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!)
"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Wednesday, October 29, 2014
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Monday, October 20, 2014
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
Monday, October 13, 2014
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.
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.
Sunday, October 12, 2014
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
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?"
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
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
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.
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.
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.
This morning around 7:30, I could still see the full moon above in the sky. We always see the same side of the moon from the earth (the unseen side being referred to as the "dark side" of the moon). How so? The "explanation" is that the moon rotates about its spin axis at exactly the same rate it orbits the earth. And this synchronous rotation has been going on for millions of years or longer. Clearly, God our creator set up this perfect synchronous balance between the earth and the moon within the solar system at the very beginning. [Please don't tell me that the earth and the moon somehow came into being by themselves and somehow by chance found each other and became partners in motion. I'll believe it if you show me that monkeys, which some believe to be our ancestors, can get together and come up with the laptop I am using now ~ on second thought, I'll make it easy and settle for an abacus.] If our amazing universe points clearly to the existence of God, then the amazing person and life of Jesus points just as clearly, if not more so, to his Incarnation.
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
I woke up early this morning, peeped at the LED clock next to my bed and read 2:22. The moon was shining brightly outside. In the stillness, my mind automatically turned to Christ. And I felt that I love him because he has made me feel clean as no one else possibly could have. This clean feeling is one of the bases of my inner peace.
John 10.27: My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. Here's Jesus telling the Jews. I have believed in Jesus for a long time, but did I always hear his voice? I don't think I did in earlier times when I did not know him that well yet. I belief that you will always hear his voice when you are always ready to do his will.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Today is the Memorial of Our Lady of the Rosary. After receiving the Holy Eucharist, I asked myself what I could give the Lord in return. And I realized that everything I had, myself included, came from him. I could give back my free will, my heart . . . but there's really nothing original I could give him. The only choice left for me was to accept all his gifts with gratitude and let him love me. That was a pretty good position for us to be in, I'll say.
Monday, October 6, 2014
I am talking about the disconnect between God and man around the globe. Let's just look at this country. The Supreme Court legalized abortion four decades ago ~ now it seems that it's on the way to legalizing same sex marriage. The separation of church and state as guaranteed by the Constitution is used by our government to place state ahead of God. Printing IN GOD WE TRUST on the back of all currency bills only reveals our hypocrisy. Even Christians don't always turn to God for help when they are in trouble ~ a disconnect between belief in God and managing your personal life. Will Christ come next at a time when we are even more disconnected from him? I pray not.
No doubt that sin hurts God, but don't forget to consider your own soul. Every time we sin, we mark our soul with a black stroke. When we commit a serious sin, it would be like marking the soul black with a big, broad brush. Eventually, if we don't repent and/or go to confession, the soul will appear all black and soiled. That surely would be an ugly sight repugnant to the Lord and at the same time making him feel even greater pity for you.
Sunday, October 5, 2014
At Mass this Sunday morning, I received Christ under both species. I felt that God came and filled me to such a full extent that I could barely keep my heart from bursting ~ no doubt that it was the Lord! I love to be overwhelmed by him in every respect.
Saturday, October 4, 2014
As a convert, it was such a joy for me to enter the Church and start receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist. Now as I seek union with God, I have discovered and experienced along the way so much of God's infinite beauty that my journey can only be described as an exciting adventure. Here's one more reason for being a Catholic.
To fallen-away Catholics who attend Mass on just Easter Sunday and Christmas day and/or occasionally help the church out in some way, hoping that you can still get into heaven:
Are you serious? Thinking like that is believing that God is not worthy to be loved with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul, and all your strength. Basically, you still care about yourself more than you care about God. But in reality, it's a case of not caring about yourself at all! Wishful thinking is just that. With God you can't win by playing games. Repent, reform, and return will immediately solve all your problems. Let's face reality ~ no one can ever hide from God and if you run away from him, you run straight into Satan.
Today is the Memorial of Saint Francis of Assisi. The Gospel reading from Luke 10 tells that the seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name." Jesus responded, "Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because you names are written in heaven." Father M in his homily stressed that we are not to rejoice at what we can accomplish in the Lord's name. Rather, our goal is to follow Christ like a child as St. Francis did ~ I could sense the pure joy in following the Lord like that and letting everything else go.
I was doing the treadmill at a nearby gym early this morning. Today being Saturday, there were more TVs turned on than people exercising. One channel was broadcasting a car race. You saw clusters of cars going continuously around the track. Each driver tried to get ahead of the others and they were all back to where they were again and again, the whole time on the same level track. The scene depicted the common life we live. We also try to get ahead in the world, expending much energy and not getting anywhere. Even if we succeeded, we are still embedded in the world, not getting any closer to God. Rather a sad scene.
There is any number of ways to get to hell, but that doesn't matter a bit because we have one sure way of getting into heaven ~ that is believing and following Christ. Hallelujah! ("To hell with hell" came to my mind, but "hallelujah" was better.)
Friday, October 3, 2014
Today being the first Friday of the month, we had Eucharistic adoration after Mass. As I looked upon the Blessed Sacrament displayed, the true body of the Lord, the one I adore and pray to, I realized that this bread also came into me earlier to mingle with me, to be dissolved by me, and to become part of me. He is almighty, yet he stoops so low as to become united with me, a lowly sinner, physically. This is just hard to believe!
A Christian's urge to evangelize stems from the joy of having found Christ. Having discovered the truth, he simply wants the whole world to know. The urge is spontaneous and entirely unselfish. It is not wanting to impose your beliefs on others. And it should never be judgmental. Thinking that you are saved and those who do not listen to you are lost forever is totally out of place. Protestant missionaries entering Catholic countries to convert Catholics, believing that all Catholics are lost, are all misguided because they don't realize that they are actually breaking up the body of Christ! The "original sin" here all originated with Martin Luther who began the Protestant Reformation.
You make the effort to surrender to God. God now sees that you've given him permission to transform you and starts to work on you. As you experience interior changes taking place, you also experience freedom, peace, and excitement. Your growing intimacy with God continues . . . all doubts about his existence vanishes . . . his beauty and loveliness overwhelm you to the point that you can't help but fall in love with God ~ your beloved Father in heaven, the beloved Son your Lord, and the Holy Spirit! All this happens with frequent reception of the Holy Eucharist and continual prayer over a period of time. At the end, you are one with God ~ you are his and he is yours. What a glorious relationship!
Humility is the virtue that mankind lacks the most, especially among men. A humble person is seen to be weak, notwithstanding the fact that it takes courage to be humble. Without humility, one does not hear God. To bring these lost sheep back into his fold, the Lord may allow something harsh to happen to bring back their senses. His mercy knows no bounds.
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Today is the Memorial of the Guardian Angels. Here are the thoughts that came to me after receiving Holy Communion. Nothing can possibly replace God to fulfill us, let alone for all eternity. Seek whatever you want and can find in this world and your life will still remain empty because all things in the world pass. Furthermore, knowing that you yourself will pass one day makes seeking fulfillment seem somewhat silly or plain meaningless. Therefore, God who alone exists and remains the same forever has to be our perfect fulfillment. By believing in and relying upon him, we are assured of eternal happiness.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
This morning I could go visit someone who I knew had already received the last rites or go on the roof of my house to clear all the rain drains before the rains arrive. The choice became clear when I asked myself what if this were my last day on earth. Clearing the drains or not showed up as being almost inconsequential when compared to giving consolation to a soul who's about ready to meet the Lord.
I do feel that we are not giving God, our Lord, the respect he deserves. We treat him too casually. Whether you know him well or not, he is our creator. Even if you are an atheist, knocking him whom you don't even know is out of place. Know that God is God and watch your behavior.
Today's communion antiphon: Thus says the Lord: Unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. This completes what Jesus expects of us to be like St. Therese: (1) Seek guidance from God alone, (2) Follow him single-mindedly, and (3) Believe in him like children.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 9 at Mass, Jesus makes it clear that following him comes before fulfilling all other obligations. The key saying is the last verse: No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was left behind is fit for the Kingdom of God. If we want to follow the Lord, we must respond without hesitation. I am now praying for a fallen-away Catholic friend who told me that he's not ready to consider coming back to the Church yet because he still had a number of things to settle first. There will always be things to settle in life ~ postponing making the most important decision of your life because of them is definitely being foolish.
Today is the Memorial of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, my beloved model saint. The entrance antiphon, based upon Deuteronomy 32.10-12 reads: The Lord led her and taught her as the apple of his eye. Like an eagle spreading its wings, he took her up and bore on his shoulders. The Lord alone was her guide. I underline the last sentence because it reminds me to always go to God first to seek his guidance in everything. Never leave God out of our life.