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

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."