whoever possesses the Son has life; whoever does not possess the Son does not possess life."  Therefore, it was Jesus whom I want to listen to and obey, and I felt great joy in that.
        Next, I saw darkness hovering over the world and infiltrating most of God's children.  Then I saw the light that's the bright, ever-present hope of God, and I felt great joy again.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Proving Our Love

        The Apostle John has some harsh words for us from 1 John 3. In yesterday's reading, he said, "Whoever sins belongs to the Devil." In today's, he said, "Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer." Although the messages could have been conveyed in a less harsh way, they are basically correct. Later, John finally advised, "Let us love not in word or speech but in deed and truth." This reminds me of what James said that faith without works is dead. Jesus really demonstrated his love by choosing the cross, so let's also prove our love in deed and truth.    

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Be Holy at Every Moment

        Today is the Memorial of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton. My single thought: Every moment we have is precious because it provides a chance for us to love God. I posted about the importance of living the present moment. Life is just a series of continuous moments. If we can be holy every single moment, then we can be holy all our lives. Jesus wants us to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48) ~ obviously, with the help of God we can do it. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

What to Do with Life

        As I was driving home from church after Mass, I looked again at the many granite boulders on both sides of the road and knew that they wouldn't be around forever. The dinosaurs had disappeared. Geologists had shown that drylands were once land under water and vice versa. A large meteoroid hitting the earth can instantly change its landscape. Then I thought of the billions of celestial bodies in space and as far as we know, we are the only creatures living on this planet of earth with perfect conditions for sustaining our lives. And amazingly, we also happen to understand good and evil.  At this instant, I was sure of the existence of God our creator. Then I knew that mankind as a whole wouldn't be around forever either. In the first place, the size of earth is limited. Our survival so far is just a chapter in the book that has not come to its end yet. Now, I was certain that there would be the Second Coming of Jesus to end the present world as we know it. 
        With these realizations, it's clear that we must make maximum good use of the time we have. All acts not motivated by love for God would be simply wasted. It's good to know exactly what we are doing.      

The Good News Forever

        In today's Gospel reading from John 1, John the Baptist saw Jesus coming toward him and started out saying "Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world." It's the Holy Spirit who revealed this to him. Of course, only God can take away sin and John testified at the end referring to Jesus, "He is the Son of God." Today, after knowing Jesus for so many years, I am still amazed to hear that he can take away all sins, yours and mine. This is indeed good news forever.

What God Asks of Us

        On the way to Mass, I was thinking how I should live today. I thought of all the mammoth or even horrendous problems around the world and near home, but I was so limited in my ability to solve any of them. Then I heard the Lord clearly say that all I needed to do was to please him as much as I could in what I do. Of course, he was right. If everyone in the world would do this, we will have peace.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Let God Heal Your Soul

        I looked forward to receiving the Lord again at morning Mass because I knew that he was going to refresh me again. This freshening goes beyond getting a bodily massage and shower or acquiring some exciting, new mental knowledge, for God heals the soul. When the soul is healed, the mind and heart are healed too and you are ready on your way to union with him. This is the easy way. Note: Everything becomes easy when you let God do it for you. 

Before Going Before God...

to worship or pray to him, it's proper and best that we set my hearts right by removing any hatred, resentment, anger, or even displeasure against anyone. God's justice is perfect and it's not our business to judge anyone in any way. Pray for mercy on all and let God alone reward or punish them in the end. We cannot hold grudges against our neighbors and expect God to listen to us. There'll be no peace in us as long as we do not forgive others. In fact, we should regard ourselves as the least holy ones among all. This will greatly please the Lord and keep us from judging others.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year's Message

        As the new year begins, let God make you into a new Christlike person. Every one of us is a unique, special creature before God. We were made in his image in the first place and we have the potential to become holy after him. We may not be called to be another Moses or St. Paul; but nevertheless, he has a plan for each of us. You can be sure that he wants us all to serve him, to love him, and to follow him; only the specific details in each case are different. The reason for it is that he wants us to have eternal happiness. Make union with him your lifelong goal and you will be amply rewarded and surprised. It is an absolute delight to let God do the work to transform you into a new, beautiful creature!