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

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Goal for Living

        In the days when I didn't know Christ or later when I didn't know him well yet, I, as is common among most young adults, often found myself looking for things to do to kill time, to amuse myself. Should I go visit some friends, go see a movie, or just take a nap? That was drifting. Today I can't do that anymore ~ I must have a goal to motivate me to live on. That goal I've found to be meaningful and most satisfying is to serve God. Life driven by any self-centered goal will invariably turn out to be disappointing or even destructive.  

Is God Being Unfair?

        In the parable of the Workers in the Vineyard (Matthew 20), Jesus told that the landowner paid each laborer at the end of the day with the same wage, regardless of how early or late during the day he was hired. Naturally, the ones who worked the longest grumbled against the owner. But he said to them, "Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Am I not free to do as I wish with my own money?" We often complain about unfairness in this world. So what is fair? God is always just ~ this we can be certain of. We must look at the whole picture. If you end up in heaven, are you still going to grumble about the time someone got the job you also applied for or someone didn't catch the flu and you did? Or should you end up in hell, you still wish you had suffered less in this life? The bottom line is that what happens now doesn't matter much. What matters is what happens in the end: If you believe in Christ and do good, you get to heaven; if you reject him and do evil, you end up in hell ~ this sounds perfectly fair to me. 

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Pathetic Pelosi

Perfect Surrendering Moment

         Communion experience. After I received the Eucharist, I realized that the Lord is pure, spotless, and most holy, and has the power to transform me. It was the perfect moment to say "I am all yours" and union is achieved.

Counting on God

        Today is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 16, after Peter realized that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesus said to Peter that he would build his Church upon him the rock and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it." Despite internal problems and external persecutions to this day, the Church still stands ~ whatever Jesus has said you can count on. Here's another one: "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day" (John 6.54). With so many other promises he has given us, our future is set.

On Knowing God

        I have never visibly seen nor audibly heard God, but I know him better than anyone else. Of course, I know my family members and some friends well, but I'll never know all about them because they change and communication with another human being is never candid at all times. Whereas God is love forever, the only one you can fully trust and rely upon, so there's nothing more I need to know. In a way, he is the easiest person to know.

Friday, June 28, 2013

How to Live Satisfied

        The measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you (Luke 6: 38). Live to satisfy God and he will make you satisfied in life.

Jesus, a Great Joy

        Communion experience. Jesus was such a joy today, a refreshing joy, a liberating joy ~ he's to be greatly enjoyed. Just thinking that I have him was a joy.

Consolation for Sorrow

        In this present age, my experience has been that after experiencing sorrow for the sake of Jesus, I always receive consolation from the Lord in some special way, not to mention eternal life in the age to come.

God Will Never Reject Us

        Today's Gospel at Mass came from Matthew 8. A leper approached Jesus and said, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." Jesus stretched out his hand, touched him, and said, "I will do it. Be made clean." When I heard the reading, I knew that the Lord will never reject us in his heart. We may not get what we ask for, but that's no rejection for he always knows what's best for us. 

The Union Difference

        If you really want God in your life, the best approach is to seek union with him. Why? Because if you are not in him, you'll always have questions, doubts; you could struggle your whole lifetime and not get much closer to him. While if you are in union with God, he teaches you personally and everything in your life falls into place, making perfect sense ~ no more questions or doubts; just communion in peace with the Lord. 

Grateful to God

        Nova has produced an excellent episode titled "Earth From Space." A spectacular space-based vision of our planet is revealed. Nova transforms the data from earth-observing satellites into visual sequences, each one exposing the intricate web of forces that sustains life on earth. We see how dust from the Sahara fertilizes the Amazon; how a vast submarine "waterfall" off Antarctica helps drive ocean currents around the world; and how the sun's heating up of the southern Atlantic gives birth to a powerful hurricane. All this knowledge makes me realize that God has hand-created this planet in the vast universe with the right atmosphere, temperature, environment, natural resources, etc., so that we may survive. For this I am grateful. But most of all, I am grateful that he has revealed his love for me through his own Son in my short lifetime here.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Making a Pact with God

        Today's Communion experience. When I received the Body of Christ, I was making a pact with the Lord for him to be my Lord and my God and for me to love and serve him forever.

The Approval of Gay Marriage

       The big newspaper in my area headlined "Gay marriage is on a roll" after the latest Supreme Court rulings. It's interesting that a June 10 article in BBC Magazine reports that some gay people are against gay marriage. Here are some of the reasons given by them. "It's demonstrably not the same as heterosexual marriage ~ the religious and social significance of a gay wedding ceremony simply isn't the same." "We're not going to procreate as a couple and while the desire to demonstrate commitment might be laudable, the religious traditions that have accommodated same-sex couples have had to do some fairly major contortions." "Until the federal government recognizes and codifies the same rights for same-sex couples as straight ones, equality is the goal so why get hung up on a word?" Another gay person strongly believes that civil partnerships to give same-sex couples equal legal rights are enough. 
        I suppose the approval of gay marriage is expected after legalization of abortion and the acceptance of unmarried couples living together. We live in a basically secular society and judges are so legalistic that they no longer have any moral concerns. (It is interesting that so far gay marriage has been allowed mostly in the more affluent countries of the West.) What next? 
       The scene from Luke 23 comes to my mind. As Jesus was led away, carrying his own cross, a large crowd of people followed him, including many women who mourned and lamented him. Jesus turned to them and said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep instead for yourselves and for your children, for indeed, the days are coming when people will say, 'Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed.' At that time people will say to the mountains, 'Fall upon us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!'" 

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

God Makes Us Holy!

        During consecration of the bread and the wine at Mass, I realized that receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist is no casual affair, for the Lord God enters me and I become holy because he dwells within me. How awesome the holiness of God! How exciting for us to be holy too! Yes, our bodies are truly temples of the Holy Spirit.

On Being Thrown into Fire

        In the Gospel reading from Matthew 7 at Mass, Jesus wanted his disciples to bear good fruit, for he said, "Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire." I got thinking: what if the fruit we bear is not that good, but not bad either? The answer that came to me was that the fire would then be the fire of purgatory.

God to Be Experienced

        God does not wish us to just study and read about him ~ he wants to be one with us so that we may experience his love and mercy. This calls for surrendering ourselves completely to him. Once we have experienced him, we'll never want to leave again, for he fulfills all our needs and then some.

"Pray for Me"

        When I made the penitential act at morning Mass, acknowledging having greatly sinned and asking all the angles and saints and my brothers and sisters to pray for me, I sensed that the request "Pray for me" is a beautiful one. Praying to God, if you truly believe in him, is already a beautiful expression of your faith. When you say "Pray for me," it shows your need for the Lord's mercy and the prayer is now made even more personal and beautiful.

Holding onto Yourself or God

        Here's another mental picture. Imagine that you are a pole. If you have not surrendered to God yet, you naturally hold onto that pole, which is yourself. But there is no true security ~ when you sink, you sink. Once you have surrendered to God, he is now the pole you hold onto and you become absolutely secure, for he is the pillar that never sinks. You actually experience this when you make the switch.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

How We Should Love

        Since Jesus loves all of us, we are to love all equally too, regardless of whether the person is attractive or not, interesting or boring, rich or poor, young or old, healthy or handicapped, friend or foe... In other words, we are to love unconditionally like Jesus. This is a tall order, but nothing is impossible with God.    

Dual Aspect of God

        God as revealed through Jesus the Son is not only to be worshiped, adored, and praised, but is amazingly also our friend, brother, and servant. This dual aspect is possible only because our God is truly love. 

Monday, June 24, 2013

Christ Cannot Be Ignored

        Jesus said that he himself would be a cause of division on earth. See how John the Baptist got beheaded, followed by so many Christians being martyred to this day. To me, the existence of division, which even sets members of the same household against each other as Jesus had foretold, only proves that he cannot be ignored, that there is good vs. evil. And the fact that he cannot be ignored only proves that he is the true God. Ignoring Christ is being as ignorant as believing that you do not exist.

Our Present Mission

        Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. The Gospel Acclamation, Luke 1:76, quotes what John's father Zachariah prophesied: "You, child, will be called prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way." It was of John that the prophet Isaiah had also spoken when he said: "A voice of one crying out in the desert, 'Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight his paths.'" I see that we are now the prophets to prepare the way for the Lord's Second Coming by making straight his paths. Our specific mission will be to make this world as pleasing to Christ as possible before he comes again by becoming as holy as possible ourselves and bringing as many others to him as possible.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Recipe for Life

        Today's Gospel reading from Luke 9 concluded with these two verses: "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." 
          Listen up! Here's Jesus speaking as the true God, giving us the recipe for life.

Who Is Jesus to You?

        In today's Gospel reading from Luke 9 at Mass, Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do the crowds say that I am?" After he got some answers, he asked the disciples this time, "Who do you say that I am?" It matters who you say that he is! Obviously, my reply would be "God" since I know a lot more about Jesus than the disciples at the time when Jesus had not yet gone through his Passion and Resurrection. May I add that my less specific but more descriptive answer would be "The one who satisfies all my needs."

Thirst for Learning

        Coupled with the yearning for Christ the Lord is the thirst for learning from him. I want the Lord to teach me, teach me, and teach me. I want to know all about him, to get inside of him, to become part of him. I believe he had given me these desires because I heard him say to his disciples at the Last Supper: "Remain in me, as I remain in you.... I am the vine, you are the branches...without me you can do nothing" (John 15).

Saturday, June 22, 2013

What I Seek

       As I was watching Rick Steve's travel video Croatia: Adriatic Delights on PBS, showing the mountains, the forests, the sea, and other scenic sights, I got this new feeling that this finite earth was not big enough for me. The earth's gravitational pull on me was another restraint. I know now that I seek not only what lasts forever, but also what is infinite and can make me feel free. The Lord is then my answer. Maybe it's because I have tasted him that I feel this way. 

More on Our Spiritual State

        Here's another observation. We came into the world, grew up learning how to survive and get ahead. We were encouraged to go for whatever we want to do. We became convinced that if we don't give up, we shall succeed. The end result is that we take charge and follow our own wishes, good or bad. Especially in a country like the United States here where there is freedom of speech, no one likes to be told what to do. Humility can easily be perceived as being weak. All these things make it difficult for us to surrender to God and obey him, and we remain rebels. 

The Current Spiritual State

        In general, people living in our disordered secular world know deep down that they need God. Finding it hard to face God, they enter the escape mode by ignoring him, despite their continuing lack of inner peace. I am speaking of true inner peace, not merely feeling OK. We need to wake up to the reality of God, who alone can bring order to the world, peace to our hearts, and save us. 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Best Investment!

        Storing up treasures in heaven was what Jesus taught in today's Gospel reading from Matthew 6. I see this as the best investment we can possibly make in this life, for it is absolutely safe and the return is truly out of this world (pun intended) ~ gaining entry into heaven. Begin investing by seeking union with God.

Conversion by God

        Today's Reading 1 at Mass came from 1 Corinthians 11. As you know, Paul used to be one of the terrible persecutors of the followers of Jesus and was converted by the Lord himself. In this epistle, he "boasts" of his great labors; imprisonments; beatings; being stoned; numerous brushes with death; getting shipwrecked; facing dangers from rivers, robbers, Jews, gentiles; going through sleepless nights, hunger and thirst, cold and exposure ~ all for the sake of preaching the gospel of God. We must also let God bring about a fundamental change in us, for we cannot do it by ourselves but for the grace of God.  

On Killing Others

        It's sad that you hear about suicide bombing happening almost every day in various parts of the world. To sacrifice oneself for some cause may be regarded by some as worthy or even noble, but if it involves killing other innocent people, even children, then it has to be misguided and wrong. God has clearly commanded us not to kill, so carrying out such attacks has to be a selfish act. (Abortion is in the same category.) By the way, if you terminate someone's life before that person has had a chance to repent before God, then you are also responsible for the possible loss of that soul! 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Best Spiritual Journey

        It should be obvious to all that once you are in paradise, with the Father wiping away every tear in your eyes, you will no longer remember your past. Therefore, the best spiritual journey would be one in which you never look back on the past, but focus only upon living for the Lord, making every present moment the beginning of your journey. Remember our journey can make us look good or bad before the Father, so travel the best one.

Most Incredible Father

        God loves all of us. He sacrificed his own Son so that we may return to him to dwell with him in heaven forever. I knew all that, but this morning I particularly saw this love as being very special, that I was so favored by him, and that I belong exclusively to him. This is how he can make all of us feel. It's time to proclaim that we have a most incredible heavenly Father, worthy for us to worship, adore, praise, love, and obey! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Letting Go in Christ

        Today's Communion experience. I wanted to abandon myself in the light of Christ ~ a totally letting go. He is to be trusted.      

Living the Secret Life in God

        In today's Gospel from Matthew 6, Jesus taught his disciples to do all righteous deeds, to give alms, to pray, to fast, ... never with the intention to be seen or known by others. Indeed, I see living a secret, hidden life in God as the most beautiful way of living. It shows that your faith is genuine, that you are humble and want to glorify God alone, and that you abandon yourself to him. The reward is interior peace. 

Jesus, the Light We Need

        Burglars shy away from bright lights. In general, sinners feel more comfortable in darkness when they are not seen. If something you do in darkness you wouldn't do in broad daylight, it must be sinful. But if you have Jesus as the light of your life, his light will shine upon you at all times and you'll remain holy night and day. 

A Major Concern

        Went by a large cemetery yesterday. I immediately saw that every single one of us is just passing through, so our major concern should be where we're heading after this life. And this is precisely the Lord's major concern too. With us sharing the same concern, it can certainly be allayed through cooperation.

Stop Hurting the Lord

        Yesterday's Communion experience. I saw how sinning hurts and repulses the Lord and we shouldn't sin, not even for a nanosecond. Seek refuge in the Lord and you'll be shielded from all evil and protected from all temptations.

God Asks for Perfection

        In yesterday's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus really raised the bar ~ he commanded his disciples to love their enemies so as to be perfect. The Lord always challenges us and is ready to lift us up to his level, the highest possible level. Yes, he asks us to become one with him, so that we may be perfect.  

Union Recommended Again

        Accepting and believing in Christ is just the beginning. To truly get to know the Lord, you must get inside of him, and seeking union is the way to that discovery and fulfillment. 

We Do Need Christ

        Before morning Mass began yesterday, I was reminded in prayer that we are all dust, and we are at the mercy of God as dust is at the mercy of the wind. Like all things of the world, we are here today and gone tomorrow. Since both we and the world are passing, there is no point in talking about security in this life. However, dust or no dust, passing or permanent, the one who has entrusted himself entirely to Christ already has his eternal life anchored in God.

God Proved Himself

        Yesterday I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. As you know, the mysteries are Agony in the Garden, Scourging, Crowning with Thorns, Carrying the Cross, and Crucifixion. The fact that Jesus, an innocent man, went through his life and these extreme sorrows without any complaint and still forgiving everyone, his persecutors included, to the very end is inhuman, as no ordinary human can achieve that. This further proves to me that Jesus is indeed our loving God.

Monday, June 17, 2013

On Finding Our Center

        Today I watched Part 1 of Fr. Robert Barron's DVD on "Blessing, Three Paths to Holiness" at my church. It was on Finding the Center. I totally agreed with and understood what he said. That is, without Christ being our center, life is stormy and directionless and we get pulled in all directions by forces of the world and our own desires. When we have Christ at the center, all is calm because we are in harmony with God. It's the difference between Martha and Mary. It's the contrast between the disciples getting terrified at sea when a violent storm came up and the Lord sleeping calmly in the stern. So many people now are living a disordered life oblivious to God's existence until one day some personal crisis finally wake them up. Here we have crises and suffering manifesting the mercy of God.  

Good Question

     Today's Communion antiphon from Psalm 27.4: There is one thing I ask of the Lord; only this do I seek: to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. What is the one thing you would ask of the Lord?

Love Not to Be Held Back

        Today's Gospel reading at Mass, Matthew 5:38-46. Jesus talked about turning the other cheek to the one who strikes you on one cheek; handing your cloak to the person as well who wants to go to law with you over your tunic; going that extra mile if anyone presses you into service for a mile; and not turning your back on one who wants to borrow. The Lord gave these specific instances to teach us that we must not let anything upset us; instead, we must be loving always. Retaliation is out; patience and compassion must reign. Love held back is no love at all.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Loving God Becomes Easy...

when you let God love you.

Lord, Save Us All

        Communion wish. After receiving the Lord, his great love made me want every single soul in this world to be saved! Knowing that nothing is impossible with God, I fervently pray for this. 

God Easy to Please

        Today's Gospel reading from Luke 7 was about the Lord pardoning a sinful woman who showed great love for him. He said to all present, "Her many sins have been forgiven; she has shown great love." It seems that if we concentrate upon loving the Lord, we needn't be too concerned about our sins. You could say that love pleases God so much that he forgets your sins.

What Are You Waiting For?

        God's intention for us is to be back with him in paradise after the fall of Adam and Eve. Jesus had come, died for us, making this amply clear. Ask to return to God and we can be back where we belong. 

My Best Advice (Urgent)

        In Luke 16, Jesus told to his disciples the parable of the rich man and Lazarus. Both men died. Lazarus who used to be poor was carried away to the bosom of Abraham. As the rich man was suffering torment in the netherworld, he saw Abraham far off with Lazarus at his side. He cried out to Abraham for help, but Abraham replied, "My child, remember that you received what was good during your lifetime while Lazarus likewise received what was bad; but now he is comforted here, whereas you are tormented. Moreover, between us and you a great chasm is established to prevent anyone from crossing who might wish to go from our side to yours or from your side to ours." 
        Let's look at the message of this parable. What we receive in this life is nothing compared to what we shall receive after we die. We want to make sure that we receive the good later, not now. The separation between heaven and hell cannot possibly be greater. There is no crossing from either side to the other and the separation is for all eternity! Do not be so concerned about health insurance, life insurance, financial security, your burial plot and all that, but believe in and love the Lord Jesus to get you eternal future settled now. This is absolutely the best advice you can possibly get from anyone.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Dissolve" Is the Word

        Today's Communion experience. The Lord lets me see that through the Holy Eucharist, he can dissolve everything negative and impure in my soul. I let him do whatever he wants to accomplish.

Accepting Inconveniences

        One of the nose pads on my pair of glasses was gone. This means I must wait until Monday, the day after tomorrow, and go to my optician to get it repaired. No big deal, but still time-consuming. Then I saw that life is a life of inconveniences ~ it's one thing after another to be taken care of. Seeing this as a reality, I no longer feel bothered. Even if I can't get the repair done, it's all right too because life is also a life of unfinished businesses. Let loving God be our primary occupation.

Criticizing or Judging

        Here is the difference between criticizing people and judging them. The test is whether you get angry or not. You can criticize others, often for their own good, and still have compassion for them. But if you get angry, then you have judged them. 

"Live Begins at Conception"

        Another news story about a child triggered these thoughts. "Life begins at conception" ~ this is a truth which should be obvious to anyone with an open mind, whether you are scientific or not. The fact that the conceived child starts growing right from the beginning is proof enough. Yet the pro-abortion people don't want to hear anything of it ~ how blind and dumb can you get! To pretend that you are blind and dumb in this case is even worse.

Signs of Secularization

        I  briefly saw a TV news clip on a "Star Wars" wedding. It seems that "Star Wars" has become a popular theme for weddings. At this particular wedding, the couple managed to get a photo showing the bridal party getting chased by three AT-AT walkers, four-legged assault vehicles used in some of the Star Wars movies. A quick search on Google shows that another newly-wed couple had actors dressed up as "Stars Wars" Storm Troopers greeting guests at the reception. While all these things may be considered cool, I can't help thinking that they are rather frivolous, reflecting the secularization of our society.

The Free Will Test

        Whether your free will can free you or not depends upon what you do with it. As long as you hold onto your free will as your own, you cannot be free. But if you offer your free will up to God to let his will alone prevail in you, then you become free! It seems that the Lord gave us the free will to test us. Give it back to him and you pass.

Fear of Surrendering to God

        Surrender to God means surrender to God completely. This is not easy because one fears that if he surrenders to God, the Lord is going to make him do all kinds of things not palatable to him (essentially, he's still holding onto his own will). But it doesn't work out like that. First of all, God would never want to instill fear in you. If he does, that would defeat his purpose of drawing you to him. Therefore, such fears are all self-imposed. Once you surrender and get to know the Lord, all fear begins to dissipate or vanish as your will begins to conform to his. And you realize how baseless your apprehension or worry has been.

Friday, June 14, 2013

In a Secure Dwelling

       The Communion antiphon from Psalm 18 reads: The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer; my God is my saving strength. This was exactly how I felt after receiving Holy Communion. Evildoers stumble and fall because they are not in the light. By contrast, with the Lord dwelling in me, I knew I was dwelling most securely in him. 

Power of the Incredible

        Seeing how incredible the love of God for you is will help you believe in him.

No Shrinking from Suffering

        To want to avoid suffering is a human instinct, but in today's godless world sins have caused so much suffering among so many. As Christians, we must look to Jesus as our example and likewise accept any suffering that comes our way. And we should even rejoice when we suffer persecution for the sake of the Lord! Remember that the crown we receive for following Jesus at any cost is the Lord himself.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Hypocritical Catholic?

      Jesus criticized repeatedly the hypocrisy of the Pharisees and the Scribes. Hypocrisy is the difference between what one appears to be and what he actually believes in or practices. Therefore, a Catholic who outwardly goes to Mass faithfully, but does not believe in or practice some of the teachings of the Church, is being hypocritical. It is just as displeasing to the Lord as being lukewarm, if not more so. 

Praying for "Equality"

        Today is the Memorial of St. Anthony of Padua. He is the saint of finding things and lost people. In my experience, I have always found things lost after I ask him to intercede. After receiving Holy Communion today, I felt so blessed and began to see the disparity or divide between those who have possessed or belong to the Lord and those who have rejected or are not interested in him. It is my fervent prayer that the latter will come to know the joy and peace of following Christ. The love of God wants to embrace all!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Satisfied with God

        Today's Communion experience. I have the most extraordinary God. He is the greatest find, surprise, revelation, fulfillment, joy, and treasure of my life. I am more than completely satisfied. 

Empty Motions

        I saw a Rick Steve travel video on PBS, showing changing of the guard at the palace in Monaco with tourists lining up on all three sides to watch the ceremony. It struck me that the guardsmen are just going through empty motions and watching empty motions is empty too. I don't mean to spoil people's fun; besides, you could argue that I was doing something empty by watching the video. What I really want to say is that we'd be so much better off if we all spend more time on storing up treasures in heaven as Jesus has taught.

Eliminating Spiritual Warfare

        I see the spiritual warfare we're engaged in as a tug-of-war between God and Satan with us choosing the side we want to be on. If you choose right, there will be two winners and one loser; and if you choose wrongly, there will be one winner and two losers. (Note that if God wins, you win, and if he loses, you lose; while if Satan wins, you lose, and if he loses, you win ~ all this showing that God is always with us and Satan, always against us.)  This contest exists only because we haven't made our choices yet ~ much like the undecided voters being sought after in an election. The smart thing to do is to choose God and stick with him at the outset, then there won't be any tug-of-war to be concerned about. When you are safe with God, as in union, you are beyond Satan's reach.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

An Obedience Test

        In God's presence, before the tabernacle at church or in the dark of a quiet night, think of someone you have difficulty forgiving. Be totally open and not holding back anything, ask God to show you clearly the problem. If you were partly at fault, admit it. Putting all pride aside, ask God for the courage to bring about reconciliation. Then follow up! In the case you cannot contact the person anymore, at least pray for God's blessings on the person and forgive him or her from the bottom of your heart for the glory of God. If you experience great freedom and peace afterwards, then you'll know that you have passed this test of obedience. Rejoice because you have overcome yourself and greatly pleased God. 

No Greater Mercy

        The other day I heard on NPR an interview with a girl in Ireland who had an abortion. She felt so guilty about it and became afraid to face God. She's also worried that her fellow parishioners would harshly judge her should they find out. As a result, she stopped attending Mass altogether. It's such a sad story that I wish I could tell her that God's mercy is infinite. Today I've been made especially aware of this great mercy. God has indeed reached his limit, for there can be nothing greater than infinity. Our Heavenly Father is ready to forgive us, take us back, no matter how sinful we are, at any time! The door is wide open for us our whole lifetime. He is making it as easy as possible for us to return to him ~ any difficulty we have has to be placed there by us. It would be disastrous for us if God were just a tad less merciful. He has died in our place and is just waiting for us to accept him. I am not telling you anything new; I just want you to really think about it until you see it. 

Beauty and Power of God

        There are many videos by Fr. Barron posted on YouTube. You can also go on his website wordonfire.org to find lots more. After watching the five videos I just posted and a few others, Jesus became more "true" and awesome than ever. At morning Mass when I heard the Gospel read, it's like hearing the Lord speak in person to me. Then later I received Holy Communion and his loveliness so overwhelmed me that I simply wanted to serve him with all of me and that my soul was ready to ascend to him. Such is the beauty and power of God. 

Key to Joy

Again, I am letting Fr. Barron tell you about detachment.

The Real Presence

Christ is present in the Holy Eucharist ~ all Christians should watch and listen to this video.

Who Is Jesus?

Fr. Barron says so much better what I have more or less said. These are great comments.

The Problem of Evil

Here's Fr. Barron's insightful observation of God, the tsunami, and the problem of evil.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fr. Barron on Abortion

Many of you probably know about Father Robert Barron, the creator of the groundbreaking 10-part documentary Catholicism. He is a gifted speaker, knowledgeable, logical, and clear-thinking. I like his comments on various topics on YouTube. Here is one video on "Abortion: Shocking Numbers out of New York."

Surrender Deepens Peace

        Today's Communion experience. After I received the Lord, I knew that the more I surrender to him, the deeper my peace will be.

The Yearning Process

        When you start to yearn for the Lord, you are getting closer to him. It's interesting that when you are in union with him, your yearning becomes so great that you miss him terribly. 

We Affect God

        Everything we do affects the world. I wave my hand and the movement sets the surrounding air molecules into motion, causing them to collide with other neighboring molecules. In theory the whole universe is affected, although in this case the effect becomes infinitesimal moving a few feet away from the source of disturbance. Everything we do affects God too ~ he will feel either joy or sorrow. And whatever we've done will remain on the record until Judgment Day.   

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Continued Praying

        Even though we follow Christ in peace, we still have the various crosses and burdens to carry. In fact, we feel them acutely because they are the crosses and burdens of Christ. However, with trust in the Lord, they no longer bother me. When people offend me, I don't take it personally either, as everything one does, one does it to the Lord. We are to continue praying for those who offend him, even after we get into heaven, as the saints are doing.

Following Christ in Peace

        Followers of Christ are easily satisfied: they follow his will, trust in him, and leave it at that, knowing that the outcome is in his hands.

Heart Makes the Difference

        Those whose hearts are pure are delighted by the Lord dwelling in them, while those whose hearts are unclean feel the misery because the Lord could not enter them.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Surrender Is the Word

        Seeking union with God is what the Lord wants from us, so surrendering to him is called for. If you haven't done it yet, you'll always find yourself struggling to be holy. Good intentions alone are not enough because you have not let the Lord in to do the work for you yet. This is the message the Lord wants me to spread, the objective of this blog. Surrendering to the Lord opens up the gate to let all his grace through so that the exhilarating journey may begin. Get on the fast track and experience his love in this life. If this sounds like a commercial, it's because this good news is true and urgent.   

Why I Feel Peaceful

        Some of the reasons I feel peaceful in my God: (1) He has called me, (2) His love for me is forever, (3) I feel secure in his hands, for nothing can take me away, (4) I belong to him forever, (5) I shall be with him in heaven forever, (6) He has made my will his will, setting me free, (7) He shields me from all evil, (8) He has healed my soul, (9) He is with me at all times. 

No Freedom Without Truth

        Jesus said in John 8 that "the truth will set you free" ~ I've found this to be true. In my opinion, any religion that does not make you feel free cannot possibly be true. Experiencing freedom in your God proves that he is love and the true One. There are also those who do not believe in God and think that they are free, but this is only pseudo-freedom felt when you think you have escaped from facing God. Such feelings are short-lived when you realize that you are a slave to the world and to your ego.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Unconditional Love for All

        Today is Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. In Reading 2 from Romans 5, Paul points out that God proves his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. God's unconditional love teaches us to love all others in the world without discrimination, as he loves all sinners without discrimination.

God to Be Take Seriously

        This is how Jesus taught on judging others: "As you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you" (Matthew 7:2). In the Lord's Prayer, he also taught us to say, "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us." It follows that if we don't take God seriously, he won't take us seriously either.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Most Beautiful Things

        Anticipating the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus tomorrow, EWTN showed a film on St. Margaret Mary Alacoque who received the revelations of the Sacred Heart. In some scenes, you see the saint prostrating herself in front of the Lord on the altar ~ it is such a beautiful scene! And I saw that it's proper ~ so right ~ for us to surrender to the Lord, to abandon ourselves to him, to trust in him, to rest in him, and to serve him. It struck me that all these things are most beautiful. 

Falling in Love with God

        Meditate upon the love of Christ and you fall in love with this love. Now you have fallen in love with God.

Greatest Commandments Linked

        In today's Gospel reading taken from Mark 12, Jesus gave the first of all the commandments: You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. Then the second: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. These two greatest commandments are intimately linked together. Following the second commandment faithfully fulfills the first one. Following the first commandment gives us the power and strength to fulfill the second one. 

The Lord In Me

        At morning Mass, I did feel that Jesus was sitting on the throne in my heart instead of being outside of me. I was elated that he was with me. He's still in me now.

Consider Eternal Life

        I ask the Lord to let me evangelize to as many people as possible, and the opportunities often come up, and the right moment to say something follows too. People commonly talk about their worldly problems. At the appropriate moment, I would let my listeners know outright that what I am going to say to them, most likely they won't hear from another person. I tell them that my main concern for them are not worldly problems but eternal life, which must be considered foremost. Then I present Jesus as our answer. My listeners always seem to understand my intention and that I speak it out of love. So a seed is sown and may bear fruit one day.  

The Human Plight

        Here's my simple view of the human situation. Since Adam and Eve disobeyed God, we ended up carrying the original sin and got banished as far from him as possible. Then because he loves us so much, he sent Jesus his own Son into the world to die in our place to redeem us. Now, we can believe in Christ and be adopted by God the Father as his children again, or ignore or reject Christ and remain banished. 
         A footnote. Because God has created us in his own image, he loves us and we can understand his love.  

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Taking the Holy Eucharist Seriously

        Receiving the Holy Eucharist is not a casual affair. In 1 Corinthians 11:27, Paul wrote that "whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily will have to answer for the body and blood of the Lord." Before we receive the Sacrament, we should make sure that we are in as pure a state as possible spiritually. Then we ask the Lord to bestow on us whatever we need to be drawn close to him. We must become more like him, even for a tiny bit, after each reception.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Do not Neglect Loving

         Do not forget to visit your loved ones or any needy folks as often as possible ~ this is loving your neighbor. To follow the commandment of honoring your father and your mother, don't forget to keep in touch with them if they live away from you. If there is any animosity between you and your parents or any other family members, seek reconciliation, ask for forgiveness, before you face God ~ this is absolutely urgent, first-priority business. You must cast aside all pride and let humility rule!
       I've been visiting the homebound for quite some time and I am so happy that I'd made special visits to some of them and regret that I didn't go see some others more often before they passed away. One I saw a month ago was a laughing, talking person; two weeks ago, he lost all his energy, stopped eating, and had trouble breathing. Last week, he's gone. Let your loved ones know that you love them and you care for them before they or you leave the world. Show that you truly love God.   

Most Common Addiction

        Attachment to the material world is the most common addiction in the world. This spiritual failing makes you forget God, thus pleasing Satan greatly. The only remedy for it is to attach yourself to God.  

Living Our Only Day

        You've heard that we should live every day like it's our last. To add urgency to it, I'd suggest that we live every day like it's our only day. This should motivate us to pack as much loving God into one day as possible.

The World Is Our Stage

        It came to my mind this morning that "the world is like a stage." Then an online search showed that "All the world's a stage" is the phrase that begins a monologue in William Shakespeare's play "As You Like It." The speech compares the world to a stage and life to a play. Here's the beginning of that monologue: 
           All the world's a stage;
           And all the men and women merely players:
           They have their exits and their entrances;
           And one man in his time plays many parts .... 
This was exactly what I had in mind. In addition, each of us is free to play any character of our choice in our role on stage. And if God is chosen to be our director, he works mainly behind the scenes. After we exit at the end, our performance will be judged and that judge is God. I suggest that you ask God to direct you in the play. Get to know him well and he'll most likely judge you more leniently.

Monday, June 3, 2013

No Better Feeling!

        Communion experience today. By receiving the Lord with great reverence, love, and firm belief that he is the bread of life from heaven, my place in heaven is assured. There is no better feeling than knowing that we are in union with the Lord and heaven bound!

Same Division Today

       Today is the Memorial of St. Charles Lwanga and Companions, Martyrs. The Gospel comes from Mark 12. Jesus addressed a parable to the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. In speaking he quoted this Scripture passage: The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; by the Lord has this been done, and it is wonderful in our eyes. He was speaking of himself whom his listeners were seeking to arrest.
          It's same today. Those who have accepted the Lord know that it is wonderful in the Lord's eyes and those who have rejected him out of pride don't know what they're doing.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Holy Eucharist Fulfills Us

        Communion experience. It's extra special to receive the Holy Eucharist on this Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. With Psalm 23:1 in mind, I could sum up my feeling by saying that "the Lord is in me; there is nothing I lack."

Power of the Holy Eucharist

        Today is the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. The message I picked up during the homily: By receiving this Most Blessed Sacrament, which is Christ, we can become like him. Of course, if we receive it every Sunday at Mass just out of obligation, we shall remain the same. I've seen some who regularly receive the sacrament, yet still feel miserable most of the time. The power is there and will enter only those in a state of grace, open, and desirous of becoming holy.