"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?