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

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Let God Love You!

        On this last day of the month. I feel called to post this message for all who are unhappy or feel even miserable in life, but have not turn to Christ yet. It may be some painful experience someone had inflicted upon you in the past or you own sinfulness that has kept you away from him. No matter, whatever caused your unhappiness, Jesus is patiently waiting to help you. He is the only one who can make you clean and whole. He is exactly what we need and is calling you. The Father wants to take you back as his beloved sons and daughters. Do not set up any barriers; run to him as fast as you could and he'll be overjoyed. He does not want to punish you, only wants to love you! If you are a lapsed Catholic, go to confession first. Jesus is our Savior because he can set us free. 

Small Matters Matter

        In Luke 16.10, Jesus said, "The person who is trustworthy in small matters is also trustworthy in great ones." How faithful we are in small matters measures our overall faithfulness. Serving the Lord faithfully could be as small as reciprocating a smile from someone. This is what the Little Way of St. Therese is about ~ following her way can transform anyone into a saint. When Jesus wants us to be perfect as the heavenly Father is perfect, we are not to neglect small matters. I am old enough to recall the popular hit song of the 50s "Little Things Mean a Lot" ~ perhaps adding "to God" at the end of the title would make it more memorable and more meaningful.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Abandoning Our Own Will

        As I drove the two-and-a-half mile distance home after Mass this morning, I saw the familiar scenery ~ the same houses, the same trees, the same road, etc. I knew that one day I wouldn't see them anymore. This made me think that whatever we do on earth following our own will, will all vanish, and only what we do according to God's will stores up permanent treasures in heaven seen by God.

Abandonment to Death

        Communion thoughts. Today is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. The entrance antiphon reads: These are the ones who, living in the flesh, planted the church with their blood; they drink the chalice of the Lord and became the friends of God. Both Apostles were martyred. To follow Christ, we must also die in one form or another. We die after surrendering to the Lord and are born again as friends of God ~ a joyful new birth following a most peaceful death.   

Abandonment to Peace

        My old computer had slowed to the point that I had to get a technician to transfer everything on it to another computer. It turned out that many important documents and email messages did not show up after the transfer ~ this alarmed me. Then I realized that a disturbed heart always causes one to sin. Besides, a fire could have destroyed everything I had or I could have died already. So I let all go by abandoning myself to God and remained in peace. The Lord rescued me again for another day.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Slipping Away from God

        Without God, everything that sounds good becomes OK, and this is what's happening to this generation. Living together without getting married is OK because the couple can find out if they can really live together. Trying out drugs is OK because you need to feel good. Abortion is fine because it eliminates unwanted children ~ besides, a woman has the right to do whatever she wants with her body. Legalizing gay marriage grants equality to all couples ~ that sounds good too. When we slip away from God, we lose our conscience and critical thinking and become our own gods. Only a rude awakening can now turn us around. 

Saturday, June 27, 2015

On Remaining Holy

        I attended Vigil Mass today. Seeing how the world was offending the Lord, my human reaction was to want to punish the offenders in some way. But during Communion, the Lord said no to that ~ instead, he wanted me to become more like him.
       What Jesus did to me confirmed my experience that we sin when we let things bother us and as a result lose my inner peace. If we let nothing disturb us, we can remain holy. This is also saying that a sinner is always someone who has lost his peace.

Showing True Love

        If you truly love someone, you would be most concerned about the soul of that person.      

Time for Weeping

        Today's Gospel acclamation at Mass, Matthew 8.17: "Jesus took away our infirmities and bore our diseases" (as prophesied by Isaiah). Jesus must be our first victim soul, who suffered for our sins for our salvation. Seeing how uncaring and ungrateful the average sinner is today, it's most appropriate for us to pause and weep for them and ourselves. Seeking God's forgiveness is urgently our first order of business. 

No Jesus, No Peace

        In Jesus, there is only peace. There is no peace in the world, precisely because it does not embrace Jesus.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Fearing Ourselves

        We do not need to fear God, for he loves us and is waiting for us to show up in heaven. We don't need to fear the evil one either, for if we have God, he won't be able to touch us. What we need to fear are ourselves, for our eternal destiny is completely determined by whether we choose God or the evil one.

Perfect Teacher

        Anytime I sin, I realize how holy Jesus is ~ and I see him to be the perfect teacher to make us holy. 

To All Christians

        This morning's big headlines on BBC News: "Deadly attack on Tunisia beach," "US Supreme Court backs gay marriage," "Man decapitated in French attack," "Kuwait mosque hit by suicide blast," "Militants storm Somalia military base," "IS 'kills 120 civilians' in Kobane." More than enough bad news! The US Supreme Court got it wrong on the abortion issue and got it wrong again. Anytime you leave God out of consideration, you are bound to fall. The world does not know or does not want to know the true God anymore. In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 8, a leper approached Jesus, did him homage, and said, "Lord, if you wish, you can make me clean." How many of us today have that kind of attitude? All Christians need to know that it's do-or-die time to submit themselves to Christ without reservation. We cannot serve both God and mammon. Rather than thinking about making money all the time, set your heart on entering heaven first by serving God with all your heart. There will be final judgment and we shall reap only what we now sow. Pray for the salvation and conversion of all souls unceasingly, for God depends upon those who love him.   

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Belonging Wholly to God

        Communion experience. While Jesus was taking away my sins, I also asked him to take my heart and my soul as well. That's because sin can not remain in one who belongs wholly to God.

Authentic or False

        Today's Gospel acclamation, John 14.23, at Mass read: Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him. Suppose that Jesus was the Son of God, then he really meant what he said and you can accept that. Now suppose that an ordinary human had said it, you'll know immediately that the speaker must not know what he's talking about. Read the Gospels through and you'll find Jesus not only speaking always with authority, but also being consistently authentic throughout his earthly life.   

Not a Thorny Issue

        In 2 Corinthians 12.7, St. Paul mentioned that a thorn in the flesh was given him so that he might not become too elated. Even though he begged the Lord that it might leave him, the Lord said to him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness." We do not know exactly what Paul's thorn was, but we all have thorns in our lives too ~ it could be someone or something that annoys us or one of our own sins. By remembering that Jesus was crowned with thorns on his way to Crucifixion, we can let our thorns help us walk along the Lord, who is still suffering today for our sins, and reach new spiritual heights.        

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Not to Be Alone

        A parish friend is suffering from terminal cancer and does not have much time left to live. Many are praying for her, but it's all up to God. Again, I quote this saying attributed to Mother Teresa: "In the final analysis, it's between you and God." I do feel that each one of us is on his own with God. Family, friends, and all those who love you can only do so much. Only God who knows us intimately can do whatever he wants with us. We truly stand alone before God; but we can amend this situation in advance. Seek union with him now and you'll have God with you at all times.

Called to Go Home

        Entrance antiphon at Mass: A Man was sent from God, whose name was John. He came to testify to the light to prepare a people fit for the Lord. I came to realize that we are all called to be fit for God, not just a few of us. God wants to save us all, so do not count yourself out. Respond to his call with gratitude to become his chosen one and you are safely home. Or would you rather stray away and never return to your Father in heaven? He waits for us forever, but we have only one short lifetime to respond.

Most Personal God

        Today is the Solemnity of the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. At the beginning of Mass, I felt like crying as I was deeply moved by the Lord's presence in my heart and in my life. He's been so good to me and is the only one who will be with me always. Later as Psalm 139 was read, my feelings were confirmed. I'll just quote the response here: I  praise you, for I am wonderfully made. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

One-Sided Readiness

        God is always ready for us. If we do not see him, hear him, or feel him, it's because we are not ready for him yet.

Most Important Feeling

        Communion experience. The Holy Spirit showed me that one of the most important feelings to keep is knowing that you are holy, irrespective of how your enemies are attacking you to stir up negative feelings.

Finding the Way to Life

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 7 at Mass, Jesus said to his disciples, "Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." For the general public today, it is still true that the gate is narrow and the road that leads to life constricted for many, for this is how they perceive it. Naturally, if you don't wish to submit yourself to God, you don't make the effort to find the gate to him and you see the road to life as unpassable. This perception or vision can entirely change if you approach the Lord with humility and openness. Discovering his mercy and love will make you see that the gate is wide open and the road to life direct. In fact, when you reach union with the Lord, your effort is reduced to almost zero with God completely taking over. How difficult or easy is it to find your way to life? It all depends upon you.    

Living My Last Day (Not Really)

        Life is fragile. Right now storms and tornadoes in the Midwest are destroying properties and threatening human lives. And the current Pakistan heat wave has already killed near 700 people. I myself could have died in any of my past accidents. This is definitely not the world in which I want to live forever, and my heart is already where God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, is. Today I am living as if it's my last day on earth, despite the fact that there are still things I need or plan to complete. But unfinished business is unfinished only if you are obsessed with finishing it. Feeling free to go to God is a special freedom no one can take away from you, for it came from God.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Burning Request

        On the road to Emmaus, the disciples of Jesus felt their hearts burning within them when Jesus spoke to them on the way and opened the scriptures to them (Luke 24). Pray to God the Holy Spirit that he will set your heart ablaze with his love and it shall happen to you!

Freedom sans Ego

        Absence of ego leads to freedom because you don't care about yourself anymore!

A Simple Guide

        This is the strong message from today's Gospel reading from Matthew 7. Jesus said to his disciples, "Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you." In other words, how we treat others is how God is going to treat us ~ a simple enough guide for us to follow. Again, I advocate seeking union with God, for when you are one with the Lord, you automatically see others as he sees them. 

The Heart Belongs to God

        Today's Gospel acclamation at Mass, Hebrews 4.12: The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and the thoughts of the heart. The mind has its own intelligence, but God always speaks to the heart. While our intelligence remains fixed, our heart grows in knowledge as God teaches us. Also, the heart directly affects the mind. When the heart is pure, the mind is pure; if it's filthy, so will the mind be. To serve God, always think with your heart, but be aware of the Evil One attempting to contaminate your heart by manipulating your thoughts of the mind. 

Opposite Effects

        Fear of God drives one to want to be more prominent than God, while love of God humbles one to regard himself to be the least important.  

To Nonbelievers

        Jesus has come and revealed the good new of salvation to all mankind. If you do not believe in him, what are you waiting for? The next time he comes, it'll be Judgment Day! If you are not waiting for anything, then your existence is empty. Sinners without having their sins taken away by God sink continually ~ believe in Christ as your Lord and Savior to reverse your course. Letting him go by and not getting your eternal destiny secured has to be the the most foolish and cowardly of all your acts.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Jesus the Way

        To the believer in Jesus, everything looks "right" and there are no more questions about life. To the unbeliever, things are puzzling and life is meaningless. Jesus was right in declaring that "I am the way."

Our Re-creation

        I attended Vigil Mass today. Here's my Communion experience. The Holy Eucharist is the Most Blessed Sacrament of all sacraments. In receiving the Body and Blood of the Lord, God and man meet, touch, and merge into one ~ how more intimate can you possibly get? I saw that moment as the re-creation of each of us, as special as our creation, enabling us to return to the Father. 

Total Abandonment in God

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 6 at Mass, Jesus told his disciples not to worry about life or be anxious about anything. They were to seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all the things they needed would be given them besides. He's talking about total abandonment in God here. This is living in complete devotion to God so that we become free and settled for eternal life ~ not something to brush aside. It is also fulfilling the Father's wish to become one with his children! By the way, abandoning ourselves to God does not guarantee success in whatever we are called upon to do from our point of view, but what is certain is that the Father always wants to draw us ever closer to him.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Faith Makes the Difference

       This link takes you to the interesting article on the Shroud of Turin on BBC News today: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33164668. My general thoughts are that scientists and unbelievers do not have a clue about how to prove that God exists, yet they are most eager to prove that there are no miracles. Indeed, nothing makes sense to the unbeliever and everything makes sense to the believer. 

Healing Ocean

        Communion experience. I am like a little drop in Christ the ocean of love, in whom everything that needs to be healed is healed.

Peace Formula

        Regard yourself as the least of your brothers and sisters, and you'll have peace.

Living for God

        Every breath and every heartbeat of yours tell you that God is keeping you alive, that he is with you. Therefore, live every moment of yours for him.

Getting Out of Darkness

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 6, Jesus mentioned light and darkness. No one can be happy in darkness, but they cannot get out of it because there is no light to show the way. This is the situation of a sinner. The light they need is Jesus. Reach out for him and he will dispel all darkness. 

Rejoicing in God Always

        In today's first reading at Mass from 2 Corinthians, Paul mentioned his labors, imprisonments, beatings, numerous brushes with death, being lashed, beaten with rods, stoned, and shipwrecked, and other toil and hardships. We are to rejoice in the Lord always. All trials and suffering for the sake of Christ are to be welcomed, for he is drawing us to him.

It's the Holy Spirit!

        If you cry out to God calling him Father, if you long for him, if you are grateful to him and rejoice in him, if you feel compassion for all others and are willing to forgive those who trespass against you, if you have the strong urge to share the good news with all and feel bold about doing it . . .  the Holy Spirit dwells within you! 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

God's Infinite Genius

        Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson are regarded as the two greatest jazz pianists that have ever lived. Here are two Oscar Peterson videos for you to enjoy. May the genius you see in him make you think of the infinite genius of our loving Lord.

Must-Have Experience

        The prodigal son is saved when he realized his sinful state, repented, and returned to the father to be in his good graces again. We may not be as bad as the prodigal son in the parable, but do you realize that every single one of us needs to go through such an experience, unless you deliberately reject God's mercy and salvation?

Jesus Our Savior

        Today's tragic news: A 21-year-old man shoots nine dead at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. It appears to be a hate-crime. Is the human life no longer valued? Of course, many good people are angry at the killing and feel great sorrow for the victims, yet I see inconsistency in today's general attitude. For example, you can hate such horrible crimes, yet believe in abortion and the death sentence. I see Jesus as our Savior also in the sense that only by following him can we stop all the killings and correct our inconsistent views.

Believing Is Seeing

        Communion experience. The Lord let me see that we'd see his wonders only if we believed in him.

Aiming High

        Jesus the Son and the Father are one ~ imagine joining them to become one with God! This is actually his wish, his plan. Are we not to aim high to let him uplift us all the way to him? Scraping the bottom on our own is just not good enough for us who were made in his image and whom he had died for.

*Forgive, We Must

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 6, Jesus taught his disciples about prayer. He informed them: "Your Father knows what you need before you ask him." Remembering this bring us comfort and makes us feel close to God when we pray. After he taught the disciples the Lord's Prayer, he added, "If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions." These are "worrisome" sayings we must take seriously. As of now, I don't believe that many of us are ready to forgive everyone else yet ~ this means that the Father is not ready to forgive them yet, although he wants to. Therefore, it's absolutely necessary that we reconcile ourselves with God before we die, repenting all our sins we could not overcome! Naturally, doing it now is much better than doing it on your deathbed.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Ego Must Go

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 6 at Mass, Jesus gave us teachings on almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. In essence, we must not let our ego turn us into hypocrites. It is the ego that makes us want to be seen, known, and recognized. When we want others to notice us and not God, we lose peace. To let others see Christ in us, we must be meek and humble like him. If you are sincere about wanting God to be No. 1 in your life, ask him to take away, in fact, annihilate, your ego first.  

"Bypassing" Judgment

       In John 14, Jesus said, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." This shows that Jesus is the one who is going to judge us. Then in John 10, we read that the Father gives him his sheep and he gives them eternal life and they shall never perish. What we need to do is to remain being his faithful sheep and we don't need to be concerned about the judgment anymore.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Be a Spiritual Genius

        There are truly many intelligent people in the genius category with very high IQs. If we are not one of them, there's nothing we can do about it because God has not give us this gift. But we can all be geniuses with high spiritual IQs! Perhaps we should call it HQ, standing for holiness quotient. How do we achieve that? All you need to do is to surrender to God to ask him to make you a saint, and he'll do just that!

Best Investment Ever

        In Matthew 6, Jesus made it clear that we can store up treasures in heaven while on earth.  And he said, "Where your treasure is, there also will your heart be" ~ this is beautiful! Therefore, set your sight on heaven and start performing loving deeds, and you'll have your mountain of treasures waiting for you in heaven.

Nutrition for the Soul

        Communion experience. The Holy Eucharist was precisely the nutrition my soul needed, being prepared for entering heaven.

Contrasting Journeys

        It's either living mostly for yourself or living for God. When you live mostly for yourself, you seek to have a good time as often as possible. Then invariably, things don't go your way, causing you to see that life is but a string of consecutive unhappy events with only time to enjoy between events. When you live for God, you live to do his will to please him alone and see unhappy events as permitted by the Lord to further your spiritual progress. Overall, living for yourself is an uneven experience, while living for God is more peaceful and rewarding, not to mention that the two journeys would most likely lead you to different destinations.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Our Greatest Enjoyment

        We do not see Jesus with our eyes, but I can imagine how beautiful he must be during his Transfiguration on Mt. Tabor. Nevertheless, we can discover his great inner beauty. Once we realize how great his love is, how unloving we are, and how we need him, we begin to see how beautiful he truly is. Let this beauty draw us ever closer to him and we end up falling deeply in love with the Lord ~ now he becomes our greatest enjoyment. 

Accepting Hard Teachings

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus taught about retaliation. We hear hard sayings such as "When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well," "If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well," "Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles." I essentially see that Jesus wants us to remain undisturbed in all circumstances, to realize that he alone is our judge and love is to override all negative feelings we may have. Seek union with the Lord so that we may follow him to the letter, and we shall be liberated.

On Being Faithful

        Today's Communion antiphon at Mass came from Psalm 27.4: One thing I ask of the LORD; this I seek: To dwell in the LORD's house all the days of my life. To be faithful to God goes beyond believing in him by abandoning ourselves completely to him unconditionally and through thick and thin. It is "to dwell in the LORD's house all the days of my life."

Our Nirvana Is...

understanding our place in the overall scheme of things before the Lord our God. We come to know him as our loving Father and follow his will. This is existence in perfect harmony with our creator now and forever.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Jesus, the Only One!

        I went to Vigil Mass today. After receiving Holy Communion I realized that I absolutely need Jesus, for without him I'd be stuck with my sins forever, as there's no one else who can take away my sins and make me clean again!

Holiness Indicator

        One can have a conscience so muddy that he is no longer bothered much by committing any serious sin. At the other extreme, a saint can have a conscience so clear (sharp) that he would sense and thus avoid committing the slightest transgression against God. Therefore, the sensitivity of one's conscience measures his holiness.       

Thursday, June 11, 2015

God Completes Me

        Communion experience. God fills me with whatever I lack.

Keeping Motivation Pure

        God motivates us to love others, but sometimes I sense that my motivation may not be as pure as it should be because personal views and feelings can interfere, often stealthily. To keep our motivation pure, we need be fully aware that loving others and loving God are exactly the same thing. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Serving God Right

        Serving God must never involve the ego. If you succeed, God is glorified. If you fail, God is still glorified because you've been obedient and remain at peace. Naturally, the first thing your should do is asking the Lord to eradicate your ego so as not to be in his way.

Most Holy Eucharist

        Communion experience today. As I received the perfectly round, white host, I knew that Jesus can make us pure and perfect. Never receive this Blessed Sacrament in vain.

Our Greatest Honor Is...

to be at the beck and call of Jesus to serve him alone.              

Monday, June 8, 2015

Secret of Finding and Knowing God

        God is neither someone you have to look hard to find nor someone to chase after and catch once you have found him. He is someone here, just waiting for you to see, hear, and embrace. In fact, the effective way of finding and getting to know God is to let down your entire defense, remain open and passive, and humbly yearn for him. Trying hard on your own is totally counterproductive, whereas letting God do the work is the key to success. This is true with God all the way through seeking union with him.   

Offering of the Heart

        In the beginning at Mass, we confess to God that we have sinned in our thoughts and in our words, in what we have done and in what we have failed to do. We see that thoughts, words, and deeds all originate from the heart. If we can keep our hearts pure, we shall be clean. Therefore, let Jesus rule our hearts. The heart is surely the greatest possible gift we can give to God, a gift he would appreciate and be please with.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Extra Reason for Wanting to Go to God

        As a student, I always liked to ask a lot of questions because I wanted to understand things. It can be considered one of my shortcomings that I do not embark upon any "venture" until I have thoroughly figured it out. Sometimes you get where you want to go faster by taking the plunge and whatever necessary actions along the way. Anyhow, I really would like to know how God created all things, how he makes miracles happen, how he watches over us, etc. To find out all this is my extra reason for wanting to go to him.

Crossing a Threshold

        Today is the solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. In the first reading from Exodus 24, when Moses came to the people and related all the words and ordinances of the LORD, they all answered with one voice, "We will do everything that the LORD has told us." If the people had "everything" to include "total surrender to the Lord" in mind, they probably wouldn't have responded thus so readily. It's still the same today; it comes down to "I believe, but not all the way yet." To accept God and not be a little god yourself anymore is just plain hard, but it's in abandoning yourself entirely to God that you enter spiritual freedom. How else can you be a true child of God if you don't believe in him like a child? I can testify that the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ, the Holy Eucharist, is exactly what we need to help us overcome this difficulty to go all the way.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

God Is for Letting Us Be Holy

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 12, Jesus denounced the scribes who loved to show themselves off before others and praised the poor widow who put all she had into the treasury at the temple. Each of us is capable of acting like the scribes or the poor widow. Without God, I am sure we would all be more like the scribes. The presence of God in our lives affords us the chance, an outlet, as it were, for doing good like the widow ~ we need that. In time, we'll leave no more room for committing sins.

On Changing Yourself

        I often hear people say that they cannot change in certain ways, even though they know that they should. They would even use the excuse that God has made them this way. I believe the plain fact is that they are just not willing to change. It's true that they cannot easily change themselves, but they totally disregard the fact that God can even turn them into great saints if they'll only let him. Stubbornness shows the lack of humility.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Appreciating the Holy Eucharist

        Today being a First Friday, there was exposition of the Blessed Sacrament after morning Mass. It was a profound experience to adore the Lord displayed in the monstrance on the altar, knowing that this same Lord entered me just a short while ago. Truly, through the Holy Eucharist we are intimately linked to heaven, uniting with God both physically and spiritually. Jesus is indeed with us always until the end of the age (Matthew 28.20).

Following Common Sense

        Plain common sense tells me that it's impossible for any finite creature like me to grasp the infinite creator our God. I know he loves us and is all powerful, but I really cannot comprehend how much he loves us, how his mercy will bring justice to us all, how he sustains all lives and keeps the vast universe in motion, etc. It is this realization that humbles me to surrender to him willingly. If you always want to do the appropriate thing, don't overlook common sense.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How Faith Comes About

        When I was away, I recorded the The Journey Home program on EWTN. Today I watched Holly Ordway, author, professor, and former atheist, sharing her story. She mentioned that when she was an atheist, she thought faith in God was something believers force upon themselves. This made me review how my faith came about. After I was convinced that Jesus was God who came into the world to die to save us, I accepted him as my Lord and Savior (the Protestant approach). The decision was an intellectual one. If faith was present, I didn't feel it. I prayed for my faith to grow, but never at any time did I force myself to believe harder. I don't think that's even possible, since faith is a gift from God and only he can increase it. Over the years, faith started to grow almost imperceptibly, as I desired to know God more. The great spurt came during my involvement in the Catholic Charismatic Movement, when the Holy Spirit took over, stirring my heart. When I finally started seeking union with God, I entered a new phase in which God accomplishes all things, faith included, through me and for me.
        Just in case you are interested in hearing Holly's story, I am posting her video here:

Perfect Abandonment Time

        Communion experience. After I received the Lord, I went completely limp (passive). It's time for the Holy Spirit to caress you, knead you, transform you ~ letting the Lord do whatever he wants with you. 

Love Indicator

        In today's Gospel reading from Mark 12, Jesus gave the two greatest commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength" and "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." Clearly, how much we love our neighbor indicates how much we love God. When we find out how difficult it is to love our neighbor as ourselves, we get an inkling of how great God's love for us is.

Grand Statement

        Today's Gospel acclamation (based upon 2 Timothy 1,10): Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death and brought life to light through the Gospel. Here's a statement that pretty much says how much God loves us.

No Longer Alone

         Since I got back home very late the day before yesterday, it wouldn't be wise for me to get up early to attend morning Mass yesterday. Today I was happily back in my own church. I believe people, including some from other parishes, love to come to our church for daily Mass for the following reasons. The church is just a few years old with a simple, bright, nicely designed interior. The tabernacle is beautiful and the seating are rows of movable, comfortable chairs linked together. As the church is not that large and everyone sees each other clearly, you get some of that intimacy of being together in one spacious living room. The priests always give well thought-out homilies too.
         The entrance antiphon came from Psalm 25: Turn to me and have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am alone and poor. See my lowliness and suffering and take away all my sins, my God. Indeed, we can't deny that are not alone, poor, lowly, and afflicted. I am just going to talk about feeling alone. We all look for companionship, sympathy, understanding, and love. Although I have so far refrained from telling any friend about my nasty fall two weeks ago when I was away, the urge is there. How can we eradicate feeling alone? Would having millions of friends or followers on a social networking website do it? How about having worldwide fans who adore you for whatever reason? I don't think you'd be happy with either. Even if you have real close friends who truly love you, they are still fallible beings like you who are just here for the time being. Basically, you are alone. 
           As St Augustine points out, feeling alone is really a blessing from God because he made it so when he created us that we might search for him. That is, we feel alone when we have not found God yet. Well, do I who have already found Jesus still feel alone? No. But to be honest, I must admit that I do feel lonely whenever I face a disconnect between me and those who are still very much of the world, which is nothing compared the oneness I feel with the Lord. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Home Sweet Home

        I finally got home last night very late ~ it's "home sweet home." Then I realized that my true home is with the Father in heaven. When I get there, I'll definitely have the best home-sweet-home feeling ever! And life on earth would seem very much like a short dream I had once. 

Doing Your Best for the Lord

        Suppose you are a good shoemaker and Jesus orders a pair of new sandals from you ~ wouldn't you do your utmost to make the best possible pair of sandals you can for him? Then why not do your utmost best in everything for him? In so doing, your life will be filled with great joy. 

Adopting God's View

        Our views are so myopic that we are only concerned about our immediate interests and physical survival. The reality is that we are simply passing through this world with our soul continuing on to live forever in the next. Therefore, whatever we do now should be based upon this unlimited view as God sees us for the sake of our eternal happiness.

Monday, June 1, 2015

We Are Responsible for Souls

        We shall be judged by how much we love God. More specifically, he will measure how much we draw others to Christ or turn them away from him. This is a critical point, since it's easy to do what we want to do and not consider any effect our action might have on others. A good deed you do that affects others is so much more meritorious than one that just benefits you alone. And a sin that makes others also sin is indeed much graver than a sin that affects only you in private. For rapid spiritual advance, avoid all sins and concentrate upon bringing as many individuals closer to Christ as possible by your holy example and work. 

Teachings Severe & Demanding

        It does seem that the teachings of the Lord can be severe and demanding. For example, we are to love him over all other things and love even our enemies, and he warns that "whoever causes one of the little children who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck and be cast into the sea." I believe that Jesus always tells it like it is for our good and we should appreciate that. He reveals to us what we need to know. Without his teachings, we'd easily be lost souls. The truth may not always be pleasing to the ear, but once it penetrates the heart, we are set free. 

How Easy to Enter Heaven?

        If you believe that you are a great sinner and utterly need God's mercy to be saved, you will find entering heaven easier than you think, for nothing is impossible with God. On the other hand, if you believe that as a fairly decent person you pretty much deserve heaven, you may be shocked at finding entering heaven harder than you think, for whoever exalts himself will be humbled. Thus, being meek and humble before the Lord is essential for entering heaven.