Communion experience. I let Jesus capture my heart and everything else was forgotten.
"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Monday, August 31, 2015
In the Lord's Prayer, we ask the Father not to lead us into temptation because temptation can directly lead us to sin seriously. It is like quicksand which can sink us fast if we do not take drastic action fast. I know people who are aware that they should not be in a certain situation, but feel completely helpless in getting out of it because they are already in the grip of temptation. Since all temptations start with a thought, the big advantage of being in union with God is that you are able to discern a sinful thought immediately, drop it from your mind, and turn to Jesus, thus nipping it in the bud and preserving your inner peace.
The whole trouble with the world is that we want to be gods against God. John the Baptist, after testifying to Jesus said, "He must increase; I must decrease," and we are doing just the opposite! Consider the God/god ratio. For the perfect, that value should be infinity; but for the godless, it's now zero or near zero. The world must wake up or face condemnation that will make us wish that we had never been born.
Sunday, August 30, 2015
As a Catholic, you attend weekly Mass, go to confession regularly, get involved with parish ministries, etc., hoping that you'd be drawn closer to Christ. After you get to know the Lord intimately and fall in love with him, he becomes your center and all. Now you attend Mass, go to confession, participate in ministries, etc., spontaneously because he has drawn you close to him.
As I was praying the first decade of the Rosary on the Glorious Mystery Resurrection this morning, the Lord made me see his power. Jesus rose from the dead and ascended into heaven ~ all this happened supernaturally without any effort on God's part. By contrast, for example, human scientists have worked hard for decades to find a cure for cancer and are still unfruitful. When God wills something, it's done. Let there be light and there was light. I know that he can heal my sprained wrist instantly now if he so wishes. When we repent and ask him to take away our sins, it's done. When we surrender and desire union with him, it's done. When we believe and beg him to grant us eternal life, it's done. Follow the will of the Lord to let him accomplish what he wills.
Saturday, August 29, 2015
If you are afraid to face death, know what your reason(s) could be to help you overcome that fear. Here are some possible reasons: (1) Being afraid of God's judgment, (2) not willing to leave your loved ones, (3) not willing to leave your material possessions, (4) not willing to give up your way of life, (5) being worried about going to hell, (6) not knowing what's on the other side.
None of these reasons are valid since they are all removable with your cooperation with God.
Today is Memorial of the Passion of St. John the Baptist. The Gospel reading from Mark 6 tells that after Herod had John the Baptist arrested and bound in prison on account of Herodias, he still feared John, knowing him to be a righteous and holy man, and even liked to listen to him speak. At this point, it looked as if John was not in any danger. Then Herodias, who harbored a grudge against John, had an opportunity (with her daughter' help) to get John beheaded. This was certainly a turn of events, although now we see that it was all in God's plan. This made me see that life is unpredictable. Take driving the car. I dare say that every driver gets into an accident at least once in his or her life. The last time my small truck was totaled, it was because someone who had lost his way abruptly switched from the far right lane to the far left one across my path. And I remember one early, dark morning as I was making a left turn, I was almost hit by a car I didn't see because its headlights were not turned on. I have now learned to drive with vigilance, patience, and even humility. The lessons apply to living the spiritual life as well : We are to be vigilant and humble, and rely upon God.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Communion experience. I felt so fortunate, lucky, blessed that I'd gotten to know Christ, my Lord and God. He truly changed my life by raising me to live in him and with him. The best was still to come. I am just so happy and grateful. God is to be praised!
In the Gospel reading from Matthew 25, we heard the parable of the ten virgins. The clear lesson here is that we must take God seriously or we can miss the boat and be locked out of his kingdom forever. Taking God casually is not any better than not believing in him. We must attempt to give our all to God, for he has given his all to us.
Yesterday was the memorial of St. Monica and today, that of St. Augustine, her son. In the Gospel acclamation Luke 21.36, Jesus said, "Be vigilant at all times and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man." This is the strength we need to stand before the Lord at judgment time. But we are standing before him right now, the only difference being that he is not judging us yet. So, why not live assuming that he is judging us and we don't have to be concerned about being judged later?
Because of the recent horrible killing of two journalists of a TV station in Virginia by an unhappy former employee, the subject of gun control surfaced again. Stricter gun control can help, but won't solve the problem. Even if we dispossess all of our guns, criminals can still find ways of harming others. The cause of so many crimes is that we have abandoned God ~ this is absolutely correct. Yet today, no one, all politicians included, has the courage to say this. They are all concerned about being politically correct rather than listen to God. Trying to solve our problems while excluding God is trying to be god themselves ~ they are already doomed for failure.
Thursday, August 27, 2015
The population of the world is around 7.3 billion, so each one of us is just one of 7,300,000,000 people. In this secular, chaotic, disordered world, what good can we do? I see clearly that the role of each one of us is to keep the word of Christ, follow him and be holy, never letting all the problems we face get us down, because if everyone serves God, there will be peace.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Today's response to Psalm 139 at Mass: You have searched me and you know me, Lord. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 23, Jesus continued to denounce the scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisy. Before God, we are all naked and transparent. Let the Lord search us for him to strip us of any part that's fake and filthy so that we may live blamelessly.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
If you follow the news, you would know the Ashley Madison story. This is a Canada-based online dating service that promotes adultery. God has given us the ten commandments and here's a website openly urging you to violate one of them. Hackers have now stolen all of its customer data and threatened to make them public. So far the site membership includes 39 million people in 53 countries! Some users have reported receiving extortion emails asking for money. Yesterday two persons associated with the leak of customer details were reported to have taken their lives. We see sins perpetuating sins, causing vast numbers of people to be snared by the devil. Sinners have lost their fear of God and now serve money alone. It's time for all Christians to rise, pray extra hard, and become saints. Our mission is to overcome evil for the glory of God.
Communion experience. I let myself go in the Lord for him to lift me up to hold in his hands. It was like being raised from the dead. In fact, repenting to God and getting all our sins forgiven is a form of resurrection. So is surrendering to God to attain union with him. The Lord is the only one who can raise us to whatever height he wishes.
We know that we should love God more. The common practice is to make a firm resolution aimed at achieving that goal, but this rarely makes things easy. The right way is to open yourself up to God so that he may enter to transform you. Again, the secret is to spare your own effort and let God do the work.
Today's Gospel acclamation at Mass, based upon Hebrews 4.12: The word of God is living and effective, able to discern reflections and thoughts of the the heart. It is a big mistake to overlook the Gospel, thinking that it's outdated news. On the contrary, the Gospel remains new and fresh since God remains so forever.
Monday, August 24, 2015
In the Old Testament, prophets came before Jesus and many did not believe in them and even killed some of them. Then Jesus, the Son of God, himself came and was not treated any better. What's going to happen to all these unbelieving generations, ours included? The answer, not pleasant, can be found in some of the parables Jesus told.
Sunday, August 23, 2015
Communion experience. Communion is truly union with God on earth; the intimacy with God can only be topped by what we'll experience in heaven. It's straight entering God's bosom. I heard him say, "You are mine and will be with me one day." I knew then that whatever I said he heard me.
In today's Gospel reading from John 6 at Mass, the Twelve were with Jesus and Peter said to his master, "We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God." If you are not so convinced yet because you've been avoiding facing the Lord, then I recommend that you take a good, long look at yourself in a mirror because hiding from God is basically hiding from yourself.
Saturday, August 22, 2015
Today is the Memorial of the Queenship of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Sitting in front of me at Mass was a family with many children. I saw the littles ones especially beautiful because they were still quite pure and whatever sins they had committed must most likely be spontaneous and not premeditated ones. The fact is that most children who grow up in our societies gradually become selfish, hypocritical, and even evil individuals. If sins are poisons, then all adults need to be detoxified. Seeking union with God is the exact process of restoring the genuine human soul. We need to be reborn in Christ again so that we can be like the pure littles ones we once were.
Friday, August 21, 2015
Communion time thoughts. Since we are so very special to God (see my last post), it's only right that we relate to him in the most special way. We become his sons and daughters. We call on him anytime for help and guidance, and trust in him with all our heart. We partake of his body and blood at Holy Communion. Then we surrender to him and become one with him ~ how more special can you possibly get? Now, rejoice that we possess our most special Lord!
We may not think about this much, but we were created in the image of God and he came down from heaven to become one of us through the Incarnation of Jesus, his Son, to die and redeem us. All this shows how special, important, and valuable we are to him. Rejoice, all you who are favored and loved by our God the Father!
Thursday, August 20, 2015
A good Christian is a very smart person, for he is not disturbed by all the chaos around him; maintains his inner peace, for he knows that God is with him; forgives everyone; can let all material things go; feels light and free; and a lot more. A good Christian is a good person to envy.
Today is the Memorial of St. Bernard. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 22, Jesus told the parable of the Wedding Feast. A king invited many to a wedding feast he's giving for his son. He caught one guest there not dressed in a wedding garment, was displeased, and ordered his attendants to cast him into the darkness outside. The parable illustrated Jesus' point that "many are invited, but few are chosen." To attend Mass to receive the Holy Eucharist is truly attending a heavenly banquet to sup with the Lord. If you receive the Lord not in a state of grace, you risk being cast out. To attend Mass out of obligation with no intention of worshipping God, you risk being cast out. Never try to fool God so that you may be chosen.
To love someone, you must love the soul of that person. Your concern must go beyond just concern for his or her wellbeing on earth. Hell is such a terrible place that if you love God, you would not want anyone to end up there. Avoiding going to hell is infinitely more important than avoiding a head-on collision when you are driving. Jesus loves us and came down from heaven to save our souls ~ we should intend likewise.
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
"God loves you" sounds trite but true, and knowing its truth can change your life. How much you accept, like, or respect yourself measures how much you know this truth. If you know it well, you would feel so good that whether anyone else loves you or not becomes unimportant and would want to love God back by loving all others. To discover this powerful love, get to know Jesus, the embodiment of love.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 20, Jesus told his disciples the parable of The Workers in the Vineyard. From it, I learned the following. (1) When God calls us, he is hiring us to work for him and we become his employees. If we work hard, we'll be paid (rewarded) by him at the end. (2) After finishing telling the parable, Jesus said, "Thus, the last will be first, and the first will be last." This is telling us how God rewards us is none of our business, what matters is that we work faithfully and receive our just rewards at the end, and jealousy has no place in our hearts. For example, I accepted Christ as my Savior decades ago and now someone comes along and gets saved just before he dies, should I be jealous of him and claim that God is unfair? Of course not! I should instead rejoice that God is glorified by one more person. Never compare ourselves with others is a good rule to follow.
Tuesday, August 18, 2015
Before I received Communion, I sensed the overwhelming beauty and power of God's holiness. I basked in it, letting it "sanitize" and soothe my spirit. After I received Communion, I saw that no matter what happens in life, love for God must not diminish. I'd endure a little while longer on earth as eternal joy awaits.
In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 19, Peter asked Jesus for all the disciples, "We have given up everything and followed you. What will there be for us?" Jesus answered, "Everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands for the sake of my name will receive a hundred times more, and will inherit eternal life." Father S in his homily mentioned giving up our free will too ~ I saw that would take care of all of what we should give up, for when there's no more need to exercise our free will, we have chosen to go with God all the way.
If we continue to sin, we lose our inner peace and remain unhappy. The strategy to fight this is to always hope in God as we keep going. With persistence, we can even rise to new heights. Hope and trust in God stubbornly through this brief life of ours and we'll end up resting in God later for all eternally.
Monday, August 17, 2015
Chris Christie, the New Jersey governor who is now running for President as a Republican, said that he used to be pro-choice by default, but became pro-life after he heard his daughter's strong fetal heartbeat during a prenatal visit when his wife was 13 weeks pregnant. This is a beautiful story. Most pro-choice people have never thought about their position carefully. (I know because I used to want to appear tolerant and progressive, seeing nothing wrong with abortion.) What I pity the most are those legalistic people, including many court judges, who would rule that the unborn are not yet persons and therefore have no rights to life ~ what infantile, barbarous thinking! Separation between church and state must never be keeping God out of our conscience. To terminate a human life God has created is a grave sin. And to terminate one that's born out of our sin has to be even graver!
Sunday, August 16, 2015
John 6.51-58 was the Gospel reading at Sunday Mass. Reading these verses as if you're reading them for the very first time with an open mind, you would not get the impression that Jesus meant eating his flesh and drinking his blood in some symbolic way, for the Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" In this whole passage, Jesus could have added the word "symbolically" in any of the at least five spots, but he didn't. If he did, he probably would've had to explain what that meant and wouldn't likely have said "For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink" later, further confusing the issue. Arguing that the consecrated elements of the Holy Eucharist are not the true body and blood of the Lord is deliberately overlooking John 6 with the intent of saying that the Church got it wrong. It is also my personal belief that this sacrament is God's gift to the Church to keep the gates of the netherworld from prevailing against it.
I attended the Vigil Mass yesterday. The entrance song we sang was "City of God." The refrain of the song goes like this: "Let us build the city of God. May our tears be turned into dancing! For the Lord, our light and our love, has turned the night into day!" I felt overwhelmed by the sweet love of Jesus ~ he is indeed the fountain of pure joy. And I realized that when we live by every word that comes forth from the mouth of God, we get to enjoy his joy too!
I see this life providing us with time to prepare ourselves for the next with Jesus as the perfect guide. If you listen to and follow him, he'll surely lead you to heaven. If not, you are just lost, to be blunt about it. I may seem to simplify things a bit, but the truth is always simple ~ not grasping it is then our problem.
Saturday, August 15, 2015
On this Solemnity of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, I'd like to ask this question: Is Jesus truly our Savior or not? We'll find out for sure after we die, but why wait till then when it'll be too late? He is so prominent that we must answer this question for ourselves now while we're still alive! Another reason why time on earth is so precious.
Friday, August 14, 2015
Communion experience on this memorial of St. Maximilian Kolbe. It was the settling of the heart in God, letting God envelop you completely to heal your heart and soul ~ an experience only God can give. If everyone experiences Christ thus, there would be universal peace. Indeed, the Messiah is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9.6).
From Matthew 25.40: Amen, I say to you, whatever you did for one of the least of my brothers, you did it for me. It's not just "my brothers," but "the least of my brothers." It just shows that we are to love all with no exceptions. This is our challenge: to love unconditionally and non-discriminatorily.
Thursday, August 13, 2015
In today's reading from Matthew 18 at Mass, Jesus used a parable to teach Peter to keep forgiving a brother who has sinned against him. The lesson is that we should forgive others as God forgives us. In essence, always treat others the way we expect God to treat us. The ultimate goal is then to save all souls by loving them because God loves us all. Mark 8.35, Jesus saying "Whoever loses his life for my sake and for the sake of the gospel will save it" ties in well.
Wednesday, August 12, 2015
The Gospels are to be read as if you are reading them for the very first time. If you assume you already know them because you've heard them read many times before, then you'll miss seeing the wonders of the Lord's life and what he teaches. God remains forever new!
It's such a beautiful thing to go through life with Jesus ~ you share the same joys and sorrows, going through both happy and hard times together. Through thick and thin, you bond with your God and friend. There's nothing more perfect than beginning your intimate, eternal relationship with God right now on earth!
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Communion experience on this memorial of St. Claire. Receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist is the perfect time to abandon myself in him, for he enters me to be one with me! He has already died for me out of pure love ~ can you possibly imagine that he is now holding back in wanting to help me? No, that's impossible. I look forward to receiving my Lord, for in him I find true rest, fulfilling the purpose with which he has created me.
To know whether doing something is right or wrong, just see what would happen if everyone does it. To see if certain worldly pleasure is good for you or not, just see how you would feel if you get to "enjoy" it nonstop day after day. Take eating as an example. If I eat something enjoyable nonstop, sooner or later I would get sick of it and might even vomit it all out. Heavenly joy is totally different. More of it would delight and elate your spirit and make you want even more. Imagine how you would feel in heaven with God! This explains why worldly pleasures become distasteful to those who have experienced the joy of Christ. For those who do not know the Lord yet, detaching themselves from the world is virtually impossible. The only "easy" way for them is to know Christ, who is our liberator, first.
Monday, August 10, 2015
In the last verse of today's Gospel reading, Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be." To gain life, we are not able to lead ourselves since we do not know the way. Our only way is to follow Jesus, who alone can fulfill our desire for life. It's either Jesus or nothing for us.
Today is the Feast of St. Lawrence. In the Gospel reading from John 12, Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit." Before Mass began, I actually desired to die and rest in peace in the Holy Spirit. I sensed this to be necessary for resolving our destiny of ascent to God. It is death that provides rebirth.
Sunday, August 9, 2015
In today's Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus declared, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever." Once you have received the Lord in the Holy Eucharist in a state of grace, you must keep yourself as pure as possible in order to make his dwelling in you as comfortable as possible. Then you can talk to him and consult him within in great intimacy.
In today's homily by Fr. M, he points out that people tend to act differently when they see that he has his collar on. We all act in a situation to make ourselves look good, but the Christian is to follow Jesus always. Therefore, he must always be his genuine self at all times ~ no acting ~ and being aware that God is present.
In today's second reading from Ephesians 4 at Mass, Paul spells out some new rules for the new life, "All bitterness, fury, anger, shouting, and reviling must be removed from you, along with all malice. And be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ." These rules would be most difficult to follow if you try to do it by your own effort. Again, the secret of success is to let God accomplish all things for you in you. Surrender and Trust is the effortless way.
I got back home last night. On the way, I drove by what seemed to be a barn with the large words "Praise God" painted on its end wall. I don't believe this would mean much to anyone who doesn't personally know God. But since I already know Jesus, I already know God, and I praise him for allowing me to see that signage.
The other day when my heart was pure, I got that unbeatable, free, clean feeling, knowing that God was with me and in me. This verified the Beatitude of Jesus "Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God." Indeed, this is how he had made us,
Tuesday, August 4, 2015
Today I realize that I don't have any desire to want to be like anyone else except Jesus. I recall that way back, I used to want to conform to what my peers were doing, or wished that I was in someone else's shoes or like that person. No more. I don't even think about winning any lottery unless all winnings can go help a good cause. In other words, Christ has set me free, and I rejoice in that.
Sunday, August 2, 2015
God is to be embraced, enjoyed, and loved. If you still do not believe in Jesus yet, you must ask yourself why. As you know, Jesus has to be either truly God or a totally false person. If you cannot prove that he is false, then you have no choice but to accept him as Lord and God. If you cannot do it yet, then it has to be because you still want to be your own little god.
I attended Vigil Mass today at Holy Rosary Cathedral in this city I am staying at. These are my thoughts today. God is infinite and holy. No matter how holy I become, I am still a wretched sinner before him, as I am finite. This is precisely why all the more I need the Lord.