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

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

*How to Be Chosen

        Today's Response from Psalm 33 at Mass: Blessed the people the Lord has chosen to be his own. Does God choose his own people? Yes. Can you get him to choose you? Yes too. All you need to do is to ask him to choose you. 

Most Wonderful Day

        This would be the a most wonderful day on earth if every earthling turns to God, acknowledges his or her sins, repents of them, and asks for God's forgiveness. Can this happen? Maybe.     

*Faith Has to Be Meaningful

        Faith to be meaningful must be voluntary. If God in some way forces us to believe in him, we really do not have faith on our own. I don't believe anyone would want to follow a tyrannical god. Our God, the God of Christ, who is love, proclaims the good news of salvation and waits for us to respond ~ this is all fair and square. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Spirit Difference

        Unclean demons and spirits possess a person by taking control and subduing the subject. They must be cast out of the possessed as Jesus did in his days on earth. On the other hand, the Holy Spirit of God enters us only with our permission and leaves us when we reject him. He fully respects our free will and never tries to gain control of us. He only inspires, uplifts, and purifies us, empowering us to live a holy life in freedom.  

Stubborn Hearts

        In today's Gospel reading from Luke 4, Jesus taught on the sabbath in the synagogue at Capernaum. A man with the spirit of an unclean demon cried out in a loud voice, "What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are – the Holy One of God!" What's interesting is that unclean spirits know who Jesus is and obey him, but many of us human beings do not. Shouldn't the Incarnation of Jesus and the examples of Paul and other great saints be sufficient evidence for us to believe?

Union Experience

        In today's first reading at Mass from 1 Corinthians 2, the following which Paul wrote resonates with me: We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand the things freely given us by God. And we speak about them not with words taught by human wisdom, but with words taught by the Spirit, describing spiritual realities in spiritual terms.

Monday, August 29, 2016

The Christ Difference

        They are many people who do not know Jesus. They are basically good people who won't harm anyone. When life becomes a mystery to them, finding no clear answers they are resigned to that fact. What's missing is hope and joy. Christ makes all the difference. With him, living becomes uplifting and is filled with hope. What a joy to know and have a loving Savior! There is so much to look forward to, for the best is still to come. Yes, it's upbeat all the way. Alleluia!  

Wise and Merciful God

        Each one of us is a unique being with strengths and weaknesses known to God. When we sincerely wish to serve God, he always makes use of our strengths to the point that our weaknesses practically become nonexistent. He is such a wise and merciful Lord.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

**Secret to Life

        As Jesus said, narrow is the gate that leads to life. Do you know that if you open wide your heart to God, that gate opens wide too?

Asking for an Overhaul

        I attended Vigil Mass today. My Communion experience. I wanted God to take away not just all my sins, but also everything that shouldn't be in my heart I didn't know about. In other words, I asked for a thorough overhauling.

Submitting to God Is...

submitting to Pure Love. Why should you hesitate?

God Came First

        Sometimes we wonder why God is the Father and has a Son, and there's also the Holy Spirit. Why not just one God? We think only human beings have fathers, sons, and other family relationships. We forget that God exists before we were created! Whatever God has revealed to us, we must accept. To compare God using ourselves an the example is ludicrous.  

Contentment

        Communion experience. I felt so happy, being content in Christ my Lord.

How to Be Happy in the World:

        Belong to God and not be of the world.        

*Sign You and God Are One

        When God becomes real to you more than anything else you see, hear, and touch, you know you and God are in each other as one.

*Shaping Your Future

        As I age, the Lord draws me closer and closer to him. I see this as his mercy at work and am most grateful for that. Growing old and not letting God change you a bit is wasting precious time on earth. Before you go to him, you want to be in as holy a position as possible to make your meeting with him your greatest joy before entering heaven. This way you have a future you can look forward to.

**Two Joys of Union

        (1) Being aware that God knows exactly what your heart harbors.      
        (2) Seeing clearly what God's will is.      
        These are great joys because they reflect your intimacy with God who keeps you in union with him.

Friday, August 26, 2016

You Are Loved!

        No matter who you are, you feel good if someone, whether inside or outside your family, tells you that he or she loves you. Jesus has come and revealed to us that God loves us. Now, even if no one else has ever said "I love you" to you, you should be elated and start loving yourself and others. For how can you not love anyone whom God loves?

Appreciating God

        Communion experience. God alone is worthy to be worshipped, adored, and praised. He is our most beloved, the treasure of all treasures and the pearl of all pearls. With him, life is joyfully worth living. Without him, it'd be better if we were never born. 

Pure Love

        Pure love is unconditional, selfless love. That's what our love for God and for others for God's sake is. All other so-called "love" for everything else is, strictly speaking, not love. Pure love can only originate from God, for he alone is love.

Deeper Into Christ

        When you first find and accept Christ, you feel great joy. Then as you get to know him more intimately, you increasingly feel his sorrow and as a result, enter even deeper into him to seek consolation. You now feel even more of his sorrow, but the underlying joy sustains you, for no sorrow can overcome that. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dwelling in Jesus

        Communion thoughts. I know that Jesus and I dwell in each other, but I prefer to see that I dwell in him, an infinite space filled with love that gives me total freedom, yet keeping me safe. So, in him alone, I am safe and free.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Communion Consolation

        Communion experience. Today is the Feast of St. Bartholomew, Apostle. He was also named Nathanael, in whom Jesus recognized to have no duplicity. Since I do not see the Lord, again, it was a great consolation to taste the Lord in Holy Communion.

Longing for Christ

       Christ is as intimate to me as I am to myself. In fact, he knows and understands me more than I myself. Since I do not see him, I long to hear his sweet voice speaking to my heart. Then he assures me that even if I don't hear it, he always hears me. I love my Lord.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Life-Transforming Sacrament

        Communion experience. The Holy Eucharist is the Lord. It is sweet, fragrant, and tonic to the soul. This is the Blessed Sacrament God has given us to be united to him as one.

*Be Ready for God

        Let your heart and mind be a blank ready for God to imprint whatever words, thoughts, pictures, or impressions he wishes upon them for your edification and joy.

What Turns God Off

        Beginning yesterday, we heard Jesus' denunciation of the scribes and Pharisees read from Matthew 23 at Mass. The Lord starts out with the strong words "Woe to you" in many of his accusations. What offended him most was their hypocrisy ~ phoniness in modern day language. Since God already sees everything in our hearts, thinking that he wouldn't know what we are hiding directly insults his omniscience. A hypocritical person cannot possibly experience true peace in his heart. And God loves an honest, sincere, soul with no duplicity.   

Monday, August 22, 2016

*God Does Love Us

        Suffering in this life is caused by our sins. The fact that we can get to heaven shows that God loves us.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

*I Live on Forever Too!

        What is infinity? Is the universe infinite? These questions bugged me ever since I was a little boy. The concept was impossible for my finite mind to comprehend, until I found God. Of course, God cannot have a beginning, an end, or is limited in his power someway. With an infinite God, an infinite universe is totally logical and possible. And I thought of my own soul which God had created at some point and now it lives on forever like him. In this sense, I have also become infinite. Then realizing that I shall live on forever with my God in heaven becomes absolutely overwhelming, making me grateful for his mercy. How can you not possibly rejoice when you have such a caring Father?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Either We or God

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 23, the last two verses, 11 & 12, struck me the most: "The greatest among you must be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled; but whoever humbles himself will be exalted." Obviously, the ego has no place before God. The choice is between serving ourselves and serving God. The battle goes on continuously until we give in to God totally. This is fully consistent with what Jesus had said earlier in the Gospels: "Whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will safe it." It would do us good to remember these sayings of the Lord.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Seeking Unlimited Freedom

        I cannot be happy living on any planet of finite size. Would you be happy to live on a sphere, say just 10 feet in diameter? Well, our earth is, of course, a lot bigger, but it's still limited in size. I want to live in the Lord because his space is infinite. Only in him can I experience unlimited freedom.

Protecting the Soul

        Give God your soul, which was created by him in the first place, then you will overcome all evil, keeping the soul safe, throughout you whole life on earth. 

Recipe for Peace, Freedom, and Joy

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 22 at Mass, Jesus gave us the greatest and first commandment and the second like it. They read:
        You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.
        You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
        If we obey these commandments, we shall have heaven on earth.

On Knowing Jesus

        Knowing about Jesus is not the same as knowing him. You can know all about him but still do not know him. An example I have in mind is a tour guide I met in the Holy Land. He knew every story in the Bible, but he was not a Christian. Normally, you get to know Jesus after learning something about him. Once you know the Lord intimately, you have him and no longer care about knowing about him.

Ways of Surrendering to God

        (1) Let the majesty, beauty, and pure love of God overwhelm you.
        (2) Be completely open to God to receive whatever he wants to give you.
        (3) Abandon yourself to God.
        They all lead to union with God.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Compelling Jesus

        Communion experience. Jesus' love, his humility, his glory, his invitation to us, his messages, his promises, his desire to be one with us... are all most compelling. Surrendering to him is basically letting him overwhelm us with his perfection, holiness, and beauty. 

God's Invitation

       In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 22.1-14, Jesus told the parable of the wedding feast to teach what the Kingdom of heaven is like. A king gave a wedding feast for his son. He dispatched his servants to summon the invited guests to the feast, but they refused to come. A second time he sent other servants to invited them to the banquet that had been sumptuously prepared. Some ignored the invitation and went away. The rest laid hold of the servants, mistreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged and sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then the king sent his servants into the streets to invite to the feast whomever they could find, bad and good alike, and the hall was filled with guests. But when the king came in to meet the guests, he saw a man not dressed in a wedding garment. He ordered his attendants to bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the darkness outside.
        This is a poignant story which revealed the following to me:       
       (1) Jesus said at the end of telling the parable, "Many are called, but few are chosen." This has been true to this very day.
        (2) God's invitation is to everyone.
        (3) We must take his invitation seriously or suffer serious consequences.

Safeguarding the Soul

        When our health deteriorates, there is only so much we can do. Eventually, we lose the battle and die. But losing the body one day is normal and expected. It's the soul that we must protect and never lose. This is where Christ comes in. Accept, believe in, and follow him faithfully is the only safeguard we need. There is no other assuring way. 

Love Still Imperfect

        Sometimes we genuinely want to help others. When they do not quite listen to us or have misunderstood our intentions, we feel unappreciated and get annoyed. This is because our love is still not perfect ~ we are still concerned about our own feelings. Pure love thinks 100% of the person you wish to love with only God present within you.

Compellingly God

        Look at Jesus. Let's say that he is not God. Let's even ignore the fact that he performed so many miracles and rose from the dead himself. Then we see a man who was meek and humble, willingly let others lead him to crucifixion, and still prayed from the cross that God the Father would forgive those who took part in putting him to death. Not another human being would have behaved like that or the subject would have been considered to be the strangest or weirdest person that had ever lived. On top of all this, Jesus admitted that he is God ~ that makes him delusional as well. You decide.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Dealing With God

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 20.1-16, Jesus told his disciples what the Kingdom of heaven was like via a parable. A landowner went out to hire laborers for his vineyard throughout the day. They all agreed to work for the usual daily wage. When it was evening, the owner had the laborers summoned to give them their pay, beginning with the last and ending with the first. At the end when the first saw that everyone got the same usual wage, they grumbled against the landowner, saying, "These last ones worked only one hour, and you have made them equal to us, who bore the day's burden and the heat." He said to one of them in reply, "My friend, I am not cheating you. Did you not agree with me for the usual daily wage? Take what is yours and go. What if I wish to give this last one the same as you? Or am I not free to do as I wish with my own money? Are you envious because I am generous?"
        There are a number of things we can learn from this parable. 
        (1) God is generous to all.
        (2) He is entitled to do whatever he wishes.
        (3) We should be happy that he rewards us for our labor.
      (4) How others are rewarded is not our business. (In heaven, would you still grumble that someone up there had an easier life than you on earth?)
        (5) Being envious of others shows that we are not satisfied with God.
        (6) We are not in a position to question the Lord.
        (7) Be grateful to God for his mercy to all.

*Better Way to Go*

        It is much better to live a life as holy as possible with God's help and be assured of entering heaven speedily after death than living it your own way most of the time and hoping that a lot of Masses and prayers will be offered for you after you die. To be sure, Masses and prayers can only help those in purgatory. If you don't make heaven, there is nothing anyone can do about it! Think ahead, be smart, and choose the better way now.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

All Things Affect God

        Everything I experience, you name it, makes me think of God, as I see that he knows all things that happen and they affect him. This is my happy state.

Apocalypse Is Near!

        TFP Student Action, defending moral values on campus, is a project of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. I received an email from John Ritchie, its director, this morning. It informs me that yesterday, on the holy Feast of Our Lady's Assumption, a satanic Black Mass took place at 7:00 pm in Oklahoma City. Let me lift from his email report on the public prayer rally held against the Black Mass some details below.    

        At 5:30 PM, TFP Student Action volunteers helped organize a large prayer rally of reparation right in front of the Civic Center, the public venue where the Black Mass was perpetrated against Our Lord. In addition to the unspeakably offensive Black Mass, the satanic group allegedly attacked the Virgin Mary too, pouring filthy substances on her statue before smashing it to pieces. On this dark day for America, however, throngs of faithful from across the country arrived to console Our Lord and the Blessed Mother. In fact, Catholics rolled in from Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Nebraska, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia. We were blessed and honored to be able to stand up for Holy Mother Church, the true Mass, and the Holy Eucharist – praying the rosary, holding signs and displaying banners outside the Civic Center.
         You see, evil has never been so brazen. God has never been so reviled in a public, city-run venue, with the complicity of city officials who refused to cancel the black mass.  Never has the spiritual battle between good and evil been so apparent and so vivid. That's why you and I must continue to watch and pray. May God reward you a hundredfold and truly transform America into one nation under God.

           You can see the rally against this black mass on this short video: 

When Sorrow Is Joy

        Communion thoughts. Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me" (Matthew 16.24). This means that sharing the Lord's suffering is a basic condition of discipleship. The fact is that experiencing Jesus' sorrows is not only an honor, but also a joy as you are drawn even deeper into him.   

Believe to See

        We know that for God all things are possible. This is not saying that they are probable. To see things happen, we must believe that God can make them happen. Those without faith do not see miracles.  

Jesus' Death

        It is well known that Jesus was crucified. How do we respond to his death? Did he die for nothing? Does his death have anything to do with me? Why? Our answers are critically important, for they can determine our eternal destiny. Ignoring Jesus' death is not a choice. Understanding it is the key to inheriting everlasting life.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Aim to Be Perfect

        Everything is relative. How good a person am I? The answer depends upon whom I compare myself with. Great saints feel that they are the most wretched sinners before God. Since God alone is holy and our ultimate judge, we know how good (or evil) we truly are when we are measured by his standards. Therefore, aim to be as perfect as he is, which happens to be his command.

Sorrow for the World

         In today's Reading 2 from 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes that when the end comes, Jesus will hand over the Kingdom to his God and Father after he has destroyed every sovereignty and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
        Right now, a dark cloud hovers over my country and the entire world. The burden I bear along with Christ is sorrow for this rebellious world. I am not concerned about myself, for I am already in the Lord.

Follow Your Mother

        Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We are so blessed to have the mother of our Lord to be our mother too. Let her hold your hand, leading you along to do God's will, then every step you take is a step closer to the Lord. Jesus was born through her. So through her, we will always find her Son.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Difficult Wake-Up

       If you want to wake someone up from his sleep, all you need is an alarm clock or a rooster or a tap on his shoulder. But a person who is not aware of God's existence is often a lot more difficult to wake up. I recall in Mark 9, Jesus drove out a mute and deaf spirit out of a boy after his disciples had failed to do so. Later, they asked him why they could not do it. He said to them that that kind could only come out through prayer. In our case, prayer is absolutely needed to wake up someone who is spiritually asleep. 

Everlasting Beauty

        The beauties of all things of the world are fleeting, since the world passes. Whether the thing that's beautiful is animate or not, it doesn't make any difference. For example, a beautiful flower wilts, a beautiful human being ages, a beautiful landscape changes with season or disintegrates when a natural disaster strikes. As we hear sung in Gershwin's song "Our Love Is Here to Stay": In time the Rockies may crumble, Giraltar may tumble... How about the majestic stars and galaxies? Again, we know that they die and are born over time. Last, think of ourselves ~ we are not even here long enough to enjoy all the beauties. But the most beautiful of all beauties, that's also everlasting, but invisible to us for now, is our God, the creator of all beautiful things. On top of that, his perfection, sanctity, and most of all, pure love for us, make him the only beauty we can enjoy for all eternity. Embrace it now.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Our Wise Move

        We didn't know that we even existed before we showed up on this earth. Somehow, we were born, got here, and gradually became aware of our existence. We know we shall die, but don't know when. It's obvious that we are not in charge at any time. Therefore, admit that we do not know all things and should never act as if we were God. With such humble origins, we'd be wise to submit ourselves humbly to our creator.

Evangelizing Without Fear

       I caught a TEDx talk on YouTube by Linda Apple Monson on "Overcoming Stage Fright," delivered at George Mason University. She revealed how she was able to overcome her fear of performing on stage as a pianist. Here are the points I remember: (1) Prepare yourself well. (2) Forget about yourself, for worrying about yourself is being selfish. (3) It's not about you, so focus upon just being the channel through which the joy of music is transmitted to others. 
        Good advice indeed. Let's apply it to evangelizing the world. (1) Know God intimately. (2) It's all about God, not you, so leave all in his hands. (3) You are simply an instrument he uses to spread the good news.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Triumphant in God

        Communion thoughts. All who have chosen to follow Christ and do his will have already triumphed over the evil one and will remain so until the end of the age. 

Our Part to Play

        On this Friday, I meditated upon the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Jesus went through his Passion for us, but afterwards not everyone turned to God and became good, to this very day. Yes, Jesus did open wide the door to life, but people have to choose to enter it. For us too, our part is to live a holy life and be as loving as possible. The rest is up to God. 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Heavenly Banquet

        Communion experience. The Lord and I are already dwelling in each other. But going up to receive the Holy Eucharist during Mass is like accepting the invitation to attend a special heavenly banquet given by the Lord for me alone, at which I shall enjoy him to the fullest. This is ultimate fulfillment. After receiving him, while alone with him, I felt great sorrow for those in the world who are always squabbling with each other or others, completely oblivious to God's love for them. Please pray for them from your heart, unceasingly.  

Why Forgive Others?

        Today is the Memorial of St. Clare. In the Gospel reading from Matthew 18, Jesus wants us to always forgive others. I've blogged about forgiving others many times. Today I just want to add that if someone offends you unjustly, he has offended God too. Ultimately, as Mother Teresa had said: In the final analysis, it is between you and God. So that person has to answer to God alone. For this reason, you should pray for your offender so that he may not offend God again. Not forgiving him is clearly not trusting in God's mercy, souring your own relationship with God. Forgive him and let God take care of his problem.

Effective Communication With God

        The Lord God reads our hearts. Therefore, any dealing with him must involve our heart. If I go to confession and repent without sincerity, it would be worse than not going. Therefore, always communicate to him from the innermost of your heart and he, the loving Father, will hear you loud and clear.

Most Important Act

        This for us is to realize that we are sinners, need to repent of our sins to God, and then do it. This is of critical importance as we journey toward eternity. If you are a Catholic, aware that you are sinful, but do not want to go to confession, it only shows how urgently you need to go. Be smart and prepared always.       

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Great Consolation

        Today is the Feast of St. Lawrence. In the Gospel reading from John 12, Jesus said, "Whoever serves me must follow me, and where I am, there also will my servant be. The Father will honor whoever serves me." At a time I feel great sorrow and need consolation, it is so good to follow the Lord to serve him, resulting in being with him at all times. He is my greatest consolation.

Our Hope

        For those who follow Christ, there is only one hope, Christ himself, the only hope they need. For those who do not follow Christ, there is only false hope or no hope. Jesus is coming!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Love Calling

        Communion experience. As the Communion minister was handing me the consecrated host to be consumed by me, he proclaimed "The body of Christ." It was Love calling.

Truth Vanquishes Fear

        Today's Mass was optional for Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein). She was taken with her sister Rosa and many other Catholics and Jews from the Netherlands to the concentration camp in Auschwitz, where she died with them in the gas chambers. A few days before her deportation, she dismissed the question about a possible rescue, choosing to share the lot of her brothers and sisters. My observation and personal experience: Once you know the truth, you become fearless.

Jesus All-Knowing

        In today's reading from Matthew 18, when the disciples asked Jesus, "Who is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven?" He called a child over, placed it in their midst, and said, "Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the Kingdom of heaven. Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven." It struck me that we would never have come up with such an answer if we were asked this question by the disciples. It just shows that Jesus knew, further authenticating his divinity.

Liberation from Enslavement

        We lose freedom when we become firmly attached to something we cannot let go. I can cite two examples in my own life. In my younger days, I had always wanted to drive a fast, sporty car. I went through an MGB (sporty but not fast nor reliable), a Fiat sport coupe (I don't even remember the model number anymore; all I remember is that one day, the car's last day, the gearshift stick became completely detached), an RX 7 (attracted by its rotary engine), a first generation BMW M3 (bought it because my son's friend was forced by his father to unload it cheap), and then two decades ago a second generation M3 (which my son is now using). Of course, there were always cars even faster and more sporty out there. I finally realized that I was being enslaved by my desire and it had to stop. I now drive an old Prius with great peace of mind.
       My second enslaver was my love for music, especially classical piano music. I subscribed to a host of music magazines. Spent a lot of time visiting Tower of Records everywhere, looking for the latest LPs or CDs. One place I ordered recordings from was a mail-order outlet in Massachusetts. It stocked all the overruns and discontinued recordings. It was a treasure house where I could find numerous new labels, new composers, as well as hard-to-find recordings by well-known artists... all at bargain prices. One day I realized that I could not go on being driven like this for the rest of my life. What would be the point? It was difficult, but I started stopping my magazine subscriptions one by one. There was one I could not let go yet, since I started with issue #1. Later, I terminated it too (the last issue came and is still sealed in cellophane). The joy of freedom I experience now is on a entirely different level than the pleasures I derived from my old obsession, which were oppressive. The liberation was made possible by the grace of Christ in union with me.

Secret of Being Free

        We enslave ourselves when we are self-centered. There is only one way to be free: forsake your own little universe and let the infinite universe of God enclose you. You are free only when God becomes your center. Jesus said in Matthew 10.39, "Whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." 

Best Reason for Believing

        Either wanting to enter heaven or being afraid of hell can propel us to turn to Christ. But the best incentive is to realize that God loves us. Love him back and we can forget about heaven and hell.     

Monday, August 8, 2016

Aim for the Highest

        The documentary "The Story of the Hypercar" (available for watching on YouTube) features some of the top European car manufacturers that are engaged in building a new class of awe-inspiring performance sports cars. What impresses me the most are their vision, determination, and the belief that they can achieve what seems to be beyond reach at the moment. All this has inspired me to see that as Christians, we can also hold the highest expectations and believe that since nothing is impossible with God, nothing is impossible for us too. Aim for the highest possible goal of life, that of union with God. If the car manufacturers can succeed on their own, we certainly can with God's help. 

Be the Few

        Jesus said, "How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few." This is true because many people do not choose to listen to him. But if you desire to attain union with Jesus, he will open wide the gate and make straight the road that leads to him.

Step to Freedom

        Our true status as a human being becomes clear only when we go before God. Hiding from him will lead you to a false conception of yourself. Knowing what you are really like is the beginning of freedom. 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Presence of God

        After this morning's Mass, I joined the Rosary group to pray the Luminous Mysteries in church. After Rosary, I felt peace and the presence of God. Though there were all kinds of noises going on, I had no problem concentrating upon the Lord. Even my kneeling position was so comfortable that I felt I could remain in it forever. This was a new experience and I knew that the Lord had something to do with it. 

To Receive God's Best

        Jesus said, "To anyone who has, more will be given." To those who truly love the Lord, he will always give them the very best for their good.

*Sharing His Sorrow

        Communion experience. The world is in horrible shape ~ war destructions, terrorist attacks, crimes committed by governments against their own people, people taking advantage of their government . . . the list goes on and on. The outlook on my own country, the US, looks dim ~ the mind-blowing national debt, ongoing abortion of babies, the continuing breakup of families, further suppression of religious freedom, the moral decline, uninformed voters who would vote for any candidates who promise to continue giving them free aids, the biased news media that distort and slant facts, the worsening polarization of the nation, etc. I saw the dark cloud overhead and felt the tremendous sorrow that Jesus feels. My sorrow increased to the point that I sought relief from the Lord. Still, I wanted to enter him even deeper to share his sorrow and seek more consolation. Without him, I knew I wouldn't be able to survive. 

Jesus' Divinity

        Today is the Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord. Peter, John, and James all witnessed the transfiguration of Jesus and heard the Father's voice coming from a bright cloud casting a shadow over them: This is my chosen Son; listen to him. It's proof to me that since the Father is divine, Jesus the Son is divine too.

Lamenting

        Today, many in this world reject Jesus and even many Christians have fallen away from their faith. Those who still remain remain with him, but not really in him. If God is not first in your life, how do you rank him? 2nd? 5th? 30th? Last? Do you pretty much live the way you want most of the time? Is the Lord only Lord in name only? Treating him lightly is treating the good news he has revealed to us, that God loves us, all his miraculous deeds, his Resurrection...lightly. Of course, to reject him is to dismiss all these wonderful things in one stroke. What have you done?

Friday, August 5, 2016

Get Personal

        Strengthen your relationship with God by sharing everything in your heart with him.

Unique Relationship

        Communion experience. Jesus is the only one with whom you can form the most beautiful, intimate personal relationship based upon selfless love with no fear whatsoever.

Only One Way

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, Jesus said to his disciples, "Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me. For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." Again, it must be either you or God. We cannot live our life our way and call on God only when we need him. Common sense.

No Our Way

        Today's Response to reading from Deuteronomy 32: It is I who deal death and give life. True that both our birth and our death are planned by God. It would be extremely foolish for us not to let him plan everything in-between for us too.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Wasted Effort

        No matter how much pleasure you derive from the world, for sure it won't get you into heaven.

Being Truly Catholic

        A Catholic must incorporate his faith into every part of his life, living as one whether inside or outside his church. That is, the faith is not just integral to, but is his life. Being ashamed of his faith is the first thing that has to go, while attaining union with God should be his ultimate goal. 

Abandonment Time Again

        Communion experience. The bread and wine became the flesh and blood of my Savior ~ this was what gave me hope. It's now abandonment time. Physically and spiritually, I cast myself entirely upon the Lord. 

Speaking God's Thoughts

          In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, Jesus asked his disciples who they say that he is. Peter replied, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him, "Blesses are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father."
          Later, Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed... Peter took Jesus aside and began to rebuke him, "God forbid, Lord! No such thing shall ever happen to you." He turned and 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 very clearly that when God speaks to us, he places what he wishes to convey directly in our heart, as Peter in the first instance showed. In the second instance, Peter just conveyed his own feelings, not what God thinks. We must be connected with God most intimately so as to speak his thoughts always with us out of the way.

Time for Loving God Back

        God the Father has always loved us from the very beginning. The demonstration of his steadfast love culminated in the coming of the Son into the world to spread the gospel and undergo the Passion. God has loved us first, it's time for us to love him back.

Body Apart From Soul

        This morning I became acutely aware of my own soul, my being that I am I, and that my body is not a permanent part of me, to be shed in due time. For the time being, it is a burden I must carry with me at all times and everywhere. This awareness helps me to see what's essential and what's not, which definitely lightens my attachment to my body.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Beautiful Truth

        God is infinite and we are finite. Finiteness compared to infinity is equivalent to zero. Therefore, compared to God, we should not feel that we are important in the slightest. But God thinks that we are utterly important to him, and this is what counts, making our lives meaningful and joyful. This is the beautiful Christian truth. 

Union Sealed

        The Holy Eucharist is the sacrament that seals our union with God. Without it or not believing that it is a sacrament, you can talk about union all you want and not attain it to the last degree. In John 6, Jesus said, "Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him." Anyone who does not believe that the Lord is present in the Holy Eucharist should read and meditate upon Jesus' entire bread-of-life discourse in John 6.

Jesus at Our Service

        In today's Gospel from Matthew 15, a Canaanite woman came and called out to Jesus to have pity on her, for her daughter was tormented by a demon. After Jesus tested her and found that her faith was great, he finally said to her, "Let it be done as you wish." Her daughter was healed from that hour. Let us know that the Lord would say the same thing to us, should we wish with great faith. He always hears us and will act upon our request in due time.

Holy Spirit Most Gentle

        The Holy Spirit dwelling in us reveals to us that God is most gentle and sweet. It is God the Holy Spirit that prompts us to endear ourselves to and yearn for God. 

*Next Life Coming Right Up

        I woke up sometime after 1 a.m. this morning. It was dark and quiet. I love moments like this because I feel the presence of God. Realizing that my soul lives on forever as my soul, I saw that when I leave this world, it's not me leaving my body, but rather my body separating itself from me. Thus, I saw that my transition into the next life (which is going to or away from God) as a smooth and instant process.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

No Holding Back

        Communion experience. I felt so content that I wanted my oneness with the Lord to be as firm and intimate as possible. No holding back ~ it's all of Jesus or nothing!

To Excel as a Christian

        If you are a Christian and the type who would always do the best possible job you can in whatever you do, consider being the best possible Christian you can be first. An excellent Christian will do everything for Christ, automatically resulting in doing his or her best in everything.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Justice Turned Topsy-Turvy

      Jesus is the source from which we receive mercy, yet people crucified him 2,000 years ago and have continued to do so nonstop ever since! If we reject his mercy, we reject the only one who can take away our sins. To treat the one who can do justice to us unjustly amounts to dooming ourselves.

Abandonment Time

        Communion experience. The perfect time to rest and abandon myself completely in Christ. 

Dead Serious About Jesus

        I am dead serious about accepting and obeying Jesus, for I am dead serious that I shall die and for all eternity be with God or cut off from him. 

Feel the Same Sorrows

        If we do love Jesus and want to remain in him, we must want to know and feel his sorrows. By experiencing the same sorrows, we console the Lord. Besides, he could use whatever merit we have acquired to benefit other souls. What an opportunity to be drawn to even closer union with him! 

*To Know God Firsthand

        I know that when you are with God totally, he does all the hard work for you. This is how you get transformed by him. The same goes with knowing him. People search for all the information about Christ in order to find out if he is the real God, and they can never be certain. On the other hand, if you simply believe that he is divine and want to know him, then he does the work and you come to know firsthand that he is indeed real, more real than anything else you know.