"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.