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.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
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 are the holy men whom the Lord chose in his own perfect love; to them he gave eternal glory. God is love. It's love that sustains our very existence. It's love that the soul needs for healing. And it's love that will get us into heaven. Love is also the answer to all our problems. Without it, everything collapses. With it, we possess God! Love is all around us, but people do not see it because sin has blinded their hearts.
To be in tune with God is to be aware of his presence, ready to communicate with him at any time, and not go off on my own to do what I want to do. Sinning easily gets us out of tune with the Lord and we no longer feel his presence nor hear his voice, and we sin even more. The Lord is ever present; so if we lose him, we are the cause. Being in union with him is the most effective way of remaining in tune with God.
Tuesday, October 27, 2015
In today's first reading from Romans 8, Paul mentions the glorious freedom of the children of God. That caught my ear, for the children of God are no longer bound by their life on earth. As death has no power over the resurrected Lord, the children of God also has been given life for ever. They are gloriously free because they are shielded by the love of God which nothing can separate from them.
Monday, October 26, 2015
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 13, Jesus points out the hypocrisy of the leader of the synagogue. Let's remember that no one can hide or escape from the Lord. He sees and knows everything about us ~ we are completely naked, exposed, and transparent to him. Let's keep this in mind as we live our lives. Believing otherwise is to believe that God is not all-knowing, making us look like fools.
I felt great joy at Mass this morning. How could I not when you possess Christ, the source of joy, already? The entrance antiphon from Psalm 105 read: Let the hearts that seek the Lord rejoice; turn to the Lord and his strength; constantly seek his face. The Communion antiphon from Psalm 20 was also into joy: We will sing out our joy at your saving help and exult in the name of our God. It amazed me that I felt the same way about God as the psalmist did three millennia ago.
Sunday, October 25, 2015
In the Gospel reading from Mark 10 at Mass, we learned that a blind man kept crying out, asking Jesus to have pity on him. Jesus called him, and he threw aside his cloak, sprang up, and came to Jesus. The Lord asked him, "What do you want me to do for you?" The blind man replied, "Master, I want to see." Jesus told him, "Go your way; your faith has saved you." Immediately, he received his sight.
Indeed, it's "ask and you'll receive." We must be used to asking Jesus for help, or it won't be easy for us. Yesterday I saw a woman sitting on the sidewalk, leaning against the wall of a bar restaurant. She looked very much in distress, so I got down to talk to her. She teared up quickly while telling me some of the horrible family problems. I suggested praying to Jesus for help, but I could tell that it's not something she would readily consider doing. It made me realize that it's important for us to develop the "natural habit" of turning to God for help anytime we are in trouble, for God is to be leaned on.
I was away for a couple of days, so here are some thoughts I had I am now posting late. Last Friday I just knew that Jesus can absolutely deliver anyone from any spiritual quagmire they might be in if only they will submit themselves to him for help.
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Going back to my early days, I see the times when I was not sure what I should do. I tried this, tried that, wasting years as a result. Many of today's youths also lack guidance. In college, they don't know what they should major in and often get into all kinds of trouble. We all need good guidance, and that perfect guide is Christ, I can testify. From him, you learn to know right from wrong. By following him with trust, you always have peace, no more confusion, anxiety, or wasted time. He guides your heart directly and you know that he's leading you toward eternal bliss.
Today is the optional Memorial of St. John Paul II. Many of us have our favorite saints and John Paul II is one of mine. Then I thought of Christ, the greatest saint of saints and the only perfect saint. It becomes clear that he's the only one we need to imitate.
Today's entrance antiphon from Psalm 17 at Mass reads: To you I call; for you will surely heed me. O God; turn you ear to me; hear my words. Guard me as the apple of your eye; in the shadow of your wings protect me. Here is the God of Christ, the Father he prayed to. I absolutely feel comfortable praying to this same God as a Christian. The New Testament has now joined the Old, completing the Scriptures. Then I realize that to the unfulfilled Jews who do not know the New Testament, their Scripture comes to an abrupt halt and they still remain unfulfilled.
When you learn from spiritual writers or speakers, you are learning from what they have learned from other spiritual writers and/or speakers. Learning from the great saints who have learned directly from God is superior. Better yet, be in union with God and learn directly from the Lord yourself. Then what he places in your heart will be all you need to know to become holy. The direct route is the fast track.
Wednesday, October 21, 2015
There can be no greater contrast between two places than that between Heaven and hell. In heaven you enjoy eternal bliss, and in hell you suffer eternal torment. We shall all end up in one or the other place. (There is no reincarnation. Turning into another person, an ant, or whatever in our next life is pure wishful fantasy.) Our life on earth is extremely brief, so choosing your eternal destination becomes top priority. Don't be enslaved by material possessions, for we are just passing through. Steer firmly toward heaven to ensure that it'll be "home, sweet home" for you.
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Sin has no power over God; it has only power over us! When sin destroys our soul, we are destroyed forever. To continue to sin is heading straight toward a place where the suffering of the souls makes me shudder. Jesus has changed everything. Acknowledge that he is our savior and we are saved. With him, sin loses all its power over us. We can respond to God or remain an eternal fool.
All Christians want to know God's calling or vocation for them. Know that his ultimate calling is for us to be one with him because when we attain union with him, we will know his will. This is the fast track to discerning what God's specific callings for us are.
Today's Gospel acclamation, Luke 21.36: Be vigilant at all times and pray that you may have the strength to stand before the Son of Man ~ Jesus said this. That we shall stand before him one day is inevitable. Sins weaken us, so to be vigilant is to be sure that they are taken away by the Lord as soon as possible. Of course, if you are pure enough to receive Holy Communion, you should have the strength to stand before him. Nevertheless, the best preparation is made by seeking union with God. When you attain it, you'd want to go to him in earnest so as to meet your most beloved.
Throughout history to the present, there have been many who yearned for God, experienced a calling, believed in him and followed him joyfully even to death (for example, the Christian martyrs). If we just happened to be on earth by some kind of accident with God nonexisting, I don't believe what I described above could ever have occurred. Intuitively, I again know that God exists and has made it possible for us to know him.
When I got up around six this morning, I did not turn on any light and saw that it was still quite dark outside. In this quiet darkness, it was easy to sense your loneness. Yet immediately I knew that Jesus was present, more certain than I knew that the sun would soon rise.
Monday, October 19, 2015
Communion reflections. When Jesus went on the cross, he carried all our sins upon himself. We surrender to him and we become clean. When we receive Jesus in Holy Communion, all his love enters us. We surrender to him and we become holy.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 12, Jesus told the crowd the parable of the rich fool. The fool is the rich man who stores up treasure for himself but is not rich in what matters to God. He says to himself, "Now as for you, you have so many good things stored up for many years, rest, eat, drink, be merry!," not knowing that his life will be demanded of him that night. Here's someone who probably has a lot of business acumen, but a low spiritual IQ. Obviously, a high intellectual IQ can get you into a university, but you would need a high spiritual IQ to get into heaven.
I still remember when I first became a Christian, there were instants at which I sensed the existence (not presence) of God to keep me going in my journey of faith. As I persisted, my faith grew, but I was still amazed by others of stronger faith. When I asked the Holy Spirit to baptize me during my involvement in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal movement, things started to happen. I actually experienced the presence of God and his power of transforming us. When you let the Holy Spirit take over, your spiritual growth soars without effort on your part. Those were the memorable four and a half years of my life. Finally, the Lord withdrew and the time had arrived for me to surrender to him so that his graces might pour freely into me. Now I do not have to make myself believe anymore ~ the faith is automatically in place as I enjoy his presence within me and about me. Throughout the entire process, God remained gentle, patient, and loving. He truly respected my free will in order to make my faith meaningful to me. What a great Lord!
Sunday, October 18, 2015
Today I particularly feel the urgency for the world to turn to the Lord before it's too late. Since Jesus can come at any time and we can die at any time, that urgency remains ever present. Every moment we have is precious, an opportunity for us to glorify God and not to be squandered in sinning against God. Both good and bad things happen. It is only when bad things happen that we wish they have not happened.
Communion experience. I felt great joy in receiving the Lord, so beautiful, loving, and holy; yet so many ignore, reject, or even blaspheme him. Where is fairness? Know that when we hurt the Lord, we end up ultimately hurting ourselves the most. When we love him, we love ourselves too and become happy.
I have posted on this blog over 5,000 times for the sole purpose of letting all know that God is real, that he loves us and is longing for our love, and that he is to be experienced and enjoyed. I am not forcing myself in any way to say all these things for his sake ~ it just comes forth from my heart naturally as the Holy Spirit directs and inspires me. And it's a great honor and joy to serve the Lord, our Father, our brother, and our teacher. I'd like to emphasize that God wants to be one with you all; he wants you to experience his love, his power, and his holiness. There is nothing more exciting than letting him transform you into a new creature, good enough to enter heaven. As the father said to the elder brother of the prodigal son in the parable, "Everything I have is yours." This is the kind of relationship God desires to have with you. We are so privileged and blessed that we can get to know our God so intimately through Christ. Let him break you down and build you up again, and you'll know that I am speaking what I know to be the truth.
Saturday, October 17, 2015
If you think you are OK with your boss or a family member or friend, you are OK. But if you think you are OK with God, then you are not OK if you are not sure about it. With God, it's no light matter. You can't "earn" salvation if you are casual about it. God means business because he and his words are totally trustworthy .
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 12, Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before others the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever denies me before others will be denied before the angels of God. Everyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but the one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven." To me, these sayings could only have come from God himself. The warnings are well for us to remember. We must never, never blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, for he is God!
Total abandonment in God is entering the Lord to discover his wonders and experience true freedom, with the Holy Spirit teaching you everything. It's entering the kingdom of God to be one with love and beauty. God is all ours to enjoy, now and forever!
The first verse of this morning's entrance antiphon from Galatians 2 at Mass: I am crucified with Christ, yet I live; no longer I, but Christ lives in me. The whole process of living can be summed up this way: Do I live or do I let Christ live in me? We have our free will. We feel the tug from God, but we turn away or resist ~ this goes on throughout our whole life. It's our choice to live triumphantly and free in God or to hide and cling to ourselves. It's just so hard to let go of oneself ~ the crux of the matter. Happy is the one who can abandons himself completely to God.
Friday, October 16, 2015
I was driving home, passing a cluster of movie theaters, which made me think of the many immoral films that had been shown there in the past and the many people involved in producing and making those films. Then I thought of the imminent judgment from God we'd face, either right after we die or at the Second Coming of Christ. You really don't have to be a prophet to realize this. Personally, I choose to get ready for that moment now so that I may continue living in peace.
In the news today: Pope Francis greets some of the homeless people the Vatican is taking care of. When sometimes my hair grows a little too long and I stop shaving for several days, others remark that I am beginning to look like a homeless person. Well, even if I become truly homeless in this world, I know I am not, because anyone belonging to the Lord already has the most beautiful home awaiting him in paradise!
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 12.1-7, Jesus said to his disciples, "There is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be proclaimed on the housetops." Later he added that nothing escapes the notice of God and even the hairs of our head have all been counted. Indeed, the big difference between God and us is that he knows everything while we know almost nothing. This is reality whether you like it or not.
Today's response to Psalm 32 at Mass reads: I turn to you, Lord, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation. This joy should characterize the Christian who has encountered the Lord and been saved. It is a joy only God can bestow and the world in general needs but does not know. This joy will reach its zenith when the saved one sees the Lord welcoming him or her home in the coming life.
It should be clear that God gave us sexual desires to assure that procreation will continue. To use any contraceptive solely for the purpose of enjoying sex is to thwart God's purpose and to be purely self-centered. If everyone does this at all times, humans would become extinct in a few generations. You don't have to be a theologian or scholar to see that the teaching of the Church against the use of contraceptives is right; you only need to cast aside selfcenteredness and think with a clear, cool mind. This teaching fits in perfectly with the other teachings on marriage and the sanctity of life.
As I got up this early morning, it was still dark outside. Looking out the window from my bed, I saw the tall trees silhouetted against the dim sky. I realized that I am living in a dark world, yet have no fear because I am linked to God, free from the world and no longer bounded by its darkness. It's a great feeling, made possible by Christ the Lord.
Thursday, October 15, 2015
In Matthew 5.48, Jesus said to his disciples, "Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." So why don't Christians aim high? Why do we not aim for becoming saints? God deserves nothing but our best from us. I caught a little bit of a program on EWTN giving out good, helpful information to help your grow spiritually, but why do we not hear any speakers directly urging people to become saints? You don't need a saint to talk about becoming one ~ we need to know it because this is what the Lord asks of us! Aim high for God who is high and for whom everything is possible. Sainthood is the vocation call for every one of us Christians!
Today is the memorial of St. Teresa of Jesus. John 14.6 is the Gospel acclamation at Mass: I am the way and the truth and the life, says the Lord; no one comes to the Father except through me. I believe all Christians are familiar with this verse ~ what a mighty statement! In fact, all his deeds and words are mighty, culminating in his Resurrection and Ascension. There is no one else mighty and holy like him. He alone is worthy to be God and is God! Ignore him and you remain lost!
Wednesday, October 14, 2015
At Mass this morning, a visiting priest made the distinction between judging someone's action and judging the person's intention. It is all right to judge someone's action to be wrong and correct him, but the intention is left for God to deal with. Jesus asks us not to judge ~ here "judge" implies "criticizing without love." It all goes to the saying: "Hate the sin, but love the sinner."
One exercise book recommends that when you exercise with weights, do not show any strain on your face, but direct all your energy to lifting the weight. This makes sense in petitioning God too. It's natural for us to pray hard, wasting much energy on wondering if God has heard us or when and how he is going to respond to us. The superior and right way is to put all your energy into trusting in God and not any on feeling anxious and unsettled. In other words, pray from the heart, trust, and let it go.
Monday, October 12, 2015
As I prayed the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary today, I realized that they are all about what the Holy Mother experienced and that hardship accompanied her joy each time. (1) Annunciation ~ with the joy of learning that she had been chosen to bear the Savior came the great responsibility of nurturing and rearing him. (2) Visitation ~ visiting her cousin Elizabeth involved arduous long-distance traveling. (3) Nativity ~ with no room at the inn, Mother Mary had to give birth to Jesus in a manger. (4) Presentation ~ Simon foretold that a sword would pierce her soul. (5) Finding Jesus in Temple ~ the temporary missing child must have caused distress in the mother's heart.
After reflecting upon the above mysteries, I saw that the our Christian life is basically bittersweet. The bitterness are the hardships that are either necessary or brought about by sin, and the sweetness, the ever presence of Christ in our lives.
It is not always possible to get someone to listen to you, yet you can easily penetrate the heart of God our Father with what comes from the depths of your heart. Be sincere and trusting and the Father hears you. Communication at such a deep level generates great delight in the heart.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus said to the people gathered in the crowd, "This generation is an evil generation; it seeks a sign, but no sign will be given it, except the sign of Jonah." What our generation, like all previous generations, has failed to recognize is that the biggest sign before us is Christ the Lord himself, the wonder of wonders!
The bottom reality we face but do not always see in this world is the unceasing, ongoing battle between good and evil. In John 18.36, Jesus said, "My kingdom does not belong to this world." If we want to be with Jesus, we must not belong to this world either. So it is imperative that we overcome evil by being holy in this world so as to join Christ in his kingdom.
In today's first reading from Romans 1, Paul reminded the Romans that they were called to belong to Jesus Christ, called to be holy. No doubt holiness pleases God, but anyone who is holy feels good himself too, being free and knowing that he pleases God. Anyone who does not feel any joy in the Lord cannot possibly be holy.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
The common means of fostering spiritual growth are reading good books, listening to inspiring speakers, attending various conferences . . . to name a few. I advocate that you go directly to the Lord to learn from him, that is, seeking union with him. Union with God has been sadly and mistakenly thought of as for the saints only. The fact is that it is for all of us and is what God desires the most from us! Seeking union is indeed the superior fast track to knowing and learning to be like God. The Lord made this clear to me six years ago and it is the central message he wants me to spread via this blog.
Perhaps the best known and most beautiful parable Jesus ever told is that of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15,11-32). We know that God loves us because he had given his only Son, but when Jesus told this parable, he had not been crucified yet. It struck me then that no one could have come up such a parable except the one who intimately knows God or God himself.
Life is on shaky ground, for anything can happen to us at any time and we are gone. Wise is he who realizes this, prepares for it, and is ready. For him the shakiness of life is a nonissue when he is assured of having a rock-steady future for ever.
In the Gospel reading from Mark 10 today, Jesus also said to Peter, "Amen, I say to you, there is no one who has given up house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands for my sake and for the sake of the gospel who will not receive a hundred times more now in this present age: houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and eternal life in the age to come." I see life as an endurance test. To receive eternal life, we are to given up everything, accept all persecutions, and live for Christ. The antithesis is to hold onto everything, reject sufferings and hardships, and live selfcenteredly, with no promise of eternal life.
I'd like to quote the last verse of today's second reading from Hebrews 4 at Mass: No creature is concealed from him [God], but everything is naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must render an account. God knows and sees everything about us because we must render an account to him after we depart from this world. If he doesn't care about us, there would be no reason for him to know anything about us.
Saturday, October 10, 2015
Whether you believe in the God of Christ or not, he is calling you in everything that happens to you, good or bad from your point of view. To the believer, what happens to him is always a lesson to be learned and an opportunity to be drawn closer to God. Therefore, he continues to grow spiritually and enjoys peace and freedom. The unbeliever won't hear God calling until he is humble enough to turn to him for help.
Today's Gospel reading from Luke 11 at Mass consists of just verses 27-28. When a woman from the crowd called out and said to Jesus while he was speaking, "Blessed is the womb that carried you and the breasts at which you nursed,” he replied, “Rather, blessed are those who hear the word of God and observe it." Indeed, the Lord makes everything simple for us ~ we only need to observe his word. When Mary understood from the angel that she was going to conceive in her womb and bear the the Son of the Most High, she said, "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done according to your word." When Jesus called the twelve Apostles to-be, they dropped everything and followed him. The path of observing the word of the Lord may not always be smooth, but you'll be absolutely secure. Why do we make it so complicated? Good question.
God loves us unselfishly. I realize that when we fall in love with God, our love is equally unselfish. We just love him, period ~ no other motive. Sure, heaven might be in the very back of our mind, but loving him is only what matters. This is the Lord drawing you, so you love him with the love he has planted in you. This is the love that unites us to our creator and Father.
Friday, October 9, 2015
If I have killed someone and feel sorry about it, I could repent directly to God, but it would be difficult for me to know for sure that he has heard and forgiven me. God knows our human nature only too well. The Resurrected Lord appeared to his disciples, breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them, and whose sins you retain are retained." (John 20.29.) Now we repent to the Lord before a priest. When the priest absolves us of our sin(s), we know we are being forgiven. The Holy Eucharist is to union with God as the sacrament of penance is to being forgiven by God. After receiving the Holy Eucharist, you know that the Lord is healing your soul to become one with you.
As we usually are influenced by the company we keep, we are affected by what we hear too. All the mundane or even gossipy things we hear can easily disturb our inner peace. It is best to let the mind receive inspiration from God, for only he can uplift our spirit. Avoid or let pass all that is uninspiring or clutters the mind to reserve our space for the Lord alone.
Thursday, October 8, 2015
You hear said "Life is like a dream," but I think it's more like a movie. A dream is rather ethereal, whereas a movie is a succession of scenes which you can direct and edit to achieve the desired ending. Watch this Catholics Come Home "Movie of Your Life" commercial to see what I mean.
"In today's Gospel reading from Luke 11, Jesus said to his disciples, "And I tell you, ask and you will receive; seek and you will find . . . ." The Lord is saying that when we ask, he hears and will definitely respond. He does not promise that we will receive exactly what we ask for, but whatever we receive will be good, as he later added: "What father among you would hand his son a snake when he asks for a fish? Or hand him a scorpion when he asks for an egg?" Trust in God always to receive what's best for us.
Today's entrance antiphon, Esther 4.17: Within your will, O Lord, all things are established and there is none that can resist your will. For you have made all things, the heaven and the earth, and all that is held within the circle of heaven; you are the Lord of all. Indeed, there will be no peace within or without us until we (1) acknowledge that the Lord has created all things, including us, and (2) submit ourselves to him unconditionally.
Wednesday, October 7, 2015
The disciples of Jesus in his days actually saw him, heard him, and touched him. We who follow him today do not see him, hear him, or get to touch him, but we do have an advantage: Jesus had said to Thomas who was not present when the Risen Lord first appeared to the other disciples, "Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed." (John 20.29.)
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
We lose inner peace because we live in a chaotic, imperfect world. I am thinking that even if for all my life I have perfect health and no financial worries, can do whatever I enjoy doing, and am loved by everyone, I still would not have true inner peace if I realize that I am mortal and do not know where I (or my soul) will go after death. It's clear to me that God is the missing piece of our life.
I am pondering over the act of suicide bombing which you practically hear about occurring daily somewhere in the world. As far as I know, the bomber believes that he or she is carrying out God's will by sacrificing his or her own life to kill others indiscriminately. It's impossible for me to comprehend that God would hate anyone to want them dead, as the God I know is the one who has died in our place to save us ~ a God full of love, compassion, and mercy, and who wishes us to always forgive others, never judging. You go figure. I am just completely satisfied with the God I know.
Today's Gospel reading, Luke 10.38-42, is about the two sisters Martha and Mary. Jesus came to their home and Martha was anxious and worried about the serving, while Mary just sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. Jesus made it clear that Mary had chosen the better part. Of course, we have to be Martha at times because it's necessary, but to be Mary is essential in order to serve the Lord well. In fact, choosing to be Mary turns our role as Martha into a joy.
Today's response to Psalm 130 at Mass read: If you, O Lord, mark iniquities, who can stand? Indeed, it would be the most horrible thing that could ever happen to you to be so marked by the Lord! Then remember that he is infinitely merciful and he will never mark you if you let him take away your sins.
I see God calling us at all times. Horrific crimes committed around the world (domestically, killings within the family are common), unprecedented natural disasters (South Carolina is currently experiencing catastrophic flooding after days of historic rains), personal tragedies, the emptiness of worldly living . . . all these are clear and loud signs telling us to turn and return to God. Suppose you live to 63 ~ you live almost 2 billion seconds. In any of those seconds, you have an infinite number of chances to turn to God. Waiting until Judgment Day will be too late.
Monday, October 5, 2015
Communion thoughts. The world is perilous only to those who do not know Jesus, for they can easily lose their way forever. For those who have Jesus, they are safe in a boat from all storms because the Lord is in the boat with them, sleeping peacefully (read Matthew 8.23-26).
Sunday, October 4, 2015
I have my favorite charities and would like to leave them with part of what I possess after I die. Then I realize that this is not really being generous because it's as if I need everything of mine now and I am going to take care of myself first and others later when I don't need anything for myself anymore ~ this is putting my needs ahead of God's! Therefore, the time to help others is now if we can, not after we die.
As you know, the more polluted the air, the more beautiful the sunset. In other words, looks can be deceiving. On a beautiful day in an upscale neighborhood, everything looks neat and orderly, but wait until you know what's in the hearts of those walking outside and those living inside the houses. Again, looks can be deceiving. Today's world has been completely tarnished by sin. Every day every moment, we see, hear, and feel things that tempt us ~ it's just too easy to succumb to evil. People have reached the point that they no longer want to know God and his love; they just want to have a good time, unaware that what they do can send them on their way to hell! I speak strongly because the world now needs to hear it, as hell is real ~ Jesus mentioned it. It's out of love that we should warn the world of the reality of hell, for it has already rejected God's love.
I caught this Journey Home episode on YouTube and was impressed and inspired by Fr. Richard Ho Lung's coming-home story. He founded the Missionaries of the Poor order (http://www.missionariesofthepoor.org/) whose work reminds me of Mother Teresa. This video is worth watching for Fr. Richard's words of wisdom and his great humility.
Saturday, October 3, 2015
We are alive because the eternal soul dwells within our physical body. After the soul departs, the body decays. Hence, do not be attached to the body so much, but keep clean and pure the soul which God treasures. Anyone who is concerned much about his health but ignores his spiritual well-being is being plain foolish.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 10, the seventy-two disciples returned rejoicing and said to Jesus, "Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name." Jesus said to them, "Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven." If your name is written in heaven, it means God has already chosen you and your future is assured for all eternity. There is nothing in which you can rejoice more! This encompasses being loved by God, becoming his faithful servant (and his adopted child), and receiving the pass to heaven. God gives only most special gifts.
Friday, October 2, 2015
Today is the memorial of the holy guardian angels. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 18, Jesus said to his disciples, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven." We can all remember the time we were children. We put our entire trust in our parents, believing in everything they told us. We knew we were taken care of, never having to worry about what to wear, what to eat, or what's going to come tomorrow. We just focus upon playing and having fun. I believe that is how Jesus wants us to be like now that we have grown to be children of our Father in heaven. God can certainly rejuvenate us.
Thursday, October 1, 2015
It's bad enough when people kill each other as if there is no God and no hell, and it's even worse when people start killing others in the name of God. Once a war has started, it's never easy for it to end. Our current world is embroiled in the worst mass killing and destruction we've every seen. Mankind is truly on the path of self-destruction on both levels, the physical and the spiritual. Today is the memorial of St. Therese of the Child Jesus, my beloved saint. After her, I also seek my peace and security in Christ the Lord who always delivers and never disappoints. How I love him!
As I pray to God for someone, the Lord definitely knows what he is going to do, although I do not have a clue. At any rate, I must not guess or expect how he is going to respond, but trust in him completely as if it's not even my business. In this way, when I pray for someone, I am actually praying for myself too.