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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Year-End Proclamation

        We already know that Jesus is Love infinite. I'd like to proclaim to the whole world that Jesus is also Joy boundless!        

Best Resolution for New Year

        Many people are making resolutions now for the New Year. They tend to impose these resolutions upon themselves mechanically without asking for God's help. There is only one resolution you need to make: Turn to God and resolve that with his help you will let him do whatever he wants with your heart. Say it sincerely from your heart and wait for wonderful things to happen to you.

Year-End Thoughts + Request

        Today is the last day of 2014. Other parts of the world have already celebrated the new year. We are all older, but if we are also holier and more ready to meet the Lord, then we are on the right track. I'd like to ask all to pray daily for what you consider to be your enemies during the coming year.

Progression of Sin Analyzed

      All sins begin with an impure heart. The mind receives the thought first, making entertaining sinful thoughts the most common sin. Left unchecked, the sin propels the sinner into action, and the easy action to take is to speak words. Hence, sinning in words is the next most common sin, often causing others to sin in their thoughts and words. The other action is to perform the deed to fulfill the sinful intention. This sin may be the least common of the three here, but it can affect others devastatingly. 

God's Overwhelming Love

        Communion experience. In John 6.51, Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world." I actually received this bread from heaven without having to go there! What a gift! What a privilege! The Lord "pampering" his children again! 

Testifying to Christ

        It was read in today's Gospel reading from John 1 that John the Baptist came to testify to Christ, the light; he cried out, saying, "This was he of whom I said, 'The one who is coming after me ranks ahead of me because he existed before me.'" I too can testify to Christ as the light, our Savior. I am certain because God has spoken to my heart through his love ~ there's nothing more I need to know.

God Makes It Easy for Us

        Today's Gospel acclamation at Mass from John 1: The Word of God became flesh and dwelt among us. To those who accepted him he gave power to become the children of God. May I point out again how easy God has made it for us to be saved?

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Power at Our Beck and Call

        Communion experience. Almighty God condescended to enter puny me ~ all that superpower now dwelling in my heart. How could I not let it transform me?

Better Being Slave than Ruler

        Communion time thought. To be a "slave" of God is infinitely better than to be the ruler of the world. (I put slave in quotes because it's through obedience to God that one gains full freedom.) 

Joy of Being Christian

        To be a Christian is to be joy-filled. The joy comes from having heard the good news of salvation and tasted the sweetness of Jesus. If you don't feel any joy as a Christian, you just have not got it right yet.

*How Lovely Our God!

        I love the Communion antiphon a week ago, which was Revelation 3.20: Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door to me, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. The tone of how anything is said reveals very much the one who says it. Here I clearly sense how polite, gentle, patient, considerate, and longing Jesus is, to the point I feel sorry for him. I am not even worthy to wait on the Lord and he invites me to dine with him? This is how lovely my loving God is!

Our Big Choice

        We are the trophy in a battle God and Satan engage in as God wants to save us, while Satan in rebellion wants to destroy us. We lean toward Satan because it makes an easy, attractive choice, unless we are acutely aware of the dire consequence involved. Therefore, I see here more "Man vs. God" than "Satan vs. God" because our right choice can put Satan out of the picture. Think about it ~ we and God always win or lose together! 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Discernment Advice

        When God leads us to do something, he would never want us to feel anxious about it. Therefore, if you think of something you want to do for God with anxiety, it could not have come from God.

No Getting-Old Blues

        When we clearly see signs of old age in us, we should not lament that our time on earth is getting shorter, but rejoice in the fact that our time of seeing Christ is getting equally shorter. Let this joy wipe out all our sorrows.  

Submitting to the Holy Spirit

        I have not said enough about the Holy Spirit in this blog. The Holy Spirit to me is the one who can change our lives. He is the one who can make us anew and keep us refreshed. In church at Mass this morning, I gave my mind, heart, and soul all to the Holy Spirit again so that there would be left in me only the consciousness that I am a child of God our Father.

We Can Be Ready Too

        Today's Gospel reading from Luke 2 was on the Presentation of the child Jesus in the temple. The holy Spirit had revealed to Simeon, a righteous and devout man, that he should not see death before he had seen the Messiah of the Lord. When the parents brought in the child Jesus for presentation, Simeon took him into his arms and blessed God, saying: "Now, Master, you may let your servant go in peace, according to your word, for my eyes have seen your salvation." Although we do not see Jesus with our eyes, we can see, hear, and feel him in our heart and be ready to go in peace too.

To Live Jesus

        Today's entrance antiphon at Mass is John 3.16: God so loved the world that he gave his Only Begotten Son, so that all who believe in him may not perish, but have eternal life. God made it so simple for us! Jesus died so that we may live! Let's seek union with him so that we may live Jesus.

Ego No Beauty

        Exercising your ego may make you feel good, but it also makes you look puffed-up and ugly to those who can spot you, let alone God.

Feeling Good

        There are many things I enjoy doing, such as expressing myself through photography, playing the piano, writing this blog, evangelizing for Christ, etc. But if I don't get to do any or all of these things, that's OK too. It feels so good to be able to say this!

Something About Jesus

        Have you noticed that we feel comfortable talking about sports, cars, politics, movies, cooking . . . just about any subject, among friends or acquaintances, yet when the subject is Jesus, people start feeling uncomfortable? Might it be because Jesus is God? The Lord himself said that he had come not to bring peace, but rather division (Luke 12.51). God intends to save, not please, everyone. If you feel uncomfortable with the Lord, then you have a problem.          

Sunday, December 28, 2014

We Have Been Saved!

        I checked in on the site Pope Francis ~ Latest News (link in my Good Sites, Blogs, Web Pages... list). I found the Holy Father saying in one news piece that we have already been saved. This struck me as being true, since Jesus has come and done all the work necessary for us to be saved. God is ready so that if we believe and cooperate with him, we become shoo-ins. We are not saved only if we don't want to believe and be saved. 

Secret of Salvation

        Jesus gave us the commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Today the Lord made me see that he had given us here both a measuring stick for and a test of our love for him. It also reveals the secret of our salvation.  

To Be Childlike Again

        Communion thoughts. When a child is brought up by good parents, the child does not have to worry about its own survival. The child just plays without a care in the world, knowing that the parents are taking care of him or her. Now that we are adults, we should be childlike again, this time trusting God in taking complete care of us.

Becoming Burden-Free

        Our heart feels all kinds of burdens because we treat them as burdens. We do not trust in God because we don't let ourselves do it. In other words, we are our only burden. Therefore, if we can give ourselves to God completely, we become burden-free. That is, live for God and we are free. Pure logical reasoning has revealed this simple truth. And it sounds right too.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Perfect Moment for Union

        Communion thought. What a perfect time to offer ourselves completely to God to achieve union with him right then and there when he was still dissolving in our mouth! 

World in Darkness

        It's still Christmas season. Neighborhood houses and yards are still decked with holiday lights. New York Christmas windows on 5th Avenue must still be all lit up. I read in the news the other day that in the small Croatian town of Cazma, one man adorned his house and estate with an incredible million and a half lights! But, alas, all these lights do not brighten up a dark world. The world is in darkness because all government leaders act like spoiled little kids, threatening and fighting each other to get their ways, caring only about their own reputation and survival. The world is in darkness also because most of its population are selfish, heartless, and revolting against God. The horrendous daily news we read and hear from around the world is evidence. The light the Lord God yearns to see are souls that are holy, pure, and carry Christ in their hearts. Let each of us be that light to dispel as much darkness in our world as we can. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

On Loving God

        We may and can forget God, but God will always remember us, for he created us, knows us intimately, and loves us more than we can ever comprehend. Therefore, be holy in every thought, word, and act, and God will reward you a hundredfold or more in this life and the next. No good deed ever goes unnoticed by God. Loving God uplifts us, putting us in union with him. There is no experience in this life more exhilarating, liberating, and rewarding than loving God.

To Be Transformed from Within

        Communion time thoughts. I want Christ to go deep into my heart, for there can be no transformation without transformation that comes from within. I have heard good messages preached to me perhaps thousands of times, but only those preached from the heart affected me somewhat. I have read perhaps hundreds of spiritual books, but only works of those who knew Christ intimately influenced me. Since my goal is to be transformed by God, there is absolutely no more effective and expedient way than asking the Lord directly to enter my heart to make it happen!  

Abandonment of the Spirit

        Today is the Feast of St. Stephen, First Martyr. The response to David's Psalm 31 read was taken from verse 6: Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit. In Luke 23, before Jesus breathed his last on the cross, he cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit." Today's Communion antiphon Act 7.59 read: As they were stoning Stephen, he called out, "Lord Jesus, receive my spirit." Such cries from the heart are what we need to be able to make before we go to the Lord. This is ultimate abandonment of our spirit ~ the goal of union with God.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Good Questions

        All God wants to do is to love us, to save us from sin, and to get us to heaven to be with him for all eternity, yet so many of us ignore him, do not take him seriously, or even hate him. Why? Many self-professed Christians follow sport events more fervently than they follow Christ, treat their human friends better than they treat Christ, or love their animal pets or cars more than they love Christ. How come?    

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Union with God Is for Everyone!

        There are many well-known Catholic speakers available to speak on a great variety of topics. Interestingly, a quick scan online of their topics shows that no one has chosen to talk about union with God. Is it because it's a subject beyond their knowledge? Is it because they think the subject is beyond the reach of most people? Is it because erroneously they think that union is for saints only? Don't they realize that seeking union with God is the quickest, most effective way to holiness? Don't they know that union with God is what the Lord yearns for from all of us? Don't they see that when you are in union with God, you are able to love God with your whole being? Enough questions. 

Christmas Joy

        Today is the last day of Advent before Christmas. Christmas brings great joy because God has come into the world to declare his great love for all. This good news has to be the best ever because we now know how to conquer sin and enter the kingdom of God. I see the most beautiful scenario: God loves us with all his heart, we embrace his love with all our heart, and both heaven and earth celebrate with great joy.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Going Beyond Union

        Communion experience. Even receiving the Holy Eucharist did not quite quench my thirst for the Lord ~ I desired to go beyond union with God on earth! It seemed that God had made us so that we would not have complete satisfaction until we are in heaven. Such is his drawing power!

Our Role in Life

        The Gospel reading from Luke 1 at Mass tells of the birth of John the Baptist. The angel Gabriel first announced to Zechariah, John's father, that his wife Elizabeth would bear him a son in her old age. Obviously, John had a specific role to play in God's plan. His beheading at the hands of Herod was probably not expected by those who knew him. There is no question that God has a specific role for each of us too. There is no point in wanting to know how specific it might be. Our basic role is to do God's will each step of the way to the very end, and that's specific enough.  

Fooled by Freedom

       Freedom sounds good, but is not always good for us because it gets abused easily. Here is an example. In the news, Sony Pictures was cyber-threatened by some group for planning to release the film "The Interview," a political comedy involving a plot to assassinate the current North Korea leader Kim Jong-un. Sony decided not release the film after many theaters canceled the showing for fear of possible terror attacks directed at this country by North Korea. Many in the entertainment industry objected to the suppression of the film. The latest is that Sony has allowed some theaters to screen the film on Christmas day, with President Obama encouraging all to go see it. This is a case of putting the nation at risk in the name of freedom of artistic expression. In that same name, the entertainment industry has contributed greatly to the erosion of morality and the secularization of this country and the world. Many who believe in free speech think that they can get away with anything they say, even if it might cause others pain or distress. The freedom to abort the unborn has put to death millions of human lives! Our guaranteed religious freedom has enabled a few atheists to curb the rights of the Christian majority.
        All in all, the freedoms we believe in and have given to ourselves have allowed us to be more self-centered and more judgmental. The bottom line is that with God excluded, any freedom we have devised for our sake is false or gets abused. True freedom exists only in God.    

Monday, December 22, 2014

Purpose for Life

       I came into the world, was lost because I did not know what life was all about. Then Jesus called me and showed me the way to go home to my creator, the Father. Somewhat like Simeon who told God that he was ready to go after seeing the infant Jesus, the salvation God had prepared for all, at his presentation in the temple, I too felt that my life had been fulfilled. Knowing where we came from and where we are going is what makes life meaningful. We all need a purpose in life, and returning to God the source of all life has to be primary among all the purposes.  

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Good News

    Check out the inspiring, beautiful story of this happy Christian family:  http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-30386348

All I Need to Know

        There are infinite things I don't know. Even if God tells me everything there is to know, my finite mind won't be able to absorb all that. This is not a problem for me because I don't need to know all things; what I know is all I need to know to completely satisfy me. Here it is. (1) God loves us. (2) Jesus, the Son of God and God, came and died in our place to redeem us. (3) Whoever believes in Jesus can have eternal life (John 3.16). (4) Jesus established his church on Peter and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it (Matthew 16.18). (5) Jesus gave us the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Eucharist, at the Last Supper. (6) We are sinners and need to repent to be reconciled to God. (7) God wants us to be one with him through receiving the Holy Eucharist.

True Christmas Celebration

        Christmas is just four days away. People have started celebrating Christmas by having parties, putting up decorations, shopping for gifts, etc. But true celebration is rejoicing in knowing that the Lord, our Savior, has come and will come again to collect his sheep to dwell with him forever in his kingdom. In reality, this celebration is already going on daily in the hearts of all those who have united themselves with the Lord, for they have reached the ultimate goal in their life ~ the union of God and man, a great joy for both. 

Up with God

        If we hold onto things other than God, we get weighed down. Since God always wants to lift us up, if we drop all things and abandon ourselves to God, we can only go up. 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

On Latter-Day Prophets

        The prophets before Jesus' time prophesied that the Messiah would come and Jesus, the Son of God, came. When he was in the world, he warned that many false messiahs and prophets would arise to mislead or deceive us (Matthew 24, Mark 11). After he ascended into heaven, numerous so-called prophets have popped up outside the Church claiming to have received new revelations from God that not only conflict with the teachings of the Church, but also among themselves. The proper thing to do is to stick to the Son of God and the Church he had established upon Peter and ignore all the so-called prophets of God that came after the Son. 

Exciting Infinite Space

        How free we are in God depends upon how much we let ourselves go in God. We can become completely free if we can completely abandon ourselves to God. This is the exciting part for us finite creatures ~ that there is no limit as to how far we can advance in God, for he is infinite. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Dependent Living

        Communion experience. After I receive the Lord, I feel that I am not worthy to do anything for him. It is he who lifts me up always. I now depend totally upon him . . . no more independent living! 

God for All

        God is for all. He loves all of us. He wants to save all of us. Jesus, the Son of God, came down from heaven to die for all. The good news of salvation is for all. Christ gave his own mother to all of us. The Holy Spirit is for all to receive. All are invited to accept and believe in Christ. God wants all to live with him in heaven for all eternity. Do you not want to be one of the all?

The Holy Spirit Stirs

        The first reading from Judges 13 at morning Mass tells the birth of Samson. The reading ends with these verses: "The woman bore a son and named him Samson. The boy grew up and the LORD blessed him; the Spirit of the LORD stirred him." To me, the Spirit of God stirring someone is such a beautiful thing that the one stirred must feel wonderful. The Holy Spirit stirs us in various ways. He may set our heart on fire; keep us alert; make us feel the presence of the Lord, eager to hear his word, or yearn for him; console us in our sorrow or make us cry with joy; stir us to praise God or pray fervently; make us compassionate for others; teach us; humble us; embolden us; help us accept suffering cheerfully . . . it is the Spirit that motivates us to do all these goods things to glorify God. Seek union with the Holy Spirit and he will absolutely transform you without fail!   

Motivation Matters

        The motivation behind your work determines how meritorious it is in front of God. 

God Most Endearing

        Being imperfect human beings, no two persons can possibly get along with each other at all times. Sometimes we feel frustrated when the other person, especially someone close and dear to us, doesn't seem to hear or understand us. No matter, God our Father is always eager to hear from us. Even though he already knows what's in our heart, he still delights greatly in our telling him everything.  

Thursday, December 18, 2014

All About Ownership

        Communion thoughts. I now belong to Jesus; I am his. I thought about ownership. There is nothing I can claim to own, since I came into the world with nothing and shall leave without even my own body. It does not make any sense and would be foolish to believe that I own something. God created me; thereby I don't even own myself. In other words, we creatures are not meant to own anything; only our creator can claim to own everything. If we see and acknowledge this truth, the Lord dwells within us, and we are free! We still enjoy all things that are good and beautiful in the world, but are no longer attached to any of them. This, I would say, is classy, cool living.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Superior Way You Must Know

        There must be tens of thousands of good books out there written to help you grow spiritually, but you can safely bypass them all. They are many sins you put on leash to be controlled, but you can forget about them too. How? Go directly to the Lord and seek union with him ~ this is the fast track! When you reach union with God, he deposits teaching, lessons, words, directly into your heart, and fundamentally transforms you from within your heart. Not having to be concerned about your spiritual growth and overcoming your sins, you have all the time to enjoy the intimate company of God. This is the central message of this blog.

God and Our Conscience

        Without God, our conscience invariably gets muddied up. With God guiding us, our conscience is kept clean. It's that simple.

Perfect Father

        My last post mentions that our Father in heaven wants to give us everything he has. I would like to add that in giving, he "manages" never to spoil us, only to perfect us.

Asking from God

        God is exciting to me because he is the source of inexhaustible riches. His love for us "compels" him to give us all he has. In the parable of the lost son told by Jesus, the father said to the older son, "My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours" (Luke 15.31). Therefore, we should feel free to ask for all we want that's good for us ~ be it knowledge, wisdom, joy, peace, blessings, or even material stuff. God who is most generous can make all things possible!

Jake Shimabukuro

       Back in August, I mentioned Jake Shimabukuro, the world-renowned, Hawaiian-born ukulele virtuoso. I enjoy watching him perform because he always plays with passion, joy, and humbleness. One of his compositions that's particularly cheery to me is the one entitled "Boy Meets Girl." Here he is in one version on YouTube.    

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Back to Belong to the Father

        Communion experience. I feel like the prodigal son returning to his father. Now I fully belong to my Father. 

Healthy Outlook on Life

        As I look around, I see so many unfinished things ~ repairs and improvements to be done on the house, dead plants to be replaced in the yard, computer problems that need to be solved, emails I should send out, things I have to learn to get some digital photo images printed, etc. At morning Mass, I came to see that to be free in God is to be detached from all things of the world and be able to leave this life without hesitation whenever God says, "Come." I am just passing through and my permanent home is where the Father, my creator, is. Yes, one who is ever ready to leave this world at anytime has the healthiest and most realistic outlook on life.         

Monday, December 15, 2014

Offering the Heart

        Communion experience. We must connect to God with our heart, otherwise he would have entered us in vain. Today I again offered my heart to him for purification and safekeeping.

Poison in the Heart

        Today's lesson from the Lord: Always say what is true and just, never with any intention of hurting someone. The existence of such an intention shows that you still have poison in your heart. 

No option Here

        The big mistake Catholics make is not considering the option of becoming a saint. As a matter of fact, it is not even an option; it is a mandate from God (read Matthew 5.48 at the top of this blog page). Saints are not out of our league; they were like us before they become holy. Besides, nothing is impossible with God. Praying to become a saint is exactly what the Lord wants to hear; therefore, he will grant your wish happily and willingly.

Being Unjust to God

        I have no doubt that most of the population of this country, the United States, have heard of Jesus, yet even those who claim to be Christians have not embraced him fully. It's as if you know him somewhat, but you really do not see or hear him. Perhaps it's because we, living in an affluent nation, are too immersed in materialism. How can we be alert and ready for his Coming when we are not even awake? Letting Jesus our God and Savior simply go by is to do him the greatest injustice, turning our own life into a tragedy.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Emily and Alma

        On YouTube, I discovered American music prodigy Emily Bear. She's both a pianist and composer. She plays classical music and jazz beautifully, had composed more than 350 pieces for the piano by 12, and sings too. At 9, she made her debut at Carnegie Hall. You can't help being impressed by her enormous talents. I didn't expect to see another gifted child like her soon, then along came Alma Deutscher of Britain, four years younger than Emily, also on YouTube. When I first saw her, I thought she was Emily, for there was some resemblance. It turned out that Alma plays both the piano and violin beautifully and have composed two operas, and chamber and solo pieces for both instruments (at age 8). Such natural talents are quite stunning. People have compared both girls to Mozart. If you love music and can get on YouTube, check both girls out and be impressed. I post about them because watching them made me realize the great creative power of our God, and I praise him for that. 

Union Is for All 2

       Do you believe that God wants you to be holy? The answer should be obvious.
       Do you believe that as you grow holier, God would stop you at some point to tell you that you are holy enough? If your answer is no, then seeking union with God is for you.
      Being one with your creator, God the Father, is the most beautiful state of existence, in heaven or on earth. How good it would be to let God turn this aspiration (also his wish) into reality!

God Still Incredible

        Communion thoughts. Our God is still amazing to me. He is almighty, yet he is meek and humble. He is the Lord of all, yet he serves us. He is self-sufficient, yet he needs us to be his children. He is holy, yet he enters sinners in the Blessed Sacrament. Any of us with his power would not have acted his way. All this can only make sense if we understand him to be the very embodiment of love, pure and infinite. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

For My Creator Alone

        Whenever I sense deep joy, inner peace, or spiritual freedom within my heart, I intuitively know that my Creator has deposited them there, for no creature would know how to reach the inmost recesses of my heart. Shall I say that only God has the password to my heart?

Union Is for All

        Do not consider union with God to be for the saints only; you should know that saints were not so saintly before they attained union. In fact, God wishes all to become one with him. (Read my posts on the book "He and I.") If you think you are so far away from achieving union, let God surprise you by opening up your heart to him. Well-known Chinese proverb: "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." With God's help, a thousand miles can shrink to a single step ~ trust God (and me) on this!

Secret of Freedom

        Change "leaving all up to yourself" to "leaving all up to God." 

Friday, December 12, 2014

Knowing God's Will

        When you have to think hard on how to serve the Lord, what comes up may just be your idea and not his. If you want to serve him, it's best to wait and listen, then he will deposit what he wants you to do in your heart. In other words, it should be all his doing, with you staying out of his way. In fact, it's more likely that it's his will if you feel like fighting it.  

Heaven, a Reality

        A severe storm was forecast to hit my area yesterday and today. People were advised to be prepared for power outage and flooding. Yesterday the storm arrived later than expected, and the rain and winds were also much weaker than the forecast had predicted. It turned out that the storm, after knocking out power to tens of thousands of households had unexpectedly changed its course. Nevertheless, the small creek to the side of my house did turn into a raging river overnight. As I drove home after Mass this morning, the sun was out, creating a beautiful view of wet green fields, glistening trees, and fresh roads. My thought turned to heaven. Heaven is real since Jesus is real. And I'll be there one day as Jesus is there.    

Full Contentment

         Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Here's my Communion experience. 
       The Lord God, my creator, not only came into the world, but came in the form of bread and wine directly to me to enter union with me! My life is complete and I am ready to return to the Father. Not only I lack nothing, I am totally filled!

Between You and God

        "In the final analysis, it's between you and God." I am bringing up this saying attributed to Mother Teresa again. If you believe it to be true, then what others think of you does not matter anymore. Also, for everyone else, it'll be between them and God. This means that when you pray for the ones you love, you needn't be concerned about what's going to ultimately happen to them ~ for you have done your part, trusting in God, and the rest is to be sorted out between them and God. 

On Lack of Patience

        In Matthew 5.22, Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment." Today people get annoyed easily when things do not go their way. Road rage is no longer uncommon. And swearing when you are upset is even trendy. People are more self-serving than ever. All these things validate the saying "Patience is a sign of holiness."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Rest from Christ

        Communion experience. In Matthew 11.28, Jesus said, "Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest." Rest was what I got after receiving Holy Communion. Christ now sat on a throne in my heart; words cannot describe how peaceful I felt. For today's crowds, Jesus might say, "Come to me, all you who are stressed-out, and I will give you peace." 

A Sorry State

        With Christmas coming up, I think of those who have left the Church or the Catholic faith, but still show up to attend a Christmas Mass just to ease their guilty conscience. I truly feel sorry for them because they are unsettled in a limbo, not quite knowing what to do. Please pray for them.

Settling Policy

      Unsettled things will always be around. What we need to do is to get ourselves settled in Christ and settle all things, settled or unsettled, by letting them go. 

Antidote to Life's Bitterness

        The sweet joy of Christ can overcome all the bitterness of life.        

When Forgiveness Counts

        Expecting anyone who has offended you to ask for your forgiveness will not do you any good ~ it may even puff up your ego. Only forgiveness coming from you to others and that coming from God to you count.

Know Your God

        Jesus is to be totally embraced. Just saying hi to him on occasion is not enough. You must hold onto him, dive into him, discover his beauty, perfection, and holiness, and enjoy his company all your life. Becoming one with him is the ultimate way. Why? Because he is your loving God.

Most Beneficial Question

        I'll always remember what Pope Francis had uttered in public more than once: "Who am I to judge?" Indeed, asking myself this question helps me to remain humble. In fact, "Who am I to" is a start for asking many a good question whenever you feel your ego rearing its ugly head.

God Too Hard to Believe in?

        I know that there are people who find believing in the invisible God difficult and wonder why God does not make himself more obvious to them. Well, God wants you to have faith, because believing in God too easily doesn't take much faith and with weak faith, you won't grow or stick with God long. Let's not forget that God actually came into the world! Jesus was here, performed all kinds of miracles, and rose from the dead himself ~ did all the people then believe in him? Making it easy may even turn people away, for people do not value anything that comes too readily. God is doing just fine.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Jesus Loves Me!

        Communion experience. Jesus asked Peter three times, "Do you love me?" (John 21). Today I asked the Lord if he loved me, knowing very well that he loved me ~ I just wanted to hear his voice. The Lord seemed slightly amused, didn't say anything and just smiled ~ his answer was clear.

Even More Intimate

        As I was about to receive Holy Communion at Mass this morning, I saw that it's going to be even better and more intimate than touching Jesus, embracing him, or reclining at his side as the disciple whom he loved did.

Heart Most Important

        Our heart is most important to us. When God looks at us, he sees the heart first because the purity of the heart determines our holiness. When God communicates with us, it is the heart that feels, sees, and hears him. If you pray sincerely from the heart, it doesn't matter what words you say or read and the Lord hears you. 

Submit to Get Ahead

        "Submit" is a good word. If everyone submits to each other, we'll have a peaceful world. But this is only possible if we all submit to God first, which has been the biggest struggle for mankind since Adam and Eve. If you can submit to God, you are way ahead of the pack. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Life Filled with Beautiful Things

        The optional Communion antiphon was read at Mass today. It was based upon John 15.9 and read: "As the Father loves me, so I also love you; remain in my love, says the Lord." I italicized "remain in my love" because it's so beautiful, something to contemplate. It's again a most beautiful state to be in. With Christ, life is filled with beautiful things!

Letting God Use Us

        Yesterday I posted about Mary's perfect obedience to God. At the Annunciation, her answer to the angel Gabriel was "Behold, I am the handmaid of of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." I see the beautiful role we can be in. We remain cooperative to God always, letting him use us, and do the best possible job we can. What an honor and joy! Letting God do his work through us is all that matters. There is no job more fulfilling than this one (I am not even considering the reward that comes later).

Alpha and Omega in Christ

        God is Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. And we have our alpha and omega in Christ the Lord, since he made us new in him and will receive us into his kingdom at the end.

Repaying Jesus

        Today Tuesday is the day for praying the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary, which are Agony in the Garden, Scourging at the Pillar, Crowning with Thorns, Carrying of the Cross, and Crucifixion. If you ever felt great sorrow when you meditated upon these mysteries and wished you could have helped alleviating the Lord's suffering at the time, you can still do it. He is still suffering greatly today over our rebelliousness and you can console him by offering yourself to him entirely, as this is only proper and the time is right.

Prayer Benefits

        When you pray for others from the heart, God shapes your heart at the same time, so that you are also a beneficiary.

Don't Miss Out on God

        We are supposed to love God with our whole being, yet we continue to offend him by sinning. The Lord our Father just waits and waits for us to turn to him for help. Seeing this makes me realize how tolerant our God is. Of course, he could have compelled us to follow him, then we wouldn't be happy. He wants us to initiate the process so that all can be happy. There's only one true God who is loving and tolerant ~ "seize" him while you can. 

Monday, December 8, 2014

Monkey Our Ancestor?

        The other day someone asked if her dog could go to heaven. Now, a dog has neither the concept of God nor any moral understanding of good and evil. Thereby, a dog does not have a soul. Without a soul, there is no heaven to speak of. I believe that theology can back me up on this. If dogs have souls, then what about birds, ants, all insects, and bacteria, or even plants? Where do you draw the line? If I am logical to you, then we can see that human beings, who have souls, could not possibly have been evolved from monkeys, who have no soul. Evolution of the soul? No scientists would know how to do research on that.   

Perfect Obedience

        Today is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. The Gospel reading from Luke 1 tells the announcement of the birth of Jesus. After the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and told her that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and she would conceive in her womb and bear a son, the Son of God, Mary said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word." I italicized the last sentence because it is what each one of us need be able to say without qualms to God. This is surrender, perfect obedience, the breakthrough we need to break through, the gateway to freedom, the secret of attaining union with God, our best preparation for entering heaven because it's all what God asks for . . . . Ask the Blessed Mother to help you. 

Readership Review

        As you know, the purpose of this blog is to draw all to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. How popular it gets is of no concern. The day the Lord stops feeding me with thoughts, I'll stop posting.
        All time figures show the top ten countries from which readers came. I'll just list the ten in descending order of readership size: United States, Russia, Germany, China, France, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Canada, Malaysia, Philippines. It's not surprising that the blog has the most number of readers from the United States, as this is a US-based blog. What is surprising is that some people in China, where the Great Firewall is up, still got through. Without any blocking, I wouldn't be surprised that China would be in the second spot. I think readership size depends much upon internet accessibility and people's hunger for God.
       May God bless each of you abundantly, and remember that I expect to see you all in heaven!

One Priority

        We have only one priority in life: To love God. Nothing else matters. Make this your priority and you'll be well taken care of.

You Are on Camera!

        I had an unpleasant dream, woke up, and couldn't remember anything about it; but somehow I came to realize that unlike dreams, whatever we have done in life is always remembered by God. Picture that we are being filmed by God at all times. When we face him again, everything will be replayed before us and we'll be judged according to how much love we put into what we've done. Basic truth: Without love, we live an empty life.  

Saturday, December 6, 2014

"Let Yourself Go"

        We can learn from others in the world. In a PBS interview with Yuan Yuan Tan who dances the title role in San Francisco Ballet's production The Little mermaid, I caught her saying that she lets herself go while she performs. That is why her performance is so beautiful, so natural, and captures the audience's heart. No one would enjoy watching a performer who does not feel at ease or put his heart into the performance. To shine as Christians, we need also let ourselves go in Christ. Like halfhearted performers, lukewarm Christians will fail.  

Jesus as Our Friend

        Communion time thoughts. When we were young, we chose our friends. There were ones we naturally were attracted to and others we just couldn't get along with or even disliked. Now I am looking at Jesus, who is full of love, most helpful, who will not let you down, one who understands you perfectly and will never tire of listening to you; and yes, he is most sweet, for he'll even let you get mad at him; and he's fun to be with, for you can tell him anything, including jokes. How can you not love a friend like Jesus? He is the reason I want to go to heaven! 

Living Freely

        In today's Gospel reading at Mass from Matthew 9, Jesus summoned his Twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits to drive them out and to cure every disease and every illness. He then sent out these Twelve to proclaim the Kingdom of heaven at hand, cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. His last instructed, "Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give." Indeed we have received freely from God and we are to give freely; we are just passing through. So this is the way to live ~ to feel free and for God. 

Beautiful Love

        If my parents had loved my brother or sister more than they loved me, I would have felt hurt. If my friend likes me the most among all his friends, I would feel extra good. With God's love, no such feelings arise because he loves every single one of us equally and his pure love transforms our heart. That's why we are able to spread his love and share his joy with others with total absence of the ego. I cannot conceive of anything abstract that can be more beautiful than God's love as revealed to us through Jesus the Christ.         

Friday, December 5, 2014

Lesson on "Lesson"

        Talk about rejoicing, the Lord wants us to rejoice in everything that happens to us, for there is a lesson of love in all of them.

Unbreakable Bond

        Being the first Friday of December, there was Eucharistic Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament after morning Mass. Here's the Lord who just entered me during Mass, and he made me see that nothing could possibly dissolve the bond (union) between him and me. A Great Consolation.

To Die

        Communion time thought. To die to self is to die for God!

Life like the Stock Market

        Here is another mental depiction of the Christian life. Picture the chart of the stock market in a bull year. The daily prices fluctuate, but the overall trend is up all the way until a peak is reached. The daily life of the Christian also has it ups and downs, but overall everything that happens brings him closer to God as time moves on. The peak indicates the end of his life on earth and the stock gains could represent the merits he has earned for the Lord.         

*Faith Boundless

        In today's Gospel reading at Mass from Matthew 9, two blind men believed that Jesus could make them see. Jesus touched their eyes and said, "Let it be done for you according to your faith." And their eyes were opened. Yes, faith can work miracles, but another aspect I see is that faith can be boundless ~ namely, you can trust in God as much as you want and still trust in him some more ~ this is the exciting part! And I believe that the greater the faith, the greater the wonder you will see. It is the infinite power and mercy of God that allows you to have as great a faith as you wish. Very beautiful!    

Ultimate Rejoicing

        We need God for myriad reasons. One of them came to me this morning at Mass: We need God for us to rejoice in! It is true that there are numerous things we can rejoice in, but none can compare to God, for none but God alone can give us meaning of life, true hope, inner security, joy of heaven . . . all the things we need the most. If you don't rejoice in God yet, you do not know Jesus yet.  

Our Decision

        "In the final analysis, it is between you and God." This famous verse comes from the poem "Do It Anyway" written on the wall of Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta. What it says is true because our destiny is entirely determined by how we and God are getting along. Since God always wants to get along with us (he even died for us), we can condense this verse to: "In the final analysis, it is up to you alone." To accept or not to accept God's offer of salvation ~ that is our decision. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

To Be Rid of Ego

        All I know is that ego is difficult to get rid of. Before I knew the Lord well, I sensed my ego and considered that to be an inherent part of every human being and never thought of chucking it. But ego did cause a lot of grief at times. As a Christian, I began to realize that with ego, it would be impossible to acquire humility. Later, I clearly saw ego to be the biggest obstacle in our way if we ever want to attain union with God. Then the Lord showed me that he could annihilate the ego without sweat. If you ask me if you can possibly dump your ego without any help from God, my best guess is that it would be a heck of a struggle and still fighting a losing battle.          

People Don't Change

        In Luke 16.10, Jesus commented on his own parable, "The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones; and the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones." After watching others in real life, I can correctly say that the person who is not satisfied with what he has now will not be satisfied with whatever he'll have in life; and the person who complains about his situation now will complain about any situation he'll be in later. The good news is that God is always around, ready to change us for the better, when he gets the green light from us.

Creating Joy

        Communion experience. My heart heard Jesus say "Let everything you endure for my sake be a joy!"

Action Necessary

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 7 at Mass, Jesus said to his disciples clearly that not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" would enter the kingdom of heaven and that everyone who listens to his words must act on them ~ here is a command! In other words, talk and listen with no action is not acceptable to the Lord. And we can see that he is right. 

Why Leave the Church?

        If the Catholic life is so exciting, then why have many Catholics left the Church? Some left because they never knew or understood their faith ~ I suppose that's a valid reason. Others left, often because some fellow parishioner or the priest offended them, or a scandal within the Church shocked them. Anyhow, we are all sinners to various degrees. But there are also great saints within the Church throughout history and today. So my question is: Why do you let the bad examples affect you so much and ignore the good ones? Know that Christ is in the Church! In fact, the Church is the mystical body of Christ, so leaving her is to cease being part of his body. (1 Corinthians 12.27.)

Why Is Catholic Life Exciting?

         The list of things that make the Catholic life exciting is long. Here are nine of them worthy to mention.
          (1) The Catholic belongs to the Church which Jesus had built upon St. Peter.
          (2) Jesus is the Son of God who came down from heaven to become one of us on earth.
          (3) He is the greatest miracle and the greatest revelation God has given us.
       (4) Through the seven sacraments of the Church, the Catholic receives all the grace he needs.
        (5) The Holy Eucharist is the most precious sacrament of all; receiving it is  truly receiving the body and blood of Christ.
         (6) Through receiving the Holy Eucharist and surrender to God, union with God is attained
         (7) Union with the Lord transforms one into a holy person whom sin can no longer imprison.
        (8) Inner peace, freedom from attachment to the world, and joy in the Holy Spirit can all be experienced.   
        (9) There is so much to learn from so many greats saints who have left us with their teachings and inspirational spirituality.  

Taking Away Sins

        Jesus is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. He takes away our sins by not just forgiving them when we repent, but also removing our tendency or desire to sin after we attain union with him.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Fear of Sin

        Recently, I posted that fear of God can be healthy or unhealthy, but fear of sin is always healthy! Shall I say that we should even respect sin, for its consequence can totally destroy us? Anyway, love God with all your heart and sin becomes inconsequential.  

All Up to Us

        God loves us all. How open we are to him determines how close we can get to him. Two people are called to receive the Holy Eucharist, yet one becomes a saint and the other remains a sinner. It's all up to us to leave all up to God or not.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

A Wake-Up Reminder

        The bigger the ego, the harder it is for us to notice. This is sad, not strange. So often we do not see that we are the ones blocking God from accomplishing his will through us.

To Be Light of the World

        Know Christ so well that following God's will becomes second nature to you, then you'll be seen as the light of the world. 

On Stephen Hawking

         In the news today: Professor Stephen Hawking has told the BBC that artificial intelligence could spell the end for the human race. He only sees the possible extinction of the human race on Earth. With or without AI, we will all die anyway! Being an atheist, Hawking naturally does not understand that our soul can never be extinguished and it is sin that could spell the end of the human race if you see the end as being separated from God for all eternity.     
           A footnote. How miserable life would be if we simply do scientific research and development and come up with things that can end our existence on Earth, and become absolutely nothing after we die. I suppose you could say that if we are nothing, then nothing should matter anymore ~ but that doesn't make life any more meaningful.  

Monday, December 1, 2014

How God's Plan Unfolds

        When God calls us to do something, there is a reason. We may not understand it, but it becomes clear later. The Lord sees far ahead; we don't. Despite obstacles, setbacks, unforeseen developments, God's plan unfolds ~ things we don't know or did not expect are revealed, charting a new course for us. The Lord always aims for the greater good, for we are all his children. 

Need for Mary

        Mary is the perfect mother Jesus gave us as he hanged on the cross (John 19.26-27). We all need a good mother. Due to complicate family circumstances, I did not grow up close to my mother, whom I loved. The Blessed Mother more than filled my void. Even if you have a good mother on earth, having one in heaven can help you walk faithfully after her Son. She is the perfect helpmate for us to do God's will. 

Private Banquet

        Today's Communion experience. Receiving the Holy Eucharist was attending a private banquet with the Lord alone. Here I received the body and blood of the one who died for me ~ what a special intimate union!

Knowing with Certainty

       In all sciences, to prove a theory scientists perform experiments and make observations. If the results substantiate the theory, then it is believed to be correct, but never with complete certainty. When you believe in God, how would you know that he is true? All I can say that once you put your faith in him and discover how beautiful he is, you will know without a doubt that he is the greatest truth.

Going with God

        Do you ever see it this way? That is, all things that happen to you and around you are urging you to turn to God and put your trust in him! The moment you feel the nudge, do not turn away, for God the Father wants you to live happily now and happier than ever with him in paradise later.

Purity of Heart

        God loves the pure of heart. Purity of heart means no evil thoughts whatsoever. This is made possible only by letting the love of God completely fill your heart. And you also receive the fringe benefit of feeling great peace and joy.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

To Be Ready for the Lord's Coming

        Today is First Sunday of Advent. In the Gospel reading from Mark 13, Jesus told his disciples to be watchful and be alert, for we do not know when the Lord will be coming. What better way is there to be ready for the Second Coming than attaining union with God here and now? Ans. None.

Better Early than Late

        When you are young or in good physical condition, you don't think about death at all. Likewise, when you have plenty of wealth, you would hardly think about leaving this world. As a much older person, but still not frail yet, I already see myself as a flickering candle flame that can go out any time. My advice: Don't let youth, good physical condition, wealth, or anything else in this world make you forget that you are going to die and face God one day, maybe sooner than you'd expect, so that you may start preparing for it now.

Know the Process

        Salvation can only come from God, while condemnation is initiated by us. As sinners, we have no power to save ourselves ~ only the Holy One, our creator who is Love, has that power. If we reject his offer of salvation, we go against his will, thus initiating our own condemnation.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Overriding Self-Love

        Early today, I felt the need to be understood by someone, then these lines from the hymn "Make Me a Channel of Your Peace" floated into my mind: 
     
         Oh, Master grant that I may never seek
         So much to be consoled as to console 
         To be understood as to understand
         To be loved as to love with all my soul.

And I felt great calm. Love for God should always override self-love. Otherwise, your ego is still too big.

God Can Change You

        God can absolutely transform you into a new creature because (1) he is your creator, knowing everything about you, (2) he is holy, perfect, and infinite in power, and (3) he loves you. If you want him to liberate you, all you need to do are (1) believing the above and (2) asking him to do it. And it will be done because it is his will.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

To Love like God

        Today is Thanksgiving Day. After receiving Holy Communion at Mass, I heard Jesus telling me never to wish ill of anyone even if the person is completely at fault. This is the mind of the Lord when he wants us to always forgive, not judge, and love even our enemies. If we want God to dwell in our hearts comfortably, we must have nothing but love in our hearts. Be like him is his wish and our calling. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

*You Hear It or You Don't

        There are God's voice, voices from others, and our own. Since we either reject what we hear from others or absorb what they say so that it becomes part of our own voice, we only need to consider God's voice and our own. Naturally, our own voice being closest to us can most easily influence us. Therefore, when God speaks to us, we need to listen and listen to make sure that our own voice does not smother his. If it did, we would not experience complete peace ~ this is the test. [The Lord made me see this during prayer after Mass this morning and I am most grateful for this grace.] 

Satisfied and Fulfilled

        Communion experience. After receiving Holy Communion, I was so satisfied and fulfilled that I wouldn't trade that feeling for all the happiness and fun I've enjoyed in the world. 

No Peace Today

        At Mass this morning, both the first reading, Revelation 15.1-4, and the Gospel, Luke 21.12-19, prophesied battles fought for and against God. Jesus himself told his disciples that he would be a cause of division (Matthew 10, Luke 12). Let's recognize that the spiritual war being fought for our souls, now fiercer than ever, is still going on today. Forgetting this fact will put our soul in great jeopardy.   

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Letting God In!

        Reminiscing a bit, I recall my early days when I did not know the Lord that well yet. Nominally, I was already a Christian, but in reality still my own god. I pretty much decided on doing everything without consulting God. Should I go to the party this weekend? No. The new model of this car looks so good ~ I definitely want to check it out! I just did what I wanted to do. I was holding onto myself tight, far and far from abandoning myself to God. And I didn't have much peace. In fact, I felt miserable every time I didn't get to do what I wanted to do. My heart was always agitated, unsettled. Not anymore! All I can say is that God does amazing things if you give him the freedom to do what he wants with you

Bread of Heaven

        Communion experience. Unlike ordinary food which can delight the palate and provide nutrition to the body momentarily, the bread of heaven can heal the soul, make you holy, and link you directly to heaven permanently. It is absolutely something we all need. For me, the Holy Eucharist is also the physical confirmation of what Jesus said in Matthew 28.20: Behold, I am with us always, until the end of the age.    

Injustice and Violence

        Ferguson, Missouri, is in the news again. The grand jury ruling on the Michael Brown case has sparked new protests. Unfortunately, they turn violent with protesters setting fire to shops and businesses and attacking police vehicles. The ruling may be unfair, but what's sad and wrong is that in trying to eradicate injustice, the protesters have done injustice to the innocent owners of the burnt shops and businesses. Violence and peace are mutually exclusive. Alone, violence will never solve our problems. 

Clear Choices

        Today's Gospel acclamation from Revelation 2.10 at Mass: Remain faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life. It came to me that we are either faithful or unfaithful. This dichotomy continues on . . . we choose either good or evil; we obey or disobey God, we be holy or remain sinful, we are heaven-bound or hell-bound ~ all with no middle ground whatsoever. 

Judging Is...

any or all of the following: measuring others by some standards you have set, not necessarily for yourself; looking down upon others; criticizing someone who has displeased you; feeling no pity for others; condemning them. Viewed broadly, I say that anytime you feel bothered by someone, you have started judging. Judge no one and you'll have peace.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Good Christian

        One who is happy and content does not harbor evil thoughts. He who accepts suffering draws strength from it. The one who forgives his enemies has no enemies. He who does not judge others remains peaceful. A good Christian is that person. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Good Policy

        Today is the Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, King of the Universe. The Gospel read from Matthew 25 was on the judgment of the nations. He said to his disciples, "Whatever you did for one of the least brothers of mine, you did for me. What you did not do for one of these least ones, you did not do for me." These are the criteria by which we shall be judged on the Day of Judgment. The good policy for us to adopt to make sure that we'll inherit the kingdom prepared for us is to do everything for the love of Christ. To live for Christ means just that.

Abandonment Test

        When we pray earnestly for the conversion of those we dearly love because we love God, and nothing seems to happen, our heart becomes burdened. At the same time, we know that we should trust in God and not be disturbed. Hereby a conflict is born. What are we to do? Since we are on God's side, we must choose to trust him even more as no worry, anxiety, uneasiness can possibly improve the outcome. One thing is sure: the Lord hears us and knows exactly what he is doing. Our role is to abandon ourselves to him and live by faith in everything.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Letting Joy Rule

        Communion experience today on the memorial of St. Cecilia. The Lord wants my joy in him to dominate my life. 

Special Creatures

        It dawned on me (again) that since we were created in the image of God, we are able to relate ourselves to God ~ a special grace for his special creatures.

No God, No Freedom

        Without God, it's so easy to do what we want to do and fall into sin. That is why we can never be free if we be our own god. The flip side, of course, is that with God, we can become holy and free.

Making All Things Good

        Everything about you or everything that happens to you can be "all good" or "good or bad." I didn't include "all bad" because the living, loving God is always present, offering you hope. As for "Good or bad," it depends entirely upon your point of view. For example, knowing that your have limitations may sadden you a bit, then realizing you just have to rely upon God more now could cheer you up a lot. Romans 8.28 is good to read again: We know that all things work for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.  

Friday, November 21, 2014

High Calling, High Goal

        Today is the Memorial of the Presentation of the Blesses Virgin Mary. Communion experience: God absolutely deserves the best from us ~ we must aim to be perfect.

Before Rushing into Action

        There are times we feel that we should say or do something to correct someone to set a situation right. But before we rush into action, it's wise to ask oneself: (1) Am I doing it just so I could feel good? (2) Am I being objective? (3) Am I emotionally calm? (4) Am I forgiving enough? (5) Will there be finger-pointing? (6) Would it make the person look bad? (7) How would I feel if I were the target of that action in a reversed situation? (8) Most importantly, am I being motivated by pure love?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Change from Within

        Jesus said, "Nothing that enters one from outside can defile that person; but the things that come out from within are what defile" (Mark 7.15). Therefore, true change of one must come from within, and only God can uproot all the evils in the heart.

Fear of God

         Healthy fear: You fully believe in God and love him. You don't want to offend him and do you best to please him by doing his will.
         Unhealthy fear: You faith is weak, know that you don't always do his will, but you are not willing to change yet, so you feel uncomfortable going before God. Or you have left the Church, turned away from God, and feel uncomfortable thinking about submitting yourself to God again. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Why Desire God?

        Desire God and all your desires will be fulfilled.

On God's Beauty

        We are myopic in the sense that we do not see God's beauty when we stay from afar. The closer we are drawn to him, the more beautiful he appears to us. This beauty becomes overwhelming when we are fully drawn into union with him. Incidentally, God is beautiful because he is holiness and love.  

Living in Peace

        The ego is difficult to eradicate completely. Because of its presence, we are bothered by others for various reasons, we disapprove of them and start judging unknowingly. The solution is to seek refuge in the Lord, letting him be the only one to affect you. This way, you only care about what he thinks of you. It's you and God alone, living in peace. If you can live in peace with God, then nothing in the world shall be able to take that peace away from you. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Ego-Prompted

        I now realize that judging others is also ego-prompted. We should first focus upon our own, not others', imperfections. Let each set his or her own standards. Without ego, one no longer loses peace over what others do. 

God Knows All About Us

        In today's Gospel reading at Mass from Luke 19, Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector, was seeking to see Jesus; but he, being short in stature, could not see him because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When he reached the place, Jesus looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. What's comforting to me is that Jesus knows our intentions and will reward us with every good act. Knowing that he knows all about us is a reward in itself.

Monday, November 17, 2014

All God's Doing

        Communion thoughts. All grace comes from the Lord. If I do any good, it's all his doing. Therefore, I am going to let him be my Lord and do all his things through me and for me.

Sin Can Sink You

        At today's Mass, our pastor Fr. P told the story of a man who just passed away four days ago. He had stayed away from the Church for 47 years for various reasons (or excuses). Finally, some family member contacted Fr. P and he was able to make an appointment with him for the following week. It shows once you stop being faithful, it's not easy to go back ~ you become so used to your "freedom" and don't know how to face the guilt anymore. Anyway, the man was actually happy to see Fr. P. He had the chance to be anointed, make his confession, and receive Holy Communion. The next day he passed way. Father learned from the family members that he was a happy, changed person on his last day. The broader lesson: Sin is like quicksand ~ the deeper you sink into it, the firmer it holds you and the more difficult it is for you to free yourself from it.  

True Loving

        Today's entrance antiphon at Mass from Matthew 25 includes part of verse 40: Whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers, you did it for me. It is clear that serving the least of our brothers means more to the Lord than serving the unneeded. Similarly, loving our enemies is more meritorious than loving our best friends who never give us any trouble. Love sets no conditions and does not know when to stop.  

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Going Eternal with God

        Communion time thoughts. God has no beginning nor end. He gives me my beginning and end in this world, and will give me a new beginning in the next life with no end ~ that's right, no end! 

Let Christ Be Known

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 25 at Mass, we heard the parable of the talents. It made me ask if I am being useful to the Lord, for anyone lazy will lose whatever he has. Fr. M in the homily correctly pointed out that we don't share with others enough about Christ to evangelize. We should not only be good examples, but good Christian examples. Anyone who is ashamed of saying the name of Jesus, the Lord will be ashamed of. 

Another Great Feeling

        Last Friday, I posted that the best feeling we can possibly have is knowing that we are on good terms with God. It goes without saying that the companion great feeling is knowing that we are heaven bound. With this awareness, our outlook on life is completely changed. We are now content, joyful, detached from the world, and always thankful to God.   

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Holy Eucharist Power

        The Holy Eucharist is the body and blood of the Lord Jesus. When we receive the Blessed Sacrament, we receive God our creator and the creator of the universe into us. Believing this enables the Lord to make us anew into saints. It is Jesus who can perfect us. Let God do great things with us and through us. Rejoice!  

Great Achievement

        A European robot probe launched into space by scientists ten years ago has successfully landed on a small comet 500 million km away from Earth. This is certainly a great feat. Yesterday I watched the documentary Design Is One on the renowned couple Massimo and Lella Vignelli. They are indeed accomplished designers in many areas. These are just two examples of what mankind can achieve. Then I thought of how any one of us can perform a simple act to please God. Would that be considered an achievement? I say yes because it is appreciated by God. In fact, any act expressly expressing one's love for God is greater than building the Great Wall or the Great Pyramid, or any achievement not expressly aimed at pleasing God.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Feeling Unworthy

        Communion experience. I felt I was totally unworthy for the Lord to enter me. It was the encounter of the infinite and zero. Who am I to receive such grace, such love! Then I realized that no one is worthy before the Lord and he came to lift us up precisely because we were unworthy. 

Best Feeling You Can Have

        I had mentioned in the past that you cannot possibly beat the feeling knowing that you are on good terms with God. In today's first reading from 2 John at Mass, John mentioned "walking in the truth" and "to remain in the teaching of the Christ" ~ these are ways to achieve that. In the Gospel acclamation from Luke 21.28, Jesus told us to stand erect and raise our heads at his Second Coming when our redemption is at hand. How good it is to welcome him with no fear at judgment time! Be in union with the Lord now and you'll be ready for that. When you give yourself over to God, you gain everything, including the Lord! The best feeling in the world is then knowing that you are getting along perfectly with your most beloved.    

Never Alone

        It dawned on me that when I am in union with Christ, I am in union with the Father, the Holy Spirit, the holy angels, the Blessed Mother, and all the other saints ~ how can I ever be lonely?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

World Lost

        A quick survey of the types of movies on Netflix shows clearly that the world mostly does not know God and is lost. With no guidance, films are made to entertain with no consideration of moral consequences ~ reflecting messed-up lives, empty existence. We have the sad state of the blind leading the blind.

Greatest Miracle Worker

        Today's Communion experience. I do not drink anything alcoholic, but today I was drunk with peace and contentment after receiving the Lord. He's the one who can perfect our love and make us selfless ~ he's our greatest miracle worker!  

Love Intoxicating

        Today is the Memorial of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini. Inspired by Mother Cabrini's love, my two thoughts are (1) we are God's treasure and (2) Christ is in each one of us. Christ loves us because we are his treasure ~ there's no greater love than his love for us! How can we not rejoice? How can we not rejoice? Because of this great love, we need to love others as he loves them. Seeing Christ in each person is the best way to help us love them. It's all about love. To be in the circle of God is to be transformed by his love. It's the most perfect circle you can possibly belong to. How fortunate we are!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Speaking as God

        Today's Communion antiphon (Matthew 10.39): Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it in eternity, says the Lord. Unless Jesus didn't know what he's talking about, he had to be telling the absolute truth as God.

Faith Moves God

        Reading from Luke 17 continued at morning Mass. Today Jesus healed ten lepers and only one returned, fell at the feet of Jesus and thanked him. Jesus said to him, "Stand up and go; your faith has saved you." Elsewhere in the Gospels, many were healed because of their faith. Faith is the conduit needed for transmitting God's power. When you have difficulty believing and still believe, that faith is even more valuable.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Serving Attitude

        Today is the Memorial of St. Martin of Tours, the first saint who was not a martyr. In the Gospel reading Luke 17.7-10, Jesus said to the Apostles, "When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'" It's clear that the correct attitude for us is to concentrate solely upon serving the Lord ~ the reward will only come after we've done what we've been asked. In other words, God first always.

Get Ready for the Unexpected

getG        Someone I knew just died of a heart attack unexpectedly at age 40 ~ a big shock to all who knew him. When I was young, I learned to expect the unexpected by regularly setting money aside for unforeseen emergencies ~ a practice which I believe is obsolete with most of today's young people. Adults buying life insurance, saving enough money for retirement, etc., are all good planning, but the truly wise would get ready for the next life by putting themselves in God's hands now. This is having common sense plus foresight, what the Lord kept reminding us when he was on earth.

Monday, November 10, 2014

In God's Company

        Today's Communion experience. Receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I really felt that I was in God's company and thereby safe from all evil.

All for Love

        It's good to be back to attending daily Mass again. Today is the Memorial of St. Leo the Great. In the Gospel reading from Luke 17, Jesus said to his disciples, "If your brother sins, rebuke him; and if he repents, forgive him. And if he wrongs you seven times in one day and returns to you seven times saying, 'I am sorry,' you should forgive him." To rebuke and to forgive are two sides of the same coin, both done out of love. If a brother sins, it's better to say something to him and be disliked than not to say anything. In the latter case, you'd be committing a sin of omission. To be ready to forgive always shows that you do not judge and are not annoyed by the sinner. Love knows no bounds.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Power Source

        How many blessings you'll get through receiving the Holy Eucharist depends upon how much you believe in the sacrament and how much you desire from the Lord. To those who believe and ask for much, much will be given. The Holy Eucharist has the power to heal our soul, making us whole.

Whom to Follow

        Follow only God. Follow others only if it's part of following God.

Praying for Our Children

        In Genesis 22, God tested Abraham by asking him to offer up his only son Isaac as a burnt offering, and Abraham willingly complied. Since he passed the test, the angel of the Lord prevented him from laying his hand on the boy. Here's a great lesson for us who pray for our children that have lost the faith in which they were brought up. Like Abraham, we must put our trust entirely in God.  

Most Valuable to God

        Stock prices go up and down and real estate values rise and fall, but our value to God remains unchanging, for he loves us with an everlasting love. Rejoice that we are God's most valuable creation in the universe.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Key to Freedom

        We normally regard ourselves to be more important than anything else. Therefore, if we can give ourselves to God, we can give everything else to him too. Then we are free! 

Seeing the Truth

        Anyone recognizing who Jesus is sees the truth, and the truth will set that person free. (John 8.32)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sin Defined

        In the broad sense, sin is any act that is self-centered. Therefore, living a God-centered life eliminates all sins.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Our Need for Attachment

        We cannot live alone ~ human beings need to attach themselves to something that can provide them with rest. Obviously, attaching ourselves to another human being just like us is no solution. Attaching ourselves to material things or abstract ideas cannot be a permanent fix either. That leaves God the only one for us to attach to for good. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Make Catholic Life Exciting

        One must not settle for being merely Catholic. To glorify God, one must seek union with him to live the exciting Catholic life. (We have the Holy Eucharist!)

Fulfilled Life

        A fulfilled life is one that was empty, but is now completely occupied by God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The soul is now both free and secure.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How Open Are You to God?

        Two testing questions: (1) Are you willing to let God show you what's in your heart? (2) Are you willing to let him take away what should not be there?

Blotting Out Sins

        Know that Jesus not only can take away your sins, he can also take away your tendency to sin when you seek union with him.

Monday, October 20, 2014

How Jesus Converts Us

        Every human life has happy moments and unhappy ones with more or less peaceful periods spaced inbetween them. On the practical level, living for Jesus simply converts us by giving us the healthy, balanced outlook on life and the strength and courage to deal with all the unhappy things of life.   

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Humility Matters

        It's being smart to know that you have limitations and being stupid to think that you know it all. 

On Loving God

        We should love God ~ the important question is how much we love him. Do we love him more than anything else? Do we love him only? 

Must-See Truth

        In this world there are millions and millions of things for us to get interested in, but only love matters as Jesus has made it amply clear. Until we see this truth, we cannot know God and be transformed by him.

Mutually Exclusive

        As there cannot be darkness in any space that's filled with light, there cannot be evil originating from us if we are filled with the Holy Spirit. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Learning from the Lord

        For the next few weeks, I'll be away and unable to post anything, but I'll take note of anything coming from the Lord and post them all sometime after November 7. If my posts are edifying to some, they are basically lessons meant for me. This process of learning has been delightful, for there is no studying, no memorizing, no hard thinking, no lectures to attend, no homework to do, and no exams to take ~ I simply wait for the Lord to place his teaching in my heart. 

Secure in Jesus

        My first thought was that amidst this godless world in which powerful secular forces can easily drown or sweep one away, we must hold tight onto Christ. Then this morning before Mass started, the Lord made me see that I, as one of his sheep, was already linked securely to him. Jesus says in John 10.28: I give my sheep eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand ~ most assuring.  

Inspiring Example

        http://www.bbc.com/news/business-28863019: God bless this Buddhist philanthropist. Christians can learn from her humility and generosity.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Heaven vs. Hell

        If you are in heaven for one second, you'll experience such joy in God's everlasting love that you would want everyone to go there.
        If you are in hell for a second, you'll experience such horror from eternal separation from God that you would not want anyone to go there.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

A Sad Tale

        I know of one very aggressive person ~ she would try to crush anyone who she believes has offended her. Let me embellish my story a bit. Say that she becomes so powerful that everyone stays out of her way. Some twenty years later, she dies. Now she's just a puny soul with absolutely zero power before the Lord ~ only God's mercy can save her. It's a tale with a rather sad ending. Indeed, as Jesus said, "What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?"          

Outer and Inner Joys

        The public in general enjoys watching sports. Look at the cheerleading and exciting fans at sport events. I attended a university that was a football power and wouldn't think of missing a game. Even when the weather was freezing, I and other rooters did not mind wrapping ourselves in thick blankets and shivering for over three hours through the entire game. Of course, when our team won, we felt great joy and celebrated wildly. This is the kind of outer joy that takes over one through the senses. 
        God gives us great joy too, but he does it completely in the opposite way. For God, our heart is the primary target. When we are open to him, only he can gain access to it. He wants to shape our heart because what it is, we are. When the Lord deposits joy in our heart, it's there, bypassing all the senses. And this joy bursts forth like a fountain, infiltrating our entire being. This is the inner joy that only God can give, surpassing all other joys. It's definitely heavenly!  

Friday, October 10, 2014

Do We Hear?

        God is always trying to tell us something. We can learn from everything that happens to us. With global Ebola outbreak deaths rising above 4,000, I wonder how many of us even think that there is a message for us there.

How to Be Happy

        A self-centered person cares only about self-preservation and himself enjoying life. If everyone is self-centered, a world with only-take-and-no-give people would cease to function properly and be in turmoil. Flat stated, self-centered living causes unhappiness. It follows that we can be happy if we take ourselves out of the picture by giving ourselves to God ~ a simple theory that has been proven correct by the lives of many saints and others.   

Thursday, October 9, 2014

All for God

        Communion experience. Today after receiving the Lord, all I could do was to say "all for you," meaning that every thought, every word, and every action are to be offered to Christ. Why? Because he has already shown me that this is the only way to live a happy, fulfilled, and meaningful life, him being God.

Asking for Prayer

       http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-29519109: This news came out two days ago ~ I didn't think of asking for prayer online until now. Please urgently pray for Fr. Hanna and his parishioners. It's natural that we pray for the victims, those who are on our side, or those whom we perceive to be good people; but do not forget that God loves everyone equally and commands us to love our enemies. In fact, those who create victims are the ones who are in most need of God's mercy. Therefore, pray for both sides. Never be stingy with prayers.  

Prayer Approaches

        In today's Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus told his disciples, "Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened" ~ most heartening promises! I see two extreme approaches here. We can persistently ask, seek, and knock until we wear the Lord down or just simply leave everything up to him and say "Thy will be done." After hearing Jesus speak here, I've come to understand that either approach or any other in-between one is OK as long as we are sincere and do not knowingly go against his will. After all, he is our loving Father. Hence, act as you would before a most loving father on earth.