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

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

**What Is Honor?

        We bestow all kinds of honors on people in this world. Does it really matter? Do you even care? We erect statues to honor past heroes who might be suffering in hell now. In the case the honor bestowed results in boosting the ego of the honoree, then it acts more like a curse than a blessing. The Church also honors saints by canonizing them. This serves to inspire others to love God more by following their examples. As far as the saints are concerned, who only wish to follow God's will, being officially declared saints is not going to thrill them in anyway. 
         Conclusions. The world bestows honors mostly for vainglory. In the presence of God, no one deserves to be honored. When we honor someone, we must do it for the sake of glorifying God. Not to forget, if God has called you to serve him, you have already received the highest possible honor, an honor that humbles you to boot.   

**Doing Things Without God

        John 15.5: At the Last Supper, Jesus said to his disciples, "I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothing." What Jesus meant was that without him we cannot be fruitful for God's sake. We can perform good deeds, but without him we are still stuck with our sins. In fact, to be good is not good enough, for Jesus wants us to be perfect as the heavenly Father – definitely we need his help here.

Pray for Fire

        Today's Response to verses read from Psalm 66 at Mass: Blessed be God who filled my soul with fire. Normally, we ask God to fill us with peace and joy, but asking for fire is entirely appropriate. His fire can consume all our sins, purify our souls, and ignite our zeal to go into the whole world and proclaim the gospel to every creature as Christ had commissioned his disciples before he ascended into heaven.     

Joy of Banishing Ego

        If you can crush your ego the moment it rears its ugly head, you would experience a new freedom in God because you have now triumphed over a personal destructive enemy. 

**Deal With Sin!

        Christians do not confess sins to God for the following reasons: (1) They have not sinned (which is impossible). (2) They have not sinned seriously (most likely due to a dull conscience). (3) They are afraid and put off facing God (which is being most foolish). Realities: (1) We all sin, so we are unclean. (2) As long as we remain unclean, we are not with God. (3) Away from God, we cannot enter heaven. Therefore, deal with sin, our greatest destructive enemy, before anything else. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

**Big Realization

        As I am now living on earth, I am free to choose whatever I want to do. You don't even need to think about this, for you know it and take it for granted. Then I suddenly realize that after this life is over, where I end up will be completely determined by God – I won't have any say at all! But, should I be chosen by God to live forever with him, I shall have my new and even greater freedom in him.

Hint on Reading the Gospels

        If you doubt that Christ is God, you will have many questions when you read about him in the Gospels. But if you assume that he is God, then you'll see that the Gospels support your assumption and make perfect sense to you. 

Are You Smart?

        If you are truly smart, you would see that to win God, you must be humble and obedient to him.

Serious Talk About Serious Talk

        Today is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In the 2nd reading from 1 Corinthians 15, Paul writes that at the end, Jesus must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet, including the destruction of death. This is serious talk we must not casually brush aside. Either Paul knows what he is talking about or it's all baloney. The same goes for all of what Jesus has said. To not pay attention to him is to dismiss God who has created you and now wants to save you. We must listen up and give him most serious consideration.

Monday, August 14, 2017

On Changing Ourselves

        Let's face it – changing ourselves fundamentally is one of the most difficult things we face. It's kind of like trying to find our eyeglasses without them. God is the only one who can get the job done, for he is our creator and a higher power. But we need to cast aside our pride to make it happen, and this is a hurdle for many of us.  

Two Great Paradoxes

        (1) The more you hide yourself in God, the more he notices you.
        (2) The more you let God own you, the more you experience freedom.      

*Safety of Soul First

        It's in the news that the suspect in the killing or a woman near a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, VA, just two days ago, has been arrested and charged. People do not realize that when they sin against society or mankind, they sin against God first of all. Getting punished for your sins by going to prison or even being sentenced to death is one thing; while being cast into hell is quite another, being infinitely more serious. Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in Gehenna." (Matthew 10:28.) You are safe only when your soul is safe!

**Knowing Jesus

        What is interesting but not surprising is that even though I have not visually seen nor audibly heard Jesus, yet in my heart I know him better than anyone else. As a matter of fact, I know him intimately, since I receive him into me every day at Mass. Again, this is all his doing, the doing of the Holy Spirit, for the Lord is all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving. 

Sunday, August 13, 2017

God Preparing Me

        Communion experience. The Lord filled me to overflowing, making me whole and preparing me for going home to him.

Our Unique Existence

        While worshipping the Lord in church this morning, I was aware of my own unique existence that I am I and not anyone else. I instinctively knew that I was created by God.

Our "Impossible" God

        I pray for what seems to be impossible to happen, precisely because nothing is impossible with God.

***We Are Our Heart

        When you look for God, do not expect to find him externally in any fashion, but feel for him in your heart. At today's Mass, I heard the 1st reading from 1 Kings 19. The Lord told Elijah to go outside of his cave and stand on the mountain, for he would be passing by. A strong and heavy wind was rending the mountains and crushing rocks, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake there was fire, again the Lord was not in it. Finally, there came a tiny whispering sound and Elijah knew it was the Lord passing by. So when you look for God, listen for his whispering to you in your heart. It is the heart that God wants to speak to, to win, to purify, and to transform, for he knows that we always follow our hearts. Give your heart to God and you'll never ever go wrong.

God Not Taken Seriously

        The world just doesn't take the loving God, our creator and Father, seriously. It is most tragic that people do not realize how that would affect their eternal destiny. I'll always remember poignantly Jesus' saying in Matthew 26: 24. With Judas in his mind, he said, "Woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born." We are already born, so let's take God seriously by heeding the word of Christ.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

*On Temptation

        Every time we pray the Our Father, we ask the Lord not to lead us into temptation. Do you realize that sometimes when there is no temptation around, we actually look for or create temptation for ourselves? For example, fantasizing for our own entertainment. Succumbing to temptation is straying from God and always makes us lose our inner peace. We can reconcile with God again, but why leave him in the first place? 

Not Our Business

        We may not gossip, but the same nature prompts us to peek at what others are doing. This may not do anyone harm, but it could affect your own soul, for to be overcurious about others is to divert your attention on God. Essentially, we should learn to mind our own business only.    

Reverse Effect

        Communion experience. The more I place myself at the mercy of God, the higher he lifts us up.

First Things First

        Sometimes we do things just for self-improvement, fun, or recreation, and wonder if we are serving God. The important thing is that whenever it becomes clear that you need to do something to serve God, you must put aside whatever you are doing or enjoying and respond to God's prompting or calling without delay.

**Ultimate Freedom

        The ardent wish of God the Father is that we abandon ourselves in him, and this makes it the exclusive goal of our life. Once we are totally in the Father, all power flows from him through us to accomplish his will. This is ultimate freedom! 

Friday, August 11, 2017

***Having the Utmost

        If you have Christ, you have everything you'll ever need, for God is now yours forever!

Enjoying God

        Communion experience. The Lord and I already dwell in each other. Continuing receiving him in the Holy Eucharist merely enhances my enjoyment of him.

Ready for Heaven

        Communion time thought. When you truly desire to receive the Lord, you are ready to be taken into heaven.

Reality of What We Face

        Picture that we face myriad roads for us to choose to travel on. All the roads except one look alluring, for they are wide, flat, nicely paved and lined with all kinds of attractions along both sides, and you see big crowds already going down each. It seems that any of these roads will lead you to more fun, although you are not sure what you'll find at the end. The road that is different intrigues you, for it's the only one that seems narrow, steep, barren, and somewhat deserted. Although you hardly see anyone traveling on it, you do suspect that you might be pleasantly surprised by what you find at the end. 
        Well, the attractive roads are the roads that lead you straight into the world, while the unattractive one is the one to God. The reasons that you do not see many people on the road to God are that not many chose to take it and that those who had gone ahead had already been picked up and transported fast and comfortably to God.    
        Reality. Seeing is deceiving and the world lures us and blinds us from seeing God. 

Miracles Abound

        God does not wish that we believe in him for miracles alone. Nevertheless, he has been performing them from the beginning of time to the present day. The greatest miracle for me has to be the Incarnation of Christ, which is the Son of God descending from heaven to become man for us and for our salvation. His Resurrection that followed has to be the next greatest one. By the way, Christianity is distinguished from all other religions by its abundant miracles.

God Drawing

        Today is the memorial of Saint Clare. At church before Mass began, I had the intense desire to know God more by having him reveal his thoughts and ways to me. Naturally, as my creator, he already knows all about me and he has infinite things to show me too. I can see that in heaven we'll have a great time getting to know the Lord thoroughly.   

*Letting the World Go

       Recently, someone I know bought a luxury home for over $4 million in an exclusive neighborood. Another relative of one of my relatives is on the verge of becoming very wealthy, for his IT business is becoming widely popular. So what am I going to do? First, I wish them both well and pray for their souls as I always do for all souls. Then, I will continue holding onto Christ who grants me his heavenly peace. The eternal Lord is infinitely more precious than all the perishable riches of the world put together. I totally hear Jesus when he said to his disciples in today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, "What profit would there be for one to gain the whole world and forfeit his life?"

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Holy Presence in Your Heart

        Communion thoughts. Christ is the only one who can enter, dwell in, and cleanse our hearts. After you receive the Holy Eucharist, this very Lord is now present in your heart! 

*Spiritual Journey Summarized

        I searched for God and he came to me. Gradually, his love made me open up more and more to him. Finally, with me completely out of his way he filled me with his love to the brim. Now we are inseparable as one.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Overwhelmed by God

        Communion experience. I trembled, not out of fear, but because of the immensity of God I felt descending upon and entering me.

How to Belong to God

                Give your heart to him.

Being Tested by God

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 15: 21-28, Jesus tested a Canaanite woman's faith; she passed and won the Lord's heart. Every difficulty, hardship we encounter in life is a test that comes from God. Instead of getting upset and complaining about it, we should put our faith in God, remain humble always, then we'll invariably pass the test and come out stronger in faith and closer in our union with God. See every test as an opportunity for us to store up treasures in heaven.

Faithful Servant

        The faithful servant of Christ takes advantage of every opportunity to serve God. He does not pick or choose only what he prefers to do nor ignore the small things. He can be trusted in every respect and is willing to let the heavenly Father make him as perfect as possible. And he knows that no order is too large for God.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

God We Need

        Communion experience. God is exactly what we need, for he can give all the help we need and make us perfect. Let his powerful love do the work for us and transform us.  

Making Faith Beautiful

        Today is the Memorial of St. Dominic. The Gospel reading from Matthew 14 tells that the disciples of Jesus in a boat saw the Lord walking on water toward them. Peter also wanted to try, but after he got out of the boat and began to walk toward Jesus, he became frightened and began to sink. Jesus caught him and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" The lesson to me here is that we should never doubt the Lord. Have full confidence in God is such a beautiful thing! If God cannot be trusted fully, then life would not be worth living.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Saving Soul Beyond Body

        Saving the soul of a person saves that person for all eternity. Saving the life of a person only gives him another chance to find salvation, in case he is not a believer in Christ yet. To love someone, we need to be concerned about the soul beyond this life, which is what made the Lord come into the world. Therefore, as Christians, we must make saving souls our foremost priority.

*Way to Perfect Freedom

        Perfect obedience to the Father leads to perfect freedom in him.

**Communion Significance

        Communion experience. Receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist is much more than coming into physical contact with him – it is the complete dissolution of the Lord in you to be absorbed by you to become one with you!

Short Review of Christ

        Today's Communion antiphon, Wisdom 16.20: You have given us, O Lord, bread from heaven, endowed with all delights and sweetness in every taste. My short review of Jesus would be "He is most delightful and sweet." 

*Smart Tactic

        We all enjoy being appreciated and loved by others, then why not redirect this desire to letting God appreciate and love you? God is ever ready; you only need to allow him to do it. Other people can only inflate your ego, but when God does it, he humbles and exalts you at the same time and your heart will rejoice.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

***True Humility

        Humility is measured by how much you are willing to let God change you! You are humble when you are ready to let God do whatever he wants with you.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

**Some Signs of Ego Presence

1. We get unhappy when things don't go the way we want. 
2. We notice only what we do not have, but don't appreciate what we already have. 
3. We go over in our mind what we have said or done before others, concerned about our own image. 

Only by immersing ourselves in God can we let go of our ego. Therefore, be wide open to God to let him enter to displace your ego.

Friday, August 4, 2017

*Foregone Conclusions

        If you fight God by rebelling against him, you will lose everything, you soul included, at the end. On the other hand, if you love him as your Father by obeying his every will, you shall inherit his kingdom in heaven.  

Something to Beware

        We do not know the day of our departure from earth, but it is marked on God's calendar. Beware of this so that we may live our life right and please the Lord.

**Jesus Most Personal!

        The Lord who has died for us to redeem us knows all about us and we are to face him alone to account for how we have lived our life on earth and he is to determine our fate for all eternity.

**How to Gain God*

         Simple! Humbly surrender yourself to him and he is yours.         

**Most Beautiful Win-Win Deal

        You let God into your life and he's happy to let you have all the spiritual support you need, freedom, peace, joy, and eternal life to boot. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Most Appropriate Short Prayer

        Communion experience. I felt that the shortest, most appropriate general prayer to God for us was "Lord, have mercy." It shows that we acknowledge that we are completely at his mercy and are willing to submit ourselves to him. 

To Be Heaven-Ready

        If we love God, we'll get to heaven. Another way of looking at it: we love God to get heaven-ready. Many people today do not feel good because they do not know that they can be heaven-ready. I am letting all know here and now that all you need to do is to love and follow Christ to get heaven-ready and feel good.

On Judging Others

        God does not judge us until we have lived our life fully; that is, the door to our salvation is always open as long as we are alive on earth. If we are highly critical of anyone still living without mercy, we sin against God who has commanded us not to judge others. [Note. Judging involves forming an opinion, but forming an opinion may not be judging. It becomes judging only when we form our opinion without love or pity.]

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

**No Self-Concern In God

        Communion experience. When you are in God, you are invisible to Satan, for the Lord completely envelops you with humility. When you are in him, you also have no concern about his judgment, for you are one with him.

Exploring God

        God is infinite love. It is the infiniteness and boundlessness of God in every way that makes him exciting to explore, if you are at all adventurous.

Turning Around With Jesus

         Is life worth living? If your answer is no, you do not know Christ yet. Once you know him well, the answer would be a resounding yes. Just as the Resurrection of Christ brought new hope to his followers and new life to the church, knowing Christ rejuvenates his believers and makes their life meaningful and worth living.

*Getting to Know God Important

        Most people believe that God exists, but they do not know who he is. Christians believe that Jesus is God, but they may not know him well. To be sure, it's how well you know the Lord that matters. In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 13, Jesus likened the Kingdom of heaven to a treasure buried in a field or a pearl of great price. Once you find it, you would want to sell all that you have and buy that field or pearl. If you truly believe in Christ, you would want to go all out to get to know him. There will always be things you don't get to do or complete in life, but do be sure that you get to know Christ as intimately as possible before you die. 

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

**Going All Out for God

        Once you find the most precious treasure, you want to have it all. Therefore, once you find God, you want to go all out for him, leading you to seek union with him. This is what makes living for God most exciting!

Letting God In!

        Today's Communion antiphon, John 15.16: It was not you who chose me but I who chose you and appointed you to gather fruit, fruit that will last. When Jesus chooses us, he call us. If we are to hear him, we must remain open to him. How can you let the sunshine and fresh air in if you do not draw the curtains and open the window? Putting it bluntly, to shut the Lord out is to commit spiritual suicide.

*Serious Choices Awaiting

        From Jesus' explanation of the parable of the weeds to his disciples in today's Gospel reading from Matthew 13, it was clear that hell exists and would not be empty. That was somewhat chilling, but it's a good wakeup call for all. Good seed and weeds, children of the Kingdom and children of the Evil One, evildoers and the righteous, being thrown into the fiery furnace or shining like the sun in the Kingdom of the Father . . . these were all mentioned, helping us to make the right choices while we still have time. 

God Always Good to Us

        Even good friends can be unkind sometimes, for they are not perfect. But God is alway good to us – he watches over us, listens to us, wants to speak to our hearts, forgive our sins, inspire, uplift and refresh us, and last but not least, to make us happy forever in heaven. What could possibly be your reason for not embracing and loving him? 

Monday, July 31, 2017

Measured by God

        It became clear to me that whether we know God or not, every thought, word, and deed of ours will be judged by whether it is in conformity with his will or not, no exceptions. Our time on earth must not to be wasted on ignoring or going against God. 

**Compelling Beauty

        Communion experience. Today is the Memorial of St. Ignatius of Loyola. The Lord revealed his great beauty to me and made me see that I should not ever offend him even by one iota. Then, with relief and gratitude, I saw right away that he alone could make me holy and perfect. 

Why I Hate Sin

        Of course, sin offends God. More personally, sin robs me of inner peace.        

Only One Worth Holding Onto

        My oldest granddaughter is about to go far away to attend a college in a few weeks. My feelings are mixed: I am happy that she is about ready to live by herself, but will miss her presence around here. When a baby bird is ready to fly away from the nest, its parents just have let it go and perhaps never see it again. In life, we do not want to hold onto anything, for everything passes. But I feel greatly blessed that I can hold onto God who is always there as a loving Father with me and upon whom I can depend for all eternity. This absolutely makes all the difference! 

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Transforming Our Life

        Think about life: there are just so many things to take care of, problems to solve, and challenges to meet. Not only we need to earn our own livelihood, we may also have a family to support, and "enemies" to deal with. Then there's the burden of sin, which, unfortunately, gets too easily ignored. Once we realize the serious consequences of sin, we turn to God. Now we need to get our sins forgiven, to remain pure, and to love others actively. It seems that the only way for us to come out on top in all these things would be to abandon ourselves totally to God so that he can help us make all things easy. Now, life is no longer a burden, but a stepping stone to great freedom. 

Why Sin Hurts

        Sin makes me miserable because I hurt God and lose my intimacy with him.

Realization Before Seeking God

        The earth is not our permanent home, not where we can find true happiness. Even if we can stay healthy and never die, I don't think you would want to dwell on earth forever, for it's a tumultuous and sinful place. Only if we can acknowledge this are we ready to turn to God to seek true peace in him.  

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Abandonment in God Is . . .

total relaxation of the spirit in God.

*In Sync With God

        Today is the memorial of St. Martha. In the Gospel reading from John 11, Jesus told Martha, "I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live, and anyone who lives and believes in me will never die." She said to him, "Lord, I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who is coming into the world." Jesus made a definitive statement and Martha gave the perfect response. Something truly beautiful happens when we and God become of one mind and one heart. If that happens to every single one of us on earth, I wouldn't be surprised that Christ would come right away to take us all into heaven.

**Best Possible News!*

        We all need someone to go to. When we were young, our parents were the natural ones to go to for solace and help. As adults, God becomes the best and logical choice by all means, for he is GOD, our Father and loving creator. The Christian reality is that through the sacrifice of Christ the Son, God has cleared the way for us to return home to him in heaven forever. It is rejoicing all the way through eternity!

Friday, July 28, 2017

**It All Depends on You*

        Following Jesus is difficult if you do not surrender to him totally, but becomes super easy if you do. Not encountering any resistance in you, the Lord is able to do all the work in freedom for you. So it all depends on you to depend on God or not.

*Never Shut God Out

        With God we should never draw any line. For example, it is inappropriate to tell God that you believe in him, but you just can't and won't forgive a certain person you dislike. The proper respectable attitude is to admit that God is right, you are weak and need his help. Never close the door on God, but always keep your heart open to receive the help you need from him.

Wishful Longing

        I long to see my beloved Lord. Therefore, personally I wish that he would come now or soon, but not to judge us ~ only to give everyone another chance to turn to him for salvation. Nevertheless, I must always submit my wish to his.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Way It Should be

        God does not bow down to anyone, and we bow down only to God. 

*Justifying What We Do

        Sometimes we justify what we want to do by stretching things a bit. To make up an example, I can say that I watch TV a lot every day to entertain myself, and when I am happy, I do a better job of everything else I should do and make others happy too. Other common examples of justifying what you do: saying "God has made me this way" and "I must use my God-given talent." 
        There is only one justification for what we do: Do we bring ourselves or others closer to God?

*Final Arrival

        Life is always in progress; we keep learning and changing. Today you are not quite the same person as you were yesterday, and tomorrow you'll be different again. And as we go through the various phases of life, we seem never to come to some appropriate end. But, with Christ, you believe in him and it's done for you. Once you've settled your eternal destiny, everything else matters little. Life is now complete; you've entered its final, perfect phase.

Hard-Heart Generation

        One of today's Communion antiphons, Revelation 3.20: Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door to me, I will enter his house and dine with him, and he with me. I believe that most of us, in USA here anyway, have heard the Lord's voice at one time or another, albeit sometimes only faintly, but never bothered to open the door for even a peek. And this is tragic. In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 13, Jesus explained to his disciples why he spoke in parables to the people. He said it's because they look but do not see and hear but do not listen or understand, fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy. That Isaiah described the heart of the people as gross is still accurate today.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

*Getting Into Heaven

        After we die, we either return to God or are separated from him for all eternity. If we do not believe in Christ or believe in him with a weak faith, we should never take it for granted that we are going to heaven. Also, even if we do not do anything evil, we'll have difficulty getting into heaven if we live an entirely self-centered life. For to live for yourself only is not to live for God at all. We must do our utmost to safeguard our soul, created by God and most precious to him!

Believe While There's Time!

        People believe in the existence of God, yet they have no idea what kind of God they would accept. For me, Christ is the true God from both the subjective and objective points of view. You can believe in some god, but only the true God can reveal himself to you within your heart. Love, peace, freedom, deep joy and your own transformation are all solid signs that that you have the truth. 
          Another mental image came to me this morning. Living our life is like walking along a precipice. If you slip, you can fall off it and plunge toward the bottom. If you do not know Christ, you may or may not survive, depending upon your circumstances and how good a person you are. If you know and believe in Christ, you can be sure you will be safe with him no matter what happens.     

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Becoming Great

        Communion experience. Receive the Lord with humility and love, and you become great in his eyes.

Fantastic Trip

        Abandon yourself in God and the Lord transports your spirit to be with him. 

Greatest Correction We Need

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 20, the mother of the sons of Zebedee, James and John, asked Jesus to command that her two sons sit, one at his right and the other at his left, in his Kingdom. That was typical of being a human mother, looking after her sons. When the other ten apostles heard this, they became indignant at James and John. Again, so typical of being selfcenteredly human. Jesus summoned them and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and the great ones make their authority over them felt. But it shall not be so among you. Rather, whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant; whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave." This is the greatest correction we all need.

Greatest Foresight

        Today's response from Psalm 126: Those who sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. Everything we do affects God: we either please or offend him, and nothing goes unnoticed by him. We store up treasures either on earth or in heaven. Jesus knows that where our treasure is, there also will our heart be (Matthew 6.21). To see that we reap what we sow matters more than ever. 

*Greatest Possible Honor

        Today is the Feast of Saint James, Apostle. As Jesus walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw James, the son of Zebedee, and John his brother. They were in a boat, with their father Zebedee, mending their fishing nets. He called them, and immediately they left their boat and their  father and followed him. Do you know that the greatest honor is not being named a Nobel laureate, selected as the MVP during a championship game, awarded with an Oscar in the entertainment field, or any other honor the world can bestow on you?  The greatest honor we can ever possibly receive, not necessarily noticed by the world, is being chosen by Christ to follow him now and live with him forever in heaven later!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Great Stillness

        Communion experience. I felt great stillness in God, who is my beginning, my present, and my end forever.

**Sinner's Fear

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 12, some of the scribes and Pharisees demanded to see a sign from Jesus. Any unfaithful generation would not believe until it sees some kind of proof. People in general easily accept what the new media put out or what their friends tell them, but when it comes to hearing about Jesus, they readily shut their mind. How come? I would say it's because deep down they know that they are sinners and, naturally, any mention of God would make any sinner feel uneasy.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

**Union With God Examined*

        Union with God is essentially union in will with God. It is extraordinary because it involves the Holy God and a sinner. Yet, it is quite natural, for it's the union between the creator and his creature, between a loving Father and his beloved child. It's definitely God's will to want to be one with us. When we become obedient, union is achieved.      

Personal Holiness Necessary

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 13, Jesus told three parables to the crowds. In explaining the parable of the weeds to his disciples, he said that at the end of the age he would send his angles to collect out of his kingdom all who cause others to sin and all evildoers to be thrown into the fiery furnace. It's interesting that he grouped those who cause others to sin with those who do evil. Watch out! We may not think that we are evil in any way, but if we do something that causes others to sin (like being a bad example), then we are just as bad as the evildoers. In fact, it can be worse. For example, I post something inappropriate online and result in turning myriads of people away from God. Only personal holiness can safeguard our soul.

**How to Know God

        Let this be God's doing again. You simply remain 100% open to let Christ in for him to make his presence known to you.        

Considerations for Oldsters

        When you are young, you plan for your own future for survival in the world – that's understandable, for you do not automatically know that you were created by a loving God. But as you grow older and see that death is imminent, it would be wise to plan for how you should live for the remainder of your life on earth. You can try to do as many things as possible for your personal enjoyment or concentrate upon serving God in the best way possible. These two choices needn't be mutually exclusive, for serving God can often incorporate doing enjoyable things. Besides, when you are intent on serving the Lord, everything you do becomes a joy.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

God Worth Living For

        Communion time thoughts. (1) Life is worth living only because God loves us. He is the only one worth living for. (2) God can heal the whole world and make it perfect, but man wouldn't listen to any of that. (3) When God fills the void of our life, we become perfectly content. Certainly, the God who has created you can heal and change you if you let him.

***Great Christian Open Secret

        Today's Communion antiphon, based upon 2 Corinthians 5.14,15: The Love of God impels us, so that those who live may live no longer for themselves, but for him who died for them and was raised. This is the great Christian open secret: By living for Christ and not for ourselves, we become free! The key to opening the door to freedom is surrendering to God. You have no peace only because you are still fighting him – elementary!

**Joyfully Following Jesus*

        Today is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene. I am presenting the entire Gospel reading, John 20.1-2, 11-18, for it is so moving and beautiful. You can sense that it's an account of exactly what happened. 

On the first day of the week,
Mary Magdalene came to the tomb early in the morning,
while it was still dark,
and saw the stone removed from the tomb.
So she ran and went to Simon Peter
and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and told them,
"They have taken the Lord from the tomb,
and we don't know where they put him." 

Mary stayed outside the tomb weeping.
And as she wept, she bent over into the tomb
and saw two angels in white sitting there,
one at the head and one at the feet
where the Body of Jesus had been.
And they said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?"
She said to them, "They have taken my Lord,
and I don't know where they laid him."
When she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus there,
but did not know it was Jesus.
Jesus said to her, "Woman, why are you weeping?
Whom are you looking for?"
She thought it was the gardener and said to him,
"Sir, if you carried him away,
tell me where you laid him,
and I will take him."
Jesus said to her, "Mary!"
She turned and said to him in Hebrew,
"Rabbouni," which means Teacher.
Jesus said to her,
"Stop holding on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father.
But go to my brothers and tell them,
'I am going to my Father and your Father,
to my God and your God.'"
Mary Magdalene went and announced to the disciples,
"I have seen the Lord,"
and then reported what he told her.

        Do you ever miss Jesus when you do no see him? Do you ever feel that your Lord has been taken away from you? Of course, we now know that nothing can possibly take away his love for us. It's a joy to know that Jesus' Father is our Father and his God, our God. How more close-knit can we be? And more joy: we are also going to the Father and God as Christ had done!

Sign of Union With God

        One predictable sign that you are in union with God is the absolute certainty that God is real and dwells in you.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Mercy Over Sacrifice

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 12 (and in Matthew 9 too), Jesus quoted "I desire mercy, not sacrifice" from Hosea in response to the Pharisees' question. I think I see why God prefers mercy over sacrifice from us. Let's say that you have two sons trying to please you. The first son knows that he is unworthy of your love and does things to "punish" himself in some way, hoping to win you back, while the second one, also feeling unworthy but goes on joyfully doing good deeds to help others. I think you would be more pleased by the second son and even feel sorry for the first one, for self-sacrifice is still self-centered – an act with no joy in it – while helping your neighbor is following the second greatest commandment of God.

***Going All Out With God

        People tell you to move a step closer to God, good advice – but I tell you to run to God and jump right into his lap, hold onto him tight and shout as loud as you can "I love you"! After all, your heavenly Father loves you more than you can possibly imagine, so you can totally let yourself go, letting him satisfy your deepest longings for all eternity! You'll be one smartest and most blessed person in the world when you take full advantage of all his promises and generous offers! Yes, he becomes all yours at the wish of your heart! We should live for nothing but the God of Christ! (Note. what I have recommended above may seem to be extreme, but it is in fact what God deserves and we should do. Think about it.)

**Strengthening Your Union With God

        When we do fun things with friends, we bond with each other; but stronger bonds are formed when we go through difficult times together. And there is no better way of strengthening our union with God than offering up all our sufferings to him, for out of love he always suffers for our sake – that is, he is happy when we are happy, and unhappy when we are unhappy!

Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Piece of General Advice

        All of us are at various stages of spiritual growth. You may not be ready to serve God with all your heart yet, but the important thing is to always leave that door ajar for him, and the time will come when you are called to serve him more and better. Think of God as your loving Father. If he is not on your mind constantly yet, just keep him in your mind. 

Our Homecoming

        Communion thoughts. Since God is my creator and knows everything about me, then, of course, I should let myself be his completely. It's only logical and natural to go back to where you came from. Receiving the Lord in the Holy Eucharist is a direct invitation to do just that. All obstacles on our return have been cleared by our loving Father.  

*Wrongheaded Thinking

        Wake up! God is the same yesterday, today, and forever; we are the ones who move away from him. It is completely wrong to feel or think that we have moved ahead and God belongs to the ancient past. 

*Most Wonderful Name

        In today's first reading from Exodus 3, Moses, hearing the voice of the Lord from the burning bush, asked him, "When I go to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' if they ask me, 'What is his name?' what am I to tell them?" God replied, "I am who am." And he added, "This is what you shall tell the children of Israel: I AM sent me to you." "I AM" is truly the most wonderful name fit for God, and only the Lord himself can give it to us.

*Side Benefit of Union With God*

        The main reason for seeking union with God is to please and glorify him by showing that we love him as our Father and want to belong to him completely. One great side benefit of union is that your transition from this earth to heaven will be absolutely smooth and joyful. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

What We Fear Most

        I had a scary dream this morning in which I was being chased by someone. I woke up and asked myself what we fear the most in life. The answer was clear: the loss of our life. And it's also clear to me that all the more important we should seek eternal safety in Christ.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

How to Live Each Day

       You've heard that we should live each day as if it's the first day of your life or the last day of your life. It's even better to live each day as if it is your day of judgment.

*Life Is Like a Dream

        If life seems to be like a dream, that's because you have gotten to know Christ and found that he is the true reality.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Most Signifiant Statement

        If you ever want make a significant statement in your life, make the statement that you are with God all the way, known to him alone.

On Approaching the Lord

       There are many beautiful articles, statues, pictures, etc., in many religious gift shops, aimed at aiding you along your spiritual journey, but there is also the hidden danger that attachment to them can hang up your spiritual progress. If you are able to focus upon the Lord, I would recommend that you bypass all such possible distractions and go directly to him. Never let the trees blind you so that you lose sight of the forest.

*More Than Forgiving Us

        Communion experience. Not only Jesus can take away our sins, he's the only one who can remove all our prejudices as well.        

*Heart-to-Heart With God

        We can only touch the heart of God with our own heart and never with our mind. That's why preaching with the mind is never effective. It must be heart-to-heart communication all around.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sad State of Souls

        In the city I visited, mentioned earlier (6 posts back), I also saw homeless people everywhere. This made me think that if we live from day to day, not thinking about nor knowing where we are going, we are basically lost. Even if we have set goals, we are still lost if the these goals are worldly ones. Sadly, many people do not realize this until their moment of death. This city also shocked me somewhat when I read in its visitors' guide not only where to shop for fashion, jewelry, souvenirs, etc., but also where to get tattooed and buy sex toys! What Jesus said in Matthew 24.37-39 comes to my mind: As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. In those days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day that Noah entered the ark. They did not know until the flood came and carried them all away. So will it be also at the coming of the Son of Man. 

God Our Liberator

        Without God as our light and guide, we become followers of the world and/or ourselves. It's only by following God (the God of Christ) that we can be liberated from sin and it's enslavement.

What We Should Look Forward To

        Since we were created by God, returning to him would be going home to the Father. How can we possibly not feel happy about it? It is what we should look forward to with great expectation and start rejoicing now.

Friday, July 14, 2017

God Indispensable

        As surely as we need food to sustain our life on earth, we need God to have life after death.  By the way, even our food on earth comes from God.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Total Dependence

        Today, while praying the Our Father, the words made it crystal clear to me that we are to depend upon God entirely and that we have no say in anything nor any contribution to make. 

True Success

        An interesting BBC article tells the story of Carl Rodrigues, a successful Canadian IT consultant, who in 2001 decided to quit his job and retire to his basement to develop a best-selling computer product. After a month of working "crazy hours," he came up with the idea of a software system that would allow the user to control his or her mobile phone from their laptop. Today, his company named Soti is worth $1billion. Again, I cannot help thinking that when we place our trust in Christ (no need to spend crazy hours), we can "achieve" eternal life with no effort on our own!

True Cool Person

        Just visited a city where I saw many hippies and hipsters in so many of its neighborhoods. You see tattoos on exposed body parts of almost everyone. I cannot help thinking that the true cool person is one who does God's will in private, not influenced in the slightest by the world.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

*Tragic Ignorance

        People reject God because they do not wish to be controlled by anyone, not knowing that the true God only wants to set them free and give them eternal life! 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

**Union With the Perfect One!

         Communion experience. The Lord is perfect. When I received him, I was receiving the Perfect One who could make me perfect – a stunning experience!
            [Note: I won't be able to blog for the next week or so, so please check back for new postings after July 18. Meanwhile, let's continue to pray for all souls, living and deceased, and yourself too, unceasingly. Since I mean it, I don't consider it cliché to say "God bless you" to all of you out there who read my blog regularly.]

Prioritizing Praying for Yourself

        We pray for others and often neglect to pray for ourselves. We need to pray for ourselves for the sake of God! If we do not become holy first, how can we effectively change the world for the glory of God? To be humble is to acknowledge that we need God to make us holy and strong. So put God first, yourself next, and the rest all after you.

**God Also Suffers Like Us

        Today Tuesday is the day to pray the Sorrowful Mysteries of the Rosary. It dawned on me that it's not just us sinners suffering on earth, but God also suffered and still suffers. When we think of God, we tend to think that he's got everything . . . he can do whatever he wants to do and and create whatever he'd like to have, and besides, he lives in heaven! Why would he want to suffer? Of course, he sacrificed himself on the cross all because he truly loved us. How can you not be moved by such a loving Father? Yet there are still so many of his children today who couldn't care less about his existence, so he continues to suffer for our sake. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

*God Comes Before Heaven

        Communion experience. I was completely occupied with being one with the Lord. Not even heaven could have distracted me. After all, we don't get to heaven to be one with God – we seek union with him now in order to get into heaven.

Faith With Full Confidence

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 9, a woman suffering hemorrhages for twelve years came up behind Jesus and touched the tassel on his cloak. She said to herself, "If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured." Jesus turned around and saw her, and said, "Courage, daughter! Your faith has saved you." From that hour the woman was cured. I got to thinking about the kind of faith we should have. I've been praying for some loved ones to become great believers in Christ for many years. This woman showed me that I must go beyond believing that nothing is impossible with God and believe that God will grant me what I ask for without a doubt. If I have to "force" myself in any way to believe that it will happen, then my faith is not there yet. So it must be a faith with full confidence. Let me quote Mark 11.24, in which Jesus said, "I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." Amen.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

*Winers and Losers

        Jesus repeatedly gave the message "To anyone who has, more will be given; from anyone who has not, even what he has will be taken away." This also applies well to anyone seeking the Lord. If you are closed to God, how do you expect him to ever enter your heart? So you will remain being cut off from him to the end. But to those who search for him sincerely with humility, they will be richly rewarded.

*Worst Wake-Up Call*

        If we remain asleep and aloof from Jesus in this life, we shall wake up in shock after we die to see that every knee of those in heaven, on earth, and under the earth shall bend before him (Romans 14.11 & Philippians 2.10). This is not good.

**Most Humbling Experience*

        Communion experience. Jesus is meek and humble. As God, he treated me as his equal when he entered me. Such an experience is to be cherished forever!

Peace in Perfection

        Our world is imperfect even without us sinning. All of a sudden, I have trouble sending email out, due to some change my server had made and it does look like I have to spend extra money to get this problem fixes myself. Then this morning, I discovered an underground sprinkler system leak, most likely due the inferior workmanship of the installer. We must accept the fact that life is much about facing problems and overcoming difficulties, dealing with people issues, making and changing plans, seeking answers and learning new things, etc. You can let all these things make you lose peace or accept them as reality for the time being, knowing that everything will be perfect after you get to heaven. In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 11, Jesus advises us to remain meek and humble and to find rest in him. To remain meek and humble is not complain about things. To find rest in him is to make him our refuge. Only in him shall we find peace and happiness, for only in him shall we find perfection.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

**Right Focus for Spiritual Progress*

        I have always advocated placing your focus upon Christ and not on yourself. I can preach a thousand times to someone, telling him to love the Lord, to pray hard, this and that – while my intention is good, the advice could hardly be effective, for you are asking someone who cannot even make himself grow half a millimeter taller to make the effort a become a perfect follower of Christ. Let's remember what Jesus said in John 15.5: I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me and I in him will bear much fruit, because without me you can do nothingTherefore, we need to let the Lord do the work for us. Of course, this doesn't mean that we just sit back at home, do nothing, and wait for miracles to happen. What we only need to do is to remain open and submitssive to God first, for he cannot work freely in a closed or partially open or nonsubmissive heart. Then focus upon his power, his glory, his love for you, his beauty and perfection . . . and you shall be transformed by him without doing any hard work on your own. As always, to get results, focus upon God and not yourself.   

*The Joy of Christ

        Today's Gospel reading was taken from Matthew 9. The disciples of John the Baptist approached Jesus and asked, "Why do we and the Pharisees fast much, but your disciples do not fast?" Jesus answered them, "Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast." A true follower of Christ is characterized the joy of the Lord, for he is with and within him or her always. Shall we say that A Christian without joy is one who has not known the Lord thoroughly yet? It is this great joy of Christ that converts and transforms our hearts and lives.

Friday, July 7, 2017

*Glorious Moment

        Communion experience. When the Lord entered me, I became part of him and nothing (besides my own rebellion) could possibly separate me from him anymore. What a glorious moment for me! 

**Creating Awareness of God's Presence*

        I believe that all of us who follow Christ have had moments in which we feel or sense the presence or reality of God in our spiritual journey. These fleeting moments vary in duration, but we can create them! Rather than waiting for God to grant us such glimpses of him, we can turn to God with our heart and mind completely open and desire and seek union with him. Then, once you attain union, you will feel his constant presence within you. Even when you go through the dark night of the soul, not hearing his voice or receiving any consolation from him, you still know that he is present within you.   

Obligation to Save Souls

        If you see someone about to fall off a precipice into a giant firepit at the bottom below, most of us would instinctively reach forward to try to save that person if possible. Now, if you are a Christian and realize that many lost fouls will probably meet a similar fate after they die, wouldn't you want to try your best to save as many of them as possible now? 

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Simple Wish

        Communion experience. I was not inspired to ask the Lord to overwhelm me with his love, nor uplift me to some great heights – I just asked to remain in him. 

*God, Our Supreme Example

        Today's 1st reading came from Genesis 22. We heard how God tested Abraham. The Lord instructed Abraham to offer up his only son Isaac up as a burnt offering to him. When Abraham and Issac came to the place of which God had told him, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. Next he bound Isaac and put him on top of the wood on the altar. Just as Abraham was about to slaughter his son, the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven to stop him, for he passed the test. My first reaction: how could God be so cruel to Abraham? Then I realized that the Lord had sacrificed his only Son for our sake! I am not in any position to question him again. 

Today's Hypocrites

        In the old days, the news media were quite honest, for they reported all the news factually without bias. Today, it's a different world ~ a lot worse, I am afraid. Most news media even manufacture fake news or distort facts as they please. For example, they would not report on any bad deed done by some politician they like, no matter how horrible it might be; but twist and magnify every fault of another they don't like, ignoring altogether his accomplishments. Holding such a double standard is being unpatriotic and hypocritical. Hear what Jesus said to the Pharisees and scribes and you'll see how hypocrisy offends the Lord. The need to turn to God now is more urgent than ever.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

**Going Direct to God

          God is our Father, brother, friend, teacher, spiritual guide and inspiration, protector, Savior, creator, life-sustainer and much more. Therefore, we should be his best children, siblings, friends, students, imitators, etc., and share all our thoughts, feelings, burdens, needs, and everything else with him. The communication and relationship must be direct and open, as we are entirely dependent upon him. This is trust and obedience. Direct learning from him follows. It goes without saying that no one can teach us spiritually as well as the Lord himself. Once you know him intimately, as in union, he speaks directly to your heart and effectively transforms you into a new creature. For results, always go straight to the top.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

***No Small Act

        Communion experience. The Lord entered me, with his body and blood, soul and divinity! This was no small act; this was giving me the most loving, awesome, and powerful gift, the Lord God himself! It was the perfect time to open oneself to union with him and be set free!

Faithless Generation

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 8, Jesus rebuked the winds and the sea, calming a storm from a boat he's in. Today if we pray to God for rain or a hurricane to change its course, people would laugh at us – pity they don't know that nothing is impossible with God. No wonder that this faithless generation does not get to see many wonders of God. 

*Self-Importance has No Place

      There is danger in doing the Lord's work to believe that you are indispensable to him, forgetting that he has chosen you to do his work. For example, even though I am blogging almost daily for the benefit of many readers around the world, it is really not me doing my work. I must remember that it is the Lord using me for his glory and no more. If I cannot let my blog go, then I become a slave to myself. Anytime the Lords wants me to stop, it should be OK with me. The detachment to oneself must be thorough or you are not truly free in the Lord. Let all be accomplished through or without us by the Master, for we are mere servants doing what we should do.

**Most Urgent Goal!*

        Do you know that one day when you are with God, all your worries, questions, inner conflicts, unsettled issues, emotional complications, etc., will all be cleared up and resolved, and you shall simply enjoy the peace and freedom in God forever? Hence, to be with God now and forever should properly be your ultimate and most urgent goal!

Good Reason We Need God

        Another good reason why we absolutely need God. The world is full of evil caused by sin and to overcome evil, no one can help us but the living God of love, the Father of Christ our Lord, who alone has the power to take away our sins. 

*Huge Difference*

        I know and can tell you that if you live without Christ, you are a nobody, alone and lost in the universe. If you have Christ with you in your life, you will know that you are a most beloved son or daughter of God the Father and a brother or sister and dearest friend to Christ the Lord.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Tremendous Blessing . . .

when you abandon yourself in God and he takes you completely under his wing.               

*Never Look Back

        Most of us have all kinds of old memories, some pleasant and others less so. Anyhow, dwelling upon them is unhealthy, for it impedes spiritual progress. We need to focus on God alone and let go of bygones, and you'd experience greater freedom. Luke 9.62: Jesus said, "No one who sets a hand to the plow and looks to what was behind is fit for the kingdom of God." So, be disciplined and tough.

**How God Has Made Us

        God has made us in such a way that (1) we understand good and evil, (2) we can get to know him, (3) there will be no rest for us until we find rest in him (St. Augustine), (4) we won't be happy until we know we can be happy forever, (5) our joy won't be complete until we possess all of God (become his), (6) we absolutely need him, for only he can take away our sins, and lastly (7) we can discover that he loves us so much that he wishes to be one with us.  

Sunday, July 2, 2017

**Greatest Joy of Giving

        Communion experience. Jesus let me know that he had given all of himself to me. So now it was time for me to give myself to him, which is the same as letting him have all of me. Giving yourself to God actually brings one the greatest joy of giving!

God Alone Gives Life

        At Mass, I was aware that my heart is beating and my lungs breathing, continuously. Even if our science is so advanced that we can produce a body identical to any living animal to the last molecule, I do not believe that it will come to life, for you need God to breathe life into it. We who are living now are all being sustained by our creator for the time being. 

Most Astounding Sayings

        Today's Gospel reading from Matthew 10 at Mass was absolutely astounding! Jesus said to his apostles: "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever does not take up his cross and follow after me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it." It is amply clear that only God would and can make statements like these. They make me fully believe that Jesus is my Lord and my God.

*Most Beautiful Moments

        These are the private moments when you and God are in union alone with no one else around. So every moment when you are alone can be beautiful.      

Saturday, July 1, 2017

**God's Will Always

        We normally respect the wishes of anyone who has died whom we loved or admired. Come to think of it, if the deceased is already in heaven, then you know that he or she would want God's will followed. If the person didn't make heaven, then what's the point of respecting his or her wishes? Therefore, respect and follow God's will, not anyone else's, always. 

*The Touch of Christ*

        Christ is more beautiful than anyone or anything else, simply because he can touch our heart and soul the deepest. Be touched by him to have life forever!

Richest Person!

        Communion experience. Jesus is my most precious treasure. After receiving him, I heard him say to me, "I am yours." I became the richest person in the whole universe!

Trust Essential

        Trust is essential in a good relationship with God. In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 8, the centurion, after asking Jesus to cure his paralyzed servant, said to him, "I am not worthy to have you enter under my roof; only say the word and my servant will be healed." And Jesus healed the servant without going to the centurion's house because of his faith. To trust in God is to believe that nothing is impossible with him and that he will respond to you.

Great Relationship With God

        Your relationship with God is gauged by how comfortable you are with him. If you do not hide anything from him, are receptive to anything coming from him, and even long to be with him – in other words, you are completely comfortable with him – then you have a great relationship with God who is your Father.

A Blessing!

        Before Christ was born into the world, God spoke to the Jewish people through the prophets and other leaders. I feel so blessed that I came into being after Christ's arrival so that I can get to know God most intimately, for Jesus has said to Philip, "If you know me, you will also know my Father" and "Whoever has seen me has seen the Father."

Friday, June 30, 2017

Retiring Our Free Will

        The Lord God gave each one of us the free will to choose to follow or reject him. We are entirely responsible for all the choices we make. Keep in mind that at all times God tests our free will. The only way to make sure that we'll always pass the test is to give our will to God, then we won't ever need to exercise our free will anymore.  

Thursday, June 29, 2017

**Love Gives Joy

        Communion experience. The greatest love we can feel in this life is God's love for us, for it is the greatest possible love. After I received the Lord in the Eucharist, the Holy Spirit filled my heart with overflowing joy. I felt as if a might force from within my heart was trying to bust open its walls. The joy was powerful, vigorous, and absolutely soul-touching – I couldn't do a thing about it. I knew that it came from the love of Christ.

Key to Entering Kingdom of Heaven

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 16, Jesus asked his disciples, "Who do people say that the Son of Man is? They replied, 'Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets." He said to them, "But who do you say that I am?" Simon Peter said in reply, "You are the Son of the living God." Jesus said to him in reply, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my heavenly Father." It is the key to entering the kingdom of heaven to be able to believe and say truly that Jesus is the Son of the living God.

Home Sweet Home With God

        It is good to be back home, especially because I am now able to receive the Lord daily again. Away for home this past week, I attended Mass only on one weekday and Sunday in two different cities. The first church was quite far from where I stayed and the second one, to get there, I had to drive through heavy traffic and ended up not being able to find a parking space right away. So I appreciate driving to my church back home on nice country roads in 5 minutes and encountering no traffic. Today is the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul. The entrance antiphon reads: These are the ones who, living in the flesh, planted the Church with their blood; they drank the chalice of the Lord and became the friends of God. It is good to be back home, but it is infinitely better to become a friend of God.

Sin Preferred Over Gravity

        Sin and Gravity are alike in that they both weigh us down. Because of gravity, we are limited to moving around near the surface of the earth. The only way to rid of gravity is to be at some spot in space where all the gravitational forces attracting you from all directions cancel each other out. It's safe to say that we are entirely earthbound. As for sin, it becomes our spiritual burden, keeping us from soaring to God. But we don't need to be bound by it, for Christ can free us from sin instantly if we let him. So, in a way, I like sin more than gravity.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Most Satisfying Feeling

        Knowing that you maintain a private, close relationship with none other than God.      

True Freedom

        Those who follow God's will are not affected by what others do, thus they are free in doing what they want to do. But those who follow their own will always get bothered by others' actions, so they never feel free.   

More Than No. 1

        The Gospel reading yesterday came from Matthew 6. Jesus pointed out that doing anything to make people think that you are doing it for God is being hypocritical and will not receive any recompense from God. If we do things to win the praise of others, we have received our reward already. So it comes down to choosing to please God or ourselves, to serve God or ourselves, to worship God or ourselves. God not only needs to be No. 1, but the only one in our life.

Treasurable Feeling

       Since I am traveling, I may not be able to blog daily in the coming week. Anyway, yesterday the entrance antiphon from Psalm 14 read: The clean of hands and pure of heart shall climb the mountain of the Lord and stand in his holy place. To me, keeping the hands clean is not to do any bad deeds and keeping the heart pure is not to have any bad thoughts. Both clean hands and a pure heart assure that you will feel good in God's presence, and what a treasurable feeling that is!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Blessed and Worthy Are ...

those who receive the Lord in the Holy Eucharist with humility, love, and trust. (Today's Communion experience.)

Our Mission and Goal

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus asked his disciples to love not just their neighbor, but even their enemies. And he wants them to be perfect, just as their heavenly Father is perfect. The lesson here: (1) Specifically, we are to love everyone as the Father loves us, irrespective of whether the person is good or bad, just or unjust and (2) fundamentally, we are to imitate the Father who is perfect.

God Wouldn't Mind

        Today's entrance antiphon from Psalm 27: O Lord, hear my voice, for I have called to you; be my help. Do not abandon or forsake me, O God, my savior. We can ask, beg, pester, or even argue with God. As long as we treat him as our most loving Father, he wouldn't mind a bit. Sharing everything in your heart with him surely endears yourself to him.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sole Influence

        It is easy to follow the crowd and do whatever everyone else is doing, especially when there is the chance of making money or looking fashionable, but believing that it should always be between you and God means that you let only God influence you.

Egregious Disconnect

        So many people are disconnected from God, for they are deeply immersed in the world and have lost whatever spiritual awareness they had. They say that God is dead, but I say that their own hearts are dead. Here's a human analogy that illustrates the situation. A father raises his children, loves them very much and gives them the best in everything he could. Now the children have grown up and totally forgotten about the father. They are immersed in doing what they want to do and no longer visit or communicate with the father. You don't have to be a parent to know how bad that father would be feeling. Imagine now how our heavenly Father with infinite love for us would be feeling over us. 

The Lord Making a Point

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus said to his disciples, "You have heard that it was said, An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth. But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil. When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well. If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one what wants to borrow." These are hard sayings, but they completely make sense if you truly love everyone as God loves us, never wishing to judge or hurt anyone. Naturally, vengeance is out of the question. I think this is the point Jesus had wanted to get across. Another example, in Matthew 5.30, Jesus said, "If your right hand causes you to sin, cut if off and throw it away." Here he made the point that we are not to sin. Nevertheless, love the Lord with all your heart and you'll know what to do in each situation.

**Call to Decision

        We are trapped in the middle of an intense spiritual warfare. As a matter of fact, we are involved because our souls are the sole object of this warfare. We'd better open our spiritual eye from sleep to recognized this reality and take a stand. There is a time for everything and there should be one for detaching yourself from the world and choosing to follow Christ to save yourself and the world. That time, more urgent than ever, is now.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Peace of Belonging to God

        Communion experience. I received profound peace, knowing that I have the truth. Of course, there are still issues unresolved and pieces of work unfinished in this life, but if the Lord wants me to go to him, I just go (no packing needed) because it's his will. This is the peace of belonging to God alone.   

***Our Most Precious Food

         Today is Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. In the Gospel reading from John 6, Jesus said the following to the Jewish crowds: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world," "Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life within you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him," "The one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven," and "Whoever eats this bread will live forever." If there are sayings of Jesus that we should listen to and take most seriously, these are the ones. Many non-Catholic Christians gloss over these sayings of Jesus in John 6, for they believe that the bread and drink merely symbolizes his flesh and blood. In other words, they remain ordinary bread and wine. Can you imagine that Jesus had meant "Whoever eats this ordinary bread will live forever"? It's in believing that Christ is truly present in the Holy Eucharist that we receive the power of transformation to be made fit for living forever. (All the early Church fathers agree with me on this.)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

**Heaven-Shaking Event*

        When any prodigal or lost sinner returns to the Father in heaven, the whole heaven rejoices! (Now you see how beloved you are to God.)     

To Hear the Holy Spirit Speak

        To hear the Holy Spirit speak to your heart, let him enter to shape and condition your heart first and then keep him dwelling happily there.

*All for God's Sake

        Even when we pray to God for our own sake, we should pray for his sake. This is to be obedient to his will. There is no conflict here when you and he are one.

**To Show Selflessness

        When Jesus gave his life so that we might live forever, he was being completely selfless. The ultimate way for us to show our selflessness is to surrender ourselves to him for his joy. (Ultimately, this becomes our joy.)

More Than I Asked For

        Communion experience. After the priest elevated the Eucharist and said: "Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those called to the supper of the Lamb." We all responded: "Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed." After I received the Lord, I realized that he entered under my roof not only to heal my soul, but also to dwell within me to be one with me forever!

**Between Knowing & Not Knowing

        A good friend passed away yesterday after suffering a stroke. Life hangs by a thread. When that thread breaks, you fall either into the safety net you knew Christ had prepared for you or into some abyss unknown to you. You see, if you know Christ, you know where you'll be. Without him, you are simply lost. The difference is huge! Make your own choice now.

Dishonest Generation

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus said to his disciples, "Let your 'Yes' mean 'Yes,' and your 'No' mean 'No.' Anything more is from the Evil One." Our pastor correctly pointed out that those who put out fake news today are ignorant of this counsel. A lot of dishonest politicians and new media spread fake stories in pursuing their own agenda for their own gains. This puts their soul in danger, for according to the Lord, they have tuned in to the Evil One.

*Our Greatest Revelation

        That is, God is love. You may have heard this said so many times and never thought about it. But it is an amazing truth. I don't think that anyone who does not know God could have guessed it. 

Friday, June 16, 2017

Claiming God's Promise

        Communion experience. Jesus said, "I tell you, all that you ask for in prayer, believe that you will receive it and it shall be yours." (Mark 11.24). After receiving the Lord, I asked for making me new in prayer and believed that I would receive it.

Reckless Living

        Total abandonment in God is living with total freedom in God, which may be considered reckless living in God, if you prefer.

*Our Greatest Consolation*

        The Holy Eucharist sets one apart. Believing in and receiving it opens the door to union with God and assures your place in heaven, marking you as a sheep of Christ and a child of the Father heading home. Spiritually, receiving this Most Blessed Sacrament is our greatest consolation on earth.

*Living for Christ

        I feel that we should behave as if Jesus were standing right next to us and we do everything for the love of him. This is possible once you know him intimately, as in union. In fact, you can't help becoming that way after seeing how compellingly beautiful he is.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Our Attitudes Toward God

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, Jesus first said to his disciples, "I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven." Since the scribes and Pharisees were known to be hypocrites, it seemed then that getting into the kingdom of heaven shouldn't be too hard. Then Jesus said things that made me think otherwise, among which were statements such as "I say to you, whoever is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment" and "Whoever says, 'You fool,' will be liable to fiery Gehenna." To play it safe, of course, we can strive to be as perfect as possible, which is what the Father wishes anyway. 
         In general, there are three prevalent attitudes out there. (1) Some just do not believe in Christ at their own risk. (2) Some believe, but not really follow all his teachings. For example, when it comes to forgiving others, they would say "I can't do it" and not even try to do it. These are closed-minded people. (3) And there are those who are open-minded and, despite being weak, ask God to help them follow him in all his teachings. It is clear which one of these attitudes pleases the Lord the most. 

*Winning Tactics*

          The best way to shake off Satan is to run away from him, and the best way to catch God is to run toward him. You goal is to hide yourself in God to remain hidden from Satan and be safe and secure forever.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

**What Makes God Beautiful?

        The beauty of nature and many other things we enjoy seeing all reflect, but not reveal the beauty of God. Then how do we discover the beauty of God? I did not know until I got personal with him. Once I entered him, what impressed me the most were his perfection, his holiness, and his love for all of us. He amazingly cleansed my heart, healed my soul, and took away my sins, making me anew – these experiences further bowled me over. It's this total awesomeness that makes him truly beautiful.

Going to Heaven for Sure

        If I tell you that I am going to enter heaven, it's not because I want to let you know that I am holy or anything like that, for I am a great sinner; I know because Jesus promised that whoever believes in him will have life eternal, and all God's promises must be ironclad and true. I am simply "taking advantage of" his free offer out of his love and mercy. It's really all his doing, working out so nicely for me.  

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

*Most Beautiful Hideaway

        Communion experience. Christ is now my most beautiful private hideaway. He is precisely the refuge every single one of us needs!

**Just You and God

        Everything will be settled between you and God in the end, depending upon how you and God get along in this life. God's love for you is so strong that nothing can change that, so you should stick with him so that nothing can take you away from him. Observe these three rules to secure your soul for all eternity. (1) Follow Christ with all your heart and soul so that no temptation can possibly lure you away from him for even an instant. (2) Never mind what others say or think about you. (3) Don't even think about yourself. God is now your only companion and kindred spirit. Persevere for just a short lifetime and you'll be richly rewarded for all eternity! 

Monday, June 12, 2017

How We Live Viewed

        It seems that many of us live as if we are going to live forever, since we just plan for this life. When I was young and healthy, that's how I lived. Now I realize that we all know that we are going to die one day, so perhaps it is more accurate to say that many of us live as if there will be no life after death. But, of course, either view is incorrect and we live or have lived wrongly.

*Thorough and Forever

        God loves us all the way; he wishes us to be one with him completely; he wants us to be happy forever; when he forgives us, he makes us thoroughly clean; when he heals us, he goes straight to our soul; if we keep him away, he waits with infinite patience and will never turn away from us. He first loved and will never stop loving us. There is nothing more we can ask or add.

Thoroughly With Me

        Communion experience. God came not just to be with me for a while, but to dwell in me forever! 

How to Get Blessed

        In today's Gospel reading from Matthew 5, we heard the declarations of blessedness pronounced by Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. We learn that God bless those who are poor in spirit, who mourn, who are meek, who hunger and thirst for righteousness, who are merciful, who are clean of heart, who make peace, who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, who are insulted and persecuted because of Christ. May I also include those who are intent on seeking union with God.

*Lack of Humility Lamented

        Humility is letting God be God. Therefore, it is correct to say that the lack of humility is the cause of much of the chaos in our world. Since most people have forgotten about God, humility is all but extinct. Any politician or well-know personality nowadays showing any sign of meekness would surely be perceived as being weak and laughed at. As long as we think that we know more than God, we'll never be able to break free from this self-imprisonment. More importantly, we won't be able to get into heaven.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

*Love's Urgent Concern

        Losing your soul to Satan is the worst possible thing that could ever happen to a person. Therefore, if you have loved ones in this life, you must do your utmost to make sure that this won't happen to any of them. Otherwise, your love falls way short.

Specific Request

        Communion experience on this Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. It was the perfect time for me to ask the Lord to help me imitate Christ so that I might be able to react correctly to anything in any living situation.

Mercy Granted

        When we ask God not to lead us into temptation (in saying the Lord's Prayer), we really pray that he will not test us to the point that we fail – this is asking for a specific kind of mercy. I do believe that as long as we remain in (union with) him, this mercy is already granted.