Communion experience on this Feast of St. Andrew, Apostle. When you are in Christ, you soul is absolutely safe and you can let everything else go.
"Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Wednesday, November 30, 2016
Tuesday, November 29, 2016
We are all different beings, each living in his own unique life situation. When we all become one with God, we shall all experience the intimacy of God, but continue to lead our lives differently. Each of us is called to serve God in a unique role. Let us trust in the same Lord and let him shape and lead each of us the way he knows best. All in God and all for God.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 10, Jesus rejoiced in the Holy Spirit that the Father had hidden things from the wise and the learned and had revealed them to the childlike. I still remember that more than once as a child, I felt carefree and happy because I realized that the adult members of my family were taking care of everything for me. We would feel carefree and happy too if we know that God is taking care of us. To reach this realization, you must start trusting in God first. Then the more you experience the wonders of God, the more you become carefree. When you become completely childlike in your trust, he will have revealed all you need to know to you.
In today's first reading from Isaiah 11, the Spirit of the LORD is referred to as a Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, a Spirit of counsel and of strength, a Spirit of knowledge and of fear of the LORD. When you are in union with God, his Spirit imparts wisdom and reveals himself to you, guides and strengthens you, and speaks to your heart continuously. I concur with Prophet Isaiah completely.
Monday, November 28, 2016
As believers in Christ, it's still so easy to get distracted by or be attracted to what we immediately experience in our environment. Ideally, no matter where we are, what we see, when it is, we should be aware that the Lord is in us, at our center, experiencing everything with us. To be tethered to the Lord thus is to always enjoy his company, be free from all evil, and see things through his eyes. It is to be with him with all our mind, with all your heart, and with all your soul, creating the best moment of our life at any time.
Many people enjoy pleasures of the world, but many pleasures are illicit or immoral. Even if they are kosher, you risk being enslaved by them. Once enslaved by a pleasure, enjoying it becomes a sin. Also, too much of a pleasure often turn it into a displeasure. The joys of God are the opposite, for they are always uplifting and refreshing. Once in heaven, you will want to remain there for ever; and that's just fine, for heaven does happen to last forever.
You see above the football stadium at the University of Michigan, my alma mater. It is the largest such stadium of all the colleges in the US, with a seating capacity of 107,601.
Based upon the number of abortions reported to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, it is projected that the total number of known abortions from 1970 through 2016 will exceed 46 millions. (Abortion was legalized in this country in January, 1973.) So if you replace all the football fans in the Michigan stadium with an equal number of aborted babies, you'll need at least 460 stadiums, that's right, 460, to accommodate all of them! ~ truly mind-blowing. Anyone who knows the love of God can see that abortion is a horrendous evil. May God have mercy on us all.
Sunday, November 27, 2016
Saturday, November 26, 2016
No one other than Christ can send the Holy spirit to fire up your heart. With a cold heart, God can become instantly forgettable. Therefore, go to him directly with an open heart and ask him to set it ablaze and you'll be transformed. The perfect time to do the asking is when you receive him in the Holy Eucharist at Mass.
I don't believe human beings can truly be happy if what they seek is not eternal. Suppose you are given a thousand or even a million years to live happily, but knowing that those years will end ~ would you be completely satisfied? I don't think so. That's why I believe that we can find true happiness only in the Lord God whose kingdom lasts for ever.
God is always calling us, but we do not pay him enough attention until we are much older and begin to realize our own frailties, limitations, and mortality. How many of us die happily with nothing more to confess and without any regret? Wouldn't it be nice to believe and follow God the moment you first hear him calling, get to know him most intimately, and look forward joyfully to meeting him at the end of your life?
Friday, November 25, 2016
When Jesus said "You will have life," he meant we should have life in heaven for all eternity. In today's first reading from Revelation 20 at morning Mass, eternal punishment for the dead was referred to as the second death. So if we live right this time, we die only once and shall live again. But if we do not get it right this time, we live only once and shall die again.
Thursday, November 24, 2016
How do you get to know God intimately to be effectively transformed by him? Or, going one step beyond, how do you attain union with God? It does not work if you just read an author or listen to a speaker who tells you how to do it without involving your own heart. To succeed, start with your heart and go straight to God, bypassing all that's in-between. Seek him directly from your heart and he will guide you directly. This is the fast track.
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
I've been praying for someone who can be considered an enemy to me. What motivates me to pray for him? Perhaps his conversion or change of heart would stop him from giving me more trouble? Perhaps I am afraid of him? Perhaps I want the Lord to teach and crush him? The answer could be yes to any of these questions. Then I can pray for him because I feel sorry for him and want him to be saved for the glory of God. And the Lord shows me that this is the only motive that pleases him.
It's the day before Thanksgiving. I am so many things to be thankful for because of God, my loving creator and Father. Of course, I thank him first of all for his unconditional love and mercy. And I thank him for being my shining hope always. I thank him for sustaining my life not only physically, but most of all spiritually. I thank him especially for taking away all my sins, making me feel refreshingly clean, a feeling only he can give. I also want to thank him for helping me transcend the sufferings of life. I must not forget his important call for me to let all know that he desires intimate union with all of us through the Holy Eucharist. I owe all I am and have to the Lord. 😊
Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Communion experience. The infinite God is beyond my comprehension in every aspect. He is infinite in knowledge, wisdom, and creativity as well as in mercy, love, and understanding. I can spend eternity exploring his ways and learning from him. God is absolutely exciting to know!
Of course, we should love God with all our heart, all our soul, all our strength, and all our mind. By giving our all to God, we are saved and become free. This is correct in theory and putting it into practice is completely possible. As always, we only need to remain passive and open, revealing our desire from the heart, and the Lord will take over from here. Now, after giving our all to him, all things become possible for us.
Monday, November 21, 2016
You can believe if God exists or not. You can believe if Christ is your Savior or not. You can believe if heaven and hell are real or not. You can even believe if there is life after death or not. This I know: what you believe now shall shape your eternity.
When we think thoughts, we automatically know that the brain in our head is working and when we feel emotions, we feel it in our heart. I marvel at how God has made us thus. Of the two, the heart occupies a more central spot, for it is the heart that communes with God. Giving the heart to God is the ultimate giving of oneself. Our first priority, more than to keep the heart healthy, is to keep it pure and undefiled for the glory of God.
Sunday, November 20, 2016
After Communion, I heard the priest in prayer referring to the Holy Eucharist as the food of immortality. In John 6, Jesus referred to himself as the living bread that came down from heaven and that whoever eats it will live forever. In the old days, kings and emperors searched for the fountain of youth or tried to come up with the formula for making the elixir of life to prolong living in this world. Here we have Christ himself for us to partake so that we might live forever! How can we be so foolish as not to appreciate such a gift?
Yesterday I posted about how we can belong to the greatest family of God. Today on this Solemnity of Christ the King, again I am deeply impressed that through Christ, we can all become one with each other, with God, and with all the saints and angels in heaven. We will surely feel at home in heaven! Let us rejoice unceasingly.
If God chooses to rule us with fear (which is impossible, of course), clearly, he won't gain any true believers. The truth is that the Lord "rules" us with the greatest possible love. Now, all believers have genuine faith and become true believers, and nonbelievers by their own choice separate themselves from the rest. This is a most logical reality that makes perfect sense.
Today is Solemnity of Christ the King. The Gospel reading from Luke 23 tells us that Jesus and two criminals were crucified, with one on his right and the other on his left. One criminal hanging there reviled Jesus, but the other rebuked him, saying, "Have you no fear of God? We have been condemned justly, but this man has done nothing criminal." Then he turned to Jesus and said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And Jesus replied to him, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." Here Jesus struck me as one with infinite mercy and saving power. All the sinner did was to beg for his mercy and he was saved. Jesus is our Savior par excellence!
Saturday, November 19, 2016
At the beginning, I experienced joy when I first received Jesus as my Lord and Savior. This joy stemmed from believing that I had been washed clean of sin and was now heaven bound, so it' was centered on me. Now finally, my joy is centered on God, for I experienced great joy in him alone.
There are many truths, but only one that's absolutely and forever true ~ this is the God of Holy Trinity as revealed to us through Jesus the Christ. I am stating what I have come to know with no intention of getting anyone to agree with me. I have no proof in my head, only knowledge deposited in my heart by God. All I can say is "I know." No one can find God for anyone else, for one must search with his heart on his own.
Without humility, God becomes unknowable. In our nation today, too many people play God and blame those who disagree with them. For one example, look at the politicians and their protestors. Remember what Jesus said to the scribes and the Pharisees who were ready to stone the woman caught in the act of committing adultery: "Let the one among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her" (John 8.7). Jesus is the Lamb of God and we have turned into wolves! Without humility, we have created a tragic situation for humanity ~ the ignorance of our creator.
It feels great to belong to a loving family on earth, but even if you don't have that, you can belong to the loving family of God in heaven, including the Father, Jesus your brother, the Holy Spirit your teacher, the Holy Mother, and all the angles and saints ~ an infinitely greater family than any family on earth and for all eternity too.
Friday, November 18, 2016
I've met so many people whose lives are "messed up" with personal problems, bad relationships with others ~ not always their fault, etc. They definitely need help. I am thinking of the Lord God awaiting, eager to lend help, only if they would turn to him and cry out for his help. It comes down to "God is ready, but are you willing?" By the way, God's help is always permanent, never a temporary patch-up.
Thursday, November 17, 2016
Wednesday, November 16, 2016
I still remember when I first believed in Christ a long time ago, I was somewhat intellectually convinced that he is God. Once in a long while for a very brief moment, I did sense God's presence. But now he is as real to me as my own existence! The sun may not rise tomorrow, but Christ will be there. How did I get to this stage? Ask God, for all I know is that he knows.
When we see others, we only see their outward appearance and if they move away from us, we lose sight of them eventually altogether. Besides, we can never know everything about those we see. But God sees us no matter where we are and he knows us inside out.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 19, Jesus told the parable of the ten gold coins. His message was that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. This sounds like a law. It's true in the case that the one who has faith will continue to grow stronger in faith and the one who has little faith will lose it altogether. Seek union with God to continually receive more and more from him.
In today's first reading from Revelation 4, John saw that day and night the living creatures give glory and honor and thanks to the Lord our God who sits on the throne. To an ordinary human, it might seem boring to do such a thing, but do you know that it is the great joy they experience that makes them worship God?
Tuesday, November 15, 2016
Today one of the Communion antiphon was based upon Mark 11.24, in which Jesus said to his disciples, "I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." This is the key to having your prayer answered. Of course, what you ask for must be something you truly need or what your heart desires and not unreasonable or offensive to God. For example, I would not ask God to heal me instantly if I accidentally cut my finger a little bit. He handles cases that are too tough for us! Also, God may not answer you right away. If I pray for a loved one to return to the Catholic faith, it may not happen in my lifetime, but happen it shall.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 19, Zacchaeus the tax collector sought to see Jesus, but he could not see him because he was short in stature among the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a tree to see Jesus, who was about to pass that way. When Jesus reached the place, he looked up and said, "Zacchaeus, come down quickly, for today I must stay at your house." And he came down quickly and received him with joy. The lesson for me here is this: The Lord knows everything we perform out of love for him and he will reward us for it.
It's easy not to pay much attention to all the sayings of Jesus you read in the Gospels ~ after all, they are 2,000 years old. But it would be most difficult ~ impossible, I'd say ~ to say that they are all false. If you agree with me, then you have no choice but to believe in Christ.
We are all familiar with the saying: "Money is the root of all evil." To be more accurate, we must read 1 Timothy 6.10 in which Paul wrote "The Love of money is the root of all evils." Of course, the love of money is greed, a cardinal sin; so it comes down to "Sin is the root of all evil."
When Jesus began to show his disciples that he must suffer greatly, be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and rise on the third day, Peter rebuked him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." Jesus said to Peter, "Get behind me, Satan. You are an obstacle to me. You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do." This shows that we must absolutely get out of God's way and follow his will, no matter what we think might happen under all circumstances.
Monday, November 14, 2016
Letting go in God is to trust God in all things. That means you no longer attach yourself to anything but God. That means you keep the word of Christ to the letter. That means you are no longer influenced by what others think of you. Letting go goes beyond repentance, made possible by God.
Saturday, November 12, 2016
The way the Holy Spirit teaches us is unique. It's not an intellectual illumination because it doesn't require any harding thinking or reasoning on our part. It is a spiritual illumination, as God speaks directly to the heart, bypassing the brain. Truly original and most refreshing.
Today's Communion antiphon is based upon Jesus saying in Matthew 10.39: Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. It is clear that whether we lose or find our life involves Jesus explicitly, which brings to mind Jesus' proclamation in John 14.6: I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Therefore, Jesus is in our way, but the good thing is that he is our way.
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 18, Jesus, via a parable, teaches his disciples the necessity for them to pray always without becoming weary. Foremost, prayer needs to come from the depth of the heart. Sometimes God tests your persistence, so do not stop communicating with him if you love him.
When people find out that I am truly happy in the Lord, they congratulate me and are happy that I have found happiness. What I want to make it known to all is that what I have found is not something by luck I happen to stumble upon and happen to work for me. No, this is God's familiar, universal call to every one of his beloved children. There is no secret, and only your response matters.
When God looks at us as our creator and Father, he sees the beauty of each soul, but is grieved by the sins that have stained us. Say you have a favorite vase and it falls into mud and gets dirty all over, would you throw it away? Of course not, and this is how God sees us, for the sin is not the sinner. Mary asked us to recite the Fatima Prayer at the end of each Rosary decade: Oh My Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of Hell, lead all souls to Heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy. We are not to judge anyone, but pray for everyone.
As I headed for morning Mass today, I saw the blue skies, white clouds, and the colorful fall foliage in hues of yellow, amber, and red. Why weren't they in some other colors? I immediately knew that God was real, for he had made them beautiful for us to behold. We also understand what good and evil mean, and can feel joy or sadness ~ again pointing to his existence. All I can say is that God has made us this way. Don't forget that he has made us in his image so that we can choose to believe in him too!
Friday, November 11, 2016
Jesus said in John 8: "Everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin" and "If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." So the fact about us is that, first, as sinners we easily become our own slaves. Then we hear Christ calling us, we believe and follow him, and we are set free.
Thursday, November 10, 2016
When God and you are in each other, he and you become one. But since he is infinite and you are finite, it's difficult to see that you can possibly contain him. So, why not picture that you are in him, totally containing you? Surely, you are now one with him, since you now dwell in and belong to him wholly.
The Holy Eucharist, being the true body and blood of our Lord, is packed with grace to make you holy, new, and beautiful for God to behold. Therefore, consume it with complete submission to his holy will and wonderful transformation will take place in your heart and soul. In Matthew 8, when Jesus was ready to go to the house of a centurion to cure his paralyzed servant, the centurion said, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed." This is the kind of attitude and faith we should hold.
Wednesday, November 9, 2016
The morals of any country or society that has cast God aside will inevitably degenerate, and that downslide in these last few decades of this nation has been rapid. If liberal Hillary Clinton had won the presidential election, the degeneration would surly continue. Talking about taking care of the people while giving no protection to the unborn is no true compassion, only hypocrisy. True compassion is selfless. With Donald Trump just elected to be the next president, there is at least hope that things can begin to turn around, for he is pro-life and promises to protect religious liberty.
This morning's entrance antiphon, Revelation 21.2, at Mass: I saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. How beautiful it would be to have a holy nation, a new America!
This morning's entrance antiphon, Revelation 21.2, at Mass: I saw the holy city, a new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared like a bride adorned for her husband. How beautiful it would be to have a holy nation, a new America!
Tuesday, November 8, 2016
When Jesus promised that he and the Father would come to those who loved him and kept his word, do you think that he would just come to be next to us? Did he have distance in his mind? Of course not! When he spoke of coming to us, he's talking about coming to enter us to dwell in us as one.
Today's Gospel passage was Luke 17.7-10 in which Jesus describes the attitude of a servant. In the last verse, he says, "When you have done all you have been commanded, say, 'We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'" Yes, with God, we do not question or reason but only believe and trust. Without humility, God becomes unapproachable.
Yesterday I watched Dr. Paul Schenck being interviewed by Marcus Grodi on The Journey Home TV program. He was intellectually articulate and worth listening to. Telling how he became truly pro-life was a memorable experience for me. It should wake us up to the horror of abortion, the killing of innocent human babies.
Monday, November 7, 2016
It's common that we obtain at least a second opinion when we are unsure about what we are supposed to do. Recently, some doctors advised a friend of mine to undergo surgery to solve her back problem, while other doctors advised against that. Our opinions are just opinions; they can be helpful or not. Then I thought of God. If we listen to him, we don't ever need any second opinion. Personally, I see the Lord God simplifying our lives.
Communion experience. The Holy Spirit made me see that before attempting to change anything around us, our first priority should be to change ourselves first. This completely made sense to me. Then he also showed me that as sinners, we have no right to judge other sinners.
The world seems so unfair when the evil ones get away with whatever they do and the good people get beaten down and suffer. That's because we live in a sinful world. But this is just the beginning, for in the end, all will be settled. It will be either eternal dwelling with God or eternal separation from him, and this is what matters.
Sunday, November 6, 2016
You go to God not just to get your sins forgiven, but also to get your heart purified and your soul liberated! Let him fill you with hope, courage, peace, and joy. If you belong to him, all he has is yours. This is what a good Father is for. (These were my first thoughts before Mass this morning.)
Saturday, November 5, 2016
In today's Gospel reading from Luke 16, Jesus said to his disciples, "The person who is trustworthy in very small matters is also trustworthy in great ones." This says that a trustworthy person is one who is trustworthy in all matters, that is, he has consistency. Similarly, a faithful Catholic is one who follows all teachings of the Catholic Church with consistency. Sadly, there are many Catholics who follow only those teachings that are palatable to them and veer away from others they think they can ignore. With God, we must go along 100%, giving our all and never overriding his will. Loving God not with all our heart is not an option ~ either we are with him all the way or not. Complete surrender to God is our only way out, but it's the logical, realistic, and most glorious way. Once in union with God, you will never ever want to leave him again ~ it's that beautiful!
If you know exactly where you are going after you die, that is, you are certain that you are going to live forever with God, your entire outlook on life will change and you will experience peace and freedom. Should you wait until the last moments of your life and wake up to reality, you might still make heaven, but then you've already squandered away much of your lifetime ~ not a pleasant thing. Be a visionary and secure your real future for all eternity first.
Friday, November 4, 2016
Today being a first Friday, I attended Eucharistic Adoration after Mass. With the Holy Eucharist displayed in the monstrance on the altar, the sanctuary became the holy of holies. It is hard to imagine that this same bread of heaven entered me personally a while ago during Mass. I could only tremble in awe. Being one with the One you are in love with ~ what more could one possibly ask for?
In today's first reading at Mass from Philippians 3, Paul spoke of all followers of Christ as having their citizenship in heaven. We become citizens of a country because we love the country and the country welcomes and accepts us. As citizens of heaven, we love God and God welcomes and accepts us. To link ourselves to God, to heaven, is the most important single thing we need to do in this life. It may sound selfish, but it's exactly what God wishes.
Thursday, November 3, 2016
Memories exist in our mind, but they are like virtual images we see in a mirror ~ they do not exist in substance. Memories are always about the past. Lingering over memories is a waste of time, a fruitless activity. The Christian is untethered from all past memories, be they pleasant or bitter. He or she lives forth with faith, hope, and charity ~ Christ now is the only draw. Such healthy living leads to eternal life.
Everything we do in thought, word, and deed is known to God and thus consequential to our eternity destiny. If you had started out badly, only repentance and asking for God's forgiveness can reverse your course, giving you a second chance ~ there are no other means.
My heart was heavy when I went to Mass this morning because of the many pressing issues on my mind. The entrance antiphon from Psalm 38 read: Forsake me not, O Lord my God; be not far from me! Make haste and come to my help, O Lord, my strong salvation! This perfectly mirrored my feelings. Then at the same time I did not want to hear the Lord say "O you of little faith," which he had used on his disciples on different occasions. Later, the response to Psalm 105 read: Let hearts rejoice who search for the Lord! And that was the answer I needed to hear.
Wednesday, November 2, 2016
Today is All Souls Day. The entrance antiphon from 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15 reads: Just as Jesus died and has risen again, so through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep; and as in Adam all die, so also in Christ will all be brought to life. I believe in what Paul believed in. Our life does not end with death, for the soul is everlasting. Through Christ, we shall rise again. With Christ, we always have hope, for he is our hope. All who believe in him will live with him for ever.
Tuesday, November 1, 2016
The line separating believers and nonbelievers in Christ is clear, but the thickness of that line varies for each individual. Take the extreme cases. If you are ready to believe and follow Christ, the line vanishes completely. But if you decide to reject him, that line becomes like a wide chasm. Again, you choose to unite yourself to or separate yourself from God.
As I have said more than once that the spiritual battle we fight is basically between us and God. We don't even need to factor in Satan. We let God be our God and we are free! But if we let ourselves be our gods, then we remain slaves to ourselves. It is clear, precise, and simple. Experience God and you'll know. How close to or far away from you freedom is ~ that all depends upon you.
Today is Solemnity of All Saints. The Mass was a joy for all its beautiful readings.
- In Reading 1 from Revelation 7, John saw that God would put his seal on the foreheads of his servants to protect them, and that those who had survived the time of great distress had washed their robes in the Blood of the Lamb and made them white.
- In Reading 2 from 1 John 3, John tells us that the children of God shall be like God when they see him as he is.
- Gospel acclamation, Matthew 11.28: Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened and I will give your rest, says the Lord.
- The Gospel reading from Matthew 5 was on the Sermon on the Mount, the beautiful Beatitudes.
- During the Liturgy of the Eucharist, I was greatly moved when the words and actions of Jesus at the Last Supper were recalled.
- These three Beatitudes made up the Communion antiphon: Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
It's just so beautiful to be a saint for God!