2016 is just a few hours away. For me, every moment of this year has been good. I feel that the Lord is teaching me using less words, now that I am a better learner. Final thoughts: one can be a good person in every way, but without Christ his life is just not complete, for it is through Christ that we get to return to my eternal Father for good. A blessed and safe New Year to all!
Thursday, December 31, 2015
It's New Year's Eve. Why should I bring up hell? It so happens that I have caught a bad cold despite the great precaution I took against catching any germs. I first felt it in the throat, then the nose, and finally started coughing. Feeling miserable, I thought about the misery of hell. What's worst is the longevity of suffering in hell, for it never ends. If there are good and evil, and God and Satan, then there has to be heaven and hell. Jesus himself mentioned the place of damnation about a dozen times in the Gospels. The awareness that horrible hell exists could help people turn to God. The world is in such a bad shape that applying a shock treatment may do much good. Besides, doing our best to save as many people as possible from ending up in hell makes a good resolution for the New Year.
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
There is much beauty for us to see, hear, and enjoy in the world, but all such beauty pales next to the heavenly beauty of God. Then if we do sense the beauty of God, the beauty we sense in this world is enhanced because we see that it all came from God.
Tuesday, December 29, 2015
Sunday, December 27, 2015
I am now in a big city away from home. This morning I attended Mass at a local church on the Feast of the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. My heart almost reached the breaking point when I thought about the many families, my own included, that are divided. All family members should be close together, yet great separation exists because not all believe in Christ. This is heartbreaking for those who already believe in the Lord. God is now even more my refuge.
Saturday, December 26, 2015
There is the inner life and the outer life. Normally, the inner life is the secret one known to ourselves (and God) only and the outer life, the one we live for others to see. In other words, we lead a double life, hiding our inner life behind the outer one. But we can let God put our inner life in order, thus eliminating the need for presenting a false front. The result is living one honest, genuine life, not ashamed for all to witness.
What a beautiful way to live! We let the love of God be our love for him. Then we let this love motivate everything we do and we are connected with God and remain in profound peace. All this is nothing new, but the Holy Spirit made me see and feel this as if I was hearing it for the first time. This was my Christmas blessing.
Friday, December 25, 2015
Christmas deepens my joy. Jesus is our Savior, precisely what mankind needs, yet so many of us do not recognize his coming. Then I realize that indeed we are born with original sin, and that God is balancing it with his infinite mercy. The good news is that we can easily tip this balance by our free choice.
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Communion time thoughts. We were born and we die. Life and death are unavoidable realities. Jesus says, "Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it." He reveals to us what we need to know about life with no mention of physical death. It's enough to see that if we live for him, we shall always have life with him.
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
When we pray for something, we are to have faith that God hears us and will answer us. We cannot strength our faith by forcing ourselves to believe harder. On the contrary, we should relax and put my trust in God, that is, we should abandon ourselves to God. In this way, trust builds up faith and is in turn manifested by faith. We all know the Divine Mercy message from Jesus: "Jesus, I trust in you." So it should be trust, trust, trust . . . through our whole life without one single worry.
Today's Communion antiphon, 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. This post segues nicely from the previous one. The key phrase in the above verse is "open the door to me." If you are attentive, you'd hear the Lord speaking constantly to us. If we would only open the door after hearing each knock, our life would change completely. Again, humility and submission are required for it to happen.
There are people who know about God, yet they do not want to hear about him because any mention of God makes them feel uncomfortable. Sometimes they even react violently as if they were being attacked. What they fail to realize is that running away from God indicates their even greater need for God! It's the same old case of wanting to be your own god. Salvation will come only when we realize that there is only one Lord and God and that we must move aside and submit ourselves to him alone. Simple theory, but most difficult for some to put into practice.
Tuesday, December 22, 2015
Do not feel bad if others misunderstand you when you try to show them God's love, for no one except God is capable of understanding us completely. The Prayer of St. Francis teaches that it's better to seek to understand than to be understood. Everyone will be held accountable for his doings before God. Therefore, focus upon loving God and cast all other cares to the wind.
We are all loved by God the same, since you cannot measure an infinite love. Therefore, pray hard for the salvation of all souls. This means not being attached to anyone in particular. Rather, pray more for those who have most need of God's mercy.
Monday, December 21, 2015
God's mercy is so great that he would look for even the smallest redeeming feature in you to save you. That is, he wants to save you in every way possible. Rejecting this mercy and you become instantly the biggest possible fool. Accepting this mercy and you gain the greatest possible benefit.
Communion experience. As I received the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I felt as if all of God was descending upon me. The only sensible and appropriate response was to prostrate myself (spiritually, as I wasn't alone in church) before the Lord in complete submission to him.
Without Christ, we are self-centered, and all joys and sorrows directly affect us, often disquietly. With Christ, we become God-centered and our joys and sorrows are now the same as the Lord's. This is completely refreshing as we now experience these emotions accompanied by peace.
Sunday, December 20, 2015
Communion experience and thoughts. Jesus is peace, for in him I have found true rest. Without him, my life would have been uneven and more dramatic, you might say, but ultimately, self-destructive. We have a choice to make. In Luke 12, Jesus said, "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division." I think he had this choice in mind.
Galatians 4.6: As proof that you are children, God sent the spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying out, "Abba, Father!" If you are prompted to cry out to God the Father or pray to Jesus the Son, you know that God the Holy Spirit dwells in you, for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit are one. Know that the Holy Spirit, being full of love, cannot possibly dwell in anyone who shows no mercy for others.
As Christmas approaches, you hear the song "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" sung at Mass at lot. Emmanuel means "God is with us." Christmas celebrates the coming of Christ, for he did come to us through Mary, but it won't do us any good if we do not let him into our hearts. Therefore, "O Come" must also be an invitation to ask the Lord to enter our hearts. We rejoice not only because God comes, but also because he is going to renew us, readying us for heaven.
Saturday, December 19, 2015
In following the will of God, we must not let our own will get in the way. Careful discernment is required. The more we abandon ourselves in God, the less such effort is needed. In full union with God, our own will no longer interferes. No more wishful thinking. We leave everything up to the Lord and believe that nothing is impossible for him. And we remain in peace.
Union and division are opposites. Jesus said, "Every kingdom divided against itself will be laid waste, and no town or house divided against itself will stand." We see this in the breakup of many families divided and at present the destruction of countries in the Middle East. On the other hand, it goes without saying that the power of union is strength. It's clear that union with God is then the way for us to grow strong spiritually.
Do not just watch or admire God from the sidelines. You must actively jump into the game of going after him, grabbing ahold of him, and hanging onto him. The Lord is an ocean of love, dive into him to stay afloat. He is the ideal space in which to abandon ourselves. Lose yourself in God and you are found for all eternity!
Friday, December 18, 2015
Today Friday I prayed the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. If I hear about someone suffering for whatever reason as much as Jesus had, I would feel very sorry for the person. In Jesus' case, I not only feel the sorrow, but also gratitude and finally, joy ~ this is because Jesus underwent his sufferings to save me from my sins so that I might have everlasting life. The fact that Jesus resonates with me is proof that I have encountered the truth, revealing to me that I am a sinner and need salvation.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
Think about yourself. Each one of us is truly a unique being. With the exception of born identical twins, no two of us look alike. You are distinctly you, aware of your self and identity. We instinctively sense good and evil and search for God for fulfillment. By intuition alone, I know that we are God's very special creation. Now it's time to think about God.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Recently, a relative visited me, but his mind had deteriorated since I last saw him a couple of years ago. Today he is much quieter and forgets what he has just heard. I had told him about Christ on various occasions in the past, since he was a nonbeliever. He listened politely, but always expressed doubts. He made me realize the critical importance of accepting Christ while the mind is still clear. In fact, the urgency of considering Jesus the Lord is ever present. It is urgent because our eternity is at stake and everything in life is passing.
You might think that by abandoning ourselves totally to God, we can become super strong in every way with his backing. The reality is that the more we enter God, the more we realize our smallness and finiteness and thus our need to depend upon him. It's humbling to see that we shouldn't ever attempt to play God, as we just don't measure up. Yes, we are stronger in facing the problems of life, but before the Lord God, we are as weak as ever. One best thing learned from abandonment to God is the realization that we absolutely need God in all things, including our very existence.
Monday, December 14, 2015
Today's Communion antiphon (Matthew 16.24): Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me, says the Lord. The three steps are (1) self-denial, (2) taking up the cross, and (3) following the Lord. The invitation does not sound inviting, but once you accept it, Christ will lead you to self-abandonment and spiritual freedom.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 21, the chief priests and the elders of the people questioned the authority of Jesus. Jesus countered by asking them a question. They did not know how to answer, so Jesus also did not respond to their question. What's clear is that if we want to learn from the Lord, we must be childlike, realizing that he is higher and greater than us. Then he will reveal what he knows to us freely.
Today is Memorial of St. John of the Cross. The saint says, "What does it profit you to give God one thing if he asks of you another? Consider what it is God wants, and then do it." The world is in disorder because we've learned to consider what we want and go for it, making us even more self-centered.
Sunday, December 13, 2015
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 3 at Mass, John the Baptist said to the crowds about the Christ who was coming, "I am baptizing you with water, but one mightier than I is coming. I am not worthy to loosen the thongs of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire." If you do not have much zeal for God, ask Christ to baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire and he will invariably comply!
I read in the news that a British doctor and his wife has been convicted for having kept a Nigerian teenage boy as a slave in their house. The couple brought the 14 year old to England as a "house boy" in exchange for payment and schooling, but instead he was forced to do house and garden work up to 17 hours a day for 24 years! I myself have encountered people who change completely after they decide to take advantage of me. In today's world, many news reporters, business owners, government officials, and commercials are also dishonest. While deception is Satan's favorite tactics, I rejoice that we have the Lord God in whom we can place our full trust.
Saturday, December 12, 2015
Today is the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Mary appeared to St. Juan Diego on Tepeyac Hill in central Mexico in 1531, and because of Juan Diego's faithfulness, millions of native Aztecs were brought to the faith. My Communion experience: The beauty and perfection of God rendered me speechless; I simply longed for him, knowing that this desire will be fulfilled only after I get to heaven.
Friday, December 11, 2015
The sense of urgency to ready ourselves for the Second Coming is ever present, irrespective of when it will happen, because it shall happen. Whether this is something you anticipate, dismiss, or rather not think about, it would definitely be the most exciting and unforgettable event for all of us.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 11, what Jesus said about his generation is still true today. People in general are full of opinions about everything because they are already set in what they accept and reject. Essentially, they live in a closed, self-centered world, not paying attention to their own limitations. They easily laugh off any miracles reported and go so far as to say that God is a Christian invention. This is still a they-know-not-what-they-do generation.
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Communion experience. While it was a great joy to receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist, I also felt great sorrow for all those who do not know Christ yet. This calls for praying for all such souls until the Second Coming of the Lord. We can continue praying for them even after we get to heaven as the angels and saints are praying for us on earth now.
To sin is easy ~ it's like sliding downhill, practically effortless. To be holy is easy too, if you let God do all the work. But to make this happen, you must surrender yourself to God first, which may be the only sticky part here. Anyhow, you can have it easy either way.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
From Mark 4 and Matthew 8, we learned how Jesus calmed the storm and the sea. And all four Gospels recorded the Resurrection of Jesus. Just these two events of the numerous others are sufficient to show that Jesus has full control of both nature and life, leaving no doubt that he is the Lord and creator of all things.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
The blessing of heaven is no small thing. To want to get to heaven is to please God, for it is his wish that we'd be united with him for all eternity. Start seeking union with him now on earth to get a head start. There's no need to feel guilty about wanting to go to heaven if you desire it for God's sake. Surely, you want to go visit and stay with your Father.
It is the Lord who takes away my sins to make me clean. It is his love that made me love him. It is he who draws me close to him, preparing me for returning to him. Yes, I am completely dependent upon my God. I am his, just enjoying him now. Acknowledge your dependence upon him for a great life.
Today's entrance antiphon from Isaiah 61: I rejoice heartily in the Lord, in my God is the joy of my soul.... God is our joy because he is holy, and holiness uplifts the heart. God is our joy also because he is love, and this love gladdens the soul. God is pure joy.
Today is Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of the Blesses Virgin Mary, a holy day. At Mass, the Annunciation of the birth of Jesus from Luke 1 was read. Before the angel Gabriel departed, Mary said to him, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word."
The public image is very important to many politicians, pop stars, people who are famous in general. One the other hand, a faithful Christian couldn't care less about what other people think, as only what God thinks of him or her matters. But if you are really with God, single-mindedly following his every will like Mary above, you know you are OK and don't even need to be concerned about what God thinks of you.
Monday, December 7, 2015
In Matthew 6, Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not worry and say, 'What are we to eat?' or 'What are we to drink?' or 'What are we to wear?' Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and these things will be given you besides." Similarly, once in union with God, you don't need to "worry" about what to ask from God anymore, for he knows and will give you exactly what you need.
Jesus is God Incarnate, yet on earth he lived like the rest, not making anything easier for himself. His mother Mary did not receive any special treatment either ~ she still faced the hardships of her life. Then I thought of our spiritual life lived in Christ. It's not at all that all our problems vanish after we follow the Lord. On the contrary, we may face even greater challenges. The changes we experience are all internal ~ more courage, greater inner strength, peace, hope, spiritual joy and freedom, and naturally, greater compassion for all fellow humans. It seems redundant to say that life will become truly heavenly only after we get to heaven.
Sunday, December 6, 2015
I watched a movie on TV yesterday. The story was intriguing and the acting good. It did draw the audience's attention as the plot unfolded. Somehow, at the end I only felt that it was just an interesting story, for there's nothing that uplifted me in any way. So I got to thinking about the different "levels" of living. I could live (1) a life in which I fall away from God daily, (2) a life that's interesting but remains on the same level like that movie, or (3) a life that's inspired by God, making me want to advance toward him. Clearly, number 3 is the choice. Number 2 is only mediocre, not good enough for God. To not waste any time of our life, we should go after God, relentlessly if possible.
Saturday, December 5, 2015
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 9, Jesus sent out his Twelve disciples to proclaim the Kingdom of heaven at hand, cure the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. His last instruction was "Without cost you have received; without cost you are to give." It is true that everything we have received have come from God; we are just empty channels through which to pass on whatever we have received. Getting ourselves attached to anything along the way will surely bog down the giving part of the process. We are only free when we do not hold onto anything that passes through us.
Whenever there is a chance to spread the good news of salvation, I tell my non-Christian friends about Christ. Most of them are younger than I now, so I am in a good position to tell them at parting time again to believe and that I'll be waiting for them to show up in heaven. This is said with humor, but at the same time I am dead serious.
Friday, December 4, 2015
If you ask me how I know that God who is Christ is real, all I can say is that the Lord God himself lets me feel his unquestionable presence in my heart (the Holy Eucharist effect?). I know that this kind of answer will not satisfy anyone who has not experienced it him- or herself, but that's the best I can do. God cannot be explained; he is to be trusted and enjoyed. By the way, the Lord did not brainwash me.
President Obama lit the Christmas tree at the White House and wished everyone Happy Holidays. If you want to be politically correct, you do not say Merry Christmas anymore. Don't people see that it's the celebration of Christmas that first brought forth the holidays? At least a Christmas tree is still called a Christmas tree.
Thursday, December 3, 2015
I mentioned the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit in a recent post, which are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and holy fear. When you are in union with God, you rarely need to ask for any specific gift because the Holy Spirit freely gives you everything you need to remain in union with him. Whatever you desire for God's glory, it's yours.
As you know, Southern California just had a mass shooting with 14 dead and 21 injured. Some Republican politicians offered prayers for the victims and their families, then the more liberal Democrats "shamed" them by criticizing the appropriateness of offering prayers and suggested that the "thoughts" should be about taking steps to stop such massacre. This is getting ridiculous. The critics do not see that it's because we have left God out that such tragedies occur. Exclude God and we are doomed.
Here's the quick way to attain union with God. Be completely open to God so that he doesn't even have to knock to enter you. Let him dwell in your heart and do as he pleases. You listen and do what he tells you. You have entered the most beautiful state of your existence.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Sometimes I misconceive someone based upon what I already knew about the person. Then I meet the person, get to know him or her more and realize that I had been wrong because the person's just fine. I believe that many people are not attracted to Jesus because they have also misconceived him. Objectively, I see all the goodness in Jesus and absolutely nothing about him that could harm anyone. Then why are there those who know all about him but still stay away? It's clear that there is still that last barrier ~ they prefer to play the role of god, not second fiddle to God. Touche?
After Jesus was nailed to the cross, he prayed, "Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." The people today still need that prayer. Jesus only wants to save us, for he loves us. He'd be pleased even if we just glance at him, but instead we "crucify" him again and again. How can we be so myopic, hardheaded, and hardhearted? Without Christ the Savior, what is there to live for? Remain a fool now and you'll be one for all eternity! To be saved, you only need to crack open the hard shell you have built around yourself, step forward, and prostrate humbly before the Lord to let him take a good look at you. Your total submission will remove all barriers between you and his mercy, and you are on your way to gaining eternal life. This is all good and true.
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Communion time thoughts. We experience fear, anger, stress, anxieties, uneasiness, guilt . . . ~ all these things we feel both mentally and physically in this life. And they are all caused by our selfcenteredness. After we die, shed our physical body, and are with God, such negative emotions would be gone entirely. Then we'll be only sharing the sweet joys and sorrows of our loving Father.
Our top government leaders believe that by showing serious concern about climate change (global warming), we also show ISIS that we are not intimated by them. I admit that I have to think hard to make some kind of a connection. It might do some good if ISIS gets the message, but they are probably laughing hard at us right now. Recently, a mad person has killed three and wounded nine in a shooting rampage at the Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic that performs abortions, and the government is quick to compare the attack to the recent Paris terrorist attack. Of course, all such attacks are to be condemned, yet our government fails to see that the most gruesome terrorist attack of all is the killing of over a million innocent, defenseless, unborn children each year! It's this total disregard of the sanctity of human life that's at the the root of all violence.
Monday, November 30, 2015
I have started praying a novena to the Holy Spirit and come to appreciate him, the third person of the Blessed Trinity, even more. He really touched my heart this morning. He made me see that he is the active working agent of God, our guide, inspiration, and comforter. His seven gifts of wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and holy fear are all ours for the asking. He's the one who sets our hearts on fire and fills them with heavenly joy. Cry to him and he will comfort you. Here's the Lord you can completely trust. Pray that he will infiltrate your heart completely so that you may experience the love and peace of God. Pray to him as often a possible. To be a "slave" of the Holy Spirit is infinitely better than being the lord of the whole world. Glory be to the Holy Spirit!
Today is Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle. After receiving Holy Communion, I felt like calling "Jesus" at the top of my lungs; but of course, I was in a church, not in a wilderness. So I settled for calling him from my heart. He would understand.
There are times when we need help and there is no one to turn to except God. They are certainly difficult times, but personally I treasure the chance to let faith take over and shine. The close bonding with the Lord that results is worth whatever trouble you may have to go through.
Sunday, November 29, 2015
Jesus sacrificed himself for the purpose of saving everyone. Today suicide bombers have sacrificed themselves to kill others who do not accept their faith so that they themselves might get to heaven. Both Jesus and the suicide bombers supposedly have followed the will of God. You figure that out.
I have a big maple tree outside my bedroom window. Just a week ago, the leaves turned into a beautiful red color before they gradually fell off the tree, getting ready for renewal in the spring. This symbolizes to me that we are beautiful when we are about to give ourselves up to God to be born again as new creatures in Christ. I did not photograph the richly-colored red leaves in the sun when they were still all on the tree; but a year ago, I did capture this image of a leaf in more subdued red, stuck on one bedroom window screen on a wet, windy morning.
Saturday, November 28, 2015
We can, because God the Father is real, Jesus the Son is real, and the Holy Spirit is real. If you are closed to God, then of course, it'd be impossible to know him. But if you are open completely and desire to know him well, he will let you know of his existence and presence. So it all depends upon you. Seeking union with God is the best way of knowing him intimately. In union, the Lord lets you feel and experience him in your heart, and anything the heart receives becomes part of you. Once you know God, you know him for ever.
A note. There is the so-called dark night of the soul some saints experience. During such a period, you no longer sense the presence of God ~ it's as if God has withdrawn altogether. This does not mean that you no longer know the Lord. To illustrate, you can have an intimate human friend with whom you are no longer able to communicate, but of course, you still know him well. Anyway, beginning seekers of God will not experience dark night of the soul and may never experience it. God grants it only to advanced souls for specific reasons.
In the state of union with God, you do not do any work for God ~ it is he who does all the work through you. Naturally, you don't ever worry for the Lord, for he takes care of all things. You merely remain open and be out of the way. That's why union is such a joyful and peaceful state.
In life, we must set priorities. For the Christian, making Christ number one must be the top priority, overriding all other considerations. After that, nothing else matters much. You must settle the question if Jesus is your Lord in truth or in name only. In Matthew 6.33, Jesus confirms this priority: "Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides."
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 21, Jesus told his disciples to stay awake and be alert. He said, "That day will assault everyone who lives on the face of the earth. Be vigilant at all times and pray that you have the strength to escape the tribulations that are imminent and to stand before the Son of Man." If you believe in Jesus, you must take what he said seriously. A Christian must be ready for death and judgment, the two things that can catch you by surprise like a trap (Jesus' words). Obviously, the world in general which does not pay Jesus much attention is in for the biggest shock ever. The least we can do is to pray for all souls (living and deceased) unceasingly.
If we aim for getting to heaven, we should starting living as if we're already there now. In heaven, we shall fully enjoy the Lord, praise him, worship him, pray for the world, and be completely his. Attain union with God and we can do all these things. Then when we arrive in heaven, we won't face much of a change in routine, except that everything would be made easier.
Friday, November 27, 2015
Anyone who knows and loves God, even though he realizes his own wretchedness, still loves himself because he knows that he is precious to him. Therefore, anyone who hates himself cannot possibly know God well. One can be happy only if he loves God and is happy with himself.
God exists forever. He will love us forever. He wishes us to be with him in heaven forever. His words will remain with us forever. God will remain faithful to us forever, but we only have a short lifetime in which to decide whether we want to be with God forever.
I am saying a novena to God the Father. I am particularly moved when I read the following in saying the prayer. (1) "I love You in union with Jesus Christ, Your Son . . . ." ~ Loving God while in union with him is special. (2) ". . . Mary Immaculate, Mother of God and our Mother." ~ Special that God and we share the same Mother. (3) ". . . thank You for making me Your child in Baptism." ~ another special relationship. (4) "Give me your Holy Spirit to enlighten me and to guide me in the way of Your commandments and holiness . . . ." ~ The Holy Spirit is here to help us in all things! (5) ". . . to appease Your justice provoked to anger by so many sins, and to offer You worthy atonement for them . . . ." ~ We are in such a special position that we can do these things!
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
Christmas deepens my joy. We have such a loving Lord, the best mankind could ever have and precisely needs, yet so many people do not recognize his coming. I realize the truth that we are indeed born with original sin and that God is balancing it with his infinite mercy. This balance, we can easily tip by our free choice.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
To see the truth, we must open our hearts to Jesus the Christ ~ there's no other way. The get our sins forgiven, we must repent to Jesus the Lord ~ there is no other way. To attain union with God, we must surrender to Christ our creator ~ there is no other way. To have eternal life, we must believe in Jesus the Redeemer ~ there is no other way.
Communion Experience. The Lord showed me that he does not make us strong by transforming us into some kind of a super human being; he does it by completely shielding us from all evil to keep our souls safe (drawing us into union with him).
Christians try not to get angry, have fear, be proud, or boast, but there is anger that's holy (Jesus cleansing the temple), fear that's healthy (reverential respect for God), and pride that's not self-centered (what parents feel when their children do well at school). Today's entrance antiphon, based upon Galatians 6.14 and 1 Corinthians 1.18: May we never boast, except in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the word of the Cross is the power of God to us who have been saved. I agree that we must never boast about ourselves, but to boast in the Cross of Jesus is completely justified, for it is praising the saving power of God.
Monday, November 23, 2015
Anytime any two people do not get along, you can be pretty sure that both are at fault, for no one is perfect yet. Even saints are imperfect; only God is. It takes two to tango. Following Jesus' advice "Do not judge" will go a long way toward creating peace. That family members do not get along with each other is common. Look for your own fault, admit it, and let go of the other person. For Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 21 at Mass, Jesus saw some wealthy people putting their offerings into the temple treasury and noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. He said to his disciples, “I tell you truly, this poor widow put in more than all the rest; for those others have all made offerings from their surplus wealth, but she, from her poverty, has offered her whole livelihood." It's quality, not quantity, that counts. St. Therese' Little Way shows the way to sainthood by doing every little thing with great love for God. Again, it's quality and not quantity. Performing one small act with love outperforms a million deeds done with little love.
Last night in bed I received a thought from the Holy Spirit which would be suitable for posting on this blog, but I was physically tired and fell asleep. This morning after I got up, I couldn't recall what that thought was all about. Anyway, these thoughts that visit me daily are like visiting friends now. In fact, they enter my heart and become virtually part of me. And I want to learn as much as possible from the Holy Spirit so that I may completely become part of him in spirit.
Sunday, November 22, 2015
The will of God is to be embraced, treasured, followed, lived and upheld by us. It is always beautiful, loving, gentle, graceful, uplifting, and protective, intended to lead us to spiritual freedom and eternal bliss. It's definitely something to die for. Life becomes an excitingly beautiful journey when you seek to do God's will.
God is the Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1.8), the beginning and the end. This really means that there is neither beginning nor end for God, for He simply Is. For us, God is our first beginning and our last end, for we were created by him at some point and shall end our journey in him one day.
Communion experience. Here's Jesus, our God and Savior, who can take away our sins, make us holy, and take us back to him to enjoy heaven for all eternity, wanting nothing but to love us; yet most of the people of the world ignore, dismiss, or even attack him. I felt sorrow for the Lord and even greater pity for our generation. If we do not know what's good for us, we cannot be any more foolish.
Saturday, November 21, 2015
I feel sorry to say that ultimately, each of us exists alone in the universe. We may have friends and even others who truly care for us, but all this will be just for a short time. When we face God alone, he sees exactly what we are. But I am also glad to report that Jesus can completely reverse this bleak outlook. When you have him as your Lord or better yet, become one with him, you wouldn't even know what loneliness is. His love is more than sufficient; you even look forward to going to God, to face judgment or not. Jesus truly turns everything "downside up."
Today is Memorial of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the Gospel reading from Luke 20, some Sadducees questioned Jesus about the resurrection. He said, "That the dead will rise even Moses made known, when he called ‘Lord’ the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and he is not God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive." The Lord revealed that whether we are living or dead, God knows all about us. Even if we die, our past do not get buried. It shows again that the human soul lives on forever. The time to prepare for our resurrection is now when we are still living.
Today's Gospel acclamation, 2 Timothy 1.10: Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel. Of course, destroying death was not even a child's play to the Lord, for death had no power over him in the first place. With God, nothing is impossible ~ he only needs to will and it's done. Therefore, the key to making things happen is to seek his will. Find it, pray it, and great things will happen.
Friday, November 20, 2015
On Feb. 8, 2011, I posted the video "The Holy Eucharist Is Our Lord!" Since the miracle took place in Buenos Aires, the language was in Spanish, albeit with English subtitles. Here is a more recent presentation in English as an alternative to the earlier one.
It's only the bad news that gets all the attention, but let's not forget that God is doing wonderful work you don't hear much about through the multitude of his faithful servants (his children) all around the world. The most amazing and beautiful work has to be the transformation of the individual human heart performed quietly without any fanfare.
If you seek praise from other humans, it would only feed your ego, robbing you more of your freedom. If you serve the Lord humbly and faithfully, he praises your work without your asking and you remain free. Therefore, never live for praise; live only for God.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
In today's Gospel reading of the parable of the ten gold coins from Luke 19 at Mass, we again heard Jesus say, "To everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." It looks like it's either you are in or you are out, you end up with everything or you end up with nothing, you make heaven or you miss it altogether.
To be a strong Christian, (1) you must know that you are inherently finite and limited. Even if you intend to place all your trust in God, you still fall short. Therefore, you absolutely need God. (2) You need to go deep into God, for only in God can you find true beauty and perfection. Entering him is entering heaven. The Blessed Sacrament is the portal to union with the Lord.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
People who suffer misfortune often ask why bad things should happen to them or even question God's existence. This is understandable. Well, our world is an imperfect, sinful place; therefore, bad things must happen. It's what happens to you at the end that will justify everything. Putting it simply, a good person will enter heaven and a bad person won't. At that time you will see the overall picture and understand everything, for God is perfectly just. There is no other good explanation.
In yesterday's Gospel reading from Luke 18, we have the blind beggar persistently calling out to Jesus, "Son of David, have pity on me!" Jesus heard him, stopped, received him and made him see. Today from Luke 19, we have the wealthy tax collector Zacchaeus who ran ahead of the crowd that's with Jesus, climbed a sycamore tree in order to see him, and eagerly waited for his passing. When Jesus reached the place, he looked up and asked Zacchaeus to come down, for he's going to stay at his house. We must also desire to see, to know, and to call out to the Lord, then we will be rewarded too. We can seek union with Jesus via receiving the Holy Eucharist to accomplish all these things.
The most important part of us is what we do not see, the soul. We see our physical body, important while we are alive, but perishable. If we lose our soul, we are lost forever. That's why Christ is critically important to us, and he knows it. Otherwise, why should he come into the world to die for us? The greatest tragedy today is that people do not look beyond this life ~ they live for the present life only. Equally tragic are those who live for the next life, but are misguided. Living for Christ is the only sure, straight way to eternal happiness.
Monday, November 16, 2015
I've posted this before, but this is a good time to remind everyone again. Truth is truth only if it's 100% true. If something is only 99.99% true, it's still false. Using pure water as an example, we know that it's no longer pure, once you add some impurities to it no matter how small the amount might be. This applies to religions too. A religion can have many good things about it and is attractive, but if there is some teaching you find is wrong, you should beware.
Satan has deceived many into believing that they hear the voice of God. How do you discern what you hear? First of all, God speaks to you from within your heart, his voice always remaining gentle and loving. He will not rob you of your inner peace, so if you become obsessed with doing something, that cannot be from the Lord. Jesus said, "My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me" (John 10.27). Therefore, be one of his sheep first and you'll know his voice. Remain in union with God and you are safe.
Today's Gospel reading from Luke 18 tells about the healing of a blind beggar. The blind man learned that Jesus was passing by and started shouting "Jesus, Son of David, have pity on me!" People rebuked him, telling him to be quiet, but he kept calling out all the more, "Son of David, have pity on me." Jesus stopped and ordered that he be brought to him; and when he came near, Jesus asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" He replied, "Lord, please let me see." Jesus told him, "Have sight; your faith has saved you."
How should we pray? That has always been a question. After hearing today's Gospel, I believe that the form or format of our prayer does not matter as long as whatever we say is prompted and guided by our faith.
The freest person is one who is most obedient to the will of God. God being the loving Father can never enslave us; it is we who enslave ourselves when we become self-centered ~ the ego again. Once God removes that, we are set free. Now love motivates all our thoughts, words, and actions. To love is to be free ~ we are back to God is love.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
There is no spiritual freedom where ego reigns. In fact, the ego is the greatest obstacle in seeking God, so it would make a great gift for God if we offer it up to him. Ego wants you to believe that you are god, exactly what the devil wants you to believe. A big ego is a big banner raised high to get Satan's attention. It makes you want to appear great and lovable to others, while in reality others get turned off as soon as they notice the presence of ego ~ so who's the fool? Nevertheless, when the ego, being puffed up like a hot air balloon, gets punctured, you still get a shock and are hurt. A runaway ego can blind you to the point you no longer notice its presence ~ you are now in Danger Zone. An ego can never be satisfied; it can only be destroyed ~ and the best way of demolishing it is to starve it. Therefore, never feed an ego. As I have said in the past, I want to say again: "The ego's gotta go."
We hear tragic news daily about people dying around the world due to ungodly attacks and violence in general ~ what has just happened in Paris is an example. Any such event is always shocking, but my deepest concern are the souls of the victims ~ this is what counts. Let God get you ready for death should it happen to you, to avoid facing another much worse shock.
Christians do not see or hear Jesus well because they do not know him well. Going to church once a week is easy, but to take the Lord, his presence, and his teaching seriously is another matter. How often do you think of him or pray to him? Do you lose interest when people start to praise or speak well of him? If there is no zeal or fire in you, you are just a boring Christian. The remedy is to know the Lord intimately to get enlightened.
The only good thing about sin is that it can awaken us to God. All saints were sinners in their past. The Lord especially notices great sinners, for he greatly pities them. When they turn to him, the liberation can be most exhilarating. If it helps, know that there will be great celebration and rejoicing in heaven too. If you are a sinner, be the cause of joy for yourself and the whole heaven!
In today's Gospel reading from Mark 13 at Mass, Jesus talks about end times and his Second Coming. He came to us 2,000 years ago. I intuitively know that he will come again to bring all things on earth to a close, for God's justice must reign. I cannot imagine that God will leave us hanging on our own forever. Besides, our planet earth is of limited size ~ are we to believe that it's meant to be our permanent home? Say we were placed upon a small planet only a mile in diameter, how long would we last with a growing population? The earth is a lot bigger, but it's still finite in size. So the question of Jesus' Second Coming is only a matter of when, not whether.
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Communion experience. France just suffered a horrific attack by ISIS. This morning's breaking news: (1) A local high school football player got shot and died. (2) A tourist bus crashed in a nearby big city and injured 20. (3) Further south, a "destructive device" was found outside a store parking lot and detonated by the local sheriff's department. These were just a few things I saw reported on TV. I realized that there is only one true refuge for us, and that is God.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 18 at Mass, Jesus told his disciples about the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. This to me "defines" our relationship with God. After all, God is our Father who knows only to love us. Therefore, we should feel free to tell him everything, ask for what we want from him, or even badger him. Great saints sometimes question, argue with, or complain to God. It all shows the great intimacy they have with the Father. As you know, to those closest to us we always feel free in expressing our honest feelings, but to strangers we usually hide them. And no one knows us better than God.
Every moment should be lived by us in prayer so as to remain in God at all times. Offer everything you do as a prayer to the Lord. Make him an integral part of your life and your existence. There is no life style more beautiful than being in union with God with the two becoming one. This is truly out-of-the-world, noble, exalted living.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Communion experience. I felt that my love for Jesus is increasing and received great joy. I felt I was the most fortunate person in the whole universe. You can have the whole world, but I possess the creator of it! My existence is complete because I am back united with my creator, our loving Father.
Today's Gospel reading at Mass continued from Luke 17. Jesus told his disciples that on the day the Son of Man is revealed, everyone will have to drop everything and leave everything behind. And I received the most poignant mental picture when the Lord said, "On that night there will be two people in one bed; one will be taken, the other left. And there will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken, the other left." I do not know whether being taken is good or bed; nevertheless, there will be permanent separation. If you want your loved ones to be with you for all eternity, do your utmost best to be a saint to them. This is showing that you truly love God and them.
We may not actively commit sins, but not being holy is a sin of omission and we need to atone for that. The last several first readings at Mass all came from the book of Wisdom. They made me see that not seeking out God to know him is being unwise. Therefore, to get to know God and become holy is the perfect path for us.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Communion experience. I'll always remember from the parable of the lost son what the father said to his older son, "My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours." I thought of the inexhaustible riches of our Father in heaven and that they can be all ours if we are already with him. The joy of living in Christ is indeed equally inexhaustible.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 17, Jesus tells us that the coming of the kingdom of God cannot be observed ~ no one can say, "Look, here it is," or, "There it is." I do not see the Lord, but I know that he dwells in me. Faith is required, then it is substantiated by God and the unknown becomes known. It's faith leading to knowledge.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
It's easy to love God who is holy and much harder to love people who are imperfect, especially those who have done us wrong. But Jesus gave us the second greatest commandment: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Conclusion: We don't love God enough yet, if we do not love all our neighbors. That we are to see the Lord in everyone takes on a new meaning.
Today's entrance antiphon at Mass, 1 Samuel 2.35: I shall raise up a faithful priest who will act in accord with my heart and my mind, says the Lord. It struck me that there's no more beautiful way of living than doing what God has in his heart and his mind.
Luke 12.49: I have come to light a fire on the earth, and how I wish the blaze were already ignited! The Holy Spirit is capable of setting our hearts ablaze. For the sake of our Lord and Savior, let it be done to you without delay! This fire will cleanse your soul, free you from sin, and lift your spirits to new heights.
Jesus has said in the Gospels more than once, "To anyone who has, more will be given and he will grow rich; from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away." This is so true. For example, the deeper you enter union with the Lord, the more you feel his presence and experience his love. Putting it dramatically, One either gains eternal life or loses even his own soul.
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
In the Gospel reading from Luke 17 at today's Mass, celebrating the memorial of St. Leo the Great, 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.'" This would be something difficult for today's generation to stomach. My comment is that the love of God for us is already a great honor, privilege, and reward. If you truly love God, your only goal should be to please him alone. The Lord, the most selfless one, deserves our selfless love.
If you do not believe in Jesus now, will you believe in him if he shows up today and you see a person who is totally politically incorrect, is of the meek and humble type our society easily looks down upon, and threatens your security and freedom in this world which you think you are entitled to?
Monday, November 9, 2015
We say the Hail Mary when we pray the Holy Rosary while meditating upon the various mysteries. These are the words: Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and the hour of our death. Amen. Although I've said this prayers countless times, today for the first time, the phrase "pray for us" touched me. I am asking the mother of Jesus to pray for me and she is going to intercede with Jesus for me. I have immediate access to the Holy Mother. This is communion of saints.
Sunday, November 8, 2015
Most written prayers are too wordy. Many novena prayers are good examples. Whoever composed them wrote with great devotion, but what you get to read are long, compound sentences stringing together too many ideas. Trying to follow them gets in the way of fully grasping what they say. My personal preference is for succinctness. Similarly, there are innumerous ways out there designed to make you holy, but all you need to do is to seek union with God ~ then all else will follow. In union, God will show you how to love. Focusing upon Christ alone is the same thing. God is simple with us. Adopting the various approaches to fostering our spiritual growth only complicates our progress.
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Friday, November 6, 2015
Today's Gospel acclamation, 1 John 2.5: Whoever keeps the word of Christ, the love of God is truly perfected in him. I just want to say that it's so beautiful: to perfect the love of God in us. Indeed, the goal of life for us is to be able to love others as Jesus loves us.
An unbeliever should not wait, expecting that somehow God will let him know without a doubt that he exists and is calling him, for that moment will never come for almost all of us (I have in mind exceptions such as the call of St. Paul by Jesus). Faith is required. If you cannot possibly dismiss Jesus completely from you heart, the time is ripe for accepting him. Once you take the leap of faith, your doubts and uncertainties will diminish over time. They will totally vanish when you attain union with the Lord. Faith is absolutely the key.
In Luke 12, Jesus said, "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division." Jesus is still a stumbling block to many today. Why? If he is not truly God, then it wouldn't matter whether you accept him or not. It's precisely because he is God that you find him hard to accept. Ironic, eh? I choose to believe in him because he is so extraordinary, for I do not want an ordinary god.
Thursday, November 5, 2015
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 15, we learn from Jesus' parables that there will be great joy in heaven and rejoicing among the angels of God over one sinner who repents. This is important for us to know. It shows how much God and the whole heaven love us and are rooting for us. Wouldn't it be great that we repent and aim to become saints? If we do not and continue to sin, imagine how much sorrow we shall cause in heaven!
We face all kinds of problems in life, but think how wonderful it is that they give us the chance to consult the Lord about them! Getting the Lord involved intimately with us in everything ~ that's the idea. This is walking with God as his obedient children.
If you truly love someone, you want to truly know the person. It's easy to be concerned about the person's welfare, pray for the person, or offer help in some way. To want to know and understand the person is to show your great love for him or her. Each of us probably knows people who love you, but how many of them do make an effort to get to know you well? For those of us who seek union with God, it's because we want to know him, as we love him.
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Christ is love. If you want to learn to love, follow his example. Let Christ be reflected in every little gesture of yours, in responding to others ~ starting with members of your own family. Do not skip any opportunity and you'll be storing up treasures in heaven.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 14, we hear three of the most challenging statements from Jesus. To the gathered crowds, he said: "If anyone comes to me without hating his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple." "Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple." "Everyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple." How do you react? Of course, surrender yourself to Jesus and all conditions are removed.
Today is the memorial of St. Charles Borromeo. The Gospel acclamation, 1 Peter 4.14: If you are insulted for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of God rests upon you. We must be bold in bringing the gospel to others, not to worry about whether we might offend anyone or not. Of course, we should abandon ourselves in the Holy Spirit first and root what we say in love always. We are not doing our work, but doing God's work for him, leaving the outcome to him.
God knows us thoroughly because he knows our hearts. To know God, we must also know his heart. Consecrating yourself to his Most Sacred Heart is a good start. God hears us only if we pray to him from our hearts, and we do not hear him if we harden our hearts. To convert others is to let God convert their hearts. Without a heart, I would be speaking gibberish to you now.
If I have a best friend and find out that he is also the best friend of some other people whom I don't even know, I probably would feel betrayed and may even get angry with him. With Jesus as our friend it is completely different. Even though I know that he loves everyone else just as much as he loves me, I still feel that he is my most personal friend. How come? I believe it's because he loves us selflessly and this love makes us selfless too. In fact, I want everyone to experience his love. Moreover, I'd be elated if everyone else loves him even much more than I love him. You see, his selfless, personal love makes us forget about ourselves to center upon him alone. What a great, inspiring Savior!
Tuesday, November 3, 2015
When God the Holy Spirit speaks to us, your hear his gentle voice in the quiet and stillness of your heart and you are humbled. By contrast, when the Evil One speaks to you directly or through some false prophet, he boosts your ego to make you believe that you are the important one and will be rewarded. This is the difference.
Monday, November 2, 2015
I have just begun praying the Novena to St. Jude for a special intention. I read in the Meditation part that in the Epistle of Jude, the Apostle denounces the heresies of that early time and warns the Christians against the seduction of false teaching. So many of our Christians today have been seduced by the teachings of so many false prophets. I thought of those who tend to overlook their minor sins by not even repenting them ~ they have been seduced by what the world teaches, and this is not OK. One should never be sloppy in living the spiritual life. God's mercy is infinite, but it is not to be abused.
I see anyone postponing acknowledging Jesus as being extremely foolish because he is our creator, he loves us, and he can make us live happily ever after. If there ever is reality, he is it. To accept (reject) him is to accept (reject) ourselves also.
Worldly attachments are very much like leeches, weakening you as they cling to you. If you are very much attached to the things of the world, you are not ready for leaving this world yet, and your departure may not be so peaceful or joyous. Feeling happy about dying at any time then is the true mark of a free soul.
For the faithful Christian, life only gets better as time passes, and reaches its absolute best at the end. For him or her, hope is ever present. Living Christian is the best way of life, irrespective of the person's social status, wealth or poverty, education level, his anything about him in the world.
Today is All Souls' Day. The Gospel acclamation at Mass came from John 11: I am the resurrection and the life, says the Lord; whoever believes in me will never die. In the Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus said, ". . . I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me." Such bold and challenging proclamations! They either are the truth or complete fabrications ~ we must decide. Under such circumstances, to ignore these claims is no better than to reject them.
Last night I dreamed that I was lost, couldn't find the way to get back to where I needed to be on time. So what's going to happen now? ~ there was that panicky feeling. And I realized that I needed God to continue to heal my past, my subconscious, my heart and my soul.
Sunday, November 1, 2015
In praying the Chaplet of Divine Mercy, we petition the eternal Father for mercy on us and on the whole world. It struck me today that if we're to beg God for mercy, we need to submit ourselves to him first. Therefore, praying the Chaplet offers a chance to abandon ourselves to God once more.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
The 21st century technology is quite amazing ~ just examine what a smartphone can do. Then I look at a single blade of grass and realize how much more natural and amazing its creation is, making what we have achieved look contrived, elementary, and artificial. God's effortless creativity is on an entirely different level. Let us remember that he also created us, and we should be grateful to him for that and remain forever humble before him.
We need to be with God 100% of the time. Let him in on and consult and ask him to bless everything we do, including what we think and say. This is not to put ourselves under his control; on the contrary, it is to strengthen our union with him and experience even greater freedom! If you think that God is going to enslave you, you'll never be free. He is in fact our greatest liberator. You are free only if you are spiritually free and only God who is the truth can make it happen.
Communion time thoughts. We who are finite creatures are so feeble, frail, and prone to fail physically, mentally, and morally on our own. Therefore, what we precisely need is an all-powerful, loving God to help us in every way to save us. This we find in Christ the Lord.
Friday, October 30, 2015
This was all I could think of this morning. Here are some descriptions. In union with God, you and God become one, totally inseparable. You are God are in each other and belong to each other. Wherever God is, you are. You are aware of God dwelling within your heart. You and God share the same joys and sorrows; are in perfect harmony because his will and yours are the same. You enjoy his perfection, holiness, and beauty. It's eternal love. It's reality, no fantasy. Without union, your spiritual journey will be laborious. With union, it becomes effortless because God carries you all the way. Union is possible because it's all God's doing with your consent. Union with God is the ideal and perfect state of existence for us because it is precisely what God desires.
Thursday, October 29, 2015
Wednesday, October 28, 2015
Communion antiphon, John 14.23: Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him, and make our home with him. Indeed, the Lord came to me in the Holy Eucharist to make me his home! I felt so blessed to be called to his supper. Millions and millions of my brothers and sisters in Christ also get called to sup with him; but no matter, I felt my call so personal as if I was the only one invited.
Today is the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles. The entrance antiphon: These a